Ep 65 The importance of developing a healthy lifestyle when you’re a busy and overwhelmed teacher

Pretty much everybody has good intentions to implement healthy habits after January 1, but for teachers, the BEST time to do this is when school is out for the summer! We have more time to think about it, more time to plan, and more time to gently adopt a new lifestyle without the pressures of planning, teaching, and grading. But how do we do this so that it sticks and we don’t throw it away with the stress of the new year?

In this episode, Sheri Traxler and I discuss how to develop healthy habits in a slow and sustainable way that isn’t judgemental or strict. If you’ve ever wanted to be a healthy eater and someone who exercises regularly, then this episode is for you!

Click here to get Sheri’s FREE guide, How to Overcome the Guilt and Shame of Diets, and Get Fit the Sane Way

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Kim 0:26

Welcome to the Teachers Need Teachers podcast, a proud member of the Education Podcast Network. I’m your host, Kim Lepre and this is the podcast for new and beginning teachers who don’t want to just survive those first few years but actually thrive.

I’m glad that you came back for the third part of this series. If you missed Episode 63 and 64, Sheri and I go over intuitive eating, as well as exercise. And those are really important episodes if you’re going to get the most out of this episode. So I highly suggest that you listen to Episode 63, and then 64 first, and then come back here to Episode 65.

So before I dive into my interview with Sheri, if you’re someone who has been enjoying this podcast, and you’ve been listening to this for the past year, and if you’re interested in getting videos of me podcasting, if you want exclusive updates that nobody else gets, such as future episode ideas, how I plan my lessons, how I do my grading, just basically the insights on how I teach and why I do what I do when I teach, then you should definitely sign up to be an awesome supporter. You can get these benefits on a regular basis if you head over to need teachersneedteachers.com/support.

Kim 2:32

Well, thank you, Sheri, for coming on again! You guys, this is the third part of our series for getting healthier and becoming better at eating and exercising the summer. And now this is bringing it all together, the glue that holds it all together, which is habits habit forming. So, you know, I’m worried about this part, personally, which is why I asked Sheri, if she could come back for a third week to talk about it. Now, Sheri, for those listeners that are just now coming into Episode 65. Can you please tell us a little briefly about yourself and what you do?

Sheri 3:11

Yes, I am a personal trainer, a health coach, speaker, author in the wellness industry, I have been doing this for X – I didn’t say this any of the other two podcasts. But I’ve been doing this for 30 years now. I’ve been very, very blessed to get to do what I love to do help people stay well. And my master’s is in health promotion from Vanderbilt University, bachelor’s is in exercise science. I grew up as the child of two teachers. So this is near and dear to my heart to be able to help teachers live healthy.

Kim 3:46

And as I mentioned, in the previous episodes, we’re talking about intuitive eating and exercise. Why is it so hard for us to create good lifelong habits? Why do we default to the bad stuff?

Sheri 4:02

One is the neurological reasons that you know, we’re already in patterns of living that don’t service, it’s a habit to go home and watch a video and eat mindlessly versus stopping by the park to walk. You’ve got thinking patterns that make it tough; you may not believe that you can do it. So why even try?

I would say though, Kim that one of the biggest reasons is people have been led to believe that a habit? Oh, let’s play with this. I’m going to ask a question. You do not have to answer this. I’m going to ask a question. Everybody can just think on their own. Okay, how long does it take to make a lifestyle habit? Just think your answer to yourself. You’re probably thinking about 21 to 30 days. And because that’s what all of us have been taught. And for a singular habit like I’m going to drink a glass of water when I first get up in the morning. Maybe that’s true. True, I still doubt it because a lot of experience and research shows that’s not true. But even if that is true, that’s a singular habit. That’s not a lifestyle change that affects so much of your life and so many of your habits. It gets easier at 21 days.

But the identity shift doesn’t happen until later. So if let’s say, Kim, you were just starting to exercise and just starting a walking program. It would be easy for you to say, Oh, I walk. This is an activity that I do. But to make the identity shift of I am a walker. I am an exerciser that actually takes six months.

So where a lot of people get in trouble is they put all these supports in place for 21 or 30 days. And then they’re like, oh, I’ve got this. And those supports go away. And then the habit drops off. I had a woman come up to me at a gym once that she was so excited. And she said this six-month thing this is so right. And I said okay, great. Tell me your story. What happened?

She was a businesswoman who traveled for business. She had always been an on again off again, exerciser. Always started January 1 would be you know, off the wagon by February 1. And she took a hold of this six-month thing, put these frames put these steps this framework in place, she went on a two-week business trip totally threw her routine out of balance. She came back in on a Sunday afternoon, she got her clothes ready for the next day, got her workout bag packed for the next day, get her lunch ready for the next day, etc.

She’s in the middle of her workout when she realizes that afternoon. I’m here I’m at the gym. This I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. And it was just it was an eight to her. It was part of who she was at that point. Does that make sense?

Kim 7:05

Yeah! And so, you know, it’s like you had mentioned, yeah, we can develop a habit. But as soon as we decided that it’s hard. I feel like you know, any kind of resistance, then we start coming up with excuses. And so, you know, for me, that’s kind of what happens. It’s like, you know, it’s I don’t like this is hard, I’m not seeing the results instantly, this isn’t working.

And so what are some other ways that people sabotage their own progress when they’re trying to develop a lifestyle change.

Sheri 7:39

One of them is having too many commitments. And this we alluded to in our last episode, where I told folks to pick a habit or pick a goal. And if you have too many commitments, you can’t focus, focus strengthens, diffusion weakens. If you compare the sun and the laser, you know, if you have a laser focused on something, you’re going to get some results with it.

So pick one activity, do that for a week or two, and then layer it, you know, so maybe it’s okay, you want to eat healthier, what that might look like is add more vegetables. So get some recipes that you like, try out some new ones. And then after that, you might add in something else, add more water or add walking after dinner for two nights a week. It’s just stair stepping it in. And that’s one reason it can take six months is because you’re stair stepping in smaller commitments.

Kim 8:36

And then what if I fall off the wagon though, because that’s, you know, that’s what everyone talks about, like, Well, I was going to go on this eating plan, and I fell off the wagon. And so since I already ate a pizza, I also ate a pint of ice cream. So why even bother? I’ve already screwed up all of my progress. So what? What type of thought processes Should we go through? When we’re feeling that shame wanting to give up? Because we messed up?

Sheri 9:03

Well, one of the things we talked about it in the first episode of, you know, the diet mentality is what you just described. And that is, oh, I’ve, you know, have this plan, and I fell off of it. So forget it. Well, with intuitive eating, the thought process is What can I learn from this? It’s not the end of the world that I ate the whole thing of ice cream. So what can I learn from it, and you journal about that, and you’ve been taking corrective steps the next time.

Another reason sometimes people fall off the wagon, and something that they should do, instead of falling off the wagon, or that can help prevent that is something I call a micro-commitment. And that is something you know, you can do no matter what, let me give you a couple of examples.

And also actually with what you just talked about Kim of the ice cream. Let’s take that one first, a micro-commitment with ice cream might be if I’m going to have ice cream, my micro commitment is I am going to put it in a bowl. So you can have the whole tub of ice cream if you want, right? Have at it. But it goes in a bowl, not out of the canister, you know. So it’s something you know, you can do a micro-commitment.

A micro commitment related to exercise actually learned this from a client who she was in the foyer of the gym knitting. And so I went up to her and I was kidding her. And I said you’re supposed to be upstairs exercising, right are you doing down here knitting. And she said, Sheri, I’m exhausted. But it’s my day to be here. So I’m here. Oh. And I said we need to talk because this was 20 years ago, I said we need to talk to me about this. And since research has actually come out about these micro commitments and how powerful they are.

Now, it’s like I’ve already learned that from a client 20 years ago. But her deal was she knew at the end of an exhausting day. She couldn’t face exercising. But if at least if she stayed consistent in coming to the gym, it would stick with her it would become a habit to be there.

Another girl after I had given her this information, and she took a hold of it. I saw her on walking track one day, and she was excited about being on the walking track. And she said, You know Sheri, today was one of those days I left work and I was spent there I was just going to go home and vegetate on the sofa and eat my ice cream. But I thought, well, you know, I don’t have to work out my only commitment was I was going to go show my membership card. For me that was her micro commitment was walking through the door, show her membership card and turn around and leave. Well, what was she doing when I saw her she was walking on the track because of course what happens when you keep that micro committed?

It gets you over that hurdle nine times out of 10. And you’re able to then go ahead and well, you know, I’m already here, I might as well walk a lap have already walked a lap, I might as well walk a half mile. So whether it’s eating or exercise related, having some type of micro commitment, you know, you can keep no matter what you know, if you’re wanting to become a walker, maybe it’s putting on your walking shoes. You don’t even have to open the front door. Just put on the walking shoes. So you shift into that identity. Does that make sense?

Kim 12:33

It does. And I’m thinking back with the food example. So yes, I ate the entire pizza. And I’m now craving chocolate. But maybe I take out one piece of chocolate, wrap everything back up and put it back in the pantry. And then if I want more, then I have to do that every single time. You know?

Sheri 12:49

Yes, yeah. So you could eat the whole bar. If it for some reason you were like, I’m just going to binge on it. I’m going to have the whole bar, but maybe your micro commitment is that you have to pause in between each piece, right?

Kim 13:02

I like that because it makes it seem like I’m not giving in. But I’m not restricting myself. It’s definitely a psychological game. Which it is.

Sheri 13:18

Yeah, we have to talk ourselves out of it, it seems like it’s that micro commitment gives you pause, you know, it’s like, Okay, I’m I don’t really feel like exercising, well, doing that little bit of something putting on your walking shoes, changing clothes showing up at the gym, even if you turn around and leave it, it keeps it top of mind. Or if it’s eating related that pause, or that putting it in the bowl, it’s one tiny step to remind you of this is who I’m becoming. And you know, I’m not going to forever eat an entire pint of ice cream every night. This is my first little step in toward what I want to do.

Kim 13:59

And that’s interesting because earlier you had discussed, you know how it’s an identity shift. And I remember reading somewhere where something that you can say to yourself is, I am the type of person who. And I like that, you know, then you add that and I started to think about that. So like I’m the type of person who goes to the gym twice a week. So then when you’re even saying it to other people, they’re like, Oh, I’m CrossFit. Oh, I, you know, do this. And you can identify and say, Well, I’m the type of person who goes twice a week. And that’s all I can do. And, and I thought that was interesting because then it’s not a habit. It’s just part of who you are.

Sheri 14:34

Mm hmm. Absolutely. Because you will, however, you see yourself, that’s what you’re going to line up with. So if you see yourself as so let’s say somebody is a runner, right? Versus someone who has been running for a week. Well around Christmas, they both aren’t running around Christmas. Okay, so we asked the person who’s a runner, Hey, are you a runner? They say yeah, even though they’ve not run for a week, right? You ask the person who ran the first of December? Are you a runner? Well, no. Because they don’t see themselves that way yet.

Kim 15:14

So you have to identify with that. Yep. Right now. Something that also makes it difficult. I feel like to develop good habits, whether it be eating or exercise, is that everyone around you seems to be sabotaging your efforts. All the time, you have the friend who’s saying, well, I took the time to make this, aren’t you going to eat it? Or you know, someone bought you something or gave you something and they guilt you into it? Or you see everyone else around you drinking beer? And you’re like, well, everyone’s drinking beer even though I know that’s not really what my body wants, you know, how do we still develop good habits when everything and everyone? You know, they want to be a lazy gluttonous pig?

Sheri 15:59

Oh, I love that, Kim. Okay, so specific to that, there’s kind of a meta-answer to use the phrase you love that you said a couple of times ago that I really like. So it’s kind of a meta answer. But then there’s also a real practical, so good, practical first.

You said someone’s made this thing for you. And they are they’ve bought this for you. And they’re trying to guilt you into eating it, even if you don’t really want it, right? Well, two factors with that. One is, you know, I really want to be able to save for this, and I’m not hungry right now. So I wouldn’t be able to enjoy all the effort that you put in. So I’m going to wrap it up and take it home and be able to enjoy it later when I really can savor it because you’re still honoring them. And in fact, you’re honoring them more because you’re like, oh, man, you did a lot of stuff with this. I want to get the most out of it. I can’t.

The other is to frankly not care. I was at a party just going about horrible. I hope – I want everybody to listen to your podcast, except the person that I’m telling on. She’s not a teacher. Now, I might share this with her just so she knows this.

Anyway, I was at a party that was given for me. So I was the person being honored in this party. And they the people putting it on, thought they were doing this great thing by what they had catered in. But I didn’t want any of it except the rice. Okay. So I had some rice. And they were like, you don’t want this and you don’t want this. And they had gone to all this effort. And all I wanted of what they had was the rice. So that’s what I had.

And what’s so funny is on part of me was like they are going to be so offended. But it turned out, they were totally cool with it. So sometimes people will get offended, and if they are they are, it’s your body, you own your body.

Kim 18:07

That’s a good point. But there is still that peer pressure, like when someone brings donuts, you know, for the staff on Teacher Appreciation Day and or, you know, and I talked about this in the intuitive eating podcast where, you know, I have to eat as if I’ve never had doughnuts before, it’s this mental thing. And so I’m going to go, and I’m like, I’m falling off the wagon today. And that’s fine. And even though it’s a conscious decision, I take responsibility for it.

There’s just so much shame associated with it later on. And especially when all the staff there, they’re eating doughnuts together. And I feel like I’m not part of this because I’m not eating donuts with all them. Or sometimes people talk about how they’re Oh, we’re going to go to the gym. And I’m thinking No, I might go into the gym. So it’s just it just seems like people around you aren’t necessarily supporting what you’re doing. And even though you’re telling us to not care, are there things that we can tell ourselves so that we still don’t succumb to the pressure?

Sheri 19:09

One of the big things Kim is and is knowing what your big Why is I want to walk you through this. Let me give you an example from a client. He said he wanted to make the habit of going to the gym three days a week. Okay. So anytime so if you know have on a surface level, I want to not eat doughnuts when I’m at a staff party, right? Yeah. So so whatever kind of your, your core habit is that you want. You ask yourself why? And then you answer that. And then you ask yourself why again, and you keep digging.

So for him it was I want to go to the gym three days a week. Why? So that I can have more energy? Why so that I can be more productive with work? Why? Because he was an entrepreneur. So okay, so if I’m more productive, I’m going to make more money, right? Why? It went down until his core gut level that big why that just was like, Oh, this really speaks to him is he wanted to be able to buy a large plot of land for his family to build homes on to have for generations and generations and generations to come. In his words, he wanted to leave a legacy, right? So it was no longer, Do I wanted to go to the gym today. It was, Do I want to leave a legacy for my family today.

So once you have your big why for not eating the donuts, it’s easier to not have them when you don’t want them. And that social peer pressure and all of that people will begin to adapt. In fact, this gentleman also had a donut issue. But his his his donut issue was his mom would always come over and bring doughnuts. And for the first four or five times that she brought them and the family didn’t eat them. She was offended. However, she’s a grown woman, she’s responsible for her emotions. They stood their ground, not in it not in a main way. It was always like, Oh, Mom, thank you so much for bringing those well, aren’t you going to have some? Now I’m not really hungry right now. So it was never combative or anything like that. It was just gently, you know, this is my choice, this is your choice. By about the fourth or fifth time that she visited. She was bringing fruits and vegetables and vegetable trays. Because her goal was for her family to appreciate what she was bringing. And she realized, well, they’re glad I’m bringing something but they’re not eating what I’m bringing. S

Kim 21:51

And how about when it’s like your spouse or partner, where children, you know, you are trying to eat healthier. They think it’s gross. They want their, you know, Hamburger Helper? How can we stick with intuitive eating? You know, when everybody else just like, whatever, you’re being weird again, Mom. You know, I think about that, because I’m lucky where I have support from my family. But I know of a lot of other people who want so badly to eat better. But it’s almost like their family won’t let them.Sheri 22:26

Yes, I’ve got a friend that that is their exact situation. And she, she’s the main cook. And sometimes it depends on who the cook is. It’s like this, this is what mom is cooking for dinner, if you want something different, you’re welcome to have it, but you’re going to have to make it yourself you know, so that’s always one solution to that, then there’s a lot of solutions, but that’s one. But this particular woman, it’s just she and her husband, the kids are already grown and gone. And her husband doesn’t like the healthy stuff. So she will make the main meal, whatever is going to be healthy that she likes, and then she’ll have some side item that he likes that she’s probably not going to eat much of. And when they pile up their plates, he’s piling up the junk and a little bit of the main dish, right, whereas she’s having mostly the healthy stuff and might have a bite or two of appears that she doesn’t really want. But that’s her choice. Some people are like, I’m not going to make two separate meals, right. And so it may be either the kids make their own or a spouse makes their own. Or you got some families who they alternate nights where, okay, you know, these nights, these are the healthy nights, these not you know, these two nights, it’s going to be beer and pizza or whatever. And the person who’s wanting to eat healthy, does a big side salad, and just makes those small adjustments there.

Kim 23:50

Right. Now, since we’ve spoken, I’ve been trying to work on some of the things that you discussed on intuitive eating, like talking about the food. And you know, am I hungry. And then just yesterday, I talked about the food, and then I ate everything. So you know how I want to stick with into eating I want it to be like, the name says intuitive, and that where I have to talk myself through but I feel like I need more help. So what are some steps and mindset shifts that I need to take? So this becomes a lifestyle change and not just a habit.

Sheri 24:32

Let me walk you through five I had mentioned, I’ve got an eight-part framework. And we’ve done some of that already. But there’s five that really deal with the mindset and that shift. So let me walk you through those. Okay? One would be to literally change your mindset through visualizing and meditating. So the picture in your mind has to be bigger and more vivid, the words that you tell yourself has to be louder than the old way of thinking. So let me give you an example of somebody you know, it’s maybe it’s not an eating thing, maybe they’re wanting to manage their stress. So they put a candle in every room in the house so that every time they see that candle, it’s a visual reminder that I’m working on my stress management, for eating and intuitive eating, maybe it’s that you set a really nice table setting, and bring out all your good China. And that’s your visual reminder, I am paying attention to my body.

And of course, there’s always the post-it notes that you can have up and put pictures around of why this is important to you or the habit that you’re going to make. So visualizing and meditating benefits. We’ve talked about the big Why already. But having one big Why is sometimes not big enough. Sometimes you want to list as many benefits as you can. And you know, so let’s say with intuitive eating, we’ve talked initially on the first episode about the detrimental things that the diet mentality does, how it decreases self-esteem decreases your trust in yourself things like that, right? So the opposite of that is true. And that is the benefits of intuitive eating are it increases your self-esteem, it helps you to have more confidence in yourself, then the question becomes how does that help you? Because you know, as long as it’s generic of Woohoo, okay, great. I increase my self-esteem. Well, how does that play out in my life? Does that mean I’m able to make friends easier? Does that mean? If you’re single, that you’re more comfortable going on a date? You know, whatever it might be, you know, how does that benefit going to help you?


You’re going to decrease your barriers. And that is the way to do that is you list them all out? Can you just every single barrier you can think of you list them out, you know, too busy, too tired, self-conscious when I go to the gym, whatever it might be? Well, I talked about intuitive eating now. But so you list out those out, then you look at how can I eliminate it? or How can I work around it if I’m rushed at lunchtime? use that to your advantage and hyperfocus, you know, you’ve only got five minutes to eat, but you can hyper focus for that five minutes. enjoyment this one. It’s so important course enjoyment is such a part of intuitive eating anyway, where you’re supposed to savor your food. But even the process of the cooking and getting the food together, get a friend who a single woman who likes to cook, if she’s cooking for people, like for a party for you know, friends or family coming over. Right? But just to cook for herself. It’s like all that effort for just made Well, number one sidebar is Honey, you’re worth it. Sorry, you know, yes, absolutely do that. But if it’s not enjoyable, what she came up with was, you know, what if I get together with friends every other week, and we do some big batch cooking, and then do freezer meals, okay, now so yeah, so now she’s got healthy foods to choose from. And it was an enjoyable process.


Because if it’s not enjoyable, you’re not going to stick with it, right. And then the last one, this one really gets into the mindset. And that is self-efficacy. That’s the fancy word for confidence around a certain activity. So one question to ask yourself is, what other changes have you been successful in and use the strength so what maybe you’re a person who’s very courageous, or you’re a person who’s adventurous or whatever your strengths are, that have helped you make other transformations, apply those same strengths to this, and then this one is huge. And this is something I actually just learned a couple of weeks ago. And it’s called belief stacking. And whatever this belief is, that you’re wanting to have about yourself.


So if your belief that you’re wanting to have about yourself is I can be an intuitive eater, right? List out 50 reasons why that is true. No, not right. Not right here on the spot, right? on paper. Is No, actually that would be fun. Right here, no, no, teasing, I’m teasing, but 50 reasons why you can be an intuitive eater. And one of the reasons that this is this gets to my personal story. And I’m going to try not to get emotional, too emotional with this. One of the reasons that with the intuitive eating and exercise and just self-care, in general, is so important to me for teachers is any teacher who has a child, especially another stereotyping, but especially a daughter, who is learning by example of how they should treat themselves. When I watched my mom, push and push and push and push and push, she would start at every school year, I’m going to eat healthy, I’m going to exercise and by October, or Sep late September, even, you know that was out the window. And then it was summertime when she would be doing it again. The example that set for me that then I picked up on was pushed until you collapse, push until you collapse everybody else and taking care of everybody else is more important than taking care of yourself.


Right. And that was not a message that was healthy. But it also set up a pattern with me that it did not work for her. But it especially didn’t work for anyone going into a workforce that you don’t have a summer off, you have the two-week vacation split up, right you don’t, you can’t push until you collapse and then have five or six or seven weeks to recover. Because you don’t have that right. And so the first few years of my working, I kept trying to do it Mom style. And it was definitely not working. And then I realized, Oh, I can’t work the same way that mom did. And course it didn’t really work for mom either. But it was would have been much better for her to stay self-care throughout the year. So anyway, that is that’s a benefit for this for anybody who is a mom or a dad listening is a benefit is not just for yourself, but the benefit of how you’re going to train your kids to care for themselves.

Kim 31:31

Right. And I think about that, too, because I as many teachers I work too much, or I used to work too much. Until I realized that all that work was taking time away from my family. Yeah, and you know, the way that I would eat, where I rush with my eating. And luckily, my daughter hasn’t picked up on this. She takes her time. And that would be sometimes frustrating for me. I’m like, I’m done. Why aren’t you done to be done? And I thought it dawned on me, I thought, why am I doing this to her what she’s doing, and she stops when she’s full, even though she’s not, you know, she didn’t clean her plate. That’s my hang up. That’s not her. She’s actually doing what I wish I could do, where she takes your time, and it’s just finished. So I’m glad that you brought that up. Because sometimes we have, you know, an unintended influence on people around us in a negative way, with our own habits. And so it would benefit my family if I were to adopt these. Number one, so I, you know, can kind of eat at the same pace as they do. I’m not rushing through my meals and eating mindlessly. But also, it benefits me because I’ll stay healthier. And I can live longer, you know, yeah, those cliches where you want to see your kid get married and have kids and all that I want that too.

Sheri 32:50

Yes, yes. And actually, you brought up a really good point cam. And that is not just that we can have an unintended negative influence on those around us fire behavior, we also can have an unintended positive consequence, because as you choose to eat intuitively, as you choose to exercise as you choose to do those things, and take time to give care to yourself, you’re giving other people permission to do that for themselves.

Kim 33:18

Right? That’s true because they and also they see that we can become better, you know, we can make changes, if there’s something that they want to change about themselves a different lifestyle. And they can do that as well.

Sheri 33:34

That is spot on.

Kim 33:36

Now I feel like maybe it’s just me, I feel like changing my eating habits is a little bit easier than changing exercise habits. And it’s a time thing I There’s always time to eat, I will make time to eat. But making time to exercise or sticking with it or even seeing the point like I’m at the point right now Sheri where whether I work out two times a week or three times a week, I see the same way results. Okay, so part of me thought, you know, maybe I don’t need to stress out about that third one, I’ll just move in some way. But if we’re not seeing the results that we want, we tend to just quit. So how can we persevere knowing it’s going to take six months, and in two months, I’m still the same size?

Sheri 34:21

Well, if the six months is around the mindset, if you are exercising for two months, and think that okay, you know, I’ve been exercising at, you know, this way, and I’m not any stronger. I’m not my stamina is not any better. That actually a cue to go get some help from somebody, a personal trainer, someone to evaluate what you’re doing to see if something needs to be changed. But as far as the mindset around the exercise, one it will go through kind of the same things is what are the benefits, you know if it’s increased energy and sleeping better? Again, how will that help you? Because it’s, you know, if you’re looking at, okay, I’m going to get up and I’m going to walk before school, or I’m going to walk in the evening after school, even if I’m tired. And your whole benefit is okay, so I can sleep better, that’s too generic. That’s not going to get you out of the bed to go walk or so you’re asking yourself then Okay, how is this? If I sleep better? How is that going to help me if I have more energy? How is that going to help me and the rest of my life barriers again, list them out? If you feel as though you’re too self-conscious to exercise in a gym, exercise at home. If you feel as though there’s not enough time, then do some of the things we talked about in the in the last podcast, you know, do snippets of time, you know, 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, but list out all your barriers and do some work around to get them in place or to eliminate them. enjoyment, this one is so huge. To get started. If you don’t like Jim’s, let’s put it this way with enjoyment is first thing, look at your personality. If you’re someone who enjoys being with people, then going on a walk by yourself in the park, you’re going to be bored out of your mind, right? On the flip of that if you’re someone who needs some downtime by yourself, and you have been with students all day, going on a walk in the park by yourself is exactly what you need to do. Right? If you’re somebody who likes to always be learning, and you feel as though well if I’m, you know, walking or taking this class or on this elliptical or whatever, I’m not learning anything. Well, you know, put on your podcast, listen to teachers need teachers and get your exercise. And while you’re doing that, and you’ll be learning something, if you’re somebody who your mind is always going. And you need to rest your mind. You mentioned a pool. Earlier, there are a lot of research studies and course experience with this of how people can get into a meditative state while they’re swimming. Because it quiets the mind, you’ve got all the sensory, all the all the senses of hearing dampened, you’re able to zone into yourself more. So you know, whatever it is you need, whatever it is that makes it enjoyable for you make sure that you loop that into the exercise, don’t just say, Oh, well, my friend did this, you know, Body Boot Camp. And so that’s what I’m going to do well, that might fit your friend, but it may not fit you.

Kim 37:40

Right. And especially, you know, I’ve done that before where I went from doing nothing for months, and then trying to do a beach body workout in it hurt so much that first day I was like, and I’m done. That’s it, this is not worth it. I can’t do this, you know, and see it to the end. And I think if you ease into movement first, before you dive into the body workout.

Sheri 38:08

And there’s there’s actually a formula for that, that you can just thumbnail give yourself is, think about whatever you feel like you can do, it’s like, yeah, I can go do that. And then cut it by half. And that’s where you start. So if you feel like you know what, I can do a 30 minute, you know, intense boot camp video thing, either cut the intensity by half or just do 15 minutes, do that half for a week or two and then start slowly building up.

Kim 38:40

That makes sense, because I think sometimes our ambition gets ahead of us, you know, even dieting or, in this case, intuitive eating, we think, Okay, I’m going to do all of the four letters, you know, with the hunger and all of that, and I’m going to master them at the same time. But once you drop all in one of them are like, I’m no longer an intuitive eater. And you give up on that.

Sheri 39:06

Well, and like we talked about with the intuitive eating so much of the intuitive eating journey is knowing it is a journey. So it’s everything is a learning experience. And really, you can approach exercise the same way, if you decide, I’m going to become a person who exercises on a regular basis. And that’s, you know, that’s broad and generic enough that you don’t, you know, shame yourself, if you miss one day, you know, I’m going to exercise on a regular basis, whatever that looks like. Then as you do those micro commitments, if you miss your micro commitment for three days in a row, it’s a learning opportunity. It doesn’t mean you’re not an exerciser, it means Okay, well, why is that? Is it because we had a major emergency? Or is it because I forgot about it? Or you know, what it? What is the reason and you just dive in? And you the biggest I guess the biggest thing with all of this is focus quit beating yourself up.

Kim 40:02

Yeah. And so if I wanted to change the habit, so you’d mentioned, looking at the barriers you had mentioned, what was it micro commitments right now? And then I forgot what the other one that you mentioned?

Sheri 40:18

Okay? Well, I’ll just, I’ll just run through all eight of them. Okay. So it can be kind of a whole picture. One is to focus, pick one commitment at a time. One is to do the micro commitment. Another is to visualize and meditate, always keep a picture in front of you either a literal picture or something in your environment that’s, you know, keeping it top of mind for you, then what are your benefits and amplifying those? What are your barriers and eliminating them? or working around them? How are you going to help yourself enjoy this because we join with what we enjoy? Yes, we stick with what we enjoy. And then the other is self-efficacy, that confidence that we have it? And that’s where that belief stacking comes in.

Kim 41:06

Okay, and how do we put that all together? That seems like a lot for you to think about when all you’re trying to do is develop a habit?

Sheri 41:19

Hmm. Again, because that’s one reason it takes six months. And oh, and then the other one, I’m sorry, is social support. So if I, if I’m coaching someone, and we’re saying, you know, where do we want to start with this, because you’re not going to put all eight things in place at once, right? The most important things to do first are your micro commitment, your benefits, especially getting down to that level of the big Y and your social support. Okay, so your micro commitment, you know, what’s that tiny thing you’re going to do on a daily basis to start changing your identity. Who around me can help me with this, and I mean, help maybe, like I live, this is a funny story. Because I live in Tennessee, you live in California, one of my clients in Tennessee, his social support, is a friend in California, that he will text if I don’t feel like working out today. Oh, the friend can text him back, get your butt out of bed and go workout. So it’s so it can be social support, like a workout partner, or it can just simply be a friend who is you know, encouraging you to do that. And then having that big, why you have to get out your journal, you know, I know you journal in the computer. So get out your computer or computer and think about what are the benefits. And then whichever ones really resonate, dig down and get the big why. And then the other steps on this. It might be that once a week, you take one of them and start wrapping your head around. Okay, well, what are some of my barriers, and then the next week is what there’s some things I can do to make this more enjoyable. Now, you’re not going to sit down, you’re very right about that you’re not going to sit down and take five hours in one setting, and work through all eight of these things. Right?

Kim 43:09

So just taking them step by step like you would any other thing that you’re trying to learn how to do.

Sheri 43:15


Kim 43:16

Now, we had mentioned in the past episodes, you have an ebook that is on diet and exercise. Can you refresh your memory on that again?

Sheri 43:27

Yes, it is on my website. And when you go to the main page on my website, there’s a place for your link for you to get that. And it is overcoming the guilt and shame of diets and getting fit the same way.

Kim 43:43

Okay, and then in addition to that, so I can read that. And that will help with the intuitive eating part. And then you have something on the exercise part as well.

Sheri 43:53

Yes. So the course the book, cover some getting fit the same way has some exercise stuff in there. And then also my youth YouTube channel, I have several exercise-related videos that will help.

Kim 44:06

Okay, you guys, so we go through these eight steps together. I don’t know about you, I kind of want to start with intuitive eating. And you want to make sure that you get your hands on Sheri’s ebook, so that we can go through the steps we can get through the mindset I think a lot of is also the mindset shift, you know, with all the eight steps and find our social support. I think that we can do this summer, you know, no excuses. You have the mental bandwidth to do this. Because you don’t have students and have it you know, it’s the best time to really adopt a good habit. And Sheri, where can my listeners find you if they want to pick your brain a little more?Sheri 44:44

Absolutely. I am on Facebook, I’m on Instagram. I am on LinkedIn as well. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn. And of course, my YouTube channel.

Kim 44:54

Awesome. And I’m going to link to that in the show notes so that you guys can easily get ahold of her. Well, thank you so much, much Sheri, for this amazing three part series. I know that this is the best time to do this. And I couldn’t be any happier that you agreed to do this with me. I really appreciate it.


2 comments on “Ep 65 The importance of developing a healthy lifestyle when you’re a busy and overwhelmed teacher
  1. Emily says:

    This series was amazing, and so timely! It really got me thinking less along the lines of, “I want to lose 10 pounds this summer” and more like, “ I should develop a routine this summer that I can maintain during the school year.” Just finished my first year of teaching where I didn’t exercise or think about what I was eating all year. So excited to have found your podcast!

    1. Kim Lepre says:

      Yes Emily! Definitely reframing it makes it seem like less of a chore and more of a positive change!


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