Monthly Archives: October 2015

how to be consistent when results are invisible

Consistency is a complete game changer if you are seeking a healthier body and lasting change. Most plans will work, if you can stick to them with them. When you use the consistency method though, the results are often invisible to begin with. The little things done each and every day seem boring and insignificant and like they won’t add up. All too often plans are quit before results ever show up.

Being consistent does not fee as sexy or interesting to say that you do Paleo, gluten free or that you juice green smoothies every day.  It feels kind of lack luster to simply respond with “I eat consistent.” We tend to value novelty and choose the next best thing over good common sense. We want something that gives us rules so we can be compliant and feel good about our commitments. We want results and we want them now.

I understand because I have been there too. Thinking that if I eat well for a few days my ultimate goal will show up. That if I have a couple good workouts I will reach my strength goals or if I stretch every day for a week my flexibility will improve dramatically. Each time I quit too soon I feed my belief that it is impossible to make change with small daily efforts.  

You will be more successful if you understand that the little things you do each and everyday matter and will add up if you wait it out long enough for the outcome to show up. Then keep at it.

Is the answer really to be dieting and struggling and wasting mental and physical energy for the rest of our lives?  Is food either a strict plan to be followed with compliancy and discipline or a free for all of eating entire pizzas. Are workouts to be done with dread?

The answer likes in finding the dreaded middle ground of balance and moderation. Of acknowledging where you are truly messing up. Of giving up excuses that the little things don’t work when you have not even put in the effort to know. When I talk talk about my C3 formula for change I use being conscious, compassionate, and, you guessed it, consistent to find your own way. Here is what I hash out with my coaching clients.

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Putting in little efforts everything day and repeating them over and over again, is the answer.

How to be more consistent?

 

Be committed to the process, not the end goal. You have to acknowledge that the reason you are not making progress is because you are not staying consistent. You are not committed to the process day in, day out and focusing on doing the little things to get you to where you want to be. You have to be committed to the process even when you don’t see results. It’s like saving money. If you want to save “x” of dollars, it doesn’t happen right away but with little contributions over time it will.

Practice changing one habit at a time. It is so tempting to want to change everything all at once, but that is exactly what keeps us struggling. Instead, focus on getting really good at one thing before moving on to the next. Where do you start? What is your number one struggle? Focus on changing one big thing that will have a significant impact on your results. Over night snacking, poor lunch choices, lack of activity. Pick one thing and do it well.

Do not deprive or restrict yourself. So often I see people deprive themselves from the foods they love only to fall off the wagon. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO GET RESULTS. Just consistent.

Focus on things that matter. Creamer in your coffee or choosing a banana over an apple or a piece of bread here and there are not going to make or break you. Choosing whole pizzas, fast food, and a bottle of wine every single night, might. Focus on the big things that will make a difference. Getting more water in. Having a balance of protein, carbs and veggies at all your meals. Working out a few times a week.

Eat foods you enjoy. Eat delicious food that you enjoy. Because when you do you are so satisfied other foods don’t tempt you. When you are not emotionally satisfied with your food your cravings will be higher. When you are not physically satisfied with your food, you will be craving more.  If you do not look forward to what you eat, you are not doing it right and you will not be consistent.

You might love cookies, pizza, pop tarts and nachos but I bet there are healthier foods that you enjoy too! So make a list right now of food you love. See what you come up with and go from there. Then make a list of foods you despise, and don’t eat them.

Focus on a day at a time. Don’t stress about next week or next month or family vacation. Take it day to day.  If you find you are feeling overwhelmed then you are probably focusing on too much. Take it meal to meal. If you are still overwhelmed take it moment to moment. Ask yourself what can you do well in this very moment. Embrace the process and learn to shift your focus to what you can have, not what you can’t have. This wears on your willpower and makes you think about what you can’t have even more.

When consistency is going well you can worry less about extreme workouts and perfection with your eating. But you have to sustain motivation to keep you going and you have to have a clear vision in front of you and believe deeply that you can set out what you are about to achieve. It is hard to envision living this in the long run but you will NEVER get there if you are not consistent.

Consistency  is what you apply for 30, 60 ,90 days and beyond. Even when you are not seeing immediate results. Even when you feel like you fall off track.  Even when you feel lost and don’t know where to turn. It matters less about what specific plan you follow and more that you actually consistent with it.

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what i learned when i accidentally signed up for hot yoga


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I 100% did not intend to sign up for hot yoga. As a fitness pro and yoga enthusiast I have felt subtle, self inflicted, peer pressure that I should take a class just to experience it. I mean, I’ve tried bulletproof coffee, cauliflower rice and CrossFit. I should at least try hot yoga. The appeal just hasn’t been there so I haven’t done it.

On my recent Seattle vacation I found a trendy yoga studio on the same block as our studio apartment. Could this be any more appropriate for me? I think not. So I sauntered in, got class schedule and paperwork and signed up for the 6:00 am class the following morning. After all the walking and lack of workouts on my trip I was looking forward to it greatly.

The next morning I walked the dark Seattle streets at 5:45 a.m. in my yoga pants and long sleeved shirt and jacket, made it to the studio, got my yoga mat, put my belongings away and headed to the studio which was ironically a foggy door. Hmmm. My first sign.

I opened it and a blast of heat escaped and I can’t remember if I said it out loud or in my head but “Oh, f*#K” was the first thing that crossed my mind. My intention was not to hot yoga.

I wasn’t going to leave the class though the heat and heaviness of the air was not inviting. I set up my mat, laid down and took off my long sleeved shirt leaving a tank and yoga pants remaining. Once class started, after the first few poses, sweat was dripping down my body. And I don’t sweat. In side angle pose I could feel my bracelet sliding a centimeter at a time down my wrist and could feel the layers of clothing mold to my skin.

Should I take off my tank top and just do the class in my sports bra and pants I thought? Hell no. I never workout in my sports bra. Just the thought of it leaves me feeling to vulnerable, like I am completely out in the open for everyone to judge any other unflattering aspect of my body. Even worse, I have the mirror to judge myself the whole class. You see, I am very pro healthy body image though I can’t deny for a second that I never struggle with it myself.

My awareness and practice, in appreciating and embracing my body has improved greatly but I still have moments of insecurity, doubt, and “not good enoughness.” My moments of body shame are expressed in this expectation of what I am suppose to look and with what I currently look like.

Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It's the fear that we're not good enough.Brene Brown

I somehow, over the years, have determined that any flaw on my body is unhealthy. A less than magazine like stomach, cellulite, shorts that squish my waist, and thighs and a butt that make my pants fit tight somehow don’t match up to worthiness and somehow represent unhealthiness in my head even though I workout consistently and am very conscious of what I eat. Any poor food choice or skipped workouts goes right to my trouble areas, even though I know that is not how it works.

I am also well aware that the diet/weight loss industry is a multi billion dollar industry that prays on the insecurities of women and the impression that we should look a certain way. Women feel the expectation to show up perfect in the world, to be more by losing more and having a smaller size, therefore making our vision, perspective and mindset smaller.

I can’t stand the talk of programs that give women flatter stomachs or thinner thighs. Programs that banish cellulite and help you lose 10 pounds without even trying and the implication that they make us more worthy. That our worthiness is defined by our bodies and the smaller and more defined we are the more valuable we are. We get tied into the idea that “if” we look a certain way “then” we will be happy. This is self destruction at its finest.

The responsibility is on us and I love it.

This is not a reason not to take responsibility for your health.This is in fact, full responsibility on you, on us, to not let them take away our worthiness by determining what size we should be.

While this still fires me up I no longer put the blame on the industry. I put the responsibility on us as women. The industry will not change quick enough to influence us in a different way, so it is time to do it ourselves.

We can only feel smaller as a person if we choose to.

We can only feel unworthy with our bodies if we choose too.

The picture perfect models can only make us feel bad if we choose too.

It is time to take responsibility in our choices, not to feel bad because of the images of so called perfection and desire portrayed but to choose, to own and rock what we have no matter what. Be we are so much more than just bodies. 

You want to know what I did in my yoga class? I said screw it. Off came the tank top and I completed the rest of the class in my sports bra, not caring what others, or myself would think, in unflattering poses or movements. I let my body look like what is was meant to look like during that class, not what I felt like it was suppose to look like.

I will most definitely go back to my shirt wearing ways because I like being clothed when I workout and more importantly don’t have anything to prove to anyone else. Only myself. I don’t feel the need to work out in a sports bra but if I want to do yoga in it from time to time I have no reason to let shame and insecurity hold me back.

I will continue to acknowledge when I feel shame and insecurity wash over me and will do my best to practice self compassion and acknowledge that I am more than just a body. My body does not define me. Working towards being the healthiest version of myself will always be high in value, meaning and purpose but will not be defined by an unobtainable image of perfection.

3 lower body exercises that are harder than they look

Do you ever feel like you need just one new exercise in your routine just to keep it fresh?

I am a self proclaimed program jumper. Mainly because I have such passion for all kinds of movement and activity. I like lifting heavy things, yoga, pilates, metabolic resistance training, body weight training, kettlebells, swimming, hiking, boxing-ish and random sprints on walks with my dog. I want to do it all!

The one thing I cannot deny though is the amount of progress you will see when you keep a detailed program record of what you do, including your exercises, sets, reps, and weights used. I am super proud of myself for dedicating the past three months to a thoughtfully planned out program and instead of just guessing or making up reps and sets as I go, I have it all written down and record what weights I do each week.

I have been focusing on one heavy lift at the beginning of the workout and then have been adding a few of the variations I want to share with you today.

These in particular are not heavy in resistance but always challenge me more than I remember with that “burn” feeling and not to mention my heart rate jumps up enough for me to call it my cardio.

The Bulgarian Split Squat

These are plenty challenging without weight but I have been adding 15 lb dumbbells and it sure does make a difference. I like the BSS because of the increased stretch it puts on the hip flexor, the balance challenge, and how they build single leg stability.

 

Single Leg Hip Thruster

If the single leg version feels too challenging always start with both feet on the ground and work up to the single leg thrust. This is a great exercise for the glutes and hamstrings and is just one of the many fun variations you cand form a hip thruster.

High step up

The high step up is a great quad and glute developer and again great for single leg stability. It gets the heart rate up even without any additional weights. Always choose form and quality of movement  before adding weights.

 

Start by adding a 2-3 sets of 10-12 into your workout with any given exercise and let me know how it goes.

 

Pumpkin, Protein, Oatmeal Pancakes

You might say I am forcing fall a bit, but as soon as October hits I am ready for sweatshirts, cozy plaid blankets, and pumpkin goodies. I love the change in seasons, even though Southern California’s are mild.

I am no cook by any means, if fact I refer to myself as the lazy cook. In all honestly I simply don’t like recipes that contain tons of ingredients and tons of steps. But I am not big into eating out every day of the week either.

I want to eat simple, healthy food that taste good.  Rich, creamy meals usually leave me feeling sluggish and low energy and over the years I have transitioned my tastebuds to the point where I crave healthy food more and rich food is not evening appealing. You can read more about my journey here.

My healthy eating strategies lie in finding meals that are simple to prepare and throw in a couple new recipes here and there when I feel inspired. In fact, my goal right now is to try one simple new recipe each week and create a simple eating recipe booklet. Pumpkin inspired me this weekend so here ya go!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used cake batter, any protein flavor that will blend well with pumpkin)
  • 1 small packet of truvia or stevia
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  2. Heat pan and coat with a cooking spray.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop a small amount of batter on pan.
  4. Cook until solid enough to flip and then cook on the other side until done.

Makes 4-6 pancakes, depending on the size.

I will top mine with peanut butter or a dollop of greek yogurt.

4 ways to quit the comparison game


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I have come along way in my mindset journey but comparison is something I practice on a daily basis. Some days I don’t let it get to me and other days I let it bring me down.

But I keep practicing because deep down I know that another person’s success, whether deemed as a better body, more money, a promotion, a nice outfit, a better house, does not indicate my failure or lacking.

This is really tough when we have access to everyones highlight real on social media. We see peoples best out of 20 selfie, their Pinterest like meals, and when we are home bored on a Saturday night we see their exotic Caribbean vacation and someone feel bad about ourselves. 

Do you ever see the bathing suit model when she’s bloated, someones meal when it looks like a pile of mud or a the stack of bills that they have to pay on a Friday night. Rarely.

And really it is a game we play in our heads isn’t it? We go about our days minding our own business and then we get to that moment where envy, lack, and failure takes over. We win in our heads when we do something well, we lose when we see someone doing something “better” than us.

Here are 4 things to keep in mind when you feel comparison taking you down. 

Remember, comparison is an ego game.

This is something I don’t like to admit because I like to think I do not have a big ego. But when I compare, I do. You know why? Because when we compare we are either deeming ourselves better or less than someone else.

If I lift more weight in the gym than someone else do I really want to consider myself better than them? No. If I make less money than the person next to me do I want to consider myself less than them? No. If I have my shit together all the time does it mean I am superior to someone else? No.

But some people do. To each is own, however having those feels of superiority will leave you feeling inferior when you come across someone who does it better. And while I am proud of my hard work in life, the superior, inferior game does not feel good. In fact, in robs my joy, happiness and feeling good about myself and my life.

Be aware of what is real.

Victoria’s Secret models, fitness models and images that grace the covers of fashion magazines. They are not accurate depictions of how people look everyday.  They probably trained for months to get that look, that they will maintain for a day or two.  Models do not sustain that look for an extended period of time. As for the women who DO have that body shape in real life, when we see them in magazines we are still seeing an altered image. They are airbrushed, touched up, glamorized, with the perfect angles and lighting, and somehow have created an image in our heads of what is ideal in society.

Be realistic about your goals and what you are comparing yourself too. Keep in mind that you are often your worst judge and ask yourself if you would criticize other people’s bodies and lives the way you criticize your own.

Use comparison as inspiration.

If you see someone who you constantly envy could you turn that into inspiration? This is tough because comparison is usually associated with jealously and envy which are not good or helpful feelings. But if you learn to acknowledge those feeling and turn them into reasons to motivate and better yourself you can learn to keep your eyes on your own paper and “do you” really well.

Because everyone has their own strengths and you will NEVER be better than anyone in everything, though it is amusing when I see people behave that way. By turning the focus back on yourself it actual gives you this incredible amount of power to do something about where you feel like you might be lacking.

When you spend your time trying to seek validation or approval from others by trying to be better than the next, you waste your energy and resources on your own self. Get clear on what you want and find ways to find meaning and purpose in life and spend less time on letting others define your worth.

Learn to be content but not satisfied.

While an end goal can be fulfilling, it is not responsible for complete joy and happiness, and the process of actually getting there is where we thrive, through the struggle and all! Just like losing weight, getting promoted, getting into a relationship, reaching a goal is not a guarantee for our satisfaction. We get it so mixed up sometimes that “if” I achieve a certain goal, “then” I will be happy.

It is the if/then conundrum. Start to learn how to enjoy the journey. I recently posted on Instagram, that I love being a work in progress. I think as humans we get consumed by goals but deep down we really love the journey. Because once that goal is hit we automatically seek more. So if you are going to be constantly seeking out improvement (which is fine) learn how to be content along the journey even if you are not completely satisfied. You don’t have to be miserable on your way to success.

In the end being sex, interesting, and admired is not just about the physical being or what they own, but about the person you portray, the ideas you have, and the person you are. Have you ever been mesmerized by a person in general by the way they carry themselves, the way they act, or the knowledge they speak. I have!

You were meant to be real, not perfect. You were meant to be you not someone else. You have gifts to share that no one else has. So instead of trying to be a clone of someone else, be more human, be more real, be more you.

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the 3 biggest food mistakes you are making

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I am getting a tad more personal here today because I truly feel that our struggles with food run deeper than simply what we eat.

I had a time in my life where I almost felt desperate. I was doing everything “right” yet stuck in this diet cycle. And it wasn’t just the perfect eating and endless workouts, it was the unhappiness, stress, guilt and overwhelming amount of mental energy that went alone with it.

It almost felt like my life was missing some type of higher purpose, some types of great meaning and fulfillment.  And looking back, I understand why. I was focusing on my time and energy on simply what my body looked like, no matter what else was going on in life.

It dulled and clouded my perspective on life. And with all the stress and effort, my body was staying exactly the same. It felt like I didn’t care if my body was the exact same if I could just alleviate the stress and negative emotion around it all.

I wish I had someone at the time to help guide me towards a different way of thinking.

I was making some major mistakes in relation to food and it didn’t have to do with anything I was eating. It was my perception around food.  I had to learn that the answer was not a another diet or period of restriction.

Because that is exactly what kept me struggling. I had to do a little self reflection but I gathered 3 food mistakes I use to make and see others commonly make when it comes to food and eating. Do you?

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Ignoring portion sizes.

Its kinda ironic because we tend to think if we eat healthy foods, low fat, low calorie, sugar free that we have permission to eat as much as want. I get it. We all do it.

But a free for all, even with healthy food, can hinder our goals as well. Because it keeps us from listening to our bodies. I started to realize this over the last couple years on vacation. I wouldn’t have access to as “healthy” foods as normal so I would eat more bread, burgers and things I just normally wouldn’t eat.

Because I didn’t deem them as healthy in my head, I would be really conscious of keeping my portions smaller and not going back for seconds if I wasn’t truly hungry. You know what started to happen? I would come back from vacation feeling leaner than when I left!!!

My point is that I was listening to my body and eating until I was 80% full. How do you know you are 80% full? You feel like you could have another bite or too. And this is flippin hard!! Because this is where the true practice comes in. Saying no when you feel satisfied but you feel like you could have a little bit more.

Setting foods as off limits.

Starting today, don’t label any food, meal or macronutrient off limits. Protein will not make you bulky, carbs are not bad for you, fat will not make you fat. Bread, chocolate, wine? Don’t label it good or bad, just label it as food.

Our first solution for body changes always seems to be restricting certain foods. But have you ever noticed that when you set a food as off limits you seem to want it more. There is actually research on this concept in one of my favorite books called The Willpower Instinct. And essentially, the more you try not to think about something, the more you think about it.

The author Kelly McGongial states, “Whatever fear of desire you try to push away will become more convincing and compelling. When you stop try to control unwanted thoughts and emotions they stop controlling you.”

Whats the answer? Let yourself feel what you need to feel and try not to feel like you have to act on it. If you are thinking you shouldn’t have bread, let yourself have that thought but also let yourself have that piece of bread.

I use having chocolate everyday as a way to take away the power. Now when holidays come around I could cared less about the little appropriate colored foil candies surrounding me. In fact, I don’t even want them!

Practicing the scarcity mindset.

Using the scarcity mindset when it comes to food keeps us in a state of lacking. We fear if we don’t have this cookie, glass of white, plate of nachos we won’t ever be able to have it again. Because the truth is food will always be available to you.

If late time snacking calls your name, remember you can have that food tomorrow. Just because it is Halloween doesn’t mean candy won’t be in the store after it is over. Just because you say no to ice cream right now doesn’t mean there will not be another opportunity.

I think this perspective intensifies itself because we commit to eating perfecting, doing a diet, being on a meal plan, etc. When we do those things we create scarcity with food, because we “can’t” have it. But we can, we just have to focus on making smarter, more conscious choices and just not be so greedy when it comes to our food. How lucky are we to be able to have food WHENEVER we want it!?!

Practice having an abundance mindset when it comes to food. We have enough, we are enough, we will be enough. Practice not needing food whenever you want it and in turn food will lessen its power and control on you.