Are you getting the energy you need to workout?

Most of us, when starting an exercise program, are desperate to either lose weight, gain energy/muscle and/or look better.  Can I ask you what you eat before a workout?  If you are like most folks, probably little or close to nothing.  It makes sense, right?  Here you are, trying to lose weight and by eating too much…you may be risking weight gain!  WRONG!!

The correct answer is, you’re just ruining your chances at having a great workout and you are slowing your metabolism at the same time…which is completely opposite of what you are trying to accomplish! Would you dream of driving an hour or so without any gas in the car?  Nope.  Do you feel great on days you don’t eat enough?  Nope.  So, why would you dream of starting a workout without “fueling” your body with the proper foods?  By not eating or not eating enough, you risk “bonking” during your workout.  If you’ve ever felt this sensation before; I’m guessing you don’t want to go there again.  It’s awful.  You feel sick, you feel like you can’t go any further, you want to quit, your body hurts, etc. 

How about reversing this problem by eating first?  If you do an early morning workout and don’t have the time to eat a good breakfast and let it digest first, then grab something light.  Make sure it’s about 300 calories or less and it is “carb” based.  Bananas are a great choice, so is a light granola bar.  Just make sure you keep it to 300 calories if you are planning to work out within 5 minutes to an hour later.  If you have more time; say 2 hours or so, then you can enjoy some extra calories to get you through.  For this time period, choose 600 calories or less.  Don’t eat too much less though, if you eat the 300 calorie snack, your body will not have enough fuel come 2 hours later.  Plan ahead of time.  Take a light snack with you.  What are some of your favorite choices?  Practice choosing different items and see how they help or hinder your workouts.  The idea is to practice different foods and find the best choice for you at the proper time intervals.

Once you are a pro at eating prior to your workout, follow this tip I read on “active.com”.  Your workout is not complete, until you’ve eaten after your exercise to re-fuel.

It’s not only about eating before your workout, but afterward too.  Your body is “begging” for the proper nutrition following a workout; grueling or not.  I recommend reading up on some general food ideas and start practicing right away.  You’ll find yourself properly fueled; and you will notice a difference in the quality of your workouts!  Also, make sure to hydrate; before, during and after your workouts.  Let me know how this works for you!

"One of those days"

Today, I felt it.  I was so ready to just let me workout pass me by.  My hip flexors are tight; I’m tired from a lack of sleep and I have so much to get done today…maybe I can just skip my workout?  Who’s gonna know?

I AM!!!  This type of stinkin’ thinking gets us into so much trouble and it all starts with “one of those days”.  Have you ever done this?  You wake up in the morning with a billion and five things to get done, you’re overscheduled, tired and a bit cranky, to be quite honest!  You look at  your calendar and figure, what the heck, I’ll just skip today’s workout and get back on it tomorrow.  But tomorrow turns into another “tomorrow”; because since one day has been passed on, what harm is there in another?  Then another, and another, etc…

Don’t let this pattern happen to you.  Just get the workout done as soon as  you can, for crying out loud!  Honestly, you will feel the energy in your body increase and your happy mood will overshadow the crankiness because you were worth it to work out this amazing day! 

I looked at my Insanity program and realized I had to do Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs back to back today.  What???  But I don’t wanna!!  Well, I kicked and screamed a bit (mostly in my mind) and then set myself out to complete the day’s challenge.  The most amazing thing happened afterward, it was DONE!!  I could go on with my day with a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders!  I am better than the procrastination that builds up.  I am worth the extra 30-60 minutes it takes to get my sweat on!  I am an example to my children and others in my community. 

If it will help you to continue, become an “example” for yourself!  There are so many ways to do this; become a Coach through Beachbody (they have so many tools for you to succeed!), become a group fitness instructor, start a workout group in your neighborhood, or come up with your own ideas.  Let me tell you the gratitude you will receive from helping others is worth more than anything you can ever purchase!  It also will help to keep you motivated on your goals.  If you have reached your milestone, start a new one!  Never stop challenging yourself; both mentally and physically.  Never stop moving, never give up.  Maybe you need to slow down a bit at times to stay above water but don’t ever give up entirely.

If today is just “one of those days”, what are you doing to push past the excuses?  Make today your day to succeed and live!!!

Are you up to the task of a 10 day slim down challenge?  I heard that only 5% of Americans exercise regularly on any given day!  What??  It’s no wonder our country is in such trouble with obesity and sedentary lifestyles!  What will you do to change these statistics?  It takes you to change and to inspire someone else in your life to do the same.  Are you up to the task?

So, I am throwing the challenge out to you now!  If you live in the So Cal. area; I will be putting together a meeting to discuss the guidelines and what you need to know before we begin!  If you’re interested, please send me a message today.  This will be based on your fitness level and you will be following a personal meal plan.  Not a “one size fits all” meal plan; one made specifically for you!  We will also plan to meet for a few group workouts to help keep you going and inspired. 

Tonight begins a brand new season of “Biggest Loser”.  I am in awe of the contestants on the show.  The workouts they are working through are completely grueling; and we only see some of it!  The foods they eat are a complete change for what they are used to and talk about a reality check!  If these individuals can stand to push through in front of America watching, what is stopping you?  Really?  I want you to watch the show; let me know what you think when you see these people and what they are putting their bodies through…most of them, for the very first time!  I know, I know, you have bad knees, a busy schedule, your back aches, you sweat too much….etc, etc.  I don’t care!  I really don’t!  You can get clearance from a doctor and begin on a specific program.  I wouldn’t dare to tell a complete beginner to start the Insanity or P90X programs; and I wouldn’t tell you to do what I do!  Just do something!!!  For your sake and the sake of your family, let’s get started today.  Not tomorrow, not Monday and definitely not next week or month!!!  TODAY!  Stay tuned for the details to come after this weekend…

My First 1/2 Marathon!

I have to say, all of my running training really paid off in the end!  I had signed up to run a 1/2 marathon this past weekend; the first ever for me!  I’ve completed both a 5k and a 10k but was hesitant to try the 1/2 marathon.  I have never been much of a “runner” and really don’t like to run, in general!

It all started in July of this year.  I downloaded an app to my iphone and began to follow the daily running plans.  It consisted of 20-30 minute runs in the first few weeks; adding in a longer run once each week.  I noticed my time per mile would decrease; which is what my intentions were!  I have always been a “10 minute mile” person.  My goal was to finish the 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours; this meant I had to cut my time per mile down by almost a full minute!  Not an easy task, if you have always despised running!

Regardless of my negativity to running; I continued to follow the daily plans.  I never skipped a day; this was a goal I wouldn’t let beat me.  Slowly, over time, I began to see that my time per mile was decreasing.  Instead of the 10 minute or just under miles, I was now hitting 9:40-9:30 mile average!  How exhilerating!! I wasn’t even feeling that bad, either!

What have you done recently to push yourself out of your comfort zones?  We all are guilty of staying in these “ruts” of doing the same things over and over again.  The problem is, we get bored and our bodies become “bored” or more efficient at the tasks.  By becoming more efficient, you stop having as many results.  You then may notice that you aren’t losing as much as before or even gaining a little.  You then may grumble that it just “doesn’t work” to workout regularly.  What’s the point of “busting your butt” when you don’t see the results anymore?  So, you stop altogether.  Does this pattern sound familiar?  It doesn’t have to be like this!

Find something you absolutely love to do.  There are so many options these days, it’s really pointless to say that you can’t find anything you like to do!  There’s dancing classes, strength classes, running or walking groups, video programs (P90X, anyone?), swim classes, walking your dog, etc.  Once you narrow down the type of activity that you enjoy, schedule it into your weekly routine at least 3-5 days for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.  The goal is to feel like you are working at a level 5-8 on a scale of 1-10 of exertion.  It shouldn’t be “easy”.  You won’t get anywhere staying in this zone.  I say, get it done quickly by ramping up your intensity for most of the workout!  Who has the time to waste these days, anyway?  After completing this type of program for about a month, change it up altogether.  You can choose another activity or just add more intensity to what you are already doing.  For example, if you choose to walk and are walking fast enough to exert your intensity to a “7” for a month then notice you feel stronger and it isn’t as hard anymore.  What do you do?  How about adding in some hills?  How about speed plays?  You can walk/jog for about a minute and then slow down for a minute and repeat for the alloted time.

There are many options.  Just don’t give up altogether.  I continued with my training and before I knew it, the race was here.  I planned out to stop for water at each of the water stations and at about 3 of the stations, I also drank some Powerade.  At the hour mark, I noticed my body started to fatigue.  I was carrying a packet of “Gu” for this reason and gulped it down while maintaining my run pace.  This really helped my energy continue!  I was caught up in the people cheering us on at the sidelines.  I felt a comraderie with my fellow runners and the thrill of running on the field at Angels Stadium was the ultimate high.

The most important thing I learned was that no matter how negative I feel about a certain task, event or even person, once I learn more about it/them, I don’t fear it as much!  Step out of your comfort zones!  Have some fun in your life!  Excitement breeds more fun!  I’ve now decided to follow through and run the full marathon next year.  This is something I thought never would happen for me. 

You can do something today!  What seems to be holding you back?  What are some things that bring you fear or discomfort?  Fight back; learn more about it and try to experience it in some small way.  Who knows; one day, you too will be feeling the same exhileration to continue on in spite of your fears!  Celebrate your accomplishments and don’t ever stop “trying”!