How to live Well in EMS

Wellness


I’m going to dive deep into Well Being and Wellness this week. Today, I’ll show you one way you can start living Well today.

What does Well Being mean?  According to the dictionary it means to be happy, healthy, or prosperous.  I don’t love that definition.  

Wellness is the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.  Again, not a big fan.

Happiness, and health don’t just happen magically.  They both require work. You can be happy and not well.  The two really are not related.  Wellness does not equal happiness.

But, what is this “Wellness” or state of “Well Being” that many of us are after and how do we get there?

For me, I’m looking to feel well in my body. Less aches and pains. Rested. Energized. Clear headed. Movement with ease. Less stress and overwhelm. Lab results in “normal” limits. Weight with in a range according to my height and age.

We don’t ever arrive at this “perfect” state either.  It will always be a work in progress.  There is no Wellness destination.  It is…and I cringe saying this…a “lifestyle”.  

Living a life of Wellness means you are actively living your life to be well.  In order to do that, you have to make a lot of decisions. Not all those decisions will feel fun and pleasurable either.  That is part of the deal.  

  • Why do we expect to feel well when we don’t eat well?  
  • Why do we expect to feel strong when we don’t actively work at getting stronger?  
  • Why do we expect to feel rested when we don’t actively work on improving our quantity and quality of sleep?

Because we want a well body to be easy and effortless. We receive messages all the time via media that suggests that it is.  

The real question is why don’t we do what what needs to be done to be well?

Your limbic brain. It’s default it to choose pleasure over pain. Comfort over discomfort. Habits over new desired habits.

Our limbic brain, or the Primitive Brain is our “auto pilot” brain. This the brain the drives most of us. Its goal is to seek pleasure, avoid pain and be efficient.  It can only think about the current moment. It wants the instant gratification right now.

The Pre Frontal Cortex is the part of our brain that can think about our future. It’s the planner. The cognitive thinker.  It is capable of delaying instant gratification for long term satisfaction.

If we are seeking to live a well life, we need to be living that life with our pre frontal cortex…NOT the primitive brain.

We have to stop expecting ourselves to make the best decision on auto pilot.  It’s not gonna happen. 

Your primitive brain will never just choose not to eat cookies.  It will always want the cookies. They will give us pleasure.

Living a life striving to be well, means we have to live intentionally.  Not on default.

We have to plan what we will eat ahead of time with our pre frontal cortex, not our primitive brain.

We have to schedule our workouts and do it, even when we don’t feel like doing it.

Remind yourself in those times of “not wanting to”, or “not feeling like it”, that you made that decision with your intention in mind. Don’t let your primitive brain run your life.  It just wants to sit on the couch, watch Netflix and eat snacks all day.

Tough love coming in hot….stop blaming your EMS life for your lack of Wellness.  

This was a huge struggle for me.  I was convinced that if I didn’t work in EMS, my health would be so much better.  I would not have gained so much weight.  It’s totally not true.  I have my same brain. No matter where I work.  Does our EMS life add a layer of complexity? Yes. But, it’s totally doable. It just requires more pre frontal planning. 

You can do this.  Despite your work schedule. You CAN be well and work EMS.

Wellness comes from intention and action.

xo.  Valerie
PS.  Have you joined my communities?
For EMS Well Being & Weight Loss click here.  
For ALL EMS WOMEN click HERE.

PPS. Never miss a message from me! I’m working on a ton of amazing stuff you are for sure not going to want to miss out on. I send about two emails per week. One really short one every Monday, and a slightly longer one later in the week! Sign up by clicking HERE.

Feeling Less

Feeling Less vs Feeling better

Listen up EMS….your goal should not be to feel less stress.⁠

You are going to feel that way because of the jobs we do. ⁠

The goal is to learn how to process your stress in a way that does not create MORE stress.⁠

We try to feel less stress by distracting ourselves from it. Eating, drinking, shopping, TV watching, gambling, porn…this does not make you feel less stress. ⁠

The problem is that in the moments we are distracting ourselves from the stress, we feel good thanks to thinking about the food/ETOH, etc and the dopamine hit we get from doing those things. ⁠

Your feeling of stress will wait for you. It always does. Now, you’ve just compounded your stress. And, you feel worse. ⁠

Look, I’ve been there, hell, I still go there. I get it. It still is not the solution to the stress.⁠

Just being aware that this is going on is super helpful. Pay attention.⁠

xo. Valerie⁠

Come join my communities!  

If you are a WOMEN in EMS, click HERE to join the ALL EMS WOMEN private FB Page!

Open to both Women and Men in EMS is my EMS Weight Loss & Well Being private FB Page.  To join, click HERE.

PS. Watch the FREE video training I made on the ABC’s of Weight Loss for EMS.   Just click the blue button below to watch the video.

The ONE thing

The ONE thing you need to know to lose weight is just a few clicks away.

I created a PDF with all the deets. You can grab it fo FREE here.

When I learned about this ONE thing, it blew my mind AND I was PISSED that none of the previous 10+ diets I had been on never ONCE mentioned this. Not ONCE.⁠

From that moment on, it became my mission to make sure everyone who wants to lose weight knows THIS ONE THING.⁠

Of course, learning more info is fun and exciting and feels important. But, if we don’t take ACTION, the learning is wasted.⁠

Have an amazing week!⁠

xo. Valerie⁠

Come join my communities!  

If you are a WOMEN in EMS, click HERE to join the ALL EMS WOMEN private FB Page!

Open to both Women and Men in EMS is my EMS Weight Loss & Well Being private FB Page.  To join, click HERE.

Oooh, that feels good….

Brain + Dopamine

Your brain on pleasure:  Oooh baby, that feels so goooood.

Us humans have been experiencing pleasure since the beginning.  Pleasure is vital to our existence.  By seeking pleasure, we are able meet our most basic human needs.

Our Primitive Brain is wired to seek pleasure…avoid pain (physical & emotional)….and stay efficient (Ex. remember where we found that pleasure and repeat).

Natural pleasure are personal connection, touch, sex, eating healthy fuel foods, cleanliness, exercising and accomplishment to name a few.

When we experience these natural pleasures, we get a nice release of Dopamine which feels really good.  Our brain takes note of that good feeling and then encourages us to do that again, and again and again.

This motivation to seek pleasure is what has got us to the evolved humans we are today.

In our current world, we have created artificial, highly concentrated “false” pleasure.  They are the natural pleasures, just concentrated down to give us more Dopamine.  Unfortunately, our brain has not evolved to handle all this Dopamine.  The Dopamine down regulates, and now it takes more and more to get the same pleasure.  Have you ever eaten just one thin mint girl scout cookie? Um, no!  One sleeve maybe.  

A false pleasure is just like a natural pleasure, it is just more concentrated and therefore gets a bigger Dopamine release.  

Examples of false pleasures:

  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Video games
  • Gambling
  • Porn
  • Social Media
  • Netflix 
  • Shopping

 

False pleasures are not “bad”.  The problem is when we experience these, the constant search for more and more pleasure can have net negative consequence on our lives.

Natural pleasure are things we have to go out and get or do…they take effort.  False pleasures are very easy to get…most of the time it is as simple as picking up your cell phone.  There seems to be sugar and flour in everything, and packaged food is quick, easy, and cheap.  Very little effort to get most false pleasure.

One of the big problems when we live a life full of false pleasure, it will down regulate our Dopamine for both false pleasure and natural pleasure.  

Natural pleasure will pale in comparison to false pleasure.  

This helps explain why it is so hard to start eating healthy.  Healthy foods take much more time to plan, prep, and cook.  They are less “exciting” to the brain.  Your primitive brain gets really confused why you would choose to eat a baked chicken breast and steamed broccoli when you could have pizza and breadsticks!  

I won’t even go (yet) in to how this plays with our emotions.  I just want you first to become aware of these natural pleasures and false pleasures in your life.

What is the net negative effect of false pleasures in your life?

Are you willing to give them up in order to feel confident and comfortable in your flight suit?  

I want you to imagine how you would feel when your zip up your suit and it’s loose.  To have a little extra room to groove in!  How fun would that be?  No more worrying about bending over to lace up your boots or lift a patient off the ground!  Or better yet, order a new suit one size down!  

This is all possible my friend.  All you have to do is make the call for help and I’ll take care of you.  Just click the blue button below to schedule a FREE information call with me.  

Here’s hoping your weekend is clear blue & 22.

Valerie 

Fullness

In my last blog post I discussed hunger.  

This week, I want to look at fullness.

Feeling full (with food) feels good and normal in most of our bodies.

But, the goal is not to feel FULL after we eat.

The goal is to eat to satiety (satisfied).  

When we eat to fullness, we have overeaten.  

Overeating = Overweight body.

Just like hunger is a sensation that starts in the body and travels to the brain, satiety works the same way thanks to our hormones and hypothalamus. 

Leptin is the main hormone in satiety.  Leptin is released by our fat cells.  

After the glucose has been delivered to our cells and liver (thanks to insulin), what remains is sent to our fat cells for storage…to be used later.  Our fat cells release the leptin and say “Hey!  We got enough over here.  You can stop eating”.  

Unfortunately, this signal from the leptin is very subtle.  Our primitive brain is really good at ignoring it and encoring us to keep eating this delicious and dopamine releasing food. 

Another thing we have going against us is, if we have chronically elevated insulin (and if you are  overweight, you probably do) this will actually block leptin at brain.

This is a perfect recipe for gaining weight.  We have been conditioned to overeat, our primitive brain loves sugar/flour due to dopamine, and we can’t “hear” our satiety signals to let us know we are full.

Such good information to know.  It totally makes sense why we have been gaining weight.

The solution is to recalibrate our hormones, so we can feel (“hear”) satiety and to de-condition ourselves to stop overeating.

We do this by taking a break from flour and sugar, and paying attention to when we feel hungry and satisfied.

I recommend to my clients that they only eat when they feel physical hunger and stop eating when they feel satisfied.  

How do you know when you are satisfied? It will be different for everyone, but for me, it feels like I am no longer hungry, I have the desire to eat more, and there is still food on my plate.  

It will take a lot of practice to learn what satiety feels like to you.  It requires us to pay attention.  

We need to stop all the distractions when we eat.  No watching TV, reading a book, checking emails, or looking at social media.  

This will not feel good.  Your primitive brain will act just like a toddle having a tantrum.  All totally normal.  But, don’t listen to it.  

If you want to lose weight, you are going to have to become really good at listening to your body.    Here I go with “feelings” again.  🙂 

Your ability to feel discomfort is directly related to how successful you will be in your weight loss.

To sum it all up….only eat when you are hungry. Stop when satisfied. No snacking.  Take a break from flour and sugar. 

This will result in weight loss. Seems so simple.

But, it is not easy.  This is why having a coach is so beneficial.  I help you with all the drama that comes up.  And trust me, A LOT of drama will come up.  Having lost weight myself while still flying full time, crazy hours, sleep deprivation, husband, kids, and a puppy!  I got you my friend.

We are six months away from the New Year, let’s start working on that 2020 goal weight now.  

Use the blue “Book Now” button below to go to my online schedule and book a 30 min phone call with me.  There, we will talk about where you are now and where you want to be, I’ll tell you about my program.  Super easy and no pressure.

Talk soon.

Xo. Valerie 

Hunger part 2

Hunger part 2

Last week I went over the physical sensations of hunger, this week I’ll talk about the emotions of hunger.

I see you…rolling your eyes at the mere idea of talking about emotions/feelings and how it could possibly be related to Weight Loss!!  Stay with me though.  This is really important.  

In the following paragraphs I will use the words emotions and feelings interchangeably. 

How we FEEL will determine the ACTIONS we take. 

This is really good to know because if we want to change our actions (ie. overeating, overdrinking, overspending, etc.) we will need to become aware of how we are feeling. 

So, where do our feelings come from anyways?

I want you to stop for a second and really try to think about this.  Why do we feel motivated? Stressed? Sad? Happy? Committed? Valuable?

Feelings come from our thoughts.

What??  This was news to me. 

Ok, so back to hunger…the emotional kind.

Remember, there is also the sensation of hunger.  That starts in your body and travels to your brain….thanks to hormones.

Emotional hunger starts in the brain and travels to your body.  

It might sound like this “ooh, that strawberry pie looks really good”.   Now you are feeling desire.  What type of action does desire produce? Usually the action of eating the pie.  Even if you are not feeling the sensation of hunger.  

When we are constantly thinking about food, watching cooking shows, reading food blogs, or trolling Pinterest for new and amazing recipes this makes us feel desire, excitement, anticipation, and wanting of food.  Next thing we know, we are eating…grabbing a snack.

Ever notice that you eat when you are bored?  We are not really hungry, we are just looking for something to do, or are avoiding something. 

This my friend, is emotional eating.

We have never learned or been taught how to deal with negative emotions.  Many of us think that if we feel negative emotion, something has gone wrong.  We are doing something wrong.  There must be negative emotion so we can notice the contrast of positive emotion.

Our primitive brains like to deal with negative emotion by using things outside of us to feel better.  I call this buffering.  We use food, usually highly processed foods that contain sugar and flour or alcohol to feel better.  How does this make us feel better?  

It is a distraction from how we are currently feeling.  And, we get a hit of dopamine.  So, our primitive brain creates a neural pathway for this behavior and we repeat it over and over and over.  Soon, it becomes so ingrained that it feels automatic.

But, the truth is, it only makes us feel better temporarily.   And the cycle continues. 

So, what is the solution?

Learn to experience negative emotions with out using food or alcohol.

Now, I’m not going to lie and tell you that this feels amazing.  It doesn’t.  It feels like ass.

It gets easier over time, but negative emotion will still continue to show up and that’s ok.  We need to experience negative so we can feel how great the positive is.

I teach my clients how to experience negative emotions.

  • We allow urges and not give in to them.  
  • We name the negative emotions. 
  • We learn to identify where we feel them in our body.  
  • We practice feeling instead of avoiding, resisting and reacting to negative emotion.

Imagine if you stopped using food and alcohol to feel better.  

This is part of the journey to permeant weight loss.

If you would like me to help guide you, please click on the blue “Learn More” button below.  This will take you to my booking calendar where you can schedule and FREE call with me to learn what I have to offer.  I promise I won’t be all weird and salesy.  I have been where you are, and I want to help as many people as I can without any gimmicks or quick fixes.

Have a safe week!

xo.  Valerie 

Boredom

Boredom

This topic has been popping up all week.

The weather has not been great for flying.  

Our industry has downtime.  Sometimes due to poor weather, or just the nature of the job.

It seems like we have two modes: Busy. Not Busy.

Once all of the daily duties are done and we are caught up with education and all those emails, we have downtime.

What are you doing with your downtime…..

Do you spend that time on your phone trolling social media?

Play games on the computer or your phone?

Sit in the recliner watching the NCIS marathon on TV?

Read a book, magazine, paper (do people still get those?)?

Or do you eat?  Grab just a little snack? 

Why don’t you just sit there and be bored?

We live in a culture that thrives on instant gratification.

We can pick up our phone and instantly be entertained.

We think that being bored means that we are boring.

We find the feeling of boredom so intolerable, we will do anything to avoid it.

The biggest reason we want to avoid boredom is because we have to sit with our own thoughts.

Many of those thoughts make us feel terrible.  We ruminate or thought loop on a few thoughts all the time.

“Why can’t I lose weight. I can’t control my eating. How did I get like this. Why is it so hard to lose weight.  I shouldn’t have ate that. I’m stuck.”

What do we do when we feel bored?  We buffer.

Buffering is when we want dull an emotion we are feeling.  

We most often buffer with False Pleasures.  

False Pleasure are concentrated forms of natural pleasure.  Just like sugar and flour are concentrated versions of the sugar beet (or cane) and wheat berry.

Our brains are flooded with the neurotransmitter Dopamine from False Pleasures.  

Natural pleasures give us a small “hit” of Dopamine that pales in comparison to the False kind.

Can you see how you have been buffering from boredom?

One of the common causes of weight gain in EMS is due to boredom.

We eat when we are bored.  We use food as a distraction from our negative emotions.

We try to use food to make us feel better.  

We will give ourselves that huge hit of dopamine with a cookies, chips, ice cream, or some other snack and that feels really good in the moment.

What is the result we get?  Net negative consequences like weight gain.

If you are wanting to lose weight, I recommend to everyone that they stop snacking.

I never used to consider myself and emotional eater or a snacker.  Turns out, I was. 

When I started my weight loss journey, it become very clear that I would do whatever it took to avoid boredom.

Sitting with my own thoughts was so painful, I would do things that had negative consequences.  Like snacking at work, which would cause weight gain. Having a few beers at  home after the kids went to bed, this one really disrupted my hormones and caused weight gain.

Now, I love being bored.  I intentionally set time to be bored.  I use this time to look at my thoughts.  To question them and decide if I want to continue to think them.

When we allow boredom, we can enter a sate neuroscientist call Autobiographical Planning.

This is where we can look at our life in the big picture sense and decide how we want to live our future.  We can see and figure out our big goals and consider how to get there.

If you are always buffering from boredom, you won’t be able to access this part of your brain.  You will just stay right where you are at.

The next time you find yourself bored at work, see if you can just sit with it for 5-10 min.

See what thoughts are coming up for you.  How are you feeling?

If you want to be an over achiever (and I’m pretty sure you do) grab a notepad and write these thoughts down.  See if you can name the feelings you are having.  Can you feel the urge to go buffer?  What do you want to do to make these feelings go away…check your phone, look at Facebook, check your email, turn on the TV?  What are the net negative consequence you have gotten in the past from buffering?

If you want to take this information to the next level, let me help you.

We can get on the phone and I can show you how working with me can change your life.  It’s free and super easy to do. 

xo.

Valerie

Dopamine

No drug calcs here my flying friends!

I want you to think about Dopamine in a whole new way.

I want you to think about how you give yourself Dopamine.

Huh?

Did you know that you are likely giving yourself Dopamine all day?

And, that is part of the reason why your Flight Suit is tight.

I’m going to break it down very simple.

If you want data that supports this, google that shit.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter.

It drives our desire. It gives us pleasure.

We get it in large hits when we eat things like sugar and flour.

We also get it in large hits when we do things that are “high risk”…{use your imagination here}.

The problem is, our brain has not evolved to handle it in these large amounts…so the receptors down regulate, which means it will take MORE Dopamine to get that pleasure we once had.

Sound familiar?

Our brain remembers how good it felt when we ate that cookie (from the Dopamine).

If a little feels good, than more is better….right???

This is where OVER DESIRE comes from.

We have an un-natural over desire for food.

Our culture supports this.

This is bad news for those of us who have weight to lose.

The SOLUTION is learning to de-condition this over desire for highly concentrated foods (ie. sugar & flour).

This seems easy, but it is very hard.

Your brain will not give up all that Dopamine with out a fight.

I work with my clients to learn and practice this skill….a lot.

It’s like the skills we use at work.

Practice is the mother of all skill.

If you need help learning this skill, I would love to talk to you.

Click on the blue button below and set up a free consultation call with me and lets get you in a smaller, less tight flight suit!

I know my program works, because I have lost over 50# using the tools and I have several clients who have lost weight too.

Talk soon!

xo. Valerie