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Tweet Today in the Studio Mat class I heard from a witty, wonderful, sexy and stylish woman that she has accepted middle age and is in a retail quest for Belly Blocker Tops.   At first I thought she meant these … Continue reading

Book Signing this weekend in Park City, UT

Atticus_FillYourCup_Flier

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”   – JOSEPH CAMPBEL.

It takes a courageous type of soul to talk about weight management before Thanksgiving, when the weather is cold and all you really want is a mocha and a muffin.  But you’ll feel and look better when the sweater eventually comes off if you come explore appetite and life balance with me this Sunday at Atticus at 10 am, I’ll be there with my honey latte, no one will judge your order, so sip what you like.   I can’t wait to meet you.  Love,  Julie

9 habits for taking care of yourself

It’s hard to eat lighter if you aren’t well cared for. But…. you protest, how can I do one more thing with my schedule? Or what does THAT mean, I take care of myself, I think!? What I mean by care for is care for yourself like you would for someone younger, weaker, sadder, or older than you are. When you do, you’ll have a really good day, almost like magic! On a day that I feel my best – self nurtured – most grounded I’ve generally included these ingredients:

1. Meditate: I get up 10 min early, have a glass of water brush my teeth (this means I’m really up not just lying in bed snoozing the alarm) and sit with a quiet mind, or just appreciate the upcoming day, or go for a brief walk with no agenda (or a simple one) in my mind.

2. Exercise: whether I have exercise in the calendar in the morning or the evening I need to know at some point – I am going to move. I’m going after gross motor exhaustion or nearly that!

3. Light breakfast: It feels nourishing but not filling. For me it is 1 simple protein source (an egg or a few nuts) and usually a honey latte.

4. Notice my job like I’m selling it to someone else: for example I get to address interesting and sometimes complex problems with people who care. Every person who comes to see me is happy and motivated to be with me and by the time they leave they feel better because of our time together! It’s worth working hard for.

5. Cherish the people: I kiss my children even though they are old enough to object and remind them every day that I’m glad they are in my life. And that sentiment goes for parents, spouse/special person, friends and neighbors, whomever I sincerely love.

6. Time for my home: make space a finite time (30 min?) to tidy the house, move the laundry along, do a simple chore or 2 to invest in my space but do not get consumed by it.

7. Feed myself lunch and dinner thoughtfully: whether I go out or stay in for my “cups” each day, I decide what I’m hungry for. I choose those ingredients in what I order or prepare. I take the supplements I think I need, a multivitamin vitamin B, C, calcium, melatonin and fish oil are in my recipe since I am now middle aged. (I typed and erased and retyped that term twice but it’s true – I’ll leave it.)

8. Self care: After the work the exercise the giving to all the people the eating well just take time to have a bath or shower or use a nice lotion or condition your hair. Make time to be with your own skin.

9. Read or meditate or hold someone close to finish the day. Get quiet before you crash into your pillow. Enough said.

Your specifics for nurturing yourself may be different than mine, that’s good, take time to identify exactly what habits nurture you and do a little of each of those, and you WILL have a good day!

What nurtures you? What fills your cup?

Magical Thinness – Jennie Sikora Chapter 6

I was reading something the other day that questioned what was so magical in being or rather wanting to become thin. I have waited for this glorious magic to come even when I was “thin”. How many times, I have waited to go shopping until I loose whatever amount of weight, or not gone to an event because I thought I would do it once I hit my goal weight. It is great to have goals but I realized, most of my life I have put stuff or things off, for the magical unveiling of my new self. But what kind of experiences is my current self having.

Part of the cup philosophy is to “be in the moment” be aware of what you are eating, be conscious of what decisions I am making about food and exercise. But how can I truly be in the moment if I am always waiting for that magical moment? To truly be in the moment, I have to fully experience the joys and pains of the here and now.

Maybe if I start to do that, I would focus less on the stress of changing my lifestyle/habits or struggle through the ups and downs of positive self talk vs negative self talk and INSTEAD focus on me and what is coming my way in this minute, hour and day.

There is no magical moment of thinness. I should know this. Even when I was at my thinnest, I could fit into all kinds of clothes, got lots of attention, but I still was the fat girl in a thinner body. As the cup philosophy states, you have to become this lifestyle and change the inside and then the outside will follow.

When people give compliments on loosing weight, it really is not what size you are in, or how many pounds you lost. It is the hard work and dedication that helped achieve that goal. I have lost 12 lbs since summer started. Yes I am pleased about the amount of pounds, but my in the moment, is the recognition of the hard work and sacrifices I made to accomplish that and how it attributes to my current and long term goals. It is the pride of knowing I turned down desserts, or used the small cup for several meals even though I wanted much more. That is the magic of weight loss. NOT a number or a size.

Then I made a connection. I would never walk out of spin or workout class because it was too hard. I see those classes as challenges. The hard work of the cup eating lifestyle, is the exact same as a workout class. The reward is the success of the dedication and hard work while IN THE MOMENT.

Enjoy your moments.

Roller Coaster – Jennie Sikora 2011 Chapter 5

Roller Coasters Suck

As a kid, I loved the thrill of roller coasters. It got my adrenaline going with the thrill of that up and down feeling with a sense of not being in control. NOW I HATE THE ROLLER COASTER I AM ON…

I can not seem to get past the roller coaster ride of having some up weeks and some bad weeks.

The frustrating part is when I am in the neutral place with food and exercise and doing “good” then I am not seeing results as quickly as I want. If I go down on the coaster, then I see the results I don’t want much faster. I am having my pity part of that just sucks and is not fair.

I truly do see this as a journey and not something that will end when I get to a certain goal. How I handle food is something I will always have to be conscious of. I do understand and accept that but I need to see some results to keep my motivation. During frustrating times, I have fallen into the stress of it and given in to more cups then I need or skipping a workout because I let other things get in the way.

What I need to do more of, is meditate on that fabulous feeling of that neutral spot, when the negativity is not there. That is such a blissful yet quiet feeling. It is going to take even more effort to do that during the stressful times, when it is much easier to grab some trail mix or crackers. But it is so much of a better feeling then nonsense eating.

I know I have to celebrate some successes so here we go. Since Half Time, I have lost 4 pounds and noticing some of my Pilates moves improving and getting stronger. I also kicked the ass of my nemesis the “Hill Run.”

HALF TIME!

It is HALF TIME! Half time is when teams go in and regroup. They determine what is working and what is not working? Then plan their strategy to win based on where they are at the half.

I wish I could say I was killing it at half time and it was a blow out WIN. It is not. An announcer could call the plays of my weight loss journey as: Jennie up a few points, then down a few points. I am not where I wanted to be when I first started this journey. I underestimated my opponent-ME. That is the downside of my game; the upside is I am strengthening my fundamentals…
I am learning that it is not easy-it is hard as hell
My choices affect my mood and outlook on the journey
I am starting to really listen to my body and understand what it wants and how it reacts when I do not listen to it.
I am becoming better at new exercises such as Pilates and swimming, while getting stronger and faster in running and spin.
I am negotiating with myself a balance between eating less and my workouts.
I am more comfortable with the portion sizes of the cups.

I guess my game has to be a long nail bitter, in order for me to learn and be successful. I have to go through the plays to discover what works and what doesn’t. But aren’t those types of games more fun to watch?

It is what happens in the second half that people remember-just take one of Julie’s spin classes.

Jennie at Half-time

What is your story? Jennie Sikora 2011 Chapter 3: ENJOY THE EMPTY SPACE

For the past two weeks, I kept thinking I was forgetting something. I was constantly doing a check list in my head to make sure I had everything I needed for wherever I was headed. I just couldn’t figure it out… Then I realized what it was, but I will need to back up to explain.

Now, what I have experienced in the past two weeks, I probably should of experienced over the past month and half. You will have to forgive me for I am a slow learner, or maybe I needed to just go through the highs and lows to really understand the feelings.

I have been trying to practice what I preach by being religious about my food tweets and following the cups. In my last chapter I said accountability is the key. But I was tweeting more for others than myself and not being completely honest. These two weeks (now going on three), I set a short term goal: I will tweet absolutely everything no matter how far out of the cup it is. I also will use a small or medium cup for everything I eat.

It wasn’t right away that I felt any different than other days and thoughts like “UGH” or “this is hard” or “this is such as small amount” were coming into my head. But after a day or two, instead of feeling burdened by writing what I was eating, I felt a twinge of excitement. That excitement came from the notion that I was actually following my cup portions. I was stopping when I was done and not wishing for more and feeling deprived. I actually felt satisfied. Sure there were and are moments that I had to “ride the wave” and take some deep breaths or just walk away or say NO THANK YOU. Then something strange began to happen. I couldn’t put my finger on it but my thoughts were weird. That is when I realized what I was feeling like I was forgetting something. It wasn’t keys, paperwork or leaving the coffee pot in. It was the negative and guilty thoughts.

Julie checked on me one of the days to ask how my week was, and it was ironic that she reached out that day. I had gone running earlier in the day and was reflecting on this journey along with the other issues of life. It may sound strange because it was a strange feeling to me, but I could feel the joy, excitement whatever you want to call it, of the empty space in my stomach. I was not hungry, or full, more like the neutral zone. Then the next day, I felt the same feeling began to feel empowered. “Could I actually be getting the fill-your cup?” “Is it finally clicking?” “Is my body or more importantly my mind accepting the smaller portions?”

The strange feeling I had was control and positivity. In the first chapter, I wrote that I had control over my own story. I lost site of that during the initial challenges. This past week, I actually FELT the control of my story. I felt the Empty Space

I have felt almost three weeks of silence. Silence from many bad and self defeating thoughts. Are those thoughts completely wiped away like cob webs? Probably not, but damn it feels good to be in control and actually feel the neutral zone. So the next time, I face a difficult food choice or want more etc. I can remember how good THIS feels and stay focused.

Stay Empty!:)

WE

My close friend is dating a man who has started asking her to move-in with him – with what we used to call the “assumptive close.” He drops “we” into daily meal planning and furniture purchases. “We can take this to our home one day,” or “We should get this gadget to make better steaks.” She is sensitive and attentive yet this verbal que is not enough for her to start packing.

There is something special in the formality of a request. “Please join me for dinner?” or “Will you come to this class that I think you will love?” or “Will you move in and share this home with me.” It is more than a meal or a class or even a roof over your head. It is an invitation to share your very self. A place for joining your mind (maybe body and spirit too) with another person, during that shared time or space.

I realize I am like her lover, with his “We” I assume the blog readers are in the same tribe as I, you all get it – you know that I want to include you in the process of staying slim. Yet, perhaps I haven’t made the formal request:

Will you join me in this space of mind-share? Will you join the quest to feel lighter, to move every day, to blog your thoughts-challenges and successes, tweet your meals and share this journey to live light and true to your self?

There is something stabilizing in We. I have a hunch that the more of us there are in the We, the more stabilizing it will feel. The more people you know who keep the cup the more “normal” that cup will feel. You are endorsed by other people’s reflection of your beautiful transformation and they are endorsed seeing themselves in you.

There may be struggles with holding your own little cup but you are not in it alone. We support you!

* Tell all your friends about this blog and website, we learn from eachother’s experiences and from sharing our own. If you’re new, Fill Your Cup is a lifestyle for slim and conscious living. Explore the website www.fill-your-cup.com there are free core exercise clips and an audio sample of the book Fill Your Cup. It’s never too late to start feeling lighter! You’re right on track, jump in right now, bring a friend on this journey with you reading the blogs, following me and other keepers of the cup on Twitter (click here) or sign up here to receive email updates (click here)

Weight Loss Motivation in 4 Steps

1. Focus on the positive. Motivation? It’s all in your head. So get a grip. Decide to consciously plant seeds of good thoughts. Think of all of the wonderful things losing weight will bring into your life. Think about how good your joints will feel or how great your clothes will look or how comfortable you will be naked with someone special, after all it’s nearly Valentine’s Day. Eventually those positive thoughts about living slim will sprout into motivation.
2. Eliminate the negative. Again, it’s all in your head so why cast a shadow on all you have going for you from Step 1? Everyone deals with negative or limiting thoughts sometimes, but this doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. When you hear yourself say, “This is too hard.” Say LOUDER “But I can do this because I love being light and lean.” Only make space for thoughts and feelings that support your goals.
3. Set up for success. You create successful habits by setting small achievable goals, cup by cup. Success breeds success. You want lots of good habits that lead your body mind and spirit to weight loss. Set an attainable goal or two like:
• Drink 9 glasses of water.
• Make intuitive choices with each meal – fill your cup with what you feel you need.
• Do a 5 min core clip from the Fill Your Cup website every day.
• Don’t allow refined sugar in the cup.
• Do a 15 min moving meditation, yoga, a walk, or gardening.
• Drink a cup of green tea.
4. Work with others. There is nothing more motivating then being part of a group of people who are all working toward the same goal. Follow j_fillyourcup to see what I fill my cup with, maybe find a friend to join you or a group to exercise with in your area. We will endorse your positive state of mind, your choices toward weight loss, and remind you it’s worth it – feel good in your skin!

Fill Your Cup