Nov 16, 2014

The internal compass.

I posted a blogpost over on my Ironman blog about how I am changing it up a bit this year.

In it I describe my desire to stop defining myself by my physical accomplishments and to start defining myself by my passion for life and my ambition.  There is some similarity in being an Ironman triathlete and being a driven, focused person. It is hard to accomplish the Ironman without purpose, drive and desire to work hard for it.  Some manage, but not many.  And some attempt it but do not accomplish it.

I realize that this same passion and drive is what makes life enjoyable.  It also serves as a reminder that if I am not feeling something, it is best to just move on and not push myself through an unhappy time just for the sake of saying that I did it.

I think that this applies to many things in our lives.  We put ourselves through events without passion or even real desire to work for it, only to say that we did it.

There is no fun in that and honestly no one cares what we do or what we do not do.

In living an authenticlife, we must follow our internal compass.  If it makes us happy and we feel a light inside us when we think about the activity then it is a good thing and the right choice.  If we feel sick, obligated, or tight in our stomachs when we think about the activity or putting time into getting ready for it , then it is not the right thing for us at that moment.

Good things can turn into bad things and vice versa.

When we stop checking in on our internal compass, that is when we find ourselves down a path of unhappy.

So what are you doing today in your life to get on a path to happy?

Jun 26, 2014

USAT Long Course National Championship Race

On June 8th I participated in the USAT Long Course National Championship race at the Grand Rapids Triathlon.

I almost did not even do the race due to life and motivation issues leading up to the final month of training - but I am glad that I did.  Mentally I executed a strong race even with the bike issues that I had.

I ended up 1st in my division (Athena 39&Under) which makes me the 2014 USAT National Champion for that division.  I also placed high enough in my AG (F35-39) that I am on the roll down list (fist position!) to be on Team USA for the 2015 Long Course World Championships being held in Motala Sweden June 25-27th.

Some days it does pay to show up and execute the race you need to in light of any issues that arise.  This goes to show that it is not always about what happens to you - rather it is about HOW you react.

May 13, 2014

National Women's Health Week - Spotlight on Mesothelioma

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Apr 25, 2014

Digging a hole instead of reaching for the stars

On the heels of being accepted into the graduate program at UWS, I realized as I was walking my pups the other morning that holy cow... I am going back to school.  For real, paying a lot of money for it, school.  

Immediately popping into my head is the following: 

Ahhh...  the infamous planner: color coded goodness!
This is how I have made it this far in my educational life.  My planner system has served me well through two degrees already and I honestly do not think that I would have been as on top of things if I did not schedule my time down to nearly a 'T' with the colors to help me see at a glance what is where.  NERD!

So while that worked great in undergrad when school was my J-O-B, and even when I was in my MBA when I had a full-time J-O-B in addition to full time schoolwork.  The only difference now is that I have an awesome full time J-O-B, travel to two states monthly, have two pups that require my attention morning and night and all spare minutes in between, as well as run a home solo while I am in training for an Ironman.

Pretty much my life is nothing like it was in undergrad or MBA school.  I also came to realize that for some odd reason there are still only 24 hours in a day and 7 days per week... so I am not allowed any bonus of time which is quite the bummer.  

If I add this program on top of all of that up there ^^^^^^ I am going to lose it.  As my sensei CBW told me - "there is no reason to dig a hole instead of reaching for the stars".   I am one person with a lot of goals.  I can accomplish them all, just not all at once.

This year I am going to give my all in my training for Ironman #2, and then afterwards, go down to Tennessee and volunteer at Ironman Chattanooga as planned and leave on Monday morning having not signed up to race in 2015.  

I am already taking 11 credits this fall and plan on keeping up around that level for the duration of the program.  I know what will happen to me if I allow myself to be in the negative place where I am studying but feeling guilty for not training, or where I am training and feeling guilty for not studying.  I will dig that hole and not be able to come out.  What is the saying?  Good Grades, social life, enough sleep... choose 2.   

I am choosing school, shorter races, and more social time while I finish this education.  I may even do a fall marathon in 2015 so that I am still active and have my "me' time, my down time from studying.  So much easier training in one sport than three. :-)

 I will do a few sprint series races, and maybe even go for an Olympic race or two.  However my focus needs to be on the real commitments in my life, and Ironman/ will always be there for me.  When I return.. it better watch out!

Reach for the stars, my friends!

Apr 22, 2014

The XYZ and Spring Cleaning

After my interview on Tuesday I heard back pretty quickly from my admissions counselor.  


I will need to complete an Anatomy and Physiology class along with my core Fundamentals of Functional Medicine class this Fall as part of my admissions approval, and I am A-OK with that!  I learned that starting in Spring 2015 you will have to hold a professional / medical degree already in order to even be considered for acceptance into this program, so I am very happy that I made it in.

I have been learning a lot about synchronicity and lately I have been feeling it resonate through different aspects of my life.  My friend Lainey told me last year when I was really struggling with some changes in my life that my body will tell me if I am on the right path because the Universe always answers our call.  Boy was she right!  Ever since I have laid my intentions out and spoke them aloud, things have been lining up for me left and right.  The biggest lesson in all of this is that it is not enough to just pine over dreams in secret.  We must tell them to people and share our goals with the Universe.  

In my Teaching the Hormone Cure course through Dr. Sara Gottfried,  she has asked us to write our XYZ.  My name is X, I help Y by doing Z.  This got me thinking.  Hmmmm...  What exactly is my drive and desire for doing all of this?

My first run XYZ looks something like this:

Hello my name is Jenniferlyn Kryvicky and I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and nutritionist who through a functional lens dives deep into the root causes of my clients chronic and systemic problems with fatigue, hormone imbalance, and digestive issues to create balance, health and wellness that allows them to not only thrive, but to SHINE.  Warning: Side effects may include restored energy, weight loss, life balance, and a general sense of awesome. 

During writing my XYZ I had some other thoughts that came out more like a manifesto or statement of purpose.  In taking the XYZ approach further, I decided to keep a running statement of purpose that is my foundation for doing the work that I seek to do.  And this is what it looks like today.  

There is a great need for Functional Medicine.

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, chronic disease is quickly becoming a large share of the total spending for both government and individuals.  I see firsthand through exposure to different communities that there needs to be a new approach in both the prevention and the management of chronic disease.  The current focus on end-point treatment and symptomatic relief is not working as proven by the rise in health costs over the years.  I believe that the foundation of changing this paradigm will come from a solid understanding of functional medicine and integrative nutrition.  We need to spend more time respecting bioindividualty and look for the root cause of the patient’s chronic health issues allowing for better long-term management and better quality of life.

As Buddha said "If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path."  My purpose is to light the lamps of others. I light lamps by educating and mentoring clients through my wellness company, Shine Total Health and Wellness.  I see a white spot in the health field where patients do not fully understand how integrated their lifestyle and health is, even going beyond nutrition.  This gets worsened by a one size fits all approach to treatment.  My goal is to fill in the white spot.
 I aim to achieve this goal by growing the foundation of my company through continued education and gained competency to better help clients with more complex health concerns get to the true underlying causes of their chronic health issues in order to find the solution that will work for them, as an individual.  Additionally this will allow me to be best prepared to efficiently educate a wider population of people on the prevention of illnesses.  Functional medicine is preventative medicine. 
I started a Wellness Blog for Shine over here, as well as a Facebook page.  Feel free to follow and like these pages!  I will be launching my formal website in June/July of this year.

I am working hard on my goals and a large part of my success t is applying my practice to myself.  I have taken myself on as my first client, which is actually quite exciting.  I am removing my preconceived notions and seeing where I can take this.

Which brings me to Spring Cleaning!  Since it is officially spring, I decided to do some cleaning of my own mainly inside my head and inside my body.

I am lucky in that my house is actually fairly clean year round thanks to a tad bit of OCD and living alone. My big internal spring clean item will be my floors - all the hardwood and the carpets in the bedrooms and living room. Thanks to Otis the potty pug never really being trained well, I have had some accidents to deal with and am working with him on fixing that habit.  Slowly but surely it will be done.

The major overhaul is with my diet.  Ironman training is kicking into full swing and with that comes the return of my Triathlon Tapeworm Jose.  I decided to give whole real foods a try instead of fake sports nutrition and wrote a post on my goals over at The IronSeashell, my training specific blog.

I also have outsourced my grocery shopping and now even my food prep!  Sounds lazy but lets look at my life.  I work full time 40-50+ hours a week, plus Ironman training 10-16 hours a week, plus schooling 5-10 hours a week plus home time and travel for work and splitting my time between FL and MI.  I have very little time for much else without coming at a great personal stress. I get my lunches and dinners made for me and delivered courtesy of Thrive Foods Direct - 100% organic, gluten-free and vegan, and I supplement with fruit and veg from Door to Door Organics or even Amazon for anything esoteric like Nutritional Yeast or the Vitamin Shoppe for my supplements/vitamins. I rarely need to go to the store now and honestly I am spending LESS money outsourcing than if I was to go shopping and meal prep myself.

I was spending upwards of 5-8 hours a weekend in food prep/shopping and while it was nice when I could afford the time, I honestly just am at my limit.

 Like I say in my Sports "Nutrition" post - crap in is crap out in performance, mental acuity and overall wellness.  I have felt huge differences in my mental clarity and motivation as I eat different things.  My thinking is sharper and my overall happiness is better when I consume good clean foods all day long.  I am excited to see how I can perform without the last crutch of sports nutrition.

Shine on!

Apr 15, 2014

Interview day!

Today I have my interview with the Dean of Functional Medicine at The University of Western States.

I am feeling nervous but very excited!  At this point all that stands between me and acceptance into the MSHNFM program is this interview!  I am feeling pretty confident in my application package.  Well really - that application package is ME.

All the independent studies, degrees, certifications, and continual learning about the human body, nutrition, and functional medicine is culminating into this next step.  My new company, Shine Total Health and Wellness, is the first pixel in a much bigger picture.  And all of this is the continuation of the journey to the best possible me, so that I can help others achieve the best possible them.

2014 is going to be such an amazing year!  My 2nd Ironman, returning to graduate school, launching my own business and wellness brand, growing further with my amazing husband, and of course continuing to grow in my position at Continental Corporation.

Mar 30, 2014

Investing in myself.

Over the past few months I have been traveling back and forth between FL and MI as per my new normal life. 
With the worst winter to hit Metro-Detroit in about 35 years upon us, I have welcomed the break every few weeks as it gives me the chance to recharge my batteries and soak up the sunshine and inhale the sea salt infused air.
With that much travel, I have spent a lot of reflection time on myself and my health goals.  Lots of air time and sunshine-fuelled happy tends to lead to self reflection and realization I guess! 

I am an eternal student of life, always reading up on the different parts of overall health and wellness. I have been feeling a pull to learn more and in a more holistic sense, no longer in parts.  I have been called into a new direction as it pertains to how I look at all that I put my body through be it food, exercise,  stress, self care, or sleep. 

Through the past few years I have picked up bits and pieces of ideas from the academic and clinical worlds on so many health topics that it had left me hungry for  much more.

I am an engineer through and through, and by taking a Functional Nutrition lecture series through the Holistic Nutrition Lab in Portland, OR, I have learned about our body's physiological processes as they were put in focus under a lens of science that makes So. Much. Sense.  Combined with my health coaching training program a solid foundation is being formed. 
Ultimately, I do see a need in our health system to provide a safe place for clients to understand lifestyle choices and the resulting impacts on their health in ways they may not even realize are connected and in ways that doctors just do not have the time to outline and explain to their patients.
Even more directly and immediately, I see a need for myself.   Ever since I have been learning about the physiology of our bodies, my lifestyle changes have taken a deeper and more meaningful root.  To hear "eat this not that", or "do this exercise not that" is one thing; To see clearly how those actions impact my body on cellular level makes it more real for me than just generic health advice. 
I have an underlying eating disorder that has plagued me for much of my life.  For the first time I am feeling my disordered eating habits breaking up and with that clarity, I am inherently being drawn to a more stable and normal food relationship.  The impacts of our lifestyle choices on our bodies are outstanding!   

After much research and careful consideration, I have decided to gain an even better understanding of the human body, the human mind,  and the all too often ignored connection between.  I am returning to school!

I am working on some prerequisites and foundational certifications (CPT, CHHC), and will be working on a Master's→ Ph.D program over the next few years as a passion project of sorts - as an investment in my health and my ability to help others make sense of theirs.

I found out last week that I have been accepted into a Doctorate of Science program and a Masters of Science in Holistic Nutrition - this is my Plan B.   My Plan A is the Master of Science program in Nutrition and Functional Medicine with the progression in to a Ph.D in Natural Medicine following.  I should find out by the end of April, early May if I am accepted!
While this will be my 2nd Master's degree (and obviously my first and only Ph.D. *wink*), this will be the first degree that I go into for pure desire of learning and educating - not for a job requirement/advancement purpose.

I am so excited to grow this part of my life, one which has been calling to me over the past few years!

Jan 14, 2014

A funny thing happened on the way to the weekend...

A funny thing happened on the way to this past weekend.  I realized that I miss running.  Not run training, but good old fashion running for the love of lacing up the shoes and getting out of breath out on a trail somewhere.

Heck, I love running.

I am a RUNNER not a triathlete, I told myself in the beginning. I figured that I would always be a runner who just does triathlons.  Not soon after I started in on my tri adventures, I ditched running and fell in love with swimming and cycling.  AH!  Freedom!  So much to do!  I will never get bored!
Yeah.  Until burn out happens.
I had not run (for teh sake of running) in so long I forgot that I liked it.  I paced a half marathon, ran a marathon, the Goofy Challenge and an Ironman in 2011-2012 and hated running.  At the end of my bike leg at Ironman Florida I asked if I could go back out and do it again.  I wasn't really kidding.
I am not a runner, I am a TRIATHLETE.  I must run to finish line, or be an aquacyclist.  And I would be just fine with that honestly.
Only now, after a good break from the act of running with purpose, I have grown to love it again.  I realize that now I am running from a happy place, a place of contentment, not one of obligation.   It is no longer the bane of my existance.  Whew. The next few years would SUCK if I did not find my run mojo again.
So now I am going to be focusing on my running for the next few months, to really break myself of my preconcieved notions of running and build a stronger me. 
I mean afterall at one time I was RunnerGirl. 
RunnerGirl - Same great triathlete taste, now with 300% more run, and 50% less complaining! 

Jan 9, 2014

I found the word.

Ok, well no.  True, bird is the word, but while surfing bird was a great song it is not what I found.

I have been stuck with making some goals for my 2014 season.  I had no problems making them, but I sit back and look at what I have put into my head and think... OMG... can I do that?  Partly because goals are scary, but partly because I know who I am. Or rather, I have a pre-conceived notion of who I am. 

Who is the girl I think I am?  A slow runner.  A slow swimmer.  A powerful cyclist.  Overall a weak racer on long distances.

And while it may be true today, why do I think that is going to be true tomorrow? Or in 6 months?  Or in a year?  Why do I think that I can so easily discredit the training that I have ahead of me?  I mean, certainly if I put in the work as intended I will see the results I desire.  But no, not this girl. 

Because I label myself as slow and weak,  I never give my all to something like training.  I was never sure why I have not seen improvements in all of my years of doing sports, until last night.  Last night, while I was at the gym getting ready for my 5k TT run test (which was OK by the way- 1 point higher than expected woot woot!) I had the extreme pleasure of running "into" my friend, Fraser teammate, and fellow ENer Trish.  After my run I stretched out a lot and then hit the locker room, where I ran into her again.

Through our talking and going over the amazing year she had in 2013, it became very clear what was "wrong" with me.  It is not ability.  It is not will.  It is not determination or that I am lazy. It is not a lack of speed, or a lack of race execution.  It was due to lack of something much greater, more powerful than any of that.


Confidence is what I have been lacking in all these years.  If you read through my blogs leading up to Ironman Florida in 2012, over on my IMFL blog, it wreaks of lacking confidence.  Only after completion of the race do my blogs turn to words of strength and celebration.  Almost a verbal sigh of relief that I actually, against all odds, succeeded. 


So yes I have some steep goals this year, but honestly the biggest of all of them is to have confidence in my ability to execute my training, and to make my training a priority this year.  As Trish said, to live with no regrets.

I am tired of the sufferfests that I put myself through, but those sufferfests will always be there until I change myself and the way I look at training.  Firstly - I need it.  If I am a slow runner it is because quite honestly I do not respect my run training.  It is hard for me and uncomfortable so I give up and wimp out.

My new goal for 2014 is to gain confidence in all that I do, from public speaking to racing an Ironman. I need to start each day with intent and to STOP labelling myself as slow and weak.  This is the year that this girl becomes fierce and confident!  This is my year of awesome.

As a final run down on my 2013 year, I realized that I did more than I thought that I did.


I also decided that I really enjoyed have a blog dedicated to my Iron and endurance goals, but also really like having this blog to catalog the greater journey.  After much thought I closed the IMFL blog and started an off-shoot blog called The Iron Seashell where I will track all of my training and races in more detail, while this blog will serve as the chronicle of my overall lifestyle change to being the healthiest person that I can be.

Head on over and follow The Iron Seashell if you are interested in following my journey to being the best endruance athlete that I can forge.  Click the logo and you will go right there.

So how do you handle self esteem and confidence?  Have you overcome a lack thereof or have you always been confident in yourself and your actions?  Do you have any labels that you impose on yourself that you want to remove this year?