Ditch Diets to Lose Weight

Good morning!

I hope this finds you feeling fresh this beautiful Monday :)

Today will mark the beginning of a nutrition series meant to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

The tip for today: DON’T FALL FOR DIETS!

Here’s the most important thing you can remember is that YOU do not fail diets, diets FAIL YOU! Diets are not meant for success, period. There is not a single diet that can be pointed to as the magic pill. How can I say that? Well, let me pose a question:

If you have to stay on a specific DIET for LIFE, does it really work?

In other words, is a diet working once you start living life?

Your personal diet should be just as different as you are! As you can imagine, mine is pretty weird :) We are all made different, from our hair to our intestines and our diets should reflect that difference. Each of us should eat for health first, but we should also have an enjoyment to our food. Eating clean isn’t a “diet”, it is a lifestyle that many who expect great things from their body adhere to. Why? Well, it’s customizable to each individual. This is precisely why the meal plans you find on here are only for a range of 1-4 weeks. You shouldn’t have to stay on a strict plan forever…that’s not enjoyable.

Scientists have found that is we do not enjoy our food then we are more apt to feel deprived. Notice that has nothing to do with calorie count, but rather the enjoyment factor. Personally, I enjoy salads in the warm weather…it’s the body’s natural response to the external change in temperature. However, if you offer me a salad in the winter, there is no way I’ll touch it! It’s all about the enjoyment.

So, how do you up your enjoyment of your daily diet? Invest some time in it! You don’t have to have 5 course meals every time you eat, but you do need to put forth a little brain effort to plan ahead. Like soups and stews? Fix them on the weekends so you always have something satisfying to eat for a meal. Swap out fatty meats for leaner cuts (i.e. ground chuck for ground sirloin) and amp up your veggies. Those who say they are picky veggie eaters, look for different ways to prep your vegetables. It probably isn’t the vegetable you do not like, but rather the preparation or memory tied to it. Not all veggies taste good raw and there is a LARGE percentage of us that have a hard time digesting raw veggies.

Today, I have a treat for you. EVERY week (since it’s still a little cool) I cook a pot of vegetable soup. It’s easy to digest and pairs well with anything OR can be eaten alone as a light dinner. I encourage you to PLAY around in the kitchen! Mix up your veggies and seasonings and figure out what works best for you. Remember, in season veggies are cheaper on the budget and better for the body.

Vegetable Soup

BASE:

In large soup pot, place 4 tablespoons EVOO (or 2 TBSP coconut oil)

add 1 roughly chopped onion, 4-6 cloves minced garlic and 4-6 celery stalks, chopped

once the onion starts to turn clear add in 2 cups chopped mushrooms (I like baby bella) and simmer with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 6 minutes

Add to this 3 sweet potatoes (small cubes) and 3-4 chopped carrots

Bring all to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes

While this is happening, I usually bring the tea kettle to a boil.

After 10 minutes, add in any veggies you want (during the colder months, I usually keep frozen veggies on hand and add those)

cover with the hot water from the kettle AND done.

Your soup is ready and can be paired with burgers, deer sausage (my family fave), chicken breast, center cut pork loin, etc. Keep your meats lean and your body will respond :)

Being the queen or king of the kitchen doesn’t take a ton of time. All it takes is a little prep work and some imagination.

Come back later for more on healthy cooking and eating!

Bon Appetite! and have a healthy day,

 

MichellePhoto Mar 12, 4 00 22 PM

 

Tough Love Tuesday: Unrealistic Expectations

Motivation Monday: Biggest Loser Recap

Well, it’s that time again…..time for millions of viewers to slide into our couches and watch a show about weight loss :) Seems a bit odd, right?

Last night marked the beginning of a brand new season for the long running show. Jillian Michaels made a triumphant comeback and was in rare form. Bob Harper is still holding tight to his long-playing role as the top trainer and Dolvett Quince came back to resume his role as well. The BL also added a twist to the show in that they are bringing in 3 kids to be ambassadors for fitness. This means they won’t be at the ranch full-time and they cannot be eliminated. Good move on their part for bringing awareness to the childhood obesity epidemic. Oh, and Alison Sweeney is hosting again and might I say she looked FABULOUS last night!

As I move on through the recap, I need to remind you that the Biggest Loser is first and foremost a REALITY TV SHOW. They cater to ratings. I’m not judging, but I feel that some people watch the show and get caught up in the alternate reality of it all. Take it with a grain of salt people…… First night was exciting for sure. I loved the way each of the trainers handled the kids. Children should be trained differently from adults. Both in training progressions as well as motivation. The adults were a bit of a different story. The first workout was par for the course and each trainer stuck to their respective roles. I have to say, Jillian makes excellent points about the way we treat and speak to ourselves. I love the line she said about “That is abuse. All of this in here is not.” I agree whole heartedly. Now, I may not kick people out of my gym when they get dizzy (I usually offer a G2 and tell them to rest as it’s usually due to poor fueling), but I agree with her tough approach. you have to want it badly enough to challenge what has become your normal.

Aside from people dropping like flies and feeling poorly about the state of their own health (or lack thereof), everything went fairly smooth for the opening evening. As I sat and watched (with the rest of America!) I was bombarded with a lot of thoughts about this entire approach to weight loss. I mean, ALL of the contestants chosen made comments about the fact that they were doing this for their health and/or to live for a certain loved one. So, here’s the thought that keeps banging away at my heart and mind…..Why on Earth do you have to wait to be on a reality show to do it?

Whoa! I know what you’re thinking, “Come on now, at least they’re trying”. I say, no, they haven’t even begun to really try. Here’s the place I’m coming from. I have lost 104 pounds. No trainer, no huge gym, no pre-planned meals, no TV show, no cameras. Some might rebut by saying I already knew how. You would be wrong. I started right where many of these contestants start. There is NO lack of knowledge available, there is a lack of discipline to go get it.

Real fitness is just that, a DISCIPLINE. It’s not about motivation, inspiration or TV ratings. It is developing a discipline within your life to commit to your health and the health of your family. The young man who goes by Bingo (isn’t he precious???) is the same age as my son. It has taken me taking responsibility and telling him “Just a small serving” or “Get up and go do something”. Goodness, most of the time I get up and do things with him! And I’m busy too people, so don’t even try….. Develop a discipline in life and you will succeed. Success is derived from discipline.

So, I promise I’m not hating on the show! I realize that it does get some people inspired and that is worth the watch itself. Here’s the rub though: years ago when I first started teaching aerobics I had a lady who came religiously to my classes, and she was losing weight steadily. Then, one day she stopped coming. A few weeks later, she met me up at the gym. She explained that the Biggest Loser was coming to Houston to hold auditions and since you have to be a certain amount overweight to participate, she stopped working out and was gorging to gain her weight back. Houston, we have a serious problem….

Why do we think that only a TV show can save us? We are enamored with the celebrity of it all. Ask any professional actor and they will tell you the celebrity part is the worst part of the whole thing. Yet, we pine for it. It’s as though we honestly believe that living in an alternate reality is the only way we can succeed. To that I say this: if you believe you can only succeed in an alternate reality, you have already given yourself to failure. There was a man chosen who stated he had waited 3 years for his chance to be on the show. THREE YEARS!!!!! Do you have any idea what he could have accomplished in 3 years?!? And yes, I get the fact that when you do it on your own there are no cash rewards, no accolades, no interviews……but honey, it is so worth it!

The dedicated discipline you earn from putting in your own work far exceeds anything a reality show can offer! You want to see a change in this world? Start a fire in you first! Be the one that begins to develop a change in your own family. Take personal responsibility for your health and fitness. Stop making excuses and playing the victim! You and I are no different from each other. We both hurt, we bleed, we struggle, and if you’re like me, we have a raging sweet tooth! But you know what? Fitness doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make a year, where you start, or how long it may take. Fitness is available to EVERYBODY. You don’t need a membership, you don’t need a certain color shirt and you sure don’t need to be picked from a crowd. Did you realize that as of right now over 66% of the United States is struggling with obesity? That’s the MAJORITY! You are no longer going to sit idle amongst the majority, waiting hopefully for your name to be called. You will stand from this day on. You will walk tall and know that YOU CAN DO THIS.

So, what’s it going to be? Are you in or are you out? Are you tired of waiting for your “chance”? Be the first to step out and make a real change…..no script required :)

LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

NEW DVD REVIEW! Biggest Loser Power XTrain

Hi guys!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve reviewed a new workout DVD, so I thought I’d hop into the new year with The Biggest Loser DVD series.

For those wondering, although Jillian is back on the show (which airs this Sunday evening) she’s not in the video.

This DVD follows the same circuit style fashion as the others. Why? Well, circuits are the BEST form of exercise when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s effective because it keeps the heart rate up and provides cardio as well as strength training. We ALL know that is essential to keep the skin pulling back to the muscle. Now, as a disclaimer we all know that we cannot expect Biggest Loser style results unless we’re already on the show…..and have a couple hundred pounds to lose :) These DVDs do appeal to those just jumping back into working out or trying it out for the first time.

The big question: Do they work? Yes they do, in my opinion. The problem with any DVD is that it is up to the individual to push play though. They can only film it for you, not do it for you :)

Power X Train takes your workouts to a different level. This DVD is more like actual training in that there isn’t a lot of pre-choreographed movements and everybody is on their own pace. All trainers featured do give awesome form tips, but ya’ll know Bob is the favorite! He states at one point “I focus on your FORM first, then reps” and I couldn’t agree more. Bob is in true form throughout his part, making sure even the home viewers know exactly what to look for in their form. This is of great importance as form is key to not only preventing injury but also expediting your results.

You need your own body weight and some handheld weights for this DVD and you will also need some space. They take you through your paces, but you are always encouraged to stay at the level that works best for you. As always, modifiers are front and center and you can choose the former Biggest Loser contestant you want to follow. As with anything else, consistency is key. If you’re in love with the Biggest Loser DVD series, this is a great one to add to your rotation.

Until I see you again, remember….LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

P.S. Who’s planning on watching this season?

Ready. Set. GOAL!

I had promised that I would share my goals for the new year with you, and I hate to break promises :)

Ambitious goals are what keep life quite interesting in my opinion. These are the goals that begin as just a fleeting thought in the corner of one’s mind, but over time the thought becomes bigger and , in my case, flashier. I do love sparkle and believe everybody’s life could benefit from a bit more.

So, in the spirit of keeping it flashy I will share some of my 2013 GOALS with you:

  1. I am working towards a physical space of my very own. A gym to call my own :) THIS will actually not be as flashy as one may expect since I truly LOVE the feel of a good old garage gym.
  2. I do have physical goals to accomplish this year, but most fall in the realm of strength and endurance, not jean size or numbers.
  3. I have entered and will COMPETE in my very first fitness show this May! I’ll be sharing that journey with you as well.
  4. I will travel to Moldova this month, but have set a goal to travel to Africa this year as well…as often as I can :) I am partnered with Hopechest ministries and will continue to go where I am called, without questioning.
  5. I will finish 2 books this year: 1 is on weight loss and my specific specialty (keeping the skin tight!) and the other will cover my mission trips and tell the stories of the girls who have been caught up in sex trafficking. I will give a voice to those who feel as though theirs has been taken.
  6. In light of #5, one of my final goals is a publishing deal. Why? Publishers get the words to more people.

So, there are the majority of my goals. I always set goals for my personal life as well, working on relationships and growing in my faith daily.

The question I pose to you is “How big are your goals?” Do you stick to the “safe” goals? Maybe you hang around the ones that are a bit easier. Or perhaps you park over the same ones you’ve had for years, knowing if you don’t make it all will not be lost. Friends, those kind of goals keep you simply existing. What would happen if you believed that great things can happen through you? What if you set out to leave a few footprints through this life? What would happen if you decided to stop existing and truly LIVE life as loud as you could? Who might be affected? I’ll be honest, once you change your mindset to make a change, YOU will be the one to benefit the most.

Live out loud this year!

Michelle

Fun Friday! Merry Christmas

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

Review: Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Hey Fit Lifers!

Today I am reviewing another Jillian Michaels workout DVD. Why so many JM DVD’s? Well, people eat them up like candy after a rough week since she’s a “celebrity trainer”. That term is a whole different post. Anyways, I feel it is best if we are educated about what we are getting into :)

So, on average I like the DVD. The one downside is that if you already own a lot of JM DVD’s (30 day Shred, No more trouble zones, Killer buns and thighs, etc) you aren’t getting totally new workouts here. JM has her brand of fitness and it’s short and sweet. These DVD’s fit into just about any schedule and she truly has found her workout niche. There are two thirty minute workouts on this DVD each with beginning modifications. I like the way she talks about breathing since many of us choose not to do that during our workout. Overall, Extreme Shed and Shred is great for those who are still more drawn to their couch than the gym, and that’s JM’s specialty! You can get in and out fast, however you will not be burning enough to return to your couch for the rest of the day. If you’re more of an avid exerciser, then you’ll want to opt for something more challenging.

Beginners enjoy! More advanced athletes, run over to the next :)

Remember, you get a home DVD workout review EVERY Monday, so come back next Monday and I’ll be tackling the original P90X PLUS giving you some information on the differences in P90X2.

Don’t miss it!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle