PROGRESS MOTIVATION

Image

I’ve been doing really well lately with my workouts and diet and I can finally see some results. Although I do have cravings, I am pretty adament not to cave in to them. Have you noticed the only difference between crave and cave is the R. 😉

One thing I have changed in my eating though is the amount of fats I eat. I have upped it almost 100% and I can notice a big difference. Not only in my energy level but also on the way my weight is dropping. I’ve also upped my calories from around 1200 to about 15-1600. Protein level is still high but my carb count (and I eat A LOT of veggies) is around 30-35 gr per day. I train at least once a day and on my rest days (Friday and Sunday) I only take walks with the dog. So far I have dropped 3,3 kg in 2,5 weeks. Granted the first week it was mostly water weight, but damn it feels good anyway. The pounds have snuck their way in there again and I got comfortable with eating a little bit here and a little bit there. Nope. Not anymore! And no, it’s not EASY to get up at 5:15 in the morning to go for a run and then do some strength workouts at home, all before going to work. And no it’s not easy to say NO to those yummy afternoon snacks my colleagues or boss gets for all of us to munch on. And no it’s not easy weighing and calculating EVERYTHING that passes my lips. But yes, I’m loving the reward. And the photo I’ve posted with this blog entry is now attached to my fridge because it keeps me focused. A healthy life is what I want. A fitter body is what i want. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but if it wouldn’t be, then it wouldn’t change me. When you pray for strength, you get tested in order to show you’ve got the strength. Nothing comes for free. You’ve got to work for it. And the reward is so much sweeter in the end!

Advertisements

THE ORDER

“1. Diet
2. Diet
3. Weight Training
4. Sleep
5. Cardio
6. Supplements
Diet is far and away the most important, so I’ve listed it twice. Weight training keeps your metabolism up, and that means more fat burning. Sleep is crucial for recovery, cardio helps burn fat, and supplements can be useful as well–once all these other elements are in place.”

FRIDAY CROSSFIT WOD

Holy schlofogomus it was hard to get out of bed this morning! But as I was arguing with myself, discussing reasons to pull out, I thought: I will never regret getting up and going for a run, but I will almost always (unless I’m sick) regret if I don’t go for a run. Which is so TRUE!! Although very sore from the boxing session I made it to last night, I managed to give the run a good go. I even managed to do a CrossFit WOD consisting of 3 exercises:

  1. Sprint 25 metres x 5
  2. Jump pull-ups 5-5-5-5
  3. Air squats 10-10-10-10

Still need to work on my pull-ups and it’s definitely one of my goals to be able to do them strict or kipping without jumping. Strrrrong!

FROM REST TO CROSSFIT WOD

20120327-221530.jpg

Some people say it’s good to rest your body. I say sure, but not too long.

This morning was euphoric for me, to get up early and take a run in the chilly air, not a person around. Just me and my dog and the sound of my shoes pounding the pavement. The feeling and happiness is undescribeable.

Somebody at work commented yesterday on me looking different. I never thought that my involountary rest period would be so noticeable, but I suppose the lack of energy in my eyes could have given it away. Exercising makes me feel alive. And rightly so! I have never understood people who exercise below or just up to the limit of what they think they can do, when they can improve and reep the benefits so much more by pushing themselves a little bit further.

This morning together with my run, I did a Crossfit Workout Of the Day, or a WOD. I found an old tire, weighing about 12 pounds, in the field where I usually do some exercises, and I decided to use it for my drills:

10 push-ups
10 squat w tire press
15 one-arm tire throws
10 full range burpees
20 bicycle crunches

All these exercises x 2 as fast as I could without rest in between.

I’m totally sold on Crossfit. I love the intensity, the near death experience of fatigue, every cell in your body doing their best to make it work, and the pride when you complete it. Love it!

Now some Zzz’s before the alarm rings at 05:20. Nite!

BODY SCAN RESULTS

Today I got to do a body scan to see if my physique is good enough and also to see where I can improve. Although I keep a good diet and I train well, I was a bit nervous to see the results. I got a lot of test results back, but the one I was the happiest about, considering I have been skinny, then FAT, and now I have a fairly normal body size, was that my abdominal fat was a 4 on a scale of 1-12 in the normal range (then the range continues 13-59 for overweight people). Yay! But that also proved the fact that a lot of my belly pudge is excess skin stretched out and not bounced back from my years of having been a big girl. Bummer. Oh well, I will have to learn to live with that. Other test results:

  • I scored 45, out of a max of 50, in my diet and training test. Boo-Yah!
  • My bone density is way above normal for my weight. Excellent!
  • My metabolic age is below my biological age. Heck yeah!!!

So all in all, I was quite pleased with myself, but it can always get better… as soon as my back is feeling better, which I have decided is in exactly 2.5 weeks! Haha! I am taking it easier, and have been for a few weeks now, but would love to step it up and concentrate more on building muscle again. But for now, 8 hrs sleep, then tomorrow, teach 3 group training classes. Bring it! 🙂

A LETTER TO THE WEAK ME

When I was at the Arnold this weekend, I heard so much feedback about something I wrote a long time ago. I wrote it so long ago, I didn’t even have it saved on my computer! But luckily a friend of mine sent it back to me so I could share it on this page.

I wrote this one day when I was exhausted from working my butt off, sick of dieting, and just plain exhausted. I remembered that when I’d woken up that morning, I felt strong and eager to eat healthy and work out that day, but as the day wore on, I got exhausted and lost my motivation. So here’s the letter from the strong me to the weak me — I hope it can help you!

*  *  *Dear Weak [enter your name],

I get it. You’re dying for a piece of candy. Maybe it’s not the candy (or the pastries, or whatever), maybe you’re bored, you’re hungry, you’re tired of thinking about the candy all day and you’re just saying screw it. One bite, one piece, one serving/helping, and then i’m done, I’ll go to the gym, I’ll go home for the night, I’m still on track.

You’re bored.

This is absolutely the stupidest reason imaginable to throw yourself off track, feel disappointed in yourself and your lack of self-control, give yourself a belly you’ll have to work off for four days, screw up the carb deficit that I work hard every single day to create, feel cranky, avoid plans with friends or your boyfriend, dread the weekend, add stress to your already stressful life, etc. Remember, you never get bored of accidentally discovering how slim you are, whether it’s in the fitting room, when lining up progress pictures, in the locker room at the gym, when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a window as you walk down the street, when someone calls you “slim” or “toned” or “fit”. THOSE THINGS never get boring. Focus on how fun and exciting that part of the process is and ignore the rest. For my sake.

You’re hungry.

Go drink four glasses of water right now. Back? OK. Are you still hungry? If so, email someone you can confide in. Or eat a protein bar, or go microwave some broccoli. You know that will fill you up and do good things for your body and your goals. You don’t want the broccoli? Then you’re not hungry.

You’re saying “Screw it.”

If you want to quit this journey, decide to quit and then you can eat pizza and drink beer every night. You an go out with your friends and eat hors d’oeuvres all night long. you won’t feel good, but at least you will be free.

So…is it the freedom that you really want? No. You’re having a momentary lapse. Well, think about me. The one who preps all her food for the week on Sunday night, the one with abs, the one who’s going to stand up on stage in front of 10,000 people and turn her back and stick out her butt. I’m the one who feels awesome in her clothes, the one who prances around the gym like she owns the place, the one who drags herself out of bed to do early morning cardio, the one who inspires her family, and friends. Think about what you’re doing to ME, Strong [enter your own name], when you let a momentary “oh screw it” overtake and overcome all of the hard work I put in every single day, every time I go to a bar and wave off the waiter when he asks what I want to drink, every time I skillfully assemble a healthy, trap-free meal at a restaurant while everyone else orders fries and a third (or fourth…) beer or regular Coke.

And you know very well there’s no such things as “Just One Bite.”

Every single time you tell yourself you can handle having one taste of something, you’re wrong. Is it because you’re literally powerless in the face of sugar, is your insulin really swinging that hard that you can not resist? You know that you have a ton of self control. EVEN YOU (I obviously do). This isn’t about saying no; by the time you’ve had the first bite of sugar, you’ve given UP on saying no. You’re saying “yes,” and you will continue to do so until it’s time to go home or there is no more freakin’ candy left in the bowl (did you REALLY want a Mounds yesterday? They’re VILE!) So don’t ever let yourself cross over into saying “yes” to junk. Say “NO” for HEAVEN SAKE!!

A message from me to you.

I love you (even though you are the weak version of me) because we are the same person. You have a ton to be proud of and you should love the process and love how far you have come. You can go even farther, and you will be around less and less as time passes, you won’t have to read this letter as often. You are strong inside, this is only temporary, and it will pass. Now go get a cup of water and get back to kicking ass.

Love,

Strong [enter your name]

P.S. I’ll be back tomorrow morning when you wake up.

Text from Rachel Mac‘s Facebook Notes.

FRIDAY CROSSFIT CHALLENGE

Good morning JumpingJaxers! Here’s your Friday Crossfit Challenge. Try to do this circuit as fast as you can without losing form. If you have any questions about the exercises, ask me. Good luck!

50 push-ups
50 kettlebell/dumbbell swings
100 mountain climbers
25 full range butterfly sit-ups
25 full range burpees

Rest for 1 minute and repeat!

Music recommendation: SCOOTER!

Now, Just Do It!

20120302-064834.jpg

CARBS AT NIGHT: FAT LOSS KILLER…

…or imaginary boogeyman?

There are quite a few things that everyone in the fitness industry KNOWS. You have to eat 8 meals per day, consume 400g+ protein per day, do fasted cardio, use heavy weights to bulk up, and light weights wit high reps to tone up… oh wait, those are all BROSCIENCE! Don’t get me wrong, bodybuilding and fitness have been on the cutting edge of many dietary and training interventions that mainstream science is only now catching up. Unfortunately, the vetting process for many of these protocols isn’t exactly stringent. Thus, many things become accepted as fact, when in reality they are BROSCIENCE. The debate about whether or not it’s ok to have carbs at night has been all but settled in the fitness industry. You simply can’t consume a shred of carbohydrates at night or you will store fat faster than vampire rises after the sun sets! That is, according to many fitness ‘experts’ out there, most of whose credentials are worth about as much as a thin sheet of slightly used one ply toilet paper. So Anthony Collova, owner of Broscience.com and IIFYM.com asked me to look into this fitness factoid to determine if eating carbs at night was actually detrimental to your body composition or if it was all broscience.

So where did this ‘no carbs at night’ thing come from?
In order to properly asses this fitness ‘fact’ we need to understand why limiting carbs at night is recommended in the first place. Most ‘experts’ who recommend limiting carbs at night do so because their assertion is since you will be going to sleep soon, your metabolism will slow down and those carbohydrates will have a greater chance at being stored as fat compared to if they were consumed earlier in the day where they would have a greater probability of being burned. Seems reasonable, but broscience always ‘sounds’ reasonable. They also often assert that insulin sensitivity is reduced at night, shifting your carb storing directionality towards fat and away from muscle.

Let’s tackle the issue of metabolic rate slowing down at night time first. The logic behind this theory seems reasonable enough: you lie down in a bed and don’t really move, just sleep, so obviously you are burning less calories than if you are awake doing stuff, even if you are just sitting in a chair or couch resting, you have to burn more calories than just sleeping right? At first glance this seems to jive with work from Katoyose et al. which showed that energy expenditure decreased during the first half of sleep approximately 35% (1). However, these researchers did show that during the latter half of sleep energy expenditure significantly increased associated with REM sleep. So, there are rises and falls in sleeping metabolic rate (SMR), but what is the overall effect? Interestingly, at the very least it does not appear that the average overall energy expenditure during sleep is any different than resting metabolic rate (RMR) during the day (2, 3). Additionally, it appears that exercise increases sleeping metabolic rate significantly leading to greater fat oxidation during sleep (4). This seems to be in line with data from Zhang et al. which demonstrated that obese individuals had sleeping metabolic rates lower than their resting metabolic rates, whereas lean individuals had sleeping metabolic rates significantly greater than their resting metabolic rate (3). So unless you are obese, not only does your metabolism NOT slow down during sleep, it actually increases! The idea that you should avoid carbs at night because your metabolism slows down and you won’t ‘burn them off’ definitely doesn’t pass the litmus test.

So the whole ‘don’t eat carbs at night’ thing is definitely broscience right?
So far, the fear of carbs at night certainly smells like broscience, but before we render a verdict, let’s examine things further. There is also the issue of insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance to address. This is where things get interesting. Compared to morning meals, levels of blood glucose and blood insulin definitely remain elevated longer with evening meals (5, 6). Ah ha! There it is, proof, that you shouldn’t consume carbs at night right? Not so fast. Though insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance appear to be worse at night compared to a morning meal, it is important to keep in mind that a morning meal is after an overnight fast and the fast may improve insulin sensitivity. Perhaps a more fair comparison is a mid day meal vs. a night time meal. In this case there is actually no difference in insulin sensitivity or glucose tolerance (5). Therefore, it appears that insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance are not necessarily impaired and night, but rather are merely enhanced by an overnight fast.

Does any of this science mumbo jumbo actually make a difference?
While it is great to talk about mechanisms and nitpick every intricate detail about metabolism, at the end of the day, we have to examine whether or not any of this stuff makes any difference. Fortunately for us, a recent study published in the Journal of Obesity examined this very question (7). These researchers from Israel put people on a calorically restricted diet for 6 months and split them into two groups, a control group and an experimental group. Each group consumed the same amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat but they distributed their carbohydrate intake very differently. One group (control) ate carbs throughout the day, whereas the experimental group consumed the majority of their carbohydrate intake (approximately 80% of the total) at the night. What they found after 6 months may shock you. Not only did the experimental group consuming the majority of their carbs at night lose significantly more weight and bodyfat than the control group, they also were better satiety and less hunger!

Whoa hold up… less hunger? I don’t buy it.
You heard me right, they were less hungry. Now I’m sure all of you that have been following typical fitness protocols where you eat 6 times per day and have most of your carbs earlier in the day are thinking “man if I went more than 2-3 hours without carbs I’d be starving!” Well my friends you are buying into a vicious cycle I’m afraid. Let me explain: when you eat small amount of carbs frequently you are basically titrating in glucose to your system. To dispose of this glucose your body releases insulin to drive blood glucose into cells. Over-secretion of insulin however may cause hunger to rise (typically about 2-3 hours post meal, the approximate time course of an insulin response), but no problem, you are eating every 2-3 hours anyway right? Just titrate in some more glucose. Unfortunately this makes you crave and consume glucose like clockwork and tricks many people into thinking that they NEED carbs every 2-3 hours or they would be hungry when in fact the opposite is true. If you ate carbs less frequently with further time between carb dosings, you would be less hungry because your own body would ramp up systems that deal with endogenous glucose production, and keep your blood glucose steady. When you consume carbs every 2-3 hours however this system of glucose production (gluconeogenesis) becomes chronically down regulated and you must rely on exogenous carb intake to maintain your blood glucose levels. Now if you transition from eating carbs every 2-3 hours to further apart for the first few days you may be hungry until your body has adjusted to using gluconeogenesis to maintain blood glucose rather than just eating carbs every 2-3 hours, but once you do adjust, you will find that you are far less hungry. Bringing things full circle, this is exactly what the researchers found! These subjects were hungrier in the first week of the diet compared to 90 and 180 days into the diet where they were much more satiated.

So what’s the explanation for the night time carb group losing more body fat and being more satiated than the control group (maybe we should call them the ‘bro’ group)? The researchers postulated that more favorable shifts in hormones may be the difference. The baseline insulin values in the experimental group eating the majority of carbs at night were significantly lower than those eating carbs during the day (7). So much for carbs at night decreasing insulin sensitivity huh? Additionally, the experimental group had much higher levels of adiponectin, a hormone associated with increased insulin sensitivity and fat burning. They also had a trend for slightly higher leptin levels. Furthermore, the night time carb munchers had lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher levels of HDL (good) Cholesterol. Overall the people eating the majority of their carbs at night lost more bodyfat and had better markers of health by the end of the study than those who ate more of their carbs during the day time.

So what’s the verdict?
I am not ready to say that we should all be eating the majority of our carbs at night. I would like to see this study repeated but with a bolus amount of carbs eaten at one meal in the morning to properly compare it to the single high carb meal at night, whereas the previous study compared a bolus night time carb meal vs. several feedings of carbs throughout the day. It may very well be that the beneficial effects of the diet in this study was more associated with limiting carb dosing (and insulin secretion) to a single bolus rather than spreading them throughout the day. However, I think what can be said with relative certainly is the notion that consuming carbohydrates at night will lead to more fat gain, or impair fat loss compared to consuming them at other times of the day. So write it down “Don’t eat carbs at night bro” has officially been BUSTED as BROSCIENCE!

Article taken from Broscience.

FAT VS. MUSCLE

For those of you who are still putting more emphasis on the number on the SCALE and not your overall progress: STOP.

I often get requests for exercises that tone, but from people who don’t want to gain muscle. It doesn’t work that way. Toning IS gaining muscle. But gaining muscle does not mean gaining size. Many women have an unnatural fear of the word gain so the marketing world uses words like toning, tightening, flattening, slimming, shave inches etc. ALL of these words mean gaining muscle & losing fat.

Muscle is more dense than fat: pound for pound it takes up less room. You can lose fat & inches without the scale moving. You can get the body you want without losing weight.
The purpose of this photo is to visually demonstrate why the scale doesn’t matter if you’re training hard & SEEING results. If you feel like your balloon gets busted each and every time you step on the scale, you NEED to change the way you think/feel about it or give it up all together. The scale can be a valuable tool to check in on your progress when you’ve got loads of weight to lose, but beyond that it doesn’t tell the whole story and should not be your ultimate goal.

In other words, at the end of the day, the numbers do NOT matter. Decide whether or not you want the body (yay) OR the number (boo). The two don’t always coincide.

Taken from Fit Villains.