weight loss

Your Journey to Hotn(m)ess

Have you ever imagined your head standing on someone else's body?

Speaking from the physical standpoint, for example, have you thought about how you could look if you lose extra weight, put on some muscle, improve your image or change your posture? How would you show up in the world? What would be different? 

For many of us - even tho we want to believe differently - the answer is - nothing!

 

We tend to get into the trap of judgment of what will happen one day when we are good enough, or disciplined enough. That’s the unhealthy approach that leads to a downward spiral of shame and blame, and I beg you to stop doing that now. It will not make progress faster. Trust me. Instead, learn to appreciate the pleasure that’s coming from the incremental changes.

Let me try to help you with some actionable steps in this article on how to enjoy and savor the process of transformation.

It’s not easy to chill when we’re continually being told how to look, how to behave, what to eat, how much, how to interact, what to wear, what profession to chose. Everything. 

Connecting with yourself, your desires and your capabilities feel like launching the space shuttle to Mars. Benchmarks are all around, and we are taught to follow the metrics (not only in numbers but in pictures, status, degree, profession). Society is doing everything to domesticate us. 

The shift doesn’t come with age; it comes with awareness. 

Trust me on this one. No matter how old you are, what will determine your capability to break through societal dogma that teaches you how you should be is not your age, education, nor money, but your level of consciousness and self-awareness. 

If you are walking your walk unconsciously - I bet that you are feeling kind of - okay, or may I say - great in your ignorance. On the other hand, if you feel intimidated by the engineered picture perfect - you’re probably becoming to live your life more consciously than the majority of the people around you. 

Don’t get me wrong - wherever you are, it’s not your fault. We’re humans, the social animals. As such, we get influenced by many sources - media (and a lot), influencers (if only we could follow their blueprint for life), science (will tell us with “precision" what to do).

I believe that setting the goals is excellent and if you do, I appreciate you so much for that. You understand that whatever achievement you’ve had in your life has come as a result of setting the goal. However, I’d like to encourage you to pay attention to the process of achieving your goal. That is the real GOLDEN PATH with so much potential in it. 

If it’s on your way, it’s your way
— Lao Tzu
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During the pursuit of your goal, if you open up and confront with what you find in yourself, and become willing to adjust your habits and behaviors, you’ll have a wholly transformational experience. Start asking yourself questions like: “Why am I not being able to follow through?, or "Why do I feel envious?, or “Where is this resistance coming from?". If you want something to work in your life, speak the truth and be centered around it. 

Even tho you might never be able to look like Victoria Secret angel, or the hottest fitness guru (and the majority of people aren't), you still might feel happier and healthier than before because of your journey or experience that you’ve had along the way. 

Having the role model is easy, but the role models can distract us from our journey - whether or not we even notice that. 
— Dallas Hartwig

 

Open up to authenticity, honesty, and integrity as a new cornerstone of what is considered hot. I encourage you to be vulnerable and to say - "Here’s who I am even overweight and messy. I know there is some work that I need to do and I am willing to embrace the process." 

By doing this, you’ll become the person that will have a higher awareness of your journey and someone who will be able to have a meaningful conversation with others. AND THAT IS HOT! Don't try to cover your modest inner world with excessive attention to outer expression through clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry. 

What if you decide to become healthy? Do you think that you’ll miss out on hotness? No way! Your whole being will become lighter, your skin and eyes will be radiant and glowing, you’ll become calmer and more centered, and the most importantly - you’ll become a loving and compassionate person. 

Your life is going to change when you get to know yourself. 

The perfect scale number or a fitness model's fat percentage will never make a mean person become a better human. Your unhappiness will only get exacerbated if you start chasing the metrics. Instead, look inside and commit to doing some inner work. Become little happier each day. 

Your task is to become a healthier person not just in body, but in mind and spirit, as well as your heart and community. By doing so, you are going to become as hot as you desired. 

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Now, let's see where to start!

1. ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU WANT SOMETHING.

This may sound repetitive, but reminding yourself daily why you want to achieve something will settle into your subconscious mind. Learn to check in with yourself daily, and you’ll stay grounded on your path.

2. EVALUATE YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED.

This one is hugely important - evaluate how each person that you follow makes you feel. You don’t even have to label that feeling any further than - "I feel inspired," or "I don't feel inspired." And then take responsibility for the images and energies that you allow into your screen. Put yourself first and feel free to unfollow those that do not make you go and do something good.  

3. WHERE DO YOU SPEND YOUR RESOURCES  (TIME, ENERGY, MONEY)?

Is your spending in alignment with your values and your goals? Are you sitting in cafes with friends every day drinking lattes while your goal is to get in shape? Does your behavior take you closer to your goal? 

4. MEDITATE.

Advice that follows is not a cliche, so you better pay attention. A lot of people meditate and still stay in their heads. If you want to get the benefits of meditation or prayer, you want to build the stronger center. Your spirit needs to get grounded. Practice meditation and pay attention to your energy levels. Your energy (chi) is vital for your feeling of centeredness. If you feel energetic, this means that you are on the good path.

Do simple better and remember that lifestyle is a set of choices you make on a daily basis, so choose wisely. 

Much love,
Marija

P.S. If you liked this article and find it insightful, I'd so much appreciate if you could share it with your friends on social media. Thank you & love you!

How To Master The Winter (In Order To Thrive In Summer)

Hello, my dear friends! 

Hope you had a proper time to rest and digest during the festive season. If you’re slowly shifting gears into expecting longer days and warmer weather, you'll love this text. I'll share with you a compelling take on how to be and what to do during the next couple of months to welcome the spring with a lot of energy and excitement, avoiding the pitfalls along the way. 

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As you can notice - winter is not over yet! We have a few more months to go before the sunshine makes us fly high. I'd love for you to read this and to explore the meaning of winter to get everything you need and set yourself up for the warmer months that follow.

If you are anything like me, your social media feed might explode with endless lists on how to start the New Year off right, how to set goals, plan for the year ahead and repair the damage from the festive season. However, the reality is - we’re not going to apply 10 things straight after reading them. Here is why - our habits are more powerful than our knowledge. 

Now, I intend to help you understand the meaning of the winter season that is (still!) on and to help you get ready for the spring and summer months that will require much more of your energy. This time of the year is not about focusing your power on that booty. It’s about learning how to give yourself an additional boost and how to create habits by getting the most out of the winter and eventually becoming that beauty or the beast (whatever floats your boat). If you get this - you’ll be set for the best year ever. 

As you've probably noticed - it’s still cold and dark. Days are short; windows get frozen in the morning. However, we live in the cult of light, where everything needs to be bright and shiny. We try our best to stay away from the dark, from the shadow, from the introspection. We are encouraged to be hustlers, to stay up late, and to be up early. We live in the world where yang energy dominates. I’ll explain.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is the time of the yin energy. The time for introspection, femininity, dreaming, imagining, restoration and stillness. It’s the perfect time to figure what you want. Nevertheless, we get intimidated by the opportunities that winter give us - one of the worry and anxiety or another of the possibilities. Winter serves as the preparation for the spring which is the time of anger, clarity, and the time when we define our boundaries. All those things will lead us to joy, bounty, and fun of the early summer. 

How do we mess up?

Thanks to the countless festive occasions during Holidays, we tend to act as if winter was the summer. We stay up late; we spend energy on socializing with many people, we have plenty eating and drinking occasions, and we try to keep up with our stressful end-of-the-year tasks both at work and with our families. Eventually, we get so tired of doing this whole summer thing, as it entirely exhausts us and makes us empty. That is why I love the potential that January brings - we can finally live according to the season.

If we stay ignorant to the requirement of the winter season - we’ll suffer (hey there, spring blues). We wouldn’t be able to give anything from an empty bowl. Our bodies would continue to shut down, and we’d probably end up with colds as well as the hormonal imbalances, migraines or headaches in the months to come. 

What could we do? 

Firstly - stop living as if it was July on Ibiza. Staying up late, drinking, going out and hosting is going to tax your body. I know that it’s fun, but it’s not the best season for it. Days are short, and nature’s circadian rhythms are calling for more rest and replenishment. The festive season is now over, and you can give this a try. Prioritise your sleep and get deep and restorative rest. Try giving up on your phone, computer or TV at 9 pm, dim the blue light and make peace with being less entertained. Grab the book, make a cuppa and chill out. Make it the time when you stay with yourself and when you ask yourself hard questions. Stay with the answers no matter how much you like them or don't like them. Take advantage of this precious time and do not push this inner work towards the long summer nights - that time is going to be about something else, which I’ll happily share with you.

Try making it about sleep, movement, and food. 

Winter has challenged me after moving to Scandinavia. Even though I love winter and I adore hygge, being in this mood for eight months straight every year was h-a-r-d until I learned how to do it. Eventually, it made me get closer to discovering who I was. And that's been one of my life goals. 

I learned a lot about periodization. I learned that focus is the most powerful thing and that setting  goals within the seasons make so much sense. Winter is the time when you build the foundation. You build intimacy with people, you take better care of yourself, create routines around cooking, bedtime, and exercising. 

How to move?

Winter is not the best time to get the long duration workout. It’s not the perfect time for endless cardio trainings such as running, aerobics, spinning. Focus for winter is building - strength, muscle mass, bone density. It’s important to make your structure and give it potential. Our goal should be to become a useful human being and to be able to play without the fear of yet another injury. By building body strength, we build our inner strength. And that's my jam.

It took me years to understand the importance of patient and methodical building of the foundation as I was the all in or all out type of person. I believed other people rather than myself. And don’t get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with other people, it’s about us giving our power away to others without taking the responsibility. It's an easy way around. I learned the importance of understanding our values and how vital it is to match them with our behavior. 

What to eat?

I cannot finish this text without mentioning the food. Even though this topic is highly polarising, I tend to approach it according to the knowledge I have acquired by studying more than 100 different dietary theories ranging from East to West. I do not support labeling nor religious take on nutrition, and I tend to value quality more than anything. Real quality. Not whole grain biscuits type of quality. I believe in honestly sourced, pastured, grass-fed, free-range, organic or bio-dynamic rather than any vegan, vegetarian or paleo movement (especially if done poorly).

In that light, let's explore what makes the best choice for winter. Stews, soups, broths, good quality protein, warm vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, celeriac and more robust greens such as kale and fennel should be a foundation of our winter diet. We don’t need much fruit. We need to be careful about the types of fat we consume. Feel free to regularly change the sources of fat - use nuts, seeds, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olives, avocados, olive oil and flaxseed oil. They will make your hormones work well, and your arteries happy. However, an alert here - watch out not to eat cakes and candies if you are to up your fat intake. Your body won't be very fond of it. 

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Now, I'll try to help you with a powerful exercise that gave me so much clarity. Imagine you are 20 years older than you are now and ask yourself: How would I live if I could go back? How would I like to feel? What would be the most important to me? Then, take the paper, make two columns and decide what you want to keep doing and what needs to change. This exercise will help you get clarity and will induce the lasting change informed by internal motivation. 

To wrap it up - follow the common sense, relax as much as you can, pay close attention to the circadian rhythm of nature, sleep, rest, move, eat in season and watch the quality of the stuff you consume - foods, cosmetics, books, movies, people, water. 

It all becomes - you.

When you master the basics, you'll be set to dig into more juicy stuff.

Have fun!

Love,
Marija 

 

Deconstruct Your Excess

Nothing succeeds like excess. If a little of something is good, more must be better.
— Arianna Huffington
Source:  Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

“More" in today's world serves as a legitimate measure of success, life’s mission and an ultimate life goal for many. It’s the proof that we’re doing everything as society intended and performing very well. We collect more stuff, take more education, live in the bigger houses, drive bigger cars, have more clothes. Society has taught us on how to be hungry for more. If you want more stuff in your life, people will pat your back.

We are widely encouraged to feel that settling for enough is for those of us who are weak and non-ambitious. Capitalist societies have given us a detailed manual on how to live life and how to measure our success. Every deviation would be considered either inappropriate or a non-volatile act of the extreme luck - depending on the outcome.

In that light, I was wondering, what about the excess weight?! What about that stubborn layers of fat that wouldn’t go away, that protect us from something?

What about that obvious statement of insatiable hunger for more?

Here's how it usually goes. Early morning, you get to the bathroom and face your reflection in the mirror. You give it a glimpse, lightly smile and affirm that you need to get rid of that annoying flab that’s stopping you from living your best life.

So what do you do? You either get to punish yourself with another circle of deprivation that balances you out until the emotional craving for the equilibrium caused by lack, propels you in yet another cycle of over-eating.

Perhaps you start re-inforcing all the blessings that you’ve earned in this lifetime, go on with your life as you know it, hoping to eventually manifest what you genuinely desire of your body.

Enough is not the amount. It’s your relationship with what you already have. - Geneen Roth

The major diseases are not the causes of death. Diseases are effects. What is causing them in 80% of the cases is a day to day lifestyle choices. There is still no pill that can outsmart your body’s intelligence in a way that it stays blind to your poor daily decisions. The power of food and lifestyle is so high that we can re-fashion our medical destiny at the very level of our genes.

So, how to apply this to healing our relationship with food?

We either get so scared that we promptly get out of our way and start applying everything that could make us not to die prematurely, or we give it a little more thought. We obtain more knowledge which leads us to more cerebral eating.

The next level is to connect to our bodies which lead us to more intuitive eating. We explore different dietary approaches, consult different practitioners and then, armed with the cutting edge knowledge, we get the feeling of having the power.

However, knowledge is not the power. We need the effort to translate it into energy. The initiative is called the action.

Exploring the health from the holistic perspective by integrating different aspects of your living experience could be your path to freedom. Everyone can do it.

Do you have an excuse?

Explore it with me on your FREE mini session that you can schedule now.

Sources:
1. Dr. David Katz, notes from lectures
2. Huffington, Arianna. Thrive. New York, NY: Penguin, 2014.
3. McGinnis JM, Foege WH. Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA 1993.