Updated: Apr 21
As Montana Women, we often think of wild spaces as the outdoors, as we should here under the big sky. But the truth is there may be some wild spaces lurking within your own home. Further, they might be obstructing the path to your best and most empowered self. As a health and fitness coach who helps women daily on their quests for wellness, I am all about taming these wild spaces. Let’s take a closer look:
Wild Space #1: Your Junk-Food Filled Kitchen Cabinets
Performing a kitchen detox is a definite must for those on a quest for wellness. Scour your cupboards to get stocked up with foods that will allow you to flourish and nourish and dump foods that might leave you feeling froggish or doggish.
Stock up on lean meats (organic, grass-fed if possible), fruits, and vegetables (organic if possible). For seasonings, make sure you have pepper, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive on hand. I am a huge fan of dates as a sugar-free alternative to curbing my sweet tooth.
Trash heavily processed foods and foods with added sugar. When reading labels, remember sugar goes by many names: organic cane juice, honey, agave, maple syrup, cane syrup, molasses, maltodextrin, and xanthan gum.
Consider whether you might benefit from going grain-free, or at least gluten-free. New research indicates gluten can affect the blood / brain barrier and contribute to depression, even in people who aren’t considered gluten intolerant, so I personally try to stay away from it.
Spices and seasonings — watch for sugars or silicon dioxide (aka “sand.” Yep, you read that right. Silicon dioxide is often used as an anti-caking agent for spices and is not anything I want in my body).
Beware of foods like protein bars and juice that guise themselves as health foods.
Wild Space #2: Your Willy-Nilly Self-Care Routine
As a personal trainer, I am witness to a lot of willy-nilly self-care routines. We say we are going to eat healthier, exercise, and practice stress reduction; and we mean it. Unfortunately, our nature as women is to nurture the needs of others ahead of our own. I am here to remind you that you can be of better service to your friends and family if you take care of yourself first and foremost.
For exercise, I swear by group fitness classes because the right fitness community will make exercise seem fun and will hold you accountable for sticking to your “me-time.” For readers in Kalispell, Montana, please know that the doors of Levitation Nation Aerial Studio are always open to newcomers.
For nutrition, pick a food prep day to turn your healthy meats, fruits, and vegetables into ready-to-eat salads, soups, and casseroles…whatever. Because if you don’t have healthy food prepared when hunger strikes, I guarantee you will be grabbing for the pre-packaged convenience foods that you will later regret eating.
Get yourself to bed on time. Your future self will thank you.
Wild Space #3: Your Rambling Mind at Bedtime
Speaking of bedtime, you have probably heard that your brain sorts and files memories while you sleep, and that’s just one of the many magical things that happens for your wellness while you are sleeping. While this is no secret, some women (myself included) struggle with getting their minds to shut down, even when it is time to turn in and tune out. My struggles with quality sleep stood between me and my best self for years, but I have learned some tricks to help tame the rambling mind.
If you struggle with falling asleep because your brain won’t shut off, try listening to a podcast (at low volume, with eyes closed)— the more boring, the better.
Keep a pen and paper on the bedstand so that you can jot down anything that comes to mind that you “must remember.” True story: I literally dreamt up this article one night. I awoke determined to remember it, which in turn didn’t let me fall back asleep...almost, until I jot down my dream on my notepad.
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor for other suggestions.
Wild Space #4: Your Out-Of-Date Will
Speaking of things that can keep a woman awake at night, when was the last time you updated your will? If it’s been a minute, don’t fret, but this is something you will want to get on top of. Frankly, your out-of-date is part of a bigger conversation. Are there other unfinished tasks hanging over your head that you been avoiding for weeks, months, or even years? Health podcasters Jesse Chappus and Marni Wasserman from “The Ultimate Health Podcast” call these “open loops,” which take up mental bandwidth because they swirl around in your brain until you close the loop. My solution:
Check out their podcast: https://ultimatehealthpodcast.com/closing-the-loops
Do the work and close your loops.
Tame these wild spaces and you will be well on the pathway to your best self and an extraordinary life.
Article by Mindy Cochran. Mindy is a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health & wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and life coach. Mindy is also the founder of Kalispell’s Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catchphrase “fitness is fun” is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. For more about Mindy, please visit: https://www.levitationnation.org/mindy.