Category Archives: Lifestyle

3 huge mistakes almost everyone makes when trying to lose weight

Before we dive in today I am super excited to share that I am opening enrollment to my 5-Day Mindset Makeover Food Edition Course for anyone who feels they are overwhelmed, inconsistent, anxious, or always feel the need to start a new diet or plan.

It is totally free and you can sign up here!

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There is one major problem with the amount of health, diet, food, and fitness information out there. It is not working. Long term. Ironically conventional wisdom, common advice, and diets are keeping you struggling.  


If it were as simple as following a meal plan and exercising more, no one would be seeking advice. You can google 7 day meal plan right now, have the answers to what to eat and be well on your way to success. 

I get it. We all do it.

I personally bought my clean eating cookbook in 2006. Made my steamed brown rice, vegetables and chicken, and measured and ate the recommended portions down to the ounce. Packed my meals for out the day. Would go, go, go, and eat at the recommended times even though I wasn’t hungry or maybe craving something else. 

I would reluctantly walk through the door after a long day of work, lace up tennis shoes and miserably do a 3 mile run.

I would be starving after my bland dinner and have just a few bites of leftovers. And then a spoonful of peanut butter. Then I wasn’t really hungry but would have a few grapes and maybe a cup of yogurt and that cookie too.

Then I would go to bed stuffed and sad and wake up and get back to my restriction the next day because that was THE day I would change be compliant.  Even worse I fed into my own belief that this was the only way to be successful. And I kept doing it.

I had become lazy and dependent, only knowing how to eat if it was what my plan said and only focused on burning calories in my workouts.

When everything changed.

About 5 years ago I had a huge transformation (mostly mentally and emotionally) when I learned how to stop making these mistakes I am about to share with you.

There is a big disconnect with health and well being and the way we think. For me personally, when I was fighting healthy choices, and trying to control them, it only seems to turn around and control me back. It not only prevented me from living in my right body, but it prevented me from living my right life.

Have you ever felt that way?

Today I am setting the record straight so you can stop making these mistakes and start focusing on the things that actually matter and will ACTUALLY produce results.

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Mistake #1 Relying too much on willpower and motivation.

There is actually research on willpower. Research that say we should stop using it as a tool for our self control

“If I just had more willpower and discipline I would do better,” I hear my clients say.

And I get it. We think willpower is an end all, be all choice, and if we are restrictive enough and just turn our back to things we want to resist, we will be successful. Did you know that willpower is not an endless source of energy and the more you rely on it, the harder it is to make the good decisions you intend to make?

Think of it like your cell phone battery. At the beginning of the day it starts strong and the more you use it, the more it drains. By the time you are home it is at 19%, barely holding on and now you have to make dinner and workout on energy that is barely holding on. No wonder it is healthy eating in the evening that people find most difficult.

The more strict and compliant you try to be, the more likely you will drain your willpower energy source and continue to struggle. Then we turn to motivation. The trouble with motivation is that is comes and goes. Those who are most successful do the work whether they are motivated or not. 

The key is to learn how to conserve your willpower, not rely on it. And to not rely on motivation, create it, even if that means showing up even when you don’t want to.

By creating positive habits and rituals in life you can learn how to make healthier decisions that are as automatic as brushing your teeth. The brain likes effortless whether those habits serve you or not.

Mistake # 2 Trying to burn more calories and eat less calories instead of building muscle and eat smarter.

 

Conventional wisdom says if we just eat less and less calories and exercise to burn more and more calories, the results will come. That is true to some extent except we have been conditioned to take it to extremes. Extremes that fail us over and over again. Though it has been conventional wisdom in the past we seriously need to reconsider this framework if sustainable  (and healthy) body transformation is the goal.

For me personally, I could care less if someones heart rate monitor says they burned 1,000 calories in a hike or 777 calories in a workout class.  Calories burned are not the concern. I care that you are creating a strong, functional body and not screwing up your metabolism.

I care that you go home and eat a dinner that is healthy, satisfying and does not erase all your hard work.

Here is the thing with doing too much cardio and drastically reducing your calories. Your body adapts. You drop your calories, your body adapts. You do more cardio, your body adapts. You stop seeing results, you eat less. At some point you can’t do more exercise or reduce your calories.

When you are doing excessive cardio you burn through your carb and fat stores, strip your muscles, raise your cortisol levels, and in turn slow your metabolism and stress your body. Your body responds by making it easier for you to store fat for your next long workout expenditure. With a low calorie intake at the same time you body freaks out because it starts to miss out on key nutrients and is not sure if it will have enough energy to survive. It leans toward more fat storing.

When you overindulge, which you will at some point because it is life and you can’t sustain restriction, your calories above that baseline metabolism that you now have created for yourself will be more likely to go to your fat stores.

What is the answer? Exercise smarter and move more. Eat enough to fuel your activity expenditure.

Keep your body strong and functional and your metabolism revving by lifting weights. Eat enough to fuel your body in return. We were meant to work in shorter more intense activities. We were meant to walk, to garden, to labor, to build, to climb, to play, to move. 

Mistake #3 Justifying your commitment to health

 

It is human nature to excuse, blame and validate our own feelings and thoughts to make ourselves feel better. We like to give away our healthy choice power even when the cost is our health. It makes us feel better if responsibility is not on us because it helps minimize our own pain. I get it. We all do it.

It is my friends birthday so I had to have cake.

I worked out so I deserved to eat a huge meal.

I had to eat that pizza because I didn’t want it to go to waste.

Here is a concept for you to try. Starting taking responsibility. For everything. In your relationships, in your job, in your daily routine and with your health! Even if you think it is someone else fault or there is a reason getting in the way, taking responsibility helps you find  solutions and you solve problems.

When you start to do this, you realize how much power, choice and opportunity you do have! Face you truth right now!

Our bodies DO NOT define our self worth but they do house these amazing souls that contribute to the world each and every day and I believe that health, wellness and fitness is a catalyst to so much more.

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When you start feeling better mentally and physically, other areas of life start changing as well. You may feel better, eat better, stress less, spend less, relax more, contribute more, help more. A simple transformation in your health can trigger changes in other parts of you life too and have a ripple effect beyond what you think you are capable of. 

How to train smarter, not harder + an at home workout for you

You don’t have to run yourself into ground to get an effective workout.

Being a former athlete I was conditioned to workout intensely, 6 days a week, hours on end with a don’t stop mentality. This is not to say that intense training does not have a place, because of course it does.

But going harder is not always smarter. Here are 4 quick tips on how you can adjust your training to benefit both your body and your mind.

Slow down your movement and work on form. This seems like a no brainer but next time you are at the gym or working out at home actually try to do this.  Pay attention to if you are compromising form and if you are choose a different exercise.

We tend to want to barrel our way through sloppy movements just to say we got it done but the body is amazing at overcompensating and if you constantly training a sad looking push up, you are going to get really good at a sad looking push up.

Take more days off. You get stronger while you are resting and recovering, not when you are working out. I love this perspective from Ryan Andrews at Precision Nutrition. “Gym time is simply a stimulus for change. This stimulus will only create results if we recover enough between workouts. The quicker and more efficiently we can recover, the sooner we can spur further progress.”

To get the most out of your workout be conscious of scheduling in rest days.

Find an appropriate recovery routine. Recovery is not just about taking a day off. Recovery includes your warm-up, your cool down, what you eat and how much you sleep. If you feel you are overtraining you are most likely under recovering. My personal recovery routine includes:

  • Mobility and core exercises pre-workout.
  • Plenty of rest in between sets (for my personal goals).
  • Stretching and foam rolling post workout.
  • Eating a good sized snack or meal with carbs and protein within an hour post workout. This is one of the best times to eat, so be sure not to skip it.
  • Plenty of rests days.
  • A massage once a month.
  • A weekly Pilates or yoga session if I see fit.
  • As much sleep as I can manage!

Can you tell this is a bit of a focus for me? 😉

Rest More

Prioritizing sleep is as much, if not more,  important than eating healthy and working out.  This article even says that exercise may reduce the risk of cancer but those benefits will slip away, it sleep is lacking. Yikes!

Sleep deprivation messes with your hormones which in turn can effect your hunger, energy and cravings. And for me personally, I know that if I am sleep deprived I feel hungrier, my energy is low so eating makes me feel better and my cravings are through the roof.

If you feel like you have hit a plateau but are doing everything right, check you sleep and stress levels.

If recovery is an concern for you try adding one of these focuses into your routine. It seems counter intuitive but sometimes doing less will give you more.

In the meantime I have include an at home strength workout routine for you! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

 

At Home Full Body Blaster

10 Reverse Lunges right leg

10 Reverse Lunges left leg

10 Deadbugs

10 Push-ups

Repeat 3-5x through

 

The Hiearchy of Nap time Productivity

Go to sleep little one….

As a new mom every one told me to just sleep when the baby sleeps. This sounds lovely in theory, like I would just be able to pass out for a 3 hour nap peacefully without interruption. I was told to not worry about housework, not worry about chores or things that had to get done.

Or if you have more than 1 kid you’re probably laughing at the idea to sleep when the baby sleeps (adjust this blog post as best as possible with multiple children).

When I was spending my first few months nursing and baby carrying all day, I wanted to do something for myself that felt productive.

Reality is, things have to get done. Or you at least feel better when they do.

I needed to set up her health insurance, I needed to feed myself, I needed a clean fork somewhere, sometime.

I unknowingly created a hierarchy for nap time productivity so I could find my balance between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do.

Let’s face it sometimes we have 20 minutes, sometimes we have 3 hours, and we just never know.

The beauty of a hierarchy is that it prioritizes your self care first and and then trickles down to important tasks, things you feel you need to do, and things you want to do.

Step 1: Self care.

Once nap time begins make self care your priority. This is highly dependent on what YOU need in the moment and harder with more than one kid so just do your best.

If you need sleep, rest or close your eyes for a few glorious moments. If you are even borderline hungry make yourself some food. Who knows when you will be able to eat again! If you feel well rested and fed and want to get a workout in or a shower, now is the time!

You may only have a few precious minutes so do something good for yourself.

Congratulations you still have more time! Move to step 2!

Step 2: Important Task

You now can tend to an important task, whatever this might be.  A load of laundry because you or your child is running out of underwear. A bill you need to pay. A phone call you need to make. Maybe you napped as part of your self care step and now you want to shower. That works too!

Choose 1 thing and make some progress on that.

Congratulations you have more time!

Step 3: Housework, chores, or free time.

You can prioritize step 3 the way you want. For me personally keeping the housework at least half under control from what it use to be makes me feel good. So I take this time to finish that load of laundry, do the dishes, or tend to an area of the house that had been neglected.

OR, if housework is less important to you, use this for free time doing whatever you feel you need to, or want to do.

Maybe step one you chose sleep. And then for step 2 your important task was eating. You decided to skip the housework and watch some tv. You decide to do a project with your other kid. You decide that you want to get the house clean today or you could care less and you just want to zone out and check out pictures on Instagram. This is YOUR time to use it as you wish so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about how you choose to prioritize this time.

You may follow this exactly, you may rearrange the order, or you may do it backwards, but the point is to make it use for you in a time management sense. Some days you will get through step one, maybe some days you will get through step 3, regardless you got the most important task done first.

Hope this helps!

Side note: It is nap time. I am rested enough, fed, there are dirty dishes in the sink and I am writing this blog. 😉

I have created a free, Facebook community called Moms Supporting Moms to share in our struggles and successes, ask questions to each other, and while focusing on all things mom, to focus on some self care for ourselves too. To get your private invite sign-up here. 

How to motivate yourself to workout when you are not motivated

Today I am going to talk about motivation and how it plays a part in your workouts.

I use to use “being motivated” as the prime means to getting my workouts done. If I could just set a goal, have a workout partner, or have an event to work towards then I would get my workouts in more consistently and be super motivated.

Motivation would usually come full force the first couple weeks but inevitably dwindle as days passed. It was almost like I was more motivated to start the plan than actually follow through.

Then the guilt would follow.

 Why couldn’t I just have the discipline to stay on track?

Why couldn’t I just workout 6 days a week like I promised myself?

Why isn’t this time different?

And eating is a whole other issue. Why couldn’t I say no to that cookie or just be strict with my diet like I intended?

I would then respond by trying to up my game by restricting even more and being even more disciplined. Eventually the motivation would fall off yet again.

The thing with motivation is it comes full circle and ebbs and flows hindering our best efforts to stay consistent and put in the work long enough to actually get results.

It begs the question: Does the answer then lie in being motivated all the time?

Not so much. Successful people put in the work whether they feel like it or not, whether it is convenient or not.  What if we didn’t feel motivated to take care of our children or go to work? 

The reality is we will not always feel motivated to workout or make healthy choices. We will be faced with times we are tired, unmotivated, and just not care. Sometimes it is ok to take a step back and miss a workout or two, or a week or two, but in the big picture having motivation is not going to be a reliable source to stick with it.

I can give you some tips to lay out your clothes the night before or keep your end goal in mind but really it is a mindset shift.

Here are a few things to consider to curb the “I’m just not motivated” way of thinking.

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Not motivated? Don’t believe everything you think and do the work anyways.

You do not have to commit to perfection but you do have to commit to hard work.

 

Working out and getting healthier/fitter/stronger is not about perfection. And it can feel quite overwhelming to feel like you have to do everything right and nothing wrong just to make improvements.

That is simply not the case.

Trying to follow rigid diets and workout plans create a false sense of security that if we do everything right we will get the desired outcomes, but that is not always how it works.

Instead of seeking perfection cultivate a relentless commitment to yourself, to your desire to improve and change. It is not about doing everything perfect, it is about doing something consistent. 

Don’t believe everything you think.

 

Giving up, telling yourself you just don’t have what it takes to be healthier, or saying that you have tried before and it just doesn’t work is interesting from a psychological standpoint in a sense that it provides comfort.

When you a have a fixed view of what you think you are able to do, you convince yourself you don’t really have to try because you tell yourself it just doesn’t work. And you believe it.

I get this because it feels painful. It doesn’t feel good to try, try, and try again and feel like nothing ever works. It feels good to blame age, stress, other people, time schedules and even lack of motivation, as to why we are unable to reach our goals.

Believing that you have the abilities, desire and want to make change, is just as important as taking action itself. I never met a successful person in any area of life who said that they just kinda wanted something and it all worked out. Have passion, have desire and have an unwavering belief that you will be successful.

Change your habits because of the love you have for your body, not the hate you have for it.

 

You do not have to hate your way to success. You hear me say this ALL the time but often do you really practice this idea.

Even if you are dissatisfied with your current habits or body, you can still accept yourself without accepting the situation. You can still be content without being satisfied.

Challenges and struggles never feel easy. Changing habits does not feel easy. But that is how we grow. That is how we learn. That is how we change.

A strong, successful mindset grows in the process, learning and improving, not just in the ultimate outcome.  Have an active part in your life and your success.

My FREE workout challenge, 16 to 16 starts November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving, with the idea to commit 16 workouts to yourself between turkey day and the end of 2016.

You don’t need the new year to be motivated when you can start now. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/16to16fitcamp

All the details arrive in the first email and workouts arrive in your inbox the Wednesday the night before Thanksgiving or you can do your own workouts. Join the fun here!

Pregnancy Update: 2 Trimesters Down, 3 Weeks To Go.

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Baby bump to baby BUMP!

I found myself sitting cross legged in the nursery to be the other day amidst boxes of diapers and baby gear, folding new born onsies, like 40 of them.

But how many do I really need I thought? What if the baby is big and I don’t need any of them. I washed them in special baby detergent but did I use a bounce dryer sheet? Is that bad if I did?

Needless to say there is so much unknown and I have hardly made it past the laundry.

These questions arise every single day. How will I know? What will I do? Is this right? What if I am wrong? Sometimes I feel confident, other days I feel doubtful.

Regardless, the days go by though these last few weeks are slow with anticipation, nerves and excitement.

Everyone told me I would never truly be ready to make the decision to have a baby and for me personally I couldn’t agree more.

When I took the pregnancy test I was getting ready to take Lulu on a walk.  All I could manage as a response was, “oh.”

Shawn yelled from the other room, “Oh or no?”

I walked out with eyes wide, voice uncertain, “I’m pregnant.”

Needless to say he went on that walk with me.

We didn’t talk a whole lot and had moments of random, nervous laughter and just looked at each other and shake our heads smiling. Knowing you want to have a baby and actually realizing you are having one are on to opposite ends of the emotion filled spectrum.

I know we all have our own stories and journeys and I decided to share mine today to show that there is really no right time or way to do things.

I thought by the time I was in my early 30’s I would have 3 kids. Maybe that is because what my mom had and I just assumed I would follow suit.

Instead I have spent the last 10 years getting married, focusing on my career, getting un married lets say, focusing on my career, regrouping with myself, and now engaged with a baby on the way.

I did things “in order” and then completely out of order if we are going by so called typical social norms. I use to get questions all the time. “Don’t you want kids?” “Isn’t it time?” “Your sisters are going to pass you up and have kids before you.”

And they did. Both younger. Both have kids. And now I am turning to them for advice.

I trained a husband and wife client one morning a few years back and the husband made a comment I was running out of time. His wife playfully, but oh so seriously, reached over and smacked his arm. “She is not. She has plenty of time.”

I think as women we feel pressure. That we need to be in a relationship. That we need to get married. That we need to have kids. I personally had always wanted kids but the situation was not what I needed it to be when I was married previously and I am so glad I didn’t have a child simply because I felt I was suppose too.

Once I got divorced the overwhelming baby questions stopped but I know some women who don’t want kids and still get those questions.

I hope women can be supported in whatever choice they make. Kids or not. Married or not. Career choice or not. It is there business and their business only.

The past 10 years being kidless has given me great fun. I have traveled all over the country. I have expanded my personal training knowledge and know how with multiple certifications and build a consistent and loyal clientele.

I have enjoyed full nights of sleep and workouts at any time I please. I have turned into a dog person and have the most precious golden retriever who sleeps at my chair whenever I type out these long blog posts. I have 4 adorable nieces and 1 nephew who I get to snuggle and love and they call me Auntie Del.

At times I have also had moments where friends told me they were pregnant and I went home and cried because I felt I should have been too.

I have felt alone and out of place in mommy conversations where I sit and nod and smile and pretend that I too know what they are talking about with breastfeeding and when to eat solid foods.

I have had times where I wished I had kids to do art projects with and get excited around the holidays with that different spirit that children somehow bring.

And now here I am, 2 trimesters down, a few weeks to go.

My pregnancy has brought a lot of fatigue, less workouts (my prior go-to), thrown off my appetite  and of course my body ever changing.

I have days where I want her to be here so bad and days when I mourn the loss of my freedom, sleep, and healthy selfishness.

Shawn and I talk to my belly and wonder what she will look like. We look at clothes and can’t believe how little she will be. We shake our heads that she is growing inside me and laugh in amazement when she kicks and envision her practicing her weight lifting moves.

He really wanted a boy but he has taken such good care of his girls (Lulu and I) during these past 8 months and it is only foresight to what a great dad he already is and will be.

I share these personal thoughts today because so often life gets overwhelmed by where we should be and what we should be doing.

We make great plans and somehow end off our desired map. We think we need better jobs, bigger houses, more exciting relationships. We think if we just follow things according to plan we will be ok.

We get trapped by letting these emotions dictate how we live day to day. Never satisfied, ungrateful, always wanting more.

More is what we do today. It is how we deal with the cards that have been handed to us and it is how we choose to view the world around us. It is meeting ourselves where we are and not where we think we should be.

I will be sharing more on my fitness journey in pregnancy (and how it changed drastically), an interview I hosted on pre and post natal fitness ( a must for anyone who is active during pregnancy and post) and on how I will resume my training post baby.

I actually do regret that workout. Why listening to your body is one of your greatest tools for success.

 

 

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When I get personal and share my story I must be honest I sometimes wish my health and fitness journey was a little more black and white.

Like I wish I could say I lost 40 lbs post baby or I use to be overweight and unhappy and today I am healthy and confidence as can be. It feels like it is more inspiring to see someone drop 5 sizes or show up with 6 pack abs then me telling you about how listening to my body was key in my own personal healthy transformation.

And I am not talking about listening to if my body is hungry or not, I am talking about a true and dire need to slow down and do less, to get more. You see I have a had a HUGE transformation, it is just not as clear to the eyes of others.

The other day I came across that quote that you always see floating around online, “ I really regret that workout said no one ever” and it made me laugh because I used to share that bullshit. But you know what? I most definitely have had workouts that I have regretted. And pushing through workouts or running myself into the ground just to breath hard is not always the best answer or most effective way to train.

When more is not better.

One Saturday morning in the summer of 2013 I found myself in tears sitting in a slumped, crossed legged position on my yoga mat, trying to do an at home workout. It consisted of 10 birddogs alternating, 10 air squats and a set of 5 kneeling push ups. I vividly remember it and you know these exercises are far from high intensity. But I was experiencing extreme fatigue and extreme and chronic back pain. I had not had an intense workout in weeks.

But I just couldn’t get my heart rate up and if I couldn’t get my heart rate up how would I stay in shape? How would I exercise? Would I gain all this weight? All I had done all week was walk. I gave myself a rest (for 7 days) and I was still in so much pain. What is wrong with this picture? I just couldn’t bring myself to allow time for my body to heal.

Fast forward to the present and would you guess I have finally have felt some reprieve in my adrenal fatigue type exhaustion (the only thing I can compare it to). Yes that is nearly 3 years since I began my rest and recovery journey.

I would say from the years 2010-2013 I did NOT listen to what my body truly needed in terms of my health. I ignored it time and time again, giving in to the notion I so easily accept now. More is not better. I thought more willpower, more discipline, more restriction and more working out was the answer to not only my body goals and success but to my happiness as well.

Now I know it is the exact opposite. The more you try to use willpower, restrict and talk down on yourself the harder it is to get where you want to go. You absolutely do need to put in work and effort, just not in the ways you think.

You body hears everything your mind thinks.

The trouble with me personally with my health, was that my mindset was completely screwed up and during those years I had a mini health breakdown where my emotional stress was manifesting itself physically. Though I was at a healthy weight and body composition, I experienced what I can only compare to as some sort of adrenal fatigue or excessive exhaustion.

No doctor would diagnose it as that of course and every test I ran came back normal. Iron was good. Nope I didn’t have celiac disease. My thyroid was fine.  But I wasn’t.

I would take naps at my sisters house when we had bbq’s and get togethers with friends. I would wake up exhausted after 10 hours sleep. I would start workouts with the feeling I typically should have mid workout, heart racing. My adrenaline was on overdrive. I tried taking a few days off. Didn’t help. Tried taking a week off. Didn’t help.  So I did the next best thing. Started up CrossFit (insert sarcasm).

For someone who loves to workout as much as myself, it was so very difficult to grasp the idea of rest and recovery. I thought if I could just push through it I would be ok. If I just took a couple days off my body would thank me.

But this whole exhaustion concept is kind of like weight gain. You don’t notice it right away. You don’t gain weight from eating one double bacon cheeseburger and you don’t ruin your metabolism with one intense workout. But at some point, it could catch up. And for me it did.

My saving grace was an odd one. A miserable one actually. It was what I now affectionally refer to as my 365 days of back pain that saved me because I was in too much pain to do anything but walk. I had no choice but to rest and let my body heal.

Here is how I did it.

I did not have a diagnosis of anything in particular so it was kind of up to me to decide what to do.

I stopped all intense exercise. CrossFit. Long runs. Anything that got heart rate up quickly or for prolonged periods of time.

I started focusing on rest and recovery activities in equal parts to my workouts. Walking, yoga, massage, and hot baths.

I kept moving in ways that my body allowed. Slow air squats, weight machines. Walking. Basic yoga. Exercises prescribed by my physical therapist. 

I started training from the inside out. Mindset and emotional well being first. Physical second.

I started focusing less on willpower, discipline, restricting and doing more exercise and started focusing on why I do things, habits, moderation and making peace with my body.

What you need to know.

 

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You don’t have to run yourself into the ground.

We think the answer with exercise is more, more, more but I like to say the answer is not more exercise but smarter exercise. Smart exercise is exercise that you don’t have to add more time (hours) just to get results. Smart exercise is exercise that encourages a healthy metabolism. Smart exercise is exercise that gives you the most for your time. Smart exercise is finding ways to move that you enjoy, or can at least tolerate.

You don’t have to workout everyday.

You do not have to commit to a hard, intense workout everyday to get results. Though for me personally I commit to some type of movement everyday. That could be a walk, 10 minutes of yoga, or maybe a 15 minute workout just to get moving or a foam rolling session. I find that this helps with my productivity, well being and keeps my health priorities in the forefront of my mind. 

I find that most people do great on 3 strength training days a week and then anything on top of that is bonus. IF you are challenging yourself enough in your 3x a week workouts, your rest days will be crucial in your recovery.

Challenge is all relative your journey.

What is challenging to you may not be to someone else and challenge can come in different forms. Currently I challenge myself with lifting heavier but give myself tons of rest. Breathing hard for extended periods of time or even short bursts is not the only way to create a demand on your body.

If you don’t have control of your exercise you still have control of your diet.

If your workouts have to lessen this does not mean your health has to go out the window. If workouts and exercise are reduced for a period of time you can always balance that out with your diet. 

If we can just slow down and listen to what our bodies truly need we will find that we are able to get stronger, leaner, happier, whatever it might be, with more ease. You supply the action and the universe will provide the time. You just need a little patience and self trust.

Do you even know what you want? 3 steps to figuring it out.

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I have a really cool concept to share with you from the book The Four Hour Workweek, called Dreamlining. It is kinda of like goal setting except the idea is to write down whatever you want in life.

No judgements. No realistic expectations. No feeling bad if that is a fancy car or a daily massage therapist. Essentially dream as big as you can and then decide what’s most important to you right now and figure out how you are going to make it happen.

What was most surprising, and why I wan’t to share it with you, was this assignment was not as easy and effortless as I initially thought it would be. It provided me some great insight of  willing to prioritize in life and made me ask “Do I even know what I want in life?” And I think it will do the same for you.

It breaks down like this: what you want to DO, BE, and HAVE in life.

 

What do you want to be? A good dancer? An entrepreneur? Fluent in another language?

What do you want to do? Travel the world? Ride in a hot air balloon? Run a marathon? Do 5 pull-ups?

What do you want to have? A personal chef? A home overlooking the ocean? That new handbag?  A new pair of Nikes?

It can be as small or as big as you want but it is whatever you want to do, be, and have NOW. Not when you retire. Not when you have more money. Not when you have more time. Sure a home overlooking the ocean will take time and money to achieve but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working towards it or thinking about it now.

Traveling the world? That may be far fetched for some but he has the whole plan laid out if you want to be brave, take a leave from your job, on as little money as possible. The thing is, it IS possible but most of us have other priorities.

I always say I want to travel the world but when I really break it down do I want to quit my job and be on the road for 6 months when home is one of my favorite places to be?

What I encouraging you to do right now is write down what you want to  BE, DO, and HAVE. Do it right now. Stop reading and don’t pass go until you are done.

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My mini vacations over the course of the year keep my travel desires happy. No need for extravagant vacations.

 

I know you are still reading without doing the list because that is what I do when I read books that ask to stop and do assignments but after reading this I really do hope you set aside some time to do this assignment.

Some things I want I am already working toward (an online fitness business to help more people, travel internationally) and some things are more extravagant like owning a home or to be able to fly to as many fitness conferences as possible without worrying about work or money. Some things I can do this year like hike half dome and buy a new couch.

With slots for 5 things in each category I was feeling a little stuck and it made me realize a few things. One, much of what I think I want I already have. Two, things I thought I have always wanted I didn’t really care so much when it came down to it. Three, I did not automatically list as many material items as I though. I thought for sure I would list all the Micheal Kors bags and watches and Sam Edelman boots.

It took me awhile and I found myself saying over and over again, “For all the things I think I want  in life do I even know what I want?”

Do you even know what you want in life?

 

My personal spin on the assignment of course comes back to health and fitness.

If body change, health or strength is your goal, what could you be, do or have if your current condition were different? Maybe your current condition already give you everything you already need.

Would it be easier to move around?

Travel new places? Do new things?

Would you really, truly have more confidence and happiness? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Repeat this assignment again in regards to your body. I think it is important because so often we strive for these huge goals, visions and dreams but in actuality do we even know what we want?

Do you even know what you want? Maybe you will realize you want everything you thought you did. Or maybe you will realize you have so much more than you thought you did.

Give it a try and report back. Can’t wait to hear your findings.

 

 

19 ways to create a badass health mindset in 2016


No doubt the health of your mind is as important as the health of your body so don’t be surprised that much of these badass tips are in regards to the way you think about things.

Knowing you should workout and eat well are all good and well but it doesn’t really matter unless you figure out what gets in the way of doing the work. Can you imagine living a life where food and fitness feels a little less stressful and you thrive off of it,  and not feel like you are just barely hanging on to survive feeling overwhelmed all the time. 

Here are 19 ways you can (and will) create a badass health and fitness mindset in 2016!

 

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This must be my badass mindset going on. Time outside? Yes please.

 

Take the first step. You don’t need to see the full path and know exactly what will happen. In fact you never can predict what happens for sure but instead of contemplating how to workout or what to eat, just do something already. We are so quick to talk ourselves out of why something might now work instead of just putting in the work to see what happens. The best way to build confidence? Just do something.

Surround yourself with people and things that keep your goals and intentions front and center. Quotes, notes, people, places, classes, hobbies. Surround yourself with healthy likeminded people who have similar visions an goals as you. You can’t get everyone on board around you but perhaps someone or something.

Create a theme. You don’t have to write a blog or be in the movies to declare your theme for the year. And the best part is, it can be whatever resonates with you. Edgy? Sensitive? Hardcore? The only requirement is that it inspires you to be better and do better.

Don’t tie your happiness to your body. Being happy when you reach a certain size, lift a certain weight or achieve a certain goal is all good and well but that momentarily excitement comes and goes just like everything else in life. Tie your happiness to the journey, the good and the bad, because that is where the reward lies.

Eat healthy foods because they are damn good for you. Don’t get caught in diet dogma like restriction, low carb, and low fat. Eat whole, fresh food as often as possible because it is full of nutrients and things your body needs and thrives off of. Don’t think you do it just because you are supposed to and it is boring and hard.

Limit your processed food intake because it sucks for your body and your mind when overdone. Basic guidelines: eat food in moderate portions and include veggies often. Don’t overthink it.

Ask yourself what you would be without that thought? I am totally going Byron Katie on you with one of her thought provoking pieces of advice. Ask yourself what you would be without being overwhelmed, unsure, frustrated, upset. You would just be. The power is in the thought and if we think it or not. Feel what you need to feel and move on quickly.

Workout because you want to be strong. Let go of the aesthetic drive and work out because you want a capable, strong body. Set workout goals that have nothing to do with the way you look but the way your body moves and feels. Without realizing it your body will change, whether that is leaner, stronger, healthier, more capable. 

Stop investing all your efforts into believing you are not good enough. You are good enough in this very moment even if you feel you are not where you want to be. Quit feeling like you have to do everything perfect and that if it isn’t perfect it isn’t good enough. Be perfect by being the best you.

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“Everything we experience – no matter how unpleasant – comes into our lives to teach us something.” Isyanla Vanzant

Strive to be healthy because you love your body not because you hate it. Hating yourself to success is not the only way. What about appreciating, being grateful and loving your way to success. It is possible but it begins by changing the way you think.

Confidence/Competency Loop. Become more confident by taking action. By educating yourself about making healthy choices and actually doing it, you become more confident and less fearful in your actions. When we feel fear building we tend to resort to not doing anything.

BUT when we start to take action and realize, “Hey, this isn’t so bad. I CAN do it,” we build our confidence, become more aware of what we can achieve and the cycle repeat itself. Our competence builds and so does our confidence.

Pay attention to the way you speak to yourself. “Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right,” said Henry Ford. If you keep telling yourself you are not motivated, you can’t do it, you always mess up, you don’t have time, your life will continue to play out that way. Give yourself a chance by owning all your choices as perfect or imperfect as they might feel.

Put yourself ON the hook. My business coach talks about this all the time. Put yourself on the hook. As in, not off the hook. Because when you are off the hook you are, in a sense, no longer obligated to put in the work and rid yourself of any responsibility. You get to wipe your hands clean and say “Nope, its not on me. I can’t do anything about it.” So in life, in relationships, with your job, with your health, put yourself ON the hook big time! Why? Because there is no better place to be that in your power.

Read new books. Some people think self-help, mindset, and motivational and inspiration books are simply a bunch of woo woo common sense advice and that the universe doesn’t give shit about what you do. While yes a lot of it is quite simple and seems far fetched to some, I can’t think of better way to keep my goals, thoughts, priorities and intentions in line than reading something everyday that keeps my mind in a positive, growing state.

I don’t even know where to begin with recommendations but lets start with The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, and The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.

Get into your discomfort zone. You hear challenge? You say bring it! Change happens in your discomfort zone and if you are ready to look discomfort in the face and not shy away you are on step ahead of the game my friend. Discomfort can be unsettling but just know that on the other side is magic.

Act as if you are already where you want to be. In my latest read The As If Principal by Richard Wiseman it says emotion follows behavior. Do you need success to be happy? Or do you need to be happy to have success? Act “as if” you are already where you want to be and the rest will follow. Worst case scenario is you walk around feeling pretty badass! 😉

Say, “How fascinating!” I wish I could remember where I read this (I can’t take credit) but I once came across the perfect response for when daily difficulties, challenges and stress arise and that is simply to respond with “How fascinating.”

I take this as a statement of wonder and curiosity about how during this life and this moment, this is what you are presented with.  Sometimes if feels unfair and frustrating. It is up to you to decide how you will deal with all the good and the bad. What will you choose? Will you let it break you or make you?

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Just take action. Failure is not a sign of weakness. Only a lessoned learned.

Figure out what makes you feel alive and do more of that. Make a list of things you love to do. You don’t have to show any one and don’t judge yourself for a second. Write down things, moments and people that you truly cherish and enjoy. Things that add value and joy to your day.

It can be simple things like coffee in the morning, spending time outside, or spending time with a certain person. It could be bigger things like traveling, a day adventure or something you have never done before. For the simple thing add them in weekly. For the bigger things, add them in as often as possible.

Fall in love with your life and this moment.  Woo woo alert! But seriously, it is so easy to catch ourselves in states of searching for a certain moment, a certain experience or a person to make us feel certain way.

We spend time wishing we somewhere else, wishing we were someone else, waiting for someday down the road when we find happiness. But everything you are looking for are moments happening along the way. What you are searching for is right in front of you, it just depends what you make of it.

Don’t forget about 2015. We get so caught up in looking ahead to 2016 that we forget about everything that 2015 has already or can still teach us. What did not work well this past year is as much of a lesson as what did work well.

Before you even think about next year take a moment or two of reflection on how this past year played out for you and only then start to envision yourself in 2017. Yes 2017. What can you do in 2016 that will get you to where you want to be? What is your vision?

Don’t forget to check out my lifestyle membership group to help you learn how to apply what you know and beyond. Make this your year! New year, new you? Nah. New year, improved you. Details here.

Is 6 meals a day good advice for fat loss?

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, overindulging regularly or restricting food 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.

If you eat every few hours it will control your hunger.

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) throughout the day? 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.

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. Tell me, has eating small meals throughout the day helped you?

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.