Sleep Mindset


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

How to live Well in EMS


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

Stress in EMS part 1

Stress.  It’s all around us.  Those that work in EMS know this all too well.

Even though we experience a tremendous amount of stress, and I’m not just talking about the “easy” part, which in my opinion is taking care of the patient, but all the parts that make up our job…this all causes us stress.

Despite this stress, we keep showing up to work. We are high functioning people. 

But, I have a sneaking suspicion that how you are actually dealing with, or managing your stress is contributing to more stress.

I’m pretty familiar with this way of dealing with the stress for myself, and I get to see how my husband who is also a full time flight paramedic deals with it.

And, I see it all over social media.  We have been taught how to deal with our stress by watching others, and advertising.

After a hard day at work, I bet you have the thought “I could really use a drink”, or “I just need a snack to take the edge off”. 

Most of us deal with stress by drinking alcohol, eating snacks or comfort food, binge watching TV, gaming, social media, online shopping, or watching porn.

You might think, “What’s the big deal”, or “It works for me”.  This is a lie your brain in telling you so you’ll keep engaging in these false pleasures.  False pleasure have net negative consequences on the other side.  Weight gain, addiction, dependance, avoidance, distraction, and added stress.

This added stress disrupts our sleep, our emotional bandwidth, thoughts about ourselves, creates unbalanced hormones, lack of energy and so on.

But my friend, it’s not your fault.  It’s a sign that your brain is working perfectly.  Your brain (the primitive brain to be exact) is just trying to help you.  It wants you to survive. It drives you to seek pleasure at any cost to get away from the negative feelings (stress, overwhelm, fear).  All of the false pleasures do this very quickly. 

The primitive brain can’t see past the current moment it is in.  Most of us are living from our primitive brain.  We are reactionary (ah, hello…EMS! Totally reactionary medicine).  We do what we want in the moment and don’t think about the consequences on the other side.

There is a solution.  It takes practice and patience.

Awareness is a big part.  Learning techniques to process and work through the stress.  Recognize when we are using false pleasure and learn to question ourselves in those moments.

I’d love to hear from you.  Send me a DM or email.

Have a great week!!

xo.  Valerie

Weigh in

quarterly weigh in got you down?
I’m right there with ya man.⁠
I hate the weigh in days. This one really snuck up on me.⁠
Using food to make myself feel better has been happening more frequently than I’d like to admit.⁠
If you are tired of your Tight Flight Suit, it’s time to do something about it.⁠
I’ll be hosting a three day (90 min sessions) Workshop next week. You will create a custom eating protocol that you will actually want to follow AND gets you the weight loss you are looking for.⁠
Imagine feeling confident and comfortable in your Flight Suit!! ⁠
In the Workshop, you will lean the three reasons why you haven’t been able to lose weight, 12 tools to create a protocol, and strategies to overcome your biggest obstacles.⁠
If you start now, by your next weigh in you’ll be down at least one size in your flight suit.⁠
The best news is this workshop is ONLY$99 for all three days. ⁠
If you are READY to stop dreading putting on your uniform, head over –>> It will take you to my website where you can sign up for the life changing workshop RFN.⁠
DM me with questions.⁠
xoxo. Valerie⁠

What should I eat?

What should I eat?
There’s a lot of confusion out there when it comes to what we “should” or “shouldn’t” be eating.⁠
The question I hear the most is “What should I eat?” ⁠
My follow up questions is “What do you want to do?” ⁠
✅ Lose Weight⁠
✅ Burn Fat⁠
✅ Gain Muscle⁠
✅ Reduce Inflammation⁠
✅ Balance Hormones⁠
✅ Eliminate Cravings⁠
The food you put in your body will directly influence your results.⁠
The answer is complex and different for each person.⁠
This is what inspired me to create a workshop that will answer this question.⁠
The Protocol Creation Workshop will help you create a way of eating with tools, not rules.⁠
But first, you need to know WHY you haven’t been able to permanently lose weight in the past….this is the science of weight loss. Neurobiology, Biology, and Psychology to be exact. You need this information to create a protocol that will get you the results you’re looking for. ⁠
Next, you need tools to create a protocol that works for you. Not someone else’s rules. When you create your protocol, you are more likely to follow it. I’ll teach you 12 tools to create a protocol that you’ll actually WANT to follow and fits in your life.⁠
Finally, we need to address what keeps getting in your way. These are obstacles, and we need to identify them so that we can come up with strategies to overcome them. This piece is VITAL to your permanent weight loss.⁠
This “Protocol Creation Workshop” is going to be a game changer for you. These are lifetime tools, not gimmicks or fads. ⁠
This Workshop will be over three days, 90 min each and it starts NEXT WEEK. ⁠
All this for only $99. To sign up, click the button below!
See you on Monday!⁠

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.

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.

You can do it

We can do it

I love being a female paramedic.⁠

I decided 20+ years ago that THIS would be my career.⁠

What I wish I had back then was SUPPORT from the other females, family, friends, and co-workers.⁠

People were constantly telling me why I shouldn’t do this, that this job is not for women, I would never be able to be a mom AND still work my crazy hours, that the job would destroy me both mentally and physically.⁠

I can’t image what my career would look like if I’d heard the opposite.⁠

Has this job been hard at times? Hell yes it has. Has it nearly broken me? Yep. But, I am not fragile. I can do hard things.⁠

I created a FB group that is just for Women in EMS, where women go to get encouraged, supported, and told “Yes, you CAN do this”. It’s the most beautiful thing.⁠

On the anniversary of 9/11/2001 I asked the ladies to share their memories from that day, and it was EMOTIONAL to read them all. We have ladies that were babies….yes babies when it happened, and many ladies who had family members at Ground Zero and some that were there themselves. To have a group where the women felt safe to share and be so vulnerable was such a gift to us all.⁠

My hope is that ALL EMS WOMEN will be in this group.

It’s gonna be fun to see what we can accomplish. ⁠

Love you ladies. See you inside.⁠

xox. 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.

I can’t sleep

When you can't sleep

I’m not talking about when you’re at work and can’t sleep. ⁠

I’m talking about when you are at home, in your own bed, and you j u s t. C a n ‘ t. S l e e p! 🤬⁠

You toss and turn. You try all the things to get the F*ck to sleep and nothing works. ⁠

Finally morning arrives, and it feels like you’ve been hit by a bus. Eyes puffy from lack of sleep. You are dragging. No amount of coffee can help. All you talk about all day is how you didn’t get any sleep. You’re so tired. You’re exhausted. You need a nap. You eat a bunch of crap food to try and wake up. You can’t do anything because you are so tired. On and on.⁠

This was me for years. I mean decades. I told myself this is why I was in EMS. I can’t sleep most nights, so I might as well be up taking care of sick people! ⁠

I learned a ton about sleep and changed many of my habits. But, every once in a while, I will have a night where despite my good sleep hygiene and pre-sleep routine, I just can’t sleep.⁠

So what do you do after a sleepless night?⁠

You need a mindset upgrade. ⁠

Stop telling everyone how tired you are. No one cares. Sorry, not sorry.⁠

Stop living in the problem, it’s just going to make you more tired! 🤯⁠

Think some thoughts that will create energy instead of depleting it.⁠

Here are some of the ones I use…⁠

I have all the energy I need to get this done.⁠
I create energy with my thoughts.⁠
I can be tired AND make lunch.⁠
I can be tired AND take the dog for a walk.⁠
I can take a nap if I want to.⁠
I can listen to my body and make good choices.⁠

Was I tired all day? Yeppers. Did I do less than I normally do? Sure did. Did I beat the crap out of myself for having a slow day? Nope.⁠

Hope you sleep well tonight my friends!⁠

xo. Valerie⁠

PS.Did you hear? I’m hosting a Workshop in mid October on how to create an eating protocol {you will actually follow} for Weight Loss. It’s going to be just what you need to head in to the holiday season and not gain more weight! If you are interested, send me a DM and I’ll give you more deets. ⁠

PPS. 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.


val in safety vest
Who know’s that 10 code? ⁠
I know 10-22 as cancel. Some of the best words we can hear on the job….you can cancel! ⁠
In other words, you don’t need to respond.⁠
This is also an option in other areas of your life! ⁠
You actually don’t have to respond to emails, text messages, comments on social or IRL.⁠
I learned a new tool the other day, and I’m putting a spin on it…meet the 10-22 habit. The learned and practiced habit of NOT RESPONDING.⁠
Not everything in this world needs your attention, comment, or response. Your life could dramatically improve if you add the 10-22 habit to your daily practice.⁠
See some nasty comment on your social feed? 10-22.⁠
Your brain offers a suggestion of a snack….10-22.⁠
Fellow driver cuts you off? 10-22.⁠
The act of not responding is for your benefit…not theirs. When you get all spun up, YOU suffer. Not “them”.⁠
Try it. Tell me how it feels 🙂
Have a great week! xoxo. 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.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo
I have spent many years using this day as an EXCUSE to OVERinduldge.
Now, since paving my path to permanent weight loss I approach this day as an EXCEPTION in my eating protocol which has been well planned out ahead of time.
As a weight loss coach, one of the fundamentals I teach is something called Pre-Frontal Planning.
This means we use our Pre-Frontal Cortex to plan what we will eat and drink ahead of time. NOT in the moment with our Primitive Brain.
Why does this matter?
Most of us live our life by making decisions from our Primitive Brain: I want it NOW. Instant satisfaction. MORE, MORE, MORE. It’s like the devil on your shoulder whispering in your ear…”you totally deserve that drink today. You worked hard. Go ahead, have it.” Living from and making decisions from the Primitive Brain feels good in the moment. Unfortunately, it can’t predict how you will feel LATER.
It can’t foresee that pleasure from OVEReating now will result in weight gain LATER.
Pre-Frontal Planning is using the part of our brain that can predict the future consequences of decisions. If…then… If I drink now, then I will feel terrible later.
If I OVEReat I will see an increase on the scale.
When we plan our food and drink ahead of time, we do so with our future in mind.
We can make decisions based on our LONG term goals, which will feel amazing.


  • I have decided that I will have two Margaritas today.
  • I have decided that I will have homemade chips, salsa and guacamole today.
  • I have decided that I will eat baked Mexican chicken casserole today.
  • I will stop eating when I feel just satisfied. Not full.
  • I will not overeat.
I also make this exception knowing that I might now see the scale go down this week.
I’m ok with that. This is the EXCEPTION not my daily RULE.
One last thing….don’t think for a SECOND that this is EASY.
Our Primitive Brains are what evolved the humans.
It will not sit quietly while I eat chips and salsa and wash it down with a drink.
I’m ok now sitting with that feeling of wanting more and not having it.
This takes a ton of practice and failure.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
xo. Val

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.

Transition Times & Weight Gain

Most people think they gain weight because they are eating too much food and not working out enough.

This is only PART of the problem.

When I discovered that I really struggle with Transition Times, it opened up my eyes to an area that was causing weight gain.]

In this video I will teach you where to be on the look out for transitions and some solutions!

Want to hear more from me?

Join my private FB Group. Click the link and answer the questions and with in a few min…you are IN!


FREE Resources

1. Grab a copy of my FREE GUIDE, where I will teach you the ONE thing you need to know to Lose Weight…On Duty or Off!

2. Food Resource Worksheets.

3. Weekly Time Planning Worksheet

4.  Join my email list.  I send out about two emails per week.  I try to keep them short and to  the point.

Products I love and use*.

Check out my Kit Store…

*These are NOT affiliate links.

Be Well and Be Safe up there!

xo.  Valerie Bestland

What’s your ETA?

helicopter in the sunset
I was out for a sunset walk last week and I saw a helicopter.⁠
Lot’s of people likely saw it. It was a beautiful night.⁠
What I realized was we all have different thoughts about what was going on in there.⁠
It’s the difference between “Thinking” and “Knowing”.⁠
Other people “think” they know what goes on in there.⁠
I “know” what happens in the heli because I work in one.⁠
Reminds me of weight loss.⁠
I used to “think” weight loss came from eating less and moving more. Calorie restriction. Counting points. Binging and purging. Low fat high carb or low carb high fat.⁠
Boy was I wrong. All that thinking got me deeper in debt and a bigger flight suit.⁠
I now “know” where weight loss comes from.⁠
I’ll give you a hint…it doesn’t come from anything outside of you. ⁠
Sure, I teach several tools for weight loss, but we always land at the same destination! ⁠
The helipad is secured and I’m awaiting your arrival.⁠
What’s your ETA???⁠

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.

Consistency is KEY

“Steadfast adherence to the same principles” that is the definition of the word “Consistency”.⁠
Steadfast Adherence. That sounds pretty intense!⁠
I like the word consistent much better.⁠
If you want to lose weight, you have to be consistent.⁠
You get this intellectually…⁠
The real problem you need to solve is why aren’t you?⁠
Why aren’t you doing what you know you need to do to lose weight?⁠
Or, why do you do it for a while then stop?⁠
Until you know this answer my friend, permanent weight loss will always be a pipe dream.⁠
You might be wondering HOW do you find this out?⁠
This is the power of coaching. THIS is what I help people with.⁠
Consistency really is the KEY.⁠
Be safe out there.⁠
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.