A Healthy Mindset: My Chat with Health Coach, Tori Bolt
In America, we may be told time and again that diet and exercise are key to healthy living, and while that may be true, they aren’t the only factors. You’d probably agree low-stress and adequate sleep are also a part of the equation. Additionally, our mindset is a huge contributor in making healthy choices and achieving a positive relationship with food.
I recently spoke with Tori Bolt, a Health Coach whom I met via the Instagram community, about ways to start and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
I must admit, I wouldn't have encountered Tori if I wasn't a fan of the band NEEDTOBREATHE. I came to know about Tori when she became engaged, and ultimately, married to Seth Bolt, bass player from the band.
I learned bits of Tori over the past several months and couldn't help but admire her positive, encouraging attitude and downright infectious smile. When I learned she was a health coach, I asked to speak with her about fitness, but I got something truly more refreshing then what I'd planned.
Tori may live in South Carolina, but she grew up in Southern California, and went to school in San Diego, so it's no wonder I like her! She studied journalism and currently works in news media. Part of what makes Tori appealing is her inviting and non-intimidating personality. Although we have not met in person, I can tell people are drawn to her. She's inspiring and challenging without being in-your-face.
So I asked Tori a few questions about healthy choices.
How would you coach someone on how often to work out?
I would say 3-5 times a week is ideal, but would focus on working out smarter. While running and jogging is great, you can cut down your time with 15-minute high-intensity workouts that get your heart rate up and into the fat burning zone (think plyometrics, burpees, jumping jacks to push-ups).
It's important to mix it up to keep your muscles confused, otherwise, they begin to expect the same routine and then you plateau. I'd also encourage weight lifting! I’ve found that the “weight lifting makes you bulky” belief to be a myth as it takes so much to get to that level. I’d suggest weekly weight lifting as a great way to burn fat!
How important are healthy food choices in relation to fitness?
Eating is 70-75% of the health-equation and working out is a smaller portion than what many people realize. I recommend eating small, whole-food meals every few hours which include a protein and veggie.
What or who inspires you on your fitness goals?
I think you've got to be careful here. It's great to have friends and people in your life who are like-minded and fitness-minded. My friend Lindsey is one; she has such a good relationship with food, doesn't own a scale or count calories - she just went by how she felt, which was inspiring. Sometimes I think it's better to have people in your life who you know personally be your inspiration and encouragement, rather than fitness models and popular Instagram accounts. These would be people you know have a healthy mindset about fitness and food and can inspire you to make those healthy choices.
And even if it's a blog or Instagram account you're following, make sure you know what they're doing, not just that they are really skinny or have an image you're trying to attain. You don't want to obsess over a certain image or compare yourself, as we know, comparison is the ultimate thief of joy. You really have to learn how to be happy with yourself.
What is your take on body image pressure?
I think society has become a little more forgiving when it comes to size. Many people have gotten fed up with the bullying and are discovering more of those embracing curves and fitness over “being skinny.”
What would you say to those conditioned to reaching a number on a scale?
Focus on how you feel rather than fixating on a number. If you want to track your weight loss progress, use a tape measure to track your inches instead! Another good measure is how your clothes fit; but I wouldn't recommend using a scale. Muscle really does weigh more than fat, it's not just a cop out! There are so many other factors that come into play with weight; water, menstrual cycle, digestion, etc.
You offer a quarterly Fitness Challenge, can you tell us a little bit about this?
Yes! I offer a Fitness Challenge every 3 months. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so the length of the challenge is 24 days, split into 2 phases. The first 10 days is the "Cleanse Phase," followed by a 14-day "Max Phase."
The challenge is each person against themselves; a group of women doing their own challenge and encouraging one another with tips and sharing struggles along the way. During the challenge, I coach via a Facebook group and call the participants to check in and make sure they are on track and getting what they need.
The goal of the challenge is to help people learn healthy, balanced ways to build a lifestyle and break free from yo-yo or crash diets with a healthy mindset and relationship with food. While the challenge is 24 days, you keep moving forward once it ends.
And the best part is it’s free!
You are invited to join the fitness challenge on Tori’s closed Facebook Group. Women of all ages, body types and fitness levels are welcome to join! The next challenge begins Monday, January 2nd, just in time to kick start your health for 2017!
You can request access here to participate in the next challenge!
Tori also utilizes Advocare in her challenge, which is not required, but available. While Advocare may not be a product I personally endorse, you can make the decision for what is best for you and your lifestyle.
Obviously, we are all designed differently, so Tori’s group helps provide a place to learn how to build your awareness and confidence in health-conscious behaviors as well as provide an atmosphere of support and body positivity.
Images courtesy of Anzeo David Photography