I think the biggest thing I watch people struggle with is balance. I see a lot of my clients, especially when ready to make the commitment to change and living a healthier lifestyle, they are all gung ho…and then because of different diets or how they were eating in the past, as soon as they have a splurge or eat something they feel “guilty” about, everything seems to fly out the window. I always say that I will one day write about our own mental blocks, as that is a huge topic on its own…but I try very hard to work with them to shift their thinking a little.
Even though eating can be different from person to person, depending on their health needs and physical activities, there are some basic guidelines I like to share with my clients. Timing, combinations of food and quality is super important. You need to be fuelling your body every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism going. Also, we want to typically make sure we are getting a combination of protein/good fats/good starches with each meal/snack.
Sometimes, we may leave out the starch at every meal depending like I said on our goals and lifestyles…but this is a general focus. And of course, we want to educate ourselves on the quality of foods we are eating. You want to stay away from processed, chemical filled foods and eat mostly organic and fresh/high quality/high nutrient foods. With all this being said, my point is, when you cook for yourself, you control so much more of what you put into your body. I’m not saying you will never have a splurge, but you will have a splurge (the real thing, no chemical laden, no fat/no sugar crap) enjoy and move on. Hec, even make your own splurge…this way you know exactly what is going in there and it’s that much better. When you are consistently eating healthy 90%- 95% of the time, the occasional splurge is ok. You should not not eat all day because you are saving up for a splurge meal or the opposite; decide to go on a binge. Your body works from meal to meal; it doesn’t know what we are planning to eat in 6 hours. Your body will hold on to fat to survive when its not being fuelled properly. Enjoy, forgive yourself (no emotions) and move on to your normal eating schedule. You have the power to take control of your eating and what you are putting into your body. Healthy eating and living is not all just about losing weight, it’s about feeling better, ridding your body of toxins, and healing us of stress and preventing disease. Our health and bodies are very precious. Show it love, after all we only have one!
It has truly become my mission to Empower, Motivate and Inspire others to live a happier, healthier lifestyle. I know from experience what it is like to be in an unhealthy place. I recently launched my own Healthy & Simple Recipe E-book to really help others understand how to eat and realize it can be easy and delicious. Besides great recipes, I have also included a grocery list to help plan meals, what foods to avoid, timing of meals and extra essential tips. Below, I am including the link to my E-book which will permanently be on my website, www.jenzanotti.com. Enjoy!
My Healthy & Simple Recipe Book: https://www.jenzanotti.com/?post_type=product&p=501
People always ask how I seem to stay so positive. Truth is, It is not always easy….it is not always rainbows and sunshine….you need to live in different emotions and feelings….and go through the shit…but after all that is said and done, making the choice to be positive about life and situations shows your strength. It is one of the hardest, strongest and courageous things you can do…we cannot always decide what happens to us in life and the circumstances, but we can decide what outlook we will have….”deciding” to be negative all the time is a comfortable choice…an easier choice….to me the choice is simple…I would rather be on the path to happiness than not….everyone has the right to make their own choice…but just because someone chooses the positivity path does not mean life is “always” easy…they are just not willing to give up and continue to fight on and love life….
As I came back to work at Jen Z’s today, I had a call from one of my favorite clients to get her in for a quick service. Her and I have really bonded over our spiritual beliefs and connection, and she truly is a lovely woman who, like many, are going through struggles that you would never be aware of because of her strength and positivity. Never complaining and always eagerly asking and listening to what is going on in my life. To not give any details as they are personal, she sadly told me today that her husband had passed away a few weeks ago. I knew it had been nearing, but was so sad for her, her family and couldn’t believe her loss. She hugged me, and smiled, and went on to ask about my trip and waiting to hear of the adventures. Of course I was emotional from her news but did not want her to get upset…as she started to tear, she told me something I will always hold on to…she said “Jen, just go out there and live your life…I know you really do, but just LIVE it!” I can’t even imagine how heartbroken she is, and yet in this moment was giving me comfort and wanting me to fulfil all my dreams….
I know I may sound like a broken record about needing to do what we love and be happy, life is too short. But clearly, to reinforce last week’s blog, this was meant for me to share today…as today, it totally hit me….we DO need to go for it, live, do what scares us and what we love. We have to make the most out of the time we have….let go of fear and worry. Just be kind, do good, and live to our fullest potentials! It is the beauty of being alive. We must appreciate it!
As I thought about what topics to write my weekly blog on as I’m away on vacation, I thought, why not write about vacation??? I decided in November that I wanted to take 10 days to go and see my friends in San Diego, Las Vegas and Arizona. I have not been on an actual vacation since my honeymoon over 5 years ago, and all my vacations pretty much have been to compete. While they are awesome, there is a huge mental pressure associated with that. I wanted to just take this time to train Jiu-Jitsu, be one with nature and enjoy time with my close friends. All things that I love and am passionate about!
This moment as I write, I am in Las Vegas. I spent 4 days in San Diego, which was incredible. I was able to get in some great ocean time. I actually had a pretty special moment on my hike at Torrey Pines. As my friend and I stopped at one of the points on the path to take in the gorgeous view of the ocean, we saw a migrating whale. It was epic!!! And I must say very emotional…suddenly a lot of feelings and thoughts came to me. It was almost a sign that I am on the path I am supposed to be. This month marks a year that I have been divorced. I never would have imagined myself standing there, in that moment, overlooking the ocean, one year ago….so much change has happened and I can say that I am finally in such an amazing place in my journey. I am truly beyond grateful for every moment and person in my life. I feel this trip was meant to happen at this perfect time, and has provided some soul searching for me. I think we all tend to question if we are on the right paths…and I definitely got the confirmation I needed to “trust the universe” and know that everything is falling into place. I am also taking in as much of this experience and be truly present. Enjoying every moment. There is so much beauty around us in nature, our relationships with others, taking time for ourselves to do the things we love…..we cannot take these special things for granted. I have always been very grateful of everything I have had in life and always worked very hard. But I think at 35, I am finally LIVING my life completely for me, on my terms. I appreciate everything that has gotten me to this place, both positive and negative, and am extremely excited and open to the opportunities that the future holds.
P.S. Make time to do something you love this week and be present, truly present. Take note of how it makes you feel and enjoy!
I wrote this as a post in honor of #transformationtuesday on Facebook and Instagram. I realized it would be great to share as a blog this week. I thought sharing a before and after pic of myself would help lead to some extra motivation. The picture on the right was 10 years ago, at my heaviest weight of 230 lbs. And the pic on the left is me today at 168 lbs. (I typically fluctuate between 165-170). I have dropped and maintained a 62-65 pound weight loss. Through lifting/exercise, BJJ, healthy/clean eating/lifestyle and most of all discipline & dedication to myself, I have accomplished many wellness goals! I understand what it’s like to be in that unhappy, unhealthy place. But ultimately you need to make the decision for you.
At 35, I have never felt better. I feel strong, healthy and empowered to accomplish anything I put my mind to, or at least have the power to give it my all. The point I guess I am really trying to make is stop making excuses for yourself. The only way you are going to get what you want is by making the decision to do it and take action and reach out for guidance if needed. Let go of the fear, it is unnecessary….
Through this journey of mine, I have learned that anything is possible and any goal achievable. You just need to get out of your own way!!! This is why it has become my mission to empower, motivate and inspire others to live their happiest, healthiest lives. I am here to offer whatever guidance I can with nutrition, fitness, self-love, and wellness. Whatever goals you want to accomplish, I am here to help. I am still offering 15% off My One-on-One Coaching Services when you subscribe at www.jenzanotti.com. Also be sure to grab a copy of my ebook on my site which offers healthy recipes, a grocery list to build your meals, timing suggestions and extra tips!!! Believe in yourself and just do it!!! The time is now!!!
Purchase your copy of My Healthy & Simple Recipe Book HERE!
And don’t forget to subscribe to receive 15% off!
Selfish – devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
Self-love – the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.
I feel like this is a topic that comes up often when working with clients and even in my own life journey. I try and promote self-love, self-care and me-time to my clients as much as possible. A lot of times I can see that there is the feeling of “guilt” or being “selfish” when the topic of taking time to do things for you comes up…
As we look at the definitions between the two, the biggest difference is selfishness often disregards others….this is not what we strive to do….when focusing on self-love, the goal is to ultimately do things for you that make you happy and create balance in your life. We are all so busy, be it with work, families, friends, partners, activities, etc. In order to juggle everything and be a bit more grounded and have less stress, we need to set aside some time for ourselves in order to make our worlds a better place, not just for us but for everyone around us. When we carry too much stress and don’t take any “me” time….we can start bottling up emotions and getting very resentful or unhappy. This is not healthy.
The point I am trying to make is that you need to let go of the feeling of guilt when it comes time to doing things for you! IT IS OK! And necessary…and the people around you who truly love you should encourage and support that. If they do not…there is definitely a much needed conversation to address the individual needs of each other. It is ultimately up to you to make this time a priority. Whether it be 5-20 minutes of meditation daily, going to workout, starting a new hobby or living out a passion, reading, spending time with friends, etc…I am a big believer in being able to accomplish anything and making things happen. If you want something, go after it and do it for you! There is nothing wrong with showing yourself the same love and kindness you show everyone else. And it just makes you stronger!!
Coming firsthand from someone who would always make everyone else’s happiness a priority, I have learned over the past few years, in a difficult way, that you cannot avoid your own happiness. Your emotions will catch up with you…believe me…and that’s when I started making decisions and choices based on what truly made me happy and started showing myself love, letting go of unnecessary guilt that I would put on myself. And like I said, honouring your happiness and feelings, even if it is a hard challenging path to get there, usually ends up being better off for you and those around you.
Creating balance is definitely something that is doable. With anything else, planning is the key to success. Look at your schedule and see where you can possibly fit in some time to do what makes you happy and make it a new routine. Trust me, you will be glad you did!
“If you want things to change, it’s simple, change them right now”
As I was sitting down to write this blog, the above quote popped up on my astrology notification. Yes, I get astrology alerts lol! But it seemed very appropriate for the topic of taking into review the past year. A lot of times we are very quick to point out the negative that happened and can’t wait for a fresh start, hoping for better things to come. As much as I am a believer in everything happening for a reason…we also cannot do nothing and sit by waiting for something to change. We need to give ourselves and the universe a little help and take some control. I mean this in the way of listening to our gut, intuition, feelings…and making choices to do what makes us happy. I know firsthand hand it is easier said than done. This past year has been filled with changes for me…and very hard decisions…starting right in January when my divorce became final. It is still very surreal to look back on, and crazy that it has been a year. This blog is not intended to go into the details, I will definitely be more open in the future, as I believe my experience can help others. But ultimately, even though it was the hardest thing I ever had to go through, it was the right decision. And I am extremely close with my ex, as that has always been important to me. We were able to get to a great place and I love him like family. Not everyone chooses to still have a relationship, but I did. I mean, we loved each other and that is why we got married in the first place, but we just evolved into completely different people. I think the decision of having to put our baby Bianca down (our 8 year old Boston Terrier) when she got extremely sick a few months ago, was something that also kept our relationship strong. It was heartbreaking for both of us, as Bianca was the one who got us both through the divorce and was our baby….another difficult time and heartbreak. But we always have our memories with her and she was never alone though the end. We were able to experience unconditional love.
Moving back home with my parents, servicing all of my Jen Z’s clients, embarking on my new website and wellness coaching, writing an e-recipe book, skincare, and of course continuing to train BJJ full time and compete…which is my life and passion, I’d say it has definitely been a year full of many different emotions! But I ALWAYS made decisions on what was going to make me happy. Ultimately when you choose your happiness, you are choosing happiness for others around you!
When reflecting I think it is important to be a little more open and have a positive attitude towards even the not so positive of situations..I think it’s great to take time to reflect and journal some of the big life changing events that happened and take note of the emotions you went through, what change it sparked, what you learned and even if it was a negative thing to you, what positive can you find from it…maybe it was instant at the moment, or after the fact. Listen, I know it is not always easy to stay positive all the time, I always talk about living in your emotions and expressing them (in a healthy way of course)…, but then you need to let go and move on…when you keep all that negativity inside you it starts affecting you mentally and physically. That is no good for anyone. Meditation, which I have written a few previous blogs on, has definitely helped me learn to detach a bit from personal situations and become more grounded. When you step back and view things from a bigger picture, you realize it may not be as stressful as you think or figure out a much easier solution. I always like to remind myself that things could always be worse….I need to be grateful for all that I do have. Below is a short list of things that can help on a daily basis with reflection and living a healthier lifestyle.
~ Practice daily gratitude
~ Let go and be open
~ Meditate (even for 5 mins a day)
~ List of stress relieving activities/physical activities
~ Vision board
~ Goal setting
No matter what has happened in the past, it is time to learn from it and move forward into 2017. Make this year amazing and set out to accomplish all you want to achieve! You can do anything you put your mind to! Embrace the change it will take to get you there!
Lately it seems like one of the most popular questions I get asked, between my family and clients, is mostly about meditation. People are reading and hearing a lot more about meditation and they know that I have talked about my practice via social media, my blog and/or our conversations. I am actually thrilled and excited when they ask me about it because it shows that they are interested and hopefully I can get them into a daily practice of their own. But I must say, the common thread with everyone asking is that they are super stressed and experiencing a lot of anxiety and they are desperately seeking healthy alternatives to help. I have always been one to worry and carry a lot of stress/anxiety, but as I really started my meditation/spiritual practice almost 3 years ago, I have definitely learned how to let go a little bit more, which is not always easy, especially in really difficult times of our lives, but I definitely have become more grounded and detached from worry and emotions that do not serve me. It is a practice that will get better over time and help with your journey in life. I could write a whole blog on how stress negatively effects our lives and health, but for now we want to discuss how to get started on your own mediation journey. Meditation can help address many ailments and bring positivity, love, light, focus and good intentions into your life. Here are some tips/tools to get started on your journey:
I hope this helps you get started on your journey. Any questions, concerns, stories, challenges, successes, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear about your progress!
Hi everyone! As you all know I have become extremely passionate about my training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s truly become a love in my life. I have been training very hard and have competed in several competitions this year. I also recently received my blue belt which was a very special and proud moment for me. I am campaigning to go to the IBJJF Masters Worlds Competition the end of September in Las Vegas. My fundraising will help with all registration, travel and hotel fees. This would be a wonderful experience for me to go and really test my skills among other athletes from all over the world. This truly is a dream of mine and I would appreciate any help I can get. I have reached out to a few businesses for sponsorship and am asking my friends and family for any support you can give. I know I will make you all proud and would love you to be a part of my journey. Thank you all in advance. All the support and love you have given me along the way means more to me than you will ever know.
Coach Ilya Bodnya, Ilya’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Coach Jeff Serafin, Serafin Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Check out their Facebook page links below!
It’s crazy to think that almost 2 years has gone by that I have been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! I guess time really does fly when you are having fun! This past weekend I was promoted to blue belt. It may not be a big deal to some, but it was definitely a significant event for me and just a reminder of all my hard work and dedication, and the hard work to come of course! This is truly just the beginning of the journey, and to say that I am excited is an understatement. I know it will be a challenge with a whole new level of competition, but I am ready for it, and all the lessons I have to learn in the future!
Bjj has truly become one of the biggest loves and passions in my life. I cannot imagine my life without it. It has gotten me through so much and kept me moving forward in stressful times. It has definitely shaped me into the person I am today and shown me whats truly important in life and taught me many lessons about myself. I have become so much stronger mentally and physically! It has allowed me to let go of what is no longer important and keep focus on everything I love and want to accomplish! The people and relationships I have built are priceless! It’s family!!! I am truly grateful to have the coaches, team, family and friends that I have who keep pushing me to do my best and continue on this positive path! I appreciate it all!!