Uncategorized

5 Reasons Some People Won’t Comment About Your Weight Loss:

  1. They are trying to be kind because they worry you might only hear that you didn’t look as good before you lost the weight and that thinner is better. 
  2. They might be concerned that if they comment about your weight loss it will make you feel that your worth is only based on your body or that they think that.
  3. They are concerned or they know complimenting your body might trigger unhealthy food restriction and preoccupation with body image. They don’t want to contribute to that.
  4. People might be concerned that your weight may have shifted because of disordered eating, a big life change, depression, stress, or sickness and might not be sure how to approach you about that. 
  5. Friends/family/acquaintances might not assume it was intentional or healthy or sustainable. 

It takes about 10 lbs of weight loss, or a dress size for people to notice. When I am working with a client, I know how hard they are training and how often they are training and sometimes I know what they are eating or should be eating. Therefore when I see results that don’t match what protocol I have designed, I’m concerned, very concerned.

The first major reason I am concerned is that if my client isn’t eating enough calories she can be prone to injury during the workout.  She might feel dizzy or nauseous during our workout and pass out and hurt herself. She might be developing or manifesting an unhealthy relationship with her body and with food or with exercise. She might experience more fatigue or injury as a result of the training protocol. She might be losing the gains in muscle we worked so hard to achieve because her body has had to use that muscle for fuel due to caloric restriction. She might get sick from overly stressing her body.

Also, I know from my education and from experience that some clients lose weight rapidly at the beginning of a workout regimen because its water. Others actually gain 2-3 lbs and then it falls off in a chunk 3 weeks in. These aren’t results of the workout or healthy eating as much as they are the body merely trying to regain homeostasis by making some temporary adjustments.

Rapid weight loss can cause health issues- not just because of the boomerang effect of crash dieting where one loses weight rapidly only to regain it all and more from damaging the metabolism but it can also cause rhythm desturbances in the heart. It’s not that I’m against rapid weight loss. The fact is the more weight you have on your body, the more rapidly you will lose it because our bodies don’t want to have all that lying around and just moving a large body results in more caloric expenditure. It is when it happens in ways that don’t add up based on a healthy protocol that alarm bells go off for me. I’m far more impressed with balanced, sustainable results. I want to know how you are feeling and how your energy level is and how your performance is and if anything is going on in your life which might be causing the rapid weight loss.

If you have been doing something consistently which has helped you achieve weightloss in a sustained way that you have worked hard for over time, you probably aren’t fishing for compliments. You have the inner pride knowing you worked hard over the long haul and you likely feel strong and can see your accomplishments in how much you can lift, how long you can perform, how your clothes fit and what level of energy you have.

Uncategorized

Maintaining Goals During the Holidays

For the client who is panicked about the meal itself and how it will affect her goals:
I’d like to take a moment to remind you that the main foods of Thanksgiving: turkey, sweet potato, green beans… on any other day we would call this diet food or clean eating.. LOL. So usually its not the food itself which is so worrisome but it could be.


Are you worried you are going to over eat?
Are you worried that the food will be prepared differently or will be different than the foods you usually eat?
What do you want your food consumption to look like at this meal? 
How do you want to feel during the meal and afterward?
How could you feel good during this meal?
Can you visualize yourself the way you want to feel after the weekend or gathering?
What could you do to prepare in advance to make yourself have that desired result?


The answers to these questions will be different for each client but these questions are some tools for you to begin to eat mindfully. 


If you are going to be away and not in control of the food and how its prepared or served, what you do have control over is eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full and not eating when you aren’t hungry. Allowing yourself time (20 minutes or so) for your body to register fullness. Or finding something else to do when you want to eat for reasons other than physical hunger.


Worst case scenario: you over-eat..and then you will get back on track and not blow it all out because its not about what you do one day or a couple of days. It is about what you do the rest of the year that determines the outcome of your combined choices. Maybe set the goal or intention to make it through the holiday with joy rather than being sick about worries about the food and definitely come back to training regardless of the outcome.


Here are a few more tricks to help you be able to make stick to these goals:

  1. Bulk up on self-care before the event: get enough sleep, fill up on time with people who “get you, “ meditate or take yoga or pray, work out and get those endorphins flowing get your nails done- whatever it takes to help you feel balanced, good enough and pretty enough.
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Avoid the alcohol- it lowers inhibitions and can lead to poor decision-making and dehydration
  4. Be your own best friend. If you find that you are saying things to yourself which don’t make you feel good, ask yourself if your best friend would talk to you this way. (If she would, it might be time to get a different best friend). Change the internal dialogue into one of affirmation and support. 
[with permission of Trista Eason]
Body Image, Uncategorized

Dealing with Inappropriate or Hurtful Comments About Your Body

Most data I have read indicates that comments about someone’s weight or size have the opposite effect that the speaker is hoping for-assuming their intentions are good and not about sabotage or intending to demean. The data indicates discussing health is better. (Though something inside me is nagging that this too can be problematic depending on how its done.) Some research says parents should never discuss weight or bodies with their children. This leaves some parents wondering if this is going to leave their children overly coddled and dependent and unable to handle the “real world.” They wonder if they won’t be honest with their children they would be negligent in parenting toward helping their children reach their highest potential.

A few years ago there was an op ed or article that gained widespread popularity that claimed we should never ever talk about bodies except to discuss what bodies can do rather than how they look. The premise was that to do otherwise would be to cause or lead to a disorder.  

I do think laying off the body shaming talk can be helpful. Furthermore, talking about what fit healthy bodies can do is very empowering and not at all dependent upon body size.  In my opinion, making all body talk off limits can be dangerously unhealthy in a different way to some people and extreme discomfort talking about bodies may be symptomatic of trauma or disordered body image. Any time we make certain topics taboo, it raises a red flag for me.  

Remember when cancer was discussed in hushed tones or not at all?..Or abuse? I want my kids to know they can talk to me about anything and that nothing is so shameful that it can’t be discussed at the right time with the right person. I know girls who looked to boys to tell them they were pretty because they didn’t feel like they got that kind of attention at home. Seems to me telling your child or anyone that they look pretty (assuming its done tastefully) shouldn’t be off limits. Only talking about what bodies can do or how they feel can also make someone feel invisible. However we know there are some folks who take body talk and especially body shaming to outrageous lengths and you may encounter some of these folks at your holiday dinner or in the street. 

 

Take for instance a pregnant woman who was told she always carries large in her pregnancies by a casual acquaintance. Maybe it makes you wonder if you are somehow letting yourself go. How about the relative who comments about your pretty face? Maybe this makes you wonder if the rest of you is dumpy. When a relative comments out loud that she shouldn’t be eating that fried item which you also have on your plate, does it mean that you shouldn’t be eating it or that it makes you a bad person if you do. Or the friend who is talking about how she is going on a diet tomorrow or how she went to the gym for 4 hours before coming to the event. Does this make you want to eat a whole pie or become a hamster on a wheel to work off everything?

If these comments evoke strong emotions or a compulsion to act in self-destructive ways, noticing that you are triggered is a fantastic step! Noticing the feeling before acting on it or before the tsunami of emotion takes over and you’re out of control with your response is tremendous.

Once you noticed that this stirred up a strong emotion for you. Ask yourself the question: What are my interpretations, thoughts and assumptions about what this person said.

Test your assumptions. Do they fit the facts?

For instance: The pregnant client who is told she carries large might say.. Ah I notice that I am feeling angry. I am angry because when this woman said this I (I’m making this up) felt shame, I felt worried that I was less than, or it reminded me of a time when….and I felt…. Then she can ask herself if its true. Do I carry large? If so, and her doctor said its fine, then no worries or if she is on pregnancy number 5 and this stranger has only seen other mamas on their first pregnancy maybe she is the one with the unrealistic expectations of what a pregnant body looks like rather than that she is carrying particularly large. Any other possibilities? Perhaps the person who made the comment is concerned about her own body image and is projecting that outwards. There are many possibilities. 

If you are sassy, maybe you can come up with a great comeback on the spot. For instance the lady who took the comment about her pretty face shot back with, “so what you’re saying it the rest of me is kind a piggy right.” Or the woman with the friend who talked about her hours and hours of workouts and dieting shot back with, “Are you saying all this because you’re so afraid of ending up like me.” If that is your style who am I to complain? Sounds like they asked for it. 

Perhaps its more your style to educate the commentator by letting her know size isn’t always an indicator of health or maybe you prefer to remove yourself from the triggering conversation by leaving the room or not going at all.. Maybe you want to be more direct and let the person know that body talk or diet talk isn’t helpful to you in reaching your goals and what would be more helpful is…(and insert what is helpful to you).  I can’t help you decide what is the right response for you but with some preparation and tuning into how you feel in your body might tell you what is.

If you know that you’re going to be with people who trigger you at holiday time, prepare in advance. How many times do we wish we had another 45 seconds to plan out what we’ll say and how we would have had the perfect response if we knew what was coming? If you have one of those kinds of holiday gatherings, you can anticipate in advance what will be said and how you want to feel and how you want to act. You can role play it with a friend or therapist in advance

General Health, Misc

Thankfulness

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Recent studies indicate gratitude can help strengthen your immune system, lower your blood pressure, reduce symptoms of illness, and even reduce your everyday aches and pains. So during this season of joy and giving, I’m wishing everyone more joy and gratitude attitude with 5 suggestions to help incorporate more gratitude into your life:

1. Start saying blessings over your food, over nature or have more intention and focus when you are saying them.

2. Have a gratitude journal where you write about someone or something that you encountered each day which was good. Use these things as affirmations or mantras when you may be feeling down.

3. Volunteer

4. Pay it forward– offer to pay for something for someone else that you have abundance in that they are lacking in (even if its paying their parking meter) or handing out a snack to a homeless person.

5. Take a walk in nature and focus on all the sights and smells you are appreciating.

Gratitude makes for improved physical health, happiness, enhanced sleep, improves self-esteem and better relationships. Gratitude is self-care

What are the ways you incorporate gratitude into your daily life? Tell me about it in the comments below.

I’m grateful for all my wonderful clients and the many ways they enrich my life by bringing their best to session and sometimes by bringing their worst but showing up anyway. Thanks for sharing the journey.

Uncategorized

Crunches are a Pain in the Neck

Question of the Month: Kayla, why does my head and neck hurt when doing crunches?

Crunches make my head hurt for so many reasons. As a trainer they hurt my head because I know that so many people think that doing more of them will get them the flat tummy they are after and also because so many people do them in a way that undermines those intentions. So many people complain when they hate situps and crunches because they hurt their necks or lower back.

The main form issues I see are folks tucking their chin to their chest and pulling down on the back of their head as they lift the shoulders off the floor.  Instead, to reduce neck strain, allow your head to be cradled by your hands and focus on keeping the elbows open. Exhale as you find a place on the ceiling to look at and as you raise your shoulders off the mat place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.  Also know that your neck strength is similar to other muscles- it gets stronger when you use it..but use it properly to avoid injury.

Another thing to think about is abdominal hollowing rather than bracing. When we brace sometimes we place pressure from the inside to the outside- in effect, poofing out the belly rather than pulling it in. This can exacerbate any weakness in the abdominal wall and even cause more major issues if there was a separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. So instead, practice abdominal hollowing by exhaling your bellybutton to your spine. NPR did a wonderful guided abdominal hollowing routine you can download for free that is even safe for use during pregnancy and is very similar to what I do with clients to prepare them for proper crunch/situp form.

Speaking of situps, if you are doing old-school full situps you may be placing undue strain on your lower back. Consider instead the crunch with abdominal hollowing as described above or plank/modified plank which is like a girdle inside for your entire core not just the upper abs the way crunches focus.

If you have any questions about fitness or would like hands on help or coaching feel free to give me a call. I can even help with this via facetime/skype.

Uncategorized

Help, I’ve fallen off the Exercise Wagon

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If you just spent the last month like I did:(A) With a piece of honey cake in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. (B) Doing an exercise routine exclusively made up of balancing hot dishes on one arm while walking laps in and out of the house. (C) Where relax and restore included multiple hours seated in meaningful contemplation or reading.. or (D) All of the above..AND/OR each week contained moments of forlorn looks in the mirror with concerns about your lack of energy and expanding waistline…Then you will want to read on about how to bounce back into working out.

First: Lets get real about expectations. You will want to pick up where you left off. This generally means you will want to return to the couch (Remember a body at rest tends to stay at rest from physics class in High School?!?) or You will want to jump headlong into cardio and double sessions in the gym. I want to take this moment to help you pause and do neither of those instinctive but completely unproductive impulses.

Instead, follow my

5 tips for getting back into exercise and fitness in a sustainable way:

1.Prepare for success. Lay your workout clothes and sneakers out before you go to bed. Schedule the workout in your planner and block out interruptions. Do that workout before you have time to think about it…because thinking during the next two weeks (your break back in period) will only get in your way.

2.Begin the way you mean to go on.  Plan on ONE thing you can stick with consistently FOREVER. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk three times a week. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk plus 20 setups and 10 modified pushups and a stretch. Maybe that’s eating a breakfast consisting of a carb and a protein for stable blood sugar. Pick that one thing you could reasonably stick with for the rest o yer life… and do it consistently for the next two weeks. If you don’t think you’re doing the keto diet for the rest o your life.. then you are not doing the keto diet— not today not next week, not ever. That means I want you to resist the urge to give 110% these first two weeks. You want to work out to a point where you notice there was something happening but not so sore you can’t move (and sometimes you can’t tell because soreness doesn’t kick in until 24-48 hours after).  This is NOT the time to push your limits. You do not want to miss a workout these first two weeks. You want consistency and consistency IS success. Soreness is not the indicator of success. Begin the way you mean to go on. I’m fairly certain you didn’t plan to go on needing to hold onto the walls easing yourself onto the toilet because …leg day. No. Nobody wants to live like that forever.

3.Read my post on SMART goals. Figure out your WHY and write that down. Why do you want to get fit? Wanna not die so soon? Write it down. Wanna look awesome for your niece’s wedding. Write it down. Wanna get up the stairs without passing out? Whatever that is figure it out now and write it down. Read this often. Put it in your phone. Do whatever you have to do. You’re in charge.

4.Have Fun. The more fun you have while doing the workout the more you will stick with it. Maybe you fell off the wagon because you were bored. Then try something new- a new class, a new sport, something which used to make you smile but you gave up years ago like dancing in your bedroom like Madonna to show tunes.

5.Get support. Need a sports bra, get it. New kicks, get it. Need to dial a friend, a counselor, a coach, a trainer? You can’t do this alone. You need support so plan that out. Register for a class or take that walk Wednesday with a friend. Always getting hurt on week two- call a trainer or a sports med doc or a physical therapist so you can move better and more.

Uncategorized

The Food Police

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I am NOT the food police. If you see me at a wedding, a kiddish, or a charity banquet and you are holding a pastry, you do not owe me an explanation or an apology. I didn’t ask and I wasn’t judging…That was all YOU.

I hear you. You “don’t always take a second helping of the beef stew”. You know you “shouldn’t really eat cold cuts because of the nitrate and cancer link but you have a taste for them right now”. You have been “really good all week and are limiting yourself to this one pastry and then you’re back on” your restrictive diet. You “know this food is bad but”… But nothing. You don’t actually owe me an explanation.

All of us make decisions.. a million decisions it seems about what we eat, how much we eat and when and where we eat it.  We don’t always comment about it to others. We aren’t always distressed about these choices… or maybe we do and we are?!?

After an especially long period of holidays, banquets, celebrations and community events I suspect I could tally more ladies commentaries about their food choices than other people. I know this because when  I explain in response to the comment about your food choice that I wasn’t thinking about it, or that I preferred the chocolate one, its usually followed with “yes but well you are a trainer..”

I’m gonna let you in on a secret. I’m trained to know about metabolism and some basic nutrition and unless you’re living under a rock, you also know a lot about foods and metabolism. I’m also a female who was raised in America reading the same magazine and watching tv and shopping at the same stores as you. I also want to look good in my clothes and I also know what I put in my mouth has some sort of effect on that. There’s a point at which some of this distress/concern about food can interfere with one’s joy in life though and it can snowball off of others and its important to keep an eye out or tune in about that.

Most of us are worried to some degree what others think of us, but I figure, while we’re worried what they are thinking of us, they are busy worrying about what we are thinking of them. It’s a wash. The other part of the time while you are concerned about looking gluttonous eating that second pastry they are probably thinking what you are thinking the rest of the time.. something mundane and completely unrelated like, “cute shoes but they really hurt my feet, maybe I should have gone with flats.” This is probably what I was thinking since I can’t manage heels with grace.

You, however, are the expert of You. Consider the function that choosing these foods or needing to justify choosing these foods serves for you. Is this respecting and listening to your body?  Are you able to eat that food with enjoyment and mindfulness or is your mind elsewhere?  If you find this distressing, or these types of decisions consume you, maybe book an appointment with the appropriate mental health professional for a session or two to discuss further. Trainers expertise is in movement and muscles. We are not the food police.