Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nothing changes until something changes

I’m off to a friend’s bbq and it’s just not the same as when I used to head out to indulge. Today I load my plate but it’s done with awareness. I have too much information in this brain to live with my head buried in the sand when it comes to how many calories are going in the shoot and how hard I have to work to work to burn those calories off. Today I am trying to live in a constant state of awareness so that I can combat that sneaky accumulation of weight that happens when one doesn’t live in awareness of what is going into their bodies. Some people choose not too be in awareness or are even in defiance and by all means that’s their choice; yet deep down I believe we all want abundant health. We were made to enjoy abundant health!

So tonight I will make conscious choices of what I eat. If I choose the dessert it’s because I’ve had the extra long workout today, planning ahead I call it. Yet if I’m looking to loose weight (which I am) I’m going to have to stick to some healthier options on the dessert platter such as: fruit. It always helps if I tell myself I CAN have that cake if I really want it and perhaps tomorrow I will but just for today – no thanks!

Just Google ‘calories burned’ and look at how hard you have to work to burn the excess calories you’ve consumed. Look up how many calories your favorite dessert or drink has and you may make different choices. You do need calories folks don’t get me wrong it’s the excess you don’t want. Start educating yourself and you will begin small changes in your choices. Based on your sex, age, and activity level you can find numerous tools on the internet so you know how many calories you personally need. Anything in access of that will be stored as fat in your body. Pick one or two manageable changes in calories consumption that you can live with and start small. Don’t jump on the diet wagon and deprive yourself because if you are like me the self sabotage kicks in and I’ll double that consumption.

So many people complain about how hard they workout and that nothing is happening with their body. They go to boot camp or the gym 2 – 3x a week and nothing. It is a two part process effective workout routines and you must look at what you are consuming (nutrition). Here it is for fun and for free, the secret to weight loss: You must burn more calories than you consume.

If you eat more than your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) , you give your body more energy than it needs and it will store those extra calories (energy) as fuel reserve which unless you are burning those calories off will more than likely settle in fat stores in places you just don’t want them. So …..

1. eat more than your TDEE, your weight will increase
2. eat exactly your TDEE, your weight will remain constant
3. eat less than your TDEE, your weight will decrease

My best friend Maria in Ottawa has a trainer 2 x a week now and is ALSO maintaining her boot camps 2 x a week AND tossing in a run or two and is NOW seeing the changes she’s wanted and she’s proud. I too am so proud of her! It’s the best investment you can make – investing in you! Remember folks ‘nothing changes until something changes’.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sleep Yourself Slim?

I've had a nasty month of colds! Two in one month and then my eldest son was very sick last week basically having us housebound and me sleep deprived and exhausted. When my fitness, nutrition or sleep go off balance or disappear, you might as well lock me up. I'm certifiable. I'm so negative and I get so dark. I had to fake it to those around me and put on a phony smile but inside I felt horrible. Every happy or positive thing I read on Facebook I wanted to reach out and slap the person reporting it. That’s when I know I’m not in a good place. The importance of the endorphin fix and the well-being I receive from a good workout is indescribable. No, not true, I can describe it: just one more day of no workouts and you’d see me being carted away in a straight-jacket screaming and flailing my arms and legs; because it sure felt like I was heading there.

What changed? Rest, rest and more rest. I had to force my son to rest and I had to take the same advice and force myself to rest. For those of you that know me well, you know I don't particularly like sleep or sitting still for that matter. I'm a night owl and I feel like I'm missing ‘the’ party at the thought of going to bed before 9pm. My head knows better but it’s just the way I’m wired. To get well I knew I had to really focus on increasing my sleeping time these past two weeks as well as keeping my expectations of myself and tasks I’d like to complete to an absolute minimum.

Our families increased sleep worked and we are all healthy today! We celebrated by climbing rocks and playing at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver and then home for a great workout on the spin bike. What a glorious day!

So super athletes, wanna-be-athletes and couch potatoes listen up! Along with good nutrition and great workouts, we really need our sleep!! According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, your body manages and requires sleep in much the same way that it regulates the need for eating, drinking, and breathing.

Studies have consistently shown that sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity and emotional well-being. This explains why, after a good nights sleep, you feel better, your thoughts are clearer, and your emotions are less fragile. Without adequate sleep, judgment, mood and ability to learn and retain information are weakened. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to an array of serious medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even early mortality.

Weight gain is one of the most disturbing consequences of lack of sleep. Insufficient sleep tends to disrupt hormones (including leptin) that control hunger and appetite. The optimal amount of sleep for weight control is between seven to eight hours a night. 68,000 women conducted at Harvard Medical School reveals that women who sleep five hours a night are 32 percent more likely to gain 30 pounds or more as they get older than women who sleep seven hours or more.

Common sense says that someone who’s awake and running around should be using up more calories than someone who’s in bed. Running around should make them skinnier, right? But the study, conducted over a 16-year period, reveals that even when the women who slept longer ate more, they still gained less than women who slept less.

So shut the computer off and get to bed and prep your body for some calorie burning energy!!! Night night and see you really soon!