Lose Weight Here Book Review: Part 2 of 4 Green Yellow and Red Foods

In the last post I summarized one of the last chapters about doing what works best for you or eating based on your activity level and what foods you know work well for you. In today’s post I will share with you the author’s fat loss foods chart.

Some of you may already know the differences between protein foods, fat based foods and foods that are mostly starch but if you don’t this should help you know the differences.  For example, beans have protein in them but are considered a starch. Nuts are not considered protein sources, they’re mostly fat. Proteins are foods that are more protein than anything else (the same goes for fat and starch rich foods).

According to the authors in this book, green foods are rich in protein, fiber and water and are the best at stabilizing hunger, energy and cravings for the majority of people. They contain the fewest calories yet fill us up quickly making us less likely to eat more of the wrong foods later. They can be eaten in unlimited quantities by most people because they are so satiating and so low in calories

GREEN (eat unlimited)
Protein: chicken, turkey, wild fowl, game meats, most fish, bison, lean ground beef, shellfish, lean cuts of pork, egg whites and protein powders
Non starchy high fiber veggies: kale, collards, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, salad greens, tomato, jicama, asparagus, green beans, cucumber, celery, peppers, carrots, radish, zucchini, squashes, pumpkin
High-water, low-sugar fruits: berries, apples, pears, citrus fruits

Yellow foods list includes foods that have a varied impact from person to person.  For some these foods balance hunger-energy-cravings and aid fat loss.  For others the very same foods will not balance hunger energy cravings and may lead to fat gain.  It is with these foods that people will have to do most of their detective work.
YELLOW (eat to tolerance)
Fatty meats: lamb, fatty cuts of beef, fatty cuts of pork, fatty fish like salmon
Vegetable fats: avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, peanuts
Lower-fiber, high sugar fruits: banana, melons, cherries, pineapples, mango, kiwi
Starchy low fiber veggies: potatoes, corn, peas, sweet potatoes
Wet starches: potatoes, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, oats, cream of rice, beans and legumes
Dairy foods: milk, yogurt, butter, cheese
Whole eggs

Foods listed as red foods have a negative impact on hunger-energy-cravings either decreasing fullness at the meal or making overeating at that meal or future meals more likely. These foods have the MOST potential to cause fat gain. These foods have high calorie density (small portion of it has a lot of calories in it).  For example it is easy to overeat a bowl of pasta or ice cream.  These foods can also disrupt blood sugar levels in susceptible people, leading to snacking and binging on less desirable foods later.
RED (eat rarely if ever)
Dry starches: pasta, bread, crackers, pretzels, chips, rice cakes, cereals
Junk foods: cookies, cakes, candy, sweets, soda etc

 

Most people are getting most of their calories from wheat and dairy.  So if you are one of these people, see what happens when you eliminate these foods or dramatically reduce them.  Make more of an effort to eat high protein and high fiber foods.  You might find that it will help to improve your metabolism and improve you ability to lose weight.  But remember, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT, so you must figure out what works best for you.  The fat loss game is a process and it takes time. It is so important that you find out what works best for you.  I always tell people to keep it simple and I think that this book does a great job of showing people how eating this way can make your life a lot easier.

Want more help?  Contact me les@getfitwithles.com and I’ll work with you to figure out what works best for you 🙂

 

Les

Lose Weight Here Book Review Part 1 of 4: Do what works for you!

I have been following Jade and his wife Jill for the last few years on Social Media and recently discovered that Jade has published two books. The first is called “The Metabolic Effect Diet” and the lastest one “Lose Weight Here” and from the first chapter I was very interested.  I have been interested in learning more about the effects of hormones on metabolism and fat loss and this book makes it so easy to understand and provides excellent information and advice for helping people who have trouble losing weight.

I am skipping towards the end of the book to share with you one the concepts I found the most interesting (and valuable).  In the last few chapters of the book “Lose Weight Here” the authors talk about the importance of structuring your food intake based on your metabolism, psychology and preferences.

So once you get to the stage (or you’re super close to it!) where you’ve reached your goal (you’re at a weight and size you love, you feel strong and fit, you’ve figured out how to keep your hunger, energy and cravings in check) here are a few approaches to consider to keep your metabolism working for you …

 

  1. The Weekend Warrior-Eat less, exercise less on Monday through Friday. On the weekend follow the same approach but instead of one regular meal at the end of the day, eat a large cheat meal one to three times during the weekend. Also make sure you get in a few weight training workouts and maybe a long run or bike ride. So then you’ll be following a eat more exercise more approach on Saturday and Sunday and the extra calories will go into fueling exercise and building muscle.
  2. The Weekend Couch Potato-Eat more, exercise more Monday through Friday since the week is loaded with exercise. Include healthier carbs post workout to help with exercise recovery and muscle development. On the weekend the person is eating light while engaging in light or no activity and usually enjoys sleeping in and doesn’t eat until lunch. This allows for a more relaxing weekend with less food and activity.
  3. The Exerciser-Set your exercise schedule for the week and eat more on the days you exercise. Eat less on recovery days. For those who love to exercise this approach works best and is the lifestyle many will naturally gravitate to. It works well because you will learn to instinctively match intake with output.In other words, on the day when exercise is done, the meal frequency, carbs and calorie counts are increased. On the days there is no exercise, the food intake is lower and there are fewer meals.
  4. The Lazy Girl or Boy-These people are not expending much energy and therefore do not require lots of calories. Weight training twice a week is enough for them and they understand that as they age holding on to their muscle mass is imperative for the health of their metabolism so they make that a priority.
  5. The Athlete-You are active every single day and need to fuel your body to keep it going he people who live this lifestyle have the bodies we admire the most. They train hard, fuel smart and they have lean functional, athletic physiques. A high calorie meal will likely go toward recovery and have little negative effect on fat gain. This reflects what a typical athlete’s eating and exercise regimens might look like

After reading these 5 options which one do you think you are? Have you ever thought about approaching your nutrition this way? What are you thoughts on their recommendations?

I think this is an excellent and convenient means of adjusting to various situations that you may come across in your daily life.  The key to this plan is learn to use these strategies while being fully aware that you are doing so without it taking much mental effort. Eventually it will happen intuitively as you will become a “diet detective” and adjust on the fly while staying lean and fit as  a result.

Want to learn more about this? Check out and order the book! http://www.amazon.ca/Lose-Weight-Here-Metabolic-Stubborn/dp/1623364760

Stay tuned for parts 2, 3, 4 from this book….

Les 🙂

How I stay motivated to run outdoors during the winter…

I love running and yes even in winter! People always ask me ‘how do you do it’ or ‘why do you do it’ and it is a pretty easy answer…because I LOVE IT. I love that I get to enjoy the beautiful city I live in while running outdoors, I crave that feeling after a good run when I get home, I enjoy the friendly waves I exchange with other runners as we pass each other, I love feeling healthy, happy, alive and free when I am running outdoors. I also love being one of ‘those crazy people’ drivers see running in the winter. It’s fun to know I might be inspiring someone to try it. It’s funny because before I started running in the winter I used to be amazed when I would see people running all bundled up, I am now that person!

Are there days when I don’t feel like going for a run outside? Sure! And to be honest when the temperature is dangerously low or I know that the sidewalks will be extra slippery I will run on the good old treadmill (aka dreadmill). But 9 out of 10 times I will get outside for a run no matter what. What do I do to stay motivated you ask? Here are a few tips I’ll share with you…

1-Have a goal-I believe that unless you have signed up for a race you’ll have a much harder time motivating yourself to get outside for a run during the colder months. Look up some locals races and sign up for a 5, 10, 21 or 42km race! Having a race goal and putting a plan into action to reach your goal increases your chances of running on days that you don’t feel like leaving your bed or couch.


2-Run with a friend-You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s one of the easiest ways to stay on track in the winter. Not only do they help keep you accountable by “forcing” you to show up, but misery loves company. Grinding out at fast 5 km in the snow and below zero temperatures isn’t quite as bad when you have 3 or 4 of your running friends by your side to freeze your butt off with.
If you don’t have a few running buddies that you can try and team up with, check out some of the local running clubs,they’re usually struggling for numbers in the winter and they would be glad to have you. I am lucky to have my friend Peter to run with once or twice a week.


3-Plan out your route/have a plan-I have a coach who has designed a program for my half marathon training this year.  I am always looking for support and to learn different training methods.  I also strongly believe that every great coach needs a coach, and I am more successful when I have a monthly workout plan and someone to check in with on a weekly basis.

4-Warm up before going out-You do not want to start your run being cold. Make sure you do a good warm up indoors before you head out. Try doing some mobility exercises or even walking up and down your stairs or doing jumping jacks works too. It’s also very important that you wear the right gear. It will take you a few runs to figure out how many layers, what type of hat/scarf/gloves and shoes work best for you, but you’ll learn by trial and error.


5-Bring your music-I don’t always enjoy running with music as I always get tangled or annoyed by the headphones etc but I do find (especially for longer runs) that music really helps to motivate me to speed up and keep going especially when I get tired during the end of my run. Some of the music I enjoy running to is usually upbeat (pop, hip hop, electronic).

These are just a few tips that can make training this winter a little easier and keep you more consistent. If you have some tips or tricks that help keep you on track, I would love to hear them. Please share your tips in the comment section below 🙂

Les

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Lacking the Motivation to Workout? Start looking for a workout buddy!

Ever have those days when you really don’t feel like going to the gym? For some of you it might be everyday, but you tough it out, and somehow, someway, you get yourself to the gym.  Now when you get there, do you ever struggle to push yourself or talk yourself out of that last rep or have a hard time finishing one more set? It is human nature to work harder when you workout with someone else.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be better than you’ve ever been before if you find yourself a good workout partner.

Even if you have some really awesome workouts on your own, it’s not a bad idea to train with someone once in awhile, you’ll be surprised and how much harder you’ll train.

Now, here is the kicker, you have to find the RIGHT training partner. I have come up with 5 key traits to look for in a training partner…

  1. Trains when you do-The biggest reason people give me for why they train solo is they can’t match up schedules with someone else. Look around your gym at the time you typically go. Who’s there? Or message your friends and find out what time they prefer to workout.
  2. Reasons for working out-The partnership won’t last long unless you’re working toward the same end goal. Whether you’re trying to get lean, build more muscle, get stronger, improve flexibility, better endurance, your partner needs to have similar reasons for working out than you. By doing so, you will help to form a stronger bond between the two of you, thus deepening the connection you feel in terms of cheering each other on as you progress through.
  3. Will hold you accountable-If you text your training partner to say you can’t make it, will they say, “No sweat,” or will they be let down? You want the latter. Knowing you need to be there to support a partner creates another incentive for consistency.
  4. Workout intensity-Another key factor to think about is what kind of intensity they like to train with. Some people like to use their workouts largely for stress relief and socialization, while others are there to achieve their goals and get the results they are looking for. Chances are, the person who is looking for stress relief and relaxation will be taking a much more moderate approach to their workouts while the one who is there for physique improvement will really be geared towards giving their all. This difference can cause for some problems because your goals, once again, are not quite along the same lines.
  5. Skill level- This factor, while not essential, is likely something you’ll also want to consider. It is a good idea to try and be on the same skill level, or at least around the same skill level, as your partner. While you both definitely do not need to have the same strength levels, being as experienced with lifting and understanding the various training techniques can be helpful.  If you are much more experience for example, you might find yourself spending a great deal of time simply explaining principles rather than actually working out.  Some might be okay with doing so, but others, especially those who only have a limited time period to be in the gym, may struggle if such a thing is occurring.

So, if you are considering finding a partner to workout with, make sure you take these factors into consideration.

Remember too that nothing says you can’t have more than one workout partner. It can be almost better if there are a few people you work out with on a regular basis because then if one becomes ill or has other commitments that do force them to miss some sessions, you still have others there who will provide you with the support you need to keep up with your training. I also find that training with other people is a great way to catch up, way healthier and more productive than grabbing a beer and a burger (but tastes way better AFTER a workout!)

Good luck with your gym partner search, and don’t forget that personal training is an even better option, I know of a few trainers at PRIME who are looking forward to helping you improve your overall health and fitness. #justsaying

Les 🙂

Client Success Story: How my client lost 30 lbs in 4 months without doing anything extreme…

It all started with a random email I received on April 14 2015. A girl named Kelsey contacted me as she had heard “I was very motivating and a pleasure to work with” from a mutual friend (thanks Denise!)  Also in her email she explained to me that she was “feeling really out of shape and interested in one on one training”.  We set up our first appointment right away and from the moment I met her she was smiling, super positive and enthusiastic.  She was the most excited 24 year old female I have ever had a consultation with. I was instantly as excited as she was to get started.  She make the decision to commit to training 3 times a week (as that is the most effective way to get results, especially when a client is new to an exercise program) and was going to do cardio workouts on her own 2-3 times a week (pretty awesome right!?) She also wanted to learn how to eat properly and cook healthy but delicious and easy meals.

Her goals when we first met were to lose weight (20-30lbs and be a size 8-10), to feel better, (strong, fit, energetic) and do something crazy (Spartan Race, pull ups, etc).

Here are her measurements for her first assessment

April 21 2015

Body weight-177.8lbs Body fat 35.9% Chest 42”, Belly 40”, Hips 42”, Left Arm 11.5”, Left Thigh 24”

Performance wise she was starting off pretty strong with good pushup, squat, lunge, deadlift, twist, pull and plank form. BUT she wasn’t doing much exercise on her own and had no clue how to eat properly! Well this is where having a trainer makes all the difference.

We set up a schedule of training 3 days a week and GUESS WHAT?! She only missed one session in the 4 months we trained. She was determined to make it to all her workouts and worked her hardest while she was here. And she did that…and more! Consistency is so important when working out and changing eating habits, and her motivation never wavered!

We discussed nutrition early on, I had her track her food for a few days so I could get an idea of what her daily food intake looks like. At first, she was eating out almost every meal, ate mostly carbs and not a lot of veggies and protein. She was constantly drinking water so that was good J Now, you might find it hard to believe but I never wrote her up a meal plan! I simply taught her the 5 Habits from the Precision Nutrition program and one week at a time she worked on mastering those. They are as follows

1-Eat slowly and without distraction

2-Eat protein (25-30 g) with every meal

3-Eat 1-2 servings of veggies with every meal

4-Eat carbs based on your body type and activity level (if trying to lose weight, eat carbs around your workout etc) and watch your serving size (1 cupped handful is 1 serving)

5- Make sure you are getting enough fat in your diet (eggs. Meats, fish, olives, nuts, seeds)

I also got her to fill out a biweekly adherence sheet to track her meals (tracking good meals, missed meals and unhealthy meals) and the goals was to improve her adherence each week. This worked super well without being too complicated.

She literally took every bit of advice I gave her and followed it from Day 1. Yes there were some late nights out and drinking  with her friends once in awhile, and she would go for sushi, have pizza or eat dessert sometimes (who doesn’t?)  but my point here is she did not do anything extreme to achieve results! She followed guidelines I provided her for fitness and nutrition and STUCK TO THEM FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME!  After training with me for 4 months these were her measurements…

Aug 28 2015

Body weight 144.4 lbs BF 22.6% Chest 37” Belly 34” Hips 38” Left Arm 10” Left Thigh 20.75”

She was down 32.6 lbs, 13.3 % bodyfat and 25.5 inches all over! Incredible, right?

Her strength  and form in all her exercises improved 100%, she is at the point where she LOVES a tough leg workout and requests challenging exercises when we train together.

All of these changes happened over 4 months, no extreme dieting or crazy workout routine, she JUST DID WHAT HER TRAINER TOLD HER TO DO, for more than 2 weeks (unlike most people who start up a new fitness routine)…and was determined to improve her health and fitness.

Kelsey is an inspiration to anyone who is unsure about personal training or making the decision to take their fitness more seriously.  Her positive attitude was the number one reason was she had great success, she was open to my suggestions, and ready and willing to make changes, AND she was prepared to work very hard to reach her goals week after week..

Now even though we aren’t training 3 times a week anymore she still comes to see me once a week for a really good butt kicking.  She tells me that coming to see me even once a week really helps her to stay motivated and do her own workouts during the week, so basically, she uses me as someone to be accountable to and I am the one who helps to keep her on track.  This makes me happy and I truly feel like I have helped take Kelsey’s fitness, nutrition and health to a whole new level, a level that she is committed to maintaining for the rest of her life!

This is just one of many success stories of clients I have trained in the last 8 years, perhaps you’ll be my next one?

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My favourite drink to sip on during or after workouts…

BCAA’s!!  (which is short for Branched Chain Amino Acids)

You’ll always see me sipping on my BCAA’s  during my workout (or after) for a number of reasons…

1-They taste yummy and are so refreshing  (I love Nutrabolics Anabolic State Pink Lemonade Flavour, and there are many others (even ones that are all natural) that come in pill, liquid or powder form) and there are less than 5 calories in 1 serving!

2-They reduce the rate of protein breakdown (aka muscle breakdown)

3-BCAA’s increase the rate of protein synthesis, and they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis (help with muscle building)

4-They help improve workout intensity! BCAAs compete with the amino acid tryptophan for entry into the brain, where tryptophan can be converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin. BCAA supplementation reduces the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain, and therefore reduces the amount of serotonin produced, so it helps me to work harder, faster and longer!

5-There has been research done that proves people who take BCAA’s increase muscle retention and maximize fat loss much more effectively than those who don’t.

 

I think these reasons speak for themselves!

Jump on the BCAA bandwagon everyone, yes they can be a tad expensive to purchase but the benefits are worth it!

What is your favourite intra/post workout drink?

Les 🙂

 

Source:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bcaas-the-many-benefits-of-amino-acids.html

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You’re never too old to enjoy exercise!

I recently spent 7 days at my parents beautiful home in a part of Florida called the Villages.  If you’ve never heard of it you should seriously consider convincing your parents to retire here! Check this place out-here is a link to their website!

You must be over 55 to live here (unless you are visiting or work in the Villages) but trust me, youwould  never believe that anyone who lives here is a day over 50! There are so many activities to choose from: pickleball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track and field, billiards, the list goes on! The gyms are beautiful and there are  multiple classes almost every hour of the day.  There is something for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level and the classes were packed!  I did a few classes with my mom (power yoga, spin, body pump) and the people were shoulder to shoulder in these classes! It was so inspiring to see so many active ‘older adults’ as they like to be called (don’t you dare call them ‘seniors!’)  participating and breaking a sweat! Fitness is booming here and the population in the community is growing so much (currently over 100,000 people live here!) that they needed to build another commercial size gym! There are smaller (free) gyms at most of the pool/fitness centers on top of all the other sports facilities. And get this- there is a senior games event in Florida for ages 50-100! Some people are so good they compete nationally!?

Here are a few things I learned observing the people in the Villages gyms…

1- There is no such thing as TOO OLD! Never mind that, I could never guess what age anyone was? This just goes to show how exercising keeps you young!

2-Exercise is fun at any age! I think what brings people together is the socializing! I loved seeing the interactions between the ‘regulars’ at the gym and how the instructors and trainers called most of the members by name.

3- Exercise makes you feel better, stronger, more confident and that you accomplished something! I think that going to the gym or playing sports is the best part of their day! I didn’t see a single miserable or sad person at the gym, and everyone is so friendly, asking where I was from, etc etc.  Whatever makes you happier leads to a longer and healthier life right? No wonder they are so active!

4-Older adults don’t like being called ‘old’…they are all proof that you are only as old as you feel!

5- They respect their equipment and facilities.  I have never seen a more immaculate and cleaner gym than the ones in the Villages, if only younger people would adopt these habits at our gyms in Canada! It makes working out so much more enjoyable when you get to train in a brand-new and spotless facility!

So let’s just say, every time I left the gym while on vacation I had a big smile on my face and left feeling inspired! I couldn’t wait to go back the next day! After all, if they can do it and they are all at least 30 years older than me, I better be able to keep up with them!

Thanks to the many wonderful members and staff at the MVP gyms and to my mother who let me tag along and join her for her workouts and classes for a week in the Villages, I wish I got to live there year round! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Les 🙂

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How long will it take me to get “in shape”?

On my walk home from the gym today I felt so good and I started thinking… why is that? And how long have I felt this way? What did I do to get to this point? How can I help to inspire others to crave this feeling? What is it about exercise and a healthy lifestyle that makes me feel SO GOOD? And what exactly does being ‘in shape’ mean??

Well, first things first! I have experienced living at the opposite end of the spectrum, being overweight, unmotivated, eating WHATEVER I feel like depending on the day, drinking way too much alcohol, late nights out, being inactive and MISERABLE!  Was it a good place to be? NOPE! Was it easy to live like that? Well yes and no (it is easy to be lazy though!) Would I want to go back to feeling that way? DEFINITELY NOT! How did I get there? Long story short, after university and playing collegiate volleyball (10 years ago), I started teaching and felt very alone. I had a lot of responsibility as a teacher and I wasn’t enjoying that position at all! I had to make decisions about what to teach each day, what I would assess the students on, worry about whether the kids would listen or do what they wanted that day, the list goes on! So after 1.5 years of not enjoying my life as a teacher I hit a low point, and during this low point I decided not to teach anymore…and moved to Ottawa on a whim to find a better life/career for myself.

My first job in Ottawa was working as a hostess at a famous Irish Pub…keep in mind I knew nobody in Ottawa (except my sister) so in order to make friends I would hang around after my shift with co workers and drink, and eat, and drink some more and would stay up really late 4 nights a week.  This lifestyle seemed fun at the time BUT it got the best of me and I became more and more out of shape, unmotivated and miserable.  Luckily the kilt I wore for work was adjustable so I never actually was able to tell just how overweight I was getting.  This all came to an end when one day (actually she told me many times until I finally went) my sister said “hey why don’t you go to the gym? You don’t do much other than work, eat bar food and drink booze and stay out late.  Doesn’t seem like you are very happy with yourself either.” Well good thing she cared about me enough to tell me this and pushed me to go to the gym because that is when my life started to head in the right direction again. After many failed attempts of meeting with a fitness advisor at Goodlife, I finally was able to set up an appointment that worked with my schedule and his.  We sat down to discuss the services they offer, then he gave me a tour of the gym and he asked about my fitness background, goals, etc and then somehow convinced me to hire a personal trainer.  I remember leaving the gym after that appointment feeling sooo excited (and scared) with my decision to make a change and start working out again! At first I was a little nervous about how much it cost per month but after a couple of weeks I soon realized it was TOTALLY WORTH EVERY PENNY!  My trainer was Julie and she was the one who convinced me to apply to be a personal trainer…I was like WHO?? ME??? But I am sooo out of shape! But she told me that with my education, my experience as a high level athlete, my caring personality, my ability to relate to different people and my passion for helping others (I have a teaching degree after all!) that I would be an ideal candidate to become a personal trainer.  She also promised that she would help me get in the best shape of my life! So, I applied, had an interview and within a few months of working out at Goodlife with her and getting to  know the staff and getting my CAN FIT PRO certification I was hired!

It was during the first year that I really really became OBSESSED with (in a good way of course)..ok hooked on exercise and although it took me almost 6-9 months to get a handle on my nutrition (and to have less nights out at the bar!), the fat was shedding, my body was changing, I saw muscles I had never seen before.  I felt more confident! I stopped wearing old volleyball t-shirts and baggy shorts and discovered Lululemon (eek!)  Tight fitting yoga pants and clingy tops were my new fave items to workout in- I wasn’t trying to hide my body anymore. Other people were starting to notice the changes in my body and in the way I carried myself….I felt so good! And kept getting better and better, the best part of this new and improved lifestyle was feeling confident and alive! And I was eating more-more protein, more vegetables and less CRAP (ie deep friend food, packaged, low fat foods etc) I felt like I had a purpose…not to mention the reward I felt from being a personal trainer and seeing my clients change their lifestyles the same way that I was! These were some of the best years of my life.  I even did some crazy things like run a few half marathons, competed in my first fitness competition and even ran a full marathon during my time at Goodlife.  I was always setting new goals and  working so hard to achieve them in my work life and my personal life.

Next thing that I discovered…yoga…at first I was very resistant as I didn’t like how boring it was, I found it weird that we would chant randomly in class, I wasn’t ‘good at it’ and couldn’t seem to stop my mind from wandering the whole time.  In some classes I felt like it was pointless to just sit and hold poses for an hour or more. I kept saying “this isn’t a workout! Why am I doing this?”  Then I had some wonderful yoga teachers who started teaching me that the importance of yoga is not to get somewhere or to become the most flexible but to take a moment to dedicate some time for yourself (which I had no problem doing in the gym) to calm your mind and feel grounded.

WOW! What a difference when you look at it that way!? I became so hooked on yoga and the way it made me feel when I practiced yoga regularly plus it was so beneficial for my body that had been working so hard lifting weights and running that I decided I would sign up for a 200hr hatha yoga teacher training course! I wanted to learn more about the practice of yoga, and again, I was thinking…ME?? Teaching and learning about yoga?? But why??  Well it was the best decision I ever made as I met some wonderful people throughout the training and I also learned SO MUCH about myself, how I view myself and others and what is really important in my life.  And the best part? Yoga is the best way to bring me back to earth, it calms me down when I feel myself getting carried away or over committing myself and getting too busy.  I can now share my practice and what I learned with others.  It was at the very beginning of my teacher training that I had an opportunity to branch out from  Goodlife and start my own personal training business.  And with a few sleepless nights and long talks with my boyfriend at the time and my friends who had started their own personal training businesses (plus convincing my parents that it would be a smart decision and that I would be successful) I took the plunge and started Get Fit with Les.  Now we are 4 years into my fitness journey at this point….imagine 4 years has gone by and I am still hooked to the gym, eating healthy and practicing yoga, heck it is what I do for a living!  Do I have moments, days or weeks when I feel like eating a really good meal (burger and fries or pizza) and skipping the gym? OF COURSE, I AM HUMAN! And I do it without feeling guilty or beating myself up about it.

Ultimately though, in the grand scheme of things I have realized that it is my PASSION to help others overcome their obstacles and teach them how it is possible to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.  I LOVE IT! I love love love love love what I do and could never imagine myself doing anything different.  My clients are my inspiration and are the reason I love what I do so much, seeing them get stronger, leaner and more confident as they achieve their goals is the most rewarding thing in the world.

Changing the subject again (and back to my story lol) during year 2 of Get Fit with Les I decided to train for another fitness competition since I had more time to myself (after ending my relationship) and was determined to show people how I could transform my body in hopes that it would help my business grow.  It worked, I charted and shared my progress week by week in hopes of inspiring others and it worked.  I was the busiest I had ever been, training 40 hours a week on top of all the hours of training and cooking I had to do to prepare for my show.  It was so rewarding, I have the pictures to prove I did it and I learned a lot about myself (and the fitness comp world) through the process.

Did I do it to win? No. Did I do it to challenge myself? YES. Is it the healthiest and best way to get in ‘awesome’ shape? Not really.  Is it something I would recommend to others? It depends…Do I know how to get myself (and others who are interested in doing a show) as lean as possible aka ‘my best’ shape, OF COURSE! Is it worth the sacrifice to my health and my personal life? To me? NOPE! Looking back, I am glad I had the experience of doing two competitions but it isn’t really for  me.  It is so hard on my body to get that lean and in my opinion, sure I looked amazing but was I ‘healthy’ and in ‘great shape?’ Not at all, I was tired all the time, had digestive issues and let’s face it, I was starving myself and in a massive calorie deficit.Not an ideal state to be in… Long story short, that will be my last competition because I have realized that as much as I ‘loved’ being super lean (like imagine me 30 lbs lighter than I am now?)

it is not sustainable nor do I have the desire to lead such an extreme lifestyle to look AWESOME for 1 week, heck 1 day.  BUT I have huge respect for anyone who does a competition and continues to compete.  Big props to you! But all I can say about my experience now is simply been there, done that…enjoyed the challenge but I’ll pass for now…

Sorry this is the longest post ever and good for you for continuing to read this…where was I? OH YEAH! What do I love about working out so much and how did I get to this point?  I have realized after many years of training for different ‘goals’ and having many different trainers and going through a variety of experiences and times in my life plus training hundreds of individuals with their own stories and obstacles to overcome that what I enjoy most about working out is the way I feel AFTER  MY WORKOUT (and I’m sure my clients would agree with me on this one)!

Not only do I feel like I have accomplished something but my body is saying THANK YOU. And it is even more fun when I can workout with others (like my husband in this picture, poor guy, he has to put up with me and my crazy ways!)

My food choices on days I work out are always WAY better than on days when I am not exercising. I sleep better when I have a great workout. There are so many different ways to exercise, there are endless types of workouts, a variety of ways of using equipment, difference places to train, etc that I never run out of things to do at the gym and I never get bored! I have realized that being active, eating healthy, having a positive mindset and surrounding myself with people who are supportive makes me so happy.  I have finally accepted my body as it is without constantly wishing I could  make something look smaller, tighter or skinnier.  I am so content with my current state it is crazy but this doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days, or days when I feel ‘fat’ and eat excessive amounts of Chicago Mix popcorn 😉 but again, I am kind to myself during the moments, and have to remind myself during these low points of how far I have come!  All I have to do is think about where I started (yep, that wasn’t very fun back then) and that I am human.  So while I am content with where I am right now this doesn’t mean I stop challenging myself each day to continue to improve and be better.  My parents always told me that they don’t care what I do, who I date, or who I hang around with as long as I am happy.  What makes me happy? My husband, my family, my friends, my business, my clients, and my fitness!

So many things to be grateful for but the most important things are the things I have learned along the way…my journey.  I feel blessed that my fitness journey has brought me to such a happy place and it keeps going.  I am not sure where I will be in 3, 5, 10 or 20 years but one thing I do know is that I will always be active and doing what I love…which is inspiring others to workout.

Why?? Because it feels good and there is no right or wrong way to do it! You can do it anyway you want! You’re never too old, too big, too short, too slow, too lazy or too broke to exercise….so why not JUST TRY and DO IT!  I chose to stop complaining about my life 7 years ago and look where I am now…it has taken a long time to get here but I had to start…and if you haven’t yet or you’re still struggling to find your way to becoming a ‘fit’ person (whatever that means) aka find your happy place (mentally, physically and emotionally) you should think about the following… 1- where are you right now/what are you currently doing? 2-how committed are you to change your ways? 3-what help do you need to get there?…4-what are your goals?  5-what steps do you need to take to get there and more importantly how do you get started and keep going?…We all know that ‘getting fit’ doesn’t happen overnight so are you in it for the long term? I hope so!  The best advice I can give you is to keep your goals simple…and just start….small…without turning back….without feeling sorry for yourself and making excuses or complaining. Just take it one day at a time and if you need help don’t be afraid to ask (or pay for it!) That’s what I did and it was the best investment I ever made!

So if you are reading this and think…well she is personal trainer, working out and eating healthy must be so easy and second nature for her…well I must confess…it is not easy!  I still struggle with food (as most of us do) but the main thing is I am very aware of what my triggers are and I don’t deprive myself or follow an extreme diet as I know that all or nothing approaches always end up as nothing!  Do I have the least amount of body fat and 6 pack abs? NO and I never have nor is that my goal! Do I wear a size 8? HECK NO! Am I happy and comfortable in my own skin, my size 10/12 jeans and embrace my curves? YES!

Do I love the way I feel when I workout and when I eat healthy foods? HECK YEAH!  Do I enjoy a good burger with fries and a milkshake once in awhile? SURE DO!  Am I addicted to the gym and working out? SURE!  Is that a bad thing? NO because I take rest days and am fully aware of the importance of balance!  Honestly, I might not have the ‘perfect body’ according to some people in the fitness industry (who cares!) but what does ‘perfect’ or ‘being in great shape’ mean anyway? What does ‘perfect’ look like? In my opinion ‘being in great shape’ means being happy with who I am, what I do, who I spend my time with and with what I have…this to me is PERFECT!  But, we all have to start somewhere…we all have our own story…so what is your journey like or going to be like? It won’t be easy…but it will be worth it….you have to find something that you love to do…and do it! It might even be not ever working out in a gym but that’s ok! As long as you’re moving and smiling while you do it!

Ok! My rambling has come to an end…I could go on and on and I’m not even sure that what I have written makes sense….but I hope that you have enjoyed it at least

Les

REBLOG From JillFit.com “8 Ways to be an Anti-Perfectionist in 2015”

Something I have been working on for the last few years is becoming less obsessed with perfection (it takes a lot of practice and self reflection/discovery). When I came across this article by JillFit I had to share it as I know a lot of people who are so obsessed with perfection (especially in the fitness industry).  Not only are they sabotaging their own personal growth efforts but they are missing out on enjoying life as they are so caught up in the process of attaining the perfect physique, etc. Don’t let your perfectionist tendencies control you by refusing to accept anything less than perfect. After reading this post I hope that you begin to accept your current situation as it is, and maybe you will one day realize that you are good enough. -Les 🙂

Honestly, perfectionism sucks.

Not only does it keep us from feeling good enough, but it actually doesn’t work effectively as a productivity system. Perfectionists are really bad at taking action because they are so scared of failure. I don’t know about you, but the times I make the biggest strides in my personal growth is when I take action, despite not knowing entirely what’s going to happen.

Like Jade says, “It’s not ‘Jump and the net will appear,’ it’s ‘Jump and then create the net.’” In other words, if you want to be successful in any endeavor, you have to learn to trust YOU fully.

We can never predict outcomes with 100% certainty, and betting on results can be a tricky business. But you know what you can bet on? Yourself. To handle whatever comes up.

And that’s the anti-perfectionist — the person who says, “I got this. And if I don’t, then I’ll find that out eventually and at that point, I’ll do what I need to do.”

And so, perfectionism can go throw itself off a bridge.

In 2015, I want to learn to embrace an anti-perfectionist attitude. And that is … wait for it … authenticity!

Authenticity is what turns who we are into enough if we are brave enough to try it.

Authenticity is the courage to show up as-is in the world and let the chips fall. Owning 100% who you are, no apologies, excuses or justifications. You, as you are right now, are enough.

dontapologize

And so, my anti-perfectionism practices for 2015. Ready? Here we go:

1) Don’t take things personally.

When someone makes an off-hand comment or passive-aggressive remark or takes a cheap shot, shake it off. Defending anything you do or anything you are, sends a subtle message to your higher self that something is wrong with what you are doing or who you are. And in the spirit of authenticity, defending is kind of apologizing for being you. Let it go, and instead, fully own what you’re doing.

2) Be an example of confidence to those around you.

The kind of person who makes an impact or makes a difference in the lives of others is not the leanest person, but the most confident in their abilities and their contribution. I learned this from one of my mentors, who is a powerhouse business woman and an incredible success. I never, ever saw her sweat about her physique or cower away like there was something wrong. She walked into a room and her energy demanded attention. People follow conviction, not body fat percentages. When you show up confident and ready to kill it, it gives those around you permission to do the same.

3) Never explain your physique.

Resist the temptation to defend your body to people. You’re amazing, perfect, whole and valuable regardless of your size; you don’t ever have to defend your physique to anyone. This can be hard when we feel like we should be thinner, smaller, leaner, more muscular, whatever. But the second you start preempting other people’s judgments by explaining “why you look the way you do” is the second you relinquish your power.

4) Play to your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.

Instead of focusing on things that are tough for you and then as a result, berating yourself for still not being able to do them well, could you start playing to your strengths? You have unique contributions that the world needs. Put those forward. As for the rest? Do your best. Find workarounds or shortcuts or bring in someone else to do whatever it is you either can’t do or don’t want to. It doesn’t make you weak or a quitter, it makes you strategic. And in my opinion, an eventual success.

5) Stop defining “perfect.”

As adult women, I think we can finally, FINALLY retire the whole concept of perfection. It’s actually the most subjective thing on earth. If I asked 100 women (or men for that matter) their definition of “the perfect body,” I’d get 100 different answers. So the idea that we can or should continue to cling to some arbitrary number or shape or size in order to “be perfect” is just plain misery. It keeps us in a holding pattern of never ever feeling good enough. And luckily, this switch is just a single choice away. You know what’s perfect? Working on your inside game so that you can show up in the world authentic and transparent, and ultimately happy.

6) Trust yourself, first. Who’s better?

It’s all too easy to take in considerations, suggestions and advice from others. Especially when it comes to eating and exercise. It feels easier to listen to an expert or read the latest diet book or ask your personal trainer, who really knows hardly anything about you. It feels easier because it sort of takes the ownership off you. You don’t really have to do the work. I get that. But here’s the thing — no one can ever, EVER know your body and mind better than you can. And when it comes to your physique, your metabolism, your personal preferences, your psychological sensitivities, asking others diminishes your power and undermines your ability to trust YOURSELF. It keeps you dependent. It makes you question things and become unsure. And the more unsure you become, the easier it is to doubt and feel overwhelmed and scared and fumble. In 2015, I want you to finally stop giving your process over to people who aren’t nearly as qualified as you are about, well, you. I want you to do the tough work of getting in tune with your body. I want you to feel confident to tell anyone who questions your unique process to butt out. I want you owning your journey and never apologizing for the one-of-a-kind-ness of you.

7) Rid your circle of the negativity.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, BUT, one thing I am resolved to doing in 2015 is maintain a zero tolerance policy for negativity anywhere in my life – online, with friends, family, acquaintances, my blog, social media, wherever. I won’t do complaining. I won’t do blaming. I won’t do naysayers. I even won’t do fear. If someone wants to try to prevent or warn against or second-guess, I’m out. My circles in 2015 and beyond will be 100% optimism and possibility-thinking 100% of the time. And it’s on me to create that. Besides, we teach people how to treat us, and if I have negativity going on in my tribe, then it’s my fault.

8) Give up the need to please.

One key trait of perfectionists is that they tend to be people-pleasers. They try to control how other people see them, and as a result, tend to run around trying to regulate other’s responses to them. Can we ever control how someone else sees us? No, of course not. But this is hard because we want people to like us. Of course we do. I do, you do, we all do. But at what expense? The expense of not doing what we want to? Of not following our dreams, passions and desires? What someone thinks of me is not my business. And running around trying to control all of that only keeps me miserable. Instead, be the Anti-Perfectionist by showing up 100% as-is and letting the chips fall. See what happens. Chances are that if people don’t like what they see, they aren’t really true friends anyway, and guess what? That’s fine! In fact, it’s perfect. It’s a perfect stratification system (pun intended!) :)

10 Reasons Why YOU Should Hire a PRIME Personal Trainer…

Still debating whether or not you should invest your money and hire a personal trainer? Think it’s too expensive? Don’t have time? Maybe you think you’ll just do it on your own? Maybe…

BUT, if you are tired of starting and stopping a fitness routine, don’t feel comfortable in a gym, feel lost in a grocery store, struggle to find the motivation to cook/eat properly, or maybe you don’t even know what you need to do to get yourself in better shape, maybe this blog post will inspire you to reach out to one of our personal trainers at PRIME 🙂

10 reasons why you should hire a PRIME personal trainer:

1-Goal Achievement

Our personal trainers help you define your fitness goals and show you how you can ‘redefine your prime’. We will take into account your current fitness level and discuss what you want to achieve through your workouts based on your commitment/how many days a week you are willing to train per week. While you may have some idea of the goals you want to set, our trainers will be able to help you break them down into smaller goals (daily, weekly, monthly) that are specific and realistic. Our personal trainers will also help assess your progress toward those goals.

2-Personalized Workout

We will create a specific workout plan just for you based on what you want to achieve. This personalized plan gives you better results than a general workout plan. Because we will be made aware of your physical condition and medical background, we are able to make accommodations to the program to fit your needs. We will also help you with providing workouts you can do at home as we all know that in order to get results you must exercise AT LEAST 3 times a week, 5 times a week is best.
3- Instruction
At PRIME, we will teach you the proper way to perform each exercise in your routine.  We often demonstrate the movement and watch you perform it so we can correct any issues with your posture or technique. Learning how to perform exercises properly reduces your risk of injury and increases your ability to increase strength and build muscle. You also will be able to do the exercises on your own at home or at the gym PROPERLY when  learning them from your personal trainer.
4-Motivation
Motivation is often difficult to maintain when you exercise on your own. Regular sessions with a personal trainer enhance your motivation to continue with a workout regimen. Even if you don’t use a personal trainer for every session, knowing that you’ll meet with your trainer weekly will motivate you during your own workouts. You also get the satisfaction of showing your trainer the improvements you’ve made as your exercise program proceeds (lower body fat, strength gains, more muscle, better posture, improved endurance, etc).

5-Accountability

Another common problem is lack of commitment to a regular exercise program. When you exercise on your own, it is easier to skip a session here and there or fall off the wagon completely since there’s no one to hold you accountable. When you work with a trainer, they will keep you accountable, making it more likely that you’ll stick to your training program and achieve your goals.

6-Variety

Our experienced trainers teach you a variety of exercise methods, which will keep you from getting bored. Also, if a specific exercise does not work for you or you can’t physically perform it, the trainer will modify or change it to one that suits you better and provides the same physical benefits. Our trainers also help you to make adjustments as your fitness level improves to ensure continued progress.

7-Efficiency

A PRIME personal trainer is able to make the most of your workout time, which increases the efficiency of your exercise program. This is especially beneficial when you have a limited amount of time to exercise. For example, if you only have 20-30  minutes available to workout at home, your trainer can design a routine for you that will provide the same benefits as a 60 minute workout and will burn the same number of calories.

8- Encouragement and Ongoing Support

We take pride in our passion for helping our clients feel better regardless of how busy or horrible their day may have been and our clients will always leave their session smiling! We recognize that everyone is human and will have weak moments, eat something unhealthy, miss a workout, etc but we will encourage you to keep going! It is so important to have someone to support you through the tough times (there will be many on your journey to improved health and fitness) and cheer you on during the good times.  We are proud of every single one of our clients for hard work in the gym, their time in the grocery store and cooking in the kitchen, and most importantly the decision they have made to dedicate their time and money to making better choices in their life and doing it the right way (by hiring a trainer to achieve their goals).

9-Fun

Very rarely will you be working out with one of our trainers and NOT having fun!  We realize that not everyone LOVES working out so we do our best to make it fun while kicking your butt.  Why would you want to meet with a trainer who wasn’t any fun?  Want to workout and have fun at the same time? Come train with us! You’ll learn to love working out again!

10-Nutrition Guidance/Support

We encourage our clients to follow proper nutrition guidelines.  Do we suggest meal plans and diets? NO! Do we promote healthy habits and teach our clients proper serving sizes and the difference between a protein, fat and carb and how much of each macronutrient they should be eating with each meal? YES! Do we help our clients create their own daily food intake by offering suggestions for meals and recipes? YES! We want our clients to enjoy food, look forward to preparing meals (instead of feeling deprived and eating the same thing everyday which can lead to bingeing), and not feel overwhelmed by all the confusing and conflicting information there is about nutrition out there.

If you are reading this and are a current client at PRIME (or former client of one of our trainers) feel free to add any other benefits you’ve experienced since you starting training with a personal trainer.

Don’t wait for January to start, make the choice today to make your health and fitness a priority! We are here to help you redefine your PRIME!

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