Mental Toughness– something every one of us has battled with. The moment when your mind is working to pull you in a direction, hold you back from reaching, achieving, even believing you can do more, achieve more, be more. Every single one of us whether it be an athlete, executive, parent has faced this and some, succumb to the pressure of the voice in the mind.

The mind is constantly sending signals to our bodies to quit or even worse, give up way before we are ready. It can also convince us of situations or scenarios that could potentially create obstacles, difficulties or with too much analysis…paralysis.

Working with so many professional athletes, this subject comes up almost daily in conversation. Every race, performance, game, is a competition that sometimes can be most prominent and lethal between your own two ears.

Elite Para-triathlete Mary Kate Callahan knows this all too well-

When competing at an elite level, sometimes your biggest competition is in your head. I’ve learned through training and racing that at some point we are going to have tough times but it’s our head that determines how we respond in those times. I try not to worry about the past and tell myself to learn from every mistakeI try to take at least one positive thing out of every situation. The pressure to perform at your best is expected not only of yourself but of everyone invested in you- your team, coach, owners, family.”

 

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I recently read this quote passage that aligned with what I wanted to express regarding mindset.

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I’ve written about it many times before as it touches all of us- not just the athletes who are performing day in and day out, but the executive, the working mom, the business owner, the coach and then on the personal level~ those intimate relationships, family relationships and friendships.

A “winners mindset” isn’t just a “what it takes to win” easy solution. It’s multiple layers of mindset training and just like what food you eat / what food fuels YOU optimally, this won’t necessarily work for someone else… a winners mindset is the same way and getting to this point is different for everyone.

Sure there are some basics that all of us can apply to our lives to improve our mindset; to keep it positive, present and productive. The key is to catch yourself when you’re shifting into a negative space. To bring yourself back- mentally, so you don’t deep dive into that space and blow your entire presentation, lose your race, strip your team of the W, or ruin your relationship to site a few examples.

The mind is a muscle and we need to train it just as we do the other muscles in our bodies:

  • Positive self- talk
  • Words of affirmation
  • Visualization
  • Meditation
  • Resilience
  • Distancing yourself from negative people
  • Body language adjustments

All crucial and all tools to you managing and mastering your mindset.

When you see a professional athlete performing on the big stage… live, in front of thousands of spectators and fans, you can witness those who can keep their play and performance optimal even when they are losing because they are mentally strong;  when (because it will happen) negative, defeated thoughts creep in, their positive self-talk/ mantras/ words of affirmation will kick in for those athletes. The ones who lack this mindset will become unraveled and sadly…we will witness their entire game being lost because of it. More times than not, it has nothing to do with their talent… it’s their mind that lost them the game and took on the defeatist attitude.

As 2x United States Olympic Medalist and 2014 United States Olympic Team Captain, Women’s Ice Hockey / 7x time World Gold Champion Meghan Duggan shares with me-

Mental toughness, to me, is what championship athletes are made of. It’s the ability to lead, perform, manage and master the task at hand, all while under pressure or in the face of adversity. Mental toughness is digging deep and figuring out how badly you want something and how you are going to get it accomplished!”

 

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One of my favorite affirmations comes after the words I AM. Take a moment and pick what your word resonates with you. The word can change daily – but apply what works for you example- I AM Strong.  I AM Courage. I AM Happy. I AM Love. I AM Fierce. I AM Grateful. I even have an athlete I work with who uses  I AM flexible to remind him that he is just that, but also needs to practice it regularly to become more flexible….a manifestation in his case.

So in closing, hopefully you get some takeaways from this. I will be writing in more depth about this topic as well as hosting a few workshops. As always, contact me if you’re looking to strengthen your performance through mindset training, nutrition coaching or personal training / wellness.  You will see and feel the benefits from the inside>out.

Thanks to blog contributors MaryKate Callahan and Meghan Duggan! You can follow them for more inspiration on the gram @mkcallahan13 and @mduggan10 

xx, a-m 

@amsunshinefit

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The stories are everywhere – always uplifting, always inspiring:

  • the woman who created a wellness clinic in her inner city neighborhood
  • the man who lost 200 pounds after being housebound for a decade
  • the mother who worked tirelessly bringing her sick child to radiant health
  • the grandfather who quit cigarettes to realize his dream of running a marathon

Every day people just like you go out into the world and make their dreams come true.

They did it. Why not you? You’re no different than any of these successful individuals.

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Why Couldn’t Your Dream Come True?

True, it sounds hard. In fact, it probably is hard, with a number of obstacles to overcome. That may be reason enough to put your dream on permanent hold- but the big difference in individuals like this- mental toughness, determination and tenacity.  Walking into the fear and conquering it! 

“Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.” –Orison Swett Marden
 

Could a Plan Help?

The easiest way to turn a dream into reality is one step at a time:

  • Choose one thing to get done. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  • Identify what scares you most. Ask yourself: what’s the worst thing that could happen if I face this fear? Write down the worst-case scenario and how you would confront it.
  • Identify a small reward for yourself once you’ve accomplished that activity.
  • Then just do it. Complete and check that task off your list.
  • Now treat yourself to the reward, rejoice, and celebrate!
  • Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary and watch yourself get happier and healthier by pursuing what you love. Go after your passion and set your life on fire!!
  • Everything you want is on the other side of fear – Jack Canfield

Get Even Healthier!

Would you like support in making your health dreams come true? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about! xx, a-m

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The report is due in two hours.  Or you are rushing to get the kids dressed, fed and off to school/camp.  Or you’re making sales calls… Suddenly, bam!  Around 10:30 a.m. you hit a wall.  All you want to do is look out the window or worse, take a nap.

Hmm… what did you eat for breakfast?

I hate to say, “I told you so,” so I’ll turn to Mom, who has said it countless times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the meal that’s designed to supply a third of the macro and micronutrients your body needs to run without a hitch.

So what are you eating each morning to do all these things? A cup of coffee gulped down on the go? A cup of sugary yogurt and a muffin eaten at your desk? Nothing at all?

Your body deserves so much better than that, and so do you!

When you eat a good breakfast, your day goes smoothly. No growling stomachs, low blood sugar shakiness, or wandering attention to keep you from nailing those big goals you’ve made for yourself.

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What Breakfast is Right for You?

One of the best – and most fun – ways to find out which foods serve YOU most powerfully is something called the Breakfast Experiment. For one week, eat a different breakfast each day. Record in a notebook what you ate, how you felt immediately after the meal, and how you felt again two hours later.

  • Day one: scrambled egg whites with spinach and veggies
  • Day two: protein smoothie with organic fresh berries and protein powder
  • Day three: oatmeal w/almond milk and chopped walnuts
  • Day four: toast with almond butter (gf or sprouted always best)
  • Day five: muffin and coffee (experimenting here / not recommended)
  • Day six: fresh fruit
  • Day seven: granola with greek yogurt

Feel free to repeat the experiment for another seven days with different foods each morning. Which breakfasts made you feel energized? Which ones didn’t? After the experiment, try adding in more of the foods that made you feel great!

Get Even Healthier!

Would you like to learn how to choose the best breakfasts for you? (And the best lunches, dinners, and snacks?) Are you curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!  I will help you shift your behavior to develop lifelong healthy habits and a deep understanding of your bio-individual needs. We’ll work together to create lasting changes to your health, energy, and well-being!!

xx, a-m

e:  amsunshinefit@gmail.com

 

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Dark chocolate that is…. and did you know chocolate is the only ingredient that is its very own food group.  Well not really – but it seems as if it should be.  Which begs the question…

Is Chocolate Good for You?

The answer is both yes and no.  Chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter – serotonin – in the brain.

But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, calories, and junky ingredients.

How to Eat it Responsibly?? Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however – think commercially produced candy bars – the fewer healthy components remain.

So how to get the most out of your chocolate fix?

  • Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.
  • Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw – or as unprocessed as possible.

Looking for more fun ways to enjoy your favorite food? You’ll love this dark chocolate treat. Prepping for a tailgate- this is the perfect treat to enjoy!

 image2-4Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. organic almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp. plant based protein powder (vanilla or chocolate works)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw organic cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. raw organic honey
  • 1 tsp. filtered water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Get Even Healthier!

Are you curious about how to choose chocolate and other delicious superfoods to keep you healthy (and your taste buds happy)? Let’s talk! Schedule a health coaching consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!  XX, a-m

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Live Simply. Dream Big. Be Grateful. Give Love. Laugh Lots. ~ Paulo Coelho

True words to live by and I often notice, that when I am not “living up to these words,” I am out of balance. Don’t ever let someone convince you that you dream too big, love too much or laugh too often…. YOU will never be too much for the right person and remember, your supportive tribe will love you back just the way you are, unconditionally.

I am grateful to have always lived in cities that are filled with an abundance of diverse options/activities, culture, history, sporting events… you name it.  With that also comes a certain vastness and the older I get, the more I treasure and respect simplicity.  Walking to the beach to catch a beautiful sunset with my rescue dog Bella, tops my list of simple, favorite things.  It is possible to find this within yourself and live it out despite some of the chaos going on in the world around you.  That’s another reason why primary foods are so imperative!

Primary foods are a huge component in our overall wellbeing.  Relationships, physical activity, career, play and spirituality are all primary “foods” that tie together to create a happy, functioning sense of self.  Take notice of what and who fills you up versus feeling depleted.  As health coaches, we of course want to help and enrich our clients lives from the inside-out, but we must remember that we need to protect and nurture our own energy, our environment and practice self-care- this is true for all of us.

Remember to take some time to reflect on all you are grateful for!

xx, a-m

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#listen #feel #primaryfoods #soulful #fitfluential #fitfam #fitspo #activelifestyle #vulnerability  #amsunshinefit #health #happiness #mindbodyspirit  #sunset #sealife #inspire #believe #livelaughlove

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