Resets, new beginnings, how to motivate yourself.


The sport with no finish line. Every day moves you further along, even when it seems ‘boring’ or uninspired.  It comes with time and energy..

Ahhhhh… beginnings…New beginnings!

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I’ve been doing fitness for a long, long time.. but that does not mean that it isn’t a struggle to stay motivated. Fitness ebbs and flows. It does because life does. I’ve done years where I’ve been on prep, or focused on body building shows exclusively.  I’ve had years recently that focused on mental health and learning more pole, performance. None of these things are wrong. I grew weary of being in show prep. My body was just sick of it.

So let me tell you what I have done since day one, without fail.  I have done workout, selfies and progress updates.  I have everything uploaded into drop box and I can see exactly every point of my journey.

I can see freakish lean, buffet fluffy. I can see off season perfect as well as times when I struggled in my macro journey. I can see when I was in my saddest times, the times I felt good and the times I felt really strong.

Every one of these pics are snapshots of my journey.  The good, bad and the gym hair, don’t care, ugly.

Why is this meaningful?  I look at this pic of my back when I first started getting ready for a show. This was probably back in 2012. I was so motivated to do my first show. It’s all I thought about. I’m sure it bored everyone around me. I thought I looked awesome and I was getting better and better. Motivation and adrenaline level 3000.
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Time passed. Shows came and went.. I probably felt less motivated and had to focus more on strategy for subsequent shows.  It became habit and skill.  But.. I probably beat myself up plenty because I didn’t look IG ready all the time. I probably said negative things in my head about being too this or too that and not good enough. I’m sure of it.
That’s really normal for me.

But…as it turns out..some changes happened.

I probably work up one day around that time and felt bad about myself. I probably allowed my negative self talk to focus in on the things I didn’t like about myself.
But I made gains. I made progress.  It’s real.. because I often forget to look up or see how far I’ve come. I’m always digging into why I’m not perfect or 100 percent better. /

There is no finish line though. There is progress. I need to focus more on that!
Progress pics tell our story!

Think of your progress pics, in the same way you track your lifts, and your macros. It’s information!

If you don’t know how to take good progress pics.. go here

NEW GOALS!
I decided to produce my own show in 2020 and I’m very excited to put a new transformation into play. I’ve been working very hard for 2 years on my CPTSD.

I want to touch on that for just a second. Not every day is good.  There is a lot of fatigue and some days it’s hard to do much.  I think this is a really nice goal for me to put some energy into this show and creating something I have never seen before.

I am about 23 weeks out from that and have decided to make a new physique shape for my show. Something I’ve never done before.  It’s a great challenge. I’ve picked out my wardrobe for the show so it has to be spot on.

I spent yesterday digging through years of progress pics. I decided that I do have more skills, more muscle, more knowledge, more information than any of those days before. I’m capable of digging in and creating a new improved process to get to my next set of goals. My journey in pics showed me so much and inspired me to remember where I came from.

My point of this blog is to just give you some real life.. not every fitness guru is showing you the reality of what being fit is. It does flow and sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes health and life issues get in the way. Sometimes we are on fire and sometimes we are not motivated.  We have to figure out how to create the life we want and still achieve our dreams.  I love the idea of always documenting our journey.  It takes very little time, but it’s so powerful to see changes!!

If you need help getting your plan set up.. please check out my site or reach out to me. My page is http://www.sleekbodyonline.com

Increasing intensity and results

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“I workout at home. I am not buying any more equipment. How do I make the workout harder?”
“The workout my coach gave me is too easy.”

So let’s dig right in and talk about your workout and the effort you need to apply to it. For amazing results, it should be intense.  That means you should have laser focus and give 100 percent effort to your sessions.

We often see clients walking through their workouts with a very lacadasical pace.

Last week, I got a check in from a client who said “I need harder workouts”.
If you have ever thought that.. you need to work harder.  This is on you. I can give my clients a series with 5 pound weights and I anticipate they will kick their own asses with that.

I will give you some really nice ideas here now to increase your intensity and raise your game.  I’m throwing shade on that last check in..  Work harder!!  I’m squeezing so hard here.. RARRRRRRRRR
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Ways to increase intensity:

Lift heavier:   I gave Mary Beth 3 sets of 10 reps with her bicep curls.  She’s been doing 8 pounds on those curls for 2 months.


Your body gets used to lifting a certain amount and it adapts.  So now you need to grab a heavier weight and push your muscle to do more.

Pro Tip:  Muscle engagment. Visualize that you are lifting 100 pounds on those curls and resist!!  Squeeze.  Visualize your muscles growing!!  Connect the hardware (brain)to the soft ware (body). Tell your muscles to grow!!

Muscles grow when they are challenged!!  We have to keep on the progressive overload if we want results so keep lifting heavier!! Look for increases in strength to let you know you are building!! YES.

More reps:  Our client said she’s not investing in more weights and the 10 pounds she has to use is all she is going to use. Hmmm..

I asked her to add sets.  Progressive overload is still happening by using a more volume training approach.  She can do 4 sets of 12-15.  I promise you, she will burn out and feel that fatigue!!  If you can’t increase weight.. increase reps.

Super sets:  This is a fun way to fatigue the muscle. Fun for who?  hahahah.. It’s a burn like none other.

Marybeth was given
bicep curls 3×10
Tricep kickbacks 3×10

So she can super set them

Bicep curl 10 reps
+
Tricep kickback 10 reps
3 sets

No rest between those two moves.  A super set is just putting two moves in succession.  You can super set anything together.  After she does her superset, then she will rest. Repeat 3-4 times.

Giant set:  adding 3 or more moves in succession before you rest. It’s often called a Circuit.

Let me be clear.. if you can do more.. do more!!  If you have energy for a second workout or could go take a class.. you did not do your job. You should be spent.

Ok.. here’s one for you..
Let’s say you are doing cardio blasts at home or the gym.  You are bored or just not feeling the effort is there. You can increase intensity in your basic movement by using the  STAR method.

STAR stands for
Speed
Tempo
Air
Range of Motion (ROM)

How to do this:  
Start with a very basic move.  Any one will do.
Round 1: do your basic move.
Round 2: change the speed (faster.. slower..  up to you)
Round 3: change the tempo.. to what? Doesn’t matter. Slow, fast slow fast.. just alter the tempo.
Round 4: Add a hop or jump to it!!
Round 5: See how big the movement can be!!
My video below shows this!!

My video shows a very basic movement. It can work with any thing!! You could increase the box height too.  You could use a ladder.. you could just do super basic movements on the floor like skaters or jumping jacks.  You could use a bosu too!

How to do this for cardio.  Set your timer for 30 seconds work/ 10 seconds rest.
Pick one move then do the STAR method. That’s 5 rounds!  Or do it twice!  Mix and match rounds.. you got this..

In your weight training, you can also somewhat modify this to your lifts.  Using tempo changes, holds, less rests, more rests, all create variance in your training. Our bodies need to be pushed.

One thing to remember, you  are fully in charge of the work you are doing.  So push really hard!!!

This is Baby Iggy. He’s very sure you can train harder. So go on and do that.

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WEIGHT LOSS HACK: STOP LABELING YOUR EATING STYLE

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The culture of diets is as hostile as the cult of fitness.  There is a mentality that says
“My way or the highway” .

“Keto is the only way to go. Low carb means you lose weight.”
“Eat clean to lose weight.”
“I only eat Paleo.”
“I don’t eat any sugar, ever. It will kill you.”

So may people go from one style to another style in search of the holy grail eating but they foil themselves because.. these things are NOT sustainable.

If you have fat to lose you will do so by being in a calorie deficit. That could be by
 burning calories, or in taking less calories.

The style of eating you do over all is not what makes you lose weight.

So listen,  I can understand wanting to  jump on a band wagon for lightning fast results.
I understand the desire to grasp at magic bullets, or extremes but let’s start here.

If these things (diets) were fool proof, we would not have an alarming obesity rate world wide.

But let’s get back to you.. I want to help you feel better about your food choices so let’s give up the labels.

1918-how-you-feel-when-youre-thinking-too-much-about
When you are thinking about all the food you ‘cannot’ have.

By nature, the restriction of food groups could trigger binges.
Have you ever told yourself, “No more sugar.” 
What is it you crave the most while on your new plan?  Sugar.
When we restrict ourselves from certain food groups, we are essentially, white knuckling our eating.  There’s no peace, there is militant, discipline and on the other side, failure if things don’t go as planned.

Keto: restricts carbs.
Paleo restricts Grains
Clean restricts “processed” food.
Competition Bro diet: No fruit, dairy, processed food.. good grief.

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By nature, restrictive diets limit food groups and therefore micro nutrition suffers.
When you are restricting veggies and fiber your body notices.  When you are restricting fruit, you miss out on the glorious nutrition of vibrant colors and sources of vitamins!
When you restrict all sugar, you have to remove pretty much everything fun because even frozen yogurt has lactose which is technically sugar.  Bummer.
Dairy can be a great source of protein!
Are you willing to let your overall nutrition suffer so you can  sit at the back of the bus with all the ‘bros?’

WHEN BRO DIETS MAKE YOU ILL

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By nature, labeling our eating style sets us up for failure and it’s not necessary.

This is the big one:   The eating disorder, Orthorexia comes to mind here. The clean eater, is terrified of eating anything ‘not clean’ or things that are processed.  What we typically see with the clean eater is frequent binges of ‘non clean things’ .  So basically, it’s not sustainable.

“I only eat clean, until I’m face down in a bucket of icing or doing late night at Denny’s after the bar.”

“I eat clean, gluten free.. but I love this craft beer and I drink Whey protein”
Both are clearly processed.  So it’s only clean because you made up that it is.

There is NO such thing as clean. Even blueberries are processed.

Why there is no such thing as clean
kid

We often see the ‘clean eater’ purchasing large amounts of “clean” food for binges.
“I can’t help it. At night I ate 5 RX bars. I feel so bad about myself”
“I can’t stop eating almonds from Trader Joes, they are clean but I can’t lose my belly fat”

IIFYM/FLEXIBLE DIETING/MACRO COUNTING
The problem with labels is.. what difference does it make?  You could stop labeling your eating style and follow IIFYM which could be done any way you like.

With IIFYM we are simply counting
Protein P
Fat F
Carbs C
and the micro nutrient Fiber.

All food has macros. All food.  You can find that information on the label or look up nutrition on sites like FatSecret.com
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We set your macros for physique goals .. whatever that is.  Then we eat them and stop when we are done.  We are not locked into to one style of food and each day we could enjoy variety as long as we are hitting our macros.  That mean..

The style of food that we like.. is how we should eat.

Your macros are not dependent on clean food, paleo or zero sugar, but you could eat them any way  YOU like.

If you find Dairy upsets your stomach but egg whites are ok.. that’s good!  You can choose your own adventure!
If you like a snack treat now and again and it keeps you from feeling deprived, you can certainly work that into your plan without it being detrimental to your physique goals.

If your doctor has asked you to limit gluten or keep your fats at a certain level.. that’s ok too. You can eat for your body, your health and your own likes!  You never have to eat food you don’t like.

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I like lower carb though.. I just do.

IIFYM doesnt’ mean you can’t eat toward your style.  Use your carbs for fueling your workouts and to get your fiber and veggie/fruit requirements.  You are not required to eat poptarts or high carb snacks. But you could.. if they fit your macros.

If you feel better on no grains, you can certainly make that work too.

If you don’t want sugar foods, or snack treats in your life because they trigger you. Maybe you feel better when you don’t eat food like that.. Maybe you just enjoy whole fresh fruits and veggies.. totally fine too.  It’s all about YOU.

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When you let go of labels, you have no fear of mistakes. You simply figure out how YOU enjoy eating and tweak to hit your macro/micro nutrient goals!!

There is much freedom in the ability to be consistent and live without the restrictions that diet labels give.  Being consistent is how you reach your physique goals.

Do you need help with macros or workouts?? Head over to my site LEARNIIFYM.COM

Roo Ferrigno eats her macros every day.
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How I stay motivated on my plan

MOTIVATION
Motivation! Do you ever start your fitness plan only to find yourself ‘lacking the motivation’ to continue?

Do you ever see the hard core motivation quotes that basically tell you
“Just Freaking DO IT”
“YOU NEED DISCIPLINE”.

What do you do when motivation fades?  Because it does!   Here’s what we do.. we go with what we know.  We do this, even when we know it doesn’t work.   We quit and tell ourselves.. We just can’t do it.

I have lots of tools to help you find your own path.  If you want to check out my other blog with lots of ideas.. you can go here. 

In this blog, I’m going to share how I stay motivated.


HERE’S WHAT  KNOW ABOUT MYSELF
I have an intense need for security and learning. Those are my top two ‘basic needs’. In my projects.. I use this to help me stay on track.

Do you know your basic needs? Game changer.. go here and figure it out!  

WORKOUT MOTIVATION

When I wake up each day, I scroll my IG feed for other fitness/pole friends. I am truly motivated by people who are already up and killing it. So don’t call narcissist on anyone who is doing gym selfies. I’m the person who gets hyped when I see happy people at the gym. I see new moves, new ideas and love to see if that’s something I can learn or follow leads to new information!!

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This girl is a huge motivator!

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Always, pay attention to the Rock!

 

CENTERING MYSELF AND MY DAY
 I spend a few minutes centering myself with the #spiritualawakening  . I need to focus each day on positives and healing and moving forward.  This is self care.

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WORKOUT GEAR

I like clothes. I choose my outfits and I go the the gym feeling good. I don’t schlep. It hurts my workout game.

SECURITY/RITUAL
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I have a ritual in the AM. I have my amazing prep pancakes because my hubs makes them for me. I smell them and we say “that smells like 1st place.. hahahahah”

I have 2 containers of oats under my prep table at all times. Those are security oats. We will NOT run out of oats.

HACKS
 My project/prep.. is only 18 hours. It only lasts for the hours I’m awake. I can do 18 hours easily. When I wake up the next day, I repeat what I did yesterday or tweak what I needed to change. I never get mad when I mess up because, I can readjust and go again tomorrow. There is not “fail” there is only learning/adjusting/tweaking.

One thing I do not do, EVER. Not allowed.

I do not make decisions about my day while I am lying in bed. If I want to skip the gym I only allow myself to make that decision after I get up and have a shower or coffee. Do I skip the gym? Yep.. Sometimes, my body needs recovery. Sometimes I can rearrange and do it later. My day is in my control but it’s NOT a knee jerk reaction to being “sleepy, crabby or unmotivated”.

One thing that happens to clients is they constantly throw the baby out with the bathwater. Oh.. I messed up well.. screw it.. I failed.. I’m out.. done.. I’ll find something new to do next week. I’ll try this and that.. but they dont’ NEEEEEEEED something new. They need to be consistent!!

Consistency is not for sale.


Everything we want is waiting for us.. but we have to discover how to motivate ourselves each day to check off the boxes we need to. Soon we have strung together many, many days of success and we are reaching our goals.

How do you stay motivated?

Here’s a picture of Mango and I. We know you can do it!
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IIFYM : Secrets to Staying on Plan While You Travel

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Guest Blogger today is Sleek Body Coach Tracy Collins.

When it comes to sticking to your macros while traveling—it doesn’t have to be a struggle… it is what you make it! Don’t let “ but..I travel” be an excuse!

Plan ahead
Before you leave, make the decision made about what foods you are not willing to bend on!

Think about how many meals you will need to pack per day. If you are traveling for business, chances are you know the name of the restaurant that you will be dining at. Pull the menu up online ahead and decide what you are going to have as your meal, or call ahead and explain you have special dietary needs. Don’t feel embarrassed, or ashamed! We have goals and we are sticking to them! Trust me, your guests will respect your decision.. heck they may thank you because now they don’t feel pressured to eat something that’s not on their typical menu!

You can stick closely to the types of food you are typically eating at home. Look for the hidden fats and ask them to be removed from your food.. example: filet, ask them to cook with no oil or butter, veggies ask them to be steamed, or no oil. Salads, really read the ingredients and review everything that it contains… think about your macros… if you don’t want it, ask them to remove it!
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Alcohol

Do you know how to accurately track alcohol?  

We all know the secret to this…and I have to admit, I’m not afraid to just stick with water and lemon, or a diet soda…However you know your macros. Go in with a plan! Remember, You don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time!

You can stick closely to the types of food you are typically eating at home. Look for the hidden fats and ask them to be removed from your food.. example: filet, ask them to cook with no oil or butter, veggies ask them to be steamed, or no oil. Salads, really read the ingredients and review everything that it contains… think about your macros… if you don’t want it, ask them to remove it!

I most always bring a packets of oatmeal and make a protein shake as my pre-workout meal. If additional carbs are needed, I pack some dried blueberries or cranberries or other fruit. Most workout facilities have fresh apples available, (but don’t count on that).

My post workout meal is usually a shake and oatmeal again if a restaurant isn’t available. Starbucks has those turkey egg white sandwiches that are Divine! (There seems to always be one close to or in the hotel)

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Really, there are so many options and I’m always up for a challenge to myself. How can I make what’s available to me work! It’s like a game of survival… Could you do it?

The Hotel
Search for hotels that offer a mini-fridge and a microwave in the room. Most will bring one to your room at no additional charge or there is a community microwave is available. (However, the Kuerig in the room is easily manipulated to my oatmeal warmer). If I had to choose between the two, I would pick a fridge.

My co-workers know when we travel a gym is super important to me, so we always check it out online before we go or search for nearby full size gyms. Obviously, a hotel most times does not offer the same equipment.

If you need additional items or want something specific, plan to make a trip to a nearby grocery store.
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What to Bring?
All food is safe to bring on an airplane, it’s how you pack it that matters. TIP: if you have a suitcase that you are checking, pack your food in a insulated lunch box with an ice pack! It will be fine!

In you carry on bag, pack an empty shaker cup, use this as your water cup throughout the day… you will also get through TSA with it being empty. Once through security, fill it up at a water fountain, or most restaurants are happy to fill it for you with ice water. (I always go in showing a few bucks in my hand) 😉

Snacks: nuts, protein bars, carrots, hummus, rice cakes, almond butter (individual packets are available) lunch meat, protein powder, jerky, apples and other favorites of yours. (Yogurt is subject to the liquid TSA rules, but is available heavily throughout most airports)

In summary, don’t stress or worry, do your best.. and learn from each trip that you take!

Coach Tracy has openings for coaching!!  Check her out here

Mindset hacks to master your diet without punishment.

stopThe internet is filled with garbage like the above meme. It drives people to shame eat, to self punish and creates disordered eating.  I’m here to set this straight for you so you can rise above this nonsense like smart people should.

Sadly, many of us have been used to self punishing for transgressions related to eating.
Binge/Restrict:  over eating  or eating ‘bad’ food followed by starvation or food restriction. Bad food could be considered “not clean” and this falls into the eating disorder Orthorexia.   See this blog

“Oh no, I ate that bag of Cheetos,  tomorrow .That’s it… No  sugar, no caffeine!! I’ll work out two hours a day all week to burn it off.”

Paws up if you’ve been there.
holla

We are going to put this to rest right here. Today. You are going to read this, digest it and reflect on it with peace in your brain so you can stop with all the mental torture.

First of all.. This behavior gets us no where. You and I both know it. Say it out loud. It gets us no where!  NOTHING positive comes from this.  Repetitive negative self talk begat negative actions which begat more negative self talk and pretty soon.. WTF, you’re falling down a rabbit hole of despair over your inability to lose weight, control your eating . Worse yet.. you feel like a failure because of FOOD. BECAUSE of food!

OMG, I went out with my friends and had one drink. I couldn’t help myself we got  apps. Then I had more drinks and then we went to Denny’s. I said “screw it” and ate  a Grand Slam with hash browns and sausage. OMG I woke up today feeling horrible. Why did I do that?  I worked so hard this week. I was good until we went out.  I shouldn’t go out. I can’t believe I f*cked this up.  I can’t believe I’m like this.  I’m going to eat what I want to day because “f*ck it”  I’ll start my program tomorrow and if I’m GOOD all week then I’ll lose the weight I gained today. “

Monday morning:  “I feel disgusting. My pant’s don’t fit me. I look so puffy and disgusting. I don’t even feel like going to the gym.  Today I’m not eating until after  dinner and no coffee for me. No sugar. Sugar is the devil. I need to get it together. Why did I do this? I can’t believe how I cant’ get my life together.”

Let me help you now.  This is common dialog for many of us. I’m going to tell you once again that this behavior is an endless cycle of garbage talk and will never, ever help us reach any goal.  If your kiddo spoke to herself, this way or Gawd -forbid a teacher told your kiddo this exact thing, we’d put a stop to this immediately. It’s not healthy.

REALITY SPEAK
We do not assign morality to food.  There is no good or bad food. 
Listen up all you “sugar is evil” people. I see you. I’m calling you out. You post out how sugar is the devil and I see you eating cookies and candy on Facebook  and elsewhere.   There is NO morality assigned to food.

What if: instead of saying  “Decisions/food are “GOOD” or “BAD”

Let’s change our thinking to
“for me personally  decisions are  either ‘helpful’ or “not helpful to my life/goals”.

A decision I make could be “not helpful to my goal” even if for another person it would be helpful.

“I’m in my prep and very close to stage time. Eating this additional serving of strawberries  is not helpful to me today”. 

That doesn’t mean eating extra strawberries is wrong for everyone. Just today, my prep goals would not deem the additional food helpful. It’s not a moral issue.

omgomg

Decisions CAN create for us chaos or  harmony for each of us.  A decision might create chaos for you but may not  be chaotic for someone else.

Here’s two scenarios to consider:   
Mary works in an office and it’s the holidays. There is a lot of food and treats there every day.   Mary said to herself

“There are so many treats at work and it’s really hard to stay away from them so I’m going to have 1 cupcake on Tuesday and enjoy that.  I will have a little bit of  Joann’s dessert she ‘s bringing on Friday. I’m excited to try it, she talks about it all the time.” 

Same scenario: chaotic

Oh no, I went to the break room for coffee and I couldn’t help myself because someone handed me a cup cake. I’m just going to eat what I want now. I did so good for so many days but it’s just staring at me. I have to eat it now.  I just can’t lose weight. I’m addicted to sugar. I hate myself. I hate my belly. Why am I like this? “

In scenario 1.  Mary was accountable and made a decision based on what was helpful to her. She didn’t vilify the food. She didn’t’ blame anyone else for what she ate. She choose what she wanted and it made her happy to eat it. She had a positive experience with the choice and she didn’t’ feel chaotic or the need to punish herself.” #helpful

In scenario 2:  The decision she made was NOT helpful to her.  She acted impulsively and blamed it on someone handing her the treat.  She created a dialog that made her feel ashamed and degrade her ability to reach her goals . She degraded her  body.   #nothelpful

Punishment: Exercise is not punishment. We do not punish our children with exercise when they don’t pick up their toys.  If your kiddo has an ice cream cone, would you then tell her to do 283 burpees?  If a coach followed your kiddo from the lunch room to gym class and told them to ‘work off that meal with 680 burpees’ would you feel ok about that?   The punishment didn’t fit the crime because eating isn’t a crime.

When we think of this nasty cycle, we are again reminded.. it doesn’t help. It isn’t logical. It doesn’t get us further on our goals.  Thoughtful planning and mindfulness with logic will help us understand our decisions.

My guess that you are a decent person. You don’t lie to yourself and you trust yourself . You don’t deserve punishment.  We don’t need to do this any more and especially regarding food and exercise. We certainly are smart enough to realize that when things don’t work, we should stop doing them.  Can we take some self love and realize that mindset can go farther than 680 burpees?  I know we can!!

How to stay motivated on your fitness plan

 

I posted the Rock’s Instagram so you can click through, follow and get motivated.

When a client begins a new program, they are on fire. They head out and buy new gear and get all their ducks in a row. They immerse down in it ready to slay dragons on their way to  their new physique.

That works for a while until they loose their steam. Getting up early is a chore. They begin to fall into old habits and soon their motivation is gone.

What has also happened here is yet another time they have not been successful in their journey.  😦

I wanted to do a blog on motivation but I cannot offer the secrets to staying motivated until I tell you the actual truth.  If you are frequent reader of my blog, you’ll hear the same tone resonate.  Consistency wins over perfection. Starting and stopping is the opposite of consistency but we sure do find ourselves in that predicament way to often.

Here’s the hard fact: Motivation fades. Discipline is the way change happens.

If you find yourself dropping off a program after a certain amount of time,  then let’s explore some ways to help you push through that trouble spot.

If you ask the body builder sect, they will tell you to Just F’n do it. Yep. I totally hear that. I totally agree with that. I totally think that some people don’t really know how to do that!!
LHDlKE0

Here are some of the reasons people start a program.

“My doctor told me to lose weight or I will be facing a health crisis.”
“I need to lose weight so I can have the surgery I need.”
“I need to lose weight or I will be put on medicine for my blood pressure”
“I am told to work out 3 days a week for my health issues.”

When I get this from a client, they already have the motivation to make a change. Wouldn’t you say?  You would be surprised how little health issues motivate people.
It’s shocking.

When we talk to them about why they drop off the plan, they use reasons (excuses) like “I just can’t get the food. I can’t find the time. It’s not a good time.”

Motivation for health isn’t enough.  This person needs discipline to make this happen.

I want to help my clients to reach their goals and no amount of barking about their health seems to matter. They need tools in their tool box to help create new habits.
goal
GOALS:
A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envisions, plans and commits to achieve”

Things I hear from clients
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to get back in my smaller clothes”
“I want to eat better and be healthy.”

The most successful clients are ones that do not set arbitrary goals like these but more  specific/realistic ones.

“I’d like to be one size smaller by Christmas”
“I’d like to be wearing my favorite dress again by Easter.”
“I’d like to learn to manage my stress eating.”

We also see them do much better when we set long term goals and short term goals.

“Overall, I need to lose 100 pounds but in the next 90 days, my goal is to train
4x per week and lose two dress sizes. “

What has been so helpful for my program and clients is we set up 3 month plans.  We have a goal, a start day and end day.  We then assess, look over what we have learned and begin that process again. It’s not wrong to also set rewards for the end of the challenge. Make it non- food based !!

Challenges
I like to incorporate Challenges into their plan so they are working progressively each week on improvement!  You don’t need the 200 squats a day challenge. Progressive challenges are attainable and provide positive reinforcement!!

CAT-MEME
Plan of action:  
To achieve our goals, we are going to be very successful if we are accountable!
My clients use our app to track their progress, workouts and can see an actual spreadsheet of improvements.  They can check in their workouts and get achievements for their efforts.  Apps like My Fitness Pal or even your Fit Bit are there for the accountability factor!!  Tracking your food is simple on the apps so you always know you are on point.  No food is eaten without being tracked!!  Accountability !

Many clients say they loose steam because are too busy to workout or do their food. Everything seems to go to the back burner.  I ask them to book their classes /workouts like it is an important business meeting.   One of the things I love about the apps is that you can put your workouts on the calendar and it will signal you if you miss one.  Our app syncs with My Fitness Pal so I can see my clients daily food intake!!
Accountability is one of the things clients tell me they need the most.  Using tools to help with this is a fantastic way to move forward!

mere
Vision board:
This is fantastic.  Vision boards are great for any goals/projects you have set up.  I love this board from one of our athletes.  She hit the mark on positive text and images for her project!!  I recommend this for you too!!

A workout /program buddy or support group.
Having support on your journey is fantastic and actually will help you succeed more than going at it alone.  I have found that posting my goals in public or sharing my journey on my social media is very helpful for me.

Many people set up fitness journey accounts on Instagram so those who like to can follow it.  I find a lot of inspiration from others who are also on their journey.

Our dear client on her fitness journey!14183885-1363590546987638-9165857793060093686-n_1_orig

For me, posting progress, or selfies and telling of my successes and struggles may help someone feel motivated but it’s more for my personal growth. I’ve been able to see trends in my progress as well as just overall accountability to my goal.  Personally, I’m going to finish a project if I share it publically.

Facebook has lots of groups or challenges you can join. Our clients have access to our fitness group and  macros boards. We can talk about concerns or get new ideas. It’s fun to post personal records and Non scale victories when others are cheering for you.

What I have found is that clients who refuse to be a part of a group fall off faster than those who are part of a community.  There is a lot to be said for surrounding yourself with like minded people.
Embracing-technology-brings-you-closer

Don’t stand up your friend. If you need a workout buddy, you can set that up at your gym or in a group.  Seek this out!!   If your buddy is online only, you can share your accountability posts by sending gym selfies so they know you went.  The two of you could set your own parameters to help keep you motivated and on track!!

Instagram: I have found that I’m super motivated by my fitness friends and people like The Rock. I always set my alarm for 10 min before I’m going to get up and scroll through my fitness feed for inspiration.  I love seeing others training and doing well. It energizes me.  I love looking at cute workout clothes and thinking of what I want to wear that day. You may not feel motivated by those things but there is something you can explore to help you set the pace for the day.

If you set up a fitness account for Insta, only follow fitness accounts. Nothing annoys me more than baby pics on my fitness feed.  I can load my personal friends accounts on my main account. When I am looking for inspiration, I want to keep my feed focused

What do you do to to stay disciplined/motivated?
This is Bun. He is motivating you with his mind.
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Do you need help with your plan? Would you like to be a client and reach your goals!! I can help you! You can find me at http://www.sleekbodyfitness.com
Our coaches do online, in studio and competition training!!

The Brutal Truth About Your Competition and your Expectations

THIS BLOG IS ABOUT PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION! ❤


As a coach, I have lots and lots of brand new athletes who begin their journey on my team.

As their shows grow closer and closer ,it’s common for them to tell me..
“I thought I’d 
1. be showing more muscle
2. look  just like the Instagram competitors
3. be tighter
4. be more defined
5. have more muscle
or some variation of this.

The hard truth is
If you started your prep having not done a full off /grow/build  season, you did it backwards. Yep. I said it. As athletes.. we NEED a full grow season before we begin to prep for stage.
It is very common to see people who “workout” think they can cut down to what you see on the gram. It’s not the same as taking a strategic off season, eating, building, and then cut to unveil what you have built.

In 2012/2013, it was common to see coaches advertise “12 Weeks to Stage”  and starve a sister to stage lean.  It was a simpler time back then because the bikini physique was not pumped , super conditioned or showing striations. It was beachy.  BEACHY.

wonderwoman
This was 5 weeks out from my first show.

Fast forward to the ultra competitive nature of the stage of today. Conditioning needs to be on point. If a new athlete has begun her prep without mature muscle, she will come in lean and sexy but without the visible conditioning she is thinking she should see.

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In every cut.. we lose muscle. EVERY one.  That is real. We work so hard to keep what we have when we are on a cut.  If you are lifting heavy and training with high intensity and keeping your protein higher.. you are doing your best to keep that valuable muscle for stage.  You will not be building any muscle in a caloric deficit.  If you are on the normal path of losing body fat, and your calories are lower, you will be fighting to keep the muscle you have.

If you have very little muscle to start with.. you can certainly come in lean and gorgeous but with visible work to do.

WE ALL HAVE WORK TO DO.

Does that make you unworthy to compete? 
Not at all.
Does it mean you are going to lose?
Not necessarily.
Can you even win?
Of course you could!

Why bother? UGH.. well..

Because this sport is about improvements. When you compete, you must look at what you brought to the stage and work with your coach for improvements.
Do the work and come back with a better package.

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Build build build your physique but know you can get better every show!!

Your first show should be a baseline. It’s a BASELINE.

You gain experience, you gain, knowledge of your body. You gain reality checks and you lose the nerves associated with the competition process. You become less about the madness and all about strategy.

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In 2013 I needed much glute work. I still do! Middle pic is lots of food, lots of lifting  (2016) Final pic is 2017.  I’m a work in progress because I want to get better.

We all have to take the time to build mature muscle to get the IG look. Some of those women are NOT natural and it’s deceiving.  No offense to anyone who is not natty just be realistic!!
There is no fast track to mature muscle when you are natty.

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Ashley in 2015 and 2018. She is lighter on the right BTW.

It’s surplus of calories and progressive overload on your muscles. It’s diligence and time spent to create the physique you want. #science

No magic. Science.
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coach j
Julia Before and at the UFE World Championships in Toronto

Post Show:  Bad sportsmanship is never ok!!
I should have placed.
The judges hated me

I’m quitting my coach for another coach. I should have won.
I’m quitting the sport. I deserved to win, that other girl didn’t.
This show is rigged. The judges have their favorites. 

Boy, doesn’t this sound familiar.  First of all.. being an athlete isn’t’ when you are walking on stage in your sparkly bikini, it’s how you handle yourself. Being a real athlete is about sportsmanship as well as hard work.  Frankly, being pissy because you didn’t get what you wanted actually shows on stage. Yep.. you don’t think it does.. but it sure does.

It shows in your social media. It shows in how you treat others in your show. It shows.
Disparaging other athletes in public or social media reflects badly on YOU. Your friends will always  side with you.  Pro-tip: keep that conversation between you and your coach and be gracious in your placing. Your judges see your social.. just count on that. It looks bad.

Hey.. honestly…There is no guarantee.  Body building is a subjective sport and as athletes we never know who will show up. We don’t really have a solid handle as an industry on criteria.  Each federation seems to want something different or  perhaps the judging isn’t consistent. We already all know these things, yet we choose to step on stage.

No one is entitled to a pro card.  In your first year, not getting a pro card is a good thing. I said it.  I’ve seen many athletes win their pro card on their first show and were not ready to compete at pro level.  They did not do their time coming up and it basically put them out of the competition game.

Not getting a trophy when we thought we deserved one is normal because we all go there with the intention of winning. Sometimes things just don’t go our way.  Sometimes the numbers are tight and it’s literally a crap shoot on who placed higher.

Yeah, sometimes the judges have their favorites. Sometimes they don’t even see you.
Sometimes they don’t like YOU.  Sometimes it sucks.  It’s a subjective sport.

My point here is if you think that the grass is greener elsewhere then you didn’t do your show for the right reason.  Our goals should be to improve our physique and be competitive.  Winning is a cherry on top of the actual cupcake of the competition process.  We can get better and work hard for the next time!  We can try another federation that might be a better fit.  We can figure out where we can work smarter and keep pushing.  Or we can stomp our feet and be mad.  Trust me.. one is easier than the other.

So sorry… but I’m not writing  this to bring you down. I’m asking for you to understand your sport and realize your amazing potential. I’m asking you to focus on what you are accomplishing in a very short time and what knowledge you are gaining in this process.
I’m asking for all of us to stay away from comparisons when you are looking at your  pictures. It is not going to further your progress or goal to compare.

You do not know who will show up on stage next to you.
You do not have any control over the judges likes and feelings. You are in a sport that has literally no criteria and is  subjective.

FOCUS on YOU and your best package. Retool and learn how to apply what you are learning.
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Baby Iggy wants you to know that you are enough.. just work hard!!
Good luck with your show
Coach T

IIFYM 101: HOW TO GET 35 DIFFERENT FOODS A WEEK.

Are you a creature of habit? Do you eat the exact same thing every day?  Did your coach give you a plan with a total of 6 items on it?  Are you struggling to incorporate variety into your meals because you “just don’t know what to eat?”

This blog will help you.

Sports nutrition 101 tells us that we need to eat 35 different foods a week.  Our team of athletes and lifestyle clients follows this goal.
This is important simply because, variety allows us to get micro nutrients from lots of different sources.

I have spoken openly about my Bro diet plan  and how it made me very sick. You can read more about that here.  I was eating a ‘totally clean’ competition diet of
turkey
chicken
fish.
egg whites
oats
ezekial bread
brown rice
sweet pot
spinach

I had 12 cups of spinach on my plan each day.
I hated my meal plan.  As I got closer to my show, my calories were very low and I had 6-7 meals a day of tilapia and spinach.

That is about 9 different foods and entire food groups are missing from this plan.
There is zero nutrition coming from beautiful fruits and other veggies.  I could have had other options and still reached my goal. I would have felt better and had more energy.  I certainly didn’t look better on this plan than I do on a variety of food.  That’s a fact.

If you are on a “bro plan” but want to learn how to get variety.. click here

bread
Nutrition should be a priority no matter what plan you are on.
It astounds me that intelligent people accept this style of eating when “dieting”. If you were told to give your kiddo this food 6x a day, you wouldn’t.  Kids need better nutrition. They need their calcium and fruits and veggies. How dare someone recommend this.
When did we lose our sensibilities!! Let’s eat some beautiful food! Stop removing total food groups! You don’t need to!!

How can I increase my variety to get to 35 different foods a week?

DON’T OVERTHINK IT.
Eat simply. If you are in the mood for black berries, eat them.  Have an apple on another day.  Eating the rainbow is a perfect way to increase your variety easily.


DON’T SHOP FOR 35 DIFFERENT FOODS
You don’t need to do that!!  Just start with what you like, and add to it.
We use challenges like “Taco Tuesday” and “Waffle Wednesday” to help our clients get creative and increase their variety.  Both of those meals can be created with lots of variety!  It’s easy to find yourself with 15-20 different foods a day on those days!!
Think of the toppings, the ingredients.  If you want fish tacos, great?  Do you want a taco salad?  Or waffles with Halo top and chocolate sauce.. Or perhaps you just want  Waffles with blueberries!


Hack: My Net Diary tracks your food amounts!!
35foods
You can see the number of foods you have eaten each day!  Cool.  MyNetDiary Pro is bomb!

If you need a macro plan or want to learn more about IIFYM you can work with us at LEARNIIFYM.COM

Do I have to count macros forever?

Well.. that’s a giant bucket of OMG!  How do you count that???  I count it as  DGAF.

The question I received today was

“UGH.. do I have to count macros forever?”

The answer is “Yes and sort of yes and no-ish.”

Let me explain: 
Your body counts macros whether you count them or not. If you are fluffy,  it is because you are eating in a surplus. If you are drinking that giant margarita you know you are going to feel accountable for that in some manner. That is surplus for sure!!

IIFYM/Macro counting is not a diet. It is  simply a way to  eat well and achieve your physique goals while enjoying the foods YOU like.. So if you want to achieve your physique goals, yes.. for sure you will have to count them.  However..

The progression of macro counting is fantastic.  The longer you do it, the more comfortable you may feel with “Intuitive dieting”

Intuitive dieting is basically eating your macros and doing math in your head.  Simply understanding that you have a certain amount of Protein, Carbs and Fat and fiber to hit and are able to do that fairly easily.

Example:  I had a Quest bar.. that was  25g protein, 27C and 8g F.   Iced coffee with it that’s an extra 10g protein… etc.  I’m doing math in my head.  It starts to actually become a natural thing the longer you do it.  This works great when you are traveling.  I have found it very easy to eat in airports with intuitive dieting.


When I get a check in from a  client that said “I didn’t track yesterday but I aimed for my protein and hit my calorie goals  pretty close”  this is awesome.  This is someone who understands her goals but can be “flexible” in her food!!

BREAKS ARE GOOD.. SOMETIMES.
I had a client check in and tell me. “I didn’t track at all for the holiday. I was on a float and ate some things, but kept my portions small. I enjoyed the day”

This is a time when you don’t need to track.   This is a flexible dieting win!  My client was aware, she enjoyed her day and she didn’t stay glued to a tracker.   She is back on her normal food right away.

I was very excited to hear her experience over the holiday simply because a dieting break is good for the soul. It’s ok.  On that break, she didn’t binge, she didn’t freak out or beat herself up.  She woke up and went back to her plan.  This is amazing.

Ok.. so I’m just not going to track and guess..
This is could be a struggle with clients who are used to starting and stopping diets.
I’m not advocating this at all. Consistency wins over perfection in the IIFYM game.  Working intuitively for long periods of time is for the advanced macro counter.

Honestly, I can’t even fathom not counting for a long period of time. If you reach that level greatness.. Cheers!!

If you are not solid on your macros. If you cannot hit them consistently. If you are prone to binges and see not tracking as an opportunity to eat in a surplus.. you are probably not ready for intuitive dieting.  That’s ok. Stick to your journey and use the tools you have to be successful.  Never give up but know that the longer you do it, the easier it will become!!