…Lack of Structure is another factor that plays a part in people not being able to sustain their self-care program. We must have structure. For example, in a pack of wolves, you will notice, that every day those wolves walk up to ten hours a day (exercise). Every wolf has a job in that pack (purpose), and every day those wolves hunt (structure). Even if they are not hungry, why? They need that routine to create a sense of safety. On a side note, have you ever seen a wolf in the wild with anxiety? When they know what they are going to do every day, they don’t have to think about what’s next. When we as humans have to think about what we are continually doing, it wastes precious energy. Hence, I always see my most successful CEO’s always eating the same thing or wearing the same type of clothing every day. It’s because every decision they make, takes energy.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kimberly Lou. Kimberly is an integrative Life and Corporate Mentor who coaches top CEOs, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and world-class athletes around the world. She helps clients accelerate and thrive through mental focus, emotional fitness and physical training. In addition to Kimberly’s mentoring programs, she is an accomplished author, and a nationally recognized spokesperson for mental health and wellness. With over two decades of experience and extensive education, Advanced Fitness and Certified Wellness Specialist, Kimberly Lou creates attainable solutions using techniques that work at all fitness and wellness levels. Kimberly Lou has helped doctors create programs addressing mental illness, cognitive disabilities, and major addictions, in addition to, facilitating workshops and support groups for clients struggling with cognitive, mental, emotional, drug, and eating disorders. Kimberly’s program is geared towards men and women looking for more than just standard life-coaching, in order to excel at the maximum level of their ability without burning out. She expands the concept of “fitness” to address personal accountability, mindset, nutrition and physical exercise — a fully cohesive approach to sustainable health and success. She has been featured in top tier media outs including ESPN, MTV News, E Channel, MSNBC, Showtime, HBO, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, Oxygen, Muscular Development, Flex, Muscle and Fitness, American Curves, Physical, and LeMond Du Muscle and more. She is also a published author of three successful books, Nutrition for Your New Age, Hit It and Quit It, and 90 Day Fitness Journal. Additionally, Kimberly Lou hosted a #1 ranked show with over 116,000 listeners, and served as guest host for a very popular, nationally broadcasted, Clear Channel radio show on KBPI 106.7 FM. Her segment, entitled “Happy Endings with Kim,” an upbeat, fun and entertaining look at life, provided health, fitness, and wellness advice. Kimberly Lou works with clients to help strengthen their energy through the integration of mental, emotional and physical fitness. Using exercise as a tool and a metaphor, Kimberly Lou delivers results to her clients in the fastest and healthiest way possible. She identifies and addresses the core issues that help clients determine what rituals need reorganizing to create a lifestyle and body for lifelong wellbeing and success. Kimberly Lou is currently working on her fourth book, Becoming Who You’re Meant To Be, which is due out October 2019.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
I remember weighing over 200lbs. I tried everything to lose it. I worked out 2 hours a day. I tried every fad diet known to man, and I hired trainers who pushed me to extremes and told me, “No pain, no gain.” I couldn’t keep up and eventually became injured, burned out, and felt hopeless. For over five years, I couldn’t step foot into a gym. I cringed every time I drove past one. To me, living a healthy lifestyle equaled pain and too much work. However, the pain of living with multiple eating disorders took over, and I knew I needed to make a change.
I sat quietly and asked myself. What do I want, and how can I achieve it? For me, it was about being mentally, emotionally, and physically fit from the inside out. I wanted to have a great body, but I also wanted to be happy. Over time, I created a sustainable program for myself to help me reach my ultimate goal. Freedom! I realized I had to slow down to go fast. You see, I had already burned my body out. The last thing I needed was kick your ass program and a trainer shamming me, telling me I was too lazy to do the work. I wasn’t lazy. I was exhausted from life.
On my program, I lost over 75 lbs and was happy for the first time in my life. I never made myself wrong. If I messed up my schedule, I would keep going. When I made slow but steady changes to my plan, I began seeing results; I continued and through trial and error; I found what worked for me. Once I had the answers, I had to share them with as many people who would listen, because I knew to keep what I had, I had to give it away. That is why I became a trainer at first. While training, I began to notice that I became more than a trainer to my clients. I began addressing my clients’ belief systems and help them tell a different story about what they believed they deserved. Through my program, I not only helped them achieve a better body; I began assisting them in achieving whatever goals they wanted. To date, I have trained over 10,000 people with amazing results not just in fitness, but in business, life, relationships, through addictions and so much more.
Can you share the most exciting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Every day is exciting. Honestly, I have seen severe cases of mental illness transform right before my eyes. I’ve seen suicidal clients shift and thrive. I have helped clients lose over 100lbs, being able to eliminate all medications, receive promotions, and start dating again. I have seen clients whose doctors said they were terminal and given four months to live, ten years later, still living, happy, and healthy. All it took was a perspective shift and a willingness to do the simple work. I tell people every day, “I get to do this.” I don’t have too, and that is what’s most exciting to me today.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I can certainly say I am an authority, not because of over 200 certifications. Not because of all the courses I have taught or the television shows I have appeared on. I am an authority because I have been through what my clients have been through and probably more. If I can achieve Mental, Emotional, and Physical Fitness, so can you. I remember one of my clients who had been through multiple rehabs ask me, “Can someone like me change? Am I broken?” I said to her, “Oh, sweet-heart. You’re not broken; you are at a breaking point, and before every breakdown, is a breakthrough. You have this, and you can do it.” My beautiful mentee is still sober to this day. Not only is she sober, she is thriving.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I remember Oprah saying the hire up she became the more of a team she needed. By no means am I comparing my self to Oprah. However, I work with over 200 people a week. Not to mention, I have my online empire, my personal life, my friends, community, and most importantly, my daughter, who comes before all of that. I must have a team of people who can help me in all of these areas of my life. Two people, in particular, have meant the world to me and are my beautiful friends. One is the owner of New Method Wellness, DeAnna Crosby, and the other is Aria Johnson. They are always there for me when I need them. I stay connected with them daily, and we see each other weekly to catchup. If weren’t for friends like them, I don’t think I could have made it this far.
Okay, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s essential to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. However, while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
I remember a client saying to me, “Kim I have all the resources to get massages and do self-care and yet I don’t. Why?” My response to her was, “If a deer is being chased by a pack of wolves is he going to stop and get a massage? No! What about sit down and have a meal and be able to connect with his deer family, let alone digest that meal, while he is being attacked? Again, No! All the deer can think about is where is the predator, where are my exits, and how much time do I have to get there? Nothing else. Humans are no different, and they are living in a constant state of survival due to their fast-paced lifestyle. Many are afraid to slow down because they are afraid they will not be able to regain momentum again.
Additionally, many suffer from a negative Belief System. A Belief System is a story that we tell ourselves day in and day out. That belief usually had a qualifying event like; someone rejected us, didn’t pick us for the team, there could have been abuse. Whatever incident happened in childhood made us believe two things. I’m not, and the world is. For example, I’m not lovable, I’m not enough, I’m not capable or qualified, and the world is punishing, scary, not safe. Moreover, we carry these beliefs with us without even knowing it. I call these blind spots, and they keep us stuck. We must address and resolve these belief systems and heal them by focusing on what we want, instead of what we don’t.
Lack of Structure is another factor that plays a part in people not being able to sustain their self-care program. We must have structure. For example, in a pack of wolves, you will notice, that every day those wolves walk up to ten hours a day (exercise). Every wolf has a job in that pack (purpose), and every day those wolves hunt (structure). Even if they are not hungry, why? They need that routine to create a sense of safety. On a side note, have you ever seen a wolf in the wild with anxiety? When they know what they are going to do every day, they don’t have to think about what’s next. When we as humans have to think about what we are continually doing, it wastes precious energy. Hence, I always see my most successful CEO’s always eating the same thing or wearing the same type of clothing every day. It’s because every decision they make, takes energy.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
I remember telling a friend. I needed to slow down. She said to me, “Kim, you don’t need to slow down, you need to become more. I asked her what does that mean? She Said, “You’re a meditator, go figure it out.” Slightly annoyed, I went home and asked myself, ‘What does become more mean? “To me, it wasn’t about time management; it was about energy management. I developed a daily ritual to help me retrain my mental focus, emotional fitness, and physical training. I call it my golden hour of power, because the first hour and the last hour of the day are the most fertile to retrain old habits and it’s worth its weight in gold.
Creating Your Golden Hour Of Power
Step 1. Read 5 Minutes
Step 2. Journal 5 Minutes
Step 3. Meditate 5 Minutes
Step 4. Move My Body 30 Minutes
Step 5. Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods 10 Minutes
Step 1. Wake up and read something inspirational for five minutes. What that does is sets the tone and the direction for the rest of the day. You are telling your brain, “This is what we will be focusing on today.”
Step 2. Journal about what you read for five minutes. Journaling is like signing a contract. The contract is nill and void until someone signs it. When we journal about what we learned about, it sets in stone what you want to create.
Step 3. Meditate/Visualize for five minutes. Some people say, “Kim, how do you meditate?” I keep it simple. Either I contemplate what I just read and perform deep rhythmic breathing, or I sit still and listen to the sounds around me, i.e., the air conditioner, the dog barking outside, the sound of my breath. When I do this, it taps into my central nervous systems and calms down my mind and body.
Step 4. We must move our bodies daily at least 30 and we must breathe. When we move our bodies it allows our lungs to fill up with air and by breathing deeply it allows us to sustain life. In addition, when we do move our bodies our lymphatic fluid that was toxic, will begin to flow like a river again.
Step 5. Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods. Just like we wouldn’t put sugar, caffeine, or alcohol in our gas tank, we also should not place large quantities of these ingredients in our body. Unfortunately, Americans live off these toxic foods and drinks, causing our bodies to age. Now I’m not saying it’s not okay to have a cookie or a piece of cake. What I am saying is make sure that 80% of the food you eat is nutrient-dense. We should also eat proteins to repair muscles and fats to help with hormones and organs. Additionally, fats are an emulsifier. Which means it draws nutrients into our body to help repair, rebuild, and recover.
Do it every day and watch how your life will transform right before your eyes. If you prefer not to do this in the morning, do it at night.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
When you move your body, you breathe deeply. Breathing helps blood become fully oxygenated. Studies have shown that if we do not breathe deeply our bodies go into a hyper-state causing the central nervous system to trigger a hyper-alert state response. This hyperintense state knocks down our immune system, shuts off our muscles, affects our digestive system, and can cause brain fog. Our skin then begins to age quickly due to the stress placed on our bodies. In Short, exercise helps us sustain our vitality and ultimately gives us better overall mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s all connected.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
Maya Fascia Release and Reconstructive Exercises. (approximately 10–15 minutes) Most people begin their workout with cardio. While better than nothing, it’s a waste of time because it takes about 20 minutes of cardio to start burning fat. For the quickest results, perform your workouts first and then, if you can, cardio afterward.
For now, I must emphasize that myofascial release (massage, i.e., foam roller, yoga balls, etc.) and reconstructive exercise (working the smaller muscles to help create a solid foundation for the larger muscles) is the most important thing you can do for your body. It builds stronger, freer muscles, resulting in a more efficient workout. If your muscles are tight and weak, it causes the surrounding tissues to lose strength and become imbalanced, which inevitably causes injury. Myofascial release builds a strong foundation on which a more powerful, vibrant physical experience will be built; without a solid foundation, the house — no matter how impressive the structure — will not stand. Your body is your house.
Strength training builds muscles, it also improves the quality of sleep and prevents you from waking up throughout the evening. Perform exercises like squats, chest press, bicep curls and pushups. Not only will these exercises help strengthen your body, they will help you mentally throughout the day.
Walking outside, riding a recumbent bike, or walking on the treadmill are all very calming exercises to the body that aid in deep breathing. Adding deep breath into your workout routine will calm down the mind allowing it to relax, cause the body to fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
If you’re in a hurry — Combining Weight and Cardio Training (approximately 30 minutes): I have learned that, unless you’re a professional bodybuilder who wants to gain a boatload of weight, you don’t need to push yourself super hard in your workout routine, especially in the beginning.
To save precious energy and time in my workouts, I super-set exercises to cut my workout time in half. If I’m to train my back that day, I will super-set two exercises with back, then immediately grab a jump rope or do something that has to do with cardio, so that I can keep my heart rate up and keep burning. Then I will work an ancillary body part, like biceps or triceps, or perform a core exercise like a plank to allow my heart-rate to come down.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterward. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
Like I mentioned above, Mayo fascia release is key to your sustainability. If your muscles are tight and weak, it causes the surrounding tissues to lose strength and become imbalanced. Myofascial release builds a strong foundation on which a more powerful, vibrant physical experience will result. Sleep is imperative for body recovery. When we slumber, our muscles repair. Also, adding Glutamine may help with muscle recovery as well. Last, you can never go wrong with an Epson Salts bath.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
Nutrition can be a tricky subject. As Hippocrates wisely noted, there are “individual needs” to be considered and understood. I find that many of my clients have tried everything possible. They tell me: “I work out, I meditate, but for some reason, I can’t get my food under control, and I keep going back to my old behaviors. Why? When I see this, I know the body is trying to regulate itself. If it is missing nutrients, it will cause uncontrollable cravings. Because of this, one must eat a balanced meal. For me, that is Paleo. I chose Paleo because my body does not digest grains well.
Additionally, nothing makes me crave more sugar than grains. So I eat as close to nature as possible. Proteins like chicken, beef, turkey, etc. Carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, and fats like coconut oil, olive oil, even grass-fed butters. You don’t have to stay away from fats. Fats are your friend and are an emulsifier. Which means it draws nutrients into our body to help repair, rebuild, and recover. Of course, I allow myself to go off and have fun. However, remember the rule 80% nutrient-dense foods and 20% fun foods.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
There are two people I would love to meet. First Tony Robbins. I have been listening to him since I was 18. I have used many of his techniques in my daily life, and he has been my idle sense them. Michael Jordan, another favorite of mine. Mainly when he played for the Chicago Bulls. His natural talent, as well as his work ethic, have inspired me never to give up.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you for all of these great insights!