Pre & Post Conception: Supplementation Before and During Pregnancy

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.

Seed Cycling

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.

Sunflower Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Flax Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds 

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.

DUTCH Test

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.

Lifestyle

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.

Supplements

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

AVA

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

Omega 3

Vitamin D

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?

Episode 817: Truths & Practices Around Consistency, Motivation and Your Inner Dialogue

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.

33:55 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)!

Episode 816: The Most Overlooked & Underappreciated Strategy

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. 

Patience works.

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? 

Patience. 

How do I get out of my own way?

Patience. 

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!

Episode 815: The Smallest Change with the Biggest Impact

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.

Episode 814: 5 Factors For Success—Being Consistent When Life Is Not

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.

Episode 813: Don’t Let Fear & Doubt Keep You Struggling

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.

 

812: Epic Perspectives on Self-Doubt & Fear of Failure

Hi friends, thanks for joining me for another episode of the podcast and blog! In today’s episode, I am talking about how to handle feelings of doubt and fear of failure when you are pursuing your goals.

But first, I want you to know that I take your time seriously. Through the Primal Potential podcast, people bring me along for walks, they bring me into their living rooms while they’re cleaning the house. You have a million options for podcasts you can listen to and blogs you can read, so thank you for being here.

Today, I have been dying to share the ah-ha moment that I had a few weeks ago with you. Listen or read along with me below.

A friend of mine is a business owner and podcaster who also works with clients. She came to me for advice because she had 2 clients reach out to ask for refunds for the first time. Here’s what I told her.

It doesn’t happen often, but 100% of the time, when people come to me to ask about getting a refund, what they are really looking for is reassurance. This is fear and doubt in play, and it is a huge opportunity for that person! 

If we had full faith in ourselves or whatever we purchased to pursue our goals, we wouldn’t want our money back. If we knew we were going to do the work that comes along with investing in our program, we wouldn’t want a refund.

What people need is reassurance—sometimes it’s a lack of faith in themselves, sometimes in the program, sometimes it’s both, and all of them can be worked on.

I see this with clients but I also see this with myself. Literally every single time I have hired a coach, and when I decided to join a mastermind, there has been a moment of panic. Maybe I don’t verbalize it but I sink into thoughts of, “on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have done this!”

I encourage my clients to not shy away from these tough moments. 

4:00 Giving Doubt a Voice

We all know that sick feeling of doubt. It’s super uncomfortable to think that maybe you made a mistake by investing in yourself. It’s uncomfortable to admit that you don’t trust yourself enough to take advantage of an opportunity. 

We don’t want to run from this feeling. Your doubt is telling you something. I don’t ever want to let a client run from this opportunity to face the fact that they need reassurance or to create more trust in themselves or whatever they are doing to pursue their goals.

“I don’t know if this is right for me.”

If you have ever had that thought, give your doubt a voice. Explore it. Sometimes you’re doing something that is not good for you.

Borrowing an example from my own life, let’s say you opt-in for some rigid, extreme diet and two weeks in you realize that you are miserable. 

In that situation, giving your doubt a voice allows you to see if that feeling is coming from a pattern that you need to change or, maybe, that feeling is an indication that your decision wasn’t healthy or sustainable, that it’s not something you want to stick with it for the rest of your life.

Most times we say yes to something that we consider to be a great tool for growth and then the buyer’s remorse creeps in, this comes from doubt. 

I don’t want to give the impression that we can’t ever course correct—we absolutely should—but I encourage you to lean in and explore what it is that you’re doubting.

Start with this quick exercise:

You might say, “I don’t trust that I’m going to do the work.” This is something we can work on

What do you trust? 

What exactly is the work that you are second-guessing? Come up with 5 things.

Can you do that just for today? 

6:32 Doubt Is a Powerful Compass

Sometimes we throw out entire opportunities that could transform every aspect of our lives because we don’t simplify or define what success looks like. We get overwhelmed and sidetracked by doubt and we can miss out on an opportunity. 

I’ve straight up done that before. I have let that initial feeling that I don’t trust myself turn into a closed-door, turn into a no, turn into giving up.

Doubt is a powerful compass that can point us at something that really matters.

When we have this doubt or fear of failure, that tells us how important our goals are to us. They are so important to us that we’re afraid we will fail, so important that we question whether we can do it or not.

So we need to take some time to build confidence and set up for success. When people are working with me, I want them to give voice to their doubts to me, with me. Verbalize them. Give your doubt a voice in the Primal Potential Facebook group if you need a place. Give it a voice.

Ask yourself what else is true. If you feel doubt around yourself, the program, or a tool, ask yourself what else is true,

Maybe it’s true that you weren’t consistent before but that doesn’t mean that you will be inconsistent now. This feeling might be part of your process for change. In the past you turned away, this time give it a voice by asking what else is true. Don’t run away from that.

I use this tool often in business. My team and I ask this question for Primal Potential, for example, what would it take for us to feel confident in a new product? 

Too many of us are stopping when it’s hard or scary. I want you to see doubt like we see talk about fear, as a doorway. When you recognize that you have doubt, like in your ability to do something, think of that doubt as being a doorway. 

9:13 Fear of Failure

You can stand in front of that door, doubting yourself, or you can see every doubt as a doorway you must walk through. Pass through the doorway to get to the other side and see what is there.

This was very true for me when I started thinking about Crossfit. It looked cool. I was interested in weight-lifting and—above all—I was super excited by the community aspect, but I had the biggest doubts before I tried it. I thought, “I’m not fit enough for Crossfit or strong enough; what if people judge me because I am the weakest or slowest, I won’t be able to keep up.” Those doubts could have kept me out of a community that I love!

I don’t want to see people standing on the side of doubt and fear. I want us to see doubt as a doorway, as something we can explore if we take a step forward and see what else is there.

A lot of times, what drives doubt is what-if thinking. Maybe people don’t experience this as doubt but as panic or the feeling of being behind. This comes from putting energy, faith, and fear behind the wrong what-if. “What if it doesn’t work” is as powerful a question as “What if it does?!”

11: 30 Don’t Kill Yourself with Questions

I had such a breakthrough when my friend came to me about a network marketing opportunity. At first, my strongest thoughts were only around doubt. I’m not that kind of person. I don’t want to do that. What if it’s a waste of time? These thoughts were only one half of the equation.

I realized that If I was going to entertain all the reasons why it wouldn’t work, then I owed it to myself, even if it didn’t change my decision, to consider all of the reasons that it would work. Let me tell you, I had some work to do. 

I thought, I know the 7-or-so reasons that I think it’s a bad idea, I owe it to myself to be a better thinker and explore the other side of those seven reasons. It turned out to be an incredible opportunity. As my husband Chris says, the first thing he learned in military basic training is don’t kill yourself with ‘what-ifs.’ 

Before my ah-ha moment, I had all of these different pieces in my head:

  1. When people experience doubt, they need to give it a voice, they need reassurance.
  2. Chris’s voice in my head saying, we don’t kill ourselves with questions.
  3. What-if statements work both ways.

Meanwhile, as all of these pieces revealing themselves to me, I am having a repeated conversation with my business team. Inevitably there are a million things going on in the business and when we set goals they can sometimes feel like a pipe dream. From our doubts and fear, we move to talking about what it is going to take for us to feel more confident in a decision.

We started using this tool with clients who are facing doubt. Clients ask me, what if I have been super inconsistent? I ask them, what if this is the time when everything changes? What if now is when everything cracks wide open for you?

What would it take for you to have more confidence in your ability to succeed? Answer that question. What would it take for you to have more confidence in your ability to change your behavior?

Don’t give a quick response and think that you’ve done the work–you haven’t. Give it a voice. Explore it.

Write this down and answer the questions:

If what-if works both ways, what are both sides (be specific)?

What would it take for me to have confidence in this outcome, in this process, in this change?

What would it look like if it was easy?

It would be easier if what?

18:30 What-if Goes Both Ways

As I was putting these ideas into a document, I was listening to an Elevation Church Sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick, who said, “Fear is faith in the wrong what-if.” We are putting faith in the wrong side of the equation. So what would it take for you to believe a little bit more in the other side of the equation?

This is a choice, so stop imagining scenarios that don’t favor you. 

Don’t put all of your resources in the what-if that doesn’t favor you. Don’t put your faith in the ‘what if it doesn’t work.’ Your life will change dramatically and your results will be different when you put your faith in the what-if that favors you. 20:14

This is going to hinge on your willingness to think differently and on the action of voicing your fears and doubts while also realizing that it goes both ways.

It’s not over. This year is not over. We have 15 weeks left in the year, more than 100 days left in the year. How much could you change your life in that time?

You get to decide which one version of the story you fuel with your attention, which you pour into, and which one you starve. Which what-if wins? Whichever one you feed.

We talk about this a lot in the 12 Weeks to Transformation. When you change the way you think you open doors to new opportunities, you also close the doors on your fears and past patterns, and it all hinges on the way you think.

What-if works both ways. Choose to tell the story that favors you and refuse to continue telling the story that doesn’t. Make today amazing.

To learn more about the 12 Weeks to Transformation visit primalpotential.com/transform.

811: 8 Questions to Get More Consistent

Hi friends! My husband Chris and I are back for another podcast episode where we answer your questions (and announce the winner of the Saturday Giveaway)! The topic of consistency has been coming up a lot in the Facebook group, and it is the theme for today’s episode. We got a lot of really great questions about everything from how to win the battle of choice, the biggest barriers to consistency, how to be consistent when you’re busy and every day looks different from the last, and more.

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to make a plan and stay consistent with it, this episode will be super helpful for you. Listen to the end to find out who won this week’s Saturday Giveaway!

2:50: What do you do when you are not winning the battle of choice?

10:09 I’m so good with my habits all week, but all of my good habits go out the window during the weekend. What do I do?

18:28 How do you develop a routine and remain flexible for last-minute stuff?

23:30 How can I be consistent when every day is different?

25:50 How do you stay consistent when you have a hard time saying no to someone who is pulling you in the wrong direction?

33:24 What is the biggest barrier to consistency, planning, routine, direction?

35:55 What is the most popular day to start something new?

37:44 Winner of the 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 opens up next week for the fall 12 Weeks to Transformation. This will be the final 12 Weeks, ever, so make sure you join the waitlist to save your spot (space is limited), get first access, and an exclusive waitlist discount (the best savings we’ve ever offered)!

810: The #1 Strategy for Achieving Any Goal

Hi friends, it’s Elizabeth here, and I am so excited to share Episode 810 of Primal Potential with you! Today I am joined by the Chief Operating Officer for Primal Potential Suzie Barbour, and for the first time on the podcast, we are pulling back the curtain on why I have my coaching clients focus so much on mindset when many of them sign up for the 12 Weeks to Transformation with the goal of losing weight.

You’re not going to want to miss this conversation! Listen or read on as we do a deep-dive on my #1 coaching strategy for achieving any goal—transforming your mindset!

Why Not Weight Loss?

Several months back when Suzie started working for Primal Potential one of the first things she noticed was that everybody wants to hear strategies about fat loss.

From her perspective as the COO who is trying to grow the business, it would be a natural move for us to come up with a food plan or make content surrounding the typical themes that people associate with weight loss, like exercise and food, but I always say no. No to food plans and no to new products based specifically on the theme of ‘weight loss’.

Suzie says that people are inspired by my weight loss journey, having lost and successfully kept off well over 100 pounds, and this is what customers are saying they want. So she kept asking me, why not weight loss?

It’s not that I don’t want to help people with that goal, it’s that I want to help people with that goal in a different way that is going to be far more effective than a list of foods or a rule book.

A few years ago I did address weight loss directly. We had a program called the Fat Loss Fast Track that helped hundreds of clients lose weight. But we changed that program. We reshaped it into the 12 Weeks to Transformation and the reason I did this is because client after client was coming into the 12 weeks with the goal of losing weight, but they weren’t just doing that. They were transforming their finances, relationships, and fitness routines. They began taking better care of their homes, and becoming more organized.

We realized that it’s not about weight at all but what it really takes to create change.

(4:19) Why Not Create an Eating Plan?

In the Primal Potential Facebook group, someone wrote a post asking others to share what types of eating plans they are following. This person said they want to eat less, cut portions, but are feeling anxious and doubtful about the level of strictness to their diet, so they will probably revert back to a food plan they’ve tried before like Weight Watchers. 

I hear this from podcast listeners all of the time who have had some success with a previous food plan, but can’t stick with it now. And let me tell you, I tried this for decades.

Anyone can follow a plan for a little while, but then stress, vacation, or illness occurs and people get derailed and think to themselves “why can’t I make myself do it” or “why can’t I get back on the imaginary wagon?” 

All of this is a result of the way you think. 

The idea of being ‘on the wagon’ is a start-tomorrow mindset and it stems from the way that you think—the way that your mind generates excuses. At Primal Potential we want to help people become better thinkers and problem solvers so that our excuses won’t keep holding us back.

I very strongly believe that there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of ways to lose weight. There is no one food religion we need to subscribe to. Success in this area is not a matter of routine but a way of thinking.

Suzie and I both know we could make a ton of money with a 30-day plan for fat loss that tells people exactly what to eat but that’s not what we do. We create lasting results for our clients. The way we do that is through mindset.

People find our program because they are seeking weight loss solutions, often having spent money on other programs. A lot of those people feel a sense of shame because they have invested time and money in weight loss solutions that worked for them in the past but don’t work in every season of their lives. There is no reason to feel shame around that. Before I lost my weight, I didn’t have the tools I have now and you don’t know what you don’t know.

But as Suzie explains in this episode, we see this all of the time in the 12 Weeks to Transformation.  Once our clients have a grasp on this toolbox, they use their tools to create sustainable change in areas of their lives that they didn’t know they wanted to improve.

(10:34) If someone really wants to drop 20 lbs, should they focus on losing weight or only mindset?

I am not telling anyone not to focus on weight loss. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel great in your body and get rid of excess body fat–either for cosmetic or health-related reasons. I’m also not saying that instead of focusing on weight, people should focus on mindset. What I am saying is that when you upgrade the way you think, you come at our goals in a way that is much more sustainable.

When we focus on mindset, we slowly take power away from our doubts and bad habits. I eat better now because I am a more well-rounded thinker. My old pattern was that I would get super stressed or have a bad day and tell myself that I didn’t care, I was going to eat ice cream and—whatever—I’ll do better tomorrow. That pattern only changed because I became a better thinker. 

So if you say you want to lose weight, I want to help you help yourself, but in a way that addresses the real problem. The real problem isn’t that you don’t know what to eat—that doesn’t have anything to do with it! The real problem is that you aren’t following through on the things you already know will work. And that is happening because of the way you are thinking about it. 

Nobody will ever coach you like the voice in your own head. Your outcome hinges entirely on the quality of the voice in your head. When the alarm goes off, and you hit snooze, you are actively being coached by the voice in your head. Make that coaching better and you get better in every way. (Read that again or listen at 13:20).

This is not about ignoring the science of weight loss, but the science alone is not enough. You won’t get results without changing your mindset to address inconsistency, bad habits, or an excuse-generating inner dialogue.

This is especially true in a challenging year like 2020. Hard times are when we need mindset the most. When life is bonkers we are going to grow so much more. If we wait for a season of life that is settled, then we will have missed a huge opportunity to learn, to be in the trenches with the tools. 

(18:41) What about people who don’t believe that mindset is actually what they need?

I was that person for so long and I wish I could go back in time and talk some sense into myself. People told me for years that weight loss was all in my head. But I thought they were saying that it wasn’t a weight issue and I was sure that it was. I was defensive because I was scared that focusing on mindset meant not focusing on weight, and I wasn’t willing to not focus on weight. It was only when I took this other approach that I experienced lasting effects.

What I’m telling you is the way to get results with your physical body is by changing the very decision maker in your life. It’s not that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we don’t hold ourselves to the standard of doing it.

Plenty of people have the approach of body acceptance or health at any size and that is not my personal standpoint. If you want to reduce your body fat and feel better in your skin, then I want to do it alongside you. I am connected to that outcome and I recognize that the thing that keeps us from those results is the way we think, make decisions, and talk to ourselves.

When you start the day fired up to make healthier choices but, the next thing you know, you blow the first opportunity you get, that’s mindset. This is what we have to change.

(21:52) The Myth of “I Don’t Care” & Defining Mindset

People tell themselves that they don’t care but that’s not true. People with weight loss concerns care deeply. But when you try diets and programs that don’t work, no one is hearing you say “I don’t care” and challenging you on that idea. 

You get a craving for junk food and the coach in your head starts talking to you, saying it doesn’t matter, you’ve failed before, start tomorrow, this one thing won’t hurt. People say they aren’t consistent, but they are. They are consistent with skipping workouts, hitting snooze, or being disorganized. This kind of thinking is what we upgrade in the 12 Weeks to Transformation. We work on shifting the voice in our own heads because that’s where the magic is.

People tell me that they are apprehensive about signing for the 12 Weeks because of a fear that they will disengage. They say, “Elizabeth, I really want you to hold me accountable and prevent me from drifting.” And I say back, I want them to hold themselves accountable and that I will give them the tools to do it.

I’m not always going to be there but the coach in your head will be. And we have to make that a great coach. We are all capable of being great, passionate, purposeful coaches—that is the work we have to do!

I don’t want to create codependency with my clients. My goal is for you to not need me. I want to set all of us free. We have all that we need (and then some) to create change in our lives. 

Okay, maybe your mindset needs to change a bit, but I can give you the tools to trust yourself. This is totally possible, especially for those who think it isn’t.

(36:48) My Final Words on Mindset

There are only a few tools that we need. We don’t have to first master weight loss, then finances, then relationships. The reality is that as we use these tools on repeat, every aspect of our lives begins to shift. 

No matter who you listen to, gurus, influencers, or trainers, nobody will coach you more than the voice in your head. As you interact with your spouse, when your alarm goes off, when you stand in front of the fridge at 10pm, everything gets easier when you upgrade to the right tools and that’s what we focus on in the 12 Weeks to Transformation.

To learn more about the 12 Weeks to Transformation visit primalpotential.com/transform. For a limited time, anyone who joins the waitlist for the 12 Weeks to Transformation will receive totally FREE access to my new Client Preview Series with me where we tackle topics like consistency, resilience, goal achievement, fat loss, and more!