Are These Four Fears Stopping You?

Do you often start new exercise programs or new meal plans only to find yourself going back to old habits within just a few short weeks or even days?  It’s not easy making change, but one thing that seems to stop people in their tracks is FEAR. 

We all have some type of fear that prevents us from moving forward.  Remember as a kid when you were scared that something under the bed might get your feet?  Ok, yes, I still have that fear!  Ha ha!

When you think something is under the bed and it’s going to get your feet, you get scared and don’t want to move.  You don’t want to take that step out of the bed. 

You're first step to lasting results...

I heard a statistic this morning that 80% of people will give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by February 15.  I’m not sure where these statistics come from, but I believe it! 

I believe it because I used to make resolutions or meaningless goals on New Year’s Day too.  I’m sure my husband would roll his eyes when I would say “Ok, I’m serious this time.  I’m losing weight.  I’m starting January, 1st.” 

Does this sound familiar? 

When I finally started to believe myself and finally started taking action towards really achieving my goals, my world changed.

After my second child I decided I was ready to feel better.  I wanted to stop feeling sad, heavy (both mentally and physically) and I wanted to stop avoiding seeing friends and family.  I was hiding out because I didn’t really like myself that much.  I was hiding because I was the heaviest I had ever been.  I was hiding because I was the saddest I’d ever been.  I was hiding because I knew I could be more, but I just wasn’t sure where to start.

I’ll never forget the morning that things changed.  Something changed inside of me.  I got up early in the morning to go to the bathroom.  I was worried my husband would see me – I was hiding from him too. I was embarrassed for him to see what I had become. 

I got up and scurried off to the bathroom, shut the door and caught a glimpse of my sorry ass in the mirror.  At that moment I knew I had to stop.  I had to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I had to stop using food (cookies mostly) to make me feel better.  I had to stop living in a fog. 

So I did.

I got to work right away.  I threw out the junk food.  I signed up at a new gym (where I ended up becoming the group fitness leader/coordinator).  I bought vegetables.  Lots of vegetables. I started reading self-help books – even though I thought that was cheesy.  I started doing things that I knew were going to change my body, my mind and my soul.

These were all good things to start doing, but you know what made the biggest difference for me?  It was the group support I received from all the women who were working out with me.  They were really with me.  They got it.  We got it.  We did it together. 

Yes, I was the leader (of the fitness classes), but the women who came to me were cheering me on and I was cheering them on.  We sweated together, we laughed together, we cried together, we shared recipes, we had each other’s back.

So, I ask you; who has your back? 

If you are in a dark place or just unsure of what to do to step forward and start working on your goals, the first step is finding support.  It can be a coach, a trainer, a friend, your spouse, your mother, your dog.  Just find support.  

Once you have a strong support system and someone that is behind you no matter what, you can really start to dig into your changes.  

Fortunately, with wonderful technology, I am able to help more women like myself and like you.  Through Facebook, email, webinars, and Skype, I am able to support and guide women all over the country.

Through my online lifestyle groups, many women are coming together and supporting each other’s efforts.  They have each other’s back.  They have my back and I have theirs. 

Whether you need support via in-person or online, there is someone out there willing to help.  You just need to find your tribe, your "people" and jump in.  Jump in so deeply that you know there is no other choice than to succeed.  

Good luck with your journey!  If you want me to have your back, give me a holler!

I don't look like a fitness model, so what?

It was Friday afternoon and I was in a SUPER good mood.  I mean who isn’t in a good mood on Friday?  TGIF and all? 

I have been promoting my latest program through quite a few emails (sorry about that, but I need to get the information out or else you won’t know), so I was checking email frequently seeing if anyone was signing up for my program.

By the way, it’s like pins and needles waiting to see who will jump in with me.  It’s both exciting and scary because it’s not easy putting yourself out there in front of thousands of people not knowing what they are thinking about you.

In the latest email, I included a link to one of my workout videos that I had done live with a group on Facebook.  The workouts are done first thing in the morning and I promise you that I don’t spend more than 2-3 minutes getting ready for the video.  This means I am not trying to look beautiful and I’m definitely not trying to impress anyone with how I look. 

Honestly, I was a little nervous about sending it out to my entire email list – that’s a lot of people who may see me in the video exercising at 6am.  Ha!

As I was checking email, I noticed someone had responded!  I excitedly clicked their email and this is what it said:

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Gulp.

Deep Breath.

Another deep breath.

Then I said this aloud:  “This is not about me.”

OK, you’re right, I didn’t say that.  I said something very ugly and I don’t think I should share that part.  LOL! 

I do believe that when people are hateful to others it is due to their own insecurities.  I feel that this person has body image issues and decided to take it out on me. 

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However, thankfully I am very confident in who I am.  I am happy with who I am and how I look now.   I am also very confident in my training skills and know that I am helping many women achieve a healthier and more fit lifestyle.

Sure, I don’t look like a 25 year old fitness model and I could lose some of my belly, but guess what?  I feel that life is way too short to spend it hating my body and a few extra rolls here and there aren’t impairing me from achieving a life I love.  I choose to spend more time noticing my strong thighs while teaching a cycle class, beating my son’s friends in arm wrestling matches and taking long walks with my dog.

I am aware of the work that goes into the lives of fitness models.  I know what they eat.  I know the hours they spend in the gym and I know that I DO NOT WANT THAT. 

I want to eat a cookie.  I want to drink wine with my friends.  I want to have a day or two off from the gym.  I want to spend time with my family and friends and not make it all about exercise and food.  I want a real life.  I want a balanced life.

A healthy and fit life is so much more than a bikini-ready body.  I’m sad for those people that don’t understand that.

I posted about this on Facebook and was overwhelmed with the responses.  I was a little embarrassed after the fact because I wasn’t seeking compliments, but I truly appreciate all of you and all of your very sweet comments. 

I leave you with this:

Be You.

Do You.

Believe in You.

Create the BEST You possible

Life is too short to do otherwise.

Adrenal Fatigue and Food Intolerances OH MY!

For many years I have been following a diet of lean proteins, high fiber foods, lower fat, good fat, clean carbs and weekly treats to keep me “sane.”  I also workout often (mostly due to teaching many classes each week).  I also practice what I preach – I work on managing my stress levels through meditation, yoga and daily leisure walking. 

So you would think I have it all together, right?  If you were to read my food and activity blog you would expect to see a super fit and very lean woman. 

Well, not so much. 

Over that past year my waist has grown several inches, my hips the same and my weight has pushed to the highest level I’ve seen since losing over 65 pounds 12 years ago and my body fat has increased by 6%.

Not only has my body changed in a negative way, but I’ve been exhausted all the time, my joints hurt, I have headaches all the time, my throat has a constant soreness/lump in it, and the heart burn has been ridiculous.  Not to mention the depression I’ve been experiencing.  I have a great life, so why so sad?

Seriously WTF?

Due to my knowledge of nutrition, fitness and hormones, I have tweaked and twisted my eating to every degree I can think of.  I’ve tried eating more protein, more veggies, more good fats and cut out more starches.  I’ve changed up my workouts by reducing how much I participate with classes and do my own tailored workouts for myself.  I have even cut back on cardio due to research that points to more belly fat with too much cardio.  I’ve tried.  Really, I’ve tried.

So, after going to a couple doctors, I finally found someone that would listen to me and take my situation seriously.  I have felt like there is something “wrong” for a while now.  I don’t want to hear the standard answer of “you’re just getting older, deal with it.”  I couldn’t hear that again.

At my very first appointment I explained my symptoms and what I’ve been doing and the doctor was nodding her head like she’s heard it all before.  I was expecting her to say “well, you are getting older and you’re getting ready for menopause.”  BUT she didn’t say that!  She said, “I think I know exactly what is wrong with you – you’re experiencing some adrenal fatigue and probably have some food intolerances or allergies that you don’t realize are there.”

Now we are getting somewhere.

Off I went to the lab to get all my hormones checked and to get a food panel done to see if there are any allergies/intolerances.  BINGO!

I was very shocked to see the results of the food panel.  I was instructed to avoid all the foods that came back as a positive result for 3 months.  No problem, until I read the list!!  Here it is:

Chicken, salmon, wheat, gluten, barley, rye, eggs, dairy, peanuts, almonds, green beans, bell peppers, cauliflower, and mushrooms. 

WHOA!  What?!!  Chicken and eggs?  Those two foods are a part of my daily diet.  Also, I eat a ton of peppers, green beans and cauliflower. 

The feeling I got when seeing this list was both exhilarating and devastating.  I wanted to cry because I love eggs, I love most of the foods listed and eat them a lot!  What the heck will I eat?  However, I also felt excited because maybe this is the answer I have been looking for.  If I am consuming a lot of these foods that don’t agree with me, I will have a negative response in my body – inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, brain fog, etc…  It really explains a lot!

Here I am on Day 20 of eliminating these foods (the best I can – eating out is tricky and I do my best to avoid the foods) and I am already feeling SO MUCH BETTER!!

Brain fog is totally gone!  I’ve lost 5 pounds!  I can see the muscles in my arms (a little bit more), I’m sleeping very good, I don’t need or even want much coffee and I’m learning to eat foods I normally avoided (steak, shrimp, other types of grains and coconut everything).

It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing is easy. 

I encourage you to always listen to your body.  When you know something isn’t “right” or you feel like something is “off”, don’t ignore it.  Be your own wellness advocate.  Research, find a doctor, find a coach, find a friend, just do something about it.  Life is too short to feel like crap all the time.  YOU ARE WORTH IT!

I will keep you posted on my journey over the next couple of months.  I pray that I can add back eggs because I really love eating eggs for breakfast, but we shall see what happens.  If I can continue feeling this good, I will keep all the foods out of my diet because it’s totally worth it!

I know that I have a long road ahead with healing my adrenals (more info will be coming soon about that) and straightening out my hormones, but I am thrilled to know I can control some of my symptoms simply by watching what I eat.  Knowing I have the power to change my body and mind is a wonderful thing!

Let me know if you think you have the same symptoms, maybe I can help point you in the right direction.

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

I love to give gifts.  It’s so fun to see the look on someone’s face when they open a gift they love.  I also think it’s funny to see someone’s face when they don’t like a gift.  My sister-in-law, Michelle is the BEST to watch.  She just cannot hide her enthusiasm or lack of I should say.  Ha!  It’s not a bad thing, I love her for it.  I’m even thinking about getting her something really awful just to see how she reacts! 

I want to share with you some ideas for holiday gifts.  I especially love giving the gift of health and fitness (obviously I love that!), because it really shows someone how much you care for them.  I mean, if someone gave me a gym membership or a consult with a nutritionist, I would be thrilled!  To me these services are truly a gift of love because they care enough about me to say “I want you to be healthy for a long time so I can keep on loving you so much.”  It could also mean, “your butt is getting big, go workout and eat better,” which is still loving because they want you to feel better and be healthy. Right?  I hope.

Now, if someone gives me a vacuum or a lawn tool, that’s a different story, I might be offended.  LOL!

Here are some of my favorite ideas and hopefully you will see something you would like to get and to give!  Happy shopping!

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  • Gift Card to Athleta, Lululemon or any other higher-end workout clothing store.  I say “high-end” because it’s a gift and many women do not want to splurge on workout gear (shocking to me -ha!), so help your friend or family member get something nice that will make her feel awesome when she’s working out.

  • Gift Card to a local shoe store that can do a full gait analysis and fitting.  Shoes are super important for many reasons besides how they look.  A person’s whole workout experience can be improved greatly by wearing the correct or best shoes for them!  Not to mention all their joints and feet will be happy!

  • Gift Card for a Massage.  I think this one is self-explanatory.  Stress is literally killing Americans.  Give your loved one the gift of stress-relief by getting them a massage or two.

  • Speaking of Stress, giving a gift of doTERRA Essential Oils is another amazing idea!  You can set them up with a consultation with a doTERRA advocate (me or anyone else you may know in your area), and let the advisor discover the best oils to help with many ailments and concerns. 

  • Fitness and Health Journal/Log.  My friend and long-time client, Kristie, is slightly obsessed with planners.  Not really, but she has introduced me to many different calendars and journals with the works!  Stickers, dry-erase markers, color-coded pages, sticky notes, etc… Very fun and very cute!  I especially love the Fitness/Nutrition Tracker I found while shopping with Kristie – it’s fun to fill it out everyday.  Keeping a log of food and exercise is one effective way to stay focused on reaching your fitness/weight goals.  It’s a perfect gift for a friend that is trying hard to lose weight.

  • Tech gear is another hot item – Apple watches, FitBit’s, and all other activity trackers are great as gifts!  It’s fun to track miles, steps, calories burned and most of the trackers can connect with others to compete if that’s what you like. 

  • Cooking gear!  If your loved one loves to cook or wants to learn how to cook healthier meals, I highly recommend the Vitamix blender!  This machine is amazing!  You can get a large blender that is good for making meals for the family or you can get a personal-sized blender for making smoothies and other smaller meals or sauces. This or any other cooking tool is perfect for giving!  Other favorites are coffee makers, steamers, good knives.

  • Gift Card for a consultation with an online Fitness & Lifestyle coach (me, me!!).  If you have a friend or someone that really wants to be healthier and more fit but they aren’t sure where to start, this is the perfect gift!  I will gather all the information needed about this person on their first call and create an action plan so your friend can get moving in the right direction for her.  This can be life-changing for many people!  Contact me if you want more information on pricing, etc…The cool thing is that I work online so I can help anyone from anywhere! Email me for a quote: raeanne@raeannemullins.com

  • Membership to my RAM Life Online program.  This is a women-only group coaching program that is intended to help women live a balanced, healthy and happy life.  Lots of recipes, workouts and education are included in this fun and helpful program!  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

  • Gift card for iTunes or another music platform.  Working out to new and fun music can be the difference between a mediocre workout and a super workout.  They can also use the gift card to purchase fitness or music apps for their phone. 

 

I hope this list gives you some ideas on healthy gifts you can give to those you love the most! 

5 Tips to Enjoying a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday.  I love that it isn’t about giving gifts and that it is about appreciating our country, our family and all the good things we Americans take for granted.  Of course I look forward to eating good food and drinking wine, but mostly I enjoy celebrating with family.  Through my balanced and fit lifestyle I’ve learned to appreciate the true meaning of holidays and I find it much easier to moderate my food intake and truly enjoy myself.  Here are some of my tips for enjoying your Thanksgiving this year.

1. Don't Stress!  We only have Thanksgiving once a year, so don't spend your day stressing over your nutrition plan- just enjoy your day.  One day of indulging is not going to make you fat.   If you let yourself go further than enjoying just this one day then you need to be careful, but don’t freak out if you eat too many rolls or too much of Grandma's pie. 

2. Eat a balanced breakfast.  Don't make the mistake of eating a tiny breakfast or skipping it altogether so you can "save" your food for later.  Nope, this will only make you overeat more at the big meal and then you will probably get a stomach ache and a bad case of the munchies later in the evening. Once this happens you will not be able to get away from that leftover apple pie.  I recommend including a protein, clean starch and fiber (eggs over sautéed spinach with a slice of whole grain toast) or a berry protein shake.

3. Watch your alcohol consumption.  Hold off on drinking alcohol before your meal or avoid alcohol all together. The more alcohol you consume the less you will care about how much you eat and next thing you know you are miserable.  I love to enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, but the problem is that while you are sipping your Pinot you may also be slipping more food into that hole in your head.  Save the wine for the table and enjoy each sip.  Another option would be to do a trade-out by skipping the roll or mashed potatoes and have the wine or beer instead.

4.  Drink a lot of water.  Traditional Thanksgiving foods tend to be full of sodium.  By drinking a lot of water you will help flush the excess salt. 

5. Eat with moderation in mind.  Do NOT eat that sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and marshmallows.  That’s just gross! Save your sugary sweet treat for the dessert. (Ok, that’s just my humble opinion).  Really no food should be totally off the table, just make sure you eat the things that you really want and don’t waste your time on the foods that don’t appeal to you even if grandma is putting it on your plate.

5. Exercise!  Take a fun hike or workout with your family BEFORE (and maybe after too) you break into the turkey and gravy.  Hiking or going for a walk is something the entire family can do together.  Exercising together is a great time to bond.   I plan on hiking with my family and then challenging them to a bodyweight circuit workout.  Below I have a sample workout you can do at home!  


THANKSGIVING WORKOUT

Try this Quick total body circuit before your Thanksgiving feastCLICK for PDF

Complete the following exercises for 60 seconds with minimal rest.  Repeat the list 3 times! 

Squats

Mountain Climbers

Push Ups

Jumping Jacks

Reverse Lunges

High Knees

Plank


Also, this week I visited with Lauren Melvin from WFMY News 2 and showed her 5 exercises you can do right in your kitchen!  Here are those 5 exercises:

1. Countertop Push Ups - use the kitchen counter top to do your push ups!  Get your heart pumping and your upper body toned up!

2. Squats - squats are a "do anywhere" exercise that tops my list of most important moves.  By using your large muscles in your legs and your bottom, you will be burning calories and boosting your metabolism in no time!

3. Can Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press - just grab those cans of pumpkin puree or cranberry sauce and start to work those arms.  Curl the can up and press over head!

4. Standing Side-leg-raises - Standing at the kitchen counter, lift one leg out to the side.  Balance on the standing leg and squeeze your outer thigh and hip of the leg lifting.  To make the exercise more difficult, don't hold on to the kitchen counter.  Be sure to do both sides!

5. Tricep "Can" Kickbacks - grab those cans again and press them back behind you to work your triceps (back of your upper arm).  Focus on squeezing your arm and keep your abs tight! 

No matter what you choose to do on Thanksgiving, enjoy your time with friends and family.  I am so grateful for you and wish you a happy holiday season!