Why Your Waist Circumference Matters 100x More Than What You Weigh

Why Your Waist Circumference Matters 100x More Than What You Weigh

You totally want to ditch your scale, don’t you?

You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”.

I mean, it doesn’t define you (obviously).

What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent.

Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours and I’ll look at mine).

Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):

Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”? The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

THAT is what we’re talking about here.

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).

Yup – that apple!

And it’s not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”. The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there.

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is. It’s this “unpinchable” fat.

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

And the apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than the pear-shaped people do.

So as you can see where your fat is stored is more important that how much you weigh.

Am I an apple or a pear?

It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape. You can do it right now.

Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category. Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.

For men the number is 40”.

Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool. There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases. Waist circumference is just one of them.

If you have concerns definitely see your doctor.

Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:

  • Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food. Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.

  • Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer. It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.

  • Nix added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).

  • Move more. Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. It all adds up.

  • Stress less. Seriously! Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.

  • Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

Recipe (High fiber side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Serves 4

1 lb brussel sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Toss.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K. You may want to eat them more often.

Diet is a 4-Letter word!

 

So, it’s the weekend, right?

I know too many people who take that as a free for all in terms of eating and doing anything they want. I totally get it cuz I always did the same thing before…and then for some reason couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t seeing my results! :-/

hmmmm…seems pretty obvious but maybe not.

I want to share exactly what and why you probably have heard this a zillion times and the reasons they are critical to our body’s success.

We have gone through our entire lives learning from the media. Learning from the diet industry. Learning from other people that share their “thoughts” and “opinions”, right?

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I know from the young age of 11 years old, I thought I had to be on a “diet”…at ELEVEN YEARS OLD!  It was a constant up and down battle with myself and listening to the media, reading magazines and hearing my peers talk about their thoughts and feelings about what the best practices were and what products and secrets would help with the weight loss.

I went to Weight Watchers at 15 and learned how to portion my foods out but I know at the same time I was still filling voids in my habits with the frozen treats that the company provided for sale. I’d eat great for breakfast and lunch and then “earn” a Weight Watchers frozen chocolate brownie cake for my after lunch as a “treat”. Then the same thing for after dinner with another “treat”. Some days, I’d even warm up a frozen Weight Watchers cinnamon roll and eat it with a serving of cottage cheese as my “breakfast”.

Now these are not terrible habits, as I was able to lose 20 lbs initially doing just that. But was it healthy? Could my body sustain this way of eating long term with no negative effects later down the road?

Honestly, it wasn’t ideal in terms of nutrition. This was a simple and effective weight loss system that kept me in the “diet” phase. I could not be in the best shape; inside and outside by following this plan. I mean, think about it…we can always lose weight doing anything that cuts out any food groups or is restrictive in any way for a short time, right? Losing weight is not the issue…keeping it off  and living our healthiest lives possible is where the battle lies.

There are a zillion plus one diets out there at any given time…and counting. Just google the word “diet” and a plethora of calorie and nutrition restrictive programs will pop up. Drink juiced veggies and fruits all day and lose weight! wow! Surprising? Not really, you’re cutting out every other food group that exists so why wouldn’t you lose weight doing this? But could you do this for the rest of your life? Would you want to?

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How about the diet where you eat just protein, veggies and fats? Sure, you will lose weight because you cut out a whole food group! No carbs/grains so that must mean that they are “bad” for us, right? WRONG!! Our bodies require carbs for certain times and energy needs; so in terms of sustaining this way of eating…probably not! (just give it a try long enough and see how grumpy and lethargic you start to feel over time)

How about drinking a “Quick Slim” diet shake 3 times a day and eating a salad for dinner? Of course you’ll lose weight! That’s not the dilemma here either! Have you read what’s inside those “diet” drinks and shakes? Do you know what half of those ingredients are or where they come from? Why would you put that into your body just to lose weight when losing weight is not the issue? Keeping the weight off and feeling good about ourselves is the problem. Get to the root of the problem in order to find the solution. Diets are just bandaids. They temporarily “cover up” the problem but never deal with the solution. So the yo-yo cycle continues..and we call ourselves “weak” and feel we have no real “willpower”.

hmmmmm

Is what you’re doing now helping you long term? Fast forward 5-10 years from today and imagine you practice the same eating and fitness program until then. Will it benefit you more or less in the long run? I’m not saying to get rid of everything we enjoy; heck, I eat cake, cookies and candy regularly and am not interested if someone tells me I can’t have them! What I am saying is that we need to stop pretending that the issue is in losing weight. We can lose weight over and over and over and over again….and you know what? Some of us might be okay with that process. But think about the body and how it takes a beating each time with the weight gain and the weight loss repeatedly done over the years. We break down lean muscle tissue and we replace it with more fat stores than we began with before the word “diet” was introduced into our lives.

So today, in honor of this weekend, choose to treat yourself kindly to 1 or 2 foods or drinks that you enjoy. The rest of your meals and drinks should be chosen based on good nutrition. Stop buying crappy diet foods. Make sure any drink, shake or food you choose is filled with only the best ingredients and fulfills your body’s daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and full nutrition. If you’re overdoing it on the weekends, only to go cold turkey again on Monday…something is off balance.

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It’s not your “diet”…it’s your habits and mindset. I would love to hear from you if you agree or disagree with this! Please feel free to comment below. 🙂

 

How to motivate your kids to be healthier

So let’s talk about food and old habits.

I mean, just the sound of food sounds like it’s going to be fun, right?

But what if I said, let’s talk about good nutritional foods? Did I lose you? Wake up!!! 🙂 lol

Seriously though, just the fact of me starting a new program and meal plan (like the new 22 Minute Hard Corps), makes me realize how our bodies resist changes along the way. For example, I ate a good breakfast from my planned meal and then my Shakeology with berries and peanut butter for snack and it all seemed good…

 

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until, after lunch. I don’t know what it is about this time, but it’s like my body has a radar for 2pm and wants me to EAT like never before! Now, I am not new to this so I understand my problems.

  1. I’m starting a new plan and my body is not used to it. In response, it reacts with hunger, cravings and other annoying feelings based on what it deems as “my normal eats”…and thinks I may be starving. HAH! Right?
  2. The habits that I’ve created up to this point have made my body expect to eat something at about this time so me not giving in only makes those cravings get louder in order to gain my attention.
  3. This is normal and as long as I know I’m getting in the right amount of calories, nutrition and supplements to sustain my body’s needs and changes at this time, I can rest assured that I won’t die from starvation as my body is seemingly concerned with.

So, it all comes down to mindset. I don’t like the word willpower because it makes me think that I am not strong enough to stick to my plans. In reality, our bodies are actually working against us sticking to the new plans because it’s different. Different is not something our bodies like too much of. But in order to create new “normalcies”, we must get through the difficult “different” times and issues. Much like a new workout program, have you ever tried a new workout and been extremely miserable and challenged through it all…only to be ridiculously sore after the fact? That’s change at it’s best! Our bodies respond to changes by simply changing. That’s what we wanted to do in the first place, right? So why do we give up when we are faced with some resistance?

Yesterday, I shared my meal plans and I’m committed to staying on track today and being completely honest with you on how I do. My workout was a success (complete with sandbag! My new BFF) at 5am and then my 13 year old son started it today too..but since he won’t workout with his mom; he did his workout at 6am. I’m not mad! 😉

Get this….I really have to brag! I know as a mom, we want our kids to do and be their best. Right? Of course! It’s what we do!

Over the years of working on myself; fitness and food issues alike…they saw me working out, eating foods, opting to not eat certain foods, drinking water, readjusting to new habits, learning new ways to figure it out and although they never seemed much interested (maybe even a bit annoyed at times! haha),  but they were always watching.

Who’s watching you day to day?  #ialwaysfeellikesomeoneiswatchingme #1980sgirl

Cut to the present day and time; I have never required or even suggested that they do a workout program or eat how I eat. I just did it for myself for years. I have finally figured out the best way for my body to be happy and not get too restrictive. They see me enjoy pastries, fun foods and more along the way; but they also see me workout weekly, choose healthy foods most of the time and drink my water and shakeology daily. It’s been over 6 years in the Beachbody world; and it’s been over 25 years just working on my fitness and health goals that has brought me to this point. I consider myself kind of an “expert” 😉

So about 2 years ago, my daughter came to me and asked which workout program I’d recommend for her. She was running a lot but wasn’t happy with her results. I told her she could continue running but she would also have to add in some strength training, flexibility, rest days and full nutrition to balance it all out for best results. This was before summer season and she was highly motivated. So we started her on P90X3. Then she moved onto 21 Day Fix; 21 Day Fix Extreme, Body Beast, Piyo, Master’s Hammer & Chisel..to name a few. She started adding Shakeology to her daily meal plan and following how I ate as her food plans. Then my elder son asked me about adding muscle to his lean frame. We worked in some Body Beast and added more to his food plans in terms of full nutrition and a more balanced calorie intake. He also drinks shakeology daily and has added muscle and definition and WEIGHT to his frame. He’s a happy camper and currently doing Master’s Hammer and Chisel too. Then about 6 months ago, my youngest, (my 13 year old “bubba” boy) asked me, “what program should I do, Mom?”

I felt like crying. Seriously sobbing mom over here. All those years of me working my butt off and hearing people ask me why I was doing what I was doing, and rolling their eyes at me when I would eat “differently” from the rest of the crowd on most occasions and making time each day to get my fitness complete and my nutrition set…all the struggles that I went through and all the doubts I had over the importance of it was answered in turn when I saw all 3 of my kids doing the right thing and honoring their bodies. Sure, I make cookies and we eat fun foods. We have a normal life and I never ever ever require they follow exactly what I say. I don’t have to. I just bring the foods into the home and eat the foods I eat and they watch and they follow.

My youngest started with P90X3, moved onto Insanity Max:30 (I told him to do the modified version and that was enough for him) and now he’s starting 22 Minute Hard Corps along with me. I am just in awe…but I never ever say so! If I did, he would probably stop because mom is getting “annoying”…right? lol

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Last proud moment I have to share, as I’ve been a “sweet tooth fan” most of my life, and I’ve also created a habit of enjoying “desserts” after dinner in our family.

The irony was that I wouldn’t eat most of it but I would bake up a storm of unhealthy items (feeling confident they were better than store bought cuz I made them!) and the family would love them! They actually started to expect it as “norm”. When I would not feel up to making something, they’d ask (almost in a panic) “What’s for dessert????”

I knew it was time to make a change. I started bringing more healthy options for dessert and baked less and less during the weekdays…but never stopping altogether. (gotta have some fun along the journey too!) My normal “evening snack” usually consists of Greek yogurt and oats. Now hubby and daughter are eating the same with me every night so we are always low on the stuff! But I’m not complaining at all! And do you know what my “bubba boy” usually chooses?

Navel oranges. He cuts them up in circles to make it “fun” to eat and sits down with his bowl of cut up oranges when we watch our evening Netflix series of the moment. He starts his day with a workout, has a shakeology for breakfast (this from a kid who never ate anything but sugary cereals for breakfast, cuz he wasn’t hungry in the am) and now he starts his day with this full dose of nutrition!!

Mom pride in full effect!! Kind of makes me want to continue this journey and see what else comes from it! Seriously, who is watching you today?

Hammer & Chisel meal plan, Kathy Pro Fitness, Kathy Prohoroff, weight loss help, clean eating, meal plan for weight loss, Meal plan for fitness goals, healthy food plans, family approved healthy meal plan

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! 😉

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?????” 🙂 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 😉 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?? 🙂

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.

 

 

How to shift your mindset about exercise and weight loss

Let’s talk about exercise.

I hear quite often from people who are struggling with their weight loss efforts and begin to feel frustrated because they are unable to reach their goals for many reasons that can be due to misconceptions about their basic plans. People crowd into gyms on January 1st after the much promise of “I want to lose weight this year”, New Year’s resolution has been proclaimed the evening before. Did you know that by February 1st, 70% of those “resolutioners” quit? They just quit! Why? Because it wasn’t a strong enough desire for them to continue long term. It was a short term “fix” to some deeper issues.

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Or how about people that commit to rigorous new exercise programs like Crossfit, Insanity or running, just because they heard someone say they had some success in it?  Although there is much success within these programs; it’s not all about the programs alone. What works for one person isn’t necessarily the best plan for another. If you are a beginner, for goodness sake, start with something that can be sustained and enjoyed long term at the get go, like walking? Movement is movement, bottom line. Just get off the couch and you’ll achieve better results than sitting and watching a Netflix season while bingeing on bon-bons. The goal for more challenging programs like those above should be for those who need it and actually enjoy being challenged and able to sustain the workouts along the way.

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We should never pummel our bodies into oblivion in order to “shape” it into the perfect body we imagine. Our bodies are meant to be respected and challenged according to our levels and any previous issues. I see too often, those who seem to be punishing their bodies with exercise. They almost seem to dislike what they are doing and aren’t happy about the time they spend working out. Many times, these individuals (when not taking precautions and training smarter..not harder) will suffer an injury or burnout at some point.

One thing I repeat quite often to my group exercise classes, (and yes, I teach Insanity LIVE!) is to smile when feeling like you want to quit or stop. (this applies to all fitness plans) To actually force a smile (and even if it looks forced) will immediately improve your mood. It’s a quick shift in our brains that we are not suffering; although it may feel like we are.  This has become a habit of mine in every challenging situation I am confronted with. Just to know that I can curl up the corners of my mouth and I will feel more confident and positive in the very moment is a powerful and quite amazing habit. Why not give it a go? What have you got to lose anyway?

So what would be a better route when choosing to get healthier and fit? If we can’t just focus on pushing ourselves in our workouts, what other way can we benefit and reach our goals of weight loss? Of course, you probably know it’s in our nutrition. I’m not even going to tell you how to eat here…just the fact of getting yourself on a plan that supports your goals, your energy levels, your preferences and the enjoyment of nourishing your body will be the best plan for you. I dislike diets because they are centered around deprivation.

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Stop eating carbs and lose 15 lbs!! Drink this diet potion 3 times a day and lose your unwanted belly fat! Drink this veggie smoothie every day for a month and lose 30 lbs! 

Sound familiar? Yea, and it makes me cringe when I see these headlines, advertisements and posts because it lures those who want the quick fix into thinking this will be the magic plan. This will be the week, month, year that we finally lose that unwanted weight and feel happy about ourselves again.

FALSE!

Diets work. Plain and simple. But they are temporary. It’s like a band-aid on a much larger issue. Pretending that this will “cure” our ailments of overeating, cravings, bingeing, etc is ridiculous and the diet industry thrives off of this mindset. We want “quick”; we want “instant” and we don’t really want to be too uncomfortable while we wait for these results.

Which brings me back to the first point made about exercise that can seem to be daunting or feel miserable. I am going to be honest and say I dislike running. Do I run? Of course! But instead of using it as a tool to lose weight or be able to eat all the carbs that I want; I use it as a challenge and work to my levels and listen to my body’s cues. This wasn’t always the case. I was enjoying my running with local friends and groups as a leisure experience that challenged my body and ultimately, made me feel proud after accomplishing a challenging route. I’m not sure when I thought it would be a good idea to enter to run a marathon…but that, I did. And I trained correctly. I followed a running plan that slowly increased in mileage over time (you should have heard my hubby freak out the day I was going to run 18 miles by myself!! “who does that???” he asked….lol) and then tapered back down just before the big day. I had a goal of finishing the marathon between 4 hours and 4 1/2 hours (although I secretly hoped I could qualify for Boston! ha)

I was proud that I actually finished the run in 4 1/2 hours and was able to cross the finish line…although, hubby caught me just after and literally dragged me to the recovery area. I remember, quite vividly how I felt in those final 4 miles. After mile 22, I couldn’t bare to take another step.

But another step, I did take. And again and again. It was quite painful at that point; body, mind and spirit. I had to reach in and gather every extra ounce of will to just get the race over with. I thought about people I knew who actually repeated this process. And I wondered WHY???

But in the end, I was proud that I finished. The reason I was able to finish, however, was because I trained right. I researched best practices for training and read up on nutrition and tips to keep me strong and help me recover between long days. I didn’t mix in another workout plan at that time because I just couldn’t. I focused on stretching, yoga, resting, nutrition, hydrating along the way instead. This was not for weight loss goals, though, it was about doing something I thought I would never accomplish. Why? Because I could!

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True story!

But would I want to do it again? Probably not! I wouldn’t rule out a 1/2 marathon or shorter race but a full marathon I will leave to the professional lovers of running. My body and mind prefer lifting weights and circuit style training. This doesn’t mean that’s all I do. We should commit to doing the things we currently SUCK at. Not that it has to be perfect or that we have to learn to love it forever; but we should always know what it’s like to be challenged. Our minds are powerful tools and if we think of exercise as a tool to feel better over time (and hey, let’s face it…look better too!), we may start to enjoy it as we go along. Exercise, to me, is a way of feeling my best. I have more energy on days that I workout. I feel more positive. I am confident and feel healthy and stronger. I know that I’m setting a good example to those in my life who need it. I don’t exercise to lose weight. That comes from our nutrition, mostly. Exercise can help our goals but should never be the main focus. Haven’t you heard the saying, “You cannot out-exercise a bad diet”??? Been there…done that too! 😉