Monday, December 20, 2010

Love the Fire!
Greetings and salutations my fitness friends! Hope today's blog post finds each one of you happy, healthy, and solidly moving towards your fitness goals, regardless of whether it is the holiday season or not!

Many of you know that many months ago I started the 20-week ChaLean Extreme/Turbo Fire hybrid. I'm pleased to say that I finished said hybrid earlier this fall, and have just been bouncing around from workout to workout, making sure that I lift weights 2-3 days per week, walk my dogs 6 days per week and fit some cardio in wherever I can. I really liked the hybrid, but really wasn't ready to jump right back into 20-weeks of training. That said, I can honestly say that I have found that one workout program that speaks to my heart, and it's Turbo Fire.

Honestly, I started out as a Tony Horton/P90X girl through and through. I wanted to do massive amounts of push ups and my nemesis, the pull up bar, challenged me every day. I was never a cardio girl, so P90X was a good fit for me. Then I upped the challenge and made myself do Insanity. I appreciated the program for what it is...butt kicking cardio that will get you into GREAT cardiovascular shape. However, it wasn't until I pushed play on Turbo Fire that I fell in LOVE with cardio.

Seriously, the music is fantastic, Chalene Johnson has powerhouse moves, she pushes you to work harder, and I burn, on average, 100 calories for every 10 minutes of the workout. Just today I did the Fire 55 EZ workout (which by NO means is EZ!) and burned a good 542 calries in 53 minutes. I burn more in Turbo Fire than I do in Insanity (which leaves me exhausted on the floor), probably because the moves incorporate lower body, core and upper body movement versus one or the other.

Anyhow, I'm here to say that I LOVE Turbo Fire. Honestly, I can say that it will be a part of my fitness rotation for months and years to come. If you're unfamiliar, here's a little taste of what Turbo Fire is all about. Also, please feel free to JOIN ME on Facebook if you're on there...I'd love to help you on your own fitness journey as well!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Greetings and salutations my fitness friends! I realize it's been a long time, and I'm going to be honest...I've been in a funk. While I've still been working out consistently and eating fairly well, I honestly have been dogging it a bit here and there and not really attacking my goals with the enthusiasm I once had.

It's difficult sometimes being the only one in my household that is interested in working out and eating well. Sometimes I allow myself to fall back into some old patterns that I don't like just because it's easier. However, I've recently realized that I can count on some others that aren't in my household to encourage me to really push myself.

Recently, a Facebook fitness friend, Daniel Beggs, posted this link on his Facebook. It was to an event called the Warrior Dash. I looked at it, and honestly, it scared the living crap out of me! It's a 3+ mile run through chest deep water and mud. It requires the strength to climb up and over walls, the ability to balance on a beam over cold water, crawl through pitch black pipes, trudge through water while ducking under low beams and the grand finale, leaping over fire! However, as scary as it seemed, it also seems like a total gas as well! Plus, by participating and finishing, you get a free shirt, a cool medal, beer and a warrior helmet!! Come on...who wouldn't sign up immediately?!

Here's the thing. I love fitness. I really enjoy lifting weights and doing my cardio workouts at home. I also love walking my dogs every day. What I don't love is running. Seriously...CANNOT. STAND. IT. Despise every single stride. Running, jogging, walking with a bounce, they're just not my thing. That said, it's a new challenge...

It took me about a week and I relented. I'm signed up to run in the 1:30 heat of the May 14th Georgia Warrior Dash. I am completely out of my comfort zone. I will prevail, though, because I AM a warrior!

Take a look at their website, see if there's a Warrior Dash near you and sign up. We could train together (via the net) and commiserate on our warrior lumps, bumps and bruises afterwards. Come on...I know you, too, are a warrior!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Greetings and Salutations!

I just wanted to do a quick check-in to see how you were progressing towards your fitness goals and to share a little something about the value of persistence.

You see, I get messages from people all the time on Facebook about how I commit to my fitness regularly, day after day, week after week, without fail. "How do you stay motivated to do it?" they ask, or "I missed a month...isn't it pointless to start again now?"

Let me tell you...I'm by no means perfect, and the past two weeks have been a perfect example of my own imperfections. I was finishing up week #12 of the ChaLean Extreme/Turbo Fire hybrid and I simply felt WRECKED. I hurt, I ached, I was tired, I was run-down...I didn't want to workout. So I listened to my body and took two days off from workouts. After two days, I felt pretty good, but not awesome, so I took two more. I was ready to jump back in...but you know what? I didn't.

Instead, I just made excuses. I still was walking my dogs for 60-90 minutes every day, which is a workout in itself, but for 11 days I didn't push play. I felt guilty, but then I convinced myself that since I wasn't really staying honest to my fitness goals, I may as well let my nutrition slide. Yep, I'm going to admit it right now...I ate an entire carton of Ben & Jerry's Boston Cream Pie ice cream in an 18 hour period (though I did feel like crap the day after!). Finally, after 11 days of this nonsense, and starting to feel sluggish and 'thick' in the middle (hello...Ben & Jerry's...see comment above), I decided that enough was enough. It was time to get back on ifs, ands, or buts (or ice cream in the house).

By now, I knew where my weaknesses were...I was allowing myself to push my regular after work workout time to the side, so I needed to workout before work. Period. This past Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I was out of bed at 4:15 a.m., pushing play at 4:30 before work. It's not the perfect arrangement for me...I can't do a long workout as I have to leave for work at 6:15 a.m., and my body is pretty creaky in the morning, so high intensity cardio doesn't really feel good. But I will admit that I felt great for the rest of the day, got my dog walk in during the afternoon, had time to do the things that were plaguing me in the first place (mainly grading student work), stayed more committed to my nutrition, and eventually got back to my TF/CLX hybrid schedule today.

I could have, however, decided that since I had already missed almost 2 weeks of working out that it wasn't worth jumping back in. It happens too often...people miss a day, a week, a month, or even two months of working out and then talk themselves out of getting back on the workout train. They tell themselves that it's pointless because they're a month behind schedule or that they can't commit to working out 5 or 6 days per week. Don't let it happen to you.

Nobody said that P90X or ChaLean Extreme HAD to be done in 90 days. Nobody said that you HAD to commit to a 6 day/week workout schedule. I assure you, neither Tony Horton or Chalene Johnson is going to come to your house and yell at you if you don't. They key, though, is to make fitness work for you. If you only have 3 days/week, do three days/week. If you missed 2 weeks, push play and jump back into where you left off. Yep, it might be more difficult than when you quit, but you can modify until you're feeling stronger again. Do NOT let excuses run your life...set a goal, practice persistence, and feel the power of accomplishment.

Message me if you need some support, answers to questions, or even if you just want to say hey. I'd love to hear from you.

Crush play!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

You have to walk the path...just you.
Greetings and salutations my friends. So what do you do when your partner or spouse isn't on the bandwagon with regards to the changes you want to make in your fitness and nutrition? Do your rely on someone else to motivate you to workout each day or to eat well?

All too often I hear from individuals who started P90X or some other fitness/nutrition program with a wife, husband or partner and loved it, but when the significant other quit, they did too. They felt it was just too much of a challenge to do on their own. To this, I have to ask, "Why?"

This journey isn't about your spouse's health or about your boyfriend or girlfriend's fitness, it's about YOURS. YOU are the one who has to make the decision and the commitment to make your life healthier through proper nutrition and exercise. It's not your responsibility to drag anyone else along with you, nor are you their responsibility either.

Sure, it would be a heck of a lot easier if my Little Debbie breakfast eating (seriously, I wish I owned stock in Swiss Cake Rolls), Coca-Cola swilling, Big Mac loving, cigarette smoking husband would embrace the changes that I've embraced over the past 16 months. But he hasn't. He's 6'4", thin, and every year at his annual physical, his doctor says he's in good health. He says he wants to stop smoking, he says he wants to eat healthier, but he always has an excuse for why he doesn't. He always is talking about tomorrow, and tomorrow has never come. If I waited for my husband to join me on this journey, I'd still be a miserable, 200+ pound woman who couldn't stand the sight of herself in the mirror.

Instead, I had to go it alone. And you know what? It's okay. In fact, I've relished in the fact that I've done this all by myself. I've become empowered by the process, and love myself even more for doing it all by myself.

Perhaps one day, Mr. Little Debbie will realize it's time to make changes. I hope the day will come soon, but I know that the more pressure I put on him to make those changes, the more he'll keep them at arm's length. He's got to do it for himself, just like I did, and right now, he's not ready.

For those of you who ARE ready, find your motivation. Ask yourself, "WHY do I want to make this change?" Write down your answer. When you're tempted to cheat on your nutrition or not workout, go back at look at your why. It'll remind you to stay focused and to keep fighting.

Find others who are like-minded and surround yourself. There's something very powerful in finding others on the same journey, even if you only are in contact with them through Facebook or through myfitnesspal. I have over 700 individuals who are on my Facebook friends list. I don't personally know 75% of them, but the majority of them have impacted me in a positive way and helped me stay focused on my own goals. I hope in the process that I have helped them as well.

If you're ready to start, but don't know where to begin, send me a message. We can talk about your goals.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I LOVE FOOD...too much sometimes...

Greetings and salutations my friends!! So here's the deal...I love food. I love it a lot. Sometimes I love food too much. Seriously, I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think about (well, perhaps the first thing I think about after going to the restroom and letting the dogs out) is breakfast. Then I think about my mid-morning snack, and after that it's what's for lunch, then an afternoon snack, and then it's dinnertime, and I'm off to bed and once again waking up thinking about...BREAKFAST!

For many of us, our struggle with our weight isn't our lack of fitness or exercise time, it's food...mainly too much of it. I'm 5'9", I carry more weight than your average height female, so lucky me, I get to eat more! However, I find nutrition to be a battle almost every single day. Bad habits, such as taking the entire bag of pretzels into the living room to watch t.v. (as Chalene Johnson says, "Open bag = Saddle Bags!"), 'grazing' while fixing dinner, or convincing yourself that since you did workout today you can eat the 2 dessert servings, rear their heads from time to time, and sabotage your results. So...what's a girl (or guy) to do?

With regards to my own nutrition, the best thing I have done so far is log my calories every single day. I got out of the habit this spring when I was injured, and slowly, but steadily, I started to pack on a few pounds. Now that I'm back in the habit, it really helps keep me accountable and makes me more aware of what I'm putting into my body. I use an online food diary called My Fitness Pal, and I like it for it's ease of use, the fact that it's free, and it's extensive food database. If you join, I'm on there as "Glfprncs2." Look me up, friend me...we can support one another! If you're really brave, make your food diary 'public' and let the world see. Talk about some major accountability! There's also a really nice group of supportive people on the message boards who really want you to succeed.

If you are going to utilize a food diary, you've got to be TOTALLY honest with yourself. You can't have the candy bar at work and not log it in...period. No grabbing a handful of pretzels or peanuts as you fix dinner without logging it in. You eat it, you log it. You want results, you track it. Simple as that. It's truly an eye opening experience.

The other thing that's key for me is setting myself up for success when I hit the grocery store. My biggest piece of advice: DON'T GO GROCERY SHOPPING HUNGRY! You know as well as I do that you'll buy the Chex Mix and eat the bag before the kids get home from school. Go after you've eaten so you don't make those 'munchy' purchases because it looks good. with a list and stick to the list. Yep, I'm sure that when you walk through the pastry section the pound cakes, sugar cookies, and glazed doughnuts look appealing. Well, unless it's on your list, you dont' put it in your cart (and I'm here to tell you, the pound cake, sugar cookies, and glazed doughnuts shouldn't be on your list!). If you're tempted...keep reading...

Finally...if you pick something up that's not on your list, I want you to really think about it before you put it in your cart. Ask yourself, "Will this food item nourish my body and provide it the nutrients that it needs to sustain my life?" If the answer is no, then you need to put the object back on the grocery store shelf and allow someone else, who doesn't mind gumming up their own gut with preservatives and non-nutrients, pick it up. I know that sometimes things just look can be agonizing, especially when your head says, "Buy it! I want it!" On Monday, I agonized over Honey Graham Crackers. It's just a graham cracker, I know, but was it something I needed? I think I put it on the shelf and picked it back up 3 times. I WANTED the graham crackers. After reading the label for the 3rd time, and knowing that the honey grahams really weren't going to provide my body with much nutrition, I put them back, and went on my way. The inner battle was maddening!

Food can be tough...take it one day (or even one meal) at a time. If you mess up, and totally blow a meal, don't allow that to be an excuse to ruin the rest of the day. Pull up your big girl (or big boy) panties, forgive yourself, and do better next time. It's a process, and little by little, you'll win the fight...

Message me if you'd like some help on your own journey...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Feel the FIRE!
Greetings and Salutations my friends! I can't believe it's already July...that means my summer vacation as a middle school teacher is already halfway over and I'm going to have to change the spinning of my wheels from fitness, fitness, fitness to fitness, reading and writing. I'll be honest...I'm not ready for the kiddos to come back into my classroom just yet. I'll get there, I promise, but it'll probably be August 9th at 7:25 when my new sweethearts walk down the hallway as the biggest, baddest 8th graders the school has seen. You see...THIS is the real reason why I workout!

I finished my first 90-day round of ChaLean Extreme on Saturday even though it took me about 110 days to finish (due to a muscle injury in my groin, hip and low back. I absolutely LOVED the program. The injury, though, inspired me to listen even more to my body (I wish I would remember this lesson as I tend to forget it from time to time) and I've started studying yoga at a local yoga studio. Let me just say...Yoga IS TOUGH. Seriously, those yoga peeps are strong, strong, strong. The thing is, I'm strong too, but not yoga strong. Yoga will identify every single one of your weaknesses within the first 5 minutes of class. It's a very humbling experience, but I know that if I keep up with it, it'll make me a better person overall as well.

Anyhow, my purpose today is to talk about in Turbo Fire.

I started my 20 week (yes, I said TWENTY WEEKS) hybrid schedule that combines ChaLean Extreme and Turbo Fire yesterday and I am SO psyched about the results I know I'm going to get. Chalene's Turbo Fire workouts (both the Fire and HiiT) workouts are killer calorie burners (seriously, I got 700 calories in a 55 minute workout the other day!!), and combined with the strength training with ChaLean Extreme, I don't know that there's going to be a better combination.

One of the 'new' things in the Turbo Fire program is a concept called HIIT...High Intensity Interval Training...short bouts of high intesity exercise for about 45 seconds followed by short rests. Rinse, repeat. Granted, you may be looking around for your left lung between HIIT intervals, but the good thing is that the HIIT workouts are generally short (15-25 minutes) compared to the Fire workouts (30-60), but continue to give you the 'afterburner effect' once finished.

Here's just a little sneak peak of what the HIIT 15 workout entails (though this is just 2 of the 3 intervals...I somehow managed to erase the 3rd circuit off my camcorder and my body was too toasted from fatigue to try to record it again once I'd realized my faux pas):

Now, I know, I know...many of you want to tell me that, "I don't jump." Well, you know what? I didn't either a year ago. I was too fat to get my big old booty off the ground. It was like trying to jump with an anvil in my pants. But here I am today, a regular old jumping bean! Don't fear, though...every single move on every class session of Turbo Fire has been modified for those of you who don't want the impact of jumping. You'll still get a great workout, but without stressing your knees.

There you have two favorites...Turbo Fire and ChaLean Extreme. Who would like to join me and fuel their fire?? Message me!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Number 2 is number 1!!!

Greetings and saluations my friends!! I know, I know, it's been a long time, but luckily, I've got a fantastic topic to discuss with you today...if you guessed from the picture to the right that I may be talking about regularity, you're right on the money.

So, before I begin, I wanted to offer you fair warning that what I'm about to discuss may be considered inappropriate chat amongst friends. The problem is, I used to work for my dad's construction company, and building and installing sewer systems (waste water treatment facilities if you want to be politically correct) was our specialty. In fact, one year my grandfather (who started the business) said that he wanted to get hats made that said, "Your !%(#'s our bread and butter." Obviously, poo is important to both my family and I.

Now, back to the topic at hand. The #2, poo, poop, b.m., whatever you want to call it, is an important function of our body. No one knows this better than those of us who have suffered from irregularity either for a brief or, even worse, an extended period of time. Let me explain (because I know you're all giddy with anticipation to hear my poo drama).

As a kid, I grew up in a Southeastern Ohio meat and potatoes family. My mom cooks great food, don't get me wrong, but all my life, as far back as I remember, I have dealt with a giant lack of poo. As a kid, whenever I had a stomachache, the first thing my mom would say is, "Do you have to #2?" The answer, inevitably, was always a resounding yes, but the problem was, things weren't moving...AT...ALL. This led to upset stomachs, bloating, gas, and just an overall feeling of being about to blow up. It was awful!

As an adult, I drank my daily glass of orange fiber therapy (which truly is like watered down orange drink with sawdust mixed in), added fiber supplements to my diet, but about the only thing that could get things moving was a good Friday night out at the bar. Inevitably, once coffee hit my gut on Saturday morning (after the 12 oz. curls that were done the night before), things were moving, and quickly. But clearly, you can't rely on a good bender to get things moving. Plus, pooping once per week just doesn't cut it. I wanted poo, and I wanted it at least once every other day. What does one do?

I changed my diet, I ate lots of fresh fruit and veggies, I supplemented with fiber, I drank nine gazillion glasses of water a day, and I still couldn't poop unless I had a death grip on the toilet seat and a vein popping out of my forehead. NOT enjoyable.

Then, one day, I heard about this thing called Shakeology. It was supposed to increase your energy, help reduce cravings, aid in weight loss, and (can you hear the trumpets blaring now?) improve digestive health and regularity! Okay, seriously...sounds like a wonder product, doesn't it? Knowing I had to give it a shot, I commited to the product for 90 days...3 months of Shakeology. And here's what happened...

I POOP! Seriously, I now go 4-5 times per week without worrying that I'm going to injure myself in the process. Gone is the bloating, gone is the feeling of heaviness in my mid-section, gone is the constipation, gone are the stomachaches...gone, gone, gone. I'm regular, I'm efficient,, I'm like a puppy with the most incredible digestive tract in the universe, I'm a good pooper! Woo hooo!

I'm a Shakeology convert. Plus, I also get the other benefits...I have noticed an increase in energy without caffeine, I don't have cravings even though I'm still working on my own weightloss and maintain a calorie deficit most days, but clearly, to me, the greatest thing is that my digestive tract is a lean, mean, pooing machine. So now you know why I think the old 'number 2' is truly number 1.

If you, too, would like optimal digestive health (and all the other great benefits that go alongside being a Shakeology drinker), send me a message and we can chat. Also, here's a little information video about the product as well. Thank you Beachbody for creating such a fantastic've truly saved my life!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Cleaning--For your insides!

Greetings and salutations everyone! I hope this finds each and every single one of you enjoying some springlike weather. The temperatures here are fantastic (80s today), but we're enjoying our annual pine pollen epidemic, so everything is covered in a fine yellow powder. Heck, even the dogs came in from the walks this morning with blonde hair!

Now that I'm finally injury free, I've started a new 90 day program (new to me, anyhow) called ChaLean Extreme. I'm really enjoying the new challenge, the creativity of moves, and the opportunity to lift weights again. I feel great and look forward to what I can do in 90 days.

In addition, with my new 'start' after my almost 2 month hiatus from working out, I decided to do a little spring cleaning for my insides by participating in a Shakeology Cleanse. It was created by Steve Edwards (a fitness and nutrition expert who works for and helps develop products for Beachbody) and then tweaked by Mike Karpenko (a Beachbody Coach who once worked for Steve) and involves three days. As Steve says in his blog, "It's not the Master Cleanse. The goal is to promote flushing junk from your system and regulating hydration levels." In addition, try not to workout extraordinarily hard during the cleanse...for most people, the calorie levels of the cleanse won't support a really hard workout.

In a nutshell, in consists of three days of:

Three servings of Shakeology each day (made with water)

Two-three servings of fruit (or you can mix them in with your Shakeology shake)

For dinner, a salad, unrestricted with regards to veggies, with 4 oz. of lean protein (white meat or fish), and olive oil/balsamic dressing.

If you feel you need more calories (as some may), add chia seeds, nuts, flax seeds and the like to your salad.

Drink all the water you can and if you'd like to add green tea or coffee, you may as long as there are NO additives. No dairy, no sugar, no flavorings, no nothing!

So there you have it...the Shakeology cleanse. I started yesterday and was pretty ragged by the end of the day (the workout of choice for the day was too tough for the calories I took in), but I woke up this morning two pounds lighter than I was yesterday, retaining less water than normal, and with plenty of energy to tackle today's 'lightish' workout.

If you've got questions, or would like information about Shakeology, let me know!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Your Personal "Why?"

Greetings and Salutations my friends! I was chatting with an acquaitance on Facebook the other day about why I started my fitness journey. It was a good that reminded me of where I was, where I am now, and where I want to be in the future. In reflecting upon her question, I was reminded of how I became the person that I was just under a year ago...fat, unhappy, no self-esteem...and the person that I am, healthy, positive, and ready to take on the world. It's amazing what a mere 300+ days can do to a person.

The most miserable I ever remember being was when I was in high school in the late 1980s. I was the 'behemoth' of my peer group at 5'9" and weighing in at a 'hefty' 142 pounds. I remember recording my weight in a journal every night, knowing that my friends were topping the scales at 100-110, and there I was, the rotund one, knocking on the door of 150 lbs. Sure, I was a good eight inches taller than they were, and when I look back on those days now, I don't know what I was thinking. But the funny thing is (funny, sad, not funny, ha-ha), some of those 'friends' of mine told me I was fat because I didn't weight 105 pounds and I couldn't wear a size 1 or 3 in Guess jeans (yep, I'm going 'old school' on ya'!). In fact, some of those same 'friends' would head out into the school parking lot during school hours and throw cookie containers and other junk food trash on top of my car to make me feel even better about the fact that I weighed 40 pounds more than they did. Another of their favorite ways to empower themselves was to follow me down the hallway, oinking like a piglet and mooing like a cow. And you know what? Their cruelty was really effective. I allowed them to take away my power...I allowed them to take away my self-esteem...I allowed them to have their dreams and to take away mine. I became a shadow of what I could have been.

I went through a major part of my life with very little self-esteem. I did a pretty good job, for the most part, hiding that fact, but I truly thought pretty little of myself until the time I was well into my 30s. But in typical fashion, I started to spiral into a rut where I didn't like myself much, and that took over every aspect of my marriage, my career, my outlook, everything. I was down in the dumps, I wanted to feel good about myself, and I didn't know what to do.

On April 2, 2009, I took the initiative to take one small step to get my life back. That was the day that I decided that I was in this for me, me, me. I simply HAD to love myself for the person I was, but I knew I had to make some improvements to truly feel that love. I started pushing play that day, immersed myself in learning everything that I could about fitness and nutrition, lost weight, empowered myself with strong muscles, and learned to love me. Instead of worrying incessantly about things that I couldn't control, I learned to manage the things that I knew, without a doubt, were 100% within my own control. Funny how that makes EVERYTHING in your life better. With my improved fitness was better health, a better marriage, a better career, simply a better outlook on life. Just because I made the decision to empower myself with good exercise and nutrition.

I had to ask myself a very important question, "Whose dream did you build today--yours or someone else's?" (Jeff Olson. 2005). If you spend your whole week, month, year, or life, trying, or even allowing someone else's dream to build, rather than your own, you're doing yourself a tremendous disservice. Sure, great things do come out of doing for others. I'm not going to deny that, but what about you? What about what YOU want? Where is the time you deserve to achieve all of those fantastic things you desire?
So here I am...almost a year later still continuing on my journey to be the best me that I can be. And yes, those are my pictures there on the top of the page. I figure there's no better way of being accountable to goals than putting that first picture out there!! There you have it, there's my 'Why?' What's yours?
If you'd like some help on your own fitness journey, I'd LOVE to help...send me a message from my coaching page.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Injury! WHAT do I do now?
Greetings and salutations my friends! Well, as the title of this post states, I'm struggling with my fitness goals due to injury and my lack of patience. It started about 10 days ago with a tightness near my ribs, got worse, got better, got even better, and even though I knew it was still there, I went ahead and tried to work out today. Of course, I'm now worse off than I was. Imagine one of those side stitches you sometimes get when you're running, and then multiply it by 5. I was in so much agony that I truly couldn't get myself up off the floor. To compound the situation, EVERY muscle in your body seems to be tied, somehow, to your abs and ribs. Ugh! I truly despise injuries.

So, clearly the point of this post is about patience. I knew I needed to continue resting my was telling me LOUD AND CLEAR, but in typical fashion, I chose to ignore it. This happens a lot, though, with individuals who are so focused on goals. In fact, the Olympic games was a great example of athletes who fought through pain in order to compete. But sometimes you have to wonder, would they have been better off being patient, and waiting another four years? Was their performance what it could have been? Is it worth the risk? While I wasn't trying to win a medal, my fitness goals are in the front of my mind every single day. It's tough for me to miss a workout, especially considering what I've accomplished so far. But now, I can't work out. It just hurts too badly, so you've got to wonder what I was thinking at the time.

There's nothing now for me to do except to truly rest. I'm allowed to walk my dogs casually (NO power walking), and that is it. It'll be hard for me because I truly have spent every week since April 3, 2009 pushing myself as hard as I possibly could to make myself physically better. However, what comes to mind is that even elite athletes don't push that hard every single day. They choose to workout in a way so that they peak at a certain times, like the Olympic games. At other times, they are able to back off, allow their fitness to drop a smidge, and then build towards another peak. It's a good lesson to be forced to learn because I know when I do come back, my body will respond well after this rest.

That said, there are still ways I can work towards goals. Nutrition. What a perfect opportunity to REALLY work on eating as clean as I possibly can. I can still work on dropping pounds, I can still work on a slimmer physique, and I can really improve my health by making sure that what I put into my body is there to fuel it for the activity required of it. A great resource that I ran across recently is Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet Recharged. It's a nutrition guide that really makes sense to me. It's not about eliminating food groups from your diet, but about utilizing REAL foods to fuel your body. It's as simple as that.

So, my focus until I'm well enough to really push my workouts again is to finally ditch the sugar lurking in the small amount of processed foods I eat, eat 5-6 small, nutritionally balanced meals throughout the day, and to eat as cleanly as I possibly can. My journey continues.

If you're ready to start working on your own fitness and nutrition goals, and would like some help, I would love to offer you my help along the way. Just go to my Beachbody Coaching Site and send me a message. I'm sure that together, we can work towards your own transformation as well.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What do you want in your body? You decide!

Greetings and salutations my friends! As you can see from the picture to the left, I've been thinking about body fat and lean muscle mass. All of us, from the very lean to the extremely obese carry both of them in our body, but I've got to ask you. If you could choose, which one would you rather have going along for the ride of your life?

Obviously, the lean muscle mass has some advantages to it...let me point them out:

1. Lean muscle mass is going to help you in the day to day activities of life. Need to lift a child? You need muscles. Want to stretch up onto the top shelf of the cupboard to lift down the gravy tureen? You need muscles. Ever tried to open a jar of peanut butter or fruit preserves, and were unable to get it open? You need muscles. You need lean muscle mass to live!
2. This is the you can see from the picture, 5 pounds of lean muscle is compared to 5 pounds of fat. Which one is bigger? Which one is going to take up more space in your body? Which one will give you a bigger waistline? Which one will allow it to shrink? It's true that 5 pounds of muscle equals 5 pounds of fat, but clearly the lean muscle mass takes up MUCH less space in your body. So for those of you who worry that the scale isn't getting any lower, TAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS! It is very likely that you're swapping out fat for lean muscle, which weighs the same, but you'll notice a huge difference in the size of your waist, hips, thighs, arms, etc.
3. Lean muscle mass burns more calories than fat. Hello!! That means you have to eat more in order to maintain your body weight. And if you're trying to lose weight, building lean muscle will supercharge your metabolism!!!

I've been working out regularly since April 3rd. I've dropped 32 pounds or so, and in the past 3 months, the scale hasn't been very kind to me. However, I took my measurements yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. Though I may have lost only 2 pounds or so, I lost another inch from my waist, an inch and a half from my hips (this one is a miracle!), another inch from my thighs, and I'm losing a ton of belly fat so that the ab muscles I've been working on are starting to show. Obliques look pretty nice on a body! So no, I'm not 'losing weight' but I'm definitely getting leaner, getting rid of body fat, dropping pants sizes, and getting SO much healthier.

So how do you do it? You've got to invest in some sort of resistance and cardio program. Cardio helps burn fat, resistance work helps build lean muscle. You really do need the two. Some really good options are ChaLean Extreme (5 days per week @ 45 minutes per day--90 day program), Slim in 6 (30-45 minutes per day, 6 week program), P90X (6 days per week @ 60-90 minutes per day--90 day program), and for those with little time, Ten Minute Trainer (stack 10 minute workouts each day to create the length that works for you). Plus, all of these programs come with good, basic nutritional guides to help you burn fat, build that lean muscle, and boost metabolism.

In addition, you can get me as your free Coach to help you along the way. Yes, I said FREE!! I'll be here to provide support, answer questions, and offer motivation whenever it may be most needed. Don't wait until tomorrow, when today could be the day to jumpstart the rest of your fit life!

Send me a message if you have questions about how to get started, and if you're ready to start today, you can find the products here. Push play, everyone!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shakeology--it's what's for dinner, or breakfast, or lunch, or a snack!
Greetings and Salutations! Do you lack energy? Do afternoon cravings making you so ravenous that you feel as though you could eat the kitchen counters? Have problems with high cholesterol? Want to lose weight? Shakeology could be your answer.

At the same cost as your morning Starbucks or McDonald's run, it's not only a much healthier option, but could possibly be the healthiest meal of your entire day. I'm a chocolate Shakeology drinker, and I've seen increased energy, better digestive health, regularity, and most importantly for me, NO MORE CRAVINGS!

For more information, check out my Shakeology page.