Sleep Mindset

bedding

How we think about sleep will determine how much sleep we get.

Whoa!!  That’s a pretty big claim, but trust me on this.

If you want to improve your sleep, you have to start with improving our off duty sleeping.  If you want to improve your off duty sleeping, you have to first tackle your sleep mindset.

What are your thoughts about sleep?

Any of these sound familiar?

  • I’ll sleep when I’m dead
  • I don’t have time to sleep
  • There is too much going on for me to sleep today
  • Sleep is a luxury
  • Sleep is not a thing when you work this (EMS) job
  • I’m not going to pay a babysitter to watch my kids while I sleep
  • I have to _______
  • No such thing as sleep with a baby/toddler/tween/teen/young adult
  • I’m a light sleeper
  • I can’t sleep during the day
  • I can’t sleep b/c my spouse snores

Thoughts like those will prevent you from getting the sleep you need. Thoughts are very powerful obstacles!

Most of the above mentioned thoughts are just lies you tell yourself….and you just believe them to be true because you have never stopped to question the thought(s). You may even want to argue with me, that, no…it’s true…I don’t have time to sleep.

When I was really in the heart of my sleep struggles, I had sought out sleep advice from many different experts. None of which improved my sleep until I had a Life Coach explain to me how  my Thoughts create my Feelings, my Feeling will drive my Actions, and the actions I take will produce Results in my life.

 

CTFAR thought Model

I know that I don’t need to tell you how important sleep is.  Our bodies and minds need sleep to function at our highest ability.

If you have been in EMS for any amount of time, you have likely responded to a crash where someone had fallen asleep.

Lack of sleep has very negative effects on our cognitive abilities and affects our physical body as well.

If you are wanting to lose weight, you will have to get your off duty sleep dialed in!

Why is it that we know how important sleeps is yet we STILL DON’T do what needs to be done to get enough of it??

Because of how we Think about sleep.  Sleep mindset.

How we think is directly related to the life we live. Our thoughts will create our results.  If you think shitty thoughts about sleeping…guess what? You’re gonna have shitty sleep. These are not just semantics.  The words that come out of our mouths or the thoughts that stay in your head matter.

Our brains are always scanning for problems. When it finds a problem, it loves to focus on the problem. It feels important to focus on the problem.

When we focus on the problem, we stay IN the problem!! 

When we are IN the problem, we cannot FIND the SOLUTION.

Where focus goes, energy flows.

We have to learn to intentionally focus our brain on the solutions. If thoughts can be obstacles, they can also be the solution.

Focus thinking on how important your sleep is.

  • My body needs to rest and rejuvenate
  • Sleep is my number one fat burner
  • Sleep will help me feel better
  • I deserve to get quality sleep
  • I am at my best when I get adequate sleep
  • Sleep in not a luxury, it is a necessity
  • I choose to sleep now so that I may have a longer life
  • I am a good sleeper
  • I love to sleep
  • Sleep is a priority

When we re-direct our focus to the solution, we will create much different results in our life.  Our brains are good problem solvers, but only when we direct its focus.  My guess is, you have not spent a ton of time on your mindset of sleep. It’s no wonder it hasn’t improved yet.

I have tons and tons of tips and strategies on how to get better sleep, but if we don’t start from the top (brain) down, it won’t be a long term solution.

Does this really matter? Yes. It matters big time.

People want to argue with me that those obstacle thoughts are “true”.  Ok. Maybe. Maybe not.  My question is, why would you want to think them? They don’t serve you. They keep you where you are…stuck and not getting the sleep you need.

We have created the habit of always thinking about, and focusing on the negative, or the problem. It’s what feels most comfortable and familiar. But you don’t HAVE to.

Let’s put this into action. 

Grab the Free PDF Download (click the button at the end of the post) I created for you to write out your thoughts about sleep.  Dump all the thoughts out you have about sleep on these pages.  Don’t edit yourself. It does not have to read like a story, just rando sentences in your head about sleep.

Next spend some time coming up with thoughts you’d like to focus on that will improve your sleep mindset (similar to the examples I provided above!).

After setting the foundation for your sleep mindset, it will be much easier to improve sleep hygiene, and develop a pre-sleep routine!

Have you joined my All EMS Women group yet? Click HERE to join!

This is not like every other EMS group.  Women helping, supporting and encouraging all EMS women.  This industry is hard enough, we need a safe place to get support, mentorship, and friendships.  To join, just answer a few short questions and your request will be approved!  Don’t forget to invite all your lady friends.

Think well my friend.

xo.  Valerie

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.

Self Care is NOT Selfish

Self care is not selfish

Self Care might seem “selfish” at a time like this.⁠

But, this time….this time of COVID-19 our Self-Care is the most important thing.⁠

This can mean many different things to many different people at many different times.⁠

For me, while at work Self-Care is:⁠
*Donning and doffing PPE properly and in as much time as needed⁠
*Eating only when I’m hungry. Stopping when satisfied⁠
*Setting my alarm to drink water⁠
*Taking deep breaths when I feel myself getting stressed⁠
*Talking to my partner about thoughts that are running around in my head⁠
*Getting outside for some fresh air ⁠
*Putting my earbuds in and listening to my favorite songs⁠

At Home my Self-Care looks a little different.⁠
*Prioritizing and Protecting my Sleep⁠
*Planning my food and movement ⁠
*Writing my thoughts down in a journal⁠
*Drinking 1 gallon of water⁠
*Managing my time very intentionally⁠
*Writing in my journal⁠
*Meditating for 5-10 min per day⁠
*Taking the dog for a walk⁠
*Tech free eating⁠
*Listening to books and podcast that move me forward toward my goals⁠
*Hot bath before bed⁠
*Being real and honest with my kids in those rare, still moments⁠

I would love to hear what you do for Self-Care!⁠

Be safe out there my friends. The world needs you.⁠

xo. Valerie⁠

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.

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.

Weight Loss Tips

Are you in EMS/HEMS and want to lose some weight?

It may seem impossible given your irregular schedule, hours you work per week, stress, and confusion over what you really should be doing in order to lose weight.

Here are two tips on how to start your weight loss journey today….weather you are on duty or off.

Tip 1.  Don’t eat if you’re not actually hungry.  

This myth in EMS about needing to eat right now to prevent future hunger is just plain stupid and is a big contributor to weight gain.  I wish I would have been told THAT when I started out in EMS over 20 years ago.  Instead, I was told by everyone that “you better eat now while you can…you don’t know where you will be later.” “You do’t want to miss a meal”. “We could get busy later, so just eat something now to help hold you over”.  

We also get these message when we are not on duty.  It might sound like this “I made this just for you”, “A few bites won’t hurt”, “I worked so hard on this and you’re not going to eat it?”.  

When was the last time you ate when you were not hungry?

As long as you are alive, you will get hungry.  It is the way the body was designed.  When our body needs energy, hormones are released (mainly Ghrelin) and we feel hunger.  We can’t prevent future hunger by eating when we are not hungry.  That math does not add up.  What we are really preventing is us staying at our current weight (and losing weight!).

Eating when the body does not require fuel really disrupts your body’s hunger/fullness hormones and causes you to store more fat.   I will say, that this is not true for everyone.  I’m sure you know that one person who is thin and eats all the things all the time and never gains weight.  They are one of the few lucky ones.  And, are the exception, not the rule. 

How do you know when you are hungry?  Do you look at the clock and calculate the last time you ate to determine your hunger?  How does hunger feel in your body?

What happens if you don’t eat the moment you feel hunger?  Let’s go to that worst case scenario…you are just getting ready to eat and the pager goes off, you have an interfacillity transfer, which means it will be three hours until you are done and able to eat.  Fast forward three hours….you made it.  You didn’t get sick.  You didn’t stop along the way for a snack.  You maybe even forgot you were hungry.

How did you survive?   Your body was able to utilize the stored glycogen from your liver and access your stored fuel…aka your fat (a process called gluconeogenesis).  This is how the body was designed to work during times when there was less food available.  During times of excess food, our body stores the extra for later use.  For most of us, “later” never comes.  We never allow our bodies to access our stored fuel.

Please don’t hear me say that I think you need to “starve” yourself to lose weight.  That is not what I teach my clients.  I just want you to become aware of your hunger and to know that if you have to miss a meal, your body will do what it was designed to do.

Tip 2.  Eat until you no longer feel hungry…not full

Most people eat until they feel physically full.  Or, all of the food is gone.  This is overeating.  Overeating = weight gain. 

Learning to become aware of our own hunger and fullness is key to weight loss.  

The hormone Leptin is responsible for our “fullness” signal and the hormone that drives us to get up and move our body (to use the fuel we just took in!).  Here’s the deal with Leptin, we often ignore it.  Our brain overrides what our body is telling us…which is to STOP eating and go MOVE.  Instead, we listen to our brain which tell us to keep eating and then rest.  

We will always struggle with our weight when we outsource our hunger/fullness to things outside of us.  For example. eat only because food is available at the moment and stop eating when the food on our plate is gone. 

It’s time put your focus internally instead of externally.  

This means respecting your hunger and honoring your fullness signals.  And not listening to your brain (that voice in your head) tell you to keep eating, or that a few bites more won’t matter.  They do.

And, if you get hungry and not eat because you get busy at work it’s totally ok.  Remember, you have stored energy on your body and it knows how to access it.

I like to joke with clients about the number one thing you should eat when you want to lose weight….your own fat!    Getting a flight just before I’m going to eat is my favorite.  I know that I will be totally fine if I miss a meal.   In the coming weeks I will talk more about Intermittent Fasting and becoming Fat Adapted.  It really is a game changer for our industry!

If you want to take these tips to the next level, I suggest you dedicate a few days to get up close and personal with your hunger and fullness.  Let’s approach it like a scientist and call it an experiment.

Turn off all distractions. Grab a note book when you start to feel hungry.  Time for data collection….Write down all the thoughts you are thinking about being hungry.  See if you can really articulate how it feels in your body.  See how long the hunger lasts.  

Rate your hunger on a scale.  -10 is the most intense hunger, and -1 is a faint whisper of hunger, 0 is neutral.  True hunger comes in waves and should never feel like an emergency.  If you feel “hangry”, you are likely feeling withdrawl from sugar and flour.

Next, keep that notebook near by and eat your meal.  Make a note of the time and where you are at on the hunger scale. Write down every bite.  Check in with your body after each bite.  Do you still feel hungry?  Write down what you are thinking about.  Give your hunger a number.  Continue doing this until all the food on your plate is gone.  When you are done eating, write down the time and really describe how you are physically feeling (aka fullness).  The fullness scale is just like the hunger scale.  +10 is overly stuffed, +1 is just past neutral, +5 is full.  Write about what your thoughts are about what you ate, how you are feeling and whatever else is coming up for you.  Set your timer for 30 min.  In your notebook, write the time and describe how you are feeling and give it a number on the fullness scale.  Set the timer for 30 more min and check back in again and write it down in your note book.  The more data you collect the better.  

This seems really tedious, and that is the purpose of it.  It is a great way to help show you how to slow down and notice what you body is telling you. 

When I did this for the first time, I was blown away by all the thoughts I was having while I was eating.  I was used to distracted eating (watching TV, checking social media, listening to a podcast, or talking with family).  It was crazy to see how my brain was trying to tell me to keep eating (one more bite won’t hurt, it’s healthy food so you can eat more, you worked out today and so on).  I was shocked by how little food it would take to reach satisfied.  Even more alarming were the thoughts about wasting food.  It started to become really clear why I was overweight.  I literally overate at every meal.  I ate when I was not hungry.  I had snacks to avoid boredom or deal with my stress.  

I tell people all the time, if you want to lose weight you need to know what you are eating and what you are thinking.

Tell me how your “experiment” goes and what you learned from it.  Getting the data and analyzing it will be such an eye opener and from there,  you can start making changes.

I have room for a few more 1:1 clients if you are ready to start losing weight for the last time. Send me an email or DM on Social and I’ll give you all the deets.

xo.  Valerie

PS.  Are you in my close FB group?  Click below to join!

Compelling Reason


Compelling reason.

Do you have a compelling reason to lose weight?

Having one is so important. 

It is what will make you feel motivated to take action. Even in the face to tremendous discomfort.

Losing weight is hard. 

We have unknowing taught ourselves that eating and drinking makes us feel better.

Losing weight is the process of moving away from what gives us comfort.

But, the comfort food & drink give us is temporary. 

What we truly desire is long term satisfaction.

Your primitive brain only knows instant gratification.

In the times of discomfort during change we need to call upon our compelling reason.

It needs to be better than “nice”. 

It would be nice to lose weight. It would be nice to wear a size 6, or weight 140#.

Nice won’t cut it when you are exhausted, and stressed after a long flight and there are homemade cookies in the ED break room.

What will stop you in your tracks when you are about to eat the cookie?

So, how do you find that compelling reason? 

Grab a pen and paper, and I will show you how.

{write this} Why do I want to lose weight? {and write the answer}

Then, ask yourself why again based on the answer you just gave. {write all of this down}

Ask yourself WHY 5 times. Yes 5. Dig deep. Go beyond the surface.

You may find you have a few very compelling reasons. 

The more the merrier!

And, your compelling reason can change. As you change and evolve, so to will your “Why”.

Click the Blue Book Now button to schedule a Free 30 min Consult Call with me on a day and time that works for you. On this call, I will take you through your Before and After process, it’s fun and can be life changing.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

xo. Valerie

Journaling

Journaling

If you want to lose weight, you need to know two things…

  1. What you are eating 🥞🍕🍩🍺
  2. What you are thinking 💬💭🗯

I know, I know. You HATE journaling. Writing is such a struggle. You have no time.

Do it anyways.

Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do.

Welcome to being an adult.🤦‍♀️

Do you want to lose weight?

You’re gonna have to write shit down. Period.

Don’t go into confusion and overwhelm about this.

Grab one of the kids barely used notebooks from last school year and just start writing.📒🖊

Start with the date, then write down everything you ate today and yesterday (if you are young and can remember that!).

Next, write down all those thoughts that are in your head. Spend two minutes doing this.

Suddenly got writers block? Here are some topics you could write on.

My body….
My weight….
When I look in the mirror….
When I see a photo of myself…..
What do I think about myself….

That should keep you busy for a few minutes! ⌛️

Make it a ritual every morning, or every night before bed.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and just start.☕️

The reason why your brain (not you BTW) does not want you to do this is because it can be emotionally painful to look at the truth. 😕

The truth about what you are eating.😳

The truth about what you are really thinking about and saying in your head. 😃🤬😥🤔

But keeping all of that in your head is not serving you.

You are living at the effect of your primitive brain. It just wants you to stay safe, avoid pain, and seek pleasure.

I want you living your life from your Pre-Frontal Cortex. The planner. The writer. 🧠

All of the amazing women I know that have lost their weight and keep it off are STILL journaling.

I know this seems so simple and that journaling could not possibly help you lose weight….but have you ever tried it? I mean really committed to it? Give me 12 weeks and I’ll show you how much it really can change your life.

If I can do it, you can too.

If you want to learn more about my Weight Loss Program click the blue button below.  That will take you to my schedule, you can pick a date and time that works for you to get on the phone with me.  Super easy and totally free!

xo. Valerie 🚁