Saturday, April 18, 2015

Destination Unknown

In the last newsletter, I asked if you could picture yourself at your dream weight.
For some people, that picture is crystal clear and for others it’s vague at best.
I hear folks say:
I just need to lose weight
I’ll feel so much better when I shed some pounds
I know I should workout but...
I wish I could find the time to exercise but...
I was doing so well with my workouts until...
The fact is, very few people find exercising enjoyable. Stress-relieving, maybe. Fun? Not for as many as you think.
Getting what you want out of your body seems like it should be a lot easier: eat less, exercise more, yada yada.
But the process becomes a bit murky for so many people. Not to mention, it’s added work and stress to figure it all out.
We try to make that process easier here. We devise the plan, you put in the work. Does it always go according to plan? Definitely not. Some people have bodies resistant to change. Others have bodies that can’t wait for change. Throw in all of those other factors like poor sleep, bad day at work, arguments with co-workers or loved ones, and the dietary splurges that crept in where you just said “Screw it!” and things can go to pot rather quickly.
We want to help you reach that destination and clear up (or help you navigate) all of the nonsense and stresses in between.
And if you’re struggling to see the picture of what the end result should look like, we’re here to help understand that as well.
In two weeks, we’ll be celebrating 6 years since we’ve opened our doors. Within that time, it’s safe to say we’ve seen just about everything! Although I’ll be saying more formal thanks then for allowing us to be around for the past 6 years, I can tell you that just like you, we’re still evolving. It’s been an amazing ride and if you’re not part of it yet, we’d love to have you join us!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Way Out Is Through

Ever wonder what you'll look like at your dream weight?
Maybe you were only at that weight a couple of years ago so the picture is still vivid.
Or maybe you were at that weight when you were in your teens, before your college weight gain, before marriage, before kids...
The other picture which could be more abstract is, what you'll look like between now and your dream weight.
If you've carried extra weight for most of your adult life, it may be difficult to deal with a strange reality. As you start losing a significant amount of weight, certain parts of you look better and others start to look, well...worse.
Consider how weight gain affected your body initially. Let's say you're a middle aged man with roughly 50 pounds to lose. Chances are, the weight started showing in the love handles, then the stomach, the chest, and ultimately in the face.
What I've found is that the weight loss tends to show in reverse. So the face slims out first, chest tightens, etc.
Recently, I was speaking to one of my clients about this. He was losing weight at a pretty rapid clip actually. His face, arms and chest were starting to show more definition which was motivating. However, where his midsection still had space for improvement it was magnified due to how the rest of his torso looked. Not very encouraging!
I wish I could tell you that as you lose weight you will look as good as you hope. Maybe this happens, maybe it doesn't. If there is any advice I can offer, it's to keep your eye on the prize.
Have you gotten stronger?
Do you have more endurance?
Do your clothes fit better?
Are people complimenting your appearance?
Answering these questions and more importantly, documenting the answers can help you stay focused. The scale will not always reveal what you want, neither will the mirror. Your weight loss journey will likely be slow, somewhat painful (a relative term), and frequently unpredictable.
If you can arm yourself with the knowledge that the journey will have unexpected outcomes and avenues you are ahead of the pack. A dear friend and former client reminded me that not preparing herself for these realizations was a difficult battle to endure. However, I'll end this newsletter in her words:
"Getting your mind ready for weight loss...I remember when I lost the weight wondering why I still felt fat and wondering what it would take to align the two things. Losing weight doesn't cure all that ails. Mindset matters for so many things related to health"-Gillian M.
We're here to help!

Breakfast On The Go

I love breakfast. If it were up to me, I’d be eating eggs at every meal of the day. However, not everyone shares my sentiments and not everyone likes eggs (gasp!). While I normally have the time to eat a proper meal in the morning, I’ve actually grown to like smoothies in the morning. Knowing that many of you are crunched for time in the a.m., I thought I would send out a quick newsletter with some of my favorite go-to smoothie recipes to keep you on track with your goals. You’ll have to forgive me for not coming up with more creative names than these! Keep in mind, these would be considered meal replacement shakes, so count them as one total meal. Enjoy!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
8 oz skim milk (80-100 calories)OR almond milk (40-80 calories)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (approx 120 calories)
6 strawberries (approx 30 calories)
1 oz cacao nibs (approx 130 calories)
Total calories: Approximately 300-350
Protein: 25-30g
Carbs: 25-30g
Fiber: 12-15g
Fat: 12-15g
Apple Pie Smoothie
8 oz skim milk (80-100 calories)OR almond milk (40-80 calories)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (approx 120 calories)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 apple (approx 50 calories)
Total calories: Approximately 200-300 calories
Protein: 25-30g
Carbs: 20g
Fiber: 5g
Fat: 5g
Chocolate Mousse Smoothie
8 oz skim milk (80-100 calories)OR almond milk (40-80 calories)
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (approx 120 calories)
1 medium avocado (approx 230 calories)
Total calories: Approximately 400-500 calories)
Protein: 25-30g
Carbs: 20-25g
Fiber: 10-12g
Fat: 20g

How Tough Should It Be?

Brandon has been training with me for nearly 4 years. His goal was weight loss. Since then, Brandon has lost and regained at least 20lbs 4-5 different times. His largest amount of loss was 33lbs. When he hit that number, I said he was only 10lbs away from looking better than he ever had before. He and I were just talking about this a few days ago: he can drop 20lbs like nobody’s business. Lightning fast.

So, what happens that he can drop it so easily but have it sneak back on again? Well, if you know anything about me, I say I haven’t done my job as a trainer to let that happen. But, I know people have to live their lives on their terms and if they’re not committed to the goal, then the goal slips away. Another reason I should mention that should explain a lot:
It’s really damn hard to lose weight and keep it off.
Fortunately for Brandon, he has a good mentality about this kind of thing. He actually really enjoys exercise (running, weightlifting, swimming, etc). He’s one of the most active people I know. His biggest struggle comes from stress and social pressures. So, if he’s having a bad week at work he’ll go out with friends. That leads to drinking, which leads to overeating, which leads to some more drinking, and Oh let’s eat that too! Next thing you know, that 20lbs is back on about as fast as it came off.

Now, I don’t mean to pick on Brandon. This kind of thing happens to nearly everyone who has tried or is aiming to lose weight. I’ve found for those who are truly successful there are a few things that have to be in place:
1) The realistic desire to get to a proposed weight
2) A sustainable plan (food and exercise regimen)
3) The ability to forgive one’s self if things go off track
For some, the weight loss goal is unrealistic. For women, it can include wanting to get down to a weight they were before they had children. While it is possible, it isn’t always attainable. The body has changed too much and the demands of life have compounded in a way that doesn’t allow for that drastic of a change.

The exercise plan has to be able to fit into the current lifestyle. In addition, any diet plan has to be flexible enough that it can be sustained over a long period of time (not just 2-3 weeks).

Also, many people allow their first dietary detour to turn into a week long foray into bad eating. The sooner you can give yourself the room to cheat a little and get right back on track, the easier sustainability becomes.
So how much can you cheat?
Well, I would start small. Let’s say it takes you 1500 calories in a day to lose weight at a reasonable rate. Take 10% of that goal and you can approach your cheat food in one of these two ways.
1) 150 calorie cheat snack every day
2) 10% of your weekly calories (using the above example, we’ll say 1050 calories) as a cheat meal. In other words, at 1500 calories a day (10,500 calories in a week for weight loss) you can substitute a rather unhealthy 1050 calories in one sitting and still stay on plan.

I should mention that if you’re going to consume 1050 calories in one sitting, that means you only have 450 calories for the rest of the day to stay on track. However, it does give you the flexibility of eating the food you’ve been craving and likely denying yourself the pleasure of.

Weight loss and ultimately weight maintenance shouldn’t be difficult. Finding a way to stack more healthy behaviors ahead of the less healthy ones is the best place to start!