When we forget to take things slow, we end up burning ourselves out. Lisa Lewtan crashed and burned with her life. Always on the run and eating unhealthily, she forgets how to take care of herself. Finding no better help with doctors, she took control of her own path to recovery. But the struggle was figuring out how. She then brought her entrepreneurial skills and decided to find healing within herself by discovering how to eat better and exercise more, and, most of all, taking things in stride. Turning over the myth of living life fast to achieve success, she shares the value of how going slow and steady will surely win the race.
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How To Avoid Burnout with Lisa Lewtan
I have another special guest and her name is Lisa Lewtan. She’s a health and lifestyle coach and she’s the Founder of Healthy, Happy and Hip. She’s an award-winning author and the host of Busy, Stressed and Food Obsessed Radio on VoiceAmerica.com, which is named after her book. Using the skills she has developed as a successful technology entrepreneur, Lisa self-hacked her own mind and body to restore her health and go on to feel better than ever. With private coaching, online courses, workshops, and retreats, Lisa helps highly successful, hungry go-getters to slow down, chill out, develop a better relationship with food and stress, look good and feel great. Thanks for joining me.
It’s a pleasure, Terri. Thanks for having me.
You were a technology entrepreneur. What was going on that made you even decide you’ve got to take a look at your own health and well-being?
I started the entrepreneurial thing very young. I was in my early twenties. My boyfriend and I had this crazy idea of starting a tech company, which, back then, was not a cool thing to do. Compared to what it’s like now where people are interested, kids that age. We decided to do this and we worked for years as a bootstrap company. We worked crazy long hours. I was not a healthy eater at the time and was not taking care of myself in any way, shape, or form. After many years of living that crazy, intense way, I crashed and burned. There are many stories out there. I was one of those and I had to figure out what went wrong because doctors didn’t seem to get it. It was a journey for me. That was almost twenty years ago. It took me a long time to figure out why it went wrong and how did I make it right. That’s how I got interested in health.
How did you approach figuring it out? How does one even get to that place of going from, “This is where it went awry,” into, “This is what I need to do?” How did you know those things?
For the first two years, I went to doctor after doctor and they kept prescribing meds. I kept not taking them because I was saying, “Why would I take something if I don’t know what’s wrong with me?” Nobody seemed to be able to tell me what was wrong with me. I finally got to this point of utter despair and I had been depressed. By that point, I had had two out of three of my children and I was struggling to make it through the day even though I was continuing to work and juggle like we, super women, do. I thought, “I’m an entrepreneur. What do I do? I solve problems for a living.”
I thought I’m going to solve this problem and I attacked it like a research project. We didn’t have Google back then, so I had to go to the library and I had to read books. I started reading, interviewing family members in my family about our history, and looking at the prescriptions that doctors had prescribed to see what they were trying to treat because they never told me. I started going, “What’s this anxiety? I don’t have anxiety.” I had never even heard of it.We can get into that place of not taking care of ourselves and it can be very dangerous. Click To Tweet
Little by little, I was able to figure out what had happened to me, which felt like a stroke to me, but in reality, it was this weird combination of exhaustion, anxiety, and ocular migraine, which I never knew I had. It was this weird, bizarre thing. I said, “How am I going to make it right?” We didn’t have all these incredible health coaches and functional doctors around, at least not in my orbit, so I had to do it on my own. I started experimenting and paying attention to my body, which was a radical move for me. I started experimenting with food, sleep, exercise, caffeine, stress, and my thoughts. I became a project for myself and after years of doing this, I started feeling better. I was like, “How am I going to feel great?” and I kept going with it. I went back to school to learn more and I started helping other people. I want to help other people avoid that burnout because it’s so easy to happen. We can get in that place of not taking care of ourselves and it can be very dangerous.
I love the way you’re describing this because when this happened organically, it was something that happened to you and you used your inquisitive nature from being a technology entrepreneur instead, “Let me take a look at this, let me experiment, and let me figure this out.” It’s such a wonderful approach. Let’s say that you’ve got an entrepreneur who is busy, active, and a go-getter having a difficult time. There are lots of stress in their lives. They’re not eating the way they should or maybe their blood pressure’s up. What would you do or say to them? How can you get them to take a look at themselves and begin to make some shifts and changes?
That’s a very realistic situation. What I usually start doing with my clients is we do an overall, “Let’s look at your life.” Everybody thinks about food and exercise but that’s just a tiny piece of it. We look at, “Are you having enough fun in your life? Are you learning new things? Are you feeling financially secure? How are your relationships?” I take a very high-level look at everything. We can set some goals and experiments around that so that it’s not this overwhelming fear like, “I have to change everything.” It’s one thing at a time. Some small little actions can cause big changes in someone’s life. Once you start moving in a positive direction, you have momentum and you’re motivated to keep going with it.
I say a lot of the time, “Slow and steady wins the race.” The pace of the world nowadays, everybody wants to jump into everything, creating more stress both mentally and physically. I love what you’re advocating. If somebody works with you, what kind of things do they work on? What do you do with them that helps them feel and look better? It is that relationship that you need to have with your body, with eating, and with listening to your body. How do you do that?
People come to it from different angles and I like to meet people where they’re at. It’s this new relationship with your body. As women, our relationship has been, “I hate my body.” That’s what we think of when we think of our bodies, which is so sad. Our bodies talk to us. Our bodies are going to tell us what’s going on if we slow down and listen to them. Taking even a few minutes every morning to have some quiet time listening to our bodies, checking in with ourselves, getting to know ourselves in a whole new way, and how can we nourish ourselves in a way, that’s going to sustain us. I’ll ask women a lot, “What do you do to replenish yourself?” They’ll say, “I’ll go get a manicure,” and I’m like, “Is that replenishing or is that a maintenance?”
They’re like, “No, it isn’t.” I’m like, “Yes, it doesn’t at all.” We try to come up with ways like things besides food that we can use to make us feel good and fill out that well because we’re all busy taking care of everybody else. We need to feel nourished in our own way. Every client is different. Everybody is going to have different needs and I like it because it’s a puzzle. I like to figure out, “What’s going to motivate this particular person? What is it that’s going to make the biggest difference for them? How are they going to get the biggest bang for the buck?” We can’t all fit into the same formula. We’re all different people.Some small little actions can cause really big changes in someone's life. Click To Tweet
I love how much there is in listening and tuning into your body. I got very ill years ago now. Because of the nature of my illness and neurological disease, it slowed me down. It stopped me in my tracks, which I wasn’t used to. I realized after a couple of months of pity party that it created some magic for me in getting me connected with my body, learning to listen to my body and be at one with my body. The reason I’m able to do what I do now, in fairly good health even though the disease is still with me, is that I take extraordinary care of myself. Every business owner, every Heartrepreneur needs this. How can our audience connect with you or get in touch with you? Where can they find you? Where do you hang out?
I’m everywhere. The easiest to find me is on my website, which is www.HealthyHappyAndHip.com. They can also find me on Facebook, @HealthyHappyAndHip. I have a coaching group in there too, just run me, Lisa Lewtan. Tell me if you want to come into our coaching club, it’s a nice community where we share tips and all sorts of ways to stay healthy way beyond just food. I offer courses all the time that you can find out on my website about fermenting. What does it feel like to take a break from sugar or to take a break from alcohol or some other foods and lots of other things.
What attracted me to connect with you was Healthy, Happy and Hip. It has been a delight having you. I want to thank you and I wish everybody to be healthy, happy and hip.
- Healthy, Happy and Hip
- Busy, Stressed and Food Obsessed Radio
- Busy, Stressed and Food Obsessed book
- @HealthyHappyAndHip – Facebook
- Lisa Lewtan on Facebook
About Lisa Lewtan
Growing up on white bread sandwiches, Hawaiian Punch, and devil dogs, I was not the picture of health. After school it was a pizza, cupcakes, ice cream, and whatever junk food my friends and I could get our hands on. Even though I was sick all the time and walked around with big dark circles under my eyes, I was skinny and a good student so nobody cared what I ate.
In my 20s I wasn’t skinny anymore. My husband and I worked over 80 hours a week building a financial tech company, and often ate out three meals a day. Many times dinner was a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with two spoons! I was super stressed, anxious, and beyond exhausted, but just kept going and going and going until…
At age 31, in the middle of a successful career and being a mom, I collapsed. Literally.
So began my 20-year quest to figure out the mystery of my health – and how to restore it. I paid attention to how foods made me feel, the importance of sleep and regular exercise, the effects of caffeine, the role of happiness and positive thinking. I gradually discovered what I needed to thrive – and it wasn’t medication or devil dogs. Nor was it shakes, packaged foods, or beating myself up about not being smarter, thinner, or more accomplished.
Now I eat to feel great. I meditate. I listen to my body. I am kind to myself. I walk my walk.
You see, finding happiness, health, and balance isn’t about following someone else’s plan. It is about finding out what truly nourishes YOU.
My journey led to me back to school where I learned how to combine holistic nutrition with my years of personal experimentation and entrepreneurial problem-solving skills. As a certified holistic health coach, I founded Healthy, Happy, and Hip to help type-A go-getters like me regain their health, vitality, and passion for life.
If you are ready to shed the stressed-out, low-energy, brain-fog-filled life that you have and want someone who has been there, walked in your heels, and doesn’t judge you in the least, then together we can do it!
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