Ok.  Here's tip #2 that will assist you in accomplishing any goal you are truly serious about.

Have you ever thought about something, a car you plan on purchasing, a dress you want to buy, and suddenly around every corner you turn, there it is. That is a phenomenon known as reticular activation

What that basically means is that once you make up your mind about something and have a sincere emotional connection to it, it activates your awareness to that item.  The interesting thing is, it works for just about anything.  Whether it be weight loss goals, financial improvement, an item you want to purchase or a way you want to stop or start behaving -- all effectively begin with using reticular activation techniques.

That is why I often encourage the use of affirmations said 3-5x/daily (stated in a way as though the goal, item or quality has already been achieved), or posting images on your refrigerator of what you want to attain.  It sets the mind in the right framework of success.  It makes you more aware and connected to your goal and thus increases your chances of success.  Just making a statement and "hoping" it comes true is nothing more than wishful thinking.  But making that goal a daily, conscious focus is quite another thing. It cues your brain to be aware of opportunities that present themselves to assist you in achieving your goal.

 

Reticular activation also involves visualization, so that you visualize your success or attainment of the goal you wish to achieve.  World Class Athletes have been doing it for years, CEO's have utilized the concept to create their success and many of my clients utilize these techniques to achieve their body transformation goals.

In my Free Special Report and Audio I further outline how you can utilize goal setting and other reticular activation techniques.

Set a plan, focus on it, execute it and achieve it.

As always please let me know if this information was helpful.

Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
– Alfred A. Montapert, American Author

I chose this quote, because today, as I sat for a moment between clients, I realized how many people just haphazardly go from one movement to the next with what appears to be no rhyme or reason.  Their workout appears largely machined based.  But darn it if they don't typically LOOK busy.  Interesting enough these also tend to be the same people that complain of making little progress to their goals.

I'll Keep It Seriously Simple.  If you are serious about getting ready for bikini season with the little time we have left before it starts getting crazy hot, here are a few tips that I guarantee will help you shed those extra pounds quickly.

1.) Don't skip your core/ab workout.  Do it first while you're fresh and focused. It serves the purpose of getting the body ready for exercise and brings your mind into focus for the task at hand.

2.) Put on your headphones and focus on what you came to do.

3.) Pick 4-7 exercises that involve the total body or an upper body exercise followed by a lower body exercise. Do all movements in that cycle before resting for 2 min. Then do it again.  Repeat 3-4 times.  Then pick a different group of exercises again, 4-7 movements that utilize the entire body or alternate upper lower.

4.) Utilize leg movements that force you to support your own body weight.  Sitting on a machine is fine if you're just starting out or in the midst of rehabing an injury. But by and large, your leg movements should include things like good old fashioned squats, lunges and deadlifts. There are literally hundreds of variations you can do that still fit the criteria of functional movement.

5.) Utilize upper body movements that force you to utilize your core as well as the muscle being worked.  For instance, one-arm rows utilizing a dumbbell or cable, push-ups, pull-ups, bicep curls coupled with either lateral raises or shoulder press all on 1 leg (7-10 reps per side).

6.)
Plan your meals ahead of time.  Do NOT wait till the last minute, find yourself starving and make a poor choice in nutrition. Heck you're going to the gym, why not see the results.

7.) Before you start any of the above steps, take your measurements.  Get a body composition done. Take your waist, hip, chest, and shoulder circumference measurements.  You're going to the gym, might as well be sure you;re getting the results of all that time.

As always, let me know if this information was helpful.

PS.  Be sure to print this out so you can get the benefit of all 7 secrets.
I guess I'll have to be the Bad Guy this week. 

I am often approached and asked about such and such exercise or cardio routine. The individual is usually very excited and has high hopes that THIS specific program or exercise is THE answer to whatever has been sabotaging their success.

I hate to break to you, but there are no magic exercises, there are no bad foods and you don't have to run for hours to achieve a good cardio burn that burns crazy calories.

Marketing is the aspect of business whose goal it is to SELL you something, typically for their benefit, not yours. Ask yourself if it make sense before you purchase it or build your expectations up.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Think about it, if it were that easy wouldn't everyone be wealthy, fit, and stress-free.

What I can tell you is that you will have to make a serious commitment to your goal to make it happen.

Let's take the good old idea of cardio. For ages now people have been under the impression that slow, or "fat-burning zone" cardio is the ONLY way to do cardio if you want to burn fat.  Now if you listened to my audio on the 20 Most Asked Fitness Questions, you know that, slow, "fat-burning zone" cardio is for those of you just starting out on a fitness plan or do not have clearance from your doctor. Otherwise, interval training provides the ultimate results in body fat loss.  There's no magic to it.  

What about nutrition?  Conventional thinking says you have to starve yourself or eat like a bird in order to reach your weight loss goals. Most of my clientele, especially when I first started with them, were eating too little and throwing their body into starvation mode.  Since the body is a survival machine, it hoards all the calories it can to avoid starving. You need to eat 3 regular meals and 2 snacks per day in order to lose weight quickly and keep it off.

I also recently heard the statement "I only do cardio because I don't have time to do resistance (weight) training". Guess what? Circuits would accomplish both goals.  Doing 5-7 resistance exercises in a row that involve/require your total body to work will burn FAR MORE calories than cardio alone.  Don't believe me? Google it. You don't have to spend hours upon hours at the gym unless you want to. There are effective ways to train your body to get the results you want and still leave time for a fulfilling life.

Don't be misinformed. I WILL provide you with accurate information and products that WILL get you results quickly.

Sorry to be the Bad Guy, but someone had to dispel the myths, rumors, and magical thinking.  Besides, none of those ways of thinking will ever get you to your goals.

As always, let me know if this information was helpful.

HELP!

 

I’ve been blog posting largely based on the experiences I have had or presently have with clients.  So far I’ve shared information on using self-massage techniques to help get you out of pain, information on carbs and generally how to create meals that will keep you on track, how to get rid of painful wrists and shoulders, and how stress may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts, and finally I shared with you how to assess the magic bullets that the media is constantly trying to sell you.

 

What I realized however is that while I may think the information is valuable and important, that doesn’t mean you do. So I thought the best way to improve the quality of the post that I put up is to ask you, “Is anyone experiencing pain issues I have not addressed, or has a nutrition question that might assist you with?"

 

I believe this whole social media thing is a great opportunity to share valuable information and network at levels never seen before.  Though I realize that this is often the case, I would like to use this social vehicle to inform and empower as many of you out there as possible, to assist you in getting out of pain, get into your best shape, and improve your overall quality of life.  Yeah, I know it’s sounds kind of corny, but hey, it’s the gift I have and I want to share it.

 

Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

I’ve had it!


I’ve sat quietly by and politely smiled when I’ve heard people speaking about the huge success of using this potion ‘X’ or make claims about this pill ‘Y’ or tonic ‘Z’. Commercials, magazine ads, and advertorials (when a company writes an article that appears to be informational or educational in content, when in fact it is an advertisement for their product) are making all sorts of claims about what we all NEED in order to be healthy.



I was watching TV the other day and noticed several ads came on about a product that was touting the health benefits of a certain drink. I remember yet another one that talked about the lack of nutrients in our soil, so people should start taking these pills to assure their health. Then of course there was the exercise DVD's that tell you how amazing your results will be by doing their 'special' program.



Needless to say I am all for health, fitness, and wellness. But is it just me, or has the marketing and snake oil selling gotten way out of hand?



I don’t deny that the quality of the soil is depleted, and that we probably all take in more toxins than is healthy for us. What gets under my skin is the shear outrageousness of the claims and the backwards thinking that is used to sell the products.



If you have the discipline to take product ‘X’ 4 times per day with meals and every other weekend, couldn’t you use that same discipline to prepare your “real food” meals prior to each day and receive even more benefits from consuming actual food instead of a pill or drink?



The same idea applies to your health. There is no magic exercise program out there, only the one that you commit to doing on a consistent basis.  If you’re consistent and improve the way you eat, you will get results. Now for some people that may be hiring a Fitness Coach, or purchasing a set of exercise DVD’s, but you have to utilize the information and motivation if you want to see a result from your investment.  Just showing up and going through the motions won't give you the results you want.



I don’t know about you, but it sounds like some old fashioned reality is what is needed to me.


1.)    Your body was built to move. Because we spend so much time inactive,  exercise is a way to give your body what IT NEEDS – challenging physical movement that gets the blood pumping and produces and some perspiration. Remember Not All Movement is Good Movement. First get proper instruction.

2.)    Watch what you put in your body. Garbage in, Garbage out. Take the time to prepare your meals ahead of time so you don't make poor food choices because your starving. NO amount of special antioxidant drinks or pills will cure inactivity and poor food choices!!

3.)    Make time for consistent fitness in your life, if not daily then 3x/week minimum. Many of us are stressed out beyond belief. How well you take care of your physical body, or fail to, will dictate how long and how well you live and enjoy your life.  Energy drinks won't fix the problem.


4.)   Make a Plan. If you really want to see a change in anything in your life, make a plan with 3-4 realistic short term goals and 1 long term goal, and get to work.


It is my intention to use these blog posts to assist you in achieving your health, fitness and wellness goals, by providing reliable, practical information that when you use it consistently, you will get the results you need.



Make a commitment to yourself Today to Get Out Of Pain, and Get In Your Best Shape.



Here’s a FREE BONUS to get you started.

WELLNESSTOFITNESSIN4EASYSTEPS.doc

You know that old saying “sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees”?  This morning I was reminded of just “how deep in the trees” I am. 

 

One of the guys I see at the gym quite often approached me this morning and asked me about some nagging knee pain he’s been experiencing.  He said it’s been going on for 4 weeks now and getting progressively worse. I asked him the usual questions and he told me that there hadn't been any impact to the knee itself, he hasn’t felt any decrease in stability, mostly that it’s just been a growing problem over the past several weeks.  It’s gotten to the point now where he is unable to enjoy his usual cycling and running.  In addition, after sitting for long periods of time, standing up is quite painful, though the pain decreases after moving around for a bit.

 

I asked, “Do you do any self-myofascial release”?  He said, “What’s that”?  I said, “Let me show you."  I then proceeded to demonstrate how to do it using my Energy F/X Tube so that he would feel a decrease in the knee pain he was having.

 

While I was demonstrating the techniques it hit me...

 

I take for granted that many people don’t know about the benefits of self-myofascial release.  In a nutshell, self-myofascial release is a type of self-massage using a hard roller, tube or ball.  It helps break up scar tissue and increases blood flow to the affected area.  Not to mention it can increase your range of motion and improve performance.

A lot weekend warriors and sedentary people end up feeling stiff and hurting, and mistakenly believe there is something wrong with their joints that might require surgery.  In fact, most of the time all they need to do is regular self-myofascial release.

 

Before you give up hope and think the only alternative to being in pain is surgery, check out the videos I've posted on my website that demonstrate how to use self-myofascial release techniques to get out of pain.  It's simple to do, and literally doesn't take more than a few minutes a day.  

 

As always, let me know how these techniques worked for you.  And if you need to buy the Energy F/X tube, go to http://energyfxfitness.com/_product_78512/Energy_FX_Tube to order it.  

As I discussed in part 1, we can all admit that when we are under a great deal of stress it is difficult for us to commit to our healthy eating plan.
 

I discussed the hormones Cortisol (the stress hormone) and Serotonin (the feel good hormone) and how they each play an important role in food cravings, and fat storage.  In part 2, let’s take a closer look at stress and ways to manage it so that it doesn’t sabotage your weight loss goals.

 

Stress is a part of life.  Whether it’s the baby crying, the irritability of a loved one, the endless deadlines at work, or the constant flow of bills, stress is a part of all of our daily lives.  But not all stress is bad.  In some cases stress actually assists us in being our best selves by increasing our awareness and attentiveness to a situation. As a practicing psychotherapist for 7 years, and a fitness coach for the past 14 years, it has been my experience that the main culprit when it comes to stress sabotaging weight loss goals is chronic stress.

 

 

 

Stress is defined as a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences affecting physical health, usually by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

I want to be clear; a “stressor” is the precipitating event or situation which can cause a response of “stress”.  Thus, a stressor is only stressful if you deem it to be so.  How you handle, or fail to handle the stressors in your life is what determines your stress level and your ability to maintain your commitments to your weight loss goals. 

 

There are two types of stressors:

  • Acute stressors which are similar to the flight or fight response, where you have an immediate physical response to the event, situation, or request and
  • Chronic stressors which are directly related to long term exposure to situations in which you respond to in a stressful manner.   What we need to understand and remember is that stress is as individual as styles and tastes of clothes.  What one person finds intolerable, another person may not be bothered by at all. 

     

     

    The first thing to do to learn to manage your stress level better is to start taking notice of situations that cause you stress.  What type of unique response do you have and to what types of situations?  Begin to notice your internal dialogue.  What is it saying?  Is it encouraging you to move forward or is it negative and self-defeating?  This first step is important because once you effectively identify your stressors you are now empowered to change your reaction to them.

 

The second step is HUGELY important.  Because believing that you are capable of making the changes necessary to enjoy a better, less stressful life begins the process of healing.  Ask yourself, can you avoid the stressor altogether or at least minimize your contact and/or length of time with the person or situation that creates the stress? 

 

Once you begin to believe that you can in fact change the way you respond to a stressor you can then begin to make the small adjustments towards experiencing less stress.  You can look at whether you are viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms. Are you trying to please everyone?  Are you being too rigid in your expectations?  Are you dealing with an all too familiar situation and expecting a different outcome? Then take some deep breaths to slow your heart rate and help clear your thoughts.  Look at these stressful situations as something you can cope with successfully.

 

Stress creates many different reactions on a hormonal level, mental level and emotional level.  I believe you are capable of sticking to and achieving your weight loss goals.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track in the face of stress and cravings:

 

By taking the time to read this valuable information, you have already demonstrated that you are ready to achieve your weight loss goals.  You have the information, now it’s time for action!  To change, one has to move.  You are now ready to handle stress, rather than it handling you.  Move to a place of power in your life. I know you can do it!  If you have any questions or have a unique situation let me you would like help with, please contact me.

Here's your FREE-- Checklist_to_Reduce_Stress.pdf

 

May
21
2010
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I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed my newsletter.

One of my clients had a great question that I’d like to answer here. She expressed concern that the carbohydrates (carbs) in the last recipe, on the newsletter, seemed a bit “high”.

 

The first thing I would ask you to remember is that one meal, slightly “high” in carbs, is not an issue.  What’s of bigger importance is the total caloric intake of protein, carbs and fat over a 24hr period.

 

We’ve all watched the media bounce back and forth between low carb, high protein, fat-free, and an assortment of other inaccurate and short sited responses to losing weight and keeping it off.

 

I personally don’t believe in the “one size fits all” type of philosophy when it comes to nutrition. I genuinely believe that each person is unique in their metabolism, fitness level, time they have to spend exercising, as well as how many calories they burn just doing their daily activities. That is why I take a body composition analysis on each of my clients, as well as find out what a “typical” week of exercise looks like for them, before I create a customized nutrition program.  That way I am sure that the nutrition program meets their individual needs and lifestyle.  And to be quite honest, if the “one size fits all” philosophy worked, we’d be seeing a better improvement in the overall health of our population.

 

With all of that said I can give you a general rule of thumb when it comes to creating your meals.  My reading is leading me to believe that perhaps portion control is really the key to losing weight and keeping it off (for those that do not want to measure their food).  What I mean by that is: picture your plate, now divide it down the middle so that you now have two halves. Half of your plate should be full of fresh vegetables (preferably leafy green). Divide the second half into to two equal parts.  In one of those halves you would have a lean protein source (eggs, fish, lean meat, poultry), and the remaining space would be filled with carbs (starchy – brown rice, whole-grain breads, etc.).  Does that make sense?

 

The second general rule of thumb is: if you tend to start your day “high” in carbs, be sure to taper your intake of starchy carbs throughout the day.  The thinking behind this is that you give your body the rest of the day to burn off the starches you’ve taken in during the early hours of the day.

 

Remember, one size fits all does not work.  Find out how your body works by getting a body composition analysis and that information along with your “typical” week of activity, should help put you right on target and ready for summer swimsuit season!

 

As always, please let me know if this information was helpful.

Just this week I had the opportunity to work with a client that was suffering from painful wrists. Her wrists were so painful in fact that holding a fork to eat a full meal was a difficult task at best.

As usual, I went through my assessment, asking about her daily activities, type of work, how long the problem had existed, as well as the usual gait analysis, posture analysis, etc. What I found was that she worked in an office where she sat at her desk for most of the day. She spent a good deal of the day in her chair at her desk, even eating lunch at her desk on many occasions.

Her posture showed the damage that hours at a desk can do. Her shoulders and head were slumped forward, and her hip flexors were tight causing her glutes (butt) not to activate properly when walking (or running, her choice of exercise).

So I went to work to first open her chest muscles and get the shoulders pulled back into position.  I shared with her the "shoulder stretches" I posted for you all in a previous post on shoulder pain.

I then went to work on her wrists, after all, though that may not be source of the pain, I had to get some movement back in her stiff wrists while at the same time working on her tight shoulders.  Below I've included the sheet I provided for her.

Try the stretches out if you're having wrist pain or if your wrists are just sore and stiff. 

As always, let me know how they work for you.

WristandFingerStretchSheet.pdf

I usually like to spend these posts sharing ways for you to combat pain and discomfort. Because honestly, it seems like most everyone I speak to is experiencing some type of pain or discomfort in their body. But today I was approached by a couple that asked a very interesting question, “Does stress really affects a person’s ability to lose weight?”

 

By all means, YES, stress does play an important roll in how effectively you lose weight.

 

RING! RING! RING! The alarm clock sounds and jolts you out of your peaceful sleep. The day has begun.  If you’re like most of my clients you whiz through the day stressed out from the moment we wake up.  It’s no wonder over 60% of the population is considered overweight.  So what do you do in a world full of growing commitments, bills, challenging relationships, and constant temptations of processed food?  And why do you crave that processed food anyway?

 

Let’s keep this simple, when you are under stress it is difficult for anyone to commit to a healthy eating plan. You begin your day in a whirl-wind just to get on the road and on your way to work, not to mention all the stress of dealing with traffic.  Once you are at work having to deal with the stresses of deadlines, annoying co-workers and demanding bosses; this is on top of the responsibilities you already have at home.  It’s enough to make anyone just want to indulge.

 

When you are stressed your body releases a chemical called “Cortisol” (known as the “stress-hormone”) into the bloodstream.


  • Cortisol levels rise in response to a perceived stress; real or imagined.
  • An increase in Cortisol means a decrease in Serotonin (think of a see-saw).
  • Serotonin is the hormone responsible for relaxed and content feelings and, no surprise, is one of the significant hormones that assist in helping us fall asleep at night. 

     

    Eating can often be a distraction, because if you’re focused on food, for however long that lasts, you’re not dwelling on the problem that is causing you stress. 

     

    The funny thing is that when you’re stressed (remember the see saw)

 
  • you may typically crave carbohydrate-rich foods, which when consumed, create feelings of relaxation and contentedness. In fact;

  • when you stuff yourself or binge on large amounts of carbohydrates you may notice a “sugar high”;

  • In fact, this stressful lifestyle is encouraging you to eat high sugar foods to regain that pleasant feeling of calm.  Sound familiar?

 
I want to make it VERY clear here that including exercise as a part of changing your physique doesn’t mean you have to join a gym! 
 


What it does mean is that you need to include physical activity into your daily or at worst weekly schedule.  Unfortunately everyone seems to be looking for the quick fix.  In this age of almost immediate gratification, few seem willing to take on the challenge of giving their body what it needs. . . . .  EXERCISE!  A good weight loss plan is built around the client.  That’s why when I create programs for my clients I am sure to ask them what types of physical activities they enjoy doing and then include those types in their weight loss program to assure success – and that doesn’t always mean going to a gym.  (Please contact me so I can help you find out what works for you to be successful in your weight loss goals.)

 

“SO WHAT DO I DO?” YOU ASK.

Great question.  In Part 2, I discuss the different types of stress that affects us all, and ways to manage that stress so it doesn’t get the best of you or your waistline.