Please Stop Going on a Diet!

Self-Care Series Article #1: Mindful Eating

Author: Audrey Byker, Health Coach

 

Audrey Byker, local Health Coach, runs her independent business in West Michigan. She meets clients where they are at on their health journey then guides and empowers them to find true health and wellness through one-on-one coaching.  2017 marked the launch of her first “Nutritionally Fit” cooking class series where she merged her creative drive with her speaking, teaching and fuel for athletic performance experience. Her love for people, movement and real food is contagious!  Audrey offers free 30 minute consults to all who are ready to change.

 

 

A Word from Audrey:

I don’t know about you, but when my mother birthed me, held me in her arms the first time, kissed my sticky head and brought me to her breast, she wasn’t weighing the colostrum just beginning to flow. I didn’t hand her my measuring cups and spoons. The nurses weren’t calculating calories, macros or god knows what else then attaching them to the discharge sheet. 

My pal the scale wasn’t waiting for me in the bathroom on my first day home.

As humans, we were created from two single cells. Those cells united and developed into one incredibly intricate human, explained for the most part by science, yet still a bit mysterious like a cat’s purr or the illusion of the moon.  

When I was a baby I didn’t give myself “cheat days”. I never decided “not to care”.  The milk wasn’t “good” or “bad” and I didn’t think “I’ll start tomorrow” when I made the “wrong food” choice. I knew what I needed. The milk, sleep, hugs, kisses, her calming voice and beating heart all instinctual and provided every single detail to not only sustain my life, but allow me to grow, develop, and thrive for a decent amount of time. 

Which I did. I did not have to think about it.

When babies are hungry they begin to turn their heads, open their mouths and root in hopes to find a nipple to suck. Science tells us this is when their blood sugar begins to drop, which for me is when my ADD kicks in. A baby will scream and cry if you wait too long to feed it, while an adult will begin to scour the pantry and raid the fridge, er, turn into a hangry dinosaur. It was telling for me, once I became a mom, to watch my babies push their mouths away from my breast when they were full—no question nor doubt, they were done.  

Their mind-body connection firmly in place, is a strong reminder to me—even now—that I needed to make a shift in the way I’d been living.  As an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I help people take these cues.

Breastmilk and skin-to-skin aren’t going to feed me in the same way they do a baby, but the earth can, and—wow—sex, connection, creativity, spirituality, and pretty much everything else that’s not food and satisfying is nourishing goodness in my life.  ALL I need is already mine.  

I’m continually shocked by how the world complicates these basic things. My body, mind, and spirit were always in close kin with the essentials yet the crap concocted into food and marketing schemes had convinced my cells and me otherwise.

I have to stop and pay attention.  Real food, mostly plants are my natural fuel.  Science says “calories-in, calories-out” while nature says the process is more mysteriously detailed than that!  When I focus on what makes my body feel good I never have to think about what I weigh or if my pants will fit the next day…a freedom I thought I’d never find.

Releasing the control was not only liberating back then, but now is making a sizable impact in my coaching space today.

Trusting myself to listen and respond was difficult, but paved the way for an incredible healing most people can’t begin to comprehend they could have.


I’m so thankful that Audrey took the time to create this post for my PYM readers. I think mindful eating and listening to your body is imperative to living a healthy and happy life. As Audrey touched on, your “diet” should not be an inconvenience thing of measuring, weighing and worrying. It should be natural! This self-care tip is to listen to your body’s needs and be mindful but do not overthink your eating.

You can follow Audrey on Instagram to learn more health tips.

Thank you for reading the first article in the PYM Self-Care Series. Stay tuned for more!

Why I Started Practicing Yoga

Hello Beautiful Souls,

Yoga is a practice of the mind and body, it is all about bringing awareness to the present moment through breath and movement. Yoga actually means “connection”. Many people do yoga for various reasons, some for exercise and others for mental health. I recently picked up the practice to help combat and build a relationship with my anxiety. I’ve tried a few yoga classes prior to officially joining and committing to the practice.

After bringing the practice into my everyday life, I have realized it is so much more than just an exercise or breathing. Many people believe you have to be flexible or super fit to be “good” at yoga. If you’re one of those people, you’ve got it all wrong. If you think yoga is all about being “good”, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

I only began my committed practice just over a month ago and I feel it changing me already. Not just physically, but also mentally. I want to share all the things I have discovered through my yoga practice and how it has helped me. You’re story may be different but here is mine:

Patience

One of the main lessons I have gained from yoga is patience. When I started yoga, I was not able to hit every pose, and I still can’t. You must be patient with the practice; you will have good days and bad days. Your body may react differently in each class. One class your half moon pose might be legit and not wobble at all, the next class you may not be able to even lift your leg off the mat…be patient. This piece of the practice has carried over into other parts of my life as well. I’ve noticed my patience grow in stressful situations, relationships and other life stuff.

Spirituality

I wouldn’t consider myself a super religious person, however, yoga has allowed me to create a connection with spirituality in my own life. It cleanses my soul and resets my mindset. Each class allows me to calm my mind and refocus my energy to what’s important. I have become much more mindful since starting the practice. I am able to focus my energy less on my anxiety and stress, and more on the positives in my life.

Awakening

Yoga has awaken my mind and body to new sensations and thoughts. I have become more aware of my body, my energy and my mental state. The focus of breath carries your mind in a way we do not usually experience in day-to-day life. In general, it has made me more mindful in my everyday life, even beyond my mat.

Inner Peace

Ultimately, yoga has helped me gain a sense of inner peace. Anxiety is an internal, mental battle that can conquer you, if given the chance. Yoga and meditation has created a space for me to let go of these worries and consciously become more aware. This is and will be a constant part of my practice, my point of starting yoga was to build a better relationship with myself. I constantly fight a battle in my mind, due to anxiety, and this practice allows me to release some of that tension and worry.

In conclusion…

This is just my point of view on the practice and how in just a short amount of time, it has made a serious impact on my life. It is my escape from the hectic world, it is my place to let go of my worries. I wanted to share this with all of you because you all have been a part of my health journey. Although I have not been as active in hitting the gym or eating as many greens as I would like, yoga has been my step towards those goals again.

The end of last year was a struggle for me; I felt very lost in my school/career path and I was overwhelmed with anxiety. I had lost sight of my goals and I let negativity take over. Yoga was my commitment to becoming my best self again. I have learned that in order to accomplish any goal in life, you must be in a healthy place with yourself, mentally and physically. If those two things are not aligned, your goals will be really tough to manage and navigate.

So, after some thought, I decided integrating a yoga practice into my routine was what I needed. So far, it has been one of the best decisions I have made. The studio is great and they really have worked with me to make my practice possible (financially). The instructors are badass, they inspire and empower me every class. And of course, the practice is life changing. It has completely changed my perspective and daily mood. I’m grateful to have this opportunity to better myself, holistically.

Thank you for reading PYM today. I hope you find this article valuable and feel free to ask me any questions regarding it.

Namaste, Lyss

Don’t Feel Guilty for Self-Care

Hello Lovely Humans,

You may have wondered what happened to me over the past week, or maybe not, but I had finals week at university. That means I went into full student mode and basically just studied for 5 days straight. It was slightly awful, but I’m happy to be finished.

If you are also a student, you probably have experienced finals week and may also be just finishing up. Coming out of finals week, or really any busy week, you may feel drained. Perhaps, mentally and physically. This is a good time to focus on yourself. I think too often we feel guilty for focusing on ourselves. You can do this without being selfish.

I’ve been learning this concept through my yoga practice. We too often feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. Example, last week I did not blog because I needed to focus on school. At first, I felt guilty about it but I realized it was not me being selfish. Focusing on my exams was important to me and important for my future. When I attend a yoga class over going to dinner with friends, it’s not selfish, it’s me focusing on my mental health. When you take time to do things that are good for you, and healthy for your life, then you should not feel guilty.

Being selfish means you continuously act upon actions that only benefit you. You do not care about how others feel. Self-care is taking actions that allow you to put others first, in a healthy manner. If you neglect yourself, you will never be able to handle constantly putting others before yourself. At the end of the day, you are your first priority. In order to be a super mom or a girlboss, you need to be alive, healthy and happy/positive.

Not taking time for yourself will cause you to burnout. Your soul will become tired. Trust me, I’ve been there. When you fill your life with stressful responsibilities and negative people, you will burnout. In my opinion, Self-care is the action of cultivating your life in such a way that you are living intentionally each and everyday. You do not waste time on television, small minds or things that no longer suite you. Self-care can also be attending a yoga class, getting a massage or taking time to journal. Self-care is whatever you want it to be, it’s what makes your life intentional.

This is why you should never feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Self-love + self-care is sometimes interpreted as selfish actions. Although the words both include “self”, they do not entail selfish actions. They are necessary actions to living a healthy and happy life.

Since Self-Care is so important to me, and the Pretty, Young & Motivated message, I am going to be starting a new series called “The Self-Care Series”. This series will feature guest bloggers, influencers and health experts who will give their perspective on a number of different topics. I am bringing in outside perspectives because I think it will diversify the information on PYM for you. As always, I want PYM to be a place you can refer to for all self-love, confidence and life stuff. Adding this series will bring another perspective and more value for my reader. Stay tuned!

Happy Monday! 

xo, Lyss