BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness Talks Wellness

Watch owner and founder of BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness, Jessica Schultz, MS, MFT, CFT talk about the benefits of treating the entire self (mind and body), working with a therapist instead of a health coach, and what topics you will explore with Jessica when you're a "BeYOU" client!

Be well.  Be powerful.  Be alive.  Be YOU.

What's Different about BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness?

As "BeYOU" nears its 1st Anniversary, I'm reflecting on all the conversations I've had with people about BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness.  Here's the most common FAQ that comes up:

So what makes BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness different?  You probably don't think you're the type of person who could use professional help in changing their lifestyle.  You got this.  Maybe that type of help would work for someone else but you probably wouldn't benefit from personal training, and even more so, marriage and family therapy.  Besides, with today's social media platforms being the new playground for a booming wellness industry, you have access to all the health and wellness information you need to make a lifestyle change.  Websites, blogs, YouTube.  Weight loss programs and products sold by coaches, online platforms for personal training, apps that literally monitor your every move...these tools can teach you how to eat right, move your body, or meditate.  So why bother considering the services at BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness? 

Reason #1.  To become less reactive and more proactive.  Something needs to change!  Aren't you sick of seeing the doctor because of something you've been doing to yourself for 1, 5, 10 years?  In our culture we tend to react. We wait for life to happen to us instead of proactively making choices that set us up for years of success.  Mental health therapy is a powerful, personal-development tool that can be used to shift your thinking into a proactive state of mind and change un-healthy behaviors before it's too late.  It's tough to do it alone.  Use a trained professional to help you make the switch and reap the benefits!   

2.  Because something is missing: connection.  YOU, you're missing.  ME, I'm missing.  Our relationship is missing.  We think we have the world at our fingertips, or should I say, our Google searches. We look to our screens hoping to find a solution that makes sense...a new diet program or a new workout philosophy.  And where do you think most of this searching happens?  In our cubicles, on our couches, or in our bedrooms as we lay illuminated by blue light. In the quest to become better, we've lost something special and essential: each other; and we need this connection--not just to survive but to THRIVE.  Human beings grow, play, and change through relationships. It's our nature, we're born social creatures. Connection is a part of our DNA.  Use this to your advantage by working with an actual person; someone who looks at pictures of your dog, who laughs at your jokes, and who wants the best for your kids too.  Someone who genuinely cares about you because they know you.

3.  You need SOMETHING DIFFERENT.  They say doing the same thing and expecting different results is...well, not the best approach.  If you've struggled with yo-yo dieting, if you have lost weight and gained it back, if you feel stuck in life and aren't sure what to do, or if you are depressed, anxious, or stressed -- DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.  Break out of your same-old-same-old (therapists call this "homeostasis"), and surprise yourself.  Tap into your unlimited potential by making a change!  

I provide comprehensive care; an approach that attends to the whole self.  This way of thinking is the future of healthcare.  Call 608-620-3880 and let BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness be a part of your future as well.  Or reach out to me through the website: www.RecreateYourLifestyle.com

Take care and Self-Care,

Jess

Founder Jessica Talks Mind/Body Connection

BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness Owner Jessica Schultz, MS MFT, CFT recently appeared on the CW's Talk of the Town. Check out her interview below and learn more about how attending to the mind/body connection gets her clients positive, sustainable results, and the different ways that her practice can help recreate unhealthy lifestyles. Check it out:

 
 

Breath Deep and Lose Fat

Effective weight management is a good idea.  Rather than erratic and drastic dieting, weight control entails living a healthy lifestyle; well-balanced nutrition, daily exercise and, believe it or not, meditation and/or mindfulness.  You’ll often hear me say to clients that meditation and/or deep breathing will not only lead to decreased feelings of stress, increased capacity to learn and memorize, heightened feelings of empathy and compassion1 but it may also contribute to fat loss and act as a buffer to fat gain. 

In the 2014 book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, author and trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk, MD, explains how the autonomic nervous system, comprised of the sympathetic nervous system (“the gas pedal”, essentially in charge of our fight-or-flight response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (“the brake”, in charge of lowering heart pressure, slowing heart rate, and stopping the stress response), influences and is influenced by emotions.  Meaning, the body and mind do not exist in separate vacuums and instead, mutually influence one another.   

I empower my clients to spend 15-20 minutes each day deep breathing or listening to guided meditations.  Deep breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system which makes meditation a very useful skill for thriving in today’s world.  We live in an era unlike any other and our lives are filled with copious amounts of data, mostly because of our advances in technology.  It is because of the overwhelming, over-digitized, over-informed society we live in, that we walk around in fight-or-flight mode, our brains getting the signal to R-E-A-C-T (not R-E-L-A-X) and our bodies are compensating by constantly releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.  “Cortisol has been termed the "stress hormone" because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress, and the normal pattern of cortisol secretion can be altered. This disruption of cortisol secretion may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight. Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as "toxic fat" since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.”5  Basically, the world in which we live our lives is killing us.  So, I’m asking you?  What are you doing to stop it?  Try meditating.

 I first read about effects of meditation on fat loss and improved wellbeing in 2010.  The Happy Body, a best-selling fitness self-help book, written by Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek, encourages anyone on a wellness journey to incorporate aromatherapy and mediation into his or her lifestyle.  As a professional athlete, Aniela has won five World Weightlifting Championships and established six world records. Jerzy has won four World Weightlifting Championships and established one world record.  They have become professional coaches and personal trainers and in 2000, they founded the UCLA weightlifting team and became its head coaches.  Jerzy and Aniela believe meditation expedites the fat loss process.  Jerzy states: “If you lose weight by being anxious all the time, you never switch from the sympathetic nervous system, which burns lean body mass as energy, to the parasympathetic nervous system, which burns fat as energy. That will cause loss of muscle mass and a reduced metabolic rate…Relaxation. You actually lose more fat when you're relaxed than when you're tense.  When you are relaxed, your body burns its own fat for energy.  So, whether you only want to lose weight and be youthful, or you want to become an Olympic champion, it is wise to be as relaxed as possible."2

If effective weight management is your goal, consider adding meditation or deep breathing to your wellness routine.  Not sure how to do so?  Consider listening to a podcast by my favorite Buddhist, therapist, and teacher Tara Brach, PhD (http://www.tarabrach.com/audiodharma.html) or try watching Dr. Andrew Weil, author and wellness expert, lead the 4-7-8 guided breath exercise (www.drweil.com).

Take care and self care,
Jessica, BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness Owner

You Don't Have to Be Critical to Be Successful

Every one of us has goals.  Whether it is to lose weight, exercise more, reduce job stress, or enjoy life, each one of us attempts to achieve our goal on a daily basis.  Being human, we experience a variety of feelings along the way: feelings of anger when we are thwarted, sadness when our desired outcome feels too far away, and joy during inspiring moments of success. 

Lately, in my work to help others create a positive lifestyle change, I’ve notice a common feeling among my clients: self-criticalness.  Sometimes it appears at the start of their journey, whispering doubts and negatively labeling any efforts to begin.  Other times, it rears it’s ugly, destructive head while a client is close to reaching a goal, screaming to them that any miss-step will surely mean certain death of success.  Self-criticalness, judgment, perfectionism…call it what you want but know this: It’s LYING to you and you don’t need it.

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, in her audio learning course Neuroscience for Change (http://kellymcgonigal.com), says we feel the need to be critical of ourselves, lest we stop for a moment and never start up again.  Makes sense, if you think about it.  We all have parents (who are human too) and at some point in our childhood we probably weren’t listening to instructions and thus, our behavior was criticized.  Our parents, just like their parents, were doing their best to shape and mold us into healthy, happy adults.  Unfortunately, we adapted that voice and used it to self-motivate.  Except here’s the thing, telling ourselves that we’re not doing the right thing doesn’t work.  Calling ourselves negative names like “stupid” or “lazy” only makes us feel worse, less motivated to change, and more motivated to seek out behaviors that comfort us or help us avoid our lives.

So how do you reach your goals without being self-critical?  Start by being self-compassionate.  Whoooa—does this approach sound scary?!  Does the idea of allowing yourself to make mistakes and then offering yourself forgiveness freak you out?  (I mean, how can a person achieve anything if they’re always patted on the back, told they are unconditionally loved and accepted, and sent on their merry way?  That’s not how things are done!)  Wrong.  Research shows that people who are compassionate towards themselves while in the pursuit of a goal have a higher rate of success.  They are more resilient to failures along the way and don’t take it personally.  Optimism and other positive emotions are even shown to have a positive influence on cardiovascular health. 

So there you have it.  Bid farewell to self-criticalness and judgment.  Explore being compassionate towards yourself.  It will influence your mind, your body, and your goals. 

Take care and self care,
Jessica, BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness Owner

Why Believing in Yourself is Essential to Health

Written by: AJ LeVan, MAPP
Published on: Psychology Today

Everyone has something they’d like to change or improve; everyone has goals. Therefore, self-efficacy is of universal appeal and widespread need.

For instance, people high in self-efficacy take better care of themselves, see tasks as something to be mastered, and they feel more empowered. They’re not controlled by circumstances. They see setbacks as challenges to be overcome and can cope with hardship better than those with low self-efficacy. People higher in self-efficacy also have a greater sense of motivation and persistence. 

Perhaps most important, according to Alfred Bandura, self-efficacy affects how we feel, think and act, and low self-efficacy has been linked to helplessness, anxiety and depression. Fortunately, whether your current level is average, ample or absent, much like physical attributes, self-efficacy can be enhanced. 

Take One Step at a Time
Self-efficacy is developed, in part, through success – and even small achievements can pack a powerful punch. Pick one small change you’d like to make and go for it.

Draw from Your Past
Reminiscing on past successes can help drum up a greater sense of self-efficacy. Reflect on times when you succeeded at accomplishing things you didn’t think you could do. Reflect on those moments. What did you accomplish? How did you accomplish it? How can these accomplishments be channeled to help you achieve future goals?

Find a Role Model
Admire someone else’s success. When you see someone else succeed, especially someone who you identify with, you are more apt to believe that you can achieve too. For example, working with a personal trainer is great way to increase self-efficacy while also receiving social support!

Accept Self-Doubt…but Put it in its Place
Managing your self-doubt is just one more way to keep “I think I can’t” thoughts from derailing your success. When self-defeating thoughts bubble up, accept them as part of the process and move on. These types of thoughts don’t necessarily reflect your true capabilities. The key is to not let them stop you from moving forward. 

Motivation and How to Increase It

Did you know, according to 2014 U.S. Gym Membership Statistics the annual number of people who have a gym or a health club membership is 58,000,000?  SERIOUSLY! Wow! That’s a great statistic to read! Unfortunately, of these millions of people, 67% NEVER USE THEIR MEMBERSHIP. Think about it. They don’t even step inside the gym.  67% of those brave enough to consider changing their lives by increasing their fitness level quit before they ever pass through the door.  Why?

Taking care of oneself — physically, mentally, and emotionally — is essential.  Self-care increases our ability to enjoy a long, healthy life.  Tending to these different aspects of wellness: the physical, mental, and emotional parts of ourselves, gives us more than a few extra rotations around the sun.  Self-care allows us to deepen our relationships by being more present in the company of our partners, gives us energy to play with our children and grandchildren, deepens our drive to accomplish our career aspirations, and invites us to experience our bodies in a more profound way.

Today’s journal focuses on self-care through physical activity and offers insight into how you can cultivate the motivation needed to nurture your body.

One of my favorite books right now is Exercise for Mood and Anxiety: Proven Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Enhancing Well-Being; written by Michael W. Otto, PhD and Jasper A. J. Smits, PhD.  The title may lead you to think you need a mental health diagnosis for these strategies to be applicable; not the case!  Everyone has issues with motivation at some point in their lives and since everyone probably has the goal of enjoying life, this book is for you too!

Here are some excerpts from Exercise for Mood and Anxiety to get you started on the path to a more physically active self (and let’s be honest – an overall healthier, happier person!):

Motivation: Internal vs External. The truth is, sometimes we just don’t have it inside us.  Sometimes when the alarm clock rings, our inner self screams “STAY IN BED!”  I’m telling you this--even as the empowered, strength-based clinician that I am, it might do you good to ignore (OMG…yes, I just said “ignore”) your thoughts and feelings and JUST MOVE IT!

Dr. Otto and Dr. Smits state “research shows that motivations are influenced by others—if a friend states a motivation (“I really want to get in better shape”), you may find similar motivations moving to the top of your list.”  This can be accomplished through workout buddies, joining a running group, or by hiring a personal trainer.  I would like to invite you to take it one step further.  Put yourself in the way of anything and anyone that inspires you to self-care—manipulate your environment.  Pick friends who make healthy choices.  Create a home environment that has fresh food and motivational quotes.  Pick a window at the café where you can see people walking.  Drive to work along a running route.  Give yourself as many cues as you can to reinforce your chosen form of physical self-care. 

Mood, mood, MOOD!  Your motivation is also influenced by your mood.  Think about, how often do you not workout because you don’t feel like it?  Does an irritable mood, stress, or feelings of depression interrupt your ambition to exercise?  Probably!  Now I want you to consider how often you regret working out when you’re done?  Hardly EVER!  That’s because you have all those lovely, wonderful, inspiring endorphins pumping through your system.  Aaaaah…makes me happy just thinking about my post-workout highs.  Research shows that exercise reduces our vulnerabilities to anxiety and depression.  This is because of neurotransmitters, the chemicals responsible for communication between brain cells.  Exercise also increases the production of serotonin; a hormone responsible for creating a balanced mood!

Personally and professionally, I find knowledge to be empowering and inspiring.  I hope this journal helped give you new insight into your ability to own your experiences, and to live life to the fullest.  Please feel free to give comments or ask questions below.

Take care and self care,
Jessica, BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness Owner

Marriage and Family Therapy with Personal Training? Say WHAT?!

Creating a lifestyle change involves more than working out with a trainer a few times a week, it takes a serious understanding of yourself and how your cumulative life experiences have forced you to feel trapped in a life you don’t love; often leading to the acting out of un-healthy patterns and believing that you’ve peaked, believing that your life is the best it’s ever going to get.  So, what is marriage and family therapy? And how can it enhance your fitness and increase your overall health and wellness?    

Marriage and family therapy is a style of psychotherapy that works with individuals, couples, and families to nurture change and development.  This method of therapy views change in terms of the systems of interactions between people and family members, friends, culture, society, and the world; also focusing on how elements of trauma, mental illness, general and medical conditions, personality, career, academics, government, racial identity, gender, and sexual orientation influence wellbeing and thus, effect a person’s lifestyle.  Regardless of whether or not you consider your unfit lifestyle to be an individual or family issue, involving your family in the solution is often beneficial.  This involvement is commonly accomplished by the exploration of intergenerational family patterns, family or origin issues, family roles, rules, and boundaries; or through your family’s direct participation in the therapy session.

BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness has created a novel way of approaching health and wellness.  You could think of it as a “2 for 1 deal”.  When working with BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness, you will experience the benefits of working with a clinician who will not only assess and understand the physical aspects of your health, but also the mental, emotional, relational, and cultural aspects as well.  Imagine meeting 3 times a week with the same health practitioner – 2 personal training sessions and 1 therapy session – someone who is dedicated to accompanying you in all areas of your journey.  A professional trained in thinking systemically, a person who can connect the dots between your lowered level of motivation and your heightened amount of daily stress, someone who can identify the triggers that lead you to certain patterns of thinking and emotional eating, a professional who can help you process how your past experiences of grief or trauma influence your daily ability to maintain a healthy and fulfilling life.

BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness will guide you--as an individual, couple, or family--in restructuring your lifestyle.  In a safe, supportive, and empowering environment you will get serious workouts designed to achieve and maintain your personalized fitness objectives, coupled with specialized therapy sessions based upon your self-designed treatment goals.  Create healthy, long-lasting, realistic lifestyle change.

BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness tenaciously believes in YOU and your ability to be Well, be powerful, and be alive.

Take care and self care,
Jessica, BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness Owner