The Key to Successful Fat Loss

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Ok friends- this post is a MUST READ!! It is a repost from one of my coaches and instead of trying to reword this, I found it SO powerful just the way it is. Read. Re-read. Stick this to memory because dietary compliance is the key to success!
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Today’s post isn’t really going to be anything new, but it’s one of those subjects that people need, apparently, constant reminding of when we’re talking about successful fat loss.

I’m talking about dietary adherence; that is basic compliance to your nutritional plan. This is and always will be the KEY to long-term, successful fat loss. I don’t care how hard you train, I don’t care how many metabolic workouts you do, or how much cardio you do, if you can’t nail your diet week in and week out, you’re short changing yourself of results. You’re working hard in the gym for sub-optimal, or in some cases, no, results.

Want great results? Stick to your diet, consistently. Week in and week out. One meal at a time. A simple thing to remember – extraordinary results requires extraordinary efforts.

There’s little that annoys me more as a diet coach than someone who whines and complains about lacklustre results … and then says, something like, “My diet is pretty good, I’m making better choices. Just a few cheats.” Or maybe the person is telling me that they’re bang on with their diet, except for the little nibbles and small extras here and there. What? That’s not bang on in my book. That’s extra. I don’t care how small it is, when ‘small’ is repeated often, it’s no longer small.

Oh you’re hungry? So what? What do you expect? You’re dieting and eating in a caloric deficit. Do you expect to be full? Your hunger level is not an indication of the need for more food. The sooner you ACCEPT this reality, the better off you’ll be. Hungry? No surprise there. You’re starving? No, you’re actually not starving.

Everything counts, big cheats, little cheats, additional this or that, nibbles, it all adds up. Now, hey, that’s all perfectly fine, it’s your choice. But that quote I posted the other day comes up here – choose the behaviour, choose the consequences. It’s fine to fall short of optimal compliance … if you’re willing to accept the results of those choices. If you’re not? Then stop cheating, nibbling or whatever it is that you’re doing that’s off plan. Great results are on the other side waiting for you.

Instant gratification – the mindset of a child isn’t it? The need to satisfy a WANT (not a need), NOW, NOW, NOW. Now, we’ve ALL been there at one point or another; no one is perfect. But when this is a regular occurrence? Well, you forfeit the right to complain and even more so, question why you’re not getting the results you think you should be. How can we assess the effectiveness of any given strategy when it’s not even being given an opportunity to do anything? Delay it and hold off until your scheduled free meal. That food you want now will still be there in three days, don’t worry.

Now, don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying this is easy. In fact, it’s not easy AT ALL, otherwise no one would have issues and we’d all be ripped year round.

But, fat loss is simple once you realize how hard it is. Then you know how much effort, responsibility, planning, creativity, intensity, discipline, thought and control the process is going to take. It is not easy. It is not going to happen from sub-optimal efforts. Only once you accept that will you succeed. This takes work. You have to be willing to put that work in – and by work I mean diet hard!

We often talk about the 90% rule – meaning that you have to be on plan 90% of the time. Well, what if you’re 90% and the results aren’t there? Then perhaps you’re one of those people for whom that’s simply not good enough. I know for me, for example, 90% doesn’t cut it. Until you can week in and week out hit 100%, to truly test things out and see if the extra effort makes the difference for you, then you can’t complain about results. Plans only work to the degree they’re adhered to.

Consider setting process goals instead of just outcome goals. A process goal is “I will follow my diet 100% of the time this week’. And then if you meet your process goals, your outcome goals (i.e. progress) will take care of themselves.

Fat loss is a battle – you versus your body. The key to winning is dietary compliance. Unless you enter the battle field with that strategy in place, you might as well wave the white flag before you even start.

Each person’s success is their responsibility.

Tips to Keep Your Fitness Goals in 2015

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We ALL do it. We swear to ourselves that this year will be different. This time we will actually get in shape and lose any extra weight. But my question to you is this… How is this year different then last year? What is your PLAN this time around? The truth is if you do not have a plan, YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED. You cannot dimly say, “yes, I’ll go into the gym more”. No, it takes a plan, dedication and sacrifice. So here are some tips to help you stick your fitness goals in the new year, and if you need any further guidance on getting a personalized plan, please feel free to reach out!

1. Make Exercise Part of Your Routine

Exercise should be a regular part of your day, not something sporadic. Just as you set aside time for meals, sleep, kids and work, set aside time for exercise.

Pencil it in on your calendar, program it into your smartphone and stick to it just like you would any other important appointment. For best results, you may find that exercising at the same time and on the same days each week (such as first thing in the morning Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) helps you stay on track.

2. Give Yourself Permission to Spend Time on “You”

Many people juggling work and family find it difficult to justify taking time for exercise, as that’s time that could be spent with family, running errands or getting ahead at work. If you fall into this mindset, it’s time to give yourself permission to exercise. If you really want this, then YOU DESERVE IT! You deserve to love yourself.

This “me” time will not only boost your health physically, mentally, and emotionally, but it will provide an excellent example for your children on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you’re not feeling fit and healthy, you won’t be able to take care of the rest of your obligations, or your family, so let go of any feelings of guilt you have about taking time to workout.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Your fitness program should fit in with your lifestyle. This means you may head to the gym three days a week, then spend weekends out riding bikes with your family, ice skating, working in your garden, dancing, or playing sports with friends. Remember that physical fitness is not just about how many minutes you log on the treadmill, it’s a lifestyle that you can tailor to your unique needs and interests.

Keep this in mind when setting your exercise goals; if you know you’ll be miserable jogging at the gym, plan to get your cardio in by jogging around your neighborhood or hitting a challenging hiking trail instead. If you’re someone who likes the stability and convenience of gym equipment, plan more workouts at the gym.

4. Hire a Personal Trainer or Get a Workout Buddy

The beauty of having a personal trainer is not only their expertise in which exercises you need to get the best results … it’s the motivation factor, too. When you set appointments with a trainer, you suddenly have someone to hold you accountable, making it much less likely that you’ll skip out on your workout at the last minute (not to mention that you’ve invested money in it, too).

If a personal trainer is not in your budget, don’t worry. Getting a workout buddy. A friend, family member, or colleague can give you many of the same benefits on the motivation front. When you set up a workout schedule with your buddy, you both act as each other’s personal cheerleaders, encouraging one another to stick with the plan. You can also celebrate your milestones and exercise successes together.

5. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Working out is, well…. work, and there will be times when you’d rather sink into your couch and put your feet up instead of heading to the gym. For these times when motivation is lacking, remember why you’ve committed to your exercise program in the first place: your health. And to be honest… these feelings happen to EVERYONE!! So stop beating yourself up about it.

New research shows that exercise can help you prevent about two-dozen health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, obesity, depression, high blood pressure and dementia. It can even slow down your rate of aging. Plus, exercise will tone your muscles and reduce your body fat, helping you to look great on the outside, and boosting self-esteem in the process.

Just try to get benefits like these from sitting on the couch…

6. Make it Convenient

Exercise really should be an enjoyable part of your day, a time you look forward to and embrace. But keeping this attitude will be difficult if you have to travel a long way to the gym before you even start your workout. You’ll also be much less likely to stay committed if exercising is a hassle.

To make exercise as convenient as possible, pick a gym that is very close to your home or place of work. If you’re a morning exerciser, pack your gym bag the night before so you can grab it and go in the morning. If you exercise after work, bring your bag with you to the office so you can stop at the gym on your way home.

Another great idea if you have the space and budget is to purchase a few key pieces of exercise equipment for your own home, such as an elliptical machine, treadmill, resistance bands or weight set. This is the most convenient option of all, especially if you like working out privately. You can also try a mix of at-home workout DVDs.

7. Fit in Workouts Even on Your “Off” Days

Life is busy, so even with the best intentions your workouts may sometimes get sidetracked by travel, work or kids. Learn to roll with the punches and on the days when you don’t have time for a regular workout, squeeze in some exercises on the sly.

For instance, bring an aerobics DVD with you when you travel so you can workout in your hotel room (or just hit the hotel gym). At the office, exercise at your desk by doing standing push-ups (place both hands flat on your desk, take a few steps back, and push!), or pumping your arms over your head briskly.

You can also do jumping jacks, squats and lunges just about anywhere, or try standing with your back against the wall, then lowering your knees to a 90-degree angle (as though you’re “sitting” in a chair) and holding for 60-90 seconds. You can even keep a set of 5s, 10s, or 20 pound weights near your desk and do some quick bicep curls while making phone calls.

When you’re out with the kids, try jogging a few laps around the playground while the kids play, or putting your little ones in a stroller for a brisk walk. If you’re exercising at home, let your child try to do yoga along with you, or use your infant as your “weight” and lift him over your head to tone your arms or hold him while doing squats to work out your legs.

If you have a new baby, place him flat on the floor and do push-ups over him (with your face over his) while keeping eye contact and making expressive faces.

Many gyms offer childcare services, too, which provide another option.

8. Keep it Fun

You’ll be much more likely to workout if you enjoy it, so incorporate a wide range of activities that appeal to your interests. Try kickboxing or zumba one day, weight training, Pilates, swimming or yoga the next. This will not only keep you from getting bored, it will ensure that you’re working all of your muscle groups and getting both cardio as well as strength-training benefits.

9. Reward Yourself

When you’ve stuck with your exercise plan for a week, a month or more, stop to give yourself a great big pat on the back … or treat yourself to a special treat, like a massage or a new piece of clothing to show off your new fit physique. This will keep exercise in a positive perspective and help you to keep striving to reach your next exercise milestone.

10. Support Your Exercise Habits With a Healthy Lifestyle

As you become more physically active, support your newfound healthy habit by broadening into other positive habits as well. Eating right, getting plenty of sleep and keeping your stress levels to a minimum go hand-in-hand with exercise, and when combined are one of the best “prescriptions” for health and happiness out there.

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Mile High Sports Magazine

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I recently had the honor and privilege to shoot with Don Hales Photography for the Mile High Sports Magazine December issue. This issue featured a dozen of Denver’s NPC female athletes to highlight their physiques and fitness accomplishments. It was has been a crazy year but I couldn’t be happier or more honored. Thank you all for your support and love! 🙂

Mile High Sports Magazine

With my boyfriend at the release party!

Meal Prep Display

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I am writing this post because I wanted to show what a typical Sunday night meal prep looks like for me. It may seem like a lot of work, but it actually only takes about an hour and a half, and once I am done, I will have healthy food for over a week and a half! To me that is completely worth the work. This way, throughout the week, no matter how tired and busy I get, I will always have healthy and pre-prepared food easily accessible at my fingertips.

In addition, I also hard boiled a dozen eggs, pre-trimmed/pre-cut all of my celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers. The key is being prepared. The more you prepare then the less likely you will be fall off the wagon.

So get into the kitchen and get yourself prepared because you CAN succeed!

Strawberry Cheesecake Poptarts

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Who doesn’t remember pop tarts as a child! They were fun easy treats that always sparked immediate excitement. But… like most childhood treats… they are extremely unhealthy and will not lead you to positive physical changes.

But no need to cry… with this recipe, you’ll be able to indulge in your pop tart treats without the negative side effects.

Ingredients:
2 Strawberry Cheesecake Quest Bar
2 Tablespoon of Walden Farms Strawberry Preserves
1/2 Cup fresh cut strawberries

Directions:
1. Roll out the Quest Bar and cut in half
Quest Bars

2. Place strawberry preserves in the center of one of the halves

Walden Farms

3. Place the other half on top and pinch the edges closed with a fork

4. Broil in the oven for 5 minutes (I put my pop tart on a silicone baking mat for easy removal, but you could also spray the pan with pam if you do not own a silicon mat).
Quest Poptarts

5. Once out of the oven, place fresh strawberries on top.

6. Take a bite and be carried back to childhood bliss!

Cookies & Cream Coconut Bark: Quest Style

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I made this a few weeks ago and it was gone so quickly, I couldn’t believe it! This “candy” is great as a treat, snack, or even post-workout refuel because of the high protein content. And the best part…. IT IS SO EASY TO MAKE!

Ingredients:
1 Cup Coconut Butter
2 Cookies & Cream Quest Bar

The key is 1/2 cup of coconut butter to each Quest bar. So if you want to make a smaller or larger batch, depending on your needs, you can adjust accordingly.

Directions:
1. Chop the Quest Bar into small pieces
Cookies & Cream Quest Bar

2. Melt the coconut butter in the microwave. Be careful and go slow! It burns quickly. Cook for a minute, stir, and repeat until it is all smooth. May take a couple of times but worth it so as to not burn it!

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

4. Pour a little of the melted coconut butter onto the cookie sheet, sprinkle pieces of Cookies & Cream Quest bar on top, pour the rest of the coconut butter on top and any additionally Quest Bar pieces.

5. Place the pan into the refrigerator until firm.

6. Remove from fridge, break into pieces, and enjoy!

Coconut Bark!

The Weight of Worrying about the Weight

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Why do we do it to ourselves? We spend hours of our precious time worrying about how much we weigh, what we can do to attain the perfect number on the scale, and anxious about how others perceive our bodies. It is a vicious cycle of self hate and loathing that creates not only emotional and mental stress, but can also keep you from actually loosing weight because you are so stressed out.

The struggles that women, girls and some men experience pertaining to this topic absolutely make my heart ache. It kills me to think of woman and young girls who are beautiful and talented yet have these dark horses hanging over their heads everyday, all day. However, I want you to know that you are not alone. I have struggled with eating disorders since I was 13 and I completely understand the pain, tension, and constant frustration that is at the forefront of your mental energy everyday. Perhaps we all need a reminder or, even more saddening, perhaps we don’t hear it enough, but PLEASE HEAR ME NOW… You are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. Your body, size, shape, age, skin, clothes, eyes, legs, laugh, etc are PERFECT. These are the things that make you unique and make you stand out. We must stop allowing ourselves to try to please everyone in order to fit into a specific mold, because by doing so, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our own mental happiness. There is nothing in this world that is worth your own personal, mental, and emotional happiness. No job, no significant other, no money, etc. If you can not be happy with yourself, then everything else in your life will suffer. You must try to find some inner peace and end this tireless cycle of self hate so that you can be a better partner, mother, father, sister, brother, employee, and overall person.

I understand how it can become so easy to get fixated on a specific number on the scale, but let’s take a moment and step back to look at some facts, because we all need a little reminder to keep things in perspective every now and again. First, and most importantly, weight is JUST a number. It does not define you, at least not if you let it. What should DEFINE YOU is how you FEEL! Are you comfortable in your own skin? Can you keep up with your kids, your friends, and your family in the ways you want? These are the important things in life, not what one arbitrary numerical reading on a scale says about you. That number you see on the scale can be a result of SO many factors including, salt intake, hormones, water retention, STRESS, and sleep… to name a few. The scale should be used by doctors but for your purposes, you are not doing yourself ANY favors by torturing yourself by getting on that scale everyday. Has stepping on that scale ever produced a positive emotion? The answer is probably no, and even if it is “yes”, what did you have to do and sacrifice in life to get there? Was it worth it? If one of your friends was constantly calling you names, telling you you were fat and ugly, and physically hitting you… would you still be her friend? I can tell you the answer to that….. HELL NO!! You would not put up with that crap. So then why…. when the world will be harsh enough as it is…. why in the world are you doing something that causes you so much pain, anxiety, and frustration. Why are you beating up on yourself? I know this is easier said then done, but you have got to stop. Life is too short to be in a constant battle with yourself. And it’s exhausting! Wouldn’t you rather be exhausted from a serious game of hide-and-go-seek with your adorable grandchildren, or exhausted from a overnight backpacking trip with great friends in the mountains, than be exhausted from mentally abusing yourself?

In addition, what kind of role model are you being for your those you love and care most about in your life? What if say, your daughter or granddaughter, were feeling this intense hate and anger towards their bodies that you are feeling towards yours? What would you say to consul them? When you take a moment to leave your head, and you see it happening in other women or girls, you realize just how silly it truly is. We beat ourselves up to get a number on a little machine that we have deemed “acceptable” and “worthy”. But in reality, NO ONE CARES but you. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own battles, that your number on a scale doesn’t even cross their minds. While you may think that loosing “that extra 10 pounds” may really make you stand out.. the honest and nasty truth is.. the majority of people probably won’t even notice. People are SO wrapped up into themselves that other’s struggles are often gone unnoticed.

So then, what DO people notice? People notice when others are happy, self-fulfilled, and fill a room with a certain, and often unexplainable, positive energy. Before losing weight and being skinny, the thing people want the most in life is to be happy. Have a good life. Have a loving family and support system. And let me tell you something, YOU HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS. You should radiant the second you walk into a room. You should be thankful to have an outstandingly beautiful family who loves and would fight for you to the end of the earth. And I am not saying everything is going to be peachy all the time, but that’s why you need to save your energy. Save your energy to fight the good battles, and let go of this battle with yourself that is producing NO POSITIVE RESULTS. You are too wonderful to keep spending so much mental energy and time on such an unimportant thing.

YOU ARE WONDERFUL. YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. Accept yourself, love yourself, and stop worrying about the weight. What will be, will be. Keep focusing on getting stronger for the truly important things in life, because THAT is what is will make you bone-deep happy. I feel your pain and I feel your struggle, but you CAN get through this. Patience, my sweet friends.

Vipr Training: Vitality, Performance, and Reconditioning

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The Vipr an amazing workout tool that allows you to work your body in all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse) which in turn, improves overall strength and cardiovascular endurance. The Vipr was designed to mimic everyday functional actives such as lifting up a heavy box, ice skating with friends, or carrying a baby on one hip. The Vipr is designed to take into account all the movement and energy everyday life and/or sports demand.

Movement is essential to training healthy and well performing bodies. The more we move in dynamic ways, using our full body in training programs, the better we feel. Adding weight to movement gives the body a double benefit – we learn to move better, and become stronger and fitter at the same time.

When using the Vipr, every time you move, you are integrating almost all of the bodies musculature to produce force. Therefore, every exercise becomes a core exercise, every exercise becomes a strength exercise, and every exercise becomes an agility exercise.

Loaded Movement Training effectively challenges and conditions muscle, fascia, nerves, skin and other systems of the body. Science shows that moving with load improves balance, agility and dynamic strength, to reach goals such as weight management, improved functionality in all aspects of life, and enhanced performance in every level of sport.

So whether you are a novice exerciser or a professional athlete, the Vipr has something to offer you. It is a powerful tool, that when used correctly and paired with regular gym workouts, will produce amazing results.