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Sunday, April 28, 2013

'Stressed' is 'desserts' spelled backwards!

Stress is not good for your body, period. Well, neither is dessert!  If you are under stress for a long period of time, your stress will start manifesting itself physically. Your blood pressure becomes high, your blood glucose levels can elevate, you're more prone to mood swings, emotional outbursts, your cortisol levels skyrocket (more on that in a minute) and not to mention you just feel like shit, am I right?  

Cortisol is a steroid and one of the primary stress hormones. Cortisol lowers when you sleep and is typically highest when you wake and drops slowly throughout the day. If you are not getting enough sleep, your cortisol may not fluctuate like it normally should, causing it to be unusually high, causing you to be constantly stressed. If you are not getting enough sleep, your body craves carbohydrates, and this is what you should give it.... I'm not saying reach for the ho-hos and potato chips, I'm saying give your body a little extra healthy, starchy carbs (sweet potato, oats, whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, etc.,) to help your Cortisol levels. Think about it - carbs give you fast fuel, right? Fast fuel can help you feel less sleepy, which in turn, can help you feel less STRESSED. 

That being said, I am at the end of settling an incredibly stressful lawsuit and I am in wine country by myself until Wednesday, so you better believe I am finding a spa on a winery!

Ha! So true.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Death by Pizza

Did you know that willpower is best strengthened when practiced?

Think about it this way, how many times do you have to be exposed to junky food before you simply realize that it's not worth the stomach aches or the carb hangover? It was once for me! I give myself a cheat meal about once a week, maybe once every two weeks if I really have a good thing going. Patrick took me to my favorite pizza restaurant. I hadn't had a single bite of crap food in over two weeks.

Our pizza comes and I go crazy! Pizza is my weakness. I down two slices and feeling like a champ, eat the third.  "I'll just eat the last one so we don't have to bring home leftovers." Seriously?! Is that how a personal trainer and nutritionist should justify something?! No way. I was pizza wasted. What I neglected to tell you was that I also ordered a side of beer cheese dip to dip my already buttered and seasoned crust into. What was I thinking?!

By the time we got into the car I seriously felt like I needed a stomach transplant. The throbbing pain of being too full was unbearable. I unbuttoned my pants and reclined my seat and asked Patrick to drive as smoothly as possible for fear of throwing up all over the leather seats!  I felt like a child who had just been caught smoking and was told to smoke the entire pack! 3 A.M. rolled around and I still felt awful, I will never go from eating 100% clean to eating 100% crappy, again! That being said, next cheat meal I will not eat my way home from my Mama's house.
This is totally me

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goal Setting

It's a pretty common occurrence when someone is suddenly motivated to workout more. "I'm going to lose 30 pounds by next month and go running everyday at 4:30 in the morning." That's great, but we need to be a little more specific. 

Goals need to be:
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

An example of a specific goal is something you want to accomplish such as, "I want to lose fat," or "I want to gain lean muscle." Once that's established you need to be able to measure your goals. You do this by identifying how much fat you want to lose, or how much lean muscle you want to gain. This can be done in a number of ways and a personal trainer will be able to assist you with that. An attainable goal is one that you can easily make happen... "I'm going to strength train Monday, Wednesday, Friday and do cardio Tuesdays and Thursdays." Perhaps most importantly, is that these goals need to be realistic. If people were walking around losing 30 pounds in a month nobody would need goals OR personal trainers, but that just doesn't happen. Reality would be something along the lines of  making sure you can actually dedicate five days a week to working out, or if you are truly ready to begin a program. Last, we have timely.. Short and sweet and simply put, it's what you can accomplish in a given time period! 

Let's put everything together, shall we? "I want to gain lean muscle in my legs, biceps and glutes before my wedding at the end of October. I'll do this by hiring a personal trainer, seeing a registered dietician for a meal plan and sticking to my workout plan with support from my friends and family." Tadaaa! A perfect example of a S.M.A.R.T goal. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

True or False

Lifting weights makes females bulky..... FALSE, this couldn't be anymore false. Who even started that rumor anyways? The truth is, a large majority of women actually believe that lifting will make them turn into the Hulk and cause them to gain all sorts of weight. STOP THAT THOUGHT, ladies. In my experience, I am the only chick in the weight room 99% of the time. The other women in the gym will do a warm up on their mat and then casually make their way over to the hamster wheel for 20-40 minutes and then complete their workout with abs... All the while, I'm still knocking out reps on the squat rack burning all sorts of calories. 

The REASON women don't get bulky is because of our testosterone levels, we have a significantly less level of it and simply put, cannot build muscle the same way, or as easy as men. Women have to work TWICE as hard to get HALF the gains as men. Another reason women don't get bulky is because of our diet, we don't have the same caloric intake as men, again, making it harder to gain muscle. 

Okay, feel better? Go squat.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Importance of Diet

 The truth is, so many people don't understand the importance of diet, not A diet, the word, diet. You can exercise yourself healthy, but you cannot exercise yourself thin. Exercise is excellent to an extent, but too much can release free radials, cause adrenal fatigue and just plain burn you out. I once heard someone tell their friend "you can eat whatever you want, you just need to workout." Oh? And where did your background in fitness come from? So that means I can hop on the hamster wheel for 45 minutes and go eat a Big Mac, fries and a coke afterwards? I don't think so, buddy. The fact of the matter is, that you would have to workout 2-3x harder after consuming that Big Mac than you would had you just eaten green beans, half a chicken breast and a quarter cup of quinoa. 

People that suddenly create these unrealistic training plans for themselves are the ones who experience over training the fastest. "I'm going to wake up everyday at 4AM and run five miles," "I'm only eating 500 calories today." Oh okay, so when you're passing out from lack of nutrients on your run, maybe then you'll understand that you cannot lose fat OR maintain weight loss without adequate nutrition.  You NEED to eat ladies and gentleman, you CANNOT starve yourself.



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