not all #fabfitbookers are weight-loss success stories. in fact, some aren’t aiming for weight-loss as their major goal at all. take taylor, for example. taylor is a registered dietitian who knows firsthand how much stress can affect everything from your diet to your mood. she sees it each + every day with her patients.
“i think oftentimes stress is at the root of our behaviors,” said taylor. “i have seen so many individuals for nutrition counseling, and what i’ve noticed over the many years is that we can make great nutrition and fitness goals; we can make goals that are simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive; we do great until life starts to get stressful. then, when stress inevitably starts to build, i usually see people stop working toward those goals they set.”
so what’s a stress-case to do when life happens, but there are still goals to be gotten? rise to the challenge, of course! her 6-week stress management challenge, that is - starring none other than our goal getter fitspiration journal.
we caught up with taylor to get the scoop on her program + the deets on why she felt the goal getter was the natural choice for her clients.
[why the fitspiration journal?]
i wanted something well-rounded, something that encouraged a person to think about all aspects of their health and well-being. i didn’t want something solely focused on weight loss or calories burned at the gym or counting anything because that’s not what the challenge was about. i finally came across the goal getter fitspiration journal and thought it would be perfect. i purchased it to test it out myself while walking through the program, and it really was just what i was looking for.
[well, we never tire of hearing that! why did the goal getter make such an impression on you?]
i love that it gets my day started or ends my day on a positive note. you start with thinking about what you’re grateful for. then it has you look at your health and well-being from a holistic perspective. it includes food and exercise because that is part of a overall wellness, but then it has you look at your mood or attitude that day, reflect on what you appreciate about yourself and your body that day and leaves room for free thoughts. i really love that it has a place to write down what inspires you that day. i think reflecting on what inspires you each day, even if just for a moment, boosts creativity, mood and motivation. i feel like even if the rest of your day is hard, the few moments spent reflecting in the goal getter notebook can’t help but be positive. i also think that if you do it consistently, you can look back and see patterns and connections between your thoughts, actions, feelings and overall well being.
[couldn’t agree more! so, tell us about your stress challenge. why did you decide to do it?]
i knew i wanted to create a new program that got to the root of many health problems. while this certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, stress, for many, can be the reason behind poor nutrition and lack of exercise. physically, stress can inhibit weight loss, it can make us tired and inhibit the retention of or increase in lean muscle. it is going to be harder for someone to lose weight for health reasons or maintain their lean muscle mass if they are dealing with a lot of stress at the same time. so many of the programs i have overseen in the past have been very fitness or food focused, but i always think, what happens after the challenge is over and life gets stressful? will they maintain these new healthy habits? i think it’s important to tackle the topic and build healthy coping strategies so that when life gets stressful, we can navigate it in a healthier way, staying on track with our health and wellness goals.
[how did the stress challenge work?]
it was a 6-week program intended to teach people what stress does to the body and then give them focused time to learn about how stress is interwoven into their lives, how they respond to it and how they, personally, can manage it in healthier ways.
the first week, we talk about what stress does in the body and then everyone is challenged to look at when they feel stressed during the week and how they know they are stressed. How does their body tell them they are stressed (stomach aches, headaches, moodiness, etc)?
the next week we talk about how we respond to stress and the role sleep plays. participants are then challenged to spend the week noticing the ways they respond to stress (both positive and negative).
we spend the remaining weeks talking about how to manage stress with nutrition, with exercise, with meditation and interpersonal relationships. each week, participants are challenged to pick one way they can better manage stress in the category discussed. for example, during the week that’s focused on nutrition, a participant is challenged to look at whether or not they use food to cope in harmful ways. if they find that they do and this is something they want to change, they are challenged to find one way they can use food to cope with stress in a more positive way. examples might include not skipping meals, eating balanced meals regularly, including more stress-fighting foods and fewer foods high in extra simple sugars (blood sugars spiking up and down throughout the day can add to stressful feelings).
to learn more about the challenge, you can visit the wellness page on my website, where i walk readers through an overview of each week!
[why do you think gratitude is such a valuable tool for stress management?]
gratitude helps us look at what we are thankful for. i think it’s very hard to feel grateful and stressed at the exact same time. i actually read another book during our program called The Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Stress Free Living by Dr. Amit Sood, and there is a whole section about the importance of gratitude. it’s a really interesting read.
[how do you deal with stress in your daily life?]
i exercise regularly, trying to get in a mix of strength training, cardio, and walking. i make sure to prioritize personal time to journal and reflect. i try make sure i’m getting three balanced meals a day and including snacks as needed. hungry taylor is not a fun person to be around, ha. i try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. my body starts to feel really off when i don’t get enough sleep.
[ok, goal getter fitspiration vs blank journal. which one wins?]
fitspiration journal, for sure. it prompts you to think about certain things that you may not otherwise think about or be asked about. i mean, when is the last time someone came up to you randomly and asked, “what do you appreciate about yourself today?” or “what are you inspired by?”. the goal getter makes sure that you get asked that each day you open it. i really love that. it forces you to reflect on the positive parts of your day and enables you to look back and see how all of the different components of wellness may be connected (nutrition, hunger, exercise, mood, attitude). and you can spend 10 minutes with it or two minutes.
thank you for giving our goal getter a go, taylor! we’re honored to be a part of not only your daily routine, but your clients’ as well! we’re feeling less stressed already!
have questions for taylor? share in the comments! wanna learn more? wanna keep up with taylor? follow her on instagram!