Week 7- GREED #7DeadlySins

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

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

You are your own magic pill.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

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


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

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

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

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

3.  FRUIT is fast food!-

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

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

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

Week 6- PRIDE #7DeadlySins

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

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

Here are three highlights from this week:

Facebook message:

and here is a text:


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


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


#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

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

2.  Nutrition- BREAKFAST! 

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

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 4- #Gluttony

Well isn’t gluttony the most obvious choice for week 4 as Thanksgiving day feasts hit us right smack at the end of the week?

You are crazy if you think I am going to restrict you from any of your Thanksgiving day favorites to help you achieve a fitness goal.  In fact, I am a big believer that THESE are the no brainer worth it cheat meals! To spend a holiday counting your calories or macros instead of your blessings sounds miserable and it’s not necessary to get or stay lean.

So what is required of a lean eater?  Here are my top five non-negotiables for Thanksgiving.

How many of these do you already put into practice?

1.  Don’t eat like it’s an eating competition!  
Enjoying food isn’t gluttonous but eating as if the abundance available to you will immediately disappear, truly is.  While you may be excited that so many of your favorites are on the table, approach the feast with the gratefulness that there is more where that came from.  The material parts of Thanksgiving, for a large portion of us, could be duplicated any day of the week.   If you acknowledge that before you dig in, you will put less on your plate and also eat more slowly.
2.  Don’t give up eating your favorites!!
Take a holiday meal off!!  PLEASE eat the pie…and the scoop of ice cream!  One cheat meal is considered a 2 hour deal. That gives you time to enjoy a few drinks, eat, and have dessert.  Cheat meals are a mental and physical part of fat loss.  Google the hormones leptin and ghrelin if you want the science behind the strategy.
3.  LISTEN to your body.
If you have several homes to visit on Thanksgiving day your body will naturally ask that you taper each meal down.  Are you eating out of hunger or obligation?  Each Thanksgiving meal that you get to be a part of, does not have to look the same.
4.  Workout for fat loss, not endurance
If you can work it in, get a metabolic workout in the morning or about two hours prior to your cheat meal.  Set your body to burning mode.  Sweat has a Mystery Class on Thanksgiving Day for that reason!  Exercise isn’t punishment but it is part of the strategy!  If you cannot make it, you can always have fun with the burpee tabatas we did last week, do the benchmark workout three times through, or lace up those shoes and do sprint intervals (no steady pace running for fat loss!!)
5.  It’s a holi-DAY, not a holi-WEEK!

Try your best to treat the week as if it’s any other week.  I know it’s NOT any other week and between family, football, and the kids at home, normal is out the window.  However, this is where you must be happy with good vs. being perfect.  I know we often strive for perfection, but many times we let ourselves fail at good simply because we know that great is impossible.

By the way, I totally agree…GREAT is damn near impossible this week.  Set your expectations so they are realistic and achievable.  Don’t decide to binge the whole week simply because you know you won’t be perfect.  Decide TODAY, RIGHT NOW, that you aren’t going to do your worst simply because you can’t be your best.  There is a middle ground!!!!  BE HAPPY WITH GOOD!!!

#7Deadly Sins Fitness Challenge

 1.  Benchmark-

See you Monday!!!  Time to beat your best!!

2.  Nutrition- Maintenance!
On Thanksgiving holiday week you have YOUR TOUGHEST nutritional challenge yet…MAINTAIN!  FORGET adding anything new, can you continue your three food challenges on a week commercially built around gluttony?  Can you continue your workouts, drink water, get your protein snack at 3, and continue w/ adding fiber at lunch or breakfast on a week where routine has gone out the window?  THIS is a true test to see if you are making this a lifestyle!
3.  Activity- Metabolic Workouts!
This week is no joke in terms of food and football.  I challenge you to insert a METABOLIC workout each morning you plan on veering from plan.  Set your body to burn vs. store!


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.
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.

Revival- End the year strong!

There are only 8 weeks left before we leave 2014 and enter into a brand new year.  Without a doubt, THIS is the season many fall off the fitness wagon and end up making December the “fattest month of the year.”  Weight gain sky rockets during the holidays and while we understand why this happens, we won’t let this happen without a fight!

We want to REVIVE your 2014 New Year Resolutions and make sure you greet 2015 feeling great about who you are and what you have already accomplished!

Mark your calendars because the 7 Deadly Sins of Fitness Challenge begins on Monday and will take you through almost until the end of the year!  You will get a new food challenge each week to TACKLE and STACK so that in 7 weeks you are eating as if bikini season was right around the corner.  We know there will be a few, worthy occasions where you will not and should not adhere to the challenges but your goal is to get right back on track the next day after those cheats are over.

In addition, you will be given a simple, no equipment workout to do at home or at Sweat.  We expect you to do this workout once a week and to keep track of your total reps.  Each week your goal is to beat your previous rep count.  Don’t cheat yourself by breaking form either!  Push to fail and rest for success.

Check your inboxes this weekend and Facebook for more details and updates.

Get your friends together, commit, and share.  Let’s do this!

Nov. 3- Sloth

Nov. 10- Envy

Nov. 17- Wrath

Nov. 24- Gluttony

Dec. 1- Lust

Dec. 8- Pride

Dec. 15- Greed


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!


Good, Great, and Guilt

For those who don’t know or don’t remember, on Oct. 13th Sweat kicked off Braking Bad, Sweat’s first ever online nutritional coaching workshop led by the uber talented and experienced RD, Tammy Beasley.  We are two weeks into the program and our group of 15 can boast about big time breakthroughs regarding appetite, energy, and mindset.  Hot topic today…good, great, and guilt!!

95% of diets fail.  66% of those who have fallen off their “diet wagon” will actually gain back MORE weight than before.  Why?  The sexy diets out there kill your metabolism.  They teach you nothing but to acknowledge and love short term weight loss wins because those translate to multi-million dollar book sales.  $$$ is sexy.

Braking Bad is definitely about what and when to eat but has just as much to do with your mindset towards food.  Are you sad about good because great wasn’t achieved?  Do you feel guilty about each and every “bad” food you eat?

1.  Follow plan but there is to be no food guilt associated w/ a spoonful of ice cream or stealing a couple of fries off your child’s plate.  While you can view them as cheats, the reality is that it’s those small “permissions to let live” that create lasting fat loss change in the long run.  These small imperfections reduce food anxiety while satisfying a craving and will keep those big binges at bay.  Unless your goal is to be on stage in 12 weeks in a bikini competition, you do not need to sweat over every little bite of food.

2.  There is to be no food guilt associated w/ good in comparison to great!  Do you ONLY praise your child for making A+ marks?  If your child struggles in math and makes a hard fought B- are you disappointed?  Can I get a Facebook brag for a “grind it out C!!!”  If you spent most of this year over exercising and under eating and now find yourself making decisions, as Tammy says, “MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,” that leave your appetite down, your energy stable, and your binges at bay then you are on the right track.  You can turn that C into a B next time, as your skill power improves.  The C is a win and will create change!!

In short, a lifestyle change must match your unique metabolism, goals, and life’s schedule.  Once you have attained that, acknowledge that perfection is neither required nor to be admired.  Give yourself permission to live!

Keystone Habits

I, as well as many others, are probably very tired of the battle between food vs. training.  What’s more important?  What will get me to my goal the quickest?  How do I get a six pack?

If you are keeping up w/ current research, and of course we are here at Sweat, the answer is likely a third option that many have not even yet considered, mindset.  In the long run, neither food nor exercise will matter if your mindset still views WHAT YOU EAT as a diet and HOW YOU MOVE as a chore.  

How do you, or anyone else for that matter, create SUSTAINABLE, LIFE LONG change?  How can you change your mindset so the journey for which you embark is not necessarily easy but definitely achievable?  How do you get to become that person that worries about clean foods and enjoys training?

Want the million $$$$$ answer?  Then re-read the title.  FIND your keystone habit.  That’s right, 95% of all lifestyle overhauls FAIL but research tell us that committing yourself to ONE meaningful HABIT change has the potential to completely rewire your brain.  I’m in love with the book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of Habit in which he delves deeply into this topic.  If you want to learn more about your habits and how to change them, pick it up.

I say all of this to remind you of the August Food Challenge which really needs to be retitled our August Keystone Habit.  Could this months habit challenge be the practice that rewires your brain?

Remember, there’s no magical difference between a night time fast lasting 11 1/2 hrs vs 12 hrs vs 13 hrs.  The spark is in the snowball effect of this habit!  Why are you eating, when you are eating?  Present yourself with the challenge of foregoing that evening snack knowing that your morning meal will come 12 hours after what you have chosen to eat the night before.  It seems like an innocent habit to try out but it has enormous potential.

Overhaul the overhaul.  One habit can change EVERYTHING.  You don’t have to take my word for it because science backs me up.

Think.  Train.  Live.  Differently.  – jeidi