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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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.
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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!!

Drama! Don’t call me a “clean eater.”

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This past weekend was my show in Chicago. I want to preface this post by saying, I dislike drama. I don’t like to focus on the negative but I will today just to clarify my position.
I built my reputation on being healthy and balanced!

Read on:

This weekend a competitor/coach was doing a live feed and pointed her camera at me.
She said something to the effect of “She’s 51. You don’t look like this unless you eat clean.”

My hubs did NOT like that. He said “She’s not a clean eater”.
Then came the “Well. she has to or maybe you just see the bad stuff she eats ” comment.
I needed to just let that go, because it wasn’t the time or place.
I did stand up for myself and said “My nutrition is on point”.

 I am passionately NOT a clean eater. Clean eating did NOTHING for me.

Clean eating from my competition coaches.
7 small meals spaced 2-3 hours apart of turkey chicken fish and spinach or green beans.
I got 2 eye diseases from one bro prep because my  HDL (good cholesterol) was so low my doctor demanded I quit my competition prep.  My immune system was wrecked.

I lost 35 % of the vision in my eye. But hey.. I eat clean.

Clean eating gave me an intense fear of food and led me into terrible cycles of restrict binge.  I was obsessed.

Clean eating gave me zero balance!

IIFYM takes a bad rap in the bodybuilding community for the under educated. This woman is just another  who really doesn’t understand that all food has macro nutrients.  Old school prepping is based on old science.  We look to  new studies for IIFYM and it’s very nutritionally sound. My nutrition is balanced because that is incredibly important to me.
In fact, I learn from the best in the industry every single day and we use science!

But.. you may be surprised to know that the basics of IIFYM require minimums of
fruits, veggies and fiber along with meeting protein, carbs and fat goals.
By nature, IIFYM is more balanced and nutritionally sound than ‘clean eating’ alone.

If you follow my blog, you know how I eat. I eat well. My off seasons are full of wonderful, food that makes me happy. I eat with my family and do not carry Tupperware to functions.

I used to.

I don’t pretend that suffering in my show prep makes me a better athlete.
I don’t post pictures of 30 containers of broccoli and tilapia to show how bad ass I am.

I used to.

I am 100% committed to show how flexible dieting does work for lifestyle and competitors.
I am committed to helping others understand that clean eating is not sustainable and we are our best and most successful when we can choose consistency over perfection.

Oh.. and  yes.. you  may know that I eat very nutrient dense foods in my last weeks because it’s hard to fit other things in.  Show prep is tough so my food is locked down but it’s still flexible and I still like it. I would never step on stage again if I had to eat chicken 6x a day. I would quit the first day.  Truth.
me

I am 51 years old and I hold my own. I like the way I look. This may sound terrible, but if someone else doesn’t like my physique, I really don’t care. I work to be the best I can be with what I have to work with. I know I have work to do on my physique. My goals are to get better each year. This year, my goal was to bring a better package than last year and also to be more in tune with my health and micro nutrition.  Oh.. and  I didn’t look better on a clean eating/bro  diet. I didn’t.  (age 47/49 were bro prep)
I actually didn’t.

I am a better athlete not because I suffered with my food, but because I am  in tune with what my body needs.

If you want to know.. here’s how I look the way I do at 51.
Hard work in the gym.
Water.
No sun.
Skin care
IIFYM.

I look better with solid nutrition, inner peace, joy in my food, and freedom from food fears.
I look better without deprivation, starvation, blindly following old science with nothing to back it up.
I look better because I wake up each day with choices and goals.
I look better because I don’t beat my self up for eating cookies . I eat what I like.

I look better because I’m balanced.  I look better because I’m happy and I won’t be an example of anything less.

Here’s some hardware.
First place bikini masters, 2nd place Glamour and top 5 in the bikini open.  #IIFYM
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Halloween Mayhem 18 days out

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I feel like I blinked and September was over. I’m just 18 days from my show UFE Halloween Mayhem in Chicago.
I have been pushing so hard this year, but I feel really good.

I’m bringing a fantastic wardrobe including 3 bikinis, 56 inch feather wings and a kick ass
Halloween costume for the evening show. My bikini’s are originals and not purchased from the usual online bikini sellers.  Rebeltart.com has created my looks and we have pulled some ideas from Britney Spears, Prince and Victoria’s Secret Fashion shows with an edge.  These are all 100 percent unique!

This year I’m cutting pretty hard at the end. It’s been harder for me to get lean. I notice every year, it’s not the fastest process. I’m not discouraged. I’m really pushing hard at the end here.

I’m still using my IIFYM flexibility but I don’t have much food right now so pretty much anything other than protein and veggies is out the door. Just keeping it real.

I don’t have energy for my pole so that will have to wait until after the show.

This was a week ago at 3.5 weeks out. I can’t wait to see how lean I can get!
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Pink Muscle

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One of our awesome Sleek Bikini Team Athletes competed in Pink Muscle. She looked amazing! That show was really, really fun.  I was able to meet and totally fangirl Amanda Latona Kuclo.  Amanda was pretty much the reason I started competing. She’s the booty queen!  She was fantastic to talk with and really shared a lot.  She’s great for our industry!  I picked up some Booty Queen tights too. You should totally get these. 
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You can go to her site BootyQueenAppearal.com and get clothing line. I really like the fit of these and they stay put for leg day, ladies!!  I got the first pair of these tights, aside from the ones Amanda had on at the show!  Yeaaaa!

Photo shoot is this weekend with our coaches!  I’m super pumped!

I hope your competition training is going great!!
xoxo

Join our team!
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UFE Halloween Mayhem Update: 9 weeks out

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When I look at my stage pics, I’m always feeling a little crummy about how my skin looks so muddy with that spray tan.  I feel like it never looks like ME on stage.  This year, I did not hire hair and makeup because I need to commit to creating my own look.

I went to You tube and watched the same videos everyone watched. I bought every product on those videos too.

One of our Sleek Bikini Team athletes hired a local artist for her show in June.
Racheal Gloyd
http://www.instagram.com/Rachael_makeup
www.EYESLIPSANDLASHES.COM

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Taylor’s makeup just looked fantastic on stage.
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I asked Rachael to teach me!!

She spent 4 hours with me to construct a look that will be perfect through all my costume changes.  She taught me how to hold the brushes and how to contour, MY face so my photography looks great.

I feel like a lot of girls have skills in makeup and while I’m a total cosmetic junkie, I never progressed at all in doing it well.   So it’s going to be a real challenge to commit to this aspect of competition.

My skin looks really pale here but we already have put a formula together to mix shades once I know how my spray tan comes out. This will allow me to get the right amount of color without being fully chocotaco tan on my face.

Rachael put a lot of emphasis on my eyes and we are using glitter and we will use fluffy lashes too.

So now, the ball is in my corner. I have 4 hours worth of instructional video ready to conquer this.

I wish you luck in your competition!!
t

Sleek Bikini Team Coaches: Transformation

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I am so happy to introduce to you our new coach, Michelle Palumbo. I am thrilled to have her on our team. She will bring so much to our bikini team, lifestyle clients!
Michelle is by far the best macro counting wizard I know. She just competed and brought her best package to date using IIFYM. No starving!

Here is her transformation story!

Alright Team Sleek Body! As a new coach and after coming off my first show in 10 years, I wanted you all to see where my journey began. I was never an athlete growing up and after my freshman year of college, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. That’s me in 1999 the summer after freshman year. I wasn’t happy or confident. With a family history of heart disease and obesity, I made the choice to change my genetic path and am so thankful I did. My first leg workout, I literally crawled up the stairs to my dorm room for the next 2 days. I post this to say it wasn’t easy, there were ups and downs along the way but it has certainly been worth it. Yes, it takes a lot of time and effort to do food prep but it’s totally worth it!

When I started prep for bikini, I was eating what I thought was the right foods but not tracking or measuring anything. It makes a huge difference!!! And when you get to eat foods you like, it makes it easier. So when you don’t want to measure your food and count your macros, just remember your goals and envision yourself on that stage. We are strong women. ‪#‎proveyourselftoyourself‬ ‪#‎striveforprogressnotperfection‬

 

You can follow Michelle on IG
@chellebelle56

Progress photos 2 weeks out

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The goal for 2015 was to grow. I know.. who grows for bikini.  ME. I like the look of bikini athlete.
I build my own package based on what I want.  I compete for me. So, that being said.. I’m feeling pretty
excited that we got some gains.

For my clients who aren’t into ‘muscles’ or bulk.. I’m super flexed here. I won’t even be flexed like this on stage and if you are competing, you won’t either.

This is more accurate here.
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Trust me, it’s going to take me years to accomplish what I set as my goal.
Comparison is the thief of joy.  I step on stage better than last year, I’ve done my job!
Build what you want.  Design your physique as you would build a sculpture.

Shop:
The Fabletics top in my new pic is so fun! I love the back detail.
I love their tops for the back detail.
You can get your first outfit for just $25 +free shipping

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