From Broken Bird to Falcon: Health Benefits of Self-Affirming Beliefs with guest Dr. Janeeka Benoit

What is the mission statement for your life? What beliefs about yourself are holding you back? On this episode of Brainy Moms, Dr. Amy Moore and Teri Miller, MS Psy interview Dr. Janeeka Benoit, physician and CEO of MEDFit DO. 

Dr. J shares the importance of recognizing and turning our self-limiting beliefs into self-affirming beliefs, and adopting a wellness mindset that can change the life course of our mental and physical health and that of our children. This is such an inspiring episode where we really dig in to the difference between seeing ourselves as broken birds or falcons.

Read the transcript and show notes for this episode:

From Broken Bird to Falcon: Health Benefits of Self-Affirming Beliefs
with guest Dr. Janeeka Benoit

Dr. Amy Moore:

Hi, and welcome to this episode of Brainy Moms. I’m your host, Dr. Amy Moore here with my lovely co-host, Teri Miller, coming to you today from a very snowy Colorado Springs, Colorado. We are excited to introduce our guest today, Dr. Janeeka Benoit, better known as Dr. J.

Dr. J is a board-certified internal medicine and sports medicine physician. As an osteopathic physician, she’s focused on treating the whole body so people can live more fully, have life transformation from the inside out. Outside of doctoring, she’s the CEO of MedFit DO where she helps busy professional women with family histories of chronic disease like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease eliminate their risk so they can live a life that thrives.

Teri Miller:

So, glad to have you here, Dr. J. Thank you.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Thank you so much for having me.

Teri Miller:

Before we get into all the great information and inspiration that you have for us, tell us a little about your story and how you got to where you are today, sort of the why you got to where you are today as Dr. J?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, it’s been such a wonderful journey. So, I can track back to one vivid day that I had during my second year of residency. And I remember being done with the clinic, and it was a stressful day and I could not wait to get out of there. So, as I sat on my bed with the covers over my head, I was thinking to myself, “You know what? I am much like my patients,” because much like my patients who felt overwhelmed of taking so many pills, I felt overwhelmed of having to prescribe them and refill them, just like them who sometimes didn’t even know why they were on certain pills. I felt like I didn’t know my why, what was my purpose of becoming a doctor when I was only maintaining their health and not helping them find health?

And just like them who sometimes did not feel in control of their health, I did not feel in control of the trajectory of my career. And for me, it was like looking down a dark tunnel with no end. I really did not know what I was going to do after residency, and how I was going to make my impact in the world like I truly wanted to. So, during residency, I had to learn how to adapt to this new rigorous schedule. And initially, I told myself, “Well, you know what? I don’t have time to make exercise a habit. I just don’t have the time.” But then I told myself, “Hey, it just doesn’t make any sense if I’m telling patients to live a healthy lifestyle, I should be doing it too.”

So, I started to incorporate exercise in my routine as a resident and I had to do so in chunks, and I had to make a habit of it so I could be consistent. And once I made a habit out of exercise, I started making a habit out of other things in my life, and that allowed me to really keep my sanity in residency and also felt like I was acting in integrity as well, because not only was I teaching my patients to exercise and eat healthy, but I was doing it for myself.

Teri Miller:

Yeah. That’s so good. Yeah.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah, for sure. And so, I think we’re going to spend some time talking about habits and creating habits, but I want to start by looking at the idea of mindset and becoming aware of our self-limiting beliefs, and talk to us about why that’s important and more about how to identify those?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, that is extremely important, and that’s kind of where I start in someone’s health and wellness journey, because we have so many thoughts, like thousands of thoughts that go through our mind each day, and it’s difficult to capture them all. And there’s times where we have negative thoughts and we have our inner critic, and sometimes we don’t acknowledge that. And by not acknowledging that, we create resistance from living a life that thrives, and that’s when negative emotions tend to set in. And it’s easier to focus on negative emotions than to focus on positive emotions. Positive emotions, that’s more intentionality involved. So, once a negative emotion set in, it can wreak havoc. So, it’s important for us to become intentional about acknowledging our thoughts, those negative thoughts that create those negative emotions. And what I like to advise my clients, patients is to practice first mindfulness. The first part is practicing mindfulness, which is just a mental awareness and just being in the present moment.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

So, it’s just acknowledging your thoughts and accepting it for what it is, not interpreting it, but just accepting it, and even write them down so that you have a record of what is going through your mind. And by having a record of those negative limiting belief, you can then flip them and create positive affirming belief that you can recite to yourself on a regular basis, make that habit. And like I said earlier, this is the intentionality that’s involved in how to develop positive emotions for yourself, because it’s literally what you say to yourself, the things that you’re thinking, because we eventually become what we think. So, it’s important to regulate our thoughts and we have the ability to do that, because our brains have neuroplasticity. So, we have the ability to control our thoughts and therefore, control our emotions and control our behaviors.

Teri Miller:

Yeah.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

So, yeah. So, my main takeaway that we do have the ability to control our thoughts and it’s so vital. It’s really interesting how much of these thoughts become unconscious, because we may have a thought and then we interpret it, right? And we have these unconscious interpretations that happen. So, it’s important to take control of that, and practice mindfulness, acknowledge it, and then not interpret it and then flip it into a positive affirmation and regularly recite that to yourself so that you can take advantage of that neuroplasticity of the brain, and to create positive emotions.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah. In counseling, I have a really hard time convincing counseling clients that they’re in charge of what they think, right. I had one say to me yesterday, “Well, I just don’t know how to stop worrying.” Well, you’re in charge of your brain. Your brain is not going to do it for you. And so, you have to take that first step. You have to be the one that says, “I’m going to think about this differently.”

Teri Miller:

Yeah.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Right. Yeah. Yeah. There’s so much intentionality. And so, what helps in that instance is bringing that client to a positive past experience, because sometimes we tend to forget. Like I said, it’s so easy to focus on what’s not going well, right? So, you kind of have to bring them back and say, “Hey, was there ever an experience that you had where you able to overcome this challenge, or you were able to overcome this?” Or, “What was your best positive experience that you had around the situation?” And when a client talks about that, you’re able to then highlight the strengths, the values and then they’re like, “Oh, wow. Yeah, I did do that.” Because sometimes it’s difficult to tell a client, “Hey, you’re in control.” Because they’re thinking, “I’m not in control.” Right? They’re like, “No. No, I’m not in control.” So, you have to jog them back and have them remember, go down memory lane, and then they will then develop the self awareness like, “Hey, I did that.” And then you also are highlighting, “Hey, that’s what you did.”

Dr. Amy Moore:

Sure.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

And they’re like, “Hey, you’re right.”

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yes. And this is a long term client who has the skills, right? And just forgets to use them, and so we have to go revisit.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yes, a lot of revisiting.

Dr. Amy Moore:

“Here are the skills that you already have. Here’s how you’ve used them in the past.” Right?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yes.

Dr. Amy Moore:

And so, you need to remember and be intentional about using them again.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Teri Miller:

This is such a great topic timely for when this is going to air. This is going to air February 1st, beginning of February. And as moms, I think that what you’re talking about, that mindfulness, right now at this time of year, beginning of February, because what’s happened is we had the holiday break, that’s wonderful and fun and indulgent and exhausting. We are Santa and Mrs. Claus and we’re everything to everybody through the holiday.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

And through the year.

Teri Miller:

Yeah. Yeah. And then New Year’s Eve, New Year’s and it’s all about start fresh, have goals, cast a vision, new life. And so, we have all these goals and intentions, and then school starts back up or maybe childcare, or we are just back into the grind of work and juggling, being a mom and work and career. And suddenly, January’s over and all those goals and visions that we had, if it’s for exercise or healthy eating, we look back and we’re like, “I did that twice.” But beginning of February, if we can go, “Okay, I am not going to…” I love how you said this, Dr. J, you said it in your YouTube video, how to practice self-compassion when starting a new healthy habit. You talked about mindfulness versus over-identification.

Teri Miller:

So, if I, as a mom cannot over-identify with my failures that I failed for 25 days in January to stick to my goals, but you know what? Three days, five days, six days, I did it. And so, can I be mindful? Everything you just said, and Dr. Amy, that you talked about, if we can hold on to that, I did it those few days, and so that means I am an over comer. I am a strong mom. I am a mom that can recover from childbirth. I am a mom that can handle career and loving my kids and I can do this, so that we can take that on. I love what you’re saying. We can do this moms. Let’s focus on the positive. Let’s move forward. Even in February when we’ve had a lot of mess ups, not going to worry about it.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah. Preach Teri.

Teri Miller:

Yeah.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yes. I love it.

Teri Miller:

I’m preaching what you said, Dr. J, I love it. Your YouTube videos are fantastic.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Oh, thank you. I appreciate it. But I also wanted to mention just another part of that self-compassion is also realize there’s a common sense of humanity, right? So, you’re not the only mom that’s going through this, there are other moms that are going through the same thing. And what’s beautiful is that when we get in community with people who share common experiences, it normalizes it and it makes us realize, “Hey, I’m not alone because other people are experiencing the same thing.”

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yes.

Teri Miller:

So good. Yes.

Dr. Amy Moore:

All right.

Teri Miller:

So, I want to ask you about creating those affirming beliefs instead. So, this leads directly into where we’re going for the rest of the year, and this is something that’s important to you, affirming beliefs. How do I move forward as a busy, tired mom?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yes. So, the first part, so prior to creating those affirming beliefs is realizing what those limiting beliefs is and flipping them. So, let’s say you’re a busy mom and you’re like, “Man, I don’t have any time to do anything.” You can make an affirming belief, say, “I can create the time.” Or, “I can make time for things that are priority for me.” Or, “I am a time efficient machine.” You can get creative. You can get really creative. And also, when you focus on the affirming beliefs, your prefrontal cortex will start to then explore possibilities of how you can, for example, create more time. Because what happens if you’re focused on I can’t, right? You focus on that negative belief, you now have limited yourself to other options, right?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Because you’re just focusing on, “This is what I don’t have.” Right? So, if you focus on, “Okay. Well, I can create time.” And it’s just like, “Okay. Well, then how can I create time? How can I do this? Maybe I need a babysitter. Maybe I need an au pair. Maybe I have to cut back on my work schedule so I can be present with my children.” So, there’s always different options. One of my favorite affirmations that I use in the morning is abundance is all around me so I lack nothing, because it’s so easy to think that you have limited options. So, if you think in terms of abundance like, “I lack of nothing. Abundance is all around me.” That now places me in a position to use my creativity to figure out how can I achieve what I want to achieve.

Dr. Amy Moore:

I love that. So, one of the things that I like to say to my clients is begin to turn worry into wonder-

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Love it.

Dr. Amy Moore:

… because worry is the negative emotion, right? But if you can flip that and say, “Well, instead of worrying about this, I wonder what opportunity there is right here.” Or, “I wonder what I could do differently.” Right? And we say to children as we say to parents in how they talk to children, when you tell a child, no, just flat out no, you paralyze them. Okay, they know what they can’t do, but you’re not giving them alternatives, right? So, you always pair a no with a yes, right? “You can’t do this, but here are three alternatives.” And so, it’s like you’re shutting down the reasoning center of your prefrontal cortex, right? You’re shutting it down with nos and with negative emotions, whereas with a positive spin, you’re creating an invitation to think creatively, to think positively, right? And this is not about saying, “I’m going to wear rose colored glasses and everything about life is great.” Right? You’re not saying that, right? You’re saying, “Sure, there’s part of life that sucks, but here’s what I can do.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Teri Miller:

Yeah. What you’re talking about is retraining the brain.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yep.

Teri Miller:

We want our bodies to just do and be what we want them to be, like just do it. I just want the quick fix. And I love that what you’re talking about is, Hey, the first step so often is really, really simple. I’ve got to retrain my brain, because so often I wake up in the morning, and my first thought, I wrote this down on my notes, “Abundance is all around me, so I have all I need.” I love that, because so often, my first thought is, “I am so tired and I have so much to do today.” And I think these negative limiting, exhausted thoughts as a busy mom and I’m going to need to speak them out loud. Me personally, I need to speak it so my ears hear it and my brain can believe it, and then maybe it’ll settle down into my soul. So, that’s what we can do moms.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah.

Teri Miller:

I love it. Abundance is all around me.

Dr. Amy Moore:

All right. So, you touched a little bit about being in community and recognizing that that normalizes your feelings when you realize that other people also are experiencing the same kind of things. So, you mentioned that it’s important to curate your environment to support you in incorporating this change. Talk a little bit more about that.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, once you’ve identified your limiting beliefs, you change them into affirming beliefs. You now place yourself in a position to think creatively and strategically. Now, you have to think about, “All right. Well, do I have the supporting structures in my environment to support me, to perform a lifestyle change?” Whether it be to exercise more or eat more healthy. So, for example, let’s say that you have children and you also have a demanding career and you’re thinking, “Man, how do I even find the time?” You’re so busy at work and work is demanding for you. So, it’s also learning, “Okay. Well, maybe I can learn how to delegate task at work so that I don’t think I have to do everything for myself.”

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

So, it’s also structuring your work environment in a way that, “Okay. Yes, I’m this busy professional, but I also have the ability to create that environment at work where I can delegate task.” And people know as a leader that you’re going to be delegating tasks for them, but if you think that, “Okay, everything is on me. I have to do everything myself.” And you tell yourself, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so busy at work.” Because I hear this often, “I’m so busy at work. Everything’s falls on me.” But does people know that you need help, right?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

So it’s also asking for help because sometimes as women, as moms, we think that… And I’m not a mom, but I know from patient experiences that we think that we have to do everything ourselves, and it’s important to ask help from our environments so that we can be more efficient with our time, so that we can have time for things like our health and our wellness, because that’s all a part of it as well, because not only are you taking the care of your children, but you have to find time to take care of yourself. So, example, at your work environment, delegating task. Also, figuring out what part of day that you’re more efficient or you have more clarity. So, knowing if you’re a morning person, a nighttime person, that helps because you can save tasks that require more brain power or more energy for times of day that you’re more efficient.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

So, it’s actually like going in your schedule and thinking, “What do I have to do today?” Or, “What do I have to do the following day?” And knowing that, “Okay. Well, I’m more efficient and I have more mental clarity in the morning, so let me schedule my workout in for the morning, and I know that it’s set and it’s there, and that is what I’m going to do and that’s what I’m going to stick to.” Obviously, sometimes things come up, so it’s important to be aware of that, and also not judge yourself for things out of being control, especially if you’re a mom, things come up, but it’s setting the intention, setting the intention and creating a schedule of how you’re going to incorporate healthy living as part of your life. So, those are some things that a busy mom can incorporate to make their health a priority amongst all the things that are going on.

Teri Miller:

Yeah. Tell us a little bit, also just the timing that it’s February, we’re over the whole goals of the new year and the new year resolutions, talk to us about casting a wellness vision. You also have a YouTube video about this, and tell our listeners about why that’s important and how to go about that?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, I really love this because children, they’re really good at imagining, right? You have little Johnny who believes he’s a dinosaur and as a mom, you go along with it, the siblings go along with it, little Johnny’s a dinosaur, that’s what he is. And little Johnny really thinks he’s a dinosaur and he’s roaring and crawling on the ground and everyone’s playing into this idea that little Johnny’s a dinosaur, but as adults, we tend to lose that creativity. We tend to lose that imaginative spark that children have. And a wellness vision is really envisioning the best version of yourself. Who does that look like? What does that person look like? What is that person thinking? What does that person feel like?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

It’s kind of like a company has a mission statement, it’s kind of like that. What is your mission statement for your life? And I think it’s so important to be aware of, because that gives us a sense of direction of how we’re living. We’re not just waking up and just going to work, but we actually have an agenda where we’re actually trying to achieve this best version of ourselves. So, an example of a wellness vision can be, “I’m an awesome mom who cares about her three children and is the best role model for them by making my health and wellness a priority.” That’s just an example. Or, “I am an awesome mom and I receive my energy by being a part of community, and teaching my children how to be part of community as well.” So, there are different examples, there’s no really set rule of how to create a wellness vision.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

This something that you can create with a specific coach or just spending quiet time to yourself and thinking about what do you want your life to look like? How do you want to feel if there were no limitations? So, that’s another thing. Don’t think about what is limiting you, because when we think about what is limiting us, that stifles our creativity and stifles our ability to dream. So, that’s actually one of my affirmations, I am limitless. So, I recite that, there are no limitations that you have in your wellness vision. You are just dream and pretending like you’re like little Johnny as a dinosaur, okay? You could be whatever you want.

Dr. Amy Moore:

All right. So, I’m going to share something personal here, because it fits perfect-

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Okay.

Dr. Amy Moore:

… with this idea. So, some of our listeners know that I do suffer from several chronic illnesses, and that’s been a real struggle as an adult to deal with the limiting factors when you do have chronic illnesses. And so, I had a conversation with my husband about four months ago, and it was a turning point in my life with this conversation. And I said to him, “Please stop treating me like a broken bird. I am a falcon.” And so, I adopted this idea that I am a falcon, and I say it all the time. When people who are close to me and know that I have all these limitations put limits on me, I push back and say, “No, I can do this. I am a falcon.” And it has fundamentally changed the way that I face the day by acknowledging, “Yes, I do have several chronic illnesses. I do have to deal with that, but I am strong and capable. I’m a Falcon.”

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yes. Yes. I love that. And you mentioned something so important, because earlier, I was talking about self-limiting beliefs, we also have to be aware of the limiting belief that people put on us-

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yes.

Teri Miller:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

… and realizing that as well, because we can then internalize that. But I recommend to your listeners to follow Dr. Amy and tell yourself that you’re a falcon, and recognize when those limiting beliefs from other people set in, because that can be unconscious. People may not realize that limiting beliefs are being placed on them, right? You start to internalize it. And sometimes it even happens from like as a child. Your mom or your dad may place limiting beliefs on you, and you start to think that that’s real, right? But that’s the brain creating that unconscious interpretation of what someone said to you. So, it’s also important to realize the limiting beliefs that people place on you. So, setting an intention of like who you are, creating that wellness vision for yourself, because when you create that wellness vision for yourself, anybody sets against you, you can say to them, “I’m a falcon.”

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yes.

Teri Miller:

Yeah.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

“That is not true. I am a falcon”

Teri Miller:

Right.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Right.

Teri Miller:

I love it. Yeah.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. That’s why it’s important to know your wellness vision and know who you are, and know your capacity of who you can become.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yes. So, I think it’s super important to say that others place limiting beliefs on us out of a place of love sometimes-

Teri Miller:

Right.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:27:51].

Dr. Amy Moore:

… that it’s not that they’re trying to keep us under their thumb or anything like that. In my case, my husband’s a nurse, and so he looks at me through this medical lens, right? And so, he knows, “Okay, you can’t do that. You can’t be in the sun in the middle of the day.” “Okay. Well then let’s do it at night, because I’m a falcon and falcons can fly at night.” Right?

Teri Miller:

Right. There you go.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Love it.

Dr. Amy Moore:

So, I think it’s important. I don’t want our listeners to think, “Oh, people are being evil by placing limits on us.” Right? A lot of times, that is coming from a place of concern and care, but they don’t realize what that does to us psychologically.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah, for sure.

Teri Miller:

I love what you’re talking about too, Amy, because what came to mind is it also helps us identify… You were touching on this too, Dr. J. It helps us identify our potential and sort of our identity, like this perspective, like I would say, “Okay, I’m a dolphin. I’m a dolphin. I can swim. I’m in community. I can think, I can respond. I can jump and dive.” But maybe I can’t fly and that’s okay, I’m a dolphin. I’m not made to. And so, Amy, like for you, you’re a falcon, you can soar and fly, and you can’t swim and dive down deep. So what? You’re a falcon, you’re not supposed to swim. So, I love that.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

I love that.

Teri Miller:

Yeah. It creates identity. That’s positive instead of, “Oh, that’s a limit and that’s bad.” No, that’s just who you are.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yeah. All right. So, we need to take a quick break and let Teri read a word from our sponsor. And when we come back, Dr. J, I want you to talk about why this is so important as moms to adopt these beliefs and mindsets so that we can be role models for our kids, why that’s so important?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

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Dr. Amy Moore:

And we’re back, talking to Dr. Janeeka Benoit (or Dr. J) about the idea of adopting positive mindsets, getting rid of those self-limiting beliefs, and having a vision of wellness. And so, talk to us a little bit about why that’s so important as moms?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, for me, I help busy professional women which can be busy moms with family histories of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes really eliminate their risk and also eliminate their fear of risk so that they can live a life that thrives. And as you know, some of these illnesses, they can be caused from a genetic cause or more likely from lifestyle factors. And as a mom, it’s extremely important to develop a healthy lifestyle so that your children can then emulate it. And especially, with chronic disease, even though chronic diseases are not seen much in children and adolescents, we are seeing risk factors such as obesity and high insulin levels and high lipid levels that are starting to appear in children, adolescents, and even hypertension.

And so, that’s why it’s so important, because as children, they grow up to become adults. And if you’re a child with these risk factors for chronic disease, and then you grow up to become adult, you’ll have these chronic diseases. So, that’s why it’s so important for moms to really make themselves a priority, because by making themselves a priority, your children will see that, right? And they’ll want to do that for themselves. And that’s only setting them up for success in the future so that they can live a healthy life that is less riskier of having these chronic diseases. So, this is something that I’m really passionate about, because really cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US and also the world.

And there are a lot of risk factors for heart disease like I mentioned, like high cholesterol and diabetes and hypertension, and I harp on this a lot and these are the women that I serve, and by taking control of that, you can emulate that for your children so that they don’t have to go through the same thing. And this is how we change generations for the better. This is how we change the trajectory of generations. This is how you create legacy. And so, the concept is so large, because it’s not just for you, although as a busy mom, it’s important to incorporate this type of lifestyle for your children, it’s then important for your children and then your children’s children and your children’s children’s children. So, the impact spans generations. So, that’s why I’m so passionate about talking about this.

Dr. Amy Moore:

So, one of the things that moms are saying right now is, “Okay. Well, how do I get my kids to do this?”

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Amy Moore:

And so, is it your recommendation that it’s about just immersing your kids in a healthy lifestyle and then by default, they will adopt it themselves? Or do you need to have direct conversations about it or both?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah, I think it’s both, because by performing the behaviors yourself, so by practicing the behaviors yourself, the children will see that. So, for example, I have my goddaughter who bless our heart. So, when I’m with her and I’m at her house and I sleep over, I usually exercise in the morning. So, she’ll wake me up and be like, “Hey, it’s time to exercise.” I’m like, “Girl, I’m still trying to sleep.” It’s really amazing. And now her little brother starts to join in too. I’m like, “Guys, seriously, seriously. Can I pick some [inaudible 00:35:32] first.” But she’ll start to remind me, because she sees me consistently exercise. She’ll have her sneakers ready and on saying, “It’s time to exercise.” Right?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Because children are like sponges… And especially, the younger they are and see you do that, it’s even better, because they’re like sponges and they absorb what they see. So, it’s number one, practicing it for yourself so that they see that and emulate it. And also, structuring their lives in a way that they can get physical activity. So, you can do that by doing play dates or going out on a family walk to walk the dog. Or if it’s a snowy day like it is here in Nashville right now, it could be like an interactive like video games. They have all these fun video games when you’re moving the body, so you’re getting aerobic activity in. So, that’s another way. So, there’s various ways that you can make this just a family-oriented activity as well as do it for yourself. And when you’re doing it for yourself, you’re also teaching your children how to do it too.

Teri Miller:

Yeah. So good. I think the long-term perspective, I think is really good too, because I’m remembering, there were times when my little ones would be crabby with me. Maybe I’m going to the gym, and so they have to go to like the little gym nursery, or I’m bundling them up to go on the stroller, because I’m going to go on a walk or a jog or whatever, and they’re like, “[inaudible 00:37:14], why do you lie?” Just whining and whatever. And with little kids, I think we really, really have to think, “Okay, I am doing this for the long-term perspective,” because there may be several days, short-term reactions that are so frustrating, “I want to go.” “Forget it, forget it.” This is too upsetting for the kids. The kids hate the gym nursery that if we stick with that long-term perspective, long-term perspective, kids are going to get to the point where they’re like, “Whatever. So, I’m going to the gym nursery.” And one year, five months down the road, that’s going to be their perspective, like your godchildren, “Okay, time to exercise.”

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Right.

Teri Miller:

So good.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. They’ll start waking you up to let you know when it’s time to exercise.

Teri Miller:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

Dr. Amy Moore:

Yep. Absolutely. So, talk to our listeners a little bit about how they can work with you and get some personalized strategies?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, the best way to find me is on my Instagram channel, that’s MedFit DO, M-E-D-F-I-T D-O. And there’s a link on my bio. If you click that link, you’ll see a 30-minute discovery call that you can have with me, and we could discuss possible strategies or ways that we can work together.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Okay. And then what do those sessions look like?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. So, in those sessions, I’m trying to distill what your motivations are? What your challenges are? What your expectations are? So, working with a health and wellness coach, because contrary to what a physician does, a coach does not tell you what to do, right? The coach really extracts all the good stuff about you, like your strengths and your values and your virtues, and helps you see them for yourself, because like as we spoke about, it’s so easy for us to stay in a negative mindset, but sometimes someone has to make us aware of it to really find that positive mindset for ourselves. So, that is what I’m doing in the discovery call. And if they want to further work with me, then I have one-on-one coaching that I do provide.

Teri Miller:

Okay.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Okay. What would you like to leave our listeners with?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yeah. This pairs well with the wellness of vision, but it’s identifying what your values are and living in alignment with it. It’s so important to just figure out who you are. It’s really easy to think you should do something because someone’s doing it, or live according to what someone’s expectations are or as a mom, because your grandmother or mother did something you think you should do that too, but it’s identifying for yourself what you value, and how you think a good mom would be for yourself, right? So, you don’t have to feel bad about not doing or doing what someone else did. You are perfectly content because you are living in alignment with your values, and you’re doing what you want to do. And that’s perfectly okay, because it’s what you want to do, not somebody else wants to do.

Teri Miller:

So good. Embracing who we are. Abundance is all around me. I’m so inspired.

Dr. Amy Moore:

I am too. So, look, we are out of time and need to wrap up, but we just want to thank our guests today, Dr. J, for sharing these insights, for encouraging us and our listeners, and really getting inspired up to all be falcons, right?

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Yes.

Teri Miller:

Or dolphins.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Or dolphins, yeah. Or dolphins or gazelles or whatever.

Teri Miller:

I love it.

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

That’s our challenge to you all to pick your vision and the animal, maybe that represent.

Teri Miller:

Bigger spirit animal.

Dr. Amy Moore:

Bigger spirit animal. So, look, if you would like to learn more about Dr. J’s work, you can find her on Instagram and YouTube as @MedFitDO, M-E-D-F-I-T D-O. If you are interested in a one-on-one discovery call with Dr. J, you can schedule that at calendly.com/medfitdo, and that link is also on her Instagram page, as she mentioned. And we’ll put all of those links in the show notes for you all.

So, thank you so much for listening today. If you loved our show, we would be so excited if you would leave us a five-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts. We’re also on YouTube, you can watch us. So, subscribe to our channel there and follow us on social media @thebrainymoms. So, look, until next time, we know that you’re busy moms and we’re busy moms. So, we are out.

Teri Miller:

See ya!

Dr. Janeeka Benoit:

Bye.

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