3 Things I Struggle With…

As someone who spends their week training clients, creating sustainable nutrition programs, and writing numerous blog posts each week, I sure do dish out my fair share of advice.

In fact, it’s probably easy to think that I’ve got it all figured out, right? (<—- ha!)

In all reality, I DON’T have it all figured out.  I do pretty well for myself in most areas of my life, but there are still areas where I struggle, and I think it’s important to share our struggles with others.

Maybe that’s why I have gotten such amazing feedback over the last 3 months as I’ve written about a lot of my issues and struggles?  Because it’s nice to see the “human” side of people.

In keeping with that theme, today I am writing about 3 things I struggle with, and what I am doing to fix them (or not fix them).

1. Sleep

Getting proper sleep has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I can recall tossing and turning in my bed for hours as a young child because I couldn’t fall asleep. Then I would wake up the next morning and be miserable because I was so exhausted.

Unfortunately, this cycle hasn’t changed much, except since I don’t have a parent to force me to go to bed, I just stay up later working, watching TV or reading until I am tired enough to go to sleep. It probably didn’t help that I worked as a waitress at a late night bistro for 7 years through undergrad and would often go to bed at 3 am. Ugh.

What I Am Doing About This:

– Holding myself accountable – Recently I asked a friend to be my Accountability Partner/Life Coach.  At the time I asked her, I was routinely going to bed around 12 am. She gave me a bedtime, yes, a bedtime of 11 pm, and a wake-up call of 7:30 am every day. (I get up most mornings between 7:30 and 8, but since my schedule has some flexibility, some mornings I would sleep until 8:30 or 9 if I had been up late working the night before).

In fact, I have to text her when I wake up, and if I don’t, she will drive to my house. She also routinely asks me what time I went to bed, to ensure that I stay accountable.

– Trying to relax – I try to spend the last 30-60 minutes before bed reading, taking a bath, avoiding the cell phone, and just relaxing. This calms me down, and allows my brain to chill out a bit as well.

2. Saying NO to projects

Over the last 2 years, my plate has (luckily!) become very full with my personal blog, 2 businesses growing and many others projects and tasks. One of the best parts about being busy, is that you get a lot of cool opportunities. One of the worst? They can be impossible to say no to.

Taking on too many projects prevents you from being able to focus appropriate time and energy on any one project, and prevents you from doing things really well.

What I Am Doing About This:

– Finding a coach – I’ll be talking about this more in the future, but having a Life Coach, that really knows and understands me, was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. He has helped me get really organized and helped me prioritize my projects and tasks so that I can get more done in less time.

But even better, he has helped me recognize what projects will lead directly to my goals, and turn down or discard projects that won’t. He has also helped me learn that it’s OK to say, “No.”

– Therapy – So I didn’t start therapy to deal directly with this issue, but believe it or not, it’s helped. (Side note: I’ve been in therapy for 3 years now and I love it. I think every single person should go at least once a month.) What therapy has helped with is my tendency to be a people pleaser and not want people to be upset with me.

Whenever I struggle with saying, “no” to a project, I remember this quote (paraphrased):

Say ‘no’ more often so that your ‘yes’ has more power and meaning.

3. Artificially Flavored Gum

Yes, you read that correctly. Artificially Flavored Gum (yes, I chew this stuff…and it may one day be the death of me).

Anyone who knows me well knows that it’s an ultimate vice and obsession. I know that it’s not good for me, and yet I cannot seem to shake the habit. On a “good” day, I’ll have none or one peice. On a “bad” day, I might have 3-4. I have been working to reduce this further and further….so I have improved.

Thankfully, I don’t chew it while training clients, so I never spend a full day doing a jaw workout. Which is also not very attractive, kinda gross, and in my opinion, gives a client the impression that you don’t care as much.

And just to be clear, I chew Spry (a naturally sweetened gum). And I always drink water with my gum to neutralize the chemicals and preserve my teeth (which my dentist told me look awesome, so luckily, no worries there).

All I can say, is that I am a sucker (or chomper) for that long lasting chew that you can only get from the artificially flavored stuff. Occasionally, I’ll hit the hard stuff.

Once, I’ve even received gum as a birthday present before. Yup. It’s that bad. I gave it up for 42 days last year, and when that 42 days was up, my taste buds rejoiced.

Everyone teases me because I am such a stickler about what I put in my body. I eat as much organic, local food as possible, and I do my best to avoid chemical cleaners and beauty products at all costs. But that sweet-neurotoxic-flavored gift from God?

YES PLEASE, GIVE ME MORE!

What I Am Doing About This:

– To be completely honest, not much. I absolutely love the stuff.  No one can be absolutely perfect all the time (I’m not even close). And if they are, well… I don’t really want to hang with them because that’s just annoying.

– OK, so I guess it’s not entirely true that I’m doing “nothing” about it. Because I consume that junk, I am extremely diligent about almost everything else I put in or on my body. If I am going to minimize the amount of chemicals and crap I am willing to expose my body to, then I have to be diligent. It’s all a tradeoff, right?

What about you? What do you struggle with? What are you doing to change it, if anything?

Love to hear from you. xxx, Amber

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