Resolutions for 2016

I can feel the nervousness building at Sweat as the holidays continue and the overeating begins to feel routine vs. an every once in a while splurge.

January 4th, we will begin a Jump Start at Sweat.  You will have two choices.

 

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A.  THE POWER OF ONE

Power of One- a SINGLE focus and commitment to one major behavior change.

I BELIEVE in the Power of One.  Research tells us that simplicity in behavior change creates SUCCESS.

Many times, we can get so inundated by unnecessary nutritional details that we set ourselves up for disaster.  I will announce our Power of One habit on January 2nd at Sweat, as well as, our FB page.

You will commit to this habit change by signing a contract w/ yourself at Sweat.  We will post this contract on our wall and each day that you are successful you will mark w/ a check mark.

The more marks on your paper, the better your results.  I encourage you to take a progress picture on day 1 and on day 30.  You WILL NOT need to post these pics!

B.  ADVANCED JUMP START

Join the Sweat Unfiltered newsletter list for an advanced, in depth Jump Start.

First set of instructions go out next Tuesday so be on the look out.  I want you fully prepped prepped to BEGIN ON January 4th!!

While I love and practice The Power of One, I do, however, understand that we can all get to a point where we feel so out of whack that we need to almost be jolted out of our daily routine.  We need and crave the feeling of starting on a clean slate.

THAT is the ONLY reason I practice and promote Jump Starts.

Let me clear…Jump Starts

  1.  are restrictive by nature and are useful only when motivation is HIGH
  2. are to be followed for a very short amount of time (2- 4 weeks) so that our metabolisms do not suffer
  3. create TRANSIENT results.  In other words, you will NOT be able to keep ALL of the results of the Jump Start b/c you cannot SUSTAIN all of the habits consistently.

However, a successful jump start will…

  1. release you from unhealthy habit loops so that in February we can begin focusing on The Power of One
  2. provide you a healthy base to follow later in a less restrictive fashion

THE GOAL OF THE POWER OF ONE IS FAT LOSS…NOT MUSCLE GAIN.  We are on SHRED mode vs. MUSCLE GAIN mode.

 

So I stepped on the scale…

So I stepped on the scale to prove a point to a friend and not surprisingly the scale provided zero validation of my progress the last couple of months and even the last couple of years.

My weight midday was 129.2 which is a weight I’ve seen often in the past few years.  It’s nothing new.

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What was new was the fact that the pants I’m wearing in the pic above, I couldn’t bring over my thighs last summer at a weight between 128-134.

At the beginning of this summer I could put them on, fasten them, but they were far from comfortable.  My last weigh in this year was 130 sometime in February.

Yesterday, I grabbed them, put them on, and wore them all day comfortably.

No change in weight but my body composition is different.  My body is smaller and more importantly DENSER w/ muscle packed on.

Top 4 fat loss behaviors

1.  Fat loss IS a SKILL SET not a number!!!!

10 years ago my journey began by asking myself the question, “What am I doing now, that I wasn’t doing when I was happier w/ my body?”  Wine was my answer then.  Two years ago…my answer: BINGE EATING.

I eat the right things and exercise is obviously a priority in my life.  What was killing my results was white knuckling my way through hunger so that I could eat the perfect meal.  Except perfection isn’t reality so I’d go home, famished, only to overeat.  At my peak this was probably happening 3 times a week at about 500-1000 calories/binge.  No wonder results weren’t visible!

When I committed myself to eliminating an unhealthy behavior, binge eating, vs “achieving” a previous scale weight, I no longer relied on the scale for feedback.  I stopped worrying so much about the perfect foods at the perfect times and in the perfect portions and focused on how I felt.  If I overate one day I had to analyze what went wrong in order not to have a repeat episode.  What the scale said was completely irrelevant.

2. IT TAKES PRACTICE

If achieved goals are set of well executed skills, isn’t it reasonable to accept that we will encounter failure along the way?  Isn’t it true then that we should expect to fail more often at the beginning when these sets of skills have had the least amount of practice?  Isn’t it true that we need time to fine tune and perfect our skills?  WE NEED TO GIVE OURSELVES TIME TO PRACTICE SKILLS!!!!

Did it turn you off at the beginning of the blog that I said “two years ago” I began to focus on eliminating binges from my weekly routine?  I know two years sounds like an eternity in this business where 21, 24, and 30 day diet plans are the norm.  I think of all these best sellers as “jump starts” like we did in April.  They motivate us and get us some quick, inspiring results, but if you are in it for the long haul (and aren’t we all?) you then have to do the really hard part, discovering how some of these behaviors can become habits.

3.  REFLECT ON FAILURES

I have failed countless amounts of times these past two years and can also report waves of strong and low motivation to achieve my goal.  Natural, right?

Without a doubt this photo shoot renewed my interest in my goal and I think my fast loss this go around has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve put in the time, practiced, and now execution feels almost (and I do emphasize the almost) easy.  I am much quicker to have a bite or two of a “cheat” during the day if I know in the long run it will prevent a binge.  I am much quicker to add carbs to my meals because I know if I eat them in moderation throughout the day, I will not overeat later.  It’s become second nature to ask myself the questions below if I feel hints of cravings entering my system.

*  Were my workouts more intense this week?

*  Am I waiting too long to eat between a meal or several meals?

*  Am I sleep deprived?

*  What am I doing for recovery?

*  Did I drink enough water?

*  Did I try to eat a “perfect” meal or did I prioritize feeling satisfied?

I have failed enough at all of the above to know that if things get ugly, one of those behaviors is likely the culprit.  As cheesy as it sounds, failures truly are learning opportunities.

4.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT

The magic meal plan doesn’t exist.  STOP ASKING FOR IT!  High protein, lots of veggies and fruits, unprocessed carbohydrates, plant and animals fats, and water are the basics.  No one understands your workouts, your family demands, your work schedule, your likes and dislikes better than you.

As Sweat grows, the pressure to subscribe to a certain way of eating gets bigger and bigger but, just like with our workouts, we follow science not the trend.

Fat loss is a complicated balance between hormones, calories, and psychology.  You HAVE TO put yourself in the driver’s seat because no expert has the map to your unique metabolic formula.

YOUR TAKE AWAY:

I know that the mentality to put down the scale is not a new one, but it’s still a very difficult thing to embrace.  We can eat right for 3 weeks and feel defeated b/c the scale went up 3 lbs.  We can eat crap for 3 weeks and feel like a million bucks because the scale reflected a “good” weight.  We hinge our day’s happiness and our body image on a piece of equipment that can be manipulated by salt, barometric pressure, unlevel flooring, hormonal fluctations…etc.  It’s unreliable.

1.  Measure your success by how consistently you can repeat a fat loss behavior!

2.  What habit has creeped it’s way into your routine that is unhealthy and hindering results?

3.  Taking into account your home and work demands, what skill(s) are you willing to commit to right now?

4.  Get ready to practice, fail, and tweak!

REMEMBER, YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GET IT RIGHT!

The Moderation Spectrum

“I struggle with picking the right carbs.”

There’s no denying that keeping your protein high and your carbohydrates and fats in line w/ your training and unique metabolism is the ticket to getting/keeping a lean body composition.

However, the mentality that we must attach a right/wrong or good/bad mentality to one food or macro nutrient is becoming more and more outdated. I want people to stop thinking of their food and their meals in altimatums.  “If you eat this, you will look like that.”  “If you don’t eat this, you won’t look like that.”

It’s time to starting thinking of our nutritional choices as fitting into a spectrum.

deprivation

I am sure we can all agree that deprivation and bingeing are physically and mentally unhealthy states we are to avoid.  Where all of us should be is actually a broad area, not a small pin point, where there is daily nutritional wiggle room for you to enjoy food, achieve strength gains or fat loss, and be healthy as well.

There will be days and even periods of time where your choices may veer slightly to the left or right depending on your training, work schedule, social demands, and just plain wants.  That FLEXIBILITY is key to making peace with your body and food once and for all!!

In other words, because there is no perfect meal plan to strictly follow daily, you detach feelings of success and failure to what and how you eat.  The Moderation Spectrum also demands that you listen to and value your wants as well.  Thinking of fat loss, strength gains, or maintenance in terms of a continuum allows for the adaptations needed to balance out nutritional needs with enjoyment of your meals so that you avoid the extremes of deprivation and binges and still achieve your goals.

The reality of this is that some days are easy and your wants match exactly what our idea of “perfect” nutrition looks like.  Other days it’s more important to slightly veer to the right and allow a bit more indulgence so you take the edge off a craving and avoid stepping out of the moderation spectrum later in the day.  Don’t forget you can also guiltlessly choose to eat a more indulgent meal because you may be celebrating with friends and family.  On the flip side, during recovery periods, sickness, fatigue, being over scheduled, or after indulging a bit for a few days etc., you may move more towards the left because hunger and/or activity levels are reduced as well.

Stop looking for the bull’s-eye of perfection in your meals.  Listen to those wants and balance them out based on the situations at hand.  Stop believing that only home runs win the game.

 

 

Plateaus vs Maintenance

A favorite part of my day is when I get a little one on one time with folks after class to brainstorm strategies so they can reach their goals.

I had an awesome conversation last Friday with Amy about breaking plateaus. I know many of you will be able to relate to what she is struggling with so I wanted to share some of the topics we touched on.

FullSizeRender (3)Amy is a busy mother of three who is strong and healthy as is but she is looking to lean out just a bit more so that all those muscles she’s been busy building are able to show through a bit better.

To be clear, a plateau is when you are STUCK in a physically less than desirable place.  In contrast, maintenance mode, which is what I spoke about last week, is when you CHOOSE to stay where you are because you are physically content with what you see and mentally at ease with your training and nutritional choices.

One look at Amy and it’s clear she’s doing MANY things right so the gist of the conversation between Amy and I centered around fine tuning and details.  In particular we honed in on what she called her “cookie problem” and her ELIMINATION style approach…

“If I could just figure out how to stop eating them, I know I could break my plateau.”  Sound familiar?

However, unless you have some sort of allergy or intolerance to a food, your strategy should NOT BE about figuring out how to EXTERMINATE anything you love and enjoy from your diet!!

The new wave of thought now centers around two words:  PRACTICING MODERATION

It’s called a practice because moderation can feel downright hard at the beginning.  It requires you to unlearn years of elimination style eating and to trust that by eating just a few bites when the initial urge arises you are actually going to eat less calories in the long run.  Eliminate nothing and spend your energy figuring out what amount allows you both results and peace of mind.

For now, Amy is to ALLOW herself to guiltlessly reach in her pantry at least once a day and grab about 5 of these mini-cookies WHEN she wants them.  She is not to constantly dismiss an urge all day so that binge mode inevitably hits in the evening.  She is to have just enough to satisfy and take the edge off.

An added bonus is that in the end, it is THIS very  mentality that she has to possess in order to cruise into maintenance mode.  Once she achieves that last bit of fat loss, she has to be able to keep it and the only way to do that is to create habits you can REPLICATE mindlessly!

Make PEACE with your food.  You really can have the cookies, the health, and the body you want all at the same time.

#FitAndFlyByJuly- What are you changing in May??

What are YOU changing for YOU??

DID you follow the #FitAndFlyByJuly Jump Start or are you ready to get on it today???  If you haven’t started hit the link above.

A solid jump start is there to re-establish a good rhythm, help you understand your schedule, get rid of (many of your) cravings, and increase energy.  It is unrealistic in the sense that it pins you down to certain foods and behaviors but it’s an AWESOME tool to helping you discover or rediscover WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

If you haven’t already begun to make SMALL adjustments to your jump start BY RESPONDING TO how you look and feel, then definitely NOW is the time.  Here is when you absolutely MUST begin to stray a bit from “plan” and allow yourself to get comfortable with allowing a more natural flow to appear into the jump start.

I understand that for many, TRUSTING YOURSELF is the scariest part because there is always the fear that one piece of cake or chocolate will snowball you into a sugar binge and back to bad habits.  However, it is essential that you learn to master the art of neither being “on” or “off” a diet.  With your cravings gone and hunger more stable, now you can better navigate the middle ground where you naturally allow for higher or lower caloric intake depending on your training or even special occasions.

My results and what I’m tweaking…

Day 0
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I know…ideally I’d be in the same outfit (and a less messy bedroom) with the same lighting but my life rarely works out so that my progress pictures can take on that kind of precision.  As you know, I’m not stepping on a scale so I can’t boast to you how many lbs I’ve lost but the waist and the leg room in all of my pants has increased, my belly has stayed flat, my energy is up, my workouts have stayed intense, and my cravings and binges have truly stayed at bay.  My favorite part is that my muscles are popping out again which I LOVE!

I probably started tweaking my 30 Day Energy and Performance Jump Start around week 3 though instead of week 4 after I’d gotten a good daily rhythm down but started to feel like I needed to fuel a bit more post workout.

Here’s a run down of a usual day where my workouts fall around 10:30 or 11 a.m.  If you workout at a different hour. I’d say you will want to move your starch within a 2 hour time frame of when YOU workout.

1.  Wake up, coffee

2.  7:30- Isagenix shake- ice and unsweetened almond milk in the blender cause it makes it taste like a frosty.  Strawberry is my favorite right now!  Vitamins

3.  10:30- Tri-Pep BCAA, workout, (or E+ Energy shot if I feel like I need more help).

4.  11:30- about 1/3 cup oatmeal or fruit and Isagenix shake OR a whole food lunch w/ whole grain carbs and/or fruit.  It really depends on my schedule and hunger that day.  With the weather warming up, I’m partial to a BIG green salad, loaded w/ veggies, meat, and an olive oil based dressing.  I’ve noticed on some days I need to eat and then a bit later consume my carb about an hour later.  I’m not going to force food down my face.

5. 3:00pm- coffee and either Isagenix bar or a whole food snack.  I absolutely love, love, love the Peanut Butter Chocolate Isagenix bars.  If I go the whole food route, I’m really into grabbing 2 Wasa crackers and Vigo sardines or octupus, squid, or tuna.   I always buy these items canned in oil not water!  Fat is not your enemy!  Some days I’ll do Pimento cheese instead.

6. 6:00- Isagenix shake OR a whole food dinner that looks a lot like item #4.  Once again, it depends on my schedule and hunger.

Please note:

a.  I never ever use supplements all day long!

b.  My metabolism responds well to “higher” carb and “lower” fat lifestyle.  I’m getting no less than 100 grams of carbs/day but they are ALL coming w/ a solid dose of dietary fiber from whole grains, fruits, and veggies.  I am NOT feeling like I need to add fats to my Isagenix shakes.  Instead I opt to add a bit of fat w/ something like pimento cheese on the Wasa crackers.  My body will shed well w/ moderate carbs.

Take Action!

If this is month 2 of your #FitAndFlyByJuly jump start, you are ready to take the training wheels off and begin navigating a bit more freely.  I think you would agree that my pictures demonstrate you will get results without the need to become robotic or feel like you have to follow someone else’s exact protocol.  In the end you have to meet your own metabolic NEEDS!  If you are just now feeling ready to take on a jump start, I’m excited.  Results are around the corner!!

As always, if you have questions, feel free to email me at jeidi@sweathuntsville.com or private message me on the Sweat Facebook page.

 

 

 

Food and Secrets

Next to the #peeclear 100 oz of water challenge in January, the February Challenge seems to be falling easily in place for most people.  Consider that a win!  The way you eat SHOULD NOT feel like a struggle day in and day out.  It’s those types of challenges that create only transient fat loss.  What we are after, of course, is permanent change and that type of lifestyle revolves around YOU EMBRACING the idea that there are days or even weeks that we have to choose the “GOOD” over the “GREAT” and that our “GOOD” today CAN EVOLVE to be even “BETTER” with time, consistency, and patience.

The idea of “good” and “great” and “perfect” is one that, admittedly, I have struggled with often.  In fact, last year my son pointed out, “Mom, you never eat junk food.”  I had just made a batch of his favorite chocolate chip cookies and he relentlessly kept asking me to have one.  Despite the fact that I was salivating just smelling the darn things, I “rose above the temptation” and kept turning down his generous offer.

Now, while the “you never eat junk food” statement might seem like a triumph, it was a hard smack in the face.

#1- THAT’S NOT TRUE!-  My body is far from perfect.  It’s quite obvious I allow myself some cheats!

#2-  APPARENTLY, I CHEAT IN SECRET!  CRAP!!-  My son had unknowingly pointed out a behavior I was quite content not even recognizing.  I don’t allow other people to see me eat junk food.  I don’t even allow my own family to see me eat junk food!!

Kids and their honesty…thank goodness for it, right?!?  That simple statement sent me on a mental trip inward, to reflect on what I do and why I do it.

It didn’t take long to see that, quite simply, I didn’t want to seem imperfect…to myself, to my family, to my Sweat family, to strangers.   How awful!  I want my kids to be comfortable in their own skin and if there is one universal truth in the parenting world, it’s that our kids are a direct reflection of us.   If I don’t accept my shortcomings openly, how are they to do the same?

Since then, I’ve made it a point to cheat WHEN I’m in the company of friends and/or family and you know what I’ve discovered?  It’s so much more fun to enjoy a bit of “junk” WITH people rather than in solitude.  In fact, I’m discovering that if I wait to indulge until someone I love is around my cheats are less likely turn into BINGES.  My cheats are now about enjoying the moment rather than hiding behind a false curtain.

I’m sure in 8:32 when John wrote “the truth shall set you free” he was not talking about chocolate chip cookies but, none the less, I am grateful for my son’s innocent statement and for it setting my spirit a bit more free than it used to be!

 

 

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!!!!

2.  Nutrition- PREPARE FOR THE WORST!

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 5- LUST #7DeadlySins

By definition you can lust over anything and in terms of fitness the lust for perfection can become physically and mentally unhealthy.

I have never been secretive about my struggle with anorexia several years ago because it’s not something with which I am ashamed to have endured and have left behind.

Looking back, it’s amazing and scary that for several months I secretively but proudly ate between 700-900 calories a day, all the while strength training and running half marathons.  I went from a size 6/7 to being able to take off 00 pants without unzipping them.  To my sick brain, that was a measure of success.  When I lost my period, success.  When I skipped meals but didn’t feel hungry, success.  When I skipped meals, felt hungry, but didn’t eat, even better.  Anything and everything that resulted in a smaller and skinnier frame, I was willing to do, regardless of the consequences to my health.

Luckily, I was snapped out of it, gained weight, got muscular, and a few years later had my daughter.  Despite being less obsessive about food and exercise, I still wanted to “achieve” some of the physical benchmarks I once valued- 10-12% body fat and, of course, a 6 pack.  I didn’t see these goals as a problem until one evening when my 8 month old daughter was playing in the tub w/ her toys.  I, on the other hand, had taken my usual position in front of the mirror to scrutinize my belly.  I pinched it’s fat.  I looked at it front ways, side ways, stood back from the mirror, stood close, ALWAYS with a disgusted look on my face.  I was loathing my post partum body when, all of a sudden, I caught my daughters reflection in the mirror.  She had stopped playing w/ her toys and her eyes were fixated on what I was doing.  She was studying my behavior.  She was learning from me.  She was learning to hate her body from me and I was horrified!!  I knew that if I didn’t walk the walk, it wouldn’t matter how many times I told my daughter she was beautiful.  She would never believe it because I didn’t believe it of myself.

From that day forward, I have taken my mindset journey as seriously as my physical one.  Of course, like every person, I have my “good days” and “bad days” but since I no longer bully myself into leanness or white knuckle my way through hunger, I know that I have the power to make even the worst of days good ones.  I still train hard, push myself, take progress pictures, cook healthy meals, but my fascination with food, mileage, clothing size, body weight, food measurements, macros, and calories is gone.  I can walk past a mirror and not feel the need to pinch anything.  I don’t count calories, fats, proteins, or even carbs because I now understand that there are no magic numbers.  Instead I know I’ve built a solid meal for myself because I don’t binge, I don’t get “hangry”, and my energy level is steady throughout the day.

This is me, on the left, 4 months ago, when I’d end up binging in my pantry 2-3 times a week.  This is me about a week ago after 4 months of focusing my eating around eliminating my “need” to binge.  Since binges can be indicative of not fueling properly I very much wanted to get this habit out of my routine.   I haven’t a clue how many calories I was eating before nor how many calories I eat now.  Don’t ask me how much protein I eat either.  I’m not certain.  What I do know is that my binges are gone so results followed.  They aren’t dramatic nor show stopping but they are visible.  More importantly, I got results without deprivation or self loathing.  My aim was not perfection, to lose a specific number of pounds, nor get into a different size pants.  My aim was to curve a behavior by adding on to my meals or replacing one item with another.  (Go back to week 1, 2, and 3 to begin to play with how you should begin to change your plate!)

This week, find some time to sit down and ponder those 2015 New Year’s Resolutions.  What behavior(s) cause you to plateau or gain?  How can the #7DeadlySins Challenges play a role in creating results?

 

#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

When I was anorexic, benchmarking happened almost daily and if I didn’t match my PR or beat it, I would punish myself with less food or more exercise.  As you see your numbers during the benchmark challenge you have to be mindful of what they actually mean.  Your body isn’t always at it’s best and it takes time to build solid strength.  Give yourself some grace considering the holiday week has been intense.

2.  Nutrition- Bedtime fast!

A common question when trying to lean out is, “when should I have my last meal?” or  “What time is too late to eat?”
That question is extremely complicated to answer because of the amount of things that need to be taken into consideration.  However, to keep things simple:  Play around with one of these two techniques:
1.  Spend equal amounts of time fasted as fueled.  In other words, if I eat dinner at 8pm, I won’t eat (am not hungry to eat) breakfast until around 8am the next morning.  I generally workout early so I use BCAA powder to make sure I have a good workout.
2.  Stop eating about 3 hours before bedtime.  Simply put, somewhere around the 9hr evening fasted mark you begin to dip into your stored fat.  In other words, if you eat dinner at 6pm, somewhere around 3 am is when some awesome, effortless, magic is happening.
* Because of my schedule, technique 1 is what works best for me, usually!  However, look at the big picture…with either habit you are looking around a 12 hour evening fasted lifestyle.  Don’t be afraid to flip flop between either technique to see what works best for you or to use BOTH techniques.  You might find that on weekdays you work best with #2 and on weekends you prefer #1.  Experiment!!!  Either way, you are spending equal parts fueled to fasted.
3.  Activity- Strength Workouts!
You spent these past two weeks with some very metabolic workouts.  Now it’s time to settle down a bit and add more strength to your regimen.

 

Week 2 – ENVY #7deadlysins

ENVY is the resentful or unhappy feeling of wanting somebody else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions.  

Envy is a death sentence on the spirit.

One of my core values as a business woman is that the success of Sweat Fitness Studio does not mean the failure of another trainer, studio, box, or gym.  Sweat’s story does not hinge on another’s misfortune.  It is my heartfelt belief that Huntsville is dynamic enough of a city that fitness must take on many different voices.  I spend my energy and time making sure that our Sweat community receives effective and safe workouts alongside valuable nutritional recommendations.  I will never go to bed resenting or wanting what others do or create with their own energy and time.  Envy is not part of our business plan.

Similarly, the health and fitness success or failures of your family, friends, foes, or frenemies does not diminish nor augment the value of your own journey.  What others have or do not have is NOT a reflection on you, EVER.  There will always be someone stronger, faster, leaner, or quicker than you somewhere and also someone else you can beat with ease.  If you find yourself resentful that someone else has found success with fat loss or gained consistency in their athletic training, your time and energy is being lost.  (In addition, if you find yourself happy that someone else has fallen off the wagon and is struggling while you succeed your focus is also in the wrong place, but we will deal with PRIDE week 6!)  Envy must be eliminated from your daily thinking.

Reflect, redirect, and regroup.  Everyone, including yourself, deserves to reach their dreams.  There is room for EVERYONE’S happiness and success.

 1.  Benchmark-
Once again, expect all our Monday classes to begin w/ our Benchmark workout.  Worry about YOUR numbers and YOUR form.  What some else is or is not doing is no reflection on YOU.

2.  Nutrition- Protein!
The number one struggle I hear about at Sweat is the early evening binge.  I hear about the “continual meal” from 4-7pm.  Once you start in that pantry there is no stopping until after dinner.  You are famished even though you have been “good all day long.”  This critical error has A LOT to do w/ everything that happened or did NOT happen prior to your 4pm binge.  You, in fact, have NOT been “good all day”.  You have likely been depriving and underfeeding your body all day, leaving it no other choice than to enter into survival mode to which your will power is absolutely powerless!
The good news is that you have two greatly underutilized weapons against this habit and this week we challenge you to accept the first:  a PROTEIN based snack at around 3pm!  That’s right you are NOT to “white knuckle” your way to dinner.  I want to see you grab a lean, complete protein in ANY form.  If you want to jazz it up a bit, PLEASE do so.
Examples:
greek yogurt, handful of favorite fruit, handful of nuts
small grilled chicken salad
protein shake w/ a handful of whatever fruit you like and a handful of whatever greens you like
cottage cheese w/ the same “fix-ins” as a yogurt
vegetable omelette
On the go?
The Juice Bar has great protein shakes available- choose from hemp or whey for a complete protein.  As an added bonus mention “7 Deadly Sins” and get 10% off!!!!!  Yeah!!!!
Stop by Absolute Nutrition and grab Quest Bars or a protein powder to make your own shake.
Eat these snacks while in car line, with the kids while you help them with homework, or at your desk at work.  No more “waiting til I get home.”
Don’t forget to continue w/ your minimum 64oz of water and STACK ON the protein challenge!!!
3.  Activity- Mix it up!
Last week you amped it up by adding one additional day of intense physical activity to your life and this week you Mix it up!  For all the cardio lovers, strength is your next priority.  I better see you in Vain or TRX this week.  For all of those who fear the breathlessness of Punch, Drenched, or 20/20/20, it’s time to step out of your usuals.  Get UNCOMFORTABLE!
We thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you this week and how active you were in finishing this year strong.  Continue to tag Sweat Huntsville and use the hashtag #7deadlysins.

The Cookie Monster Within Us!

First and foremost, if you want to get a grip on cravings you HAVE TO eat properly.  There is no way around that and for our “Braking Bad” group this has been one of the most positive changes they have experienced.  Nothing beats the impact of balanced nutrition throughout your day.  However, we aren’t robots and life can be unpredictable so accept that no matter how “perfect” a day, week, or month you have eating wise, cravings will eventually surface.  This weekend I touched upon the topic of temptations vs. trigger foods with the “Braking Bad” group.

Trigger foods are any foods you enjoy that will create a cycle of intense cravings for several days after indulging in them.  They are not only hard to resist at the moment but under most circumstances as well.  Will power is under constant use.  To contrast, temptations are simply foods that you like and enjoy but do not cost you any or much will power to turn down.  Under normal circumstances where you are fed and fueled you don’t feel much need to partake in these items when they are near.  You can enjoy them and move on.

I have chips, M&M’s, Twizzlers, and loads of other pre-packaged snacks front and center in my pantry and most of the time even when I come home hungry, I don’t want a bite of them.  If I choose to have some, I do.  No guilt.  No binge.  No worries.

However, you will no longer find brownies, cookies, or peanut butter in my house.  These are treats that I do allow myself when I’m out to eat but do not have easy access to reach on a normal basis.  If will power is like a muscle, it will reach failure and I need my kitchen to be a mentally peaceful place, not a constant battle of wills.  Brownies, cookies, and peanut butter trigger true BINGES for me.  Remember The Cookie Monster?  That’s me!

To make matters worse, I enter what feels like a sugar detox for several days later where I crave the same binge again.  When I decided to treat my trigger foods differently from other temptations I was finally able to create a balance and make peace with these foods.

1.   Never buy them to bring home from the store.

2.   Never order these items in bulk no matter the discount.

3.  When out, choose to eat the very best of the trigger food.  It has to be WORTH IT.

No food is to be truly forbidden from your life.  If you completely restrict yourself from eating something you love, the mind games and misery begin. However, if you recognize certain foods that make you lose control and make your kitchen into a war zone where you are constantly exercising your will power, then step back, acknowledge the situation, and create a realistic boundary.  There is a healthy middle ground.  You just have to find it!