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! 😉

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You can’t handle the tooth!

Today was just LOOOOONG!!!

bahahahaha 😀

It all started here…

up at 5 am and completed my workout from Insanity Max. Day 1; month 2. Pretty good, overall.

Then got Joe up to do his workout while I got lunches made and breakfast eaten. I like to have my coffee and breakfast while I read my personal development and this starts my day on the right track, with the right mindset.

Got Joe to school and did some work before it was GO time for Amy.

She had an early morning appointment to get her 4 wisdom teeth removed…(I have 5, just saying…but that’s a story for another day!)

We were at the dentist’s office right on time and got some simple paper work completed and away she went. I thought that I was fine until she walked down the hall and there I sat…

alone.

So, I did what any other supportive mother would do…I went to the pharmacy to get her prescriptions filled. Honestly, I couldn’t sit still!!! I realize my mind just races too darned much so it was a better plan to get something done that would have had to be done anyway. As soon as I got back to the office again, she was almost done. I figured she’d be really “loopy” from the anesthesia, as that’s what they warned us of in the consult appointment. But there she sat next to me, nodding away at the receptionist’s explanation of all the things we needed to adhere to.

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Ice for 24 hours on the cheeks, antibiotics and ibuprofen every 6-8 hours to aid in healing and swelling issues, keep head elevated, keep gauze against the sutures for a few hours, no foods, no driving…you know, the usual. 

She was really a trooper, in my opinion. I helped her to the couch in the living room and she just lounged there for most of the day. She enjoyed a protein shake and a shakeology shake during the day. I noticed towards evening, she seemed to be getting a bit antsy. As I set the dinner table up for the family, I suggested she could either stay lounging on the couch or sit with us at dinner if she preferred. She told me she was so boooooored and would sit with us for sure.

As I finished cutting the salad, she came walking into the kitchen and opened the cupboard – looking for the cream of wheat. I asked if she wanted to eat that and she said, “ya”…so I offered to make it up. and since she’s quite independent (no idea who she takes after! lol) she said she would be fine making it up.

Actually the recipe she created came out really impressive. She cooked it up with milk ( as dairy is said to help in alleviating the nausea that is typically associated with wisdom teeth removal), added some canned pumpkin for flavor (genius! maybe a new recipe idea for our next support group!) and some greek yogurt for creaminess and extra protein. She sat at the dinner table with us and enjoyed the meal she had created and listened to us chatter away.

When we were nearly done, my hubby asked me to explain her surgery since she couldn’t speak all too well. I told my side of the story but obviously I wasn’t there for the whole experience and she proceeded to share her side of the story…at least, what she remembered after the anesthesia. 😉

It was after just a few minutes of her talking, when I noticed she stopped…and looked a bit panicked and her face went pale. I asked, “are you feeling dizzy?” and she nodded, still looking worried. I helped guide her to stand so we could take her back to the couch and she asked, “what is wrong with me?”

Then she collapsed…

I was left trying to hold her but it was completely impossible with the way she passed out. I called for Ben and we clumsily helped her to the couch to lie down. I asked if she could hear us and she responded, yes…and once she was reclining on the couch, she started to regain color in her cheeks. Ben opened some doors and put the fan on and she felt better yet.

I had to tease her later on how she thought she was “fine” after just a few hours on the couch and could go about her usual food planing and walking and talking as if no big ordeal had taken place that day.

Yes, my daughter does take after me, after all!! I used to believe she was all her dads’ side… but this just made my day.

Day 1 recovery, in the books. Here’s hoping tomorrow is so much better for her!

10 Lbs Gone!

It’s MONDAY!!!! I feel so re-energized with my latest goals for the New Year! It’s such a rush when I find myself actually EXCEEDING what I expected from to achieve but only comes from focused work and consistency.

It’s a shame nothing comes easy, right? I know…I’ve tried plenty of times. I used to believe I could workout enough to burn off the foods that I loved to eat, eat, eat!

That didn’t work out very well though and I had to figure out a new plan.

That’s when I decided that I would limit my foods to next to nil. All that accomplished was make me a grumpy Kathy who wanted MORE foods than ever before. How would I ever reach my goals?

Obviously, it entails both proper nutrition and calorie range…as well as the workouts to help UP the ante!

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There’s no magic workout or magic food plan or magic pill…darn it!!! But there is the option of finding the workout that you enjoy most and eating in a range that helps your body burn fat and run efficiently, without going into shut-down mode and thinking that you’re starving it to death.

Apparently, my body was confused all the time. I’m sooo sorry, body, I really am!! 

Now, I love finding new and different styles of programs that push me and challenge me to new heights. Yes, even sometimes kind of scare me too! 😉 That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to like the programs that I gravitate towards but it keeps life fun when you change things up. As for foods, I find that eating close to what I love to eat normally and just fitting it into the plan; helps me the most. That’s why this program, “Insanity Max:30” is perfect for me! It pushes me because I’m working out to MY max…not anyone else’s (there’s even a modified version for people who can’t go full force or don’t want to do all the intensity moves but still get killa results!) and it’s only 30 minutes.

Everybody’s got time for that 😉

Then…the blessed food container system (key angelic music now). I am in love. Like over the moon, I can eat like this forever and I don’t feel deprived or hungry or anything negative and I’m getting leaner and stronger every day.

I decided to step on the scale today (because I never weigh myself due to the fact that the scale is evil) to see what has happened. I didn’t expect too much in 7 weeks time, although my weekly pictures show a big change and my clothes are getting too big for me…why on earth would the scale budge? Because it just doesn’t..that’s why.

So I almost fell backwards when it showed I’ve lost ten pounds!!!

me!!!

That is just crazy talk! But I’m not going to argue or second guess it…I’m just going to finish this amazing program and then jump into the 21 Day Fix to change it up again (but not the food system; this is here to stay!)

Here is a fun recipe I found for my after workout shake with Shakeology.

Try it and see how yummy good foods can be 😉

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Peanut Butter Cinnamon Dulce Frap

• One scope Vanilla Shakeology

• 1 cup chilled coffee

• 2 packets Stevia

• Dash of sea or himalyan salt

• 1/4 cup almond milk

• Ice

Blend all ingredients together.

I like to add a spoonful of peanut butter and a dash of cinnamon to the above recipe. Yum!!

What’s your favorite after workout re-fuel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NOT! Get that protein in yo face asap! 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cruise Recap of SS Beachbody 2014

Is it Spring yet?

I’m loving the weather this week in So Cal and really enjoying being home again following our SS Beachbody Cruise last week. What a week!! Yes, I’m going to fill you in on all the info and silliness that I am known to do 😉

I also have a NEW challenge I’m entering and it will take the place of the WBFF Fitness competition I had planned on competing in this April…but for obvious reasons of overseas travels and family settlings; I decided it wasn’t in my best interest to add such a huge challenge during the last few months. It’s so important to be flexible in your life and not be tied down to anything that doesn’t support the most important areas of your life. 🙂 Mine is my family and this past year has shown me so much in love, compassion, support, beauty, healing, strength and more. Isn’t life amazing???

Okay, sappy time over! Time to give you the update on the cruise last year.

So, as you already know (or maybe not; who knows what you know about me so I won’t make assumptions here…), I work as an online coach for Beachbody.  This past year, I earned a FREE cruise the the Caribbean and was able to bring one guest for free as well.

My hubby despises cruises. I really wanted him to join me but wouldn’t want him to be unhappy on a trip that should be enjoyable. He was okay with me going and so I decided to take my aunt who had asked me before if I would take a cruise with her ever. She has never done a cruise and when I asked her, she was elated 😉

It’s funny how fast it came up and how fast it went but here I am to tell the story. (but only if you are interested in hearing it…lol) So, we flew off to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida last Sunday evening and spent the night in a nice enough hotel with eagerness and excitement to spare! Some of our fellow coaches were also staying at the same hotel so it wasn’t a shock to see them on the shuttle to the port the following morning. If you have never done a cruise before, the arrivals and departures can take awhile so it’s good to just accept it and enjoy the process.

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As we drove up to the port, we saw our ship “The Liberty of the Seas” with the banner welcoming us Beachbody coaches. I had done another cruise with Beachbody 3 years prior but we had only less than half of the ship to ourselves; the rest was filled with the general public This particular cruise was ONLY Beachbody coaches and corporate and trainers…they basically chartered the WHOLE ship!!! Tony Horton, Shaun T and our newest trainer, Autumn Calabrese (of the 21 Day Fix program) were also on board.

Really an exciting trip and overwhelming that it was paid for completely.

Once we boarded the ship, my aunt and I enjoyed the balcony room we shared and sat watching the port of Ft. Lauderdale before we departed. As we left to sea, I had a deja vu moment from the cruise 3 years ago:

We were leaving the same port on another Beachbody cruise and while we were watching the shore move away from us; my aunt called my cell phone. She had no idea that I was on a cruise. She asked if I was busy and I told her, “I’m actually leaving RIGHT now on a cruise ship for a week!” She was excited but asked me if I’d ever consider joining her on a cruise as she had been wanting to go but didn’t know who would be a good travel partner. I told her it would be a great idea and she seemed excited….

So, cut to me this last week and we were again, moving away from the shore line as I remembered the above phone call. I turned to my aunt and said, “oh my gosh! I just remembered the last time I left on this cruise and you called me!” She looked at me as she also remembered that phone call and with a smile from ear to ear, said, “And you remembered ME!”….That statement melted my heart and I knew it was right that I had asked her to come.

Anyway, the rest of the day was spent unpacking and then we got ready for dinner. The dining rooms for dinner aboard cruise ships is always a special experience and this was no different. Our group of fellow team members sat at a table together and we just had a great time talking about the days ahead.

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The next day was at sea.  I woke up at 6am to attend a live workout at poolside with none other than Shaun T. He always delivers and this workout was no different. He stayed true to Focus T25 style and made it a little more challenging with some new moves thrown in and more choreography to the music playing. Immediately following that workout, Tony Horton came out for some P90X3 style workout that just completed the hour-plus long sweat session and then we enjoyed some Shakeology to refuel.  My aunt slept most of the day and I attended the Beachbody panel to hear Carl Daikeler (our CEO) talk about his story in his earlier years. He then welcomed the 3 fitness trainers to the stage and they chatted about infomercials, success in this biz and more.

Days at sea are a bit on the boring side for me…just saying. But we enjoyed the pool side and some relaxation. Again, dinner followed and it was Formal night. Fun to dress up! 😉

Day #3 was spent in Cozumel, Mexico but not before I attended a live workout with Autumn Calabrese. We did Pilates and then I ran back to the room to change and met my aunt for our excursion on shore.

We saw the Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches and some shops on the island. It was a relaxing day and the weather was amazing. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I felt and didn’t want it to end. Back on board the ship, we had lunch and then relaxed before we headed out to sea again. That night was “disco” night. Some of the coaches dressed up like the disco era but I just wore a dress that could have passed for that time plus some wedge heels to top it off…or “bottom” it out! lol

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We were told that since it was such a large distance from Cozumel to Grand Cayman; the ship would be going faster than usual to make up time.

They weren’t kidding.

It seemed like we were SPEEDING in the enormous cruise liner and the choppy water and stormy seas didn’t help ease my mind. (I’m a baby when it comes to the ocean or flying in the air) We actually experienced a full on thunder storm as we were hurdling through the ocean towards the next destination…lol  Kind of scary…

But we made it safely to the Grand Cayman island and this island I had visited once before so I was familiar with the excursions. I started the day off with another workout with Autumn, as she had promised us “legs” day and didn’t disappoint! For the day on land, I opted out of doing any specific plans and just walked the island with my friend, Coni, while my aunt went to swim with the stingrays with some other ladies in our group. It was perfect for my mood and we actually headed back to the ship a few hours early to have lunch and lounge around the pool for some tanning before we departed again.

That night for dinner was “white night”. There was supposed to be a DJ and some festivities around the pool that night but it started to rain and everyone hid for cover.

The following day was at sea…once again. I tried my best to wake up for the early workout with Shaun T again but apparently I slept through my alarm and didn’t make ANY workouts that day! haha I guess I really needed that extra sleep. This was another panel day and we heard the top 10 coaches from 2013 talk about their success and tips on how to follow in their footsteps.

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Dinner was more casual and we had to start to pack our belongings in getting ready to depart the next morning.

I have to say that I had a wonderful time but towards the end; I really missed my hubby and kids and looked forward to being reunited with them again. My aunt seemed to have a wonderful time and talked about cruising again in the near future.

As for me, I think I’ll stick to the land vacations and really cannot wait for the Cancun trip next year at a 5 star resort. This time; hubby is coming with me as it’s a destination trip and will not disappoint!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉 I also wanted to share my next fitness challenge I’ll be competing in this coming June but you’ll have o wait for tomorrow’s blog cuz this chica is tired and needs some beauty sleep!!

Isn’t life awesome???

Workouts a Waste of Time???

So have you heard that working out won’t help you reach your goals?

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Wait, WHAT???  Did I hear that correctly?  Yes, it’s been said numerous times and In a new book called The Cure For Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness, Timothy Caulfield summarizes the data on fitness and exercise, and takes apart some of the common myths associated it.

If exercising alone could produce weight loss, we’d be a whole lot skinnier as a nation and those “success” stories would be far more common.

In general, and in the long run, as Caulfield notes, “The data simply does not support the use of exercise as a primary tool for getting thin.” Here’s Caulfield quoting Todd Miller, professor in the Department of Exercise Science at George Washington University: “People don’t understand that it is very difficult to exercise enough to lose weight. If that is why you are doing it, you are going to fail”.

This can’t be good news for the fitness industry, can it?

Let me clarify that exercise is my passion.  I will not stop; as long as I can continue moving my body and breathing.  But, does it help me reach all of my fitness goals, if done alone?

Simple answer to that is a resounding, “NO”!

Why?  In basic terms, most people go into a new fitness plan with excitement and motivation and high expectations. (think back to that packed gym room or Zumba class at the beginning of the New Year)  What they don’t take into account is HOW to actually achieve it.  There is a science to it and just simply “moving more”; won’t get your weight to drop as much as you hope.

What must happen, instead, is the practice of good nutrition, water intake, rest AND a well devised fitness program based on your goals and level.  If you haven’t ever exercised since you played soccer in sixth grade; I would never ask you to take on an extreme fitness program such as, Insanity or P90X.  These workouts get a bad rap due to the fact that complete beginners purchase them in hoping they can achieve similar success goals as seen in the infomercials.

NOT!  The better suggestion is to begin with a basic approach and build as you get stronger and better.  I would suggest simple walking for 30 minutes daily and a good nutrition plan; along with some basic supplementation to bridge the gaps in your diet.  From that point; you could start to add strength training and yoga/stretching to build the platform in your complete training plan.  Power 90 and Hip Hop Abs are better starting plans before you hit the extreme graduate programs.

Without a plan, you cannot hit a target.  You are just throwing darts and arrows all around the room; with your eyes closed, hoping to hit a target somewhere.  It won’t happen.  You will be discouraged and quit.  Or if you had invested in a program that doesn’t suit your current level or goals; you will become defeated and give up.  What will the reason be in your opinion?  That it just doesn’t work.  You aren’t strong/good/focused/etc enough to succeed.

We know that this is completely FALSE!!! You CAN achieve any goal or dream you desire if you have the proper goals in mind; the determination or “WHY” you want to reach those goals (and these must be meaningful enough to get your butt off the couch when you are tired and lazy and don’t want to) and the ideal planning.

Is it easy to do?  Sure!  It’s also very easy NOT to do if you have failed at it before or just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  That’s where a trainer/coach/mentor/friend/etc can come into play and guide you towards your success.  Choose wisely and ask a lot of questions before deciding on the best fit for you.  Also, make sure there is a guarantee on your satisfaction before you enter/sign-up.

Are you more aware of the importance now of exercise?  Do you feel you can start a program now and achieve your results?  If you need motivation and guidance and some help along the journey; please send me a message to find out how I can better help you.

“I do believe that when we face challenges in life that are far beyond our own power, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage. I’ve learned that how we face challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them.”
– Sasha Azevedo
Resources:  Johnny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S. in the Huffington Post Blog