Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why you are doing everything right and not getting results

From experience, I will say that I know what it feels like to “feel” like you are doing everything right but not getting the results you want. Many times I have had to own it, take responsibility and dig deep to find what was in the way of my goals. Here are a few things that seem “right” but can hinder results.

Exercising too much. The trouble with too much exercise is the more you do, the more you need to do to maintain and get results.  I am all about the least effective does when it comes to exercise. What do I need to do to get results with the least work/time possible? Can I condense more work into less time rather than exercising for hours on end? I can! Exercising TOO much, with eating TOO little also sets us up for hormonal imbalance. When was the last time you decided to get strict, exercise more, eat less and it actually worked and lasted? I train in the weight room 3-4 days a week with a short metabolic bout at the end (6 minutes or less). Everything else I do is “fun” for me. Yoga, pilates, swim or hike to name a few. I find these activities to be more relaxing and restorative than consider exercise.

Overdoing healthy foods.  For me foods like peanut butter, eggs, turkey chili and sweet potatoes are all great choices but eating them in high consumption will not help me reach my goals just because they are healthy. Do I eat these things often? Absolutely! This fabulous egg and bacon dish below is fine in moderation but probably not best to eat the whole thing. Also foods like gluten free cookies, low fat yogurt, and paleo bars all give us a sense of being healthy but can negatively affect the results you are seeking.

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Feeling successful if you are starving. I heard this comment from 3 clients over the course of a week awhile back and just said. “You what?” (Like rachel from friends. 2:10  in to the clip here , or watch the whole thing for a good laugh). Anyways, I have learned that people associate feeling really hungry/starving with being successful in weight/fat loss mode. A couple things here. This can set you up for binging later, increase your stress levels (if you experience chronic stress in life this is especially NOT a good idea) and can potentially slow your metabolism depending on certain factors. I am not a huge advocate against skipping meals…if it works for you. If you have fat to lose and goals to reach and skip meals on a regular basis, the proof is there that is does not work for you. If you skip means, have high energy and have great results, go for it. But if you are really hungry or starving, you body is truly requesting fuel. Please eat.

Justifying your choices. This is referred to as the health halo. For some reason we feel better when we justify our food choices. You ate a salad for dinner so it is ok you had dessert. You didn’t eat all day so it is ok that you had 4 drinks at dinner. You worked out so you deserve that burger. Now there is nothing wrong with dessert, drinks or burgers. It is the association we put with them. So lets rephrase them. You are eating dessert because you want it, you had 4 drinks because you decide to, and you didn’t earn that burger you are just eating it.

 You are too impatient. But I want it now! ( You can look up that Willy Wonka video on your own. Phrases just keep coming to me to day as I want it to sound as you are reading it). Doing a quick detox or super strict diet gives us results sooner, it does. The problem is, it doesn’t last and most of us want lasting results. Envision yourself in 3 months, knowing that you stressed out for 21 days to lose weight  and you did and now you gained it all back. I would rather look back over the course of the year with results instead of a glimpse of them coming and going. A year is really not that long when you compare it to a lifetime.

You do not trust the process. You dont trust your workouts will get you to wear you want to be because you do not see results now. You do not think a month of eating healthy and moderately and a 3 lb weight loss will eventually lead to a 20 lb weight loss. Think of weight loss like a child learning to walk. They don’t go from laying on their back to running around the house in a matter of weeks, though it may seem like that. It is a slow, consistent, deliberate process filled with trial and error. Do kids never not learn how to walk? Rare cases I am sure, but they use their stop-ed-info mindset, to keep going and keep trying until they get to where they want to be.

The point being that small, consistent habits, day in, day out, with a little bit of failing, learning and sticking with it, go along way!

Can you learn to trust the process?

Can you implement patience?

Are you justifying food in certain situations?

Are you using food as reward or punishment?

Can you find ways to exercises less but more intensely?

These are great questions to ask yourself! Take an inventory about what is and isn’t working for you and please eat when you are hungry! 🙂

3 types of populations who should avoid crunches

The traditional sit up, curl up, or crunch has been a staple in the fitness industry for years.  Some fitness experts advocate to never, ever use these exercises to train the core, while some feel it is ok to add in occasionally. Regardless of the controversy, there are 3 populations that will absolutely not benefit from the standard sit up or crunch.

People with Osteoporosis.

Bending and twisting movements such as sit-ups and crunches, are two movements that should be avoided if you have osteoporosis. Some yoga poses and sports like tennis and golf, which are very dynamic in their rotation and flexion, should be used with caution.  These movements can increase the risk of compression fractures in your spine. Also use caution with daily activities such as bending over to pick up object.

Alternatives:

1. Side Bridge

2. Birddog 

Pre and post natal women.

Pregnancy puts so much pressure on the belly that it can sometimes lead to a condition called Diastasis Recti, which is the separation of the rectus abdominal muslces. This can affect both prenatal and postnatal women depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy and the quality of your tummy tissue post pregnancy. You will want to refrain from any movements that put pressure on that area, such as crunches and sit ups, ( and eventually push ups, front planks and, down dogs).

1. Pelvic Floor Engagement.

2. Deadbug

The desk jockey.

Think about the position you are in when you are sitting at a computer for an extended period of time. Your hips are bent at 90 degrees, your spine is flexed forward and your shoulders are rounded. What does this position resemble? Perhaps a sit ups or crunch?  This position (especially when repeated over and over again) could potentially lead to pain and perhaps bulging discs. When we sit so often, it makes no sense to continue to train this way.

Alternatives:

1.Plank walkout

2. Stir the pot or ball rollout

Happy Training!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not doctor or registered dietician. The information provided on this site is based on my own experiences, and should NOT be taken as medical advice. Prior to starting any new exercise or nutrition program consult with your physician or other healthcare professional to determine if it is right for your needs.

Happy Birthday Fit Life! And healthier blueberry cobbler crisp to celebrate!

Exactly one year ago this month I launched my website and blog, The Fit Life with Adele, knowing one thing for sure! I wanted to share my knowledge and love of health and fitness with others and help people along the way.  Coming off one of the most emotional years of my life, I intended many of my posts to be fitness related only, but couldn’t help but share my personal struggles and challenges as well. The strength in independence, importance of self acceptance and lessons in trusting the timing of my life were equally as important as my beloved squats and simple recipes. Hence the mindset focus of many of my posts. 🙂

With all my blogs this year, I do not think I created one saying exactly what The Fit Life means to me! And exactly what I want to convey to my readers about my philosophy of food, fitness and life. And at the end of all this I promise, I do have my Healthier, Blueberry, Cobbler, Crisp recipe for you!

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Why do I encourage training with heavier weights?

It is pure empowerment in life.

I believe in being strong. And I believe physical strength begets mental strength. It builds confidence. It increases motivation. It creates freedom in your life now and in years to come. There is really no way to describe leaving a challenging workout, feeling you are on top of the world and can conquer anything. We NEED that kind of limitless feeling in our everyday lives to help us realize our full potential. I truly believe that fitness and wellness lead to empowerment, self actualization and each person has their own unique formula to achieve a fit and healthy lifestyle.

What is this eat simply business all about?

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It is my eating philosophy. It is kind of boring and it may or may not have grabbed your attention. It is not as enticing or interesting as Paleo, IIFYM, gluten free, whole foods only, and in the past couple years I even threw my clean eating title out the window.

I don’t eat strictly organic or only whole foods (though I believe they should be eaten more often). The thing is I really truly love veggies, fruits, omelets, chicken, peanut butter, coffee and chocolate. I do use artificial sweeteners on occasion,  I like to chew gum, and have protein shakes and bars weekly. I am not a sugar or salt fanatic and have acquired a taste for foods that are more on the bland side. Don’t get me wrong, when I have a piece of pizza or chow down on some ice cream it is ah-ma-zing, but I love plain brown rice and steamed vegetables more often and it makes me feel better too.

I turn down dessert and drinks when I don’t feel like it and say yes when I do. I don’t fast or do detoxes or juice cleanses, but I have found a way of eating that I enjoy, and while sometimes I struggle with food, I never feel deprived! Fitness and food does not have to be complicated. It should enhance your life, not be a burden on your life.

What up with all this mindset stuff floating around on your posts and blogs?

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Because honestly, its not really about food and fitness. Everyday I find myself in conversation with someone who is not enough.   I often experience not feeling enough. Yet in this world we all strive for love, purpose and belonging. How do we achieve these things without a full sense of self?

Brene Brown says it best. “If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.” When we worry less about what other people think we can focus more on our own worthiness, our own process and be content right in this very moment, not when we have achieved some lofty goal. Not when we have more money, are more successful, own a home, lose weight or go on vacation. When we can have compassion for ourselves and find gratitude in every situation, we realize that we have enough and more! Compassion and gratitude are underrated. It is not something we automatically achieve either, it is something you have to be intentional about every single day.

Where is my blueberry cobbler crisp you promised me?

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Okay here it is! 🙂

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of frozen blueberries (or fresh)
  • 1/2 heaping tsp of cinnamon
  • 6 packets of truvia
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest
  • 2 tsp of constarch

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup of gluten free flour (regular flour can be used too)
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of butter melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2.Mix all the dry toppings together in a large bowl. Drizzle the melted butter in and rub the mixture together until the butter is evenly dispersed.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon, cornstarch, blueberries, lemon zest and truvia and toss until the berries are coated.

4.Spray a 9×9 dish with cooking spray and pour the blueberry mixture in the dish. Sprinkle the topping evening over.

5. Bake for 40 minutes.

6. Remove and cool.

7. Ice cream is a great pair, or if you are a health nut like me you can eat it as a snack with greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

The leftovers were just as good, if not better!

Thank you for being a part of my journey! Here is to 2015!

 

 

 

3 ways to beat cravings

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Chocolate cravings are not to be taken lightly!

Cravings. We all have them! Salty, sweet, crunchy, chocolatey.  They are hard to resist and we tend to turn the blame to our lack of willpower. But when cravings are in full force, willpower is the last thing we want to turn too.  When sleep deprived, stressed, or you just do not care, willpower is tired as well and not going to kick in to help you resist your cravings. In fact, resisting your cravings actually make you want whatever you are craving MORE. No wonder so many people on diets fail.

Let’s face it, when cravings arise we want immediate gratification now and are willing to focus on our health later. We make decisions that are not in line with our goals because we know we will start on Monday. We believe that our future self will be able to resist temptations, even when are current self does not. We justify our indulgences because somehow it makes us feel better, that because we worked out for an hour we now deserve to eat that cheeseburger. We convince ourselves that all our good behavior cancels out our bad behavior.  Could we entertain the idea that dieting is a better way to GAIN weight, then to lose weight?

It may actually surprise you, what I am about to share, on how you can handle your cravings.

Build in indulgences.

I have chocolate bars that sit in my freezer on a regular basis and I have eaten a piece or two every single day for the last 6 months. When Halloween rolled around last year, I could care less about any piece of candy I had encountered because I had been eating it everyday. And I did not notice a single negative change in my body.

Sometimes for breakfast I eat whole eggs, sometimes with bacon AND toast.

At dinner I leave cheese on my salads and I take bites of my boyfriends fries, double bacon cheese burgers and carne asada burritos.

I have been know to dip my daily chocolate in a jar of peanut butter.

If I did ALL these things at every meal, in large quantities, every single day I probably would not be able to maintain my physique in the way I want. BUT I do at least one or two of these things, in small quantities, every single day!!

Mainstream thinking avoids these kinds of foods when dieting, but science is actually showing that by restricting food like this, we are actually increases our cravings for it.  Recognize your temptation but do not dwell on it. Focus on the foods you can eat and practice building small indulgences in to your routine most days during the week and see how you do.

The 10 minute rule.

There is something about instant gratification that we thrive off of, thrive in a sense that it makes us feel good temporarily. The bag of chips may make us feel good in the moment, but not after. The entire pizza may feel comforting temporarily, but create a whole range of discomfort from anxiety and guilt to bloating and physical discomfort.

Usually it is less about the food, and more about having something instantly. Studies actually show that the longer you wait for something, the less important it is to you. The longer you wait for something the easier it is to say no. This is called delaying gratification.

So, here is how I would like you to implement this with your eating. The next time you are tempted by late night snacking, dessert, fast food, or going back for seconds when you are stuffed, I want you to do this: Wait 10 minutes. Tell yourself that if in 10 minutes you still want that particular food, you can have it. When food becomes less about the immediate gratification it makes it easier to say no. Give this a try and see how it works for you.

The Peanut Butter Effect – Face Your Fear

Now for this last piece of advice, you have to give yourself a little bit of love, trust and benefit of the doubt.  Remember the more  you resist something, the more you want it.  The more you try to avoid a certain food, the more you desire it.

If you love ice cream and often feel tempted by it, it is much easier to keep it out of the house.  This does help. When you do not have it around you won’t eat it. And that may be a good idea to start but what happens when you go to a birthday party, your friend orders ice cream after dinner or the whole family stops by Coldstone? How will you handle it when faced with what you fear the most? How can you indulge without overindulging?

I had to face my love/fear of peanut butter by buying individual peanut butter packets for 6 months or so. I went through a phase where peanut butter fingers were my favorite snacks. Friends reference anyone?  Anyways, you can rack up 500 calories and 50 grams of fat without even thinking about it!

So I spent way too much money buying individual serving sized peanut butter packs for awhile to help control my intake. Once I realized that I could have one serving and be ok, I introduced the jar back into my home and the relationship improved greatly. You could use my daily chocolate indulging as an example as well. When having these things often, in moderation of course, I don’t crave them or feel the need to HAVE  to have them.

The other day it was 9 pm and I realized I hadn’t had my daily chocolate. I expected myself to run to the fridge to get it, but I just shrugged my shoulders and felt like I could take it or leave it.

When we can develop this kind of relationship with food,  it is less mentally consuming and draining and we can put more energy and time into others things. And isn’t that what we want? To live in a way where we feel freedom from food and the stress that comes with it.

Why You Don’t Need to Plank For 2 Minutes

Let me be the first person to say….I am not a big fan of planking challenges or any routine that asks to hold a plank for anything longer than 45 seconds.

A couple reasons being:

1) You can benefit greatly from holding a plank for less time with more intensity.

2) It is boring. There are too many great variations of planks to challenge you in different ways to simply just work on holding a plank for minutes on end.

If you are holding a plank for more than 45 seconds and feel like you could hang out forever in that position, notice if you are putting more pressure on your shoulder joints, elbows, toes, and taking less focus off the core (the abdomen, low back, glutes).  Training in a neutral spine (aka plank)  is one of the safest ways to increase core stability,   where you are neither flexing, extending or rotating the spine you are just working to resist movement .

However I think you can bump up the intensity with the following tips, and plank in a much more efficient and effective way.

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Right now, get on the floor and hold the plank shown in the picture for 15 seconds. If for any reason it hurts do not do it. Then rest.

Now try it again and think of the following.

Plank tips:

—-> Don’t move at all in your plank but think of your elbows and toes pulling toward one another. Keep a neutral spine. If you feel a little shaking, you are doing it right.

—->Pull your shoulder blades back and down slightly. This often helps take tension out of the neck and shoulders.

—>Think of your core “bracing.” Bracing as if someone is punching you in the stomach and it automatically tightens.  You are neither pulling the belly button in nor coming out of neutral alignment.

—->Engage your butt. Squeeze those butt cheeks. This will help take pressure off the low back.

Try incorporating these tips and holding a plank for 15 seconds and resting for 15 seconds for 2 minutes. Once you build your endurance (which is usually fairly quickly) you can progress to 30 seconds.

How to challenge yourself more?

Instead of holding your plank longer, reduce your base of support as shown below.

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3-point plank. Try lifting one foot off the mat for 10 seconds and then switch sides. Refer back to plank tips to keep proper form. Once this feels easy, you can try lifting the opposite arm up and hold a 2-point plank.

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Side plank. You can start by keeping the bottom knee down on the ground. Once you process to holding a full plank for 30 seconds, you can lift the leg as shown in the picture.

These are just a couple options you can use to increase the challenge of a plank without holding it longer.  Always choose good form over how long you can hold a plank.