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It’s not Rocket Science: 10 things I’ve learned from my fitness journey!



I’ve been fat, thin, fat, thin, chubby, pregnant twice, fat again and thin again…you get the idea.

As someone who struggled most of the early years with eating right and exercise, I have learned a thing or two about how to be successful and stay successful with my health and fitness.

I’ve been blessed to turn my passion into a career and help others with their fitness and nutrition goals. 

Today I want to share the top 10 things I’ve learned through my fitness journey and hopefully inspire someone out there to keep going!!

1) It’s never ever too late.  

I didn’t start my fitness journey until my mid-thirties and got into the best shape of my life by the age of 40 and never looked back. I am proud to say I’ve stepped on stage as a national figure competitor – something I never thought was possible and I did it at the ripe age of 42.  Before kids, I couldn’t run from here to the mailbox.  A half-marathon & some 5K’s later, I can now run without the feeling of throwing up all over myself.

But even more than past accomplishments, I’m happy and healthy and feel like I’m 25 – not 45!  

2) You can’t out train a bad diet. 

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation but WOW- if I had a dime for every minute I’ve spent doing extra cardio so I could go home and eat like a pig, I would be on a private island counting my money.  It doesn’t work peeps.

3) Taking time for yourself is not selfish.  

Selfish is treating your body like crap so you aren’t of any use to others in your life.  Make yourself the priority so you can make others a priority in your life.  And while you’re busy making yourself the priority, make sure you have a good support system to surround yourself…going at it alone without anyone to cheer you on or help you stay focused is not a lot of fun.

4) Stop weighing yourself every day.  

The scale is not your friend.  The scale will lie to you. It will tell you that you’re having a good day when you’re really not ( i.e. I guess I can have that extra slice of pizza) or tell you that you’re having a bad day when maybe it’s just a little water weight…so you starve yourself.  Either way it’s a bad idea.  

Rely on measurements and the good ‘ol “zipper” test to give you an accurate “picture” of what’s really going on with you.

5) Results don’t come in a pill.  

You WILL have to bust your ass.  You will have to eat right and drink your water.  You will have to plan your food and exercise sessions.  There isn’t a Fitness Fairy that does it for you nor does it come in a fancy pill. Complaining about your current situation does nothing to fight the fight.  Make up your mind to get it done.

6) Results, GOOD and LONG LASTING  results will take time.  

No, you can’t lose 5 lbs before the weekend (and expect to keep it off)  and you won’t suddenly have toned muscles after 1 week in the gym. Unrealistic expectations will create unrealistic results. 

Consistency is the key to long term success.  The bodies you admire in the gym or in the fitness magazines were created with patience and consistency, not gimmicks.

7) Eat to live don’t live to eat.  

Exercise is only part of the equation.  We have all heard that diet is the key to fitness success – at least 70-80% depending on who you ask!  If you want to change your physique, change the way you view food.  
Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE food- all kinds – I’m not even prejudice to fast food. I could throw down on some fried chicken or pizza and not blink an eye.

But, I’ve had to learn to view food as FUEL and treat my body to the right gas….not give it crappy food which results in bad fuel.

8) Weight training will get you further than hours on the treadmill

Yes- I was one of those in the beginning- spent hours doing cardio and ignored the need for weight training.   
The key to having a strong metabolism is to have muscle on the body. Muscle gives the body a more tight and lean appearance.  Do not fall victim to ” I’ll start with cardio– lose some weight and begin my strength routine”.  Big mistake.  Do your cardio AND weight training for a balanced physique.

9) Keep track of your food/workouts. 

There is NO way I would be where I am today if I hadn’t taken the time to keep a food journal ( and this was before the age of fitness apps!).  It was the number one factor that led to my success- I’m convinced of it. 

I wrote down everything I ate for years.  I educated myself on calories and macro nutrients.  I still keep track of my food on a weekly basis.  Success rates almost triple when a journal is kept for at least 4 weeks.

10) Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail.  

I know we’ve all heard this one before but let’s face it- it’s part of the process.  Schedule your workouts, plan your meals, plan for obstacles and plan for success. That’s right…plan for success.


Thanks for reading!  Is there a subject you would like for me to address in an future blog?  Email me kathy.laucius@yahoo.com

We make our choices, then our choices make us.

I’m a quote nerd.  I love quotes. I don’t pretend to originate them but I will always try to make my point with a quote.  This one in particular could not be more true for my local client who vowed to take back her fitness and put herself first so she can take care of others around her.

Four weeks ago she started a 12 week plan to get it right.  But what does ‘RIGHT’ look like?  We did not set a weight loss goal.  We did not set a goal to lose a certain amount of body fat or inches.  We set a goal to make changes- changes that will last a lifetime, not just for 12 weeks.

Drum Roll Please….

At the end of 4 weeks, she has lost 5.5 lbs and 2.5 inches in her waist.  Her body fat has dropped by almost 3% !  Clothes that used to be snug are now fitting loose and comfortable.

As someone who has their own “before and after” story, my philosophy is simple….you put in the effort, you provide the consistency and you will see results.  It’s better than any gambling odds in Vegas.

Effort + Consistency = Success

This is not the ‘Biggest Loser’.  We are not trying to lose a ridiculous amount of weight in the least amount of time.  We are setting up long term ideals for long term success.  Long term success is dependent upon realistic goals.  If you lose the weight too quickly, you are setting yourself up for a big gain in return.  Slow and steady wins the race.

Average weight loss is .5 -2 lbs/week.  If you are losing weight at a more rapid loss, make sure your meal plan/exercise plan is realistic and can be achieved on a weekly basis.  

For my client, we focused on a balanced diet of 1450 calories.  Her starting weight was 156 and she’s down to 150.5 lbs. (See previous blog for macro nutrients and exercise plan)

CHOICES (CHANGES) TO HER DAILY LIFE:

1) PLAN AHEAD:  My client realized that there was no such thing as a ‘Food Prep Fairy’ so she was going to have to plan ahead…she made sure she left 30 minutes every night to organize her food, supplements and get things ready for the next day.  She realized that this has been the biggest reason for failure in the past- thinking there will be enough time in the morning to get organized but it just never happened for her.

I’m here to tell you- failure to plan is a plan to fail.  This has to be Number One on your goal list. 

2) ORGANIZE YOUR KITCHEN:  Do you know where your food is?  Do you have your food accessible?  My client organized her kitchen to make sure she could get to her food as needed- she even organized her refrigerator to include proteins, carbs and fats as well as food for her family.

3) PACK FOOD FOR “ON THE GO” :  How many times have you caught yourself at a meal time, on the go yet nothing there to eat? Again, the key to success is to plan ahead so look at your calendar and plan ahead for meals/snacks.  Don’t let a whole day of hard work go out the window due to lack of planning or accessible food!  HINT- everywhere you go there is a grocery store close by…don’t waste calories at a fast food drive-thru…use the produce and deli section to put together fresh meals on the go.


4) INCLUDE FAMILY IN MENUS:  One thing she wanted to do when she started was to make sure her family was eating healthy along with her meal plan.   This is smart.  Instead of eating a meal plan that only worked for her, she planned out her family dinners to include healthy food for everyone as she watched her own portions to fit her calorie requirements.  I’ve seen too many people fall off the wagon because they put themselves on ridiculous food requirements and leave the rest of the family out of the picture.


These things may sound like a pain in the rear  but this is how it gets done. You cannot expect to see results without putting some mental power into the process.  Some of you may have already realized the obvious- putting the mental power into your meal plan with planning, shopping and execution  is much more difficult than the physical power you put into your workouts.  

YOU MAKE THE CHOICE. 

Thanks for reading!  Next week I will share the 10 things I learned through my own fitness journey – Hint Hint….It’s never ever too late!









Starting Over Sucks…So Keep Going!

AMEN!   As highlighted in my previous blog, one of my local clients decided enough was enough.  She made a very simple conclusion for her fitness journey:  She was tired of stopping and starting over….the process was exhausting and began to drain her of everyday life.  

As she mentioned in her testimonial ,the goal was to once and for all, make this a lifestyle and not a short term project.

She made up her mind to KEEP GOING and STOP STARTING OVER.  How many of us have been there?  Very few of us get it right the first time.  As someone who has stopped and started over more times than they have fingers and toes to count with, I get it.  Once I became fit for a lifetime and became a personal trainer, I made it my mission to help others make this a LIFESTYLE.  

So- now I’m going to contradict myself.  Yes, it’s a lifestyle but at the same time, you need to set a date with the calendar- a realistic date that will keep you accountable to your goals yet give you the “push” to not fall off the wagon.

Personally, I prefer a 12 week time frame when working with my clients.  Why?


You can’t give a program one week and expect results.  You need to give your program 12 weeks to make changes as necessary.

My client has been on the program for 3 weeks.
Her starting weight was 157 lbs and her waist measured at 33.5 inches.

 At the end of 4 weeks, she will hit the scale and have measurements taken – we will also reevaluate the meal plan and make necessary changes. 

MEAL PLAN:

*  Eliminated all processed food from diet as well as alcohol.  

* Her meal plan has her eating 1450 calories/day based on her activity level.  Her breakdown is:
– 40% of total calories is protein
– 30% of total calories is carbohydrates 
– 30% of total calories is fat.

* I cannot express enough how easy it is to OVER THINK your meal plan.  As long as you keep the processed foods out and use clean/fresh foods, you are doing it right. But there are a few things you can do to ensure success:

1) Listen to your body.  Do you need 5-6 small meals day or are you OK with 3 large meals and some small snacks?  I think this is all dependent on your activity level.  At the end of the day, your calories in vs. calories out will determine success but you also need to be smart with the way you plan your food intake.

2) Eat your protein:  Protein is essential for muscle building and muscle recovery.  It also helps you feel full all day long- not to mention your metabolism has to work harder to digest protein vs carbs or fat.  So, you get a lot of bang when it comes to speeding up your metabolism.  Calculate the amount of protein you need each day ( I use 1 gram per pound of body weight and adjust as the body weight drops/gains depending on your goals). Use this number to calculate 40% of your total calorie needs- and this is all dependent on your activity level and lean muscle mass.  

* Carbohydrates are not the enemy but you can be strategic with them.  After calculating your carbohydrate needs ( 30% of total calories ) , put the majority of your carbohydrate intake around your pre/post workout meals and spread the rest throughout the day.  If you are not working out for the day, spread your carbohydrates evenly throughout the day.

* Fats are good but they also have their purpose in your daily meals. DO NOT CONSUME FAT POST WORKOUT.  Fats slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, so your PB2 or avocado may not be a good choice at this time. The goal post workout is to get those carbs into the body ASAP and rebuild glucose levels.  Fats eaten with carbs are great to help keep blood sugar levels normal so spread out your fat intake evenly throughout other meals each day.

EXERCISE PLAN:

* 3 days/week in the weight room using body part splits:   One day/week is legs and the other 2 are upper body-switching up the exercises/splits/reps each week.

* Cardio is 2-3 days of HIIT ( high intensityinterval training) and 2 -3 days week of moderate cardio ( 30-45 minutes).  HIIT is performed on non weight training days.

When it comes to cardio, more is not always better.  The very first thing your body adapts to is the cardio program.  So- you have to keep doing more cardio in order to stay ahead of the game.  But, if you use intervals 2-3x/ week, you will keep your body working hard and burning MORE calories during the session .  Less time and more calories burned?  YEP!   But, you can’t do it everyday- your body needs a break so I recommend maximum 3/week.  



The reason for featuring a client during their program is to show the good, bad and ugly that comes up during the process.  Every person is different but each one of us has something to overcome – and that is the similarity.

Thanks for reading-if you have any questions please feel free to email me kathy.laucius@yahoo.com

Have a great week!




Failure is NOT an option.

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I love this quote.  I love this quote because it is applicable to so many different things in our lives.  No matter what the challenge is in front of us, we have something/someone telling us we can’t do it.
And you know who’s your own worst enemy?  You.  That’s right. You control your destiny.  You control your life.  So, it’s time to dig deep and let the soul searching begin….

I have a local client who has asked me to turn up the heat on her accountability.  With her permission, I have put her on a 12 week program.  It will be hard and it will have it’s moments.  I asked her to write, in her own words, WHY she wants to move forward.  I have found that when clients write their testimonial, they are not only sharing it with others but they are digging deep to their own motivation.  It also provides clarity when the “going gets tough” and you need to remember your ultimate goal.

So, in her own words, here is the testimonial from my client:

The testimonial is designed as a tool to inspire during the plateau periods of training.  However, it is important to understand the motivation for asking to be on this 12 week track to fitness.  I understand my motivation.  It’s to be fit, to feel good in clothing, to wear the clothes that are hanging in the closet or slumbering under the bed, to keep up with my daughter both physically and mentally.  So that is the motivation to start?  Should be enough right?  Wrong.  It’s the motivation to be consistent and not repeat sabotaging behavior.
To explain; I was fit.  In 2009, I worked with Kathy to change my body.  The goal was to reach a size and maintain.  I was facing personal struggles and didn’t know what life would hold for me within the year. With Kathy’s guidance,  I reached my goal size and was even wearing a bikini (to the chagrin of my mother and daughter). 
As a stay at home mom, I had the time for the running, workouts, cooking and weighing every meal etc.  I then went back to work.  It was difficult to fit in a run during lunch with the showering and hair drying, etc.  I was too tired to get up 4:00am and workout.  Lunch was a another story.  Pizza, burgers and other quick lunches were OK because I of course had wiggle room.  Gradually I let it all slip away. 
Here I am again.  I began looking long and hard about not just my workout but other areas that I feel I fall short.  What became apparent is that I put myself on the back burner when it comes to improving the way I look.  It is rare that I shop for clothing, and when I do it’s a tragic experience.  My husband is a jeweler, yet I seldom wear anything other than a ring and watch.  It then became clear that I have followed in my mother’s footsteps, putting others first and rarely doing anything for herself.
How do I make myself a priority when I tell myself that others are more important?  My motivation is to show my daughter that you can be a woman, a mother, a wife and selfless all while taking care of yourself.  We laugh at the term “Happy Wife; Happy Life”, but it is true.  If I cannot take care of myself and be healthy and fit for a lifetime, how can I be a strong woman, mother and wife? I also am motivated in this age of body issues among girls to show my daughter that she is in control of her fitness and how to control it in a healthy manner. 

So, once and for all, I am determined to make ME the priority so I can be healthy and happy for my family.

Here we go!!

Does this story sound familiar?  Of course it does.  It’s the story for many of us trying to find “balance” in our life.

The next 12 weeks will be about Balance.  The only way this fitness stuff works is to make it work with YOUR life, not another’s expectations or time factors.

I hope you will follow along with this journey.  This week I will post a before pic along with weight and measurements.  

Thanks for reading and Cheers to Health and Happiness!!



There’s still time to change the road you’re on


Was this your motto at the beginning of 2013??  Halfway through the year- where are you with your goals?

Well, you may be like most people – you have already forgotten that special “feeling” you had when you set your goal/resolution.  Holding on to that special feeling is important- it stays with us to remind us WHY we do what we do…but for some that is easier than others.

If you haven’t already written down your goal, do it now.  Research shows that the success rate is higher for those that write down their goals and keep it visible as opposed to keeping in inside their head.

Looking back on the beginning of the year, did you set REASONABLE goals?  Did you vow to wake up at 3 am just to get to the gym when you know it’s not possible?  Did you vow to eat clean every single day, even on the weekends, when you know special occasions will occur??

Remember that this is a lifestyle commitment – so it won’t happen overnight.

Here are some simple thoughts to help keep it all in perspective:

1) Don’t get frustrated if you’re not there yet -attitude means everything. 

2) Slip ups are normal.  The key is to not let one bad day turn into a bad month and on & on…

3) Reevaluate and choose baby steps – make a plan to do ONE thing each week to get you closer to your goal.

4) Understand that change is part of the process.  Don’t run from it – embrace it.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.

5) Commit to your decisions.  You must decide what you are willing to do and not do.  Again, don’t set yourself up for failure committing to a crazy workout time or vowing that you will never have another piece of cake the rest of your life.  Set realistic goals and commit to them.

6) Stop waiting for the perfect day or time to get started.  It will never be perfect. 

7) Plan, plan, plan – plan your meals, plan your workouts, plan your relaxation time.  As much as possible, don’t leave things up to chance. 

8) Leave the insecurities behind.  I know it’s hard- trying to make changes yet wondering if they will ever come to fruition?  You must believe in yourself to see results.

9) Enlist a support system.  Find someone to keep yourself accountable to: family member, trainer, co-worker, etc.  Better yet- enlist another  person to take the journey with you.

10) Focus on the feeling of accomplishment.  Remember the time you worked out when you didn’t feel like it or you made the right choices with your food? Remind yourself that you DO have it in you.

Remember- if you start today, just think where you will be by the end of 2013.

Stop talking – start DOING! 

 

The ‘Time is Now’ final weigh in!

Well- here we are- the final week of ‘The Time is Now’ challenge with my local client, JC.  This has been such an exciting journey and I’m a proud teacher right now!  JC’s goal was to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks.  He didn’t quite reach his goal weight (only 3 lbs away)  but gained so much perspective in the process.  He suffered a leg injury during the last 10 days of his challenge.  He was down…but he was not out!

THE PAST:  JC’s starting weight was 230.  His waist size was 36″. 

THE PRESENT:  JC’s current weight is 213 and his waist size is 33″ !



THE FUTURE: JC is not done yet- he would like to get down to 205 on the scale – a total of 25 lbs from his beginning weigh-in.  He knows that once his leg heals up, he will be able to hit the cardio again and make tighter changes to his diet.

THE STORY IN JC’S OWN WORDS:

Well down to the final week and I have dropped 17 pounds.  I had  a mild setback last week when my hamstring decided to blow out on the leg curl machine.  It hurt quite a bit so my cardio has taken a hit.  It’s not too pretty to look at either as my entire lower thigh is heavily bruised. 

 

 
 
 
The upside of this though is that I was still able to lift weights (upper body) and really watch my food intake to maintain the program.  I will continue to do this until things heal up and I can get back to the cardio portion of the program. 
 
Kathy has kept me focused through these 10 weeks and I have definitely won on the jeans test-I have lost a lot through my mid-section and although the 10 weeks are up,  I am going to continue to work off the pounds and get closer to the 200 pound mark.  
 
The big thing is that I did was NOT create a drastic life style change.  I still eat and drink but I  am more aware of  WHAT I eat and drink and WHEN I do it.  It is not that hard to do and I encourage anyone thinking of making a change in their food or exercise regime to make the decision to do SOMETHING. Small changes are better than zero changes.  It becomes a habit rather quickly and holding yourself accountable for your decisions-the food you eat and the time you put into your workouts will show results! 
 
Looking forward to continuing my journey to better health and some new clothes to wear!  Thanks for challenging me KL  – you are great to work with!




The moral to this story is that because JC has learned how to eat smart(er)  and make the right choices, the injury didn’t derail him from maintaining his weight and staying the course.  Although he didn’t reach the exact desired weight on the scale, he came pretty dang close and was able to maintain his weight training – even with a bum leg.


This is key folks!  You must understand that your success rate is 80% nutrition.  You cannot reach your desired fitness level without a sound meal plan.  JC learned through this journey that he cannot always count on the gym ( or me) to help him get to his desired physique.  The work must be done BEHIND THE SCENES to accomplish your goals.

I tell clients that I am 1-3 hours/week in a 168 hour week.  Think about that – the time you spend outside of the gym is the biggest part of your success!!  If only we had our Guardian Angel there all the time to hold our hand (or fork) and help us make the right choices…but we don’t. 

And what do you do when Life gets in the way of your best intentions?  Many times I’ve seen clients begin with full-force only to have something come up that slows down their journey – but it doesn’t have to slow down the progress.  Here are some ways to get back up when we feel knocked down :

1) Always remember WHY you started:  Be clear with your goals.  JC knew that he had a deadline he wanted to meet ( 2 week cruise vacation)  so he wasn’t going to lose sight of the finish line.  Every time he was too tired for cardio or wanted to eat something crappy, he remembered the promise he made to himself.

2) Keep a journal:   Use it to track food, emotions, exercise, etc.  I still track my food and exercise on a weekly basis.  I use it to look back on certain weeks where I feel I could have made better use of my time .  Sometimes we can’t understand where we went wrong till we look back at what we did to get there.

3) Organize your life:  Whether it’s keeping healthy food in your home, office or on-the-go snacks ready, you need to keep your food choices healthy.  Yes, life may have derailed your gym time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose healthy foods to keep you on the right track.

4) Keep moving! : Yes- take the stairs when possible.  Yes- park further away from the front door of the store.  Take a few laps during your lunch break.  Again, the mentality needs to be “I’m down, but I’m not out” when life gets in the way.  Understand that little things add up and go a long way to staying on track.

5) Stay grateful and thankful:  If you’ve had a setback in your fitness journey, try to remember that it’s not the end of the road.  Remind yourself that it’s a minor setback ( as long as you don’t let it turn into a forever moment) and stay grateful and thankful for what you DO have and don’t focus on what you DON’T have…this is temporary.  Life is full of roadblocks and they will test your will every single time.

I’ve received so much positive feedback from this blog so thank you for reading and I hope to inspire someone along the way!

Have a great week!








What’s holding you back ? 10 ways to get started !


Amazing things happen when you make up your mind…to make up your mind!

My local client, JC, lost another pound this week and we are 3 weeks away from the final weigh-in. 
13 lbs in 6 weeks! 

His goal is to lose 7 more lbs by May 16th.  I’ve decided to not update again until that time so STAY TUNED for the final weigh-in along with before and after pics!!   

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the biggest things JC has learned in this journey is that the buck stops with him.  HE is in charge of the outcome and has taken all the steps to make it happen-I’m so proud of him!

What’s holding YOU back from beginning your journey?  I think the key for most people isn’t that they think they can’t do it, it’s that they truly don’t know how to get started.

So…..here are 10 ways to help you get started today!

1. Make the decision to try: Don’t think about the finish line, just make up your mind to try.  Don’t THINK just DO.

2. Write down your goals and keep them visible:  And don’t just write them down, read them and re-read them every day.  Find a quote or picture to keep you thinking about your goals and what they mean to you.

3. Don’t try to fit a square peg in a circle hole:
If you know you can’t eat eggs, don’t do it.  If you know you can’t workout at 5 am, don’t do it.  Make the program work for you , not against you. 

4. Baby steps:  Again, don’t come out of the gate full speed if you’ve only been idle in the past.  Pick one change a week to focus on – changes in your body are not going to happen overnight so why set yourself up for failure?

5. If you need help, ask for help:  Don’t waste time trying to figure out meal plans or workouts if you truly don’t have the experience or the time.  Hire a trainer or nutritionist to help you get going in the right direction.

6.  Make yourself accountable to others:  Again, hire a trainer to help you keep the appointment with yourself or challenge a buddy to meet you at the gym or for that early morning run.  If you know you have someone waiting on you, it makes a big difference.

7. Plan ahead:  I really can’t stress this enough.  Take the time once/week to plan your schedule, think about your goals and make the appointments with yourself.  Also, take 20 or 30 minutes each night to gather your items for the next day – I call it eliminating the “Crazy Train” for the morning.

8. Give yourself incentives: Who doesn’t love a prize at the end of the day?  Keep the reward non-food related (this is excluded of any cheat meals allowed in a specific meal plan). 

9. Be prepared for your motivation to fluctuate:  If only we felt like Superman or Wonder woman every single day, but we don’t…because that’s not real life.  How to overcome it?  Just do it.  I know it sounds like a cliche but it’s true.  In all my years of training and working out, I’ve never ONCE said…”Crap, I wish I hadn’t done that”.  Focus on how you feel AFTER the workout or a healthy meal, not beforehand. 

10. Decide there will be no limits:  Your health is a never ending journey.  Accept no limitations!

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Determination = Results!


 
Well, here we are…6 weeks into ‘The Time is Now Challenge’ with my local client, JC. The pressure is on and he has been working his tail off.

This week resulted in a 2 lb weight loss making for a total of 12 lbs! Only 8 more lbs to go with 4 weeks left of the challenge.

Each week has brought new things to light for JC. He recognizes the work that needs to be put in, the consistency factor must always be present and low and behold, even with all the work you put in, the dreaded moment occurs in your journey – PLATEAU.

I think JC was a bit disappointed these past 2 weeks when one week resulted in a zero loss and the next week resulted in only a 1 lb loss. These last 2 weeks he has really busted his butt to stay consistent with his workouts & meal plan. I told him – “Don’t worry –the work you are putting in this week may not show up till next week or even the week after but it WILL show up – trust the process.”

Well- sure enough it did…another 2 lbs down & he feels rejuvenated in his quest to lose 20 lbs in 10 weeks.

So I thought that this blog would be a good time to talk about weight loss plateaus. I tread this word lightly because, even though your body has hit a plateau, that does NOT mean it’s not changing and moving in the right direction. Yes, the scale is a good measurement but not always the ACCURATE measurement of what’s really going on. I rely mostly on the way my clothes fit and my waist measurement. If your  waist is getting smaller yet the scale is stalled, congrats- you are WINNING!  Why? You are not losing precious muscle but you are losing body fat!

But, it’s still a good idea to always evaluate and re-evaluate where you can make changes or possibly tighten up your current plan to keep results moving along.

Why does our body plateau? Simple- it’s the body’s natural reaction to diet and exercise. When we begin a fitness regimen, your body responds to it immediately and all those fun changes are taking place.  But, after some time has passed, the body will resist the change and do everything possible to maintain homeostasis – a constant state of internal function. Time to take a hard look at your current routine and make those changes necessary to keep progress moving along!


1. Nutrition: This is the first part of the your program to re-examine. A few things can go a long way to keep success moving along….

-Keep a food journal. Are you sure you haven’t loosened up a bit in your eating pattern? I always recommend my clients keep a food journal or use an online app to keep track of their food for one week. Once we start to see results, it’s easy to rely less on food scales and labels and “think” we know what we are putting in our mouths. This is where “calorie creep” comes into play and can really slow down your progress. Honestly, most of the time the plateau can be fixed with a closer look at the daily consumption of food.

The body is now working at a lower body weight but you are still giving it the same calories every day? Maybe it’s time to shake things up with your meal plan. Consider zig zagging your calories/carbs for a couple of weeks. I’ve used this method for myself as well as many clients. The goal is to eat less calories one day & more on another day, in the form of carbs. Here is the plan:

Keep your calories the same for the week. But, instead of eating the same calories every day, eliminate 100 calories one day and add an extra 100 for another day. Try this for 2 weeks. The increase/decrease of calories should come from carb sources. On the days you go with lower carbs, limit your starchy carbs and fruit. Keep your vegetable intake high.

Get your water in everyday. A hydrated body keeps the metabolism functioning properly.



2. Change the Intensity/Duration of your Cardio :

Another possible culprit is your cardio routine. The fact is that our bodies adapt to the cardio first. So, maybe you need to change it up? If you’re knocking out 30 minutes of cardio, add another 15 minutes. Or, consider adding 20-30 minutes of walking before you start your day in addition to your current cardio routine. If you’re not currently using HIT (intervals) in your routine, start now. Here is a sample workout I provided to ‘Maximum Fitness’ magazine a few years back (Click on the pic to enlarge):



3. Don’t wimp out on your strength training !

I cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain your routine with weights in the gym.  So many times in the quest to break a plateau or save time, I will see people ignore their strength training in order to make more time for cardio. NO- WRONG CHESS MOVE!

Building lean muscle is the backbone of a supercharged metabolism so now is not the time to slack off but changing things around can help with muscle confusion and work your muscle groups in new ways.

-change the ORDER of the exercises
– change the TYPES of exercises used in the workout
– change the MUSCLE GROUPS that are exercised in the same workout
-change the NUMBER of sets
-change the AMOUNT of weight used
 Bottom line- the more lean muscle you have the faster your metabolism will work. Lift to lose fat!

4. Get your ZZZZ’s :  One sure way to screw up your progress is to regress on your sleep.  If you’ve been working at a level above your normal routine, then your body needs the sleep to recover.   What happens to our body when we don’t get enough sleep?

– Increased levels of cortisol ( the stress induced hormone that LOVES to hold on to fat! ) 
– You may still be losing weight but burn the midnight oil and you will burn muscle – which will stall your metabolism in it’s track.
-Decreased sleep leads to increased hunger so be aware of triggers that lead to the wrong choices.

And last but not least, Keep your head in the game:

As the famous quote goes: 90% mental and 10% physical.

This is the part of the game that separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women.  It’s time to realize that changes are not going to take place every day.  You must be patient with the process, remember how far you’ve come and don’t let the thought of quitting even enter your mind.

Remember that this is a lifestyle change and stay focused on the big picture.

Self Sabotage a/ka/ “Ooops- I did it again! “



Have you ever had one of these moments?? Of course you have- because you are Human. 

You go along with your day making good choices with your food.  Hec, you may have already paid good money to meet with your trainer and have your booty kicked?  Or you gave up something in your day to allow time to hit the gym?  And low and behold, you make a single choice that turns into a diet disaster.  What’s worse is that you’re having that out of body experience & watching yourself from the corner of the room and screaming to yourself :

“ARE YOU CRAZY?  DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD YOU WILL HAVE TO WORK TO UN-DO THAT ? “

The scary part is that you do.  We all do.  But, for different reasons, we turn out to be our own worst enemy when it comes to our food choices.  I don’t have a degree in psychology but,  as a former foodie, I know how easy it is to go to the gym but how hard it is to make good solid food choices. 

So, first things first.

1.  Why do we do it?  Well, ask 10 people & I can promise you that you will get 10 different answers so I will speak for myself.

Before I began working out, I just ate well but would always cheat after a few days.  I would start over & over & over.  Then, I began working out but I had a new problem – I always felt I could out-train a bad diet.  I worked out like a crazy woman so therefore it was OK if I indulged…not understanding the concept between food and results.  I would hate myself for doing it, pinky swear 50 times that I would do better, and then do it again. 

2) How do we stop??  Well- that again depends on the person and what is driving them to the self-sabotage behaviors.  Here are my own tips as well as others I’ve gathered from clients:



-Don’t beat yourself up.  Negative thoughts don’t need to be part of the process.  Make a vow with yourself that is was a slip up and it’s not going to define the rest of your day, week, month or year!  Brush it off and move on to the important things.

– Designate a cheat meal.  Even if you are dieting, you need one meal that gives you the freedom to eat what you want.  If you’re following a diet that doesn’t allow for a cheat meal, you may want to re-think your program. 

– Eliminate the crap food in your house.  I am a firm believer in “out of sight out of mind”.  You can’t reach for it at night time if it’s not there…get rid of it!

-Put up reminders:  I love this one.  I have a client who has post it notes on her refrigerator that remind her that one cup of ice cream = 60 minutes on the elliptical or a bag of chips = an extra cardio session on the weekend.  This woman is a busy executive and has zero time for “make-up” cardio as I like to call it. 

-Pay up.  Some people have a swear jar…make a jar to donate a dollar or two every time you eat something that you know you shouldn’t…maybe a little less sexy than the other suggestions but it can still work. 

-Change your routine.  I really think this is the key to success.  If your routine is to stop at the coffee shop on the way to work and throw in a muffin or scone, stop.  If your routine is to go out to lunch every day, stop.  If your routine is to unwind at home with wine or crap food, stop.  There is a solution for every roadblock.  You have to figure out a way to work around the temptation. 

– “In order to fly, you got to give up the S%*#! that weighs you down”.  I love this quote.  If you are surrounded by people, things, etc that are holding you back from your goals, move on. 


Those that work with me or have worked with me in the past know I’m a big believer in baby steps to the big picture.  If you try to change everything at one time, you are most definitely setting yourself up for self sabotage.  If the food was the easy part, everyone would be at their goal weight.  But, the fact is that it’s easier to go to the gym then eat the right foods all the time.

Try to eliminate one trigger at a time.  Take a few weeks to master the change and move on to the next item.  

Thanks for reading & have a great week!

Halfway there!!

 
 
 
Is this an awesome quote or what?? If you want to reach a level in your life that surpasses your current place, then you must visualize it in your head first and move forward!
 
So, here we are at the halfway point for my ‘The Time is Now’ client.  He has completed 5 weeks of his 10 week challenge and he is on his way!
 
Drum roll please…..JC lost another pound this week and has lost 2 inches in his waist!  So, 10 lbs down in 5 weeks.  This is exactly what I wanted to see – a slow & steady drop means he is retaining his muscle and losing FAT!
 
This week I asked JC to express, in his own words, how he feels about the last 5 weeks.  I love the honesty and hey- if changing your lifestyle was easy, everyone would do it.
 
 
Well, half way through this challenge and I have dropped half the weight-I am very happy with what I have achieved with Kathy’s direction and workouts.   We definitely ramped up the moves between exercises and incorporated some cardio with my weights to keep the heart rate up.   Some of the challenges I have had are ones that I feel most people have- entertaining, traveling etc.   So I made a conscious effort to moderate on the alcohol when out and alternate with water or tea.  Nutritionally speaking, I feel good with my food choices and the way things are moving along.
 
 I feel cardio is the key with my weight loss. If I do it 5-7 times a week and incorporate the weights and cleaner eating it works-not rocket science put getting to it sometimes can be a challenge. We are on the back side of this challenge so it is time to really buckle down and do what needs to be done. Make the time and invest in your health!   JC 
 
 
Great words JC- because you’re right- we all know WHAT to do – it’s the execution of the plan that is the hardest part.  He also hit on another key point – invest in yourself !
 
This was our action plan for the week:
 
1.  MORE CARDIO– JC was very honest with his lack of cardio from the previous week.  He knew it needed to be ramped up to bust the plateau that had set in…and boy did he ever!  7 cardio
sessions in 7 days – can’t ask for more than that!
 
2.  A LITTLE MORE “TIGHTENING” OF THE BELT:  What I mean here is that , in the beginning, the weight was coming off fairly well.  As JC learned last week, he was going to need to be a bit more strict with his nutrition choices if he wanted to break his plateau.  He had ONE beer over the weekend and drank water during the NCAA Basketball Championship with his buddies….I give that dedication an A+ !
 
3.  SUPERMAN IN THE WEIGHT ROOM:  JC outperformed this week with his strength training.  I really pushed him on Tuesday with a legs routine that he has never done before…Thursday we did only upper body and this guy never stopped.  
 
4.  ATTITUDE:  Once again, I will tell you that if your focus isn’t there, going through the motions will only get you so far.  JC made up his mind that this week was not going to get away from him and he would do whatever it took to finish strong.
 
 
 
Can’t wait for the next 5 weeks!  Make sure to subscribe to the blog so you receive the latest updates-thanks for reading!
 
 
 





@thetimeisnowfitness