Viewing entries tagged
stress

The Key to Health, Energy + Fat Loss

I wish I would have known this 10 years ago.

What is the key to health? The key to more energy? The key to fat loss?

If you make this one thing your major priority, you'll see huge shifts in the way you look and feel.

This one thing is linked with a balanced metabolism and balanced hormones.

On the flip side, if you leave this one thing unregulated, it has been shown as a major component in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

I just HAD to share this info with you because most people are not even aware of the importance of focusing on just this one thing.

I know, enough already...what is it?!

Watch this very short video to find out

XO,

Alicia

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Why Cardio Isn't Getting You the Results You Want

You're watching what you eat.

You're trying to drink more water.

You're taking spin class or working on the treadmill or sweating it out on the elliptical.

Yet, you're NOT. GETTING. RESULTS.

WTF?!

If you're over 35 and you're sick of not seeing any change in your body with all of the effort you're putting in- THIS VIDEO IS A MUST WATCH!

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Looking at My Body in a Mirror, Crying

Standing in my underwear and a t-shirt in front of a full length mirror in our closet.

A pile of crumpled up pants on the ground next to me.

My eyes starting to well up with tears.

I can barely stand to look at my reflection.

This doesn’t even look like my body.

I pull out another pair of pants to try on. Praying these ones fit.
They just have to, I mean,  they are my “fat pants”.

Holy crap... just barely.  I start pulling on the waistband to try and stretch them out as much as I can.

I put on a baggy top so that hopefully no one will notice my waistband digging into my midsection.

I seriously wish I didn’t have to leave the house today....

Hold on, let me back this story up a bit.

I spent most of my twenties bouncing between being a chubby girl and a skinny girl.

I tried every diet, every gimmick, every bullshit fad. I felt deprived, frustrated and not good enough.

I put so many things on hold until I got in “perfect” shape.  Of course that never came.

It’s all I thought about. I was literally obsessed with the shape of my body.

In my thirties I dove into the science of nutrition, fitness and physiology.

I learned that the things I had believed and followed just a decade before were a load of hogwash (thank you mass media and “certified-in-a-weekend” trainers).

I finally got in shape in a way that was healthy and sustainable, or so I thought.

Now in my forties I am re-learning how to be fit and healthy without unleashing that crazy, obsessive twenty year old who still lives inside me.

All the damage I did to my metabolism in my younger years. All the stress I let consume me and destroy my health. All the intense exercise I did day after day after day.

What I’ve come to realize is that what used to work for me when I was younger... just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Because here’s the truth, once you get to be around forty (especially if you’re a woman, but this applies to men as well), all the dieting from your past, all the unchecked stress, all the pummeling to your body in the form of intense exercise... this has all now left you with unbalanced hormones and a damaged metabolism.

Now you know why I named my company Stress Monkee.

This has brought me to where I am now.

Looking at my body in a mirror, crying.

A Series of Unfortunate Events:

Over the last few years I have been hit with one health issue after another...

Type 1 Diabetes. Precancerous cells in my uterus. Told having a second baby was too risky.  A knee injury that kept me from exercise for months. Found out I have no cartilage left in my knees and will be needing knee replacements. A breast cancer scare.  Severe hormonal imbalance. Uterine fibroids that made my life a nightmare and led to a partial hysterectomy.

Basically the shit hitting the fan.

Please don’t take this as me having a pity party.

I’m sharing this with you so that when I say “health issues” you know exactly what I’m talking about.

A lot of people say to me, “How is this possible? You’re so healthy.”

Ah, but I know the truth. Yes, I am healthy now, but I am experiencing a backlash from all the things I did to my body in the past.

I basically punished my body to get it to look the way I wanted it to look.

The health issues I have had over the last few years (since turning 40) have left me with whacky hormones, a messed up metabolism, major loss of muscle mass and most recently, weight gain.

I am now recovering from major surgery that I had almost 3 weeks ago. I’m sore, tired and my belly is swollen.  I have moments where I’ll just start sobbing (once again, thanks hormones. You’re a real peach).

I KNOW what to do to get back in the shape I want to be in. I could sit down and write myself a killer program to get lean, strong and healthy.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Most everyone knows basically what they should be doing to get in better shape.

If information were the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” -Derek Sivers

Ain’t that the truth.

The BIGGEST truth I know from all of my years in the health and fitness industry: Most people fail because they try to change too much too soon.

So, I will be taking baby steps. Focusing on One thing at a time. The smallest thing I can do that will get me the biggest results.

All of this to tell you:

I will be documenting my journey and sharing it openly. Hits and misses. Wins and loses. Triumphs and failures.

I will be testing theories and using myself as a guinea pig so that I can help other women over 40 take their life back and feel incredible in their own skin.

Over the next few weeks I will be walking on the beach with my dog a lot and getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I’m just focusing on letting my body heal from surgery and enjoying this very magical time of year with my husband Joe and our sweet son Rocco.

After Christmas (possibly after New Year’s) I will start sharing everything I’m doing with you. Workouts... Food... Stress Hacks... Mindset Tips... Meditations... What's working + What's not

I hope you’ll take this journey with me. Support and accountability are a good thing to have on your side. And I could use all the good juju I can get ♥️

I’ll end this here, but before I go, I have something for you.

It’s a tool I’ll be using throughout the month of December just to give myself whispers of reminders to keep my health a top priority.

It’s the Stress Monkee Calendar for December.

Mini workouts. Easy recipes. Mindset tips.

I know it might seem so simple, but if you haven’t ever tried it, you should give it a shot.

Just print it out and put it somewhere that you can see it daily. Grab your copy HERE

If you want to save on ink, click HERE for a version with no background.

If my story struck a cord with you, then be sure and check back at the end of the year.

Join me on my journey to reset my metabolism, rebalance my hormones and transform my body.

The good news...it is possible, even over 40.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.  You deserve it.

XO

Alicia

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The Health Drama I'm Finally Talking About

I was driving a rental car in the pouring rain in the middle of the woods in Georgia with my then 5 year old son, Rocco in the back seat.

We were on our way to the Atlanta Airport to fly home to Los Angeles after visiting family for a few days.

I was already really nervous about driving in this crazy downpour-- being a So Cal native I'm not used to driving in those kind of conditions-- but then things got much, much worse.

WARNING: If you're a guy reading this, you might want to stop here because I'm going to be talking about "girlie" things and I know some of you fellas can get a bit squeamish about that stuff.

Back to my story...

We're literally driving in the middle of the woods and all of a sudden I can feel my pants getting wet. 

I was so confused.  uh- there it goes again.

I reach down and when I pull my hand back up it's covered in blood.

Let me make this clear, it wasn't like, "oh shoot I just started my period." It was like the downpour of rain outside.

Just at that moment there was a clearing in the thick trees and I see a huge, brand new gas station on the corner.

I quickly pulled in and parked off to the side so I could try and make sense of what was going on and to hopefully avoid anyone seeing my blood-soaked pants and shoes.

As I got out of the car my son saw the seat I had been sitting in and yelled out, "Mom! You're hurt, what's wrong?!"

Let me tell you, I wanted to panic and start crying so bad. But having my son there I somehow managed to hold it together during this entire fiasco.

"It's fine baby.  Don't worry. Mommy's fine.  I just need to go inside and change my pants."

I went into the trunk to get some clothes out of my suitcase.  The pouring rain was rinsing off the pants and shoes I was wearing.  

We went into the mini-market of the gas station and headed straight to the bathroom.  My poor son had to be in the bathroom with me and as I'm sure you can guess, he was a bit traumatized.

Without going into the details of the bathroom scene, I'll just say, I couldn't get the bleeding to stop.  

When it finally slowed down we made our way out into the mini-market and Rocco saw some Spiderman swim goggles. "Oh man! Look at those cool glasses mom!"

I grabbed them and some "lady supplies" and we headed back to the car.

I was a little worried because now we were running a bit behind for our flight and all I could think about was I've got to get this kid home safely.

During the drive to the airport I had to pull over on the side of the road 3 times to deal with the bleeding.

The airport was quite the adventure.

After returning the rental car and taking the tram to the airport I had to immediately run to the restroom.

Rocco was such a trooper.  He was carrying stuff for me and kept asking if I needed anything. Love that little guy.

Once we got to our gate I made one last trip to the restroom.  In the stall I was praying..."Please, please let this stop for the flight. Please let me just get home."

I mean, what if this didn't stop for the flight?

I couldn't just sit in the bathroom on the plane for 4 hours.  I couldn't leave Rocco alone in his seat for the duration of the flight.

Just before boarding the plane I called my husband to tell him about what was going on. 

I had waited to call him because I knew once I started talking to him I'd get emotional and I really had to hold it together for Rocco's sake. 

Thankfully Rocco was preoccupied gobbling down the ginormous muffin I had bought him moments before, so he didn't notice my tears (I had my back to him just in case) as I told my husband the story.

At first there was pure silence on the other end.  Then my husband starts talking and making me feel better.  I told him I'd see him in LA.

As soon as I possibly could I ordered a glass of wine.  I then asked, "could I actually order two?"

The flight attendant says, "It's actually a better deal if you order two."

Bring it on sister.

Here's the coolest thing.  The bleeding stopped.

For the whole flight, I was totally fine.

Rocco and I had a calm flight, the wine didn't hurt, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I was paranoid the entire flight.  I think I went to the restroom like 6 times.

We landed safely in LA and got home where it started up again, but not as bad and so what, I was home.

This all happened 11 months ago. November of 2016.

I went to the doctor and found out I had a fibroid in my uterine lining.  I wouldn't find out until about 5 months later after an MRI just how huge that puppy was.

The bleeding stopped for months.  My doctor was hopeful that it was just a fluke thing.

And then in March (about 5 months later) it came back with a vengeance.

I went through days and days of what I described at the beginning of this story.

So many humiliating and stressful events during this time...we'd be here all day if I was to tell you them all. 

Like when I was on the side of the road with my dog standing in a puddle of blood crying, waiting for my husband to come get me because it started up while I was out for a walk. Two elderly ladies stopped and were trying to call 911.

"I'm fine!" I said between sobs. "I have a uterine fibroid!"

Can't make this stuff up folks.

Or the time I had to cancel a catered speaking engagement 30 minutes before I was supposed to start my presentation.  Calling the event coordinators and telling them I literally couldn't leave my bathroom was super fun.

After several tests, doctors appointments and trying different methods to stop this damn thing I finally decided that I needed to have surgery.  I wanted my life back.  I was tired of being scared to even go to the grocery store.

Apparently the big issue is not the size of it (a large grapefruit), but more of where it's located.  Where it's situated is known for causing these types of "episodes".

Unfortunately, thanks to all of the massive blood loss, I was severely anemic.  My doctor told me she's actually never seen someone with such a low iron level.

My doctor put me on iron supplements and a heavy dose of hormones.  Great times.

The hormones have really been a roller coaster.  They made the bleeding subside, but they also made me gain weight, look like I have a beer belly, make my hair fall out in clumps and the worst part, they make my blood sugar out of control...if you didn't know, I have Type 1 Diabetes, so that's no bueno.

My surgery was scheduled for September, so I'd have time to get my iron up and I did.

When September rolled around my mom flew out to stay with us and help with Rocco for a couple of weeks while I was recovering.

The day of the surgery I was really scared.  I don't like the idea of being put under.

Plus, getting my blood sugar at just the right number was pretty difficult since you have to fast for 12 hours before surgery.

My husband was with me while they were prepping me and I kept welling up with tears.  He would then talk to me and make me feel better. This cycle happened like 4 times.

The anesthesiologist let me know that he'd check my blood sugar after 2 hours of surgery.  It was at 112 before going in and it seemed like a good number. 

I was taken to the Operating Room and goodnight Shirley, I was out.

All of a sudden I'm waking up being rolled down the hall in my hospital bed.  I look up at my doctor, "Is it over?"

"Nope, couldn't do the surgery.  Your heart rate went way up right before we were going to start. We think you're allergic to the anesthesia."

Wait...what?!

And then it gets even better...they then tell me that I have to go to see a cardiologist and get cleared, just in case there's something wrong with my heart.

I'm laying there, still feeling "druggy" and thinking, do I have a heart problem now too?? 

Spoiler alert- I'm still in the middle of testing (have to wear a heart rate monitor for a week) but the cardiologist is sure my ticker is in great shape:) Looks like I'm just allergic to that particular anesthesia. 

I have to tell you one more detail because it's kind of...I don't know, maybe this was divine intervention....

When they brought me to recovery, the first thing the nurse did was check my blood sugar.  It was 56.

That's scary. They wouldn't have checked my blood sugar for another 2 hours and if it had continued to drop...it freaks me out to think of what could've happened.  Low numbers could mean coma.

So, that brings you up to date.

I'm waiting for a new surgery date and to get cleared by the cardiologist. 

It's looking like the surgery is going to be next month, in November. Bringing it full circle I guess.

Okay, so what's the point of this very lengthy blog post?

I want other women that might be experiencing something similar to what I went through know that they're not alone.

I had never heard of this type of thing happening before and I felt like I was a freak or something, but since I started opening up about what is going on, SEVERAL women have told me stories of similar things that they went through.

If you're reading this and have had something like this happen, get checked for fibroids (little rascals).  Hopefully it'll save you months of trying to figure out what is going on.

I'll let you know once my surgery is done.  Thank you for listening.

Before I go, huge shout out to my husband Joe for all of his support, concern and understanding.  I love you man.

Here's to staying present, being strong and having faith.

XO

Alicia

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Time for a Change

For the last 10 months I have been dealing with a frustrating and at times humiliating health issue.

I'm finally ready to talk about it in the hopes that it will help someone else who is going through the same thing.  My plan is to blog about it next week.

At first when this all started I was totally overwhelmed...going to tons of doctor's appointments and trying to figure out exactly what was going on.

And then about 4 months ago I just kind of put my life on hold because of my health.

I stopped working out as much as I used to.

I quit working diligently to grow my Stress Monkee company.

I started drinking more wine than I should as a way to self-soothe the stress.

I kept saying, "once I get this health shit dealt with then I can (fill-in-the-blank)."

Last week I had an "aha" moment.

What in the f@$k am I doing?!

I have been living in total "reaction" mode.  Just reacting to life's curve balls by trying to bury my head in the sand until it all blew over.

Well I got news for ya sweet Alicia, it doesn't work that way.

I've made the decision to commit to growing from all of this.

To getting stronger + more resilient.

Out of pain comes growth. WORD.

I sat down and made a promise to myself to focus on only one or two things that will "move the needle" in my health, my business and my overall joy.

I know from years of working with clients (and my own experience), when we try to change too many habits at once we are just setting ourselves up for overwhelm and eventually failure.

The best results I've seen when it comes to change is picking one thing that you KNOW you can do.  

Make it so easy you can't say no.

Then become a promise keeper.  Make a promise to yourself that you WILL practice your new habit and only that one habit. After about 2 weeks, you add on another habit and so on.

This method is not slow, it's strategic. And it works.

Before you go be sure to grab this month's Stress Monkee Calendar HERE.

Daily tips + reminders to help you focus on your health every single day and get ridiculously fit, inside + out.

(If you want to save on ink, here's a version with no background pic)

Are you ready for a change? Is it time for you to grow?

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Thanks for being you.

XO

Alicia

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Why Diets Make You Fat

Do you feel like nothing you do seems to get you in the shape you want to be in?

And do you feel like you've tried just about every-damn-thing there is out there?

Here's the thing-- 

most of the time, the diets we follow in hopes to get a bangin' bod actually end up making us gain MORE fat.

I hear you, wtf?! 

Check out this stat:

90-95% of people who lose weight by dieting gain it all back.  Yep, 90-95%

And about 60-65% actually gain back MORE than when they started!

Why is this?

Diets make you fat.

In this video, I go over some of the reasons that diets slow down your metabolism and mess up your hormones (the driver of the metabolism).

This is Part ONE in a 2-part series (stay tuned for Part 2).

After you watch the video, be sure to grab the Handy-Dandy Cheat Sheet I created for you: DITCH THE DIET, 2 Shifts To Start Seeing Results

Grab your cheat sheet here

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.  Do you think you suffer from a less than stellar metabolism?

See you soon sweet thang,

Alicia

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Can Something So Simple Actually Help Me to Get in Summer Shape?

I can't believe it's already May!

Summer is right around the corner and so many of us start to get super busy at this time of year.

I know for us we have end-of-the-school-year events, planning family summer trips, lining up summer activities for our son... oh the mayhem! 

And every May I set out to get my body in "summer shape".

The irony of course being that when things start to get busy (busier I should say) the FIRST thing that starts to suffer is the very things that help me to be healthy + fit. 

Less trips to the gym, less time spent on meal planning, more mindless snacking, you get the picture.

Here's my strategy to stay on track with my health + fitness this year: 

I am going to follow along day by day with the Stress Monkee Calendar.

It's so simple and yet it works.

Daily tips to help you be ridiculously fit, inside + out.

By focusing on something small each day I'm able to stick to my health + fitness priorities without feeling overwhelmed.

And there's one thing I know for sure, consistency is the secret to being fit.

Be sure to grab this month's Stress Monkee Calendar + follow along with me.

If you'd like to save on ink, here's a version with no picture.

Here's to less drama + more joy...

XO,

Alicia

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Can Food Actually Affect Your Stress Levels?

Hello turtle dove,

We probably all know by now that the food we eat plays a major role in our weight, our energy levels, our longevity, BUT check this out..

Did you know that certain foods can actually cause you to stress out?

That's right my friend. 

I filmed a little video to tell you about it and what you can do avoid letting your food uncage your Stress Monkee!

After you watch the video below make sure you grab the cool freebie I created for you:

Get it here-- Cheat-Sheet: Foods That Reduce Stress

Time to feed your Zen Monkee...

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