Monthly Archives: December 2015

6 things I want every woman to know about health and fitness

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Let’s talk about you for a minute. Lets talk about your transformation. The one that takes you from not feeling like you are taking as good a care of your health as you could be, not feeling great in your own skin, and not living your best life to having the healthiest body you can and feeling strong, comfortable, happy, and confident in your own skin. Envision it. Feel it. Know it is possible. 

There is one big problem though. An umbrella of problems rather that come in the form of conventional wisdom and current advice encouraging women to shrink their bodies through low calorie, low fat, restrictive diets and excessive exercise.

The diet dogma, more is better, all or nothing, get smaller to be happier approaches, are the exact things that keep us struggling.

It seems that our brains like to think that just because exercise takes longer or is a diet is more restrictive it must be better for us, or better at getting results.

It sure kept me struggling for years. I thought that more exercise was better and stricter eating would get me the results I wanted. With much time, self trust, and a little bit of guidance I slowly started to cut back on exercise and loosen my rigid diet guidelines.

A funny thing happened when I started to cut back on exercise. I got a little bit happier first and then leaner second. I was happier in a sense that I wasn’t putting so much pressure on myself to workout, was able to relax around my food choices, slowly practicing more positive self talk and body acceptance.

I started focusing on exercise that helped me create a strong foundation with body and help support a healthy metabolism and eating foods I enjoy without deeming things as off limit.

How could I get leaner by doing less exercise and being less strict with my eating? It blew my mind and everything I always thought I knew about working out and eating.

So I started to mix up the conversation with myself and clients. Instead of turning to what I *should* do with eating and exercise I started to turn towards more mindset work behind why I do what I do and started to learn to create my own way of doing things.

With that in mind I put together a list of things that I hope women (and any one for that matter) will start to consider when it comes to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

More is not better when it comes to exercise and less is not better when it comes to food.

More time and burning more calories is what we have been taught when it comes to working out. Eat less calories and restrict more food is what we have been taught when it comes to eating.

That is simply not the case. Just because you spend a lot of time exercising or restricting food does not mean you will get better results. You may temporary get results and believe me I know that feels enticing, but the quicker it comes off the quicker it will go back on.

Sustainability and consistently trump any specific way of eating and exercise. In can be daunting to commit to the process for life rather than any type of 21-day, 30 day, 60 day program, but the more you get comfortable with the idea, the more you will be likely to implement it.

You don’t have to change everything all at once.

I want to discuss Pareto’s principal which I am sure you have heard of before as the 80/20 rule. I always hear it in this phrase. You wear 20% of your closet 80% of the time.

When applied to eating and exercise think about it this way. Eighty percent of your results come from 20% of your effort. In other words most of your results are coming from a series or set of large habits not all the nitty gritty details.  This is actually great news because it takes away the need to try to change everything all at once.

The 20% are what I refer to as the difference makers. The things that make a difference. Healthy meals, proper sleep, consistent exercise. Not whether or not berries are the best fruit choice or if squash has too many carbs.

Nutrition is different for everyone and diets are not the answer.

I know this is tough in the beginning because we want answers. We want to be told exactly what to do and have a plan laid out for us. It feels safe, it feels controlled, it feels like we are doing more and harder we try, the better results we will get.

The reality is these types of plans work against us. They keep us in a powerless cycle of never relying on our own body, thoughts, and desires and keep us fearing certain foods, fearing social events with excessive food and temptation and things that are not on plan. They keep us in a dependent state only supporting our belief that we can’t do it without a plan, diet, or quick fix cleanse. But we can.

If we can learn to trust our instincts, trust ourselves and learn how to make food and exercise work for us, not against us, we will realize that it doesn’t have to be so damn difficult, strict or tiresome. It can feels simple and easy with time.

Wanting to change is not enough. You have to put in the work.

In the beginning it feels tough and like everything is working against you. You put out a ton of effort and investment into change and it feels like your results are lagging behind. It feels unfair. It feels hard. It feels like it is not worth it.

It is tempting to want to give in at the first signs of struggle or self perceived failure. But through your struggle is where your success lies and there is no way around it. Change will come, you just have to stay with it, learn and move forward.

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Happiness is in the journey not just the outcome.

We like to think that once we reach our body goals that we will have a flood of happiness and confidence that we because we finally made it we can either stop putting out the effort or will find this great burst of happiness and satisfaction.

Happiness and joy is often found in the process. In overcoming challenges. In experimenting to see what works best for your body. In conquering new exercise and trying new recipes. In little accomplishments along the way.

Refrain from putting all your worth and happiness in that end goal and practice it now. Otherwise before you know it, everything will have passed you by and you will be left searching, new body or not.

Being able to do something long term is your golden ticket.

Not quick fixes, detoxes or cleanses. As much as you want them to work they just don’t plain and simple. You body is its own amazing detoxification system.

Creating your own process and your own unique rules in regards to exercise and eating is what matters if you want sustainable change.  The journey does not require an ounce of perfection. In fact it requires you to get comfortable with failure, set backs and discomfort and requires you to have the mindset to just keep going.

In the beginning it may take weeks, months or even years to find your formula but what is that amount of time if it is something you can do forever. Start to question the traditional rules and pay more attention to how you feel. Listen to your body. Like the way you live. Be in it for the long haul!

But I’m just not motivated!!!  (And 4 awesome workouts for you)

Today I want to talk about creating motivation.  But first quick ANNOUNCEMENT! I am have been putting all my time and effort in the opening of my Fit With Adele Lifestyle Membership group that starts this January 4th!

This is an exclusive food, fitness and mindset solution to help YOU figure out a way you can eat and exercise forever!  Because I hate quick fixes. They keep us struggling and unable to fend for ourselves.  And the best thing about this membership is that it is ongoing so you can finally get serious about consistency! This is an education on yourself and there is not better way to spend your time and energy! Be sure to check out the details here: Fit With Adele Lifestyle Membership

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We all have different degrees of motivation and different levels of being ready to change but one thing most of us all have in common is that we don’t always feel motivation to do everything 100% of the time. And feeling like we *should* be motivated all the time, only keeps us working against ourselves.

The other day I set a timer for 20 minutes and had a list of exercises to repeat over and over until the time was up. Except for some reason I just wasn’t motivated. My thoughts were all over the place.

I didn’t want to do it. It didn’t seem worth it. I could do it later. I was kind of hungry. Would it even matter or make a difference?

I was frustrated with myself as to why couldn’t I just use my free 20 minutes to just keep going. Even if it was not my best effort. Even if it wasn’t my best workout.

I finally told myself you either do it or not and accept the decision either way. I reluctantly proceeded to workout. I didn’t force myself to use make it my best workout of all time. I just focused on completing exercise after exercise for 20 minutes. I let myself rest. I let myself use lighter weight. But I did it.

Whether it seems like it or not, this has been a huge mindset shift in the way I perceive working out and exercise. Because 20 minutes use to not be worth it, not be long enough, and if I wasn’t giving 110% it just didn’t feel worth it. If my heart wasn’t pumping at 90% of my max effort I didn’t think it would make a difference.

The alternative used to be just not doing it.

This is ironic considering that more and more exercise use to be my go to method in fear that I would gain weight or fall off track because I wasn’t being disciplined and putting in the time I thought was necessary. But 20 minutes? Nah, it wasn’t worth it.

So where does motivation come from anyways? Motivation is not something you have, it is something you create.

I will repeat that again.

Motivation is not something you have it is something you create.

Each and every day. I wish I had some inspiring method to share where you feel 100% motivated day in, day out. Some days you will not be motivated to exercise and somedays you will find you are able to do it with more ease. The key is to find ways to create motivation. Here’s how.

Quit the “I’m just not motivated” thought process.

Telling yourself how unmotivated you are is a great way to keep NOT feeling motivated to exercise. The things you think and tell yourself typically unfold as thoughts are incredibly powerful whether they seem like they are or not. Instead of telling yourself how unmotivated you are simply tell yourself that you are making the choice either to exercise or not to exercise, to eat healthy or not eat healthy. Regardless of your choices, take ownership for them.

Upgrade your environment.

Surround yourself with people and things that keep your focus where you want it to be.

Daily quotes, blogs, like minded people, support groups, leaving your yoga mat and tennis shoes out, what ever it might be. Find ways to keep your health and fitness vision front and center. It is easy to feel motivated when you read something inspiring or check yourself about the importance of health but it is all too easy to let those thoughts hide away.

Do the things you don’t want to do.

You will find success when you do the things you need to do whether you want to or not. You hear a lot lately about ONLY doing movement you enjoy and ONLY doing exercises you want to and I understand the intention with those thoughts and I encourage it to a degree but it doesn’t replace doing the work. You want change? You have to change something you do daily. It is not always easy and it does not alway feel fun but it it is the reality of what needs to be done.

What you do, you become better at. Create Positive Habits.

With habits, if you want them to be a sustainable part of your life you can’t spend too much time or energy thinking about them. Because the more you think about them the more you have to fight willpower and self control.

The more you just show up at your workouts when motivation is average, the better you get at conquering it. The more you skip over it, the better you get at it too. This comes with practice and the more you practice it the better you get at it.

When you get better at it, you slowly create a new set of healthy habits. And habits are one the best things for us, IF they serve us. Because unhealthy habits can easily be one of the most detrimental things for us. The brain likes easy and if skipping workouts feels easy, it will gravitate toward that.

Commit yourself to a realistic schedule that fits your life.

Over committing sets you up for failure. We have all done it before. Committed to working out 6 days a week, and this will be THE time that we are finally motivated to get back on track. But if you commit yourself to a schedule in which requires you to give more energy than you have, you will find yourself struggling to keep up and revert back to your old ways. Start small and build. Five minutes a day is better than no minutes. Two workouts a week is better than none. Once you find yourself completing these small bouts of exercise slowly build your motivational toolbox.

Now that you have some perspective here are 4 awesome workouts to give a try!

 

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Your version of sprinting.

When I talk about sprinting it doesn’t always have to be what we typically envision: printing like a track star in the Olympics. Sprinting like that is hard on the body and not for everyone. Not for most people actually. So when you sprint (which can be done running, on a bike, in the pool, using stairs) go at a faster than normal intensity that causes you to be at a non conversational pace. For me this feels more like a fast jog. Start with 20 seconds at a fast pace and then rest until you feel ready to go again. Repeat 5 times total to start.

Get after it with leg day!

Deadlifts 5,3,1

Then:

15 Goblet Squats

15 Walking Lunges

15 Elevated Glute Bridges

Repeat 4x

Bodyweight Workout

60Jumping Jacks

50 Bicycle Crunches

40 Bodyweight Squats

30 Glute Bridges

20 Push ups

10 Jump Squats

Metabolic Circuit

Pair together a few exercises that focus mostly on one muscle group and using dumbbells perform each exercise for the number of reps.

10 DB Thrusters

10 Push Presses

10 Push ups

10 Bent Over Rows

Again, don’t forget to grab your spot in the lifestyle group. Registration closes this Saturday. More details here.

Train your core, train your lats?

Many people will focus on core training with a strict routine of crunches of all kinds, hanging ab raises and if they are lucky throw in a plank variation.

But what about other muscles of the torso? They are so often ignored just because they are not the “showy” muscles of the abdomen or because there is this idea that directly training the abs is the best way to reduce them. This is not the case.

Back in the day, this use to be me too.

One my major shifts in core training arrived about 10 years ago when I became a Pilates instructor and started to increase my focus on muscles such as back extensors, deeper abdominal muscle like the transverses abdominus and ALL the glute muscles. It helped increase my awareness and the  importance of training muscles to stabilize the spine and pelvis.

More recently when I attended physical therapy from back issues created by mild but ever so present condition of Scoliosis I had a therapist refer to all the muscles that stabilize the scapula (shoulder blades) as the second core. Not only did I plank it out during those sessions, I worked my glutes like crazy and retracted and depressed those shoulder blades like crazy. Shoulders back and down, back and down.

Our everyday posture IS a problem!

 

It makes sense if you think about our posture epidemic from sitting, texting and typing and everything forward that we do. We lose strength in our core and upper back and create tightness in our hip flexor and quads and develop gluteal amnesia, a term coined by Dr. Stu McGill, pretty much saying our glutes are not activating properly. That’s a whole other issue for a completely different post.

I started to not only read more about core training and apply everything I learned and have continue to learn through books, workshops, conferences and my own experience.

It has brought so much awareness to my training now that I have considered so many additional muscles to my core than strictly training the abdominals.

And yes even my lats.

Lats are short for Latissimus Dorsi which is the muscle of your back that starts by attaching to the lower part of the spine and top or your pelvis and sweeps as the way up to the upper arm. It is worked in exercise like pull ups and pulldowns but has a important roll in stability of the torso.

In the book The New Rules of Lifting , Supercharged the lats are referred to a the “Kevin Bacon of musculoskeletal anatomy: a star in some movements (the pulling exercises), and a crucial supporting player in deadlifts and squats, in which they help safeguard your lower back.” The lats work in a pulling motion, anytime you take your arms down by your side. In the gym think rowing, pull ups, lat pulldowns etc.

Be sure to add these exercises into your routine.

 

When possible I like to perform my pulldowns (and other pulling movements like rows) from a standing position versus a seated position. This requires me to stabilize my core while working my back muscles rather than being confined to a seat. Here are a few exercises to get you started.

Assisted Pull-up machine.

Pull ups with bands, assistance or unassisted.

Standing Lat Pulldowns (single arm variations also).

Standing Rows (single arms variations also).

Planks with row or pulldown (shown in video below)

 

 

 

The Hunger Games Part 2 – Is 6 meals a day the answer?

Establishing parameters feels good when it comes to eating because it gives us guidelines in attempts to simplify the chaos we have made of food.

Low fat. High fat. Low Carb. Vegan. Paleo. The Zone.

Don’t eat after 8. No carbs at night. Eat 6 meals a day.

I am going to talk specifically about the latter today but ultimately know that no specific way of eating will conquer bad habits, stressed out choices, and restricting food (or overindulging) for lengths of time.

Eating 6 meals a day is a modern way of eating. Back in the day (even 50 years ago) we never were given the advice to pack our Tupperware for the the day and time out our mid morning and afternoon snack whether we were hungry or not.

We are told to eat more often because it speeds up our metabolism and if you can speed up your metabolism you can turn yourself into a fat burning machine and get the results you are seeking. That if you eat every few hours it will control your hunger. That if you eat every few hours it will boost your energy.

Don’t feel bad if you have believed this or tried this. I sure have. I have done the extremes of the tupperware packing to simply making sure I eat every couple hours. I remember one day stressing out about how I was going to eat my mid morning chicken and vegetables during my 5 minute break between clients. I wasn’t even hungry!

The thing with the body is it adapts and if you train yourself to eat 6 meals a day it starts to expect to eat 6 meals a day. Hungry or not.

Is this wrong? No. If you are hungry, eat. At the same time learn to find balance with hunger. Not giving into it the second you feel like it but not letting it drag on too long in hopes it will give you better results.

Here are a couple concepts to consider about hunger and eating 6 meals a day.

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Am I hungry or does the clock say it’s time to eat?

Don’t be scared to be hungry.

The thought for many of us is that if we just eat 6 meals a day we won’t have to worry about being hungry because we are eating every few hours. This is standard advice. But what is wrong with temporary hunger?

In part 1 of my blog post The Hunger Games, I discuss this mindset dilemma in which some people think being starving all the time equates to success. Hunger for sure does not indicate victory but it is not something to fear either.

I often have clients tell me, “But if I eat breakfast I am hungry for the rest of the day.” I respond, “Good. Your body is meant to be hungry.” 

Hunger is not the issue, self control is. Learning to adapt to the discomfort of hunger from time to time and how to control eating when hungry are good practices to adopt.

Eating more often gives you more opportunity to overeat.

When our willpower is shot and our self control is limited (which it is these days) why would we so often give ourselves more and more chances to eat, and overeat? More and more chances to have to make decisions!

In the book The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal, it discusses how we make, on average, about 200 food choices a day and our self control is highest in the morning and decreases throughout the day.  So let’s not  force ourselves into more decision making with food. Start by planning your 3 bigger meals for the day and 2 snack ideas. Then go about your day and try to eat in accordance to true hunger, not what the clock says.

Eating every few hours keeps your body in a chronic state of digestion. 

When we eat every few hours our bodies are constantly digesting and never really get a time to rest. This can leave people feeling bloated, feeling like they constantly need to have food in their system and not really paying attention to what their body is saying. Hungry or not.

Like I said above, this is a modern way of eating that we have trained ourselves in.

Eating every few hours doesn’t take into account if you are hungry, need or want food.

 

In a world of high access and overabundance of food, we are used to eating just to eat. Just because the food is there. Just because we have a craving. Just because we feel like it. We are told to eat things to curb our cravings, to ward off hunger, to keep us full.

But we are talking temporary hunger people. We are talking a couple hours of hunger. It is ok to be hungry. Now if you are skipping food all day, every day to lose weight, trying to be productive at work, and get your workout in at 5 p.m. before you settle down for your one meal of the day lets talk. That is not smart or sustainable.

Is there a place for eating more often throughout the day? Sure. When schedules are odd  or training for certain goals like bodybuilding, an athletic event, certain physique goals. There is a time and place for eating more often throughout the day.

Blindly following common advice is something we need to start thinking about in depth before we actually apply it. Just because we are told to do it doesn’t mean it always works.

Some reading this article may be committed to their small meals throughout the day and love it. Some may have dabbled in it a bit and some may eat one meal a day. The key is, is it working for you?

Ask yourself that question and proceed as necessary.

White Turkey Chili

 

Simple and easy is the name of my game when it comes to food and cooking. Enjoy! 🙂

 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/2 TSP Italian Seasoning ( or any you prefer)
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 can white beans
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1 package of lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 cup or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup of favorite salsa
  • Toppings of choice: Cilantro, greek yogurt, shredded cheese

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Saute onion in oil and add and cook turkey meat thoroughly in a large pot.
  2. Add seasonings, salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse canned beans and add.
  4. Add salsa,  stock and spinach.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce heat to simmer until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  6. Turn off heat, let cook, dish into bowls, add garnishes and enjoy.

Adele’s 5 Friday Favorites

Holiday shopping done or not, it is practically here! So what are you doing this weekend? I have a few plans that include sleeping in, writing, and definitely getting in a workout or two. It’s part of my stress management game. In fact, everything in this post today is part of my stress management game. My 5 Friday Favorites. Let’s go!

Currently Sipping

Craving Cocoa from Metabolic Effect designed specifically to reduce cravings and hunger. I use this delicious concoction with a bit of water, almond milk and cinnamon and make up hot chocolate, smoothies and  pudding for snacks that are super low in calories but high in fiber and satisfaction. If you want to get all sciency, Metabolic Effect says this:

“Cocoa powder is one of the richest sources of bioactive compounds that can alter brain chemistry to bolster mood, reduce hunger and combat cravings. It works through increasing key neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine. It also contains natural cannabinoid compounds like the powerful molecule anandamide, often referred to as “chemical bliss.”

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Currently Reading (re-reading)

The 4 – Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Yes I am in re-reading mode because I like to keep my focus on things that keep me in line with the mindset I want to have and the goals I want to achieve. It is all too easy too let those thoughts slip if we are not careful. This books has tons of mindset bombs such as this. “The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.”

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Currently Thinking.

You know how much capability our iphones have? And how we probably use 1/10 of it. That is how I truly feel about our bodies and our lives. We have so many capabilities, opportunities and skill. We just don’t know how to use it. Or we know how to use it but don’t like going through the challenge, pain or discomfort of something difficult, the unknown, or the seemingly unrealistic. So we choose to lay low and simply dabble in what we feel comfortable in or what we convince ourselves we are capable of. Do yourself a favor and go buy The 4-hour Workweek to find a little inspiration and motivation.
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Currently Eating.

White Turkey Chili. The recipe will be up in blog form soon. With a significantly cooler week here in SoCal (enough to break out the beanies, boots and parkas for our chilly 50 degrees) I was all about something stew like. White beans, ground turkey, onions, spinach and salsa all make up this delicious dish. Add parmesan cheese to top and I was one happy girl.


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Currently Sharing.

I was looking back on some of my blog post and wanted to share a few on topics that tend to come up often when talking with people about health, fitness, and mindset.

Lacking confidence? Check here.

Curious about your own perception of hunger. Read here.

Need help making healthier choices. Start here.

Want motivation to be more consistent? Learn here.

I will leave you with that and remember to start surrounding yourself with things, people, notes, words, and reminders that keep you in line with your goals.

 

 

How to get “unstuck” from where you are and find your version of healthy

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Does having a healthy body lead you to a healthy mind? Or does having a healthy mind lead you to a healthy body?


Today I want to talk about where you are. Not where you want to be. Not where you used to be. Where you are right in this very moment.

A lot of negative emotions that range from discontentedness to unhappiness, frustration, sadness, and anxiety show up when we expect our current state to be different from what it actually is. We get so focused on our bodies and how they use to be or what condition we think they should be in, we lose focus and energy of actually putting in the work to do what we need to do on a daily basis.

We focus on how we use to workout when we had all the time in the world, what we use to wear 10 years ago, or what we use to eat when we were 19, on a diet, stressed, or did not work full time.

We focus on what our bodies could be in the future: healthier, leaner, stronger. We focus on how our minds could be: happier, freer, more confident.

But what about now? What about what we need to do today, this afternoon, at this very moment to get unstuck from the past and future and work toward our own version of healthy. How do we stop putting off what we know we want to do? How do we bridge the gap from where we are and where we want to be?

As much as health is physical, it is equally, or more, emotional and if you are feeling stuck, start to learn to shift the way you think about things. You may ask, but how?

I know that I personally can easily get hung up on what other people are doing or stress on a daily basis if my daily habits don’t line up my with health vision. I always hold on to the hope, desire and belief about a vision of where I want to continue to go but when I don’t do it, it frustrates me. It makes me feel stuck. It makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel frustrated when I just am not following through with what I intended to do.

The thing is, I have always put in the work to be healthy. I workout regularly and eat well but the way I use to think about food and exercise has not always been healthy.

I would either get caught in the deprivation of food or thinking more and more exercise was the answer.  I would think about diets or workout programs I did in the past that worked or how I could eat whatever I wanted when I was training 3 hours a day for volleyball practice.

I would focus on the wrong things, thinking that my happiness was equated to being leaner or having a flatter stomach in the future. That if I could just hurry up the process and be in complete control of my choices I would just be ok. I would just be happy. I could start living my life more and be more confident.

Learning a little bit of patience, consistency and focusing on the commitment of doing what I need to do now (as in today) instead of the or future has helped me feel, not as overwhelmed.

How can we learn to not tie our happiness to some long term goal but find satisfaction in daily commitments and successes? 

The book The Slight Edge discusses positive psychology research that actually shows that happiness is derived more from the day to day actions and accomplishments than big events or ultimate goals.

This. Is. HUGE. When it comes to our healthy journey could we learn to be more engaged in the process, the day to day accomplishments then continuously seeking some big end goal?  Success with health is ongoing and a daily commitment for the rest of our lives, as scary and enormous as that may seem. It is not a one and done kind of program.

How to become unstuck? 

Becoming “unstuck” and finding your version of healthy is a combination of effort and the way you think about things. Because being miserable on our journey really does nothing for us. It sucks the energy from us that we could be using to our body and health.

Before focusing  on the exact eating or workout plan start here, as simple as it may seem.

Acknowledge your current state.

Acknowledge your current state with your body, your schedule, your habits. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past or could do in the future. It matters what you choose to do now.

Ask yourself these questions.

Does success lead to happiness or does happiness lead to success?

Does having more make you grateful or does being grateful make you feel like you have more?

Does being having a better body make you worthy or does feeling worthy lead to a better body?

The big misconception that happiness is created by the big, elaborate events, monetary gains, the perfect job OR reaching a certain standard with your body.

When you can come from a place of self acceptance and ownership of your choices, you start to rely less on what the outcome could be and if you could make you happier and more on the process of doing the work. Belief is a great strategy and starting point but not when done alone. Results and change don’t come from hope.  They come from daily action, work and patience.

Do the work by starting small.

 

Changing everything at once is like trying to teach a baby how to walk in a week. It just doesn’t work. Wake up each day and vow to do your best. Vow to eat more veggies, drink more water, make your healthiest choices at meals. Commit to some type of movement each day, even if it is not a full workout.

Don’t commit to perfection and when you fall (because there will be failures) get back up and try again. And again. And again.

When it comes down to it: where you are stuck in your health journey?

Is it with your body or with your mind?

Does having a healthy body lead you to a healthy mind?

Or does having a healthy mind lead you to a healthy body?

Adele’s 5 Friday Favorites

In all honesty, while I appreciate the week and the opportunity each day brings me, I am so ready for the weekend. I love mornings where I don’t have to rush off anywhere and can sit at home and write and sip my coffee.

I am putting the finishing touches on my Fit With Adele Lifestyle Program that opens this January 4th and am so very excited to help women find a sustainable, enjoyable approach to health and fitness. More to come on that program soon.

As for now here are 5 of my favorite things this week in health, fitness, and mindset.

Currently Moving.

Thrusters are my exercise of choice these days and I have a whole toolbox full of different variations. I love this weighted variation to add in the mix as many of the current variations I use are with bands or simply my own bodyweight. It is definitely more challenging than I initially thought when I first started doing them.

 

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Currently Eating.

THIS is the easiest, most delicious dressing I have ever made and I will label it Mediterranean style as it is made with artichoke hearts, Kalmalata olives and sun dried tomatoes. I am sending this out along with my other favorite veggie recipes to my email list this week. You can add yourself here. I also use it over chicken or even as a dip.

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Currently Thinking.

Sometimes I think it feels like we don’t have a grasp or say as to what is going to happen to us in the future, with our jobs, relationships or the shape of our bodies. And while we do not have direct control over the outcome, we do have control over the choices we make each day.  When I take ownership for my decisions, good or bad, it is when I feel most powerful. It makes me feel like I have the most control, because when it comes to my choices, I do.

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Currently Loving.

This 80 degree weather in SoCal is just lovely this week, although I think a cool down is coming. I use to get down over rainy or cloudy days, but just like life I now take them for what they are, not what I think it should or should not be.

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Currently Drinking.

Trader Joes got the best of me this past week with their festive flowers and coffee. No worries though #becausecoffee and I love buying myself flowers. It is fun to use the holiday flavors to sample each day.


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6 ways to be more peaceful with your body, food, and fitness


Today I want to talk about body acceptance and being in it for the long haul, with your health that is. At some points in my life I feel I have been afraid to just accept my body as is, healthy or not ( I have had my share of health struggles) in all its imperfections. I feared I would somehow sabotage my results. It was like if I felt ok about my current place, even while striving towards improvement, I wouldn’t put in the work, want to be healthy, have motivation etc.

This also related to my style and thought process was to be more strict with food and do more and more exercise.  With January approaching I want to give you an alternative to body shame, quick fixes, super strict diets, and programs that just don’t offer anything sustainable. If you do decide to embark on any of these things ask yourself this.

If I put in the work, am I ok with gaining the weight back as soon as I go back to my old ways.

I get the quick fixes and quick results feel kind of good because going all out and putting in all your effort it gives a false sense of long term success because in your head because you are doing more and more you think you will get better and better results.

But more is not better. Smarter is better.

 

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And if you have tried quick fixes before and gained weight back or they didn’t last for any particular reason be sure to check that off the list as something that does NOT work for you.

This is not a bad thing. It is actually a good thing because you know you no longer need to try it because you have experienced for yourself, it does’t work.

There is no short cut that is going to get you to where you want to go but there are tools and strategies that will help. Today I share with 6 mindset makeovers to help you be more peaceful with your body, food and fitness, no matter where you are in your journey.

“Stop shouding.”

Thinking that things should or should not be a certain way is one of the quickest ways to misery. Thinking that you should be losing weight, be making more progress, be leaner, or be different than where you are only sets you up on a path to feeling bad about where you are. You are where you are, and where you are is perfect. Just because you have not done something in the past does not mean you cannot start right now.

Taste your food for what it is, not what you want it to be.

My man actually said this to me one day when eating vegetables.  “I just try to taste food for what it is, now what I want it to be.” Not his favorite thing in the world but he knows there are health benefits to them and therefore adds a side of veggies to his pasta, pizza and chicken fingers.

I love this and will do an entire blog on his food pairing soon (shh he doesn’t know) but my point being his comment. To taste food for what it tastes like not what he wants it to taste like or what he thinks it should taste like. Vegetables are vegetables. They are not pizza and they do not taste like pizza. Accept veggies for who they are and what they do. This not to say you should eat foods you do not enjoy but is to say that you can appreciate food for what it is and what i does for your body.

Accept and train your body for what it is, not what it use to be.

I played in a summer volleyball league a couple years ago and we affectionally named our team the Use-to-be’s. We were no longer 19 year old volleyball players in training season and our expectations should no longer be that. Don’t get me wrong you can still get leaner, stronger, lose weight, but keep in mind that your body is not the same as it was 10 years ago, before you had a baby, had surgery, whatever if might be.

Ask yourself, what is your body prepared to do today. Just because you once were able to eat whatever you wanted, lift heavier, work out every day doesn’t always mean you can do it now. Things like being decades older, having a full time job, or having a baby will forever change your body. Not in a bad way, in a realistic way.

Take responsibly for your choices.

It is so easy to put blame on anything and anyone other than yourself. I know from personal experience, it feels better. It feels better to tell myself that I didn’t have the time, the resources or that someone else messed up my schedule. It feels better to blame it on the holiday, being social or the person next to you who ordered dessert.

But ultimately, your choices are within you control. You can not always control the outcome, but you can control what you do everyday.

Being starving and eating everything at dinner, means you didn’t prepare during the day.

Not getting a single workout in means you did not prioritize it.

Not being motivated means you are telling yourself you are not and therefore it plays out.

Being too tired means you did not sleep enough.

Being too stressed means you are letting the stress get the best of you.

Start cultivating your own results and don’t let anything or anyone (including your own brain) take away your power. Nothing is happening to you. You ultimately make the decisions.

Quit thinking things are not fair.

I use to think it wasn’t fair that some girls didn’t work out as hard as I perceived myself to, or at all, and were able to eat whatever the wanted, while keeping their cute, petite shape. I on the other hand was in the middle of my stressful eating, workout out every damn day routine, and pouting along the way.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. If it works for them great but it doesn’t mean it will work for you and it is not a matter of fairness. Every body is uniquely different and the quicker you focus on your own journey and quit comparing yourself to someone else the more energy you will have to apply to your own process.

Find your difference makers.

Don’t focus on everything when trying to change your body. There are some things that will make more of a difference than others. Eating a healthy breakfast, snacking less after dinner, having more protein and veggies throughout the day, getting in a couple workouts a week. These are the things that matter. 

Creamer in your coffee, ketchup on your eggs, one cookie during the week. These things do not matter as much if you have other things under control. So please don’t ignore bread or bananas all day, only to go on and eat straight from dinner until bedtime. Pick one thing to change and focus on that until you don’t even have to think about it any more. 

Find what makes a difference and go do it.  Practice makes progress. And then practice again to make more progress. You don’t have to go to extremes or hate yourself towards body change. You can find peace and acceptance, it just starts with a little practice. 

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Squat to make you strong in life

A few years ago I had a client come to me for a very specific training purpose. She had a trip to China in a few months and wanted to be able to get into a very low squat to be able to pee. Hence to avoid any splashing of sorts. You get the picture.

Around the same time I was watching my 2 year old niece dropping down into a squat no problem.  Where did we lose it? Why do so many people lack the ability to be mobile and flexible? When did we unlearn how to move well?

And the answer is we lose it slowly, over time, without realizing it becoming stiff and less mobile.

We grow up as active kids, then sit at a desk all day at school and then eventually at work. Sometimes we also choose to partake in repetitive activities such as running or cycling that keep us tight and limit range our motion. Sometimes we choose inactivity all together.

For most, we can at least reverse it a bit by training proper movement patterns. And why wouldn’t you? Forget maximal strength, lean muscle mass and feeling like a badass in the gym, sitting and standing is something you do for life. In late adulthood loss of independence is often found in lack of being able to stand and sit.

So please squat for your bodies well being, your independence, and being able to pee without splash in China.

In basic squatting fashion there is no absolute perfect way to do it. Stand with your feet about shoulder distance apart. Point your toes forward or slightly out.  As you lower  shift your hips backward, keeping the heels down and the chest lifted ( your torso will lean forward slightly). Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground or slightly below. Return back to your starting position.

I urge you to try this movement, free of weight, and really focus on the muscles being worked and the way the body moves. Even if you have been squatting for longer than you can remember try a few air squats today and focus strictly on form.  Learn to be more in tune with your body instead of just rushing through the motions.

Here are 4 squatting variations to add some variety to your routine.

IMG_3743The DB Sumo Squat. This is a great, user friendly exercise to add more load to your squat if you are just not sure about the squat rack yet. The only difference with this is the set up, standing with the feet wider and toes turned out just slightly to engage the adductors (inner thighs) more. Keep your shoulder blades back. You will be able to use heavier weight than you think you can.

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The Goblet Squat. Another great, user friendly exercise if you are uncomfortable in the gym in any sense.  Grab a dumbbell, hold it vertical,  find an open space in the gym and follow the squatting directions above.  Keep your shoulder blades pulled back and together. Typically you will progress in weight quicker than the dumbbell it feels comfortable to hold so you may need to progress to the bar for more of a challenge. Another very good for high repetition sets.

IMG_3464The Front Squat. It is commonly believed that this is one of the best ways to develop your quads and allows for a greater range of motion. It allows requires you to stay more upright than other squat variations. In a squat rack set up the barbell slightly below shoulder height. When you grab the bar drive your elbows forward so your upper arms are parallel to the ground and the wrists are hyperextended. Step away from the rack and use the above squatting directions focusing on keeping the torso lifted throughout. Keep your elbows lifted. Return the bar to the rack.

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The Back Squat. This is typically the lift in which you will be strongest and one of the best for lower body strength. Set up the bar on the squat rack just as you would for the front squat but take your hands outside the shoulders and lower underneath the barand rest the bar on your upper traps. It should rest securely.  Lift the bar off the rack and step back. Complete your squat and then return the bar to the rack.