I mean, I care, but I don’t care. I guess what I am trying to tell you is I am not here to judge you. I’m not here to point fingers or make “shame on you signs” or give you looks of “do you know how many calories are in that?” or “Don’t you read your labels?” No. Jeez, I have better things to do, like make a kale salad… kidding.
I’ve been doing a few free health consultations and realize how nervous people are to share with me what they are eating on a daily basis. Fear of being judged for their choices in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Listen, I don’t think you are a bad person if you eat six bowls of cereal for breakfast, skip lunch and have a ½ pound steak for dinner washed down with a bottle of wine. I really don’t.
I also don’t think you are necessarily an amazing person if you blend up green smoothies for breakfast, eat a salad everyday for lunch and cook a vegetarian home cooked meal for your and family each night.
What you eat and drink does not determine your worth.
Let me say that again. What you eat and drink does not determine your worth.
I’m here to help guide you.
I’m here to listen.
I am here to ask YOU questions.
I’m here to learn what it is like to be YOU.
I’m here to help you find solutions to your struggles.
I’m here to share what has worked for me and others in your position and to help you determine if that will work for you or not.
Every time we connect I will learn more about you and with that knowledge I’ll be able to help you find something that works for YOU.
So keep talking.
There are no right or wrong answers. There is no good or bad food. There’s not even hard and fast rules that can’t ever be broken!
There is only you, your goals, your struggles, your hopes and dreams and your fears. I’m just here to help you sort it all out and figure out what works best for YOU. Sound good? If so drop me a line, leave me a comment or add me as a friend on Facebook and let’s schedule a free 30- 45 minute consultation. Sound good?
My boyfriend and I travel 2-3 months out of the year for 3-6 weeks at a time. It’s not really a “vacation” so skipping workouts and indulging in umbrella drinks or overeating is not our goal.
When I pack my bags I always make sure I have the following items:
1. Laptop and DVDs – I actually bought my first “home based” workout because I would be traveling and not be able to go to my favorite gym classes. Now I simply bring my classes WITH me and have no excuse to miss a workout! Need me to help you find your favorite travel workout? Just ask! Oh – and here is an example of what you can do if you have an extra long layover!
2. Sharp knife – Do I have to tell you to NOT bring this in your carry-on bag? I have a favorite knife that when I travel long distances I always bring it. If you have a small cutting board you may want to throw that in as well. I can easily make a salad if I have veggies and a knife!
3. Cooler Bag - They fold down flat and are inexpensive from the grocery store. Great for roadtrips if you don’t want to invest in a big cooler. When you get to where you are going and if you have access to a freezer freeze a water bottle as your ice block. If you REALLY want to get fancy check out six pack bags – these may not be as easy to travel with – I just got mine from the grocery store.
4. Resistance Bands – I love the ones that Beachbody makes – you can find them here. I recommend the “medium” set for a decent variety
5. YogaPaws – These are a new toy for me! Yoga mats are heavy and take up space and you don’t REALLY need one to do yoga. I googled up “yoga gloves” and found these guys. Here is a 15% off coupon code!
6. Shakeology with a shaker cup and ball. Eating on the road is TOUGH, I get it! I always travel with Shakeology because it is SO easy. I at least know I am getting one super healthy meal, 9 servings of fruits and veggies, fiber, protein, superfoods, I sure don’t see that in my free continental breakfast options!
When I get to my destination of the the FIRST places I find is a grocery store to stock up on some travel friendly foods. I’ll post some ideas of things to grab to keep you on track!
What is always in your suitcase to keep you healthy, fit and sane?
One of my new found loves has definitely been mountain biking and I feel very fortunate to live in Queenstown, New Zealand where we have some awesome trails basically in our back yard! Literally, as I hang up my laundry I get to watch the mountain bikers on their last few downhill bits before heading back up the gondola to the top. This is the trail I ride the most -but it isn’t me in the video. I find riding almost meditative (especially the uphill and cross country) and the more I ride the more lessons I keep getting taught. I realize that these lessons don’t just relate to mountain biking but easily carry over into my daily life so I wanted to share them with you.
1. Look where you want to go. I have heard this in other places (gymnastics, skiing, etc) and I use this in many aspects of my life. When biking, if you focus on that tree you don’t want to hit or the edge of the bridge you don’t want to fall off of you’re bound to wind up there. Focus on the trail ahead of you and the path at the end of the bridge, not the dangerous distractions off to the side and you’ll be smooth sailing. Think positive, focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t want out of life.
2. Granny gear isn’t going to get you up the hill. This is one of my favorite lessons. There is this small but very steep hill that comes right out of a downhill and for the the last two years I’d get ready for this hill by trying to get enough speed on the downhill and put it into my lowest “granny gear” to get up the hill. Every time I would lose power 1/2 way up the hill and had jump off my bike and walk it the rest of the way. The other day I realized I kept doing the same thing over and over again and it clearly wasn’t getting me the results I wanted so I tried something new (sound familiar? That’s a lesson in itself!). Instead of going for the “easy” gear I went up a couple notches. By putting it into a “harder” gear I had more power and more traction and made it up the hill with no problems. What are you doing in your life in the easiest gear that isn’t getting you where you want to go? Step it up a notch – you’ll get to the top.
3. Don’t look at the giant hill. This is for those times that you come to a giant steep hill that you think – “I can’t possibly pedal up that!” Don’t get overwhelmed with such a large task ahead of you, aim to knock out bit by bit. When I get to that giant hill I pick little goals to work towards – “I’ll make it to that rock then walk the rest”. But what happens is I make it to the rock with no problem then don’t want to quit, so I say “Just get to that stick, now that leaf, now that other rock.” Before I know it I have conquered the hill one bit at a time and never felt overwhelmed. Little goals will help you reach your bigger goal.
4. Don’t give up – you will get better each time. After 8 months of being off our bikes, Chris and I were eager to get back into it and jumped on our bikes and began to tackle the hill behind our house. This used to take us 45 minutes, walking some of it and taking some breaks. Our first time back was embarrassing. We were so out of shape and ended up pushing our bikes up most of the hill and it took us about an hour. The ride back down was just as bad – our arms and legs were jello. It wasn’t fun and it made me wonder what I loved so much about biking. Of course I just wasn’t fit at the time and needed to get back into it. That was two months ago and now I feel myself getting better every time I ride. I can pedal up the entire hill without pushing and limited breaks. My downhill skills are getting better as well. I keep track of how long it takes me and how many breaks I take. I can literally see how I am getting better each time I ride. You are getting faster, better and stronger everyday you work towards your goal.
5. Get off your seat!! When I was a newer mountain biker I felt safer sitting on my bike seat going downhill and Chris would holler at me – “Get off your seat!” You’ll get better if you get off your seat and stand on your own two feet. Your legs will get stronger, you’ll find your balance and you will have more fun when you aren’t sitting on your ass.
Now if only I can get as good as these guys here – gorgeous video!
After I left Vegas I spent a week in Colorado with my family. I had really started to learn more about fitness and nutrition as a Beachbody Coach and was really loving what I was learning. No more processed meals, was learning how to cook healthy food and how food really can be medicine. My mom had about 30 pounds that she could stand to lose and was on 3 different medications all for weight related issues. The more I learned and read, the more concerned I became for her health and I wanted her around longer.
I sent her an email asking her to give me simply TEN MINUTES of movement everyday. She told me she would start walking and with my Beachbody discount I bought her Ten Minute Trainer for her 60th birthday. Six months later she still hadn’t even taken the DVD out of the box, much less pressed play. I told her when I was there we were going to work out everyday and follow the routine. I also helped her come up with a nutrition plan and we made some changes to what she was eating.
We had to modify some of the exercises, like push ups, and we opted to stick to walking outside instead of the indoor cardio. We did the 6 or 7 days together and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I left. Thankfully she stuck to it and went from a size 14 to a size 2 or 4. She is off two of three of her meds and a lower doseage for another one. I’m SO proud of her and she is by far my favorite success story with Beachbody!
I remember when we first walked around the neighborhood and she was huffing and puffing after 10 minutes. Now she can easily walk 3 miles and has stuck to her routine! She’s inspiring those around her as well.
I joined my first gym in college. I had NO idea what I was doing there. I guess you go run on the treadmill, right? I think I did that a few times and then they happily took out their monthly dues until I could prove I no longer lived within 50 miles of a Bally’s. I never took a group fitness class. My friends weren’t into working out. I didn’t know the first thing about lifting weights. I was blessed with a high metabolism. I loved to go out dancing, or hiking or or just playing. I never really thought about it.
I was working at “O” and we finished work about 12:30am. We were allowed to park on the fourth floor of the parking lot only. I left work a bit later that night walked out to exactly where I knew I parked my car (I was still driving my 2000 Honda Civic that I bought for the road trip) and it wasn’t there. I called security – they offered to help me look for it, maybe I parked it on the third floor? Um, no, I’m an employee and we are ONLY allowed to park on the fourth floor. I parked it under this security camera, see?? It’s not here. I’m not some drunk tourist. I live here. Grrrr. Anyway, my car was gone. A few days later they actually found it and even caught the guys who stole it. It really got me thinking. I could have easily walked out on those two guys stealing my car if timing was different. I wouldn’t have known the first thing about how to protect myself. I could have been a victim of something much worse than my car being stolen.
Having my car stolen freaked me out and I quickly started looking for self defense classes. I didn’t want one that was catered to just women kicking a guy in a padded suit. No disrespect, but I didn’t want to take “ka-ra-tay” and learn how to be the dragon, tiger or snake. I wanted to kick some ass. I found Krav Maga, the Israeli form of fighting and self defense. The theory is simple – negate the threat, attack the source and move to safety. It was taught by Roger with these big wide crazy eyes. He could see that I didn’t want to be treated like a girly-girl and he made sure I worked. Classes were co-ed, often with police officers or other super fit guys (and gals!). He would pair me up with the guys that when we did choke holds I could actually feel their hands on my throat. I learned to hit, kick, and get out of many situations. I highly recommend this for anyone serious about learning basic self defense.
Krav Maga gave me two things – self confidence and my love of working out.
I want to share two “confidence” stories real quick. They both take place at night, with me by myself in a casino parking lot. Now I know that neither of these situations are starting our right, are they… but this is Vegas, it’s a 24 hour town, I’m in a popular casino lot with other people around, etc. I normally didn’t think much about it. Incident #1- I am walking towards the casino and these two tall guys are walking towards me. Plenty of room for us to walk in our own space but they chose to step right in front of me. I know they want to play chicken – wait for me to step around them but I held my ground. Walked right up to them looked them in the eye and they looked at me, said “girl, you got balls” and walked around. Second incident – I get into my car and for some reason roll down my windows. I put the car in reverse, look in my rear view and there is a car blocking me that wasn’t there before. Next thing you know there is a guy leaning into my window asking where am I going. “Home.” I state simply. “Oh yeah?” “Yep”, I answer. He looks into my backseat where my boxing gloves live, sees them and says – “you a boxer?” “Yep, sure am.”
I’ve never hit anyone. Do those guys know that? Hell no! But they sure didn’t look at me as an easy target. Who knows if they were both just “playing”. I know Krav Maga gave me the confidence that will make many attacks think twice before choosing me. I’m not going down without a fight.
Have you ever had a car stolen or home broken into? Scary stuff! What about personal self defense – do you practice any?
Check out part 7
Last week I took a class where I learned about Ayurveda, the ancient traditional Indian medicine and learned from my teacher, Susan Wilesmith the daily routine she goes through, which include 5 key points. She is up around 5:30 or 6am and immediately starts her mediation, followed by yoga, a run, self oiling/massage, and finally food preparation for the day. She works for herself and doesn’t began work until 10am.
I sat there thinking – “Yeah, right, like I have time to add 5 MORE things into my day.” As we went through the course she brought up how she BEGAN to fit it into her life and I wanted to expand on that and hope this tip helps you to began to make healthy choices throughout every day of your life.
Susan basically said: You have these 5 things to do everyday. Some days you’ll get them all in, others you’ll be lucky to get one in. You do your best, you leave space for yourself.
She said so matter of fact. With so little pressure. It clicked for me. I don’t need to do EVERYTHING everyday right in the beginning. I can AIM for incorporating those five things into my life, and soon, just like anything they’ll become a routine. I decided to start small. Yoga doesn’t have to be 90 minutes everyday. I’m not quite ready to start with the self oiling as we are getting ready to pack up and travel. I LOVE sunrises so to see a sunrise everyday is a treat, I can incorporate a daily bike ride, 5-10 minutes of mediation and 10-15 min of yoga/stretching while out on my ride. I’m seeing how this can slowly fit into my life in about an hour instead of four! Because lifting weights is important to me I decided to stick to 10-30 minutes of Ten Minute Trainer a day, I can do ten minutes – can you? Of course you can!
I encourage you to PICK 5. Aim to incorporate 5 healthy things into your life daily. Give yourself a “gold star day” for the days you accomplish all 5. When those five become routine pick 5 new ones.
Below I started to brainstorm, please add your 5 in the comment section below – I’d love to know what yours are!
Run, bike, swim, dance, play, hike
Commit to your exercise program
Only drink water, no sodas
Turn off the TV
Eat a serving of vegetables at every meal, yes even breakfast
Eat 3 meals a day and 1-2 small snacks
Don’t eat anything that has high fructose corn syrup in it
Walk for 10 minutes on your lunch break
Invite a friend to walk with you
Park as far away as you can at work
Pack your lunch
Skip the drive through
Dry brushing or oil massage
Plan your meals for the day
Eat at a table for every meal
Eat with your family
Don’t eat 3 hours before bedtime
Keep a daily food journal
Keep a journal
Try a new healthy recipe
Take your dog for a walk
Learn something new
Tell someone you love them and appreciate them
Eat foods that heal, real foods, not processed foods that make you sick
Smile at a stranger
Don’t eat until you are full. Eat until you are not hungry.
Give gratitude to your body for what it allows you to do
Give thanks for the food you consume and the fuel it gives you
Take the stairs
Ask for a doggie bag
Skip the candy bowl at the dentist/doctors/mechanics office
Bring a bowl of fruit to work for the week
Wake up at ____everyday. In bed by ____
Get adequate sleep
My current 5 are
Wake up between 5:30 and 6 for the sunrise (7-8 hours of sleep)
30-40 min Bike ride (this will change in a few days due to a move)
Meditate 5-20 minutes a day
Yoga- minimum of 3 sun salutations to a full 90 minute session
1-3 Ten Minute Trainer DVD
Remember, not all days will be 5 star days. It’s not the end of the world.
All day I hear from people about their lack of motivation to exercise, eat right and make healthy choices. “I try to work out but I lose my motivation.” Or “I don’t see results so I lose motivation.” I have SO many thoughts screaming to get out of my head right now on this but I’ll do my best to keep it under 12 pages.
I have a ONE word tip for you on motivation. Yep. One little word.
Let me ask you this instead. Do you like your job? Then why do you go to work? (and count yourself VERY lucky if you have a job you love). Do you like to pay rent and bills? Why do you continue to do it month after month? Did you like to do your homework after school when you were growing up? But you did it, well, most of the time, right? Why? Because the consequences are more painful than that action of just doing it.
My dad once told me that there are only 2 things you have to do in life. Die and pay taxes. I don’t agree. I think there is one more – suffer the consequences of your actions and choices. You don’t have to go to work. But if you don’t you’ll get fired, you wont get paid and the consequences will be worse than if you roll out of bed and just GO. Same with rent. Same with homework.
Same with eating right and working out.
What is your WHY? This has to be bigger, louder, stronger and maybe even angrier than the desire to not work out. To eat the junk. To sit on the couch. To hit the snooze button. To make your excuses.
When your WHY is bigger, louder, stronger, and angrier than your current situation you don’t need motivation. You Just Do It. You have a choice. You can continue living the life you have or you make a change. You take one step. Then another. Then one more. Keep going. And ask someone to join you to hold you accountable. You toss the junk. You keep a food journal.
So what is YOUR why? Did your doctor tell you that if you don’t lose weight you’ll be on medication for high cholesterol, sleep apnea, acid reflux or other related diseases? That you’ll be at risk for diabetes? Or maybe your why is to be a positive role model in the lives of your children. To be around longer for your children and grandchildren. Maybe it is to have 6 pack abs. Or to never have to say “I can’t run 5k”. Or is it to stop feeling like you are drowning.
I see so much complacency in so many people. We all have so much we can accomplish and succeed at. If you don’t believe me send me an email. I believe it. I’ll support you. I know you can achieve your goals. But you have to be ready to work for them to achieve them. You’ll have to make some changes and probably some sacrifices. Stop coming up with excuses. Working out is hard. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t have time. Eating healthy is too expensive. I don’t like vegetables. I don’t like to cook. Blah blah blah! Fine – if you are happy carrying around that extra weight, the way it makes your body feel, the way it makes YOU feel keep doing what you are doing. Everyone who has already accomplished what you want to achieve has made the changes. Has done the work. Knew their WHY.
What are the consequences of you NOT working out? Maybe nothing today. Maybe nothing next week or next month. But fact is fact, living a consistently unhealthy life will take a toll on your body and soon your body will break down.
What are you going to do if your body breaks down? Where are you going to live? You figure out your WHY, and I’ll gladly help with the rest!
A couple weeks ago I was hanging with a friend of mine and she remembered that years ago I started throwing my change into a jar to save up for a two month trip to New Zealand. I was always so excited to empty my wallet and throw in what could have been 0.81cents, sometimes I threw in paper money as well if I had a couple extra bucks. Doing this didn’t change my daily life much – it isn’t like I was missing the change in my wallet, but when I finally got around to counting the cash I had it was like I had hit the jackpot! All of a sudden I had FREE money- and it sure did add up!
This post is all about CHANGE! Many people want to SEE something physically change – definition, smaller waist, etc. That is great, but of course that isn’t going to happen overnight, right? How many get frustrated thinking – “This isn’t working!! I give up!” only to go back to the way things were (which CLEARLY weren’t getting you the changes you so desire). The trick is to NOT focus on the results on a day to day basis, instead focus on the changes you need to make on a day to day basis.
Here is a great quote by Jack Dixon for you to take with you this week: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” Just because you can’t SEE the changes YET, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.
Here are two examples for you. First of all: Think of when chicken lays an egg. There is something happening INSIDE that egg that is changing everyday! On the outside it doesn’t appear to be any different from day to day. And then one day, it starts to wiggle, shake and crack and out pops a chick! Now I know our bodies aren’t an egg that one day our 6 pack abs and toned muscles will suddenly appear and our fat will melt away, but realize that even though you don’t SEE the results YET change IS happening inside of your body, making you healthier, stronger, leaner, etc and you WILL be able to see your results if you keep with it!!
Second: Are you tracking your workouts, the weights you use, the reps you do, how you FEEL after your cardio, etc. Look back at your numbers from day one to day 30, 60, 90 etc and you will be amazed at the changes!
Focus on the change you need to make in your life and your results will fall right into place. Take on a few changes at a time – no more than you can handle, and if you need to adjust your changes, do it. Trying to change too much too quickly can be overwhelming and you might be tempted to give it all up. Then, once your changes become healthy HABITS add more changes. Finally, don’t be afraid to fail. Have ever watched either your child, or any child, learn to walk, did they fall down? Did they fall down more than once? Twice? Three times? Of course! Did they get back up? Can you imagine if we all gave up the first time we failed walking- millions of adults crawling around this world of ours, pretty silly. Same with reading, playing an instrument, riding a bike, etc. So why give up on your weight loss or fitness goals? Don’t you deserve to be the best you can be and be as healthy as you can be?
If you slip up a bit don’t beat yourself up, get RIGHT BACK on track the very next meal for your nutrition plan or the very next day with your workout. Don’t let one slip up derail your entire goal! Here’s to turning CHANGE into RESULTS!!
This week I wanted to chat a bit with you about “cheating”. As many of you know I did a 30 day challenge to myself: “no cookies, no cakes, no sweets, no cheats”. It went very well and I thoroughly enjoyed my first cookie (Vegan – 26 calories) on February 2nd since my last piece of cake on December 30th. It felt great knowing that I COULD do it. But of course the question is: Do I want to give up cookies for the rest of my life? Absolutely NOT. I learned that even Tony Horton has a special place in his heart for cookies. I used Chocolate Shakeology as my “treat” to help with the cravings and I know it helped!
Anyway, I got to thinking about cheat meals, treats, days, etc and how to handle them. Someone asked me a couple weeks ago if I have “cheat meals” and would have to say that the answer is “no, not really”. That doesn’t mean that I eat perfect 100% of the time – but I don’t have an entire BAD meal. I do my best to live by the 90% good, 10% not as great. Some people are more comfortable with the 80% good, 20% not as great. What can you commit to this week?
Here’s a little story about why I don’t. Over the holidays my manager took us out to dinner after work. I work for a show so it was a LATE dinner for me, 10pm. I normally don’t eat a full meal at 10pm but this was an exception. The restaurant really took care of us bringing out an appetizer pizza, I had a bowl of pumpkin soup, a burger (subbed fries for veggies – but there was definitely more than just a squeeze of lemon on them), and two desserts for the table of 5 to share. I ate A LOT of food, and late at night. I had a hard time sleeping that night with all the food trying to digest and felt horrible the next day. It wiped me out. My body just couldn’t handle it. For a full day and a half my energy level was off, I felt heavy and just overall blah. Looking back, it sure wasn’t worth it to me to “cheat”.
My “cheats” have turned into the salad bar buffet restaurant where I’ll get the full fat ranch dressing instead of a lighter olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar based dressing. I might have a couple blueberry mini muffins and some fat free frozen yogurt over a small homemade brownie. My “cheats” aren’t greasy pizza, fried foods, a bag of cheetos, a six pack of beer, 1/2 a sheet cake, sodas and candy bars. For me, it isn’t about not wanting to feel guilty, it is about not wanting to feel like crap the next day.
There HAS to be balance. So I am not saying that having a “cheat” meal or “free” day doesn’t work for some. Mentally knowing that those options are still there, and you can choose to have them once a week, once a month or only on special occasions helps many to make smart decisions the rest of the time to keep the balance. If you are going to indulge make it WORTH it, savor it, enjoy it. If it is cheese and bread, make it the BEST cheese and bread you can get – not the wonder bread and processed American cheese. Chocolate? Go for antioxidant rich dark chocolate and bypass the “33% less fat 3 Musketeers”. Cookies? I’ll only do cookies made from scratch and not cookies that come in a sleeve or box. Fast Food burgers? Skip the fast food this week but treat yourself to a nicer, hopefully grass fed lean beef burger on a whole wheat bun with baked “fries”. Get the idea? Let me know if that helps.
Life “got in the way” a bit this week for me and I’ll admit I missed a couple workouts. AGGGG, I know, “Bad, Coach!”. So how do I handle it? That is actually one of the most common questions I get: “Mandy, I missed 3 days of P90X, what do I do???”
I handle it a few different ways. First of all if you missed your workouts it because you were sick then jumping right back in and doing double workouts might not be the best idea for you. Maybe life just got in the way – it happens, we all have things come up that make it difficult to get our workouts in, just don’t let a few missed workouts knock you on the ground for an entire month. Remember, this has to become a LIFESTYLE, not just a 42, 60 or 90 day program you started for a special occasion and when that passes you go back to your old life, NO WAY! Would you have bought P90X if it was called P10,950X?? Sure, setting these small goals for yourself and giving yourself a deadline to work towards is great and motivating – so keep doing it.
So if I miss a workout I pay EXTRA special attention to what I am eating, no sense falling off BOTH wagons! If I have the time I will try to double up some workouts to make up for the missed one. If I don’t have the time I don’t sweat it, I know that I am consistent 95% of the time with my workouts and one or two here and there is not going to derail me from my long term goals.