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!

Get Sweat Strong!!

Untitled design (1)Back to school is on everyone’s minds and with this turn of the season comes a more structured week schedule, as well as…FOOTBALL SEASON!!  This mean both workouts and calories are easier to find so along comes the #SweatStrongChallenge to coach you through how to take those extra calories you are enjoying into strength gains.

The #SweatStrongChallenge

August 1st we officially kick off 90 days worth of focus on getting Sweat strong.

We are asking you to join our challenge and commit to not only tracking your progress in push ups, pull ups, front squats, and dead lifts, but also promoting strength as a valuable measure of health.

Each month we will reward Sweat members or class package holders with not only the highest PERCENTAGE of progress but also their commitment to the message behind the #SweatStrongChallenge.

Here are the deets:

1.  To join the challenge send me your email address so I can add you to our email list.  You will receive a link to our google doc spreadsheet to which you will have editing capabilities so that you can enter your information and progress at your leisure.  You will notice that each trainer, including myself, will be documenting our progress right along with you!  Your journey is our journey as well.

2.  Throughout these 90 Days you will keep track of several benchmarks.  Each time you hit a new benchmark you should go into this document and record it.  YOU are responsible for keeping track of your progress.  I will send out a FB post reminder so that at the end of the month all your information is entered.

3.  Using FB and/or IG post a #SweatySelfie and celebrate your accomplishment(s) using the hashtag #SweatStrongChallenge so we can find your posts online.  Sweat will provide monthly prizes for those who not only have the GREATEST PERCENTAGE of progress but also are actively promoting the importance of strength via social media.  If we brag about fat loss, lets balance it out with strength gains too!!

Bench Marks:

Push-Ups- How many push ups can you perform in 5 minutes?

Example 1:  I benchmarked at 63 on Wednesday.  The 66 simply displays an example of how to document the next time you do this in August.  There are columns for each month.

Screenshot 2015-07-23 10.48.35Example 2:  For those who are doing a mixed set of standard push ups and push ups on your knees, this is a suggested way to document.  It’s worthwhile to begin to increase the # of push ups you do on your toes but once you lose the required depth, go to your knees to maintain depth.
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Pull Ups- How many pull ups can you perform consecutively???

For Sweat this means strict, hanging, no kip pull ups.  We’ve spent the last month really focusing on form and positioning to put your back and shoulders in the strongest and safest position for pulling your bodyweight.

However…THIS is one of my favorite tutorial videos ever.  Watch it, PRACTICE it, and I promise your numbers will sky rocket!

Document your max consecutive reps.  If you are using a band, keep track of that as well.  Consider changing band colors an added benchmark to this challenge.  If you can get 15 reps with a green band, I’d say ego check.  Head over to a black band and see if you can hit 8-10.  In terms of building strength less assistance is what we are looking for.

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Front Squat:  At what weight can you perform 5 consecutive front squats?

I can already sense the disappointment that I’ve chosen a front vs. a back squat, however, in terms of full body strength the front squat is an undeniable winner.  It’s also a self correcting exercise because a break in form especially from the core is quite obvious.  Breaking form in a back squat is too easy and harder for the ego to accept.

You are NOT looking for your one rep max here either.  You are looking for your 5 rep benchmark.

What’s a bad ass weight to work towards in a front squat?…roughly your body weight.  I’m not there yet but am excited to work my way there!

Romanian Dead Lift:  Once again, we are not looking for your one rep max.

In classes like Vain where we keep our rep counts low, you need to make sure you are using a weight that is appropriately difficult for your body.  I think we often sell ourselves short with this move.  What are you using for 5 reps of RDL’s?  Are you staying at that weight for too long?  We hope no more!!

What’s a bad ass weight for an RDL?  1.5 x’s your bodyweight.  Once again, I’m not there!  I do respect this movement tremendously and am not 100% I can get there within the next 90 days but I am up for improving and progressing as always!

YOUR TAKE AWAY:

Let’s not fight what is an engrained and positive part of our Southern culture.  We love our football and we love to share this season with friends, family, and food!!  I promise to still talk to you about eating right and keeping yourself lean.  We are not taking this as an excuse to fall off the wagon and practice unhealthy eating patterns.  However, if spring and summer are our leaning out phases then Fall and Winter can certainly be the time of year where we LEARN to use those extra calories appropriately and gain muscle over fat.

ARE YOU IN????  If so, I expect my inbox to be FULL messages!!  Send them to:  jeidi@sweathuntsville.com or our facebook page:  facebook.com/SweatHuntsville

Photo Shoot Is Back On!

It’s official…August 18th and 19th…6 weeks to prep!

NO PANIC ATTACK- A notable difference from the last time I booked my photo session.

In fact, I’m experiencing the exact opposite because the changes I made in March were sustainable, healthy, fit my schedule, and gave me results.  Now for a bit of “detail” work so that I feel at ease in front of a camera.

Here’s what I’m focusing on…

Phase 1:  Clean up and Recovery – 2-3 weeks

Food:  While I eat clean on a regular basis, I’m not food obsessed either.  I do eat “junk” on occasion.  I will absolutely need to make sure that my snacking is packed w/ more nutritional value.  In other words, less white cheddar popcorn and more fruits.  I also get lazy with my water intake so a visible difference will how much I’m drinking.  My vitamins and protein shakes are still coming from Isagenix.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

1.  100 oz of water/day MINIMUM

2.  12-14 hour fasting.  In other words, if my last meal is at 8pm then breakfast is no earlier than 8am the following morning.

My day:

1.  Wake Up, coffee + almond milk + morning vitamins

2.  Isagenix IsaLean or IsaPro shake

3.  Post Workout- IsaPro plus starch – probably oatmeal or sweet potato but if I have a hankering for bread, I’m not afraid of it 🙂

4.  20-40g Protein + veggie + fruit

5.  Afternoon snack:  2 eggs+2whites and avocado or Quest bar or whatever delicious protein based mini meal is easily accessible.  I may be at  home or on the run.

6.  20-40g Protein + veggie dinner (or shake if I’m not at home)+ evening vitamins

*my goal is to stay ahead of my hunger so if my body is asking for a carb towards the evening I’ll have a bit.  I know myself well enough that if I deny then I’m setting myself up for disaster later.  Some of my evenings are really active evenings and others are chill.  It’s more important to navigate through my circumstances than to follow a set plan to a “t.”

Training:  DECREASE metabolic training.  I’m going old school Vain.  Why?  I can tell my body needs the break.  At some point last week, I began not sleeping very well and my energy levels fluctuated from normal to tired almost at random.  That’s my body’s nice way of saying, I’m ready for a break.  From experience I know that if I “heroically” push through this I will be tired more often than energetic, my workouts will lack intensity, my cortisol will continue to rise and cravings will increase with it.  I will without a doubt GAIN FAT this way.

As I’ve coached many men and women at Sweat, more exercise does not necessarily equate to more results.  Oftentimes, LESS is BEST.  Practicing what I preach…

1.  I’m increasing recovery activities like leisure walking to make sure cortisol goes back down.  No less than 4 hours of walking/week.  This is NOT power walking.  This is walk the dog, put on a podcast, and meditate style walking.

2.  ZERO CARDIO.  That’s right!  No burpees, jump squats, jump lunges etc.  Heavy leg day, heavy arm day, abs, and one heavy full body day which I’m crazy excited about…only 4 movements. Push Ups, Pull Ups, Front Squats, Deadlifts.  We will do it in Vain sometime next week!!  It’s going to be awful and amazing!!IMG_0627

Phase 2:  3-4 weeks

I’ll reveal details later.  I can tell you that this is when I kick workouts back into high gear and I will add in metabolic training again.  Higher reps, lower weights.  I can’t detail quite yet how I will change my food choices, however.  I need to see how much I am able to shred during Phase 1.

You are more than welcome to follow along with me btw.  If you feel your body dragging you might be ready to change things up as well.  Don’t let less cardio scare you!!!  I’d love to help you through it and show you  how to change things up during class to make it work.  You  know how to find me www.facebook.com/sweathuntsville or contact me at jeidi@sweathuntsville.com.

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.

Hanging Out In Maintenance Mode…

We began #FitandFlyByJuly as Summer anxiety was peaking and I was getting ready for a photo shoot.  So…whatever happened to the video shoot?

My job now is to hang out in the best place ever… maintenance mode!!!!

Once I have all the pieces of the 4th of July Mystery Class in place, I will re-book my photo shoot.  I’m not stressing cause maintenance mode is a very happy place food and training wise.  Bad habits have been weeded out.  Stress is under control.  Food is neither my best friend nor my enemy.  I feel good almost all the time, but when I don’t, I can stop and reflect to figure things out and re-group.  Everyone is different but here’s what maintenance mode looks like for me.

Training:

Saturday/Sunday:  Rest and Recovery

Monday:  Full Body- heavy

Tuesday:  Full Body- lighter

Wednesday:  Heavy Legs

Thursday:  Full Arms

Friday:  Abs- almost a 3rd rest day.  No plyo, no cardio, and probably no weights either.

Food:  What I choose depends on my family and work demands.  Flexibility is key to staying in maintenance mode!!  I will often choose the convenience of supplements if I am out of the house and super busy…like Tuesday evenings when I’m at Sweat from 4pm-8pm!  I choose whole foods prior to that knowing I need the ease of supplements for coaching at night.

Breakfast:  Isagenix shake

Lunch:  Isagenix shake OR Protein based salad and starchy carbs

Snack:  Protein bar + coffee or small portion of leftovers.  Protein is always included!

Dinner:  Protein + fat.  You do not have to live on tilapia and chicken breasts!!

Snack, if needed:  grapefruit or small portion of leftovers.

Your take away…

1.  Change of plans aren’t a big deal.  Pick your stress battles.

2.  Food cannot dominate your every thought and decision.  Maintenance mode is where you want to be in the long run.  If you are there, congrats!  If you aren’t and you need help, let me know…jeidi@sweathuntsville.com!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embracing Recovery

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As a trainer/coach who was once proudly overtrained and chronically exhausted, I approach this topic with a deep understanding of the mind games that keep us from fully embracing recovery and therefore losing muscle, gaining weight, and plateauing at a not-so-happy place.

Let me establish that for the Sweat crowd, I am addressing a group of people who generally LOVE working hard in all aspects of their lives.  Lifting, jumping, slamming, etc is generally a visible, outward expression of who they are on the inside- People who aren’t afraid to kick ass now in order to kick even more ass later.  In addition, our #SweatFam doesn’t lack access to information, either, so I just don’t feel compelled to spew out a bunch of biology and explain the science behind recovery.  Others have already done that quite well but here are a few links if needed.

Is Stress Making You Fat?

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sleep-stress-and-fat-loss

http://examine.com/faq/how-important-is-sleep.html

My job here today is to speak directly to the mindset that just WILL NOT LET YOU accept the science and value behind recovery.  I am here to address that inner voice that demands you ALWAYS kick it up a notch even when your body is screaming for less.

1.  “But I ate an entire bag of chips last night!”

Classic excuse.  How you exercise becomes a constant REACTION to what you ate.

THE PROBLEM:  You never address the real reason as to why you over ate because you see exercise as a way to subtract calories.

THE SOLUTION:  Instead of breaking out into a guilty burpee session the next morning or an extra long run, you need to sit down and reflect.  Was this a reaction to under eating during the day or week, to constantly using will power to eat perfectly, to a craving, to an emotionally draining situation, or to what JillFit calls FOMO– the fear of missing out?  Find the ROOTS to the binge and address things based on what you find there.  Burpees are not your solution and are likely perpetuating the underlying problem.

2.  “I feel awful if I don’t exercise!”

At some level this can be true and it’s not altogether a bad thing.  It’s great that you love a good sweat and that your body and mind realize the benefits.  The issue arises when you are physically exhausted, not sleeping at night, feeling achy all the time, in a constant need of caffeine etc. and yet your mind will not let you take a day (or two or three) off!!  The “I feel awful if I don’t exercise!” becomes your license to exercise again and again and avoid what you need most, rest.

THE SOLUTION:  There are many angles one could take here, but the one people can quantify is the one that I have found the most impactful in coaching people to embrace recovery-  SLEEPING.  I challenge you… take 3-7 days off from exercising altogether and take note of how you sleep.  You don’t feel awful if you don’t exercise, you might feel awful because for the past 6 weeks you’ve been sleep deprived.  Want to get some great sweat sessions in again?  Then recover!!  Use that workout time for extra sleep at night or a nap during the day!

3.  “It’s so boring!”

To the over exerciser who loves the euphoria of the workout high, stillness is like punishment.

THE SOLUTION:  If you love the “high” of a workout, I need for you to become physically addicted to what I call “the walkers low.”  I, like you, find active recovery difficult.  I find myself making a long list of what I should be doing instead of taking a leisurely walk around the block (or a warm bath with a good book).  However, as I’ve practiced embracing meaningful recovery for the past 18 months, I have also noticed that my body absolutely rewards itself with a hormonal response to relaxation.  Right around the 15-20 minute mark of a walk, I become completely relaxed, my lungs are able to expand fully, I can exhale completely as well, my anxiety about my lengthy to-do list subsides and I am content just being in the moment.  Boom!  The walkers low.  At that moment, I know I am literally combatting the physical and mental stresses in my world with all the feel-good hormones necessary to keep my metabolism, my body, and my mind balanced and healthy.

THE TAKEWAY:

More does NOT ALWAYS equate to BETTER OR BEST.  There is a point of not only diminishing returns but also negative returns.  If you pull an all night study session, you have not earned your way to that coveted A.  You quite likely have pulled your grade down by not allowing your brain time to recover and process.  The same goes for your body.

If you want MORE out of your training, are you BRAVE ENOUGH to do LESS?  If the science is pointing all of us towards the value of recovery for fat loss and muscle gains, don’t let your MINDSET get in the way!!

 

Memorial Day Weekend Tips

memorial day weekend Repetition and consistency matched with FLEXIBILITY are markers of successful lifestyle changes.

Are you going to be an angel Memorial Day weekend?  No.

Should you be? No.

It’s what you do MORE OFTEN THAN NOT that has the greatest impact on your body composition and your future fat loss results.

Knowing that cheats will be everywhere and at all hours this weekend, use these THREE TIPS to keep you on track.

1.  BREAKFAST AS USUAL.  There’s something to those meal replacement shakes at the beginning of my day that fills me up and keeps me energized.  Make it a rule to start holidays like ANY OTHER DAY.  “Saving” your calories for later, sets you up for an uncontrollable binge later.  OVERALL, you will eat fewer calories by starting your day exactly the way you know does your body good!

2.  SMALL PLATES.  If you kept up with our blog during the Mindless Eating Challenge, you should remember that even if you THINK the small plate strategy doesn’t work, the RESEARCH PROVES YOU WRONG.

mindless eating
mindless eating

Big plates = BIG PORTIONS = BIG caloric consumption

3.  METABOLIC WORKOUT.  Sweat’s open Saturday, Sunday, AND MONDAY b/c Memorial Day Weekend is a WORKOUT HOLIDAY!!!  Even Vain will have a metabolic spin to it.  Get that Monday holiday workout in this weekend and don’t forget our class package special, 5 FREE CLASSES w/ purchase of 10 class package available Friday-Monday.BUY 10 (1)

 

 

 

Failure and Success

Standing still is a CHOICE and a DECISION made.

One thing stood out very clearly to me as Lawrence and I were creating Sweat in 2012.  He quickly and easily made decisions without second guessing himself.  I, on the other hand, dragged my heels and wanted more time to think, more time to question, more time to weigh the pros and cons, more time to go backwards then forwards again, more time to evaluate if I could see into the future and dodge a mistake.

I preferred inaction over action because I ultimately FEARED FAILURE.  I allowed fear to completely paralyze me.  What’s worse is I allowed myself to believe that in not taking action I was simply postponing a decision.  Fast forward to 2015 and my mindset understands:  “Inaction is STILL a conscious decision.”  

If I could turn back the clocks and go back to elementary school I would have pushed to have gotten involved in some type of sport early on.  I have no doubt that a big lesson that Lawrence learned while playing basketball is that DECISIONS must be made, sometimes you pick the right one, sometimes you pick the wrong one, but time never stands still.  Neither mistakes nor triumphs are permanent so get over yourself.  If you stand still during a play, you have, by default, decided not to pass, shoot, or dribble.  Remaining stagnant, especially for too long, has real consequences just like everything else.

Whereas Lawrence learned these lessons on the court through play, I’ve had to learn them as an adult making my passion into a reality.

For those “standing still” waiting for the perfect moment to start training, start eating healthy, start reflecting on their food habits, start healing from food allergies/sensitivities, I am without a doubt, speaking directly to YOU.  Don’t let fear of failure PARALYZE you from trying something new or doing something again.  You are not required to get things right the first time nor the 50th time.  The clock and it’s consequences never halt just because you have.  Take time out to reflect, maybe change courses, but always make a MOVE.

At Sweat, we oftentimes program circuits where failure is the only rep count that matters.  And while this physically presents our bodies with an overload that will cause change, this concept also trains our minds to welcome and be excited to fail.  FAILURE becomes the marker for SUCCESS! You reached a boundary and couldn’t overcome it.  It was hard and very uncomfortable but instead of steering clear of failure, we actually asked for it and hunted it down because we knew that only failure has the power to unlock certain plateaus.

On this Sunday morning, sit down and reflect on how you could be holding yourself back simply by standing still.  Failure does not mark the end of the journey, it actually unveils the starting line!

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!!