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I used to say, I was broken. Now I say, I was BROKEN OPEN. ⁠


🦋 BROKEN OPEN = When we change our thinking from being held down / beaten down / broken down to seeing our experiences as opportunities to EMERGE from the chrysalis. To TRANSFORM and TRANSCEND.⁠


Divorce, job loss, family discord, financial struggles, health issues - or in many cases, all of the above - can lead to a lack or self-confidence that seeps so deep within your soul, that it changes your sense of self. It changes your identity to "I am broken". ⁠


SIS - this is what I know for sure... YOU have the power to change your self-imposed labels. ⁠ If you keep telling yourself, "I'm broken" or "I'm incapable" or "I'm unlovable", you will indeed become that person. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But you can use that concept to your advantage by changing your internal language.

🦋 Step 1. Changing negative thoughts to proactive thoughts. Over the next week, every time you have a negative thought about yourself, stop and address it. Change it from "I am so stupid" to "I am learning every day". Change it from "I can't do that" to "I will keep trying to do that".

🦋 Step 2. Creating positive self-talk regularly. Once you've mastered Step 1, eliminate the necessity of a negative cue in order to have a positive thought. Now, you just have the positive thought. Elevate your self-awareness to recognize when yo do something well. It can be as small as, I am proud that I hugged my spouse/dog/kid today, to something bigger (but often not appreciated) like I'm proud that I stood up for myself when my boss/mom/neighbor said something condescending. It is so easy to brush these important moments of victory under the rug without taking the time to appreciate that we did something worth celebrating.

🦋 Step 3. Voicing positive self-talk. Women so often squelch our proud moments for fear of being judged boastful or pretentious. Or sometimes we worry we make others feel bad so we minimize our accomplishments by saying "anyone could've done it" or "it's no big deal". Uh-uh. Stop right there and turn that bus around Sis. Let me tell you something girlfriend, if you are worried about others passing negative judgement.. those are not your people. True friends and allies bask in your glory as a testament to what is possible for us all. Your story could be the key to helping someone unlock their potential because you have shown them it can be done. And the boomerang benefit is that when we share our wins, it helps us truly appreciate our achievements. So the next time you dole out some parental advice that has a positive impact on your child, tell everyone. Tell your friends, your spouse, your coworkers, your hairdresser. Every share contributes to your self-confidence and motivation for the future acts of greatness.

🦋 Step 4. Change your Label. When you take the time to implement the self-awareness techniques I I have outlined, your self-confidence will expand. You will no longer identify as someone broken. Instead, your labels will be "I am wise", "I am renewed", "I am strong".

Always remember this 👉 You CHOOSE to not break, but to break free! ⁠


Save this and use it as a reminder that you have wings my friend. ⁠🦋

Do you struggle to find time to exercise and eat healthy during the holidays? You are not alone girlfriend! It is challenging to practice self-care when you’re not inundated with family gatherings, holiday shopping, cooking epic meals, and attending social events. But have no fear, I have 12 easy-to-implement tips that will get you moving more, feeling better, and elevating your midlife moxie!

1. All or nothing, gets you nothing. If someone offered to give you a neck massage would you say, “No, I want a full body massage or nothing at all.”? That’s just crazy, right? And yet, you think exercising for 30 minutes seems impossible, so you forego it all together. This all-or-nothing mentality, indeed gets you nothing. Instead, try accumulating 30 min of cardio movement per day by breaking it into small achievable segments. Every time you go upstairs, go back up and down 5 more times before you move on. When you go shopping, wear sneakers and park as far as possible from the entrance and power walk. During your next phone call, put a YouTube exercise video on (muted of course) and workout out while you work. Try it for a week and then reward yourself with that massage!

2. 1% rule (AKA - small wins add up!) - Growing up, we go to school. We learn a little bit each day that builds upon the previous lessons. (Unless it’s organic chemistry, then I remain bewildered the entire year.) The point is, the small 1% gains add up to big change over time. Let’s apply this to exercise. Start with a realistic duration of exercise, say 15 minutes. To achieve a 1% improvement tomorrow, you’ll need to do 15 min + 9 seconds. Totally doable, right?

3. Celebrate Yourself. Speaking of gains, be sure to celebrate every single 1% improvement. Self-recognition is a key part of staying motivated. Because let’s face it, we women are the first ones to downplay our successes. And here’s what I have to say about that… Stop it! Come up with a post-win “touchdown dance”. I personally like doing the Saturday Night Fever moves. Or literally pat yourself on the back. A physical cue that represents “Good Job Me!”. The mind body connection is a powerful way to engrain healthy behaviors.

4. Choo Choo - New Year’s Resolutions = Procrastination Train Station. Why are you putting off moving your caboose right now? Don’t answer that. We make time to do what is most important to us. Whatever your “reason”, it is an excuse. Your mind is your steam engine. Harness that power to choose a brisk walk over the mindless Instagram scroll. Reorganize your morning routine to be more efficient and free up 20 minutes of move-it time! Bonus - You know what else is hard to do when you move your Choo Choo? Chew Chew.

5. Mindset is Everything. So often we focus on what we should do, rather than what we could do. If you think you “should exercise” to prevent weight gain, it just feels like work. (So not motivating!) But, what if you said “I could go for a walk because that would make me feel better”. Now the walk is a gift to yourself, not a punishment. When you change your mindset you change your entire visceral response. Always remember this… the way we phrase our words, whether out loud or internally, makes a huge difference in your attitude. So during the holidays, give yourself the gift of a positive mindset.

6. Adult-proof Your House. When you were little your parents baby-proofed the house to protect you from making bad decisions. They installed baby gates on the stairs, put hot pans on the back burner, covered electrical outlets, etc. There was no temptation, because there was no accessibility. And yet as adults, we intentionally fill our environments with temptation, like a kitchen full of holiday cookies. Then we berate ourselves for our lack of WILLPOWER when we eat said cookies by the handful. Girlfriend - if you don’t buy it or bake it, you can’t eat it. It has nothing to do with willpower. It has to do with danger of proximity. Set up your healthy environment to succeed. Stock your fridge with fruits and veggies, put a pair of 5lb dumbbells next to your couch, set your watch to beep every hour as a reminder to get up from your desk, attach motivational messages to your bathroom mirror like “Exercise Makes Me Feel Fabulous”.

7. Self-Care. Holidays are all about lists! And self-care is usually at the bottom of that list. Here’s a way to give yourself a gift this year. Combine movement with some “me time”. When working out, I love listening to motivational and/or educational podcasts (Midlife Moxie being a fav!) or YouTube videos or Clubhouse. And bonus, you glean real take-away lessons because you are not distracted.

8. Healthy New Traditions - Maybe it’s just my family, but the holidays are mostly about sitting around. Sit and talk. Sit and eat. Sit and watch a movie. Sit and play cards. There is a reason “sedentary is the new smoking”. It’s deadly. To institute some physical activity into your holidays, why not do a post-meal scavenger hunt; set up a friendly 10,000 steps competition; have an “old school” game day with freeze tag, hopscotch, kickball, mother-may-I, double dutch, and a good old-fashioned 3 legged race. Enlist your family for more fun ideas and they are even more likely to get excited about the group activity.

9. Reflect & Reset. Each night at dinner, my husband and I share the top three things we are grateful for that day. Even on the most stressful days, there are always small happy nuggets to shine a light on. It is a great way to imprint the positive and let go of the “yucky” stuff. You can also do this solo. My favorite way to reflect and reset: Lay down and put your feet up the wall with your bum touching the wall. Take 5 deep breaths. Meditate on the glory of my gratitudes.

10. Eat & Exit! Sit down. Eat. Then get AWAY FROM THE TABLE. Better yet, run away from the table! Go do something else. Anything else. Go play charades, build a snowman, take a walk, take a drive - anything that gets you away from table. The longer you sit there, the higher the propensity to have another helping of food, not because you are hungry, but because it is sitting right in front of you. You will need to enlist the family on this one to make it work. So have a plan that entices everyone to eat and retreat!

11. Accountability Hack - I’m an 17X Ironman and 43X marathoner. I tell you this not to brag, although I am super proud of myself, but because it is a testament to the importance of accountability partners. I had friends that would meet me at 6AM to get in a run before work. And others that would cycle on weekends. Left to my own devices, those training days would have been really easy to blow off or shorten. Enlist accountability parters that are dependable, implement tough love when necessary, and make it fun. Meaning, she shows up to walk even when it is snowing, calls BS on your lame excuses, and motivates you to keep going when you want to stop. And be sure to thank her every time she dose!

12. Self fulfilling prophecy. It all comes down to this simple concept. If you plan to move less, eat more, and gain weight… yep, that’ll happen. It might feel good at the time, but Girlfriend, it ain't gonna feel good later. Instead, plan how you will indulge once or twice, but otherwise eat healthy during the holidays. Plan your holiday calendar like you would your work calendar, a week in advance is ideal, with scheduled exercise sessions. Be flexible when necessary, but always reschedule the workout. It really is that simple. Really. You got this Sis!

Bonus Tip: Ask for a Gift of Fitness!

This year, stop asking for “stuff” and ask for a health & wellness experience. Here are some great ideas: 3 sessions with a personal trainer, a membership to online healthy cooking classes, a registration to an upcoming women’s empowerment summit, or how about a trip to a Hike/Yoga Retreat!

About the author

Shannon Paterson, owner of ACHIEVE Multisport Coaching & Personal Training and Live Your Truth Confidence Coaching, has been teaching and training clients to reach their health & fitness goals for over 25 years. Shannon has a BS in Exercise & Sport Science from Penn State University, is an ACE certified personal trainer, USAT certified triathlon coach, RRCA certified running coach. She is also a 17X Ironman Triathlete, Confidence Coach for Women, Writer, and Motivational Speaker. She organizes Hike/Yoga Retreats for women in Tucson, AZ twice a year. Shannon helps women feel more confident and fulfilled by cultivating awareness & self-belief, setting goals, developing a powerful mindset, and implementing courageous action to live your truth!

Have you ever been told "you're being over-emotional"? ⁠

Growing up with a Marine Dad and a stoic farm-raised mom, emotions were not appreciated nor welcomed. If I fell down and hurt my arm, my Dad would promptly walk me over to the table saw in the garage and offer to cut it off. So dealing with emotional pain wasn't even a blip on the radar.⁠


In my 40's, I realized expressing emotions is not a sign of weakness. (Yes, it took awhile!) And more importantly, I recognized that repressing my emotions had led me down a destructive path of unhappy and sometimes toxic relationships. My physical health was deteriorating. And my emotional well-being? It wasn't well at all.⁠


That was the first step in my emotional awakening journey... Awareness. ⁠


Then came Acceptance. Stripping away the negative self-judgement. No more "I'm so stupid for marrying him" or "What the hell is wrong with me that I can't stand up for myself?". To replace those self-depricating thoughts with compassion for the woman that was doing her best at the time. To know that because of those experiences, not despite them, I'm a happier healthier bolder version of me today.⁠


The last step = Action! To step into my power by unabashedly embracing my emotional side in conjunction with my bulldozer "get-shit-done" side. ⁠


👉 What do you think? Does showing your emotions make you feel uncomfortable or empowered?⁠

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