Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5 minute blog post

In my profession I have times where I need to sit a lot.  I sit to write out a program, I sit to study a new certification.  Outside of my profession I sit to take my kids to school, drive to work, drive to pick up my kids, go to the grocery store…and the list goes on.  In 4 years I have put 95,000 miles on my van.  That's a lot of sitting.  I keep watching the scale go up.  This is very frustrating to me because I still work out every day, but it's only once a day and apparently not long enough to compete with the food I find to put into my mouth.  So I have been paying attention to what I am doing wrong.

#1. Not saying no to damaging foods.  Sure I eat a clean diet a lot of the time, but there have been too many moments of saying yes to refined sugary products and cheesy bread things (like pizza).  I can't seem to find moderation.

#2. Choosing to sit when I know darn well I should be moving.  For instance it will be a day when I have no training clients so I choose to put on regular clothes…well, I may as well put myself in a straight jacket because it practically immobilizes me and makes me lazy.

#3 Drinking too much coffee.  I DON'T even use creamer!!!!  That's right I drink it black!!!  But it is taking away from my water consumption.  When you hear reports about how we don't need as much water as they say…don't believe it, especially if you struggle to control your weight.

So I think I know what I need to do here.  

Anyone else struggle with these same things?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bridging the gap is the most difficult part.

Recently with getting back to school and having to put some activities on the back burner, I have been struggling with my own goals.  I have put the pen to paper and written down my goals.  I have even gone as far as to map out each detail.  I have little problem with the work outs, but have definite obstacles when it comes to the food responsibility.  I feel as though I will be strong for one week or less, then I let life get in the way.  In the past I did not let life get in the way.  I had small children and a full schedule.  I would set my mind to it, and I would do it.  That is the key my friends to achieving the goal.  There is a gap.  The secret to your success is bridging that gap between wanting and doing.

I want to be successful------------------------------I am successful!!!

             What happens here is the mind connect
                 What is the vessel that will carry me over the bridge?

An upcoming vacation?
A dress size?
A body fat percentage?
Photos on a board?
A desire to be healthy?
A desire to be pain free?
A desire to sleep better?
The ability to keep up?


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Keep it real goal series R

Last school year my oldest daughter decided to set a goal to get all straight A's in school that year.  She diligently plugged away, putting anything and everything that interfered with her goal on the back burner.  I was incredibly impressed with her effort and supported her every step of the way, I also realized that this goal had little to do with pleasing me, and much to do about a huge accomplishment.  She struggled in one subject almost the entire year holding a solid B.  In the last quarter she received an A in that class, and got highest honors.  That goal for her was high, yet realistic.  Even if she had never gotten all A's in one shot, she still would have maintained an excellent GPA because she was so focused.

Recently we were watching the Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill.  In the movie Jill is visiting her brother Jack in Los Angeles and she only has a week.  One of her goals for the week was to be on a game show.  She does end up being on the Price is Right, but in reality that is probably an unrealistic goal for a weeks time.

This is where we need to be realistic about our goals.

Think about what you want

How soon do you expect to complete your goal?

How long will it take realistically?

What does it take to be successful with you goal?

Are you willing to keep trying and pushing toward your goal to achieve it?

Is your goal really important to you?

What is your strategy?

I suggest taking the pen to paper and strategizing a plan.  Think about the hours you have in a day and how they can best be used to complete your goal.

When can you look through cookbooks to find meals for the week?
On Saturday and then grocery shop on Sunday?  Can you do it on a week night when the family is planted in front of the television?  Do you have time to run to the store after work?  Can you make a list for your loved one and maybe they can stop at the store on the way home?

Is it only you in this goal?  When would be a good time to prep meals?  Prep salads.  One thing I do is prepare a container with bite sized lettuce and celery, I even add the dressing because it is not enough to drown the lettuce.  Then I put my dry ingredients like nutritional yeast, nuts, seeds, and such in a separate container to be added just before I eat the salad.  Not into salad?  What about a sandwich on sprouted grain bread with brussels sprouts and hummus spread?

Keep your goals realistic, but aim high!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Choose your battles

My sister once told me "Dude, choose your battles". When she told me that it was when my kids were small and I was still learning how and when to use discipline.  Those words stuck with me from then till now and, I predict, in the future.

When planning a goal you can ask yourself
Is it attainable?
What will it take to attain it?
Why is it important to me?

You won't be able to attain your goal overnight, nor will you be expected to.  This is a learning process right along with everything else.  I recently had a client begin calorie counting as she was at a plateau with her current program.  She told me that it was frustrating because she didn't know how to do it very well.  It eased her mind a bit when I told her it takes a good week to two weeks to get a handle on this lifestyle change, and that I was right there to help her through it.  (she broke through her plateau!)

I want you to know that if you are reading this and you have questions about calorie counting, or how many you need, please message me at .

The more you work on your goal, your eyes will open to opportunities that you didn't realize existed in the past.  You will find new avenues to make your goal a reality.

One thing I love to do is sign up for races.  In order to complete a race I need to train.
I new very little about training, so I…
listened to podcasts
searched the web
checked out books from the library
joined an online community.

I did not do all these things at once, it sort of developed because running is important to me, as is maintaining a healthy weight.

So lets look at the questions I posed above and I will try to answer them by keeping with my previous goal example
Is it attainable?
I want to lose 10 lbs in 5 weeks by losing 2 lbs a week.
According to the experts my goal is attainable and safe.

What will it take to attain it?
It will take dedication
willingness to be uncomfortable
a lifestyle change
(this is a good time to think about who else is involved in your goal and how they will respond and how you will deal with their responses)

Why is it important to me?
This is truly the heart of the matter.  This has to be a strong pull for you as it is something that you will consistently return to in thought.  You can sometimes begin with surface reasons, but later change for deeper challenging reasons.  Sometimes as you begin to change or have a success, your goals will change to keep that success, such as "Wow, I feel so great right now and my skin is really looking great! Or "I feel so liberated now that I don't have pain in my knees when I walk and I can keep up with my family!"  I want to keep this up!"  This can make a positive impact on your food choices.

I am very excited to think that you are reading this and considering making and following a goal!

Please include me in your goals and your progress, I would be thrilled to receive an email.

Stay tuned for the next segment of my goal setting series.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Putting the M in smart

When I first began my weight loss journey back in 2001, it involved a lot of measuring.  Probably more measuring of my food than anything.  I had planned some sort of weight goal in my head…probably something ridiculous like my 19 year old weight.  But as I got started on my journey I began measuring progress in more than just the pounds on the scale.  I would plan how far I would walk that day, I would have a back up plan for if I couldn't walk that day.  I logged how much water I drank, I estimated how many calories I was burning.  I wrote on the calendar how much I should weigh at the end of the week.  I was MEASURING my goals and didn't even realize it.  Long term is great, but short term is just as necessary.  

Let's make this focus on MEASURING progress, yay progress!!!  

Ask yourself how much.
  How much what? 
 I would ask this
How much effort do I put in?  How much do I eat?  How much do I burn? 

Very obviously, being a personal trainer, I can help you to figure all of this stuff out.  But if you are more of a trail blazer you can take advantage of the wealth of information out there.  Apps like My fitness pal, and Calorie count are just a couple.  Don't forget about the gadgets and gizmos we love!  

How many?  
How many days a week do I exercise?  How many calories a day do I consume?  How many calories do I want to burn a day?

How will I know when it is accomplished? 
This is something that points to the long term the big picture.  

So to keep with my goal for example purposes I will answer all of the above questions here.
I will put in maximum effort by keeping a food and exercise log reminding myself that it is okay to be uncomfortable.
I will eat 1500 calories on the days when I don't exercise, and 1700 on the days when I do
I will aim to burn at least 200 calories a day through exercise.
I want to lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks. 
I will know it is accomplished if the scale shows 10 pounds less on October 5th, than it was on September 1st.

Please keep in mind that this is an outline.  Once you get started there are so many variables to making this work.  I can think of so many as I write this out, but don't want this to become a novel.

Can you see how this can be motivating to stay on track?   

Stay tuned for ATTAINABLE.  Are your goals lofty yet attainable?  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Let's get this goal started, SPECIFICALLY

Let us begin with a SPECIFIC goal.  What is your long term goal?  If you are reading this blog, then I suggest it be fitness related as that is what we will be focusing on here.

I will be using a general goal here as an example.

My goal is to lose 10 pounds (not specific enough)
My goal is to lose 1-2 pounds per week (better, but needs more)
My goal is to lose 1-2 pounds per week in the next 5 weeks. (This is a very specific goal)

Hmm…needs more.  What is my plan to lose the weight?

I need to think of the things I might like to do.
I like the gym (but I don't know what to do there)
I like exercise videos
I like basketball
I like running
I like walking

I will begin with exercise videos that I can get from the library, Netflix, or Goodwill.  On good weather days I will walk outside 15 minutes in one direction and 15 minutes back.  I will do this 4 to 5 days a week before work.

I will focus on adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet
Right now I drink 1 beer every night, I will focus on drinking one beer every other night instead

Oops, I almost forgot to mention why I want to achieve this goal!

The very first reasons that have driven me to achieve this goal is to rid myself of the guilt.  I feel so guilty about my weight and how sedentary I have become.  I am tired of my feet hurting when I stand for long periods of time.  I want to go places and feel confident about myself.  Also there is this vacation and it involves Hawaii and a beach and a long flowing white swimsuit cover up I will be wearing.

Next post will be MEASURABLE.

Please feel free to give me feedback in the comments and/or on my Facebook page.

Autumn and Pumpkin Spice

Ahhh, the promise of Autumn.  Yesterday I was enjoying a rainy morning with my sister, which was a welcome change with all of the brush fires Washington has been experiencing.  She was telling me how Fall is now her favorite season and how she was excited for the burst of color that happens this time of year.

As I reflect on last year, my second year of personal training, my first year working in a fitness center, I can see sort of a pattern.  The way I thought it was going to go, and how it actually went were very different.  For instance, my business didn't really pick up until the end of September.  Then in January when everyone states that New Years resolutions bring in the crowds, that was not true for my experience.  January was my weakest month.  Summer is another time of year where people just don't make it to the gym…it's pretty obvious why.

With the Autumn upon us and all those pumpkin spice latte's everyone talks about swigging down, I sure hope they plan to get their workout on!  I too dream of sitting in a coffee shop, or wrapped up in a blanket on my couch with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand, watching the fire dance in the stove while I read a good novel.  But then I hear the record scratch and get jerked back to reality.

While there is a time and a place for those moments that seem to be too few and far between with work, after school activities, homework, dinner prep, menu planning, laundry…you get the picture, there is an even bigger need for goal setting.  I assure you it is not enough to just say "Winter is upon me and I am going to take these next 7 or 9 months to really get in shape!" and wait for our bellies to magically shrink.  It doesn't work that way.  We need goals and we need them to be specific.  The only way I have ever been able to succeed in anything I set out for, was to plan a goal that included specific ideals and processes to get what I wanted.

Next post will be the beginning of goal planning…stay tuned!

Friday, February 6, 2015

I gave in, but I didn't give up.

Have you ever seen that episode on Different Strokes (excuse me while I date myself) where Arnold was sneaking powdered doughnuts and tried to lie about it, but the evidence was all over his face?

Yesterday I was that kid…sort of.

I was struggling in a major way with the weather and just plain being hungry because my body was resisting letting go of some poundage.

 No amount of self talk was working.

  I figured that out when I grabbed the rice out of the fridge, and had a spoon dipped in before I realized what was coming for the weight gain producing hole in my face.

At this point I decided to go with it, log it and face my lumps.  But before that, I was sure to portion it out with a little bit of my vegan refried beans (no oil, only beans, onions, garlic, and spices).  

The day before that, my daughter had earned student of the month and I brought her some individual chocolates.

I was in my car and decided to look in the mirror to see if there was any evidence of the three chocolates I ate.  There was none.

I had to run.  There was no other option.  If I was going to have any defense against the scale this week, I had to get a good calorie burn, because by the end of lunch time I was already down to 299 calories left in my bank :(.

But here are some good things I accomplished.
#1. After blogging earlier this week about binge eating, I decided I probably better not do it.
#2. When my family wanted Taco Bell for dinner, so did I…so.   did.   I.
  I told myself I could go home, and make my own burrito with not only less calories, but WAY less chemicals and no animal products. This made me not put in an order for myself.  And the rule of no eating in the car made the drive home easier.
#3.  I also told myself that Fridays are usually my relax day and that I should just wait it out before splurging because tomorrow we were going to dinner at my favorite restaurant.
#4.  I am accountable to each and every one of you.  Just as you are accountable to me.
#5. A new idea was born!  There is a number that I need to include into the calorie plan for me as well as all of you, it is Calories to Maintain Weight.  If you have a struggle like my day was yesterday, allow yourself to eat your calories to maintain weight for that day.

My hope is that by sharing my struggles, maybe you guys can relate and find a way out of the difficult times, and your mind will become stronger in the defense.  Just as you exercise your body, your mind is equally important.

Big dreams, Big Goals mean Big changes.   Please be conscious of your eating habits.  Please push through the struggles.  Please correct one foul move with 7 good ones.

Sincerely bearing it all,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My struggles today

When I have extra time, especially when summer nears, I love to look at cute summer dresses and dream of looking cute in them.  This is part of what keeps me on task.

Today I ate my usual fruit sandwich and logged it into My Fitness Pal.  I had only a little over 1100 calories left after my whopping 185.  I went to the gym and led a class ( a darn good one if I don't say so myself!) and when I was done I was hungry.  As I leave the parking lot the thoughts of food enter my head.  The biggest one is the doughnut.  My kids will tell you they get to eat a doughnut once or twice a year simply because they are my weakness, so I avoid them like the plague.  I started my binge-eating thought process about how I have done so good and really just one is not going to hurt. And in the deepest part of my mind I told myself "If no one is watching, do the calories count?"  I know enough to know that I will not be able to work off that doughnut, even with the three hundred calories I will eventually burn today, it would only put me at maintain…and I need a lose!  And by the way, I did not do good previously!  I was absolutely destructive over the week end.

As I drove out of the parking lot I asked myself two questions.
1. Why are you doing this? (coating calories, trying to lose)
Answer: I really want to prove to myself that I can make better choices, and the inches won't come off without the change in my diet.  Not to mention I BETTER practice what I preach.

2. What can I do, or think at this moment to change the sabotage that is sure to come if I don't deflate these thoughts…ha ha deflate!!
Answer: Think of the food I can have, the stuff that doesn't cost me. like fresh veggies or fruit.  I know that if I can just get it into my mouth it will at least take away the hunger pain.  Think, your car needs to go home, and no where else.

By the time I got home I needed to do something.  I first went for the soup I made last night, then remembered that I could really fill myself up and have so much more if I had a salad with veggies!  I ended up having a huge bowl of lettuce with celery, green onions, and some seasoned veggies that I had water sautéed a few nights ago.  I put a couple of tablespoons of Nutritional yeast on top and viola!  It filled me up nicely.  That was at 10am.  By noon I was wanting food again, now it was lunch and now I would eat the soup (Soul soothing african Peanut Stew by Angela Lidon Oh She Glows cookbook).  This soup is very comforting, and very healthy, 1 cup at 271 calories was very satisfying.  I am now craving sweets and dreaming about cinnamon toast crunch (what is it even doing in my house?!!!) but instead I am going to have some free grapes!  I had a cup of black coffee earlier, and will have some plain herbal tea here pretty soon.  Drinking water is best.  Sometimes I shake it up with plain herbal tea :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

I decided to Google "weight loss blogs" into my computer.  This is the first one I clicked on  Binge eating…something I struggle with?  You betcha!  I am not certain that I knew that…er…admitted that until I read the blog of what she goes through when she is on a binge.  It was scary to how well I could relate.  You can read the article, she makes some pretty good points but it got me to thinking.  I don't do it near as much as I used to, and when I do I think of some key things I have done in the past to help prevent it.  It's mostly mind work, but I am going to try to recollect and list some things here.  Please excuse the messiness of this blog and my thoughts…they are pretty raw.

1.  Entitlement.  We all have entitlement issues, especially when it comes to eating.  I try to remember to ask myself why I think I should be allowed to have this.  So here is an example.

 I have a goal, 2 pound weight loss this week.  The week goes by and it was a success!  I only lost 1.5 pounds, but I stuck to everything I was supposed to.  I start next week, Monday I do great!  Tuesday is here and I can feel my weight beginning to budge, I can feel it because I am darn hungry!  NO, a celery stick isn't going to cut it this time!  I deserve just a few crackers, or something sweet, I have done good!  How about a bowl of cereal (a very personal weakness that turns into two bowls) just one little bowl.  Begin inner dialogue
"The weather is really crappy, and you know how you crave sweets when the weather is bad."
"You worked out today, there has to be some calorie allowance in there."
 "Okay, just grab a handful and eat them dry."

Enter reality, and the keys to prevent acting on my addiction

  Then I have to ask myself…
"What number did you want to see on the scale at the end of this week?" (this is attention to my goal)  "Why do you feel you are entitled to this cheat?"
 "Is there any other food you can grab?" (fruit, a small handful of nuts if it fits into my calorie allowance, celery stick, prepared soup)

When that thought doesn't work, I have to send in reinforcement:
"Go to the refrigerator, grab a stick of celery, or a carrot, or heat up some soup, DO IT"

So I do it, then I feel better.  I have succeeded.

I don't want to talk about what happens when I don't listen to that voice, but I listen to the one that goes for the cereal.  I am left with an angry, guilty conscience.  I wish I would have at least tried my other method first.  I am tired and crashing from my sugar high.  Now all I do is crave sugar the rest of the day, and many more repercussions we all have them.

2. Plan ahead.  This can be challenging.  We all have lives, but let's face it.  If we want the big changes we envision, then we need to make sacrifices and big changes in our lives.
Prep your food!  Make little meals for yourself that already have the calories counted.  I am not good at doing it all in one day for the week, so I do things in the morning, like make a salad, or a sandwich.  The easiest thing for me to make ahead is Soup.  One of my favorite soups is cream of asparagus by Dr. Fuhrman.
Cream of Asparagus Soup 
1 pound fresh asparagus, chopped 
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest (I use Krogers zesty seasoning only 1 tbsp)
2 cups water 
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos 
1 cup unsweetened soy, almond or hemp milk 
1/4 C almonds 1/4C cashews, or 1/2 C of one kind of nut
4 pitted dates 
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish 
Simmer asparagus, VegiZest, water, and aminos in a soup pot until asparagus is tender. Blend in a 
high-powered blender, with soy milk, cashews, and dates, until smooth. Garnish with cilantro before 
I typed in this link to find the asparagus recipe, and if you scroll through the comments you will find several yummy looking recipes!!!

3. Leave (go to the library or anywhere away from your kitchen) or find a way to be incredibly busy doing whatever keeps your interest.

I came home today cold and hungry.  I had already eaten a good sized breakfast (a fruit sandwich with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter) so the excuses weren't even coming!  For me a warm cup of herbal tea will not only fill me up, it will soothe me, and help me to get warmed up.

 I took my tea into my office and got away from the kitchen.  If you work outside the home, make sure you have your lunch pre made AND bring a snack that will help you resist the doughnuts someone brought in for Sue's birthday.  When I helped out at the school for family fun night, I just knew there was going to be a lot of sweet treats there, so I ate dinner before I left, and shoved a 100 calorie packet of chocolate covered pretzels in my pocket, not so that I should eat them no matter what, but because I know myself and I wanted to have a weapon.

 I am not big on hundred calorie packs, or processed food, but I am also realistic, and I knew that crappy processed food was going to save the day when I needed it to.  It wasn't long before my 12 year old was asking me to hold her cupcake for a second.  It was at that moment that I patted my pocket and smiled.  I survived that night AND had a few calories left over for when I got home :)

So I will close for now, and hope I have time to write more tomorrow!