Not my typical topic, huh? I know! But, I’ve been hit hard with pregnancy induced carpal tunnel in this pregnancy and in looking for solutions, many of you are struggling, too!
I want to share with you everything I’ve tried as well as what worked best, what only helped a little and what didn’t make a flip bit of difference. Of course, every human is different so don’t assume that what didn’t work for me won’t work for you or that what did work for me will work for you.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
What is pregnancy induced carpal tunnel?
Basically, it’s a range of symptoms impacting the hands, wrists and arms ranging from numbness and tingling to extreme pain caused by increased pressure on the nerves in these areas.
Some people just experience annoying numbness, which is how mine started, but it can progress to the point that it’s too painful to wash your hair or hold a pen (what mine progressed to).
It’s fairly normal to have a moderate amount of fluid retention during pregnancy, especially through the third trimester. However, this fluid can create pressure that leads to pain, as is the case in pregnancy induced carpal tunnel.
My experience with pregnancy induced carpal tunnel
I didn’t experience severe carpal tunnel during my first pregnancy in 2019-2020. I had some uncomfortable numbness and tingling in my wrist and hands at night, but it didn’t progress beyond a minor annoyance.
My second pregnancy (2020-2021) has been a very different story. Late in the second trimester, the discomfort from numbness and tingling started to wake me up every 30-40 minutes. It seemed that once I sat or stood up, the discomfort would subside. So, I started sleeping downstairs in a chair. It helped for a couple weeks but then the numbness and tingling turned to pain and the sitting position provided no relief.
The pain radiated through my fingers and up to my elbow. It was significant enough that I wasn’t able to sleep for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Once the pain woke me, it could take hours to get back to sleep.
For a while, it seemed that the pain would subside in the morning and I could go about my usual activities. Once into the third trimester, the pain lingered throughout the day. I had a hard time holding a pen or a coffee cup. Putting my hair up became difficult. I was constantly trying to shake my hand out to get some relief.
Fortunately, after 4-5 really challenging weeks experimenting with different solutions, I found something that worked well. It hasn’t eliminated the condition, but the pain has gone from extreme to mild and it’s only disrupting my sleep 2-3 times a night instead of constantly throughout the night.
As I said, however: please know that my experience might not be yours so try everything and let me know what helps you!
Keeping my arms elevated at night – A common suggestion on the interwebs is to prop your arms up at night and ensure that your wrists stay as straight as possible. I stacked pillows on my belly/chest and rested my arms there. While it didn’t make anything worse, it didn’t help either. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that your hands don’t move or fall down off the pillows when you’re sleeping. This didn’t help me at all. I have heard from podcast listeners that this helped them.
Wraps and braces – Both during the day and overnight I tried several different hand wraps, gloves and braces. We easily spent $100 or more on a handful of different options. They provided no relief. I have heard from podcast listeners that this helped them.
Mildly Effective Approaches
Dry brushing – If I had to rank these “mildly effective” approaches, dry brushing would come out on top as most effective in this category. A dry brush is super affordable on Amazon and very easy to use. As the name suggests, you brush your dry skin. A quick Google search will give you a million free example videos, but you probably won’t need them. In short, you take the little brush and you sweep upwards from your fingertips toward the top of your arm. Dry brushes are used primarily to get fluid moving your body. Since pregnancy induced carpal tunnel is largely a fluid pressure issue, it makes sense that it works reasonably well. I kept my dry brush on my bedside table and before bed, I’d brush both arms for about 1 minute each. If I woke up with pain, I’d grab the brush and repeat. This did not eliminate the pain but it did seem to minimize it. If I had to quantify the impact, I’d say dry brushing gave me a 15-20% improvement.
Chiropractic care – I think seeing a chiropractor is super helpful for all pregnancy aches and pains – carpal tunnel is no exception. Think about it. Your body is constantly changing. You have new pressures all over and your physical body literally reorganizes to make space for your growing baby. I told my chiropractor about the carpal tunnel and he started adjusting my wrists and elbows. Think about it – if you have a minor misalingment, it can impair blood flow. If I had to guess, I’d say my visits to the chiro helped by about 10%.
Acupuncture – I hate needles. I have always hated needles. However, one of the theories behind acupunture is that it opens up channels that run throughout your body. I told my acupuncturist that I was having trouble with carpal tunnel and she targets points in my wrists and arms. I’d say it was about as helpful as the chiropractor.
Massage – my poor husband has been asked to run my hands more times than we can count. While this has provided absolutely no long term relief or improvement, it does offer momentary help. Honestly though, hand massages just feel nice so I’ll keep requesting these whether they help or not.
Wildly Effective Approaches
Very low carb diet – I stumbled upon this one. I haven’t seen it recommended for carpal tunnel relief but it makes a ton of sense. Carbohydrates are like little sponges. They hang onto water in the body. One single gram of carbohydrate hangs onto about 4 grams of water. You do the math – if you’re eating 100-400 grams of carbs a day, that’s a lot of water. Have you ever dropped a ton of weight in the first few days of a low carb diet? It’s almost all water. Given that pregnancy induced carpal tunnel is largely an issue of the pressure caused by water retention, I’m not surprised at all that this has been so incredibly effective.
I’m generally not a big carbohydrate eater – I tend to feel better with lower carbs. However, I’m more liberal with carb consumption in pregnancy so I had room for improvement. By chance, I happened to have a very low carb day and that night, I had almost no pain in my hands and arms! I still had some numbness and tingling but it was enough of an improvement for me to experiment. I intentionally ate low carb for 3 days and continued to see a dramatic decrease in pain. Over the weekend, I added back in some carbs (a cupcake, a banana, and even some pancakes) and sure enough I had a miserable night with pain that kept me from sleeping.
Eating low carb has never been easier because I’d do just about anything to avoid the pain and discomfort! It hasn’t been a 100% improvement but it’s easily been a 70-80% improvement! Of course, that’s not saying that you’d have the same experience. We are all different.
I haven’t gone “no carb” (after all, vegetables are carbohydrates and I love me some cabbage) but I have intentionally limited them. Here’s an average day for me:
Breakfast: protein shake with a low carb protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 a banana, nut butter, flax seeds and greens powder.
Lunch: cabbage salad bowl with raw red & green cabbage, diced bacon, avocado, goat cheese and egg
Dinner: Beanless chili or another combo of meat and non-starchy veggies
Snacks: full fat greek yogurt or cheese
I still have a couple months to go in this pregnancy so I know my experience might change and I’ll be sure to update this post if it does! In the meantime, remember that your experience will be different from mine so try all of the things and do what works for you!
As most of you know, my daughter Dagny died unexpectedly at just 14 days old on March 20th, 2020. Her death turned my entire world upside down. Not only was I facing the most unimaginable loss of my life, I was doing so during an unprecedented global quarantine and pandemic.
In March of 2020, liquor stores in our area were considered “essential” but funerals were not. On top of that, Primal Potential was being significantly impacted by the financial repercussions of the pandemic. I had hired a 6-figure COO just months before and now we found ourselves in a mess we never imagined.
For the first couple of weeks after Dagny died, I did as little work as possible. I checked in with our COO daily, but stayed out of the business to the extent that I could. Slowly, I eased back in to webinars, coaching calls, emails and social media. I made big changes that would allow me to scale back and focus on navigating trauma and grief and as I did, I wondered if I would ever be or feel the same.
I had been highly focused and motivated for years. I was a go-getter and I took a lot of pride in it. Even months after Dagny’s death, I struggled to engage in anything.
I remember telling one of my mentors that I feared going back to the way I used to be. I feared permanently stepping back into patterns of watching too much TV, overeating, overindulging and telling myself stories of “I’ll start tomorrow”. While I had, and still have, a lot of grace for myself as I learn to live with pain and loss, I didn’t want to become that version of me I used to be.
I told my best friend, “I need more structure” but struggled to implement it.
I started to play around with tools, routines and strategies to execute my priorities, emphasize self-care and create some semblence of balance. I had all these competing priorities and each day I’d tinker with a format and structure that worked for me.
Ultimately, what I landed on is now the Change Makers Productivity and Fulfillment Journal.
What I Needed
I didn’t just want to be productive. I don’t want a to-do list life where each day is just like the one before, only with different tasks on the list. Yes, I wanted to make meaningful progress towards my goals, but I also wanted to make time each day for the things that truly fulfill me like my marriage, self-improvement and relationships. I needed a process that would guide me toward emphasizing both each day: productivity and fulfillment.
I was tired of feeling overwhelmed by *all the things*. Like most people, I have 100 or more “to dos” in my business each week, with bigger business projects and goals on top of that. I have daily priorities outside of work like eating well, staying organized, cooking, working out, meditating and journaling. I want to be intentional in my marriage every day instead of just going through the motions. I have financial goals and projects. Friendships I want to cultivate. You know how it goes! When I thought about all these things, I’d often feel like there wasn’t enough time, when the truth of the matter was that I wasn’t using my time well. I wasn’t structured, organized or focused.
The Change Makers Journal changed that for me.
Last night as I was winding down for bed, I thought back to that conversation I had with a mentor. I thought about how nervous I was that I’d continue sliding down the slippery slope of apathy. I recognized just how much has changed since I said that.
- I’m working out daily
- I’m getting up early
- I’ve made epic progress on my second book
- I’m getting through my work more quickly and more efficiently
- I’m cooking more and eating cleaner
- I’m making time to meditate for a minimum of 30 minutes daily
- My husband and I are communicating better and spending more time together
- I’ve knocked off huge priorites like funding my trust, completing my 2020 taxes and several other “big rock” projects I had been putting off
- The baby’s nursery is ready
- I’m more organized
- I’m less overwhelmed
- I feel in control
I have a Facebook group that’s just for folks who have purchased the Change Makers Journal and the other day I asked them what wins they’ve created since they started using the journal and I wanted to share with you some of the things they’ve said.
What Others Are Saying about the Change Makers Journal
It is 100% normal to have ebbs and flows in your focus, drive and motivation. The thing is, staying in those down spots it’s a choice. There are tools available to you that will help you help yourself, and the Change Makers Journal is only one of them.
If you have questions about it, feel free to ask!
Buy Your Journal
We’ve got a couple (crazy) weeks of 2021 under our belt and today I want to get super practical and share with you my own daily process for staying organized, staying focused, balancing productivity and fulfillment and NOT feeling overwhelmed.
Like you, I have a lot of areas of my life that I want to improve. I’ve never been the kind of person to have just one priority or goal. When you want to eat better, workout more regularly, invest more time in self-care, save more money, improve your relationships, reduce clutter and spend less, it can be super easy to feel overwhelmed or not know what to focus on. For years, I felt like I bounced back and forth between so many goals that I didn’t really make substantial progress on anything, even though I felt like I was always trying so darn hard!
I tried dozens of different approaches, planners and programs but I always either felt scattered, or like I was so focused on one area that all the others were falling apart. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just be productive. My goal in life isn’t to knock out my to-do list every day. I also want to have amazing relationships, make meaningful memories and generally be happy.
I have a solid daily process for this, and I’m psyched to share it with you. This is an abbreviated version of the process, but I’ve got a special bonus episode of the podcast that goes into a lot more detail.
Daily Process for Productivity and Fulfillment
- I begin every month by brainstorming what would make the month exceptional. I give a ton of examples on the podcast, but I want to make sure I’m including work but not limiting myself to work. I want to include finances and relationships, but I don’t want to limit my thinking to just those areas.
- I define which of these things would be the most impactful. Of all the ideas I brainstormed, which would improve my life the most or make me the happiest? That becomes my primary focus for that month. It’s not my only focus, of course, just the primary one.
- Each day, I commit to 3 small action items that drive that primary monthly focus. My goal, when possible, is to knock these 3 things out as early in the day as possible.
- Every day, I identify 3 other areas of my life that I want to invest in and one thing I’ll do for each. These other areas are outside the area of my primary focus and might include my marriage, my business, finances, etc.
There are some nuances to this strategy that I explain in the podcast episode, but that’s the crux of it.
After our daughter Dagny died in March, I had a renewed desire to make sure I wasn’t just going through each day doing what “had to be done”. I’ve been guilty of that in the past…most days were about work and other essential chores and responsibilities. I hadn’t been intentional about fun, adventure and connection.
So, early in the summer I created this template for what I described about and I found it incredibly helpful. I was able to focus and eliminate overwhelm while driving forward priorities (including the fun and most meaningful parts of life).
After using the template for a month or so, I felt compelled to make it into a hardcover journal/planner and share it with you! The Change Makers Journal can now be YOUR tool, too!
Since it’s brand new, I’ve only ordered a limited quantity and I thought we’d do something extra special for the inaugural batch. Before I tell you about that something special, let me clarify what the Change Makers Journal & Planner is all about.
It is a TOOL. It’s not a blank canvas for your unruly thoughts. It’s designed to help you:
- create clarity about what you really want for your life
- focus daily on actions that move the needle
- balance productivity and fulfillment
- invest in the areas of your life that matter most
- hold yourself accountable to progress
- eliminate overwhelm that comes from a multitude of priorities and obligations
- follow a clear and simple process for productivity
For those of you who feel like this is a tool you need, you’ll not only get your hardcover journal, you’ll also be invited into an exclusive Facebook group with everyone else who has purchased the journal. For 3 months, we’ll use this tool together and learn from each other! Community, energy, support and accountability will make this even more powerful! On top of that, (at least) once a month for our 3 months together, I will go live to support you and answer any and all questions you have. You’re basically getting coaching and mentorship (for an absurd price). The price on this checkout page includes your journal, membership to this 3-month FB group and the 3 group calls with me.
A few things to note:
Order Yours Now
- One of the cool things about the Change Makers Journal is that it includes QR codes you can scan if you feel stumped on a given question or you want some examples to encourage your own thinking.
- INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: You will only be able to check out on this page if you’re in the United States. I am willing to ship these journals internationally, but you’ll have to reach out to me for a shipping quote. As you probably know, shipping rates have jumped and I can’t set a fair, flat international shipping rate. In some areas of the world, shipping might be $35. In others, it might be $20. For this limited run, we’ll invoice international orders separately for those who are willing to pay for the shipping to their international address.
- If you have additional questions, please listen to the podcast episode before reaching out – it’s likely answered there.
- Yes, you can order more than 1 (as long as supplies last. Quantities are limited)
- Below are a couple pictures of the journal. If you want to know more about the contents of the journal, please listen to today’s podcast.
Last week, I shared on social media that I’m pregnant again. I’m currently in my 2nd trimester and we’re expecting a boy this spring. On episode 827 of the podcast, Chris and I talked about this new pregnancy and what changes I made to allow my body to conceive as quickly as possible. I shared a bit about my supplementation routine before getting pregnant and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the best supplementation during pregnancy.
Today I thought I’d share what changes I made after Dagny’s birth to help my body prepare for another pregnancy as well as what changed after we conceived baby #2. None of this is medical advise. What works for me might not work for you and might to be best for you. Please consult a qualified health professional for your own care.
Not all of these recommendations are supplements, but I think lifestyle and sleep are even more important than supplementation. Some, but not all, of these links are affiliate links. Rest assured that I wouldn’t use or share anything that I don’t wholeheartedly believe in.
Supplementation Before Pregnancy
It’s important to note that prior to conception (and quite honestly, since conception) I was in a very difficult hormonal and emotional place. My first daughter was born via c-section on March 6th 2020 and she died traumatically and unexpectedly on March 20th 2020.
Because of my age (I’m 37 as I write this) and our desire to have a large family, we knew we couldn’t wait long before trying to conceive again. However, the odds weren’t in my favor due to the physical and emotional stress I was under.
One month after Dagny’s birth I started seed cycling. My menstrual cycle had not yet returned by my dear friend Dr. Beth Westie encouraged me to help my hormones normalize by treating April 7th as a hypothetical “day 1” of my cycle and add in the appropriate seeds.
Seed cycling couldn’t be easier. I simply added the appropriate seeds to my daily breakfast smoothie (more on the smoothie shortly). You can get these 4 seeds anywhere, but it’s important that they are raw and unsalted. I strongly encourage organic. I use the brand Terrasoul and I buy them in bulk (2 pounds at a time) and store them in glass jars so it’s easy to see when I need to re-order.
My first period after delivery started on May 9th (Mother’s Day – that was a mixed bag) and at that point I started temperature charting. If you’ve read any book on conception, accurate temperature charting is a fairly reliable way to indicate when you have ovulated. The downside, of course, is that your temperature rises after ovulation, not before. By the time you notice the temp increase, the fertility window is largely closed. Either way, I did it daily to get a sense of how long my cycles were and on what day of my cycle I was ovulating. The key to accurate temp monitoring is to take your temperature before you get out of bed and at the same time each morning. If you get up and go to the bathroom first or if you check a few hours later on the weekend than on weekdays, it won’t be very accurate.
A couple weeks after my cycle resumed, I decided to complete a DUTCH test. Essentially, this is a dried urine test evaluating your hormones. Even if you have a regular period, you likely won’t conceive if estrogen & progesterone are out of whack. You might not even ovulate, even if you’re having a regular period. (DUTCH testing is incredibly valuable even outside of fertility concerns. It’s a great tool for any and all hormonal concerns or for weight gain/loss challenges.) Dr. Beth and I chatted about the DUTCH test and my results on episode 804 of the Primal Potential podcast.
My DUTCH test results showed that estrogen and progesterone looked fantastic but cortisol (one of our stress hormones) was off the charts. Essentially, with stress levels that high, my body wouldn’t allow for post partum weight loss or conception. Lowering stress became my #1 priority and focus.
The lifestyle changes I made to control stress were probably the most significant adjustment I made in this process. At the recommendation of Dr. Beth Westie, I adjusted my morning routine to optimize rest and relaxation for the first few hours of the day. No, this was not easy. First, when you’re deep in grief, rest and relaxation seem impossible. Second, I do my best work in the morning. Not getting right into it was very uncomfortable. But, I did the best I could. Progress is the goal; perfection doesn’t exist.
I’d start my day with a cup of tea on the couch. I’d read a little bit, pray, meditate, sometimes even watch mindless or humorous TV shows.
I made sure to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking as extended fasting can be an additional stressor on the body.
As best I could, I tried to minimize other forms of stress. I can’t say I was super successful here as grieving the loss of a child, running a business and navigating an unprecedented global pandemic and quarantine are all stressful. But, I think any improvement matters and I certainly made every effort. For example, some family phone calls stress me out. I stopped answering them.
I added in some expensive self-care, too. Really, healing my body and having a healthy family matter most to me so I was willing to take on these investments, knowing they wouldn’t be “forever” add ons. They included:
- Massage twice a month
- Chiropractic adjustment twice a week
- Acupuncture once a week
I believe all these changes helped tame my body’s stress response.
Though I’m not sure this is an exhaustive list as some things were added for just a week or two and then discontinued, but these are the predominant supplements I added to either lower stress or prime my body for conception:
Daily Breakfast Smoothie – I’m including this under “supplements” because this is where I packed in a bunch of supplements in one tasty morning drink.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower rice
- 2 scoops plant protein (I prefer chocolate)
- 1 scoop mentabiotics (this is a probiotic blend that focuses on hormone balance and stress resilience)
- 1 scoop greens powder (these phytonutrients help your body combat physical stress and promote healing)
- 1 tbsp cashew butter
- 1 tbsp each seeds for seed cycling (based on where I was in my cycle – for hormone balance)
- 1 tbsp maca (for hormone balance)
- optional: 1/2 banana
(As I’ll discuss below, after conception, I made a couple changes to this smoothie but I still drink it daily. I just no longer include the seeds or the maca)
Mood+ – this is a blend of adaptogens aimed entirely at lowering cortisol and helping my body adapt to stress. I took 2 capsules 3 time per day.
Kids Mood – a different blend of adaptogens that works on the stress response from a different angle. This is a pixie-stick like powder and I took 1 packet twice a day.
Multivitamin – if you don’t have adequate vitamins and minerals, none of your body processes can function optimally
Probiotics – this blend is specifically for digestion & immunity
I also purchased and started wearing the AVA bracelet. This is a tracking device you wear only while you’re sleeping that monitors temperature, resting heart rate, heart rate variability and respiration to help you predict your fertile window. You have to be consistent in wearing it every night or else your predictions will be inaccurate.
We found out that I was pregnant exactly 6 months to the day that Dagny was born.
Supplementation During Pregnancy
Since then, things have changed a little but not a lot.
Let’s start with the easiest part – what was I doing that I stopped doing when I got pregnant?
- I stopped seed cycling. I do often toss a handful of sunflower seeds in my morning shake because they’re super nutrient dense but there’s no cycle to seed cycle with.
- I also stopped taking Maca
- Stopped wearing the Ava bracelet
- While I’m still trying to ease into my day more gently, I’m not as rigorous about not working for the first few hours of the day. I probably get to work about 60-90 minutes after waking.
I now go to the chiropractor twice a month but that will become more frequent as my pregnancy progresses. I still get a massage twice a month and I haven’t been to the acupuncturist since getting pregnant but I will add that back in within the next few weeks.
I’ve also added a a couple supplements
I still do my morning shake at least 6 days out of 7 because it feels great to know I start the day with all those critical nutrients, I just no longer add the seeds or the maca.
The primary lifestyle shift since becoming pregnant has been sleep. When I was pregnant with Dagny, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. Between struggling to get comfortable and getting up to go to the bathroom, I didn’t get much sleep at all. In this pregnancy, it’s actually been a lot worse because I’ve been having traumatic nightmares. For that reason, I’ve been going to bed earlier and allowing myself to sleep later because I need more cumulative time in bed due to broken sleep in the night. On average, I’m in bed by 9 (but there have certainly been some 7 and 8pm days) and I’m getting up around 6.
If you have any questions about any of this, do not hesitate to let me know! I’m happy to share more details, or, if there’s something you think I’ve left out, ask and I’ll answer!
Related Podcast Episodes:
Episode 635: THIS Could be Behind Your Hormonal Challenges
Episode 804: Do YOU Have a Hormone Issue?
Hi friends! In today’s new podcast episode, Chris and I are back answering listener questions about consistency, motivation, and how to change your inner dialogue.
Have you ever heard the joke where one fish asks another fish, “How’s the water?” and the other fish replies, “what the heck is water?”
Just like a fish doesn’t recognize water, I think the same thing happens with people and their inner dialogue. Your inner dialogue is always with you. It’s always going, and a lot of people’s inner dialogue sounds like, “I’m so tired. This is so stupid. I’m not dealing with this.” And they wonder why they’re not motivated. Changing your inner dialogue first requires that you pay attention to it, that you practice bringing your awareness to your thoughts, pausing, and analyzing what you are thinking about.
Listen in on the full episode to learn more truths and practices around consistency, motivation, and your inner dialogue. Stay tuned for the end of the episode to find out who won this week’s free giveaway!
4:33 How do you change your inner dialogue?
9:09 How do I move past previous mistakes and current self-doubt to be better able to act on desired change?
11:32 How to get consistent, I’ve lost 60 lbs but have been stalled inconsistency, motivation, and how to get the next 50 off
17:29 How do you stay motivated?
20:37 Once reaching my goal, how do I stay there?
23:16 How do you set up processes to get your brain in line to do what you want to do to reach your goals, things you know are great for you, how do you get your brain on board?
27:54 How do I stay focused when a million things stare me in the face, anxiety overcomes me and I end up doing nothing instead of trying to tackle everything.
To win next Saturday’s giveaway, leave a review of the Primal Potential podcast on Apple Podcasts, review Chasing Cupcakes on Amazon, or share an episode or lesson that you’ve learned on Instagram or Facebook (be sure to tag me)!
Hi friends! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated with how slowly I felt my progress on my goals was. This was true for me when I was losing weight, getting out of debt, and even back when I was writing Chasing Cupcakes, and my impatience made all of those things take even longer.
I felt like the least consistent person in the world or the most impatient person on earth, but these are skills that I have been able to build!
As CrossFit superstar Mat Fraser says, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”
If you pair patience and consistency you will be unstoppable; and you can practice being more patient today. You can practice being more consistent today.
Patience paired with consistency is an unbeatable comb and that is why, for a long time now, I have been really looking forward to sharing today’s message which is inspired by the module on patience from Breaking Barriers, my self-guided e-course which walks you through the process of transforming your mindset to break through the barriers to your goal achievement.
The module on patience that I am drawing from here is especially useful for anybody who is an emotional eater. Listen or read on below!
1:00 Patience Is the Hardest Part of Achievement
Can anyone relate to this? Many, many times, I have taken a hiatus from my self-improvement journey only because I lost patience.
This happened to me countless times in weight loss, writing chasing cupcakes, and when I was getting out of debt. I wanted results faster than they were coming and, somehow, I twisted the logic to think, “I don’t care. I can’t deal with this right now. It’s not going to happen for me.” And, I would stop.
I see a lot of people getting caught in this trap of impatience, where every thought of quitting wastes energy you could be using to make success faster and easier.
If we could just work to become more patient, we would have done the hardest part of achievement. Impatience, getting frustrated, and letting that derail us is what makes it take so long, for getting out of debt, losing weight, starting a business, for everything we want to achieve.
In the words of one of my favorite authors, James Clear, “The most overlooked and under-appreciated growth strategy is patience.”
This idea, right here, can and will change your life and accelerate your results if you turn it into a practice. Progress is a slow-burn. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint.
If you just decided that you’re not stopping, no matter what, no matter how hard or easy, no matter how many ups and downs there are. If you only refused to stop trying, you’d eliminate at least 50% of the stuff that messes you up.
Write this down: If I can wake up every single day, deciding to be patient with the process, patient with yourself, it’s going to be easier.
Too often, I am rushing to the next thing. I have had so many thoughts recently that I should be further along, further along with losing my baby weight, further along with writing my next book, further along with my business, but when I take the perspective that I have time, there is no rush. I don’t have to wish away my baby weight. There is no rush to finish renovating my house.
That is patience and that is the most underappreciated and overlooked strategy.
6:01 Patience Isn’t Fixed
All you have to focus on is what you can do today.
Recently, I received an email from someone who says that they are too easily distracted by new tactics, “Maybe I should try this or maybe I should try that. No, I should start with this.”
I think this phenomenon is sometimes a convenient way to distract ourselves or let ourselves off the hook because we don’t have to take action if we tell ourselves we’re planning and figuring it out.
Action is available to all of us. What lies beneath that frenetic energy that sounds like, “What happens next? Why is this taking so long?” is impatience.
Patience isn’t fixed.
You can grow and develop it; you can become more patient. I’m telling you right now, whether your goal is related to finances, health or fitness, the best thing you can learn to develop is your own patience.
If today you decide you’re going to be patient but next week rolls around, you start thinking about months down the line, the holidays, the new year, you’re thinking too far ahead because you are impatient.
If you show up every day and do your best, it will take care of itself.
A lot of people are letting themselves off the hook, thinking “I don’t know if I should do this or that. My schedule is wonky.” We all have the ability, today and every day, to make the choice that is an improvement from yesterday.
For health or fitness, it can be as simple as asking, “What does it look like to take great care of myself today?”
You don’t have to have all of the answers or have everything figured out, you can answer that question and execute on the answer.
11:09 Decide That You Will Never Quit
No matter your goal, if you focus on how fast it’s going to happen, and what happens after that, and what happens after that, and so on, 12 steps ahead, you’re wasting your energy. That energy could be applied to what you need to do today, what you can do today, and what it’s going to take.
Impatience is destructive, distracting, and it becomes a story that you use to let yourself off the hook.
Start by giving energy to what you need to do today.
Embrace this fact: it’s going to take longer than you want it to.
There are going to be days where you want to quit. You will get frustrated and discouraged so if you have it in your mind that quitting is an option, then you are setting yourself up for it to take even longer. Now, if you accept the fact if quitting is not an option, you will know that you will eventually get there. It doesn’t matter what happened last week. It doesn’t matter what you’re afraid of.
You just have to decide that you are never going to quit.
It is going to require patience.
You’ve got to stay focused on what you need to do to develop the skill and pattern of behavior that will carry you there. For all of the drama and consideration of quitting, every ounce of that is energy taken from what you could use to deliver results and make success faster and easier.
14:33 For the Rest of My Life I will Invest in Myself
Before the fall 12 Weeks to Transformation started, someone emailed me saying this was their “last-ditch effort” to lose weight. She shared that she had tried so many things and this was her last attempt.
I was surprised and concerned by that, like, “Really? 12 more weeks and then done for life if you don’t create success?!”
Here’s what helped me when it came to weight loss. I would get very, very frustrated that I was doing so well and yet it doesn’t seem like I was getting results. I felt like I was working so hard and it was going so slow. When I was trying to lose a specific amount of weight, or I was trying to fit into a certain clothing size, if I didn’t lose weight at the pace that I had decided was acceptable, then I was done.
Here is the mindset that I shifted to, I am here to take great care of myself for the rest of my life. That is not contingent on my body composition, the size inside my pants, or the number on the scale. For the rest of my life, I will care about and invest in my health, in my finances, and in my relationships.
That is who and how I choose to be.
I will always come back to that, even if my budget is blown for a year, even if I snap at my husband, even if I miss the gym for a month.
If weight loss comes, great. If weight loss is slow, great. If I reach a weight where I no longer desire weight loss, great.
I want you to embrace that there will be periods of progress and periods without progress. There will be periods where you’re motivated and engaged and periods when you’re not.
16:30 Create a Lifestyle of It
Let’s use the example of money. If you are only a good steward of your finances until you get out of debt then if you feel like something is throwing you off course, or something is slowing you down, you might decide that you won’t bother trying.
On the other hand, if you decide to be financially responsible for life, then it’s not about how quickly or slowly you pay off debt. Sometimes there will be great results, sometimes you will do the work, and sometimes you won’t, but you continue to engage in it.
If you’re only interested in the short-run, to save $1,000 or lose 50 pounds, what happens after you get there? If you don’t have a commitment to that lifestyle, don’t be surprised if you regain the weight, and don’t be surprised when you’re back in debt.
It doesn’t have to be agony. If it does, you’re doing it wrong and you need to change the process. There needs to be joy in the journey or else you won’t stick with it.
Check yourself when you’re feeling frustrated and ask these questions:
If I am in this, committed for life, no matter the outcome, who and how do I want to be?
Am I being patient?
What would it look like to truly have patience in this situation? How would that change my perspective?
Start to audit your thoughts, rationalizations, and look at how patient you really are.
The most overlooked and under-appreciated growth strategy is patience.
What is the key to consistency, results?
How do I get out of my own way?
Do the work. Stop worrying about what comes next and what it’s going to look like. It’s amazing, taking action feels so much easier when you are no longer dramatic and wasting energy being frustrated.
More on Breaking Barriers
This lesson is a piece of the module on patience from the Breaking Barriers course. Especially for my listeners who were thinking about the 12 Weeks to Transformation but couldn’t swing it financially, this course is a lower-priced option. If you have questions, email the team or send me a DM on Instagram!
Hi friends! In today’s new podcast episode, Chris and I are back answering listener questions, including a question about my #1 most recommended daily tool for making change.
Have you ever felt like you don’t really evaluate your decisions until after you’ve made them? Only after you’ve snapped at your kids or devoured a fistful of Oreos do you consider what might have been a better choice? This is where my two simple but powerful tools come in.
Journaling and asking questions help you slow down and be a more deliberate thinker and ultimately a better decision-maker. Both of these tools create the largest ripple effects. Chris and I get into why that is in this episode and how to deal with sugar addiction, willpower, and being content without a relationship.
Stay tuned for the end of the episode to find out who won this week’s free giveaway!
3:55 What is the most action-creating business-mindset advice that you’ve received, something somebody told you and immediately called you into action?
7:40 What small change created the largest impact for yourself or others?
9:58 Which is better to overcome sweets addiction, complete abstinence or restricted but regular consumption?
13:05 What is your #1 recommended tool your recommend to use daily?
16:05 How do you lose weight be mindset alone?
19:45 How can I become more organized and in control of all aspects of my life?
21:52 How can I learn to be content without a relationship?
24:13 Where do I find my willpower?
26:35 Winner of the Saturday Giveaway
To win next Saturday’s giveaway, leave a review of the Primal Potential podcast on Apple Podcasts, review Chasing Cupcakes on Amazon, or share an episode or lesson that you’ve learned on Instagram or Facebook (be sure to tag me)!
To learn more about how I journal, check out podcast episode 796: Manifestation Journaling.
Every day I get questions from podcast listeners and one of the biggest misunderstandings that I see is people thinking that it is the changing variables in their life that prevent them from being consistent. That is why I am so excited for you to check out today’s new podcast episode 5 Factors for Success: Being Consistent When Life is Not.
The things that matter most—moving your body, eating well, keeping a budget, being a good parent—don’t rely on consistency in your schedule. So if you blow a tire, or have to pick up the kids from school (maybe kids don’t even go to school anymore!), or got up too late this morning that does not mean that you missed your shot.
Let’s be super clear on that key point: consistency in your habits, your behaviors, and being the kind of person you want to be does not hinge on your having consistency in your day. Now that we have that foundational understanding, these are the 5 factors for consistency. Listen to the episode or read on below.
Why Do you Stay in Prison?
Let me give you a quick back story. A few years ago I weighed over 350 pounds, standing at 5’5” tall. I’m not sure what size I was but I know that US size 22s were too tight so I wore my husband’s elastic-band sweatpants. I was constantly dieting—always. I thought that I had a food problem but what I had was a thinking problem. My food problem was a disguise for my thinking problem. I wanted to be a fit, vibrant, happy person, and I knew that ice cream wasn’t the way to be that person.
My thinking problem also showed up as relationship problems and a hard time making solid friendships. It also showed up as a spending problem. I was earning a decent wage, but living paycheck to paycheck and racking up a mass of debt.
I was over 350 lbs, lonely, and depressed when I found this Rumi quote.
Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?
Reading those words was a shock to me. Why did I stay in prison when the door was so wide open to me? I first incorporated this wisdom in my work life. At the time, I hated my job. Constantly complaining about everything related to work, the tasks, the hours, the colleagues, I wasn’t happy but I also wasn’t willing to take a pay cut. I told myself I was stuck. But nobody forced me to apply for, accept, and work that job. Nobody was forcing me to go in early, stay late, or work on weekends. These were my choices.
Over time, I also realized how much this applied to food. I was miserable. I was obsessed with food, constantly judging everything I ate, planning how much weight I would lose by which month. But I was the one keeping myself in the prison of my misery.
I tell you this because I know what it’s like to stand, knocking at a gate that’s already open. The question is: How do you move forward?
Consistency is a big part of it but knowing what you want to do is not the same thing as being committed to the practice of consistency. Read that again.
Consistency is not a destination that you arrive at. “Whew, I’m here, I’m finally consistent”. No. Consistency is a daily practice that you have to choose again and again and again, moment by moment. So it doesn’t matter if you burnt dinner and have to figure something else out. If your meeting runs late and you have less time for a healthy lunch, that is not a barrier to long-term consistency. We can and need to be consistent regardless of how our day goes.
These are the 5 factors for consistency:
The First Factor of Consistency is Specificity 9:47
Specificity is a huge component of consistency. I’ve seen a lot of people trip up here by being vague and general about what they want to be consistent at doing. It’s almost impossible to hit a target when you don’t really know what that target is. I want to eat better. That’s not specific enough. I want to exercise regularly. Nope, still not specific enough.
Start with this question and write this down (it’s not enough to just do this in your head).
What does it mean to you to be consistent?
Whatever your answer to that question, it’s just the beginning. Be so specific that it’s automatically clear whether or not you’ve done that thing, make it a yes or no. If you say, “Well, I kind of I did that,” that’s not clear enough.
Get even more specific with the following question:
If you were as consistent as you want to be, what would that look like today?
Here are a few examples of what specificity looks like for me:
If I were as consistent as I want to be, my day starts by waking up without an alarm clock, praying before I get out of bed, stretching, and drinking a glass of water before I do anything else. Before work, I journal or meditate. I fix a healthy, filling breakfast that consists mostly of vegetables, some protein, and healthy fats, like my cabbage bowl.
If I were as consistent as I want to be, my workday would already be laid out before it begins, starting with a block of focused, uninterrupted time for writing, followed by my most difficult or pressing task. Social media and checking email comes last.
If I were as consistent as I want to be there would be a 5-mile walk and Crossfit workouts blocked out on my calendar at the beginning of the week to be executed Monday through Friday.
Once you get specific, pick the one you want to start with. I’m not asking you to nail all 72 elements of what you want today. Start with journaling, start by following the golden rules carbs and fat loss, or not hitting snooze in the morning. You don’t have to pick the perfect one. Stop letting the idea of perfection be a barrier. The one you pick is not where you stop, it’s where you start. Write down the one you will start with.
2. Innovation 16:45
After specificity, innovation is the next biggest factor for consistency where so many people go wrong. Innovation means doing things differently. If you’re not already where you want to be then today cannot look like yesterday.
A few weeks ago, I sent out a Daily Mindset Upgrade about the danger of showing up as “yesterday’s woman”. Fundamentally, I have to remind myself of this: if I want different results, I can’t keep showing up as yesterday’s woman.
If yesterday’s version of me hits snooze every morning and I want that to change, then I can’t show up today as who I was yesterday. This shift requires innovation in how you think, how you make excuses, and how you act.
If this seems at odds with consistency, it’s not. Either way, you’re being consistent, maybe you’re just consistent with hitting snooze or eating off of your kid’s plate, but if you don’t like that pattern then you have to invent and reinvent a new way to be, a new way to choose. Innovation is how you show up differently.
Lots of people who desire consistency are showing up, day after day, as yesterday’s version of themselves, same thoughts, same excuses, same choices.
3. Attitude 19:10
The third factor for consistency is your attitude. There is a huge difference between the attitude of creating change and the attitude of judging behavior. This is another area where I see a lot of people struggling. People come to me with an attitude that is negative, cynical, destructive, overwhelmed.
The attitude of creating change says “I’m going to make mistakes, that’s why I’m doing this work. I’m not here to be perfect, i’m here to get a little bit better.” Compare that to a judgemental attitude that says “I blew it. I ate too much. I cheated.”
Instead of aggressively judging behavior with words like good/bad, right/wrong, naughty, cheating. You need to have an attitude of eagerly pursuing change.
This is a mantra that I use all of the time: I have a genuine interest in and desire to change.
I’m not going to get frustrated if I dropped the ball or let myself down because that is a waste of energy. Spending my energy on evaluation of problems, instead of using my energy to embrace the reason I’m here, is a waste. I’m here to create an improvement right now.
This is so different than whining, complaining, or feeling defeated. You’re here to change.
One of my favorite lines from Chasing Cupcakes is I choose to be a creative, energetic problem-solver, not a negative, disappointed, problem dweller. And this all comes down to being in charge of your attitude.
4. Slower Thinking 20:55
The fourth factor for consistency is becoming a slower thinker. Very regularly, I see clients fall into traps they’ve set for themselves because they are sprinting to decisions.
Whether it’s hitting snooze in the morning, snacking through the evening or firing back a response to a text message, thinking happens very fast.
I notice a lot of my clients have this issue after dinner time. They tell me, “It happens automatically, I want a little something to eat, the food goes into my mouth before I even think about it”. But that’s not the full story.
That behavior occurs because you just sprinted to the decision. Slow down. Give your choices some space. Give yourself 5 minutes.
One of the tools I use a lot for consistency is refraining from making a decision while I’m in a negative state of mind. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, sad, I’m not going to make a decision at that moment. I will take a short walk, read an uplifting book, listen to an upbeat song, and seek out a brighter frame of mind in which to make a decision.
Stop sprinting to decisions when you feel the desire or inclination.
5. Consistency Comes When You Are Fresh in Every Moment 22:03
An absolute requirement for long-term consistency is to develop the ethos that you are fresh in any and every moment.
You are not limited by the way things have been. I don’t care if you’ve been an emotional eater for the last 30 years. Me too! Your past doesn’t limit you; your fixation on it limits you, but you are fresh in every single moment. This is one of the drama-free perspectives that really serves you.
I saw this James Clear quote recently,
Beginner = ignorant simplicity
Intermediate = functional complexity
Advanced = profound simplicity
As a beginner we operate with ignorant simplicity, that can look like all-or-nothing thinking, “I blew it” or “I nailed it”. Beginners dramatically oversimplify in a way that harms us.
As an intermediate, we have a functional complexity, with all of the bells and whistles. This might look like having a rigid plan, intermittent fasting for so many hours, or ongoing debates over which is better, butter or ghee. Here, we’ve moved beyond all-or-nothing thinking but we are making it more complex than it needs to be.
Where I want to help you get to, and where I look to make decisions from, is the advanced level of profound simplicity. For me, this means that every day I’m looking to do a little bit better. Profound but simple: what does it look like today to show up and be consistent? What is one area of my life where I can show up and be consistent?
Don’t need a new plan, you need a new perspective that is free from drama, not fixated on the past and patterns that held you back before. You are fresh in this moment.
This is why I have a coach, for accountability and support. You would never hear Michael Jordan or Serena Williams say, “Why is it that I haven’t gotten to these heights on my own? I’m so ashamed that I need a coach”. No. They are where they are because they have a coach.
It’s not a liability to have a coach, that’s a success hack, a tool. You can totally do it on your own, yes, but does that mean you should?
I am where I am in business because of coaches, who helped me accelerate my progress, avoid costly mistakes, direct my trajectory instead of bumbling around blindly. If I could go back in time and do one thing differently, I would have gotten a coach way sooner. Instead of spending the money on diets or junk on Amazon, I would have invested the money in me way sooner. Maybe I would’ve gotten here eventually but it could’ve taken much, much longer, or I could have encountered deadly mistakes for my business. There’s a difference between knowing and growing and a coach can help bridge that gap.
If you are worried about investing in yourself, what needs to happen so you follow through? If you feel like you’re drifting, we will work through that with you! Registration is now open for the fall session of the 12 Weeks to Transformation and kick-off is September 27th. Some of you have been thinking about the 12 Weeks to Transformation, and the time hasn’t seemed right or the money hasn’t seemed right, and I need to tell you that this fall session is going to be the final 12 Weeks to Transformation, ever.
We can put the struggle behind us once and for all!
To learn more about the 12 Weeks to Transformation visit primalpotential.com/transform.
Hi friends! No more standing behind fear and doubt, remaining squarely in your struggle. In today’s new podcast episode Chris and I are answering all your questions about the 12 Weeks to Transformation.
Most of us can relate to committing to a new plan, making progress, and then when things get chaotic or hard, falling off the imaginary “wagon,” drifting away, or simply forgetting what we had planned to do.
This has happened to me more times than I can count. When I weighed over 350 lbs, I tried plan after plan after plan, and inevitably I would find myself drifting and feeling like “I blew it again!’
What I finally figured out, and what I tell my clients, is that even when you think you messed-up and fell off your goals, you just have to get re-engaged. It doesn’t have to be dramatic! Instead of judging the past, ditch the drama and simply re-engage in the present moment. Drama free re-engagement is one massive key to success, and it’s something we practice and revisit every single day in the 12 Weeks to Transformation.
I want to help you move beyond your struggle! For more info on how we work through our fears and doubts in the 12 Weeks to Transformation, listen to today’s new episode of the Primal Potential podcast.
5:53 What is the 12 Weeks to Transformation?
8:59 Who is it the 12 Weeks to Transformation for?
14:09 What if I don’t have weight to lose?
14:50 How much time will I need to commit each week?
17:10 Why is the 12 Weeks to Transformation going away?
19:40 What kind of results do people get?
22:26 I’ve tried everything under the sun, how is the 12 Weeks to Transformation different?
25:20 One of your clients mentioned that her husband wasn’t on board with her doing ‘yet another thing’ and you gave her a template. Can you tell us what you shared with her?
31:50 Winner of the Saturday Giveaway
To win next Saturday’s giveaway, leave a review of the Primal Potential podcast on Apple Podcasts, review Chasing Cupcakes on Amazon, or share an episode or lesson that you’ve learned on Instagram or Facebook (be sure to tag me)!
Registration is now open for the fall 12 Weeks to Transformation. This will be the final 12 Weeks, ever, and spots are filling up fast so make sure you save your space today at primalpotential.com/register.