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The 3-Steps to Fitness Consistency

If consistency is the key to fitness success, then we need an actionable plan to be consistent. This is where most people get stuck.

Where do I start? What do I need to do? How should I implement? These are all questions that tend to create obstacles instead of drive us forward.

No worries, I have got you covered. I took the concepts that made my client so successful in being consistent in her fitness and turned them into 3 steps. Follow the steps below, and you’ll have that elusive, actionable plan to being consistent!

Step 1: Create a 10-minute total body strength training workout

-Search pinterest, youtube and online fitness magazines (Shape, Strong and Oxygen all have websites) for different types of strength training exercises. Key words like “squats”, “lunges”, “pushups”, “total body” are good for searches, along with specific muscle groups like arms and glutes, etc 

-Look for exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time, such as a reverse lunge with a bicep curl, etc

-Make a list of all the different exercises you find, adding descriptions when needed or create a board on pinterest

-Every exercise equals 1 minute, if you need to do the exercise twice to get both your left and right side, you do each side for 30 seconds or do a minute per side.

-Everyday choose 10 total exercises from your list; remember to count the exercises that require both left and right sides twice if you don’t do 30 seconds each side. This will give you your 10-minute strength training routine.

-Plan ahead: at the beginning of your week, plan your exercises for each day. Either picking 10 to do every day that week or mixing up on different days.

Step 2 – Schedule Workout 3x daily

-Schedule your workout for the day, BUT find three different times during your day.

-The goal is to complete ONE of your schedules times.

-For instance, you’ve scheduled your workouts for the day at 6am, 1pm and 7pm…6am hits and your 1-year-old is already up and in no shape to “play nicely by themselves”, and you realize you forgot to make lunches the night before for your school kids, so there is no way your 6am workout is going to happen. Fast forward to 1pm, big kids are in school, 1 year old is napping, and while you have a million things to do, you’ve got 10 minutes to get your workout in before you tackle those million things, so you put in your earbuds and get your 10-minute strength training in for the day. And your done. Your goal is met.

-Giving yourself more chances to be successful will make you more successful. It’s simply the law of averages!

Step 3 – Find Success in the 10 minutes

-Change your mind, change everything. Simply speaking, we need to rewire our brain to understand what success is when it comes to our health and fitness. When we complete our 10-minute workout on a daily basis, and see consistency happening, we need to count that as a W-I-N. Consistency=Success.

-10 minutes is THE GOAL AND ONLY GOAL.

-Think of everything beyond the 10-minutes as a bonus. Say you got your 10 minutes in, but you have some extra time, and decide to do a round 2 of your 10 minute workout, or you were able to go on a bike ride with your family or try a new class at the gym or you were able to workout for 10 minutes at all 3 of your scheduled times…that is all bonus. They do not meet your goal, they exceed it. Success will be found in reaching your goal…your 10-minute workout is your goal, period.

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Have your pie and eat it too…guilt free!

Wow…I’ve read several posts, heard some talk and may even had read some minds about last weeks food fest. It consisted of a lot of self loathing, a little “food is the devil” talk, an exasperated “I’m not ever eating again”, and then ended with a discussion on dieting between thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ugh, how depressing?

We are in the thick of what I like to call the “season of eating”. We are partaking in the delicious yummies that we only get during this season, and then,apparently, we must feel guilty for it, or even worse, we assume the guilt before the food and then stuff ourselves silly, cause if you’re going to feel guilty, you should have a reason. Gosh, we can make ourselves insane and miserable.

How do I know this cycle so well, you ask…that was me up to a few years ago. I understand your guilt. I understand your lack of sanity.

But take heart my friends, I will share with you my 3 guidelines during the “season of eating” that have rid me of my guilt and allowed me to keep my sanity, AND allowed me to eat my favorites while not coming out of the season with bad habits and an extra 15lbs.

Erin’s Season of Eating Guidelines

1.)Increase your physical activity

And not as a punishment for what you ate, but as a way to gain a good and realistic habit during the holiday season, and maybe even alleviate some of stress that this time of year undoubtedly brings, try to do it with your exercise.

Aim for at least 25 minutes of exercise every day. More if your schedule allows, but a minimum of 25 minutes will do the trick. It does not need to be a specific type every, like running, it just has to have one criteria…it fits into that day’s schedule. It could be a fitness class, some time at the gym, a walk around the neighborhood, a family bike ride, a YouTube workout, your favorite workout dvd, etc. Just pick one! Whatever fits that day, do it.

2.) Practice portion control

Instead of trying to eliminate certain foods during the holidays, like “I am not going to eat any sugar right now”, this is actually a great time to create a portion control habit. If you can control your portions during the season of the major spreads, imagine how easy it will be during the other 9 months of the year?! Ways to help with portion control:

-select portions that are smaller then your palm, minus your fingers

-choose a smaller plate

-know and reiterate to yourself that you can come back if you’re still hungry

3.)Take breaks before returning for more

A 15-20 minute break is all you need to combat overeating. Set a timer or note the time, and give it 15. If you are still hungry after, go back to guideline #2 and eat up!

Bonus guideline: water

-drink lots of water. Pick a quantity goal, like an ounce of water per pound of body weight, and this time, drink up!

Try them! Tell me how they work for you.

I’m hopeful they’ll work as well for you as they have for me. Seriously…it’s been life changing.

Good Health, Uncategorized

We’re doing it wrong…

Maybe We Are Doing it Wrong?

In the United States we spend 40-50 billion dollars on health and fitness every year.

40 to 50 BILLION. Every. Year.

Now out of those of us in the United States who start a diet and/or exercise program, how many keep it up, make it apart of their daily lives?

5 to 10 percent.

And those of us who lose weight, what percentage keep it off?

5 to 10 percent.

So this means we spend 40-50 billion dollars every year for a 5-10% success rate. Yikes.

I think we might be doing this whole health and fitness thing wrong.

If you are unsure of my conclusion, let me ask you this question…

What if you would receive ALL the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, EXCEPT your weight would remain the same and the way your body looked also stayed exactly the same…would you still eat better and workout?

Before you answer, here are just some of the benefits you would be receiving…

  • Reduces stress
  • Better sleep
  • Less muscular and skeletal pain
  • Boosts immune system
  • More energy
  • Reduces disease
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increased strength
  • Increased endurance
  • Great flexibility
  • Prevents injury
  • Better quality of life

But again, while you would receive all of these benefits, plus more, and be physically stronger, your weight would stay exactly the same and you wouldn’t look any different.

So I ask again, would you eat healthy and exercise regularly with no change in weight or appearance?

If your answer is still no, I think we have found the problem. And this is a problem that plagues most of us, both fit and unfit. We base our motivation and desire to eat healthy and exercise on the façade, on what others and we can see. No wonder we fail 95% of the time, we are basing our results on something that might not ever meet our expectations.

We are not all made to all look like a swimsuit model. Our genetics are all different, creating different body shapes and sizes. Some of us have carried and delivered babies, others have been through illnesses, both of which can affect how your body looks, but yet we all tend to strive for the same exact ideal. Our minds have been fooled into this desire for the false ideal, so I offer this…

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. “Philippians 4:8

 Let us set our minds on things above, on the Truth, on what is right. And the Truth is this…it is right, and honorable, and pure, and lovely, and good to challenge our bodies with movement and exercise, and to eat the most nutrient dense foods possible no matter how much our scales say we weigh or how we look in a mirror. There are to many, dozens upon dozens, of actual benefits to rely on arbitrary and inconsistent byproducts. And that is what weight loss and a changing appearance are; they are byproducts, not benefits.

Good Word, Good Health, Good Fitness

-Erin

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Health and Fitness Then, Health and Fitness Now

How I initially lost weight vs how I lose maintain weight now. How my seasons of life change the way I look at my health and fitness.

I lost 30 pounds about 5 years ago. My daughter was 3, and I had two back to back miscarriages. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life, and I was both physically and mentally drained. I knew, without a doubt, that if I didn’t figure something out now that I would never, ever lose the excess weight and I would most likely continue to gain weight. I had reached a fork in the road, and I had to choose what path I would pursue. I chose health.

I had always been fit in the sense that I went to gym regularly and worked out. Usually 3-5 times a week, and I had gotten into running on occasion, even participating in a 13k. But I never seem to be able to get any significant weight off. 

But after my first two miscarriages, something had shifted. I remember the day I realized that I needed to change, and what I most significantly needed to change, was my diet. So that’s were I started. I downloaded an app to my iPhone called Fitness Pal. It tracks your food/calorie intake and your workouts. I put in all my info…current weight, goal weight, age, sex, height, etc. and I started to track what I ate and how many calories I consumed and burned. I remember the first time I actually measured a quarter cup of almonds out and put them in a dish to eat. I had never done that before. It wasn’t long before I realized by sticking to a calorie restricted diet, that I had been consuming a ridiculous amount of food and calories for my size, and that was the reason, no matter how many days I spent in the gym, I could not lose any significant weight. Over the following 6 months, I slowly and steadily lost 30 pounds, and felt amazing. I physically and mentally felt lighter, more centered and less out of control, and I understood my body in a whole new way.

Things I learned from my initial weight loss:

Food is 80% of weight loss

I was consuming WAY too many calories for my size

I understood the feeling of fullness versus overeating 

I understood hunger versus eating from boredom, depression or hormones 

It’s been 5 years from this initial weight loss, I’ve had 2 more miscarriages and had a baby, acquired my Zumba and barre certifications, becoming a fitness instructor, and of course I am 5 years older, heading into my 40s next year. Most importantly I’ve gained a relationship with God, I know how much I want to be like Jesus, and understand and am humbled by what Jesus has done for me. 

I gained weight with each of the miscarriages and, of course, with my full-term rainbow baby, but was able to lose the weight each time. And while I kept the knowledge of my initial weight loss, I had to adapt new ways of eating and working out as my body has changed and I’ve gotten older. Especially in the past 2 years, after doing two rounds of whole 30, experimenting with other health strategies like intermittent fasting, and better understanding what my body needs as I get older, I have changed my focus from cardio and calorie restriction to strength and flexibility training, and eating a more whole food diet where the majority of what I eat are vegetables, healthy fats, quality protein and fruit. However, I still make sure I never forget what I learned from my initial weight loss, understanding hunger and fullness and that food is the key to weight loss and maintaining weight. By realizing and addressing the changes I need to make to my health and fitness in each season of my life, I know that I am better able to answer God’s callings for me, even though it is hard at times to understand why something that worked so well in the past, might not in my current season.

Each season of life brings challenges and joys, and we must learn to adapt in those seasons while still maintaining and utilizing the wisdom we gain from previous seasons in order to live our best life, the life that God has called us to live.

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The Hardest Thing I Do…

The hardest thing I do every day is practicing what I preach.
You might think I have it all figured it out. That I never, ever struggle with my health and fitness.

I mean…

I’m a fitness instructor 

I’ve lost and kept off 30 pounds

I blog about health and fitness 

But nope, nope, nopidy, nope

I wake everyday and are confronted with the same choices that everyone has to make when it comes to what I’m going to eat and how I am going to move my body. 

Am I going to fill my body with a lot veggies today that are going to give me a lot of nutrient density? Am I going to eat some healthy fat and protein so that my body can process the vitamins and minerals from the veggies properly and fuel my muscles? Will I reach my water intake goal? Or will I fill my body with sugar, artificial ingredients and low nutritional value foods?
Will I work my muscles today in a way to gain strength and flexibility? Am I going to do anything to add to my cardiovascular health? Will my day be mostly active? Or will I be inactive and slovenly?
Will I give my body the rest it needs, or will I stay up late on social media and watching tv? 
The same choices that you have to make everyday are the same choices I have to make.

I can choose…

Fighting disease or feeding disease

Gaining strengths or losing muscle

Energy or tiredness 

Stress reduction or fueling anxiety 

Reducing pain or increasing injury

Better sleep or restless nights

Some days I make the best choices, and others…well, just like I can make the best choices, there are days where I make the worst…even all the worst.
My goal will always be, though, to have my good choices outnumber my bad, to be mindful and thoughtful in what I choose, knowing that life can not be lived on kale alone…you need some cake to go along with it.
God, please help me today to make wise choices, so that I can best take care of the body you gave me in order to best do the work you have put in front of me. In Jesus’ name, amen.