Searching for Answers When My Weight is Stuck

weight is stuckIt’s ironic that I coach people on better nutrition and exercise and they lose weight yet my own weight is stuck. So I am looking deeper. I am looking for the missing piece of the puzzle. I have had appointments in the last 2 weeks with a nutritionist and my nurse practitioner to tease apart the layers of what might be going on.

Changes

Over the last 2 years I have made many different changes in my life. I don’t regret a single one of them. 

I cut out gluten. No more bread, no more pasta, no more pastries. I have an occasional cheat but for the most part it is not a routine ingredient in my nutrition plan. I made this change after reading the book Wheat Belly and I won’t go back.

I quit my Diet Coke habit. Never, ever thought that would happen. No soda at all for me. Not even tempted any more.

I don’t eat fast food. I used to enjoy frequent visits to the drive thru lane. Especially Jack in the Box. Breakfast sandwiches, tacos, amazing burgers…no more. Not even tempted any more

I have increased the number of vegetable servings per day. I used to eat 1 or 2 servings of veggies a day. Now it’s more like 6 – 8 servings. I not only eat them more but I enjoy them more. My family has made it kind of an adventure to try new vegetables or to try them in a new way.

Dessert. I hardly ever have dessert any more. I used to have it every night. Now I fill my day with so much good nutrition that I don’t crave sweets at night for the most part. My body has what it needs.

Candy. I am still tempted when candy is in front of my face. But I don’t seek it out like I used to. No more trips to the vending machine or extra stops to the gas station. I remember times when I would get a candy bar and eat it and then realize I ate it so fast I didn’t take the time to enjoy it.

Exercise. From couch potato to a disciplined routine of working out 5 to 6 days a week. The key for me there has been finding something I enjoy and eliminating as many excuses as possible.

Fake food. My husband and I have cut out most processed foods. We get the majority of our calories from foods that are full of dense nutrition and with as few chemical additives as possible. We still have room to improve but we have made great strides in this area.

And yet…

And yet with all these changes my weight hovers in the same range. It’s not just a short plateau, this has been going on for way too long. So I decided if I want different results I need some help. I am not willing to go on a crash diet or do anything that I’m not willing to stick with for life. I am working with a nutritionist through Nutritional Weight and Wellness who is helping me find the right meal plan for me and help me figure out if I’m eating things that are not best for me. She is actually advising me to eat more. More of the right things like protein and healthy fats. It’s been an exercise of trust to follow that advice because it’s counter-intuitive. I have gone back to my nurse practitioner to run some different lab tests and do some further investigating. 

The old me would have said, “All these changes aren’t working so I’ll just go back to eating whatever I want.” But the new me says, “Despite what the scale says, I know I’m doing what’s right for my health.” Part of what helps me to stick with that resolve is that when I eat badly I feel bad. Not emotionally bad but physically bad. Listening to my body has been one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned over the last couple of years. 

Have You Ever Been the Awkward Girl at the Gym?

awkward at the gymToday’s post is a guest post from Whitney Treloar. When I first read this post I found it really resonated with me and I hope you will feel the same.This post is for me and for all of you who ever felt awkward at the gym.

Do you go to a gym or take fitness classes? Maybe you’re really fit and strong and lean from working out on a regular basis. Good for you! That is so important. I’ve always wanted to be a person who values and enjoys fitness and exercise, making time for it, enjoying it, missing it when it doesn’t happen. I love you runners and strength trainers and Iron Man-ers. I do. I admire that it’s a priority and I’m happy that you are likely more healthy and will live a happier, healthier, longer life for your loved-ones.

Ladies, do you drop the kids at school and head straight to your gym or class? Do you have just THE RIGHT clothing and shoes? Do you own your own equipment, gloves, wraps? Is your water bottle the current craze? Do you have a special sweat towel, headband, a t-shirt with your studio’s logo? Do you show up driving your SUV with your kids’ school sticker and meet your classmates there and stretch out together, discussing your families and schedules? That’s great for you. Must be fun. I’m sure that kind of community makes it easier, more tolerable, more fun, less painful.

Let’s talk about the chubby, unhealthy chick who wants to change her ways. She may show up a few minutes early, wearing the wrong clothing and shoes, without her own equipment and gear. She’ll probably stand awkwardly to the side, hoping to catch someone’s eye. She may be just trying it out, seeing what it’s all about, hoping to learn something. She probably is very aware that she doesn’t fit in. It probably took awhile to get to the point where she’d give it a shot. She may have called around, visited other gyms, asked her friends who work out. Obviously, she doesn’t have much experience and needs to learn the ropes. She probably fought off a whole team of demons on her way there. She’s overweight and scared to change, although she’s all too aware of her habits. Her sedentary lifestyle has likely caught up with her in her middle age. She’s made a lot of changes over the years, and it’s really long past time for her to do this. She has tried other times in other places over the years. She’s spent good money on personal trainers, but gyms are extremely intimidating to your average Standard-American-Diet-eating mom and housewife. The average gym makes BIG money on the average chubby housewife, depending on her to sign the contract and NOT come back after the first few weeks. Having paid this “stupid tax” more than a few times, this nice lady is terribly gun-shy.

She would have rather stayed home and done laundry in peace. She maybe has physical issues she hopes to tackle, but going back to bed feels so much better. Morning talk shows are good, non-judgmental friends to have while she toasts a bagel and tackles the bathrooms. She may truly enjoy her down time while her family is out of the house. Maybe she’s an introvert, and that time is her sanity.

I bet she’s sick to death of the constant cycle she’s in of eating wrong and being tired, seeing doctors and taking pills, not getting enough sleep and feeling exhausted, not working enough because she feels so lousy, so not having the money to buy better food and not having the energy to cook from scratch. She knows better, but she’s so tired and family fights her on it, anyway. She’s just not the type to go to the gym, take fitness classes. She knows she’ll face less resistance if she works out at home, so she has the videos, live-streaming, gadgets and the stuff, but it goes unused because she doesn’t have the drive, the accountability, the encouragement.

She needs to step outside her comfort zone and she knows it. But, wow. So TOTALLY uncomfortable. It has taken a LOT of processing and thought and research to get here.

Chances are, it took every ounce of nerve she had to don her dorky workout clothes. Maybe she had to borrow her husband’s nylon shorts. Maybe she had cottage cheese this morning instead of bread so she could finally start that new chapter in her life – the one where she exercises regularly and steps outside her shell to meet new women with healthier lifestyles. Maybe, once she fed her family breakfast, made their lunches, got them out the door safely and on time, she wondered if it would REALLY be okay if she took a little time and money for herself, for the sake of improving her lifestyle, because that would ALSO be a way she could serve her family because it’s taking care of their caretaker and setting a positive example.

Maybe that 8 mile drive took her forever, and every fiber of her wanted to turn the minivan around. The voices told her it was too far, took too long, costs too much, required too much sacrifice. Maybe she remembered all the gyms and classes in the past and all the looks and wry smiles. Maybe her insecurities told her she was crazy because she’d never fit in. And maybe she punched that fear RIGHT IN THE FACE! because she knows that she is worthy of the time, energy, money and commitment. She is every bit as worthy as anyone and it is important. So, she gave herself a pep-talk that whole 14 minute drive, telling herself that her body will thank her, her ailments would eventually subside, her attitude would improve, that her fears were unfounded, she’d feel so much better and be so much more pleasant when she felt better, slept better, looked better. Maybe some day she could buy pretty new smaller clothes. Maybe her husband would flirt with her…..

So, ladies, there she is. Her workout clothes are different and awkward, she doesn’t have a water bottle or the gear, she’s shifting awkwardly and making everyone feel uncomfortable.

What are you gonna do? What are you gonna say? Anything? She has pushed it hard to get here and you do have a bit of responsibility to her.

If, in fact, you ignore her, those voices are gonna have a field day. If they win, she’ll dart. If all those voices are right, then you *are* judging her and laughing at her. If those voices win, then she *is* wasting her time and she should have stayed at home. If you let her get away, she may cry hot, embarrassed fat tears of shame all the way home, feeling very close to her middle school daughter in those moments. It would be so.much.easier to turn and run.

And, just for the record, the drive-through never judges her.

 

Whitney Treloar lives in Naples, FL with her husband and 2 of her three daughters. She spends her days keeping the family and household running smoothly like a typical housewife and mom. She’s passionate about Jesus, music, health, relationships and leaving a legacy for her children. She’s studying to be a certified health coach, and hopes soon to speak and write about physical and spiritual healing and thriving. This story is just one of the many she plans to incorporate into her coaching business. She also dabbles in her own blog, www.mamatold.us.

Quick Fix for Weight Loss?

 

Quick fix for weight loss

Source: P. Kratochvil, Wikimedia Commons

Are you looking for a quick fix in your weight loss journey? I’m going to get a little real in this post today. I love coaching people, educating people and cheering them on along the way. But there are limitations. I am a great listener and I do a darned good  job encouraging people. However, I can’t drag you across the finish line. It’s something you have to do for yourself. You have to dig down deep and do the work. 

If you are the type of person that hops from fad diet to fad diet or is constantly finding the new hot thing that will help you lose weight, you might just find yourself in a lifetime of struggle. You may find temporary success and then find yourself back in the same situation you were in to begin with. Or sometimes You may end up in a worse situation. I know because I was that person. I want something better for you.
I want to help you end all that today. I want to help you learn to take one or two small goals at a time, build an action plan, and conquer it. Then we take the next steps. The compound effect of the small steps result in permanent change. I am encouraging changes that will last, not a quick fix. I hope you will join me in this journey.
Comment below or email me at info@cravingfitness.org if you want help planning a workout, tuning up your nutrition or if you just need some encouragement.

Perspective From the Nosebleed Seats: Great Expectations

Great Expectations

baseballLast month we had an opportunity to attend a Dodger’s baseball game.  My 10 year old has never been to a big league game and he is a complete baseball freak.  He was so excited about getting to see “his Dodgers.”  When we where choosing our tickets online, we found that most of the seats in the area we wanted to sit were already sold out.  I mentioned that we might need to sit in the “nosebleed” seats.  My son started to cry – his little heart already breaking.  I tried to explain to him that even the nosebleed seats are incredibly fun.  He just wasn’t buying it.  We ended up finding better tickets (of course, spending more money than we had planned).

Once we got to the stadium, we stood near the top level and looked down over the field.  My son was in awe of actually being there.  I said to him, “see, even the nosebleed seats are awesome.”  He just looked at me, grinning.  We went down to our seats and had a great day together.

The whole situation stuck in my mind.  How many times have I been upset that things didn’t meet the level of my expectations?  Sometimes I am missing out on an awesome experience right in front of me because I’m looking back at what could have been.  Parenting is a great way to experience life’s little lessons all over again.

Focus T25 Workout Review

Focus T25 Workout ReviewFocus T25 Workout Review

In this post I will review the new Beachbody workout by fitness trainer Shaun T.  The program is called Focus T25.  All workouts are 25 minutes long.  The idea of these workouts is to get the same kind of results in 25 minutes that you would expect from a longer workout.  I will keep updating this post until I’ve done all the DVDs in the set.  The set comes with Alpha phase workouts and Beta phase workouts.  There is an optional Gamma set you can buy as well.  The nice thing about this program as opposed to Insanity is that there is a person acting as a modifier for each of the moves.  So even a beginner or someone needing low impact can do this workout.  We have been using this program in our Fit Club where we have a wide range of fitness levels.

Alpha Phase

Day 1 – Cardio

This workout seemed like it was going to be easy when I first started.  I have done Insanity many times and this one starts off easier than Insanity.   I quickly found out that the intensity increases as you progress through the workout and there are no breaks.  I got a great calorie burn and I definitely felt like I got a decent workout in 25 minutes.

Day 2 – Speed 1.0

This was a fast-paced workout that included cardio, stretching and some balance.  I am not very coordinated so some of the moves were challenging for me.   I enjoyed it and even got a good laugh at myself.  I burned even more calories on this one than the previous day.  I liked the fact that just about the time I was really winded there would be a little stretch break.

Day 3 – Total Body Circuit

I liked this one.  I’m a big fan of body-weight exercises.  This workout will improve your strength and resistance using just your own body.  One thing I’ve noticed about these workouts is Tania is doing some great low-impact modifications for those that need it.  I have seen modifications in other workouts that didn’t seem all that different than what everyone else is doing.  A beginner could do this workout and just follow Tania until they were ready for more.  If you’re ready for more, just follow Shaun T.  I swear he jumps around like he has springs on his feet!  I think this one will be my favorite workout of Alpha phase.

Day 4 – Ab Intervals

This is a great ab workout.  I was worried about the length of it but I should have known Shaun T. would have it handled.  Each progression of exercises starts out easy and then builds in difficulty.  Just about the time my ab muscles were crying “uncle” there is a short period of cardio where I could recover.  It’s helpful to have a mat for this one.

Day 5 – Double workout – Cardio and Lower Focus

In Focus T25 Fridays are for double workouts.  This first week we repeated the Cardio workout from Monday and then the schedule called for Lower Focus.  I didn’t have time in the morning to do both back to back so I did one in the morning and the other after work.  Lower Focus encompasses many of the moves in previous workouts.  By the end of it my legs were like limp spaghetti noodles.  The great thing about lower body workouts is that you are using such big muscles that you get a great calorie burn.

Each week of Alpha phase the workouts are arranged in a different order.  This keeps the body guessing.

Beta Phase

By the time Beta Phase rolled around I felt ready.  I had been doing the Alpha Phase DVDs for 5 weeks and I felt like I had the moves down.  I was also starting to get tired of the same workouts over and over.

Day 1 – Core Cardio

Many of the moves are the same as the alpha phase but taken up a notch.  There are a few new moves as well.  By now you will be in better shape and more comfortable with the moves in the workout so you can focus more on tightening your core and getting more benefit there.

Day 2 – Speed 2.0

Ok, I’m just being honest here…this one is not my favorite.  The beginning starts out fine.  Very similar to Speed 1.0 from Alpha phase but without all the teaching.  He just starts to roll right into it.  Shaun T. does a series of moves and then goes through it again for a shorter period of time.  The circuits keep repeating but with less time each round.  By the end you’re doing all the moves for only an 8 count.  I just find that mentally it’s not an enjoyable workout for me.  I must say that many of my friends LOVE this one.  To each his own, I guess.  Maybe it will be your favorite!

Day 3 – Rip’t Circuit

I love this one.  I love body-weight workouts and working out with weights or resistance bands.  This is a great full body workout that will get your heart rate up and make you stronger as well.  You use light dumb bells or light resistance bands, but the moves are slow and controlled so you will definitely feel the burn.

Day 4 – Dynamic Core

This is a great core workout.  Shaun T. focuses on the entire core including the back.  Much of the workout is done standing and the rest is done on the floor so it’s good to have a mat for this one.

Day 5 – Double Workout – Upper Focus & Core Cardio

Upper Focus – I love this one!  This one is done with dumb bells or a resistance band.  Once again, you can use a light weight.  I especially need a light weight for the shoulder moves.  The Core Cardio workout from Day 1 of Beta phase is repeated on this day.  The idea is to do one after the other, but I have to split them up.  I do one in the morning before work and then get the second one in after work.

All in all I definitely liked this program.  In fact this is one I would for someone looking for a good all-around workout.  With the modified moves that Tania does in each video it would be great for someone just starting.  It is a good one for someone in shape as well if you do the moves as Shaun T. teaches and push yourself.

 


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#5Club – Waking Up Early to Meet My Goals

#5 Club alarmI am NOT a morning person. Let’s just get that straight right off the bat. When my husband (very much a morning person) asks me, “How are you this morning?” in his perky, happy morning voice. I just have to answer, ” I DON’T KNOW!” I am not even awake enough to know how I am. Pitiful.

So when I heard about the idea of claiming some time in my day to do the tasks I need to do to meet my goals, I cringed at the thought of where I would have to claim those hours. The morning is the only time that really makes sense. Really? Waking up early? My fitness coach has also been encouraging me to exercise in the morning rather than in the evening. Yikes! Not only get up, but GET MOVING?!? This week I have committed to doing just that – getting up early enough to spend at least 30 minutes exercising and 30 minutes getting the tasks done to meet my goals.

Author Jon Acuff has suggested a 5 a.m. wake-up time and has developed the #5Club. So far I am impressed that I got up at 5:30 and I was amazed at how productive I was. I spent the first few minutes warming up my computer, drinking my pre-workout drink and doing mindless things like watering my Farmville 2 crops. I got a great 30 minute workout in and then I was awake enough to do some work on my blog and my Facebook page and answer some emails. By the time I left for work I couldn’t believe how much I had accomplished and I was WIDE AWAKE. I usually show up at work quite groggy. This was a nice change. I might be able to get used to this. Well, I guess we’ll have to see if I can pull it off more than one day in a row. Wish me luck!

I would love to encourage you while you meet your goals. Click the Join My Team tab for more information. It’s free!

Fear Fears Community

“Fear Fears Community” ~ Jon Acuff

This week I have been part of a wonderful experiment. Author Jon Acuff threw about 2600 people into a Facebook group. The one thing we all had in common was the desire to START something. Something new, something small, something big, something we were afraid of, something we thought we couldn’t pull off – it didn’t matter the size or the importance of the risk. It only mattered that we were ready to go for it. The experiment is actually set to last 24 days but so much has already been accomplished in the group. Fear The daily assignments are small, but oh, so powerful. “Little” things like writing your fears down on paper. I found that the fears somehow had less power when written. Fears like

What if I never lose the weight?
What if I lose only to gain it back again and look like a fool to all the people I’ve encouraged?
What if I start this whole thing and not finish it – like so many other things in my life?
Who am I to write a blog? an eBook? What makes me such an expert?
What if I’m successful and I make money and it ruins me? What if, what if, what if?

We were actually in the private Facebook group for about 10 days before the assignments started rolling in. An amazing thing started to happen. People started making connections, sharing, supporting each other. Each day the excitement built and many people started their goals early. Just the idea of the experiment was enough to get people moving, connecting, and facing their fears. By the time we actually had to start listing our fears we had already built quite a community of support. We realized most of our fears were shared by many and we could learn from others’ experiences. Some of the members had their fears realized during this process – a loss of a job, rejection, disappointment. But, the group has been rallying around each other and supporting each other and sometimes even pitching in to help.

My goal for this START experiment project is to write an eBook titled Kick-Start to Healthy Habits – a 7 day plan to a Healthier You (or something to that effect). I am writing about simple things that you can do to improve your nutrition and fitness habits. Even writing this makes me nervous. Is it too simple? Will anyone think it’s helpful? I’m not a writer – what was I thinking? Every time I work on it, those fears creep in. I am deciding to push through anyway. It is what it is and I WILL finish this goal. My true desire is that it will help someone to make changes that will benefit them. I truly want to help and encourage others in their journey to health and fitness. If you are willing to read this when I am finished and give me some honest feedback, I’d love to send you a copy. Just fill out the form below to request a pre-release copy. There! I put that out there! Eeek!

Fulfilling Your Passion: Just Start

PassionPassion is defined as a powerful, compelling emotion such as love or hate; a strong liking or desire or devotion to some activity, object or concept.  Passion is an interesting word because you can be passionately in love or you can be passionately angry.  Passion is a good thing.  It indicates that there is momentum.  It is easier to work with someone who still has passion even if it is in a negative direction.  It is so much more difficult to reach someone who has become apathetic.

What are you passionate about?  Can you use your passion to give you the momentum to do something great?  You can, you just have to START.

I have been reading the book START by Jon Acuff.  The book is all about getting off the road to average and using your passions to switch lanes and enter the road to AWESOME!  We all used to be awesome.  I know when I was a kid, I was awesome.  It was why I always told the adults in my life, “Watch me! Watch me!”  In those moments, on the edge of the pool, I knew that I was about to be awesome and they didn’t want to miss it.

So when did I derail and decide that the road to average was good enough?  When did I decide that I was no longer awesome and I just wanted to blend in and fit in? It was so long ago that I’ve arrived at a place where I’ve aspired to be average.  Well…..I say no more!  God has created me to be more and to do more.  Not just more “stuff” but more awesome.  Awesome looks different for each person and will change throughout your life.  But life doesn’t have to be boring and average.  Bring on the awesome!

I was invited through a very cryptic email from author Jon Acuff to participate  called  the Start Experiment.  I’m not really sure how this is going to look, but he is going to challenge us over the next few weeks to take a risk and do something that moves us towards our awesome.  For me…for now…my awesome involves helping others develop healthy habits:  better food choices & more activity.  Too many people are suffering from health conditions that could be improved by improving those two areas in their lives.  I have struggled with my weight for years and the traditional diet advice has not worked.  Even things that worked for the short term were not sustainable for me and resulted in yo yo dieting, unhealthy habits and frequently disappointing myself.   I hope you will follow along in my journey to get to a healthier place and encourage others to do the same.  Let’s START!

Burn More Calories – HIIT vs. Cardio

Shaun T.Are you interested in learning how to burn more calories in less time?  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may be the answer for you.  HIIT consists of intervals of high intensity exercise with very short rest periods or short periods of lower intensity exercise.  Cardio exercise, on the other hand is usually steady state exercise with moderate intensity.  A study conducted in Australia showed that women who performed HIIT training lost 6 times more body fat that the group that did cardio training.  Studies have also shown that the ongoing calorie burn for HIIT training is higher over a 24 hour period.

I prefer HIIT training in my workout routines because it’s quicker and more interesting than spending 30 minutes or more on a treadmill or elliptical.  You can do HIIT training without any equipment so it’s good for any budget.  You can incorporate HIIT training into what you already enjoy – running, weight training, body weight exercises, and more.  An easy way to start is to use a stopwatch or an app like Gymboss.  Start with 30-60 seconds of a moderate intensity exercise of your choice.  Take a short rest (20-30 seconds) and then repeat.  Gradually increase the intervals so you are doing longer periods of intensity with short breaks.