You may find something familiar in these words.
One day sitting in my office feeling unhealthy and unhappy, I took a rare moment to wonder. I was finishing up the day at the office and ready to go home; the Oscars were about to start, and I couldn’t wait to get home to watch. The Oscars are always around my birthday, so I started to think about the past year and what was happening in my life. Then I found myself imagining I was at the Oscars walking down the Red Carpet feeling graceful, glamorous, gleeful, genuine and glowing. I wanted to feel all that. I wondered; how can I feel that way every time I walked into a room. God how I really wanted to show up for life full of energy and confidence every day.
But I did not feel this way at all. I felt tired, trapped, and troubled.
Not long ago I was working in finance in New York. I worked long days, had a long commute, and zero time to really take care of myself. Because the job was so intense, I became a “grabber.” I grabbed a muffin (from my weekend shopping at Costco) on my way out the door in the morning. I later learned these oversized muffins were full of empty calories mostly from carbohydrates, sugar and unhealthy fats. Basically, I was eating a cupcake without the frosting for breakfast every morning. No wonder I was dragging my butt into the office daily, I was already crashing from the sugar overload. I usually grabbed lunch at a fast food joint near the office, my go to was McDonalds or Taco Bell. Some days I’d grab a couple slices of pizza. I think you can guess how I felt after those choices. I always seemed to feel like I needed a nap after lunch, my brain was foggy to, so I grabbed a pick-me-up snack out of the vending machine in the afternoon. By the time I got home I was so exhausted that I grabbed a bowl of cereal, a piece of pizza or something easy like that and went to bed where I grabbed a few hours of sleep.
Anyway, with the high stress, long hours, sitting all day and eating poorly I gained 40 pounds in one year. I developed anxiety from my poor body image and the food I was eating. I had heartburn every day. And of course, I didn’t fit into any of my clothes. At that point I was exhausted, felt sick, and felt like I looked bad. Basically, my energy left and took my confidence with it.
I couldn’t take it any longer.
None of these burdens were necessary, it just made my life toxic in numerous other ways too. I was ready to gain back my power and lose the weight I was carrying around both physically and emotionally. So, I spent the next year trying to feel better. I tried the latest diets.
Did you know there are over 200 types of diets out there? I may have tried them all.
I got gym memberships but didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin or have enough energy to actually show up consistently. Then, I saw doctors. I spent countless hours with numerous different specialists only to be recommended pills that made me sick…You name it I tried it, but nothing worked. I was totally frustrated that I couldn’t lose the weight, but I was even more upset that I just didn’t feel good or look the way I wanted to. I kind of lost my spunk.
One day I decided enough was enough.
I knew in my heart there was a better way and I was determined to figure it out. Driving home one night (after another long day at the office) I was sitting in traffic and I started to examine my life. Then, I heard a voice from within myself. She said, “It’s your time to come back, to feel good, have fun and be you. Remember when you were the happiest person you knew?” Strangely enough, I answered back.
For some reason I grabbed the fat that had developed around my middle and said, “It’s time to get rid of this, I don’t need it. It’s weighing me down literally and figuratively. I must get back to feeling good; I need to get ahold of my health and raise my happiness. It’s time to end this struggle and find harmony with myself. To live a life of ease, joy and grace.” I felt renewed in that present moment. I deserve to be healthy and feel good.
I was ready to take a big leap.
That night I got home, and I enrolled in my first classes about wellness. I became a seeker of knowledge about nutrition, psychology and spirituality. Just a few months into my studies, I realized I could heal myself.
I learned enough to lose the weight and gain back my resilience, energy and confidence.
I lost the 40 lbs., had energy like a kid playing in the park, and I had the resilience to keep going. I started to live a vibrant, heathy and joyous lifestyle!
But I didn’t stop there.
I continued my education and began teaching what I had learned. I changed my career path in the process. This change was not something that I consciously thought of, but what happened as a result of my quest for health and well-being. I opened my transformational nutrition practice, moved to California and continued to learn about how to help people transform themselves without deprivation.
I finally felt light, energized, confident and abundant.
What I discovered in all my work, research and through hundreds of clients’ transformations is that it’s a lifestyle of confidence and energy that we want because the bottom line is, we really want to have that “Red Carpet entrance” all day, every day.
And it’s not just about calories in, calories out and the number on a scale; it’s how you feel in your mind, body and soul consistently. That’s what it’s all about.
So, I created what I call ‘The Confidence and Energy Cycle’ comprised of simple shifts that create dramatic results. A trifecta that includes nutrition, exercise and self-care.
What I discovered in the area of nutrition is when you become aware and conscious of what you are eating you begin to feel better. When you are eating for energy, you naturally feel more energetic. I ate foods that fueled my body with nutrients. And guess what, the pounds disappeared. I lost the weight, but I still wasn’t ready to make my Red Carpet entrance. There was more work to do.
Another simple shift I made was to move my body with exercise that felt good and made me stronger. I started to take 5-minute walking breaks at work, and I got up a little earlier in the morning and exercise to a short strength training workout video from home. Nothing drastic but it was a conscious step to move a little more, to get my heart pumping and my body stronger every day. And I made it super easy doing it for only 5-20 minutes, a few times a day. Literally, I did this without fail every day. It was several minutes of focused movement to improve my body inside and out every day, consistently. I have a secret, here’s why it worked…exercise is cumulative.
It all adds up. A few times a day moving at my office for 5 minutes and a 20 minute workout at home and I was moving with purpose for 45 minutes a day.
And guess what happens when you move just a little bit more with a purpose? You start to feel better!
I started to feel good, I could see and feel myself transforming. My confidence seemed to improve and every week I felt stronger. My muscles started to notice the movement and my body started to change. The body-mind connection began, my head noticed too - I was no doubt thinking more clearly. I no longer had those afternoon slumps. And few months later I had more physical and mental energy, real vibrant “I’m alive” energy inside and out, and I felt good.
And the best part? I felt GREAT about feeling good and about taking care of myself!
I started to stand a little taller and hold my head a bit higher. I also seemed to bounce back from difficult situations in the office quickly, I was regaining my mental strength too.
I was blown away by the simplicity of my new daily habits and the amazing results they created.
I learned that eating well and exercising made perfect sense. Doing more of each is logical for any transformation. But I also knew that diet and exercise were only 2/3 of the picture. There was another piece to this puzzle to sustain this transformation long term. I researched and studied the link between nutrition, physiology and psychology.
Simply stated, you have to take care of your head so that the other shifts make sense and can be sustained. Change of diet and exercise won’t help long term if you don’t change your thoughts. It’s just as important to feed your mind with positive fueling thoughts as it is to feed your body nurture fueling foods.
And that’s when I created ‘The Confidence and Energy Cycle’ and how it was not only making a healthy change but keeping it and making it a lifestyle. I followed cycle of nutrition, exercise and self-care. When you eat better you begin to feel good. As you start to feel good you want to move more. Then as you eat nourishing foods and move your body more you have more energy and confidence. So, you continue to eat well and move.
I began to reinforce the feeling of my food and exercise success with the knowledge I learned about positive psychology. I started to build back up my resilience by visualizing my future self and owning a positive attitude. I was feeding my mind with positive self-talk and what I thought about myself. I started to journal about my day, my food and my thoughts.
Did you know we have about 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% are same and about 80% are negative? And usually we are saying those negative things about our self. The good news is I studied the best ways to turn down the negative self-talk and turn up the positive self-talk, and it’s easier to turn around then you think. With journaling and noticing my thoughts I was able to kick the destructive habit of negative self-talk to the curb and maintain a long-term confident attitude. I started to answer those negative thoughts back and distancing myself from them. I stopped playing those same destructive thoughts over and over and added more positive activities into my life like being in nature, talking with people who I enjoyed and doing more things I loved.
On my own journey to rise up to my new standards of health and happiness I discovered a method that worked for me. I found it was about creating a personalized nutrition and fitness plan that moved beyond just the basics of food and exercise. I took time to find out what was truly going on in my life; what was causing the heaviness, dis-ease and unhappiness I was experiencing. Alas, I found true transformation for my whole self- body, mind and soul to create long-lasting results.
Taking care of your body, your mind and your inner guidance system are what is needed to live life full out and truly enjoy a life of peace and positivity.
That’s a major part of what I teach and coach now. We can eat the right stuff but if we don’t give our mind and soul good stuff, the body will suffer along with it. You can address it all, that’s why I created transformational nutrition... it’s the whole self that needs to participate (mind, body and soul).
Stay well, be happy and live full out! That’s the winning formula!
" "Maria Mizzi has been a life saver to me. Her simple shifts got the ball rolling and now I'm unstoppable! I began working with Maria and everything just started clicking. I began taking care of myself - mind, body & soul. At times in my life, I felt like this day would never come. But I made it happen! Thank you Maria for helping me change my relationship with food." "
"Having Maria as my personal trainer was the best choice I made. A year and a half ago I found I was no longer satisfied with my body. I had gained 2 dress sizes and lost all of my tone. I have three children and with each one my body changed. I would try a new gym and never stick with it. After meeting with Maria and agreeing she would be my trainer Everything changed! She motivated me through a genuine enthusiasm to see me hit my goals. When I told her I was running my first 5k, Maria ran it with me. Maria made the difference for me, I have seen the results… and I am Hooked. Maria is an asset to anyones workout!!!"
"I trained with Maria to get back into shape and to run my first 5K. We had a blast during training and the race was a wonderful success. I never felt and looked as good as I did when I was working out with her on a regular basis. She explained what was happening with my body every step of the way and created a program specifically for my needs. I have referred her to brides who I work with in my business because I trust she will focus on their goals to look their very best on this important day. Training with Maria is not only good for your physique…but good for your spirit. She is positive and upbeat and holds my highest respect as a person and as a professional. Take one look at her and you will want to do whatever she recommends. She is a living advertisement for her profession!"
"Make Simple Shifts and Bring Big Change!"
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