Ok so here's your take home message.
There's also going to be times during your monthly cycle when you're going to feel STRONGER, MORE ENERGETIC and you'll even be able to eat MORE FOOD!
And if you know that, you can plan accordingly.Read More
You can schedule your workouts and your carb-loading for those times and really capitalize on this sure of energy!
Fitness and fat-loss works the same way.
If you treat it like a job and do the bare minimum to get by, you probably won't get great results or stick with it.
You'll jump around trying this diet, that form of exercise, this new gadget...
But if you invest in the process and take the time to cultivate an approach that enhances your life, you're WAY more likely to stick with it long term, see results and continue to build your approach.
When the body is chronically stressed, it pushes back against this by doing a number of things and one of those things is storing fat.
Fat is fuel. It's a good thing. In fact we NEED fat!
It’s a resource. I know we don’t always love the look of it, but it does have a purpose and if your body is storing larger and larger volutes of it, that’s because your body thinks that it needs it.
When you are mentally, emotionally, or physically stressed the body is like, “Wait, what’s happening? I need to stockpile emergency rations! Something is wrong.”
Your body is designed to keep you ALIVE, not to bend to whatever aesthetic goals that you have for it.
If your body is uncomfortable and senses that are you are in distress, the only thing that it can do to help you is to save energy in the form of fat.
This energy can then be used by your muscles, your brain cells, whatever cells in your body that are going to be potentially doing some extra work, the energy will be there for it.
And here’s the thing, serial dieting, lack of sleep, gut distress, histories of under-eating or eating chemically-laden processed food, these are all stressors.
The body responds to these activities, these signals with cravings and the hormonal environment necessary to store fat AND to keep telling your body that it's hungry.
So if you want to lose fat, you definitely need to move your body and you definitely need to start choosing good nutrition (most of the time), but your progress is going to be slow-going if you don’t ALSO deal with your stress.
You have to tell you body that everything is ok.
How do we do this?
We change our lifestyles and when we can NOT change things, we change our response to them.
I know, a lot easier said than done, but we really have no choice.
This process can be imperfect.
It will take some time, but it's a direction work moving in.
We also have to understand that IF the body has been stressed for a while, then it’s going to take some time for it to finally believe you that the stress is gone and release those fat-stores that it’s been holding on to.
So you have to be little patient with it, which is why you REALLY want to cultivate a lifestyle that not only moves you closer to your physique goals,but ALSO one that makes you feel better.
One that makes you content and happy.
So what do we do?
Exercise just enough, but not too much.
Eat loads of protein and vegetables and not a lot of processed foods.
Sleep, meditate, pray, relax.
Change what you can in your life to alleviate stress **there’s almost always some action that you CAN take.
Take risks, move out of that comfort zone, your health depends on it!
Think of leisure time with friends and family or alone as just as important for your fat-loss goals as is your exercise.
Your metabolism is basically a stubborn mule, actually pig, I have more experience with stubborn pigs.
You will not get a pig to budge by using lots of force or threats.
Trust me, I know. This novice pig farmer has tried to move one many a times.
You have to make it feel safe and gently coax it into doing what you want it to do and when it feels safe, not stressed, then it will acquiesce.
Realize that your body needs a consistent supply of nutrition to feel comfortable letting go of it's fat stores.
Not only does this mean eating nutritionally dense foods like pastured eggs, leafy greens, grass-fed meats and organ meats and good quality fats, it also means supporting the gut and the brain with prebiotics.
Screentime is fine in moderation, but lots of time on the phone or watching the TV/Netflix will negatively impact sleep and can cause cravings.
PLUS, if you're watching a screen, then that usually means that you’re not moving, which is what the body really really needs.
Walking 10-15K steps a day will DRAMATICALLY reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.
We know that spending time in nature positively impacts our sleep habits, stress levels, gut health, posture and mental health!
If you want to learn more about healing your metabolism and gently letting it know that it's time to start reducing fat stores, then sign up here to receive my Five Day Metabolism School : Metabolism and Movement Memos
Starting August 7th, for five days, each day you will receive an email memo on one aspect of healing the metabolism to support fat-loss, complete with some manageable action steps for you to begin to work on!
It's free, easy-to-understand and a great way to get started on working towards healing your body and cultivating a new metabolism-healing lifestyle!
I'm Sarah. I'm a personal trainer and lifestyle coach. I help clients build strength, confidence, capability in their bodies and their lives.
I'm also a mom of 3 raucous boys, a small scale farmer and soil scientist living in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Ok, so on to de-toxing.
The AMAZING thing about the body is that it is very adept at de-toxing.
Personally the only approach for de-toxing that I trust is the strategy of supporting the liver.
No food, juice, supplement or enema could ever hope to work as well at removing toxins from the body as the liver!!
If I don't take the time intermittently to get back to zero, then my standard changes, the clutter and dirt grow layers and if I want to get back to my kitchen in it's original form, then it's SO much more work to get there.
The same sort of phenomenon occurs with our health and wellness, right?
We rarely dive into drinking a bottle of wine a night or eating a pint of ice cream a day.
No, one glass slowly turns into 2, then 3...
It takes a few weeks for our ice cream treat to become more of a staple.
For starters, like me you might think that “winning” is everything.
Many of you were handed the goal of weight loss at a young age possibly from yourself, but mostly by adults, peers, or society.
And perhaps you feel the pressure to always be losing or to finally get to that certain weight.Read More
The fact of the matter is, working towards change is HARD WORK!
Sometimes results are slow.
Sometimes it seems like everyone else around us is successful and we are not.
Sometimes it seems like we are just not "cut out" for this plan and we should throw in the towel.
But here's the thing.
That's a wall that EVERYONE encounters when trying to work towards something.
And if you give up when you hit that, then you will never grow.
You will never experience the victory and change that is just on the other side of that wall.
Click the video on the right to watch my demonstration of a 20 minute beginner-friendly strength training workout.
You can also download PDF of workout here.
AAAANNNNDDD, if you are interested in learning how to identify your core values and use them to create and attain goals, read my most recent blog posts on Personal Mission Statements below!!
People around you might be pursing goals that appeal to you, but with your own personal mission statement, it will become easier for you to recognize when their goal or the path that they are taking to that goal does not align with who you are and know that their journey not right for you.Read More
Every moment of the day doesn't have to be about heavy-lifting (metaphorically speaking) and getting things done.
If it is, then we burn out.
We need that down time, because it keeps us balanced and connected to our lives.
It prevents burnout and ultimately allows us to produce more at a higher quality and be happier, more present people.
So we talked about how to incorporates some structure into her rest time....basically how she could get REAL intentional about rest and leisure.Read More
We in the fitness world sort of take this concept for granted, but often when speaking with people about my business, I realize that they have never heard of an "online" coach or trainer before.
So I thought that I would take a little time tonight to answer questions and explain the concept especially since online coaching is not just something that happens in the fitness world!
There may be an online coach out there right now that can teach you how to cook, knit, sew, scrapbook, golf, or use Quickbooks!
You don't need to heed every piece of fitness and wellness advice. It's not ALL applicable to you!
I know from personal experience, that when we are in a place where we feel like we need to change somethings about how we take care of our bodies, we start to feel like every new piece of information that crosses our path is targeted at us and something that we need to work one.
But trying to implement ALL of the fitness and wellness information that you are exposed to on a routine basis will drive you batty.Read More
If you are working out today, hope you have a great sweat sesh!
Remember to work hard and rest when you need to.
When you feel like you couldn't possibly do another rep, try to squeeze in one more, then rest.
Safely pushing yourself to your limits will make you that much stronger next time!
If you worked out yesterday, don't forget to take a nice calm and relaxing walk today!
This will help your body to recover faster and will also reduce cravings!
If walking is not possible, then try some other stress-relieving activities!
Here are a few ideas:
Water therapy-shower, bath, hot-tub, slow-paced swimming
Non-stressful Crafts (knitting, crocheting, pottery)
Whether you are managing to get in 1, 2 or 3 workouts a week don't stress about the quantity, but focus on quality and consistency.
If you're getting in 1 workout a week, stick with it.
That still counts and can easily be grown into 2 per week come January.
Don't get caught up in the idea that exercise HAS to look a certain way.
If some days the only way you can get in your workout is to do one round, and then grab the laundry, do another round, feed the kids, do another round, and get some work done....this is still better than waiting for that day when you can have a perfect block of uninterrupted time.
I promise you that if you can make 1 workout happen a week, then you will be able to grow that to 2...and then 3 eventually and in a way that truly works with your life!
But getting in 3 perfect workouts this week only to give up exercise altogether for the next 6 months, that doesn't change your life.
It took me giving myself permission to be imperfect about exercise to finally become consistent with it and find enjoyment in it.
There is no perfect.
If you remain focused, commit to a new mindset and consistently make steps (even baby ones!!) towards your target, you will get somewhere that you never thought was actually possible.
I speak from experience!
Based on talking to women about their holiday experiences and thinking about my own holiday history, here are some words that come to mind this time of year:
Super negative I know, but bear with me for a second.
Many of you probably associate at least one of these words with this time of year.
What once upon a time were a couple of days (Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December) to eat something special and spend time with loved ones, has become this 7 week (or longer) long span of time during which we are told:
what to buy
what to look like
how to stay healthy
how to cook
how to dress
how our homes should look
what to do, how to feel and
where to go
...to make the most of our holiday season.
Of course most of this is because there's a lot of money to be made off of our desires to make this time of year, perfect, memorable and special either for ourselves or others, nevertheless, the pressure is still real and often palpable.
And while once upon a time there was just our mental pictures of what life should look like or the neighbors' lives to compare ourselves and our experiences to, now we have magazines, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest... all of which are sources that show a snapshot of a moment with no backstory, context, or reality.
When we are on the receiving end of so many "picture perfect experiences" it's difficult to even recognize when we are putting too much pressure on ourselves to have that perfect holiday.
So let me share a few thoughts with you.
Thanksgiving is just a Thursday and Christmas is just a Sunday (this year) and while we can free to make these days extra special with food, friends, and family, it's also perfectly acceptable to keep these days simple, if that helps us and the people around us to feel less stress and more love.
In the Smith household we are BIG fans of little-to-no fuss around holidays and prioritize mostly spending time with our small immediate family, because we need that break and downtime.
Maybe keeping the holidays simple is something that you can't manage this year and have to work on in 2017, but within whatever activities you have planned for Christmas and Thanksgiving, perhaps you can shave off a few things, be it practical or mental in nature....
Do one less thing to prep (don't iron a tablecloth, don't fold the laundry, use paper plates, )
Make one fewer dish?
Stop yourself from taking responsibility for someone else's experience
Think to yourself,
"Are there any small ways I can make this holiday a little less complicated and a little more peaceful?"
And do whatever you can!
What about comparing your experience to others?
Remember that list above?
This year, it will be easy to spy photos online of folks enjoying their holidays with their family, their children, or their significant others and feel as though they appear to have it all while you are struggling to just get through (see that list of feelings from above), there is an antidote to such feelings.
Every time you see someone having the experience that you want, looking the way that you wish you looked, or doing the things you wish you could do,
take a moment and find something in your life that you have and say to yourself,
"Why is my life so great?"
And then answer it.
Some moments you will struggle to find something positive, something to be thankful for.
Seriously your answer might be as simple as, "My life is great because I have shelter."
But what you are doing is actually training your mind to search for positive things in your life.
And like anything else, with practice, you get better at it.
The more you focus on what you have, the easier it is to view other's experiences without attaching any strong feelings to your perceptions of their lives-which by the way are wrong, because you can't possibly know what it is to live their lives.
And you know what else??!!
One of the bizarre consequences of this activity is that your brain (which runs your body) will learn to work (even unconsciously) to create positive things in your life.
By asking this question (Why is my life so great?) you are teaching your brain to find the answer to the question and a consequence of that behavior is that your brain will begin to make decisions in your life to answer the question, aka, do things that actually make your life great.
Is this one of those prosperity/The Secret things where you speak something and it becomes true?
This is simply a mental exercise that utilizes your brain's natural neurological function and instinct to both change your attitude and your life. PS-You can ask God to help you do this too, I find that He's really great at bringing Thanksgiving-worthy things to the forefront of my brain!
Learn more about reprogramming your brain in this podcast (http://fatburningman.com/noah-st-john-why-self-help-backfires-reprogramming-your-brain-the-shower-that-changed-everything/)
So for the remainder of the month of November, I'm going to be engaging in this very activity, spending time daily to focus on the things in my life that merit gratitude and will be sharing these things with you via my Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #cultivategratitude
I would LOVE it if you would do the same, keeping in mind that you don't have to "feel" thankful to give thanks.
Use the hashtag or tag me in your posts so that I can share the experience and encourage you!
Take action and use this activity every time you feel any of those negative feelings above.
Lots of love to all of you and thank you for your support and engagement!
Don't forget, it's not too late to join Wayfaring Wellness for only $11.97 this December.
We will be working out for 20 minutes, 3 times a week using the WW workouts-which by the way require almost no equipment!
The workouts are designed for ALL fitness-levels and can be modified to meet you where you are today.
Taking 20 minutes, 3 times a week to focus on how you are feeling in your body and to get your movement in, could be just the thing you need this holiday season to feel balanced and energized!
When you join, you will be invited to aprivate Facebook group where I will be coaching you and other women that share the struggle to be consistent with movement and exercise and practice mindfulness in their daily lives.
I would LOVE to have you!!
Click here to join!
Motivation to exercise is one of the biggest struggles women face when trying to follow a fitness program.
Even when we initially muster the determination to get started with a new workout plan, finding the motivation to be consistent with our exercise can be difficult, ESPECIALLY with all the excuses and interruptions that life throws at us.
Personally, I can remember years of looking around at the diligent exercisers of the world and wondering: "Where do they find their tireless motivation and when is mine going to spontaneously appear?"
I took me years to learn that they didn't find it, they created it.
They made a decision in their mind to do something and employed mental and logistical strategies to make fitness a regular component of their life.
These diehard fitness freaks (which is how I thought of them at the time) were just regular people that had recognized the numerous benefits of engaging in regular movement.
Like the rest of us, they would lose inspiration, get sick, miss workouts, and feel discouraged, but they had systems in place and a mindset that helped keep them going.
You can do that too! You can make the decision to become a more active version of yourself.
You too can find your own personal reasons for working out.
You too can cultivate a mindset for maintaining your commitment to fitness.
You too can implement motivational tools to generate inspiration to workout!
Because there are numerous approaches to getting motivated,
I decided to reach out to some of my favorite respected fitness experts to ask them:
What motivates you? How do you maintain motivation?
What tips and tricks do you use for yourself and your clients to spark motivation?
Their answers were so diverse, insightful, and doable that I had to share them with you all!!
"The key to getting motivated to exercise is to start easy and commit to consistency. Start so easy that you cannot not do it. This could be 5 minute workout session, walk around the block, fun dance class if that is something you enjoy. Our bodies are designed to move so just getting started with something enjoyable is going to have you wanting more.
-Ink Young Ink Young Life
Using goals and habits to help maintain motivation
Motivation is like a muscle. I think it’s something that needs to be exercised, used and cultivated over time. Knowing your "Why" is key and building your habits over time because you won't always be motivated. Habits – help you reach your goals when the motivation isn’t there. Motivation is what gets you started but habits will keep you going when you just don't feel like it.
-Candace Smith Beauty of Strength
My number one tip for motivation is set a small goal and NOT a number on the scale goal. This could be lifting a certain amount of weight in a certain exercise, running a certain distance without stopping, making it through so many rounds in a HIIT workout, or doing so many workouts in a week. Make the goal small enough that it’s actually achievable in the next 4-6weeks.
-Krissy Gillay Gillay Nutritional Gym
Motivation is a tricky thing because I believe it's so deeply personal. What motivates each person is vastly different. For me, it's goal setting. When I have a specific goal to work towards, I'm more likely to stick to it, even on the toughest days.
-Denise Schulz Raleigh Kettlebell Company
Practical strategies to try to spark your motivation!
I believe there is inherent motivation to checking small, actionable items off a list and gaining momentum from the feeling of “Hey! I can actually DO this!”: When we have a taste of success, we want more. In order to tap into this motivation tool I recommend setting small but achievable goals. Ideas to try: start with 5 minutes of exercise 5 out of 7 days of the week, or aiming for at least 20 days out of a month. It sets the expectation that you will try to get it in at least some exercise almost every day and also gives you some grace for those crazy days when it’s just not happening.
-Carolyn Banner Body by Banner
Many busy women struggle with workout motivation, not with getting the motivation to start working out, but to maintain the motivation to KEEP working out. I encourage my clients to rid themselves of the perfectionist conversation happening in their heads which says, "If it can't be perfect, it's not worth doing". When work projects pile up or kids get sick, I encourage her to use my “Power-Up” tool to remain consistent when time is limited. Try it out! Get your heart rate up and muscles burning with this Power-Up: 1 min push-ups*, 1 minute static lunges (30 seconds on each side), 1 minute fast toe-taps on a step or curb, 1 minute squat jumps, 1 minute alternating knee-to-elbow plank. These short, intense workouts serve as a reminder that perfect isn’t necessary and all the little decisions do add up for a lifetime of consistent health.
Jess Matthews Be PowerFULL
For me staying motivated for a workout is keeping the workouts, short, fast, fun and efficient. For example, today for Halloween I did 31 reps of each exercise.
Chelsea Stewart Ambassador of Bliss
My coaching ladies love it when I set up challenges for them to keep the motivation going. Such as timer workouts, stickers on their bulletin board when they complete a workout and accountability partners.
These little adjustments really spark the interest.
-Kim Schaper Kim Schaper Fitness
The Mindset component of motivation...
I think it's key to keep your eye on the big picture and don't let little setbacks crumple you. Knowing where I want to be long term is the most motivating thing for me. I don't want to look back at my life when I'm 90 and not know if I reached my full potential. This really helps keep the journey in perspective. Progress no matter how slow is still progress.
Heather Coracini Raleigh Kettlebell Company
I love the feeling of getting stronger and seeing myself progress. It gives me confidence and has helped me become stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally and allowed me to be comfortable in my own skin. Developing strength in the gym has helped me become stronger for LIFE. My motivation comes from a place of wanting to be strong for my family, strong for my future kids, and just strong in general so that I can tackle anything life throws at me.
-Chrissy King Chrissy King Fitness
Motivation is a tricky topic!
Motivation to workout tends to come and go for most people. You must have an underlying commitment to your health or strong purpose that trumps motivation! Motivation is a feeling. Commitment is a decision. I commit to train (exercise) because I view my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. and because I need to be in shape and feel great to be the best wife and mom I can be. Motherhood requires athleticism! :)
Whenever I personally lack motivation to workout, I remind myself of my commitment and then simply plan my day to make exercise the easiest choice when I wake up.
I lay out my workout clothes the night before, set my alarm, and commit to not hitting snooze. As soon as I get up, I have my quiet time with coffee then head to my basement gym to exercise. I choose a workout program that makes me feel good and is enjoyable. Most of all, I don’t exercise because I hate my body, to be skinny, or to punish myself for a poor eating choice. I do it because I love and appreciate my body and all that it does for me!
Jill Jacobs Jill Jacobs
My main motivation to stay fit is to be a happier, calmer, and stronger mom. Life is so much better when I can give my kids piggyback rides without pain, feel energetic instead of lethargic, and relaxed from releasing pent up stress. Plus my husband definitely notices the difference when I haven't worked out. "Have you gone for a run lately?" is usually the cue he gives me to tell me that I've been cranky.
As the saying goes, "Happy wife = happy life."
Rachel-Flanagan Rachel Flanagan Fitness