Usually when someone joins a gym, they expect to work out on one of the many machines or sit in the sauna. Maybe they’ll get a personal trainer or join a Saturday morning Zumba class. What if you can’t get to the gym? No sweat, just find a personal trainer through the internet who can toss workouts your way through email or text. You can follow them like a recipe. Do this, then get that.
But what if there’s more to being healthy than squeezing your body into a random machine at the gym and eating celery while sipping lemon water for ten days straight?
There is more. Mia Healy knows this because she is an OPEX Lancaster member. She once had a long-distance trainer tossing workouts her way without really understanding her intentions for a better life. She’s tried diets or shaming herself into not eating sugar, but that’s all failed. Then Mia realized no fitness coach had ever introduced her to higher order intentions and basic lifestyle guidelines.
OPEX Lancaster’s coaches each acknowledge there are higher order intentions for personhood.
“In health and fitness, higher order intentions include pursuing our potential while acknowledging our humanity. To visualize and subsequently actualize this concept would be to eat, move, and connect in ways that allow peak cognition and fitness for any demand, for as long as possible – live a larger life.” Coach Jeremiah Williams, Owner of OPEX Lancaster.
Mia wanted to live a larger life. She thought she’d start with fitness but didn’t realize her coach, Samm Hewes, was going to bring more to her goals than get skinny and eat less. Mia’s nutritional and fitness mindset was going to go through a reset.
We talked with Mia about Basic Lifestyle Guidelines, her love hate relationship with sugar, and how coach Samm Hewes introduced her to grace. Oh, and great workouts too.
What were your original goals when you met with Samm for your first consultation?
I was in a place where I was dealing with so much job stress. I am a teacher, and I was working from home, and trying to work with my students virtually. That was a challenge. One of my goals was really to get a handle on my stress so that I could show up for myself when it came to nutrition and working out. To really get a handle on being okay if I mess up.
I’m a perfectionist, so that gets in the way. If I didn’t have a perfect day, with eating, I was hard on myself. One of my goals was to learn how to let things go, and move on, and not be so hard on myself. To let go of that shame if I didn’t have what I thought was a perfect day and to learn movement is good. The image thing still sits in the back of my mind. It can be a reason, but not the reason. I set myself up for disappointment when I make fitting into a bikini my goal.
How have the Basic Lifestyle Guidelines helped you improve your lifestyle?
BLG’s helped me see beyond just the esthetics.
In the beginning, Samm gave me lifestyle tasks in the app (CoachRx). For a while it was “Make sure you finish your meal.” “Make sure you have had all your water well before you’ve gone to bed.” “Keep a check on your bedtime.”
When I get the right amount of sleep, eight hours is excellent for me, but usually I get seven and a half, I make better decisions with my food. It was something that I knew was good for me, but I didn’t put too much attention to it before Samm began coaching me. Now I’m thinking about my sleep.
When I first started, my workouts began with walking outside for five minutes as a warmup or a cool down. To get sunshine and fresh air. That kind of awareness is good!
I learned that rest days are important because I used to think that I don’t need a rest day. I’ll just do something that’s not scheduled and do some other little workout. I was learning how important rest is.
The biggest one for me is food hygiene. Since I’m a perfectionist, I have morphed into being oversensitive to it. If I mess up on a day or a little while, then I am really upset with myself because I know that affects my energy levels. Then that affects my mental health. I get upset and I feel ashamed that I did that.
When you say you messed up are you saying you ate something you didn’t want to eat, or is it that you did something that sends you into eating?
It’s that I ate something I didn’t want to eat. When I am in stress mode, I go to eating. That’s my vice. Food hygiene has been good. Samm is good because she has a way of telling me “Look, it’s okay.” “You have the foundations.” She has a way of being like “You can let that go.” It’s building my mental strength. I can reset the next day.
With food hygiene, when you do have a mess-up day, what are some practical ways you reset yourself?
Work is still stressful. Recently I was digging into the Halloween candy. I do have an addiction to sugar. No one has tested me for it, but I just know that I have it. I must be careful with that. So, if I messed up that day, I would have this visualization in my mind that this is sugar I’m eating. If I was to have however many teaspoons of sugar that’s in that candy, would I really just want to eat that many spoonfuls of straight sugar? No! No, I wouldn’t.
So, when I look at the Halloween candy I just see it as spoonfuls of sugar. I also remind myself how crappy I feel after eating lots of sugar. Having a headache for three days, and lack of energy. I’m able to ask myself, is this really worth it? Because then I’ll need to reset myself again and detox from it (sugar) again.
What keeps you wanting to stay with OPEX?
Before OPEX I knew how important working out was, and I knew how important nutrition was, but what I like about OPEX are the BLG’s, and Samm is really looking at me as a whole person. She’s not just telling me what to do. And, I do feel a sense of community at OPEX. I really like the Friday Five emails each week.
Is there anything else you want to add about your OPEX journey and experience?
I am grateful to have found OPEX through Samm so that I can enhance my mental and physical wellness. I see this more as a life coach, more than just physical and I really like that.