Are you a fair weather athlete?

Are you a fair weather athlete? Do you only exercise when the weather is a perfect 70 degrees, the sun is out and there is no wind or clouds in the sky. Do you only exercise on a full 8 hours sleep when the workout fits perfectly in your day and the birds align to show you the way to the gym? Do you only exercise when the time of day is perfect and you feel as rested as a child waking up from a midday nap?

Fair weather athletes are at their best when the stars align but fall apart whenever there is diversity or an obstacle in the way. And let’s be honest how often is your day perfect? I would say in my experience rarely if ever, but we can learn a lot from ourselves and make gains on those days that are not perfect.

Let’s just take heat for example- yeah working out in the heat is no fun, it hurts, you sweat a ton, you can’t do the same amount of work you typically do, you feel deflated, but there are benefits to working out in the heat.
--Your heart rate increases by 30% without having to actually do more work which is great if you struggle with injuries or speed.
--Heat can help damper your physical hunger which is often a positive when you are trying to lose weight.
--You learn about what your body needs nutrition wise and how to fine tune that
--You slowly start to adapt to the heat making each time you work out a little easier.
--Your mental muscle and GRIT gets a good workout in the heat, you mentally become a little tougher.
--Your ability to handle adverse training environments increases both mentally and physically
--When temps cool, because of your heat adaption you actually have an advantage energy wise.

**As always be smart with heat if you have any underlying medical conditions talk with your Dr about working out in the heat, know your physical limits and keep hydration as a focus (Listed below are some tips on exercising in the heat)

Don’t shy away from adversity when it comes to exercise and training but embrace it for what it can give you both mentally and physically.

Don’t be a fair weather athlete just be an all around Badass!

4th of July Party Tips

🎆🇺🇸4th of July Party Tips 🇺🇸🎆

⭐️ Start the day off right with something healthy and protein rich. Breakfast can set the tone for the rest of your day.

🏃 Start your day with a workout, once again sets the tone for the rest of the day and makes you feel good!

🍲 If it is a potluck style party, bring something healthy that way you will have at least 1 healthy thing on your plate you are confident and comfortable with.

🍶 Drink water before, during and after. This will help not only keep you hydrated but fill up your stomach. Also holding a water bottle will help remind you not to drink those calories!

🍛 First thing is fill your plate up with half veggies then use portion control on the other food you just want a little taste of.

🕐 Before you even think about having seconds take a 10 min time-out. Walk away from the food tables, go talk with someone, give your stomach time to tell your brain that you are satisfied and full.

👥 Create an accountability buddy. Someone you trust that will help you stay on track and will remind you of your goals.

🍎 Never go into a party overly hungry or starving because you will most likely lose control and make poor choices. Have a small healthy snack 15min before hand to help you stay in control and on plan.

📌 Create a plan for what you want to eat and drink. “I will only eat this...not that…” Set yourself up to succeed!

🍴 Remind yourself that the first 3 bites are the most satisfying to our taste buds. Anything that doesn’t taste good, THROW IT AWAY!! It is not worth it to waste your calories on bad not good food that you will only regret.



🚫 Don’t stand near the food for an extended amount of time. Keep away from temptations and target rich environment. Easier to say “No” when it isn’t in front of you. Out of sight out of mind! Grab a bottle of water, walk around and mingle!!

🔊 If there is a known food pusher (someone that pressures you into trying something or just one more bite person) that will be at the party have a statement ready to tell them, “No thanks, I’m stuffed but it does look delicious” or whatever you feel comfortable with.

🍹 Be careful with those alcoholic beverages. They can have a ton of calories and they don’t make you feel full. They can also set you up to lose some control of making wise healthy choices while eating. Try to only drink alcohol after you have eaten, for every adult beverage make yourself drink 8-10oz of water. This will help slow you down, keep you full (your stomach can only hold so much) and help with hydration.

🏬 If the party will be at a restaurant, ask about what food will be served or go online before the party. Check out their menu and have a plan in place. When we are rushed we tend to stay in our comfort zone which can backfire with choosing healthy foods and making wise decisions.

🍪You can enjoy a cookie, or two. But pick your absolute favorites and enjoy them for the treats that they are. Savor every bite!

🚩Create new traditions: Lead a walking group before the party, play a fun game together instead of everything being food based, have a contest who can create the healthiest version of a dish, etc.. be creative think outside the box.

💭 Remind yourself that one party or an occasional indulgence is not going to make or break your progress. If you slip-up just get right back on the track the next day, forgive yourself and learn from what happened so you can have a better plan in place next time. Progress not perfection!!

💛 Be kind to yourself. The holidays are a stressful time for everyone. If you need some time for yourself please take it and never apologize for it!!

Are you a “Yeah,but”er?

Are you a “Yeah,but”er?

It can happen when we hear or see others accomplishments and our immediate response is “Yeah,but________”

We all have done it professionally, athletically, and personally.

It not only diminishes others accomplishments it also creates a mindset of impossibility for ourselves

“Yeah, but he grew up wealthy”
“Yeah, but her family owns”
“Yeah, but he is built like a runner so that is easy for him”
“Yeah, but he is a larger frame so lifting is easier for him”
“Yeah, but she works full time“
“Yeah, but she doesn’t have kids”

Instead of “yeah, but_____” start to re-frame it, “Congrats to them, I can improve myself by working on _________________”
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Stress Management

The 2 best approaches for stress management are:
1. Physical Exercise (we have talked in length about this a few months ago, Fight or Flight, importance of exercise to offset the physical hormones released that in turn affect our physiology ) 
 2. Mental Exercise (mindset)

Let’s dig more on mental exercises of stress management. 
--Awareness of what you can control: We can’t always control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it
--Your personal influence: You can’t force things to go your way, focus on your behavior and what you do have influence over
--Identify your fears:  Often they are rooted in failure but is failure really that bad? Think of all the amazing things we learn from failure. Worst case scenarios: We can’t deny that sometimes they happen but are they ever as bad as we imagine? Often we survive and become stronger.
--Strengthen your problem solving skills. Have a growth mindset!  Are you stuck pondering something in the past that you can’t change? WHY
--Create goals and plans around stress management: Exercise, get enough sleep, meditation, deep breathing, using your support system
--Increasing healthy affirmations: Gratitude, positive self dialogue, reminding yourself you are in control of those thoughts and actions.

Organizing your Nutrition

OK now we know that exercise isn’t going to help much with weight loss. It is time to dig on that nutrition part of the puzzle! But where do I start?? 

I want you to think of this like you think of finances!! We need data and information!! The more the better!  When you see your financial planner or your accountant you don’t just sit in his/her chair and say, “Well I think I did this” “I might have spent that”  “I’m guessing on this” They want numbers and facts! The more you have the better picture they see, the more they can help.  Nutrition is that same way if we want to dig in and take a look around we need data and facts. We need a picture.

 For the next 7 to 14 days log and track all your nutrition...EVERYTHING. There are tons of free apps out there that work well or old school pencil and paper is fine. You can log macros, caloric density, calories, points..honestly pick what is most important to you and do that. If you can log hunger levels and emotion along with your food that is a HUGE bonus and will give us an even more accurate picture of your relationship with food. The hardest part is going to be NOT CHANGING YOUR EATING HABITS, PORTIONS, AND BEHAVIORS FOR THE next 7-14 DAYS. Be brutally honest with yourself, eat a Cheeto off your kids plate you better log that Cheeto!   This is going to be tough to do but true change starts with acceptance and awareness.  What this also does is gives you an accurate window into your normal routines and habits when it comes to food. We want to see this!  Next Wednesday we will start to take a deeper dive into what your logs are telling you and what changes can be made.






Part 2

Congrats you logged your 7 days..Let’s dig in and become critical thinkers!

First we are going to look at the big picture. What patterns come out at you?
🔬Look at the week:
--Calorie ups and downs on certain days of the week (Friday, Saturday) What is your highest calorie day in the 7 day window? What was your lowest calorie day in that window? Why are they different? 

🔬Look at individual days:
--Calories ups and downs during certain times of day (Snacks? Dinner? Late night?)
--Macro changes ups or down (more carbs as the day goes on?)
--Do you tend to eat sweets at certain times of the day? Why?
--Is there a daily pattern to your snacking? Or Overeating?

🔬Look at meals/snacks/beverages:
--Portion sizes (Do they change from breakfast to lunch to dinner). Are there certain foods you struggle with more portion size wise?
--Do you skip meals?
--Are there more snacks at a certain time of day?
--Does the healthiness of your choices change? How do they change? When do they change?
--How many veggies do I get in?
--How much water do you drink?
--Are meals balanced well with the style of eating you follow?

It is like being a detective. You get to the crime scene and you first look at the big picture. You are taking everything in then slowly you move closer and closer just identifying....analyzing what you see....thinking critically 

🎯 From this viewpoint I want you to list out 3 main areas that you see in your food logs that could be improved on and you want to work on. Feel free to list them in the comments below this post and I can also help you further
1. 
2. 
3. 

From those 3 you are going to pick 1 (yes just one) area to focus on and I want that area of focus to be the most realistic for you. For instance if you have been a soda drinker for 30 years and have never gone a day without soda let’s not start there.  Let’s instead work on something more realistic and doable, gain some confidence and self efficacy, set the habit, keep the routine going, then slowly build on the next change you want to make, etc….  So if you know Soda is on your list but eating a healthier breakfast just feels more realistic for you start there! Often people just go out too fast/hard with habit change and it blows up so they give up everything. Rome wasn’t built in a day, change takes time so start small and realistic for you!

Exercise, fitness tracking and weight loss...myths and facts!

Let's talk about exercise, fitness tracking (calories burned) and weight loss...myths and facts!

First let's start with fitness trackers and calories burned. Why can they be so different? The answer is actually quite complex because of the wonderful human body. Calories in food is static and doesn’t really change but when we look at the human body and calories we burn when we exercise a lot of factors come into play: Sex (male or female), age, body fat %, heart rate, temperature conditions (cold or hot), stress, sleep, what kind of exercise,underlying genetics, general conditioning, general nutrition, etc…

Most fitness trackers estimate your basal calories using a formula based on the Harris-Benedict equation, which includes your height, weight, gender and age but it doesn’t include the other factors listed above. All those things also factor into calories burned but are impossible to put in an easy equation often used by fitness trackers. Some trackers will take bits and pieces of extra data: heart rate, sleep, etc.. and try to add that into the equation too.

What does that mean? Honestly the number you get is a big guesstimate. My best advice is to never use calories burned as a definite end all be all number. It is a gray area guesstimate at best across the different trackers.

Let's take this a step further.... Remember the old saying, “You can’t outrun a bad diet” it really is true.

Let’s say you really wanted to just outrun a bad diet….just how much running would you have to do?
Let’s look at the numbers!
Technically to burn 1 lb of fat you would have to burn 3,500 kcal, so what would that look like exercise wise?

---If you weigh 125lbs it would take 6 hours of continuous running at 6mph (10min/mile pace) or if you prefer to walk it would take 13 hours of continuous walking at 4mph (15min/mile pace)
---If you weigh 155lbs it would take 4.7 hours of continuous running at 6mph/walking 10.5 hours at 4mph
----If you weigh 185lbs it would take 4 hours of continuous running at 6mph / walking 8.75 hours at 4mph

**Another wrench in this equation? The more we exercise, the more conditioned we are and the less calories we actually burn due to our bodies efficiency. There are some studies that say the numbers could even be higher than 3,500 kcal to burn that 1 lb of fat. Always remember exercise is so much more than just calories burned!! Exercise decreases stress, improves sleep, builds strong bones and muscles, conditions your heart and lungs, boosts mood, boosts metabolism, is anti-aging, makes you feel accomplished and strong, etc..(I could seriously go on and on)

What does this all prove?? Never trust calories burned in a fitness tracker and nutrition will take you where you want when it comes to weight loss goals! Next week let's dive into how to take a closer look at your nutrition, simple steps to take.

Exercising when sick...when is it safe and when is it not?

First let’s review how exercise affects the body when it comes to our immune system:

--Brief vigorous exercise (any kind)  5-10min = Doesn’t cause immune suppressing effects in conditioned individuals 
--Moderate Intensity exercise (walking, yoga,very light weights high reps) - less than 60min = can actually boost your immunity. This is often the best place to be if you want to exercise with safe symptoms. 
--Vigorous prolonged exercise - more than 60min = can depress the immune system for up to 6 hours (average is 2 hours)

Second let’s look at general illness symptoms:

*Safe to Exercise Symptoms: Sore throat, congestion, runny nose
**Semi Safe to Exercise Symptoms: Coughing **This is one where you really need to know yourself. If you have asthma or are prone to lung illness please take that under consideration when exercising with a cough
***Not Safe to Exercise Symptoms: Fever, aches, chills, joint pain, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and any prior safe to exercise symptoms that are becoming worse and not getting better with time

Knowing what exercise can do to your immune system + general illness symptoms can give you a great formula to keep your workouts on your schedule while you recover:

For instance if you have a sore throat and a runny nose and you want to work out..OK.. Keep it at that moderate Intensity exercise and no more than 60min, it will not cause harm and can actually help your immune system fight off the virus. BUT if you decide to do a more vigorous prolonged exercise understand that this can cause your immune system to depress and you could actually become more sick because of the exercise and make your recovery even longer

Always let your symptoms be your guide but never your excuse!

Pain vs Being Uncomfortable

“No pain, no gain.” Pain is temporary”, “Pain is weakness leaving the body” We have all heard these but are they true?  What if the pain is helping to prevent injury? Knowing the difference between pain and being uncomfortable can also be the difference between an injury that side tracks you for weeks/months and finally making gains in your fitness that you have always wanted.

Let’s start to break this down: Pain is a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by very specific physical discomfort (such as pricking, throbbing, or aching).It’s often very centralized and specific in location, you can point to it with one finger.  It is your body’s way of saying “STOP! Something is wrong...this is not good”. Often if we ignore this signal and continue to keep going injury will occur.

Now let’s talk about being uncomfortable: it’s something you can’t pin-point location wise, it is a general feeling, it’s not sharp but dull.  Being uncomfortable is not a bad thing mentally or physically.  Being comfortable being uncomfortable will take you where you want to go with both your health and fitness goals, to another level! 

Next time you are pushing yourself in a workout if you feel pain (centralized, specific location, immediate, sharp) listen to that shit! Your body is telling you, “Something is wrong, I’m about to break...hold off” but if you feel uncomfortable (you can’t centralize the feeling or specific location, dull, slow onset) push through that shit. That uncomfortable feeling is temporary, that is what you need to push through to get stronger, get to the next level!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ARE STRESSED?



Let me walk you through what happens when we are stressed: Think back to caveman days!

Our body is wired to deal with any and all stress in a physical way- The Fight or Flight response.  We were designed to deal with famine, storms, wild animals…...survival

Our heart rate increases so we can fight, our blood pressure increases so we can run fast, cortisol is released to heal any injuries that might happen during the fight, our thoughts turn to worst case scenarios so we are ready for anything, etc... our body prepares to run or fight.  And if we do have to run or fight, if our stress is truly physical stress, our body returns to normal after the exertion is done.  It is like this beautiful little circle of stress--activity--homeostasis….all is well again!

The issue in today’s world is our body has not evolved like our lives have evolved. Our stress is rarely physical in nature and almost always mental but our bodies continue to deal with it in a physical way (hormones released, blood pressure goes up,negative thought patterns, etc..) and when you don't have activity/exercise to immediately offset that response those hormones just hang in the body for an extended period of time and research shows we can even adapt to stress levels which is not a good thing. We have all seen and heard the research of what prolonged periods of stress can do to us...it is a silent killer.

So what can be done about this?? Try to offset stress in more physical ways if you can...get up and walk 5 mins, take some deep breaths to bring down your heart rate and blood pressure.  The best drug for stress is exercise! Often when we are stressed exercise is the first thing to be forgotten when really we need it the most during those difficult times. It naturally returns our body back to normal and releases hormones that counteract those fight or flight hormones.

You can’t always control what happens to you and what others do but you can control your reaction to it! Be mindful of your stress levels and keep those workouts routine and regular in your life!