Saturday, July 30, 2011

My weight loss (and gain) journey

I would love to tell you that I was one of "those" girls... you know the ones who you sit and watch eat a  chocolate donut and then waltz out in her size 00 jeans... I am definitely not that girl. Not even close.

I was always active growing up, playing soccer, and racing the boys on the playground. It was not until I hit High School that I realized how hard (or impossible) it might be to have the "pro athlete" body. (I have always wanted muscle)
Any way I was in a performance group and spent a long time in Germany, where I had the best bread and chocolate a person could ever want... needless to say my waist line, and especially my thighs, were strong evidences of how much I loved the food there.
One day I saw a picture of myself and was shocked to see just how fat I had gotten. (I think I destroyed all pictures from this time in my life) From that moment on I spent the next several years trying to reclaim my body. It was mine after all why did the food have to keep winning?!
I was on a roller coaster. My clothes never fit, they were either falling off of me or painted on. I was anywhere between a size 14 and a size 4. Needless to say these were not the most healthy years of my life.
I finally found Yoga (the first resistance type training I had done in years) I dropped ten pounds in a matter a weeks, and became obsessed!
But I still could not keep the weight off.
Once I stopped traveling and was in the same city for longer than a few weeks (or days) I manged to reach a healthy, though still not ideal body.
I was running between 6 and 10 miles 5 times a week and I had plateaued. I was not losing, or gaining any weight, I was just chilling at a size 6, not bad, but I knew I could be more trim and more toned.
This is when I discovered weight training.
The fat started falling off my body and the slim tone figure I had wanted was becoming a reality. Who would of thought that at age 27 I would finally have the body I was dreaming about at age 19?!
Now with a combination of weight training, interval training, and a healthy diet, I have the body that I did not think was possible anymore. Not only do I look better, but I feel better.
Now that I have learned a few simple habits to keep me healthy, I know that I can maintain this for life!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fitness IS simple

Follow these simple tips to help improve your overall health and fitness.
I know, I know, it's a long list. Choose just one and focus on it for a week or two, once you've got it down go to the next one!

  1. Throw out your big dinner plates. Using small plates at home effortlessly reduces calorie intake and promotes weight loss.
  2. Make exercise a regular part of your life. Create a network of accountability with workout partners or by working with me, your local fitness expert.
  3. Know what you want to accomplish. Visualize the end result of your hard work.
  4. Believe in you. I know that you CAN accomplish your goals.
  5. Don't be a wimp. Keep the intensity high during your workouts. Remember that you don't want to kill time; you want to burn calories and strengthen your body through intense exercise.
  6. Drink water all day long.
  7. Know when to ask for help.  
  8. Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training into your routine by doing bursts of high intensity rather than exercising at a single steady pace.
  9. Maintain your metabolism by eating a healthy snack or meal every three hours. This food should be unprocessed, low in fat and high in fiber.
  10. Forget will-power; it's about WANT-power. How badly do you want it.
  11. Never eat processed foods. These items are high in empty calories and contain a plethora of chemicals that are harmful to your health.
  12. Fat contains twice the caloric density of carbohydrates and protein, so limit the amount of it that you eat. Fill your diet with lean protein and carbohydrates from leafy plants and whole grains.
  13. It's OK to be a skeptic. Watch out for products that are labeled as ‘health food'. Always read the nutrition labels and make your own informed opinion.
  14. Talk is cheap. Act now and get the job done.
  15. Exercise with people that are in better shape than you. This will encourage you to push your limits.
  16. Never indulge in negative self-talk.
  17. Don't drink calories.
  18. Pay attention to everything that you eat.
  19. Keep consistent. Exercise at least three or four times each week.
  20. Expect more from yourself.
  21. Never eat High Fructose Corn Syrup. It spikes your blood sugar levels and encourages your body to store fat.
  22. Eat plenty of whole plant foods. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are filled with fiber and antioxidants, great for good health and weight loss.
  23. Do your cardiovascular exercise after weight training to encourage more fat burn. Your stored sugars will be depleted during the weight training then your body will rely on fat stores to get you through the cardio workout.
  24. Breakfast should be a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat to get your metabolism going strong.
  25. If you know that you deserve better...then go get it.
  26. Challenge yourself during each workout. Try something new and exciting.
  27. Set specific, measurable goals and track your progress.
  28. Even if they are whole grain, eat carbohydrates sparingly. Carbohydrates are quickly stored as fat.
  29. Put an end to your struggle to get and stay fit. Call or email me today to get started on a proven fitness program that will change your life and body forever.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to eat post workout, for fat loss

I have gotten a few questions about how to refuel post workout. Here are a few simple guidelines;
*You need to refuel quickly post workout. There is some debate as to how soon, I have heard times ranging between as little as 20 minutes and as long as 3 hours. I just bring my post workout "meal" to the gym with me.
*What to eat:
Protein is key. As I mentioned earlier it helps you feel full so it helps with weight loss. Protein is also key in rebuilding muscle tissue. When you workout, to put it simply, you "beat up" your muscles by putting additional strain on them, your muscles need to rebuild and protein is a key building block. Make sense?
I prefer to drink a protein shake, since packing a chicken breast to the gym, is well, I would rather not... There are several brands out there, and I have not settled on one that I am in love with yet. These as well as these and these have been recommended by other trainers. This is pretty good too. Find one you like and is within your cost range, lots of times you can get things a bit cheaper by using amazon or other web-based stores.
Carbs (the kind not found in fruits and veggies)
We, in America, love our breads, pastas, and rices. These kinds of food, however, do not love us back when we are trying to lose fat. No, not even your favorite honey whole wheat bread. Sorry... However, our bodies process these very well post workout! Again, there is a time frame on this, as mentioned above, so it is best to eat these yummy carbs within at least an hour of your workout. And no, working out in the morning does not give you license to eat carbs ALL day!
Best post-workout carbs
A solid albeit less than exhaustive list would be –

Sweet potato
Legumes (beans, lentils)
Large flake whole oats
Wild / long grain rice

Potatoes, pasta and breads will work for some but not all – even after a workout. So it's important to monitor your progress and adjust your sources as necessary. Also note that many people do well by eliminating gluten from the diet even if they don’t exhibit obvious symptoms of gluten intolerance.

In short, post-workout have protein and carbs, and try to refuel within at least an hour of exercise.
If you have any questions please post!

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