This is my list of favorite fitness related self-care items. I am not paid in any way to recommend these. They answer the “which is the best..” question I’m asked about in each category. Prices range from $8-$800. [There are 3 pages of recommendations]
Flipping through my own Facebook feed, I saw many fellow colleagues demonstrating what they thought was going to be uplifting and inspiring images of themselves flipping tires, doing single leg deadlifts on the wrong side of a Bosu ball with heavy weight, pull up challenges, or setting a timer for like as many reps as possible in a minute of Burpee’s– things like that. I’m sure that spoke to their folks but I’m not their folks. That stuff doesn’t speak to me and I’m a Personal Trainer. That stuff makes me just want to hang out on the couch eating a bunch of chips. Iif I had to do that stuff for an hour a day, that would not be a life with living. I want to fill you in on a little secret… you don’t have to do that kind of workout to get fit! You don’t have to be miserable. You don’t have to go on a restrictive diet, and you don’t have to do a bunch of really boring routines, or dangerously strenuous athletic feats to get fit.
I have 10 years of experience as a personal trainer and have a different kind of solution for you. You have already heard about my fun safe and effective workout classes that help women go from being the kind a lady who doesn’t like to work out to someone who doesn’t want to miss a workout because its fun and they feel stronger and energized, but I have something new that I’m excited to tell you about.More than a workout class, it is actually a total body transformation. It’s the whole deal.
This VIP Signature Membership is for you if you can’t get yourself to work out, you can’t work out regularly, you don’t stick to a program, or you tried joining a gym and working out with some trainer who yelled at you and made you feel bad and you are ready for something different.
This VIP Signature Membership includes a program design specific to your needs goals and to work around your injuries. You are going to finally going to learn how much cardio, how often, and how intense to get you results without being miserable, You’re going to finally learn how much resistance training, what type of resistance training, how often, and how intense, what modalities are going to work for you. Actually enjoying it means you will actually stick with it and you’re going to get those results without restrictive dieting, boring workouts or super athletic feats. Besides, how many times do we see that the exercises given by some trainers might be right for the trainer who offered it but not right for you and your goals and your body and your history and your likes and dislikes?!? Enough.
Fact is most folks quit a new exercise routine in three weeks because there’s no real accountability. In this program you get access to me, your Trainer. You can call me, text me and ask me your questions and get encouragement and guidance. Also you have group support of other committed ladies who are there to cheer you on.
You also get the Atomic Habits seminar included (a $100 value) which teaches you the mindset and skills to make healthy habits that stick. You are going to learn good form that you will take with you for life in any class anywhere that you ever take and you’re going to get a natural high. When that natural high kicks in, it’s going to keep you craving those results and those feelings are gonna keep you committed.
So if you have a looked in the mirror and you’ve been disappointed. If you feel sluggish. If you started and stopped exercise programs before or never really started– this programs is for you. if you have negative tapes playing in your brain, we can change those tapes one work out at a time. Did you try diets and gym memberships and the frustration of trying to figure it out on your own? Were you overwhelmed with so many options that three months ago you thought you would make a change but you’re in the same place right now as three months ago and nothing has changed?
You are worth it and I will help you. I’m going to give you the skills, the coaching, the community, the accountabilty, and the mindset with the one on ones and the atomic habits seminar and the tools all the classes both live and recorded that you already paid for so you know you have to show up. Show up, do the work, get results.
With the coaching, you’re gonna find your WHY. Maybe your why is to look better, to feel stronger. Maybe there’s another why that you don’t even want to admit to yourself because you’re ashamed of it but it’s meaningful to you? We’re gonna find out. Maybe it’s to be able to chase your kids or your grandkids without being so breathless. To kick cancer’s butt? Maybe its just to feel better and accomplish something you set your mind to. Maybe you want to have a better mood so you can get along better with the people at home that love you. It’s really time for measurable transformation.
Look at what some of my clients have said after training with me. (You’ll see their complete testimonials on getfitwithKayla.com)
Sarah Barrett says, “I’ve gotten stronger in the time that I’ve worked out with her and I’ve noticed a difference in the shape of my body. Kayla always challenges me to push harder but knows my limits as well. Kayla sometimes acts a little goofy and that allows me to feel more free, less worried about anything.”
Bracha Magid says, “ I never thought I could get this far and it’s all thanks to you! ..You’ve not only helped me feel good about myself but you’ve given me skills to keep going on my own.”
Runya wagner says, “She creates a warm atmosphere snd makes you feel comfortable any level that you’re on. Kayla personalizes your program to fit each person‘s individual needs. Just after a few weeks I feel stronger and healthier.”
Elizabeth Gottlieb says, “Thank you for helping me get to a place of I can do this.”
So what is it going to cost you to not join the VIP signature membership? Will you be in the same place three months from now? Will you still be contemplating maybe taking up a fitness class but not hitting play because that class doesn’t feel like playing? Fitness is play time for grown-ups! Are you going to be three months closer to your goals of feeling better, stronger, more confident, having more energy, maybe moving away from health risks. Maybe not taking medication?
This is an investment is a commitment. It is not just a bunch of fun classes. It is a total body transformation and that doesn’t happen after a one hour class. And it doesn’t happen after just 10 sessions. This membership program is for a select group of ladies who are ready to get signature classes, signature coaching, and have a signature personalized result of that is measurable at the end of our hopefully at least three months of working together.
Whether you want to have more energy and finally break through and become a regular exerciser we’re going to measure your energy level your stamina your strength your flexibility and get tangible results. That’s my commitment to you. But I cannot do the work for you. You have to show up do the work.
You know why am so sure that I can get you results? Because I did it. So I can show you how. I was skinny fat. I was 33% body fat and my cholesterol was so high that the Doctor wanted to put me on a statin drug. He asked me what I did for exercise and I told him the truth.. ( this was many years ago, before I became a trainer) and I told him I had two kids 14 1/2 months apart. I chase toddlers. All day, every day. He said it wasn’t enough. It was activity and it was exhausting but it wasn’t exercise that was getting me results in terms of a lower cholesterol level and lower body fat that was going to stop putting me at risk. Even though I was wearing a size 12 and I don’t think anybody knew that I wasn’t healthy but I wasn’t. I did what any responsible new Mommy would do and I walked over to the gym I put down my credit card and I joined and I showed up. I showed up four or five days a week for an hour each time and worked my butt off. I went back to the doctor and, you know what? No. Nothing. I hadn’t changed size there was a little movement in the numbers but it just wasn’t enough. So I hired a trainer. After six weeks following the simple tweaks she gave me to work out smarter not harder, I lost 10 pounds and I dropped my cholesterol by 13 points. Then I realized I could do her job and I can do her job better.
See, she gave me the point in the right direction- how much and how intense but I felt like I wanted to know more and asking her questions might be a bother. A sense of humor helps. Maybe even a decent soundtrack. A trainer should show you that special personal trainer love that pushes you just the right amount (not like a drill sergeant) but also teaches you to learn to love yourself in the right way. I also think women don’t necessarily need their trainer to be their best bud but they should get you, and you should feel comfortable with the trainer.
I got you. I am not sending you work outs in a tank top and short shorts where you’re embarrassed to have tour husband or sons come in the room. I get your holidays and all the messages out food and mixed messages about working out that we get in our community and our culture. The other ladies in the group also will get you and you will not be alone on your journey.
If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and if you are ready to decrease the risk of diseases like stroke and heart disease and diabetes, its time to make this investment in yourself. Can you envision what your quality of life would be if you would have the energy, good mood, strength, flexibility and stamina and know deep inside that you deserve to feel good in your body? I’m going to leave a link so you can join this special signature VIP membership program http://www.getfitwithkayla.as.me
Enroll Now http://www.getfitwithkayla.as.me
At the end of June, I found myself like many of you, questioning what the social unrest and the pandemic and the political upheaval and the economic downturn and the change in our lifestyle meant for what was truly meaningful and sustainable given our new reality? Where did my business and my future fit into all of this? What was my purpose..And…where was my unemployment check?
The bucket list…
Whenever I have an existential crisis, I turn to my “bucket list” – that list of things I revisit usually on or before High Holidays of things that I would regret not having accomplished if, heaven forbid, I were to kick the bucket and die. As morbid as that sounds, I think having and maintaining a bucket list is something that can provide uplifting motivation to keep on living when things get rough or help you reassess where you are spending your efforts when it seems you may have gone off track and need to reset your inner compass. On that list for over 10 years has been my dream to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training at YogaWorks.
But don’t you already teach yoga?…
Since I already teach yoga and have been certified to teach yoga for a while now, you may be wondering why I still had this on my list. Let me explain in terms my Jewish orthodox sisters may understand. Not everyone who attends seminary wants to be a teacher or Rebbetzin, but some do and for those that do, it can be a very important step. Everyone who attends wants to grow socially, spiritually, textually, or develop a comfort level with themselves and with the material so that their lifelong experience is forever enriched. They want to be among those who know rather than those who do not know, and have the ability to use the skills obtained to enable themselves learn whatever they do not yet know. Similarly, many people take a yoga teacher training in order to grow in their own practice, to become independent learners and to bring a higher level of knowledge to inform everything they do going forward. In addition, the 200 hour yoga teacher training has become a standard like a bachelor’s degree of sorts in the yoga world and different schools teach the curriculum with their own flavor to people who want to become yoga teachers.
What difference does it make where you train?…
Yogaworks has been offering teacher training for over 30 years and has produced some of the worlds most loved and renowned instructors of our time. They have a system that works like a formula; and gosh, I love the reliability of a formula. Yogaworks is a blend of the athletic fast paced Ashtanga vinyasa-flow style and the precision-alignment centered Iyengar style. It is known for having a thorough anatomy based approach to sequencing a class in a safe and effective manner (which makes so much sense coming from a personal training background that focuses upon alignment and working around injuries). It also touches upon the spiritual basis for yoga without being particularly “woo-woo” (some other programs put more emphasis on certain Hindu texts or history or Ayurveda or other spiritual practices outside of the Asana/physical practices). The trauma-informed yoga teacher training (which I completed in summer of 2019) focused on interoception- feelings inside the body -moreso than alignment of the outer body. The Yogaworks training is the perfect yang to that yin – a counterbalance to round out my approach.
What also was important to me about getting the 200 hour certification besides enriching my own understanding of the practice, recharging my own batteries, and being able to confidently reach more advanced yoga students with trauma-informed practices (beginners is my comfort zone) is that it is also a prerequisite for many of the advanced trauma-informed continuing education courses that interest me. Bringing my own flavor of trauma-informed yoga to women is something that I feel called to do.
So why didn’t you do this a long time ago?….
There have been some significant barriers to obtaining this 200 hour training which is why I have not done it until now. Some of these Barriers included: Time. 200 hours is a lot of time- away from work and away from my family, and Cost. Typically these trainings occur over 6 months or a year or in an exotic location and almost always include weekends-which does not work for my own religious practice and it doesn’t work for my family. Seriously, it is a miracle to find any type of yoga alliance (An independent agency for keeping some sort of standards on yoga teacher trainings and certifications world-wide) compliant training that does not interfere with Shabbat. I was only able to find a couple in the last 10 years that might have worked. Furthermore these trainings cost $3,000+ not including travel, food, books etc. Finally, 200 hours is a lot of time to spend learning with a particular teacher/s so finding someone’s whose voice and style doesn’t become irritating and whose philosophy and teaching style is one you would emulate is really important because at least initially, after all that time training with them, students tend to come out of the program sounding a lot like that teacher/s.
Then along came #SaferAtHome.Yogaworks offered an online 200 hour intensive format where you could complete the 200 hours in 6 weeks and the teachers were fabulous and also some were trauma-informed and the timing was perfect. Furthermore, being online live and interactive it was geared toward the kind of training I see myself doing. (Physical assists generally are not used in trauama-informed yoga and virtual training involves a set of skills verbal etc. which is different than in-person.) Summer is usually slower for me and it was a good time to take a step away and it worked for my family… and I was offered a partial scholarship which made it affordable. Two days before the program began, I signed up. I took the advice of those who had taken the intensive format before me and canceled all of my classes and groups. (This training pushed me to my mental, physical and emotional limits and despite my initial thinking that I would continue classes it just wasn’t possible. It was a very demanding and comprehensive program- as demanding as any of my graduate school courses.)
More Bendy Isn’t More Better?….
In addition to some very useful instruction for ideal alignment in yoga poses and how to progress them effectively and safely, I learned some surprising things which will benefit all of my clients, not just the yogis. One is that more bendy isn’t necessarily better. Some very flexible clients are more prone to hyperextension injuries and need to learn more strength and stabilization. I have already begun using those tools with some clients. We also learned about how yoga can be used to relieve back pain and headaches- two complaints I hear about frequently among clients. Most surprisingly the “woo-woo” aspects of Yoga- AKA the philosophical aspects of yoga do not contradict my religious practices and actually enhanced the tools I have to help clients with anxiety and depression or simply getting off the couch.
The timing could not be more serendipitous. This pandemic has at some point exceeded nearly everyone’s ability to cope. Maybe it left you feeling hopeless or helpless. If so, yoga and specifically the tools and techniques I hope to share are something you need now and can benefit from. The skills I learned this past summer will infuse all of my training in every format and help all of my clients gain more peace, stability, flexibility, support and more emotional equilibrium. I cannot wait to share what I have learned with you.
Sounds good but..Does this mean prices are going up?
Right now, no. I am leaving my prices as they have been. On average in Los Angeles, instructors who have only their 200 hour Yoga teacher certification (without any other credentials like personal training, group fitness, TRX, pre/postnatal, women’s fitness specializations etc.) charge $100/hour for private yoga sessions. I charge $70 for an hour private whether its yoga, personal training, kickboxing, TRX or otherwise and even less if you purchase a block or package of private sessions. Considering that I have not increased my fees in a very long time and there are additional expenses required to maintain this new certification and there are only so many sessions possible in a day, it is very likely my prices will increase in the near future. If you are considering purchasing a package of private sessions, do not wait! Yes you can stock up before the increase.
Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and patiently waiting for me to come back from this extended unexpected but very meaningful time off.
Has the stress of life right now made you turn to food to self-soothe? Maybe, you just find the lack of movement, because you are home more, is making your clothes fit a bit more snug?… And why are some fitness trainers telling you “hit the pause button” and NOT work out right now? Maybe you know you should work out but lack the energy.
Those are some of the things that this David-Covid meme bring up for me.
Have you seen that provocative David- Covid meme below? If you identify with it, you will want to pay close attention, because I’m going to give you 5 steps to break this pattern right now!
When I have asked people what they are doing to cope with the stress that this virus has brought with it and the anxiety of not knowing if you will catch it or if your business will be ok or if or if.. people have said they are coping by moving less and eating more which is supposedly the recipe for a larger waistline..and obesity is one of the largest risk factors for a poor outcome if one does contract COVID-19. So why then is it not obvious and EASY for us to do the things which are healthy… Or is it? Maybe you are ALREADY doing just that.
Why is it hardly anyone is saying man I am so stressed out that I am totally over-training. I run around the block so much Im gonna give myself an over-use injury?
Let’s be honest, when the stuff hits the fan, so can a lot of our habits./
And that is… OKAY! Seriously. I still like you. You still got this!
Coping mechanisms like overeating, bringing, drinking, smoking, staying up all night playing video games, over-sleeping, have a purpose. They offer comfort, distraction and emotional anesthesia.
Whatever crazy lazy or seemingly dysfunctional thing you are doing is a sign that your body is trying to help you feel better. How awesome and brilliant is THAT! Our brain has a way built in to help us relieve pain.
Long term, it is not ideal, but short term, hey, it works on some level. It serves a function. So treat yourself with the compassion that your body is saying it needs.
Consider for a moment (despite every fitness challenge you see on social media) your body is likely in a state of fight or flight- especially if you have been listening to the news too much. Extreme stress causes inflammation and oxidative stress. High intensity exercise also creates oxidative stress.
Know what’s also stressful?
When the body is stressed out, it then over indulges in coping behaviors to self soothe.. and THEN we beat ourselves up emotionally for having tried to soothe ourselves. That’s more stress. Which then begins the whole cycle yet again…
So what’s the answer?
When you see yourself going for the fridge.. Ask:
Am I Hungry or am I thirsty- maybe you’re just dehydrated?
Am I Angry?
Am I Lonely?
And I Tired?
And then treat your body with compassion. Honor what it is asking of you.
Speaking of compassion…
Well I have seen a lot of fit pros say that its time to “HIT the Pause button on exercise”.
I’m like WHAT? No.
When I hear the word pause. I hear Pregnant pause. I hear stop. Like I’ll come back to this when the world is less crazy.
Does that make sense?
Physical activity has such a broad array of psychological/emotional and physical benefits. Why would I hit the pause button on that when self-care is what I need most right now -when I’m in an elevated state of anxiety?
Doesn’t make sense to me.
Okay, this may not be the best time to have a transformational body.. to go hard and stay home.. to go hard at home. Something like that. But I digress
What this is, …is time to cultivate resilience. This is the time to show your body Love, not to beat it into submission.
This may not be a time to make major life changes: ie. change my eating habbits, throw out all the junk, go under the knife, cold turkey on sweets and get totally jacked in the gym. This is the time to acknowledge and validate: “I’m eating because..” Reflect here…..WITHOUT JUDGEMENT.
Maybe its because I’m stressed, so I’m clenching my jaw, so I’m getting headaches, so I’m not sleeping well, so then I’m eating. It’s a fact, not a judgement about what kind of person you are. Once you know the facts, see if you can figure out what the underlying feeling is: anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness?
Then recognize this is normal
Take ONE small step… Very Small…Almost imperceptible. Fly under the radar.
Because its like this: The Yetzer Hara…the evil inclination that lives within each person, is gonna rise up and try to derail you if the goal gets too big n’ lofty. You will find the challenges it presents are overwhelming. Like the minute you say I’m not eating sugar, your temptation for sugar will go through the roof.
Can you think of something small right now that would move you in the right direction?
For instance, Walk out the door for 10 minutes and come back?
Once you find that small thing,
Ask yourself: Is it self care or self harm?
Eating Cheetos can be self care but it could also be self- harm! How would we know the difference? What would self-harm with Cheetos look like?
“I’m a fat pig I’ll never get a date. I look like crap. I deserve to eat Cheetos. These things have MSG and will probably kill me and who wants to live if I have to live my life?”
Or, “I’m amazing. I feel good. I like Cheetos. They taste nice and salty, and I’m craving salt. I can have Cheetos. How do I feel now that I ate the Cheetos? Am I enjoying it? Is it satisfying me? Can I eat the Cheetos and savor them, or am I eating them and pushing them into my mouth as I do 20 other things? I can enjoy them!” Sounds like self-care.
Exercise also can be self-care or self-harm.
Make it something joyful…That’s self-care. Something that makes you feel good that is good for you. That’s self care.
Then celebrate it! Do it again… something small
I don’t want anyone hitting the pause button on exercise unless they are bed-ridden and even then maybe just some small movements or breathing.
Start with something small like joyful movement whatever that is to you. Start with celery this time not forever and a day from now. Avoid deprivation. Deprivation can easily slide into self- harm.
There’s a reason why we are doing unhealthy behaviors: we are trying to self-soothe.
Validate yourself and show yourself compassion
Trace it and face it- know what you are feeling. Figure out that underlying emotion.
Use HALT method..(hungry or thirsty/ angry/ lonely or tired)
- Don’t go whole hog… Take a small step in the direction you mean to go.
- Celebrate that small step and make it one of self care.
Bonus: Celebration not deprivation. If you are feeling deprived maybe its time to re-examine.. Or not. You are in the driver’s seat just know if you are flying above or below the radar of the Yetzer Hara.
Here is one small step. This week, consider for yourself if it is self care or self harm to take a workout class. Some folks’ self care is to work out alone. For me, self-care is to treat myself to a class.
I may not want to go initially but once I hear the music and someone is there watching me/ yelling at me/ interacting with me and I see other people I know doing it and I feel less alone. I’m less likely to quit in a class and by the end of it, I’m in a better mood.
For my full schedule of online classes click here
“Exercise improves your overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system — the body’s defense against infections.”It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes” It also lowers risks associated with depression and anxiety
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
At least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread this exercise throughout the week. Examples include running, walking or swimming. Even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and accumulated activity throughout the day adds up to provide health benefits. Strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Examples include lifting free weights, using weight machines or doing body-weight training
Wait.. HOW HARD are we talking now?
Take 220-your age. Then take 60-85% of that number and that’s about how hard you should be working in your cardio training. About a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10 or a talk but not sing level means you are really working. With weights you should lift as much weight for as many reps as it takes so the last 2-3 reps are very difficult to complete. This is where the change happens and your fitness level makes changes that you notice read more readily. That said any movement is generally better than no movement. If you are like me, on some days that’s unlikely to happen unless someone is there making sure I go that hard.
These are general guidelines. Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Listen to your body. For more customized recommendations book a personal consultation or training session.
BALLS TO THE WALL is a term used by pilots. When accelerating quickly, the throttle is pushed all the way to the panel and the throttle lever (ball) actually touches the panel (wall). Hence, balls to the wall. This is where we are. Less than 3 weeks until the Jews historically made their Exodus from Egypt. This is the time of year we are usually stocking our kitchens or making travel plans. A time when Spring cleaning has sprung and we know shortly after the Passover/Easter/ Spring Break hump we will find ourselves careening toward the end of school. Well, that’s what its been like at my house…except this year, like everyone else, I’m planning, and some mornings, tossing all those plans to the wind. This is the time to do your final push in sticking to or establishing a fitness routine.
If you have been digging your heels in since Winter Break you were probably well established in your fitness routine and it was probably pretty doubtful the spring holiday season would derail your progress. However, if you are more of a couch surfer you probably think most of your exercise will come from the tidying you will be doing around the house.
While such activities as moving the canned goods around and plotting the kids zoom schedule and organizing the pantry or cleaning the cupboards are indeed movement, and of course contribute to daily activity, they are hardly considered joyful movement by many of us. When it comes to establishing a fit lifestyle its JOYFUL movement we are after. That is part of self-care.
If psychobabble terms like self-care seem waaay too self-indulgent, consider it like brushing your teeth and combing your hair. They are necessary maintenance which make you feel fully human, best performed on the daily, and contribute to your wellbeing and longevity. They contribute to your body’s aesthetic as well as its function- to help you survive.
Also the more regularly I tend to the maintenence of my teeth for instance, the fewer trips I take to the dental hygenist and fewer problems, even sometimes brushing feels like a chore. Herein lies the rub. if we stick to it, it gets easier and if we neglect it, it starts to scream at us there’s a problem, and then it really, really, isn’t fun.
While we are adding the additional spring tidying and sorting to our to-do lists, I urge you: Don’t neglect the JOY in your movement and don’t mistake business for fitness. For movement to qualify as exercise that will make changes, it must be Vigorous and use your major muscle groups. So, as vigorous as you may get about picking clean the lint drawer in your dryer, it doesn’t count.
I would be happy to help you find the joy when you are ready
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid the alcohol- it lowers inhibitions and can lead to poor decision-making and dehydration
- 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.
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