JOURNEY TO STAGE: 26 weeks out

26weeks
If you follow my blog, then you probably realize that I am totally transparent on my posts. I’m able to track my journey and if you are so inclined to follow.. then you will get the good, bad, and ugly.

The last time I competed was June 2017. That show.. omg.. whew. I was messed up when I finished it.  I had a really great show in October 2016 and wanted to wait a year to compete for my pro card.  In 2017, UFE removed the Halloween pro qualifer so the only option was to do the June show.  I made a decision to do that so in 52 weeks, I’d prepped for 48 weeks.  My body was not happy.   After that show was over, I was mentally a mess. I decided to stop for a while and try to recover.  It took me about 6 months before I could even look objectively at my pictures from that show.

Here’s a few shots from this show. I loved doing it with my sisters though. I’m glad I took a break.43753668_2298874023459281_3131529486659485696_n44996466_2298874560125894_3561750270436179968_n

Over the last  2.5 years it’s been a roller coaster of good, bad and holy shit for me. I’m finally in a place that I feel super pumped to do this new project.  #Mayhem2019
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GOOD STUFF:
I’m really lucky because I have some really amazing things planned for my year. I’m doing some pole shows.
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I have a brand new secret project that is HUGE for our family.  It’s going to blow up and it’s going to be a game changer. Our team!! ❤ ❤
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Mayhem will be the perfect icing for this cupcake!

DON CURRY PHOTOSHOOT
I’m 8 weeks out right now for my huge photoshoot. I’m doing a photoshoot prep right now so I can look my best.
I did this shoot last year and I cannot wait. I have so many costumes and shoes planned!

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After the shoot, I’ll take a few weeks and then start show prep. I’m also working really hard with my pole coaches to get my routines down for my shows.  So Yeah.. stage lean will be the last thing I see.  I need to maintain my strength to do my pole shows.  I’m pretty psyched to plan this prep and make it all happen while eating as much food as possible!!  BOOM

Posing starts with the Queen B on May 25 and I need a total overhaul!!
I’m ready to slay!

 

SLEEK BIKINI FIGURE TEAM
I’m doing my own prep with the help of my besties who are on staff at Sleek Body.
My goal is to go into this show with the best wardrobe I’ve ever had. The most beautiful themewear.  I want to bring a better package than 2017 and have a calm mind.

Our team has really focused over the last 2 years on making our prep very calm and not scattered or upsetting. I feel like slow and steady will always help me succeed.  Of course, I’m doing IIFYM!!

So we are off and running to this new project!
27 weeks track with Mango.
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Coach Mango!!  She’s on her posing.58542992_2579575988722415_1648926382605991936_n

Training at Fit City and Sleek Body for this show!!

My partner in my prep is the mister and he is my chef! He watches a lot of cooking shows. It’s a good fit.   I’m lucky. I get that.
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Mango says.. we got this.
41542233_2235808806432470_4391235045159862272_n Stay tuned for updates!

Good luck on  your competition!
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How to understand people and use it to your advantage.

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This blog has no appropriate photos. Just kitties.

Did you ever wonder why some people act the way they do?  Are some people a mystery to you and you don’t know what to do with them?  Do you know why YOU do the things you do?

I do. I know now. But I didn’t know and it was causing me a world of problems!!

This blog is going to explain how I worked this out and it was a total game changer. Stay with me.  I want you to look at my title and realize that I do not want you to take advantage of other people.  I want you to understand how to work with people better and that is very helpful to everyone!!

I found this pod cast from Tony Robbins called Why we do what we do.
You can listen to it and see the entire breakdown of the plan here. 

Here’s how it worked for me.
Tony explains that most people’s basic needs are  (in no particular order)

1. Certainty/Comfort/security
2. Uncertainty/Variety/chaos
3. Significance/validation
4. Love & Connection
5. Growth/learning

6. Contribution

Each one of these needs can be fulfilled with 
Positive behavior
Neutral behavior
Negative behavior

Think on this for one moment.  
A person who’s put their top basic needs will do everything to get those needs met.
If someone has a need for Uncertainty, variety , chaos

They could fulfill that positively by planning interesting things to do.
Meeting new people or learning new skills.  Spending time with different groups of friends or people. Searching for new music, maybe…

Neutral would be neither positive or negative.. just switching things up during the day so it’s not the same old same old..

Negatively, seeking relationships outside their primary one.  Looking for ways to disrupt others lives. Blowing people up.  Blowing one’s self up.

Here’s one I see a lot in my work:  Top needs is Security/comfort/Certainty: I see many clients using food to comfort!!  Because they come to me, stress eating, or ‘eating their feelings’  we can assess that they are neither using positive or neutral behaviors to fulfill that need.  My goal with them is to help them to understand this and hopefully they can work on positive or neutral behaviors for that top level needs.

So sit down for a moment and order your needs. Your needs may not be the same year after year.  You may evolve. Your top needs though.. probably have been the same all along.

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Security need met.
Here are mine!
1. Certainty/comfort Security
2. Growth/learning
3. Love/Connection
4. Significance/validation
5. Contribution

6. Uncertainty/Chaos/Variety

Let’s talk about my #1.  I live an die by security.
It drives me. It always has. It causes me great anxiety when I do not feel my number one need is being met.

Funny (positive) ways I meet my #1 needs. 
I have a huge supply of oatmeal under my prep table. It’s there because oatmeal means I have what I need to do my plan .

In my  show prep, I have security in protein pancakes. My husband makes them  and each day we laugh and say “Those pancakes smell like first place.”

I find security in working many hours. I worked a few jobs at a time when I was younger. I always know I’m going to be ok.

Growth and learning are my number 2. I spend hours reading, doing workshops, feeding that need to learn and be better.  I attend pole workshops and take lessons and maybe I got something out of it but maybe the act of doing that fulfilled my need.

Growth/Learning and Love and connection are super compatible because I connect to so many wonderful people. I, myself  built a community of amazing people who are like minded and who strive for positivity.  So many of those people in my life fuel my connection when they send me a cat meme or share a post.  Deeper connections are there but they are relationships that are positive for my life as opposed to seeking  connection from strangers or randos. That would be a neutral or negative way for ME to fill that need.

For me 4/5 are interchangeable. I am very happy when I have helped someone to feel better or fix a problem. That validates me.  Contribution looks really far down on that list but it sits in there nicely with my number 4.

I would put Uncertainty so far down on my list of needs it should be buried under the ocean. I don’t need variety. I’m a creature of habit and like it that way. In fact when I’m called on having to ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ I hate it.

My husband gave me a surprise trip to Mexico for Christmas and we were set to leave on New Years Day.  Nope. NOPE. NOPE. Oh no . The amount of anxiety I had regarding that was too much to bear.

This is my husband’s list of needs. I want you to look at his and look at mine and see how there is a certain challenge we have to work on.

1. Uncertainty/Variety/Chaos
2. Significance/Validation
3. Connection/love
4. Growth/learning
5. Certainty/comfort/Security
6. Contribution

To him, that Mexico trip was perfect. It was impromptu and would shake up an otherwise cold, icky winter. It was for sure variety and the surprise factor of handing it to me for Christmas probably was really exciting to him.

But we are in a relationship that needs to work so when I got that trip for my gift, I did not react well. I got panicky and had to cancel it straight away   He probably  did not get the validation he was hoping for ,  for such a luxurious gift!!!   I am sure that was very difficult for him!!

We work super hard on helping each other and making sure we are getting our needs met in a positive way. His needs aren’t wrong.. they are just different.

If you also think about your person or even yourself, you can see how if one person choses a path of negative behavior to fulfill those needs you can end up with broken relationships. I’m touching on just a few things..

Uncertainty, Variety, Chaos:  Acting out,  drugs, partying, infidelity, really anything can fit there.. if it’s negative, it’s going to be a problem!

Significance/Validation:  Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a rampant culture phenomenon on social media.  People risk their lives chasing likes, pushing the envelope simply to appear, be or stay  relevant.

This past week, a couple died in Yosemite National park chasing the most daring selfie.

We see all kinds of unhealthy behavior in viral videos and in real life when people use negative behavior to meet their needs.

So how does this pertain to you and using it to your advantage?

Once you have sat down and assessed who you are, how you are fulfilling your own needs you can then delve into your partner or family, friends.  How can you positively help them to meet their needs?

Family 
One of my kiddos is somewhat like me in that, he has anxiety and is a creature of habit. It would help him for me to positively reinforce security, comfort and certainty to help him feel safe.  When I know he needs validation for his art, I can help him self validate and give him positive feedback that he can use to grow.  If I know his lowest need is  uncertainty, it would not be helpful to give him 1 week to move out of our house and find a new job and start a new school.   Does that make sense?

In my jobAs a coach, it’s super helpful for me to learn about my clients to help them feel secure in their plan and that they have what it takes to reach their goals. If I can see validation is super important to them, I can give them positive feed back  quickly. I spend a lot of time on social media and much of what I do is offering positive reinforcement to others.

One way that helps someone to feel positive is to skip the “you’re so hot” comment but offer them feedback that shows you know they are working hard.  I try to find ways to let them know they are strong or that lift was incredible so they feel proud of themselves too.

If I have a client who is uncomfortable with public validation, (shy or just not present on social media) I might see where their other needs are. I have some clients who love to learn!  I have some who don’t but they want to be a part of something (contribution) so I give them things to allow them to be of service to our team or other members.  It’s interesting how a person’s driving needs are very apparent on social media.  Dig into their posts!

One of my clients really likes variety. She can’t stand the same ol same ol so I love to give her workouts that change more often so she feels excited to get new ones. She feels accomplished when she completes the past  set too!  I have another client who begs me NOT to change workouts because she’s really into them and the progressions are making her so happy.  That spreadsheet of improvements is making her excited about her plan.

One of the things we can look at as a big picture is when you see people who display behavior that we find deeply troubling to look at their basic needs and how they choose to fulfill them.  Tony tells us so beautifully that people will go to the ends of the earth to fulfill those needs and doing with positive behavior isn’t always what’s chosen.

I hope you find value in this blog. I hope you listen to the pod cast and really understand who you are in your needs.

 

How you are getting your program all wrong but you don’t have to.

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I gave you two visuals here.

When I do check ins for clients, I often get these statements.
“I missed a workout, I feel so guilty.”

“I was so exhausted this week, now I’m beating myself up for going to yoga instead of lifting.”

“I feel guilty, guilty, guilty for everything that I did not do because I’m not perfect and I know I need to work harder and longer and I’ll never get abs because I suck as a human and my workout didn’t go for 3 hours”.

Ok, that last one.. nope.. But you see what I mean, right?

Story: Several years ago , I was with a coach who did not give a shit about health. She knows it. I know it. I’m just putting it out there because this story went badly.
For a bikini competitor to abuse themselves 7 days a week to get to stage is ridiculous. It’s beyond ridiculous.  I was eating next to no carbs, no fats and was sick as can be through my whole prep. You can read how that horror story went here. 

There was one day that I had an upper respiratory infection and was in bed and on a
Z Pack for the second time. I lay in my bed, mourning my show which was a good 13 weeks out. I lay there feeling like a failure because I was sick and got the instruction to get my workout done no matter what.

I got up and did it .  I kept doing it sick as a dog because the training was the most important thing.

Ok, first of all.. I came in like shit in that show.  I was incredibly ill and should have dropped out like a logical human would do so .. while I’m not blaming anyone else.. I kept going on my own accord because “I don’t quit”.   I don’t quit shows. But I should have and when my doctor told me to, I didn’t listen either.  So yep.. that’s on me.

But, here’s what I want to say to you..

Recovery is critical to our programs!! RECOVERY is where we rejuvenate.  Recovery is where our body changes!!  Recovery is where we heal when we are sick. All that energy we are using to “kill that workout” could be healing our bodies.

If you are training, you might hear words like Biggest Loser person, Jillian yells at her clients.  GET UP, GET UP.. GET UP.. 

What I am here for is longevity and you should be too.  Burning out, getting injured, and remaining unwell has zero to do with health.  Being a fit girl means being  consistent, healthy, strong and part of that equation is recovery and rest .

Social media shows us as, if you are not kicking ass 100 percent of the time you are losering it up. There is someone out there who looks better, is faster or has a better body.  There always will be. But, I’m here to take care of this body and create the best game plan for what I want to accomplish.

If you want to be the best at pull ups, then you will train for that sport. It will include work days and recovery days.

If you are training for handstands, you will have balance days, strength time, and flexibility work in with your recovery days.

The brain game: Simply because YOU determined what failure looks like gives you license to self abuse when your body is telling you otherwise. When your body talks to you, listen. Feeling that you need an additional rest day is like a sweet craving for veggies. “Hmmm…  I wonder if I’m missing  some nutrition???”

If you view your plan as static with no fluidity, you leave zero room for YOU to understand what your body wants and needs.

As I have gotten older, or maybe because I train with more intention and am doing more aerial.. I need more recovery. I feel it in my soul.  Being “sore” isn’t’ the reason I take an extra rest day.. I actually understand what my body is saying.  That day I was lying in my bed sick, my body wanted to recover.  I probably would have gotten well faster and been able to put more into my training as a well individual.

Goals I have on this subject:
When I’m ready to train, I fuel like it’s my job. I’m focused on my workout and give my highest level of effort.
Being lazy or slacking isn’t the same as needing to recover.
I log my recovery days in my Trainerize because they are critical to my plan.
I take my rests during my workouts as designated.
If my body requires an extra rest day or two, I take it.
I practice de-loads regularly.
I do not compare my lifts with others.
I do not compare my physique with others.
I practice workouts that allow me to be consistent vs extreme and over-trained.

Story:  I just finished a pole show case. I worked really hard on some tricks that were actually very difficult for me. My body was in a lot of pain post show so I took a full 2 weeks off.  I was shocked at the changes I got when I came back. I felt like a new human. I still maintained some of my lifting but I stayed off the pole.  Now when I am doing those tricks, they feel fluid and wonderful.  I needed that time to rejuvenate.

Negative head space: I cover this a lot in my blog. Instead of using terms of
Good or Bad ,we are working this year on saying
“Is this helpful for my plan or not helpful”.

“Today I feel good”
Training will be helpful for my plan.

“I feel like adding in an extra day of cardio behind my coaches back because I feel fluffy
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Is that helpful to the plan or not helpful? Where did that come from?  Helpful would be to follow your coaches plan not listen to negative self talk.

“Today, I feel horrible, tired. I have to go to the gym. UGH, I don’t want to.”
Helpful would be to look at taking today as a rest day and rearranging your plan.
I do that all the time!!  If you went to the gym, would you feel better? Are you feeling like not going or is your body needing rest?

Everything comes down to being sustainable, creating longevity in your training. Working at your highest level of effort. Living your life so you are happy and not feeling bad about yourself because you missed a lift.  More lifts aren’t better. Better lifts are better!!  Lift, recover.  Eat to fuel. Sleep.  Rest your mind.  Listen to your body.

 

If I had a client who was 13 weeks from a show with an upper respiratory infection I would ask her to be kind to her body. I would ask her to rest and assure her that health is first.  When she felt better we’d get back in gear but be mindful of how she was feeling.
I would help her understand that once she was recovered, she will feel better, train harder and continue to rock her plan.

I would ask her to use her recovery time wisely.  I’d like to see pics of bikinis. I’d like to see her think of the positive things she’s accomplished. I like to see her ideas for her stage package and maybe a vision board on Pinterest to keep her motivated and offer her positive movement forward for her show.   If she’s not into that, then have her track her recovery days as part of her plan so we can use them positively.

 

Workout thoughts: Did I say to slack or that extreme training is bad? Nope.  I believe in freaking hard work. I also believe smart training is very effective.   I believe you can get more out of your training if you are treating your body well.  Self abuse in exercise, negative self talk and guilt is useless towards reaching goals.  Daisy’s don’t grow well in dumpsters.

This is Bun. He wants you to listen to your body.
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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.

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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
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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.

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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!

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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!!

Secrets to Successful Travels for Athletes

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Ok, so listen there are a few things we hear from new athletes when they are in prep/offseason.

“I don’t know what to do, I’m traveling”
“I can’t travel or do anything with my family while I’m in prep.”

Traveling is super overwhelming simply because most of our preps are 12-16 weeks long!  It’s nearly impossible to assume that nothing is going to come up during that  time.

Prep is not a social death sentence.

Strategies: If you are on IIFYM your life will be so much easier than our Bro-plan sisters.
There are so many options for travel and eating well on the road.

TSA:  OY.. that’s tricky. I put everything in my suitcase so I don’t even bother with frozen chicken breasts and a six pack cooler.  That’s so old school and unnecessary any more.
If you ‘must’ bring your chicken breasts with you, freeze them. I never found any of this valuable. I don’t like eating thawing food. I’d rather just buy deli chicken. But, feel free to exercise your beast mode mentality and take it with!!

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I get these at Walmart. I can put them in my carry on and I can eat them cold. I’m ok with that. Just add water. 20g P and 34 C.

How I do it:
1. Pack dry stuff in single serve packets in your suit case.  Example: Oatmeal packets
whey isolate in small zip lock bags. Label them with the macros!! Remember to bring a few blender bottles and your scale!
2. Keep Protein bars, like Quest bars in my carry on or purse for hunger emergencies.
3. When I get to my destination, head to Walmart for supplies. I buy deli turkey and cottage cheese for protein. I also pick up cutlery because I forgot to bring it. You can also get some from your hotel restaurant or the lady at the deli counter at Walmart will give you some. I know her. lol
4. Veggies. I always book my hotel room with a microwave so I get the veggies that steam in the bag or are in serving plates.

Restaurants: Our team does not eat in restaurants in prep.  I have brought my own food to many restaurants.  The reasoning is.. you don’t know what the chef is putting on your food.  They may not tell you that they spray that buttery spray on your chicken breast and that is lots of fat.

When I’m in prep, if I can’t see how it’s made, I don’t eat it.

Caveats: A bowl of lettuce or raw veggies. I’ve done that.  Fruit.. ok. I’m good there. I carry my scale.
Truth bomb:  12 weeks out vs 4 weeks out.. my macros are considerable different.
There is no room to have extra macros unaccounted for as I near the finish line.

Strategies for eating:
Fueling my workouts is my number one priority.  Getting my protein /fiber /veggies is next in line.  I might save back carbs and some of my fats for ‘unknowns’ . I’m going to hit my macros like a boss but I’m a huge fan of carb cycling for my life.  If I have more carbs on a day I’m walking around more.. so be it.
Also, I know that sometimes, it’s hard to get all your food in and no one wants to be back at the hotel after an all day meeting having 6 protein shakes to hit your numbers.
When you are at Walmart pick up Protein Water to drink during the day!!

Hotels:

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Extended Stay America


There are actually good hotel options for athletes!! Our Coach Ashley, recommends
Extended Stay America.
“Stay at Extended Stay America if there is one – you will have a full kitchen…and generally the cost is super cheap so companies usually don’t have an issue with reimbursement for them.”

I’ve also stayed at Marriot Courtyard which also has a full kitchen.

If you don’t need a full kitchen, I recommend Marriot suites! They always have a fridge and Microwave.

When I was in Las Vegas I booked through Fun Jet this lovely condo!
It’s the Hilton Grand Resorts on the strip. It had a grocery store in the lower level
and a Starbucks.  These hotels are all over the world. Just Google #Hilton Grand Resorts!!

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Workouts:
One recommendation is to join a chain gym that you can use while on the road.
Gold’s Gym or Lifetime are good choices.
I will tell you that if you try to buy a week pass you will pay massive fees.
We wanted few day pass to LVAC and it was 100 dollars.

Since we now can Uber around, it’s worth it if you need a gym that surpasses your hotel gym.

With Hotels like Marriot, we typically see a nice gym but in NYC.. NOPE!! It’s a tiny room with a mat.  Be sure to navigate your potential workout facility before you go.

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Hard Rock Las Vegas. Yep. I got this.

I always travel with bands just in case.

I also do my track on parking lots.
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What are your travel secrets?