We are obsessed with perfection, winning, and making things look easy or effortless. This obsession is at the heart of why so many of our goals go unfulfilled. Life is about balance; it’s about intentionality, not being perfect. We welcome Amy Connell, host of the Graced Health Podcast, to discuss how we approach everyday health and wellness.
In this episode, we discuss:
➡️Why intentional is the goal, not perfection
➡️Why the “on”/”off” mentality is keeping you from your goals
➡️How you can achieve shame-free wellness by breaking the rules
➡️ Why grace and sustainability are the foundations of healthy intentions
Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:00:00] Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secret to the human body. Strive for wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.
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We focus on lifestyle medicine, and you may be asking, well, what’s lifestyle medicine. We like to describe it as everything we do throughout the day is either making deposits or withdrawals from our wellness account, and lifestyle medicine is making sure we’re making many more deposits than withdrawals.
So we have a nice wellness account that helps prevent disease and reverse disease if we have it. And we do this through our online courses, where we go through everything you need to know about lifestyle medicine, nutrition, exercise, meditation, fasting, breathwork, and more. But we also combine that with mindset.
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And now to this week’s episode. Hello, and welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And I have with me a special guest who, thank you, had me on her podcast. We had a great time. And so we decided to reciprocate and have her on the show to talk about some really interesting stuff today.
So I have with me Amy Connell, how are you doing
Amy Connell: [00:02:36] great. I’m great. Thank you for having me. And yes, it was fun to have you over on my show on the Graced Health Podcast.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:02:42] Yeah, you have a really great podcast. I love your content. I love your message. And I thought we’d have a lot of fun today. So I usually start off by asking because we all have a story.
We all have some type of event or moment or something that shifted our perspective into wellness. So did you have an event like that? Was there a moment where you said, you know what, this is what I wanna do. I want to help people get healthier.
Amy Connell: [00:03:12] It’s interesting. We were talking before we came on, and we were talking about the slow burn.
And I think that probably describes my journey as well. I grew up active. I grew up as a dancer competitively, which is nothing like it is now. And that kind of moved into me, participating in group fitness, because I love, you know, I love the rhythm. I love the music. I love everybody moving and working together.
From there I, when I transitioned from the corporate world to being a stay-at-home mom. When I had my first son, I got involved in a little boutique mom and baby gym, where we could bring our babies and work out with them. And honestly, like that was the lifeblood and really is what helped me survive those early years.
We moved from where we were living to Houston, and there wasn’t anything like that here. So I thought, well, I’m just going to make something. So I worked with my neighborhood gym and created a program like that. And that’s really kind of what got me into leading group fitness and leading those who are wanting to move.
And we did the pre and postnatal thing as well. And then that turned into more group fitness. Really, honestly, I just kind of liked the free membership at the gym that I got by, by teaching a class and the free childcare and then moved into personal training. I got my personal, my nutrition certification or nutrition coaching certification this past summer, but that was really because I wanted some authority on the nutrition lessons that I was doing when I was working with some teen clients.
So it, you know, I don’t know that there was like one event, but it was one, one step taking to the next step, taking to the next step. And, for me, where I have really shifted is probably within the last, I don’t even know, eight years or so, taking the focus away so much for, from how I look and what my body looks like to having a little bit of a broader focus on my health.
I’m more of a long-term perspective, really integrating my faith within it. And. That’s what I’m focused on now with my own, with my own, I call it businesstry, business, and ministry.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:05:31] That’s really cool. And yeah, I’m the same way. You know, when I was younger, I was focused mostly on how I looked. I was a 20-year-old kid.
That was what was important to me. But now it’s more of what am I doing that’s going to allow me to be fully functional when I’m 80. That’s the question that I keep asking myself over and over again. And that’s basically what drives me is, you know, I want to be 85, 90, traveling the world, playing with my grandkids, great-grandkids still at the gym. You know, I see those videos of those 80-year-old men and women at the gym. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, that’s exactly what I want.
Amy Connell: [00:06:11] I had an uncle or a great uncle that way. Actually, he was a member of the Tulsa, Oklahoma downtown YMCA for over 50 years and worked out.
I mean, honestly, he went there until probably a year before he passed away, and he just, I mean, he died at 92, you know, it was just old age, so yeah. He’s he provides a lot; he provided a lot of inspiration. Oh, he was, I could tell you all kinds of great stories, but he was a lot of fun and, and yeah, he was functional just like you said, and, and able to do the things that he loved to do because he’d been taking care of his body so well.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:06:46] That’s awesome. That’s amazing to hear those stories are so encouraging. And I hope that that’s my story. One day the legacy that I leave to the world is that, that, you know, you can live a life full of joy, happiness, and function, mobility, if you prepare for it, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today.
We’re here to talk about something that’s important, and it’s something that’s often neglected in conventional medicine, and that’s the mindset around health. And one of the things that we always say is its intention, not perfection. So when I say that, what does that mean to you?
Amy Connell: [00:07:25] I feel like that is such a simple yet really loaded statement or question.
Yeah, to me, the intention is just like what we were talking about, kind of knowing your why, which I think is a really commonly used phrase right now. And I think it’s easy to gloss over, but really understanding what you’re wanting to do. And I think that can change throughout, you know, throughout your adulthood, but kind of having that end game in the back of your mind.
And that will give you the grace for the times that it doesn’t go well, or you miss a workout or, you know, you have too much chocolate cake or, or, or whatever that is. And but, but kind of knowing what, why you’re doing what you’re doing. And just kind of the broader aspect of it.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:08:18] A lot of people start off on a journey without a destination in mind.
They’re just like, I’m going to be healthier. I’m like, well, okay, well, what does that mean to you? Because it means something different to all of us. You know, for some people, that may be preventing disease; for some people, it may be being healthy enough to do a marathon. You know, it’s just, there’s different meanings to all of us.
And so you have to know your why you have to have that big audacious goal in mind, but then you have to break it down into individual steps and then not be so hard on yourself. I see this all the time with people that they, like you said, they eat one piece of chocolate cake. And then they just beat themselves up for weeks after that.
Or they go to the gym for hours after that, trying to burn it off. And I’m like, that’s not healthy at all. There’s no part about that mentality and doing that to yourself that’s healthy, you know, is this something that you see a lot with people as well?
Amy Connell: [00:09:15] Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, the mindset like you were talking about, I’m learning more and more.
I know enough to know how important it is, and I don’t know enough to really speak really on a deep level, but yeah, I, I see all the time. I see a little bit less now that I’m getting older; I’m 46. And so when I hit 40, I really started seeing a lot of clients come in saying I don’t care so much about how I look.
I just want to take care of myself because they’ve been caring for their kids. They’ve been caring for their spouses or their parents or their businesses. And, you know, then they’re like, okay, I don’t really care so much about how my body looks, but I want to take care of it. But I think it’s been really easy to really beat ourselves up over.
Yeah, the missed workouts and the chocolate cakes, or, you know, whatever. And the mindset behind that, I think, really establishes a poor relationship with your body and a poor relationship with food. And I don’t believe that that’s how we were created to be; you know, we were created to move in a way that brings us joy.
We were given, you know, all kinds of plants and, and foods and that are from the earth, which I know you are a proponent of. And, you know, those are meant for us to enjoy. I mean, you know, I, I’m a Bible reader there’s, and I wish I could say, you know, off the top of my head, but there’s a quote in, or there’s a verse in Genesis that, you know, God’s like, okay, here’s all the plants of the earth.
They’re here for you to enjoy. So why are we beating ourselves up over it? I mean, I know people who won’t have watermelon because they say there’s too much sugar. Now I know you’re a keto guy.
I’m not, but there’s still, you know, and that works for you. And so I’m a big proponent of finding, you know, finding what works for you. But you know, there’s a lot of things out there for us to enjoy and not to create bad relationships in our body and our mind about.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:11:23] Yeah. I think that you hit on a really key point there, and that’s the whole mantra of intention, not perfection is that.
What worked for me is different than what works for you. And a lot of times that we tried to mold ourselves exactly like someone else, Oh, someone else got these results. So I have to do exactly what they did to get those results. And if I don’t do exactly what they did, I’ll never get it. And then if I don’t, you know, if I slip up then, Oh, I’m not as good as them.
I’m not. I can’t do this, you know, they’re just better than me. You know, they, they, we think that they have some type of intrinsic quality that makes them more talented or gifted or whatever, but they’re just another person like us. They just found a routine that works for them. And then I bet you; they have cheat meals.
I bet you they eat chocolate cake. I bet you they go drinking sometimes. I bet you they do all kinds of things that you think that they don’t do. It’s just that they have a routine. And they have some flexibility in what they do. And you’ve hit on such a key point with a poor relationship with, with your body, a poor relationship with, with food, you can beat yourself up it’s to a point where you’re just further hurting and aggravating and injuring yourself.
And that’s no way to live. I mean, you just spiraled down and down and down, but give yourself some leeway, give yourself grace. You know, if you mess up, you’re going to mess up. Everybody messes up. I mess up. Everybody messes up, but have that mindset had that goal where you say, okay, you know what? I messed up, but I’m not that far from where I want to be.
And I can get back to it. I think this segues into some of the common mistakes. That we see people make. What are some of the things that you see when you’re working with people, the mistakes they make when in regards to perfection?
Amy Connell: [00:13:10] I think the, the biggest mistake I see, or is that on or off mentality.
You know, okay, well, I’m not doing anything right now, or, you know, Oh, it’s the holiday season. I’m going to drink whatever I want and eat whatever I want. And however, they define that. And then when January hits, that’s when I’m going to fill in whatever it is and taking that extreme, you know, some people call it red, light, green light.
I, you know, see it more on and off. And then the, well, if I can’t work out for an hour today, then I’m just not going to work out. And that’s the other thing that I see is this expectation that we have to do everything just right. And then if we don’t, if we can’t do that, then we’re just not going to do it at all.
You know, I have a family member, a very beloved family member. She was like, Oh, I know what to do. I just don’t do it because I can’t do it. Right. And I think that there’s a little bit of a resonance with that with a lot of people. And so having like willing, you know, kind of like what we talked about, having that grace and, and shifting our expectations of maybe not doing an on and off and not having to do full out.
I mean, we say at our house all the time, something is better than nothing. Like, get moving 10 minutes. I mean, there’s some science; I just read an article today about how 11 minutes can give you some really great health benefits. I mean, that’s, you can be on with 11 minutes a day, and 11 minutes is better than zero.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:14:42] And this is something I talk about a lot. So I’m gonna start with that last point you just mentioned because it’s so important. You don’t need to exercise for two hours a day. You don’t even need to exercise for an hour a day; there’s data that shows that seven minutes. If you can do a hit-type workout for seven minutes, three times a day, you can get massive amounts of benefit.
And so I work out for about 45 minutes to an hour because I love it. You know, I love the gym. It’s, it’s my happy place. I know I don’t need to be there for all that time. And there are some times where if I’m busy, I’ll just go get a 20 minute, 25-minute workout just to get the blood pumping, and guess what?
Nothing bad happens to me the next day. I don’t lose all my muscle. I don’t gain like 50 pounds, you know? There’s no real difference because I know that that workout was sufficient for my goals. So we don’t have to be perfect at everything. We don’t have to spend hours and hours and hours upon things because there is benefit in doing just a few minutes, like you said, three minutes is better than no minutes.
Two minutes is better than one minute. Just do what you can. And if you can lengthen that interval over time, then do so. But just start and again, that on-off mentality is so damaging. It’s like, Oh, it’s the holidays. I’m taking a vacation. Well, the holidays is when people gained one to two pounds. And if you don’t do anything about it accumulates every single year.
And so you can’t just flip a switch. It’s not that easy to just flip a switch. If it was that easy, every single athlete would win a championship because they’re like, Oh, I’m just flipping a switch on it’s championship time. Right. That doesn’t happen. That doesn’t; you have to be consistently have it on to go win that championship to, to be a champion and schedule in breaks, schedule in cheat meals.
That’s what I do. I schedule into cheat meal every four to seven days. I schedule a break from my workout routine. I do three weeks on one week off. So I allow myself to have these downtimes, that recovery time, and it’s already scheduled it. I know when it is, so I don’t take these sporadic random breaks. I don’t have that on-off mentality.
I have the off time, the downtime already built-in.
Amy Connell: [00:16:55] Right. And I think it gives your brain that something to look forward to. I heard once about someone who, anytime he wanted to eat something, he would write it down for his; I don’t know if he had a cheat day or a cheat meal or something like that, but so, okay.
Well, I can’t have that now, but I can have it later. And that was really helpful to him because he didn’t feel like he was being deprived. He was just delaying that.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:17:21] That’s exactly what I do. Exactly what I do. And so if I feel like there’s something I want, then I’ll say, okay, this is what I’m going to have for my cheat meal.
All right. So whether that’s Chick-Filet A or a smoothie, I don’t know. It’s just something that I know is outside my normal plan. Then I say, okay, this is what I’m gonna have when I have that scheduled break. And I had that completely scheduled in. And so it makes it simple. It makes it easy. It’s this part of my routine and part of my life.
Now, I thought it was something that was really cool. When I came on your podcast afterward, you sent me your shame-free health guide. And I thought that was super, super cool because. There is so much pressure and being perfect. There’s so much pressure from social media. I want to look like that girl. I want to look like that guy, or I want to have this.
I want to have that, that we just shame ourselves into oblivion and into a dark place that we put ourselves in. No one else puts us there. We pigeonholed ourselves into this hole, and that we don’t know how to get out of it. So I thought the shame-free health guide was really, really cool. Can you talk about that guide?
Like what’s in the guide, how the guide came to be and, and basically how you can utilize that guide?
Amy Connell: [00:18:35] Sure. Well, I think you hit on a couple of different, really strong points, like the whole social media thing. And I think that goes back into some of our previous conversation. I mean, we look at people of what they’re eating or how they’re moving, and we start comparing.
Unfortunately, and we start to think, well, if that works for them, you know, Oh, well, if she just follows this eating program or he does this workout program, well, then that’s what I should do because it worked for them. Well, not, not necessarily, maybe, maybe that would help, but maybe it wouldn’t. I, my experience is.
The health industry, and I’m in the health industry. I mean, I’m, you know, I’m a fitness professional; unfortunately, it is a business, and sometimes it puts out all of these, and I’m going to use quotes here, but rules of what we are supposed to do in order to be successful. Like we talked about, you have to work out an hour a day.
Well, no, not necessarily. You know, you can eat these kinds of things or not eat these kinds of things. And all of a sudden, there’s all of these rules out there that we feel like if we’re not, if we’re not abiding by them, then we’re failing. And that creates a lot of shame. And that creates again, the poor relationship with our body, the poor relationship with the food that we eat.
And it’s like, Oh, I shouldn’t be eating this. Oh, I shouldn’t; I’m supposed to be doing this. And that’s really not how we were designed to live. The concept really came the shame-free health. Kind of goes along with a book I’m working, working on. So the title of the book tentatively is called I have to work off dessert and other rules to break because this is something, I mean, look, I’m a woman I used to go to girl’s night outs.
You know, when I, when, especially when my kids are younger and like, I just needed to get out of the house. And you hear it all the time. Like, Oh, I have to go work this off. I have to work this off. And so what I did was I took all of these different rules of that we’ve heard. And quite honestly, you know, some of them, like I knew the message that I wanted to do, but I just would, you know, got on Pinterest and did fitness, motivational quotes.
And some of the stuff makes my skin crawl that I see because I know the intention of it, but the message is. You know, the message maybe doesn’t service as well. So, you know, in this download. Yeah. I mean, like one of them is I have to work off dessert. Well, my beef with that is, that creates a really poor relationship with the food that we eat and our body, which I know, I feel like I’m beating into beating that down, but you know, one of the things that I say about that is don’t punish your body for a decision that your brain made.
If you’re going to enjoy it., just enjoy it, and you’ll enjoy it even more without this asterisk in your head of like, Oh, I gotta work this off. Oh, I got to run an extra few miles tomorrow. Oh, I have to; however you define that, you know, another one is being healthy. I think the rule that I have on there as being healthy means having flat abs well;, there’s a whole lot.
I mean, I don’t need to tell you this, Dr. Double Dr. Harris, but our health is encompassed with so many metrics. You know, we have, you know, everything that we can learn from the blood, from our GI system, how well we’re sleeping, and, you know, some of us will just naturally hold adipose tissue. I don’t typically like to use the word fat, but you know, in our midsection, in, or women, you know, sometimes in your hips.
And so I don’t think that that’s a really great indicator of your full health. Another rule I have on there is what worked well before will work again. And I think this isn’t; this is particularly appropriate for people as we age, you know, there’s a lot of really great studies out there, particularly in the fitness industry.
A lot of those are done on men in their twenties. Well, I’m 46 years old. So the studies that are going out there oftentimes that are, Oh, well, you should be doing this because, in the test group, it was really successful. Well, that’s, it’s someone of a different gender and who’s half my age that doesn’t necessarily apply to me in my hormones.
And that might’ve worked for me when I was 25. But now I have to do it a little bit differently. Like you were talking about the hit workouts, hit workouts are great, and I love them. But as a 46-year-old woman, I really shouldn’t be doing more than three a week. So little things like that, like we have to meet ourselves and our body where we are in terms of our nutrition, which I’ve had to change in the last year or so, because I started realizing, Oh, I need to, you know, this isn’t working in terms of how we move.
Yeah. What, you know, if you’re going out and running, worked really well for you at one point you may not need to. And then you also have to treat your; you have to move your body differently. You know, it’s more important now to do, you know, those transverse movements, right? Like there’s moving across the plane.
It’s more important to do. It’s even more important to do, you know, core strengthening exercises to prevent sarcopenia. So there’s, there’s a lot of things that as our body ages, we have to do a little differently and going back to the same, tried and true isn’t necessarily going to help, especially because our body gets really efficient and more, the more efficient it is, the less impactful it’s going to be.
So those are just a few of them.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:24:03] Yeah. Those are some really great points there. I’ll start with the top. Don’t, don’t punish yourself for one choice in the infinite sea of choices that we make every single day; we make thousands and thousands of choices every single day. And because of our negativity bias as humans, we remember negative things much more strongly than positive things.
You can let one choice out of a sea of good choices derail your entire day. And we have to be aware, and we have to be cognizant of that. And I tell people, okay, have a plan. You know, if I’m going out and if I’m going to be drinking or eating something, that’s off my plan. I, I prepare for that. I’ll have less calories throughout the day.
Cause I know, I’m going to have more calories at that time period. So I think ahead, I have a plan. And so that’s an easy way that you can not punish yourself because now you’re saying, Oh, you know what? I have an extra five, 600 calories, and I don’t count, you know, I just kind of ballpark. I have some extra calories I can play with, so now I can have this meal.
Without any guilt, without any shame. And without trying to overwork myself to burn it off, because, you know, if you do like an hour weight, hour cardio session, you may burn 300 to 500 calories, right? That’s a couple of drinks and like two bites of cheesecake, right? I don’t think that way because it’s going to be really hard to burn that off by physical exercise.
But if you plan for it, if you have less calories throughout the rest of the, the beginning of the day, Then you can do that shame-free and realize that you’re in the same position that you were yesterday. And I think that’s a powerful way to think about things. The holding the adipose tissue in different places at so true.
I see this all the time. People are like, well, I want a flat stomach like her. I’m like, okay, well, where do you store your body fat? And like, well, it’s in my stomach. I’m like, that’s me. I’m an abdominal fat storer. I’ve always been an abdominal fat storer where all my body fat is located. I’ve done DEXA scans, and it’s literally all located in my abdomen, and I’m like, okay, that’s just genetically how I was programmed.
So, you know, I know, well, I’d have to work really, really, really hard to get like modelesque magazine six pack, you know what, I’m okay not having that, you know, I’m okay with where I am now. And I’m okay knowing that my body fat percentage is very healthy on the DEXA scans, but you have to be aware of your limitations.
There are some anatomical; there are some genetic limitations. We all can’t have the same exact body type. And the what worked before I see this all the time, people are like, well, in my twenties, I could eat whatever I want. I just did some exercise, and it just came off. I’m like, well, now you’re 35.
There’s a huge difference. That’s 15 years difference. And what can you compare that in 15 years that still works the same, you know, 15 years ago we were using Walkmans, right? I’m not going to go pick up my Walkman if I want to listen to music now. It worked before, but it doesn’t; it doesn’t work now. So you have to switch, you have to change things.
You have to game plan a little differently. My workouts are different. You know, I do a lot more time under tension. I do a lot less heavyweight. I do a lot more functional movement because what I’m preparing for is completely different. I’m not playing sports anymore. I’m not trying to be as strong as I can be.
I’m really just trying to be functional and healthy. And so my workouts have changed. I do a lot more core. I do a lot more posture work. I’ve been working really hard on my posture this year because I know that’s important for my skeletal health going forward. So as we go through different time periods in our life, we need to adjust slightly what we’re doing based upon what our goals are and where we are at that time period.
So, you know, your, your download here is so powerful. There’s so much great information in that.
Amy Connell: [00:28:04] Well, thank you. And I think to what you were just saying, a lot of that too goes back to the intention and knowing why we’re wanting to do that. You know, I’m, I’m like you, I kind of store my extra adipose in my abdominal region, and you know, that’s okay because I know what my game plan is.
I know what I’m wanting to do. You know what I want to be able to do? I want to be able to sit on the floor and play Legos with my grandkids, and I want to be able to take them to Colorado and hiking the mountains. Like that’s the kind of stuff I want to do. I don’t have to look perfect. Being a model is not my job.
Having flat abs is not my job, even though I’m in the fitness industry, but you know what I do hear oftentimes; I’ve heard more than once. They’re like, I love seeing what you do because you’re real sized. And so I’m okay with how I look because I know that I’m able to do what I want to do now and in the future.
And yeah, I have to do a lot of things, so I can still sit on the floor cross-legged cause that it’s a little harder as you get older.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:29:03] Oh, yeah. The functional mobility is a huge part of what I do now just to, to maintain the flexibility and help keep my joints healthy because I realized when I was younger, you know, I was stronger.
I looked great, but my joints were in terrible health. I had joint pains all the time, back pains, knee pains, you know, all of that is gone unless I do something stupid in the gym, which occasionally, you know, I try to push things. It happens. I mean, that’s, that’s going to happen. But for the most part, I know my joint health now is a lot better.
Cause like we’ve talked about, my goals have changed. And what I do has changed because of that. And they’re going to keep changing. You’re going to keep altering the mark, altering what you do, depending on where you are in life. And, you know, I always ask my wellness professionals a question because I like to see what other people do, kind of what their routine is like.
So what does your daily wellness routine look like?
Amy Connell: [00:30:02] I get up at 5:25. Don’t ask me why it’s that time? I don’t know. And the very first thing I do is I have my quiet time. I read my Bible. I do devotionals because if my spiritual wellness is not primed for the day, then nothing else is going to work well.
So that’s the very first thing I do. My, my schedule shifts and changes about every three months or every six months or so. Right now, what I typically do is I, I have that quiet time at 630. I am starting to work out. I’m really I’m really lucky. I have some workout equipment in my home, so I will get in there.
And for about 35 minutes, I do one of about four things. I will either do a HIIT workout, and that’s more like 20 minutes, and then I’ll do some mobility-type stuff, which I’m really glad you talked about. I would love to talk about that in a second. I will do a, so that I’ll do a HIIT. I’ll do a maybe like a lower-body strengthening.
I might do an upper body strengthening, which looks a little different for me right now cause I’m rehabbing a slap tear. So I’m slowly, I’m gaining a lot of strength there, which is really rewarding, to be quite honest, or I might just do a mobility workout, and that’s an active recovery day for me.
So that’s about 30, 35 minutes. Then I’m a mom for a little bit. I take care of that kind of stuff. And sometime throughout the day, I will take my dog on a walk anywhere between a mile and three miles. So my full active time is about an hour, but really that dog walk is not intense. It can kind of go various ways, but it’s not; I would not say it’s a power walk.
She doesn’t let me; she likes to stop too much. So I do that. I do train clients. But you know, training is not working out. You know, that’s one misconception. I think a lot of people have about fitness professionals, particularly about personal trainers. Like, Oh, you train all day. I’m like, yeah, but I’m, you’re paying so you can work out.
Not so I can work out. And I think that’s one thing that fitness professionals, particularly group fit. We’ve got a lot of work to do with that mentality too. Like. You know, it’s, so it’s for the people who are paying, not for them. Sorry, I’m getting off on a tangent with that, but I’m, I’m moving, but I’m not, I’m not working out.
I think it would be, fall under that NEAT that you know, that non-exercise activity thermogenesis, that, which is the basically movement that’s not exercise.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:32:35] Yeah. You know, the off week that I have, that’s what I do. I do a lot of work on the TRX bands on my off week.
Amy Connell: [00:32:42] I love the TRX, Yes.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:32:45] It’s great. And I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my range of motion and my flexibility, even in my strength, because I don’t touch any weight.
I’ll just do some, some stretches, some movement, you know, I’ll do like mock pushups, mock squats, you know, I’ll do a lot of transverse movements, and I’ll do some core work with the TRX, and it’s not physically taxing. Right. I don’t feel like my muscles are being strained like I do when I’m exercising, but I know it’s having a beneficial effect on my recovery.
And all my joints. I think that’s, that’s really important. Your schedule is pretty similar to mine. I, I wake up, I do my meditation, I do my prayer. I take the dog for a walk, and then usually I go to the gym, and then I come back and start my day. So most days, I’m up by usually about six o’clock, and I’m starting my day at that time period.
And at the end of the night, it’s also the same thing. I have that wind-down routine as well. So that’s usually listen to some music or maybe do some Rosetta stone or something like that. Something that I find relaxing and beneficial and then prepare for, for sleep. So it’s really interesting to see how a lot of us have very similar routines with just some tweaks put in them.
Amy Connell: [00:34:08] Well, and I’ve heard you talk about, on your show about meditation, and that’s something I have started trying to incorporate. It’s definitely not under that perfection umbrella, but I will try and do that between like 1:00 and 1:30 in the afternoon. So I’ve kind of had that, you know, I do the intermittent fasting, so I’ll eat around 11 or so.
But I’ll do; I’ll have my first meal. And then I have found that meditation to really kind of give me that almost like a jumpstart for the rest of my day. And I feel a lot less brain fog. So that’s something I’m working on, kind of incorporating a little bit and don’t do it every day. You know, it’s just a process, right.
You know, it’s, it’s not on or off, but that has been really interesting to see how my body responds to that.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:34:57] Yeah, same, you know, the days I don’t meditate, I feel different. Like viscerally, spiritually, emotionally, I feel completely different. And the days I do meditate, I have a lot more energy and a lot more focused.
I feel more joy, you know, and it doesn’t take much. I mean, it could be even just five minutes of meditation and you can feel a dramatic difference. So I’m right there with you on that. I think it’s meditation and fasting. That’s usually where I try to get people to buy in first because they cost you nothing, and they have high, high, high upside and virtually no downside.
Amy Connell: [00:35:36] Yeah. Yeah. It, it, they do have high upside. It took me a while to kind of figure; I don’t want to say figure out the fasting. It’s simple, but it took me a little bit for my body to adjust, but like my coach said, cause I had hired a coach to help me with this. She said, Amy, you’ve been eating breakfast for 45 years.
It’s just going to take a while for your body to get used to not eating breakfast. And it did, it took a little while, but I, for the most part, I do really, I do like it. I think it’s helpful to me at my age. And in fact, I just had a gynecologist on my on my show talking about women’s hormones as we age.
And that was one thing that she highly recommends for women as they’re entering that, entering that perimenopause and menopausal state is the intermittent fasting. Yeah.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:36:19] You know, especially around that state, that the 12/12 type fasting, you know, because there can be some problems if you’re fasting too much.
But I think that the 12/12 type fasting does really well for a lot of women around that perimenopausal state to help regulate the hormones because of the beneficial effects on the gut and inflammation and things like that. Interestingly enough, a lot of the effects we see around menopause are actually because of the loss of bone mineralization.
And the reason for that is the change in hormones. But what happens is we store toxins in our bones. And so when the bones start demineralizing, those toxins get released. And so that’s why it’s so important to exercise at that time period, to make sure your vitamin D, vitamin A, your calcium, all that intake is well.
So you keep your bones mineralized. So those toxins just don’t start freely leaching out around that time period. So that’s something that a lot of people don’t know, but that’s something that you have to start preparing for. Well, before you hit that, that age, because once it starts happening, you know, bone mineralization is a long process, you know, that doesn’t just happen overnight.
So tangent, just a little sidebar.
Amy Connell: [00:37:33] That’s fascinating. I didn’t know that. And you know, that really, that goes kind of back to what we were talking about with the on/off because we can’t just decide one day. Okay, well, I’m going to take care of my bones. I mean, that is a long process. It’s a; it’s a process, it’s strength training, it’s it, you know, consuming the calcium and all of that kind of stuff to help prevent the issues later.
But it’s not something that we can just start one day and see the benefits immediately.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:37:58] And that’s a big problem with the, with health is a lot of these benefits take time because your body adapts and adjust and, and it’s wonderful in that regard, but if it’s adjusted to a lot of bad stuff, it’s going to take some time when you start doing the good stuff for you to start feeling differently.
I always tell people it takes at least 90 days because a lot of what the changes are happening is you have to change your DNA expression. That doesn’t happen overnight. There’s a lot of signaling. There’s a lot of inputs that the body is looking for. And it’s really just to make sure that is this environment the new environment?
And this is where a lot of people fail is because they don’t give things enough time. Your body’s literally seeing is this our new environment or is it not? And it’s looking, and it’s looking, and it’s looking, and after enough time has passed, it says, okay, I think this is our new environment; let’s adapt to this new environment.
And that’s when you really start to see the changes. So I always tell people, you got to give it anything at least 90 days, at least 90 days, 30 days before your body even realizes what the heck is happening.
Amy Connell: [00:39:07] Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think that’s why it’s important to give ourselves grace when we do slip up.
So that way, we can keep on that path, and it can be sustainable. That’s something that I have realized over the last 10 years. I’m like, whatever I do needs to be sustainable. So that way, like to your point, I mean, I hadn’t, I wasn’t smart enough to know that, but you know, so that way my body can adapt and it will know it’ll trust that I’m giving it the new environment or to stay with that.
But you know, if we do something that’s so hardcore or that’s depriving ourselves, From a nutritional standpoint or exerting ourselves way too much. That’s not sustainable. And it’s going to be hard for our body to really have changes over a period of time because we just can’t keep, we can’t keep at it.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:39:56] Right. And that’s when people yo-yo and rebound and, and weight goes up and down and their symptoms go up and down. And that’s not what we’re in the business of. Like you talked about earlier. The fitness industry and the health industry. There’s so many lies and quick fixes and things that are just trying to get your money.
They’re not trying to create sustainability. They want you to keep coming back to the program. Yeah. And that’s why you have to have ownership. You can’t just follow what someone else says. Even, you know, my clients, I tell them, look, I need your input on this because if you give me your input, if you make this partially yours, if you have ownership, you’ll stick with it.
If you’re just doing it, because I say to do it, you’ll stick with it for a couple of months. And then you’ll go back to whatever your plan was before. So you have to have your own plan, your own ownership in these types of things. Yeah, I totally agree. So what’s and this is the first time I’ve ever asked this question.
What’s one thing about wellness. You wish you had known when you were 20.
Amy Connell: [00:41:00] It is. Well, so my, my business is really focused on fitness, food, and faith. So can I do one for each of those? You know, from a food perspective, I really wish I would have realized that there are no bad foods. There are foods that are better for us, and we’ll provide more benefits and, you know, creating, having a lot of shame around that is just not beneficial.
So that I think is one of what I would wish I would’ve learned when I was 20. I beat myself up a lot for eating thing I didn’t think I was supposed to be eating from a fitness perspective. I really, I really wish I would have understood the concept of mobility, which you were just talking about with functional mobility.
It’s something I’ve been learning about a lot in the last several years. And I really think that is the secret sauce to fitness. It’s moving your joints in a full range of motion. And I know, you know, all of this it’s stabilizing the muscles around it, right? And really helping your body to move in all of the ways that it was designed to move.
You know, the example I give is we’re not in a box. We’re not, you know, we don’t live life in a box, and we weren’t meant to. So when we walk or when we sit or even when we’re on a bicycle, that’s kind of in a box. And so moving our bodies and a lot of different ways, like when we bend over to pick up the 30 pack of water bottles at Costco, well, we need to.
We need to kind of train our body to be able to do that, that, so mobility is something I really wish I would have done, and it would have prevented some issues for me. I mean, I have that upper cross syndrome from probably doing pushups wrong for too long. And that’s, you know, I wish I would’ve known, Hey, open up your chest, take your hands behind your back and stretch your chest out.
Oh. You know, stretch them up against a, a doorframe; I mean little things like that make a huge difference. And then from the faith perspective, This is really core in what I, what I do, but it’s, you know, we take care of our body notes, so it’ll look a certain way, but so we can do what we’re called to do.
And those callings might be something small. It might be something bigger. There’s a whole there’s I think I have like five different elements of it in the, in the, my manuscript, but our body is bigger than ourselves. Our body is meant to be more than just something to, you know, a size or a look. And that’s why I take care of it.
So, sorry, you asked for one thing.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:43:33] That’s okay. That was a lot of great insight. And thank you for sharing your personal story. Those stories have so much value and so much power. So Amy, if my listeners want to find your material or download the shame-free guide, how can they find that?
Amy Connell: [00:43:50] Yes, I would love to connect with them.
I am basically graced health everywhere. Well, I shouldn’t say everywhere. I’m on Instagram and Facebook. I’m I’m, I’m too old for Snapchat, and I just, Twitter just takes too much time. I’m more of a Twitter stalker. So Graced Health or Facebook. I do have a lot of resources over on my Graced Health website, the shame-free health you can get at gracedhealth.com/badrules.
B A D R U L E S and graced is G R A C E D. So I have a resources page over at gracedhealth.com, where I have several different aspects there, again, food, faith, and fitness. And yeah, just, I would, I would love to put any of this stuff in the, your listener’s hands.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:44:40] Yeah, absolutely. And of course, it’ll be in the show notes; check out her podcast, Graced Health Podcast.
If you like my material, you’re going to like her material because, you know, we’re all big on faith. We’re big on, on nutrition. And we’re big on fitness here at the Strive for Great Health Podcast. So you’ll hear a lot of similar themes. Your podcast is more tuned towards women. I am not a woman. So so if you’re looking for more specific issues that we’ve talked about in the podcast, from the perspective of a woman who’s walking through that journey, who’s been there, who’s helping other women on their journey.
Definitely check out Amy’s material. It can transform your life, save your life and help someone that you know. So, so please definitely check her out. Amy, is there anything else you want to say as we close out?
Amy Connell: [00:45:27] I think we covered it. Thank you for that. And I really enjoyed this. Thank you for what you give to your listeners.
I know you put a lot of effort into that, into your shows, and they are helping people like me and, and you’re really providing a lot of great content. So thank you.
Dr. Richard Harris: [00:45:43] Thank you. I appreciate that. All listeners, thank you for listening to us, and I hope you have a blessed day.
Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal with the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose.
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