Amanda Kraft is a photographer and holistic health coaching living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She photographs high school seniors and recently created Stop Editing, Start Living to help creative professionals regain control of their businesses, so they can live the life they have always dreamed of. Most days she can be found coaching her clients, preparing gourmet dinner, relaxing with her husband or enjoying the open road in her jeep. Read part 1 and part 2 of this series before continuing ahead.
In Front Of The Lens
Have you ever become the subject of a guests camera at a wedding? You know, the crazy uncle who wants to take a photo of the photographer taking photos. I never understand the importance but, that isn’t the reason for this post. A few years ago, I was the unfortunate subject of a guests camera and my super sweet bride mailed a copy of the photo to me. I was instantly horrified! How did I get here? I knew I gained some weight, but I looked like I ate an Olsen twin. For those of you who aren’t photographers and maybe had head shots taken recently and weren’t exactly thrilled with, you might be able to relate to this.
Truthfully, my diet was pure garbage. Leading up to an event I would carb load in order to make it through the day. In my mind, I thought I was preparing to compete in an ironman competition and having HUGE pasta dishes were what I needed to make it through an 8 hour day of shooting. During the week, I was sitting on my butt editing and eating whatever I wanted, because in my mind, I had “worked out” enough at the wedding over the weekend. My diet consisted of sodas and carbohydrates – not discriminating between products that lived in a box or a bag. Saying that I was “too busy” became a convenient excuse to do not do something about my health and wellness. Along the way, I allowed my business to swallow me whole. Every dime I made was invested back into my business for a new piece of gear, another set of actions or template that I didn’t really need or a seminar that wasn’t exactly aligned with the direction I wanted to take my business in. In retrospect, a portion of my profits should have been invested into my personal development along with getting me well both physically and mentally.
All of this lead to a massive meltdown on my closet floor one evening before my husband and I attended a birthday party. In that moment of crocodile sized tears, clarity set in and if I didn’t regain control of myself, my business would never survive. The moment I cleaned up my diet, made morning workouts part of my daily routine, my overall attitude began to change. Email requests, phone calls or deadline that had once bothered me no longer frustrated me, I had massive amounts of energy, began to loose weight and clients who had booked me months prior took notice. If that wasn’t motivation enough, I don’t know what could be.
You’re asking yourself “How do I get from burnt out, stressed out and a to list longer than my arm, and maybe a few pounds heavier than I want to be to living the life I have always wanted?” First of all, you have to want to change. If you don’t have the fire from within to change your life than no one can help you. One of the easiest ways to start to feel clearer, lighter and happier is to change what you are eating. Now, let me say that I am not suggesting that you become a vegan, vegetarian, juice junkie, go paleo or only surviving on twigs for the rest of your life*. What I am guiding you toward is eating whole foods that are not only going to fuel your body, but allow you to appreciate real food again. With all of the changes I’ve suggested in the previous posts about getting your business under control, it makes sense to slowly transition into cleaning up your diet. You will be amazed at the amount of clarity and focus you will have throughout the day once you stop treating your body like a trash can. New levels of energy are going to push through and your going to sleep better than you have in months. Let me caution you by saying this: Just because you defined your schedule, created boundaries and are now on track to eating clean doesn’t means that you can put in one week of effort and then slack off. This is something you will need to work out until it becomes second nature.
Getting Back To Square One With Your Diet
Start Drinking Water – what a concept right? One that so many people over look. I was a 2 liter of soda a day kinda girl. No wonder I piled on the pounds and couldn’t sleep at night. I had claimed for years that water didn’t taste good. One day, I quit drinking soda cold turkey and became a water-holic. On a rare occasion, I will treat myself to a soda and the moment I do, my body feels sluggish, my sleep pattern is effected for days and all of that isn’t worth the few sips of the cola.
Get Walking – it’s quick, easy and free. Take an early morning walk with your dog, friends or your kids. You know those friends or neighbors you never see because you are editing non-stop, now it time to catch up and do a non-work related activity. Silence all of the notifications you get on your phone and soak in the moment and enjoy the fresh air. The emails and texts will still be there when you get back.
What’s On Your Plate – this is where my tough love is going to come in. I am going to keep it real for a minute. You are big, bad ass and awesome enough to run your own business, than you are big, bad ass and awesome enough to control what you put on your plate. What you eat, order and pick up at the grocery store starts with you. If you allow the processed junk food into your house than guess what you are going to eat … junk food! Of course, no one is making you fill the bowl to the top with sugary cereal or throw down a double bacon cheeseburger with a jumbo sized fry. If you truly want to get healthy than you need to be aware of what is going on your plate and into your body.
What’s For Dinner – Plan, Plan and Plan some more. If you find yourself ordering take out 5 nights a week – something needs to change. Two things are happening: you are consuming an unbelievable amount of calories and you are draining your bank account. Think back to when you were a kid, dinners out were a treat. Maybe you went out and celebrated a parents new job or an “A” on a test you had been studying really hard for. Not because mom was “too busy”. How many hours do you spend on Pinterest looking up dinner ideas – yet, you haven’t made a single one for your family. Stop pinning and start cooking!
Once you start to take responsibility for yourself and what you put into your body amazing things are going to happen. Honor yourself by fueling your body and mind with foods that are going to provide you with energy and longevity, not those that weigh you down physically and mentally.
*I completely support vegan, vegetarian, juicing, paleo and clean eating lifestyles and want you to realize that not one lifestyle works for everyone. You will need to do a bit of research to find out what works best for you.