Category Archives: Strive!

Harness your Mindset

man x-ray; science, technology concept

Are you a non-believer?  Research indicates that mindset and self-belief are critical to fitness success, so the question is:  How exactly do you get your mind working for you?

Experts recommend the following:

  1. Find an approach that makes sense to YOU. If you truly believe that you can get results and feel good about doing so, you are much more likely to stick to it and be successful.
  2. Wrap your head around your plan. If you understand the reasons and know HOW to execute your plan, you will be more fully engaged and believe it its ability to get you to your results faster.
  3. Be committed.Set yourself up for success by committing to 30 days of your best effort – no matter what. You will build confidence and self-belief when you start to see results.
  4. See the positives.  Don’t dwell on the challenges, but focus on all the positives on the journey. Focus on how awesome you are going to feel when you eat healthier and the energy that exercise is going to give you….not to mention the prettier complexion and tinier waist!
  5. Let your brain work for you, not against you! Envision what success looks like every day. Picture what you want your body to look like and how incredible you will feel. High-level athletes use this technique before competition and during their training. If you can envision it, you can achieve it!
  6. Consistency. Like everything, being positive and having a successful “Can Do” attitude each day is the secret to living positively and achieving your goals.

Over the past year, I have been working with  clients in the areas of mindset and positive self-talk. The results? Empowered clients with the skills to conquer any challenge and faster results. Pretty powerful stuff 🙂

Want to learn more? Contact me about free coaching sessions—>> Learn more

Make more time; Divorce your TV

image

Time is the number one reason why people don’t exercise or eat well. In this crazy world of ours FINDING time to exercise and eat well is a challenge. This is why we need to MAKE time. We make time for all the other important things in life such as family and career advancement, but fitness and healthy eating seem to be missing on our list of important things.

So……how do you go about making more time?? It’s about making priorities and ditching the stuff that is an unnecessary time drainer. I divorced my TV a few years ago when I decided to go back to school and it’s a habit that stuck. Now, I only watch TV when I’m on the treadmill or watching the occasional movie; even then I’m usually multi-tasking because I feel like I’m wasting my time.

Another idea might be to get up 15-30 minutes earlier in the morning. What???  Yes, it sounds horrible and painful but those minutes are magical. Imagine getting a 30 minute workout in before you go to work! You’ll feel more awake and empowered by the fact that you accomplished something great before most people are out of bed! Or, you can use these magical bonus minutes to pack healthy lunches, pull something out of the freezer for supper and pay a bill or two.

Make the time for fitness and healthy eating……you’ll be glad you did!

 

The Shower Decision

image

The what??? It’s been called many names, but it’s the decision you make each morning and determines how your day will go. Will it be a GREAT day? Or will you choose to focus on the negative in your life and have a ho-hum day?

The term “shower decision” comes from my Dad. His glass isn’t half full, it’s over-flowing most days! He said when he gets in the shower each morning, he makes the conscious decision to be happy. Is it really that easy? Try it! Say out loud: “I’m going to have a GREAT day!”. If you say it with conviction, you WILL have a great day.

Why is this important? For starters, there are no do-overs in life, so why not have as many great days as possible?? Secondly, when it comes to your health, being happy automatically makes you healthier! You smile more, people want to be around you, and you are more likely to make healthy choices and even sleep better!!  Conversely, being a Grumble Bum only works against you in all these areas.

Still feeling ho-hum after your shower? Have a big cup of coffee, a superb breakfast and strap on your shoes! Hit the trails, hit the gym or hit play on your favourite workout DVD. Move your body and enjoy the natural endorphin high. Life is short. Let’s be healthy AND happy!

Diet vs Exercise: which is better?

image

Only work out and you’ll have a hard time losing inches or pounds. Only diet and you might end up skinny-fat. Together, they have a symbiotic effect.

The Impact of Eating a Healthy Diet
What I mean by “diet” is the way you eat. What you put in your body is your diet. A healthy diet generally means eating clean and staying hydrated. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and lots of water.

You’ll be Happier
Your diet has a bigger impact on how you feel than you might think. By eating the right foods—particularly complex carbs, iron-rich foods, and foods high in omega-3s—you can boost your serotonin levels and energy levels so you feel happier and more equipped to handle what life throws at you.

Your Digestive System will be happier
The Standard American Diet is high in saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and low in fruits and vegetables. The body responds to this in a variety of negative ways, and one of them is with sluggish digestion. Fried foods and foods high in fat can slow down your digestive system. A lack of fruits and vegetables results in not getting enough fiber for everything to move down the digestive tract, and if you’re not drinking enough water then everything can get…stuck. The result is constipation. When you eat a healthy diet, your digestive tract runs like clockwork.

You will achieve a Healthy Weight
“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” “Abs are made in the kitchen.”  You’ve heard these classic, clichéd adages before, and they’re true. People who go to the gym five to six days a week. But they don’t eat right and they’re all still overweight. They all still look the same as they did three years ago when I saw them. You can undo a good workout with one wrong meal.

The Impact of Regular Exercise
You need to exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your goal weight or not. We are built to either move or fall apart.

You’ll Feel Less Stressed and Happier
Like diet, exercise can help reduce the amount of the stress hormones floating around in your bloodstream and boost your serotonin levels so that you feel happier. Even low levels of exercise can help alleviate and may prevent depression.

You’ll Sleep Better
Exercise helps you sleep in numerous ways, the simplest being that it breaks down tissue, which makes you tired because your body knows that it’s the best time period to make repairs. Thus, it’s not surprising that studies have shown regular exercise helps cure insomnia.

You’re Less Likely to Get Sick
Exercise increases your lymph circulation in the long run and the result is improved immunity against getting sick.

Exercise has been shown to boost your overall energy levels, improve bone density, lower cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.

It Can Help You Lose Weight
To really see results on the scale, you need to create a caloric deficit. You burn X amount of calories a day. To maintain that weight, you need to eat that many calories a day. To lose weight, you need to eat less. Eat more and you gain weight.

You’ll Tone Up
If you can help it, you want to avoid being skinny-fat because a muscular body ages slower. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder, either. All exercise keeps your muscles toned, but for the toned “look” of sexy, defined arms, legs, back, and abs, you’ll want to resistance train.
The Benefits of Eating a Healthy Diet and Exercising Regularly

There is even more benefit to combining the two. A healthy diet helps you exercise better. It provides your body with the energy it needs in a workout so you can push harder, and it helps you recover quicker. In return, exercise helps you eat better. You start craving healthier foods to fuel your body and you become more in tune with what your body needs. Perhaps most importantly, doing them both at once greatly speeds up results.

 

Note: this blog was inspired by an article written by Rebecca Swanner at Beachbody.com

Planning Ahead

image

Life is challenging. No matter how well we have planned, life happens. A late meeting can prevent us from a workout,  a long, stressful day can lead to a stop for fast food and the list goes on. But challenges can be overcome by planning for these kinds of road blocks. A missed workout can be averted by planning a backup home workout or one you can take on the road with you, such as a full body resistance band circuit. And if you had a few emergency items in the freezer, there would be no reason for a fast food stop.

How do YOU plan ahead? Email your ideas!

The skinny on weight loss

image

Weight loss can be frustrating. Very frustrating. If it were easy, we would all be model thin. We are bombarded by messages from the media everyday about weight loss which confuses us further.

However, boiled down to the very basics, weight loss is 80% diet. While I am a huge advocate of exercise and fitness, what you look like on the outside is largely determined by your diet and the number of calories you consume. Have you ever tried to burn off the number of calories you consumed in one day?  It’s nearly impossible for the average person.

The next question that begs to be asked is “How many calories SHOULD I be eating?” There are a dozen different ways to determine this number but the simplest and easiest way is to multiply your current weight in pounds by 15. That number will tell you how many calories you need to  maintain your current weight. If you are looking to lose weight, multiply your current weight in pounds by 10. This is the number of calories you should consume to lose approximately 1-2 pounds per week. Women should not go below 1200 calories per day and men should not dip below 1800 calories.

The next step is to track what you are actually eating. I know, I know….this is not sexy and sounds like work, but you might be surprised to see what you are eating! You need to be honest and track every morsel, every sip….EVERYTHING! I do this from time to time when I feel myself slipping and usually it is mindless snacking in the late afternoon. Those bites and nibbles add up!

Some great online tools for this include My Fitness Pal and LoseIt.com.

The point of a food journal is awareness and the opportunity for change. You will  start to see trends in your eating habits and will learn about making better choices.

I can hear you ask….”But WHAT should I eat?” The answer is simple. A little bit of everything. Everything fresh and unprocessed, that is. At every meal, have a small amount of carb, protein, veg/fruit and diary and you will be eating a balanced, healthy diet.

Remind yourself that weight loss is a journey and a learning process. It might take you  a while to get on track and consuming the appropriate number of calories and that is ok! As long as you are moving in the right direction, you will be successful!

The benefit? Once you achieve your goal weight, you will have the tools to maintain that weight!

Try not to get too wrapped up in the details of it all. Start eating the appropriate amount of calories, move more and the scale will start to move in the right direction.

 

If today was your last day….

This morning before I started my workout, I cued my iPod to start with Nickelback’s “If today was your last day”.  It has been my go-to warm up song for a long time.  Why? It gets me mentally prepared for the workout ahead and makes me think a little.

“My best friend gave me the best advice/He said each day’s a gift and not a given right”.  How true and because it is a gift, I want to make each day my best day and feel really good about everything I do. It makes me think about working hard, taking chances and that  sometimes the hardest part about doing anything is just getting started.

I usually do my best thinking on a long run. I have made a lot of my toughest decisions huffing , puffing and sweating along a dusty trail. While my body is doing its thing, my mind is allowed to do its thing; usually without me even knowing about it!

We all have things we would like to do better; whether it’s leaning out, bulking up or just getting more active and feeling better.  Is it going to happen while you are bonding with your couch?  Nope. So get moving and make it your best day!

Let today be the day that you shine. Have a kick-ass workout, try something new, enjoy the sunshine, try a new healthy recipe, and BE HAPPY! “Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try/So live like you’ll never live it twice”. Make the most of today and your workout. You’ll never regret the healthy choices you make today!

Life is a challenge

Life is challenging. No matter how well we have planned, life happens. A late meeting can prevent us from a workout, a long, stressful day can lead to a stop for fast food and the list goes on. But challenges can be overcome by planning for these kinds of road blocks. A missed workout can be averted by planning a backup home workout or one you can take on the road with you, such a full body resistance band circuit. And if you had a few emergency items in the freezer, there would be no reason for a fast food stop.

In the coming weeks, I will share some simple make-ahead meals and time saving tips…..stay tuned!