lift weights

My Transformation So Far

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I’ve changed a lot in this last year. And I’m not only talking about this physically. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve tried different things. Figured out what works.

Consistency is everything.
I worked out before but it was sporadic. Once I started making it a habit daily, I not only started to enjoy it more but I also craved it. Eating correctly was the same. We always think ‘oh that’s not so bad. Its just today I’ll eat it.’ But when you think like that everyday, its bad.

Where I started
I was just doing the workout games for the Kinect when I started working out on a regular basis. They were fun and gave me a good competition with myself. I saw my improvements and how often I worked out in one spot. That’s where I made it a habit to move my body, I gained strength of being able to do body weight things and got a greater range of motion. It was my stepping stone. Once I felt like I was beyond the games on my level, I started slowly buying more weights to go in my home gym set up. I bought a couple of ebooks from fitness Instagram people I followed that I liked to get me to figure out this whole weightlifting thing. I started researching moves and exercises on bodybuilding.com and fell in love. Weightlifting is awesome for a thrill, a challenge and a way to let your stress out.

As for eating, I started learning about macros on my own after seeing many fitness accounts on social media talk about it. Props to my own mom for pretty much believing the IIFYM type of diet. She always said its about how much you eat of things, calories in have to be less than calories out to lose weight. Whether that’s calories in of carrots and lettuce or Snickers bars. So props to you Mom, for being ahead of the game.
Anyways I started figuring out the macro thing for myself as well as learning about how to reverse my metabolism. It was a slow process. But it did happen. I figured out my maintenance macros to build muscle at the weight I was starting at. I kept up with my calories, carbs, fats & proteins daily. Its a bit of a game at first-figuring out what works and how to fit everything in. But once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much do it without even punching each bite in.

My Routine Now
After working on my metabolism and figuring out really what works for me, I’m not as crazy about my macros. I don’t punch in anything anymore. I don’t even think I have MyFitnessPal on my phone anymore. I listen to my body now and I follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be whole healthy foods. 20% whatever else you want. That’s it guys. Once you change your habits you change your cravings, your taste buds and foods you reach for automatically. Its that initial change that sucks. Once you get past those first couple of months or so, you get used to it. And the results just come with it. You’ll realize how crappy certain foods make you feel and you honestly won’t miss them anymore. You’ll want to workout because it actually gives you energy. You just have to get started.

For my working out, remember I am a trainer by day and a coach by night. I love my body plenty in many different ways. But I do still work myself out. I lift heavy about 4-6 days a week. I do cardio maybe twice? Always after a lift session, usually on leg days I’ll do the step machine. If I do cardio on the treadmill, its always HIIT cardio and never more than 20 minutes long. Same for the stepper- no more than 20 minutes.
My ab progress? I started out doing abs 2x a week, but now I just engage my core with everything I do. And if I do abs in a class I teach or for conditioning, I’ll do it with them. Otherwise, I’ve stopped doing hard core an exercises in my own personal gym time.

I have created a guide for nutrition for those wanting help but don’t know where to start. Its completely FREE!!!
Just leave me your email and I’ll send it over! It has an intro to macros, a list of things to eat for each meal of the day, even a couple of recipes.

-a

Reverse Dieting-Why it Works

It’s common to think ‘oh I should just quit eating and I will lose weight’. That’s what we are taught even at a young age and grown up to know. If you want to lose weight, you eat like a rabbit and drop weight at the snap of a finger. But is it really all that simple? Are our bodies that easy to handle? And is this good for our bodies?

We are built and made to eat. And not just pecking at lettuce. Carbs are meant to be our fuel and we are to get nutrients from produce. The food that comes from the earth-not a factory or a box-is great for us, with so many benefits and vitamins to help our bodies function. And we think if we stop eating completely, this is a healthy way to lose weight.

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THIS WAS BOGUS.

We are meant to eat, often and abundantly. Your body even tells you when it’s hungry and when it is not. Listen to it. If you are starving, you better eat more than a cube of cheese (cough cough, any Devil Wears Prada fans).

dev

 

I laugh everytime I think of this girl. But as I laugh, I know there are so many people out there who really do live and think like this. Do you know what is really happening? The body is holding on to what little food it does get, and storing it as fat and eating away at muscle and all sorts of terrible things. This isn’t what we are meant to live like. This is not the answer to losing weight.

If you are hungry, you should probably eat. And not just some lettuce. Try a protein bar. Try a rice cake and peanut butter. Have an apple AND a banana. A cube of cheese is not going to feed you, and the fact that this girl binges on rolls in the hospital after getting hit with a car kind of proves that this starvation diet will eventually in a carb overload-sooner or later. Because your body and your mind craves, no needs, carbs. It’s our fuel. Everything has carbs in it. It’s our gas to our engine. It makes us run. It keeps us going. Even your brain feeds off of carbs to work properly. By not feeding your body, you are do much more damage than good.

If you have been living like this and believing the starving diets are the only way to ‘skinny’, you not only will need to rethink everything, but you will have to literally reverse the damage you have done. You will need to slowly increase your calories, slowly incorporate more food and more substance to your diet. Stop spending 2 hours on the treadmill a day. You have to change your whole ways, but once you have, you will actually start seeing results-you will eat more and actually lose weight. You will be able to eat more and see changes because your metabolism will be working the way it should.

1200 calories a day is not meant for a person who is active, it’s hardly enough for a person who just lays around all day, so why is this a number we see too often as a ‘daily goal’ all over the place? Because someone who did not do their own research, someone who does not care about their own health nor the health of the other people they are influencing, someone who simply picked a number at random and thought it was a good idea. Quit with the 1000 or 1200 calories a day. If you go under 1500, you are probably not seeing results if you are wanting to actually have muscle and not simply be ‘skinny fat’.

1500 calories a day. That’s still not that much. I eat 2000 a day, I work out almost every single day of the week if you include the fact that I work at two gyms (an adult gym and also as a cheerleading coach). I lift weights five or more days a week. I hardly every do cardio (2-3 days a week maybe, and it’s HITT only for 15-20 minutes at a time). I eat what I want. I mainly want good foods, so I eat them. I eat when I am hungry. I stop when I am full. I even eat Reeses Oreos occasionally, as well homemade peanut butter cups (pretty much I have lots of peanut butter daily). Once you feed your body and get your metabolism doing what it is actually supposed to do, you no longer have to be so strict with what you eat (unless you are on contest prep or something).

So please, for the love of everything delicious, stop with the 1000 calorie days and start healing-and nurturing-your body.

 

-a

Why the Fad Diets & ‘Quick Fixes’ Don’t Work

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Every time I get onto Pinterest, I see the fad diets going around. Low carb. Low fat. Drink only water for 3 days. Buy expensive juices. Only eat a banana for a week. Are you KIDDING ME?

Please stop thinking there is some miracle ‘quick fix’. It’s so frustrating when there are decent, honest people (like myself) who have been working or our ass off (literally) to get to where we are. I didn’t start getting abs and a toned booty from a fad diet. Or a magic pill. Or any sort of detoxing. I sure as hell didn’t purchase any tea that claims to ‘make you skinny’. These rip-offs most of the time take before and after pictures from people who really did put in hard work in the gym and changed their eating the hard way, then claiming they got their results from their product/service/diet. There is this thing called reverse image search on Google. Save the next pic you see from a ‘miracle’ weightloss program and reverse image search it. I bet my savings that you would find the pic from some poor innocent soul who posted it to show off their real results from doing all the right things. Stop giving these people money. Stop believing the hype. Please educate yourself on a diet before you ever try it . If you need help, seek your physician, coach, or a dietitian who would be happy to be honest with you, unlike the scammer who is selling you the wrap/juice/pill/tea.

These ‘miracle’ diets may help you lose that initial weight, yes. Most of them have you drinking lots of water. Guess what? Up your H2o intake and you will drop weight anyways thanks to losing water weight. If you aren’t hydrating properly with actual water, your body retains what little it does get since it has no idea when it will get more. Drink enough water, you will lose that water weight. Simple science. But if you do the fad diet (giving that you could stick to it-most of them are so ridiculous most people quit a day into it because they are starving themselves), you may lose some weight and get all excited. But guess what? Unless you genuinely change your habits, within probably a month or so (maybe sooner) you will gain that weight right back thanks to never actually changing your lifestyle.

HEALTH IS A LIFESTYLE. NOT A FAD. NOT A DIET. NOT A QUICK FIX.

So why is everyone still buying this crap? Because advertising is great, people are lazy and impatient. But obviously if what you are doing right now concerning exercise and eating is not giving the results you desire, you are going to have to change them to get those results. It’s up to you how much you want it, whether you are willing to wait to see your results during a slow process. Another problem with the fad diets would have to be the fact you not only are losing fat, you are losing muscle too. Being ‘skinny fat’ is a thing, too, you know. Do you want to just be ‘thin’ or do you want to find health & happiness for the long run? I personally choose the latter of the two.

no fad

DETOX

I believe I have touched on this topic before, but I see it so often that I have to keep talking about. Detoxing does not require pills, special teas, juices, smoothies, or anything else. You also shouldn’t be detoxing every week. Want to detox because you feel bloated and like you are retaining water (or you ate McDs three times the past 48 hours) you can. Without added products, special brands, or breaking your bank.

DETOX 101

  • Hot lemon water
  • Green tea (only sweetened with fresh fruit or raw honey)
  • Filtered water
  • Fresh & raw (not cooked, not juiced) produce

Why the produce? And why not juicing? Do you know what juicing does? It takes the FIBER and lots of nutrients from the fruit/vegetable. Fiber and proper hydrating are keys to detoxing. Water helps push toxins out and get your digestive system going and makes the process smoother and easier, and we all know what fiber does. It’s really not hard. Go to a farmer’s market and load up on fresh fruits & veggies and you’re fine. Detox like 2 days at most I would say. Just enough to get the bad stuff pushed out of your system. No special products here.

 

You need fat/carbs/food

All of these diets that tell you to stop eating pretty much all foods, should give you an immediate red flag waving in your mind. Carbs are in everything but water. Yes, that broccolli and spinach has carbs. Carbs is a natural fuel. Get over it. Any diet that says no to fueling your body should never be a ‘thing’. Ever.

As for fat, you need fat to lose fat. Yes, you have been lied to and deceived I am sure. Healthy fats like those find in beans, nuts, salmon, olive oil, etc. are good for you. You need them. They help your body. Eat some.

LOW FAT/LOW CARB/NO CALORIE=CHEMICAL STORM

You read that right. If your food is labaled as low/reduced/zero of the macros your body needs, this means more crap was put in it to make it this way. And if you think ‘no sugar’ is an automatic way to know if things are healthy, please look up the side effects of all of these sugar replacements like aspertame in that Diet Coke people love. Get headaches a lot? That is probably your culprit right there. Apertame is terrible. I would prefer you drink the real deal (refined white sugar) than any of those substitutes. Want an alternative that is healthy? Fuit juice (like simmering berries into an almost syrup without adding anything), raw honey (not the high fructose corn syrup and not even containing pollen), or Stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener from a plant. Even diabetics can have it. But be sure it doesn’t contain fillers.

 

Please educate yourself and do your research before you start any of these diets you see out there. People know how to advertise and make products look so amazing because it’s their job. They know how to lure you in. Use your brain. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

 

-a