Monday Motivation: Guest post from Sarah Vance that will redefine how you see yourself

Do you ever think that once you get your ideal body that you will finally be content in your own skin?

That once you fit in your desired jeans size- you will never have problems picking out clothes again- because you will love EVERYTHING you put on your body?

 Or maybe you think that once you hit a goal weight- your life will magically change and you will never wake up in disgust with what is looking at you back in the mirror?

I thought these things to- and it wasn’t until years later that I discovered I had it completely backwards.

Hi! My name is Sarah Vance. I am a former bikini competitor, fitness model, and chronic dieter. I spent years searching for the perfect meal plan that would lead me to the ideal body that I had instilled in my head. I spent copious amounts of time ‘fixing’ my body…and when I finally looked like the ideal body that was in my head… I was actually at my lowest point and least confident in my own skin. My fitness regimen and eating habits ruled my life.

Sarah_before

I don’t think my story is uncommon with women- and as a matter of fact it is becoming more common with young girls. We as women feel extreme pressure to look a certain way from society’s unrealistic standards.

I would say the majority of women start a fitness regimen to ‘fix’ their body. Their body becomes their project. The majority of women start their first diet in hopes to mold their body into what they envision in their head.

All this time we are searching to become MORE. More confident, healthier, radiant, happier with our bodies, and sometimes we are looking for more LOVE from ourselves or others.

It wasn’t until I challenged all my ideals, gave a middle finger to society’s idea of beauty, and created happiness in my life that I had all of these things.

I went from tearing myself down, to building myself up in more ways than one. I quit dieting cold turkey (and have never looked back) I stopped worrying about exercising, and focused on moving in a way that is a celebration of my body and what it can do(hello powerlifting).  I started to take charge of my life and spent all the time I spent on obsessing over how many calories were in a piece of pizza or how many calories I burned from a run and put into areas that needed work: My relationship, my job, my internal self, my relationship with food, and my health.

You see: what we all desire is achievable in any body we have, however we go about achieving it in a backwards state of mind.

You see: You cannot hate your body into loving it. It simply doesn’t work that way. Take it from me- I tried that route, and I guarantee that you will not end up in a body that you love.

After I made a huge mind shift something magical happened: Everything I desired that my goal body promised started coming to me….

…confidence.

…love.

…health.

….freedom.

….happiness.

…empowerment.

…trust and faith in myself.

Sarah_after

Am I there? No. I don’t think there is ever a true ‘there’. I think it is human nature to have days where we want to go into an all out war with our body- but with this new found mindset and perspective I can come back to a place of love and respect for my body, and work through what is actually behind those feelings- because when we wake up saying: I am so <fat, gross, lumpy>, and I hate <my butt, cellulite, stretch marks, flabby arms> it usually isn’t about the body itself. Something is behind it, and only you can figure that out.

A question I want you to ask yourself is this: What does ‘there’ look like? What does this woman do, think, feel, act? How does she live her life?

Take a moment and reflect on that- then….see all those things. Now Go Do Them. Fearlessly. 

If you think your body is prohibiting you—sit with that and really break that mind barrier down.  I bet you that your body isn’t holding you back from anything, it is your mindset.

Do you really want to spend more time tearing yourself down when you can start building yourself up? Probably not, and how that has worked out for you this far. It probably hasn’t.

Why not try a new way of thinking and being? You never know- you may see the magic happen like I did, but you won’t know until you try.

Sarah_Vance

Sarah is a body positive fitness coach, nurse, lip gloss lover, barbell slinging, diet-ditching quirky chick. She specializes in helping radiant women learn to cultivate self love, nourishment, strength.  She is a former bikini champion and knows all to well the extremes of the fitness world. She is an ICU nurse who values health and living life to its fullest. Her favorite foods include a juicy burger, sushi, and a great steak. Her favorite hobbies include fishing, reading, watching good movies, and laughing until her stomach hurts.

Be sure to sign up for her FREE guide on how to start loving your body with five simple steps HERE. She will also send you ways to create a positive mindset, how to eat food effortlessly, love your fitness lifestyle, and own your body with confidence.

You can also follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

Let’s get real about weight loss

OK, so there is this thing that has been bothering me. It’s the entire reason why so many of us feel like failures when it comes to weight loss and I have even peddled along with it. But NO MORE! There is a reality to weight loss, but we aren’t really let in on that reality are we?

  1. You cannot deprive the body into losing weight. At least, you can’t deprive it into losing weight for good. Every time you embark on a deprivation diet of ANY kind, your metabolism, NOT YOUR BODY FAT, goes down. It is better to invest some time building your metabolism up instead of falling for quick weight loss fads.
  2. There is a definite science to weight loss…and most trainers don’t even know it. Basic CPT training courses do NOT teach the science of actual weight loss. They teach trainers how to take assessments and protocol for training programs. All of this is very important, but now the market is flooded with trainers that spit out meal plans like a weight loss ATM. Then, when the meal plan fails the client…the trainer blames the client.
  3. NUTRIENTS are far more important than calories. Nutrient help insure health, bone density, longevity and quality of life. If you focus on cutting calories, you inadvertently cut nutrients, leading to more fat gain and inflammation issues as you age.
  4. WOMEN: wrap your pretty head around the fact that you need to train like a man. Start thinking like men (grunting and throwing weights optional). You don’t see too many men starving themselves to fit into a certain size or see a certain number on the scale. Build your muscle, feed your muscle. And as for the flat-out lie that you’ll get BULKY…in the infamous Disney voice, LET IT GO.
  5. Get smart. Choose your trainer wisely. This person is not just responsible for helping you shed a couple of pounds….they are responsible for your HEALTH and wellbeing. Don’t take that lightly and don’t allow them to take it lightly either. If you see them training other clients exactly like they train you, run for the door. You deserve a personalized approach to your own health. Put it on the list as IMPORTANT.

Here’s one final thing that bugs me in the “weight loss” industry (aside from the fact that it should be the health industry…but that doesn’t sell as much):

MANY people fall for fancy marketing. I have blog posts about home workouts on this very blog. I also used to peddle them, but I have since seen a few issues come to light, especially since I started counseling:

  • You ONLY see the success. Let’s take Beach Body for example (please note, they are not the only ones): they KNOW infomercials. They have a specialized team that knows exactly what to do, right down to the lighting, colors and time placement. When Beach Body develops a new program, the program gets sent to beta testing. There is a controlled group of people who sign several documents stating that they will not breathe a word. In return, they get to work with celebrity trainer, get a meal plan and hopefully, a brand new body. Here’s the question: do you see the people that didn’t succeed? You know, the ones that did it for 2 weeks and got bored, injured or just didn’t mesh with the program? UM, NO! They’ve signed contracts that disable them from saying it failed for them, therefore we only see the success. Since we only see success, when we do not finish we feel like a failure….
  • Home based training is not bad, but over promising is. When I take online clients in, they are told up front that my methods aren’t super fast…they’re built to last. Trainers and fitness companies need to step away from the flash of fast and move towards better health and wellness overall. Maintainable fitness and nutrition is what keep you fit, healthy and happy with life.

Now that my soap box can be folded up :) Here’s an eye opener for you:

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

I know I’ve posted these before, but stay with me here! These are no filter, no fancy lighting pics, just the real deal.

Pic on the left: I was down to 1400 calories, about 80 grams of carbs (that’s low people), no breads, pastas, rice, etc. and I was working out 2-3x per day.

On the right: my calories were worked up slowly to 1700 (I’m now up to 1800 and holding steady), carbs at 150 grams, zero steady state cardio, four 25 minute sessions per week and two hour long sessions to focus on building.

I have more energy throughout the day (carbs!) and I’m leaner than when I was following a plan.

The point? Learn the facts, learn your body and stop depending on people who don’t even know what they are doing! You’re health is worth the time and investment.

Want to learn more about nutrition? Join the next Nutrition Boot Camp that starts in June.

See you soon!

Michelle

Nutrition Boot Camp 101

It’s the Little Things

There is one common theme that I am noticing amongst my clients and fitness fans alike: We ALL LOVE FOOD!!!!

Am I right?

Well, you know what? You SHOULD love food. As a matter of fact, God gave us food so that we can be nourished and enjoy life. Just on a side note though, I’m not so sure God gave us Twizzlers…but I sure do enjoy them :)

I think there is a lot of food confusion going on in the more affluent parts of the world. You read that right, but I’ll explain: if you have enough food to actually cause worry over what you should and shouldn’t eat, you my friend are affluent. We worry over carbs and fats, count calories like devoted mathletes, and even wear devices that tell us how much we move because we honestly don’t know! OK, I have been guilty of ALL.

There is hope for each of us though. It’s a little something called Intuitive Eating. I counsel with this theory and have had raging results for myself and lots of clients. And guess what? We all need it so I’m going to be focusing on this for several blogs. Why? I think we need to bring the enjoyment back to our nourishment. It is the way God intended. think of the people trudging around the desert. God sent manna and I’m sure it was the best tasting, we’re not totally sure what it was, stuff on Earth! Enjoying our nourishment (should we be the ones that are not having to worry over it) is a gift, and it is my intent to bring it back.

Mindless Eating is one of my most flipped through nutrition books. the funny thing is this is not a book of calorie counting or anal retentive meal plans (there is such a thing). it is a book that brings the reality of the situation into light. We are such a get-it-done-yesterday society that we are often just stuffing food in so we can stay awake. We use it to fuel more than it actually does and we often use food for comfort as well. The sadness of this reality is that to an orphan in Ethiopia comfort food is ANY scrap that will reach his belly….

In our culture, we have recently begun to deal with the effects of too-much. Food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities (all different) are beginning to run rampant. Why? Scientists speculate it is because we have never before had such a wide variety of foods available at any time, to anybody day or night. Think about it: you can now get any food delivered straight to your doorstep, no matter the time. Most of us make use of this convenience due to our busy lives, but according to scientists we have “convenienced” ourselves into a serious lack of real health.

I know what your thinking: “I can’t feed a village with MY food and my life won’t slow down anytime soon“. This may be true, but you and I are not meant to leave in an eternal food fight on Earth. We shouldn’t need a third-party to tell us what to eat. So what are we to do? Information is power and I intend to provide you with that. Each week we will discuss a small change that can be made to the diet to help bring about health. The 10 Pound Challenge will cover food in just a bit more detail, but strict meal plans are off-limits. It’s time to take back our right to enjoy our sustenance as it was intended.

So, are you up for the challenge?

Michelle

Sugar Free Day 1 Update

Since we’re going sugar-free in May, I figured it would be nice to give a little update :)

So, far, so good! although it’s only day #2! LOL My kids are enjoying it and learning quite a bit about added sugar in foods. Instead of the regular honey or natural syrup on the waffles (whole grain, no sugar) and french toast, I am making our very own sweetener. I bought frozen strawberries (make SURE you check the label for added sugars) and place a few of them in a small sauce pan with just about 1 tablespoon of water, a sprinkle of Stevia, and a dash of vanilla extract. I bring it to a boil and let it simmer down from there. The kids love it! I reminded them yesterday that the most important things about this month is to approach it with an open mind. One of the best things you can do for yourself is be willing to fail, especially in the kitchen.

So, if you’re taking the sugar-free challenge, how’s it going for you? What have you noticed about your eating habits?

It’s amazing what you learn by trying new things! Stay tuned tomorrow for a little DVD information. Look closely, I think you’ll recognize somebody!

Stay healthy, stay fit!

Michelle