3 Reasons To Alter Your Comfort Zone

December 21, 2014

I remember the first day I met my my now-husband, Manny. It was in May of 2006 while I was completing my kinesiology degree at the University of Calgary.

I can remember feeling entranced by his seemingly fearless personality and constant energy. The fact that he was an Olympic Downhill ski racer and I didn’t ski at all certainly crossed my mind, but we just had fun together.

He would take me hiking, teach me to wake surf, play golf, ride a mountain bike, cliff jumping and of course skiing. While I was always active growing up and I don’t think I was hesitant with new challenges, I have always been a worrier. What will happen if…was a constant thought in my head.

I also remember the day I met Manny’s mom for the first time. On the frame around her license plate it said ‘alter your comfort zone’.

Gulp….oh man, I thought. I don’t know if this relationship is for ‘me’. Maybe I’m not adventurous enough?!

Now, I should give you the whole story that Manny’s mom Jane is not jumping off cliffs and riding motorcycles every day (not that there is anything wrong with that!) but she is always trying NEW things, different things, challenging things.

As you can see, one of the many things I have learned from the Osborne clan is the importance of trying something new. Maybe you like it, maybe you do not. But at least you tried, and there is always something to learn from the experience. 

For me, a few of the learning experiences I have attained via skiing, sewing, glass-bead making, surfing, cliff jumping, long boarding, grass skiing, extreme hiking and mountain biking are that altering your comfort zone:

It is the fastest way to improve self-belief.

Self-belief is the ability to which we believe that we can accomplish a certain goal or task. This is also known as general self-efficacy.

Learning to ski was more challenging for me mentally than it was physically. I have always been athletic, and found it tough to start at square one with a new sport. Ultimately, the learning process helped me to experience vulnerability and trust with the friends who helped me along the way. It improved my self-confidence in taking on a new task that I couldn’t ‘do perfectly’ from the start.

When it comes to making effective dietary and exercise habit change, the degree to which we believe we can be successful is a huge predictor of our long term adherence to newly created habits. 

Numerous studies show that self-efficacy is largely task specific, but the general confidence gained from trying an learning something new does have transfer to other aspects of our lives.

It spurs you to take action in other areas of your life.

Have you ever had a friend or colleague who lost weight or gained a healthy lifestyle only to change other areas of their life too? 

I LOVE being a part of this snowball effect with my clients. When we take responsibility and ownership for what foods we choose to eat and how to move our bodies regularly, we see the power we have over our finances, relationships and many other goals.

It teaches you how to relinquish control.

And relinquishing control is HARD! One of my favourite authors, Brene Brown, writes that perfectionism is a ‘way to avoid feeling the negative emotions of failure’.

When I look back to my early days of school I can certainly see how my tendency towards perfectionism actually held me back. Getting straight A’s was ‘easy’ for me – I could avoid anger and frustration from my parents and teachers by just ‘doing everything right’ – So that is exactly what I did.

The challenge with striving for perfectionism is that you actually operate in opposition to the mindset of ‘failing forward’ or learning from your mistakes. Instead, you avoid mistakes at all costs by doing the tried, tested and true day after day.

Trying a new sport or hobby forces you to relinquish control and make mistakes over and over again. After all, this is the best way to learn, grow and gain mental strength.

The thing is, I am always caught encouraging my clients, friends and family ‘to do what works for them’. Altering your comfort zone is an area in which this principle applies too. For one person, altering your comfort zone could be standing up in front of a room full of people to speak. For others, it could be jumping off a cliff.

My friend Carol Donahoe of Strength Infusion is one of the most inspiring people I have met. Not only is she physically strong, she is hosting a #sayyes campaign over on her Facebook page for the next couple weeks. I shared the photo above on her page for one of my #sayyes moments.

A task for you: Take a few minutes and write down a few ways you plan to alter your comfort zone in 2015.

For me, I will be taking on a few more speaking engagements (which I love, but I definitely get nervous for!) and will continue to expand the offerings for my coaching business. 

Bring it on, world!

Lana  

10 Lessons My Coaching Club Gals Learned This Year

December 14, 2014

This year I took a jump to fulfill an idea I’d had for a long time. How could I create a program where I shared my entire approach to life, training, eating, thinking, de-stressing and taking care of our health wholeheartedly? After months of planning and creating I formed an online coaching group called the Blast Fitness Lifestyle Club. 

Each month I put together a workout calendar, videos and printable exercise programs to follow, twice weekly coaching emails, recipes, mindset study topics, a book club read, a monthly webinar and more. It is the private Facebook coaching group that many of the women find the most value in the program (although the non-facebookers make the program work in their lives via the coaching emails!). We work on implementation, support and daily healthy life hacks. 

I knew the coaching club would be a gamble, but I could not have imagined how unbelievably fulfilling it has been for me. 

One of my favourite quotes that my Grandmother had on her fridge until she passed away (and now I have it on my fridge) describes the process of creating something that encompasses your entire belief system:

"Seek the path that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being. Leave that which is not, but appears to be. Seek that which is, but is not apparent." - Rumi

I wanted to give the coaching club gals a chance to share what they had learned this year and I was blown away at their responses. Here you go: 

I learned to trust the process.

 I've learned to be patient and trust the process and not to give up even though that's the hard part. You've been so inspirational in your teachings and motivating! I couldn't have gotten to where I am without you! I am way more aware. Next steps is gratitude and stopping the negativity of my bobbles and being thankful I can workout and choose foods to eat. Awareness is key and you've shown me this! 

I learned that my body and results weren’t made or broken in a day.

Definitely that Rome wasn't made - or broken in a day. Allow myself to make mistakes. RELAX a bit when it comes to food, workouts - yes, balance can be found and makes the journey so much more enjoyable!! I can't believe how easier it seems to meet goals and maintain after actually backing off on the intensity of both my workouts and my diet. And learning to listen to my body and mind has spurred me on to make changes in other parts of my life as well

I learned consistency.

Consistency, consistency, consistency! Plus learning that good is enough and can still get results (my pants are looser! )

Lana's note: This is probably the biggest focus of the BFLC, cultivating the #consistencymindset all the while focusing on making healthy habits that are sustainable. Sustainable means that we create habits that last, not those that drain our willpower and leave us experiencing cravings day in and day out.

I learned tools for eating on the go.

Something really simple, the rule of label reading. This is called the Metabolic Effect Label Rule and it is a tool for determining if a packaged product is a good choice to manage hunger when on the go (total carbs - fibre -protein all numbers in grams, we aim for 10 or less)

I learned how to eat well all week long!

I learned to drink wine on Wednesdays! I use to be the queen of denying myslef everything during the week and going nuts on the weekend. Now I drink wine on Wednesday and have at least one huge salad and drink lots of water on the weekend.

I learned that working out smarter not more, actually has more impact.

I have learned so much so will narrow it down, working out less has actually improved my body and mind. Taking a day off (or two) is beneficial to my mind and body. 

I learned that I can choose how I react to someone else’s comments.

 

Treat yourself more than once a week and a really big one I learned last night on our webinar was about placing emotion on someone else's comments. I get to choose how I react.

I learned how to celebrate all victories.

 

One thing(there are many) that I have learnt is to celebrate the victories(small or big) and not to stress over the hiccups as tomorrow you can turn them into victories! Take it one day at a time!

I learned how to focus on one thing at a time rather than trying to change everything at once.

I've been given the best gift ever, happiness! I used to be so hard on myself. If I didn't workout, if I ate "bad". Now I believe if I'm doing the best that I can be, in this moment, then I am happy. I don't think of food as the enemy. The food that used to make me feel "guilty" I now eat and actually enjoy. I don't have to workout for 2hrs a day. I love food. I love feeling strong and I love feeling like I can do anything! I have learned so much it's hard to pick just one. The most important thing I have learned is to focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to change everything at once.

Wow, just wow. I am so honoured that these women have given me the chance to be a part of their daily life, exercise routines and kitchen ideas! 

Here's to finding balance in the new year and going after your dreams too. 

Love, 

Lana 

Blueberry Banana Protein Muffins

December 13, 2014

Ingredients:

3 mashed bananas

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup ground almonds

3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I used BioSteel Whey Protein Isolate)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir slowly while adding dry ingredients to wet until just combined. Stir in walnuts and blueberries. Spoon into a muffin tin lined with paper muffin cups. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Recipe yields 12 muffins. 

Because these are made from ground nuts rather than flour, the outside will be lightly toasted and a little crunchy! Perfect post-workout snack with a combination of carbs & protein.

Why You Do Not Want Your Trainer To Be Perfect

December 07, 2014

There was certainly a time that I thought that perfect eating existed. I also believed that my exercise schedule could be perfect too. The aspect of perfection I never seemed to be able to attain was this: MORE

There was always something MORE that I could be doing.

I could always be more strict with my eating plan. For the record, this always lead to falling off the wagon in a bigger way when I would throw my hands up in the air and say ‘enough! I cannot maintain this way of eating’ 

I could always be more intense with my workouts or complete more minutes of sweat time. This always lead to one thing for me – insatiable hunger.

Around July of 2012 I really started to feel the wear and tear of my trying to be perfect with eating and exercising. Thinking about my food and workout schedule took up a massive amount of my mental energy, which left me with little effort to place on my work, friends, family and other passions.

But I was a university educated trainer with a decade of training experience. How could it be that I couldn’t get a handle on all of this?

I was carrying around a few extra pounds of body fat, was always exhausted, always hungry and loved my job but did not feel fulfilled. I knew I needed a different way of thinking. So this is where I started: 

I let good be good enough.

A big part of my mental transition began when I started reading the work of my now coach Jill Coleman. Jill talked about self-trust, giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt and creating permission to let good be good enough in terms of eating and exercising habits. I took a leap of faith as I knew I needed more mental energy to change my life.

I gave myself permission to do JUST a 20 or 30 minute intense strength workout rather than 90-120 minutes of exercise each day. 

I changed my work schedule so I taught less active classes, allowing my workouts to be ‘me-time’.

I allowed myself to have wine, chocolate, cheese or bacon a few times through out the week so I didn’t feel so deprived when the weekend rolled around. 

When I started sharing my struggles, I resonated with more people. 

When I started to face my own insecurities and show up as my real, authentic self, I found my clients and friends could relate to me much better. I saved mounds of energy by not putting up a façade that I could eat clean all the time and workout for hours on end. I certainly could do that for 5 or 10 days of white-knuckling my willpower only to end up completely drained.

I would eat pizza and not beat myself up about it after, I would just work at making a choice with lots of veggies and lean protein at my next meal (instead of waiting until monday). 

I wrote about how I began eating bacon and drinking wine during the week, I loosened up the reins on myself and practiced self-trust. Like if I was out to eat at a restaurant I could still make a good choice without the mental babble of 'you have to eat perfectly clean or go all out'. The emails started to pour in from women who were adopting the same mindset.

Perfection is a myth anyways.

A couple weeks ago, an instragram post came up on my feed with a picture of Jillian Harris (a previous Bachelorette on ABC) without make-up, hair not done and wearing a plain white t-shirt. Beside the photo she wrote ….

The best part about this? Her honesty and vulnerability made me feel like I could relate to her even better! I leave old coffee cups in my car! My room is constantly littered with clothing and there are ALWAYS dishes in the sink. So I feel like I can understand where she is coming from, there is a common thread and I trust her more.

I think this is one of the main reasons why it was so important to me to begin writing about balance, self-belief and doing what works for you when I started this blog in March of 2014. I wanted to give my readers permission to stop trying for perfection.

When I began writing about REAL struggles like food cravings, eating salami to stay on track, emotional eating and the importance of simplifying our schedules I started to get hundreds of emails and facebook messages from women who were struggling with the same things as me.

One day while I was on a slow walk outside, a thought popped into my head. 

I have been subscribing to a belief system that I am better at my job if I look a certain way, leaner, fitter, smaller, stronger. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a great trainer because of all I have experienced and all I have been through. 

This week I am opening the waitlist for the Blast Fitness Lifestyle Club one more time before the pre-sale launch starts on December 26th for our January 2015 Jumpstart Program begins. If you want to know about the opening of our group coaching program for women, get in on the pre-sale and get a few treats and insights from me over the next couple weeks then sign up for the waitlist HERE

Until next time, 

Lana

 

Flourless Mint Brownies

December 07, 2014

This recipe is from my friend and colleague Nadine Dumas. Nadine has some great, healthy recipes so I couldn't wait to share this one with you! 

These brownies are no-bake, no added sugar (yes there are naturally occurring sugars in the dates) and super chocolate-y. 

Ingredients:

1 cup dates with pits removed

1 cup good quality cocoa powder (I used Dagoba brand)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

1/4 cup walnuts

2 drops real peppermint extract

Place dates in a bowl of warm water and let sit for at least 15 minutes (ensure pits are removed). Place all ingredients into a food processor and combine. I had to use my spatula to help combine a few times, of course I turned the food processor off to do so! 

When all ingredients are combined, press into an 8 inch square pan lined with cling wrap. Place in the fridge for an hour and cut into desired sizes. 

Enjoy!