Happy NYs!!!

I’ve been struggling to write a New Years blog b/c, if you know me, you know I don’t believe in overhauls, detoxes, or 30 Day Shreds and  New Years is peak season for these super sexy and appealing methods of weight loss despite their dismal success rates.  I’ve had a little bit of bloggers block w/ the amount of trash that has filled my news feeds!!

As you finalize your NY Resolution list my wish is that in 2015 you resolve to get off the “be perfect,” “be super hard core,” and “anti-carb” bandwagons and decide to approach fat loss in a more balanced and healthful way.  You can and will get real, life long results by taking a different, admittedly less sexy, approach.

Here are a few pointers…

1.  FOLLOW the right people on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.  Ditch anyone that preaches workout guilt and fuels the anti-carb philosophies.  Fill your news feeds with people and organizations that understand the human body and mind.  Here’s a few to start you off:  Jen Sinkler- Thrive as the Fittest, Jill Fit Physiques, Metabolic Effect, and Coach Dos, Performance University, Functional Patterns.

2.  BE REFLECTIVE.  Part of human nature is to find and create patterns.  This is a great asset but also a downfall.  Step back and take notice of the behavior patterns that are not conducive to your fitness and wellness goals.

3.  FAIL, LEARN, SUCCEED.  Fat loss is not a straight forward journey.  Expect to have hiccups and bumps.  Learn to deal with them, give yourself GRACE, and forget the guilt.

4.  JOIN!  Yes…I think you should join Sweat but if not Sweat then JOIN anything that keeps you CONSISTENT, SAFE, ENERGIZED, AND EMPHASIZES PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION.    Behavior patterns are hard to break and the right support is crucial!!

5.  PICK ONE…I will preach this until the day I die…Forget the overhauls!!  Focus on ONE BEHAVIOR to incorporate or change.  Make sure it’s one that you can handle but will create results.  Once you have allowed that behavior to become routine then you can consider adding on another lifestyle change.  I started w/ limiting my alcohol to weekends not because alcohol is “bad” but because it was an emotional crutch.  I was stressed and instead of addressing the stress I drowned it in two big glasses of red wine per night.  I lost an entire dress size in 6-8 weeks by simply addressing that one behavior pattern.  I added weight training 3-4 times a week and wow…the changes in my body became even more obvious.  I didn’t throw away my pantry!  I didn’t spend $500 at the grocery store buying only organic foods either.  I either broke a bad pattern or created a new pattern…one step at a time.

Be safe this evening Sweat Fam!!  See you Friday!!

Goal Setting- 5 Tips

Want to achieve all those goals you are (hopefully) writing down for 2015?  Then you better make sure they are following some research based tips…

1.  Goals are specific and measurable!  If on your list you have “I want to lose weight” then you better make it read something closer to, “I will lose 5 lbs of body fat by March.”  Be bold and courageous enough to DEFINE success for yourself!

2.  Goals are challenging but attainable!  While you can lose water weight overnight, body fat takes time.  There is a line between pushing yourself and setting yourself up for failure.

3.  Identify goals as long term and short term!  Some of those loftier goals will need dates into the summer or fall!

4.  Identify which of your goals are outcome goals and which are behavior goals!  This one, to me, is as important as #1 on the list.  “I will eat vegetables 5 times/week” is an AWESOME goal!  This is a behavioral goal and what I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about behavior goals is that we are in COMPLETE control of them.  Outcome goals like “I will lose 5 lbs of body fat by March” is an outcome goal and it is a result of a series of consistently executed behavioral goals, but we are not in complete control of our outcomes.  Some people w/ low thyroid function will not get the same results as those with normally functioning thyroids.  Men can burn fat more efficiently than women based on their hormonal composition.  Yes…FAT LOSS is neither a fair, linear, or predictable process!!!!  Get over it!!!!   Focus on your behaviors and results will follow!

5.  Tell someone about it.  This is probably the scariest because if we don’t accomplish our goal, we can keep that shame to ourselves and no one will know we failed.  However, research tells us that we NEED a peer group to get us through those tough moments, to hold us accountable, and to cheer us on.  You don’t have to tell the Facebook world about it, but you should not keep your goal a complete secret either!!

Now, sit down sometime this week and review your 2015 New Years Resolution List.  Make sure your goals have what research tells us make the best goals!!


Week 7- GREED #7DeadlySins

In terms of GREED, fitness icons can oftentimes be as bad as the most notorious of televangelists.  BOTH industries have been guilty of selling the impossible to the most desperate and vulnerable of souls.  Dr. Oz is Jimmy Swaggart, albeit without the prayers and tears but he’s got pill boxes and endorsements to match.  He might not cure you of cancer with a paid phone call but he sure will take an entire 60 minutes to prove to you that raspberry keytones are THE MISSING PIECE to your fat loss puzzle.  Coincidentally raspberry ketyones were the missing piece to his bank account.

I’m not knocking supplements, exercise videos, or television/youtube personalities.  I use supplements daily as you well know.  I have exercise videos to get me through a day I’m in a rut.  I also have my favorite fitness personalities I love to follow on social media.  They are PART OF my healthy lifestyle but I am extremely aware that none of those elements make a dent in my goals unless ME, MYSELF, AND I are focused in attaining and then MAINTAINING a goal.

You are your own magic pill.

Nothing but you will stop you from choosing a protein shake over a bag of chips as a snack.

Nothing but you will get you out of bed to exercise when sleeping in would feel easier.

Nothing but you will make you add fruits and vegetables to your grocery cart when a box full of crackers looks more enticing.

Nothing but you will get you to your gym or studio of choice after a long day of work when calling it a day would be simpler.

EVERY result hinges on YOU before anything else.  You don’t need a fat wallet to achieve your goals!!

Next week, we will talk about how to set attainable and maintainable goals for 2015.  For now, you have to think through the mental barriers that keep you from making permanent change.  Confront them.  PRIORITIZE your health.

For example:  
* “I’m over scheduled and have no time!”- Are you one of those people who thinks if I’m busy then I’m being productive.   Busy does not equate to BEING EFFECTIVE.  Let go of certain things in your life.  You don’t have to volunteer for every PTA or church event to be a valuable member of it’s community.  You don’t have to “do the most” in order to get the most out of life!!
* “Eating healthy is too time consuming!” –  Neuroscience tells us that any new routine you are trying to pull off is MENTALLY very taxing at first.  We have to think through each and every step so you are RIGHT, at first, eating differently is very tiring and overwhelming.  This is people FAIL at major overhauls at an overwhelming rate of 95%!!!  Based on this statistic is why we encourage people to start with ONE CHANGE AT A TIME.  It is much less “sexy” than the major diet overhauls out there and slower to drive results but research backs up it’s success rate!

WHAT ARE YOUR MENTAL BLOCKS?  Grab a sheet of paper.  List them.  Get to know them.  Next week, we will help get you through them!

#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

This is our last week of our #7DeadlySins Workout Challenge.  See you Monday!!!!


If we can agree on anything, it’s that life rarely works out exactly how we planned or envisioned.  The most perfectly written plan is no match for the twists and turns that life presents.  If you don’t have a survival kit in your car or purse, then you leave yourself very susceptible to the bad food choices like ordering fried foods at a restaurant or a fast food run.

Keep any or all of these in your car, purse, or desk:

1.  Low sugar trail mix- You will likely have to make this yourself as almost all trail mixes are glorified candy bars.  It’s important you pick dried fruit that isn’t overloaded with additional sugars.  You want the natural sugar from the fruit, just not the extra.  Fresh Market has a lot to choose from.

2.  Quest bars-  If you don’t know how to read labels then these 25grams of carbs could scare you.  Almost all of these carbs is dietary fiber which “doesn’t count” as the starchy carb we ask you to limit.

3.  FRUIT is fast food!-

4.  Certain veggies travel well too!-  Yes you will look very weird at the doctors office if you bite into a bell pepper like it’s an apple, but certain veggies don’t immediately point you out as the health freak- cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, baby carrots, celery.

5.  Jerky-  READ THE INGREDIENT LIST!  Many jerkies are full of sugar in their recipes.  However, there are really great choices out in Target, Fresh Market, Publix etc.

3.  Activity-  We have added an extra day of Vain each week to focus on strength.  We hope to see you there.  Also, in January of 2015 our Yoga class will be very, very different.  Look for details this week!  For those who love a strength challenge what Karen and I are cooking up is not being done anywhere in HSV!

Week 6- PRIDE #7DeadlySins

Pride has a dual existence where it can be read as both a negative and a positive trait.  On the one hand, there is the pride associated with those with an inflated sense of self.   A person who loves to love themselves and doesn’t believe they have any evolving to do.  They have already reached the best they can be so why change anything.  I can’t imagine a more obnoxious person than this!

Then, there is the pride that any fitness professional who loves what they do, seeks to to build or maintain in their clients.  It’s a sense of accomplishment that comes from the knowledge that our bodies and minds are capable of anything we train them to do.  It’s a discovery that our boundaries will change and move according to our thoughts and actions.  Pride is a powerful emotion and it is a major driving force in creating life long health and wellness.

Here are three highlights from this week:

Facebook message:

and here is a text:


and then this happened on Friday!- FIRST BOX JUMP ever and then she just kept knocking them out like she’d been doing them her whole life.


For me and for Sweat there is NO GREATER COMPLIMENT than hearing about and seeing this healthy sense of pride be built through our work together!  Every time I hear someone tell me, “I feel so strong now” or “I can’t believe I can do that now” or even “I never thought I’d enjoy working out,” I know that with the physical changes that we help accomplish we are also changing the way someone views themselves.  Current research in psychology and neurology tells us that there lies “the magic pill” that everyone is trying to bottle up and sell.  (Read the books Switch by Chip and Dan Heath and especially  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to learn more.)  These “small” but significant performance based changes can be the positive reward that the brain needs to make things like working out an automated behavior.  I don’t want to get too #nerdy on you here but simply stated this means that the things that make bad habits excruciatingly hard to break are also the same neurological mechanisms  that create permanent lifestyle changes!!!  I get so excited about hearing and seeing pride because it’s the physical manifestation of these major things at work!!


#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

The Thanksgiving detox is now over.  You WILL KILL IT this week during your benchmark test.  After all, it’s a matter of pride, right!!??!!

2.  Nutrition- BREAKFAST! 

BREAK YOUR FAST…Last week we talked about two different ways to get a 12 hour evening fast into your schedule.  The purpose of that was not only to give your digestive system a break but also to allow enough time for our bodies to dive into our stored fats for fuel.
So how should you break your fast?  What should your BREAK-FAST look like?
Protein + starchy carb + high fiber + good fat
Looks a whole lot like dinner, right?  Sounds like a ton of food?  What if I’m not hungry in the morning?  How do you fix all that with a crazy morning schedule?
1.  Yes, it looks like dinner b/c this is the time of day our brains and bodies are demanding the most amount of physical and mental work.  FEED IT!
2.  Yes, you will be hungry because you just fasted for 12 hours!  For those who tell me, but I’m not hungry when I wake up in the morning, well that’s fine.  Many times that’s because you ate at 9pm so why would you be hungry at 6:30 in the morning?  If you ate late, travel w/ your breakfast, but EAT IT as soon as that hunger does hit you (very likely it will be close to or slightly after that 12 hr fasting mark anyways!!)
3.  You might not get it right at first, but eventually you will find your favorites!  You absolutely MUST work w/ what you like and what you can do to make this work.  Once again, read the book The Power of Habit if you want to understand why trying to insert new habits feels so taxing on the brain.
What works for me, might not work for you, but it’s always nice to see what others do.  Here’s what I do…usually.
I don’t love to drink my breakfast but I do understand that there are certain mornings that out of necessity I have to use a shake.  I NEVER EVER go hungry!!
1.  1- 2 scoops of:  Protozyme Vanilla Protein Powder (as a post workout) or Vega Sport Protein Powder (as a meal replacement)
2.  unsweetened coconut milk
3.  ice (takes longer to drink when it’s super cold.  BRAIN FREEZE!)
4.  kale (tons and tons of it!  FIBER keeps you full)
5.  1/4- 1/2 cup frozen berries (high fiber, low sugar fruit that takes the edge off the kale)
6.  cinnamon (truly helps keep my insulin in check so my hunger stays down
7.  vanilla (cause it’s yummy)
8.  apple pectin (THICKENS my smoothie which has a good bit of liquid in it)
9.  1 TB coconut oil (cause it’s yummy and fat is important for fat loss too)
If I have time at home then:
1.  olive oil
2.  1 whole egg
3.  3/4 cup egg whites
4.  ridiculous amounts of kale, broccoli, or spinach
5.  1/2 cup cooked steel cut or old fashioned oats (depends on how much time I have in the morning)
6.  hot sauce or salsa (cause I love it and it takes longer to eat spicy food!)
7.  sometimes I add 1/4 or 1/2 apple if I’m particularly hungry that morning.
Protein, starch, fiber, fat…in either scenario.  Experiment this week!  I want to see your breakfast combos this week!!!
3.  Activity- Strength Workouts!
As previously stated…it’s all about the benchmark test this week!