As a holistic health coach, I work with women to improve their health and their family life. As clichéd as it sounds, when we become mothers – and even when we become expectant mothers – our whole lives change. Our bodies become foreign to us, our responsibilities (and our worries) increase, our sleep decreases, and we set aside our own needs and wants to do everything we can to make our kids happy. We love being mothers, but we aren’t enjoying it – and that’s not helping anyone.
We need to realize that in order to fully participate in family life, we need to first participate in our own lives. We need to ask ourselves: What makes me happy? healthy? relaxed? fulfilled? How can I feel my best so that I can enjoy getting to know and appreciate my kids instead of going through the motions of managing the family schedule? How do I show gratitude for the family that I dreamed about, and for the body that helped to make it a reality when it’s not all that I had hoped for? How do I enjoy time with my partner when I can barely find time to shower, to eat, to breathe?
This is where I was – and where the idea for REAL Energy started. Truthfully, most days, I was counting the minutes to bedtime, fueled by sugar and caffeine (thank you, chocolate!) and feeling worse and worse about myself. I was completely overwhelmed and I knew that something had to give.
REAL Energy was my answer. REAL is an acronym for Relax. Eat well. Align your body. Live now.
RELAX – I start with Relax because it is the most important piece of feeling well, and the thing that I struggle with the most. To be relaxed is to be well-rested, and without tension. It starts with sleep, but also includes meditation as a means of releasing anxiety and negative feelings, and stretching to release stored tension in the physical body. Are you having trouble falling asleep? staying asleep? shutting down to go to bed? I can teach you sleep strategies and relaxation techniques to help you get the most out of your shut eye so that you can put forth the best version of yourself each day.
EAT WELL – Food is fuel for our bodies, but so often we abuse it. We eat because we are tired, we are lonely, we are stressed – or we are happy, we are celebrating, we have earned it. Or we don’t eat because we feel fat, we feel ugly, we feel unworthy, we feel depressed. In this way food becomes a drug or a reward and no longer the fuel necessary to nourish our cells and to help our bodies function at their best. Food is tricky because each person’s body is different and everyone’s dietary needs are different. Having studied over 100 dietary theories with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I can explain why this is, and I can help you to create a plan that works best for your body and your lifestyle. This doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods or skipping a celebration, but it does mean being aware of the role that food plays in your life – especially how it affects your moods and your energy levels.
ALIGN YOUR BODY – One of the biggest surprises of motherhood for me was just how much my body would change. I knew that pregnancy would move things around a bit, and that I should allow myself about 9 months to lose the baby weight, but what I didn’t realize was that my body would be completely different even after getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have a condition called diastasis recti in which my abdominal muscles remained separated as a result of pregnancy. My doctor told me that it was a cosmetic concern, so I turned to exercise to fix the problem. But I was doing the wrong kind of exercise, which only worsened the separation, and I soon realized that the instability of my core affected all aspects of my life – from eating to sleeping to movement, and yes, to the way I looked and felt about myself. There was little that I could do without feeling sore, so I turned to a physical therapist for help, and eventually found the work of biomechanist Katy Bowman. I have been learning from her blog since 2011 and I am excited to finally be studying with her, with the anticipation of becoming fully certified in Nutritious Movement in 2017. I know about how the body works and I can teach you exercises to help close the tummy gap, align the pelvis, fix achy knees, hips, and shoulders, and to improve circulation, breathing, and digestion.
LIVE NOW – In our plugged-in lives, this may be the most challenging habit to build. Live now is about stepping away from social media and being fully present in our lives, not the lives we see on the computer screen. It means watching events as they happen in front of us instead of documenting each moment through a viewfinder on a mobile phone, and taking pictures for our own benefit instead of for an imagined online audience. It means using social media as a tool to connect, and not as a means of drowning out what is going on in our own homes. Live now means getting organized to clear the clutter and to cut down on the overwhelm, and it means making time to play with our kids, to get outdoors, and to set aside the to-do list for an extra cuddle before bedtime. I can teach you how to let go of what you think you need in order to focus on what really matters.
By following these four principles, you will restore your energy, improve your mood, and live a life you love!
I am a holistic health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a meditation teacher studying with Connected Kids™, and an active mother of three, currently pursuing certification in restorative exercise and personal training through Nutritious Movement. I am also certified as a Reiki Master/Teacher in the Usui system of natural healing and will complete my coursework in the Holy Fire system of Reiki in February.
I offer workshops on nutrition, exercise and alignment, as well as individual health and nutrition coaching, Reiki support, and lessons on meditation and mindfulness to parents, families, and classrooms.