Friday, August 31, 2012

Keisha Goes To The Gym- Yes, Hell Has Frozen Over.

Most of you know that I started working out with a personal trainer last month. 

As a former gym-o-phobic (I blame my satanic middle school gym teachers), it took just the right trainer to make me feel comfortable enough to conquer this fear. 

I needed someone who was just the right combination of loving, yet ass-kicking.  
Enter Michelle Adams, personal trainer.(

I met her when she attended one of my monthly life coaching meetup groups, and I found her to be sweet, genuine, and approachable. 

She found just the right group of three other lovely women for me to train with and my  journey to fitness is now underway.  

I thought you might enjoy some of the shitty thoughts that have crossed my mind in the last month while working out, and how I chose to turn them around into positives.  

Shitty thought No. 1-
"I am going to look like a total dork in my ugly workout wear, and I should wait until I am smaller to buy anything cute to exercise in."

Replacement thought-
"Get your ass to the store and buy a few comfy things you like in pretty colors so that you somewhat look forward to getting to the gym."

Shitty thought No.2-
"There are going to be a bunch of perfect looking gym rat Barbies there,  and I'll be completely intimidated and want to run home, hide under the covers and eat 3 sleeves of Oreos."

Replacement thought-
"Stop judging yourself and start doing something about your health, dammit."

Shitty thought No. 3-
"Wow, I'm pretty lame because this lady, Candy, next to me is a 60 year old grandma and 
she is doing way harder stuff than I am."

Replacement thought-
"Make working out part of your life, Keisha, and when you are 60, you'll still be smokin' hot like Candy. She's an awesome role model of what's possible!"

Shitty thought No. 4-
"People who hire personal trainers are self-absorbed, shallow and superior."

Replacement thought-
"This lady, Shere', in my group is one of the nicest, most down to earth, loving and kind people I've ever met. Stop lying."

Shitty thought No. 5-
"You can't do this. It's too hard, and maybe you're too old."

Replacement thought-

Don't misunderstand me here, this is still not easy.

But it is getting a bit easier every session, even though there has been some physical discomfort getting used to the weight training.

I have almost no body awareness in my back and chest which can be downright hilarious when poor Michelle is trying to correct my form. 

"You want me to put what? Where? Wait, show me again. Yes, again." 

I already feel stronger and my husband, Alex, says he can feel my muscles forming. 

And, when I actually do something about what I complain about (in this case, my fitness level), the mean girl who lives in my head and berates me shuts her trap and chills out.  

Amazing how that works.

Bottom line- if there is an area of your life that you are unhappy about, do something about it. 

Make a commitment to yourself and enlist help from a friend or a professional. 

Sometimes it's hard to kick your own ass.

Sometimes it's worth it to hire someone to kick it for you. 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Mammograms, Pink Hair and a Hootenanny

                                          "Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History"
                                                          -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich                                            

I'm turning 44 next month, and I'm throwing myself a party.
A fantastic birthday party with a big fat cake, decorations, food and music. 
"Don't you want to wait until your 45th birthday to have a party, Keisha?" my pragmatic husband, Alex, asked.
"That's a more important birthday. 44 isn't as big of a deal." 
I suppose that's practical. 
44 isn't a "big birthday". 
Yet something about this year has me fired up, and I want to make ever single minute count. 
I didn't really know why until I went last month to get a mammogram. 

Right before I get to put my breasts in a radiation vise, I fill out the medical form I've filled out so many times before.
Name- Keisha Gallegos
Have you ever had a mammogram before? Yes.
Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Yes.  
Who? Mother. 
Age when diagnosed-43.

Funny~they never ask you what ever happened with all that cancer business.  
She died, I want to say. 
My mother died. 
At 45. 
Of breast cancer. 
She found a lump just a few days before her 44th birthday. 
Her 44th year was filled with fear, confusion, surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.  
She lost her hair, her health, and her dignity.   

My mom never had birthday parties as an adult.  
She would always say her birthday was no big deal. 

On the other hand,  I am a celebrator! 
I'll celebrate anything...birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, the first Thursday of the month-whatever.  Any excuse for a party.  
So when I realized that I am the same age my mom was when she was diagnosed with the disease that ultimately killed her, I decided that I was going to celebrate my 44th year in a very different way.  
I am in the prime of my life~happier than I've ever been.
I'm married to the love of my life for 21 years. 
My kids are happy, healthy, productive people.
I have better relationships now than ever. 
I'm doing work that I love, and watching my clients dreams come true while I live out my own.
I am taking better care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually than ever before.
I have a lot to celebrate.  

Alex asked me if I wanted him to take over the party planning. 
"No," I said casually. I am actually quite proud of the fact that I am throwing my own party and I don't care who knows about it.
I'm not going to wait for a more important birthday to celebrate my life. 
I'm going to shake my booty for any old reason I feel like it. 
Arbor day, flag day, or even my un-birthday. 
AND I put bright pink streaks in my hair.  
Because I can, and because I'm never going to be as young as I am today.  
That's why. 
Because since when do I give a rip about being practical? 
Not now, and hopefully not ever.
Go out and do something to celebrate yourself.
Don't wait for a "good reason".
You are here, you're alive, and you are worth making a fuss over. 
Tell me what kind of a soiree you throw yourself- today!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Got Confidence?


One of the core issues I coach my clients on is confidence. I found a great book with lots of juicy material on how to bridge the gap between fear and confidence called "The Confidence Gap" by Russ Harris. 

5 Main Reasons for Low Self-Confidence-
  1. Excessive expectations
  2. Harsh self judgement
  3. Preoccupation with fear
  4. Lack of experience
  5. Lack of skills  
Which of these reasons is holding you back from doing something that's on your bucket list?  According to Harris, here's how you get good at doing anything: First practice the skills necessary to accomplish your goal.  Second, apply them effectively. Third, assess the results, and fourth, modify as needed.  That's it.  It may seem oversimplified, but it's the truth. Don't allow yourself to believe that you must wait until you feel more confident to attempt something a little scary.

Here are the rules of confidence according to "The Confidence Gap":

Rule 1-
The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.

Rule 2-
Genuine confidence is not the absence of fear; it is the transformed relationship with fear.

Rule 3-
Negative thoughts are normal.  Don't fight them; defuse them.

Rule 4-
Self-acceptance trumps self-esteem.

Rule 5-
Hold your values lightly, but pursue them vigorously.

Rule 6-
True success is living by your values.

Rule 7-
Don't obsess about the outcome; get passionate about the process.

Rule 8-
Don't fight your fear; allow it, befriend it, channel it.

Rule 9-
Failure hurts- but if we're willing to learn, it's a wonderful teacher.

Rule 10-
The key to peak performance is total engagement in the task.

Ask yourself these questions- if you had unlimited confidence, how would you behave differently? How would you talk to yourself?  What would you start doing?  What would you stop doing? Now act as if you already have the confidence you think you need to move forward.  Let me know what daring adventure you embark upon when you take a risk and jump into the unknown!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do a Terrible Job

So I am studying with my teacher, Martha Beck, to be a master life coach. 
It is a rigorous and prestigious program that I am thrilled to be a part of.  
Our first assignment was to write a self help article to post on a forum for the other students and teachers to critique.  
Then we were critiqued by Martha.  
She's a very famous author of extremely popular self help books and two best selling memoirs. 
And she has a monthly column in Oprah's magazine.  
Martha was going to read what I wrote and then she was going to tell me what was wrong with it. 
A while ago, this would have struck terror in me...I would have been frozen with fear and had stories galore about what a terrible writer I am, and how awful this experience was going to be.  
But something strange happened- I decided that I was willing to totally suck at my assignment. 
That decision freed me.
I decided that I am a student, so it is my job to attempt and fail, and then attempt again.  
I am not a great writer, and I truly never really aspired to be a published author.  
Several of my classmates dream of publishing memoirs or having their own self help column in a magazine. 
Not me.  
At some point it would be nice to write a book, but it's not dying to erupt from my loins.  
Martha is a world class writer, and that's what she always wanted to be.  
Why would I compare my own writing to hers? 
Why would I despair at the fear that she is going to say my writing is shit, and I need to give up for good?  
What's funny is, she actually told our class that we are all excellent writers already.  
Martha gave us constructive criticism about how to make our articles better- and without fail, I thought her ideas were completely on target. 
I am honored to learn from a master! 
It doesn't mean I have to be a master writer, ever.
It means I have to put my ego to the side, open my ears, listen to the feedback and continue to write from an earnest place.  
It means I have to be willing to do a terrible job, then learn from my mistakes, and drop the idea of being perfect.  
Because of that, I am becoming a better writer.
What are you willing to suck at? 
Where are you willing to put your ego to the side?  
What are you afraid to try because you don't know what the hell you're doing?  
Challenge yourself to start anyway.  
Attempt and fail.  
Take stock, and attempt again. 
It's the only way to grow. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Magic Manifesting Journal


Last month I went to the Martha Beck Life Coach Summit in Phoenix, where I learned all kinds of new fantastic stuff that I want to pass on to you.
The best tool I learned was from Law of Attraction Coach, Jeannette Maw- who told us she learned it from author and speaker, Gregg Braden.
It's something called the Pray Rain Journal, which I renamed the Magic Manifesting Journal.
This tool has changed my life!
What you do is write one page a day about what you want to happen, but you write it in the present tense- as if it's already happened.
You start with phrases like, "I am.. I have...I enjoy..." and add your vision of what you'd like your life to be like. 
I absolutely hate journaling, and I have many different notebooks in my house with three pages written in them because I didn't follow through on whatever my big idea for writing was. 
I have actually kept this up for a month, which I am sure is a record. 
There is something about saying what you want, putting it on paper and out into the Universe that is a powerful vehicle for manifesting what your heart desires.
When I am writing in it, I feel like I have a magic wand.
At first, I had to suspend belief while writing and blow smoke up my own ass about what was "happening". 
I must have done a great job, because every single thing I wrote in the first week happened, and I had no good reason to think any of it would. 
It focused my intention on what I wanted, and made me feel more courageous to go after it.  
Seeing it on paper as done, even though what I wrote hadn't happened yet seemed to set up an expectation in my brain that it would be done.
I believe it also sent a message to the Universe that I was ready for what I was asking for.
Since starting this magical journal, I have manifested some amazing things- a place in a small, prestigious and full training program that had chosen it's participants a month prior, tickets to an event that I wanted to go to, and a private meeting with a person that I idolize. 
Writing in the journal puts me in an emotional space where I feel powerful, abundant and expectant of great things.  
After putting my intention out there, I look for ways to make my hopes a reality. I am in the process of co-creating  with the Universe, rather than sitting around waiting for things to fall into my lap. 
I am really looking forward to seeing what else I can create using this new habit. 
It forces me to dream big!
Start your own Magic Manifesting Journal and share your success stories in the comments.  Happy manifesting!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Goal Setting For Stuck People

As a life coach, clients always ask me about how to set goals for themselves and how to follow through on those goals.  Now that it’s been a few weeks since New Year's, your resolve to make big changes may be waning.  Do not fear! I am here to help!  Let’s get serious about getting what you want.  I call it “Goal Setting For Stuck People.”

Step One- Identify what you want
Step Two- Why do you want it?
Step Three- How do I think I’ll feel when I have what I want?

This process is deceptively simple.  Knowing why we want something is very important because the motivation to accomplish your goal is inherent in the “why”.  The “how will I feel when I have it” step is vital because it gives you a sneak peak at what it will be like once you’ve put in the work to get what you want.  You are actually previewing the result before you even take the first step.  This will get you into the right frame of mind when you focus on the feeling of the outcome.

You will experience far more success in all areas of life when you dwell in a sense that your goal has already been achieved. (Which looks a bit like “fake it ‘til you make it.”)

I’m not suggesting that you go around faking your way through life.  What I am suggesting is that you act as if you already have what you want.  When you want to get into shape, you must think like an athlete.  You must think of food as fuel that gives your body the nutrition it needs to attain maximum fitness.  You stretch, condition and care for your body to keep it in premium working condition.  When we think this way, our actions follow. 

Here is an exercise from Martha Beck that utilizes this technique perfectly.  Try this:
Treasuring the Future- Now
*Choose one item from your list of heart’s desires
*Vividly imagine that you’ve already got it
*Go through it methodically by sense:
How does this scene sound, look smell, feel, taste? *Continue to experience it for at least 10 minutes
 *Focus on “treasuring” your heart’s desire 10 minutes a day for a whole month!

While spending your time on this exercise, simultaneously begin work on what you want. That means looking at each one of your heart’s desires and make one small step towards achieving that goal.

If the steps bring you anxiety and feel out of your comfort zone- GOOD. That means it’s a stretch. Doing what you’ve always done isn’t going to put you on the road to your dreams, because if it did- you’d already be there.

Use rewards for putting in the time to get what you want! Do something nice for yourself to reward your progress. Don’t wait until your goal is achieved. Milestones are worthy of rewards. This way you stay on track to behave your way to your heart’s desires.

For example:
I want a healthy body. I hate exercise. I will motivate myself with stickers on my calendar for every time I exercise, and after 10 workouts do something nice for myself.
Ex. In my case, a manicure.
 After 20, a new outfit.
 After 30, a sparkly bauble that is fun, and unnecessary.
 After 40, a massage. 
Notice I am rewarding the healthy behavior, not pounds lost. The weight loss comes as a byproduct of my new healthy life style.


Make sure to do this with a sense of wellbeing and calm, rather than a needy or graspy kind of energy. Neediness is a repellant. People and things will run from you if they get even a whiff of it.

Enlist supportive people in your circle to support you in attaining your goals. Better yet, get a friend to partner with and support each other, while holding each other accountable.

Get yourself in the habit of dreaming really big.
Martha Beck calls them WILDLY IMPROBABLE GOALS, or WIG’s for short.
Just saying what they are out loud starts the process of the universe conspiring to manifest your desires. Really.