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Posts tagged ‘fitness’

Portion Sizes – Measuring is Critical for Weight Loss Success

I recently hired a natural bodybuilder to set me up with a diet plan. As I get older, I find I have to tweak my nutrition plan to get the results I’m looking for. I typically do not stay lean all the time and have to lean out for certain events or video filming. So in this occasion, I was curious on how my body would react with something specifically structured for me.
The diet plan was pretty bodybuilder basic 101. He had me eating 6 small meals a day and drinking at least 150 oz of water.

I was getting results, slowly but surely. But then my body hit a stall. The weight wasn’t moving for 3-4 days and I didn’t look any different either. The problem lies in my serving sizes. I wasn’t measuring, just eyeballing. Hey, I’m a fitness professional, I know what 4oz is. I can figure this out. I THOUGHT my husband threw out my manual scale when we moved from NY to TX. He always hated that thing. I went searching for it again deep in the cabinets, and found it!

To my surprise and madness, I was overeating on serving sizes! Sometimes 3-4 times the amount! Pictured here I was suppose to eat 2.5 oz Chicken and 3 oz Yam. As you can see my “guessing plate” and the “measured plate” on how I was way off!

So many of my meals throughout the day consisted of having 1oz of peanuts with the meals. Well, boy do I love peanuts! And the daily increase of an extra peanut or 10 surely made a difference when you times that by multiple meals in a day! No wonder I wasn’t losing weight! Even an extra couple hundred calories a day can make all the difference. Here was another one of my meals and how off I was:

So what does this all mean? YES, weighing and measuring is THAT important for your weightloss success! Even a fitness professional like myself can get it wrong. Invest in a digital scale (btw, I did throw out my manual cheap one after I bought a digital). It will seriously make all the difference in your hard efforts. By delaying measuring, is only delaying the success of your efforts and hard work.

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Are you ADVERTISING or MARKETING your business?

For most small-business owners, typically, the selling process is anything but easy and sometimes frightful! In fact, when it comes to promoting your product or service, many entrepreneurs struggle with any number of issues, including lack of confidence in themselves or their product, fear of failure/rejection and fear of closing the deal. On average, most new business owners fall quick and deep into the habit of advertising because our brains and our outside influences are so conditioned in doing so. Oddly enough, it’s a turn off! Put the shoe on the other foot and you will clearly see how turned off or how quick you are to hit the delete key on that incoming promo email, doesn’t matter who it came from, right? We just don’t want to be sold. There is a difference between advertising and marketing. The good news is experts say these fears and processes can be overcome with the proper attitude, training and practice.

First things first lets showcase some of the typical areas that may be holding you back in your business.

1) Nervous about making a Negative First Impression? You have complete control over this! It’s been said that first impressions are 50% of the getting to know you/like you process. Depending on where you are working to build your business, do as the Roman’s do, to a degree. People are attracted to other’s who look like them, dress like them, and act like them. If your audience is young vibrant early twenties women, you may want to wear the hot color now out and well put together outfits with accessories. You do not need to “act as a twenty year old” especially if you are no where near that age range. If your audience is a group of business professionals, look the part!

2) Scared of Rejection? Rejection actually can work in your favor. You’ve heard the saying, “Go for No.” this will actually force you to practice! Practicing where you can continuing to present your services, craft, or products for your audience will only make you better. Understanding the reasons behind a rejection can help you refine your product and presentation. Sometimes, the only way to beat that fear is to confront it. The more you do it the better you become at it, and less fear will be the result. Additionally, what you have may not be suited for everyone. Work with the people it is best suited for.

3) Are you Coming Across as Too Pushy? Focus more on having a conversation with someone than simply selling. Not every conversation has to move into you selling them what you have. But if the conversation does lead this way, learn the prospect’s needs and ask yourself if what you’re offering is of real value to that person. When you care about your prospective customer and develop a sense of trust, you’re more likely to make the sale. Business is about relationships, not who you can sell something to.

What’s the difference between advertising and marketing then? Easy, think about advertising. Shouldn’t be too hard, you are getting slammed with it everyday!
Advertising is the direct promotion of products and services to you. Sometimes in can be screamed in a mass promotion over and over again and on the most common level new business owners take, they personally send off “form” letters and canned conversations without finding out what the other person may need.
This of course allows people to move you into the white noise category and easily into the deleted email folder.

The best way to build your business is by marketing. You are a business, so own it! You provide service, products, and an opportunity for people. Just because you offer something that requires an exchange of money or commitment, doesn’t mean you are a slimy bad guy. You just need to find the right people that are looking for what you need. Again, you are a business. This is the way of the world, business is all around us. Services are being bought. Products are being purchased. How do you fall into being a success then? The biggest difference will be your interest in who you are speaking with. It’s not what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for them. Discover their needs and how you may be able to help support that need for a solution. Specifically creating a bigger social network allows you to speak more and more to people without intention. Once you have learned this skill, it really opens the door for attraction marketing; that’s a whole other story!

5 TIPS on Achieving Your Goals This Year Without Making a Resolution

The New Year is approaching and you may be thinking of New Year’s resolutions. On average, the success rate on follow through it quite low. So instead, start thinking about where you are now and where you want to be. You still will be making a plan of action, but don’t call it a “resolution”. Set measurable and achievable goals to get on track and keep on track.

Plan – then take action to make it happen!

Don’t you find that it’s easy to sit down and make the plan of action, but then implementing and following through each day, you start to lose steam or have “make up task” days?

Written goals provide you clarity of direction that set you, your business, and your movement towards your goals up for success. But, it’s your commitment to take action and to keep following through to actually make things happen. One of the biggest areas where people de-rail their efforts they wrote down on paper, is setting to LARGE of a goal or task item to-do list each day. Best advice, is to break it up!! Big pie in the sky dream goals are good to have for the upcoming year, but break it down to week by week, and then day by day to-do list. General rule of thumb, is to create a TOP 3 list each day, and do that no matter what!! They all don’t have to be extensive and elaborate, but just a step in motion moving forward.

You may know where you want to go but realistically, without taking time out to make a written plan or map of how to get there, you are losing valuable time to actually reach it!

Below are my TOP tips on making a plan of action and to-do list that will actually have you feeling successful as opposed to as a guilty failure.

1) Make your plan something you want to do!
Too many times people make a list of what they SHOULD be doing because someone else says they should or they think that is the right thing to do. Define, what you are most passionate about, what you are most talented in, and set the plan to focus more on tasks that involve those things. You will be more likely to follow through.

2) Pick Something You Can Do Easily
Ask yourself if your plan is realistic and achievable for you right now. Evaluate realistically where your current obligations are in your life, and how your new action items can fit in for success. If you think it’s going to be too hard to stick to your plan, change it so that you’re likely to succeed.

3) Be Action-Specific
Specify exactly what is it that you’re going to do. Measurable action goals are a way for you to actively keep working on them in motion. You feel yourself doing and completing it as opposed to a wish list of “I’m gonna”. Set your action goals with measurable notches.

4) Set Measurable Goals
Defining a goal without a mark of deadline, quantity, or risk is still a wish list. There is no gage or mark of achievement. Be specific with your goals when you have them broken down in years, months, and days. For example, in business you may have a monthly goal to sign up 10 new customers. Breaking that down even further into the weeks will help you keep a measurable rate as the month nears it’s end. So your goal for the week may be to speak with 20 people. We all know the law of averages with success rates. If your goal is 10 new customers a month, you surely need to speak with almost 100 people to nail that goal as achieved.
If you have a goal each week of 20 people, then now break it down to your working days, and how many people will you be speaking with on those days to ensure you at least hit your 20 per week.
Weight loss works the same way. You may have 50 lbs you want to lose, but you can’t say at the start, I’m losing 50 lbs. You have to break it down into what will you achieve that month and that week etc.

5) Celebrate and Evaluate
Celebrate and recognize your achievements no matter how small they are! It’s forward progress in reaching your goals!
A strong tip I have suggested to many of my team through the years is to create a note book log. Record what action items, steps, programs etc.. you did during the measurable timeframe. Write down what you didn’t feel went well or was good effective use of your time as well as write down how you can really improve and do things differently or even better next time.

It’s easy to say you will be a huge success, you will lose 50 lbs, you will make the highest award level you can achieve. But, when it comes right down to it, your goal setting, you to-do lists, your action, your commitment and confidence, and your follow through will prove you got what it takes.

Working Out Your WillPower

We are faced with battling our willpower everyday. As soon as the alarm goes off, you are faced with many choices of will. Do you hit the snooze alarm, do you skip choosing a quick sugar filled breakfast for something healthy, do you skip the double mocha latte with whip and go for the plain coffee, Do you finish following through this major task for work or jump on facebook, and Do you choose to get a chicken salad hold the dressing or get that Turkey club complete with bacon! The list goes on! All day we are battling our will just to make better choices, ones that should be moving us towards our goals, keep us healthy, as well as form to what should be the best decision according to society standards. Does it make you cranky? Sure can! It’s exhausting at times to constantly be fighting temptation. Over and over again, it surely can start to chip away at your willpower and before you know it, BOOM; you’ve given in by allowing your priorities to crash and good choices fly out the window!

 

But great news is that research as proven that willpower works just like a muscle! Overtrain/work your willpower just like a muscle, it falls into fatigue. But, on the opposite scope of it all, it can be strengthened making you more productive and happier with your choices and results. Below are some habits you can use to help create strength in your willpower and not allow yourself to hit that wall.

1) Write it Down!– Keep a journal that you can keep daily notes and tracking on how you perform or scheduled your day. Whether it’s for weight loss and keeping track of your daily meal plan and exercise to following through on business building techniques for your business. This is a way to track back. So if in times where you start to fall short or hit a wall, you can track back to when things were good and progressing.

2) Don’t Procrastinate! – When you procrastinate on a task or get anxious, research has shown we tend to give into an urge to improve our moods by doing something else. One suggested book to read is Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy. Suck it up, and get the hardest most daunting task done first!

3) Be on the OFFENSE team! – Many people are successful at making good choices and not constantly battling their will because they put themselves in situations where temptation isn’t even a choice. If you can proactively arrange your day and your life to avoid problems or bad choices in temptation, you will have a much smoother day with sticking to your plan in action. If you are trying to lose weight, plan your meals for the day and don’t fall into the lunchtime crew heading out to the all you can eat buffet! If you are working on habitual for jumping back and forth between email, twitter, and facebook to avoid a work assignment, close those programs or shut the computer down if possible! People who are proactive avoid risk. Just like taking your car in for check up and maintenance.

4) Pick your Battles! – You can’t control every situation or every temptation in front of you. It’s easy to fall into a trap where everything just goes to “pot” because you are stressed out with too many situations, obligations, and tasks! Choose your timing! If you are just starting a new job, trying to lose weight, and trying to quit smoking, maybe lighten up on how strict your efforts are while you take on such a major change in your life. Keep that forward progress but maybe put the breaks or slow down on the pace.

5) Reward yourself often! – People love incentives. Your reward doesn’t always have to be like a kid in a candy store. Making good choices on your rewards can be as simple as doing something you normal don’t have the chance to do, like a massage or pedicure. Or even schedule a babysitter so you can go out for a couple hours and do anything you want. It can even be having a day or meal where you take in some of the most desired treats you have been cutting back.

Success in your goals and achievements is planned. It’s a plan laid out like a blue print. You can’t build a house, unless you have a blue print. Work on creating habits that won’t leave you agitated and fighting with yourself every day. Find a way where it’s reasonable, takes maybe a different pace than you initially wanted, but will lay out a plan for success.

How to Fit in Working Out When You are TOO BUSY?

Fact- You are NOT too busy, you just haven’t scheduled in the time to work out or you haven’t made it a priority in your life. It’s just an excuse, and first thing you have to do, is admit that you are making excuses. I think nowadays, we can all have an argument on who is busier than whom, correct?
I have had many directions and obstacles in my life that could easily be used as an excuse as to why I wasn’t working out. I used to travel nationally/internationally. Flying all day, working all day in an unknown environment, eating out every day; easy recipe to just go back to the hotel and watch tv.
I have had 2 babies, both via c-section all while working 2 full time jobs, 1 managing and developing 60 fitness professionals for a major fitness company and the other was starting up my home business JC Dwyer, Inc where I’m working in creating a monster downline and achievement in the Team Beachbody home business. I was also scheduling and presenting trainings on weekends (3rd job) and so much more! Was that an excuse, could be, but wasn’t.

I’m going to be honest, I personally don’t LOVE working out all the time. I’ll be VERY honest. If it wasn’t for me teaching group exercise, working for fitness celebrity Chalene Johnson, and being a fitness and health coach with the Team Beachbody business, I probably wouldn’t think to work out as much.
But even if those things aren’t your goals or even have the opportunity to do that, you don’t have to believe that’s what you have to do, to do it. You may just need to find the reason for accountability. Because, that is one of mine.

Recently, I moved from upstate Rochester NY to outside of Dallas TX. Family of 4, driving 2 separate vehicles, 1500 miles. My 2 toddlers always wanted to ride in mommies car, which I loved =). But moving across country, away from the state you have always known, the life you developed, comforts of home- is stressful and exhausting.
I didn’t schedule in working out. Left it up to it would only be a couple days, I’ll get back into it. But the struggles of waiting to get into your new home, closing, getting the your stuff moved in from the truck, putting it away can easily be an excuse to not fit in exercise. I did just that! Didn’t schedule it and left it up to how I felt that day and if I had time to work out.
I’m now faced with no classes to teach for group exercise! That was an EASY way for me to have it on schedule, I had to teach other people! It’s up in my hands now.

After 1 week of packing up, traveling across country, unpacking some, I finally scheduled a work out.
It felt horrible! I wanted to quit so many times, but I had to follow through and just do it, because it’s that important.

Bring on the TURBO!


So the moral of this is, schedule it! Life is busy! You can easily let it take over you! If you work for someone else, work from home, or don’t even have a job, your day can easily escape you and get filled with errands and other people’s requests.
Each day, start with these tips to ensure you fit in exercise:

1) Get your work out gear ready the night before!
2) Make your To-Do list which includes your work out
3) Put it on your actual calendar- schedule the EXACT time you will work out!
4) Set an alarm reminder for 30 mins before your scheduled time
5) If you are overwhelmed with things to do when your work out time hits, and you HAVE to do them, change up the length and intensity of your work out to be faster and more intense.

The things you do for other people, the business you build, the meals you make, the errands you run are temporary. How you feel about how you look, your energy level, and your overall positive feeling that you did something for yourself is the fountain of youth. That is longevity, so make it a priority.

Are you Scared to Eat?

Do you REALLY believe that when you hear people say, eat more often to lose weight, that it’s true? Or do you think, “Well, for other people, but not MY body. I’ll gain weight if I actually eat!”

I struggled with this for the greater part of my adult life. Always challenged with eating too much, and gaining weight. When I wanted to lose weight, I was always successful when I barely ate anything or ate many “filler” foods like sugar free jello and salads! But ballooning back up as soon as I ate food again was just around the corner. I have always been into fitness and always had to battle with “looking the part.” Being a mesomorph, I would naturally have a stronger more muscular build, but I additionally would hold/gain fat easily if I wasn’t too careful.

It has taken me years to figure out how my body works, but mostly in general, how to have my body work for me. I struggled with the concept of eating more often because I didn’t understand how to plan my meals and the right amount of protein, carbs, fats and calories I should eat to reach my goals.
I still don’t count these grams and ratios exactly but now just match up what I know I should be eating and stay within a calorie range.

You may find some arguments on the myth of eating multiple small mini-meals a day as opposed to the traditional eating three meals a day concept. In my studies and experience, eating 5-6 small meals a day works for most people in achieving their desired body fat goals. Many reasons why this works to be true:

1. You are eating more often so you mentally feel “fuller” and not starving for the next meal
2. Your body is processing food more frequently throughout the day, thus making it “work, thus burning more calories

BUT- BEWARE!!

Some people think of eating 5-6 mini meals a day, but fail to plan and prepare! You can easily fall into the bad trap of eating TOO MUCH each time you eat!

Here are my suggestions to ensure you meet your weight loss goals instead of defeating yourself and going back to the, “scared to eat” problem:

1. Be as planned and prepared as you can to eat 5-6 small meals a day. If you like variety, plan each mini meal to have 2-3 options to choose from each day. Some people prefer the same thing everyday (that’s me). It decreases me having to think of what to eat, preparing food, and shopping is easier!
2. Know what your daily caloric intake should be for your body fat goal. For your goal, be sure to know what your maintenance caloric needs are, and then work on decreasing your caloric intake to lose weight up to no more than 2 lbs a week.
3. Start Simple! Avoid being too creative and “fancy” with the preparation of your food, especially if you are just starting out on trying to eat better and to eat more often.
4. Be sure to get enough protein! It’s easy to think of fruit, vegetables, and carbs when planning your meals. Each “meal” should involve a protein source
5. Supplement! You don’t always have to sit down for a plated meal. Using meal replacement or protein bars or shakes are a great way to “pop” food in so you are fueling the fire in your belly!

More importantly, this isn’t a diet, this is a lifestyle. Never “go on a diet”, because “going” is an action of forward process where a destination should be reached. Eating to work with your body to tweak out where you want to create and define it is where you may tighten up on your daily diet, but it is just that, a daily nutritional diet.

Exercise is highly critical in developing a strong body as you work to define it, but that’s a whole other topic! =)

Stretch Much?

Ok, so maybe Stretch Armstrong is a little stretch of the imagination of how flexible we may be, but ya get the point. A question I get a lot is how and when to stretch.

There are several different types of stretches, as well as different techniques so I’m not going to dive into the fine detail and definition of all of the possibilities.

Some common categories of stretching that you can do on your own (without a partner pulling or pushing to create a stretch or force) are ballistic, dynamic, & static.

The first stretch I mentioned, ballistic – don’t do it. It’s basically been banned due to the injury possibilities and no beneficial effect over other, safer, forms of stretching. Ballistic stretching is the bouncing type of stretching, where you take the muscle to near its limit and then bounce to stretch it further using momentum. For example reaching over to touch your toes and bouncing to increase the range even further. this kind of stretching can injure vital muscles and nerves with the sharp jerking movements.

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. There is no bouncing, quick movement or jerking. It is slow and controlled; such as slow, controlled leg swings, arm swings, or torso twists.

There is also static stretching, which is the most commonly used type of stretch. This is when you reach into a stretch position, stretching to your farthest point and hold the stretch for a length of time. You feel a stretch in the ‘belly’ of the muscle, not in the joints.

So – do you stretch right off the bat before you get going into your workout or sport to get your muscles ready to go? Research shows that stretching immediately before your workout or sport can actually hinder your activity and can even cause injury.

See. there is a difference between warming up and stretching.

Our muscles are like taffy. If you left a piece of taffy sitting in the cold for a while, then grabbed it and started stretching it – what happens? SNAP! But if you warmed it up first, and then started stretching, now we’re talking Stretch Armstrong flexibility.

So get warm first. And warm ups will vary, depending on what you’re warming up for. You may want to mimic the type of activity you’re going to be doing, but in a slower, controlled way. For example with Turbo workouts, the warm up starts out with controlled punches, knee lifts, but some stretching is then integrated in the form of squats, shoulder rolls, etc to get the blood flowing to the major muscle groups as well as to prepare them for what’s coming.

Then rock your workout or play your game hard. And then cool down.

And THEN stretch. A lot of the studies haven’t really confirmed whether stretching prevents injuries or improves performance but may reduce soreness and help with flexibility. So whatever your reason for stretching – just make sure your body and muscles are warm and you are careful in your technique.

“You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~Bob Harper ;~}

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