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e038 – Nourishing Your Growth with Tanja Shaw

Podcast Episode

Tanja Shaw is a sought-after lifestyle coach, successful entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and is one of 500 Certified High-Performance Coaches in the world. As the founder of Ascend Fitness + Lifestyle, a holistic health coaching studio in Chilliwack, BC, and The Whole You Transformation Project™. Tanja has built a credible reputation for helping 1000s of men and women feel GOOD in their bodies, through her powerful holistic focused health, fitness, nutrition and personal development programs.

Through motivational speaking, coaching and training Tanja inspires audiences and clients around the world to challenge current beliefs and bust through limitations to get to the next level in their life- not just in the health space, but in relationships, career, and overall quality of life. Tanja’s offers the perfect balance between practical strategies and shifts in perspective and mindset to help others feel good, and to have the freedom to fully experience life.

This episode you will learn practical strategies and how to shift your perspective and mindset. How to implement and make the changes in our thinking. How does wellness, fitness, nutrition, etc. tie into mindset coaching. Diet plans/meal plans/ workout plans focus on the what to eat, when to eat, what workouts to do. But they don’t tell you what to do when you really want another glass of wine, or if you have eaten something off-plan. They don’t help you implement the how or why. Tanja has been redirecting her practice away from weight loss focused and more towards whole wellness based on how we think.

We shame ourselves, and guilt ourselves and beat ourselves up so often, we wonder why we give up. Or slip up and go off-plan and it impacts our ability to keep going. We need trust and kindness in order to like someone. How often do we treat ourselves like a good friend? Are we lacking trust and being nice to ourselves? Do we cancel plans to ourselves, show up late or not at all?

Sabrina suggests calling out your “mean girl” that we all have who lives in our brain, and in her Boss Mama Mastermind, they even name their mean girl in the first week. By doing this we can associate all those negative, unkind things to this mean girl and not let her get in the way of our progress. We can move our guilt and shame to the mean girl. She wants to keep us small, and safe, and the things we say to ourselves are always the meanest.

The problem with simply dismissing what she says is that we often feel what we think. It's similar to the feelings nightmares can leave us with, where we know it isn’t real but we can still wake up in a panic, experiencing the feelings of fear and anxiety.  We have thoughts that go on all the time, and depending on how much attention you give your mindset, 70% of those thoughts could be simply brain errors, stories we were told as children or things we thought that we don’t need to hold on to anymore.

Tanja talks about how the biggest barrier to sustainable change is when we are not on our own side. We often fight against ourselves instead of on the same side. It takes a lot of practice and work to get on the same team, but it is such a powerful step, to think about things in a new way. Things from the past can creep in. Everyone has a history and a past. We carry our stories and history with us. Like an onion, there are layers to us that need to be peeled every so often. Working with a coach, you can work on identifying and shedding the layers we need to in order to continue sustainable changes.

Bringing up weight loss (which is a frequently reoccurring goal for a lot of people), Tanja suggests that when you focus on nourishing the body and mind, you’ll find a healthy body. And a healthy body no longer needs to hold on to the excess, so weight loss is a natural consequence of taking care of ourselves. Sustainable change happens in spaces where we feel safe. And often, the mean girl, society, other people, etc., can make us feel unsafe and vulnerable, making it impossible for us to continue to grow. With being aware of our thoughts, we should also be aware of external pressures and putting ourselves down almost as an act of acceptance to the group.

The good news, however, is that there are many women and people out there in the Body Love, Body Acceptance, and also Body Neutrality movements that inspire the healthy mindset we need to grow.  We can tailor our newsfeeds by following the right pages that share content to inspire us and normalize the feelings we go through while allowing us to remove the ones that don’t work anymore.

Motherhood is also a huge change that affects our bodies, and embracing the changes we physically go through. It’s not just about loving who we are, it is about loving who we are becoming during and after the changes. “Getting the body back” is unrealistic, we need to focus on the present and going forward, not living in the past. We take care of the ones we love, and Body Love isn’t about loving your thighs when you look in the mirror, it's about accepting all the wonderful things your body has done and will do. As moms, we need to appreciate and love the wonderful things our bodies have done.  It is doing the best it can to keep us safe, and alive. And when we come from a place of appreciation we can feel safe in our bodies. When we feel safe, we can love our bodies and start taking care of it.  Instead of seeing the gym as a punishment for eating that slice (or three) of cake last night, and seeing it as a chance to make your body feel good by moving with intention in a way that feels good to you. When it’s something you enjoy, taking care of yourself is easier. Start with where you are at. And then explore. These two mindsets are important to sustainable change because we often jump into the middle and substitute consistency with intensity, thinking if we do it more we will see it happen faster.

Part of exploring is allowing yourself to be curious, and embracing the present moment and doing something new that excites you. By focusing on the present you can control your situation. What can you do today? What can you be today that is in alignment with what you want to do or be?  By focusing on today we see the incremental changes become habits and can manage the goals more readily. It is powerful to stay connected to the moment.

Everything boils down to our mindset. We are responsible for ourselves and it comes down to what we are feeding to ourselves and surrounding ourselves with the positive energy and thoughts that guide us towards the nurtured growth of meeting our goals. We need to give ourselves the space to move forward and grace in the present moment. It is tough to get out of the intense guilt of messing up, berating and beating ourselves up for things we can no longer control. But shifting our perspective to the present moment relieves the burden we carry.

Be kind to yourself. You deserve that.

How can we combat the excuses for not making time for self-care? Guilt from taking time to take care of ourselves. Guilt is just a thought, a feeling is only because your brain decided to create this thought for you, it is not necessarily true, it’s just a feeling. Self-care is like a needed medication for an illness. It is a necessity, not a luxury. You deserve to feel good, so do our kids and our spouses.  Time is definitely a factor, but it is really about prioritizing. When you prioritize yourself, you can find a couple of minutes and build them into your day. Start building a habit for taking time for yourself. Get creative and get curious! Carving out those boundaries will get easier and easier as you build on this. You cannot fill from an empty cup.

Check out more of Tanja's mindset and fitness inspirations on her website:

And be sure to check out more tips and helpful guidance on nourishing your whole body on her podcast: The Fit and Vibrant You

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