Motivation

My story

Part 1

Let’s start the new year with some introductions (or re-introductions for those of you who know me 😁). Back in 2020 I graduated with a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Birdgeport and boy was it an achievement!

After almost 3 years of studying at one of the most established Master’s in Nutrition programs in the USA since 1977, I remember sitting for our 10-part final exam as if it was yesterday. Oh the nerves! We had learned so much, I was afraid my brain would melt 😅

From biochemistry and physiology to evidence-based nutrition, nutritional therapeutics and functional & botanical medicine, we covered it all! There was even a virtual clinic at the end, where we put everything we had learned into practice. This was probably my favourite part, along with advanced biochemical assessments and the functional role of nutrients in human health.

But all of these simply confirmed what I already knew from personal experience – that food is medicine and we have the power to manage our own health through the choices we make. Are you a fellow nutritionist or someone who’s just passionate about nutrition? What are your favourite learnings so far?

Part 2

Friends, the road to becoming a #nutritionist is a long one. In part 1 above I spoke about my pretty intense 2.5-year Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, but passing that final exam was not the end.

Following my graduation I pursued a 12-month, 1000+ hours supervised #clinical experience AAANNDD another 200-question board exam to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) through the American Nutrition Association.

This is one of the most advanced certifications for #personalized nutrition practitioners. This means that as a CNS I practice #science-based nutrition therapy tailored to each individual’s needs for optimal health. Going through this extensive board #certification has put on a clear, practical perspective on everything I learned during my Master’s degree and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

*And of course I was very lucky to have completed my clinical supervision hours in a very special place… but more on that later! (i.e. in Part 3)

Life Coaching, Motivation

Mind Over Matter

You may be shocked if I said that you create your own reality or you may be not. But one thing is for sure – the power of our thinking is acknowledged more and more as a major influence to our quality of life.

The most familiar example would be stress. When we are stressed we think and act in a certain way, but also we see the world in a certain way. We become more aware of negative things around us, we start to worry about them and somehow “miraculously” they become a reality.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be in control of this reality? To change what we don’t like and remove the stress? What if we could?

The well-established fields of psychology and neuroscience along with new comers such as NLP and quantum physics all point that there is proof that our thoughts create the reality we experience.

Of course, each field has its own way of explaining this. From the molecular level of biology to the energy vibrations level of physics there is proof that our thoughts can materialise physically.

But perhaps a more simple and easy way to understand this is through the lens of psychology & NLP. Through this lens you can view how we create our reality in four steps:


Step 1 – Experience through our senses

We experience the world through our senses and send some of this data to our brain. Our senses are actually very limited – for example we can’t see ultraviolet light. Therefore we don’t really see everything the world has to offer (i.e. not the absolute reality, but a perceived reality).

Step 2 – Meaning making through conditioning

Out of the 400 billion bits of sensory data received every second (yes, every second!) our brains can only process 2,000 bits of data. I guess this deletion is for our own good – imagine feeling the clothes on your skin all of the time! That would drive us insane!

Apart from deleting information, we are also very good at distorting whatever information is left by categorising it into groups of data and then generalising these groups on to future experiences. For example, if we categorise someone we’ve met as “fun”, then we will assume that they are generally fun all of the time and we will act accordingly.

How we distort and generalise information depends on our conditioning – that is our upbringing, memories and personality; our beliefs, values and expectations.

Step 3 – Emotional state through thinking

After deleting, distorting and generalising we are left with thoughts and these thoughts affect the state we are in. Our emotional state affects us physically and mentally. 

For example, when we are angry we can notice that as we think more and more negative thoughts about the person, object or situation that caused the anger our heart rate and breathing speeds up.

“Emotion is the fuel for action.”


Step 4 – Life outcomes through behaviour

Based on what we think and feel we act and our behaviour produces results (both good and bad). It is these results that affect our reality or, if you prefer, our current experience of life. 

Now we have come full circle and can see the logic in how we create our own reality. Of course, the information here is overly simplified and there are many books from different fields that describe the process in a lot more detail.

But if there is one sentence you should take away this is the one:

Our conditioning affects our emotional state which in turn influences our behaviour and the outcome of that behaviour.

Life Coaching, Motivation

Why do People Fail?

In the last post we talked about the philosophy of NLP and the basic principle of focusing on what you do want, rather than on what you don’t want.

So if success was so easy to achieve why do so many people fail? Let’s see…

How many times have we taken advice from the wrong people? And by wrong, I don’t mean bad – just that they themselves haven’t achieved their goals or success. Basically, they advise you on how to achieve something they haven’t achieved themselves! If you want to achieve success, always look for a successful person to use as a role model.

Others want to achieve success from within their comfort zone. They are not willing to change the way they act and think. And yet, how many success stories have we heard where the person in question decided to do something different which led them to their success? Success doesn’t come overnight. It takes long-term, consistent efforts to not only learn but adopt new knowledge and behaviour which produces the new results we want.


And then there are others who won’t even attempt to achieve success until they have a ‘solid’ plan (whatever that means). They keep on planning their route to success, but they never really start the journey because they don’t have all the means or a part of the plan hasn’t been figured out yet. Now, planning is good and can help (trust me, I love planning!), but you will never know if your plan will work until you try.

Don’t be like those people! Set your goals, get advice from the right people and step out of your comfort zone. What’s the worst that could happen?

Life Coaching, Motivation

What is NLP?

You probably already know about my certification and you’re wondering what exactly is NLP?

Well it is good to wonder… because when we ask questions we learn new things. And when we learn new things we grow, which is a good thing, is it not?

Definition of NLP

Back to NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming. What is it?

Well there are various definitions, many going along the lines of “a set of tools or techniques to structure our internal systems and deal with obstacles in order to achieve our desired goals”. 

My personal favourite is the one from Chris Howard, NLP Master trainer & author:

“An owner’s manual for the mind”

It can be described as a set of skills and techniques which would help a person overcome a problem. These techniques work with the mind and cause a change in behaviour.

Basically, NLP uses certain communication strategies to help one achieve greater success in all areas of life.


Philosophy of NLP

When it comes to Neuro Linguistic Programming, the main focus is on the process of our thinking rather than the content of our thoughts. 

Yes, the focus is on the “how”. How we perceive the world. How our conditioned mind affects this perception and our thoughts. How our thoughts affect our behaviour and, in turn, the lives we live. 

The “why” is considered as irrelevant. Ruminating on why we ended up with things or situations that we didn’t want in life isn’t going to help us to achieve what we do want.

It is much better to focus your thoughts on what you want to achieve or something that helps you solve the current problem.To sum it up, a driving principle of NLP is using positive language in our thoughts and directing these thoughts towards our goals. For example, instead of saying “I don’t want to get fat”, say “I want to be fit and healthy.”

Simply, focus on what you want and not what you don’t want. 

Life Coaching, Motivation

Life is Like a Cake – the Result Depends on You

You know sometimes you sign up for things with certain expectations but you end up with unexpected results? Yeah, happens right?

Well, last month I attended a life coaching and neurolinguistic programming course and boy was it intense!
We learned about the power of the mind, how we perceive reality, the importance of how we use language both in our thinking and in conversing with others and so much more!

I’ve always had an interest in the science of the human mind. Why do we do what we do? A question that always popped in my mind when observing others.

There are many avenues to study human behavior, but it all starts with our minds! So, learning ‘the language of the mind’ as I like to call it, seemed like a valuable investment.

Yet, as you know, knowledge is power and that can sometimes be scary. Yes, with such knowldedge comes the responsibility for change. Here’s a metaphor to help get my point across:

“Many people have described life as being like a cake. Many ingredients can go into a cake, but the finished cake is down to what we do with those ingredients. We all have different life situations, but we can choose what we do with those ingredients. Some people have many fantastic ingredients, but the cake is a flop. Others have few ingredients, or less desirable ingredients, but are great cooks and make wonderful cakes.”

When we look at our lives and the results we got so far, do we see ourselves as the cause – “I made it happen” – or did life just happen to us? Are we powerless? Do we not have the choice to cause results? 

The philosophy of NLP is based precisely around that. Our conditioned mind drives our behavior which in turn produces certain results in our lives. Therefore every conscious and unconscious decision has affected our lives in some way.

Then, it seems logical to focus our thoughts and decisions towards the things that we want no?

We are powerful, we are the cause!
P.S.

If you would like to learn more about NLP and Life coaching, please feel free to send me your questions on inspiredbymiranda@gmail.com

Motivation

New Year What? A Different Reality on Being a Healthier You

Instagram makes it seem like everyone is smashing through their workouts and joyfully gulping down their protein and detox shakes, as if they have magically erased all memory of the delicious smell of pizza and the rich taste of burgers…
But the reality is often different (for me, and I hope for many others). One week in to the new year and I have come to realize that going back to a healthier lifestyle is easier said than done. All the talk about sticking to new year’s resolutions, makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong (and why I’m still eating burgers at 10pm)…

Well for starters, I didn’t really make any resolutions… Yes, of course, like everyone else I planned to go back to being healthier. But there wasn’t any specific resolution or timeframe. The truth is after months of free eating (following my exit from competing) and weeks of not working out, I knew I had to make some changes sooner or later.

However, I didn’t want to make any new year’s resolutions because they rarely seem to work. In fact, research shows that people generally fail at all of their resolutions by the 15th of February. Not really effective for long-term lifestyle changes, right? So may be I’m not doing anything wrong after all…

Here’s what I’m thinking: if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing now. Date, time and place become irrelevant to your goal, or at least as to when you start working towards your goal. I say this from experience. For months, if not years, I struggled with digestive issues until one fine autumn day I woke up and started eating a clean, plant-based diet. Boom. No more waiting and wondering when is the right time (that time will never come, fyi). I felt so much better and wondered why I didn’t start sooner.

But before we can start making any external changes, we need to reconsider our own beliefs and motivations. Sometimes it is necessary to reframe our internal view in order to find meaning and worth in those new goals we have set for ourselves. Because if you don’t truly see the value in changing your lifestyle you are already setting yourself up for failure.

And it is here that I, and many others, struggle the most. The mental battle is a tough one, no matter what level of fitness you’re at. But instead of dragging our feet and curling up with fear, it is time to pull ourselves together and take baby steps. 

There’s nothing wrong with falling off track multiple times or slowing down the pace of change. As long as you’re moving forward towards your goals & dreams, you can give yourself a pat on the back and keep moving  🙂

lifestyle, Motivation, Reblog

Reblog: How To Work 10+ Hours A Day And Live A Healthy Lifestyle

Did you know that 62%* of people around the world are in paid employment ? Out of those, 1.3 billion** are in full-time (i.e. 9+ hour working days). That is 1 in 4 adults worldwide.

And did you know that about 2 billion out of a global population of 7 billion fall into the overweight & obese categories?

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Clearly there is a link here between employment type and individual lifestyles. It is no news that leading a busy & stressful life will wreak havoc on your health and weight.

But it doesn’t have to be so. We all have the power to change and steer our lifestyles (& health), if we only knew.

That is why I am extremely happy when I come across articles such as Heidi Jones‘ tips on how to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle in today’s fast-paced world:

As a driven, hard-working and successful individual it is natural to want to be successful in every way at living a healthy lifestyle, by not starting and waiting for the perfect situation you are creating a ‘get-out of failing’ zone for yourself, “if it isn’t perfect then there is no point in doing it.”

Setting realistic expectations are the small stepping stones to creating the dream life you desire.

What it is not, is lowering your expectations – it’s making them actionable and achievable.

You may not be able to do everything you want, but what you can do is make changes that bring in elements to living the lifestyle you want.

Read the full article (and amazing tips) here.

*62.8% of global working-age population in employment as per the latest World Employment & Social Outlook report

** Source: Gallup article, 2014

Motivation

A (fit) Year in Review: Objectives Achieved

It’s my birthday today and it’s time to reflect on my achievements this year.

It has definitely been a busy year, yet I have still a way to go to achieve the goals I set on my birthday 2 years ago: to get more qualifications, to travel more and to continue improving my fitness.

  • I’m very passionate about health & fitness (obviously) and this year I entered not one, but two fitness competitions!

  • I’m back to studying! Doing free online courses to challenge my mind and signing up for a health qualification

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  • I travelled – more than usual! Between October 2015 and October 2016 I visited several cities in the UK, France, Italy and Spain. Now it’s time to travel further 😉

Fitness, Motivation

What to Pack When Travelling to a Competition

It’s time! I’m flying tomorrow, but had already started packing my bags last weekend 🙂

Further to my last post on 3 things to think about when travelling to a competition, here is a list of important bits you’ll need to take with you for your next comp 😉

1. Important documents

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Of course, you need your passport, but also your competition entry documents and information – having it printed is always easier to access when you need it!

2. The travel outfit

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Choose comfy, loose clothes for your trip and the day before the competition. Even if the weather may seem ok, you are likely to feel colder than usual due to fatigue and low body fat so make sure to take something to keep you warm if needed.

3. The tanning outfit

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A loose, long dress is ideal for tanning, just make sure it is either old or cheap as it will get stained. Flip flops and hair bands are also a must during the tanning process.

4. The backstage kit

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Once you are tanned and in your bikini, it is easier to put on a robe backstage. Also don’t forget to take something with you to help you pump your muscles and warm up before stepping on stage.

5. The stage outfit

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This is probably the first thing you will need to pack and the most important! Your bikini, jewellery and stage shoes should not be forgotten. If possible, bring spares for each as anything can happen at the last minute!

6. And a few beauty items

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Just a few extras that can save you money – body scrub (instead of doing a scrub treatment) and eyelashes if you fancy those (instead of buying fromt he make up artist).