Abs to be proud of after age 40

Think you can’t have abs after your 20’s or 30’s? Well I love a good challenge so I was up to it as I turned 40…and in turn, signed up to take on the stage for my very first fitness competition!

Yep.

As a mom of 3 and a 40 year old, I committed to donning a two piece and walking on stage amongst other fit women; who, quite honestly, were in their 20’s and 30’s.

Proud day after 6 months of hard work and eating to prove it!

You could say I was nuts…and probably still am because I don’t regret it. Yes, I got flack for being an “egotist” and embarrassing my family but they were all supportive – especially my dear hubby! He was darn right proud!

Why? Because let me tell you what you are seeing when you look at someone with toned abs and a tight physique. You may be thinking they are naturally leaner, fitter and just more lucky…but you’d be wrong.

It takes hard FREAKING work! Every day.

I haven’t done another fitness competition since and it’s now been 5 years. It’s not that I didn’t want to continue; heck, I placed 2nd in my division and 3rd overall (which included those 20 and 30 year olds, thank you very much!) and qualified for Nationals that same year.

The reason I didn’t compete again is because it’s a full time job.

You need to train like a “mother” (and I don’t mean someone who’s had children) and you have to eat like an athlete. The time and energy it takes to cook, workout, rest, recover and continue is time consuming and I’d rather spend that time with my family while they still need me. 🙂

But I did learn quite a many lessons from those intense 6-months of training and counting every macro and morsel that I ate. In case you think you can’t have abs – most likely because of what you’ve been taught over the years and what other people have said – I’m hear to debunk every one of those crazy negative issues and tell you that it’s most likely because you’re not informed well-enough.

Intrigued? Follow along…

My abs today. 45 is no excuse!

1. Squeeze in “sneaky” cardio. You’ve heard the saying that in order to lose weight, you’ve got to ‘move more and eat less’, right? Well the moving more part can help trim those abs, buns and everything else across your body but if you’re like me, it needs to not feel like cardio. I can easily fit in a 5 minute jump rope session in between a busy day’s schedule or add some sprints or burpees in between my weight lifting routine to up the calorie burn and get it done in increments. If you detest long cardio sessions like I do, then fitting in these sneaky cardio burns can make all the difference in showing off those abs come summer season!

2. Combine core work and cardio. As I said before, I love fitting in small increments of cardio in between my weight lifting sessions. In order to get into the shape I needed to for my competition, I committed to circuit training on most days. This meant that while I’d perform my typical chest, back, leg, etc, days; I’d follow up a set of weight work with 30-60 seconds of jump squats, mountain climbers or jump rope which allowed me to get the most out of my workout sessions. Bonus? While these aren’t technically “ab crunches”, they do indeed involve core activation and help to carve out those abs!

3. Start with planks & not crunches. It’s not that I don’t like doing crunches – because I do – I prefer engaging my core entirely and “feeling the burn” is a great indication that work has been done! Did you know that your booty is actually part of your core? True story. But doing crunches doesn’t activate the glutes like planks do and most people usually resort to momentum while doing crunches and feel it in their neck. Not really the goal, am I right? It’s important to strengthen the entire core – imagine you have a wide girdle that covers the areas below your chest and stops just under your booty (this is your core) – before you progress to moves like crunches so you can master the moves instead of just the stuff on top. 😉 Along with planks, I’d suggest also beginning by lying on your back and raising your feet up and knees bent at 90 degrees. Place your hands on your quads (front part of your thighs) and push them away from your body as you engage your core to keep the knees over your hips. (you’ll feel these if done right)

4. Work your abs every day — but not in the same way daily. Your core muscles recover quite quickly so you can actually work them more often than other parts of your body without over-training. The secret however, is to change it up. For example, if you do planks on Monday, try doing C-curves (a Pilates type exercise) on Tuesday. How? Sit with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Prop your upper body onto your forearms. Then, without changing the angle your upper and lower body have to the floor, place one hand at a time behind each thigh. Hold as long as you can, just as you would in plank.

5. Eat for awesome abs. Here’s where most of us get lost. We think that by workout out with enough cardio and performing our ab routines daily, we can get away with eating our favorite foods and just “eating better”. What the heck does this mean, anyway? LOL I’m guilty of saying this before too so I’m not calling you out in any way. I found that just by honing in on a few key areas, I was able to lean out sooner and much easier than when I ate “clean” and counted calories. Want to know how? Start with getting in a protein drink no later than 30 minutes after your workout since the quickest way to recover the tears in your muscles after you workout is to get protein into your body quickly. I use either a clean whey protein (no sucralose or unhealthy ingredients added) or Shakeology for my fuller-packed nutritional punch. Follow that up by drinking at least 4 liters to a gallon of water each day and eating whole grain carbs and healthy fats. If you need some help with foods, check out my healthy food list to plan out your meals for the week or month.

BONUS!! I’m super excited to bring my all-new FITNESS MEMBERSHIP SITE to you!! It’s been something I’ve dreamed of launching for almost a year now and I’m set to open this coming June! If you’d like priority information, please shoot me an email and title it “MEMBERS ONLY” and I’ll get you all the info as it rolls out! LIVE workouts, meal plans, personal help and more! Community like no other with support, accountability and TONS of content! 

Month 1 Results!

My month 1 picture results! They say a picture is worth a thousand words so this should really say a lot!
My month 1 picture results! They say a picture is worth a thousand words so this should really say a lot!

I can’t believe it’s already been a full month on this program! I can honestly say that I feel like I just started and the fact that you are following my journey is helping me to stay on track and continue to post and push forward.

Week 1 seemed like a breeze. But isn’t everything exciting when it’s new again? The workouts were fresh and eating my meals and tracking them on MFP seemed like a fun game.

Week 2 wasn’t so fun. First of all, there were those nasty hormones to deal with :p and cravings were out of control! I remember a few times indulging in foods not on my plan and just saying (out loud too) “Who the heck cares?” Cuz I know I didn’t! Have you ever had a craving that was so powerful that nothing else mattered in that moment? While I’m not as easily thrown off my plan as I was in the beginning stages of this lifestyle journey (and that was like a hundred million years ago!), I still find myself overwhelmed with an emotional craving along the way.

You know what’s kinda cool about this, though? I realize that in that moment when I’m feeling defiant and needing a quick “fix”, giving in isn’t always the end of the world. As a trainer and someone who’s been working in the fitness field forever, I understand that a change of any kind is sometimes helpful to our bodies’ results. But what’s more important to understand about that crazy moment, is that giving in to a quick “fix” is most definitely more beneficial to our lives than jumping out of a window.

Just saying 😉

I also had a small weight gain in week 2 but knowing what I know, I let it blow over (and was happy it wasn’t any bigger of a gain with the extra eating I did!). I had a better week 3 in results but I realized my eating needed to get back on track.

For example, I’d start every day with the best of intentions (sound familiar? LOL) and then by mid-afternoon, I’d just tell myself that I’d “update my meal log-ins when I had more time”…

ya, right! That doesn’t ever happen so by this last week, I was definitely more mindful of tracking and listening to my body’s cues. For example, most of us start a “diet plan” (which I despise but this is an example) and once a few days passes, we realize that our bodies are screaming for MORE FOOD!

Right?

So what do we do? We buckle down and decide that we are going to have “more willpower”…

How well did that work for us? haha

So we finally give in and eat the entire refrigerator and freezer, only to feel like a ginormous blob of a failure after. Sound familiar? It is cuz WE ALL HAVE DONE IT!

and probably will do it again for sure! This is no secret so let’s stop acting like we are the “only” person in the whole entire world to ever struggle like this and feel like a failure.

What would have happened if we decided to change the previous scenario? (aka: what I decided to implement in this last week)

For example, you’re humming along on days 1 and 2 on your new “diet” and then all of a sudden (like it’s a surprise we hadn’t anticipated…) we are hit with this overpowering desire and hunger to EAT ALL THE FOOD!

So we say, NO! I am strong and I have willpower and my goals are more important to me than this instant glorification.

B.S.

Seriously, that won’t work and you know it. It never did and it never will. There are only 2 other ways to handle this situation so you can continue to succeed and move forward;

#1) Eat more food! Duh! Although this sounds simple to do, it’s not! Most of us are stuck in the “DIET” mode that we berate ourselves for even contemplate more calories. For crying out loud! Our bodies are only trying to LIVE. It has needs and works hard for us every minute of every day so if we can’t just fathom that some days (and times of the month), we will require a bit more or less, then so be it. One word of caution though, I don’t mean to just go out and eat whatever and however you want. In order to succeed, imagine taking care of a brand new car that cost you $100,000. Would you just fill it up with whatever type of crap you could come across because it was low on fuel? Or would you plan to invest in the most precious fuel (with the octanes and stuff…I know nothing about cars so that’s all you get for this analogy) so that your car could last forever and run smoothly?

I’m thinking you chose the latter option and you’d feel confident it was the right choice. That being said, why on earth would we think it’s okay to shove ding dongs and crusty week old pizza down our pieholes when we’re hungry and have waited too long to eat something better for us? Next time you feel hungry, understand that your body might need it and choose wisely. Heck, even if you have an extra apple and a handful of almonds, you’re not going to harm your body OR your results. Trust me.

#2) Have a cheat if you must but have dignity and use a fork! I’m not kidding; many times when we’re hit with the starving body and have put off eating for way too long, we get to the point of just eating whatever is in arms length and looking like a complete lunatic. (and not to mention a bit disgusting) Right? So in case you aren’t up to “fueling your car” with quality nutrition in that heated moment, then pick up a plate and a utensil and eat in front of people so that you look less crazy and more like you love your food! Why wouldn’t you want to anyway?

I’m now winding down on week #4 and will begin my 2nd month on Monday. I have to say that this past week was my “recovery” week and it has given me more oomph to kick start another month and not feel like I’m killing my body with new challenges in these quick and effective workouts. If you haven’t taken a week to recover in awhile, may I recommend you do that now? Go do some yoga, pilates and use a foam roller for crying out loud! Your body totally deserves this! (or you risk some bad stuff and that’s not going to be fun if you get injured)

I’m sharing my results with you but realize that I most likely won’t lose much more weight on the scale in the coming 2 months, but I know the changes will show up in the pictures, measurements and body fat testing. I am 5’6″ and my weight never goes below 145. Even when I drove myself to the leanest point of my life at age 40, and took on the stage in a bikini no less! GASP! I stopped having my periods for 6 months because my body fat was way too low and I felt so bad and suffered from burnout and adrenal failure.

Fun times!

And throughout that time period, the freaking scale still stared at me with that stubborn “1-4-5” and nothing less. Crazy how our body’s work, right?

I’m super pumped for the new month and hope you are taking some of these tips into your own life for better results if you need them! Please leave me a comment or shoot me a message if you need some tips that I have not addressed yet.

Here are my measurements and weight updates from week 1 to week 4:

Day 1 weight/end of month 1: 150.1/ 147.2

Waist: Day 1 – 28.5   End of month 1 – 28.25

Hips: Day 1- 38.5      End of month 1 – 38

Thigh: Day 1 – 19.5   End of month 1 – 19

All in all, I am down almost 3 inches and over 2 lbs. From my pictures though, I am really happy with my month 1 results!

One of my "emotional" days...I actually cried in my workout because so many things were going wrong and I felt absolutely NO energy or desire to complete the workout. Still think other people don't struggle too?
One of my “emotional” days…I actually cried in my workout because so many things were going wrong and I felt absolutely NO energy or desire to complete the workout. Still think other people don’t struggle too?

Day 1: We need to start somewhere

I begin at day #1…

We all get excited on “day 1” of something new, don’t we? Think about New Year’s day and the millions of promises that are made in the excitement of a new year and a new opportunity to reach goals that we’ve only hoped for in the past. The success, however, does not come from our giddy energy on day 1…but the true and unending desire to push for new heights in our quest for these said goals.

I’ve worked with hundreds of one-on-one clients and I’ve lead thousands of classes over the past 20+ years in the fitness field. I’ve believed that through my sheer excitement and leadership, I could inspire anyone to follow through in their promises and quest to reach health and fitness goals that had seemed nearly impossible.

But it doesn’t work that way.

Not to say that I haven’t helped many people transform their bodies, minds and lives in ways that they had only dreamed about; but what what happens when the trainer stops working with you? What happens if you move away from your favorite gym or bootcamp instructor and you are left to find something else that works for you? What if you are the one and only person who is responsible for your success – or lack of it?

Guess what, guys? Whether you know it now or not…you are the only person who is 100% responsible for your life. So what to do now? What workout should you do? How many calories should you eat each day? What types of foods are the best for you? Who is going to cheer you on when you are struggling? How will you know when you are making progress in your goals? How will you keep going when you just don’t believe you have what it takes…or you stumble along the way?

While these are all good questions (and ones I hear every day), let me start by saying we need to get clear on what our goals are. We need to have a plan B when we get thrown off our path. We need to know we aren’t the only person in the world to feel like we do.

That’s what this transformation is about. The next 90 days are meant to show you what it looks like to fight for what we want most. The next 3 months are going to be a bit uncomfortable for me (and most likely downright ugly at times!) but I’m willing to put myself out on a limb and share with you, me dear reader, like a reality tv show (but without the drama and screaming matches).

I start today. This is my day 1…

16422568_10212047924024280_2438593406589187746_o

Day 1 begins with stats. This is not any different than if we were working together as trainer-client. I’d measure you and have you take your “before pictures” so that we have a baseline to compare as we move forward. Above, are my day 1 pictures and while I don’t have much weight to lose (I just have some “softer” parts of me to tone up), I have goals to add more lean muscle and look like a shredded fitness model in 90 days. Think I can? So do I! 😉 No matter the goals, the struggles are pretty common and typical whenever starting something new (or restarting again).

Here’s how I measure my stats:

Body weight: 150.1

Chest: 36.5

Waist: 28.5 & 30.75

Hips: 38.5

Right thigh: 19.5 / Left Thigh: 19.5

Right arm: 10 / Left arm: 10.5

What about my meals? I calculate my daily needs on my new fitness program and will be eating 1,800 calories a day. I also like to focus on quality nutrition and breaking down my macronutrients to fit my body’s needs to feel my best and reach my set goals. I’ve set a 40/30/30 split and will be getting in 40% of my daily calories from carbohydrates; 40% from healthy fats and 30% from lean protein sources.

I will be sharing my foods too so don’t think this will be a secret 🙂

So far today:

Breakfast:

Coffee with 3 Tbls half and half (don’t take away my cream!)

2 whole eggs + 1 egg white

Post workout snack:

Cafe Latte Shakeology made with 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup ice

Pink lady apple sprinkled with cinnamon

Lunch:

1 cup oven roasted brussel sprouts (my son and I are obsessed!)

1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 cup whole grain cereal

I’ve had 3 water bottles of water and my goal is to drink 6 each day (which totals a gallon of water)

I worked out to my total body core conditioning and some practiced some power yoga to get an extra stretch.

I’ll be planning to drink water, herbal tea and maybe some lowfat hot chocolate (to curb my hunger and cravings today). I’m making a turkey based dinner with salad and enjoy some Greek yogurt with berries for another snack today.

I feel good so far but please follow me on IG @KathyProFitness and Snapchat @spazzykay to get all the daily ups and downs along with the daily blog posts.

If you are interested in starting NOW and need a place to begin, I’m hosting a 28-Day workout + meal plan challenge and looking for 10 serious people to join our team! This program will challenge you with strength and conditioning training and I’m going to reward those who commit and reach new goals with a gift basket of fitness goodies plus a FREE month of one-on-one training with me before summer season.

Are you IN? Then fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch asap!

Free Yourself From Your Diet Forever

Have you ever been fed up with your weight highs and lows? Are you constantly searching for the next best way to lose the weight and keep it off?

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.11.47 AM

Ya, I’ve been there about a million times before too. It’s not a fun place to live and I decided one day to just stop living there.

Period.

I seriously decided that I had enough with diets and finally freed myself from the bondage they held over me. I fought for awhile on working out excessively for hours in the gym or running outside, to be the most shredded I had ever been…but then I realized that this type of intense living only fits the elite fitness competitors in their ON SEASON only. They have OFF SEASON weights and training periods too…and we tend to think that we need to look like the “perfect” (whatever that means) body day in and day out. Talk about fantasies!

This woke me up to being satisfied with feeling healthy, happy and then ultimately FREE from diets!

Wanna come? I’ll share how!

It won’t take long grueling hours in the gym, or even long hours working out at home. It won’t take starving your body or living off of carrot sticks and water. It won’t even feel as hard as you are imagining after you learn what works for your body and your life.

Bottom line? It’s actually kind of easy once you adapt to the changes and fire the old habits!

Now, in a few months time, the gyms and diet centers are going to be packed like sardine cans again. At least for a few weeks, or until everyone gets fed up with their all or nothing approach again. But guess what? That doesn’t have to be you this year! You can simply decide today that you are going to fire your diets forever.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 4.35.50 PM

Think of what we are leaving behind: obsessing over calories and carbs or whatever the diet of the season is; watching the scale go up and down and up like a crazy bunny rabbit dance; losing 10 lbs (yay!) only to gain 15 back shortly after (BOO!) and thinking we are only worth as much as the size of our jeans.

It’s time to do the most crazy thing you’ve ever done and stop dieting forever.

Diets are now forbidden.   

I bet you are a bit terrified of this thought. Right? I know that I was. It felt like I was giving up on myself and the “control” I had on my weight. But there was never any control to begin with. It was actually a game of binge and purge over and over again. Which messes with our bodies, metabolism and minds and keeps us stuck in misery as long as we allow ourselves to be. Knowledge here is power, my friend. And today, you are going to be more powerful over your decisions than ever before.

My fear when I made the switch was that I would start to eat uncontrollably and the weight would skyrocket uncontrollably and then I’d be completely lost and ashamed.

That never happened.

It just didn’t. I stopped putting the focus on the scale, and — almost miraculously — my obsessive habits with food and my body started to melt away.

Granted, I was coming to the idea that balance, moderation, and loving your body were the key ingredients to a healthy, happy life — so I wasn’t starting from scratch.

But even so, it was almost surreal to me. It was actually working. I maintain my weight now, within a 5 lb range and never worry about holidays, travel periods or weekends anymore. I don’t even weigh myself at all so it’s amusing when I see someone after a few months and they say something like, “you’re soooo thin!” Funny thing is, I don’t lose weight anymore so this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve been 150-ish lbs (give or take 5 lbs at a time) for well over 10 years now. (exception during my fitness competition period of 6 months that I dropped down to the 140’s but cannot live that extreme without shutting down my body again)

Maintaining my weight was the best decision I have made on my body ever. I have been a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for over 20 years and you’d think it would be easy for me…but not so much! I dealt with the same stresses, emotions, cravings and struggles as anyone else. Knowing better but still being stuck in diet mentality only made me feel more guilty over time when I was struggling much like my clients.  I knew they thought it was easier for me so I would have to pretend I wasn’t struggling…but one day I decided to just tell them. I told everyone.

It’s hard for me too! I struggle like you do too! So I don’t look like I struggle as much because I’m much closer to my goals but it’s freaking hard for me too! 

That felt so much better!

Step 1: Tell anyone and everyone what you are doing and stop pretending that you aren’t struggling. Ya, I know it sounds crazy and why would anyone care; but trust me on this one. You’ll not only be holding yourself more accountable than ever but you’ll also be piquing their interest to follow along if you succeed because I’ll bet you that 99.9% of the people you tell are struggling in their own ways too!

Step 2: Clean out the garbage in your head!  At first, I was tempted to return to dieting almost every single day. When my weight would fluctuate (for a million reasons to which I understood but for some reason thought the facts didn’t apply to me); or when I felt bloated after a meal; or when I saw a picture of someone more fit and shredded than I was; or when I found my super small jeans in the back of my drawer (a size I thought meant happiness to me but really wasn’t healthy in the long run).

The pressure to jump back on the diet bandwagon was almost deafening.

I’d see an image of my thighs and think, “ugggh”. I’d hear conversations around me on joining the next detox or “after the holidays” purge and need to reassess my mind again.

Our minds are full of the clutter we’ve allowed to gather over the past 10, 15, 20 or more years. It’s time to decide whether we are going to clean it out or allow it to control our lives forever.

Truth? It takes time to clean out. Just like it took time to learn. I know we are all about instant change and overnight success but those aren’t even real so let’s just grow up and realize the ridiculousness of those ideas.

Loving yourself; mind and body, takes time. But it’s on the journey of finding your peace and love that the beauty happens.

I look back at who I was before and am shocked at how much I don’t recognize her. I definitely remember feeling helpless, hopeless and unhappy with myself but I no longer feel the negativity of those past behaviors.

Step 3: Move more and stop counting the minutes.  This one was tough for me to do after being a gym junkie forever, and still loving hard core workouts. But it’s in those days that I really don’t have the energy to push to level 10; or when I’m traveling; or life is a bit more stressful or my schedule shifts, that I start to panic about my workouts and being “perfectly” perfect about the reps, weights, time and intensity. Yes, these will always be important to me but in times of my life that I can’t keep up with longer and harder training sessions…I just do something.

I upload apps on my phone to track my walks and runs. I head out for a 30-45 minute session and it ends up NOT feeling like a workout but I come home sweating and happier than ever. Or I’ll put my music on and run through a few short circuits at home and just have fun. No pressure to hit a certain range or push to new heights…it’s in these moments that just showing up is the key to success.

The funny thing is, when the stresses or travels would end, I’d be longing to get back to my “normal” routine again and my body didn’t miss a beat because I had been active in the meantime and it actually helped me become fitter or stronger in new areas. Talk about a win-win!

Step 4: Give yourself time.  This step may be the hardest to accept at first, but once you do, you’ll be surprised at how much you change in your body – just by changing your mind. For me, it happened slowly. I was already within 20 lbs of my goal weight so the losses were slower than those that have more to lose but I wasn’t in a rush. I kept telling myself that this was my new way of life and that this would be more meaningful than the fast losses from my past (which only lead to fast gains so I had to remind myself of that truth). I ate normally during this time, and that was a strange feeling! No more cooking different foods for my family any more. I ate in the 2,000 calorie range but didn’t really count calories after awhile. I never restricted foods and I eventually stopped following any certain “plans” other than finding new ideas and recipes along the way.

It was more about listening to my body, using common sense (I did know better by the way!), followed moderation instead of overload or deprivation and made choices that helped me feel balanced, energetic and happy. I still allow regular “treats” for myself along the way too but it’s funny how much the treats have changed over the years too! 🙂

 

I’ve maintained my weight now and never diet. I am now happy with who I am, where I am and my size and weight are no longer a secret! Go ahead and ask me, I’ll be proud to share!Trust me, it’s worth it! 

Should you try life without dieting?

I don’t know. I’m not here to make choices for you. That’s your job.

I’m here to share my story and hope that it influences you in a positive way.

For me, breaking up with dieting was my way of letting go of a lot of negative behaviors and mental patterns I’d built up over the years. So I stopped dieting, but I also did a lot of inside work so I could stop doing a lot of other things, too (like hate-talking to myself in the mirror, ugh).

So, really, what I’m asking you to do is start your own  journey. Make a commitment to be kinder to yourself. To consider that changes made out of love and respect last longer and work better than changes made out of hate. Work on bringing more joy and positivity into your life. Then see what happens.

If you need more help, feel free to message me today and we can work one on one to help you succeed in firing your diet mentality and reaching your goals forever too!

KathyProFitness@gmail.com 

Screenshot 2015-09-20 at 8.22.23 PM

 

Should you weight train if you want lose weight?

Too many women believe that the only way to lose weight is to do tons of cardio. They decide to start jogging or take aerobic classes five or more times a week. But what tends to happen? They notice their bodies get a little smaller but there are still those “flabby” and “jiggly” areas that aren’t changing.

running

Have you been there too?

Cardio is part of the solution; but not all of it! In order to achieve long lasting fitness and goals you can be proud of; you MUST work on weight training and flexibility training too. If you are afraid to lift weights heavier than 5 lbs over time, you are missing out on the best fat burning methods around!

img_0960

When you lift weights, you shouldn’t focus only on the scale. The scale doesn’t tell us what is happening WITHIN our bodies at any given time. (which can seem confusing but trust me here!) I like my clients to focus more on picture updates, measurements and clothing fit. The size of your body will shrink as you build muscle and shed fat, but sometimes that scale won’t shift as you’re used to when you’re focused on dieting and cardio only. How important is the number on the scale when you look hot and tight in your skinny jeans, anyway, right?

Here are 10 reasons you should reconsider lifting weights in order to reach your goals….

10711111_597205247068373_8566697402738708552_n

1. You will burn more fat. When you do an intense weight-training program, your metabolism stays elevated and long after your workout ends and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During your cardio exercise, however, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

2. It will change the shape of your body. I always thought that my genes were the biggest reason my body looked the way it did. It’s not completely true. With weight training, you can slim down, create new curves and help change the “I’m over a certain age and my body won’t change much more” mentality. And ladies, you will not bulk up by lifting weights! We don’t have enough muscle building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men can. If we focus on eating a clean and calorie deficit meal plan, we will burn fat.

3. It helps to boost your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

4. You’ll become stronger and feel more confident. Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

5. It helps to build strong bones. It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass, and to prevent osteoporosis. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.

6. It helps fight depression. You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help alleviate depression, and weight lifting has the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many women find that regular strength training, along with psychological treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.

7. Improves sports fitness. You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it’s cycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing…whatever sports you enjoy most.

8. It helps to reduce injuries and arthritis. Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis.

9. Helps get our hearts healthy! More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Defends against diabetes. In addition to keeping your heart strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Any questions?

Walking; What is it good for?

Does walking count as “real” exercise? To most of us who love higher intensity workouts, it may seem a bit wimpy. How does it compare to workouts that blasts fat in record time?

Not all walks are equal, obviously, but when you’re trying to lose weight and boost your cardio health, power walking may help you lose that weight for sure.

Walking for fitness is easy. First of all, it’s affordable. It’s also safe and easy to do and perfect for any level looking to take it up a notch or just gradually ramp up exercise intensity and frequency.

Do you walk regularly?

I know since I’ve been on my challenge of 45 minute fat burning walks this month, I have been feeling so much more energetic and excited about my fitness. There are days that a higher intensity workout feels draining to jump into; but with a simple and brisk walk outdoors, I rev my energy up to either pushing up steeper hills or challenging my pace per mile to end on a high like I hadn’t imagined with just walking.

anatomy-of-walking

To maximize your results and avoid any aches and pains, pay careful attention to your form. Once you’ve made a habit of maintaining good posture and brisk strides, you’ll transform your body into a much more efficient walking machine — and you’ll burn even more calories!

Posture Tips for Walking Harder, Faster, and Farther

– Lower your chin parallel to the ground; don’t jut your head forward.
– Consciously draw your navel in toward your spine, and keep your back straight. (Think “tall” but not stiff.)
– Lift your chest and comfortably draw your shoulders down your back.
– As your propel yourself forward with each step, it may feel natural to lean slightly forward. Lean from your ankles, not your hips.
– Keep your elbows bent 90 degrees and don’t swing your arms too high or cross them in front of you.
– If you want to increase your walking speed, take smaller steps instead of wider ones.
– Most people automatically rotate their hips a little as they walk. If you don’t do this naturally, try to develop the habit to reduce the impact on your joints.
– Land on your heels with the front of your feet raised, rolling into the next step. When you land flat-footed, you create undue stress to your knees, ankles and feet.
– Finally, pay attention to how your walking shoes feel. Walking shoes wear out from the inside, so it’s not always easy to tell when you need a new pair.

And lastly, I’ve actually made my own game of walking and it is so much fun to push yourself this way (think of the Pokemon app and how it got people walking around in search of the next Pokemon!)

14612431_10211019373911170_1816821982417400475_o

To lose weight with walking and cross-training, pedometers and mobile apps can make walking more like a game. Since it might take a month or so for you to notice a difference in your weight, these apps can help you stick with it. For more inspiration, try these:

Does the thought of winning money motivate you? Pact is an app developed to monetize health improvement. Just sign up and tell the app your goals. You won’t get rich, but you can earn a dollar here and there.

Walk for charity! The Charity Miles app has paid out more than a half-million dollars to various organizations. It works for other activities too!

If you’re like a lot of people, music plays a key role in your fitness regimen. Use it to stay excited about your daily walk. Crank up the speed (and beats-per-minute of the music), and the pounds will fall off more quickly. Or try Spotify, which will create an instant playlist for you based on your music preferences and walking speed.

If music isn’t your thing, consider podcasts, audiobooks, or a walking mediation to keep you motivated to return to your walking workouts often. I use “Map My Walk” and focus on the minutes walked per mile and love mapping my routes every time I step outdoors.

Are you up to the walking challenge?

New week’s goals

It’s a new week and I’m making a commitment for the coming 2 weeks to post daily about my progress in all areas. I like to write my blog posts more often and it seems like I get on track for a bit and then off again. My goal is to share a bit of my world with you in the next 2 weeks so you can glimpse what I struggle with and where I succeed at. My hope is that this inspires you to keep going every day; week and month…even when things are going as “perfectly” as you hope they do. 🙂

I didn’t sleep very well last night due to my daughter’s recent bout with strep throat and now an abscess on her tonsil. You’d think by that last sentence that my daughter was a young girl, right? Well, honestly, she’s 20 years old and when my little girl is sick this momma is going to overdo it on worry, care and soup making. lol

Chicken Enchilada soup

I had also planned to train my bootcamp group of ladies this morning at 5am before our appointment at 9. Since I was waking up every hour on the hour, to check on my daughter (yes, I slept in her room!); I heard a strange dripping sound around 3am and wondered if our sprinklers were stuck or mis-programmed.

No sprinkler issues whatsoever…it was actually raining. 

IMG_4769

In Southern California? That is absurd! LOL So I messaged the bootcamp ladies and we agreed to postpone this morning’s workout for tomorrow since we’d be outdoors in the wet and slippery morning. I tried to go back to sleep but to no avail…so here I am, writing this blog and drinking my coffee before I get my 5:30 workout done in my living room. I’m also kicking off this week with a NO SUGAR challenge for 2 weeks.

13418719_10209536150782158_6231927679365830400_n

This is my 3rd round of the NO SUGAR challenge this year and I have to say that I’m actually looking forward to this more than ever. I realize that even though I’m a healthy eater who choose “clean” foods about 90% of the time, when I cut out all of the sugars completely; I feel lighter, more energetic and immediately drop any extra “bloat” or weight that can creep up at any time of day or night. You know what I’m talking about, right?

I may or may not go through withdrawals because I’ve done this more than once this past year and each time it gets easier to do. I’ll share with you why you should take on a challenge such as this soon too (even now!) and why sugar is one of the main reasons for our obesity epidemic and all of the health issues rising up in our lives.

I’m drinking my coffee with 1 Tbls of half and half. Yes, there is cream in it but no sugar! 🙂 My tip for you today is to cut out the crappy coffee creamers that are filled with awful preservatives, sugars and things that aren’t even in my vocabulary. Use cream, half and half or milk instead. You’ll thank me later.

My workout is going to be from Beachbody’s Master Hammer and Chisel. I’ll be doing Hammer Power today and you’ll have to see how it went in tomorrow’s post.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.15.10 PM

Today’s big plans:

workout at 5:30am

Dr. appt at 9am

No sugar all day

Dinner plans: Mediterranean Chicken with pasta (for the family- I’ll stick to the chicken and veggies)

Want the recipe? Check out tomorrow’s post!