I’m a Real Person, TOO!!!

I’m going to be real with you today!!

I usually give you some motivation and incentive to get your mind right and your health in order.  This is what I live by and I practice what I preach.

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But I wanted to give you a glimpse of what I also deal with on a regular basis.

Feeling YUCKY!!!  You know what I’m talking about!! Just feeling all tired and bloated and not myself.  Yes, I worked out today and yes, I got in my Shakeology and clean eats.

But I also had a cappuccino (or two) and taste tested my new yummy triple brownie treats (for the kids, of course!)…hence my “YUCKY” feeling mystery solved!!!

da-da- dummmmmmm

There you have it.  Nobody has a perfect life; no matter who they are.  Trust me that the people you look up to the most in body shapes and fitness have days where they get in a bit more than planned or just let it all go.

It happens.  It’s not the end of the world.

Do you know what it is, though?  A wake up call to find out what the heck is going on.  My issues today?  I know it’s my hormones and I’m okay with it.  When I think back to what I used to be like and how I’d go super duper crazy into a sugar and food induced coma…a few bites and a cappuccino (or two, but really who’s counting????) are like awesomeness!!!!

Tomorrow, I know I’ll wake up and get in my workout and hit my meal plan with more gusto since I got the crappy foods out of my system.  What about you?

(note to self: when you are out buying chocolate chips and butter; it’s not going to end up good for you when you are dealing with hormonal issues!…)

Do You Plan Your “Rest Days”?

Rest days.  We’ve heard of them before as they help our bodies repair from the workouts we are doing.

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My question for you today; do you take regular rest days?

No, I’m not talking about a “scheduled in” rest day, like doing yoga or doing a lighter form of activity like long walks.

I’m referring to a day complete with NO planned activity of any kind!! Does this mean you can’t do normal activities that come about; like pulling weeds in your garden, jumping on the trampoline with your kids or fitting in some errands and chores that need to be done?

Of course not!! Do what you need to do but refrain from scheduling a workout or stretch day.  Take the whole darned day off and feel doggone proud of it!

For crying out loud, this is the easy part of your routine!  Isn’t is complete craziness that we once may not have worked out one bit and felt guilty about that fact; and once you become more active (and some of us are more “active” than we should be. OCD, much?), then resting becomes a new “guilty” feeling.

But it shouldn’t be.  It does sound easy (and it really is easy); but it is often neglected.  I hear so many of my clients and friends who fall behind in a program and fit in missed workouts on their rest days.  This only truly counts as a “rest” day (the actual “missed” day) if you did NO physical activity that day. (not for instance, if you decided to take a run or a group exercise class for fun and blew off your normal plan.  This is def NOT a rest day!)   Did you know that rest days are just as important as your workout days?

Yes, you read that correctly!  Here are some reasons why:

The body becomes stronger or fitter by being exposed to stresses.  Once this happens, the body then needs time to repair from those stresses (workouts; training) , which means rest.  The rest days also help to prevent injuries.

Beginners:  If you are new to exercise, it’s important to ease into your program slowly so that your body can adapt.  For example, try to exercise on two consecutive days and then rest completely on the third day.  If you continue to push yourself and skip the rest days, your body will begin to fatigue and you’ll find your energy lagging completely.  

Also, if you are a beginner or even take on a new routine or exercise, you may feel soreness and tightness in the areas worked.  This is the body adapting to the new moves and workouts.  You may experience the following: severe muscle soreness, muscle stiffness, decrease in strength, decrease in skill levels.  This is referred to as “DOMS”; or “delayed onset muscle soreness.  This can take up to 12 hours after your workout to materialize but can last up to a week or more.  There are strategies to help recover in the best ways possible but I won’t go too far off topic today 😉  Good news is that the more you repeat those activities, the less likely you will feel DOMS (or at least not as much as before).

Advanced:  Those of you who are more experienced in fitness and even those who train for events; resting and recovering are equally as important to your body.  There is a term called “Progressive Overload” and is laid out for you here:

• Training is designed progressively to overload body systems and fuel stores
• If the training stress is insufficient to overload the body’s capabilities, no adaptations will occur.
• If the workload is too great (progressed too quickly/performed too often without adequate rest), then fatigue follows and subsequent performance will be reduced.
• Work alone is not enough to produce the best results; you need time to adapt to training stress.
• To encourage adaptation to training, it is important to plan recovery activities that reduce residual fatigue. 
• The sooner you recover from fatigue, and the fresher you are when you undertake a training session, the better the chance of improving.

Plan your training carefully, include rest days where you let you’re body recover from the stress and begin to adapt to the training. Try thinking ahead to the race/event date, plan different sessions for each week. Maybe do a couple of weeks of more intensive and hard sessions, but follow that with an ‘easy week’ where you’re body can adapt to all the hard training you’ve been doing. Periodization…? (excerpt taken from “Fitness Friends” UK)

So, how do we utilize the rest in the best possible way?  We don’t want to interfere with the hard work we are doing in our exercise programs, so it’s critical to follow the following rest strategies as frequently as you follow your workout programs.

*Sleep.  Do you sleep at least 8 solid hours each night?  If not, find ways to add more sleep to your schedule.  In our societies, as lives become increasingly more busy, we neglect sleep in lieu of finding extra time for more activities.  Stop doing this.  Active rest is a good practice to adopt too.  Read, meditate or listen to soothing music can do wonders for your stress levels.

*Hydrating and Nutrition.   It is most important to replace fluids after exercise and to replenish energy stores by eating the right foods at the right time.

*Cool downs and Stretch.  Do you recover and cool down following your workout; or do you just stop and leave?  I find that too many of my clients have fessed up to dropping the cool down and stretches after their workouts; for time issues.  They felt that this wasn’t as critical to their bodies changes as the actual workouts.  Wrong!!  Think for a moment of all the tightening in your muscles from the contractions made through exercise and how will those same muscles lengthen again and not be at risk of injury?  YES!! Stretching is the right answer!!

*Massages.  I admit, this is my absolute favorite luxury that makes me feel better and my body work more effectively after?  It warms and stretches soft tissue, increases flexibility, removes microtrauma/knots/adhesions, increases blood flow, enhances the oxygen and nutrient delivery to fatigued muscles and helps to improve mood and enhance relaxation.

*Cold baths.  This, I admit, I have never attempted.  I’ve heard horror stories regarding the practice but also how helpful and amazing it helps afterward.  I trained for my first ever full marathon this past year and would have been a good candidate for this practice at that time.  But I was too scared.  The idea is to plunge your body (cuz you can’t move into it slowly!) into a bath of icy cold water and this will cause the blood vessels to constrict and help remove lactic acids.  Once you get out of the bath, (the only part I actually would look forward to here) the capillaries dilate and the “new” blood flows back into the muscles. This brings oxygen to help the new cells function.

There you have it.  Rest days are non-negotiable and should be planned into each and every week you are working out.  I like to coincide my rest days on my Sundays; as they are family and days spent together.  You can choose any day of the week but don’t skip it ever ever ever!!

Weight Loss Tips

Are you waiting for the right time and the perfect program to help you get serious about losing weight and getting into shape?I have a sad reality for you; there will never come a day for these to become true.  You are responsible for getting started and creating the environment and structure to succeed.

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Nobody else can do this for you.

No amount of money will make you healthy and thinner.

Although, you can learn as much as possible in order to succeed; based on other people’s results and successes and that of proven studies.  The “secret” for you is all in the trial and error for your life and your body.  We are all created with different challenges, body types, metabolisms, hereditary background, habits, and more.  What worked for your favorite celebrity doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.

But how will you know?

By trying it out, of course!  If something doesn’t work as effectively for you; you cross that off your list and move to the next alternative.  Failure doesn’t mean you stop and sulk.  It means you learn from what didn’t work and apply that to the next trial.  Failure is success.  Success comes from failure.

 

So where do you start?

I have some weight loss tips that I share with my clients and use for myself that will help you get started.  Here they are:

1.  Eat “bulk” foods to slim down.  Choosing bulkier foods such as fruits, veggies, soups and salads will obviously fill you up without adding lots of extra calories.  These foods are filled with fiber and water as opposed to sugar-rich and calorie dense choices.  Studies have shown that our hunger tends to be satisfied by eating a certain volume of food (4-5 pounds per day) rather than the amount of calories per meal.  Eating more bulky foods will help curb your hunger and help you lose weight faster.

2.  Smarter Snacking.  When you start a new weight loss plan, cravings can kill your results immediately.  Right?  When you are craving fat-rich or calorie-rich foods, try and find a lower calorie food to pair it with.  For example, when you crave potato chips, eat it with healthy, fresh salsa.  This is a low fat alternative and will help to fill you up.  The good news is, as your body gets accustomed to eating nutritious foods, your body will be satisfied and your sugar cravings will diminish.  This is extremely crucial to long term weight loss.

3.  Eat Breakfast HOT!  Hot cooked cereals, such as oatmeal, have only a fraction of the calories that dried cereals have.  Hot cereal packs around 300 calories per pound; and dry cereals can contain between 1,400 to 2,000 calories per pound!! Quite a difference, wouldn’t you say?  Hot cereal is also more filling and can be a nutritious start to your day.

4.  Eat Your Salad First!  Studies have found that people who eat veggies first (before eating their main course), ate fewer calories overall, than those who did not eat a first-course salad.  The secret is to also make sure to limit your salad dressing calories and choosing lower fat/lower calorie options for best results.  Rule of thumb; more creamy = more calories and fattening!

5.  Don’t Drink Your Calories.  Calories from juices, sodas and alcohol are a lot more fattening and not at all filling.  You won’t believe how many calories you can drink before you even comprehend them.  Eat your calories instead and stick to lemon-infused water and club sodas as your choice of drinks.  Surprise fact:  The calories in an 8-oz glass of orange juice is equivalent to eating 4 oranges.

6.  Choose Pastas Instead of Pizzas.  Pizza dough is quite dense in calories and can contain around 1,250 calories per pound.  This doesn’t even include the cheese, sauces or other toppings.  Pasta is a better option when choosing Italian foods.  A typical pasta dish, including the sauce and veggies will take you down to about 600-700 calories per pound.

7.  Eat More Veggies!! When dining out, always ask for extra veggies.  This is such a great strategy for weight loss since it will help you fill up on the veggies instead of the dangerous bread basket and butter (or other unhealthy options) that are usually placed on the table when you are hungry.  Ask to skip the bread basket so you won’t be tempted to have “just one slice”.

8.  Exercise Every Day.  Studies have shown that those who are committed to daily physical exercise are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.  If you burn at least 300 extra calories each day (equal to a 3 mile walk) and don’t add more calories to your existing diet, you could lose 30 pounds per year!!! Easy and good for you. 🙂

9.  Take The Furthest Parking Space.  Every step counts in your success.  Stop stressing about finding the closest spot in the parking lot and just park where nobody cares to anyway.  Same thing applies to taking the stairs over the elevator or escalator.  Spend as little as 10 minutes each day walking up and down stairs and you could lose as much as 10 pounds by the end of the year.

10.  Pump Iron!! Weight lifting is crucial to your success.  It not only burns calories but will increase your metabolism over time.  This means your body will burn energy at a faster rate and will not put fat on as quickly.  Weight bearing exercises will also help to maintain and increase bone density; which is super important in preventing osteoporosis!  Find at least 15 minutes each day to perform strength training work.

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These tips and more can be yours’ by signing up for one of my online support groups.  For every new challenger who signs up through me, I will send out a FREE E-book regarding weight loss, extra workouts, tips for traveling and vacations, and more.

Are you ready to succeed now?

What Are Your Excuses?????

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An invitation to start on your goals?

A “perfect day” “perfect time” “perfect everything” to happen first?

Any of these or any that you come up with later, will never happen.

The choice to get started on your goals starts with the simple decision to start….

 

NOW!!!

 

Maybe I sound like an overly hyped up self-help book.

Let me tell you a bit about what has prompted this topic today.

I’m away from home at the moment.

Far away.

Like as far away from my previous home as possible.  With the kids.  At my sister’s house. With my other sister and her family.

Need I say more?

It’s a bit insane, to say the least.  Then add in at least 2 or 3 kids a piece and you have some moments of complete chaos.

Oh sure, I could easily tell myself that this is just too hectic of a time to get in my workouts.  Cuz, honestly, where do I even do them?

And I could blame the fact that I’m not always the one cooking the meals on not being able to eat clean and stay on track along the way.

But I chose to NOT do any of these negative, sabotage-fueled practices.

I choose to succeed NO MATTER WHAT!

What?  But…but…but…

Yes, I said it.  I decided to commit and I will succeed!!  Here’s a brief day in my life for the past 10 days:

Wake up early (like 5 or 6 am cuz that’s how my sis does it!! OMG)…

Change into my exercise clothes before my brain realizes what is going on..(I know this is said in a joking style but I’m mostly serious)

Put my current fitness DVD into my laptop drive (currently, I’m doing Focus T25 which is helpful since the equipment is either nada or close to nada)

and start my workout.

Granted, it’s still dark in the room cuz hubby and youngest son are still asleep in this guest room (not really a “guest” room per se, but my sister’s room) but I warned them the night before and they are used to my practices at this point…

The space I work out in?  It’s a tiny little section of the bedroom and I have to be careful when turning to not fall over my suitcases on the ground; bump into the bedpost or hit my head on the corner of the wall next to me, but I do it.

And there’s also the matter of the door closed just behind me…praying that everyone on the outside of the door realizes by the morning music and Shaun T’s voice that they would be better off not opening the door until I’m good and ready to leave…

Anyway, all these obstacles aside, I get it done.  It’s 25 minutes, so time is on my side.   But guess what?  Do you know how I feel when Shaun yells “time”?

AWESOME!!!!

I actually smile and feel like a winner as I’m stretching with Shaun (cuz you should NEVER EVER EVER miss your stretch) and my day is always better for it.

Now, tell me again, what are your excuses???????

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