2018: The year of pure transformation and life-changing lessons.

I was about to start this blog with a very plain title “The teachings of 2018”.

However, I thought that I’ll start with these life-changing conclusions first and elaborate on them next:

1. Slowing down is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of huge personal responsibility and strength.

2. Choosing differently every day is the most powerful tool ever.

3. Love is for free – you don’t need to do anything for it, you don’t need to work for it either!

Footnotes:

1. Boundaries are crucial.

2. Know your fears even the most shameful ones.

3. There is light in a tunnel, but you need to ask for help first and keep walking.

Conclusion:

I am ME, just the way I am and I will never be able to make everyone happy around me. Even if tried, I could end up making myself miserable before others and they are still not going to be happy.

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The biggest awakening came in my relationship, where I am still learning what unconditional love is. I dreamt about it since I was a little girl, yet never had any clue that one day I will be purely afraid of it. The fact that someone can love me for just who I am, without me needing to work for it, do things in return, become someone else, or fake it till I make it – is mind-blowing.

Love is for free. FREE.

And it comes from every angle of the life – no need to chase it, no need to be approved for it, no need to look for. No need to be different, too!  

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I learned how to say NO, set healthy boundaries and secure my own space for my own self-care and sanity. All done in the most loving way possible. Was everyone ok with that? NO, of course not. And that was totally fine with me.  

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I also learned that the only thing I am truly capable of doing is to make myself happy without expecting others to do it for me. It is just not fair to do so.

I started this year with fighting with extreme bulimia and depression. I wanted to be well. I knew that it’s out of my integrity to coach others battling with such disorders yet being affected myself so deeply. I needed to see the light in the tunnel… which I couldn’t for a long time. The help could come only when I asked for.

I understood that I have a free will, and nobody is going to cross that border unless I permit them to do so. This when “I need help” came out of my mouth and when it was delivered. Was is fast? Not at all. I learned in my life that things which are meaningful need real and affectionate work, with love, compassion, and acceptance. And all will happen at its own pace!

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This brings me to December this year when I decided to step back, slow down and rethink a lot of things in my life, especially my business, job, mission and life purpose. It was hard at first because I, as many of you, was wired to hustle, advertise, promote, chase and work hard for every single penny and client.

It was one of the most wonderful lessons to learn that slowing down is actually an act of strength and integrity.

I’ve never put something on social media that wasn’t sincere. If I’m having a bad day, I don’t say much. Because privacy is part of authentic wellness. And because I’m committed to offering hope- and love-bringing content. I go through the issue, I learn from it, I bring out the lessons from it and then I share it. I am a guide and teacher.

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Last, but not the least, is that I recognized the deepest fears of mine. Even writing them here makes me feel still ashamed and little uneasy. But I know how sharing them may help me and some of you who can resonate.

I am afraid of being happy, loved and successful.

Yes, I am. I didn’t realize until the end of this year how manipulation, procrastination and self-pity are huge in my life. I use them to protect myself in the most ‘artificial’ way. My ego feels safe when it’s in control. Experiencing pure love, happiness and success wasn’t in my cards in the past. When I see the huge opportunity for them in any form, my mind panics and retract. It feels afraid! And it does anything to not feel that way!

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Today I know that in 2019 my major goal will be to step out of that comfort zone and experience what’s meant for me!

That means – self-trust is the theme for next year!

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So, cheers to the 2019!!!

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  • What is your theme for 2019?
  • What are your lessons from 2018?
  • What are your goals for 2019?
















I am HERE. I am NOW. I am
ME. ❤



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I am not enough! I am unworthy! I hate myself. IS THAT YOU?

I am happy for you today, though!

WHY? Hear me up!

As a beYOUtiful coach, I help women committed to finishing their struggle with any relationships in their lives; the romantic ones, the job-related ones, the family ones and the most important one, the relationship with themselves and their bodies.

I work with women who:

  • Don’t believe in themselves
  • Lost their worthiness
  • Feel that they are not enough
  • Are feeling tired of pleasing others
  • The worry of what others will say
  • Are afraid of judgment and rejection
  • Are feeling lost in their own lives
  • Have no clue who they are
  • Have no idea what they want to do
  • Can’t imagine how to move on
  • Are struggling with self-hate and self-love
  • Who has fear of not being loved
  • Have enough of the situation they are in
  • Who can’t imagine they may be successful.

Is this YOU?

When I started seeing that women who reached out to me were seeking the freedom, the lightness and alignment with themselves, feeling totally lost, miserable and stuck in their recent lives, I couldn’t help but interact with them.

I couldn’t help but hear their deep cries!

I wanted to find out what makes a woman, so many of us, feel unworthy, not enough, with no energy, drive, and motivation, despite the fact that every single of you could tell me today your dreams.

What makes you feel hateful towards yourself?

Why don’t you like your body, your actions, yourself?

Why don’t you see who you are?

Why don’t you believe you could write a book, run a company, have a loving partner and family, be happy as a single woman, or have plenty of non-toxic friends?

I hear you telling me:

  • ‘I hate myself, I can’t see myself in the mirror’
  • ‘I hate my body and how I look like’
  • ‘I can’t possibly do that’
  • ‘I am not enough’
  • ‘I never could do that so what does it make you feel I could now?’
  • ‘I am not smart enough’
  • ‘I don’t have resources to start up my business’
  • ‘I always date bad guys’
  • ‘I am not meant to have a family’
  • ‘My parents told me that I will never succeed’
  • ‘I am not confident at all and never will be’
  • ‘There is no way anybody can see me as attractive’
  • ‘I dieted all my life, I hate my body for what it does and how does it look like’
  • ‘I am so ashamed of myself’
  • ‘I can’t get naked in front of my partner’
  • ‘How can I love myself?’
  • ‘I never knew who I am actually’
  • ‘I need to always take care of others first and I have no time for myself’
  • ‘I don’t deserve that’
  • ‘I was always told to not be seen or speak up’.

 

I hear you!

I feel your pain!

I see your situation!

I imagine the struggle!

 

I am sad seeing the enormous beauty in every single of you, yet you hate herself.

I am sad seeing the strength in you, yet you feel totally weak.

I am sad seeing the opportunities for you, yet you don’t believe in yourself.

I am sad seeing the attractiveness in you, yet you feel unworthy of love.

I am heartbroken seeing you being stuck in the life you don’t even know how it happened.

I am sad because I know how that feels; being lost, self-hateful, heart-broken, abused and used, and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It didn’t feel freeing at all. It didn’t feel empowering at all. It didn’t feel like there is anything in this life for me.

 

However, I am happy because I freaking know how much energy, power, strength, drive, and motivation you have.

I am happy because I know deep inside you are simply done with being where you are.

I am happy because I see the spark inside of you which just waits to be ignited.

I am happy because I know you are READY NOW!

I am happy because I know there is a way out for you!

There is the way out!!!!

 

This is your deepest SELF simply talking to you NOW.

This is the message from the Spirits, Divine, Universe and all Gods just for YOU!

 

beYOUtiful lady, you are ready!!!

Type “I am ready” and let’s rock this new life together!

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

 

P.S. beYOUtiful is ‘cooking’ something behind the scene. Her scientific mindset creeps in and she is so eager to experiment, create some mysterious mixtures and magical nectars. The vibrations in her ‘lab’ are powerful. The outcomes seem to be more and more beautiful. The mission is to bring to the surface unbelievable colors of the matter which is called ‘The True Identity’.

What is going on in there?

What’s behind the scene?

The energy created by the high vibrations of preparing something so beautiful and gentle, powerful and free, is giving me the biggest joy, I have ever experienced.

 

The list of things-to-do and things- NOT-to-do

The phenomenon of lists of things-to-do is quite interesting.

As adults, we create lists, schedules, calendars, bucket lists and maybe even more so we feel in control of our lives. The notes, post-its, and notebooks piled up on our desk reminding us every single morning what we are here to do. The notifications on our phones or computers pop up constantly so we are not drawn to other activities. Once all of it shows up as soon as we wake up, the only thing we want to do is run away.

But wait a minute, do you want to run away from this precisely, well organized and super controlled system you have created for yourself? Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Shouldn’t that be the system you truly want in your life?

 

It seems it’s not. It definitely feels heavy, overwhelming, and frustrating. As soon as we see all of those calendars on the desk and hear the millionth notification on our phone, we get anxious and stressed. The stress level rises up quickly, so by mid-day, we are a bundle of nervousness.

 

Does that sound like you? Does that resonate with you at all?

What does it take an adult to start creating the lists of things NOT-TO-DO? To be able to slow down, space out, take it easy and trust that things will be done anyway?

 

Have you ever considered creating such a list? Why not?

 

The idea came from the most intuitive human being on this planet, which is a child.

Ok, Izabela, what do you mean a child?

 

I mean that children are the most intuitive human beings on this planet. They dream big, they don’t plan and they don’t overstress. And somehow things get done for them in the most appropriate time, with great results. And I am not talking about the fact that you, adults, help them with things, restrict them from performing the way they want, limit their abilities and create the stories which are not theirs. If you would ever let the kid create, play, and do things they want, they would come up with such ideas, amazing stories and unlimited dreams, which they would truly believe they can accomplish.

 

If we would ever be able to come back to that mindset and start leading with our intuition, the life would be easier. If we would ever allow ourselves to play, enjoy and take a pride in every single accomplishment, the life would be so loving. If we would ever start dreaming big again, there would be so many magical things happening in this world.

 

In kid’s world, there are no limits or fears. There is curiosity, trial, and desire. There is questioning of everything so the next step can be taken with full awareness. There is that wonderment which allows them to walk towards their dreams until they are stopped by ‘you can’t do this’. Then they meet the ‘adult reality’, full of stress, control, limitations and misery with themselves.

 

Why can’t we simply smile, love and be curious as kids are?

Why can’t we simply create lists of things not-to-do EVER?

 

What would that list look like for you today?

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

The wonderful power of “yes”

The movie I am about to share is called “Yes man” with Jim Carrey. Yes, it is a comedy.

How funny is that that I usually don’t watch comedies, especially American comedies, because as a foreigner many times I found myself frustrated not knowing what they are joking about or simply not understanding this type of humor. However, as part of the Valentine’s Day promise to myself that I want to spend it with a free spirit, totally joyful and playful, we decided to watch this comedy.

The movie was funny and powerful at the same time. I am not going to elaborate on the story or jokes. I would love to, however, bring attention to the lessons and conclusions I took from it and I found very magical. I want to deliver them to you so they can empower you as they did for me!

 

How does saying ‘no’ play a role in our life?

We say ‘no’ to the friend’s wedding invitations, we say ‘no’ to the stranger on the street needing help, we say ‘no’, I don’t have time, to the spouse or kids, we say ‘no’ to ourselves a million times a day. Am I wrong? If yes, please comment below and call me out on that! I’ll take it!

 

How does saying ‘yes’ to the opportunities in your life play a role for you?

I bet, there are many opportunities in your life such changing the job, quitting smoking, deciding on healthier food choices, breaking up with the toxic relationship, publishing a book, opening a business you dream about, saying ‘I love you”, or becoming a happier and funnier person. How many of those have you literally overlooked, or intentionally missed, or simply said ‘no’ to?

Again, I am 100% confident, that you did, and most likely to many of those. They showed up in your life, your intuition told you to go for it, and your fearful mindset just blew the chance out! How do you feel about it? Fulfilled? Happy? Empowered? Or maybe like a loser? Or hopeless?

 

That movie showed with simple life stories what is the life of constant ‘no’ to the living versus a life with ‘yes’ to the opportunities. And, at the same time as in the movie, there is a limit of saying ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to the situations or people. We are constantly reminded of the fact that we need to learn how to say ’no’ to so many things, events, and people in order to protect our time, energy and boundaries. However, we are never told that the word ‘yes’ is as powerful as it can be in its own meaning.

 

The moment you say ‘yes’ to the opportunity, it is like putting the key in the lock and twisting it. Suddenly the door squeak and release showing you just a little hole to peak through it. That little space to look through gives you the image of a totally different view, just like in The Secret Garden movie.

Don’t you want to go there and explore? Aren’t you curious what your life might bring once you give it a chance?

I can’t express more how exciting it is to say ‘yes’ to the opportunity, which may seem super scary at first, but how wonderfully inviting it is to the eyes of those who commit.

Don’t be a loser! Don’t give up on your dreams.

Don’t regret that you didn’t say ‘yes’ to the possibilities which your life presented you today!!!

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

DO LOVE & DO MAGIC ❤

 

Since I became aware of my life being a precious gift, I started searching for the answer to that ONE question: WHY AM I REALLY HERE?

I went through my whole life as totally blinded zombie-human, not knowing what is happening around me, not recognizing kindness in others eyes, not seeing beauty in the life I had and numbing the magical nature sounds with the highest volume of my electro music! It could have been like that until now, if some breakthroughs and awakenings weren’t to happen!

In this life I fought to survive. Serious migraines which left me almost unconscious in 6th grade, being rescued from committing suicide, surviving heart attack and cancer, overcoming depression and multiple approaches to commit suicide again and again, over and over.

 

BUT I DID SURVIVE!

I DO LIVE NOW!

BUT WHY???

 

I wanted to know.

I craved to know the deep meaning.

Was it to live, experience, discover and find happiness that we all crave?

or

Was it for something FAR greater than that?

So, I started to dig deep.

 

* Was is it that there was a part of me that was here to leave a legacy?

* Was it that I came here to make a difference, to shine my light?

* Was it that I came here to share my gift and do magic?

* Was it that I came here to live a life full of purpose and love?

* Was it that everything I went through this time would lead me to this exact point in my life where I would discover what I have been actually seeking?

* Was it that I would find a true meaning this time?

 

Now those questions, I FEEL in my bones, in my nerves, in every single cell and receptor.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

I feel that there IS SOMETHING FAR GREATER for you to discover here, than you can even imagine.

 

I urge you to discover the wisdom, knowledge and the knowing deep inside of you.

Because what I know to be true is that WE ARE ALL just trying to find our own POTENTIAL of who we came here to BE.

And what I am sure about that we are all here to do magic and share love!

 

I am HERE. I am NOW. I am ME. ❤

Nut Butter Breakthrough

Do you live in the reality where you were told that some things in this world are just bad? Do you interact with people who constantly bombard you with judgment and opinions? Do you create your own world around those notions, thoughts, stories and beliefs that you gathered during your life, and that are not necessarily true?

Where am I headed to with those questions? What does that have to do with nut butter?

 

Oh, let me tell you my story.

I have never shared this before.

The entire world believes that being a bodybuilder, looking wonderfully lean and muscular, fit and athletic, is the healthiest thing someone could get involved in. There is no bigger misinterpretation than that. The myth of “healthy” bodybuilding can be easily debunked. I did look awesome, the best ever in my life, that’s true. Have I worked hard? Oh, heck yes, the hardest “job” I have ever done was getting ready for that stage. The limitations, deprivations, rules and what’s good and what’s totally not good or allowed, losing the social life, having no time for anything but gym, are the major “bonuses” to it. Moreover, I consider these even better: insomnia during the night, sleepiness during the day, lack of period, total lack of energy, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and extreme food intolerance.

What I found the most incredible during that time is the way to look at the food and the body. Being at 7% body fat on the stage is an indication of your well-done work, and then gaining 2 pounds is considered not good anymore.

But where did I lose the main character of this story, nut butter? The cheat meal or carbing up by eating pizza, donuts and the crappiest food on this planet, was considered “good” and “beneficial” for your gains. However, eating healthy, full of good nutrients and good fats, nut butter, was the worst thing you could even think of, totally sabotaging your progress. Having this type of “cheat meal” was making me fat, over night actually, and thanks to it I most likely wouldn’t be able to step on the stage.

Do you follow me? Do you see the story behind it? Do you see the misleading beliefs here?

 

Where am I headed with that now?

Here it is. The bodybuilding world doesn’t talk about, but 85% girls start with it because they either have already underlying eating disorders and body image issues, or they end up with that after pursuing that journey. And I was on both sides. Yes, I am a girl who suffered bulimia and anorexia as a teenager, in mid and late 20s, and of course the “exciting” disorder became more dangerous after competitions. Every single pound is an obsession, every single bite of food is making me fat overnight. Every single spoon of that freaking nut butter is sabotaging all my athletic performance. But wait, what if I eat pizza, or donuts – then I should be fine, right?!

 

Do you see where I am getting to?

The messed-up stories and beliefs someone told me during that time, create the person I am now. And if you are me, you hate your body, you binge, then purge and hate yourself even more. And the vicious cycle is never going to end unless you stop yourself, you literally get yourself into the silent place, remove the worldly distractions and ask yourself the major question: what problem, emotions, pain, feelings, or issue am I trying to numb with food or any other addiction?

The root of that addiction was somewhere deep inside of me. Exactly like the root of my love-hate feelings toward a simple food like nut butter. Why was I loving it and hating it just after I ate it? Why was I craving it, even though I wasn’t hungry, so I could purge afterwards? Why was I even buying it, if it was making me so overly fat?? WHY?

Because the root of that was simple: someone told me that this type of food is making me fat. That nut butter will make me weak. That this food will make me perform bad. That thanks to this food I better stop pursuing whatever athletic and sport goals I had. Because I am going to fail…if I keep eating it. I am not exaggerating this story. It is my real, deep and true story.

 

So, if you still reading, listen: dig deep inside of your soul and heart, allow yourself to feel it, to think, to be in the moments with yourself, your memories – even if they are painful. Pain is the best teacher we could ever have in this world.

Use it wisely!

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

 

 

Step by Step… [The Emotional and Mental Memoir from Ultra Beast Spartan Race]

This is not a recap of an Ultra Beast Race. You can read those elsewhere. This is a mental and emotional piece about somebody’s inner world.

This is not a blog with ideas and tips on how to train. It is not about how to eat and prepare for one of the toughest obstacle endurance races. This is an expression of a soul screaming after facing an unknown field of defeat and disqualification.

The “Ultra Beast Spartan Race” is one of the longest obstacle races in the OCR series. What does that mean for an overachieving athlete like me? It means there is going to be a mental challenge. It inevitably leads to the question of “to be or not be” in the game.

 

Weeks before….

In the weeks leading up to that moment, I often found myself overthinking and over-analyzing the upcoming race. Of course, this would be interspersed with moments of calmness, and times of not thinking about the race at all. As a professional athlete, business owner, and life coach, I have learned firsthand how overthinking will never result in anything good. It only leads to fear, stress and demotivation. Overanalyzing is even worse; it creates an overpowering fear of losing control. I am the last one to predict the weather, the course, the obstacles, and most importantly: to predict my own body’s reaction and feelings.

I find it very relaxing to not think about the race at all. Yes, “spacing out” can irritate the ones who love you most. But guess what? I love spacing out. I bask in the moments when I allow the universe to think on my behalf. I love not knowing what the future may hold. I love to be at peace, doing what I do every day: eat healthy, train hard, stretch, rest, and sleep.

 

The night before….

That day before the Ultra Beast was one of the most serene days of my life. All my work was done. I was up to date on updating my clients’ plans. Everything was taken care of. The trip was planned, I had checked the weather. Even the last-minute gels had been purchased and packed. I was ready.

I decided to go on a walk. I was fully present. I looked up at the sky to see the stars, ever grateful for that precious moment! Silence is the best medicine for me before such a race.

Every professional athlete takes time to just sit with their own thoughts.

I shut down all the voices and all the stress.  This is the best anyone can do the night before a big race!

 

On race day….

Morning brought silence. With a carbed-up breakfast and mental focus, I knew what I wanted most in that moment. I thought: There is nothing else but me.

Me, the way I am now. Completely present, two hours before the start. Me, the most athletic, the best prepared, the healthiest person. I can face the unknown. All will be good, because I will take it step by step.

I did everything within my power, right? I am the strongest I could possibly be, right? I prepared every single detail for this race, right? Yes, I did.

Let’s do this!

 

The Race….

Start, slow start…

I relinquished my inner-will to chase the rest of the competitors. I kept repeating: “Pace yourself”. It soon became my mantra for the race.

“When the breathing peaks up, all I do is pace myself.”

Suddenly, I recalled everything I ever read or heard about the importance of breathing. How successful of a tool it is for stress management. Was I stressed? Not particularly, but I was very focused. I wasn’t going to let any breathing struggles get in my way. “You got this” and “keep going” was mentioned frequently by those passing me.

Yes, my legs keep moving step by step. “There is no other way but forward” my mind exclaims. “You got this, beYOUtiful!” I said to myself, as I approached a steep hill.

Step by step. I removed any thoughts about the obstacles that were ahead of me.

“That is the next step, let me focus on the uphill right now.”

I relinquished all care about the future. I knew that all I had to focus on was my next step. I had brief bursts of energy, helping me refocus, recharge.

Suddenly, I was battling an obstacle. My mind went blank. I swiftly reminded myself that I was moving forward. In my mind, “burpee” became synonymous with “obstacle”. I thought: “I will not allow ‘burpees’ to disturb my stubborn Taurus personality.”

Do you remember saying from the movie, “Dori”?

“Just keep swimming.”

Exactly. Keep moving. Keep swimming. Keep running!

 

Suddenly, my body was telling me something….

Was it a pinch in the knee? I tried to decipher the feeling. “Listen knee, we have a second lap to do. We’ve got this. Just cooperate with me and stop fighting, ok?”

As the miles added up, I felt my body in places I wasn’t expecting. I tried to reassure myself. I had never had issues with my ankles and knees before.

“Let me change the way I run. Let’s try to slow down and let refocus on the course. I know my body, all will be fine.”

As I made it through another obstacle, I thought, “That was easy, which means I’m a badass! Even the cold doesn’t bother me as much as others that I am slowly passing. Wow, I prepared really well.”

I had just finished facing the biggest fear of my life. Swimming didn’t kill me physically, but it broke me mentally.

As I plunged in to the icy water, I tried to my best to have a positive mindset. But, unfortunately, the panic attack was stronger.

“That’s ok, it’s in the past. Let’s do burpees and move on. I’ve got a second lap to do and I need to have a serious conversation with my body parts.”

 

Downhill…

I know the difference between pain and discomfort. I have an incredibly high pain tolerance. But this pain was excruciating.

“Knee, please, please don’t do this to me now. Why are you actually hurting? I’ve been so kind to you. I’ve been pacing myself this entire time.”

My pace began to slow.

Still, I moved on, step by step. But I felt it. No, it wasn’t pain. It was fear, creeping in to my thoughts. I had worked so hard on letting my fear go, just days before the race.

“Go away!!!!”

As I pictured my ligaments tearing and visualized tripping and rolling down this hill, my inner self shouted “NO, NO, NO!!!”

But I’m stubborn. The overachiever, the badass, the winner.

 

I had to decide….

The pain became unbearable. Do you know those pain scales in the hospital, with “1” being the best and “10” being the worst? I was at a 9, maybe 10, and it brought tears to my eyes. It was so intense that I could barely hold my focus as I limped. A fight between my inner-worlds ensued.

“Didn’t you accomplish 12 hours of the brutal Hurricane Heat event? Do you remember what you were telling yourself there? Yes, so keep repeating: step, step, step, step. Don’t think about giving up. Just: step, step, step, step. Shut up and move on. Step, step, step. This is your dream. Step, step, step. This is your life. Step, step, step.”

I couldn’t take another.

“Please don’t do that to me! Don’t fade, please. I can go, I can move….”

Having to give away your inner power hurts more than any knee ever could. I had to decide to let my partner continue through the race without me. I felt like I let myself down, and I had never envisioned this would happen!

 

Afterwards….   

I felt empty, I felt lost, I felt disempowered. I had lost myself somewhere on the 15-mile mark.

Someone else must have decided to DNF on my behalf. It was not the Izabela I know. She never gives up. She never whines. She never uses pain as an excuse! The Izabela I know lives by the saying: “be comfortable with uncomfortable”. It was someone other than me that decided to quit. I know I could’ve gone on and finished it!

But no, continuing with that pain wouldn’t have been possible.

The Izabela I know is also caring of herself and others. She is supportive. She inspires and motivates herself and other. She might be unstoppable, but she also knows when it’s time to practice self-care. She may have the strength to break ice, but she also knows how to melt ice with self-love. She knows that dreams do come true. They just come true during the right time, at the right place.

 

Everything happens for a reason.

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

….. step by step ……

Nutrition for a Spartan Endurance Event (HH, HH12HR and HH24HR) — before, during, after.

You just signed up for the upcoming Hurricane Heat HH12HR event and I know how excited yet scared you are. I know you can handle it physically; you are a beast!!! As a HH12HR veteran, a nutritionist, PhD in Cardio-respiratory Science, MSc in Human Biology & Anatomy and Physiology, and Spartan SGX coach I can clearly say that the nutrition part of the training is key to successfully managing, completing and recovering from the event.

 

Two to Four Weeks before the HH12HR Event

As you are training very differently from other people, i.e., carrying heavy loads for extended periods of time, doing extremely vigorous high-intensity circuits and hiking with loads for half a weekend, your body pretty much wears out. It is under constant stress and has very little time to recover. In order to perform well and allow your body to rest and rebuild itself, you must fuel it very carefully with the specific foods it requires. You may need to increase caloric intake compared to previous weeks, which should come from very high-quality macro-nutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates (aka carbs).

High quality protein sources include wild caught fish (salmon, cod, sardines, herrings, mackerel), free range chicken and eggs, organic turkey, grass-fed beef, bison and lamb, as well as a reliable sources of seafood (to avoid heavy metal contamination).

You also need to consume good beneficial fats, especially for your long endurance training days: avocados, organic nuts (avoid peanuts as they may be very inflammatory and allergenic), olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, organic nut butters, uncured sugar-free bacon, egg yolks, organic grass-fed butter, ghee butter, coconut oil, coconut butter and coconut full-fat milk.

Concerning carbs, you really want to focus on eating the starchy ones and the varieties that include a low glycemic index.  This will replenish the glycogen that you burn during your workouts: sweet potatoes, organic rice, organic quinoa, butternut squash, sprouted grains (avoid these if you are gluten-sensitive). I hope I don’t need to emphasize that huge loads of vegetables and fruits (5-10 cups a day is recommended) are going to benefit you even more, supplementing your tired body with vitamins and micro nutrients.

You want to have at least two meals (pre- and post-workout) that consist of all the macros: colorful salad, good source of protein and fat, and complex carbs. Yes, even if you work out in the evening, I want you to have that meal – you are burning calories after your workout, and your glycogen is used up during sleep.

In terms of supplementation – for me the important part was to keep my adrenals happy by supplying my body with B vitamins, selenium and magnesium. I tried to get them from food: yeast flakes, Brazil nuts, and green leafy veggies, respectively. Also, you may add glutamine and BCAAs for muscle recovery and rebuilding. A very good powerful anti-inflammatory supplement is turmeric – in either pill form or powder mixed up in warm water. Make sure that in both cases it comes with black pepper for proper absorption. Proper electrolytes are also crucial for your training and for the event itself. They can come from salt tablets, liquid version of trace minerals or electrolytes (which you can get in any whole foods store) or 1-2 tsp of Himalayan Salt added to your water one to three times a day.

I strongly recommend that you first test any carb gels, energy bars, and foods that you plan on taking for the event, during your longer runs or training sessions. You don’t want to end up having diarrhea during the event or being medically DNF’d due to GI tract issues.

 

Two Days before the HH12HR Event

During the last 4 weeks, you should already know which foods give you energy, which make you feel grumpy and inflamed, or bloated and sleepy. Make sure that, during the two days leading into the event, you completely avoid processed foods loaded with hydrogenated fats and processed sugars (this includes pizza, fries, fast food burgers, donuts, ice cream etc.). Sorry Spartans, but how you fuel your engines determines how they will perform during the event. Bad foods will definitely make your body unhappy and unready for 12 hours of extreme activity.

It is also very important to have extra starchy/complex carbs during those two days. ATTENTION: do not overload them in just one meal; eat them in an evenly distributed manner throughout the day. You don’t want to wake up on a race day with diarrhea, upset stomach, or other GI problems. Make sure you drink a lot of water and electrolytes.

 

One Day before the HH12HR Event

This day is the most important of your last 4 weeks. Whatever damage and lack of nutrition you allowed into your workout routines and lifestyle cannot be reversed by just one day of proper fueling; however, if you find yourself in a less than ideal situation, make sure you eat a very good breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals should consist of good sources of protein, fats and carbs, as well as vegetables and fruits. Try to avoid too many fibrous vegetables 5-6 hours before the event. If you wish to eat them, put them in a smoothie for better digestion. Hydrate and drink more electrolytes than during the previous days. You may have up to 2 cups of black coffee; however, more can cause you to crash in the middle of the event. I wouldn’t suggest taking any pre-workout supplements, thermogenic pills, energy drinks or foods that you already know will make you feel bad.

My favorite breakfast consists of oats with coconut milk, shredded coconut, pecans, blueberries, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan salt. For lunch, I eat a huge salad with green leafy veggies: spinach, kale, and sunflower seeds, beef burger and baked sweet potato with coconut oil. For dinner (the last meal before the event), I like lean ground turkey with a large sweet potato, coconut oil and banana with cashew or almond butter. Avoid too much protein, it can cause slower absorption of the carbs and fats, which you need as fuel for the event.

 

On HH12HR Event Day

There is just one rule I follow on event day and I strongly suggest you do the same: START EATING EARLY AND EAT OFTEN. Do not wait until you start feeling weak, lightheaded or begin cramping before you put some food or electrolytes in your stomach. If you do, it is already too late. Start as early as 30-45 min into the event, and keep snacking every 30-45 min. I always keep carb gels, nut butter pouches, carb chews and energy bars in different pockets and whenever it feels right, I reach for one.

My great invention during the last event was protein waffles (made from protein pancake ready mix bought at a supplement store) with some nut butter and jelly. I ate them during down times, and the rest of the time, I had other snacks to chew on. For electrolytes, you may want to take tablets every 1-2 hours, and make sure you drink lots of water with them.

You may need to test many options a long time before the competition in order to find the right foods for event day. They must be portable, easy to store, carry and grab during the very uncomfortable conditions of the event. Store them safely in multiple Ziploc bags – I had to eat some chews mixed with mud because I failed to do this…oh well, the things we will do to perform better!

 

After the HH12HR Event

You did it! You survived and I am sure you don’t want to look at carb gels or chews for the next several months. It is ok, because now all I would like you to do is eat very very well (don’t overload again, it may cause you to have a stomach ache). Post-event meals should have all sorts of veggies (the more the better, the more colorful the better), huge amounts of protein (yes, grass-fed beef or bison burger or steak is allowed), some nice quinoa salad or rice with veggies, maybe sushi. Splurge but do it intelligently and properly. You may think you’ve earned the donut, but your body will shout for help!!!

During the next two days, I personally suggest taking lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods: tart cherry juice, coconut water and oil, blueberries, pineapple, green leafy veggies, tomatoes, fatty fish such as salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, beets or beet juice, turmeric, ginger and bone broth. Hydrate very well, too! Add lots of magnesium and electrolytes into the diet. And go to bed – sleep is the best remedy for anything!

 

The HH12HR was the biggest challenge, the best life lesson and my proudest moment. I spent at least 5 months before the event researching and studying proper foods, testing them on myself during workouts and eventually preparing a plan that would help my body perform well, feel energized during the cruel sufferfest tasks, finish injury-free, and recover properly. I have coached Spartans and other endurance athletes for over 2 years as the owner and head Spartan SGX coach at beYOUtiful , LLC.

 

Izabela Chrobak​

Sport, Healthy Lifestyle and Motivation Coach

Founder of beYOUtiful, LLC

Spartan SGX Coach

NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS)

PhD in Cardiorespiratory Sciences

MSc in Human Biology, Anatomy and Physiology

www.beyoutiful.fit/

http://beyoutiful.fit/challengeup/

http://unlimitedyou.me

https://www.facebook.com/mdsb.fit

https://www.instagram.com/beyoutiful_spartanlady/

https://www.youtube.com/user/izabela4000

 

 

Meet Lynn, Spartan Race Finisher 2016! – Testimonials

LYNN is an extraordinary person. She appears as a tiny modest woman, in her golf or bike gear, walking energetically around the gym so she can do the Spartan warm-up and her daily stretching ritual. She may look quiet, but she is not – always having some nice words to say to a stranger, make anybody smile, and cracks jokes all over the place. She is the busiest retired person on this planet!

However, she is the most determined, focused, organized and committed person I have ever had a chance to work with and ever met in my life. There are millions of stories about her I could write here to show you who she is. Many include her extremely powerful and somehow crazy life expeditions as an ultramarathoner, adventurer, even an Olympic torch carrier and medical dosimetrist. She is a very wise woman, and has a kind, non-judgemental, supportive and helpful attitude that uplifts the lives of the people surrounding her.

I performed an interview with her after she accomplished something she didn’t even think she could do, after 7 years of not running due to her knee injury. She gave up running and now she is a Spartan Race finisher!!

 

Meet Lynn, Spartan Race Finisher 2016 😊

 

ME: Hi Lynn, how are you doing Spartan Lady? Tell us about yourself, Lynn, please.

LYNN: I am 66 years old, retired medical dosimetrist. My fitness level is pretty good, I participate in several fitness activities such as golf, biking, yoga, stretching and balance classes, and weight workouts. In the past, I was an ultramarathoner, bike rider, cross-country skier and hiker, which many of those I still continue…. except for ultrarunning. LOL

ME: Have you ever heard about obstacle course races (OCR) and Spartan Races before?

LYNN: I first heard about the Spartan race in January 2016 from my trainer, at the gym, who did a Spartan Super Race in California.

ME: What made you think of doing a Spartan Race?

LYNN: My trainer suggested she and I do Spartan Race together.

ME: How was your preparation for the one you decided to run?

LYNN: I trained with trainer 2 times a week and I did other training on my own another 3-4 days a week. I was focused on doing bodyweight exercises and running again. I also engaged in exercises such as crawling, bar hangs and pull-ups, ninja obstacles at the local ninja gym.

ME: How did you feel once you signed up?

LYNN: Once I signed up, I was motivated to do the workouts, but also implicated enough rest to avoid injury.

ME: How did you feel once you arrived at the race venue?

LYNN: Arriving at the  course I was a little bit anxious but I felt well trained. Having never done an obstacle race before, there were a lot of unknowns, especially about the obstacles.

ME: How did you feel during the run?

LYNN: During the run, I felt energized. But some of the obstacles were very challenging and I needed help completing them.

ME: And how did you feel after finishing the race?

LYNN: After finishing, I’d say I had so much fun and felt very accomplished to complete my goal. Finishing an obstacle race was never anything I thought I would do.

ME: Which obstacle was the hardest and which one was the easiest?

LYNN: The hardest mental obstacle was Stairs to Sparta because I am afraid of heights. The hardest physical obstacle was the Bucket Carry because it was so heavy and uncomfortable. The easiest obstacle was the water crossing LOL

ME: Which comfort zone do you think you needed to step out of to finish the race?

LYNN: Fear of heights and fear of not finishing because the obstacles would be too hard

ME: I would never allow that to happen. How did that race impact your life afterwards?

LYNN: I felt afterwards like I did after my first ultra run, as if I could do almost anything if I was well trained and injury-free. But that confidence extends past athletics and into other parts of your life. Walking through a 42F lake for 10-15 minutes certainly redefines how one thinks about cold water. 😊

ME: Do you think you will run an OCR/Spartan race again?

LYNN: I would like to run another Spartan Sprint, maybe a Spartan Super.

ME: What would you tell your younger self now?

LYNN: I would say to be more confident in yourself because given hard work and the right people believing in you, then many things you think you could never do, become possible!

ME: What would you tell someone who is hesitating with the decision of running Spartan Race?

LYNN: I would say to just start training and sign up. Give yourself some time to train and build your confidence. Take baby steps and build on them and you will see progress, both physically and mentally. And get a trainer who can show you how to do all of the progressions and believes that you can do it!

ME: What is the motto you live your life by?

LYNN: I am not sure I have a motto to live by. But I did see this quote recently that speaks to me. “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there” by Vince Lombardi.

ME: That is so powerful Lynn. THANK YOU for your time, your energy, your empowering words.

 

Lynn walks away with a confident step, she is extremely proud of herself, she is smiling and knowing she still has so many things to accomplish!!!! Way to go Spartan Lady!!! You got this beYOUtiful!!!!

 

P.S. Her trainer appears to be me, and we do have a plan to run another Spartan Race this year again!!!!

#WeAreSpartan #beYOUtiful #IamSpartan

 

Izabelka’s Transformation

❤❤❤

I am Izabela, you may know me…. I was born in March 2011, I am 7 years old.

Admitting that I needed psychological help in order to help not your marriage but yourself, was a huge step into my inner transformation. Yes, 30 years old woman needed to bury herself in order for another woman to be born!

I don’t remember much from my childhood, block it somehow and maybe it’s good, maybe not…. I never made serious decisions based on my own feelings and opinions until March 2011… I was a living, breathing and existing creature, fulfilling others wishes and expectations all my life…being a zombie, walking and not even knowing where I am going!!!

The only changes in my life which created the WOMAN I am now, happened very randomly, almost like an explosion after which you shake your head of the dust and realize you are in totally different world. My dad threw me into the water expecting I will learn how to swim, and it never happened, I don’t know how to swim. However, life threw me into way deeper water than that one, to the lowest rock bottom I could ever imagine it exist and what happened surprisingly, I had to swim, I had to get up, I had to shake my head of the dust and see the new world!!!!

The decision about buying a one-way ticket for my ex-husband and divorcing him was the best ever. The decision of quitting my scientific very-well paid job was a life changing. The decision about hiring trainer and life coach after my heart attack was the biggest awakening. All of them built were the foundation of different transformations for myself.

First one created the woman who realized that she is beautiful, strong, sexy, independent, powerful, loving and deserving to be loved, to be treated with respect!

Second allowed me to understand that I am extremely smart, talented, educated, intelligent, hard-working and can make anything I think of to work.

Third opened my eyes on the beauty I carry in my body, in my heart and soul, realizing how important is it to take care of myself first before serving others. How life choices create the life we live in. How regrets do not exist, how life lessons are empowering and how failure is an actually a grand opening to better options.

Fourth…. yes, there is forth moment of awakening. NOW!!! The moment I realized I can help, I can give and I can change lives of so many people around me by the person I am and what I have to offer…that was a huge blast! I have a plan, LIFE HUGE PLAN of creating a space and a community to help those who seek help, who suffer from abuse, from depression, from lack of motivation and life purpose, from lack of self-being and show them that there is a fantastic powerful SELF-LOVE out there, that each of us can create a magic, create amazing things in this live.

Who told you that you cannot? Your dad? Your Aunt? Or husband? Maybe co-worker or boss?

NOBODY CAN TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN AND WHAT YOU CAN NOT DO – only you create the reality you live in, the happiness you live with, the magic you surround yourself with!!!!!

YOU got this beYOUtiful!!!! ❤

#beYOUtiful