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Stress and the Weekends

Stress can be such a buzz kill to our good efforts, right? I know…it happens to the best of us! ūüėČ

I figured you needed to hear this straight from me and how I am committing to moving through the crap this new week anyway. This past week, we had huge plans of family coming in and staying at our home and tons of food to be made ahead of time; house cleaning to be done; planning for all events that surrounded the stay and more…

At one point, my hubby looked at me and asked, “why are you so¬†calm?????”¬†ūüôā lol I guess he anticipated that I should be freaking out way more than I was! But, honestly, I have learned over the past few years to simply do my best and leave the rest to whatever was going to happen. I am not (and even though I don’t like to admit it…NEVER WAS) able to control everything. Yes, I am a bit “OCD” personality but that means nothing when life happens.

We were set to begin – ¬†with the countdown on for the guests and events fast approaching…when a ginormous speed bump came into view and shifted every well intentioned plan we had set up.

Yes, everything changed and there was no getting out of that. I had no control. GASP ūüėČ I had to just reshift my focus on the next step. That was key to me NOT freaking out and having a complete meltdown and I do have to say that with my family at my side, we were able to deal with the issues and make it through safely…lol

Needless to say, in all of the craziness and all of the change of plans…my own personal “best eating plans” for my success in finishing Hammer & Chisels’ final 2 weeks went awry. Like, serious bread eating was done. (my comfort food of choice, along with cookies!)

I was devastated…not going to lie.

I felt like I was hit by a truck at some points and it’s kind of stupid because I was really only dealing with worrying about other’s in my family…and the change of plans in my home.

Nothing bad had happened to¬†me¬†aside from this adjustment period… and yet, I was kind of making a big ordeal about the stress. I know that I’m not the only person who does this, right? And imagine had it been directly concerning ME…that would have thrown me even more off balance.

So what happens now? Like, after I had eaten the garlic bread I wasn’t supposed to eat, and the huge sandwich I inhaled at lunch with my sister and niece…and maybe even some “bites, licks and tastes” of cookies and brownies. I felt bloated, heavy and lethargic and I now know better than to think I had “undone” all the good things from the past few months. It made me reflect back to when I first began this fitness/health journey; before I learned what eating the right foods means and what type of serious focus to place on my success along the journey.

I resonated with those who are suffering the unknowns…thinking that days, weeks, weekends, or months can be the end of our good intentions. Believing the nasty “diet world” hype that surrounds us at every corner, magazine, commercial, etc. can make anyone crazy if we don’t educate ourselves on what is true and what is going to help us continue. The one thing I know that is helping me is my online support group and the complete understanding that I have control and power to focus on my day to day plans. Nothing ever goes perfectly. We can plan all we want and it still can become skewed or completely off kilter but I can always reset and refocus, right?

So can you!

I want to share how I’m making this work for me; instead of having a binge fest and just saying, “to hell with it all this week cuz I’ve already screwed up my last week and a half of this meal plan on hammer and chisel. There’s no way I’ll get the results I wanted now…”

That’s NOT the way to think! I used to think this way and I bet you have (or still do) too! Right?? ūüôā

So instead, I am drawing that line in the sand and getting on board like a BOSS LADY! I’m even catching up today in my business info that had to slide since I didn’t have the amount of time available as I usually do. Here’s what I will be committing to this coming week:

  1. Waking up at 5am all week to start my day with my workout, breakfast and personal development reading.
  2. Planning out my business hours and scheduling time for my family and breaks so I don’t overwhelm myself just because I am further behind than usual. (I used to over do things at this point in thinking I could “catch up” again in a day or two but this was a self defeating cycle that left me worse off in the long run)
  3. Making sure that my shakeology gets into my body every day this week…(although this is easy for me now and I haven’t skipped a day all year so far!)
  4. Planning my meals and sticking to the plans!!! (this one is my main priority this week…only because it’s the hardest thing for me to do!) I am even going to share this plan with you below so you can feel free to follow along or even share with me any questions you would like to ask (email me or post below)

 

Week 8 Hammer & Chisel:

Monday: Workout – Chisel Endurance and 10 min ab chisel

Tuesday: Max Hammer Strength

Wednesday: Chisel Cardio (this one is brutal!)

Thursday: the plan says it’s REST day but I switch my rest day to Sunday – Hammer Plyometrics

Friday: Total Body Chisel

Saturday: Hammer Power (my fave!!) and 10 min ab hammer

Here’s my meal plan for Monday:¬†

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I will share my plans for Tuesday through Sunday to stay on track. Being accountable to what I say I’m doing versus just pretending that I’m on track when I slip up (cuz life happens, right??) is the secret to my success in staying on track the past few years!!

I’m so excited to kick off our new support group as we prepare to get fit and healthy for summer this Spring! There’s still time to jump in if you are 100% serious, just message me today or fill out this form to get your goals lined up and I’ll contact you right away.

 

 

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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! ūüėČ

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.

Journey To Success: Stage or Not

The big weekend is here!! Summit 2015 in Nashville, TN has arrived and over 20 thousand Beachbody coaches are in attendance! Crazy and a bit scary, if I can be honest! ūüėČ

My plans, as you are most likely aware, were to compete on stage with many other Coaches who have trained and followed the meal plans to reach the goals that warrant award ceremonies. Perseverance and dedication are just a few of the practices and mindset needed for this type of training. Life has so many ups and downs, vacations and weekends, celebrations and time to let go of our “shoulds”….but for competitions of this nature, that is not an option unless you decide you’re not that committed.

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Well, I do have to say that I am 2 weeks shy of the last phase of Body Beast. The meal plan proved challenging at times but the higher calorie range helped my intense hunger while I was building muscle and dropping much needed fat stores. There were days that my body felt as though it wouldn’t be able to complete another rep or set of an exercise (especially BUILD LEG day!) but the decision to stick to the end was the ultimate goal and I wouldn’t waver or let myself off the hook with any type of mental “loophole”.

*sidenote: I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, “Better Than Before” and she dives into mastering everyday habits for success and I will be sharing many points of interesting info that I’ve been learning and actually implementing into my life since I’ve become obsessed with the tips and strategies she teaches.

Anyway, the point of this blog post is to celebrate those who are competing this week in Nashville. Best wishes to all who worked their butts off (quite literally, I might add!) and dealt with cranky mood swings, deprivation of carbs, sore muscles, waning motivation and more. I know we are all winners in our hearts, minds and families. This is not something to casually give a round of applause to..this is about changing EVERYTHING we know about being comfortable, happy, lazy and sometimes just care-free. This style of training takes a mental shift like no other “fitness or weight loss” program. So stand up and give a huge round of applause to those who are walking across the stage; tanned; donned in swimsuits; barefoot or high-heeled. I know I will be leading the applause because I understand the commitment.

The difference in my results are not in the commitment level (because I will complete these final 2 weeks of the BEAST) or the fact of my accomplishment; but only in the fact that I cannot be in attendance in Nashville this weekend to join those who are celebrating their success and hard work. Like I mentioned earlier, life has it’s ups and downs and unfortunately, I was unable to travel to Tennessee this weekend for personal reasons but I am there in heart and spirit and I am completing my journey at home.

I will share my before and after. I will celebrate my success. I will be proud of what I have done and what I will continue to accomplish in new goals along the way. Would this be devastating to most? You bet! And I was no different when I had to make the difficult decision to change my travel plans at the last minute. But what I value most is the learned behavior to NOT complain; not make excuses and not stop pushing for more. I am proud of the accomplishments I have made so far; and will continue to make in the next two weeks – and more.

It’s not about a “FINISH LINE” when we create goals and challenges for ourselves. It’s about reaching a level of success and then renewing and finding another level to achieve. This is just a small (yet disappointing) road bump; but I know there is a light at the end of this goal and there will be another road ahead.

I thank you all for your support along the past few months and the encouragement to keep going because without that I may have decided this was all for naught. I know better and I want to challenge you to look at the next disappointment you encounter in your life; the visions that change shape or roads that take a slight left turn instead of a right turn and make it into your new success reality.

Don’t ever give up and don’t ever let yourself get caught up in negativity and disappointment. Turn that frown upside down (as cliche as it sounds) and make a new goal for yourself. I am going to surprise everyone again and will be open to the next opportunity that comes my way.

Until then, get up and get your workout in!

Curbing Emotional Eating Attacks

Have you ever been attacked by a craving?

Like, you are not sure what just happened but one minute you are sitting there minding your own business and the next part is fuzzy and unclear…

but once you “come to”, you have crumbs on your shirt and chocolate dripping from your chin and your fingertips.

What just happened here? 

This is something that I had suffered through for so many years and instead of looking into the reasons why it was happening, I was under the impression that working on my sheer “willpower” would help me to conquer this beast.

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not so much…

Let’s take a look at what happens when we are in the midst of a craving attack; ¬†the cravings are driven by the chemical in our brain, dopamine. The brain seeks that rush again and again…and again! It works like a drug addiction…and “willpower” has no¬†power¬†over this at all.

But what do we do if we are trying to lose weight? What if we are focusing on replacing these attacks with healthier habits?  How do we stop these attacks and start to control their power over our brains?

Knowing our trigger points can help us understand the signs so we can work on creating a successful plan to offset the problem.

Here are some common areas that bring on the sudden attacks:

*Being under a lot of stress (ummmm…excuse me, LIFE???)

*Skipping meals and/or undereating (a big no-no but so many women practice it in hopes of losing weight)

*Not drinking enough water (seriously, who even drinks enough these days??)

*Boredom

*Lack of sleep

*Stuck in a rut

Start by learning to identify the feelings in a given moment and understand to separate those feelings from food. I will never forget one of my Weight Watcher leaders when I was just 15 years old, when I was obsessed with finding the cause of my struggles. She told us repeatedly, almost like our mantra, “if you find yourself standing in front of an open refrigerator or pantry and you don’t know what you are ‘hungry’ for; shut the door, go sit down and figure out what it is you are hungry for.¬†Because it has nothing to do with food.’

This saying brought me so much relief through many painful times as I worked on conquering this massive and powerful beast.

So, how do we finally get control of these times? It’s all about understanding the emotions first and then having a game plan set up so we are set up for success. Here are some tips.

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1. Plan a workout schedule and stick to it. You wouldn’t cancel on a meeting or appointment that was important to you, why would you not stick to a workout program that would benefit your body and your mind? I like to plan out my workout time on my calendar¬†in pen¬†and I don’t let myself get off track with anything or anyone else at that time. If you have difficulty during your day or evening, get up an hour earlier and just get it done. If you are thinking that isn’t fair because you want to sleep that extra hour; then go to sleep earlier if you must. But the bottom line is you that we all have 2 decisions on our goals. Either we don’t stick to it and we move further from our goals; or we just¬†do it¬†and the magic happens. You are just as important as anyone else that you value in your life.

2. Let’s talk about your water intake, your stress levels and the amount of sleep you’re getting. Now, don’t get me started on the fact that most of us are lacking in all 3 of these areas…let’s find out why we need to pay attention here. Our will power is lowered dramatically when we are sleep deprived, stressed out and dehydrated. Do you think that’s BS? Think about a time of known weight gain for most…’the college years’.¬†¬†Crappy food is everywhere, sleep is a second thought and stress levels are through the roof…and water? Who drinks water? There are much less hydrating beverages to be had instead. Those or us who are more active, need at least 1 gallon of water every day.¬†We also need at least 7 hours of sleep per night…and I don’t care if you can tell me that you are “good” to go after just 4 hours. That lack of sleep will catch up with you. These will create major food cravings all on their own.

3. I know I mentioned stress above but I believe it’s important enough to hold it’s own title. ¬†I know we all deal with¬†stresses. It is ‘life’ for goodness sake. But think about the times when you are stressed more than normal, these times make us so much more vulnerable to food cravings. Stress may not be something you can always control, but you can help your body handle it as best as possible. Exercise is a proven method to eliminate the negativity caused by stress; in fact, you feel immediately better after you are done. Ever hear of those “happy endorphins”? ¬†Some basic activities that bring upon a feeling of euphoria are yoga, meditation and simple stretching. Plan to attend yoga classes twice a week when you are under extra stress, or just in general. Even if you only have a few minutes to relax; just breathing in a quiet place with your eyes closed for 10 minutes will lower stress levels dramatically. ¬†Hence my Weight Watcher leader’s quote about “go sit down and figure out what you’re hungry for”, just sit and breathe…

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4. Stop the cravings! When you think of the food culprit, day or night, just firmly think “STOP!” Then picture a healthy and fit “you” instead. Do this repeatedly, even if you feel silly. It’s really sillier to NOT work on these areas so suit yourself…lol ¬†If you make this a habit, your brain will soon begin to dismiss the foods and the cravings will begin to lessen.

5. Sometimes you just gotta have one. Diets don’t work because they focus¬†on depriving ourselves of what we enjoy most. Every so often, go ahead and indulge in your favorite sweet treat. But instead of gorging on it in the privacy of your home, go out and eat it with a fork and a spoon in front of other people…with dignity. Enjoy the flavors and the richness of the dessert. I bet you are satisfied before you even finish it.