FitLife Adventure

Month: December 2016

Steps to Success for your Best YOU

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By Denise Walsh

Did you know that the #1 New Years resolution is to LOSE WEIGHT?  Yet over 90% never make it past the first few months?!  WHY?  Fitness has been a big part of my life for a long time and I love turning people onto the fact that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore!

I recently competed in my first ever fitness competition and experienced some pretty amazing changes in my mind and body as I completely transformed my diet and trained daily for more than 6 consecutive months… I had so many people approach me and ask questions like, “How did you do it?” “How did you stay motivated and stay on track for so long?”

If that’s you – wondering not only how to get started on a new eating and workout regimen, but how to REALLY stick with your new habits to create long-lasting change, I have a few pieces of advice to share with you…

 

First – Every choice matters. 99% is a bear – 100% is a breeze.

 

This is so important to remember.

One of my favorite personal development books of all time is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  In it, he explains that the choices we make today impact our tomorrow.  Once I solidified my WHY and gained a clear picture of what I wanted my tomorrow to look like – I knew that every choice either moved me closer to or further away from my goals.  In this case, it was a bodybuilding competition that was MONTHS away.  I found myself wondering – “will TODAY’S decisions impact my show in October?”  It seemed crazy that chips and salsa today could impact my long-term results.  But what I found was, it DID!

 

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My mindset began to change from, “How much harm can one brownie do?!” to “Choosing veggies is keeping me on track towards my goals!”

You see, the problem is not with the brownie.  The problem, for me, was that it never was JUST ONE!  If I gave myself permission to have “one bite” or “one brownie” – I found that one, led to two, led to … off track!  I always had to make the choice – “should I have that? Or shouldn’t I have that?”

As they say, 99% is a bear – 100% is a breeze!

Once I took “cheating” out of the equation, I no longer had to make a choice.  I saw results.  And it felt easier.

 

Second – The story you are telling yourself.

 

Once I knew that I wanted to stick to my meal plan, and took cheating off the table, I still had cravings, darn it!!  I am sure you do too!

I still wanted some foods that I knew would take me off course.  And I found that the story (my self-talk) I told myself made the biggest difference on if I stuck to my plan, or I didn’t.

I learned that it is very easy for us to give our FUTURE selves more credit.  This is why we say, “tomorrow – I will eat better” or “tomorrow I will workout”

Then tomorrow comes and we say the same thing all over again!

Here are a few things I told myself when I had cravings.

  • If I am going to cheat, TODAY is NOT the day
  • Nothing tastes as good as FIT feels
  • I will be so proud of myself tomorrow morning because of the choices I make today!
  • I can have that on Sunday – just not now.
  • I am developing my will-power muscle and this is a good test.

It worked.  I am not saying it was easy, but it worked!

nothing-tastes-as-good-as-being-fit-feels-quote-Fit-Life-Adventure

 

The TAKEAWAY

  • Get a clear picture of what you want your TOMORROW to look like and be 100% ALL IN.  Take cheating off the table.
  • Create new self-talk habits for when you have cravings or temptations.
  • And know that it IS worth it!!! ♥

Secret To Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

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Staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge with the stress that comes from rushing here and there as well as increased social events with late night parties. It can also be difficult to fit in exercise during the holidays and even more difficult to know how to lose weight during the holidays. The #1 tip that I have found helpful during the holidays to stay fit and healthy is to get plenty of rest.

Make sleep a priority!

Sleep helps your brain work properly. It’s when you are sleeping that your body is getting ready for the challenges of the next day. Your brain is actually creating new pathways for learning and storing memories which helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative.

Sleep is also important for your health because when you are sleeping your body is healing and repairing itself. It can be very easy to neglect sleep during the holidays. It’s important to avoid prolonged sleep deficiency as it is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

For those of you that have a weight loss goal this holiday season be aware that sleep deficiency can also increases the risk of obesity, therefore sabotaging your weight loss effort. While you sleep your body produces hormones: ghrelin and leptin. The hormones that make you feel satisfied when you eat and if you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier even when you have eaten. Another hormone that reacts to sleep is insulin. This is the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Most important during the holiday season is boosting your immune system which relies on sleep to stay healthy. Your immune system is your first defense against the flu and viruses. If you are not getting enough sleep it can change the way in which your immune system responds. This is why some people can be more resistant to disease than others.

Studies have shown that the best time to sleep for optimal health is between 11pm and 4am with 8 hours being ideal. So when you are out with friends celebrating this holiday season remember to take care of yourself and hit the pillow as early as possible.

FIT mind | SMART Goals

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It is so important to be focused around goal setting!

I found an acronym that has been really successful for myself is SMART Goals.

SMART” stands for

SPECIFIC.

MEASURABLE.

ACTION ORIENTED.

REALISTIC.

TIMELY.

So, when creating your goals for this adventure, I really want you to focus on being very specific in your goals and make sure they are “SMART.”

As well as having smart goals, I’d like to talk about the three main types of goals.

  • performance goals
  • process goals
  •  outcome goals

These can be a little trickier but ill help you get them down.  So a performance goal focuses on your own personal achieving standards based on previous performances.. NOT the performance of others!  An example of this goal could be “Be consistent in participating in one sort of exercise a day of the following choices; kickboxing, HIIT, spin, lifting weights, or yoga. Also sticking to a healthier diet restricting foods with a high sugar content, based on the label, no greater than 10g. Bread limited to 10% of the time compared to consuming bread 40% of the time in the past.” This is a great example; notice the specific measurements and comparison to my past performance.

The next type of goal is a process goal. “Process goals focus on exactly what actions you need to do to in practice or preparation to increase the odds you will be able to replicate those actions during competition.” [i] An example of a process goal would be “Keep a food log determining the amount of calories being consumed and the amount of calories being burned. Also keeping a log of daily exercise. Assess each month with a caliper to determine progress. Avoid foods that shouldn’t be consumed and reward every month if goal was reached.”

The last type of goal would be an outcome goal. An outcome goal is the main goal you are trying to achieve. This is where SMART comes into play. An example of an outcome goal could be “lose a total of 12% body fat in one year, essentially losing 1% each month being measured by a skin caliper.”

I would like all of you take time to think of  YOU… not your family goals or your couple goals, but YOUR, PERSONAL GOALS!, then write down your performance goal, process goal and outcome goal!  Whether it is on a piece of paper you put on the fridge to see everyday or write it on your mirror with a dry-erase marker, declaring and writing things down increases your chances for succeeding in those goals!  I believe in you, so now it is time YOU BELIEVE IN YOU!


[i] Weinberg, R., & Gould, D. (2015). Exercise and Psychological Well-Being. In      Foundations of Sport an Exercise Psychology (Sixth ed., p. 649). Champaign,    Illinois: Human Kinetics.

A Fit Mind starts at home | Ways to create a Healthy Home

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The space you live and the environment you create can have a huge impact on your daily well-being in so many ways!

I have found these 6 ways to be helpful in providing your mind, body and soul with just the right balance it needs to function at your BEST!

1  Create a Sleep Sanctuary

This can be done easy with soft colors, relaxing essential oils – my favorite is It Works Chill or Lavender.  You can diffuse it or dab a couple drops directly on your pillow!  You will also want to eliminate tv and computers or phones right before bed as these can stimulate your mind and make a sound sleep difficult to find.

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2  Set a Soothing Tone

In a high tech world this is as easy as downloading your favorite iTunes of relaxing music or setting pandora to the Spa Channel.  One of my favorites!

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3  Live Plants

There are several plants that are easy to care for indoors!  Plants help clean the air naturally and give a feeling of piece of natural surrounding.

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4  Reduce Toxins

Choose organic cleaners and also consider essential oils as a cleaning solution.  A great idea is to use scents such as Lemon and Eucalyptus, they really help mask odors and give your house a fresh clean scent!  Try one of these recipes below!

 Cleaning

5  Improve Physical Health

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Just 30 minutes a day of your favorite activity can count as exercise!! The key is to get moving and keep moving!   Get up!  Jog in place, put on some fun music and dance around the kitchen!  Also, start to eliminate some of the bad foods and replace with smarter choices.  When you go to grab for a snack, grab something easy like an almond, raisin, dried cranberry, walnut and pumpkin seed mix you keep in a container in the pantry, for easy access!

6  Meaningful Relationships

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I love to have friends over to eat and play old fashion board games!  There is just something special about gathering around a table for fun and food!  Another great option is setting up coffee dates with your friends to just catch up!  Here are some of my friends and team members, working on our new DREAM BOARDS!

Coping with Stress

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How do you cope with stress?

If you are a Mom, you can most likely relate with the word stress! Everything seems to be moving SO fast – we juggle too many hats and often neglect the most important person…YOU!

As a Mom of two beautiful girls, I have had MORE than my share of moments that made me want to pull my hair out…or sneak away to the closet to eat that dozen donuts we picked up for the hangout tonight!  My eldest daughter is 22 this year; over the years, I have found a few key ideas that can help alleviate a little of this stress that I would love to share with you.

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The first thing to understand is that stress is an emotion that you have complete control over. It’s a reaction your body has when your brain thinks it cannot process any more craziness. Have you ever been told… just take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed? Or maybe you count to ten slowly? There is a scientific explanation to that advice! Its true, when so many things are happening at once, your brain needs a quick break to slow down the natural fight or flight hormones that are being released. Try this… Right now – take 5 deep breaths with your eyes closed and breathe out as slow as you can. It sounds too easy right?? Now, I can’t say that the current circumstance will stop but your body and emotions will be better able to cope.

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Second, your kids feed off of your energy! You can help intentionally create the atmosphere in your home! They can feel when you are not paying attention or that your day at the office was tense. You would hope kids would have compassion for poor Mom and cut you a break. Unfortunately, that’s not a reality! Where energy goes, energy flows! Your state of mind when you are around your children will give you back an extra measure of how you are feeling. The good news is you can use this to your advantage! Your brain is very complex, but can be trained to submit to what you CHOOSE to believe. Simply choosing to put a smile on your face will can change your posture and the way the kids perceive you.

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Since your attitude and emotions help shape the culture in your home, it’s critical you are making time for you. My hope is that your smile is REAL and that you choose to fit time in your day (even when you’re busy) to do one thing just for you without feeling guilty!  My favorite escape is to lock myself in the bathroom and sit in bubbles after everyone has gone to bed. Whatever your escape is, find a way to protect that time and make it happen every day 🙂

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Finally, in moments of stress, try to remember that these moments are fleeting, even as challenging as they can be. The days and years pass quickly and we just get today once!

Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals? | Self Sabotage

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Have you ever spoken these famous last words “I can’t,” or “this is too hard,” then simply gave up on your goal?  Perhaps you are one that is more afraid of what would happen if you did lose those last 10 pounds.  Then what?  You may have to commit to keeping it off or make permanent changes to your comfortable lifestyle.

To understand how easy it is to sabotage your success in anything you must first understand the root is fear.

Second, it’s important to identify where the fear is coming from. The two main areas of fear are Fear of Success and Fear of Failure.  If you are not where you want to be you are battling one or both of them.  Acts of sabotage are merely the outward symptom, action or inaction that stems from either a fear of success or fear of failure.  Fear is real and can be valid reason you have developed an unhealthy relationship to food.

Isaiah 41:10 tells us

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Has self-sabatoge been stopping you from achieving your goals?

It is possible to discover clues that you may be allowing this fear of sabotaging your weight loss goals.

It’s important to learn how to notice and transform even the most subtle behaviors.

Have you ever said this to yourself..

  • all fat is bad?
  • Carbs are either good or bad?
  • Salt and sugar will eventually kill you?
  • Skipping meals will help you lose weight
  • Certain foods will make you fat?
  • If I lift weights I will bulk up
  • I am so busy I don’t have time to exercise
  • I will never eat …… again!
  • My Moms family had heavy thighs that’s why I do
  • My children are overweight because it runs in our family

All of the above are beliefs you may have created because you heard it somewhere, believed it and made it a subconscious view. These are all examples of how you may be sabotaging your success. Your beliefs will pull you in one direction or another and affects all areas of your life, not just food.

The Best Fat Burning Foods

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What if you could eat real, whole foods that can trim your waist line and also improve your health? You can with what I consider to be my Top 5 of the best fat burning foods.

#1 Protein

In addition to being the building block of lean muscle, which is your body’s fat burning furnace, proteins thermogenic effect is 20-30% higher than carbohydrates. This means when you include a protein in every meal you raise your fat burning potential. Make sure to choose lean sources such as fish, eggs, chicken and turkey or a high quality low fat, low sugar protein shake such as our Ultimate ProFit.

#2 Probiotics

Scientists believe that people with certain kinds of unfriendly bacteria in their gut tend to get more calories from their food than others. We all have trillions of bacteria in our gut, some good some harmful. By adding good bacteria such as probiotics your body can naturally digest the excess calories more efficiently. Probiotics can be found in certain yogurts and kefir as well as supplements such as the It’sGreens .

#3  Green Tea

The most common plant associated with weight loss and one of the best fat burning foods! Green tea contains natural chemicals called catechins. Studies have shown that these chemicals increase fat burning and increase thermogenesis. Since it is difficult to control when brewed I recommend a supplement of green tea extract however adding the tea as well throughout the day will increase hydration and help control appetite.  ItsGreens contains green tea extract as well as the Ultimate Thermofit and can be safely taken daily for maximum benefit.

#4 Chilli Peppers

Spicy red peppers can be added to your favorite dishes or even slice and snack on throughout the day. Research has shown that chilli peppers can enhance metabolism however the side effects of the amount needed make it difficult to consume in its natural form. Most recently capsacin, a supplement form of the chilli extract proved safe and effective for weight loss. The Ultimate Thermofit uses capsacin as the catalyst that helps the body increase metabolism natural without dangerous side effects.

#5 Plant Phenols

For many decades plant phenols have been studied for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Most recently new research has begun to reveal potential for obesity prevention. The compounds under study with the most benefit are

Curcumin (turmeric)- can be found in It’s Vital Core nutrition

Resveratrol-grape skin, blueberries, natural cacao powder- ALL in Ultimate ProFIT®!

Quercetingreen tea,onion, tomatoe, broccoli,leafy greens – easy powder form in Greens

Chlorogenic acid-sunflower seeds-found in Ultimate Profit

Getting a healthy serving of all of the best fat burning foods in your daily diet is optimal yet nearly impossible, certainly not affordable to all. To cover all your basis at an affordable price I recommend an Ultimate ProFIT®.  Shake each morning with 2 scoops of Greens, 2 It’s Vital and 1-2 Thermofit for weight loss. It will do your body AND  your waistline good!

Lose Weight And Keep It Off

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Want to know the real reason you’re still overweight…?

acidity level, acidity and weight loss, The truth is if you want to lose weight and keep it off you need to look at both the inside AND the outside of your body. You will not get the results you desire with exercise alone or vice versa. Weight loss is a combination of science and psychology but the real culprit halting your weightless effort is acid! The acid level in your body is playing a key role in your overall health as well as your weight gain. We eat so many processed foods and live in high stress, toxic environments that our body becomes acidic. When your body is acidic it breaks down muscle to transport acids away from your vital organs for protection. When this happens it’s nearly impossible to lose weight or sculpt lean muscle. This acid state also puts stress on your liver as the toxins in your blood are filtered here. Normally the liver is where fat is metabolized so if your liver is busy trying to clean up the toxins in your blood it cannot metabolize fat as it should.

The first step in correcting this is to detoxify your body to remove the acid and toxins that have built up. This can be done with simple changes in your diet, addition of exercise and providing nutritional support. Giving your body the proper nutrients that aid liver function, cleanse colon and eliminate toxins you can help reverse the acid in your body to alkaline. The Ultimate Body Applicator is an easy, safe and effective way to nourish and aid in the detoxification of your largest organ– YOUR SKIN!  This treatment, with the addition of increased water intake and proper nutrition is a natural way to aid your body and tighten skin at the same time.

The second step is removing acidic thoughts. These are negative self-statements, judging, comparing, anxiety and poor stress management. Detoxification is a holistic approach that allows the body to heal itself, however, for the body to heal itself this process first starts in the mind. How you think of yourself when you look in the mirror can have a direct effect on your weight loss progress.

The secret to weight loss? For your body to burn fat it must be clean and alkaline and your mind bright and positive 🙂

Dieting | A Lifestyle Not A Trend

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How many people in the run of a day say the word “diet”?  

What exactly does a diet mean to them or to you?  Is a diet a specific meal plan used merely for people who are looking to shed a few unwanted pounds or is it a term that people use loosely similar to that of, “Yeah I go to the gym” when in fact they may actually physically enter the gym, but have no direction, purpose or plan.  I personally do not like the term, “diet”.  I much prefer to use the term “meal plan” when speaking specifically about what my nutritional goals, needs and wants are. 

There are a few things that you should consider before starting a meal plan.  For example what are your goals for the meal plan.  Is the plan’s primary purpose to help you lose or gain weight? Is the purpose of the plan to help introduce you to a healthier life style?  Is the primary purpose of the meal plan, to help you deal with medical concerns such as obesity, diabetes, or high cholesterol?  Whatever the reason you chose the meal plan make sure it’s best suited for your wants and needs. 

Here are a few simple recommendations when deciding to use a meal plan.

  • Set goals. Short term, long term. What you are hoping the meal plan will help you accomplish?
  • Do your homework.  You need to understand that some plans work for some and do not work for others. First discuss this with a medical professional (your doctor, nutritionist etc) and consider their recommendations and medical advice.  Most health practitioners can and will provide you with the guidance you are seeking.
  • Do not try to lose or gain too much weight too fast.  A healthy weight loss  is 2-4 pounds per week, especially during the first phase of your meal plan, where you’ll notice the weight coming off fairly quick. 
  • Do not get frustrated or discouraged. There will come a time where your weight loss will slow or stop.  This is due to your body’s metabolism reaching a comfort level with your meal plan.  This is the time to change up your plan, in hopes to fire up your metabolism all over again.
  • Believe it or not there are no fancy fitness gadgets or magic pills as seen on television or in magazines that will help you lose weight quicker or more efficiently than that of a solid meal plan that will help lose weight.  There are credible supplements on the market that will assist you in losing weight.  Again, this is an area where you will need to do your homework, as every supplement company claims to have a more effective product than their rival companies.      
  • Commit to the plan.  Focus on the prize, which is your goal that you have set!  You will need to have strong will power to resist temptations of unhealthy or foods not on your plan.  You will also need to surround yourself with a circle of people (friends, family) that understand and support you in your life style change.  As sad as this may sound, it’s those closest to you that will try to sabotage or derail your progress and plan.
  • Allow yourself some treat meals weekly as a reward for following your meal plan.  Turkey burgers on the grill, a thin crust pizza, steak, frozen yogurt whatever it is that you choose to treat yourself with, know that there are healthier variations of your favorite foods.
  • Hydration is key! Ensure that you stay hydrated daily as this will aid in flushing the toxins from your body which is often a roadblock in weight loss.  Remember water is the best fluid for you.
  • You CANNOT out work a poor diet.  You can exercise as hard and as often as you can, but if you’re not properly fuelling your body, you will not get the results that you are looking for or expect.
  • Be honest with yourself.  If you had a moment where you gave into a temptation, you need to quickly get back on track.  One poor choice doesn’t ruin your entire daily or weekly plan.  Chalk it up as a minor slip on the road to a better you. 
  • Preparation is KEY.  Preparing your meals in advance will help you from falling victim to grabbing something quick at a fast food restaurant, or from grabbing a handful of your favorite treats in an attempt to help deal with your cravings. 

There are so many “trendy or in-the-now diets” that seem to pop up weekly.  Not all are bad, some actually have some sound components supported by medical evidence.  However most of these so called “diets” are nothing more than a gimmick with promises that never materialize.  The best “diets” are the ones that become a lifestyle, the plans that involve real food, sources of protein, fruit, vegetables, essential fats etc.  No one is going to do the work for you.  Make the change and follow your plan and you will be on your way to a healthier happier you.

Top Health Benefits of Lemon Water

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Lemon water! One of my favorite alkalizing and cleansing “secrets”

Hot lemon water is what we should be starting each day with to wake up the digestive system and start cleansing our body of toxins.

TOP BENEFITS & WHY

  • Boost your immune system with the power of Vitamin C.
  • Cleanse your body with additional enzymes produced by the liver with the added lemon.
    According to LiverSupport.com, the liver can make more enzymes out of lemon juice than any other food.
  • Clear up your complexion! Drinking water in general is great for the skin, your body’s largest organ.  And according to FitDay, vitamin C assists in the production of collagen, which helps with the prevention of wrinkles. FUN FACT: On average, your skin makes up 6-10% of your body weight!
  • I saved the best for last… WEIGHT LOSS! Drinking water with lemon in it is undoubtedly better than any other alternative!
Reminder! According to Sacred Source Nutrition, make sure the lemon water is room temperature to prevent a cold water shock to your system, which could prevent all of the benefits listed above from working.