Welcome to Week 2 of New Year Better You Boot Camp! 

You did it! You completed Week 1. 

Today is check-in day so be sure to email me and let me know how last week went. 

1) What were your successes?

2) What were your challenges? 

3) How did you do on the goals you set for yourself?

Don't be hesitant to share if you didn't meet a goal. This is often when we learn the most about how to hit the goal tomorrow. I'll often pose some questions or offer some helpful tips that can help you clarify your next step.

This week, we are focusing on sleep, saying 'yes' to your priorities and optimizing your fluid intake with water and soup. But don't give up last week's goals. Please keep up with your 30 minutes of cardio and sugar reset. And, of course, you can keep doing a daily tree too!

Don't forget to write your goals on your tracker.

Let me know if you have any questions. Have a a great day!

Laurie

 
 

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Go to Sleep! 

Challenge #1: Sleep for 7 - 8 hours/night or increase your sleep in 15 minute increments. 

One of the biggest and most important improvements you can make in your physical and emotional health is to get enough sleep.

Sleep is essential to human beings. We need it as much as we need water and food. But, for many of us, sleep is also one of our biggest challenges. Whether we're trying to find the time to sleep, trying to go to sleep or trying to stay asleep, everyone has their own unique relationship with sleep.

Unfortunately, lack of sleep has been worn like a badge of honor or a mark of success in our culture. Thankfully, this is beginning to change! When we get enough sleep our memories are sharper, our brains function better, our athletic performance increases, our immune systems are stronger and our moods are better. We can even control our weight better and often reduce our belly fat. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain in the abdominal region. Yup, you may actually reduce belly fat if you get some sleep!

Last week's goals -exercise, eating well, and reducing stress - are help to improve our sleep. You may have even already noticed an improvement in your sleep quality. This week, we're going to really focus on it! 

Prepping for Sleep When is bedtime?

The most important step is to figure out what time you need to go to sleep to meet the challenge. Follow these questions to find your bedtime:

1. What time do I need to get up tomorrow morning?

2. Now, count backwards 7 - 8 hours from what time you need to wake up.

3. Then, add on 15 minutes to allow yourself time to fall asleep when you get in bed.

4. You now have your non-negotiable bedtime.

5. As you climb into bed, this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that may help to put the day behind you. 

  • "Finish every day, and be done with it... You have done what you could - some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as fast as you can, tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

What's Your Sleep Routine? 

  • Develop a sleep time routine. Before we tuck little kids into bed, we often give them a bath, dim the lights and read a happy bedtime story.  Kids have the right idea! A warm bath or shower relaxes our bodies. 
  • Read a happy bedtime story.  Again, kids have the right idea. A happy story promotes happy thoughts. Upsetting conversations or news programs too close to bed can have the opposite effect. They actually increase stress hormones like cortisol and can disrupt sleep.
  • Begin to dim the lights an hour before bed to promote the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.
  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Plan to stop using your computer, IPads, smart phones and video games 30 minutes to an hour before bed. The blue light that's emitted from them can actually suppress our production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. 
  • Are you binge-watching on your computer? This is becoming really common since we often watch on our computers now. Same rule as above applies to watching shows on our computers too. It's all about the light.
  • How bright is your bathroom light? This is a common one. Sometimes, we do all of the above steps and we're sleepy. But, we then wash up and brush our teeth in a bathroom with really bright lights which wakes us back up. When it's time for bed, instead try to use the light from the hallway or invest in a dim light for the bathroom to use before bed. This has been a game changer for people. 
  • Do you have trouble staying asleep? This is so common. Instead of trying to fight it or count down the hours until you have to get up, try telling yourself, "I can fall asleep or stay awake but I'm going to just enjoy this restful time in bed." You're body is still receiving benefits just resting. And, often, with the pressure off of trying to go to sleep, we actually go back to sleep. 

I could write a book on sleep but these tips will hopefully get you started on a peaceful slumber. Aim to get  7 - 8 hours of sleep per night, Or, if that's impossible especially if you have a young baby, try to increase your sleep by 15 minutes at night or during the day when the baby is napping.

Sweet dreams! 


Say 'Yes' to you! 

 Challenge 2: Say 'Yes' when you want to 'Yes' and 'No' when you want to say 'No'.

 One of the challenges to making changes or accomplishing what we're wanting often comes down to 3 factors: time, energy and boundaries. Since we only have 24 hours in a day, something typically has to give and often we give ourselves. When when we say 'yes' to things that we really don't want to do or don't have time to do, we are also telling ourselves and our own goals and priorities 'no'. 

This week, the challenge is learn to say 'yes' to ourselves. This may mean that you will have to put your needs above others which is a challenge for many people. I often tell people to think of the oxygen mask on an airplane. If the masks drop, we are supposed to put them on ourselves first and then assist others. This is because if we don't take care of ourselves first, we won't be of any help to others. Remember this! Your health and well-being is your greatest source of capital. And, if people are depending you, they need you to take care of yourself!

I know it can sometimes be challenging to say 'no'. We may say 'yes' out of obligation, guilt, fear of not being liked, or sometimes we just simply didn't think it through. 

The first step to saying "no" is to remove any guilt we have about protecting our time or our energy. Both are our most precious commodities so we want to protect and budget them. After all, we wouldn't just go and give our money away without thinking about it so why would we spend our time or energy without thinking about it? We owe it to ourselves to be mindful and protective.

Here are a few tips that may help when you need to give an answer.

  • Be firm but polite. "I won't be able to but thank you for thinking of me"
  • You can give a reason or not give a reason. "I'm overextended lately and need to cut back a bit."  
  • Offer an alternative. "I can't do dinner this month but maybe we can catch up {insert time]."
  • Stall but not for too long. If you're not sure, don't answer on the spur of the moment so you have time to think about it. "Hmmm, I'm not sure if that will work with my schedule. I'll have to get back to you." Just don't put off making a decision for too long. This will only increase your stress and the person's who needs the decision.
  • 'No' is not necessarily a bad thing for either party.
  • You want to be fair to the project or other party. So, a 'no' may be the best thing for everyone. "Thank you so much for thinking of me but, if I'm being honest, I really can't give the project the attention it deserves."
  • Keep coming back to your priorities at this moment and make choices that reflect your priorities. You'll know what the right answer is for you when you do this.

Your second challenge is to make you a priority and say 'Yes'. Notice when you're about to say 'yes' when you really want to say 'no'. Challenge yourself to say 'no'. As your choices align with what you're wanting for yourself, you'll feel better and your well-being will increase. 


Feel fuller and combat stress!

Challenge #3: Drink water and consume broth based soup each day.

 I've worked with people for a long time and one item that almost everyone struggles with is consuming enough fluid! 

 Water is essential to keeping our bodies running smoothly and our muscles strong and healthy. Our bodies need it to flush out toxins. Even, our eyes need it stay lubricated. Amazingly, if we lose just 2 % of our body weight to fluid loss, our performance will start to suffer. Being just a little bit dehydrated can not only cause fatigue, high blood pressure, weakness, injury prone muscles, headaches and dizziness, but can also cause us to consume more calories than needed.  Sometimes when we think we're hungry, we're actually thirsty! 

Whether you're working out or working in the yard, a great way to make sure you're replenishing appropriately is to weigh yourself pre-and post-workout. If you've lost weight in that amount of time, you lost fluid and it needs to be replaced. In this situation, a 1 lb weight loss is approximately the equivalent of 2 cups of fluid.

Wondering how much you should drink?
 

Each of us has slightly different needs. Temperature, stress level, illnesses, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and physical activity are some of the factors that influence the amount of water we need. The color of our urine should be the color of lemonade. If it's darker, you need to drink more fluid.

How much should we drink? 

There are a few recommendations out there for how much fluid everyone should consume. For the purposes of our program, we're going to use the The Institute of Medicine's general recommendations. The IOM recommends that women consume 91 oz per day (11 cups per day) and men consume 125 oz per day (15 cups per day).  

Since we typically consume about 20% of this fluid through foods such as watermelon, lettuce, yogurt, and soups, this leaves the remaining 80% for us to drink. Research now shows that all fluid except alcohol counts towards our daily needs. Yup, even coffee and tea count. Our challenge this week is to consume the fluid we need and to consume half of it through water. 

Why is part of the challenge to consume broth-based soups each day?

First,  we'll get closer to meeting our fluid goals each day because of the fluid in the soup. Second, soup fills us up faster so we tend to consume less calories at a meal. Third, broth based soup have much fewer calories and saturated fat than cream based soups.

Here's the challenge for the week: 

  • For women, consume 9 cups of fluid. A minimum of 4.5 cups of this should be water.
  • For men, consume 13 cups of fluid.  Approximately, 6.5 cups of this should be water.
  • For everyone, consume 1 serving of broth based soup each day.

How can you hit the goal?  

  • Make a batch of soup on Sunday and have it ready to have anytime this week. It's easier than you may think!
  • Consume beverages that are calorie-free and artificial sweetener free.  
  • Put slices of lime, lemon, cucumber or even fruit in your water to give it some extra zing.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle
  • If you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, consider a sports drink to help replace electrolytes. Otherwise, water does the trick.
  • If you're exercising in the heat, go for cold over warm liquid to help cool down your temperature.
  • Before each meal, drink 1 - 2 glasses of water. If you don't mind lukewarm water, drink this rather than cold water which has been shown to speed up the contractions in our stomach.
  • Try drinking hot water with lemon to give yourself a boost of water and vitamin c.
  • You can track your water intake on free apps or set reminders up on your phone.

 

Good luck with your 3 Challenges! Don't forget to check them off on your tracker.

I'll see you on Tuesday with next exercise of the day!

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