The Forgotten Piece of Your Fitness Journey

Sometimes, the biggest challenges in fitness happen outside the gym.

I do tough workouts — both with the TL Method and at Compass. But even the hardest, one-hour workout in the world is “easier” than other areas of wellness. It is much, much harder to do things that take constant, 24-hour-a-day effort. Eating right, practicing gratitude, and being mindful do not come with short-term gratification (as workouts do). They take constant practice, reminders, and frankly, you can’t do a side-by-side comparison reminding yourself just how far you’ve come.

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Mindfulness is One of the Most Important, Yet Easily Forgotten Aspects of Your Wellness Journey

Your mental space depicts how you go about your day, influencing so many areas of your life. If you’re not in the right headspace, negativity could be a detriment to other areas — from the way you move, the foods you fuel your body with, and the relationships you’re involved in.

Mindset isn’t just about being positive in the here and now, it helps prepare us for when things (inevitably) don’t go our way. Rather than have an explosive reaction to life’s inconveniences, like getting turned down for a promotion or getting cut off in traffic, we can shift our mindset so any feelings of anger, resentment, or “F--- you’s!” don’t bleed into the rest of our day.

It’s not complicated, but it is something we have to keep in mind. Something as simple as sitting back and taking three, deep breaths is the difference between going about your day or flicking Janice off in the mirror for not using her turn signal, bitching to your coworkers about it (thereby ruining their day), skipping your workout, and ripping three shots at happy hour over the “shitty day” you just had.

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How Mindfulness Plays a Role in Movement and Nutrition

Mindfulness is all about being present, focusing on what you’re doing in that moment. If you’re at the gym doing a workout, be in it—don’t think about the 27 emails you forgot to send before 5 o’clock hit. If you’re eating a meal of good food, just eat it—don’t scroll through your phone, watch TV, or type with one hand.

Clients often ask me, “Should I workout if I have a cold?” or “How much food should I eat after a workout?” Questions like these are ones only your body can answer—NOT me. I’m just here to give you the tools you need to listen to your body better. Your body should tell if you if a sweaty workout will feel like a good, healthy detox or if it will make you hack up a lung. Your body should tell you if you are full or if you need more food to recover.

This is a constant struggle for me, and I wish I practiced it as much as I preach it. I have to work on it all the time. I’m a go-go-go person, but by slowing down and really being in the moment, I know I have better workouts, eat better, and feel happier in my daily life.

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7 Small Things You Can Do to Start Practicing Mindfulness TODAY

Practicing mindfulness can take as little as five minutes a day. So before you overthink it, here are a few simple practices you can do to work mindfulness into your daily routine:

  1. Take a breath: Really. Sometimes three deep breaths is all it takes to snap us out of a stressful, overwhelming situation—even those that happen in the car or in our cubicle.

  2. Take a walk: Midwest people, I’m sorry. I know you’re trapped under a mountain of snow as I write this. But taking a walk in the middle of the day, with no headphones in to distract your brain, can bring you back into the moment.

  3. Try guided meditation: Download the Headspace app or try another tool for just five minutes a day.

  4. Move in a way that makes YOU feel better: If a balls-to-the-wall workout isn’t going to make you feel better, don’t do it. Try some sort of movement that doesn’t feel forced, that you can dedicate your attention to.

  5. Eat without distractions: No phones, no Instagram, no TV. Set down your fork between bites, and notice how your food actually makes you feel.

  6. Practice gratitude daily: Every night, my boyfriend Teddy and I list three things that we’re grateful for before we go to sleep—that’s all it takes!

And finally, do yoga: For most of my life, I did hard.ass.workouts. I was also scatterbrained, stressed out, and always thinking about what came next. Yoga is what taught me to be mindful, how to listen to my body, and the value of slowing down. I got certified as a yoga teacher and include yoga flows in the TL Method to pass on its value to each of you. Each yoga flow is 15 - 25 minutes — here’s a sample flow for you to try out:

To Practice Everyday Mindfulness, We’re Making it our 3rd Pillar of the TL Method March Challenge

In my humble opinion, you need three things to be a happy, healthy human: Movement, nutrition, and mindfulness. And even though we give movement more attention than the other two, mindfulness and nutrition are just as—if not more—important. Just as good, real food fuels our workouts, mindfulness fuels us to eat right and get our booty to the gym.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Each week, I’ll give you a prompt to be mindful. A weekly topic could range from selflessness to gratitude, and I’ll go live talking about in our TL Method accountability group.

  • You do the homework. From celebrating small victories, writing down what you are grateful for about yourself or your body, or listing what holds you back from achieving your goals.

  • We discuss it as a community. We’ll have separate forums for each of our mindset topics, so all of us can talk about that week’s topic and what we learned from it.

The 28-Day TL Method Challenge kicks-off Monday, March 4th. We would absolutely love to have you be a part of it!