Lose Weight Here Book Review Part 4 of 4: Your Willpower Battery

(from the Lose Weight Here book…)

It has been shown that willpower is like a battery, it can be drained and it can be recharged.  MOST people have such small willpower batteries and they are so drained that they are ill equipped to make even a single change without failing.  How do you switch from a drained resource called willpower to the fully charged one called skillpower?  Well you’ll have to read the book to find out more about that but today I will explain what makes up the willpower battery…

Your willpower battery is made up of 3 small batteries:

  • mental battery
  • physical battery
  • emotional battery

Each of these has their own reserves and together they determine the size and charge of your willpower battery. All three must be charged and in balance to make sure your willpower lasts.

For example, take your classic stressed out, over worked, sleep deprived businessperson. At some point he or she made a choice whether consciously or unconsciously to keep the mental battery charged at the expense of the physical and emotional batteries.  Because of that, this person ended up overweight and unhealthy-with broken friendships and family relationships as well.  Can you relate?

The Mental Battery

This battery is easily drained and as a result, when it’s depleted, it will drain your willpower battery as well. Each battery can steal energy from the other and this one will frequently tap the physical and emotional batteries to charge up.  When this happens it can result in choosing quick energy source devoid of high quality nutrients, such as sugar based foods and stimulants (COFFEE!)  It can also mean less desire to exercise since movement requires mental energy investment in the beginning before it gives back and charges you up. Stress sucks a lot of energy from the mental battery too. So does self editing or planning.  Those who engage in the most internal dialogue and constantly worry about their lives are draining their mental batteries and their willpower the quickest. The same goes for planning and constantly thinking about all the things you must do. The more you try to change about yourself and your life at one time, and the more to-dos you have on your list, the less likely you are to do anything at all.  All or nothing almost always becomes nothing.

A few steps to try to make sure your mental battery is strong

  • Focus on changing one aspect of your life at a time (I am a strong believer of this!)
  • Write down the tasks you need to do rather than holding them in your head. Try to limit this list to the three most important items. Don’t attempt to add anything to your to-do list unless you have removed at least two other things first.
  • Get adequate sleep, move regularly, and engage in plenty of rest and recovery activities. This will reset your mental focus and charge your mental battery. (I am also a huge supporter of the need for more sleep!)
  • Practice mindful meditation, one of the best skills to add to your arsenal. So the first item on the list of three important items? LEARN HOW TO MEDITATE (Or do more yoga)

The Physical Battery

This is the most important of the three. Illness in  the body will sap mental and emotional energy and drain willpower faster than anything else.  This is the major reason people desire vitality and health; on some level they know and understand than when their physical battery is functioning optimally, everything else is substantially easier to manage. This is why achieving optimal body composition and burning off the fat that weigh you down and eat away at your health and vitality is so important. But it’s more than just being thin but also fit and strong.  Having a big, strong and robust physical battery can power your emotional and mental batteries during times of stress and hardship. Just make sure that you don’t diet too hard as their can lead to long term penalties for your body and it will say your mental battery.  Be more intuitive in your approach, this is better for your willpower battery.

The Emotional Battery

This is the hardest to manage as it is strongly influenced by others.  Did you know that obesity is contagious? But so is leanness!  You tend to be about the same size as the five to ten people you hang around with most.  That is why having a strong emotional support system that not only supports but also engages in your efforts to get and stay healthy with you is critical. Research has shown that there are other actions that will bolster your emotional battery.

Give more-Without the expectation of getting something in return as this is a setup for draining your emotional battery.  Get in the habit of doing kind, compassionate things without expectation.  Tip big, pay for the next person in line’s coffee, volunteer once a week, whatever you chose, do it sporadically as this will keep your battery charge instead of doing it everyday and feeling drained.

Practice gratitude-At the end of each of day, list 3 things for which you are grateful.  Most importantly, when everything seems to be going wrong, think about what you have to be grateful for at that moment.  There is always something and this will help keep your emotional battery charged.

Pamper yourself-Stop making the mistake of attaching your needs to others.  Then we end up sad, resentful or angry when the person does not act on it in the way we seek.  Whenever you have negative feelings toward a person, or positive feelings of admiration, consider that person a mirror into your own higher self. What you will find is that what you love or hate about them-and the needs you are hoping they will fulfill-are the things that you love or hate about or need for yourself.  Spend time with yourself to understand what it is you need to be giving, saying and doing for yourself.  Take a long weekend away by yourself, hang out at a spa, eat some delicious food and treat yourself to a mini vacation.  There are many ways to fit this into your budget and schedule, so try to find a way!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this excerpt from the “Lose Weight Here” book.  If you want to read more, go ahead order the book and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  I would be happy to help answer any of your questions about this book OR any other questions you may have related to nutrition, working out, how to make more time for yourself or simply want help getting started on your path towards a healthier lifestyle.

I looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully meeting you 🙂

Les

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Lose Weight Here Book Review Part 3 of 4: Become a detective NOT a dieter!

One concept/idea that is repeated over and over again in this book is this…learn to become a detective NOT a dieter!  We are all made differently so unfortunately there is no one way of eating that works for everyone.  The process of losing weight is individual, it has it’s ups and downs, peaks and valleys with mega happy moments of weight loss followed by very frustrating failures.  It takes practice, patience and experimentation.

If you’re reading this and are a chronic dieter, the book will ask you to say the following…. I WILL NO LONGER APPROACH MY BODY CHANGE/FAT LOSS GOALS WITH THE MIND-SET OF A DIETER.  The principles discussed in this book help you to learn to understand your body better and what it needs to live optimally.

So how do they recommend that you change your mind set? Stop looking for a specific recipe for success, meal plan or one size fits all approach. You must learn to master the skill of observation and letting clues guide you towards the solution. Good detectives see things more clearly and fully.  Dieters see things in only black and white, detectives see all shades of gray.

First of all, the authors provide examples of and explain the need to put aside all preconceived notions about rules of exercise and food…

  • carbs are the devil
  • you must always eat breakfast
  • you should only eat certain foods at certain times
  • eating less and exercising more is the route to weight loss

These type of diet biases will be your worst enemy if you want to stop dieting and see lasting change. There is only one diet rule–>DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!

As a detective you must search for the perfect mix of foods that will make you feel great, easily help you lose weight and improve your blood work and vital stats.  If eating Sour Patch kids  and drinking chocolate milk all day makes you feel healthy and full of energy then that is what your body needs.  You might be like, ‘ok sure but where do I start?  How the heck am I supposed to know what works for me?’  The author provides us with some essential tools and it’s up to you whether you use them or not.

  • Keep hunger-energy-cravings in check-your body provides feedback in the form of sensations and they fluctuate based on what you eat and how you live. At the end of each week, make a note of each on a scale of 1-10 (10 meaning very high and 1 being low level.  Hunger should be 5 or less, energy should be 6 or higher and craving should be less than 5.  Make a mental note of them and once you have this assessment you can investigate what may have had a positive or negative influence and take steps to adjust your approach.  This is the critical tool to creating a plan that works best for you.

  • Assess your progress my measuring yourself  (chest/waist/hips) instead of weighing yourself.  Your weight tells you very little about the type of weight you have gained or lost.  You might be losing fat but you could be losing muscle.  You also want to make sure you are changing your shape in the right proportions.  Women should aim to achieve an hour glass shape while men a V shape. If not seeing change, make adjustments with your food NOT exercise-doing more exercise to burn extra fat does not work in the long run and will almost always cause weight gain rebound because it always throws your hunger-energy-cravings out of check. Stubborn fat is burned in the kitchen and we get fit in the gym!

  • The fat blast formula-the process of analyzing hunger-energy-cravings and your shape change results.  Use AIM (assess, investigate, modify) as there are various outcomes from this process (see book pages 51-54)

There is a ton of information that I have left out BUT if you read this book it will provide you with a great starting point as it comes with in depth plans.  They are purposely flexible and designed specifically to avoid the dieting trap of rigid rules and defined guidelines.  What I like the most about this plan is that you are encouraged to take responsibility for altering the approach to suit your metabolism, psychology and personal preferences. Being mindful and present are necessary behaviours you’ll need to practice in order to be successful with this approach.

I have started using the approach with quite a few of my clients who have been eating well and exercising consistently but can’t seem to lose stubborn fat, weight and inches and have constant cravings, low energy etc and guess what?  EVERY SINGLE ONE of them has LOST INCHES, REDUCED THEIR BODY FAT and WEIGHT and most importantly after only 1-2 weeks of following the program they FEEL BETTER, SLEEP MORE, and HAVE LESS CRAVINGS!  They all tell me that they finally feel like they have discovered a way of eating that works for them and that will be able to continue following for the rest of their lives. I’ll will be sharing their success stories with you in upcoming blog posts…

I would love to help guide you through the process of improving your health and nutrition so if you’re someone who has trouble losing inches and stubborn fat and feel overwhelmed with all the conflicting information regarding weight loss that’s out there, contact me to set up your free consultation.  I look forward to helping you by simplifying the process.  Don’t wait any longer, now is the best time to begin your journey the right way and you’ll soon be on your way to becoming a healthier, happier individual who will be achieving sustainable and lasting results 🙂 Oh yeah, and it will be fun since you’ll have me to hold you accountable and help you to stay on track (and cheering you on) the whole time!

Email les@getfitwithles.com or call me 613-601-7037 and we can get started right away!

Les 🙂

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