How to Sustainably Prioritize Your Health with Ashley Carlotta
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have the lovely Ashley Carlotta with me today, and we are gonna talk about how to sustainably prioritize your health. So welcome, Ashley.
Thank you so much for having me. I enjoyed listening to your podcast so much. I was listening to the one last night. Responding to your Google reviews. And I was like, oh, I need to get on that. So I went in there and I was doing it. So I follow a lot of what you say.
That’s good. I’m glad that you took action too. The biggest thing is that listening is one thing. And then, like taking the action and doing it is the other thing, and you’re gonna see results from doing that. I’m excited that you did. Before we get started in talking about this sustainability, go ahead and tell us how in the world you get started in health coaching.
I always knew that, like I was a people person and I always wanted to create my own business somehow, but I was a tax accountant and I liked getting the scheduled income and having somebody else pay me and all the things. Once I moved to Texas with my family. I became a stay-at-home mom and quickly discovered that stay-at-home mom life is not my favorite thing in the world. At least you’re admitting it.
Honestly, it’s just, it’s hard and bless all of you moms. Even if you’re not staying at home and you do other things, you’re still doing all the mom things, so after I had my third baby, I wanted to lose the weight that I had gained. I had yo-yo up and down.
My whole life I gained 50 pounds with each pregnancy. I was like, you know what? I am done with this. I started posting my weight loss journey on Instagram, like every normal person I was so vulnerable.
I put myself out there, I put my pictures on there and gradually just started doing it. I have a lot of questions about it. Hey, what are you doing? What diet plan are you doing? What exercise program are you doing? And I’m like, honestly, I’m not doing like any program. I’m just eating sustainably healthy meals. I am prioritizing myself.
Finally, I’m not making excuses and saying, I’m gonna start every Monday morning again. And. I started helping people, oh what should I have for dinner? Or what workout would you recommend? I was like, you know what? There is something in holding somebody accountable that it just works, and so I started just doing it at first for free for some friends. And then they were like, you should charge for this.
And so slowly but surely I grew it into a business and I’m just so passionate about it now. Now that I have finally figured out how to maintain my goal weight for a significant amount of time without going back up and then having to diet again, I just love sharing that with other moms and busy professionals and it works. That’s where I’m at and I’ve been doing it for a few years now.
I love it. I think that the best way to do it is to experience it yourself because. You’ve been to the gym. And you’ve seen like the personal trainer, like the 20-something personal trainer, that’s never had any type of overweight issue in their life and you’re like. Can that person help me lose weight?
Do they have any idea of what it’s about? Like when you’re overweight and then you lose weight and then you gain it back and then that like defeat, does that person have any idea, but I love the fact that you’ve been through it. You shared your journey and you can relate to all of those stages that people go through and all of the thoughts and problems and everything.
I did go on and I got my health coaching certificate and I did that for a whole year and I studied, but I can tell you that maybe out of the hundreds of clients I’ve had maybe two that are like, so what is your background and what is your certificate in?
Do you know what I mean? Because they just, most of their Business comes from my Instagram account because they’re watching what I’m doing daily. I will post what I’m eating. I post that I’m getting my workout in.
I post what I’m emotional about and I don’t feel like doing the things that I’m supposed to do, and I’m working and I have three kids. I think that they just find trust in that. And it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter with all the things that you have behind your name. If you’re showing that you’re living it and doing it.
That’s so true. And I think that’s a good testimony for any moms that are out there listening that you don’t have to necessarily go through all of that formalization to start doing the thing that you’re interested in doing. I think that’s a really good point to point out.
I would say start being scared. Do you know what I mean? If you think that you have something to offer the world, Start doing it. And if it doesn’t work out, then stop doing it.
I love it. So let’s talk about sustainably. That’s a hard word to say, prioritizing our health. How in the world can we do that? Because it’s something, as moms, we’re business owners, we’re busy, we’re always doing something like you said we have the mom hat that we have to wear. We have the business owner hat that we have to wear.
We probably like the bills, hat, the grocery hat, the, oh. There are just so many hats that we wear. Right now, as we’re recording this, we’re in the back-to-school hat era, and then as this is airing, we’re gonna be in the Christmas shopping holiday shopping era. It’s just difficult to keep that focus on ourselves.
It is. I believe in scheduling, and prioritizing yourself. I just think it’s so important to take care of yourself. Like any other thing that you have on your to-do list? From drinking water, from. Schedule your workouts on the calendar. And my clients are not doing hour-long workouts. Like I give them short, easy bursts to do, like you got 15, 20 minutes.
Even if you need to break this up, if you have like little toddlers in the house, get 10 minutes done in the morning and get 10 minutes done in the afternoon just starting somewhere and starting small, I feel is so key. and making sure that you have the correct groceries that you need in the house ahead of time.
If that means ordering for you is easier getting it delivered, and pick it up without having to go in the store and taking that time. You do have to plan ahead of time. And that is how you can say you can stay sustainable with your weight loss program.
I need to go back to ordering the groceries and having them delivered. I spend way too much time in the grocery store every week. And because I have a child with allergies. We have to go to four different stores to get everything. So it’s so frustrating. I just need to go back to just ordering and having it all delivered. You’re right.
I feel like when you order it, then you’re already setting yourself up to kind of plan for what you need and why you need it versus when you are going in the store, which is great. I do love going in there to pick out your products and stuff like that, but you end up just buying a bunch of stuff a lot of times, and then it sits in your fridge.
Another way to make sure that you are sticking to your plan is by actually. Washing your fruit and having it readily available for yourself instead of just letting it mold in the fridge and like chopping up some of your veggies, whether that’s your bell peppers or your cucumbers.
I’m telling you to stay consistent with your weight loss. It has to be simple or you’re not gonna continue. You’re not gonna wanna follow these long recipes that take a lot of time keep it simple and make enough so that you can have leftovers for the next day. Make it easy on yourself.
I love those tips. Oh my goodness. I need to go back to this. I was on track last summer. I lost like 20 or 30 pounds. I don’t know how much. And then I gained a back and then I found out I was pregnant. And so now I’ve gained even more and I’m like, oh my God, I’m gonna have so much weight to lose.
When this baby comes, it’s going to be so much weight to lose. But you’re right. All of those things are very like, Simple, just adjustments that I could start making now and get that into my habit and routine and prioritize those before the babies come or the baby comes well.
A lot of times especially us working moms who have a meeting after meeting and email, it’s like remembering to just get up and move. Even if you’re just walking, go walk around the, and put something out in the morning that you needed to frost for your dinner. Like some chicken or some Turkey meat for easy tacos.
One of my favorite things is the black bean burgers from Costco. And my whole family will eat them and it takes two seconds to just make them in the frying pan, just flip them over. But I also really encourage you to. Take small steps. And a lot of times when clients come to me and they’re like, okay, I have 50, I have 60.
Some of them have a hundred pounds to lose. Let’s not look to the end of the race. Let’s celebrate each little win along the way. Let’s focus on losing the first five pounds. We’re gonna do it slowly. And the reason why we’re gonna do that stays gone. And when you’re done working with me, you’re not gonna gain it back again. I need you to just take small steps and not change everything at once because you won’t stick to it.
If you do stick to it, you’re gonna feel so much better in the long run and you’re gonna be able to. Feel like that confidence kind of building, and you’re gonna be able to even maybe go past your goal or set some sort of another goal.
Not restricting is so important. Like the clients that I work with, they are not on a diet. I always remind them of them. This is not a diet plan. Like you can still go through the drive-through if you’re going to Chick-fil-A for example, like to order the grilled chicken nuggets and get something like a side salad. And if you want a few of your kids’ fries or your husband’s fries or whatever it is great, but don’t order a whole large fry for yourself.
As the holidays are coming, things are busy. There are kids, sports, there are things. So you need to like, look at the menu ahead of time or kind of figure out exactly what you can get so that you can still experience the same thing that your family’s having. And you can get things that you enjoy, but you’re not gonna go overboard and get the huge big Mac with a large fry and the shake.
Like it’s what you do most of the time that matters. And you need to be able to live your life like a normal person. Otherwise, you won’t stick to a healthy lifestyle. Even once you get to your goal weight, you have to allow yourself to have a little bit of dessert or a little bit of alcohol.
If that’s your thing, I know for me, having a glass of wine is everything. If somebody told me not to do that, it’d be like, okay. I can’t do this program. I won’t be talking to you anymore.
A question that I have is what you do may not work for everyone and what everyone else does may not work for you, but what do you do? Do you have a specific day of the week that you sit down and say, okay, I’m gonna plan my meals? Do you do it monthly?
Do you do it for two weeks? Do you do it? Like how do you do that? Like your grocery shopping list, your meal planning, and coordinating all of that. So that way it is easy and you have it done and you can focus on your business and things.
I am not the type that schedules things out very far in advance, because I know that with my family and stuff, things change all the time. Sometimes you’ll have enough or more leftovers than you thought. So for me, it’s like an every three-day thing. I typically have most of the same. Things for breakfast. I have two or three options that I know are there that I can grab. I always like my protein bars and protein shakes for snacks so that I don’t have to think about it.
For lunch, I also typically have some of the] same things. I’ll either make a salad with some leftover meat and stuff. That’s in the fridge or I love making. Like a deli, Turkey wrap with some avocado and I get this Deja mustard from Trader Joe’s. That’s amazing. So in my mind, I know what I’m gonna have ahead of time, so they don’t have to think about it.
I can just go and do it right. I can take it with me if I’m on the go. Or like even today, before we were having this call, I was doing all these things. So I made sure that I had my lunch just like on my desk, ready to go so I could eat it when I got hungry and I didn’t have to go out there and do a whole. As far as dinner goes.
I have a whiteboard on my fridge and I usually will write out like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, this is what we’re having. And the Sunday beforehand, I make sure that we have it. And if we don’t, I will go to the store or I’ll order it like on Monday morning or go drive into Walmart and go pick it up.
But I think that you need to give yourself grace and you also need to have I’m not about having the process meals, but there are healthier process meals that you can have, in the fridge frozen stuff that you can take out if you’re just, don’t get the time and you just have to do it quickly, so I will also plan like a day like that, like sometimes.
For example, Thursday is our Mesos for us. We have all the different activities, all the things going on. I have no shame throwing a frozen pizza or two in the oven. Make sure I have some veggies on it. You can have some of those if you want to. And then I always make a side salad so that you’re still enjoying it. I have a couple of pieces of pizza, but I’m gonna have this big filling salad that fills me up so that I don’t have two or three more.
I love that. And I love my ADHD brain. I love the fact that you’re not focusing on the entire seven days. You’re only focusing on three days because when I sit down and I think about oh God, I have to pick five or six meals. That’s too overwhelming for me. And then I’m like, ah, I’ll just do it next week.
I love that idea of just doing a few days at a time, like whatever, you can see, whatever, what’s going on in your head. Like you have that calendar in your head. This is what’s going on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and this is what we’re gonna have. I love that.
It is overwhelming for a lot of moms. And a lot of people will ask me if I provide them with a meal. And I don’t, because again, I think I have ADHD of some sort too, but I haven’t been fully diagnosed, but I also like engram seven, which is very spontaneous. So if somebody tells me that I have to sit down and plan it out completely, that is gonna stress me out.
Sometimes just in the morning before my husband goes to his office for work, now that everybody’s working from home a lot these days, I’ll be like, Hey, what do you wanna do for dinner tonight? I don’t think that you should be afraid to give that responsibility off, maybe to like your spouse once in a while, too. Why is it always on us to come up with all the food? I like planning all the time.
Sometimes I’ll be like, okay, Wednesday, I need you to plan it. And you know what? It might not be the best thing ever, but at least I didn’t have to think about it that day. That is a great point. But if I left it up to my husband, no one would ever eat because he doesn’t like eating that much.
Just where did he come from? Okay, so let me just specify this. He is from west Africa. So if he was eating a homey, Western, African dish, then he would eat it every day. But like American food, he’s like the stuff that the kids like, and that I like, he’s like. That’s a little different in our household.
One thing that helps my husband too, like when I put him on duty, which again is not that often, not often enough now you’re making me wanna do it more, but I always tell my clients like you’re not always gonna have fresh stuff on hand, as it goes quickly like you’ll get a few things and all of a sudden it’s gone.
I always recommend having frozen vegetables and frozen fruit in your freezer. And then also in your pantry, have some canned items too. Like it’s so simple to open a couple of cans of green beans. I have to say a couple now, cause I have a family of five. It’s crazy how much food I have, but, just open it and make it easy.
You don’t have to go through the whole preheating, the oven, and cooking the broccoli now while that’s the healthier thing to do, just open a can, and so I’ll tell my husband. You better make sure there are vegetables too, or a bag of salad, make it easy on yourself. I love that easy is good.
Easy is like the name of the game with moms and our schedules and our businesses. I love that. Awesome. So are there any last tips or ideas or anything that you want to share with the audience? That will help them. Kinda lock in that prioritization, but also the sustainability aspect of it.
I get on board with a good morning routine and it does not have to be long, but I’m telling you if you wake up and you’re not going directly to your phone and opening your email or your social media, I feel like it’s, that’s helpful. So what do I do? When I get up, it’s important to look at one of my Bible verses or a devotional just to get my head right.
And then I’ll go out before my kids go to school and make sure to just talk to them, encourage them for the day. I always make sure that I’m getting my coffee first, and just enjoying that and starting the day with a grateful heart before I stress myself out with all the things that I have to do.
So that is one of the number one things that I will encourage my clients to do. And a lot of them, I do hold them accountable to do like their affirmations or their meditation in the morning. Also, my mom used to always tell me everything in moderation and I used to roll my eyes at her, but I’m telling you, there is something about it.
I think if we all try to aim for moderation instead of that, all or nothing mentality, especially when it comes to your diet, especially when it comes to working out a little bit of each thing is better than doing it all at once. You don’t need to start a workout routine and do your whole hour, like start with 20 minutes.
You don’t need to cut out all your carbs and all your sugar. Just start cutting maybe a little bit of it and adding more things such as drinking more of your water or adding some more fruit and vegetables.
I think that’s helpful for women, especially those who get overwhelmed when they feel that they have a long way to go to get to where they want to be. I wanna remind all of you that it’s not a race, nor should it be at a race, because if it was, then once you get there, you’re just gonna go back up again.
You’re gonna burn out and be like, oh my God, this is like the name of the game that we’re talking about is sustainability. So it’s not going to be sustainable. You’re gonna get there, hit the wall, and then be like, huh, finally I’m here. And then just, let it go. I love that. I love it. So how can people find you online and how can they work with you?
I think the best way is my website is better health by accountability.com and you can get my freebie there. I have lots of tips on how to live like a normal person while losing weight without dieting. So go get that. Then I mostly hang out on Instagram. At better health by accountability. So come say, hi, and send me a DM. And I’m always open to answering any questions you have.
Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing this with us. It’s a very important thing, and I know as we’re finishing out 2022 and rounding into 2023, this is gonna be as always a pretty big focus for everyone. I think going into it with some ways that we can be. Being sustainably healthy is gonna be important for everyone.
I would just say, don’t wait, you don’t have to wait till the new year. Do you know what I mean? Like I know maybe your break might be coming up and Christmas is coming up and stuff, but you can start today. You don’t need to just keep eating all the cookies and all the things like you really can. You really can start today, go for a walk.