Stretching: Good for the Body and the Mind

There’s something to be said for the effects of stretching. It leaves you more limber for pushing your body even further in exercise. It leaves you feeling relaxed if you stretch after a day of tension.

Stretching: Good for the Body and the Mind

It works the creaks and aches out of your body almost as much as a hot shower. Close your eyes and think about how you felt the last time you had a good stretch!

We have a great chance for mental stretching here in Frederick.

The Maryland Shakespeare Festival gives us a chance to stretch every season with new shows when they present the Bare Bard series.

Full disclosure: I am a trustee and non-apologetic fan of the organization…but I was a fan before that.

There is a raw entertainment about the Bare Bards that you won’t find in other Shakespeare theatrical productions. It’s more like a page from “Whose Line Is It Anyway” than a curtained, traditional theater.

The actors and actresses are right there with you…on a stage in which audience and artists are equals. So as an audience member, you participate in the emotions, the story–and sometimes the improv if you’re lucky and you have an open face for the actors.

This is what I call mind-stretching! I don’t expect until retirement many of us have the kinds of extra time and resources to allow me to stretch my emotions the way I’d like to through the arts. But having Shakespeare in a way form as entertaining as the Bare Bards right in my back yard keeps me engaged and it’s not a stretch to say so!

Linda Norris, NW Communications
[email protected]

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The Dream Dance: Waking out of Disappointment

The Dream Dance: Waking out of Disappointment

The alarm went off this morning when I was in the middle of a vivid dream. Has that ever happened to you? Reaching out an arm to switch it off, I curled under the covers again and tried to keep it going. I wasn’t finished with it yet. I tried to resume what was happening when I was so rudely interrupted but it was hard to capture the exact images or feelings again. I was trying to force it and was unsuccessful. Instead I replayed the pleasant parts in my mind, filling my tank with the good feelings and releasing the unpleasant ones before arising and starting my day.

I find my waking dreams have a similar quality of elusiveness. As I create the work and life that I dream of, at times I fall into patterns of grasping for something just out of reach. I strive to make something happen and I can’t quite do it. I then feel overwhelmed and unsure of the next step, falling back into confusion once more.

In contrast, at other times I have moments of clarity when I know exactly what to do next in my unfolding vision for my personal or professional life. I can see what direction I want my business or life to go and I respond to that certainty by confidently taking the next step towards creating that reality.

Can you relate? Do you ever flounder or lose your way in creating the dream you have for your life or work? Do you dance forward, backwards, and sometimes in place, as you create your dreams? I have observed a few things about the dream dance; this ebb and flow of clarity and confusion. I find it helpful to use the Energy Leadership process to rebalance myself when I flounder or get stuck.

When I am lost in confusion I react in two ways. First I sink into my fear which is often tied to a perceived loss. For example, even in the midst of things going well I sometimes focus on what is missing. I zero in on the aspects of the situation that are not as I had imagined it would be and feel sadness, regret, and disappointment. I sink into level 1, victim thinking, as we call it in Energy Leadership, and am swallowed up in “poor me” emotions. In this place I have no energy and don’t want to do anything. I can get stuck here.

The next thing I do, however, moves me to level 2 energy, which we call ‘the fighter’. I struggle. This often begins as inner conflict when I strive mentally to figure it out and create an action plan whose purpose is solely to alleviate the heaviness I am feeling in that depressed level 1 state. Life often is not what I thought it would be, and I experience disappointment, but I can choose not to dwell on it. In level 2 I begin to leave that energy behind perhaps by shedding some tears, journaling, or venting out loud. Whatever way I do it I am releasing my level 1 energy to move forward and eventually that feels better.

I move into level 3 energy as I take responsibility for my part of the situation. Often this occurs by taking a small step towards forgiving what, or who, has disappointed me. Choosing to be grateful for what is going well helps me to accept what is not as I had hoped it would be.

I also notice that there is a Divine presence in all my dreams, whether waking or sleeping. When I turn my focus to what the Divine is providing, and guiding, I find a peace and assuredness unlike anything that I can create in my own mind. This is the ticket to moving well past the low levels of energy and towards higher functioning and greater happiness. As soon as I make the choice in my mind to focus on the Divine my energy shifts and I am dancing with a plan that is unfolding daily. As I release the need to know what is going to happen next, and trust that I am being led, I receive peace. This is not an easy dance but I continue to hone my skills at it.

Releasing the need to figure it out, and accepting that my role is simply to be in the dance with the Divine, I develop trust. I know that God leads me every day. I don’t have to see the whole picture or know the entire plan. I just have to show up and do today’s steps which I am being divinely led to do. On the days when I feel lost, confused, and disappointed, I may take only one step and that is okay. On the days I feel confidence and clarity I dance full out. The ebb and flow of these days makes for an interesting life as I choose to participate in this dance of creating my dream.

If you would like to learn more about the Energy Leadership process and how to use it to shift from confusion to confidence considerjoining my book tele-group on Wednesday evenings or contact me at 301-371-7460 or [email protected].

Today’s author: Carol Hayes, [email protected] or 301-371-7460. Through her company, Clear Choices Coaching, Carol shares her expertise and skill fostering growth in people of all ages. She is especially energized when her coaching helps people experience “breakthrough” moments where they push through their personal edge and grow more fully into the people they want to be. Carol’s certification as a Life and Energy Leadership coach comes from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. She is also a dynamic speaker and workshop leader who facilitates energizing connections with groups of all sizes.


Show Me Your Friends

Show Me Your Friends

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future” – Bill Cosby

As the mother of 2 teenage girls, I often find myself in the position of offering advice and words of wisdom.  What I’ve noticed in the process of doing this, is that I too usually learn something when I revisit the lessons I’m trying to teach.  The above quote from Bill Cosby is one of the life lessons I’m trying to instill in my girls.  I believe that who we surround ourselves with has a profound affect on us, but I really didn’t get this until I hit my late 30’s, and if I’m really being honest with myself, I am continuing to learn this lesson.

Christine Arylo, author of “Choosing Me before We: The Everywoman’s Guide to Life and Love” and MAP contributor for Compass Life Coaching ( is the inspiration behind this blog.  In my work with her MAP (monthly action plan) titled “Create Fabulous Friendships”, I’ve continued to look at what it really means to choose conscious friendships – friendships that are part of my life by design, not just because we happen to have children in the same school or because we work together. What I’ve learned about myself is that I want to surround myself with friends who value personal growth, are not afraid to challenge me or to be challenged themselves and in general have an optimistic outlook on life.  The other side of this work is that I’ve been looking at what kind of friend I’ve been being.  What I’m realizing is that I take some of my friendships for granted, assuming that they will always be there for me no matter what.  I understand that if I want to cultivate fabulous friendships, I need to be a fabulous friend.  I need to make time to let my friends know how much I value them by making them a priority. 

It has taken me 40+ years, but I have confident that anyone who looks at my friends will see that my future is bright.  I am practicing what I preach when it comes to this life lesson.

How about you?  Are your friendships healthy and supportive?  Are they a 2-way street?  Have you outgrown some of your relationships?  How do you feel about letting them go?  When people look at your friends, what kind of future will they predict for you?

Today’s author: Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach. She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services. She can be reached at [email protected] or check out her website at and click on the group coaching link at the bottom to learn how to access the Create Fabulous Friendships MAP to point yourself in the right direction.


My Big Seek – Traveling to Israel

My Big Seek – Traveling to Israel

I leave next Monday for two weeks in Israel. I have been planning this trip for almost a year and it seems somewhat surreal that it is finally here. I practice being both an observer and a participant in my life so amidst the busyness of finishing work and packing for the trip, I notice how I am feeling. It is a mixture of anticipation, hope, excitement, and to be honest, a bit of fear.

I ask myself what I am afraid of and find the answer lies in the unknown. I realize that when I travel I choose to open myself to new experiences and intentionally invite the unknown into my life. I prepare as best I can, studying maps, talking to those who have been there, and reading about my destination, but I can only absorb so much. I can’t fully prepare for the experience because there is always an element that is new and unexpected, and that is both unnerving and part of the thrill of traveling.

Most of my fear is actually awe. I know that when I seek God, I find Him. That is proven to me on a daily basis as I look for ‘God moments’; those experiences of grace and connection which assure me of a Divine presence guiding my life. Traveling to the Holy Land, and visiting ancient religious sites, I anticipate that I will know and experience God even more fully. After all, this is my ‘Big Seek’, something I have waited a lifetime to do. I anticipate that awe and wonder will be my traveling companions on this pilgrimage trip. I look forward to knowing God better, growing my knowledge and personal faith.

A more troubling aspect of my fear has to do with the unknown and the uncontrollable. As I get caught up in “what if” thinking I realize that I am fretting over things which I have no control over. Worries ranging from logistical ‘what if my luggage gets lost’ to political ‘what if the trouble in Syria affects us’ leave me anxious and off balance.

I have decided that fear is unavoidable; there is so much we cannot control. In the book, ‘What Women Fear – Walking in Faith that Transforms’, author Angie Smith describes living with fear as a balancing act. Letting go of the expectation of finding a solution to end fear, as well as the hope that we will never tremble again, we embrace the ebb and flow of that balancing act. She asks us to consider what we depend on when our balance begins to tip. Are there patterns in our thinking that throw us off balance and what is the kind of thinking that steadies us? Moving towards greater balance requires concentration, effort, and awareness on our part.

Becoming more aware of our fears can be fearful itself. Like me, if you think, “I’m afraid to know my fears better” be reassured that you are not alone. You can have companions on your journey to learning what restores balance when fear sends you tipping sideways. Together we will emerge as women who not only acknowledge fear but face it with inner resolve and resources. Balancing what we can do with trusting a Divine presence in the midst of fear steadies us and reduces those fears to a more manageable size.

I warmly invite you to explore this topic further with me in two ways.
My next Clarity Coaching Group will be reading and applying principles from Smith’s book “What Women Fear – Walking in Faith that Transforms” starting Thursday, April 12th from 7-8:30 pm. Join us for this 3 month series (meeting bi-monthly) to learn skills to balance your fears by leaning on an inner Divine connection. Click here for more details on this workshop or email [email protected].

And/or stay connected to me on my journey through Israel via my notes on Facebook to see what joys and insights this adventure will bring. Click Here To Follow My Journey.



Today’s author: Carol Hayes, [email protected] or 301-371-7460. Through her company, Clear Choices Coaching, Carol shares her expertise and skill fostering growth in people of all ages. She is especially energized when her coaching helps people experience “breakthrough” moments where they push through their personal edge and grow more fully into the people they want to be. Carol’s certification as a Life and Energy Leadership coach comes from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. She is also a dynamic speaker and workshop leader who facilitates energizing connections with groups of all sizes.



Soul Food

Soul Food

Of course we all know what food is, right? It’s what we eat or drink; it’s what we fuel our body with; it’s what we need to sustain life. When we feed our bodies healthy, nutritious food, our bodies work better. I believe the same is true for life. Our lives work better when we feed them properly. Our lives need soul food.

Soul food consists of the following 3 food groups: thoughts, actions, and environments. In each of these food groups we have the option to choose healthy “foods” that nourish our souls and contribute to our wellness, or to choose junk “foods” that drain us and often lead to illness. Undoubtedly, we are all unique individuals, so what constitutes the ideal soul food diet for me is going to be different from your ideal diet, therefore I encourage you to pay attention to your life and how what you feed it affects you. What leaves you feeling hungry and unsatisfied? What thoughts fuel your life and your passions? What do you do that excites you? What do you do that you dread? What are the situations you find yourself in where you lose track of time? What environments just seem to suck the life right out or you? Your answers to these questions will help you determine what is junk food to your soul as well as what contributes to your health.

One of my common junk food thoughts is that I’m not enough. This thought comes in a variety of flavors, such as, I’m not smart enough, I’m not qualified enough, or I’m not worthy enough, just to name a few. I know these are junk food thoughts because they leave me feeling drained and defeated, so I try to avoid them. On the other hand, some of my more nutritious thoughts are that life is happening for me, not to me; there are no such things as mistakes, only opportunities to learn and grow; and I am love personified. Moving my body, putting forgiveness into action, and volunteering are actions that sustain me, whereas standing in judgement of others, eating potato chips and shopping are actions that are exhausting to me. (This last one really confuses my 17 year old daughter who finds shopping exhilarating, but this just goes to show we all have different ideal diets.) And when it comes to environments, I’ve become a really picky eater. I no longer watch the news (my husband does that for me!), spend too much time in the company of people who only see the glass as half empty, or partake in any form of media where the overarching message is one of negativity. Instead, I’m choosing to feast on music with lyrics that make my heart sing; on surrounding myself with people who understand the value of taking care of themselves and being in service to others; and on books, movies and TV shows that make me think about how I can contribute to the world.

How are you feeding your soul? I’d love to hear your comments! I’d also like to invite you to my upcoming “Nourish Your Soul” workshop lunch series. For more information visit:


Today’s author: Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach. She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services. She can be reached at [email protected] or check out her website at


Be the Change: Four Simple Steps to Create Positive Impact in the World

Be the Change: Four Simple Steps to Create Positive Impact in the World

Who are the people who have had the most positive impact on your life? If you’re like me you may not consider this question very often. Taking people for granted and forgetting to appreciate all that’s been given and modeled for us is common in our busy lives.

I recently had the opportunity to treasure the final days of my beloved Uncle Don.  His struggling health began a final decline after he turned 80 last month and he entered into four weeks of hospice care.  Fortunately our large extended family, and a few close friends, enjoyed a poignantly sweet birthday party with him in late January. Each of us had the opportunity to tell him what he meant to us, laugh with him, and treasure our lifelong loving relationships with him.

Now we’ve just completed a different celebration of his life as we embrace the transition he’s made to the next world. Even though I don’t know what that is exactly, I trust he’s well there. Released from a withered body, I believe his spirit lives on. I feel the love and essence of him in my heart and know that he’s only gone in the physical sense. In the days leading to his memorial service I reflected on his character and what he meant to me. I realized he is one of the people who have had a great impact on my life.

As I gazed at the hundreds of people who attended his memorial service I realized how many others were impacted by him as well. We shared many stories and memories reflecting on the achievements and legacy of Donald de Laski.  One of my favorite reflections, by Alan Merten, president of George Mason University, summarized four distinct steps that he saw my uncle live by:

Think. Use your mind to consider what impact you want to have and create a solid plan.

Ask and Listen. Talk to people and listen deeply, using your heart and soul to discern the need. Then ask God (or your Angels, as my uncle would say) for guidance; listen and trust their nudges and your inner knowing.

Do. When clarity comes trust that knowing and act. Use your physical and material resources to be of service to others and create impact. Give generously of your resources to benefit those in need.

Celebrate. When all is said and done, be sure to treasure the impact and celebrate the achievement. Life is meant to be enjoyed. If you aren’t going to do the fourth, don’t bother with the other three!

Merten paraphrased a favorite quote by E.B. White to summarize my uncle’s living.

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to have a hell of a good time. This makes it hard to plan the day.

I believe the challenge is to achieve both. Having a positive impact on others and passionately enjoying the process is something I strive to achieve. I thank Uncle Don for the role model he’s been and feel inspired to follow in his footsteps. I take the challenge.


Today’s author: Carol Hayes, [email protected] or 301-371-7460. Through her company, Clear Choices Coaching, Carol shares her expertise and skill fostering growth in people of all ages. She is especially energized when her coaching helps people experience “breakthrough” moments where they push through their personal edge and grow more fully into the people they want to be. Carol’s certification as a Life and Energy Leadership coach comes from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. She is also a dynamic speaker and workshop leader who facilitates energizing connections with groups of all sizes.


Empower your Body and Brain for the Day

Do you struggle to wake up in the morning, hitting the snooze button “way” too many times?  Then drag yourself out of bed, rush out of the house, just to run back in because you forgot something.  You either take a large coffee with you or swing by your favorite coffee shop for a large energizing drink to get your day rolling.  You sit down at your desk and pound through the morning, not even thinking about food until your stomach is screaming loud enough for everyone around you to get the message you need to eat.  You rush out to grab something quick and scarf it down while working through email because you tell yourself there is no time to stop.  Before you know it, the meal that was in front of you is gone and you don’t even remember how it tasted except the very first bite.  The only thing you are aware of is your stomach is now feeling over full and bloated and the only word that comes to mind is ….”ugh!”

You notice your pace is now a little slower and your concentration is waning.  Then it hits you about 2 hours later…BAM…you can hardly keep your eyes open and all you want to do is take a nap.  But because you can’t, you are at work, you run down the hall for more coffee to get you through the rest of the day.  Well, you made it home, barely as you drag yourself through the door.  Because you feel you over ate at lunch you pass on dinner and sit down with a cocktail or glass of wine to unwind.  You settle in with the news and again….BAM…lights out!  You wake up 2 hours later and you’re starving.  You head to the fridge looking for something light to fill the nagging hole that has reappeared in your stomach.  But as you open the door you think, “ice cream would really feel good right about now or maybe that left over piece of lasagna from last night’s dinner.  Yum!”  You munch it down, one or the other or both and you head to bed, just to toss and turn because your stomach is again feeling uncomfortable.  And the next day continues with the same pattern.

Does this sound familiar?  If it does, it is not uncommon…so don’t feel you are alone.  In my practice as a Registered Dietitian I hear this often and actually, the story I shared with you is the pattern a dear friend of mine who states she wants to do things differently, always seems to return to the same pattern.  If you are where my friend is, I want to share with you a few tips to help energize your body and brain for the entire day and create the structure for success.

First, you need to understand the activities you do and your brain require energy to function properly.  You get energy from the food you eat and the body metabolizes it for the energy you need.  The foods that provide you with energy include carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol.  Yes, alcohol, it is metabolized much like fat in your body and provides limited nutrient value, although red wine which processes the antioxidant; Resveratrol has shown to help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce “bad” cholesterol and prevent blood clots.  Please, don’t misunderstand me, I am not encouraging you to start drinking if you don’t.  Below are some tips on how to empower your body and mind with the food you eat and ensure your day is energized and productive.

1.   Start with breakfast. Studies show that breakfast eaters have a healthier weight, and perform better on tests that require concentration.  The foods you want to include are whole grain cereals, low fat milk, some fruit, a little protein such as an egg or peanut butter on toast.  By including the whole grains and protein mixture the glucose response is lower (low glycemic) proving better sustained energy throughout the morning.  Studies have shown, individuals who eat a low glycemic breakfast burn more fat in the hours following breakfast.  You should try to eat breakfast within 30 to 60 minutes of rising to help kick-start your metabolism for the day.

2.  Eat small frequent meals. The brain cells require twice as much energy as any other cell in your body, so when you are asking them to function you need to give them their energy of choice; carbohydrates.  Both the brain and muscles prefer carbs.  So don’t be afraid to include some carbs throughout the day.  Snack on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy, all of which are carbohydrates sources.  Keep the serving size limited to about 3 carbs sources or servings at each snack or meal.  Carbohydrates increase our blood sugar, and help release serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that gives a calm and relaxing feeling.  Too much blood sugar slows the blood and makes you feel tired, and too much serotonin released will make you feel the need for a nap “coming on” within 90 minutes.  The two together will have you doing the “head bob” for sure.

3.  Eat low fat, low sodium foods. Low fat foods empty quicker from the stomach getting us our energy faster.  Also, when our stomach is occupied with digestion it makes us feel sluggish until it can divert it back to the areas of activity such as our brain and muscles.  When we eat sodium it increases the thickness of the blood and increases blood pressure.  Not only can this be dangerous if you have cardiovascular disease but slows down the blood and oxygen to the brain so our ability to concentration decreases.

4.  Exercise consistently. Consistent exercise not only helps your body create more energy but it makes it more efficient at metabolizing the foods you eat for energy.  Studies show that individuals who do at least 15 minutes of aerobic activity; such as running, walking briskly, biking, dancing, etc… have higher scores on IQ and performance tests, this is also seen when testing the same individuals; they score better when tested after exercise.  Thus, consistent exercise makes you smarter, more productive, and energizes your day. Include about 15-30 minutes at least 5 days a week to reap the benefits.

5.  Get adequate sleep. The body needs between 6 to 8 hours of sleep to perform its best.  The body’s hormones that regulate metabolism and hunger become dysfunctional when we get inadequate sleep.  Also, our body goes through numerous cycles of sleep during the night and the last cycle between 6 to 8 hours is the cycle that performs the majority of memory storage and reorganization of thoughts of learning new projects or remembering the day’s events.  When we don’t’ get adequate sleep we have more difficulty learning things and remembering past activities.  “Where did I put those keys….?”

6.  Create a schedule structure for success. If you don’t schedule things in, it is more likely the new things won’t happen.  We are creatures of habit, and it takes time to create new ones.  Our brain requires consistent activity to change our brain maps to patterns we want in life and push out old ones that no longer serve us.  The old saying it takes 21 days to make a habit.  So schedule it until it is second nature.

Feel the difference as you empower your body and brain for your day, your life, and the things and people you love!

If you would like to learn more about fueling your body for more energy, productivity, and finding the energy balance for the body you want; by losing weight, gaining muscle, running a marathon, or just making it through the day with enough energy to play with your kids,  I invite you to come to my workshop series, “Eat More, Weigh Less, Feel Great!” at PIOMA Performance Fitness,, the next session on March 24th.  Come, bring a friend and learn how to eat for the body you want and the energy that will change your world.

Eat More, Weigh Less, Feel Great Series:
1. February 25th: Choose the Foods that Make You Burn More Fat
2. March 24th: Find the Energy Balance for the Body You Want
3. April 21st: Energize Your Body and Mind with Food and Activity

For more information, contact either PIOMA Performance Fitness in Middletown or email coach and Registered Dietitian Sandie Lynch, [email protected].


Bathed in Grace

Like many of you out there, I am a busy woman with many interests and things I feel passionate about.  Before I discovered my little secret, which I’m going to share with you in a minute, there were many a nights that I would go to bed wishing that I had more hours in the day because I wasn’t able to get it all done.  Does this sound familiar to you?

So, what’s the secret?  I bathe myself in grace each morning…literally.

At Christmas I received a bottle of shower gel called “Amazing Grace”.  It’s from a company called Philosophy and these are the words that are printed on the front of the bottle:

Life is a classroom.  Each day is a test, and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: Grace.  Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence and the list goes on.  It’s something money can’t buy and credentials rarely produce.  Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest or even the poorest can’t help.  Being a humble person can, and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude.

Bathing myself in grace helps me start my day off on the right foot.  It reminds me that who I am being is truly more important than what I am doing.  It sets the intention for my day to be to bring as much grace into my interactions with others, as well as with myself, as I can.  And, it allows me to go to bed at night grateful for the opportunities to practice compassion, love, forgiveness, patience and other grace filled ways of being.  Because I know for me, that this is ultimately how I’d like to be graded-by my ability to practice grace, not by how many things I checked off my to do list.

How about you?  What do you do to start you day off on the right foot?  What needs to happen for you to go to bed giving yourself a “passing” grade?

Today’s author: Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach.  She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services.  She can be reached at [email protected] or check out her website at


Eat More, Weigh Less…Feel Great!

Eat More, Weigh Less…Feel Great!

Could it be true, that we could eat more, weigh less and feel great? Most of the time when we think about trying to lose weight, we envision restricting our calories, eating smaller portions, having to drum up extra willpower to avoid those sweets at the office or around the house, and avoiding our favorite foods.  Everything spells deprivation and so… needless to say, the so-called “diet” will probably not last too long because who really wants to feel deprived in the land of plenty?

As a Registered Dietitian, it saddens me how so much misinformation is in our culture.  Sometimes it is a twist from the truth to get us to buy the newest diet book and/or the media may report on one research study and alter our view of what is “good” for us.  The confusion on what to eat and what to avoid is rampant.  This is the very reason I am passionate about sharing the reality of how the body is designed and what it truly needs to be its best.  For example, one of the common misunderstanding encountered, is that carbohydrates are something to avoid.

When I hear this I always ask, “So what type of weight do you want to lose?”  This usually perplexes the individual and she asks, “What types are there?”  I explain that usually when we lose weight, we lose three types of weight; water, fat and lean body mass, and when we lose water and/or lean body mass we harm our body and LOWER our metabolism.  So far, I have not met anyone who purposely wants to LOWER her metabolism.  To explain how this happens; our body has no extra protein stores (lean body mass), so when we lose protein it is at the cost of our health, usually initially in immunity or cell repair, setting us up for a lowered stress threshold and increased susceptibility to illness.  With lower protein stores, not only are we medically compromised, but now we must continue to cut calories to continue losing weight.  NOT what we want!!   It is a vicious cycle no one wants to be on, I know because this is the very cycle I was on for 12 years before I learned the truth.

So what is the truth? The truth is, the body needs certain types of energy and nutrients to be its best and without them, our body struggles to retain a healthy weight, and maintain health.  If your goal is to grow leaner and healthier, you must give your body what it needs!  The great news is that when it gets what it needs, it naturally resets the broken processes that we caused by robbing it of essential nutrients, and it grows efficient in burning fat, making energy, and maintaining health.  Unfortunately, for some, there are certain diseases that may compound the problem, but there is always hope because the body always responds positively when given the right things.

Most everyone knows some of what these “right things” are but continue to try the empty promises that so many fad diets offer.  I can empathize, because I was there!  What changed for me was finally “hearing” that all these empty promises, although giving me temporary weight loss, was actually making me fatter each time I lost weight.  In the book, Fit or Fat by Covert Bailey, he called this “skinny fat!”  Skinny fat is when you lose weight but your fat ratio increases to an unhealthy level still making you susceptible to chronic disease.   What can you do to avoid becoming “Skinny fat?”  Include plenty of foods that maintain your lean body mass and make your metabolism more efficient!  Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, starchy vegetables;  such as potatoes and corn, whole grains; such as wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, rice, and healthy fats; like nuts and seeds.  I know a few foods in the list may have surprised you, but when you learn how the body uses these essential foods to optimize your metabolism, you will be not be afraid to include them in the future!

I invite you to come to my workshop series, “Eat More, Weigh Less, Feel Great!” at PIOMA Performance Fitness,,  starting on February 25th. Come, bring a friend and start correcting your metabolism deficiencies and growing healthier with each new day!

Eat More, Weigh Less, Feel Great Series:

  1. February 25th: Choose the Foods that Make You Burn More Fat
  2. March 24th: Find the Energy Balance for the Body You Want
  3. April 21st: Energize Your Body and Mind with Food and Activity

For more information, contact either PIOMA Performance Fitness in Middletown or email coach and Registered Dietitian, Sandie Ropp.


Energy is Contagious; How’s Yours?

Energy is Contagious; How’s Yours?

“Like attracts like” according to the Law of Attraction; in essence, we create our own reality. By intentionally focusing our thoughts, emotions, and actions on what we want in our lives we will draw it to us. If we are not intentional, however, we can unconsciously attract circumstances and repeat patterns that are not beneficial to us. To use this “law” effectively we need to be aware of what we’re “putting out there”.

Are you attracting what you want into your life? What is comfortable and familiar is not always what we truly want and need. Change, by its very nature, is often uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It’s only through recognizing the discomfort, and consistently sticking with the new behavior or thought pattern, that we create lasting change.

Altering our behaviors only touches the surface. If we want to address the roots of our behavior patterns we need to understand our underlying thoughts. Your self-perception, and your concept of the world around you, is based on your energetic level.  This level determines what you attract and what is reflected back to you. Most importantly it determines how effective you are as a leader of your life.

Attitudes (aka energy) are contagious. Most of us have had experiences where we’ve been affected by other people’s energy; either positively or negatively. Sayings such as “one bad apple can spoil the whole lot” speak to the affect one disgruntled and unhappy person can have on an entire group. Likewise, one person exuding enthusiasm and concern can have a positive impact on those with whom she comes into contact. The outer ripple effects of our energy are relatively easy to see. We know when we are being lifted, or drained, by circumstances and people in our lives.

A more challenging area of energy to assess is our internal terrain. How aware are you of the ‘mental chatter’ or tapes that play in your mind on any given day? It’s common knowledge that our thoughts have a powerful impact on what we feel, which then in turn, affects what we do. Our actions are a direct result of the thoughts and feelings we’re experiencing.  A simple example, is when we think “I can’t”, we feel powerless and apathetic, which results in lethargy; or no action. By contrast, if we think thoughts of responsibility such as “What’s my part?” we forgive others their part, leading to cooperation and forward movement.

Knowing this, we can then look to our thinking when we are feeling stuck or unable to create the change we want in our lives.

The 7 levels of energy presented on the Energetic Self Perception Chart of Energy Leadership provide a framework in which we can evaluate and understand the impact our thoughts are having on our emotions and actions. With awareness we can then choose to expand the thoughts that are producing the energy we desire. By recognizing and accepting our catabolic, or negative thoughts, we release them and move onto the anabolic, positive thoughts that produce higher levels of energy.

How conscious, or self aware, are you? Your level of consciousness is determined by how you see yourself, the world around you, the people in your life, and life in general.  Your consciousness produces energy which will attract the people, events, and outcomes into your personal and professional life.  The higher your level of consciousness, the more energy you will have, and the more productive, peaceful and healthy you will be.

To learn more about the 7 Levels of Energy and how to apply the Energy Leadership process join Carol Hayes for a 6 week tele-course starting Wednesday February 15th from 7-8:15 pm. Click here for more details.