We went from teaching boot camps in a beauty salon, Lions Club, SportsCom, church gym, and now our own private studio. We’ve added several new certifications to our profiles, added more trainers, added new programs, and have laughed a lot every minute in between.
It is our 8th Anniversary of transforming bodies and minds in the Middle Tennessee area. We have had the privilege of meeting with hundreds of men and women throughout the years; many which are still with us. We couldn’t love what we do more!!!
We have learned many new things from each and every one of our clients during this time.
Thank you for trusting in us over the years with your insecurities, secrets, weaknesses and allowing us to help you overcome the obstacles. Whether you have been a private training client, a boot camper, small group client, or just followed our social media feed throughout the years- we appreciate you all.
We are looking forward to what new adventures we will be blessed with in the next 8 years. I am so grateful for this path I have been on because I love helping others as I was once one of those women who was intimidated by the gym and feared lifting heavy weights. I absolutely love watching the transformations not just physically but mentally as well. Check out some of our past transformations.
Thank you so much for your loyalty,
Transformations 4 Life
Pasta is one of those dishes that is easy to rack up the calories with. Most dishes do NOT include just one serving. But what if I told you that with a few variations you could slice those calories from approximately 221 to just 42? What if I also added that you could drop the carbohydrate content from 43 grams a serving to just 10 grams of carbs? Oh yes it is possible!!! What if I also promised that you wouldn’t sacrifice taste at all????? Now don’t be scared to try something new like I was. I told clients about this substitution for pasta but was afraid to try it myself, until one day a client was bragging about how great it was. So I thought “I gotta put my big girl pants on and try it, I wish I didn’t wait so long. Here are the steps to making your own incredible dish of Spaghetti Squash, I promise you will love it. I made it for lunch yesterday and enjoyed the leftovers this morning for my 4 am breakfast!!! Yum Yum!!!
Ingredients: lean meat spaghetti squash (found in produce section) sauce of your liking Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut 4 small ventilation holes throughout the squash
3. Place in microwave for about 2 minutes; This will help soften the squash to make it easier to cut.
4. Cut squash in 1/2 lengthwise. 5. Place on foiled pan face down for 30 minutes.
6. If using meat for the protein source, start cooking it now. I have used lean turkey, lean beef, and turkey provolone sausage (all from www.uswellnessmeats.com- whom I highly recommend).
7. Also start cooking your sauce ( you can use a jar of sauce, watch the sugar content or make your own). I choose to chop up some tomatoes, add a small can of tomato sauce, some basil, garlic, and frozen chopped spinach and shimmer while the squash and meat were cooking.)
8. When squash is finished, grab a spoon (a fork will dig into the rind too far for this step) gently remove the seeds.
9. Now for the fun part- grab a medium size bowl and a fork. Scrape out all the insides (careful though squash will be hot). Scrape thoroughly right down to the rind . Don~t be bashful here.
10. Mix protein and sauce together and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese if desired and Voila!!!
Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed and if you have already given into the temptations of that sugary substance- Christmas isn’t going to get any better. This is the time of year where we are faced with weekly if not daily temptations of fudgy goodness, Christmas Cookie exchange parties, work Christmas parties, family Christmas parties, gatherings, baked goods brought into the office, testing out new recipes for the office, and so on and so on. Once in awhile this isn’t a bad thing, but if you have already starting packing away the pounds in October, December is going to be a doosey and you will be left holding the button off your jeans in your hand.
How are you going to get back on track so you can ring in the New Year without ringing in a bigger pair of pants?
- Remind yourself of what your goals are? How does the second piece of pie make you feel? Will the second helping bring you any more satisfaction that the first slice didn’t ? Will you feel good about it after you eat it? The truth is probably not! Instead, I bet your going to feel guilty, bloated, sleepy, and reaching for the Tums.
- We are all guilty of reaching our weight loss goals only to start giving in to the old habits, thinking we have more control now! Hogwash!!! A wise man once said, “gaining weight isn’t a reward for losing weight” so don’t try to brainwash yourself into thinking otherwise. Don’t reward yourself with food, “Well I have lost 20 pounds and have been so good I deserve that dessert. Isn’t that the type of thinking that got you to the 20 pounds in the first place?
- Couldn’t you say no to that temptation and instead replace it with a healthier option and maybe just have a small taste? This way you fill up on nutrients that actually contribute something to your health and satisfy your taste buds with just a small lady like bite. Now isn’t that much better?
- If you know the goodies are in the lunchroom, then go somewhere else. Try eating outside today or taking a nice lunch time walk around the building, once you put in a little time exercising chances are you will no longer want the bad stuff.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to give it once and awhile. However, what I want you to come to terms with is that our “once in whiles” are becoming an “all of the time” event. 80-90% of the time you should be enjoying the finer things in life like good clean protein sources and healthy fruits and vegetables and yes I meant ENJYOYING!!! Healthy food shouldn’t be a chore, you should actually enjoy providing your body with the nutrients it needs to grow and recover. You need to get to the point where you crave the good stuff more than the bad and the only way that is going to happen is by changing your mindset and eating more of the good in place of the bad. Trust me, it will become second nature to say no to a brownie when your body is craving an orange and it will happen if you allow it to.
Enjoy your office party but enjoy the socializing more than the food… Enjoy how you feel in that special dress more than you do in your favorite pair of sweat pants. Enjoy the spring in your step more than the extra cup of coffee…. Embrace health and the rest is just fluff on top.
By Julie Wilcoxson, CPt
Welcome to the “Haters Club”. I know many of you have muttered these words when asked to do a push up. We all hate them because we can’t do them. Simply put, you hate what you need most. Remember that…..
Think about it for a second, if you could knock out 50 pushups, then it wouldn’t bother you, you wouldn’t “hate it” anymore. So start doing the things you hate so that you can improve on them and learn to love them. Push Ups are awesome, they work just about every muscle in the body and if you want to shape up those shoulders and arms, well then get down and give me 20 ladies.
This isn’t an exercise for men only either; this is one of the best compound movements you can add to your exercise routine. What better way to tone up- Pushups require no space, no equipment, no financial investment, no planning, no thinking- you just get down and go for it. Hey, and no girlie pushups either. I am NOT a fan!!! If you cannot perform a pushup on your toes, then go to a wall or a table or chair, but please don’t drop to your knees. The reason I don’t like the “girlie” pushups is because if you resort to performing them on your knees, you will never challenge yourself to get off your knees. However, if you’re on a wall or chair- you are going to want to get off those modifications and challenge yourself more by hitting the toes. Trust me!!!
We all have things in our life that we are not excited about doing, but usually that is what we need the most. When my clients cry about burpees or pushups- guess what they will see in their workout every week.. Yep, you guessed it Burpees and Pushups; (some clients take a little longer to catch on). So when faced with that challenge, that exercise you don’t want to it, instead of skipping it or giving it only 25%, go after it FIRST, smile and recognize that this is what you need and this is what is going to bring you results.
So no more excuses, now get after it!!!
Those who know me know that I don’t follow fads of any kind. I believe in following the research and the scientific proof that backs it up. I have followed the typical “clean eating” diet for over a decade and have done well on it until the last 4 years it is then that I started looking for a better way of eating.
I was tired of being tired all the time even though I was refueling my body every 3 hours with a source of lean protein, complex carb (starch), and a fruit or vegetable. I had mood swings as it got close to that 3rd hour, and I didn’t have the kind of energy that I felt I should with working out 5-6 days a week, eating clean, and sleeping 7-8 hours a night. There had to be more!!
Enter The Paleo Diet! The short answer is YES it is extremely healthy and anyone can follow it. It takes a little patience in the beginning as you change your way of thinking about food. Our ancestors ate this way during the Paleolithic Age over 10,000 years ago and they were some of the healthiest people on the planet. Research shows that they didn’t suffer from the massive dental cavities and other issues we face. Obesity and weight issues were none existent; their diet consisted of what was naturally grown or available through hunting and gathering including:
- Nuts and Seeds
There were no hydrogenated oils (Trans Fats), or added sugars, preservatives, or carbs (starches). I know many of you are questioning the animal protein part since we have been convinced that saturated fat is bad for us. Trust me, I understand I believed it myself for years. However, science has caught up with us and has proven that saturated fat is not bad for us it is the hydrogenated oils that cause the heart disease. I will caution you though to know where you meat comes from; don’t buy the cheapest grain fed cuts, aim for grass fed, organic, no hormones added meats.
By eliminating the carbohydrates such as flour, oats, rice, grains, etc you are eliminating some of the most harmful ingredients in the Standard American Diet (aka the SAD diet) sugar, processed oils, and gluten. This also promotes good blood sugar control and increases insulin sensitivity and reserves insulin resistance; HDL (good cholesterol) increases and LDL (Bad cholesterol) decreases, and weight decreases.
Need more proof- what do you get from eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables? High amounts of micronutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and lots of fiber which all contributes to a healthy digestive system. You remove all the preservatives and you have a healthier liver. By adding healthy fats into your diet you are balancing out the Omega 3-6 ratio. Most Americans are too heavy in Omega 6 fatty acid, which creates inflammation and contributes to heart disease.
So you see living a Paleo lifestyle is not only healthy but it provides optimal wellness. You’re not missing anything by changing the way you eat, unless you want to count the extra fat around your waist line, the gluten that your body cannot process, or the toxins you are eating daily from all the added preservatives.
But hey don’t take my word for it—check out these books and some of my favorite websites for more information.
- http://www.primal-palate.com/2010/12/banana-bread.html for the best recipes
- The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
- The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolff
If you are a frequent reader of my blog you know that I have been eating a Paleo based diet for nearly four months now. I have to say the benefits have been numerous. I basically removed all traces of grains, vegetable oils, and processed foods out of my diet. Now that me say that I have been eating a “clean diet” for over ten years. The last four years since being diagnosed with PCOS- (after gaining 30 lbs in a few months without changing my diet), I was annoyed that I couldn’t get my body to change. After seeing doctors, specialists, endocrinologists that just wanted to put me on medications that affected my blood pressure and moods (weight still never budged more than a couple of lbs).
My personal story on discovering The Paleo Diet was when I was training for a figure competition. Depsite struggling with my weight and low self esteem (common symptoms of PCOS), the last month of the strict dieting allowed my body to start changing, I had more energy, was sleeping better, my skin was glowing, and I felt fantastic; which those of you who have ever competed is opposite of what most feel during the very strict dieting phase. Without the grains and increase in the healthy fats, my body was functioning like it was meant to and I felt wonderful.
As soon as I went back to eating “clean” again, the weight came back and I felt sluggish all over again. I researched everything I could about PCOS and how diet affects the body and blood glucose. Paleo was mentioned time and time again so I researched the diet in science and nutrition journals, read books on the subject (I am a big time research geek), and decided to just do it right then and there and have never looked back. I took all processed foods even though I wasn’t really eating any, took out of forms of sugar (artificial, refined, Natural), took out all processed vegetable oils, dairy, and grains for 30 days. In just a couple of days I lost 3 lbs but continued to increase my lean body mass, after a week, I felt stronger, had more energy, and woke up at 5:30 every morning without the use of my alarm clock.
Since it was working so well for me I decided to keep going with it, eating lots of vegetables, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, lean meat, fruits, and water- I continued to see results on a weekly basis; I even learned that I have an intolerance for cashews, peanut butter (ate this almost everyday), and can tolerate just small amounts of dairy. My bloating vanished, I had no more stomach discomfort, and my energy has been explosive. My workouts are more intense, I sleep better and I have lost over 11” over my body in only 8 weeks time. It was so impressive that my husband jumped on board and he gained lean body mass, lost 19 lbs, gained strength and bouts of eczema went away after years of suffering.
My clients have experienced the same benefits from eating this way. The first 30 days is a challenge, but you have to be committed and give it your best, will you falter; probably it is to be expected, but just pick yourself up and keep at it. You will never look back.
Where are you with your health? What direction are you headed? How will you get to your goals? Many of us are walking around in circles undoing all our good intentions. Did you have a healthy grilled chicken salad for lunch only to pick up dinner at a drive thru? Did you set your alarm to get up earlier to do that cardio session only to skip breakfast? If this sounds like you, then read on. You only have one body and one mind, don’t you think it’s about time you put it as a priority in your life? Forget all the crazy infomercials you’ve seen or the nutty Hollywood diets you’ve read about. Life is not about quick fixes and your health is no different. I know you’ve heard the saying, “You didn’t put the weight on overnight and you’re not going to lose it overnight” This is the truth!!! You have to give your body time to trust that you are going to take care of it. When you’ve spent endless hours feeding your body nothing but crap, skipping meals, missing workouts, sitting on the couch surfing through television channels, staying up late, and stressing out- your body is going to lash out. How can you expect your body to be a smaller size, free of illness, with boundless energy treating it that way? It’s simply not going to happen!!! Take the time to provide your body with the TLC it deserves. Don’t think for one minute because you’re not in pain now, skinny, or without disease that this will be the case forever. The longer you take your health and body for granted the more time it has to get its revenge against you. Get in tune with yourself. How many times have you grabbed a pair of jeans out of your closet only to fight to zip it up and thought to yourself, “How did these get tight?” Really?? Do you really wonder how? Chips, soda, and the couch do not make up a healthy lifestyle. What did you think was going to happen? Did you know that 1 lb of fat = 3500 extra calories? That’s a lot of forgotten calories and I am assuming most of you have more than just a single pound to lose. So how do you get your life back under control? You schedule in some “ME” Time. You don’t have to take 2 hours either, simply 30-45 minutes most days of the week and a little prep time in your diet and you are on your way to a healthy, vibrant new you. Let’s do something together, shall we? First I want you to think of the fitness goal that you would like to reach. It could be to lose 10 lbs of body fat, to fit into a smaller healthier size, to be more energetic, to eat healthier, to lower your cholesterol, to cure your sleep disorder, to breathe easier, etc. Whatever it may be, I want you to vision it. That’s right; don’t feel silly, no one is watching you. Close your eyes and really picture yourself standing in that mirror in that new fit slimmer outfit! Can you feel the self confidence rising? Can you see how others are looking at you? Can you see yourself walking up a flight of stairs more easily? Can you feel how proud you are, how about your walk? I bet your strutting just a little bit more? How does your significant other react to you now? How do your friends and co workers treat you? How good do you feel now that you have achieved your fitness goals? This is the vision you need to keep in your mind. You have to feel it in order to make it a reality.
By Mary Vance | February 2, 2011
You’re a conscious eater, right? You stay away from those refined, bleached flours and eat only organic, whole grains because you’ve heard that’s good for you. Maybe you’re even buying gluten free flours or gluten free breads and products because you avoid gluten. What if I told you that the organic flour you’re using is cross-contaminated with genetically modified organisms or that the processing of today’s grains has denatured the proteins, yielding brand new “super toxins” and a grain supply with a different and higher protein content than ever before? That the grains we’re eating now in the U.S. certainly aren’t our parents’ grains. Our bodies don’t recognized the denatured toxins and proteins from processing (even in the organic grains, which have been cross-bred and contaminated), causing an immune reaction and inflammatory response. Your body sees “foreign invader” and mounts an immune attack when you eat such foods. Too much immune misfiring causes major problems, like auto-immune disease, for one. What this basically means is that our grain supply has been altered since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the inflammation all grains–from wheat to brown rice–are causing is contributing to a rise in autism, auto-immune disease, IBS, Crohn’s, brain lesions, pancreatitis, Type 1 diabetes, and thyroiditis. Grains contain lectins, which are difficult to digest and contribute to the inflammation I keep talking about. There is mounting and compelling research about the increasing rates of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and the resulting auto-immune issues that are part of a complex inflammatory reaction known as leaky gut. Leaky gut results from an inflamed digestive tract (from eating foods that cause inflammation, like gluten and dairy and grains and other processed foods) and causes an increased immune response and an increase in the development of food allergies. Because the protein portion of grains have changed and are largely similar to one another, those reacting to gluten may react to other grains such as quinoa, rice, corn, and even potato. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance both are genetically passed through families and are increasing at a staggering rate–and because those folks are already highly sensitive to gluten, they are predisposed to be sensitive to all grains and can experience intestinal damage from eating even gluten free grains. Eating gluten free may not be enough–we have to start looking at eating grain free. Just FYI, grains include wheat, white flour, rye, teff, spelt, barley, oats, corn, rice, quinoa, millet. amaranth, kamut, buckwheat, and so on. If this sounds scary, I understand. It’s because our food culture is based largely on the USDA food pyramid which is built on a platform of grains: Listed and pictured are whole wheat, bagels, pasta, rice, cereal, oats. The Department of Agriculture wants us to eat the top agricultural crops in this country and foods processed from them: wheat, soy, corn, and other whole grains. Farmers are subsidized to grow these crops, and the food industry, dominated by giants like Monsanto and Con Agra, makes big bucks from processing these foods into the cereals, bagels, pastas, snacks, crackers, and chips we’re being fed as part of a smart choice and a “healthy whole grain diet.” The more I study this stuff, the more I realize that is the biggest oxymoron we’re being fed, so to speak. Look, as humans, we’ve only been eating grains for about 10,000 years, which means they are a pretty recent addition to our food supply. We really did evolve to eat a Paleolithic diet–one filled with plants and meat. We thrive on a plant-based diet (with no processed foods, no corn syrup, no soy protein isolate) and high quality organic meats and veggies. Our bodies are simply not designed to process a high grain or processed food-based diet. Greens and veggies and fruits provide us with the antioxidants and fiber and minerals we need, while meat gives us protein, amino acids, essential fatty acids, zinc and iron we need. Obviously the vegan backlash argument says that meat is bad for our environment and factory farming is bad for animals. No doubt about it. I argue that the processing of grains and fake foods in labs is not only bad for our environment but also our bodies. Obesity and diabetes rates have never been higher, because we are being fed the same diet that is used to fatten cows–grains! Not to mention corn syrup and other artificial ingredients in processed food. Obviously eating local & from small family farms with humanely raised meat is key. Consider even joining or starting a community supported agriculture meat project or a cow, lamb, or pig share. But what about the USDA and Kraft foods telling me all over their products that whole grains reduce diabetes and cholesterol? Listen, we wouldn’t have an epidemic of diabetes if we weren’t eating so many grains! Especially processed grains which are denatured, stored in plastic (which increases mold and toxins) and enriched with sugar and other crap. And I don’t take my nutrition advice from an industry trying to sell me their products. The fact is, adding veggies, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fruits will provide you plenty of fiber that binds up toxins in the gut and reduces the bad cholesterol load in the body. You can expect to hear more about this from me. I am seeing more and more clients with sugar and carb sensitivity who suffer from sugar cravings, mood swings, and alcoholism. A grain free diet has liberated them from this roller coaster. Of course it’s challenging at first and feels restrictive, but there is a world of foods to explore out there, and it becomes second nature (I know this because I have generally been eating grain free for over a year now and gluten free for over four years!) I also have clients with intestinal problems who thrive when they remove not only gluten but all grains. They add in extra healthy FATS to heal their digestive tract. Did you know that eating too much sugar and too many grains actually raises cholesterol, not healthy fat? That’s another story for another time.
A new study shows that an Atkins-type high-fat diet is more effective for weight loss than a standard high-carb low-fat diet. In this study, presented Friday at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Denver, researchers assigned 55 men and women who were overweight or obese to either a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet. The participants were all people with a waist circumference of 35” (women) or 40” (men), considered to be a measure of abdominal obesity and a good marker for both insulin resistance and heart disease risk. Both groups did the identical amount of exercise: moderate endurance training (brisk walking) plus weight lifting, approximately 30 minutes a day three days a week. Both groups reduced their baseline calories by exactly the same amount: 750 calories. Then the researchers waited to see how long it would take each group to lose ten pounds. The high-carb low-fat group lost ten pounds over the course of 70 days. The low-carb high-fat group, on the other hand, lost ten pounds in just 45 days. “It took people less time to lose 10 pounds” on a high-fat diet-and-exercise program, about 45 days on average, than the 70 days it took for those who exercised and followed a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet constructed using guidelines from the American Heart Association, said Kerry J. Stewart, director of clinical and research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the report. But that’s not the whole story. For years, the standard “rap” on low carbohydrates has been that though they may be fine for quick weight loss, they’re unsafe, dangerous and increase the risk for heart disease. After all, how could eating all that fat (animal and otherwise) and protein possibly be good for you? How indeed. The myth that low-carb, high-fat increases the risk for heart disease has continued despite study after study that shows no such thing. This study looked at a specific measure of artery health (a blood pressure cuff test that measures the ability of healthy vessels to dilate). On the “healthy artery” test, both groups had identical results. There was no evidence of any harmful vascular effects from the low-carb, high-fat diet,” said Kerry Stewart, PhD, lead researcher on the study. The low-carb dieters consumed 55 percent fat at the beginning, and phased down to about 40 percent. About 15 percent of their diet came from carbs initially, and then went up to 40 percent. The other dieters followed the American Heart Association’s low-fat diet, with no more than 30 percent fat a day. Interestingly, Dr. Stewart- the lead researcher- had good reason to want to investigate a low-carb diet. He himself tried it several years ago, along with a program of exercise. He’s lost 40 pounds (and kept it off), and “continues to ace” his measures of arterial health.
The link between high-carb diets and the risk for breast cancer is an emerging research concern. The following article– abridridged from the original by AP medical writer Marilynn Marchione– explains the connection.
Eating Lots of Carbs May Raise The Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Shows
High-carb diets may increase more than just waistlines. New research suggests they might raise the risk of breast cancer.
Women in Mexico who ate a lot of carbohydrates were more than twice as likely to get breast cancer than those who ate less starch and sugar, scientists found.
The study is hardly the last word on the subject, but it is one of the few to examine how the popular but controversial low-carb diet craze might affect the odds of getting cancer, as opposed to its effects on cholesterol and heart disease.
The new findings also don’t mean that it is safe or healthful to eat lots of meat, cheese or fats, as many people who go on low-carb diets do, experts say.
“There are many concerns with eating diets high in animal fat,” said Dr. Walter Willett, chief of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “If people do want to cut back on carbohydrates, it’s really important to do it in a way that emphasizes healthy fats, like salads with salad dressings.”
Willett worked on the study with doctors at Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica in Cuernavaca, Mexico. It was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ministry of Health of Mexico, and the American Institute for Cancer Research. Results were published Friday in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Fats, fiber and specific foods have long been studied for their effects on various types of cancer, but few firm links have emerged. Being overweight is known to raise risk, but the new study took that into account and still found greater risk from high carbohydrate consumption.
Scientists think carbs may increase cancer risk by rapidly raising sugar in the blood, which prompts a surge of insulin to be secreted. This causes cells to divide and leads to higher levels of estrogen in the blood, both of which can encourage cancer.
A study earlier this year suggested that high-carb diets modestly raised the risk of colon cancer. Little research has been done on their effect on breast cancer, and results have been mixed. One study last year found greater risk among young women who ate a lot of sweets, especially sodas and desserts.
For this study, researchers enrolled 475 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and a comparison group of 1,391 healthy women in Mexico City who were matched for age, weight, childbirth trends and other factors that affect the odds of getting the disease.
Women filled out a lengthy food questionnaire developed by Willett and widely used in nutrition studies, and were divided into four categories based on how much of their total calories came from carbohydrates.
Those in the top category — who got 62 percent or more of their calories from carbs — were 2.22 times more likely to have breast cancer than those in the lowest category, whose carb intake was 52 percent or less of their diet.
“The findings do raise concern about the possible adverse effects of eating lots of carbohydrates,” especially for people who have diabetes, insulin resistance or are overweight, Willett said.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that.” Earl Nightingale
Have you ever taken a road trip without a map or a plan of directions on how you would reach your desitation? Maybe if you wanted to get lost? So why is it that so many people treat life as if it were meant to be lived blindly. How can you reach your goals if you never took the time to set any? If you are just sitting back and wishing and praying the things you want out of life will magically fall into your lap, I gotta ask you, How’s that working for ya?”
Life doesn’t work that way, ladies. Life is all about what you put into it. You have to set goals in order to look back and say, Wow, my life was a wonderful ride. In order to set goals you have to know what it is you want to achieve. What are you looking to do. Be Specific about it. Write your intentions in detail. What is it that you want? You need to answer the 5 W’s, Who, What, Where, When, and Why. Do you want to lose 10 lbs in the next 2 months? Or place in a 5k race this Fall? Have more energy? Whatever it is then write it down.
Don’t just write it on the back of a piece of scrap paper either, put it somewhere that you can look at it numerous times throughout the day. I like to keep copies of mine, on my computer, my phone, and a copy in my wallet. This way I can look at it no matter where I am throughtout my busy day. You need to always be reminded of your goals. Just like our road trip, your goal repersents your desination.
Always state your goals in a postive present tense. Such as, “I am so happy now that I workout 5 days a week and choose healthy, frequent meals..” Remember the subconscious mind doesn’t know past, present, or future, so use the present tense and your mind will help you make it a reality. MEASUREABLE GOALS. Don’t just write it down and walk away thinking it will happen on it’s own. You have to truly believe it will happen. Feel the emotions! When you lose those 20 lbs, how will you feel? What kind of compliments will you receive? How will people react to you? FEEL THEM NOW!!! Use set dates, times, amounts. By what date would you like to reach this particular goal? Is it 4 weeks from now, 2 months, a year? Write it down.
So now your goal changes to, “I am so happy that on July 10 I am 20 pounds lighter and now I have so much energy.” Be prescise about your date. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them. Set Attainable Goals None of this unrealistic junk, I want to lose 20 pounds by next Friday for the office party. They need to be real attainable goals.
This is not wishful thinking, this is setting a real, measureable, attainable promise to yourself. You are giving yourself your word that you will make this goal happen by a certain date. This is where you figure out your plan of action. You should always keep promises that you make to yourself, it is counter productive if you are constantly putting yourself last or breaking self promises. Realistic Goals back to what I said earlier, set goals that are realtic for you.
Goals that you are willing and able to work towards. If it is fat loss that you are after, keep in mind, it takes 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. So realistically speaking do not set a goal of losing 50 pounds in a 30 day time frame. This is not going to happen. The safest way to lose fat is at 1-2 pounds a week. So take it slowly to ensure you are losing fat and you will keep it off for good. Tangbile You must truly believe you can accomlish these goals. They must be solid!
Do not allow yourself or anyone else get in your way of reaching your S.M.A.R.T goals. Write them down in a place you will revisit on a daily basis. The best way to really set goals is to give yourself the first 5 waking minutes to review them, re read them again at lunch, and again make them the last thing you read before you go to bed. Allow your dreams to focus on the feelings of achieving them.
Believe in your heart and soul that you will reach them, feel every emotion, go through the steps vividly in your mind. See yourself putting in the time and effort needed in able to reach them.
“Food is neither a reward nor a punishment; it is simply a necessity for life”—Julie Wilcoxson.
Research tells us that our reactions are tied to two powerful emotions: One is Pleasure and the Second is Pain. Which emotion steers you into action? Do you react more quickly when faced with a painful situation such as finding a new job due to a layoff, going back to school to get a promotion, or losing weight because the doctor said “do or die”? Or do you react from pleasure such as getting into shape because you found that special man and want to be active with him, pushing yourself harder in the gym because your blood work was so fantastic and you want to keep it that way, or do you make changes because you are so happy with your life that you know this is the perfect time to reach even higher?
Our emotions really do prompt us into action or non action. It predicts whether we stay or leave, want or don’t want, change or don’t change. I know many of you have found yourself elbow high in a carton of ice cream after a breakup or bad day at work. Right?? You were driven by the emotion of pain. You experienced a bad situation so you wanted to feel good and at the time you felt the ice cream would provide that immediate satisfaction. So you were prompted into action by pain and you sought after something that would provide you with pleasure.
If your emotions are that powerful why don’t you use them to drive you further within your life? We are filled with many good intentions; remember that song by Randy Travis, “The Road is Paved with Good Intentions”? The lyrics are so very true. We intend to lose weight, we intend to look for a better job, we intend to start taking our health seriously, we intend to get out of a bad relationship; however the truth is we usually do not act until he situation forces us to out of pain. We wait until the pain is so unbearable or it scares us to death that we finally react to seek pleasure or release.
You may be asking why I am telling you all of this when talking about Fat Loss. My reasoning is, I want you to understand that unless you get your life under control with your stress level, nutrition, and exercise regime your life will be lived in pain. One day your test results will come back in a negative manner. They will show years of abuse to your body, lack of exercise, overrating the wrong foods, and stressing over uncontrollable issues for years on end. All of these factors have a HUGE impact on your body and mind and they all eventually catch up. I am not all about just dieting and exercise so you look good in a pair of jeans ladies. I am all about the whole package. I want to see you live long, healthy, active lives and I want you to raise healthy, active, aware children. I would love to see the obesity rates start to decline and sports and activities increase. I want to see children playing ball at the park and families out riding bikes on a beautiful afternoon. I want to see produce sales rise and processed foods no longer on the shelves, I want the sales of computer games to decline as well and bike sales to go through the roof.
We have this power! We are in control of what we bring in our homes and what we keep out. We are responsible for the health of our children! Yes, US! You and me; there is no one else to blame but ourselves. Your child is not overweight because he doesn’t like sports. He’s overweight because you are bringing the junk into the house.
That’s the plain and simple truth! Sure maybe he likes the donuts and the hotdogs, but it doesn’t mean he needs to have it. Maybe he doesn’t like playing outside when it’s hot, but I bet if you went out there and joined him, he would forget about the heat and enjoy it much more. We have to reverse our thinking and start looking at who we can blame for our own actions and shortcomings. We need to start looking at ourselves and changing the things we can. Who cares if Cheetos are buy one get one free this week. WHO CARES??? Don’t buy them, get some grapes instead. Bake some homemade healthy muffins, sneak some dried fruit in them. Think raw unprocessed and unrefined when you’re in the grocery store. You’re not going to find it in the middle aisles either, shop the perimeter where the fresh foods are.
Produce, get to know the produce employees- ask questions, what’s in season, how do I pick out a peach, what good recipes do you have for spinach leaves, etc. Ask them, they would love to help you. Talk to the person behind the glass in the meat department, what cut of beef is the leanest, how do I tell if it’s grass fed, do you have any good spices you recommend.” Ask, again they would love to help you. Same with the seafood department, so you don’t like the taste of fish, ask them about different ones they can recommend. I mean I don’t like going to the dentist, but I do it anyway, why? Because it’s good for my dental health and I would like to keep my own teeth.
Start using the power of your emotions to aid you in a positive direction before it HAS to be done. Do what needs to be done RIGHT NOW! Don’t want until you have to because your life depends on it. I’m here to tell you, your life depends on it now. Your health needs to be top priority.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
Most of you have probably heard, read, or had someone tell you about the importance of positive thinking. I’m here to tell you, everything you have ever heard about the subject is completely, 100 %, utterly TRUE! This is the biggest secret to prosperity in your life. It really isn’t about self confidence, it is about positive thinking.
With positive thinking comes your self confidence. Allow me to explain. If you are a negative thinker, you’re probably quick to see the bad side of all things, the injustices towards yourself. In other words, you don’t even see the glass is half empty- it’s just empty to you. When a friend or coworker is trying to provide a solution to you, you are the one who is quicker than lightning explaining ALREADY why it won’t work. Do you know any of these types of people?
Maybe you are one of these types. On the other side of the spectrum you have the positive thinkers. This type of person can be rather annoying to the negative thinkers. They usually have a smile on their face, their quick to find the lesson out of difficult situations; they put a positive spin on it and move on. They come up with solutions to most issues in life instead of worrying, they always see the glass as half full, they think life is FUN and exciting and they look forward to each new action in life.
These are the type of people who are the so called “life of the party”. They don’t sit and wait for the door of opportunity to open, they find their own opening. They set goals and hold themselves accountable to reaching them. Do you know any of these types of people? Maybe you are one of these types? I can identify with both; I used to be a negative thinker, in fact, one of my best friends, used to call me “B Negative.”
Man that used to make me so mad because I didn’t think I was like that. Maybe, that is where you are right now. Maybe you just can’t see how negative you are but others can. I suggest, ask your dearest most trustworthy friend to really be honest and tell you if they see you as a positive person or a negative person. It took me a lot of studying on the subject, removing negative influences from my circle, and surrounding myself with more positive, healthy influences, before I changed my entire way of thinking. It didn’t happen overnight, it still takes practice.
I admit, I still have moments when I beat myself up, but now I know how to recognize it and change it around. You see, you will never attract the wonderful pleasures in life if you are a negative thinker? How could you possibly bring in life’s gifts if you don’t feel blessed already? When I feel down due to not getting that new client to change or that big “break” I thought I deserved so much, I take a minute to think about all the blessings I have in life.
There are so many people on this planet that would love to be living my life, due to all the misfortunes they are facing in theirs. Yes, I have PCOS, I hate that I have to live my life with this title, I hate that I have to work out so much harder, and that I can’t sit down and eat a bowl of pasta like a majority of other people. However, on the other side of the coin, look at the beautiful platform that I have been given.
I can reach women who are suffering from this dreaded illness. I can relate to them and educate them on how they can still transform their lives and live a beautiful and healthy life. I am a healthy MOTHER of 2 beautiful, smart, and healthy daughters, I am married to the man of my dreams, I live in a beautiful home, and I am able to transform lives for a living. HOW BLESSED AM I? Am I really going to allow one bad hand that I have been dealt wipe out all the blessings I have? Heck no and I truly hope you can see that too. Let me tell you a short story. When my daughters were babies, they would get tired of being in the car while I ran around town running errands and they would cry, well let’s be honest, they would scream.
Many of you moms can relate to this story, I’m sure. It would cause me anxiety, listening to them scream while I am driving through traffic and there was nothing I could do about it or was there? I would simply change my way of thinking. I would think about the women who have tried to have children and were unable. How they would do anything to be able to listen to children of their own cry. This simple thought would allow me to calm down, which most of the time would calm my daughters down.
I would start singing to them, making up the silliest songs as we drove down the road, I would sing about the things I see out the window, about the love I have for them, about what we were going to have for dinner, etc. Whatever popped in my head, I would change into a song. By the time we arrived home, they were both asleep, I was relaxed, and I was in a positive mood, because every time that happened, I knew how blessed I truly was. Now that is the power of positive thinking. I am in no way suggesting that you have to walk around with an enormous grin on your face happy go lucky every minute of every day.
That would be a very difficult thing for anyone to accomplish. However, for the most part, you can be happy if you choose to be. When faced with a failed project, instead of reminiscing about all your past failures, reflect on all the accomplishments you’ve had in life. Even if that means remembering years back to find just one. Focus on that ONE moment, how proud you felt, and the confidence you projected and pick yourself up and duplicate those feelings.
Don’t ever allow one negative experience predict your stopping point and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything that you BELIEVE you can do. You only have one person to impress, one person to prove to and it’s not your mother or father, husband, or friends- it is only YOU! Don’t let yourself down. With every adversity in life, face it with an open and positive mindset and you will see it through. Never give up on yourself and your abilities! I don’t even know you and I believe in you.
Set your goals and stick to them, everyday work at one thing to get you closer to that goal. If you falter, instead of quitting, pick up from that point and move forward again. If you allow yourself to quit, you will never make it to the top. You have to start somewhere, so start RIGHT NOW! Not Monday, not Sunday,
Not after school is back in session or winter break, after vacation, or after this or that. START NOW!!! If you start you will have to keep going. Tell everyone you know that you are embarking on a new chapter in life and you want them to be a positive influence in your life.
Ask them to keep you accountable but not to judge or be negative to you in anyway. Which means, if you decide to indulge in a dessert and you have been 100% on track with your healthy eating – then they need to spilt the dessert with you instead of harping on you with, “you can’t eat that, you know you shouldn’t be, blah blah, blah.” You need support not nagging or ridicule. So select your support team sensibly.
The subconscious mind is a powerful tool that many of us don’t quite understand. I have read many of books on the subject, have seen the proof of the research, and am fascinated with how it can change your life if you just gain an understanding on how to use it. Every thought we have must go through the subconscious mind. This part of the brain is what makes our thoughts become a reality. Have you ever thought of a friend whom you haven’t seen or spoken to in awhile, then out of nowhere you receive a Face Book Friend request or a phone message from them? Have you ever wondered how those types of things happen? How about when you’re in a rush to get to work or drop the kids off at school and like clockwork, the slowest person on Earth pulls out in front of you. How aggravating!!! Or the time you were so worried about missing your flight, in fact all you talked about was how you couldn’t’ miss your flight; then you actually did! Or the time when you were asked to do a project and you responded with, “I can’t do this”, and when you did try you failed. Or the time when you complained about never having money and all you ever get is bills so now every time you go to the mailbox, all you ever see is bills. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Have you ever wondered why people with so called “poor luck” keep receiving more poor luck? On the other hand, the rich get richer, or the “blessed” become even more blessed. Do you think maybe it has to do with their way of thinking or are you convinced there is such a thing as luck? For me, I don’t believe in luck.
First of all what is luck? Luck- noun: is the chance happening of fortunate or adverse events; fortune.
The chance happening of fortune or adverse events, isn’t this something we can create or avoid with our thoughts and actions? Now I believe in a lot of things, but luck is not one of them. I truly believe in the power of the mind. I believe our thoughts control our actions; as well as control what we bring into our lives and also what we keep out of our lives. I also believe that when we fill our minds with nothing but those things we don’t want in life that in fact that is all we will receive. Have you ever muttered the words, “I just can’t lose weight, no matter what I do?” According to The Center of Disease Control and Prevention 24.6 % of the women in the United States is obese. Think about it, who has the most influence on your everyday decisions and choices that you make? Who is in your head 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year? This force never takes a break, no holidays, no time off, just always there talking to you. You are!!
You are the biggest contributor to your success and to your own demise. If you are doing nothing but thinking negative thoughts, telling yourself constantly how stupid or ugly or fat you are, if your thinking about all the things that are wrong in your life on a day in day out basis, focusing on all the troubles your facing, THEN HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU EXPECT TO EVER ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS! You are putting too much energy into the negative. Let me ask you something, if you had a friend that was always putting you down and telling you what you can’t do, would you stay friends with that person? If you are currently in this situation, then you need to find some distance and spend your time finding some new friends. Friends are there to lift you up when you’re down and encourage you to do the things that you are afraid of trying. The first place you need to start is replacing those negative self talks with positive ones. Here’s a little exercise to help you out. Every time you have a nonconstructive thought about yourself, your accomplishments, or your life, I want you to immediately replace it with something positive. It doesn’t matter if you truly believe it right now or not. I just want you to change your negative habits for more constructive ones. Make a list of the most common negative things you think about. Next to it I want you to write some positive words that could change the entire dynamic of the thought. For example: Negative Behavior Positive Behavior “ I am so fat” “I am working on transforming my physique” “I just can’t seem to lose any weight” “My body is losing body fat as I feed it healthy meals and exercise most days of the week” “Nothing fits” “My clothes are becoming looser as I take care of my body” “Why can’t I stick to my goals” “I am getting closer to my goals each and every day” “I just have bad luck” “Life is about making the impossible, possible.” Of course, you will have a completely different list, but do you see how easy it is to change your way of thinking? Practice this daily until it becomes second nature to you. Don’t allow your mind to run away with destructive thoughts about yourself. A good rule of thumb is: if it doesn’t bring you closer to your goal, then don’t think it or do it. You should always be moving forward not backwards.
With all the different ideas regarding food, eat this and don’t eat that- it can get downright confusing about what you should be doing to shed those extra layers. Even our food experts can’t seem to get it right. The concept of eating should have never gotten this confusing. If you are wanting to lose weight and maintain your lean body mass then you have to first start off by fueling your body the right way. Here are your new rules:
- Eat frequently
- Eat smaller well balanced meals
- Always have a protein and a fibrous carb
Sounds simple right! Well I am about to make it even simpler. Vegetables can be eaten in unlimited amounts, just make sure you are getting at least 5 servings of them a day. Let me caution you though, to start adding them in slowly. If you add fiber in too quickly, you can experience bloating and stomach discomfort. Try adding a new serving in every couple of days until you get to the 5 servings.
When it comes to fruits, enjoy a variety of them. Most people find it works best for them at 2-3 servings of fruits a day. Fruits can cause some digestive issues for some people, listen to your body and learn what works best for you. We want fruits due to their vitamins and nutrients so experiment with what amount works best for your body.
Protein- we need a serving of protein with every meal. That doesn’t include fried chicken either. Keep it clean…
- Skinless chicken
- Lean turkey
- Lean beef
- Lean steak
These are always good choices of good quality protein sources.
Eat frequently means 3 meals followed with 2 snacks a day. Here are some ideas of good snacks to incorporate into your diet.
- Almonds + a fruit
- String cheese
- Nut butter and celery
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Trail mix
- Hard boiled eggs + a fruit
- Greek yogurt
When it comes to the starchy carbs question, “Do I or Don’t I”. I am partial to DON”T!! Our grains have become somewhat of unhealthy food; however I know that is a difficult task for most of you so at least follow these three rules:
- No white flour of any kind, stick with oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pastas.
- Watch your portion sizes, a portion is not ½ the plate nor what a restaurant sees as a portion. This is where calories can really add up. Just a ¼ of your plate is all you need.
- Only eat them after resistance training workouts. Yes, that’s right you are going to have to earn your carbs. Complex carbohydrates are used for energy, if you’re not working out what do you need the extra energy for? Besides, this will keep you on track with your workouts too.
Sugar is the villain here. We want to minimize the intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners drastically. If you want to lose weight, reduce your chances of diabetes, cancers, and heart disease then start breaking the habit now. Also, no trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) of any kind.
- No Sodas not even diet
- No alcohol
- No donuts, cakes, or cookies
- No fast food
- No items with Trans Fats in the ingredients
Here is a great example of a day’s worth of meals.
7:oo Am Breakfast
2 eggs scrambled with fresh spinach, green and yellow peppers and a serving of fruit
10:00 AM Snack
12 almonds and a peach
1:00 PM Lunch
Large Spinach/Romaine Salad with cucumber, celery, peppers, carrots, grilled chicken, and vinaigrette dressing or a drizzle of olive oil.
4:00 PM Snack
Celery with almond butter
6:30-7:00 PM Dinner
Grilled lean steak, roasted asparagus, and maybe a small salad or second vegetable of your choice.
Get use to eating food without a barcode. Food shouldn’t come in a neat pretty little package full of advertising junk. It should be something you place in a bag, can wash and eat. If you really want to be lean, healthy, free of disease and aches and pains then you need to start reevaluating what you’re putting into your body. Food shouldn’t taste better than good health feels.
The first question that I am often asked is what can I eat then. This always strikes me in an odd way, when we take away sugar and complex carbs we think there is nothing left to eat. If that doesn’t say we are sugar and carb addicted than what does? This is the foundation behind this new way of clean eating. During the next 30 days you may even hit a point where you think, “Man, I just want to eat normal like everyone else”. To this I must reply, what is “normal”? The way I see it is “normal” is a life full of bloating, stomach cramps, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tiredness, stress, and medication to help control all of the above and another pill to help you sleep. But hey, you get to eat whatever you want.
Is this really the life you want? I had those moments until I did the 30 day challenge and beyond. This is now the way I eat every day and seriously I don’t miss any of it. I love having energy, waking up without an alarm clock and feeling rested, I love not having the sugar swings, the cravings, the moodiness, the extra weight, and the addiction of sugar that I once had. The journey has been well worth it for me, my family, and my clients. The results are astonishing and well worth minimizing any food for awhile. I still have the occasional piece of bread or cake or nacho, but it is a lot less frequent and in a lot less quantity. But hey, I think my health and feeling good is worth it. Do you???
Another plus to this challenge is your shopping trip will be quicker because you get to skip all the inside aisles where all the processed foods are. You only shop the perimeter of the store where the nutrients are.
Eggs- look for pasture raised from a local farm. 2nd choice is organic, Omega 3 free range, 3rd choice is hormone and antibiotic free.
Seafood- look for wild caught. 2nd choice is humanely harvested, non grain fed and 3rd choice is farm raised.
Poultry- includes chicken and turkey. Look for pasture raised from a local farm. 2nd choice is organic and 3rd choice is hormone and antibiotic free.
Beef- look for local raised 100% grass fed, 2nd choice is lean organic, and 3rd choice is hormone and antibiotic free.
Dairy- look for organic, grass fed, 2nd choice organic, and 3rd choice is regular dairy
Nuts and Seeds- organic, raw as the best bet. 2nd choice is raw and 3rd choice is roasted
Fats and Oils- look for organic extra virgin, cold pressed oils, 2nd choice is organic
Vegetables and Fruits- organic, local and in season is your safest bet (especially your eating the skin). 2nd choice is organic.
Nutrition can make you sick or create complete wellness- it is true what they say, “You are what you eat” so would you rather be a long slender banana or a round fatty potato chip? When it comes to carbohydrates or carbs we all get confused. After all, society has said we need to eat less carbs then the USDA updates the food pyramid and says NO, we need to eat around 60% of carbs a day. When you hear the word carbohydrate, what do you picture?
If you’re anything like the national average you think of chips, pasta, rice, breads, etc. Well carbs are also fruits and vegetables. This is where I usually lose everyone. You see there are:
• complex carbs (whole wheat bread, whole grain, potatoes, etc)
• Simple carbs (fruit- remember that fructose is natural fruit sugar)
• Fibrous carbs (vegetables)
Each category has its place in our diet but not in the ratio that we are consuming them. Most Standard American Diets (SAD) are composed of mainly the complex or junky carbs (chips, processed foods), and seriously lacking in the simple and fibrous ones. Everyone’s body is different in how they digest and utilize this macronutrient and you need to food journal and listen to your body to figure out what works best for you. Some of you may be carb sensitive and need to eat less, some of you may be insulin resistant (like I am) and need to really watch the amount and type you get in your diet. While others can eat a higher range and not have to worry about it (this is a smaller percentage of people).
This is where measuring your progress comes in handy. If you’re not making weekly gains (or body fat loses) then something needs to change and it usually starts with the diet. I have recently started adapting the Paleo way of eating and have been going through a 30 day Cleanse (no dairy, no legumes, beans, grains, or sugar/ sugar substitutes for 30 days). What I have discovered during this time is that I have food intolerances to wheat and cashews and am lactose intolerant. Imagine my overwhelming sense of relief to no longer having to deal with a bloated irritated stomach. I had no idea what I was putting in my mouth on a daily basis was making me sick.
A simply switch to almonds and almond milk has made a world of difference. My energy is through the roof and I feel fantastic. I haven’t missed my daily dose of Stevia in my black tea either. I have even made homemade strawberry coconut milk ice cream (it was pretty good). My point is listen to your body and track your food and progress. I would have never realized the allergies or sensitive’s to these foods if I hadn’t gone through this 30 day cleanse.
Meal prep is done for the week. Even made a little dessert. Peanut butter pie, the crust is almonds and cashews and the pie doesn’t have any peanut butter in it. It’s sunflower seed butter and coconut milk for the whip cream. It’s very scrumptious. Sunflower seeds have many great health benefits such as high in magnesium and selenium, which are great for your muscles including the heart. You can find this recipe in Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook. Avaibke on Amazon and I highly recommend it.