Tag Archives: lifestyle

Les’ Healthy Advice to Live By….

Being in the fitness ‘industry’ for quite awhile now and being on my own journey of health and improving my fitness I have learned quite a bit about nutrition, from my own experiences or from my many friends and clients!  I thought I would share my ‘top 10’ tips with you in today’s blog post as these are the 10 commandments that have helped me get to where I am today! 🙂

1. Set aside time in your day to workout-NO MATTER WHAT! If you can, make sure it is the same time everyday!  If your life isn’t that organized and predictable make sure you set aside at least 30 minutes a day to exercise, it’s the best gift you can give to yourself everyday! If you’re having a hard time finding enough hours in a day, try tracking how many hours you spend in bed, on facebook or watching television/Netflix and you might find some extra time to get in a good workout 😉 Learn to love working out and it will become much more enjoyable instead of working out because you think you have to!

2. Give yourself enough time in the morning to make a good breakfast!  And no a shake does NOT count as breakfast!  Cook an omelette, make a quiche/strata the night before, cook up some protein pancakes (lots of ideas in this blog post or this one) or if you really hate cooking, you can make a complete meal in your blender and create a delicious smoothie-add a liquid of your choice (preferably water), fruit, greens, plain greek yogurt, oatmeal, protein powder, flax seed, fish oil or peanut butter and VOILA!) Make protein (25-35 g) the lead role in your breakfast, followed by carbs and/or healthy fats. It has been proven that people who eat breakfast are leaner,more productive and have more energy throughout the day!

3. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours.  Depending on how many hours you are awake during the day (i.e. 7am-10pm=15 hours/3 hours between meals=5 meals per day) you should be eating 5-7 meals!  The reason I encourage people to eat multiple times throughout the day is to rev up your metabolism (every time you eat your body has to work hard to break the food down) and to ensure that you control your insulin/blood sugar levels by never being super hungry (no cravings!).  Your meals should be protein dominant (yep snacks too!) and should include LOTS of veggies, healthy fats and carbs (but limited depending on your body type and activity level).

4. Cut back on your TV watching time!  You’ll have more time to exercise, prep food, be productive and most importantly, less chances of mindless eating! Besides, if you’re like most people, you have a job that requires sitting down all day, why would you want to continue to sit on your butt when you could be cooking your meals for the next day in the kitchen or working out at the gym or running outside!  Call me crazy but it’s just a thought 😉

5. Eat real food! 100 calorie packs, low fat, no fat, Weight Watchers, gluten free, dairy free, no calorie, shakes for meals, supplement this etc etc blah blah blah….EAT FOOD! Lean protein (variety of meats, eggs, legumes), all colours of vegetables, healthy fats (nuts, oils, avocado, fish) and healthy carbs (oatmeal, rice, sweet potato, fruit, quinoa) are your best options.  You are what you eat…literally!  Some people complain about the price of eating healthy but guess what? You’re worth it!!  And all those crazy diet pills will never work unless you eat healthy everyday! I cannot stress this enough, proper nutrition is the key to weight loss! EAT REAL FOOD!

6. Stick with it!  Yes, there will be days when you skip the gym, you will eat something you shouldn’t, drink a little too much wine, have a bad night’s sleep etc but remember that consistency is the key to getting results!  I’m not talking a week, 2 weeks or a month, but months and years of healthy living is when you will truly start to feel and see the results of your efforts!  So be patient, your better body or fitness goal can’t be achieved in a few weeks of working out and eating healthy (or what you think might be healthy;)…) It took years to get your body to the state it is in now so it will take at least a year of solid and consistent effort to make a difference in your current physique and lifestyle…ask someone who you think is in great shape how long it took them to get there, I’m sure they will tell you YEARS!

7. Surround yourself and make friends with people who have similar interests in health and fitness!  If you’re hanging around people who make you feel bad for eating healthy or not going out drinking with them every weekend or don’t understand why you spend so much time exercising, or why you spend your money on a personal trainer,this makes it harder for you to stick to your plan!  I’m not saying to get rid of the people who aren’t supportive of your lifestyle but maybe spend less time with them and more time with people who can relate to your lifestyle and fitness goals and will bring you up and support you instead of making you feel bad about your new and improved life!

8. Hire an experienced trainer!  The only way to be held accountable and learn how to do things properly is to meet with someone who has experience teaching others about working out and proper nutrition that lead to results.  It doesn’t have to be a big investment, even 1 session a week or corresponding with a trainer via email/Skype/online once a month is worthwhile.  Your trainer will help get you on the right track by sitting down with you to set goals, break them up into weekly or monthly goals and then design a plan to help you get there!  Make sure you do your research though to make sure that you trainer has the proper knowledge, training and experience to help you reach your goals!  Do a background check! Ask for testimonials of current and former clients to get a better idea of the type of service you can expect.  Once you find a trainer perfect for you, CONGRATS!  You have just made the best investment and commitment you could ever make….investing in your health!

9. Follow healthy fitness and nutrition blogs/Facebook pages/Instagram for workout or recipe ideas and inspiration!  And don’t just read them, take notes and try them!

10. Get ready to spend a lot of time in the kitchen as you must prep all your own meals…accept the fact that losing weight is 80% nutrition so cooking and grocery shopping will take up the most of your time! Find a day (or 2) during the week when you aren’t busy and COOK UP A STORM!  Bulk cooking is best!  You will also spend a few days a week at the grocery store, this is normal!   Ask my clients who have gotten excellent results or who are competing in fitness competitions what the easiest way to prepare their food is.  They will tell you to cook as much of your food in advance!  Plan out your meals and have them ready or you’ll be stuck grabbing food on the way home (bad!) or not eating at all!  You can eat out (if you must) but be sure to make healthy choices…here is a blog post from my Naturopathic Doctor, (Dr Ellen Simone) with some tips for eating healthy when eating out.

These are just a FEW tips I thought I would share with you….I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information!  Remember you can’t change everything at once so pick one or two things to focus on each week and once you master those, add another healthy habit!

You can do it, you just have to be willing to make extra time for yourself and do a few things that require a little extra effort! (ie cooking and working out!)

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks…and feel free to share some of your own that I may have forgotten!

Les 🙂

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How to stop falling off the wagon!!!

if you're tired of starting over

Are you one of those people who starts a diet or makes a decision to eat healthier and then less than a week later you’re back to eating unhealthyfoods and finish off an entire carton of ice cream?? Well in today’s post you will not only learn why you do this…but WHAT to do about it and hopefully how to prevent it from happening again!

But first, I want to share an interesting article I found on the internet that sounds very similar to the way I dealt with food in the past (and not gonna lie I am human and have weak moments from time to time even now!!)  This is also very similar to what I’ve noticed over the last several years working with  many different people as a personal trainer and observing how people lose weight…it’s long but worth the read…you will most likely be able to relate…

“It’s that when most people start a diet (which by the way I don’t encourage), they seem to have NO IDEA what will keep their enthusiasm going and keep them from cheating… and eventually failing.

And when they fail on these diets, they feel “out of control” of their lives…like a weak person that has no willpower…or a loser that’s failed — AGAIN!

Have you ever started a diet and really believed that THIS time it is gonna be different because you have found that drive and determination to change yourself… NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES?

Have you told yourself, “I don’t care how hard it’s going to be. I’m ONLY going to eat what my diet says is okay to eat.”

Ok let’s get real here!! Here is an example of what happens to most people (including myself)…

So here you are, on a diet and it’s the weekend and you have plans to go to a party!

You  have been so good all day long and only eaten exactly what the meal plan told you to eat today. You’re feeling really good about yourself and know that you’re going to have a great time at the party tonight.

You show up at the party feeling great and looking good.  You make your way over to the appetizers and there they are…Fresh baked, hot chocolate chip cookies! NO! Not COOKIES!  I LOVE COOKIES!  But there they are… teasing you with their sweet, sugary aroma and hot steam dancing around the slowly-melting chocolate chips (HAHA!)  Your senses take all this in and your mind quickly zooms in on the chocolate chip cookies. Suddenly, you can think of nothing else.  It was as if everyone in the party  has disappeared and there is a spotlight pointed at the tray of cookies (seriously this has happened to me before!)  You tell yourself, “I’ve been so good all day long. One cookie isn’t going to hurt any.” So you grab one and stuff it into your mouth. OMG!! Pure decadence. Mouth-watering ecstasy.  No worries in the world… just you and your cookie… wait! It’s gone! That was over way too quickly… you must eat more. And so you grab a second, and then a third, and then a fourth… and before you know it, you’ve had 6 fattening, sugar-filled chocolate chip cookies. Was that on your diet meal plan for the day?  I guess probably not.  All at once it hits you…What Have I Done?!  You ate 6 chocolate chip cookies in less than 5 minutes. How could I let that happen? I was doing so good.

Well, now that this night is shot… you might-as-well enjoy it while you can and have some fun.  So you go over to the chips and guacamole and start piling it on.  You tell yourself, “I’ll start back on my diet again tomorrow.”

And so the cycle repeats…

Isn’t that a funny phrase, “start back on”?  How can you “start back on” anything?  Can’t you only start something ONCE?  How many times have you “started back on your diet”? If you’re like me then you don’t even remember.  I would start a diet and really believe with all my heart that I would stick with it… that NOTHING was going to break my willpower.  I would tell myself, “This time it feels different.” “It feels special.”So why did I always end up back at the same place with a cookie in one hand and a fried tortilla chip in the other? I was doing everything I could to convince myself that I needed to change my body. I took a ‘fat picture’ of myself and pinned it to my bathroom mirror, I made a list of all the things about my body that I hated and wanted to change, I even laid out my high school jeans so I could look at them every day for motivation. But still I was cheating. Still I couldn’t keep from eating those super-fatted and sugar-filled foods. You would think that the disgust that I felt every time I caught a glimpse of my thighs in a mirror would be inspiration enough to PUT DOWN THAT COOKIE AND GRAB A CELERY STICK…

but it wasn’t.

Every time I started a diet to change the body that I hated, I failed. Finally, it hit me…THE BIG AH-HA THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR ME!.  Maybe the reason that I kept failing at my diets wasn’t because I didn’t have ENOUGH hatred for my body… Maybe that hatred was actually the reason why I was failing. I started to think about this a little deeper. I had been torturing my body and trying to force it to change… but it wasn’t responding.  In fact, it was rebelling and I was getting fatter. The more I thought about this, the more it seemed to make sense. Of course!

Why SHOULD my body change? What motivation am I giving it? Hatred. And what responds positively to hatred? Nothing. Think about what would happen if a friend wanted YOU to change. If she comes to you insulting you… and telling you everything that she hates about you… and all the reasons why you should change… and then DEMANDING that you change…You’re probably not going to react really well to this line of talk… and you are probably NOT going to change. No, you’d just get defensive and grind your heels in deeper. But if she comes to you with caring… and humility… and from a place where she is wanting to help you because she loves you… and then she convinces you there are wonderful reasons to make the change…You might feel inspired.You WANT to change.

I started to treat my own body like a friend that I wanted to inspire. Every day I would tell my body all the beautiful things that I loved about it. And when my body (or mind) made a mistake, I immediately gave forgiveness because I didn’t want my body to become discouraged. This shift in my thinking about my body changed my relationship with my body. It was no longer an enemy that I was fighting against… My body became my strongest ally. And we were fighting together for the same common goal — to be the healthiest person possible. It was suddenly much easier to stop eating junk food or to stop after one. It actually brought me JOY. And that was just the beginning…The more time I spent exploring my body, the deeper into my SELF I travelled. And you know what I found? Hiding underneath all these bones and organs, quietly and patiently waiting to be discovered…Was my spirit. And once I was introduced to my spirit, my fascination with my body faded quickly. And I made some really big discoveries…I am more than my body. This body is where my spirit lives. Every time I eat junk food or crap, I am polluting the house of my spirit. More than that, I WANT to give my spirit a beautiful place to live… and only pure, clean natural foods can build that. And so I started eliminated unhealthy foods from my diet, one-by-one and replacing them with healthy foods. And the healthier I ate, the brighter my spirit shined. I love that feeling. I CRAVE that feeling. I appreciate how great it feels when your spirit shines brightly because I spent the first decades of my life without that feeling. And now, I’ll do anything for it… I’ll even give up chocolate chip cookies. I even enjoy working out.

If this sounds crazy to you, I understand. I never thought I would find a better feeling than eating a plate full of chocolate chip cookies… but I have. When I feed my spirit the pure, clean, natural foods that it needs…My spirit rewards me in so many ways. I have more energy than I know what to do with, I laugh like I did when I was a schoolgirl, and I find happiness EVERYWHERE – even in the most common things. You may be thinking, “You get all this from food?” Believe it or not, Yes. When I finally found a deeper motivation to eat healthy foods, I stopped eating crap. All that crap I used to eat was dead. Dead of life, dead of nutrition, and dead of any good energy. Once I started to eat healthy foods, it was like someone came and breathed life into me. It feels so good to eat healthy! And it begins to actually taste BETTER to you than that junk food does. When your food is dead – YOU ARE DEAD.

I feel like I am alive for the first time in years. I got so many good feelings from eating healthy that I got hooked and didn’t want to eat anything else.

And you know what happened? My body started to change. My eyes got brighter, my skin got clearer, and all that extra fat around my thighs, butt and stomach disappeared. AND I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE! When I started talking to other women who have healthy eating habits, turns out they all have some higher motivation for rejecting crap and embracing healthy, natural foods. Some are healing from an illness…Some are following spiritual beliefs…Some have ethical reasons… Regardless of WHAT the motivation is… it always comes from some higher place other than “I want to look hot in a swimsuit.” The physical desire to change won’t carry you through those really difficult times when you want to cheat because that’s a physical desire as well. The physical pleasure you get from pigging out won’t always win over your physical desire to be “hot”… But your spiritual one will. When your motivation comes from the deepest place within you, it is driven from a much more powerful force. It is NOT driven by fear or hatred – it is driven by love. And that’s what kept me from cheating and failing at my diet. Today, if I do decide to cheat (which I sometimes do) I know that I won’t feel good after I eat it, and it won’t give me the same rush of health that I’ve become hooked on… But I do it anyway and I allow myself the enjoyment while I’m eating it because I know that that’s ALL the enjoyment I’m going to get. I deal with the after effects – the bloating, the indigestion, the sluggishness and lack of energy… And then I get right back to my healthy diet because that is what I prefer. Now, I CHOOSE foods that give me sustained enjoyment that nourish my body, mind and spirit. Look, I’m not some spiritual sage levitating four inches off the ground in lotus position… I’m not some great and powerful person or some holy saint with superhuman powers… I’m just a regular woman from a small town in Texas that turned my attention to what really makes me happy… and I found out that it wasn’t in chocolate chip cookies after all.

I know any woman can turn her attention inward…and discover what REALLY makes her happy…so that she can start to make better choices. And when you PREFER to make better choices, you will STOP failing at your diet. In fact, you won’t have to ever diet again. I know that this is not something that happens right away, and that maybe you might need some more guidance to find your way to where I am. 

PHEW! I am back!  Now  I am going to share with you 5 simple steps you can follow to stop failing at your ‘diet’ and prevent you from constantly starting over again:

1. Don’t be on a diet!!  Instead make wise-food choices.  Eating healthy food allows your body to get the nutrition it needs and it promotes a healthy physique as well.  There are foods that can naturally promote weight loss and a lot of these clean and healthy foods.  This includes a wide variety of vegetables and fruit (most veggies), as well as lean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice, etc) and a fair amount of healthy fats as well.  Stop failing at your ‘diet’ by wisely choosing the right foods!
2. Do not skip meals! Skipping meals will not do you any good. Do not believe in the common misconception that starving yourself makes you thinner and healthier. This is false! In fact, skipping meals can sabotage your weight loss attempt! Skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down and as a result, the fat deposits are not thoroughly and easily burned. Skipping meals also makes your body eager to store more fat than the usual because fat stores are necessary to sustain you during the times that you are hungry and skipping your meals. Tip: You should be eating 6 times a day!
3. Proper timing of meals.  Many underestimate the effect or proper timing in food intake. What most do not know is that proper timing can increase or decrease the effectiveness of your weight loss routine. For one, eating on time makes your metabolism regular and on its peak. Correct timing also decreases untimely cravings at night. Tip: Eat small meals (with protein at every meal) every 2-3 hours!
4. Go natural-Eat whole foods! Nature has its way of making our body fit. As much as possible, always go for fresh, organic foods and avoid those which are commercialized and artificial. Commercialized and artificial products are high in bad fats (good fats can be found in natural food sources like avocado, oils, nuts) which are more resistant to fat burning. Moreover, these junk foods often contain a lot of salt and other preservatives which promotes water retention. Excess water makes you feel bloated and heavy.
5. Make your best worst choice– Sure, you might for various reasons make nutritionally or calorically (is that a word?) frightening choices, but so long as you asked yourself these two important questions, “Is it worth it”, and, “How much do I need to be happily satisfied”, there can’t be a wrong choice.  Sometimes your best may be a basket of chicken wings but perhaps a smaller basket than normal and one less beer, or a fancy coffee with whip just ordered less frequently, or a bowl of ice-cream instead of a pint, or a small bag of chips rather than the giant bag, or a full-sized chocolate bar rather than an entire Blizzard. What I’m getting at is that sometimes we make choices that are less than ideal, but that so long as you’ve made your best worst choice, you’re still doing great!

 

Hopefully this has been helpful and you will do your best to stick to your plan of eating healthy!  I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this topic, I know so many of us struggle with this!!

 

Les 🙂

 

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Healthy Comfort Food: Protein Pancakes PART 1

If you’ve picked up the latest issue of OXYGEN magazine this month you would’ve already seen these FANTASTIC recipes for protein pancakes.  I have chosen to post the first 3  recipes (thank you Oxygen magazine) for those of you who think cooking takes too much time or eating healthy doesn’t taste good….allow me to prove you wrong….

First off here are 4 easy steps to making the perfect pancake that you can eat for breakfast, lunch OR dinner!

1. Blend pancake ingredients in a blender.

2. Heat pan over medium heat, then lightly coat with cooking spray.

3. Pour desired amount of batter into hot pan.

4. Flip when bubbles form in batter, or when one side is golden.

And here are the first 3 out of 6 delicious high protein pancake recipes from Oxygen Magazine (my favourite magazine!):

1. Coconut Cashew Pancakes with Raspberry Sorbet (ready in 10 minutes, makes 2 pancakes)

1/4 cup rolled quick oats

1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup cashews

2 tbsp low fat cottage cheese

2 egg whites

1/2 cup water

Sorbet:

1 cup frozen raspberries

1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/8 cup cold water

Directions:

1. Follow steps 1-4 (above) with batter ingredients.

2. Blend sorbet ingredients using an immersion blender for about 2 minutes (or a magic bullet), until think and fluffy.

3. Serve pancakes topped with dollop of sorbet.

Nutritional Info (per pancake with topping): 350 cals, 11 g fat, 130 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 6 g sugars, 33 g protein

 

2. Savoury Red Pepper Patties (ready in 10 minutes, makes 4 pancakes)

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

4 egg whites

1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein powder

1/8 cup low fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup coconut flour

Topping:

1/4 cup tuna

3 tbsp low fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp garlic salt (optional)

Directions:
1. Follow steps 1-4 with batter ingredients.

2. Top each patty with a thin layer of cream cheese, a spoonful of tuna and a sprinkle of garlic salt.  Serve

Nutritional Info (per pancake): 130 calories, 3.5 g total fats, 150 mg sodium, 7 g total carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 16 g protein

Protein Pancakes

3. Berry Cheesecake Pancakes (ready in 10 minutes, makes 5 pancakes)

1/3 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/8 cup vanilla whey protein powder

1/8 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup rolled quick oats

1 whole egg

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Once batter is blended, stir in:

1/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cook pancakes following steps 1 to 4, using a slightly lower heat and cooking for a little longer.

Nutritional Info with topping (per pancake): 180 cals, 2 g fats, 80 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 7 g protein

 

Now don’t just read the recipes, TRY THEM!  You’ll look forward to your next breakfast if you do 🙂

Check back next week for recipes 4-6…these ones are even healthier and will also contribute to your slimming down goals…

Les 🙂

 

 

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Which ‘stage of change’ are you at?

 

There are typically five stages (sometimes 6)  one encounters when making life changes.  This model was developed in the 70’s to chart the changes in smokers trying to quit.  Above there is a chart I found that shows you how it relates to people attempting to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.  Which stage are you at and how does it relate to your need to make a positive change in your life???  How do you think you’ll get to the next stage??  Keep in mind that not everyone moves from one stage to the next in the same length of time.

Here is a more detailed explanation of the Stages of Change model:

Precontemplation is the stage at which there is no intention to change behavior in the foreseeable future. Many individuals in this stage are unaware or in denial of their problems (i.e. sedentary/unhealthy lifestyle)

Contemplation is the stage in which people are aware that a problem exists and are seriously thinking about overcoming it but have not yet made a commitment to take action. (“I know I need to BUT…” or you make “I should” statements)

Preparation is a stage that combines intention and behavioral criteria. Individuals in this stage are intending to take action in the next month and have unsuccessfully taken action in the past year (i.e. look into getting a gym membership, think about contacting a personal trainer, making “I could” statements, etc)

Action is the (hardest!) stage in which individuals modify their behavior, experiences, or environment in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy. (This stage must be celebrated!! The person has made a choice and demonstrates desire for change! Having a personal trainer really helps you to stay motivated during this stage :)))

Maintenance is the stage in which people work to prevent relapse and consolidate the gains attained during action. For addictive behaviors this stage extends from six months to an indeterminate period past the initial action. Also celebrate this stage! You’ve accomplished your goal. Your clothes fit better. You don’t even think about missing a workout.  This is a long-term commitment but you love your new habits and healthier self!  It takes time to get here and there will be small ‘bumps’ or ‘slip ups’ along the way but you’ll switch up your workout to keep yourself motivated.  Your life has changed tremendously since you were in the “Precontemplation Stage” and you generally a lot happier with yourself than when you started 🙂

Relapse is the stage you want to avoid happening at ALL COSTS! But if it does happen, it’s never too late to start over again…but it’s hard, really, really hard!

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The reason I wanted to write about this topic today is because in the last couple of weeks I have witnessed quite a few new clients in stage 4- ACTION!  This is the most exciting moment for me as a trainer, especially taking clients through their very first workout.  Sometimes I wish I could videotape the first workout (some are worse than others) and then play it back to my clients 6-12 months later to remind them how far they have come (and how out of shape they used to be!)  Not only are they extremely motivated and ready to work hard on the first day (and everyday after that) but they give it their all! (no matter how light-headed, nauseous, sweaty, weak, or tired they feel).  It’s amazing (and refreshing) to see people coming in to see me so DETERMINED TO CHANGE and DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  It is one of the reasons I love my job as I get to help people overcome their greatest fears and do things they never thought were possible.

So to all my new (and old) clients reading this, you have taken a very positive and HUGE step towards living a healthier lifestyle and I congratulate you!   I know you can accomplish any goal you put your mind to- it just takes time, patience, determination and discipline (and listening to/trusting your trainer!)  And if you ever need any help, you know I’m always here to help and support you (and kick your butt when you need it!) 🙂

If you’re someone who has been ‘contemplating’ working out for a while, or maybe you’ve always wanted to train for a marathon or wish you were in the best shape of your life and had a personal trainer well, what’s stopping you?  Go ahead and JUST DO IT!  Life is too short to regret not living your life to the fullest!!

 

Les 🙂

 

 

 

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Are you ready to change your lifestyle??

So you’ve decided that this is the year, month, week, day, moment that you are going to commit to living a healthier lifestyle! AWESOME! CONGRATS! BRAVO!! But are you ready???  So many times I’ve  heard people say “yes I’m seriously going to get in shape starting today” or “I am sooo over eating out” or “I am going to start going to yoga on a regular basis starting today” or “I’m going to the gym everyday, no matter what!” and then 2 weeks later they are back to their old ways of no exercise and unhealthy eating.  Why is that??  Well there are many reasons but I believe the real reasons are you AREN’T READY TO CHANGE or you LACK MOTIVATION and DISCIPLINE or you expect IMMEDIATE RESULTS.  You need to be honest with yourself, what’s worked or hasn’t worked before?  As my dad always tells me “past behaviour is the best predictor of present/future behaviour”.  Before you begin your journey to improving your fitness and health from where it is now take a few minutes to complete these quizzes/questionnaires…

Click on this link to complete a quick quiz….

Or answer this questionnaire to calculate your “readiness to change” score….no cheating!

So what did you notice?? Are you surprised with the results?? Probably not right?

If you are one of those people who is on the fence or maybe you’re totally apprehensive about the process THAT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL! The hard part is overcoming the doubts and making the decision to TAKE ACTION to improve your lifestyle.

I’ve been following Tim’s blog called “Minimalist Workout” where he writes about ways to minimize workouts for maximum effect (awesome concept right?) and I asked his permission to repost his blog from a couple days ago.  It’s called the 7 Point Plan to Fitness Success. I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂 so thanks Tim!   Here it is…

I’ve been reading a lot about motivation lately. It seems every fitness website and blog has a simple plan to become more motivated. The problem is, most don’t address the real reasons you are lacking in motivation. Most people aren’t simply lazy but they lack motivation for many reasons. Most of the reasons, I am finding, come down to reward and discipline.

In your life you learn by trial and error. If you try to walk through a wall and bump your head then you wont walk into the wall again. When you see someone walk through a door you’ll realize you can get to the other side of the wall by going through the door.

The same is true with exercise. If you attempt to run a marathon when you’re out of shape you will fail after about a minute. This would make a couch potato out of anyone. If you run 1 minute intervals with periods of walking for 20 minutes as instructed in couch to 5k then you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done and confidence in yourself. Below is my seven point by step plan to reaching your goals.

Data Collecting Phase – Spend a week logging your bad habits. Don’t attempt to change any of them at this time.
Recognition Phase – During this phase you will recognize where your problem areas are. Consider this your project to work on. If you watch TV all day and never get up then say “when I get up to use the restroom (or go to the kitchen) I will do a couple reps”. Pretend you’re a lawyer and find some loopholes in your routine and bad habits.
Social Phase – State your intentions verbally to your friends and family. You will then commit yourself and inspire others. Inspiring others is like a stock that pays dividends.
Trial Phase – See how many push ups, sit ups and squats you can do. If you can do 1 that is fine. If you can’t do floor push ups then do wall push ups. Take the next couple of days off.
Journal Phase – Start a journal. A blog is a great way to journal or just buy a notebook. You’re going to log your exercises so you can track your success.
Action Phase – Do 50% of your max reps per set every time you go to the rest room or kitchen. If you were able to do 10 push ups then do 5 per set but shoot for 3 or more sets. Do one of the workouts (push ups, sit ups, squats) per day. Drink plenty of water and eat something with protein.
Success Phase – Pat yourself on the back. You’re working out. Do this every day, tell your friends how well you’re doing and they will celebrate with you.

I love the steps he has come up with and find that they work best for fitness and nutrition goals.  So if you’re struggling to get started on your path to a healthier lifestyle start with Step 1: Start logging all your bad habits for a week…then once you can identify what they are you can begin to break them down and work on 1 at a time.  Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to ‘fix’ or ‘correct’ everything at once, or you’ll become overwhelmed and most likely give up or quit before you even begin.

And some thoughts to leave you with today…

 And…

Les 🙂

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