What does it take to achieve REAL, PERMANENT weight loss and life long health? It may surprise you!
See what Grace says about throwing out the bathroom scales...counting calories...weight loss pills...protein shakes...and more!
People ask me a lot about my methodology behind training and how I got such successful results. I always emphasize when responding that first and foremost there is the misconception movement is a hobby and being healthy is only a miracle pill away....and that's WRONG!
It is a lifestyle integration program! Sounds intimidating? Well, it shouldn't be, if I can do it, ANYONE CAN!! You just have to make yourself your new favorite science project.
If you have finally made the conscious decision to take your health back, but aren't exactly sure how to start integrating all these exciting new changes into your life....I am here to offer you some of my own personal insights that I picked up along my own fitness journey, and still strictly adhere to even now!
I call them my 7 Essential Fitness Commandments:
#1 BE CONSISTENT
This tends to be the most problematic aspect of getting back into training for some people. They buy a Groupon for a fitness class or gym membership, they go HARD immediately, training every day for like a week or 2, and then then the jig is up, back to their old sedentary routine.
My advice is to hold yourself accountable....TELL EVERYONE you know what your goal is, whether it be weight loss, strength training, or even that you are learning a new skill!
Isn't that what social media is for…to tell all your "friends" every detail of your life? Put yourself on blast, that way you are less likely to fall off the program.
When people ask me for suggestions as to what fitness modality they should try, my response is always the same, "Anything, just do it for a minimum of 2-3 months!"
You are looking for measurable results, so that at the end of those 3 months if you have been dedicated to your program, you can then observe if whatever you tried was effective in helping you achieve your goals, i.e. Observing weight loss, or looking more toned, increased energy levels, etc. and then make an educated decision if you would rather try a different exercise regime.
#2 CONSIDER PERSONAL TRAINING
Okay, so you took my advice and joined that gym and you have been sticking with your routine and for a while you were noticing changes but lately, not so much.
This is perfectly normal, some people see results immediately and then at some point there is a plateau in their progress. BE PATIENT!
There are a few reasons for this that range from diet and stress, (which we will touch on in a moment) or might even just be an indication that your old routine is no longer effective and you need to start challenging yourself in your training.
Don’t give up!! Now might be a good time to consider further guidance from a Personal Trainer.
Sometimes it's tough to get your friends to come to the gym with you, and instead of not going because you didn't want to go alone, you could always just think of a trainer as a paid workout buddy!
When people usually get back into movement, they tend to overdo it, like trying to workout like they used to back when they were on the high school track or wrestling team, and what usually ends up happening: They wind up INJURED! They get scared to ever workout again and we are back at square 1!
Save yourself this trauma and seek help! A GOOD personal trainer will usually do a Movement Screening from Day 1 to assess your current level of fitness and then be able to customize a routine for you with all the proper regressions for any exercise.
#3 FOCUS ON SKILLS AND THE WEIGHT LOSS WILL FOLLOW!
We all know you are more than just a number on the scale. So choose to put that scale in the darkest corner of your closet, because you don't need it to tell you anything essential about yourself.
Trust your own eyes and a mirror, if there are changes happening you should be able to see them and/or feel them. When you train, choose to focus on improving your new fitness skills!
The reason I found so much success in training with Calisthenics and Kettlebells is because it is progressive and there was technique involved where I was always learning something new!
I began choosing to spend my workout hour practicing my skills rather than counting calories burned, and the side effect was I still got leaner and stronger!
I wasn't always able to do elbow levers and kettlebell snatches, there were easier variations and regressions I needed to learn and practice beforehand. Yes, you will still get an effective workout even if you can't do the hardest version of every exercise.
Be humble, check your ego at the gym door, and don't be afraid to train at the level YOU are at, "Yes, I am talking to you dudes who are banging out mad reps of push-ups with crappy form!
Get down on your knees, soldier, and do a damn girl-pushup til your form is LEGIT!" Shift the focus from results-oriented training to making peace with and enjoying the journey to strength and wellness!
#4 EAT LIKE AN ADULT!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is about 80% of the process.
I barely like to even use the word "diet" with my clients, because there is this negative stigma associated with focusing on "lack of things you can eat."
Rather, choose to eat like a grown-up by eating REAL, WHOLE, FOOD not FOOD PRODUCTS.
Forget the shakes, supplements, and meal replacement bars. I don't advocate eating any of that crap unless it's out of desperation like sitting in a plane for a few hours and not wanting to spend $12 on their crappy turkey wrap.
My issue with most of these fad diets, detoxes, and cleanses is the same, they don't teach you how to eat like an adult only how to eat whatever they are selling you.
STICK TO THE OUTER EDGES OF THE GROCERY STORE : Poultry, clean dairy, and good ol'fashioned produce, just how Mother Nature intended! I usually recommend preparing most of your meals from home!
Not a skilled cook? I am not the best either, but I can make the basics, and those are my go-to meals when I am pressed for time and need to grub!
You can begin to experiment with schmancier dishes after you have had sufficient practice preparing the basics! As for portions? Don't sweat it, just eat slower and try to avoid eating in front of a television.
What does this have to with portioning?
Often when we are distracted or just eating way too fast, it doesn't allow the stomach the opportunity to send the message to the brain, saying, "Hey, I'm Full!" Eating mindfully is in essence a form of mediation and an excellent way to strengthen that mind-body connection!
Frequency of meals?
Let yourself feel hungry! There is no one size fits all, “3 meal a day with 5 snacks in between” quota you need to meet.
Eat when you are hungry, and fuel yourself according to your level of activity that day! If you did a hard training session, then eat to accommodate that.
If you were in the office all day just sitting around, that is a lot less energy burned and you may not need to eat as much!
Considering having that epic "cheat meal" to reward yourself for all this hard work you are doing? Go ahead and enjoy it!
Savor that meal so you digest it properly and without any guilt or stress! I am a fan of intermittently fasting after a gratuitous feast, and generally always recommend resetting back on program the very next day or meal!
#5 DE-STRESS YOUR LIFE!
Exercise is a form of stress imposed on the body, breaking down muscle tissue to rebuild stronger. But there are other forms of stress that come from everyday life: bills, relationship drama, work, etc. that are detrimental to your progress!
Unmanaged stress causes an adrenal "fight or flight" response to produce more cortisol in the body which can lead to feelings of burnout, fatigue, insomnia, poor digestion, and excess storage of abdominal belly fat. Leave your tension at the gym.
Take your post workout cool-down seriously, roll out on a stability ball or foam roller, or practice mild stretching at the end of your routine so you don't jet out of the gym with muscle AND mental tension!
Same thing applies to filtering the impressions in your life and how essential it is to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who are not a drain on your own energy. Try a Yoga class once a week or learn some deep breathing techniques and most importantly GET ENOUGH SLEEP! Human Growth Hormone which is an essential component for muscle growth is produced while we are in deep sleep!
#6 TRAIN YOUR BRAIN!
Do you know why I am so buff? Because every day for the last few years I have been telling myself I am. Believe to achieve!
The clients I find that are most successful at achieving their weight loss goals are the ones who avoid using negative phrases in their conscious vocabulary! "I feel fat!" "I could never do that!" "I don't have time!"
Sounds familiar? Then it is time for you to stop imposing limitations on yourself NOW!
There is a cool movie quote I would often recite when I was feeling down that would comfort me, "You can relax because everything you could ever want or be you already have and are!"
In other words, if we are an outward expression of our inward thoughts, then we need to learn to rewire our minds to think in the same progressive way we want to live and be.
Practice saying nice things about yourself!
Reciting positive affirmations will help you shape your habits to reflect your new evolutionary way of thinking! Every time you slip up and start with the negative self-talk, immediately reverse it, even if you don't believe it in that instant!
For example change, "I feel fat," to "Damn, I feel strong!" Easy-peasy.
#7 HAVE FUN!
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
You have made a conscious decision to become a better version of you, and it is an exciting endeavor!
This journey of self-discovery will inevitably lead to self-improvement if you so desire it.
Every step you take in this process is a step towards moving and feeling better for life!