Friday, April 28, 2017

Focus less on the number on the scale and more on your biofeedback !

Did you know the scale is NOT the best way to track your progress? Did you know that you have many biofeedback markers that can help you make decisions about your health, nutrition, and training better than losing weight on the scale? Knowing your body, trusting the process and being able to identify where you need to fix your adaptions are key.
How do you know if an adjustment needs to be made? So many people are eager to diet, to lose weight, and to restrict. WHY ? Do you know that dieting sucks !? Just ask people who are dieting for something right now if they are enjoying it? Ask them how their sleep is or if they feel energized? Chances are they are tired, grumpy and hate life. So, I would suggest against wanting to be a chronic diet-er!
I hear the same things from my clients which go like this:
-I tried this diet ( _____ enter fad diet here ) and it worked for a bit but I gained all the weight back.
-You are tired and your quality of life is not that great anymore.
-You tried all the diets and non of them work.
-You want to get started but how ??
In our culture, it's starting to become common and "normal" to see 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men as a standard prescription. Whoever thought of this is out of their mind. Do you want to see results? Stop starving yourself and start listening to your body!
Do you get hungry? Yes? ok good, your hunger cues are important. No? Well we have more things to worry about than losing weight. Your hunger cues are important to have. Why do you want to feel hungry? Well that means that you need to eat and fuel your body. Hunger is very strongly correlated with a metabolic response. Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain weight, or simply perform better you should always be operating with a small degree of hunger. YES YOU SHOULD FEEL HUNGRY ! Do not ignore it, feed it ! If you are not hungry we need to look into these two things: Are you eating too much or too little ? Funny how they are opposite but very much the same issue. 95% of the time you are not eating enough, so in this case, dieting is not happening for you at this moment.
Next up is sleep. If you are not sleeping you are not recovering. How is your quality of sleep? Do you wake up often? Do you get into a good nights sleep where you dream? If you don't this is going to be something we need to change. You are under- recovering from your workouts. In this case, you will need to either eat more or deload your training frequency. Your body grows when you don't train and the stress of training on your body beats you up a bit. Try to get at least 7-9 hours a night of sleep and if you can't try to get in some naps if you can.
Before you go using the scale as your only form of feedback, try to look at the other factors that are happening in your life as well.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The crossover effect !

Would you look at that.... there is cross over between CrossFit and bodybuilding. This makes me so happy that people are starting to see this !
For some absurd reason, there was this conflict with body building ( globo gyms) and CrossFit boxes. If you are a "bro" and did isolation work, the CrossFit community would just wonder why you would want to do bicep curls as part of your workout? It's not very functional so why did it matter ?
I am lucky enough to be the oddball and do both. I trained int both fitness domains and really gave each one a good shot so I couldn't have a biased opinion. Sure I do love globo gyms but guess what? The rush of 3,2,1, GO is also pulling at me in more ways than one. Whether you drank the CrossFit Kool-aid or you are an avid bodybuilder, I want to start to put this "choose one or the other " attitude to rest !
I have the perfect example as why bodybuilding should be a part of your training along with CrossFit and visa versa. I did bodybuilding for a solid year. I got strong yes, I looked aesthetically pleasing, and I did a show. Not to mention I also added in cardio ( like 45 minutes daily steady on a machine- not treadmill or outside running, I just didn't care for it). to stay lean. Did this work? Yes. Was I an athlete and moving well? No.
I remember the first time I walked into a CrossFit box and had to squat with weight. Me thinking I was "strong" got humbled real fast when I realized how FAR down I had to go. Like what? I had to squat below parallel .... uhhh never did I do that in bodybuilding because I was always doing squats with the intentions to "build" a specific muscle, not to get strong. That was shock number 1. Then trying to move your body as a unit? Yea, that was a fun day. Learning how to use hip drive for cleans and snatches ( which is still a work in progress) was an ego blow. So me feeling "strong" in the weight room didn't transfer over very well to being a "power" athlete.
I then did CrossFit for about 9 months. I wanted to really give it a good shot. I found out what I wasn't good at. Like handstand push-ups, muscle ups, ring dips, and even pullups ! It was more of a moment where I found out how much work I really needed and how non-functional I really was. Learning and working on things I never thought I could do, surly I did get better. I also competed a few times in competitions just to see if I can stack up to any other athletes. Then that one day came and boom, did something to my shoulder. Whelp, that took me out for a bit and I started to re-evaluate my training.
I went back to the weight room because I knew that without being able to use my shoulder, I still needed to do something. Along with working on rehabbing the issues, I found out that I did have strength loss in things I used to be really good at. Such as overhead pressing. Lateral raises and lat pulldowns. I was weaker. But how can this be? I was PR'ing at the CrossFit box on my lifts but now I couldn't do #5 lateral raises ? I was more shocked and confused than anything.
Oh ok so this is leading me to the question of : Do the two worlds combine? Yes, and they totally should, If you want to "look" like an athlete and train like one too, add in some isolation work to the mix. There are three different types of strength that you need to be successful.
-Concentric -explosive and contracting as much musculature as possible
-Eccentric- lowering portion of any movement.
-Isometric-holding a position: plank, l-sit, wall-sit etc.
What do you need ?? Bro stuff ! Hypertrophy is just a fancy word for muscle growth coupled with an increase in the size of muscle cells, normally found in the 12-15 rep ranges. High rep, low load work can help improve your overall muscle quality by increasing the muscle’s endurance, aid in your ability to recover, and helps to prevent injury.
So guess what? Add in a few isometric exercises to your training as your finisher. You will prevent yourself from getting injured, you will look better, and you will start to PR more on your lifts !
Go ahead, thank me later :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

HELP! I hit a plateau !

Metabolic adaptation: Spending a significant amount of time in a caloric deficit in which your body adapts to the lower calorie consumption and weight loss stalls. Your body then becomes good at functioning at that weight and you start to gain weight despite cutting calories.
Reading that statement, ask yourself these question: Is the current diet you are doing working? Are you hungry or did you lose your hunger cue? Has weight loss stopped and it seems like you are looking "puffy"?
What can you do to fix this? Reverse diet is the next step. What does this mean. Reverse dieting is increasing your calories slowly to help increase your metabolic rate while limiting fat and weight gain. The goal is to maximize your metabolic rate so that losing weight is easier and less stressful on the body.
I want to teach you!
- Anywhere from 1-6 months time period usually
- Counting macros
- Weighing and measuring your food ACCURATELY
- Using an iphone app to track intake
- Weight training, cardio and rest
WHO is this good for?
- Anyone who has ever reduced calories for an extended amount of time
- Anyone wanting to recover an eating disorder/psychological food issues
- Anyone with a slow metabolism
- Anyone stuck in a weightloss plateau
- Anyone who has ever yo-yo and/or crash dieted
- Anyone wanting to get fit/build muscle without gaining significant weight/body fat
- Anyone who does not want to feel guilty anymore for eating certain foods deemed “dirty,” “bad,” or “unclean”
- Bodybuilding competitors after strict contest prep
Learning how to gain control of your food intake, break the binge, loss, yo-yo diet cycle can seem overwhelming. I promise you that you will find it to be easier than you ever thought it can be. Really you just need to be open minded about the process and WANT to change your behaviors.
If you are ready to start learning, contact me today to set up a call. We can work on figuring out your goals, current situation and where to move forward. Education, knowledge and the power to learn is everything you need to be successful!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Strong is the new skinny !

Getting stronger should be your goal. Yes, weight loss is always on the mind but getting stronger will help you lose weight !!! Losing weight usually goes like this: Cut calories, increase work load, and weight should go down... Well cutting calories is the WORST thing you can do and here is why!
Do you know what cutting calories does to you? First off, your metabolism does slow down overtime. This is not a good thing for long term fat loss. Second, cutting calories causes leptin levels to drop in your body. Your brain interprets this signaling as a threat to survival and communicates to your thyroid to reduce your overall metabolism (lower T3 hormone) and increase hunger. What happens when you are in a deficit is a nasty stage of "uncomfortable". You are hungry, tired, lose strength and can't do more because you are tired. So, the very thing you need to do, which is move more, you are too tired to do. Hmmmm sounds a bit concerning!
i wish I could tell people, especially women that cutting calories is the worst thing you can do. Instead learn how to fuel and feed your metabolism. The next part can be a little tricky. Food timing is just as important as what you eat. Your body responds to many things like hormones and training. If you are not fueling your body when you need to, you can be setting yourself up for failure. Diet alone doesn't have the impact you need to make significant changes but when you eat it can help you refuel and utilize that training session effectively.
Cardio, yup start to enjoy it because it is the one thing that can help you lose weight and keep it off. Aerobic work, especially interval training, will also improve recovery and fat burn. Why do people live in this extreme of I should start running 5 miles a day. Do you think that is healthy for your body if you are overweight? Don't you feel like your putting a lot of stress on your ligaments and bones? Instead think of forcing your body into all out bursts of energy and then resting until your heart rate comes down. It's way more effective as a strategy for you to accomplish.
Overall this is the take home: In order for fat loss to occur, your body needs to be in a healthy place to start. Why would you try to take more away if it's not working for fat loss at the moment? Fat loss is really you being consistent over time. Once you start that, we can move to a better place !
Do you need help? Maybe you need some guidance? Contact me for more information!

Monday, April 24, 2017

I don't want to keep you forever !

Help me, help you. A lot of times the hardest part is changing your mindset and really learning how to handle yourself at your best and worst.
What does that even mean? Well think about it this way, i can give you all the tools you need to meet your goals. That can be to lose weight, gain muscle, compete in a show or even just get your life back on track. However, sometimes that is easier said than done. it would be nice to just have people follow us daily around and keep us 100% accountable but we all know that won't happen. So you need to learn to trust yourself to do the right things in all situations.
Do you even know your limits? Have you set up a goal that you know you can accomplish right now? Many people have amazing goals, just not enough time to dedicate to them. For instance, right now I am doing a show in June. It takes time, a lot of time, that I need to dedicate to training. If I couldn't meet these requirements, my goal is not going to happen. Well it could however I am not going to walk on stage ill prepared for something I had control over.
Over the course of the last 5 years, my goal as a trainer is to eventually let you go. I love all of my clients dearly but for me, the ability to set you free with weekly checkins with me knowing your capable of doing it on your own is a great feeling as a coach. I will give all the information, tools, resources and advice you need to meet your goals but YOU need to be determined enough to get it done. Unless you are open to the idea of learning how to do it for yourself, your trainer can only get you so far.
I teach my clients how to self coach. When you get to a certain point in my training program, we test it out by allowing you to have a day to follow a written plan. Normally I am there training another client just in case you have questions, but how successful can you be on your own? This helps us identify your obstacles such as remembering exercises, knowing what equipment to use, how to read a program and knowing your intensity level on your own. The ultimate goal is to get you confident to train on your own.
Learning to be in control of yourself is an amazing feeling. You are able to learn what you can and can't handle. Where you need more help, which is usually nutrition. Also, how to be accountable. I have the world of confidence in all of my clients and I love when they can say they are ready to move forward !

Friday, April 21, 2017

Strong not skinny!

Do you know what I find to be the most rewarding part of my career? Helping women see that strong is beautiful and to be MORE in this world and stop thinking of wanting to be less.
With social media always referring women to lose weight, get smaller, look feminine, wear makeup but not too much, have curves but be skinny, no wonder we are all confused. Hindsight is this, you can be strong and confident in who you are no matter what! Long gone are the days where women only do cardio. Nope we lift, grunt, and play right on side of the boys.You need to learn to set that standard aside of "looking" a certain way and get after it in the gym. Chalked hands, messy hair and feeling like a boss !
Don't be that girl in the gym who does the following things. Just be real. Be you and don't try to fit into anything besides a smaller pair of jeans ! One thing i have to say is that makeup in the eyes when you sweat hurts! Go to the gym ready to sweat it out and take names. It's not a beauty show and really eye liner that drips down your face is not attractive.
Hair is the next on the order for the gym sesh. Pineapple it up! Here are a few reasons, #1 when you sweat it gets wet and sticks to you face, that's not too pretty looking. #2 if you are squatting, you want your hair away from the barbell in case you drop it. You don't want that tangled up in the process.
Gossip girls can stay home. You need to be surrounded with positive people. Sure it sounds cheesy but really you need to have good people around you in order to succeed. I can't begin to tell you how many times that I was in a community of people that the vibe wasn't right, guess what? If I wasn't feeling it, I didn't stay there long. Find a group of people who you mesh with well !
Selfies? Yes we are all guilty but provocative selfies take it to a new level! Don't be that person stretching trying to get attention, put your game face on and rock your workout !
Ok so since this a bit of a "what not to do" lets talk about the good stuff. Get into the gym and work. Really put your head down and grind it out super hard, that's the reason you are there anyways ! Keep it real and focus on your success !

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Look good and perform good, yes it's possible !

Look good or perform good. Can you have both ? Do you want both? Which is more important to you? Do you feel that there is one that trumps the other ? I do. In society, people want to "look" a certain way and nothing else matters. I have always said that those who go to the gym are a little vain and that's ok. Everyone has a reason to be there but at the end of the day, if you ask someone why they workout the reason is ALWAYS the same.... To look good !
It's totally hard not to be influenced by what you see on Instagram, the TV and YouTube. Perfect people with nearly perfect bodies that are flaunted right in front of our faces. Hard not to feel like you don't stack up to them. I know that I have a hard time with deciding between each of these. On one hand I want to make sure that I perform at my optimal level, but I also want to look good doing it too.
Right now there are two major "fitness" categories that people are starting to fall into: Globo gym vs. CrossFit/Functional fitness. It's always fun to compare two of the best parts of fitness against each other. Globo gyms, think Gold's, 24 hour Fitness and even Planet Fitness are all across the world. They have machines, cardio equipment and free weights. Honestly any one can walk into a Globo gym and know how to do something, even if it's walking on the treadmill.
Now CrossFit, that's a beast on it's own. First off its normally called a "box" not a gym. Filled with many squat racks, pullup bars, oly bars and a few pieces of cardio that make you feel like your lungs are on fire. Pretty simple, big open areas with no machines and slightly intimidating if you are not used to that type of environment. Each have a great cross over from one to the next however the goals and view points of each are slightly different.
Bodybuilders vs. CrossFit or Aesthetics vs. Performance. You can look at the two of these and see that even though they have overlapping parts, they are not the same. Bodybuilding is an art. You can build muscle an you shape your body. Lifting a one rep max is not your biggest concern. Looking at a CrossFit perspective, you are using your body through different domains of fitness. You are learning to become proficient at all but body composition is not your main concern. Yes training hard and eating right will get you to a good body composition but it's not "what" you are training for.
At the end of the day, know your goals. Which would you rather? Look good, perform good or mix them up??
Comment your thoughts below. I am a mix of both !

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You are NOT a victim !

There is no greater handicap than the belief that you are a victim.
Mindset is everything. It is your power and it can create you to be better or destroy you in the same way. You know when you are in that "zone" and you feel yourself focused to tackle anything that comes your way. It is the moment when your mental game becomes unbreakable.
Your mind has parts that you need to understand for a better outlook on the every day things that you do.
Instead of looking at your body and mind as separate entities, they merge as one. You now do not have to try to focus on all the smaller details as they just flow together along with the things you are trying to accomplish.
You know exactly what needs to be done at that moment. This clarity of intention helps to focus your attention and make it easier to avoid distractions. No doubt feeds into your actions and you’re able to anticipate and control your emotions.
Knowing that things are going well requires positive feedback that you are performing effectively. Along with feedback is criticism. You need to have a level of understanding that in order to get better you need to have helpful criticism along the way.
Complete absorption on your performance, and being able to ignore potential distractions is highly important.
An unbreakable self-esteem: No self-doubt or hesitations occur with an overwhelming feeling that you can’t do any wrong; you can take on anything and you will not lose.
Do you have what it takes to be in the zone for the things that challenge you? How often are you in this place of mindfulness? Can you create it over and over again when it is needed? Feel proud of yourself and your abilities !

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What is healthy??

What is your vision of healthy? Is it chasing your ideal body? Is it eating whole organic foods? Is it performing well in the gym? We all have our own ideas about what being "healthy" is. Each of us is working towards being the best self that we can be. Whether that is from a physical aspect, gaining mental clarity or a combination of both.
So many people come to me with this thought that if they lost that last 10 pounds magically their life would be different. So then I start to talk about nutrition and what it takes to get to that magical spot of abs and the look I get is unbelievable. Yes you will be hungry. Yes you will need to do cardio. Yes your performance in the gym will suck a bit. Say bye bye to nights out because you will be eating pretty strict for those ab gains !
The truth is that people want the abs but don't want the hard ass work you need to put in. But what if you want to just perform better? You NEED to eat to fuel your body. IIFYM to the rescue where you can eat anything your heart desires if it fits. Well hold up a second. If you eat all your macros in junk do you really think your body is going to respond and give you a great physique or even perform well in the gym? NO. Why do "diets" fail? Because people get so burnt out from trying to be on a diet that it fails them.
Yes the diet failed you not the other way around. You need to see your nutrition like a puzzle. Are you eating healthy foods to fuel your performance? Is your goal body composition changes ? Are you willing to sacrifice for a little for abs? Questions like these need to be figured out before you start trying to change up your food intake.
If you want results the answer is quite simple. Eat real food. Eat whole foods. Eat foods that provide nutrients to your body. Health and fitness are long roads that never really end. The measure of progress through goal setting should be a guide, but goals shouldn't end in the gym and shouldn't end at your ab gains either. Just remember that as you evolve though fitness you also need to adapt to the challenges of life as well. It's not a one size fits all approach. Be unique and follow your own path!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Short on time?

Total Body Training
Sometimes you just don't have the time to get your workouts in all week, but that doesn't mean you just throw in the towel. Hitting up total body workouts allows you to hit all your major muscle groups, break a killer sweat and even help you stay right on track.
Below are some benefits of Total Body Training
-Burn more calories in less time. When you are taking all of your major muscle groups and working them all in the same session, you will burn more calories overall. Add compound movements like squats and deadlifts to your training first then add in more of the smaller muscle groups.
-If you are looking to get into shape, this can be the perfect workout split for you to try. If you only have 30 minutes to spare you should focus on getting in a full body workout. Think of it as more bang for your buck. Train hard and be focused on what you want to accomplish with the time you have.
-Total body workouts are more flexible with busy lifestyles. If you travel or maybe can't hit the gym as many times as you would like to, getting in a full body workout is a great way to increase muscle and stay on track.
Here is a sample routine to try!
5 rounds for 10 reps each
-Split lunges (10/leg)
-Pull ups or lat pulldowns
-Bench press
-Kettlbell swings **no KB ? Use a dumbbell**

Friday, April 14, 2017

Does over training exist ?

Over-training,is it real ? Does it exist? Can you really over train? Overtraining is extremely misunderstood. The equation for training is quite simple:
Training = Work + Rest
There really is no such thing as overtraining. There are five factors that need to be considered when looking into overtraining as an athlete:
2.)Work Capacity
4.)Underlying imbalances
I want to look into these five things and help you understand why the recovery process is important to your training.
-If you think you are overtraining, chances are you are under recovering from your training sessions. Are you taking the steps to support your needs in and out of the gym? Are you taking the time to properly fuel, hydrate and rest your body ? A lot of athletes are not taking time to rest and recover. What happens can be a long list of things such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, missed periods, hormonal imbalance and sleep disturbances. Good news is that you can fix all of this. Make sure you are sleeping 7-9 hours per night. Cut out caffiene to function during the day. Make sure the majority of your foods come from whole sources. Most importantly is vary your intensity levels in training. If you're having a hard time hitting your training as hard as you like, chances are you are missing critical components of your recovery. Fuel your body and watch it grow !
-Find your own personal work capacity. If you go over that threshold too often or too quickly, then you end up digging a hole, instead of getting fitter. I am talking about your body’s work capacity. You should take the time to experiment with your body and how it responds to training. Do you need more high intensity intervals? Does your body do well with strength movements? Or maybe you are like me and need a combination of both. Start to get in tune with how you move and function in the gym. It's your body and your journey.
-Mindset is something learned throughout your training capacity. Some people thrive off of training atmospheres where people clap and cheer. Others like to be silent and just do their things. Whatever you enjoy, your mindset should follow suit. Are you competitive ? You might want to try CrossFit for the athletic edge it gives you. Maybe you enjoy being quiet and slow, yoga or Pilates might be the class for you.Whatever you enjoy doing, make sure you are doing that. Don't try to do things to fit in just because others are doing it. You need to be doing things for yourself and your happiness.
-Is your body working for you or against you? The current state of your health also plays a role in your ability to handle more or less training. Did you know that your gut is a large influence on the rest of your body. Other issues are adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and metabolic adaptations that impact your health.

-Stress. Your stress and my stress look different. How we handle stress is also different from person to person. If your body is over-stressed, you will reap the consequences.Stress will constantly change throughout our lives. De-stress to restore your body and get the most out of your training. Learn to take time for yourself. Take time to rest your body and mind. Get massages, get your nails done and have one full day to just relax.
While it may seem like this is an unwinnable position to be in, at this stage the entire downward spiral can still be reversed through changing diet and training and recovery strategies.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


IIFYM - If it fits your macros also known as flexible dieting. You may have heard this term floating around lately. Let me first start off and say that IIFYM is not a diet but more of a nutritional strategy. With any nutritional program, there are always pros and cons to it. Breaking down IIFYM, you have your macro-nutrients for the day that you need to eat from protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Each has a specific number that is represented for how many grams of food to eat for that day. The concept is that you have the choice to fill those macros with ANY foods you want. As long as your totals are hit at the end of the night, you are good !
Sounds simple right? Well in hindsight it is, however the social media presences got it some attention that now people are becoming confused with IIFYM and YOLO ( you only live once). I want to talk about some misconceptions that I hear on a daily basis about IIFYM.
-It fits, all the junk food fits so I am doing it right. Well yes you might be correct but no that is not how this works. Many people on social media are posting the "food porn" pics of all the junk they ate. WHY ? It's entertaining. You are what you eat, so don't be fast, easy or cheap !!! You should make up the bulk of your diet with "bro" foods like chicken, turkey, eggs, oats, sweet potatoes, rice and healthy fats. The goal is to stop thinking of foods as “clean” or “dirty,” but see them for their macronutrient composition.
-Do do you know why "flexible" dieting doesn't work for some people? Because they just don't want to put the effort in. Eating of a strict meal plan sounds great but what happens when you don't have a meal plan? Or what if you are just sick and tired of chicken and rice? Eventually, you are going to go off the deep end. You are human and were not meant to eat the same things every single day.
-Is flexible dieting sustainable for a lifetime? Yes. The reason is because you get to have variety. Who wants to eat the same foods day in and day out? I sure don't. If you only eat the same foods every day you are restricting yourself to a specific range of micronutrients. Eating whatever foods you want just to hit your macros without any consideration for fiber or micronutrient intake is not healthy, but that is not what flexible dieting is about.
Learning to provide your body with nutritious foods that help provide nutrients to you body is important ! If you want to learn more about flexible dieting please let me know and I would be happy to help!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Are you READY to do a show?

If you are thinking about taking your fitness to the next level and competing in a bodybuilding competition, you might want to consider some of the following things.
- First off, what is your motive? What is your reason for wanting to compete? If you are doing a show with the intentions of simply losing weight, you might want to reconsider. Losing weight as your motive to do a show will be short lived. Contest prep is not for the faint of heart. It's a strict diet, hard training sessions and a lot of self motivation. Losing weight is not a good enough reason for all of that.
-Think of where you are mentally and emotionally right now? Do you have a good relationship with food? Do you have a history of yo-yo dieting? If you struggle with extreme emotions or a poor self-image, it is likely these issues will be magnified during contest prep, not resolved.
-Do you have time? Time is critical for preparing for a show. Your workouts are long between cardio ( sometimes multiple sessions) and weight training. You can't just push it off to another day or time because you have other things to train those days too. Depending on your style of diet and training, contest prep can feel like a full-time job.
-Start saving now because shows are expensive. You have hair, makeup, tanning, then your show fee plus a fee for the federation. Not to mention your suit, shoes, jewelry and fees for a hotel. Those are just the required items. Then you have coaching fees, food, supplements and other misc. items to add to the list. Start small and pay off things as you go.
-The demands of a show become hard. Do you have a plan for your training and cardio? Are you ready to be judged and criticized for what you do ? Are you a good self motivator? Figure out what you’re willing to give up to compete.
-Honestly assess each of these questions so you understand your decision to compete. You will be better able to make the smartest, healthiest, and best choice for you and your body and ensure a positive contest experience.

- Are you ready for post show? There is a real issue called post show blues because it will feel like you got broken up with. You strive for 12+ weeks to bring your best physique to the stage and then it's just done. What is your next plan? Having a post-contest plan will help you ease back into a balanced lifestyle without the potential emotional and physical turmoil that can occur after the stage experience.

The contest prep process will teach you about yourself, your true abilities, and your true strength. It will transform you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Need a contest prep coach? Please message me for details !

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stop winging it in life !

Do you like to just wing it on a daily basis? Are you the kind of person who doesn't mind just going by how you feel in order to get things done? If you don't have a plan, you are free for any opportunities to come between you and your goals.
This of this example, you hit the vending machine around 3 pm or go to the infamous snack drawer, pull out some candy and then you might over indulge just a little. Going to the gym might seem silly when you feel like you "over did ii and you convince yourself to go in the morning.Yet that alarm goes off and well you didn't get up. It starts creating this vicious cycle that you need to kick in the butt fast.
Take the time to plan some things out before you allow yourself to get unorganized. Sometimes when you are faced with too many decisions, you don't always choose the best one out of convenience. The best and easiest example I can use is when you get home from work. You can either get changed and go to the gym or you can sit on the couch and start to relax. If you had your gym bag ready, clothes out and a routine to automatically get going, chances are you would make it to the gym 80% of the time. However, if you had nothing ready, you might just find a "reason" to skip training for the day.
Knowing that you have the power to make the decisions to enhance your training might be easier than you think. The first thing you can do is find an accountabili-buddy! Most of the time people hire personal trainers with that as one of their main reasons. Sometimes you need to know that you have someone waiting on you to be there. Also, a trainer is there to keep you motivated and providing you with knowledge and education to make you better.
Once you find your friend for the gym, create a schedule. Make it become habit that you meet at the same times and days together. It takes 21 days to create a habit so start making small changes that will help you reach that goal! Once you start to see changes in your body, that habit is now a positive reinforcement for you to stay on track. Learn that the journey of your fitness is a beautiful thing. Take photos, compare your past and embrace where you are at today!
Fitness is not one size fits all. You need to find what works for you and your lifestyle. Training and eating healthy is not a chore, it's a change that brings on goodness in your life.

Monday, April 10, 2017

What I really think about #selflove

Being in the fitness industry there is a huge hashtag that is floating around that has really been causing me to think about things in my own life. #selflove
Yes is self love important? To an extent yet people are starting to believe this idea of self love and using it as an excuse, well that's my opinion and let me explain.
#selflove What does this even mean? Love yourself. Ok great and I do agree that you should be confident at any stage of your life. No matter what you need to be comfortable where you are at. Now here is my disagreement. Self-love is an excuses for people to just say "I am ok with where I am at". That is called stagnation. If your not moving forward you are standing still. Why would you want to stay in the same place you are at?
Let’s be real: We don’t wake up one day and decide: Oh hey, you know what I’m ugly/stupid/lazy/etc. We are conditioned to believe that because of our environment like family, friends, classmates, media, society. We are constantly trying to live up to the expectations of "social media" which we all know is just highlight reels of people who are cropping the ever living daylights out of their photos to get "likes" and follows.
So here is the problem that I see with this self love. A lot of people preaching self-love are not coming from a place of true honesty. I will say that I am not the most confident yet I do love who I am. Does that mean I need to be posting photos of me at my best physique all the time? Or even the dedication and discipline I have in training? NO. Most people ask me why I always wear a hoodie to train. The truth is this, I have NOTHING to prove to anyone on how I look. I will not be a person to strip down and flaunt myself. Hell I don't even like going to the beach and I live at it. Why? Because I just don't see the need to be sexual for others. Does it get more attention. Of course. Is it promoting self love.... well I don't think so.
I am going to bite the bullet and make a harsh statement. Most of us are fighting daily battles and saying something like: Oh girl you don’t love yourself enough. You’re saying that because you have low self-esteem. True or false ? Fake it till you make it. I know this too well but guess what, at the end of the day sugar coating the issues are not fixing them.
Self-love tends to have this air of perfectionism and over-generalized mumbo jumbo that leads to confusion or just grandiose-thinking, for the most part, which then leads to this false self-esteem. I’m human. There are going to be days where I feel like a hot mess. There are going to be days where I want to cry and just stay home. Does that mean I don't love myself? Does this mean I don’t have self-esteem? Does this mean I don’t love myself because not every thought I have is loving or positive?Of course not. We all have off days.
Ok so if self love is not really true then what is ? You need to find a group of awesome people that you can surround yourself with. Align your goals with someone else and make an impact on people. You have to stop trying to LOVE yourself and start accepting yourself. Life isn't going to be sunshine and rainbows all the time. You need to develop a sense of acceptance but also a willingness to want to be better. Don't let self love stop you from really chasing your vision. Accept what is out of your control and change the things that you can. Understand and accept that you’re not perfect, you will never be perfect.
And that’s perfectly okay. Keep doing you <3

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fat loss, how easy is it ?

Fat loss, we all want it, but how do we get it? I believe we all know the answer to this question, however, many people struggle to figure out what needs to be done. In the simple context, increase exercise, decrease food intake by eliminating sugars and other unwanted calories, get rid of the fast food, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, focus on protein, and don’t forget about healthy fats.
Sounds simple enough? The key is self discipline and self awareness. You should feel in control of your life, actions and self to want to make this change! I can give you all the tools, but you need to put them into place. Effective fat loss is slow progression over time. Consistency is key when you are trying to lose fat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
My first question is ALWAYS, what is your goal? If you don't know what your goal is how do you know where you want to move forward? If you want fat loss, performance must be on the backseat for the time being. To promote fat loss, calories are in a deficit. You also need to be realistic in your attempts on fat loss. Trying to lose fat quickly will create a yo-yo dieting effect. You want to make sure that you set small goals and have little victory parties for yourself when you accomplish them!
Training and nutrition are two elements to catapult you into a new healthy beginning. Yes diet OR training can have amazing effects but think about them as a pair? Remember that your training and food go hand and hand with what you should eat. If you are doing more performance based work, extra carbs can help you through tough training sessions. If strength training is the goal, more protein can be consumed. Use your training to enhance fat loss!
For fat loss to happen, you need to know what you are eating. I also instruct my clients on tracking food intake. If you become aware of what you eat and your habits around food, you will have more success throughout because you are now taking ownership of what you are consuming. Be aware of meal timing, when you are snacking and when you are most hungry. Do you eat for comfort? Are you hungry or just bored? Did you drink enough water? These things affect your body signals for food intake and cravings. Tracking food can seem hard at first but once you learn which foods have what in them, you have an easier time making the right choices !
The last point I want to make is that you are human. You will fail at some points. You will have moments of weakness. You don't have to feel like you are doing this all alone. Try to lean on others for help when you need it. Tell people about your new lifestyle so they are on your side when it comes to healthy food choices. You will learn so much about yourself if you commit to your program and really focus on the small steps needed to take each day !

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I struggle with this to....

Emotional eating, we all do it, and sometimes we don't know how to fix this behavior. Why does it happen? We know what healthy foods are, we know what we should be eating but when it comes to linking an emotion to your food, somehow that connection gets lost on how to stop. A lot of times you find yourself sitting on the couch watching TV and aimlessly eating chips and ice cream. When you finally look up, you ate them all.
...why is it that we can’t “just say no”? Simple. It is because the struggle is real. Why is it so hard? Many times I work closely with clients who have a daily struggle with food. They are great during the day and once night time hits, cravings get out of control ! For whatever reason, sugar and cravings, binge eating and “behaviors” such as purging, restricting, and over-exercising are problems I see most often,especially in women.
Did you know 3 in 4 women struggle with some form of disordered eating or way of thinking when it comes to eating.That means 3 out of 4 of us, a whopping 75%, reading this article right now:
Overthink food
Worry and stress about food
Count calories or the number of macros we ate in a day in an unhealthy way
Occassionally binge or purge
Restrict or diet
Purge or exercise to “make up” for food
Closet eat or binge occasionally
Use food to cope with life to some degree
Or think about wanting to be free from thinking about food
To be honest, I think we all have a little bit of a distorted food relationship and I want to fix it !
Do you know when food and emotions began? It can be when you first saw a difference in body composition, maybe it was a reward for something good you did, or even as comfort ( for so many this is the case). Once you know when it started we can now start to develop a relationship to fix it.
You need to dig deeper within yourself to really figure out the emotional connection. You need to stop and think about the correlation you are having between food and your emotions. Start to log your feelings and thoughts after you eat. If you are having emotions attached you need to stop and think of what is really bothering you. If you are not sure why you struggle with food or why the food thoughts won’t go away, do some soul searching to identify your story.
If you need someone to help you work through your emotional eating, contact me today.We can work on behavior modifications that can help you understand yourself and your connection with food better.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 4

Time. Something we can't get back yet most often taken for granted. If you are wasting your time on things that don't make you better, today should be the day you stop do that !

Each day is a gift and opportunity for you to become better. If you have a goal, go after it today. All the time you spent wishing, hoping and dreaming can be utilized to DO something about it!

Keys to an effective diet !

What is the key to an effective diet?
Those who are successful are those who are willing to change behaviors ! There is something about the word "diet" that freaks people out. Diet and deprivation usually seem to go hand and hand. What if I told you it didn't have to be that way? What if you can have a healthy eating program without being deprived of anything?
One thing that helps my clients understand how to be consistent is by having ownership over your food choices. Once you understand that YOU are in control of your eating habits, you are more likely to start connecting the dots between food choices, your performance, and your physique. Every nutritional program as the basic fundamental properties, here are a few of them for you to think about.
- Fat loss in the most simplest terms is this move more, eat less. However that is a little vague, many people really need to just watch portion sizes and get moving more throughout the day. Calories in vs. calories out is key to losing weight.
-Track your food daily. If you don't know how much of what you are eating, how do you know where you need to make changes ? If you are asking yourself why you are having a hard time with losing weight, why would not want to know what you are eating? Mainly it's because people start tracking and its a huge wake up call to the reality of their situation.
-Slow and steady really is key. If you see anything on the market for "fast fat loss" please run the other way. Weight loss should not be something you do fast. If you do it fast, you are more likely to rebound and gain weight once you come out of whatever "diet" you did. If you are consistent and change things slowly, fat loss overall is more likely to stay off !
-If you are not lifting, you might want to think about starting some form of resistance training. It helps to increase your metabolism and can increase muscle mass.
-Eat protein at each meal. Lean whole food sources and protein powder as a supplement can help you stay on track and increase your lean body mass.
-Do not fear carbohydrates or fats! A diet that is higher in carbohydrates will help you perform better in the gym. Fats help you lose fat. Consuming both carbohydrates and fats are imperative to your training to have the energy for it to be intense.
-At the end of the day, macros matter. Do not try to focus on calories alone. Making sure you are hitting the proper protein, carbs and fats in your daily diet can be the biggest switch in your weight loss journey. You should have a good understanding of what foods make up each macro nutrient so you have the knowledge to eat properly.
If you need help with any of the above information, please contact me today for a free nutritional/ training assessment. We can set up a call this week!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gym time not play time

If you are like me, sometimes gym time turns into "play"time. I know that sounds bad but sometimes you just have a hard getting into training or maybe just distracted. And the worst part is going through the motions of training without really "feeling" it.
However, working in a gym, I think I see it all. People make the gym the home away from home and camp out there. One thing that puts a damper on training is when people want to talk to me while I am working out. I know that I should be friendly, but this is ME time. So if you are in the gym there are a few things to keep in mind when you are training. Sometimes you don't even realize you are doing these things either.
Training, nutrition, and science are always evolving. Helping others out is a great thing but make sure you are speaking on topics that you are familiar with and can provide sound advice. Be just as willing to learn from others as well as give out advice. I have learned so much from others but just listening to conversation of training and nutrition. I rarely offer advice unless someone asks me about it. I am always ready to talk to others but I also enjoy learning too.
Cell phones, can't live without it right? Well in the gym, listening to music is great, selfies, well not so great. Now I admit, I love the gym selfie, I mean if you didn't get a photo it didn't! Even I get caught up in looking at social media when I am training and it does become distracting. I learned to put my music on and not answer emails or calls when training.
Do you even lift, bro? I think this statement is funny because sometimes you see someone go for a lift and you just stop to pray a bit that they make it. In my mind, I know that they shouldn't be lifting that weight however, they do and figure out it was too heavy. Don't make the mistake of overreaching your lifting. Make sure you are using full range of motion and connecting mindfully.
And the last tip is my favorite, the gym monopolizer. Yes, there is that one person that sets up camp at 3 or more stations and is running back and forth from each of them. It might be a little annoying yet funny to watch. As long as they are not hurting themselves or anyone around them, let them have at it!
The gym should be a community. I know I enjoy helping everyone I can by, talking training and nutrition. Treat the gym as if all the members are your roommates. We all pay rent, should be respectful to each other, and get along. A positive place breeds a community of positive people !

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 3- Be honest

Honesty is the best policy. Learn to be honest with yourself. Learn to be honest with your friends or those you associate yourself with.

Life can be deceitful, people learn to lie to your face however, if you can be true to your word, you are respected more. Not fearing if someone might find out that that you lied can take a huge burden off your shoulders. If you always stick to the truth, you don't have to spend your time trying to make up a story. Your answer will always be the same regardless of who asks you.

People talk, rumors spread, and what you say to one will travel like wildfire. Do not get caught up in that mess. Trust that the truth will always rise to the surface. If not, you will end up hurting someone in the process of the lies as well as creating a relationship that is not trustworthy! Learning from experience, if you don't want someone to know something, don't say it out loud. You will always have that fear that someone spilled your secrets keeping you on edge.

One more thing that I learned is that your worst truth is ALWAYS better than a lie. People will respect you more if you just say what you mean and in turn mean what you say. Once you break trust with people, it is never fully gained back. The words "I am sorry" can only work so many times before they mean nothing. Even if you turn a  new leaf, the person you lied to will always question you.

Be honest. Especially when it comes to yourself !

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Day 2- Train your mind

In life, there are things we don't prefer to do such as cleaning the house, paying bill, or even taking care of ourselves, yet it needs to be done. Regardless of the situation, you will have to do it at some point, right? Well what if you chose to find the good in the situations that you "need" to do.

Sometimes all you really need are good vibes flowing your way. Energy is a powerful thing. If you can somehow render up the positive mindset for everything you need to do, it's no longer a feeling of "I have to" but more of "I want to".  Train your mind to see the good in everything!

A lot of my clients give up before they even start. They might feel that it's just too hard or maybe like they are not deserving enough of accomplishing their goal because they might have failed before. But what if they took a simple change in mindset and believed in themselves for a second. Do you think this can impact your mood? It might have the power to change your whole mindset around what you are doing.

I want you to think about all the things you thought you couldn't accomplish. Create a list and really think about it. Now find positive affirmations for each and every one of those things on how you are going to move forward. Sometimes you need a little kick start to get things done.

Remember this: A bored life is a stagnant life !

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 1 of Happiness Challenge

Challenges are opportunities to grow. People who have a positive outlook on life will respect that challenges make you grow as a person. In everyday life we will be faced with important decisions such as whether to take on a new challenge, like applying for a new job or starting something new. Taking on such challenges is an important part of growing and developing as a person. The more we can test our limits and capabilities the more we will learn about ourselves. New challenges are opportunities for us.However, we don't always see it like that.

When you take on new challenges there is always a risk and  possibility of failure. Rather than seeing the opportunity in the situation we focus on what it will be like to fail. So now we turned something amazing to frightening.  The fear of failure can stop you in your tracks right where you are. I know this has held me back so many times from starting something new I wanted to do. Why? Because it was in my comfort zone!
By avoiding challenge, we don’t have the opportunities to learn about ourselves. We feel trapped as if we were leading a life that is not true to ourselves.  You might feel discomfort, anxiety and the sense that things are not quite right. Stop making excuses and start making decisions to make your life amazing.

Don't dwell on things out of your control. Handle what you can and let go of the things you can't. Keep moving forward even if you are a bit fearful of it. Sometimes that fear is the best step into faith you can have !