One of the most powerful things I’ve learned in my journey of self exploration, support, and elevation is from Brene Brown and that is that being vulnerable holds incredible power.
So, I want to tell you a piece of my origin story.
In 2011 I had my first baby and had to quit my first and last formal healthcare job with benefits because my salary wouldn’t cover the cost of childcare.
That was difficult to accept but okay because I’ve always wanted to be the one to raise my baby, not a daycare.
The downside was in a turn of events my husband and I thought would be good for us, ended up landing us on welfare. It necessitated me to spend HOURS on line at food banks and further hours in the kitchen preparing and canning food we couldn't afford to actually buy.
Not to mention the added time in line at our local grocery stores trying to use WIC checks while onlookers got increasingly frustrated at the wait in processing them and the clerks got increasingly scared that they would make a mistake and get written up or worse.
I was in a deep dark hole of despair, my friends only got calls of me crying or complaining, my clients (though amazing) were few and felt I was costly. I felt exhausted, unworthy, and scared I’d lose what little I had.
Then I started reading, a lot. I started therapy. I started a yoga practice. I joined local business communities.I started to see the sky clearing just a little bit.
Then I decided I would commit to an unlimited contract at my yoga studio because I knew in my bones that I needed to really commit to it. It felt SO good.
That’s when I signed my biggest client to date at nearly double the price point I’d ever received before. Every year since then I’ve come incredibly close to doubling my income. Which means every year I’ve been able to serve my family and my clients at a higher level than the last.
I’m no longer scared I wouldn't measure up to people who make six and seven figures; I’ve worked with them for years now and loved every minute of it.
I’m no longer in despair or ashamed of my circumstances, I never should have been in the first place. Public assistance is there for a reason!
I see the world differently, I run my business differently, I connect with people on a deeper level than I ever have before.
Would I like to have been able to skip much of that portion of my life and struggle in business? Emotionally, I still trigger into a yes. But if I did, I wouldn’t be able to meet my clients on their very different levels and understand their struggles the way I do. I wouldn’t have the insights I have that have given me the opportunity to up level in a way I never knew was possible. My mind wouldn’t be open in the way it is now and the amazing ideas and possibilities I see for myself and my client’s futures wouldn’t be there.
So, when I calm my nervous system of the trigger of those memories and really think about it, no, I wouldn’t change that past.
After all, it lead me to you and you to me. If you’ve made it this far and found camaraderie, inspiration, or comfort in my story; that’s reason enough for me to have endured until I learned how to begin to thrive.
Thank you for being on this journey with me <3
If my story resonated with you and you'd like to connect, please find me on IG: @HudsonValleyPeakPerformance
If you'd like to connect and talk about how I can help you feel confident and healthy in life and business book a free consultation call using the link below.
Energy, it's a wonderful thing. If flows through us and everything around us. We can look at it universally or bring it in real tight and examine it within ourselves.
It's truly a fascinating thing to think about.
But thinking about it can be hard when you are lacking it, dragging yourself around from appointment to appointment, grabbing a coffee wherever it's available, and refusing to get a workout in at the end of the day because you're just TOO EXHAUSTED.
And listen, I know it can feel like moving an impossible object to get on a different path but today instead of telling you the HOW of gaining and maintaining sustained energy I am going to tell you WHY it's SO WORTH IT.
1. Temper Temper
When we are short of sleep, we inevitably become short tempered and easily overwhelmed. This can read as disaster when you are trying to build your business. Not to mention, make home life with inevitably noisy kids feel completely unbearable.
Have you ever panicked about a meeting or a presentation to the point where you stayed up FAR later than your traditional bedtime? Or maybe you even pulled an all-nighter. How did you feel the next day? Were you clear-headed, energized and ready to go? Or were you forgetful, clumsy, easily raddled, and just not feeling together? It's probably better to get a good night's sleep and feel energized and connected to yourself and your knowledge then it is to have deprived yourself of the sleep that will help you function and thrive even if you don't h ave the answer to every single question.
You can after all say, "I don't have the answer to that now but I will get it to you later today by email."
Now, that is a professional who is in control and confident enough to be vulnerable on the spot!
So, if you want to have the focus and control over your mind and emotions to make savvy business decisions like when to launch your next product/program or make a strategic hire.... you're going to want your restorative sleep.
When you are low energy or tired.... do you think clearly or do you feel scattered and like your brain is stuck in a fog of indecision?
Now think about how you feel when you have amazing, high vibe energy!
You feel like you are on top of the world, ideas flow freely to you, and you have the bandwidth to open up your notes and jot down all the things you want to save to take action on.
Where does this get you? At home you can feel present and at peace because you were able to get your brown work done as well as your non-negotiable green work.
In business you feel confident and secure in your next steps. You have a clear design and outline to your programming, marketing, and strategy for your upcoming endeavors. Things feel fresh and hopeful, you are in the flow!
3. It Doesn't Pay To Be Sick
Gaining energy means many things but one of the most pivotal is that when you gain REAL energy you also gain health.
This is incredibly important in business. Because for many of us, you don't get paid on sick days and you don't get workers comp if you get injured.
So, building up your body through balanced nutrition, purposeful movement, and proper rest gives you a HUGE return.
Say you charge $100/hr for your services and you book 5 appointments per day.
You get sick and it knocks you out for 5 days, that's $2,500 you lost right there because your health failed. Now what if that happens even just 3 times per year?
You're out $7,500 simply because you didn't take the time to manage your energy and wellness.
Now, maybe this is how you have been operating for the past 5 years and here's my question to you:
How would you like to put an extra $37,500 in your bank account over the next five years simply by managing your health and energy level?!?
Do you ever feel like you just can't quite get it together? Your body and your mind don't seem to align and it's holding you back in making decisions, taking action, or full out dreaming about your best life and most successful business?
I know I have, many times. Which is why I want to give you three somatic strategies to integrate your body and mind, boost your confidence, and heighten your already existing authentic authority in your field.
Step 1. Hydrate
I know, this sounds so simple and you have definitely heard it before. But it is important so it bears repeating. Drinking approximately 8 glasses of water a day (or what ever amount FEELS BEST in your body) is going to help you feel awake, alert, less sluggish, and MUCH happier.
I mean, the number one cause of headaches and muscle spasms is dehydration, so drink up and let's start celebrating the beginning of a pain-free lifestyle!
Step 2. Get Good, Consistent Sleep
You body has A LOT of work to do in it's down time. Things you never even think of (thank goodness, you have enough on your plate right?!) When you keep yourself awake with cups of steaming caffeine, work projects, or to get kid free time at the end of night you are likely KILLING your waking productivity.
Don't forever put your conscious projects above your body's subconscious needs. You can say no to that extra appointment, party, project, or playdate. Your body has no such choice in the matter.
A lack of sleep beats up your immune system, leaves you forgetful and disoriented, and leads to emotionally crushing, joint destabilizing unwanted weight gain. Just to name a few.
NONE of these are productive for your life. You are an amazing capable woman, mother, and business owner. You want and need to be on top of your game. Give your body consistent sleep (min of 8 hours) and keep me posted on how it starts to change your life!
Step 3. Get Big!
That's right mamma, I want you to GROW! Right now, I want you to take up more space. While you are reading this I want you to think of three ways you can make your body bigger throughout your day.
Sitting in a board meeting? Roll your shoulders back, sit up straight, open your arms wider.
Cooking dinner with the kiddos? Put your favorite dancing tunes on, grab your spatula mic and channel John Travolta.
Have extra time for yourself? Go for a run or take a yoga class. Move and OPEN your body as big as you can, as appropriately as you can in the setting you are in.
Losing your shit and need a quick fix? Stand in the mirror like Super Woman, legs apart, back straight, chest and shoulders up and back, hands perched on your hips to take up space with your arms. (Check out Amy Cuddy's TedTalk for more on that, she's great!)
All of these things will help to boost your self confidence, make you feel powerful, and improve your assertiveness. Because moving your body to make yourself bigger actually changes the chemicals and hormones released in your body to feed your brain what it needs to get the job done. If nothing else, you'll get some stiffness out of your body and that alone is worth it!
Did you try any of these? I'd love to hear your experiences and how these tips have helped or influenced change in your life and business!
I have the expertise, but you are the only one who knows how you FEEL. So, who calls the shots?
So many of us, myself included, are used to having someone else tell us what to do. We rarely have full control of things and this is can be especially true when it comes to our bodies.
This is NOT OKAY. It is NOT OKAY to have little to NO SAY about your body/mind and how they FEEL.
If you are a part of my generation (I was born in 1985, so sure, that makes me a Millennial but I resonate more with Genx) you may have been taught to essentially relinquish control over yourself to your elders.
-Go give so and so a hug
-Disrobing completely in a doctors office when it's not actually necessary
-One size fits all fitness classes
-Coaches and trainers who ignore you when you say something REALLY hurts and tell you to "go walk it off"
-You should never eat fat because it's bad and you're bad if you eat it
-You should never eat carbs because they are bad and you're weak if you give into that temptation
-Your body should look like ______ and fit into the sizes provided on the rack or your "unhealthy", "irregularly sized", "too tall", etc
Says WHO?! WHY?! NO, I don't and you don't either.
I know it may seem like I've gone off on a bit of a tangent here. But really, I haven't, I've just dug a little deeper into this paradigm than most of us are comfortable digging into. I can tell you, I'm not comfortable writing this right now, not at all. I am a rule follower.
I am the professional here and I know what is best for you, so I'm supposed to make you do it. <---- This is how I feel like I have been taught to work with people. But I don't BELIEVE it. I don't believe it's right, I don't believe it is oaky, and I don't believe it is the best way to help you. And that's really my job, my job is to help you.
To help you I have to LISTEN TO YOU.
When I listen to you, to my clients, I am guided by YOU. Yes yes, I am also guided by my training, but you are front and center. Our work together revolves around you, you are the sun to my solar system. You are the leader, I am the fairy godmother flitting alongside you with my fairy dust in the form of education and training as a tool I am able to sprinkle on you as needed.
How do I know this is the best way to work with my clients? How can THEY lead ME when I'm supposed to be the one in charge?
Well, let me tell you. There is no time when I, Cortney Whitebay, can ever be more important than you in YOUR training. There is no time when I can FORCE you to do something you don't want to do (even when it's begrudgingly). Trust me, in my fledgling years I've tried... and I've FAILED.
Let me tell you how I know this to be true.
One year I had two particular clients. They were both looking to get a good workout in and lose weight. One was male, one was female. One was fully trained virtually online, one I saw in their home. Neither of them could preform the necessary exercises to reach their goals to the degree they wished to because they were TOO tight. Their flexibility limited their mobility and caused them a whole lot of pain and frustration.
For months I tired to tell them, to encourage them, to sneak in what I wanted them to do. STRETCH!
They stopped training with me because it just wasn't working for them.
One year later.
THE BOTH CAME BACK!!! Yay!!!! And guess what they came back to do with me?
You got it, "Cortney, I want to come back to training with you but for right now I ONLY want to stretch."
Something similar happened to me again this week. A young man I have had the immense pleasure of training this year has unilaterally decided that he wants to RUN! On all the nice days! He used to hate it, he used to complain, and stop every few feet, and whine. I used to energetically DRAG him with me. Now I can't keep up!
Did I have other plans for him today? Yes, did I stop him and say, 'no you can't do what your body and mind are calling you to do because I know better?'
We did what he wanted to do and then we picked up whatever else we could fit in for the day. We both left feeling amazing, accomplished, well worked out, and excited for our next session.
He's a teenager, he is following his instincts and guiding me to train him the way HE NEEDS to be trained, not the way a text book told me to do it.
Empowered Success Through Client Led Training. This is what I do.
Did you know that how you USE or MOVE your body can actually change your physiology?
This little bunny was having a really hard time coming out of her shell, notice how her arms are drawn inward and protect her core.
Once read this great book by Amy Cuddy and I want to tell you a little bit more about her research.
As you probably know, your body language speaks volumes. Body language allows us to read other people and to be read by them. It's a big part of how we decide what and how we feel towards them; whether we like or dislike someone or find a situation is safe or threatening, fun or boring, and so on.
But did you know that when you, or that guy at the office, make your body big (expanded as opposed to contracted postures) it is actually chemically boosting your self confidence?
Improved Body Posture/Movement -> Positive Chemical Release -> Physiological Reactions -> Thought Patterns Change -> Actions are Modified -> Results are Awesome
When you sit down, do you cross your legs and lean into yourself? This would be a contracted pose and while cozy, it's better for hibernation than a board meeting.
Alternatively, do you leave your core wide open, arms and legs long, for all to see? This style of posture is making your body appear larger, and when done 'socially appropriately' it is perfect for the confidence boost you need to bring up that tough conversation and stay assertive.
The even cooler part about all of this is not only do you look more self-assured and confident to others, you also give yourself that boost of belief due to chemical and hormonal shifts in your own brain! Win win! You look competitive, you act competitive, and you get the job done.
When you make your body larger, by stretching or running or stand in front of the mirror like super woman, you are changing your physiology!!! You are changing the chemicals being released in your brain and even your hormones shift within your body! In turn, those changes make you feel, then ACT more assertive, in control, and as a force to be reckoned with.
A common time for me, and many of my friends and clients to feel depressed, alone, sullen, and sad is when we are new mothers. OR new again mothers. Now, yes, there are TONS of things going on inside our bodies and all that. But think about how a new mother spends SO much of her time. We curl up in bed, on the cozy chair, or under the fuzzy blanket on the sofa and nurse that baby to their tummy's content. We almost curl entirely AROUND the baby, as if it's a football during the Super Bowl and our ability to form a human shield around it HOURS a a day is our one true job in this world. There is no safer place for that baby but mamma's brain NEEDs a break from the maternal fetal position. We NEED to open our bodies up and get the happy chemicals flowing so we can battle the hard and negative sides of post partum life. This is one tool out of many to help stave off post partum depression, open up and move your body mamma. Your feelings will change, your thoughts will follow, and we will all smile again!
See that smile brighten as she literally OPENS UP!?!
There are so many practical applications for using our body and posture to help us manage a given situation, here are a few examples:
-You are getting ready for a big meeting, presentation, interview in front of people you feel the need to impress. Exercising or even just standing like a starfish or Super Woman for a few minutes will help give you the physiological boost you need BEFORE even entering the room.
-You want to work up the courage to ask someone out on a date.
-You're ready to ask for help on a tough project, to stop a negative behavior, or anything else that has been weighing on your mind.
-You are gearing up at the starting line of a race or getting ready for another competition.
-You are ready to take a stand for yourself and tell someone, 'enough is enough!' and you won't tolerate their mean or abusive behavior anymore.
-You're having a less than perfect day and you just simply need a little pick me up!
Making your body large is a way of using your beautiful body and your body sure does like that! It loves the blood flow because that means oxygen and food for the brain, muscles, and all the other parts. The chemical changes help your body and mind connect with each other and ideas come, self-confidence gets a boost, and sure, even your achey back can get eased.
So, the next time you want to focus and step into your power, get large girl! Also be sure to check out the Going Goddess program. It's a self paced but fully coached program that will help you tap into all your power!
You have the POWER to be your most POWERFUL self. Will you choose to embrace it?!
When we enter the holiday season we are entering a whole new way of life.
We are expected to be able to navigate it with grace and glee, but let's be honest here, it's not always like that!
How many times have you walked into a room over the holiday season and been less than thrilled to have Great Aunt Betty exclaim her surprise over something your body does or doesn't have?
Or perhaps you get to the snack or dessert table and your mother snugs up against you to whisper that you might not need that on your plate....?
Well I have FIVE tips/ideas/tools for you to get started with not only surviving the hardships of the holidays, but THRIVING though them!
1.) Find a system or supportive group NOW. Not in a week from now, not after Thanksgiving had wreaked it's havoc with the delights of Pecan Pie, but now. Find it, get comfortable with it.
2.) Repeat after me, "I am worthy of love and respect at all times." And I mean AT ALL TIMES!!! So, no negative self talk. Bolster yourself up with learning and cultivating this belief, which is TRUTH.
3.) Allow yourself the indulgences you look forward to all year long. Be mindful in your consumption and don't beat yourself up or tear yourself down for it. See #2
4.) When you are confronted with a situation or temptation that feels overwhelming;
*Visit the pros and Cons
*Choose what feels right for you with confidence
5.) Learn to manage the stress with a few well placed deep breaths. For our Yogis out there, we call this Pranayama, and it is an incredibly powerful practice!
The Holiday Season Is To Celebrate, Find Love And Compassion In All The Right Places! It Starts With You Loving You For the Wonderful You That You Are.
When you're ready to take it to the next level, I will see you in our Going Goddess group!
Want to join us in my free group, test the waters, and become a part of a beautiful community?
Join us here and be sure to answer the questions!
Ugh okay. Let me start by saying that posting this is making me feel more than a little bit queasy. Not only because I’m trying to embrace my femininity and feel beautiful (which I often don’t feel allowed to do) but also because I’m showing what lies beneath. Ha. Literally. I can’t even explain in this one little blurb, all the feelings I have and why they are there.
But whatever. This is me. This is post baby #3 at about 3.5 months. And the reason I’m swallowing down bile to be this vulnerable is because I’ve seen a few trainers in my life who take a pretty hard line on weight loss after pregnancy and I think it’s... mean.
Now, I’m not saying they aren’t incredible women with lots of wisdom to share. But I AM saying that we are not ALL capable or dare I say willing to find our six packs four months after having a baby. I haven’t seen mine in about 7 years!!! I still consider myself to be in pretty good shape though. I can still teach all of my group fitness and yoga classes, exercise with my PT clients, and take care of my kids without being physically burnt out or in pain. THOSE are also pretty amazing accomplishments in my book!
If I may say so myself! (And yes, I may. So may you!)
I’m not saying don’t work hard. I’m not saying don’t have challenging and gratifying goals that I do, in fact sometimes reach! I’m not saying won’t shed the pounds at some point. Because I believe I will and it will feel GLORIOUS.
I am saying: we are not all built the same. Just because one woman looks barely pregnant at 7 months and I look like I’m carrying twins, doesn’t mean I didn’t work hard enough. Just because another woman had a baby and looks like a beach volleyball player before her kiddo can eat solids and my 6 year old is still asking me, “is there another baby in there?” Doesn’t make me a failure.
Do the work. Set the goals. Love your beautiful, incredible, strong body, and thank it for all it does. Thank it by nourishing it with good foods and moving it in all the ways that feel good and productive.
Don’t let a comparison to someone else trick you into thinking you should look or feel or be different than you are just because they look or are that way.
Only YOU can know when it’s the right time to dig in, power up, & get going.
And remember, all bodies are different!!!
If this hit home for you and you are ready to move into the next phase of you WellFit journey, this is an invitation to you, from me, to join us in our next group launch of the Going Goddess Empowerment and Transformation program.
We will come together daily for inspiration, calming yoga, and heart pumping workouts. If you are tired of being tired and achy; if you want to feel strong and powerful; this is the program for you.
Leave a comment below to receive a special discount on your Personalized GG Program!
When sleep becomes elusive, things tend to go downhill fast and it can feel like your world is beginning to spin out of control.
Sleep is vital, it helps us to produce and balance our hormones, allows us to better focus during the day, aids us in managing our tempers, writes what we learned in a day down as memories we can recall, heals and builds our muscles, and so much more. Without it, we cannot survive and certainly we will not thrive.
The real bummer can be that once we start the slippery slope into lackluster sleep, it often becomes a cycle that feeds itself; can't fall asleep because you feel anxious? Well, not sleeping will make you feel more of that and so the cycle is set.
So, what can we do to break these cycles we get into and get a good nights sleep?
I'm glad you asked, here are my go-to's:
-Meditate. If you don't know how to meditate or it seems to scary just take a few moments throughout the day to take 3-5 slow, intentional deep breaths. If you are down with trying meditation but don't have your own practice, google it! There are so many fantastic guided meditations and apps these days you're sure to find one you like.
-Hydrate, not not right before bed!!!! Drink your water earlier in the day and take the time to learn your body's rhythms. If you find you need to skip a glass of water because it's too close to bedtime try getting it in earlier in the evening to avoid those nocturnal callings.
-Use calming essential oils. I love Petigrain, Serenity, or Lavender in my diffuser before bed. They are calming and soothing, which is just what I need to quiet my mind and any anxious feelings I may have carried with me through the day.
-Take a warm bath or shower before bed. Having the heat warm your body before crawling into bed is so soothing and relaxing. If your a bath person you can add your favorite essential oils to epsom salt and then sprinkle it in for triple the relaxation as the Magnesium in the salts are actually gentle muscle relaxers!
-In the morning, to set your day up right, rub Balance blend or Cedarwood on your feet to get grounded and settled. You'll be amazed at how well you'll feel starting off your day with your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds!
-Exercise!!!! Last but clearly not least, get your body moving. Every. Day. You don't have to do a knock down, drag out workout every single day but you should be moving every day. A walk, a bike ride, a run, a fitness class, yoga, anything to keep your blood flowing, your daytime energy up, and to give your body a release that will help you sink into the pillow each night.
Leave me your questions below or send me a message!
As I move through my own personal process of healing, growing, and learning. I see so many things so much more clearly than I did 2 or 3 or 10 years ago.
We struggle, we struggle SO HARD. Maybe it's health related or exercise related, maybe it's weight related, maybe it's relationships or even finances. But no matter what it is, it's a struggle and the struggle is real. No, seriously, it is. It affects our biochemistry, it affects our DNA, it can even affect our unborn babies! Crazy isn't it?
But what I want to say to you, the point that I want to get across is not only that your struggles are real and valid, but more importantly is non-judgement of the person in that struggle. In Yoga we would refer to this as practicing Ahimsa or non-violence.
Non-Violence you say? Yes, non-violence, the practice of showing compassion, courage, balance, self love, and equanimity.
Because whether you are the one in struggle or it is someone somewhere else, near or far, the best thing we can do for ourselves and them is to show non-violence/judgement of their situation and recognize that; when we were in our struggle, we were the same as they are now in their struggle. And on the flip side, if we were to be in THEIR circumstances with the tools that they have, we would most likely act and react the same to their circumstances were they ours.
We are one, we are common to each other as beings. The struggles are felt by all and they are all real. I encourage you to gaze deeply and recognize yourselves within others. You might just find that a part of you lives within a part of her, while a part of her lives within a part of you.
A few days ago I was in my car, driving down a street I've driven down a thousand times. So, needless to say I was on autopilot and my brain was freed up to think about some things that have been swirling around for a while.
In my work and as a woman I am constantly privy to body image conversations. Sometimes they are with clients, sometimes they are with friends, sometimes they are in my head or laments to my husband. Always they are about not being able to attain some idea that came along at some point in time to the the vocalizers mind.
The conversations are tender and raw and scary and sad. They reflect our perceived failure to look and therefore feel a certain way. "I'll be happy when I lose 10lbs." "I will meet the man of my dreams when I can get rid of this cellulite." "If only everyone wasn't staring at the crows feet around my eyes."
But since when are these things we are lamenting inherently BAD??? Since when is not meeting the exact standard of a weight watcher's calculation your failure? Since when are laugh lines around your eyes a sign of failure? Since when does a completely natural part of your body like cellulite instigate shame in your heart?
Why are we no encouraged to embrace the movement of our body, not just through space but through time?! Why are we not encouraged to look at ourselves in the mirror in order to get to know the body standing in front of us? And what if we did? What if we stood before ourselves with eyes and heart wide open so that we could really see and get to know the bodies that house our wounded souls?
What do you think it would feel like to take the time to observe your body, its changes through the days and the years, how it feels and what makes it feel good or sick, what it is capable of accomplishing when your mind is fully supportive of your body. What would it feel like to look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that it is the only body in the world that is like this. And this body is perfect the way it is, the only thing you need to do to make it the most amazing body ever, is to nourish it, accept it for being uniquely yours and to love the hell out of it.
I am an Exercise Physiologist and mother of two lovely ladies. I love teaching my community about health and wellness and I love helping likeminded people implement natural solutions into their everyday lives.