The Audacity and Bias of a Woman in Shape

The email below comes to you as an email originally meant for my eyes only.  It was written in the heat of the moment when our feelings about being challenged or being hurt are still getting sorted.

In other words, don’t you dare get hung up on misspellings and punctuation because the messages are too DAMN POWERFUL to ignore!

Your boldness, your audacity as a female lifter, as a female with muscles, as a female who believes in and loves the power of her body, can absolutely rub others the wrong way.  

Continue reading “The Audacity and Bias of a Woman in Shape”

Body Shaming Parents

BODY SHAMING…

“Oh, Jeidi, this is such a hot topic with me. I still remember what I was wearing (a black and white striped off-the-shoulder top of bought for $13 at Goody’s and cutoffs, where I was sitting (in front of the coffee table), and what I was eating (Fudge Stripe cookies) the day my father said to my 13-year-old self, “Darlin’, you sure are putting on some weight there. Little boys don’t like fat girls.” My self-worth took a downward spiral from there and, though I’ve had moments of thinking I’m enough, it is still a struggle at 38 and a size 2. It was a struggle at 36 and a size 0.”

And there it is in all it’s vulnerability.

Continue reading “Body Shaming Parents”

CONFIDENCE- fake it until you believe it your damn self

If you don’t know anything about my “aha” moment, you can read the full details here.  If you want the edited version, essentially my daughter caught me in a moment of body shaming.

She was bathing and I was pinching my belly fat in front of the mirror.  At some point, she stopped splashing in the tub and her eyes were dead set and fixated on what I was doing.  She was analyzing my behavior.  She was learning what one does in front of the mirror.  OMG…She was learning to hate her body from me!!!!!

I was sickened to my stomach and knew at that very moment that if my actions did not change, I was, not only going to continue hurting myself which I clearly didn’t care about at the time, but was ROBBING my daughter of her own positive self image as well.

That 5 minute snap shot taught me everything I ever needed to know about helping my daughter grow up KNOWING she was AWESOME!!!

I may not have believed myself to be beautiful at the time, I may not have thought of myself as strong or lean or powerful but I was determined to fake it for my DAUGHTER’S SAKE!

1.  NO MORE STUDYING MY BELLY IN THE MIRROR!

Monkey see.  Monkey do.  If you do anything in that mirror you better flex and smile.  Don’t just tell her you love her.  Show her you love yourself too!!!

2.  NO MORE “F” WORD!

Saying you are fat or chunky and laughing about it like it’s a joke is unacceptable.  If I don’t want my daughter to bully herself in the mirror, it STARTS WITH ME!  I am worthy here and now AS I AM and so is she.

I am not in control of social media.  I am not in control of the magazines.  I am in control of me, my behavior, my words.  In my presence she will not learn to shame herself.  She will learn acceptance, strength, self worth, and compassion.

3.  LET THEM SEE YOU EAT CAKE!!!

You can eat a cookie.  You can eat ice cream.  I don’t declare myself lean or “skinny” every time I eat a salad!  Why the hell do I feel the need to make a statement about health every time I eat a dessert.  Just shut up and ENJOY that cupcake just like they are!!

 

In short, ACTIONS speak louder than our WORDS.  We all know that, but are we living it?

We may not think our bodies have reached their full potential, we may think that we have a long way to go.  That’s fine!  You can keep working towards your goals without being a jerk to yourself.  Your littles are watching you.

I will tell you though, from experience, that once you let go of that nasty body shaming habit of yours and learn to be a good friend to yourself, you stop having to fake it.  You “accidentally” make it and those actions that once felt forced become your NEW NORMAL.

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#KeepItSimple

I’m sure cauliflower crusted pizza is amazing, but to someone who hates the kitchen and doesn’t have a food allergy, I say…just eat the damn bread and have veggies on the side!  Making an almond or veggie crusted anything sounds…stressful, time consuming, and complicated!

Here’s the thing…I don’t have the time, patience, energy, or interest for fanciness in the kitchen.  If you do, I tip my hat to you.  I admire you.  Food is definitely a great way to express a creative outlet or just plain love for others.

I just wasn’t born a chef!

And in fact, the more I coach women, the more I realize part of the problem in the kitchen is that they are not balancing their KITCHEN PERSONALITIES (time/energy/interest) with their FITNESS goals.

I like and NEED my food to be simple, cook quickly, and be portable.  I am not a recipe person in general but if I find a recipe that fulfills those three things, I’m excited!!  ONLY after I’ve taken into account my kitchen personality do I then consider if the recipe fulfills all the other nutritional stuff surrounding my fitness goals.

#FullDisclosure and a #RealMomShit moment…we DO NOT all eat the same thing at my house.

My  husband’s kitchen personality is totally different from mine so he doesn’t like what I cook 90% of the time.  Not only that but his metabolism works totally different from mine too.  I lean out best on a high protein, low fat, moderate carb diet.  He works best taking a more hardcore Paleo approach.

We’ve learned and accepted that he has to do food his way and I have to do food my way.  We serve the kids usually from whatever Lawrence has made b/c they like daddy’s food better.  He’s an AWESOME cook and loves getting fancy with flavors.

Does that sound like a nightmare to you? Are you totally unimpressed with the way our house works? 🙂  

If so, no worries b/c I’m NOT telling you to do things my way.  I’m not telling you my way is the best way either.  I’m just telling you we’re doing things in my house in a way that WORKS FOR US!

You don’t necessarily need what I need out of food.  I am in and out of my house no less than 6 times a day, every day.  That’s why portability is so high on my priority list.  You may sit at a desk for 6 hours at at time, you may be in a car most of the day, or you may feel stuck at home with an infant.

We may have the same goals but WE DON’T LEAD THE SAME LIVES!

You have to LOOK FOR SOLUTIONS that are easy to repeat without tons of effort.

Maybe high flavor, plenty of leftovers, and everyone eating the same thing are your three #nonNegotiables.  That’s great.  You need to be spending your time and effort organizing and fulfilling those things in the kitchen and making it match with your goals rather than trying to eat like a fitness personality you admire.

All the stuff they are posting, are probably perfect for them.  It works for their schedules, their personal tastes, their individual schedules and it gets THEM results.

Guess what, you can do the same damn thing for yourself if you trust that it’s more important to be consistent than to be perfect!  

Find the strategy that doesn’t even feel like a strategy!!!!! It’s just you, doing what feels right, in the healthiest way possible…today.

If you want more of my personal insights and tips, join the Sweat Unfiltered newsletter here.  Goes out weekly.  http://bit.ly/1NrQrD6

 

 

 

Finding Solutions…

This month on Sweat Unfiltered, I’m coaching the group through a month long challenge revolving around journaling.  The exercise is ultimately done to help people see that while diet books, food magazines, and meal plans may all have their place in lifestyle change, it’s all meaningless if you aren’t really aware of WHAT THE HELL YOU ARE TRYING TO FIX!!

Long ago, way before Sweat was even a seed in my brain, I started logging and journaling both food and workouts.  I had no set agenda.  I was simply new to the fitness game and wanted to organize my thoughts.

Hell, even today…take a look at my table right now…how many notebooks does it take…right???

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Little did I know then that all that playful logging and writing had a real purpose in formulating how I made changes in my food and routine.  As I felt more “expert” in what I was doing, I logged and wrote less but still return to this practice if I feel out of sorts or am starting something new.

It has been no secret that journaling is what helped me realize two years ago that the reason I was not seeing the results I wanted in my workouts was b/c emotional binge eating had entered my weekly routine several times a week.  There I was trying to figure out macros and calories and the reality was it wasn’t really the type of foods I was eating.  I was honing in on the wrong problem.

Journaling helped me reflect.  Journaling helped me see a pattern.  Journaling is what helped me find a solution.

Hence the November Challenge at Sweat.

I know…many of you were hoping for a NO CANDY! or NO ALCOHOL CHALLENGE.  Something truly #hardcore that you could totally IG and FB about and people would be like Wow, check this out… Deprivation is awesome!

Not my style.  No what I promote anymore.  Plus, I want to help you get TO THE ROOT of the problem.  I want to give you great workouts that build muscle and rev up your metabolism but I also want to be present in your kitchen and in your grocery stores.  I want you to understand the INTENTIONS BEHIND YOUR ACTIONS.

So here is a sneak peek at my Gratitude/Food Journal for the November Challenge so you see

  1.  I practice what I preach
  2. You are never so “expert” at your journey you can’t stop learning
  3. It’s easy.  It’s brief.  It’s effective.

 

12202415_10156166717665324_1729848392_nAll you have to do is write 3 things about how you FEEL about your food choices.  You can get more detailed if you want, but if you are like me, I don’t need “bonus” work to keep me busy while I do homework.  Give me the meat and potatoes and if I can do more I will.

After you jot down your food thoughts, take the time to write down 3 things you are grateful for.  Food is stressful and emotional and we judge ourselves like crazy when it’s around.  I want you to end your day, your thought process, giving THANKS b/c no matter how crappy you feel about your food choices, there is a BIGGER PICTURE in your life.  There is family, there is kindness, there are simple things in this world that brought life and love into our lives that we should recall and remember.

And, btw, it’s the gratitude part of the journal that will keep you writing.  The food part of the journal is where the self discovery takes place.

Join the Sweat Unfiltered email list if you want to interact w/ me throughout the challenge or get more direct coaching.  http://bit.ly/1NrQD6

Live your DREAMS or live your FEARS…

Facebook Post (1)When it’s put it on those terms, doesn’t it make you want to take action, to take a risk, to step out of your comfort zone and accomplish something new or something you have thought about for ages but thought it was too difficult?

I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed tremendously watching trainer and friend, Christy Scott, transition from bad ass endurance athlete to rookie physique competitor.  (You can follow her progress here.)  It has actually put to rest a lot of the reservations I’ve had about stepping on stage and has made me (finally) commit to doing a competition myself in 2016.

While competing will temporarily change some of the moderation and balance approaches I take, there is no way I’m walking into this w/ an overhaul approach.  This short vlog tells you some changes I’m making in September so that I feel like I’m transitioning into competition mode vs. slapped in the face w/ changes.

 

 

TRY THIS to break your front squat plateau

#SweatStrongChallenge month one is almost in the books and soon it will be time to award some prizes to those who are posting to FB along w/ building their strength.

Not suprisingly, we have all made great strides in month 1 but prepare yourself mentally for the work ahead in month 2.  Your gains will come slower and will be harder fought so I want to show you how I’m handling my front squat plateau so that I get stronger, keep depth, and NOT RISK injury!!!

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  •  Lateral movements on non heavy lift days.

    If you come to Sweat regularly you have probably  noticed more skaters, plank jacks, side lunges, new jacks, cross over lunges etc.  programmed into our classes where we do not go as heavy.  This is purposeful and in an effort to ensure that the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that surround your knees and hips can keep up with the extra load.  Balance is CRITICAL if you want to stay off the operating table!!!!

  • Spend extra time under tension at your old benchmark.

    In order to make a new benchmark feel old you need to allow the muscles to become accustomed to that load.  In addition you need to work through the angles at which you feel the biggest struggle.

    We’ve practiced two techniques this month at Sweat in order to do that (5 x 5 or 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) but as the second month approaches and heavy takes on a new meaning here’s a technique I’m incorporating for myself this month.  I hope you can make it to our open gym Thursday night or Saturday morning and try this out with us.

a.  Warm up- about 10 minutes- slowly increasing weight to the new benchmark.

b.  New Benchmark- 1 rep (deep and controlled)

c.  Scale back to “old” benchmark- 5 reps, rest, 4 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, 2 reps, rest

d.  Increase back up to new benchmark 1 rep (deep and controlled)

e.  Turn your front squat into back squat using your the new benchmark weight and do 5 for 5.

All in all this will take you about 30-60 minutes to complete but it will be worth it.  While the back squat is definitely different than a front squat, changing your squat will allow you to keep your muscles under tension using the new benchmark weight and allow you to safely adapt to the workload.

***As the new benchmark begins to feel more at reach I will increase (b) and (d) until eventually hitting my goal.

Keep those pictures and posts coming weather they are hits or misses.  It’s all part of the process!!