Monthly Archives: November 2011

Change your Attitude!!

Good morning! I received this article last week from my mom (who is a Jillian Michaels fan too!) and thought I would share it with you. I 110% agree with Jillian when she says “a key element of changing your attitude is changing your self talk…” How many of you have a negative internal monologue? You constantly beat yourself up about missing a workout or eating a bag of chips or have many mean things to say about yourself when you look in the mirror?? THIS IS NOT HELPING YOU LOSE WEIGHT! Nor is it good for your mental and emotional health. Something I have learned on my ‘weight loss journey’ is if you constantly tell yourself everyday that you will be successful (I will eat healthy today, I will go to the gym today, I will feel sexy naked) and reach your weight loss goal-YOU WILL!!! So stop with the “fat talk” and start thinking thin!!!

Ask Jillian Michaels
Change Your Attitude

So you’re wondering, what’s the right attitude and how can it help you lose weight? Having the right mental state is so important because thought is behavior β€” your mind is your strongest tool, and the way you think of yourself manifests as your reality. We all know how easily negative thoughts about ourselves can lead to poor self-image, lack of confidence, hopelessness, and depression. You’ve heard about self-fulfilling prophecy, right? Well, if you tell yourself that you’ll always be fat or that you’ll never find happiness, chances are you will always be fat and you won’t ever be happy. But imagine what could be possible if you harnessed your mental power with positive thoughts.

A key element of changing your attitude is changing your self-talk β€” your internal monologue, the chattering conversation you have with yourself constantly all day long, whether you’re aware of it or not. It’s the voice in your head that says, “I can’t exercise because I’m fat and lazy” or, “I’m worthless because I have no self-control and will always be this way.” It’s this kind of useless negativity that’s holding you back, keeping you from being the best you can be. Now is the time to turn it around once and for all.

Imagine what would happen if you changed the dialogue so that it sounded more like this: “I can lose weight and be healthy” or “I’m going to eat well today, and I’ll feel good about myself as a result.” Your self-talk can make the difference between self-assurance and self-doubt, happiness and despair, success and failure. If you start making your self-talk more positive and affirming, and less defeatist and self-deprecating, your whole life will change for the better.

Now let’s take a close look at the things you say to yourself on a daily basis, identify where you’re being pointlessly, uselessly negative, and pinpoint where you can make improvements to achieve your goals.

To find out exactly what you’ve been telling yourself, answer the following questions. Write your answers in a diary so you can look back for a reality and motivation check down the road. You may need a reminder of why your goals matter and why you deserve to achieve them.

1. Do you have a negative self-image?

Do you constantly say things like, “I’m fat and ugly,” or do you pick yourself apart and beat yourself up when you look in the mirror?

2. Do you lack self-confidence?

Do you doubt your ability to achieve your goals, weight related or otherwise? Do you dwell on your perceived limits or fears? Do you doubt your ability to accomplish the things you want to accomplish?

3. Do you feel powerless?

Do you feel like you have no control over your life, or do you make excuses like, “I’m genetically predisposed to being overweight”?

4. Do you label yourself in negative or self-deprecating ways?

Do you think and talk about your failure to lose weight as a foregone conclusion? Do you refer to yourself mockingly or otherwise as the happy/funny fat person?

Now, look back at your responses. How would you describe the tone of your answers? Are they affirming and constructive, or are they downbeat and destructive? It can be hard to let go of these negative patterns of thought and behavior; often they are the result of years of self-loathing and internalizing the negative opinions and judgments of others. Release the past, focus on the present, and open yourself up to the possibilities that await you in the future.

Thinking positive, long-term thoughts can help you overcome many obstacles-especially obstacles to weight loss motivation. Remember, what goes on in your mind and body (negative self talk/thoughts) can affect your progress, IF YOU LET IT. You are in control but changing your mind is a choice. It’s yours and it IS possible!

Les πŸ™‚

DRINK WATER!

AND LOTS OF IT!

Dehydration in our bodies occurs when our bodies do not have enough water. This is bad. You need regular hydration – once every hour at least.

Think about it. You are at least 75% water, your brain is 80% and your blood 90%.

Pretty important, right?

Dehydration symptoms include lethargy, headaches; in short even when it’s mild, there’s a marked loss of energy.

Check out this website for more info on dehydration.

Since I want to help people feel better and improve their health I am going to share with you the benefits of drinking water, and how much water you need. Day after day I meet with people during consultations who are extremely dehydrated and most of them think that they are getting enough water. WRONG! And then I get this question- “Why do I have to drink so much water?” or “Does juice/coffee/tea/pop [enter any liquid here] count?” or they say things like “I don’t like to drink that much water as all I do it go to the bathroom every hour” or “I don’t like drinking water”. Sound familiar?? Read on for the answers to these questions and more…


So as you may already, water affects every part of your body’s vital functions:

nutrients and oxygen have to travel between cells
provides the cushioning for your joints
regulates body temperature
waste removal
determines the rate of your digestion, fat burning, etc.

And then there is the whole debate about there being so many chemicals in the water these days, that you need use a water filtration system. I do not see this as being necessary for drinking water (and it is super expensive) but if you have one GREAT! To be honest I stick with good old tap water, it hasn’t let me down yet or caused me to be dehydrated πŸ˜›

So how much water do you need to avoid dehydration?

The well known saying that you need 8 glasses a day is a good start, but not quite right.

Your needs will vary greatly based on the climate where you live, how active you are physically, etc.

Start with 1/2 ounce of water for every pound of body weight.

Easy to calculate:

Your weight right now divided by 2 – that’s how many fluid ounces you need per day.

So at an average weight of 150 pounds, you would drink 75 fluid ounces.

This is good hydration.

8 glasses of 8 ounces each is 64 ounces so you see it’s close, but not enough.

When you exercise (or like to sit and sweat in the sauna), you need to greatly increase your water before, during and after this time.

Crucial things to consider:

1-Do not wait till you feel thirsty. By this point you are already in a state of dehydration.

2-Drink throughout the day. This may take a little effort at first to form a new habit. It is not the same to guzzle down 4 glasses at once.

3-Do not drink with your meals (something I am working on right now). Once you’ve trained yourself to drink evenly the rest of the time, this will be easy. Drinking with a meal dilutes the entire digestive process making your body work much harder than is necessary (learned this at a lecture at the CanFitPro conference this past summer).

4-Water means WATER! I am talking pure water here, not sodas or coffee or other sugary drinks.

So just to reemphasize-water regulates ALL the functions in the human body. Here are a few more of the most important functions:

The flow of blood and lymph through the body
The functioning of our brains
The cushioning and regulation of organs
The transfer and absorption of nutrients into cells and tissues
The removal of waste out of the cells
The movement of nerve impulses through the nervous system
The balance of hormones
The regulation of body temperature
The lubrication and cushioning of joints

I think that most health conditions, illness and disease are affected by water, as explained above.


Drinking enough pure water has been shown to help the body heal itself from many sicknesses, including:

General pain and inflammation in muscles and joints
Tension headaches and migraines
Tension headaches and migraines
Weight loss
Water retention
Skin problems, including acne, eczema and psoriasis
Gastrointestinal issues
Spinal problems
Hearing and sight problems
Dysfunction of the kidney or liver
Hormonal problems
Diabetes
Gall and kidney stones
Circulation issues
Cancers
Heart disease and strokes
Mental disorders and addictions
Impaired memory and brain function
Autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus and fibromyalgia

This is not to say that water alone will cure every disease, although I wish it did, and I do believe proper hydration is often the ‘missing link’ and should be an essential part of everyone’s diet.

So fill up those water bottles and start sipping away to keep your body healthy!

CHEERS! πŸ™‚

Les

Don’t Let the Winter Months Ruin your Running!

With Christmas just around the corner, the holidays can take up all our time and be a good excuse to miss a run, a yoga class or a workout. Now I am not saying to go crazy and run in -40 weather or when the sidewalks are pure ice BUT it is smart to maintain a lighter running program at the least. If you plan to run any races in the spring you should definitely run throughout the winter as it will be easier to start training when the weather gets nice (and it will also help you keep your weight off over the Christmas holidays!)

Another way to motivate yourself to run in the winter is to sign up for a holiday race such as the Santa Shuffle (in most cities) or the Resolution Run. Or better yet sign up for a race somewhere warm in Feb/March, that way you will have to train through the holidays and get to reward yourself with a sunny destination race. I am planning to do the Around the Bay 30km Race in Hamilton (not everyone’s favourite spring break location :P) at the end of March which means training will begin December 1st…

No matter what you do, a little bit of running over the holidays can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, have fun with a friend or maintain your training program and your weight.

For more tips on how to stay warm while running in the winter check out my friend Tess (and her friend Jess’) blog post from today…

tessandjess.wordpress.com

If this little dog can run in the winter so can you! Look at how much fun he is having!

How many of my readers run throughout the winter months?? What do you love most about it??

Check back in the future for more winter running tips (especially for those of you who are too nervous/scared to run in the snow…I used to feel the same way!)

Les πŸ™‚

What do you want to learn/read about???

Hello!

Short post today but a very important one. How do you like my blog so far?? And more importantly what do you want to know more about in regards to fitness, lifestyle and/or nutrition?? I have tons of great ideas but just want to make sure that they are relevant (and interesting) to all my readers.

Feel free to comment on this post or send me a message on facebook…I would love to hear what you want from me!! If you are satisfied so far GREAT-keep following as I love blogging as much as you love reading my blog!

Have a great Wednesday night!

Les πŸ™‚

Eat more (often) to lose weight!

Sound crazy??? Not many people believe this nor is it advertised but guess what-IT WORKS! One of the most effective ways to shed extra weight is to eat more. Rather than eating 3 meals a day try eating 6 small meals a day. Why?? I used to think “this makes no sense” but once I tried it I realized that by eating more frequently I increased my metabolism but at the same time I prevented myself from ever getting too hungry-which caused me to lose weight. Once you start to do eat every 3-4 hours your body will need and want to eat this often. You will obviously have to make your portions smaller but every time you eat it becomes an event to fuel your metabolism and should contain the most nutritious (clean) foods. We must get better at realizing that we eat to live, and not live to eat!!

Most of us are ok with making healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners but struggle with the ‘in between’ meals (or snacks). So because I love you all so much I have listed my TOP 5 EASIEST SNACKS for you to try.


And in no particular order…

Whey Protein shake (1 scoop mixed with water) and 15-20 natural almonds
1 rice cake with 1 tbsp almond/peanut butter (and banana if before/after a workout)
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese (or greek yogurt) with 1/2 cup fruit
1 green apple with 1 tbsp almond butter/peanut butter
Raw cut up veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots) with hummus

** For all you who are trying to lose weight-here’s a tip-no fruit after 11:00 am! Too much fruit=too much sugar which your body could store as fat BUT it is okay to have fruit for breakfast and/or your morning snack (with protein of course) but no more afterwards!! Remember 1-2 servings of fruit a day and endless servings of veggies!**
***Also notice that all my snacks have PROTEIN…remember we must eat 1 g of protein per kg (or .36 g/lb) of body weight to keep from slowly breaking down your muscle tissue!**

Feel free to post any of YOUR favourite healthy snacks.

If you love to snack on Sun Chips, Granola Bars, Juicy Fruit or Chocolate Bars (or even worse-you do not snack at all) you need to read this post over again and change your snacking habits!!! Remember to plan all of your meals-even your snacks!!

Good luck

Les πŸ™‚

What’s your favourite yoga pose??

One of our homework assignments in yoga teacher training this week is to discover what our favourite (and least favourite) pose is. There are quite a few poses that I enjoy but I can narrow it down to two. I LOVE wide legged standing forward fold (or expanded leg pose=prasaritta padottanasana) and any balancing postures (especially Warrior III=Virabhadrasana III). I could stay in these postures for HOURS and I feel amazing when I come out of it. I have a feeling as I continue deepening my practice through my yoga teacher training my favourite poses may change…guess I will have to wait and see.

Here are photos of my favourite poses in case you didn’t know which ones I was talking about…

As I was researching and digging deeper into why I love these particular poses I came across a website called Gaiam Life and it provided me with some wonderful insight. (Here is the link–>http://life.gaiam.com/article/what-does-your-favorite-yoga-pose-say-about-you) I copy and pasted the article below.

Every yogi, no matter how much or how little experience you have with yoga, has one: one particular pose you love above all others. It’s the pose that feels most like home, and the one you keep wishing the teacher would call out next.

Here’s a guide to what a propensity for a certain yoga pose might have to say about you.

Tree Pose

You’re grounded but you enjoy testing your limits. This is often a favorite pose of newer yogis–it’s a first foray into challenging balancing poses and when you nail it, it feels effortless. If you wobble more than you stand still in this pose, focus on feeling your connection to the earth by rooting down through the big toe mound of your standing foot and the sole of the foot that’s pressing in to your inner thigh. If you’re pretty stable here, prioritize lifting your ribcage and fingertips up as high as you can.

Backbends

Whether you’re a wheel junkie or just love lying down with your ribcage draped over a rolled up blanket, a propensity toward backbends indicates an open heart, loving nature, and excitement about the future. Be careful that your exuberance doesn’t lead to injuryβ€”if your quads, abdomen, chest and shoulders aren’t open in your backbends, you could tweak your back. Translated to daily life, if you aren’t as flexible as you are strong, you could wind up with too much on your shoulders.

Forward bends

Sitting or standing, a love of folding forward indicates that you are introspective and not afraid to let yourself get quiet so you can hear you own thoughts. Forward bending is also associated with looking to the pastβ€”be sure you don’t spend so much time folding forward that you forget to be open to the present or anticipate the future.

Revolved standing poses

You’re not afraid to take a bite out of the cookie of life. You’ve got a lot going on, and yet it all seems to work because you know that it takes a delicate balance of hard work and surrender to keep it all together. Just remember to treat yourself to rest and a quiet practice of restorative poses to keep your batteries charged.

Headstand

You’re interested in building your intuition and learning how to maintain a sense of trust in the face of a scary situation. You’re also not afraid of a challenge. Like handstand fans, you’re open to seeing things from multiple points of view. Your challenge is to learn how to find your center even when your world is turned upside down.

Handstand

You’re a thrill seeker and yet know how to find balance in the midst of chaos. Or, at least, you’re working your way toward it. You also aren’t afraid to look at things from a different vantage point from the average soul. The trick for you is to balance your exuberance with grace, and to learn how to fall softly for those times when your enthusiasm leads you into a precarious position.

Cobbler’s pose, pigeon pose, and/or split pose

You’re not intimidated by a little discomfort and crave the release that comes from working your edges. You also tolerate emotionally charged situations well – the hips are often storehouses for unprocessed emotions, and many people shy away from these poses because they aren’t comfortable with accessing the hidden feelings they may have. Just remember that boundaries are healthy. You don’t want to overextend yourself, making you either overly vulnerable emotionally or prone to muscle pulls physically.

Corpse pose

You are likely tired, over-scheduled, and craving some profound rest. And what’s so wrong about that? Our society may prize people who can keep up a furious pace, but some part of you knows that there’s a time and a place for stillness, quiet, and reflection. Indulge in a few moments of rest each day, always keeping in mind that the true challenge of the pose is to allow your mind to quiet without falling asleep or planning what you’re going to have for dinner.

Pretty cool stuff! And it makes so much sense! So what is YOUR favourite yoga pose? How does it make you feel physically, emotionally and mentally?

I am finding it quite interesting to find out how much yoga relates to our everyday lives. I can’t wait to find out more about myself through yoga (and you should too!)

Namaste

Les πŸ™‚

Goodlife Christmas Party!!

Happy Friday Evening Everyone!

After a busy day of clients and getting ready for my company’s Christmas party tonight I have decided to post Friday’s blog tomorrow…hope that everyone checks back tomorrow!!!!

Les πŸ™‚

Having a hard time getting yourself to the gym?

We have all been there and it’s ok to miss a workout here and there but if you are really struggling to get to the gym consistently (and I mean at LEAST 3 times a week) I have come up with ten tips that will help get you back on track and more importantly KEEP you on track! πŸ™‚

1- MAKE IT FUN! If you are someone who DREADS going to the gym it is hard to get motivated to go. I know a million different ways to exercise so why not try something you enjoy…there are a variety of classes and programs that your gym has to offer, or book an appointment to come see me and I would love to introduce you to some “fun” new exercises and help you set up your workout routine! πŸ™‚

2- Schedule your workouts- You never miss appointments when you write them in your planner so make your workouts just as important! Write it down and you will get to the gym! It works for me and my clients (they rarely miss their scheduled appointments with their trainer…or else!)

3- Find a buddy to work out with- I find that not only having scheduled my workouts but planning to workout with a friend is a fool proof way to get my workout in..plus it is fun and who knows, maybe you will work harder with someone watching you πŸ˜‰ Right Courtney??

4- Create a routine- Decide whether you are going to go before or after work and stick to it! No excuses!! If your workouts are random it is harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual…
You should also create a weekly workout routine (Mon Weights Tues Cardio Wed Weights Thurs Cardio Fri Weights Sat Rest Sun Yoga as a simple example) and this will also ensure you get to the gym!

5- Stress Relief- What do I do to relieve stress? WORKOUT!! Try it! Exercise is the best way to relieve stress as it releases endorphins which will improve your mood. Next time you feel stressed or tired try doing an exercise routine you love…it could be weight lifting, dancing, running, yoga, etc…

6- Start Small- Doing 1 hour of cardio or a 5km run or maybe doing 1 hour of weights may not be reasonable for everybody so start with what you know you can do and build the habit from there. Remember doing too much too soon could lead to injury which will set you back even more!

7- Commit to 30 days- Challenge yourself to go to the gym for one month (even if you only go for 20 minutes somedays). This will almost guarantee that you will have created a habit of working out. It will also take the pressure off of you in the first few weeks of deciding whether to go… you have no choice YOU HAVE TO GO EVERYDAY FOR 30 DAYS!!

8- MAKE TIME to workout- We all make time to check our emails/facebook/text messages, watch tv, meet up with friends for coffee/dinner/drinks, talk on the phone, plan trips etc so why not make time to workout! This is so important and cannot emphasize it enough…MAKE A POINT TO DO SOMETHING ACTIVE EVERYDAY!!! Even if it is only 20 minutes…and it is so much healthier (and cheaper) to meet a friend for a workout instead of a beer don’t you agree?

9- Reward Yourself- The hardest part of creating a habit of working out is making the effort to get to the gym…so when you are successful thank yourself…and not with a chocolate bar or a muffin! I am sure you can think of many other ways of rewarding yourself that will not negate the calories you burned during the workout…

10- Ask yourself why? -Why are you having a hard time getting to the gym? Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Are you feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? Are you not getting the results you want? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.


After a long day at work (7am-7:30pm-trained 9 people plus 2 meetings) I still managed to fit in my workout. Yes, I know, I work at the gym so how could I ever miss a workout, well, sometimes I get tired and busy too but guess what? I MADE TIME, HAD A PLAN, MADE IT FUN AND IT GOT DONE!! AND I felt GREAT afterwards…my reward?? Catching up on the phone with my mom and dad in Arizona and then calling my boyfriend before bed πŸ™‚ What’s better than that???

Hope you enjoyed today’s post! Please feel free to share with me any tips you have for getting yourself to the gym!

Good night!

Les πŸ™‚

Three Easy Healthy Breakfast Recipes (in 10 minutes or less!)

Since breakfast is my most favourite meal of the day (and the most important if you are trying to lose weight) I thought I’d share three of my favourite healthy quick breakfast options. Enjoy!


Protein Pancakes

1 Cup Oatmeal
1 Cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Egg Whites
2 tbsp Almond or Rice Milk
1-2 scoops Protein Powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Fruit (blueberries, bananas) if you wish!

Directions:
In blender (or in a bowl if you do not have a blender) combine oatmeal, egg whites, cottage cheese, milk, protein powder, and fruit.
Blend until creamy, and looks like pancake batter. If mixture is too thick, add more milk or water as necessary.
Heat griddle or non-stick pan on medium heat.
Pour pancake batter onto pan/griddle – cook each side of pancakes for about 4-6 minutes (depends on your griddle).
Take pancakes off once cooked and allow to cool.
Serve with unsweetened apple sauce or your favourite fruit topping.
These protein pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast options! They are so quick to make and you can add so many different flavors. My personal favorite is to use vanilla flavored protein powder – but add whatever flavour of protein powder you love!


Veggie Omelette
1/4 c onion chopped
1/4 c green/red/yellow/orange bell pepper chopped
1/4 c spinach chopped
1/4 c mushrooms chopped
1/2 cup egg whites (3 to 4 egg whites) plus 1 egg
1/4 cup Salsa
Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste
Fat-Free Cheese (if so desired but no more than 1/4 cup!)

Directions:

Heat up frying pan. Add 1 tsp of Olive Oil.
Pour egg whites into heated frying pan – allow eggs to cook, move egg whites throughout pan to allow egg whites to cook thoroughly.
Add veggies, salsa and cheese to egg whites.
Fold over egg whites to envelope the veggies and salsa.
Let cook for a 2-3 more minutes.
Serve with plain oatmeal or whole wheat toast if so desired.


Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup Frozen/Fresh Strawberries
1/2 cup Frozen/Fresh Blueberries
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (can be plain, vanilla, or fruit flavored)
1/2 to 1 cup water
1-2 ice cubes
1 scoop Protein Powder

Directions:

In blender combine all ingredients.
Blend on high until all ingredients are crushed, smooth and creamy. (Add more water if necessary)
Pour into cup and enjoy!

Now you can start your day with extra energy and get your metabolism burning fat from the minute you wake up. Don’t forget to keep eating healthy meals throughout the day as well (pick the protein first), but please, DO NOT EVER SKIP BREAKFAST!!!

Does anyone wish to share what their favourite (and simple) breakfast recipe is??

Les πŸ™‚

Yoga makes me happy :)

As I write today’s blog entry I am reviewing my notes as I have my second weekend of hatha yoga teacher training starting tonight at Rama Lotus! I was also reflecting on why I decided to take this course…ultimately it is because I love yoga!!

Here are the top 5 reasons why I love yoga..

1. It allows me to completely let go of my day/thoughts/busy life as I go through my practice and I always feel better after πŸ™‚

2. I love to be active! Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise (physically and emotionally) and is a great compliment to my intense workout routine.

3. There are so many types of yoga which is amazing because I can do a different yoga style (or class) everyday depending on my mood or energy level.

4. I feel strong and alive while I am practicing yoga yet calm and relaxed when I am done.

5. I can do yoga anywhere and I can enjoy practicing it alone or with a friend! Yoga is for people of all ages and levels…all you need is a yoga mat and an open mind πŸ™‚

This picture makes me laugh…thought it would make you smile as well.

Why do you love yoga??? If you haven’t done it in awhile or have never tried yoga ask yourself why not?? Commit at least 1 hour a week to doing yoga and you will be a much happier person πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend!

Namaste

Les πŸ™‚