What’s in a number?

As I sit here trying to get my first meal of the day down (it’s 10 a.m. and was a long night) I am full of certain wonderings….

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and the fact that I have been forced to slow down has only made that worse. My health has taken a bit of a hit, but that’s not the point of this particular post.

What I have noticed is an extreme fascination with numbers. People who contact me are on a quest for a certain number. It is ALWAYS the scale…..and once I bring up the fact that the scale weight can actually be a bit subjective (you’d be hard pressed to find 2 scales that actually gave the same weight), most women will change the scale number to a clothing size number. Insert eye roll.

Did you know that there is no longer a discernible sizing system? True story. My own closet is full of different sizes and none of them tell me a lick about who I am as a person. You see, the size of the garment depends on who the designer is selling to AND where the garment will be sold. So it’s not your body that determines the size, but rather the designer, store and ultimately consumer. Before you get down on designers, I beg you to put several of the same size women in a lineup…..no 2 will look the same. And that goes for weight as well.

women and weight

Now, I totally get it if you are hefting around 100 extra pounds and feel the NEED to drop some just to be healthy. I have been there! And you’ll get it, just don’t stop moving :)

No, this is more for those obsessed with taking off some poundage. I mean, I have met more women who voice concerns over weight than women who are concerned if they are raising their children to survive in the world….no lie. Women who think if they could just reach that goal weight that life will somehow be magically delicious, to quote a popular leprechaun. Women who are so busy bouncing to the next thing that they don’t realize what they are missing right now. This is a disease of the mind that has to stop.

If my weight can differ by 2-4 pounds on any given scale, then what is it anyway? Is there even a need for weight? Well, certainly. I was weighed yesterday and I’m glad they did. It makes prescribing medications much easier. PLUS. if there is a large spike OR drop in weight it can indicate an illness. On a side note: a sudden drop in weight is almost always worse in the health department. The saddest thing is I also know women who are actually envious of others who have dropped massive amounts of weight due to illness. A diseased mind knows no bounds….

Am I telling you to give up on reaching your elusive weight loss goals?

Well, yes….and no.

There is a better way to see progress. SO, if you can hang with me for just a moment more, I’m giving you the top tips to tracking progress :) and some freebies at the end (WOOHOO!)

  1. Set a physical goal that has nothing to do with numbers. Don’t say you want to lose 20 pounds because then every upscale will send you into a pit. Instead, set some physical goals that have nothing to do with numbers (including lifting!). Stuck doing “girlie” pushups all the time? Aim to do your pushups with great form on your toes, then reverse engineer your way to that goal. You can do the same thing with pull ups, running, squats, lunges, cardio training, etc. Maybe there is an advanced class at your gym you want to try, but realize you could get injured in your current state. Make a plan to increase strength and cardiovascular efficiency. The same can be done for mud runs and adventure races. The options for non-scale goals are truly endless, so pick one.
  2. Take pictures, not measurements. I stopped doing weight and body fat this year. I’m still weaning some clients off of it, but the 2 can both be very subjective to your stress levels as well as water and salt intake. So, I prefer to use tape for clients and I truly encourage everybody to take pictures. I know this can seem like a horrifying suggestion. Even I struggled during my contest prep and that was the leanest I had been in a while. I promise, you will start to see the changes before you even move the scale or have baggy clothes. I use a photo collage app on my phone to place pictures side by side so I can actually see changes…..and I love it! I do this with clients as well and send them the collage while pointing out what I see. It works! And pictures are more honest than a scale will ever be. Try to get your pic in the same place, same lighting, and same clothes each time. How often? Once per month should do it ;) Consider enlisting a trainer (I do this with ALL online clients since I don’t see them very often) to help you out and take a peek at your pics.
  3. Aim to change ONE thing about your nutrition per week. We tend to be all or nothing when trying to reach a goal. The problem with this approach is it is more shocking to our system than anything else. And systems don’t like to be shocked. So, instead of throwing everything out and dieting down the hard way, make one nutrition change per week. This has been shown to help you KEEP those changes for life. I usually have everybody start with water. Then, most of my girls are told to focus on getting protein in since we tend to dig the carbs. Then, we start a food journal and pay attention to what we’re eating. After that, we can start to eliminate what doesn’t serve us and make healthier choices more naturally.

See? All 3 of these things will help you get to your goal without ever having to step on a scale outside of the doctor’s office.

Now, here are a few of my PERSONAL tips for fat loss (especially during the holidays). Take what you like, leave the rest :)

  1. Stop snacking. I know this seems crazy BUT I am totally starting to notice that more and more people are struggling to lose weight (I mean, it’s hard, but it seems like it’s gotten harder). We can trace a lot of this back to the snacking sensation that started heavily in the early 80′s. Your metabolism does NOT burn hotter if you keep eating. Contrary to popular opinion, science doesn’t back this one up. So, set your meal times and enjoy them. Three per day with a post-workout snack has been shown to suffice AND you don’t feel deprived.
  2. Consider closing your eating window. I too am a reforming snack-a-holic (we meet around the clock by the chocolate) and I have had to retrain my brain and body about fuel. One thing that helps is a smaller eating window (referred to as intermittent fasting). I choose to eat for about 8 hours per day and pack my 3 meals into that time. The meals are larger and more satisfying than scrawny snack meals. It’s not for everybody, so check into it first.
  3. Make your workouts count. Don’t be an all or nothing, 2 hours a day in the gym person. This time of year that is just piling unrealistic expectations on yourself and you don’t need any more of those. Opt for circuit training and full body workouts that are about 30 minutes in length. If you were a part of the Slimmer Summer challenge, those circuits are PERFECT for the busy holidays! You can also try YouTube for some ideas or check out some of the streaming workouts offered by Beach Body and the Daily Burn.
  4. Get some sleep. Cortisol levels can get way out of whack this time of year, so commit to a bed time and aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  5. Plan down time. You need a hobby that doesn’t tear you down. Try a new yoga class, have coffee with the girls, check out a book store, take a walk, meander through the mall, etc. Whatever YOU find rejuvenating, plan it into this month.

Have a very Happy Holiday season and I’ll be seeing you with some Christmas cheer very soon!

Michelle

The Slimmer Summer Challenge just opened!

mc-7005 WM

This challenge is now CLOSED, but stick around for more to come!

 

 

Let’s get right to the details shall we?

What is the Slimmer Summer Challenge?

It’s a great way to get and stay fit and healthy all Summer long. It includes exercise, nutrition and mental health cause you know that’s what you really need :)

Who can do it?

ANYBODY! I will be honest and say it will probably appeal more to the ladies, especially busy moms. Men are more than welcome to join though!

When are the dates for the challenge?

The challenge will start June 15 and run through August 15th.

Do I need a gym membership or special equipment?

NO.

Ready for the nitty-gritty details now?

#SlimmerSummerChallenge

This is a 2 month program designed to give you everything you need to either jump-start your fitness OR simply stay fit during the busiest travel months of the year.

It’s a great program for on-the-go, vacations, busy moms, and all those who don’t want to plan their day around the gym (like I do).

The exercise portion consists of circuit training to keep the workouts short and intense for maximum results. NOTE: this is NOT a muscle-building program.

3 month back progress

This is 3 months of SLIMMING using the same strategies I will teach you in this course!

What to expect with the fitness portion:

  • Weekly calendar of workouts
  • Choice of 4-6 workouts per week depending on your schedule
  • Short, doable workouts
  • Printable, go-anywhere workouts
  • Limited equipment
  • Core focused workouts for safety and efficiency

Nutrition Focus:

  • MACRO education so you actually learn the science behind eating for energy and leanness
  • Learn the difference between calories and macros
  • Learn how to calculate YOUR macros and how to personalize them
  • Learn how to eat for energy and not just because you need to eat
  • Quick nutrition fixes for things such as bloating and water retention (subjects also covered)
  • Weekly meal plans…..BUT you will also learn a whole new view of food
  • Nutrient timing
  • Supplementation!

3 month front progress

 

Additional Goodies:

  • Weekly check ins
  • Weekly Q&A videos
  • Private FB Group to help you increase accountability AND share great tips on staying focused, plus recipes and other goodies
  • Email access to your trainer :)

Study after study shows that having a COACH and an accountability GROUP help you reach your goals faster AND help you to achieve more than you thought possible.

So, do you want in? You can get in RIGHT NOW by clicking the button below:



 

If you’re ready to start supplements already OR looking for the EASY button of supplements and assured weight loss, take a look HERE and check them out, then ask me how you can get your entry fee waived.

Whatever has been holding you back from making the most of your health, I promise we will change your mind. You do have the time, you just need a little guidance. And guidance is what I do best :)

Don’t Forget to Play

This morning as I ambled onto my yoga mat set up in my bedroom, I decided to do things a little different. I threw away any pre-conceived “stuff” that had to be accomplished during this time and I threw on some Lorde (always good for yoga, in my opinion). Then, I just let go. I began to move through the stiff joints and muscles caused by teaching high impact classes and I began to feel invigorated and much freer than if I had just focused on flattening my abs or burning what I was about to eat for breakfast. There was an element of play involved in the process.

meghan yoga

Yoga helps many athletes to find balance within life. While life will never be completely balanced, yoga helps us find that internal balance that can lead to more focus and less freaking out. I find that this is better accomplished through a sense of play. In the world of fitness that I reside in (that would be weight loss), there seem to be more rules than actual fact. There are always new diets promising big results, but only if you follow their rules. There are workouts promising the body you always wanted, but only if you follow their rules. It gets to the point where many seeking weight loss do begin to take things too seriously and feel as though they must be told how to eat and move on a daily basis. Welcome to the land of crazy…

Without an element of play, we can begin to feel stifled by the very thing that we are working so very hard to obtain. If we feel as though it is always against the “rules” to eat the cake, then we feel guilty if we eat our own birthday cake. Life itself demands a certain amount of enjoyment and rules for the sake of rules can leach that enjoyment away over time. Then we are left with possibly smaller waistlines and a feeling of want all over.

sadie yoga

So now you’re probably thinking, “Cool, so I need to add yoga to my list of things I must do right?”

Well, personally I think we could all benefit from a bit more yoga :) I know my family enjoys it when I’m doing a lot of yoga, as it calms me down quite a bit. The Super Bowl XLVIII Champs the Seattle Seahawks incorporate it into their training regimen. So yes, if you want to be a winner, do more yoga…. I kid! What I do suggest is finding the fun in life again. The worst feeling in the world is to be so very devoted to your workouts that you don’t have the time and energy left over to play. So, in the spirit of play, try a lightening up a little with these ideas:

  • Host a fitness party. These can be super cheap or super expensive and it’s really your call. You can hire a personal trainer to come put you and your friends through your paces, but make sure they know it’s in good fun. My favorite way to have some fitness fun? Have everybody bring a healthy dish and an exercise DVD. Then pick 1-2 from the pile to do together (clear the living room!). When it’s time to go home, have a DVD exchange so people can leave with a new workout…bonus points if people bring Tae Bo :)
  • Get off the track. If you meet for walks or runs at the same track everyday, switch it up. Walk in the grass sometimes, head to your local beach or take a hike. A change of scenery is good for the senses.
  • Try a new class. We are now in an age where there is almost no limit to workout classes. We have pole dancing classes, hip hop, salsa, kickboxing blended with Pilates, Pilates blended with yoga and yoga blended with cycling….and that’s just the short list. Contact your local gym or studio and see if they’ll let you try one on for free.
  • Get out of your food rut. Are you tired of chicken, tuna and green beans yet? As Winter gives way to Spring, more brightly colored food is becoming available in the grocers produce section and NOW is a great time to take advantage of it. The brighter the food, the more vitamins and minerals available for you. Play around with salad ingredients: try adding berries to your salads and topping it off with the juice of an orange mixed with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (CRAZY! I know, but so very good). Try lightening up your meats in favor of fish that you can either grill, skewer or make into yummy tacos. Ask your fit friends for ideas on new recipes or host a recipe swap to get you over your food rut.
  • Ditch sugars for a while. Over time, too much of a good thing leaves us feeling foggy and constantly craving more of that good thing. Sugar is one of those “foods” that causes more and more cravings as we take it in. So, ditch the sugars (both real and fake) for a week to reset your system back to normal. Need more of a challenge? Ditch it for a month then :) but 1 week has been shown to suffice in breaking the sugar cycle.
  • Do a gut check. Make sure your intestines are running smoothly as we enter into a new season. How is this playing? Oh, it’s not. I don’t play around with gut health :) But really, the healthier the gut, the healthier you will be and the more attuned you’ll be to playing, PLUS you’ll be able to handle stress better.
  • Get away. It doesn’t have to take all of your savings to get away from it all for a while. In today’s world, you may suffice by taking a staycation that involves turning off the ringer and NOT checking statuses on Facebook. Choose a weekend to chill out and turn off. Tell everybody you’re going away and be unattainable for a weekend. Take a long soak in the tub, do a sugar scrub, relax, etc. Hey, you could even rub on a little tanner so they think you really did go somewhere :) Often times what we need to get away from is our own expectations of life, so chill and let it go.

These should get you started towards a more playful time. Remember, you can’t control everything…most of the time you can only control your reaction to things :)

Lots of peace and playful thoughts,

Michelle

Happy Thanksgiving! Your Total Body Slimming Circuit is HERE!

Your Turkey Day Total Trimming Circuit

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Turkey Day workout will torch major calories before the bird. We’ll be igniting the large, fat burning muscles in the body PLUS utilizing peripheral heart action, a method of training which helps raise the metabolic rate and promote greater EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption). All this means greater calorie burn for you before, during, and after your celebration. Stay tuned down below for some simple Turkey Tummy Tamers!

Burn the Bird Circuit 1:

50 Jumping Jacks

10 Push Ups

50 Alternating Forward Lunges

10 Burpees

Burn the Bird Circuit 2:

20 Triceps Dips (from chair or counter)

50 Plie’ Squats

10 Inverted (Down Dog) Push Ups

50 High Knees (high knee run for count of 50)

Burn the Bird Circuit 3:

10 Jump Squats

High Plank Hold for Count of 30

20 Alternating Plank Knee to Triceps (from high plank pull knee in to same arm)

50 Bicycle Crunches

50 Bridge Hip Lifts

Complete each circuit with little to no rest to increase caloric expenditure. Always remember to warm up and cool down, plus get plenty of fluids. We all have different schedules, so commit to all 3 circuits at least 1 time through. If you have time this morning you can do the whole workout up to 4 xs for maximum calorie torching. If you’re pressed for time, consider doing a couple more rounds this evening. Remember to go at a pace that challenges you the WHOLE time. Your rate of perceived exertion should hang around a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being couch potato and 10, nearly needing an ambulance!). Hit it hard and the results will come! Post in the comments below when you’re done!

 

 

BONUS! Turkey Tummy Tamers

We have ALL been there! You did your workout, had your meals, set your goals and vowed NOT to overdo at Thanksgiving dinner…only to overdo anyways and be left feeling bloated and overdone yourself. No worries! I’ve got some of my own tips that really help me on those not-so-stellar eating days :)

  1. Shake it off. What’s done is done and there is no amount of regret, guilt or fat burners that will erase it. You enjoyed your time, so let it go.
  2. Do the math. For you to REALLY gain just 1 pound of fat, you would have to physically ingest 3500 calories MORE than what you use to live. That’s 3500 more than your basal metabolic rate and 3500 more than that awesome workout you accomplished this morning. My guess if for a 140 pound woman, you would have to have taken in 8000+ to gain 1 pound…..I know the pies were good, but really? Chances are that bloated feeling is from water retention. You can breathe now…..and get off the scale for a few days!
  3. Peppermint tea helps with digestion. The human body can only fully digest about 400-700 calories at a time. This is due to the amount of macronutrients the body can physically break down and send where it needs them. On Turkey day we can overdo. After the bustle, fix yourself a cup of peppermint tea to stimulate the digestive system and ease some of the puffy feeling.
  4. Drink water like you’re being paid to do it! Over the next 3 days you’re #1 Goal is to down a gallon (yes, GALLON) of water per day. Flush the system and get the processed goodies (candied yams, green bean casserole, buttery mashed potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, pies, cakes, cookies anyone?) out ASAP.
  5. Yoga is now your friend. Yoga utilizes twisting to relieve tension in the spine, but twisting can also relieve the bloat in the belly as well as that heavy feeling in the legs. Most yoga studios offer a FREE YOGA CLASS the day after Thanksgiving. Grab a buddy and spend an hour finding your ahhhhhh.
  6. Get back on track. Make sure you are ready tomorrow to jump back on clean eating. If you went to family, forgo the to-go bags. If you host, give the food away! If your family doesn’t want it, check the local shelter. Many shelters will take leftovers to feed those less fortunate. Call ahead to make sure. Also, think about making plates for those who are working during the Holiday, or those you see on the street day by day. Part of this season is a spirit of giving. You don’t need the food, so let it go!
  7. Get moving. Don’t sit on the couch moaning about a protruding belly, get up and move. A brief walk can stimulate the digestive system and help ease the achiness of too much indulging.

 

There you have it! Tried, true, and super easy ways to get you back on track to reaching your goals. Come back for some Fun Friday tomorrow and hear answers to your weight loss specific questions.

 

 

Have a Healthy Turkey Day!

Michelle