Finding Time for Fitness

It’s amazing how much more efficient we can get with technology and multi-tasking in our lives; and yet we seem to have less time than ever. What is that about? I find that the better I get at organizing and getting things done; the more I actually do and less time is left after all has been said and done.

And it’s not just ME, I am hearing this common issue from so many women these days. We are so busy taking care of everyone else that we tend to overlook our needs and goals. Then one day, we “wake up” and wonder what the heck happened and why are we feeling so neglected and out of touch with ourselves?

There is nothing wrong with setting some time aside to take care of what we really want to do. And it it should actually be a NON-NEGOTIABLE practice to take care of our health and fitness. If we don’t, who will? It’s easy to overlook the fact of eating the freshest and most natural foods; and getting in some daily activity to help our goals and bodies run their best and stay strong and happy along the journey.

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But who has time for long workouts these days? The days seem to start off with a bang the moment we drag ourselves out of bed and don’t slow down or stop until we fall into bed, completely exhausted.

But what will that do for us in 10, 20, 30 years from now? What are the long term effects of running on empty and not taking the time to keep ourselves humming along through these years? They will pass either way; isn’t it a better idea to take hold of what you can do NOW instead of that elusive time called “ONE DAY”??

I know there are no shortcuts to getting fit and being healthy. It takes proper attention and the best care. To get a lean and toned body, you need to be consistent and willing to do the work that makes the changes. But what do we do about those times when life gets hectic, (like most of the time?), when the “to-do” lists begin to pile up and all of a sudden you realize that you’ve missed out on another entire week of getting started. Trust me, we all have been there at one time or another. I can definitely relate. Which is why I’m going to share some simple tips to start right now and add into your daily routine, that will help start you and keep you on track to reaching your goals.

Short on time during your day, too? Here you go! 😉

1. All you need is “10 minutes”…
If the idea of heading to the gym or completing an hour long workout is not going to work, consider doing 10 minute fitness bursts throughout your day. You know you can find a spare 10 minutes, especially during your lunch time break. I find that it’s really amazing how many calories you can rack up in a short amount of time if done right. In order to really torch some calories, you need to get your heart rate up. Consider doing HIIT type workouts…which stands for “HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING”. So give it just 10 minutes but give it all that you’ve got. If you need an idea, here is a short workout for you to try now..

2. Let’s get “sneaky” about some extra cardio…
You don’t need to go for an hour run to get cardio into your day. Look at ways you can add small amounts of cardio in, that will add up over time. Park your car further away in the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and get up and walk around when you are talking on your phone. These are all small changes you can add into your daily routine, so that although they may not feel like much, they are a great way to burn more calories, without committing to hours on that boring treadmill.

3. Do super sets…
One of my favorite and most effective ways to get the most out of your workouts, is to start adding in supersets with your weight training. This is one training technique done in many of our workouts with Beachbody and I’ve noticed that Sagi def adds it throughout his Body Beast plan. Not sure how to do a superset? You simply pick a muscle group that you want to work on, and then do a few different exercises for that muscle group, with little or no rest in between.

For example, if you want to work your legs, you could start with deadlifts, weighted squats and dumbbell walking lunges. Once you have gone through one round of exercises, repeat it a few more times. Not only do supersets cut your workout time down, they also keep the intensity levels high which help you to burn your calories and fat from your body.

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For a full fitness and nutrition program that can help you achieve the body of your dreams, start with some simple goal setting so I can send you some info regarding my next online fitness challenge. Sign up HERE.

All levels are welcome and encouraged. This is not a “quick fix”; it’s about learning lifestyle behaviors and working around common issues that can keep us from achieving our biggest goals and dreams. They truly will change your life.

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Feeling the Fear; and Loving it!!!

Change can be scary, it can be uncertain and it can be paralyzing at times. What’s the saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway?”

How often has this rang true in your life? I know that it’s been almost a constant and some of the decisions were my own; but many were just where God wanted me to go.

Fear is something we all experience. You may look at someone who is very successful and think they are completely fearless, but I guarantee you they have their own share of fear.

I have fear all the time. What if I fail? What will someone think of me? What if I’m not good enough? The past few years were full of fears and experiences that were not guaranteed to turn out the way I wanted. In fact, many of the experiences didn’t go how I would have chosen; but I have faith that God lead me exactly where I needed to be and where I am today. How can anyone argue with that?

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I competed in my first fitness competition and received many negative remarks that I went into it as an “un-Godly” woman and that really shook my life. I had to question my motives and if I was truly looking at it for my ego or something else. And you know what? Once I did it, it felt amazing.   I then decided to run my very first marathon…that’s 26.2 miles, in case you weren’t paying attention! That’s a LOT of miles for someone who doesn’t even enjoy running. True story.  But I did it. And the feeling of accomplishment overrode all of the sacrifices I had made to reach both of these achievements. Our family sold everything and moved overseas to another country. Talk about fear!!! It was scary, it was hard, it was awesome and it was ultimately a blessing.

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My whole life is full of blessings. Some were tough to go through but what came out later was something I could never have accomplished or experienced without it.

 

This year, I have taken on another huge and super scary goal. You know the kind of goals that make you a little weak in the knees and kind of wanting to throw up?

Ya, that’s the type of goal I set for this year. I don’t believe if I hadn’t gone through all the challenges before, that I would even consider working towards this type of commitment. Whatever brings you passion and yet keeps your top priorities in place, is the key to your success and happiness.

 

A key difference between being successful and not, is either letting the fear stop you from reaching your goals or feeling the fear and going for it anyway. The moment we can learn to embrace fear then we open ourselves up to so many opportunities. The moment you let fear take hold and stop you from doing things, then you shut yourself off from reaching your true potential.

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What will this year bring? Stay tuned….I’m just getting warmed up!

Who Wants ABS? (or maybe I should just ask who doesn’t to weed out the non-committed folks!) :)

IMG_0953This is for all the beautiful people who have been dreaming and wishing and hoping to one day have a sexy midsection! Is that YOU?? I am pretty sure it’s most of the population! LOL

When it comes to creating incredible abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard midsection without losing body fat. No matter how much effort you put into creating a six-pack, no one’s going to see it if it’s covered by a layer of flab.

Seriously, I know! I’ve worked out so intensely and so often that if this was a proven method, I’d have had a six pack for most of you reading this today! 😉  But, alas, foods are the KEY to getting those abs to POP!

If you’re following the dietary guidelines of a fitness program, you’ll automatically be eating the right foods to lose fat as you get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge, and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.

1. Get plenty of protein
Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important elements for developing great abs. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily Shakeology shake can be a perfect addition.

By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.) Tell me how much protein do YOU get each day? I see and talk with so many women who DON’T bcuz they think it will “bulk” them up….

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

2.Reconsider your carbs.
Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to sweetened soda, ditch the Doritos, and save the cake for your birthday. DUH!  If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a long cardio workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after resistance training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Have fun with fiber.
Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals…You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge. And “double-whammy” is such a fun word to use that I encourage you to try it out a few times this week!

4. Enjoy some yogurt.
Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences—and lower body fat in general—than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss. It’s why I eat Greek yogurt and drink my Shakeology DAILY!!

5. Don’t forget to eat.
Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many women tell me that they don’t know why they aren’t losing weight; since they only eat maybe 1 time a day!!! EXCUSE MOI??????

Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core. You MUST eat!!! It’s the ONLY way! 😉

6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full, so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.) Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and drink less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  I will challenge you to drink the recommended amount for fit individuals; 1/2 your body weight in ounces!! So for someone who is 150 lbs; they would need to drink at least 75 oz of water every day! Or a gallon if you are really up to the challenge!

7. …With two exceptions.
It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks. Something to seriously consider especially over the weekends, am I right or am I right? (you are SO smart! lol)

If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s an added bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an inducement as great abs, but that’s just  for free.

Do you need an added incentive? I have a BUSY MOM’S support group starting first of the month and welcome you to message me today for info on joining. You can succeed and have time for your family AND save money along the way! All thrown in for extra bonus!! 😉

Email me at: http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

Are You Struggling Today?

It’s amazing to me when I hear people assume that if you don’t complain or talk about your struggles; that you must no have any.

BULL!!! 

Our struggles are our stories!!! Embrace them and learn to grow from them.  That is your message to the world around you.

In keeping with today’s topic; I will share some of mine…

I am a very happily married woman of almost 20 years to my amazing hubby.  Do you think that it’s been bliss ever since the day we said, “I Do”???

FAR FROM IT!!!

…and to those of you who are, or have been married know that it would have been a complete lie for me to say otherwise.

We started out as your average “happy” young couple with dreams of a family life, successes, growing in our faith and many blessings.

While I can’t say we aren’t enjoying all of these today, it sure has not been “easy” in any respect.

Which reminds me of a joke my son told us this summer;

“Why did the washing machine stop working?…. Somebody threw the towel in…”

=D =D =D

We all have struggles and if we stick with what needs to be done consistently; we can work our ways through them and come out stronger than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to complain to everyone around you or share all over social media about your issues…

Because there is such a thing as an “unfollow” button and that will get pressed if you make complaining a habit. Instead, act as though everything is going great and your reality will become so. You have more power over your progress and success than you know.

My point is that although life has had it’s share of ups and downs for us, we never gave up. We kept refocusing on helping each other and moving forward in the best way we could understand at the time. There is no fairy tale life. There is no perfection for anyone. I know we will continue to have our struggles but without them, we wouldn’t be as happy and as strong as we are today. My hubby is my best friend and I know he has my back just as much as I do, his.

But you have to get a little bit (sometimes, a LOT) uncomfortable before you feel proud of where you’ve come from…

Let’s focus in on the happy parts of today!

The Surprising Benefits Weight Lifting Can Have for Women

The Surprising Benefits Weight Lifting Can Have for Women

By Collette DeBenedetto

As a former female bodybuilder, I’ve always loved the weight room. It’s my sanctuary—my place to strengthen and build the muscular temple of my dreams. Getting physically stronger makes me mentally stronger—and the aesthetic benefits aren’t too shabby either.
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But the thought of having a “bodybuilder” physique, complete with massive biceps and bulky thighs, sends many women running straight for the elliptical, which is sad considering how beneficial a proper lifting regime can be. In this article, I’ll address the concerns you might have about weight lifting and help you answer whether or not Body Beast is the right program for you.

Q. Can women do Body Beast?

Female BodybuilderA. Absolutely. Body Beast is designed to promote muscle growth with limited cardio. That doesn’t mean you won’t burn calories or reduce your body fat. The program uses a technique called Dynamic Set Training that maximizes your muscular pump, caloric burn, and testosterone-filled hormonal cascades in order to create rapid changes in your body composition, whether you are male or female.

Q. How does a woman benefit from weight lifting?

A. As you age, you lose muscle mass. Through weight lifting, you can help offset this and increase your bone density. Women who lift weights during their teen and young adult years benefit as adults. Stronger muscles and denser bones make walking up stairs, carrying the groceries, and lifting your children easier. But that’s not all. When you weight train properly, you can improve your balance and build muscles that protect your joints, which helps ward off injury.

Weight training also has a positive effect on disease control and prevention. According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes can experience “improved insulin sensitivity, improved glucose tolerance . . . and a lower risk for heart disease.” To see results, they recommend strength training at least 2 to 3 times a week.

Q. Will I become huge and burly?

A. No. Women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build bulk like men do. If you’re worried about bulking, focus on how many calories you’re eating. That includes calories from protein. Contrary to another fitness myth, excess dietary protein is stored as fat. Unless you’re supplementing your diet with a testosterone-enhancing hormone cocktail and overeating, it’s almost impossible for a woman to get bulky.

Q. Can I use it as a weight loss program?

A. Body Beast is designed to increase muscle mass. Almost every workout targets muscular hypertrophy (growth). It is not a weight loss program. However, if you use Body Beast in conjunction with a cardio-focused weight loss program such as INSANITY®, TurboFire®, or INSANITY: THE ASYLUM®, you can easily lose weight. Combining a cardio-centric program with a muscle-building program is an ideal way to build a rock-hard body and a strong athletic foundation.

Q. What is the difference between the Huge and the Lean Beast?

A. There are two different Beast training schedules: Huge and Lean, both of which come in the Body Beast kit. If you are solely focused on getting big, follow the Huge Beast schedule. It focuses on building muscle with heavy weights and little cardio. If you choose the Lean Beast schedule, you’ll do more cardio and spend additional time shredding in the third phase of the program, the Beast phase.

Q. Why would a women need testosterone?

A. A woman’s body produces testosterone, just not at the level of a man’s. Testosterone strengthens the libido, provides a sense of well-being, and improves muscle tone. The training in Body Beast increases your testosterone levels so that you benefit from all of the above. Beachbody® does not recommend taking synthetic forms of testosterone as these can shut down your natural testosterone production.

Q. Do I have to eat all that food?

A. If you don’t want to gain mass, use a caloric calculator from a different Beachbody program: P90X®, P90X2®, INSANITY/THE ASYLUM, TurboFire, etc. After you’ve calculated your caloric content, use the portions and recipes in the Body Beast guidebook. The Beast nutritional supplements will also work in your favor as long as you time them correctly (see the answer to the next question).

If you’re looking to be a Huge Beast, stick with the Body Beast guidebook and supplements. Some women want to gain as much mass as possible, and the crux of becoming an Amazon is eating enough.

When I was bodybuilding, I wanted to add muscle to all areas of my body. I did, but I also found that I was dropping clothing sizes as I trained. My plan was similar to the Beast plan in that I ate multiple times of day and my meals were composed of complex carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables. The Beast supplements were not around when I was bodybuilding, but I did supplement with protein bars and protein shakes to help my muscles grow.

Q. Do I have to take supplements? Will they make me too big?

Fuel ShotA. If you want to gain muscle and get big, it helps to add a little something extra to your diet. Body Beast offers four supplements to help boost your performance, your recovery, and your results: Fuel Shot, Hardcore Base Shake, M.A.X. Creatine, and Super Suma. They can work for women as well as men.

Fuel Shot and Hardcore Base Shake contain a mixture of protein and electrolytes as well as carbohydrates to restore glycogen. If you are following a nutrition guide from another program, you probably won’t need to supplement with these unless you’re trying to gain mass or you’re a vegetarian. In the case of the latter, I recommend supplementing with Hardcore Base Shake protein to ensure you’re getting enough protein.

M.A.X. Creatine isn’t necessary for women looking to lose weight, but it is a great supplement if you want to increase your strength gains for short burst and explosive activities. When I’ve supplemented with creatine in the past, I’ve bloated a bit. This is a common side effect. If you’re not comfortable with the extra bloat, cut back on the supplement.

Suma, also known as Brazilian ginseng, is an adaptogen that, according to the Tropical Plant Database, “increases the body’s resistance to adverse influences.” It also normalizes the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, and acts as an immunostimulant. If you’re a competitive athlete, suma may be on your banned substance list, so please check with your governing body before taking this supplement. Otherwise, it is completely healthy for both men and women to take.

While not all women will be interested in Body Beast, if done correctly, it can add effectiveness to almost any exercise program. But if you’re someone who has always envied Xena’s physique, Body Beast might just be the program to release your inner warrior princess.

Resources:

    • Benton, D., & Donohoe, R. (2011). The influence of creatine supplementation on the cognitive functioning of vegetarians and omnivores. The British journal of nutrition, 105(7), 1100-1105. Department of Psychology, University of Swansea, Swansea, Wales, UK.