Healthy Living with Jilisa Ghareeb: Lose the Hyper Focus

Happy New Year! It is 2023! I swear when I was a kid back in the old 1980’s, I never even dreamed of 2023. It was completely futuristic. I mean Back to the Future 2 only went to 2015 and we were supposed to have flying cars by then. Would we really like those? I do not think I would. I mean we have enough issues driving on the Earth. 36 years ago (when I was 10), this year was in a far-off galaxy, which I think is kind of the same for my 10 year old and the year 2058! That year seems pretty futuristic.

Enough talk about the future, we need to talk about 2023.

A new year.

A new you.

A new beginning.

This is it; the year (fill in the blank) happens!

2023, the year of me.


Yup! I know you have heard all of these and probably a whole lot more. Why? Why do we say these things? Honestly, I believe that we just set ourselves up for failure. We are putting a pressure on ourselves, and we may not even realize it, as we say these things. I did this for years. In the days leading up to January 1st, I would write out resolutions, make lists and repeat mantras. It was always:
I am going to do this starting on the 1st.
I am going to do this every day or three times a week.
I am going to be better.
I am going to do it all perfectly. I have never done anything like this before, I have no training, but I am going to do it just like someone who has been doing it for years.

Talk about setting yourself up for failure before you even get a chance to start.

Focus or Over Focused

I could give you a step by step, a lovely little list of things to do. A way to set goals and make an action plan. I love lists, I love checking things off my lists even more than I love the actual list. I do not believe this is what we need to do this time. Over the last couple of months, I have been thinking about the start of the new year and what I have been doing over the last few years, leading up to the new year. Do you want to know what it is? It has been lamenting about all the things I did not get done. Do you know what that does to me? It puts me in a state of over focus or hyper focus and leads me to start saying the things I mentioned above. Can you see the cycle forming?

Is it wrong to focus on things that will change your life? Absolutely not. I believe though that you can be too focused and then you lose focus. Are you confused yet? Hang with me for a moment. There is nothing wrong at all with being focused. There are times when you need to be, it helps you get things done, like finishing an article (cough, cough) or completing a task at work or your workout. In my opinion (scary words), we tend to hyper focus on things and that is when we lose focus. Let me give you an example from my own life. When I first started working out I had a goal, I wanted to lose weight. I started off working out and making small changes in my diet. I lost 70 pounds and have kept 60 of it off. My goal shifted from losing weight to overall improving my health. I did not realize it back then but looking back I see it. I lost the weight and I became so hyper focused on the workouts, that I was just doing the workouts to do them. It was not about what the workouts were doing and could do for me, it was just about finishing that workout so I could finish that program and move to the next program. I wrote an article a while back about that very thing. Anyway, the focus about improving my health shifted to over focusing on just doing the programs. I lost sight of what I was really trying to obtain and that can backfire on you. Whatever “it” is for you. Keep it in focus, but do not focus so hard on it that you lose sight of what it is going to do for your life. Yes, you want to reach your goals, but it needs to be about your whole life.

Toss the list

We need to try something unconventional, instead of writing resolutions and setting ourselves up for failure. How about we set a goal we want to achieve and make decisions every day that will get us to that goal. Throw out the lists with the mundane tasks of daily life (just so we can check it off) and intentionally make decisions that will improve our lives and get us to our goals. When we let go, things will fall into place. Hyper focusing will lead us to believe that we have failed at a certain point. We have not failed; we are living life. Our brains are powerful and I truly believe that if we think and make decisions based on improving ourselves, we will achieve all the goals we set. It is a crazy beautiful life and we need to love the hyper focus so we can live it.

Making small but impactful changes on a daily basis will lead to big rewards. One small change you can start with is making the decision to still have delicious food in your life!  Try one of my most favorite snacks ever!

Recipe of the month: Nut Butter Cups

(they are good for your brain)

½ cup Coconut Oil
1 tbsp MCT oil (optional)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Beachbody Shakeology or Recover)
¼ cup nut or seed butter of your choice
Sprinkle of Sea salt (optional)

Melt coconut oil in microwave (if the solid kind)
Add in MCT oil and protein powder, mix well
Line muffin tin with liners
Pour enough of the chocolate mix into the liner to fill the bottom
Place in freezer until firm (about 5 mins)
Top with nut or seed butter
Pour remaining chocolate on top to cover
Place back in freezer until firm


If you used a regular size muffin tin, enjoy 2 of these a day.  If you used a mini muffin tin, enjoy 4 of these a day.

Now that we have done something good for our brain, let us do something that is good for our bodies! Try the move of the month and let me know if it helps you.

Move of the month: Standing Hip Carve

This is not as bad as it sounds and it is great for your hip mobility. Which you should be thinking about at any age!

Start by standing with your feet in line with your hips (normal comfortable standing for you). Bring your knee to 90 degrees. Now using your knee, carve a circle toward the back of the room and then bring your foot to the floor, back into the start position. Be sure to use your knee and not your foot to carve the circular motion. If this is a new move for you, use a chair to help stabilize your body. You don’t want to lean, bend or twist your upper body or your stabilizing leg in anyway. To modify the movement, do not bring your knee up to the 90 degree angle, come up to where you are comfortable to do the motion.  Do as many as you can on one side and repeat that many on the other side. You can do this move every day, multiple times throughout the day. It is great after you have been sitting for long periods of time.


As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Starting and navigating a new journey can be intimidating and overwhelming. Working with someone who has been in your shoes is extremely helpful and encouraging. Journeys are better when in the company of others.

Jilisa Ghareeb has been a Beachbody coach for 6 years.  Her favorite part of being involved with fitness and nutrition is watching her clients change and open up a whole new world.  As a coach, she is able to help others by introducing them to a change that is often scary, intimidating, and full of “what ifs” to an encouraging and inspirational lifestyle full of “I cans”. She uses her own story to show others that everything is possible with hard work and determination.  If you’re interested in reaching out to Jilisa for more information you can contact her via email, on Instagram, or Facebook.

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