How to ACTUALLY succeed

Behavior Change

Have you ever had the upmost intentions of making your life better but just couldn’t follow through?

How many times do you say to yourself— “I want to get healthier and feel better but I just can’t, I always fail!”

Today I want to introduce a topic called Stages of Behavior Change. The Transtheoretical Model or Stages of Change is a psychological model that helps us understand behavior change.

There are 5 stages of change. Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance.

Pre-contemplation is the first stage. People in the pre-contemplation stage are not aware of a need to change. Let’s use an example as someone who does not exercise. They see no need to exercise are uninformed or unmotivated to make any changes to their current lifestyle in the next 6 months or more.

Contemplation is the next stage. People in contemplation stage are aware there are pros and cons of making a behavior change. They are weighing the benefits and risks of beginning to exercise. They are not ready to take action right away but may intend to change within 6 months.

Preparation is the third stage. People in the preparation stage are ready to take action. They have usually already taken small action steps. They have a plan of exercise or are joining a gym within the month.

Action is the fourth phase. People in the action stage have made specific changes in their lifestyle. There should be an observable change in the behavior change. They have been modifying their behavior significantly within the last 6 months. They have gone from 0 days of exercise to 3 days a week.

Maintenance is the last phase. People in the maintenance stage have successfully made lifestyle changes. They actively work to prevent any relapses into old behavior habits. They can be in a maintenance phase anywhere from 6 months to 5 years before the behavior change becomes absolute. They have been exercising consistently for a year and now are in a solid routine. They actively monitor rest days and make sure not to fall into an inactive lifestyle pattern again.

It can be really helpful to evaluate where you are in the behavior change cycle. I would like to emphasize that it is a CYCLE. People easily take steps backwards and forwards so the process is not linear. In a 1990 Surgeon’s General Report about tobacco smokers 43% of returned to smoking after a 12 month period of maintenance.

Well that’s depressing, right? So how do we make sure we’re not that 43%?

1- Be patient with yourself. Behavior change is one of the HARDEST things to do as a human being. If you stumble a bit just return to your why and evaluate how to proceed.

2- Be realistic with your goals. Setting small, achievable goals sets you up for success (see “last blog” )

3- Be honest with yourself. If you are feeling apprehensive or negative feelings towards change evaluate your current stage. Maybe you need to adjust your thinking or patterns to be more successful.

4- GET SUPPORT! Humans are social creatures whether we like it or not. It is very important to have accountability like minded individuals. When making tough behavior changes, you need to find people who will support and believe in you so you can feed off our their strength.

Remember that behavior change is hard but definitely do-able! You just have to have a great plan, awesome support and overall dedication. I would love to help you explore the changes you should make to CRUSH your goals! Apply for my coaching program 💪🏼

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How to set a resolution you can actually keep

We all know that it’s the time of the year. Everyone’s had an insane amount of Christmas cookies and spent too much time on the couch then they like to admit.

If you’re feeling a little uneasy about your habits from the past days, weeks, heck even months I’m sure getting “healthy” for the New Year sounds good to you. So how do we set a resolution that we can actually accomplish? GLAD YA ASKED!

First and MOST importantly the goal should be something that you want for yourself. Not what your parents think, not what society think but what you truly want and are ready to commit to. Let’s use our example as “I want to lose weight”. Great, super common goal. Now let’s use SMART goals to make it an actually achievable goal.

1- Specific. the goal(s) needs to be something specific. Being “healthy” or isn’t enough. How do you know if you’re healthy? What’s your defining factor? Is doing yoga everyday your “healthy”? Eating meat once a week? Reaching a healthy bodyweight? The more specific you can make your goal the more real it becomes. So far we have-

Reach a healthy bodyweight.

2- Measureable. Arguably the most important aspect of SMART. Losing weight is not measureable. Losing 15lbs is! So far we have-

Reach a healthy bodyweight by losing 15lbs.

3- Action. The goal should be action focused. Losing weight fails this test too. Limiting eating out at restaurants to once a week is an action! The action can be added on to the original goal. So far now we have-

Lose 15lbs by limiting dining out to once a week.

4- Reasonable. In my opinion this is the hardest step. When setting a goal we are often excited and want to set lofty expectations. I would encourage you to really dig deep and make sure you are at least 75% confident you can do this. If you aren’t exercising at all currently don’t set a goal to exercise every single day. You will most likely burn out and fail which will lead to disappointment. Instead shoot for something you are confident in doing so you can feel good about it. So for our example we can limiting our dining out from once a week to 3 times a week. So far now we have-

Lose 15lbs by limiting dining out to 3 times a week.

5- Time based. Time is crucial to our goal setting. Losing 15lbs in 2 weeks is not achievable in a sustainable manner. Losing 15lbs in 3 months is more realistic. Now our goal is ready!!

I would like to lose 15lbs in 3 months by limiting my dining out to 3 times a week.

Ultimately weight loss has more to do with nutrition, so we may have to tweak and add to the goal along the way depending on our progress but now we have a solid definition of what we are working towards. Psychology has proven that setting and achieving goals helps boost motivation, self confidence and autonomy (psychologytoday.com). I hope this explanation helped you figure out how you want to set your resolutions this year. If you need help or guidance don’t hesitate to ask! Happy New Year 🎆

5 things I wish I knew at 18 (with gifs!)

1- The job market is so much harder then you think.

Most jobs you see you’re either going to be grossly overqualified or under-qualified. Only go to college if you have a clear path where that degree will take you. Focus on learning as much as you can and do things that will help your future.

2- Not everyone you meet is going to be as kind as you.

Not everyone will be the kind of friend you are. Don’t waste your energy with those people. Surround yourself with people who care about you through the good and the bad. Find people who understand you or at least empathize with you. Appreciate your loved ones and the ones who take care of you.

3- Take care of yourself first.

Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, financially or intellectually. Don’t put someone else in front of your own care. Take care of your body and your mind. Be active as often as you can. Eat in moderation but still enjoy what you like! Always put yourself first. You can’t help others if you’re sick or drained.

4- It’s okay to struggle.

It’s okay to ask for help. Just make sure you’re going to the right people (see #2) Make sure you periodically have time to vent and let things out. Cry if you need to. Take a sick day if you need to. Keep the communication open with your supporters. They can’t help you if they don’t know.

5- DONT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF!!!

Be yourself. Don’t try to fit into society’s mold of what’s expected. Don’t do things that don’t contribute to your wellbeing or happiness. Continue to be gentle with yourself. Understand that you can’t always be perfect. Accept that you are the only version of you there is and don’t try to be someone else.

I hope this helps someone who reads this. It helped me to write it! Stay strong out there my friends ❤️

Working as a Peer Health Coach

Well hello there friends, sorry it’s been so long. Sorta forgot how to blog 🙃 As some of you may or may not know, I quit personal training (I’m still certified) back in February. I started a new job as a Peer Health Coach. Now what does that even mean?? Well first off, I am now certified as a Peer Recovery Specialist which is an individual who has lived experience with mental illness or substance abuse and provides one-on-one strength based support to peers in recovery. That’s a mouthful, right?

What I do is use my own experience and knowledge to help others towards their own sense of recovery and wellness. Basically I’m a professional friend 😊 Now the health coach portion is what I mainly focus on day to day. I help clients identify behavior changes they want to make to promote wellness and support them in positive self growth. I give clients information, advice and education on different wellness topics. I also work outside the office– for example, I can accompany them to the gym to get them acclimated to the environment or the grocery store to help them make appropriate choices for them. As a peer I try to never put my beliefs, goals or values onto my clients rather I aid them in using their own beliefs, goals and values to improve their wellbeing. Within the past 6 months I’ve gotten LOADS of training (5 different certifications) and now have over 50 clients.

The biggest change for me from personal training has been really focusing on what my clients WANT wellness wise and not pushing anything on them. I try to just focus on little goals they are confident they can succeed in. Someone’s goal may be to walk 10 minutes a day, another person may want to sleep 8 hours a night and another may want to quit drinking soda. Some clients may not be ready to change at all. This job has changed my perspective on what it is to be a coach. You can help someone achieve something that may seem small to you but could be a big change to them. Celebrate these things!

Support and empathize with them through the pitfalls. I have learned that people are so different and you have to be able to meet them where they’re at. I look forward to expanding my knowledge on how to work with people and help others achieve their goals. Big things to come! Keep an eye out if you think you’d like to work with me 😎

–mvkayy

5 things I learned working at an all women’s studio

things i’ve learned from training an all women’s studio
1- not every woman’s purpose is to lose weight. everyone assumes women workout is to lose weight right? wrong. there are so many other benefits to working out. Some ladies want to increase their strength so they can put up their own holiday decorations or carry all the groceries, some ladies want that rush of endorphins to help start/end their day, some ladies want that satisfaction of a hard sweat, some ladies want to increase their muscle mass to avoid osteoporosis and other health problems and some ladies just want to work out because they enjoy it! Any & all of these reasons are great reasons to workout, it doesn’t need to be for the purpose of changing your body. 


2- you have to appreciate how you are now, while working towards your goals. some of my favorite clients are the older ladies because they help me understand how to appreciate life. they tell me about what’s really important and how to enjoy life! so many women spend so much time wishing and wanting to change themselves- in reality it’s better to accept the way we are while working towards bettering ourselves. definitely easier said than done, but it’s something i’ve really tried to start implementing in my own life. it’s so much better to appreciate your body and all it does for you then to hate it and try to force it to change. 


3- there is a disconnect between correct, educational information and the general public. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard ladies say “well i don’t want to get bulky” or “i just need to do more cardio” NO NO NO! lifting heavier IS the most ideal because it recruits more muscle fiber, builds more muscles which leads to more calories burned AT REST! Example- If client A is 130lbs and 25% body fat and client B is 130lbs but 35% body fat. Client A burns more calories then client B just by possessing more muscle mass i.e. client A can eat MORE throughout the day and do LESS activity. Building more muscle is the best way to increase your daily caloric intake.


4- People really don’t understand nutrition. Although I am in no way a dietitian or nutritionist, I have had my fair share of experience with nutrition and have learned a lot from personal experience. I can largely say that most clients I come across do not understand basic nutrition especially how to utilize it when strength training. I cannot give nutritional coaching legally (personal trainers are NOT certified for nutrition) but I can say if you don’t understand how to properly fuel your body consulting a registered dietician is the best way to make sure you’re eating properly for your body and activity needs.


5- YOU CANNOT JUDGE SOMEONE’S FITNESS LEVEL BY THEIR BODY!!! the way someone looks is not correlated to their physical ability. we all hopefully learned very early on not to judge someone by how they appear but this principle is even more important with fitness. aesthetics is just one of the many categories of fitness. some ladies are super cardio conditioned, some ladies are badass at lifting heavier weights, some ladies have the endurance to bang out tons of reps, some ladies have awesome balance skills, some have amazing flexibility, but ALL the ladies are there to get healthier- to better themselves, to better their lives, to better their health as a whole. 


Just remember all bodies are made to move and enjoy life! 

xoxo mvkayy 

3 steps to being bikini ready 

Hi friends! I know I’ve been a bit MIA on my blog posting, so I’m going to try to write more starting now! 
Since it’s my first post in a while I figured I’d keep it short and sweet. 

With everything warming up and our clothing stripping down, it’s easy to start to see our perceived flaws. As a female, of course my first thought is OMG it’s almost bikini season IM NOT READY…!!!! 

But have no fear, I have some tips to help you feel better in a bikini right now. 
1. Throw away any bikinis/bathing suits that DONT fit you or DONT look right. Simple as that! If you don’t like the way you look in it and don’t feel confident, it’ll show. So go out and buy some new bankin bikinis (or tankinis or one pieces!) then BAM! already feelin sexier.


 
2. Remember hating your body won’t make it change. Being upset is just sending negative energy into your brain and eventually securing those thoughts into beliefs. So next time you’re being hard on yourself try to redirect your thoughts to something you appreciate about yourself! (physical or non physical characteristics) 

3- Appreciate that you get to be in a bikini (or tankini/one piece/scuba suit). Think about WHY you are in that clothing. Are you on an awesome vacation? Are you laying out by the pool on your day off? Are you catching some waves during your lunch break? Enjoy the fact you get to do these activities. Soak up the sun. People don’t go to the pool/beach/lake to stare at each other’s bodies, they go for fun! 

Anyways! Hope these tips helped, or at least made you smile 🙂 have a fab day. 
–mvkay

note to my body

Dear body,

First off I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve abused you. Sorry I’ve purposefully starved you. Sorry i’ve purposefully worked you to the point of exhaustion over and over again. Sorry I’ve ignored your cries of pain and signals of protest. I know you’ve only tried to help me. Keep me alive and healthy. I’m sorry I haven’t appreciated you for what you are. I’m sorry I still poke and pull and squish you. I’m sorry I secretly hope parts of you will disappear. I’m sorry I avoid posing pictures of you when I feel uncomfortable. I’m sorry I don’t let you go out when my brain is telling me I’m not worthy. I’m sorry I haven’t embraced you the way I should. Most of all I’m sorry for the majority of my life I’ve treated you like an enemy and not a friend. 

I’m sorry body.

But now I want to thank you. Thank you for keeping me alive. Thank you for keeping me healthy. Thank you for getting me to where I need to be. For healing my wounds and housing my soul. Thank you for helping me support others. Thank you for providing me with a vessel to hug and cuddle my loved ones. Thank you for fighting for me even when I’m too tired or neglectful to treat you properly. Thank you for being patient with me and my restless mind. Thank you for putting up with all the physical challenges I put you through (wanted and unwanted). Most of all thank you for teaching me to understand that life is ever changing just like you. I want to accept you. To love you. To take care of you. So I’m going to try to listen better. To hear when you need an extra day off. To hear when you need an extra hour of sleep. To hear when you need your TLC because without you, I wouldn’t be me.   

Thank you body, for being me. 

xoxo mvkay