3 Healthy Habits to question (and actually get healthier)

If you know anything about me and how I coach fat loss, you know I love mindset but I’m also not afraid of numbers.

I’m totally fine getting formulaic with calories and macros and deficits  in a world where “just listen to your body” is all the rage.

And it’s an awesome protocol, btw.

YES!… you should ABSOLUTELY listen to your body!!!!!

The thing is, that “kumbaya” diet advice fell hella flat with me back in the day when all I was doing was binge eating at night, feeling ashamed of my inability to follow my goals, and frustrated that I “couldn’t stay on track.”

WTF does “trust your body” mean to a person who habitually finds themselves standing in front of the pantry, frantically stuffing cheerios into their mouth, promising themselves this is the last handful only to reach back in again?

I felt BETRAYED by every single hunger/fullness cue my body sent my way??!!??  Your fat loss solution was trust… HA!!!

I don’t start fat loss coaching with numbers because I believe numbers are inherently better than an intuitive eating approach.

I just know at my peak of frustration, the assumption that I had a strong enough relationship with my body to TRUST it, was laughable at it’s best and punchable on most days.

So yes, in Diet Rebellion, my fat loss coaching program, we get right to work on finding basal metabolic rates, total daily energy expenditures, and deficits because I am working with people, who like me, believed their bodies were deceiving them at every meal time.

With that said, numbers alone, DON’T HOLD THE KEY either, so from day 1 we also dive into some of the behaviors and beliefs that created the patterns that keep us stuck.

Below, I’ve listed 3 for you to consider and none are contingent on you trusting your body cues at meal times, btw.  All three points are loaded, however, and I plan to expand each farther Thursday night at 7:45pm (June 8th) on Facebook Live.  

In particular, myth #2 and the statement  ***Create a calorie deficit you can COMPLY with 80-90% of the time.  Both are loaded and require a good bit more explaining, especially if you’re walking in highly distrustful of your body.

Myth #1:  More information means better and faster results

Information overload is a real thing.  At some point, we simply know ENOUGH to commit and the quest to find an undiscovered trick in the bag leads to CONFUSION, DISORIENTATION, and the FEAR of getting things wrong.

“I read a Facebook article that said to eat more fat, but then this other one said to eat less fat.”

“My friend sent me a Facebook article that said carbs pre-workout are optimal but I read one that said they are better post workout.”

“This girl I follow on Instagram is doing keto, maybe I should too.”

We end up doing everything and nothing at the same time.

Turn down (or OFF) the volume on details with words like “optimal” and “greatest” and put your energy GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS!  

*** Create a calorie deficit you can COMPLY with 80-90% of the time.

  •  Myth #2:  “healthy” and “fat loss” are synonymous

As healthy as almonds are, you CANNOT eat a jar of them a day and lose weight.

Stop mindlessly eating them because every single magazine article and blog post lists them as an OPTIMAL midday snack option!!!

If a small amount isn’t actually satisfying your hunger WHY ARE YOU EATING THEM?????

Seriously, why?

Because they are “good” and other things are “bad.”  Because “clean eating” makes you a better person than eating “dirty” foods.

Almonds are great, sure, but they do pack a caloric punch that adds up fast.

YES… Sometimes you should EAT THE CHEEZ ITS for the simple, honest, and human reason that they’re going to hit the spot, you can finally stop craving, and in the long run eat LESS calories because you did so.

  •  Myth #3:  Just eat like a bodybuilder

I get it.  A bodybuilders methods work.  You get shredded.

Quick question, though… do you REVERSE DIET like a bodybuilder too?

Oh, don’t know what that is because Shape magazine always seems to forget to publish the other side of the shreddedAF industry, right?

Reverse dieting is when you take the BRUTAL 12-16 week 6 pack meal plan and work backwards from stage ready so that you don’t gain a DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF FAT back after such hardcore dieting.

Shredding for the stage is HELL FOR YOUR METABOLISM and anyone in the sport of bodybuilding who aims to stay there actually goes (or is supposed to go) through another long ass period of reverse dieting beginning their off season.

If you can take the 4 oz tilapia, 1 cup broccoli, and 3 oz of sweet potato meal plan for 12 weeks, you eventually have to learn to eat more moderately anyways.  Your body WILL NOT ALLOW YOU to stay shredded like that or eat so minimally without real and major repercussions.

One of those being HABITUALLY binge eating!

(Light bulb moment for me!!!!)

Okay… so this his blog post is by no means comprehensive.

I consider it a starting point for introspection and discussion and that’s why I’m excited to do and think it’s necessary to do a Facebook Live, Thursday, June 8th at 7:45pm.  Gah!  I love coaching live and in person!

@sweatlocal

 

 

 

10 Holiday Food Rules (that you don’t eat like a rabbit or kill your bikini dreams)

Pet Peeve:  I am going to start my diet AFTER ___________ (insert any holiday of the year.)

Have you looked at a calendar lately?

There’s a candy/food holiday or celebration AT LEAST once per month.

Add in birthdays, showers, weddings, sporting event celebrations, GNO, vacations, and work events and you are LUCKY to ever find even just 10 days worth of uninterrupted  “just workin’ on my abs over here” time to focus.

Why are we trying to figure things out by EXCLUDING the obviously IMPORTANT and REOCCURRING holidays that add some fun and flavor to our lives?

We are doing ourselves a MAJOR disservice on #shredmode by trying to lose weight and NOT figure out how to incorporate celebrations WITH OUR FITNESS GOALS!!!!!

Since Easter is right around the corner (and then Cinco de Mayo, and then Mother’s Day) I wanted to provide 10 super fast and actionable tips that will help set you up for big time success 365.

(1) Eat as normally as possible until the actual holiday event –

Continue reading “10 Holiday Food Rules (that you don’t eat like a rabbit or kill your bikini dreams)”

“Chunking” Your Food Goals…

Let’s talk about your free time these days.  If you’re like most people, I’m guessing you’re all, “What’s that?”

Most of us feel incredibly stretched thin in our personal and professional lives so the idea of “finding time” to add stuff like exercise or eating better creates more stress.

And I know this time of year, not making headway with food and exercise goals can feel extra frustrating so I want to offer you a tool you can begin implementing right this second that’s going to reduce stress and help you find loads of time you were once just wasting.

 

Have you heard of “chunking?”

Chunking is simply organizing a set of tasks by location, time, or by another common ground.  It’s most commonly discussed as a productivity tool because it’s dedicated to reducing the amount of time lost through transitions and interruptions.

I love chunking as a way to learn new food habits because chunking is famous for MAXIMIZING FOCUS!!

If there is one thing that people mismanage for habit change it’s spreading their focus THIN.

By design, chunking breaks down big tasks into small bite sized pieces that more easily lead to consistent action.

Chunking your TIME:

For fat loss I recommend all my Diet Rebellion folks and Sweat fam to spend 12 hours fueled and 12 hours fasted.

In other words if you eat dinner at about 7:30pm then you will want to eat breakfast roughly 12 hours after that, 7:30 a.m.  All other meals, however many you want/need to eat, fit inside of that window of time.

For example:

  1.  Break down the 12 hours fueled by 4 chunks (could be 3 or could be 6… you know your day better than me!)
    1. 7:30- 10:30
    2. 10:30- 1:30
    3. 1:30- 4:30
    4. 4:30- 7:30
  2. Take A.I.M. (Ask, Identify, Manage) one chunk at a time.
    1. Ask:  What is required of me between those specific hours?
    2. Identify:  Where will I be? Who will I be with? What specific constraints may I encounter?  As it stands, can my breakfast alone see me through until my next chunk of time, etc…
    3. Manage:  Based on your answers and your EXPERIENCE to the questions above you respond accordingly.

Identifying patterns and problems:

The most common chunk of time I see identified as an issue is chunk 3… 1:30-4:30.  This chunk of time is often when I see folks try to “make it til dinner” which sets them up for one giant binge eating session or one large continuous meal from 4:30-7:30pm.

The calorie overload is huge at the end of the day.

If you can identify this pattern then:

  •  Are you taking A.I.M on this specific time frame?  In other words, permission to spend EXTRA FOCUS on the problem.  Your whole day may not need your attention!!!  Hone in and put all your problem solving energy in ONE place.

or

  • Are you reflecting on what’s happening or not happening in chunk 1 and 2?  Are you implementing tons of will power early in the day?  Are you under eating and ending up crazy hungry?  Maybe chunk 3 is a problem because chunk 1 and 2 aren’t setting you up for success.

One of the things I love when introducing this strategy is that a “bad” food decision or a decision that goes against your intention or goal is isolated within a specific time frame.

You are less likely to feel like you “might as well throw in the towel”  for the day because of a misstep.  Your next chunk of time is a win in and of itself… just like your mistake is a totally manageable complication that can get handled and practiced and perfected the next day.

The Outcome:

Let’s get one thing straight.

YOU are not the problem.

YOU do not lack motivation.

YOU are not weak.

Habit change is about STRATEGY!!!  How do you get yourself to do the thing you know you have to do??

Outcomes are about tapping into our psychology, finding the path of least resistance, and organizing our plan of attack into something we can manage vs something that manages us.

I’ll be sending extra details on chunking to my Sweat Unfiltered crew tomorrow.  If you want in, join the list right here:

 

The Fat Loss Pyramid – Are you putting your time where it counts?

Fat loss, shredding, dieting down, losing weight… call it what you want it’s a major topic of interest as summer nears.

And let’s just lay all our cards out on the table… 99.9% of us are in the market to lose weight this time of year cause we want to look as sexy as we can in our summer clothes and bathing suits.

I have ZERO problem with the vanity side of fitness.

Yup… it’s cool to run faster, lift more, have more energy, but there is no shame in the game of loving the fitness journey to be HOT!

And yes… a gigantic part of that journey is a mental one… and I’ve blogged about that TONS… but today, I don’t want to chat psychology (or hormones).

I want to RESHAPE your food pyramid

SO THAT YOU GET RESULTS!!!!

 

Meet your FAT LOSS PYRAMID!

Continue reading “The Fat Loss Pyramid – Are you putting your time where it counts?”

10 Unconventional Fitness Ideas Our Kids Need

When I first got curious about fitness, I’d read, absorb, and implement every single piece of literature, post, article and to-do list out there.

Every day there appeared a new “do this every day,” “never eat that” or “amazing superfood discovery” that made it feel IMPERATIVE and even detrimental to my body if not incorporated immediately.

Before long I found myself with a laundry list of RULES.

  1.  Protein at every meal was not enough… lean protein only.  Will get fat and have a heart attack otherwise.
  2.  Dairy made me absorb less fat with food so if I eat nuts, I should have it with milk or yogurt.
  3.  But damn it, dairy is apparently full of harmful things so only buy organic, hormone free, and limit it to one serving daily.  Skip it on days where I don’t eat a lot of fat.
  4.  Sugar is from the devil so never eat cookies, brownies, and really candy of any kind.  It’s a sign of weakness if you do.  Honey and agave nectar appear to be superior forms of sugar so maybe once in a blue moon drizzle this over oatmeal.
  5.  Bread is for people who don’t really care about their health.  I mean with all the best selling books and viral articles circulating around, how could one argue otherwise.
  6. Vegetables are important but the color of the vegetable will determine my success.  Pretty sure I need to avoid anything that doesn’t make the super food list.  That’s just seems safer.
  7. There are to be “No excuses” for missing workouts so sleep and REST is for the weak minded. Clearly this is not something I am so I just need to do more and try harder.

I could go on and on and on… but you get the picture.

Fitness and wellness DOMINATED my life.

Because of that, I found going out of town or eating with friends HIGHLY STRESSFUL.  I had to have everything in a clearly laid out schedule.  I could NOT miss my workout session no matter what.

At every event, I needed to know what was being served, when, and if it didn’t appear to suit my bazillion rules, well by golly, I could not possibly let my precious earned muscle go to waste or my lean zero-fat belly blimp up in a matter of an evening.

I’d eat before or pack tupperware.

Or when even more desperate… I’d pack canned tuna in my purse in case there were no suitable proteins to eat.  Pizza?  Poison!!

I’d excuse myself to go to the bathroom and down the can AFAP and try to discreetly walk out to hide the smelly can in my car.

I knew what I was doing was weird… but hell I was COMMITTED.  If everyone else wanted to be fit as much as me they’d realize all of their mistakes!

And because of that, fitness wore me the F*#K out.  I was depleted… physically and mentally.  No amount of EFFORT was ever ENOUGH.  I could always do more.

Until finally my baby girl noticed my obsession and it hurt my heart.  DEEPLY.  So much so it literally sent me on a new journey.

I was living OPPOSITE to what I wanted for both my kids and that had to change.  Monkey see.  Monkey do.

Lord… I did not want them doing what I was doing!!!!!

So I decided MY life had to be a LIVING EXAMPLE of HAPPY and HEALTHY which meant I was no longer going to allow any book, article, or post to  create rules that made me feel dirty, unworthy, stupid, or lazy.

Fitness is not allowed to change me or my kids serving me FEAR AND SHAME disguised with information.

And so I’ve made a list of the 10 things I find myself constantly preaching against at home… and even at Sweat Fitness Studio as well.

They represent my core values… as a woman who overcame food and exercise obsession, as a personal trainer who finds herself in contact w/ men and woman battling unattainable demands, and as a mom who wants her kids to enjoy fitness without feeling like there is anything wrong with them right now… as is!

And by all means, feel free to add to the conversation!  I am not afraid to defend any of these points and I would also love to hear the things that you are battling with as well.

FITNESS IS NOT ALLOWED TO TELL US…

  1. Food is earned – We’re not dogs dancing for treats.  If you treat food like a trophy earned you’ll find yourself doing “more tricks” for more food.  More mileage, more classes, more burpees, more reps.  I can’t have this or that because I didn’t do this or that.
  2. It defines us – You offer this world so much more than just your body.   It is not your job to make this world happy with your body.
  3. Smaller is better – Nope… sorry.  The pursuit of smaller didn’t make me happier.  Size is not a measure of happiness.  Gotta love the now before you love the future.
  4. Rest is weak – Rest triggers progress.  Wanna lift more… rest more between sets.  Wanna run faster… rest longer between laps.  Wanna curve your cupcake craving… sleep in an extra hour mid week instead of coming to class.  Wanna break a plateau… stop dropping more calories and add rest.  Watch your body give back.
  5. No pain, No gain – There’s good pain.  There’s bad pain.  One burns… the other strings.  If it stings… it’s your body kindly asking for you to stop or to rest.  It only asks nicely a few times before it snaps.  LISTEN!
  6. 6 packs are normal – Okay so yeah… the fact that Lady Gaga’s “gut” stirred up such a frenzy of haters is alarming.  It’s obvious she works out, has her nutrition on point more often than not, and has put time and effort into her overall health.  The absence of a 6 pack is not an indication of poor health nor something to hide.  Our bodies are allowed to fold, move, and jiggle with us!
  7. Villainize food groups – There is no such thing as a bad food or a good food.  Any food can take on that adjective.  It’s about how you view it and use it that puts it into particular categories.  Candy is not inherently bad.  Candy eaten all day, every day… that’s bad news.
  8. It comes with a guarantee – If it comes w/ a guarantee it’s a gimmick or a fad.  Our bodies are too complex for anyone to simplify into a one way formula w/ a golden guarantee sticker on the label.  Change takes time, effort, problem solving skills, failure, re-tries, get back ups, tweaking.  Fitness, like life, is neither linear nor fair.  Get used to it now… it makes the journey flow so much easier.
  9. More is more – like basic economics there is a point of diminishing returns.  Your body will stop responding positively.  Your work load does not automatically translate to equal returns.
  10. One way – the best way to move is the way that you enjoy and are most likely to return to most often.  Sure… there are the details to worry about but if you hate it… it will never stick.  Your way is the best way first.

FITNESS is supposed to be an ENRICHMENT of who we already are.  If you find that your journey is taking parts of you away, PERMISSION TO PIVOT… PERMISSION TO CHANGE COURSES… PERMISSION TO BE A RULE BREAKER.

When I look back at the complexity of my former fitness life and the paper thin layer of skin and fat that it “rewarded” me with, I want no parts of it and I want my kids to have a role model that preaches and teaches and champions a different way.

To my mommas and daddy’s reading this, I want to take inventory of the things you do and say and FEEL about your body.

Would you want your daughter, your son, repeating this?

Monkey see.  Monkey do.

#bethechange

What’s your “good enough?”- 4 ways to find it.

GOOD ENOUGH… it’s a term that most people dislike because they automatically let their brains go to “settling for less.”

And while that can be one interpretation, I believe there’s another more positive side to “good enough.”

The recognition that the NOW, the here, the what is right in front of you has TREMENDOUS value already!!!!

Continue reading “What’s your “good enough?”- 4 ways to find it.”

Maintenance Mode, it’s just a “Rest Stop”

The mental struggle to always KEEP GOING on our fitness goals is real!!!

Just 5 more pounds-

because 6 weeks or 10 weeks or 12 weeks of hard core focus and results is just not enough to pat oneself on the back and take a moment to just ENJOY.

Ooooh, I’ll try that too-

because never mind that what you’re doing is making you feel better and creating strength and tone, if you do just ONE MORE THING that will speed things up faster and then maybe you’ll be done (except just 5 more pounds.)

But if I just had more will power-

because years of failing at elimination isn’t enough to demonstrate the research is right… that method sucks.  It’s really your internal weaknesses that’s preventing change.  It’s me.  I’m just mentally weak.

I understand all this so well… because at some point in time all these were versions of my past self.

Always striving for a new number, eliminating one more thing, or feeling angry at herself after 1/2 starving throughout the day only to find herself in the midst of another epic binge.

A year round preoccupation with “what’s next?” or how do I get there faster? birthed either an all deprivation or all out binge cycle that left my metabolism confused and damaged and made results fleeting.

Over the past several years, I’ve moved from someone who was always trying to shred to accepting the natural flow of my year… from important events to the change of weather.

What I’ve found is that I’m able to more easily harness my focus to do the MENTALLY HARD THINGS like lose fat (#shredmode) or PHYSICALLY TAXING THINGS like gain muscle (#gainsmode), if I’ve allowed myself a REST STOP, where I settle in with where I’m at and LET MYSELF enjoy a plateau.

I call this wonderful time, #MAINTENANCEMODE!

The time of year where I am neither wanting or planning to gain or lose a damn thing.

Gah! The mental and physical release is cathartic and appreciated and allows for me to take my energy, time, and creativity and INVEST it in other places.

I am NOT bothered by macros, calories, carbs, fats, proteins, measuring because I am NOT on a mission to practice anything new.

I practice what I already know COMES EASY, fall into a routine OF WHAT IS, and most importantly APPRECIATE my body AS IS!!!

I am WELL AWARE of how “far out” this can all sound to someone who ONLY KNOWS how to be on a regimen, on a program, or on a mission, and doesn’t want to stop until they are 100% happy with their reflection in the mirror.

There is a FEAR that if one is not moving forward then one is REGRESSING.

The anxiety in possibility of gaining (more) weight simply because there is not a manual or a number dictating our next step.

The constant self doubt in every decision no matter how big or small.

In fact, I remember just being terrified in the beginning, but I was so EXHAUSTED of being “on a mission” all the time, that I moved forward anyways.

And by forward, I mean that the first 2 weeks were probably a series of hiccups and ooopsies and false starts.

What is evident at the beginning of leaving a life of constant dieting are the GAPS OF TRUST in our own decision making.

We are so used to being “followers of instructions” and being told what to do that we forget how to LEAD ourselves.

Once I rebuilt trust (which is what I will show you in “On The Verge”) I RELAXED into the process and the process began to show up for me in terms of my motivation, focus, and readiness for change.

In a few weeks, I was down right excited to tackle a bit of fat loss again.  And guess what?  My BODY was ready too!!!!  It RESPONDED because I gave it time to rest.

So as I began to listen to all the heightened Holiday food guilt, I created a free, high access to coaching program called “On the Verge” because my goal is to KEEP you on the verge of your resolutions.

I want to coach you through the principles of #MaintenanceMode so you quit gaining but you also quit worrying so much!!

I want to HELP YOU BUILD TRUST now so that come January your  motivation for change is so high you’re able to CAPITALIZE on CONSISTENT EFFORT vs A BURNED OUT stop and go series.

We start Dec. 5 and here’s a quick look at what’s happening…

  1.  I’ll be coaching you inside my secret Facebook group, Diet Rebellion.
  2.  We’ll be tackling 2 big topics per week.
  3.  Weekly check-ins (no pictures!)
  4. You’ll have access to an online community that I’ve been working closely with and is ready to support you.
  5. A 5 day workout split with a #TrackWhatYouRack tutorial that will show you how to simplify and intensify strength training.
  6. Daily access to me to ask questions or get support

“Getting back on track” in December is NOT where I want your energy spent.  All that overeating, stop and over exercise band-aids will not provide you the energy and focus you will need in January.

Chillax!  You gotta settle into #MaitenanceMode first!!!

 

 

Why messy starts trump clean slates…

So this is high season for parties and get togethers which means overeating and over drinking can become a trend.

By December, the free for all’s mount, weight gain appears, and fat loss anxiety begins to peak.

I have learned, through much trial and error, that the fastest way to remedy any stress is to plan less and just take action!

I regain focus this way.

I feel in my power.

So even if one decision doesn’t make my problem go away, I’ve at least put myself in the drivers seat, I’m moving forward, and that feels damn good.

Continue reading “Why messy starts trump clean slates…”

5 Ways Mess Up Perfect + Worksheet

I sent out a personal and candid email to my Sweat Unfiltered crew explaining 5 ways I’ve shifted from perfectionist food goals and ended up losing weight and stress out of my life.

(You can read the full email by clicking here and join the email list here if you love this sort of get real and get gritty coaching you need to enjoy your fitness journey again.)

This blog post is the instruction manual with the accompanying print out worksheet so you can #GSD better and faster and put all the concepts from the email into practice ASAP.

 

Continue reading “5 Ways Mess Up Perfect + Worksheet”

Recipes from Sweat’s 4th Birthday Party

Yeah, so low sugar, low fat was not on my agenda for Sweat’s 4th birthday party… what I wanted was to share some of my favorite things (sung in a Mary Poppins voice) w/ my favorite peeps!

So below are the gluten, sugar, fat filled recipes I cooked up (which actually means MIXED up… b/c I knew better than to plan a bunch of cooking on a hectic day like Sweat’s birthday!)

Continue reading “Recipes from Sweat’s 4th Birthday Party”