The Need to Be Pushed

I have discovered something about myself over the past year and a half of acclimating to a healthier lifestyle and making fitness a priority: I need to be pushed. It was incredibly challenging to go from 276 to 186 lbs, and without question it pushed my physical limits as well as my mental limits in terms of my will power and deciding to remove negative elements of my nutrition. However, as it turns out, I have found that I thrive when I need to “Dig Deep”, and remain committed to a particular regimen.

Case in point: I completed the Les Mills Pump Program in September, and just thought I would kind of hodge podge some workouts together and not put myself on any official regimen. I have seen excellent results in every Beachbody program I have used, but have pretty well stuck to the prescribed schedule. It turns out that without something to push me to do the hard workouts when I was sore or unmotivated, I didn’t do them. My workouts have become sporadic, and my nutrition followed suit pretty quickly. I haven’t been a slave to the scale in some time, but knew things were going in the wrong direction so I jumped on. The damage? 10 POUNDS! That got my attention.

I need to be pushed again. Yes, the workouts can be hard. Sticking to a good nutritional plan can be hard. But what is even harder is to try to make any progress (or even maintain for that matter) without being pushed. I am super pumped to get into Insanity Max 30. I am making sure I can start it next week! I need the push. How about you?

Check out the preview and email, facebook, or message me if you need to jump in on this! Available today, and at a huge discount through Beachbody coaches. Get committed to a good fitness plan before the next round of holiday festivities are here!

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Does Your Weight Loss Plan Allow for a Treat/Cheat Meal?

To celebrate my daughter’s birthday she chose Chili’s. Is that allowed? Something critical to incorporate into your eating plan is the opportunity to have a “Treat” or “Cheat” meal. Going into it you know that you will have more calories than what is standard fare for the ideal meal plan. Remember, this isn’t to say that you go totally out of control and order appetizer, huge meal, and dessert; you can still overdo it, and it would be tragic to counteract your work for the week with that single meal. I have learned to plan for it, and normally know what I am going to have before entering the restaurant.

I am successfully under 200 pounds now using a planned “treat/cheat” meal strategy, and that means I am down nearly 80 lbs. from my worst weight of 276. Over the course of retooling my eating habits, I have discovered that my body does not have the same cravings it used to. I still love rich foods, but I am more easily able to manage the portion of them that I eat, and can enjoy the food without being obsessed with having as much of it as I can. This was a process, and didn’t happen overnight; I’ve blown my cheat meal before by turning it into a “cheat day”. It’s not over if that happens, but I got to the place where it was no longer worth it to me to take that step backwards, and realized that as my body was adapting to healthier habits, it was not reacting so well to an overload of rich food.

I will endeavor to remember that tonight, and encourage you to do the same! Where will your next cheat meal be? Have you found the balance of incorporating it successfully yet?

Fitness How To’s: Consistency

Number One Way to see  Ongoing Results

Here it is. The final week of August comes to a close tomorrow, and so summer is done (unless you live in SW Florida; it’s always summer here). My hope is if you had opportunity to check out this blog series that you may have been able to implement an idea or two to your daily routine. Often times, we can even see some positive initial response from our body when we take steps in the right direction for our health. The trick now is how to keep forward momentum and see those results continue. The best way is pretty simple:

Duplicate What Works!

We’re all familiar with the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” When it comes to our health and fitness, it’s funny that we have so many “quick fix” offers claiming to zap us into better health overnight. The problem is, these things do not last. Whether it’s a fad diet, a crazy new pill, or some crazy “sweat it out in an hour” offer, these simply do not provide lasting results.

I’ve done the fad diets and had temporary success with them. I had gotten into the 230s shortly after marriage, and was able to drop back under 200 with the infamous Atkins diet. What happened? It was simply not sustainable as a lifestyle habit. Two to three years afterwards, I was into the 240s; then 250s; and eventually 276. I was tempted to try the “fat pills”, but never did, and never went for a wrap or anything like that. I did know people who did though, and were very excited about the quick, initial results. Over time, however, it was clear that it didn’t have the staying power to help them achieve their goals.  Turns out there’s something to the conventional wisdom of healthy eating and exercise.

So if we know (on some level) that we actually do have to be disciplined about our eating and exercise habits, why don’t we? We want to have good health; we know what it takes; why don’t we do it? The list of excuses why we don’t is extensive and plentiful; but make no mistake: they are excuses.

find a way

I know that may sound harsh, but please know that I am speaking to myself first on this one, and have drawn my line in the sand that I will never go back to relying on excuses as to why I let my weight get out of control. The bottom line is this: you have to find your reason why you are going to make a change and that must be strong enough to drown out your excuses of why you don’t.

For me, it was my kids. I was well aware that I had terrible eating, health, and fitness habits, and as a teacher I know that for kids the habits and behaviors they engage in are more often “caught” than “taught”. My daughter is about to turn 5. If she was catching what daddy was doing in his eating habits it would have been a bad thing. Change for me was imperative. Find your why, and then make it happen. I came through my fitness challenge with Team Beach Body, and will never look back. In moving forward, I am now involved in the coaching aspect of the challenges. If you would benefit from support in making a change, I can totally identify. We say, “Decide. Commit. Succeed.” I had already made the decision. My commitment was unwavering, and as a result my success was assured. I can tell you that part of my decision and commitment was to find and do whatever was necessary to achieve and model good health for my family. The programs through TBB poised me to achieve the success I was committed to in the shortest time possible. 70 lbs are gone, and beyond that I know that I have a true level of fitness that I haven’t had since high school, if even then. I am most pleased with the results of my investment, and will continue to make decisions in line with my fitness goals, both for myself and my family.

As this blog series closes, I wish the best for all of you who have stopped by my page. Thanks for reading! I pray you will achieve your health and fitness goals. If you would like more information on a challenge group and (like me) would benefit from a world of support to get going in the right direction, please email or message me. I would love to pass on to you what has worked so well for me, and DUPLICATE that success 🙂

Fitness How To’s: Four Critical Components to Your Nutrition

Component 1: The right number of calories

While not the only component to weight loss, it isn’t any mystery that if you are serious about losing weight you have to create a calorie deficit. A number of people have struggles that go beyond the simple calorie count, but this is where it begins. If you don’t have a baseline and track in some measure where you are in relation to it, you have no chance of losing those unwanted pounds. That being said, there is a second component to having winning nutrition.

Component 2: The Right Kind of Calories

Many people who still struggle in losing weight after they have their calorie count under control see much improved results when they give focus to getting their calories from the right sources. While this example is a bit extreme, no one would recognize that there would be an issue in attempting to get all of your calories from soda and chips. You could technically gauge how much Coke and Potato Chips to have at all three meals to stay within a target calorie goal, but on top of feeling miserable you not likely see any changes. For some, that balance in the macros of your nutrition must be a bit more precise than for others. Keep your pulse on how many calories you proactively plan to get from protein, carb, and fat sources.

Component 3: Effective Distribution of Calories

One huge downfall many of us have fallen prey to is fasting through the day in an effort to use all of our calories in one meal. That does not allow our metabolism to achieve any balance, and is likely to wreak havoc on our body, mood, and emotional state. Avoid this pitfall! Plan at least 3 mealtimes on your day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and make an effort to stretch into 5 to 6 smaller meals on the day. With these in place, the 4th component is a no-brainer.

Component 4: Water

This was one of my greatest struggles. I had virtually lived on diet soda, and water was just too boring for my taste buds. I have made great strides by using water with lemon (and other citrus) to have some flavor and get to my 8 (+) cups of water on the day. The good news is that as you incorporate more water into your diet, the more your body will want it. This does not happen overnight, but I can tell you that I can actually sense my bodies thirst for water and soda has little appeal for me anymore.Seek to keep balance in your eating habits and you will see great strides in your weight loss journey. One final note, also be sure to not create too large a calorie deficit and so starve your body that it begins to shut down. One of the best tools I have found in helping me to reach target goals in this regard is an app/website called myfitnesspal (My fitness pal). You can put it on your smartphone or just log into it on your computer at myfitnesspal.com. It is totally free and allows you to track not only your calories but your fat, carb, protein, cholesterol, sodium, etc. Hope you have a terrific Tuesday, and drop by tomorrow for some tips on exercise 🙂

Likes and comments are much appreciated! If you don’t see this option, please click on the article title at the top of the page and check down here again. Thanks!

Fitness How To’s: Five Keys to Fitness Success

As we enter the final week of August I decided to do a countdown on my fitness page each weekday to focus on things you can do to end the month on a good note and be poised to start September off right! Tune in every day this week to get tips & reminders on how to accelerate your weight loss and achieve your fitness goals.

Day 1 – Five Keys to Fitness Success: Exercise, Nutrition, Accountability, Commitment, Adaptability/Resilience.

Exercise

There are a host of things we could look at, but let’s keep this simple. If you are serious about losing weight and/or getting fit the first item on this list comes as no surprise. It’s no secret that exercise is an essential part of fitness, no matter what level of exercise you engage in. It does not have to be high intensity, but you have to give your body some level of activity and elevate your heart rate. If you need this reminder as I did, renew your mind with the truth that it is ok to sweat a little.

Two inevitable questions that now follow: How much exercise? How hard should I go? In answer to the first question, make a plan to exercise at least three to four times this week. If you have been engaged in regular workouts you could even push to five or six workouts in the week. The level of intensity should be in line with what your body can handle, and only you know that. The real key here is to start slow if you’re just getting back on the horse or have never incorporated a regular workout routine before. You can always increase intensity the next day if things don’t seem challenging enough, but it would be terrible to get sidelined by an injury just coming out of the gate because of impatience. The duration of each workout is again going to be something you either know how to gauge because you know your body, or have to learn. If you are learning (or relearning) your body start with a half hour including cool downs. As you feel you can handle more consider gradually moving to 45 minutes and eventually even a full 60 minutes of activity.

Nutrition

Equally obvious is what nutrition you allow into your body. This is a huge deal because all the efforts of your workouts can be undone if you think you eat whatever you want simple because you “worked out”. Be smart, and identify some healthy meals you can use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to ward off the hunger monster.

Accountability

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves; A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
I know there is a huge temptation to believe you can simply get it done on your own. The truth that we all know to be true is this: we do better with accountability. We thrive and gain strength when we have someone who goes through the struggle with us and helps keep us focused. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one providing encouragement.
Find at least one accountability partner, but if at all possible get a group of 3 or four. Give them the authority to ask tough questions and be prepared every now and again to tell on yourself.

Commitment

Don’t be in it for the short term. Make the commitment for the long haul. Temporary results are incredibly frustrating as the other side of the yo-yo diet always seems to leave us worse off than when we started. Make the commitment that you have decided to take ownership of your health and fitness goals and BE COMMITTED to them!

Adaptability

How does the saying go? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. Be prepared for the fact that your ideal plan to bring a fitness regiment into your schedule may not go entirely according to plan. You will have to “tweak” things, and possibly make sacrifices to get workouts in and be resilient enough to adjust to the curve balls life will inevitably throw your way. You can do it! It just might not look the way you envisioned it at the beginning 🙂

Your thoughts? Talk to me below! Comeback tomorrow as we give more focused attention to nutrition! (If no option to like or comment appears, click on the article title and scroll back down. Thanks!)

Les Mills Combat

For my return to the world of fitness I chose to use Les Mills Combat. I ordered the challenge pack to get my first Shakeology bag and the workout at a significant discount. First, I have to let you know that I LOVE this workout! I did TaeBo back in the day, and this so blows it out of the water. Having said that, I really want my review to be an honest reflection of what I experienced as I went through my 60 day challenge with the program.

I remember pushing play for the first time and wondering how this was going to go. At first I felt like this wasn’t so bad. I really felt like I could adapt to what they were doing. I quickly learned that having not done any exercise for a decade has a negative impact on one’s endurance. After 20 minutes I about collapsed and was more watching the workout than doing it. I’ve always liked a good challenge, though, so I looked at it as having a new goal in front of me.

For the second workout, I was introduced to Dan and Rach’s version of a High Intensity Interval Workout, or HIIT for short. This one was called HIIT Power. I haven’t been worked like that since high school football. I did not keep up for even 10 minutes of this workout before I had to resort to the modifications, and even then I was done after 15 minutes. I was exhausted, but still wanting to respond. Enter Day three.

Something interesting happened on day three: SORENESS. Pure, unadulterated soreness. It hurt to walk. To make things even better I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old who love to climb into daddy’s lap. This was not a good day. Still I had made the commitment to do this, and I wasn’t going to throw in the towel at my first real test. As it turned out, I felt better after having done the workout, much as it hurt when I started it. I was still sore, but the workout actually subsided the pain a little.

Before moving on, I have to let you know that Dan and Rach bring an AMAZING level of energy and enthusiasm to the workouts, and even though I was sore, I in part looked forward to the next workout because I got to be infused and motivated through the support of their encouragement. Short version: It was FUN!!!

My program track allowed me a break for day 4, and I was most thankful. I was still sore, it still hurt to walk, and yes, my children were relentless. My day 5 workout was another HIIT workout: Shock Plyo. I was at least mentally prepared for what to expect, but my body was not able to keep up with much of the workout. Back to modifications I went for as long as I could go. Crushing soreness? Yup. Still there.

Day 6: back to my original workout, and after fighting through the soreness I actually sensed I was doing slightly better. Still, the soreness lingered, and I was once again thankful for an end of the week break. When day 7 came, I was finally feeling my legs getting back to normal. It didn’t hurt to walk, though my kids were still able to cause some twinges of pain (totally worth it!).

During week 2 of the program I was making incremental progress and the soreness was MUCH lighter. Not gone altogther, but nothing like week 1. In week 3, I was able to keep up with a workout here and there, and the soreness was entirely manageable.

As the time went on, I saw more and more gains and was suddenly keeping up with the 60 minute workouts and loved the feeling of accomplishment that came when I was done. The HIIT workouts continue to be challenging, but I appreciated that even more as I knew I still had at least another level to aspire to.

I know that my week 1 account might seem daunting to some, but I give you the most honest perspective I can so that you can know what you might be in for if you have not been working out for a few years as was the case for me. I encourage you to be ready to commit, and to know what that will entail. You can do it! I loved this quote and posted it on my facebook page when I saw it:

You can do it!

You can do it!

Currently I am trying T25 and getting great results with it as well, but I can’t wait to go back and do the advanced version of Combat. If you are looking for a great way to start getting back into shape, Les Mills Combat will get you there 🙂

How Are Your Workouts Working Out?

 

Whether you get excited when you begin a new workout routine, or if  you dread what you might be in for it is critical to remember why you are engaging in the training of your body. If you want to maximize the results you can achieve from your workout, follow a couple of simple steps to get the results you want:

  1. Consistency –  Remember, nothing happens overnight. Your investment in training your body to learn and practice the workout (even when you’re crazy sore) will get you past that initial soreness in the first two weeks and help you acclimate to the demands of the workout on your body. It will get better 🙂
  2. Participation –  If need be, slow the pace down and at least keep yourself active for the entirety of your workout. Better to do push-ups from your knees than not at all. If a particular exercise is too demanding, at least run/jog/walk in place to keep your heart rate up until an exercise you can participate in comes on. Again, in time you will be able to do more and more. Just stay with it, and don’t give up!
  3. Balance –  Working out gives you the opportunity to be good to the outside of your body. If you are to get the full benefit from your workout you must balance this with eating right and being good to the inside of your body. Don’t sabotage yourself! Shakeology gives you a huge advantage in this regard, and be sure to familiarize yourself with the eating guide provided in your workout.

I welcome your comments below, or you can shoot me an
email
🙂