Sunday is transformation day in our challenge group. Each Sunday morning we weigh in, log measurements, and take pictures. We are documenting our journey so we can see week to week where we are growing and also to evaluate and see if we are truly taking the action that will lead us to our goals.
Inevitably, on week one, there will be someone that has busted their butt! They have done every work out, avoided all the junk, and stuck to their containers. They step on the scale with anticipation only to have their hopes dashed as the scale jumps, not down, but UP a few pounds.
The discouragement and anger are real, especially as others are posting all their progress! This is one of the reason I ask my challengers to track three ways. The scale is just a tool. Often when one of the measurements isn't budging, at least one of the others has had improvement, often MAJOR improvement! However, we get so focused on the scale, we lose sight of the big picture.
How is it possible to lose inches or see progress when the scale goes up? First, we need to look at what can happen to the body when we start a new program!
1. Temporary Inflammation. When you work out, you are tearing your muscle fibers. Just small little tears that we refer to as microtrauma. Have you ever wondered why you felt sore after a workout? That's why! The cool thing about our bodies that as they heal this little tears, the fibers become stronger than they were before they were torn! ( How cool is that?) Your body adapts so that you become fitter and stronger.
When you incur injury, including microtrauma, your body releases various substances generally known as inflammatory mediators that swarm the area and perform triage, bringing in healing white blood cells and opening up blood vessels to flush out debris and toxins. In some bodies, this causes inflammation. It's not a bad thing but it can affect the scale because, obviously, the fluid is included in the weight you see on the scale. The good news is that it is temporary! After the fluids have done their job, the inflammation will die down and your weight will too. The issue for most is that the discouragement over lack of progress causes people to throw in the towel before they get to see the results they have been working so hard to attain!
2. Muscle gain. Every body is different. Some people don't put on fat easily but also find it difficult to build muscle. Others put on muscle easily and yet find it hard to shed fat and every combination in between! If you are someone that puts on muscle quickly the scale might be jumping up because the muscle gain is moving faster than the fat burning. The good news here is that muscle burns more calories than fat! So as you build muscle you find that the fat burning picks up speed and your results often seem to happen overnight. Just keep going! Once that fat burns off the gorgeous muscle beneath will shine through! It's worth the work!
3. Your nutrition plan needs work. If you’re not following a proper diet you could actually put on fat while starting a new exercise regimen. Yes, exercise burns calories, but it also increases the release of ghrelin, a hormone that promotes hunger. So if you’re not paying attention and not watching your portion sizes, you’ll probably eat more.
Even if you are consuming a low quantity of calories, poor food choices can cause all kinds of issues, usually centered on hormonal imbalances that cause your body to hold onto fat. One of the reasons I love Beachbody programs is because they come with the portion control containers and an amazing variety of plans with a large assortment of approved foods! If you stick to the plan, you WILL get results!
4. Stress can cause weight gain. Exercise is a great way to decompress and relieve stress but it is possible to over do it, especially if you already have a crazy schedule or you aren't making good choices with food and rest! "So, if you work twelve hours a day, drink more than two alcoholic drinks a night on a regular basis, smoke, sleep less than seven hours a night, have a chronic injury, eat a junk-filled Standard American Diet and are overweight, exercise will tax your body just like all the bad habits on this list and actually cause weight gain in a couple different ways. First, the inflammation process does not progress to the later phases of healing, and you can end up with chronic inflammation throughout the body. Second, you’ll increase the release of the stress hormone cortisol that, in turn, can promote fat accumulation—particularly fat around the stomach." ( Beachbody blog)
I don't want you to throw the towel in because of weight gain. I know its tempting, but it doesn't solve the problem! Take long look at this list and be honest with yourself! Do you just need to give it more time? Have you started and stopped work out programs in the first couple weeks over and over again? Be consistent and focus on being healthy instead of harping on weight lost! If you treat your body well, it WILL respond over time!
Are you truly focusing on fueling your body or are you looking to cut corners with processed reduced fat snacks and sugar free soda? Are you trying to eat as much junk as possible and still lose weight? Are you drinking alcohol regularly, smoking, depriving yourself of sleep ( I'm not talking about parenthood sleeplessness! Are you binging Netflix instead of going to bed?) Is your focus on a healthy body or the number on the scale? it matters!
Our challenge groups are a great place to start! Sometimes we have to rewire our brains! We have to learn to think about things differently. We have to learn how to treat ourselves differently. I hope if you are reading this that you feel liberated to care for yourself in a healthy way but if you need help, please message me! The outside won't change until the inside changes! It's illuminating as we study how we treat ourselves!
"If you want to know what your true beliefs are, take a look at your actions!! Robert Anthony
I would not describe myself as someone with a sweet tooth. I can overlook a good many desserts and treats and at a glance I seem very in control of my sugar, but looks can be deceiving!
Last November my hubby and I did the Ultimate Reset which is a specific and detailed nutrition plan paired with supplements to completely reboot your system. What I learned was that I was way more addicted to sugar than I knew because sugar is in EVERYTHING these days! From bread to salad dressing we are constantly being fed sugar in blatant and deceitful ways. When you are focused on not consuming any sugar and eating a vegan diet, you learn a lot of what we consider "normal" in this culture! I highly recommend the Ultimate Reset for a fresh start and fresh perspective. Here are some things I noticed about my sugar addiction:
1. Sugar consumption leads to constant state of fatigue. Do you wake up tired before your feet hit the ground? I noticed almost immediately that I was sleeping better and waking up more refreshed when sugar was taken out of the equation. The excuses that I was giving into over my 4 year old not sleeping well actually had more to do with the amount of sugar I allowed in our house and it was still MUCH lower than most American households! Feeling tired all the time is a common sign of eating too much added sugar.
2. You feel "snacky" often. If you feel hungry shortly after eating meals and in between meals, it can be a sign that you are eating too much sugar. Excessive intake of sugar often displaces other, more nutrient-dense foods and sugar laden foods and drinks are often empty of nutrients or calories if you are consuming fake sugars which leaves you still feeling hungry because your body is screaming for proper nutrition.
3. You seem to catch every bug going around. If you are constantly getting sick, it's possible that you are consuming too much sugar. Sugar can suppress the immune system leading to repeated illness!
4. You can't seem to control your emotions. Do you find yourself frustrated often, snapping at your spouse or children or unable to handle normal everyday stresses? Unfortunately, sugar, though it gives us pleasure when we eat it, can negatively impact our move when its consumed in excess. Both depression and anxiety are linked to added sugar. Added sugars cause inflammation throughout the body, including the brain, and cause spikes in blood sugar, which can also affect mood.
5. You crave sugar constantly. You know what I am talking about! You finish a sleeve of oreos and throw the rest in the trash, start your new diet with powerful intention and by midnight you are pulling the package out of the trash! We are addicted! Constant sugar cravings are the most common sign of overconsumption. Do you crave sugar and carb treats throughout the day? If so, chances are, you are addicted to sugar. Unfortunately, the more you eat, the more you’ll crave.
6. Your progress has plateaued. This is a common occurrence! You start your nutrition plan and work out regiment and you STICK TO IT! You are having progress for awhile and you are feeling good about it and then....suddenly the scale won't budge and you stop seeing results even though you are working really hard! The hard truth is that all calories are not created equal! If you are still consuming a fair amount of sugar or fake sugars in your diet, you are more than likely going to stall out. Start looking for healthy ways to sweeten your food. Replace sugar in your tea with honey. Or maple syrup in your favorite cookie recipes. Toss the sugar filled yogurt for greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup as well. There are a lot of ways to make your favorite treats enjoyable and better for your progress.
A word to the wise: Stop consuming fake sugar. Our culture has ingrained in us that zero calories is a good thing but the science behind that doesn't hold up! When you consume fake sugar, your body responds with producing insulin to bond to the sugar to process it but there is nothing there to bond to, so then the body craves sugar and carbs to deal with the insulin and its a downward spiral for you! Don't cut corners! Eat real foods, enjoy real sugar in moderation, pay attention to how your body feels after you eat certain foods, notice when you feel tired, gross, angry for no reason, and track that back to your nutrition choices! You were designed to feel amazing! Don't settle for less!
I've played tennis exactly twice in my life, but I learned something important from it. You always have to come to the center no matter where the ball takes you. As soon as you've hit it, you get back to a place where you are ready for your opponents next move.
It's taken me awhile to realize that life is the same way. Life serves you all kinds of unexpected things and you have to respond and then recenter so you are ready and prepared for whatever comes your way.
This is my center. My center is my health because it is the foundation for which every other dream I am manifesting is built on. I get off track. I have bad days. I get sick. Just like everybody else I get discouraged at times but because of this program I always know how to start fresh, how to find the center and keep moving forward.
It's the freedom and direction I was looking for and, three years later, I'm still in the game! When you are starting your health journey, be honest with yourself! Is this something you can do long term? Is this a lifestyle change or is this a fad? Is your focus on simply losing weight or are you truly making health changes?
If it's not a long term plan, rethink it. Find your center. That's where you will find freedom from the downward cycles and that's where you will find your progress! Have you reached that certain point? Are you ready to move on ward? Message me to claim your spot!
I fall more in love with these books and movies each time I experience them! Here is a quote that went over my head in my teenage years but embodies everything for which I stand!
Don't go looking for your ideals outside of yourselves, ladies! It's not what the world holds for you or what the world expects from you, it's all about what you already have to bring to it! You are worthy and valuable just as you are! We need you! #anneshirley #truthbomb
Our bodies are not the enemy. They desperately want to heal and be whole. They respond to self care. They can often recover completely from the way we have abused them with food, alcohol, cigarettes and the like.
Our issue is that we have learned to cope with our negative emotions with instant gratification. We have chosen to make ourselves feel momentarily better instead of confronting our fears, our flaws, our weaknesses. We've piled shame upon ourselves and believed the lie that we aren't enough. We've forgotten our strength and traded in our power for comfort.
Most of us start our health journey from a place of self loathing. We feel fed up with how we LOOK and we are fired up to punish ourselves into submission.
We can't live like that long term. It will all be for naught or any success will be temporary until we deal with the negative emotions, until we replace the old unhealthy ways we " care" for ourselves and consciously replace them with healthy self care. Nothing will change until we decide to transform the inside first. #healtheinside #transformtheoutside
One of the first things I realized when I started a health program grounded in truth was that EVERYTHING I had ever been taught about health and weight loss was a lie. I wish I was being dramatic.
I was about 14 years old when I started being concerned with my weight, calorie counting, and reading nutrition labels. Everything I was reading promoted calories in = calories and that the best way to lose weight was to eat less. Over the last 2 decades, I have watched the fitness community jump sporadically on the topics of health. Eggs are healthy, eggs are not healthy, milk is good for you, milk is bad for you, eat these processed foods, no these are better. The ONLY way to describe it is fad dieting. In almost every case, losing weight and cutting corners to work out less and eat more junk was the focus. it was very image driven and its taken years for me to rewire my brain to think about these things in a healthy way. The first switch is mental. You can hear all the facts I am about to share with you but until you decide that you are pursuing health and not unattainable beauty standards, your behavior won't change. So ask yourself these questions, be honest, and be willing to make changes!
Are you skipping breakfast? I noticed pretty early on that if I skipped breakfast I wouldn't feel hungry until about 2 pm but if I ate breakfast, I felt hungry a couple hours later. Any guesses to what my usual behavior looked like? Our metabolism slows down while we sleep and fueling ourselves boosts our metabolism and gets it back in gear! When I say fuel your body, I am not talking about sugar and processed foods will raise your blood sugar, increase insulin which gets stored in your fat cells, and causes you to crash later. Choose foods that are high in protein, fiber, and low in sugar to start your day! I usually have eggs and a veggie or fruit and oatmeal which are nutritionally dense and great options to boost your metabolism!
Are you eating refined carbs? Refined carbohydrates are very different from carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Don’t reach for refined carbs like white flour and sugar. Those are quick to digest, meaning your body uses less energy to break them down. The higher-in-fiber whole grains slow down digestion and make your body work harder to break down nutrients. Simply, whole grains, fruit and vegetables naturally boost your metabolism while refined carbs and sugars will instantly kill it. Thus, making you feel hungry sooner causing you to eat more empty calories later leading to weight gain.
Are you eating high fructose corn syrup? This processed sugar is found in almost all processed foods, even foods you wouldn't think had sugar in them! Sugar is hidden everywhere with many different names, and high fructose corn syrup is one of the biggest metabolism culprits. Long-term consumption of HFCS has been found to increase body fat at a higher and faster rate, increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome. HFCS, unlike table sugar, is a free and unbound sugar molecule that is more readily absorbed and utilized meaning the body has less work to do to process it thus slowing down your metabolism. It’s important to note that HFCS should not to be confused with the fructose found in fruit, which comes with metabolism-boosting slow-digesting fiber. So while many weight loss programs recommend processed low calorie foods, the truth is that we need to cut them completely from our nutrition plan and stick with real foods that are going to boost our metabolism instead of slow it down!
Are you depriving yourself of nutrients AND calories? You need calories to boost your metabolism and lose weight. Not eating enough is almost as bad as eating too much to kill your metabolism. If you don’t eat enough for your body to simply function or you are depriving yourself, you body will slow down your metabolism and start to break down calorie burning muscle. Your body needs calories to get energy and if there aren’t enough to power your body, your metabolism has no choice but to stop. In order to combat this issue but maintain your diet, try eating small and healthy meals throughout the day to keep your energy steady, thus boosting your metabolism.
Are you being consistent with exercise? Most of us getting started on our healthy journey feel like we got thrown into the deep end of the pool. We walk into a gym with no idea of what we are doing. We may use a treadmill and attempt some of the machines but we aren't being effective. We quickly get disheartened at how hard we are working with little in the way of results and after a few weeks we throw in the towel. It's ok that it feels awkward at first! Take the time to learn about the exercises, release yourself to be a beginner, learn proper form, and find a form of exercise that you love! Also, mix it up! Our bodies respond best to a variety of exercise! Cardio is great for burning calories but you also need to build muscle! Muscle burns more calories than fat and as you build muscle, you will find that you burn more calories even resting and your health journey picks up speed with less effort! One of the things I loved about the 21 Day Fix is that each day you do a different form of exercise that keeps your body guessing and is the perfect mix of active rest days, cardio, and weight lifting! If you aren't sure where to start, I highly recommend joining us for a round! You will gain the nutrition knowledge, a planned workout, and the accountability to keep you in the game!
Are you eating enough protein? As someone who had been following the calories in/calories out philosophy, I paid very little attention to WHAT I was eating, if it fit into my 1200 calories or less that is all that mattered to me. So, after baby #2, my body was stretched out and always felt bloated. No amount of calorie counting or fasting seemed to help at all! When I started the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan and trimmed back my carb servings to 2-3 per day and upped my protein to 4-5 a day, I saw dramatic changes in my body as well as my energy levels. What we eat matters! Switch out your easy carb filled snacks and sides for protein and veggies and watch the magic happen!
Are you drinking alcohol regularly? I confess, I am not much of a drinker, but I do like drinking socially and during certain times of the year, holidays, parties, ect, it can get out of control. On my current plan, I can swap out a carb serving for a glass of wine three times a week and I have found that to be PLENTY! if you are drinking every night of the week, that can slow down your metabolism. Once alcohol is in your system, it hinders your body’s fat burning speed and thus burning less fat and slowing down your metabolism. If you are trying to boost your metabolism, stick to water and if you do have a drink, keep it to wine instead of sugar filled cocktails!
Are you getting enough sleep? As a mom, I know its hard at times to get enough sleep even when you desperately want to but there are the nights you know you SHOULD go to bed and don't because its your only free time. You may be hindering all your hard work! Sleep deprivation contributes to numerous factors that can kill your metabolism. Without digging too deep into how our body’s natural sleep cycle functions, essentially sleep moderates a chemical known as leptin that signals to our brain that we are satiated. Thus less sleep equals a lower amount of leptin which leads to overeating and a slower metabolism.
Also, be patient with yourself! Transformation takes time and changing your perspective and habits is work! I would still struggle with shame and fear over my eating for years after I knew the truth and it was a battle for me fight my urge to starve and punish myself. Don't be surprised if you fall back into old thought patterns and behaviors but make a conscience effort to choose healthy over unattainable beauty standards! If you need accountability, please message me! My passion is that every woman would see her worth and beauty and care for herself in an honoring way! It would be my pleasure to help you get started on your journey! <3
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.