Kick in the Pants Monday: June 23, 2014

QOTD: Do you REALLY want help?

 

Kick in the Pants Monday

This video series will be replacing Tough Love Tuesday.

THIS is one you will want to hear, especially if you’re struggling with reaching goals….

 

National Nutrition Month: Tough Love Tuesday…the real TRUTH

Tough Love Tuesday revisited!!!! Nutrition focus, thanks to National Nutrition Month :)

Need a little more help?

SIGN UP FOR NUTRITION BOOTCAMP! It starts April 7th and will run for 6 weeks in the comfort of your own home. Sign up HERE via email: michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

You are what you train for…

I have found in my life that wisdom can often be wasted on the young….mostly because they have more deductive reasoning than those of us who are set in our ways :) I was able to witness such wisdom just yesterday:

My daughter and I were in the office, she doing her school work and me passing the time watching yoga videos (hey, we all have our things). I was watching one such yoga video featuring the ever lovely and always lively Meghan Currie (I highly recommend her site) and in complete awe of the control and grace with which she moved. If you would take a little time to watch her, you’ll notice her back bends are quite enviable. I remarked to my daughter how I always wanted to conquer such poses, but alas they had eluded me. I expressed frustration over this fact since I have been a yoga teacher for nearly a decade (with specialities in human anatomy). I was met with an honest and eye-opening response…

“Well, that’s not what you train for….”

Wisdom came and smacked me across the face right then. My daughter had nailed down the fact that I indeed do not train for yoga or even to improve my yoga. I have always been the yogi that trains for other things (namely nice glutes and fit thighs, along with shapely arms and the ability to kick butt) and then throw yoga in as a preventative measure or, sadly, an afterthought at times. Before we move on, I must express my newest set of goals is to remedy this situation…

So, it begs the question then: WHAT DO YOU TRAIN FOR?

Do you have to constantly tell people you work out, or do they know because your lifestyle reflects it? Honestly, you don’t have to be ripped for people to notice, you just have to commit to a lifestyle. You can’t hit the gym 5 days per week, but party ALL weekend. Beer pong (if you don’t know what that is PLEASE don’t go searching. You’re all the better not knowing), ribs, fried foods, sweet binges and weekend cocktails can take the best of gym dedications and drive them into the ground. We all know the people who either talk about class (Take yoga, Pilates, barre, step, kickboxing) ALL the time, but their body never changes. What should that tell us? That hour is just another form of a social outlet, not a lifestyle. The same thing goes for those who hit the gym 5 days a week like it’s a job. If that dedication doesn’t bleed into the kitchen, nothing will ever change. This is why knowing your goals is so important! If my new goal is to accomplish a back bend sequence without wanting to cry (or hit somebody) then my training needs to reflect it. If I told you my new goal, but you saw me deadlifting 150 pounds 3 times per week, am I really training towards my goal? So, if you tell me your goal is to drop 20 pounds, but I see you posting about happy hours, nachos, chips, and mimosas….do I think you’re training towards your goal? Are we drilling this in enough?

How DO you train towards a goal?

Easy, know your GOAL. All too often we follow the latest fad or hit the gym just because other people do. God calls us sheep for a reason….we’re always looking for something or somebody to follow. If your goal has nothing to do with the gym, ditch the membership and actually work towards what you want. If your goal is to make $5000 more this year, don’t take extra days off from work. Your goal will ultimately determine WHAT you do. Your will determines how far you go…

Michelle (your soon to be back-bendy blogger)

Tough Love Tuesday: Soap Box

***Disclaimer: TLT is not meant to offend, only to inform. I do not hold back in the TLT videos and posts, so if you find yourself a little sensitive (we ALL have those days!) then please check out other posts. If you need a kick in the rear to get it in gear, then by all means let’s get going!***

I’m going to lay this one out for you: I’m about to climb upon my box. Take what you need, ignore the rest and come back when you’re ready.

I HAVE DEVELOPED A HATRED FOR CROSSFIT.

OK, I kept trying to keep an open mind, but this has gotten out of control. Little known fact, I do some training posts and stuff for Reebok, who put on the Crossfit games, so I must expand on my first point here. Crossfit in and of itself is not my enemy. If it is taught correctly it can be a great workout, but the whole phenomenon has gotten out of hand. First off, there are a large number of Crossfit people who have become a cult. I was able to help launch a new vitamin store in town in the Spring and the local Crossfit believers did a workout there prior to my arrival. When I arrived all I saw was knee-high compression socks. Why? Good question, but according to the non-trainer-trainer, when you Crossfit you need compression socks and these had the local logo. But why do you need the socks? I kid you not, this was the answer, “They help you work harder.” Um, really? Are they magic socks? compression socks serve a purpose and I have 2 pair in my sock drawer. They  are handy on 12+ hour flights AND I will wear them during a heavy plyometric workout to support my calf all the better, but they by no means make me work harder…perhaps they make one look as if one works harder. Second beef (mmmmm, beef). PALEO! Oh, my, goodness. Paleo is OK, but still falls under fad diet. Eventually, you will find out you are so not a caveman and you’ll gain back what the deprivation effect took out. Now, there are Crossfit Athletes and sponsored competitors that get paid to stick to it and swear by…because they’re paid for that reason. Layman like us need the variety. So, the question I loathe is “Is that Paleo?”. As I was spending my time in the shop, I was flanked by young, eager Crossfitters….asking recommendations on pre-workout potions to help them power through grueling workouts (I hold a specialty in supps), with which I replied, “Is THAT Paleo?” :) Last, and possibly most important, owners of boxes are not required to have certification above Crossfit (and some don’t even have that, which Crossfit is not cool with, so check out your box). Now, I’m a BIG fan of education. The world of fitness and nutrition is constantly evolving and your trainer has to stay on top of things. I have seen Crossfit injuries walk through because it’s only marked by time and load. I watch videos and break into hives over poor squat form! Perhaps they are in with the knee replacement biz…..it’s all a conspiracy. At any rate, just because you see “skinny” people doing it, doesn’t mean it’s your fast ticket to skinny, particularly if you have no idea what proper form is to start. Is all Crossfit bad? Absolutely not! I beg you to be careful, just like when hiring a trainer, do the homework and study up on the workouts and the people running it.

THE PROBLEM WITH NON-COMPLIANCE

The number one reason your transformation hasn’t made it to the next phase is simple: non-compliance. What does that mean? You are not following what your trainer has set up for you (assuming you have done your homework and hired a competent trainer). I know, you want to roll your eyes and whine about the fact that you work as hard as you can and your meal plan is SO strict…but I don’t buy it because I’ve been there. Your trainer has given you the golden key but you have to get off the couch and walk to the door. Don’t tell your trainer that you’re running when you’re walking the track checking your Facebook. Don’t say you never have treats when you hit up chocolate or chips (or chocolate covered chips) every other night, even if it’s “just a little”. People always complain about celebrities having it “so easy” when it comes to weight loss. BULL! They are more compliant! They have to be because they can lose large sums of money if they aren’t and bodies like that don’t come from getting fat sucked out. They have a goal, got a plan and stuck to it. Same goes for you. Suck it up, stick to the plan and trust the process. Just because the 50 pounds you need to lose didn’t fall off after 1 strict diet day does not mean you are beyond all hope…it means you have work to do and NOBODY will do it for you or give it to you. Your body doesn’t cash in on welfare of any kind. DO. THE. WORK.

THE FREEBIES

Do you know what I hear every single week? “Can you get me a meal plan?” “Can you set up a workout?” “You really should give out free fitness and nutrition stuff?” So, I’m asking that you put yourself in my shoes here…..I am extremely aware of people, yet I shiver at the thought of consistently asking somebody to provide their living to me for free. Oh, you’re a data processor, I am about 6 months behind on client records, care to help? Accounting!?! We don’t even want to go there. Stay at home mom? I have a kid that stays at home, think you could watch her while she whittles away at her math problems? Yeah, it’s not so fun right? But that’s just from me…amplify that by everybody you know (family excluded because their prize for putting up with me is advice when they need it). Here’s the real rub though. Do you know what happens when I give free advice or training sessions or meal plans? NON-COMPLIANCE!!!!!!! People just don’t do it, so I have wasted that time (by the way if I have already told you that I am happy to help you, then congrats! You’re in the family club and needn’t worry). There is LOADS of info right here on the site. I don’t hold back (clearly) and I stay up to date on fads, trends and the tried and true old school methods that really work. There are sample menus, recipes, exercises and videos. YOU just have to do one thing…THE WORK. Do you see a pattern, because I do.

Now that my fingers have tired from my ranting, I apologize for any hurt feelings, although it is key to learn that our feeling are our own and others should not be allowed to stomp on them…we control them.

If you’re mad, good, go use that. If you’re ready to do the work, find a meal plan (or get the whole big packet!), watch a video, get inspired and stop holding yourself back!

Until next time,

Michelle

Video Cred to JENNY MORGAN

 

Oh the Vanity!

I have struggled with this post for weeks now….so I figure throwing it out just before I step on a plane is the best thing to do :)

I have a confession to make: I work in a vain industry. That can be hard to adjust to, but it is inherently, the truth. I have defended the fitness industry for nearly a decade now, but have recently come to realize what it is all about.

This is NOT to say that I don’t believe in what I do. Health is comprised of nutrition and fitness, along with spiritual health (first place!) and mental health. Here is the issues I face though: vanity tends to be the #1 reason most people seek out fitness. Nutrition? That is the most treasured, yet least sought after. We want the quick fix. We want the weight that has been hanging on for 4 years (or more) to fall off in time for Summer. I do believe in the power of the mind, but some take it too far.

Why is it bothering me now?

Well, I have seen the faces of the truly needy. I have held hands with those who have been beaten and tortured. I have talked with people who feel they are unworthy to be loved. The problem is that during my “day job” I also talk to people who don’t like the way their butt jiggles. I have spoken with those who are blithely unaware of real starvation, yet willing to starve their own body into submission. I have held the hand of those in tears…because they haven’t lost the baby weight.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to mesh these 2 worlds. I believe fitness can be extremely empowering and I believe a base knowledge of nutrition can help us avoid disease. I love what I do! Yet it feels like a daily parade of never-ending “I wants” drowning out the true needs.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bring you down…I do think a change in perspective is in order though.

I have a personal story about that and it has unfolded just over the past few months. You see, I was into the vanity part of fitness (admitting you have a problem is the first step!). I paid undo attention to my clothing size and how the muscles of my body were shaped. And I truly hated jiggle. So, I spent hours in the gym and pumped my body with protein to grow tight and lean….and it was all going according to plan, until it didn’t. I began having joint issues, then all of the sudden my strength just gave out. Poof, done. I wouldn’t stop though and simply adjusted over the years. Finally, over the last 6 weeks, I have been living out a promise I made to myself at the beginning of the Summer. It’s working. I had told myself I wouldn’t worry about weight or size, I would do yoga, walk and whatever truly felt good. And that is precisely what I have done. I discovered that I had developed an intolerance to gluten, yeast, eggs and whey….so my diet has none of that (or as little as possible). I eat for energy and to feel good. I move daily, but never push myself too hard (no pain, all gain).

This is a different approach for me. I have been in a “weight loss” phase since I was 9 years old people! I have always struggled to keep my weight down. I’ll admit I was quite fearful embarking on this feel good approach, but guess what? My weight hasn’t been an issue. I don’t weight, but my clothes have gotten much looser and my belly doesn’t struggle with the pooch anymore. It’s like my body finally got happy because it was allowed to be happy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If I was needing to lose 50 pounds (I’ve been at that doctor appointment love), this relaxed approach probably wouldn’t work. My thought is this though: stop trying to beat yourself up about it. It really is a lifestyle and honestly, yours should look different from everybody else. You can’t punish your body into changing 30 years of damage in 2 weeks, no matter what the infomercial says. If you want to try that hard new workout, do it because you want the challenge…not because you think you’re past all hope.

I challenge you to peel back the corners of your world and think bigger. Take a deep breath and take in the bigger picture because the world is a whole lot bigger than your butt! Once your mind can get focused on something other than your own perceived failures, you’re more free to make the needed changes.

Michelle

TLT: When Pressing Play Isn’t Enough

Good Morning!

As always, Tough Love Tuesdays can seem rough, but they are for your own good :)

It seems like nowadays everybody and their dog has an exercise video (even me!). The concept is simple: push play. Beach Body has made a fortune on selling this concept, backed by big personalities and success stories. If it truly is as simple as pushing play….why are we actually getting fatter and more unhealthy as the years move forward?

I’ll be honest, I like a good video. I like the fact that I can zone out and not have to sequence my own workout and I also utilize videos with my clients. For most, it’s easier to pop a video in for homework as opposed to checking with a sheet of paper or email. Workout videos are, in essence, convenient. However, they are flawed as well.

Some drawbacks to videos are quite evident. The first is form. If we don’t have good form we won’t get the results we are after. There are a few good vids on the market that harp on form (Chalean Extreme, Ellen Barrett, Core Fusion, for example), but many simply assume you’ll get it. Sadly, most don’t. Poor form will lead to injury and injury keeps us from finding joy in our workouts. Another drawback is that we rarely push ourselves as hard as we should. We are far more concerned with comfort and safety and won’t go as far as we need to for results. Having a trainer that you trust makes a huge difference in this arena. Videos also fail to change our mindset OR our habits. This, my friend, is where the key to true success lies.

If weight loss were truly as easy as pushing play, would there be a weight problem that is costing us billions (yep, you read that right, Google it) of dollars? Of course not! The problem isn’t in lack of DVD players or videos to suit any workout need or personality. The problem is within each of us, engrained in our being. Whether we succeed or fail…..it is upon ourselves that the future of our health lies.

The next fitness guru is always right around the corner. In the fitness world, we all scramble for the next big idea. 1 out of 5 ideas may take off, but they are generally a flash in the pan. Think about those who have been making videos for years (Tae Bo anyone?). They have to continually add and change to keep our attention. Committing to a fit lifestyle is a far cry from watching a video.

So, where are things going wrong? In my professional opinion, it’s our wiring. We are becoming more hard-wired to do things that we want rather than things that are needed or required. This behaviour is encouraged and the fitness industry has tried for years to capitalize on it, to little avail. So, what happens within our wiring to cause this shift in our culture?

  1. We are becoming increasingly more lazy. I never believed in laziness until a few years ago when a client truly opened my eyes to the fact that some people simply don’t care. The phrase “I don’t feel like it” has become a rampant infestation in our culture and will cause a downfall. Laziness is not needed and is actually a sin (see Proverbs 19).
  2. We don’t think it’s worth the time/effort. This ties into the lazy gene that is overtaking us. We fear putting forth the effort.
  3. We blindly think we cannot change. Change is available to all who work for it, period.
  4. We fear change, failure and success…all at once. We allow ourselves to be stuck where we are simply because we think we know this place. We fear moving forward and progressing because is we succeed, what more will be asked of us (again, that’s laziness coming through)? And if we fail, what will we have to do next?
  5. We don’t think we are worth the effort. We believe the lie that we are not worth the work to change. We think we are not worthy of success and so we drag on, merely existing throughout our days. This is a deadly way to live and should be thrown to the fire right away. We are meant for better! It may not be a million dollars or a size zero, BUT it is better than staying stuck in the lies we blindly adhere to. For lack of a better phrase, it’s time to put on your big girl panties and do the work!

When it comes to weight loss I see one thing as a major deterrent to change: we expect our bodies to respond in record-breaking time. You cannot treat your body like crap and then expect it to change into exactly what you want in 2 weeks, 6 weeks or even 52 weeks! Chill out! First off, show your body some respect as it is a gift and we are called to steward this gift just as we are to steward the money and other possessions we have been given.

Wrapping this TLT, I have some facts of encouragement for you :) Trust me, this is good stuff.

First, remember that although you must not adhere to “feeling like it” you do need to like it in general. One workout is not the end all for all bodies. Vary your workouts to keep from getting bored and keep the body responding. My workouts are varied from yoga to weight lifting to MMA and everything in between. Choose what works best to stimulate your body, mind and sense of self.

Second, weight loss occurs in the kitchen alone! There is no amount of punishment you can inflict on the body that will make it magically drop weight. What you eat and how you nourish your own body will allow you to let go of unnecessary weight and move forward.

Use all of this as food for thought and have a very healthy day!

Michelle

Tough Love Tuesday: the MAIN Difference you need to know about

As always, Tough Love needs a disclaimer: if you need fluffy feel goods, scroll through the posts. I’m all about empowering others to reach their goals and make a difference. This requires tough love sometimes. If you’re ready, read on!

There are several differences in those who reach their goals and those who struggle with their goals. I am in the excellent company of goal reachers just about every day, and have been enlightened to the common habits of those who are most successful in reaching whatever goals they set for themselves. It’s just a few small changes that make a HUGE impact:

  1. We are consistent. We don’t dilly dally with goals. We set them, map them and WORK for them, period. There is no second guessing and there are certainly no excuses. When you’re trying to reach a goal, who has time for excuses?
  2. We don’t complain. This is a HUGE one in and of itself. It probably deserves it’s very own post. We don’t complain about food, meal prep or workouts. We don’t complain about schedules or how difficult things seem in relation to our food and workouts. Complaining will lead to excuse making. I get a lot of complainers online and in the gym Do you know how many clients who spend their time complaining reached any of their goals? ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop. Right now. Get it out of your way because complaining that the scale isn’t moving (it will move when I chunk it out of the window) or that you’re having meal prep issues, or family stuff, or stress or whatever. People don’t want to hear it and running your mouth burns just about as many calories as stuffing it….so stop.
  3. We think outside the box. What happens when things don’t go as planned? What if you work out after you drop the kids off and then the school calls because your kid is sick? Or what if you depend on a DVD program and your TV explodes? Yeah, life happens. Be grateful you still have life happening (see #2) and move forward. Take your workout outside. On this site alone there are workouts you can do at the park or around a track. Be creative and bust a sweat.
  4. We plan for success. Successful goal planning will lead to goal reaching. We don’t want for it and wish for it (as in: I wish I could get up early and work out…), we work for it.

Changing your mindset will change everything! Take the negative and dump it into the recycle bin of your mind. Work for what you are trying to accomplish. I still get told no and doors still slam in my face…but I don’t quit and I refuse to live defeated. Stop measuring yourself by the scale and start building yourself in the gym (or garage, or track, or whatever floats your fancy). Ultimately, YOU are the reason you win or lose. Make it happen!

Michelle

The ABS in question

Tough Love Tuesday! The Nutrition Issue

Tough Love Tuesday: Priorities!