Archive for category Weight Loss

Are You Addicted to Sugar? – Diet and Nutrition Center – EverydayHealth.com

The first step in recovery is admitting that there is a problem…. The one thing this article doesn’t discuss is if the cravings will go away over time.. As with drug users, once the withdrawals are over it takes a good amount of time befo

re the need for the drug dissipates… and certain triggers- people, places, memories, smells will set of the addiction even years later. I don’t know if there is good research on Sugar Addiction Recovery just yet…

Are You Addicted to Sugar?

Yes, it’s possible your sweet treat cravings could be a sign of sugar addiction. Here’s what you should know about the addiction — and whether it’s time to get help.

If you’re like many people, most nights after dinner, you get a craving for a little something sweet. But a chronic sweet tooth — an increasing problem for Americans, who are conditioned to crave sugar because of constant exposure from processed foods — isn’t just bad for your teeth or your waistline. More and more research links excessive sugar intake to serious health issues, includingtype 2 diabetes, blood pressure, stroke, and dementia.

So how much sugar is too much sugar? The amount your body can metabolize is slightly different for everyone, but the American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women — less than the amount of sugar in a single 12-ounce can of non-diet soda — and no more than 9 teaspoons a day for men. A 2009 survey by the American Heart Association found that adult Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily, mostly from soft drinks. You can calculate the number of teaspoons of sugar you’re getting per serving of a particular food or drink by taking the number of sugar grams in one serving as listed on the product’s nutritional label and dividing it by four.

A Sweet ‘Drug’ Habit

Once you’re in the habit of eating too much sugar, it becomes harder and harder to stop. “Sugar addiction is a real phenomenon,” says Nicole Avena, PhD, a food addiction researcher and assistant professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. “Research indicates that changes to brain chemicals after sugar consumption are similar to changes seen after drug use, and constantly overeating sugar leads to addiction andobesity.” Sugary foods and drinks activate the “reward” centers of the brain, which lead to more cravings for the sweet stuff.

The issue isn’t limited to obviously sweet snacks like candy and soda — it’s also the sugar added to processed foods that don’t even taste sweet, like ketchup and salad dressing, and also those found within white starchy foods like pasta and bread.

So how do you know if your hankering for sweets is harmless, or if you’re consuming an unhealthy — and possibly addictive — level of sugar?

Do You Have a Problem With Sugar?

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!, is an internist who studies sugar addiction and has identified four types of sugar addicts:

  • People who are constantly tired and turn to sugar for an energy boost
  • People who are extremely irritable when they go without eating for too long and turn to sugar for a quick snack
  • People who constantly crave “a little something sweet”
  • People with hormonal imbalances who turn to sugar as a way to boost their mood

“Constant anxiety, fatigue, and constant sugar cravings are all signs of an addiction,” Dr. Teitelbaum says. “There’s no one amount of daily sugar that is a sign of sugar addiction, it all depends on whether a person feels poorly and exhibits the symptoms of the four types of sugar addicts. At that point, it’s time to figure out your addiction type and how you can treat it.”

If you’re constantly turning to sugar for an energy boost or craving a sweet treat, Teitelbaum says you can typically treat your addiction by drinking more water, eating a more balanced diet, eliminating soda, and sleeping more. Some addicts are triggered by stress, so identifying and eliminating the source of your stress is key. If you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance, you might want to talk to your doctor about hormone therapy or supplements.

7 Ways to Control Your Sugar Cravings

Whether it’s bread and pasta or chocolate and cookies you crave, here are seven easy ways to take control of your sugar habit — and your health.

If you think your habit is out of control, take a step back, analyze how you feel, and figure out what’s at the root of your sugar cravings. One way to properly assess your sugar intake is by using a food journal such as My Calorie Counter that calculates the total amount of sugar you’re consuming. Once you’ve done that, Everyday Health nutritionist Kelly MacDonald, MS, RD, LDN, suggests a few easy adjustments that will help you survive the sugar season that begins at Halloween and continues through the end of the year — and help you keep your sugar intake (and the scale) in check year-round:

  1. “Psychoanalyze” your eating habits. Ask yourself why you’re reaching for carbs and soda. Do you really want the food itself, or is it an emotional response triggered by stress or habit? Eating carbs and sugar triggers the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, which can make you think you want the sugar when what you really want are the calm, happy feelings it produces.
  2. Switch to whole grains. Compared to white bread and rice, the complex carbs in whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats are packed with filling fiber, which prevents the blood sugar spikes and dips that lead to sugar cravings. Eating whole grains has been linked to a lower diabetes risk and sustained weight loss over time.
  3. Reach for healthier sweet snacks. When sugar cravings hit, try to satisfy them with a healthier option such as whole fresh fruit or nonfat yogurt. Although both contain natural sugar, they also have other healthy nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, protein, and fiber.
  4. Keep sugar out of the house. On Halloween, it’s tempting to fill up on candy for trick-or-treaters or leftovers from your kids’ loot. Avoid temptation by handing out non-sugar options to trick-or-treaters, such as school supplies, small toys, or small bags of nuts.
  5. Plan your meals. As holiday season begins, it’s hard to avoid sugar temptation. Plan ahead to make sure you’re not caught around the office cookie plate on an empty stomach. If you’re throwing or cooking for a holiday party, bring a fresh fruit salad instead of a pecan pie, for example. Chances are, there are other sugar-minded dieters at the party who will thank you for it.
  6. Be honest with yourself. The only way you’ll really stop or prevent a sugar addiction is to constantly keep yourself honest. Use a food journal to keep tabs on your diet. If you’re eating more sugar than usual or find yourself constantly battling cravings, add more fresh produce and whole grains.
  7. Stop after a few bites. Teitelbaum says a little dessert every night is fine, but the key is to limit the portion. Your taste buds are saturated with sugar after just a few bites, so it’s best to have a few spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry’s to satisfy your sweet tooth and put the rest back in the freezer.

Are You Addicted to Sugar? – Diet and Nutrition Center – EverydayHealth.com.

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Dr. Andrew Weil: Fat or Carbs: Which Is Worse?

Very Interesting!  Perhaps Saturated Fats are not so bad after all… My husband will be pleased… Of course, you still need to be vigilant about the calorie content (Fat has more calories per gram than carbs or protein.)  Protein should also be moderated if you have liver or kidney issues.  Avoiding highly processed carbohydrates is the new recommendation since it has been shown to be damaging to blood lipids.  Low Glycemic Index foods are still favored. This doesn’t necessarily mean eating more meat, just eating less refined carbs and not worrying quite as much about the gristle in your steak…  What are your thoughts?

Dr. Andrew Weil: Fat or Carbs: Which Is Worse?.

In my home state of Arizona, a restaurant named “Heart Attack Grill” does brisk business in Chandler, a Phoenix suburb. Waitresses in nurse-themed uniforms with miniskirts deliver single, double, triple and quadruple “bypass burgers” (featuring one, two, three and four hefty patties, respectively) dripping with cheese, to patrons who wear hospital gowns that double as bibs. The motto: “Taste Worth Dying For!”

Now, there is much for a medical doctor (as opposed to “Dr. Jon,” the stethoscope-wearing, burger-flipping owner) to dislike in this establishment. If you visit, I implore you to steer clear of the white-flour buns, the sugary sodas and the piles of “flatliner fries” that accompany the burgers in the restaurant’s signature bedpan plates. This is precisely the sort of processed-carbohydrate-intensive meal that, via this and other fast-food establishments, is propelling the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America.

But the Grill’s essential, in-your-face concept is that the saturated fat in beef clogs arteries, and hamburger meat is consequently among the most heart-damaging foods a human being can consume. As the Grill literature puts it, “The menu names imply coronary bypass surgery, and refer to the danger of developing atherosclerosis from the food’s high proportion of saturated fat…” Aimed at a certain crowd, this is clever, edgy marketing. Some people enjoy flirting with death.

The problem? It’s not true. The saturated fat lauded in this menu won’t kill you. It may even be the safest element of the meal.

Saturated fat is made of fatty acid chains that cannot incorporate additional hydrogen atoms. It is often of animal origin, and is typically solid at room temperature. Its relative safety has been a theme in nutrition science for at least the last decade, but in my view, a significant exoneration took place in March of this year. An analysis that combined the results of 21 studies, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk” of coronary heart disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease.

Although this was not a true study, it was a big analysis. It aggregated information from nearly 348,000 participants, most of whom were healthy at the start of the studies. They were surveyed about their dietary habits and followed for five to 23 years. In that time, 11,000 developed heart disease or had a stroke. Researcher Ronald M. Krauss of the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Center in California found that there was no difference in the risk of heart disease or stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.

This contradicts nutritional dogma we’ve heard repeated since 1970, when a physiologist named Ancel Keys published his “Seven Countries” study that showed animal fat consumption strongly predicted heart attack risk. His conclusions influenced US dietary guidelines for decades to come, but other researchers pointed out that if 21 other countries had been included in that study, the association that Keys observed would have been seen as extremely weak.

Meanwhile, in the years since, there has been increasing evidence that added sweeteners in foods may contribute to heart disease. Sweeteners appear to lower levels of HDL cholesterol (the higher your HDL, the better) and raise triglycerides (the lower the better). That’s according to a study of more than 6,000 adults by Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and published in April inThe Journal of the American Medical Association.

People who received at least 25 percent of their daily calories from any type of sweetener had more than triple the normal risk of having low HDL levels than those who consumed less than five percent of their calories from sweeteners. Beyond that, those whose sugar intake made up 17.5 percent or more of daily calories were 20 to 30 percent more likely to have high triglycerides.

Science writer Gary Taubes has done more than anyone else to deconstruct the Keys mythos and replace it with a more sensible view, informed by better science. I recommend his book, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease. It presents more than 600 pages of evidence that lead to these conclusions:

    1. Dietary fat, whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease or any other chronic disease of civilization.
    1. The problem is the carbohydrates in the diet, their effect on insulin secretion, and thus the hormonal regulation of homeostasis — the entire harmonic ensemble of the human body. The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates, the greater the effect on our health, weight and well-being.
    1. Sugars — sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup specifically — are particularly harmful, probably because the combination of fructose and glucose simultaneously elevates insulin levels while overloading the liver with carbohydrates.
  1. Through their direct effects on insulin and blood sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars are the dietary cause of coronary heart disease and diabetes. They are the most likely dietary causes of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic diseases of modern civilization.

My point here is not to promote meat consumption. I’ve written here previously about humanitarian and ecological reasons to avoid a meat-centric diet, especially if the meat comes from factory-farmed animals. Instead, my purpose is to emphasize that we would be much healthier as a nation if we stopped worrying so much about fats, and instead made a concerted effort to avoid processed, quick-digesting carbohydrates — especially added sugars. The average American consumes almost 22 teaspoons of sugars that are added to foods each day. This obscene amount is the principal driver of the “diabesity” epidemic, sharply increases coronary risks and promises to make this generation of children the first in American history that will die sooner than their parents.

My Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid emphasizes whole or minimally processed foods — especially vegetables — with low glycemic loads. That means consuming these foods keeps blood sugar levels relatively stable, which in turn lowers both fat deposition and heart-disease risk. If you make a concerted effort to eat such foods and avoid sugar, you’ll soon lose your taste for it. The natural sugars in fruits and vegetables will provide all the sweetness you desire.

While saturated fat appears to have no effect on heart health, eating too much can crowd out vitamins, minerals and fiber needed for optimal health. So I recommend sticking to a “saturated fat budget” which can be “spent” on an occasional steak (from organic, grass-fed, grass-finished cattle, see LocalHarvest for sources), some butter, or, as I do, high quality, natural cheese a few times a week.

Andrew Weil, M.D., invites you to join the conversation: become a fan on Facebook, follow him onTwitter, and check out his Daily Health Tips BlogDr. Weil is the founder and director of theArizona Center for Integrative Medicine and the editorial director of www.DrWeil.com.

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50 Fitness Facts you Need to Know

50 Fitness Facts

  1. Carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol have 4, 4, 9, and 7 calories per gram respectively.
  2. It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound.
  3. Insulin and growth hormone have an inverse relationship.
  4. The average person can store 500 grams of glycogen.
  5. Only fat and protein are essential macronutrients – carbohydrates aren’t.
  6. Muscle glycogen is about 3 parts water to 1 part glucose.
  7. You burn more calories during the 23 hours you don’t exercise than the 1 hour you do.
  8. You don’t need to do cardio to lose weight.
  9. The fat burning zone does not burn more total fat calories – only a higher percentage of calories from fat.
  10. You’re never too old to do squats.
  11. Weight loss is not a physical challenge – it’s a mental one.
  12. The scale cannot measure body fat percentage.
  13. You can eat anything you want and still lose weight – but weight doesn’t always equal fat.
  14. You can’t target fat loss – fat loss is systemic.
  15. Muscle does not weigh more than fat – it’s just denser than it.
  16. 0 grams of fat on a label doesn’t always mean there’s no fat in the food product.
  17. Whole grain bread is still a processed food.
  18. Eating healthy is not more expensive than a junk food diet.
  19. You can’t calculate body fat percentage from height and weight alone – you need to physically measure it.
  20. You can get glucose from both protein and glycerol – not just carbohydrates.
  21. Just because a box says “whole grain” on it, it doesn’t make it healthy.
  22. You should never attempt weight loss at the expense of your health.
  23. Being vegetarian doesn’t just mean you don’t eat meat – it means you follow a plant-based diet.
  24. Workout times and negative side effects are positively correlated.
  25. Gym membership prices are negotiable.
  26. Cooking your food can both lower some nutrient content, and make some more bioavailable.
  27. There’s a high correlation between the fitness level of the people close to you, and your own physical fitness.
  28. It’s harder to put on 10 pounds of muscle than it is to lose 10 pounds of fat.
  29. Once an adult, fat cells can be created, but they cannot be lost – only shrunken.
  30. Eating at night does not make you fat – overeating does.
  31. You don’t need to do curls to get good biceps.
  32. Being skinny does not automatically mean you have a low body fat.
  33. The perimeter of the grocery store is where 90% of the healthy food is.
  34. If bad food is in the house, you’ll be more likely to eat it.
  35. Thyroid hormone output and exercise intensity are positively correlated.
  36. Healthy levels of testosterone are good for both men and women.
  37. You don’t need a gym membership to strength train.
  38. Unless you weigh less than 100 pounds, it’s unlikely you need less than 1000 calories to lose weight.
  39. Workout intensity is positively correlated with the degree of EPOC – the afterburn effect.
  40. There are 3 types of skeletal muscle fibers – type I, type II-A, and type II-B.
  41. 80% of people who begin an exercise program will quit.
  42. The body has 3 energy systems – ATP-PC, anaerobic glycolysis, and aerobic.
  43. Strength gains come from muscle hypertrophy and improved muscle fiber recruitment.
  44. Dehydrating a muscle by 3% can cause a 10% loss of strength.
  45. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is highest for protein.
  46. Lactic acid is not the cause of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
  47. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
  48. Direct abdominal exercises are not necessary to get good abs.
  49. You can lose weight and still gain muscle; likewise, you can also gain weight while still losing fat.
  50. Consistency and patience are key to long term successful weight loss.

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Kathy lost 120 lb loss with P90X & Shakeology!

News interview w/ Kathy who lost 120 lbs with P90X and Shakeology! 🙂  One of the greatest things about being part of Team Beachbody is that we see these transformations every day!  They are so inspirational!  🙂

 

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“Ain’t No Fool” 90 Day Challenge!

First a quick wrap-up of the past month- I was supposed to be following the Turbo Fire schedule.  Well, I was and I wasn’t.  I was going to Fit Club twice a week and we did Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, P90X, Brazil Butt Lift and others… I mainly did TF but didn’t follow the schedule and instead chose workouts that fit the time I had available.  Starting back to rotations after being gone for so long was challenging.  So, I still saw some results but it wasn’t dramatic.  I did start drinking shakeology daily but that’s a discussion for another day. 🙂  TODAY we will talk about my fabulous Challenge Group and plans for the next 90 days! 🙂

Monday, April 2nd marked the start of a new 90 day Challenge!  I and 4 other fabulous ladies made the commitment to ourselves and each other to stick to our workout programs (I’ll be doing P90X/ Turbo Fire Hybrid)  and to keep our diets clean.  We are motivating and encouraging each other through this.  It’s exciting to be starting something with a small group- we are getting to know one another- sharing our goals, our strengths and weaknesses, our achievements and our challenges.  I am so thankful to them for making the decision to join me in this journey!  I love hearing about their experiences and to being able to share my own.  (Not everyone wants to hear about how sore your thighs are or what you ate yesterday…)

I have only 4 weeks left until Graduation!!!  WHAT?  Yep… 4 weeks!  That means I’ve got to “Kick it up a notch!” Time to burn this bum!  (Let me tell you… after P90X’s Legs & Back on Friday and then Fire 45 yesterday my Tush is Mush!)

A few thoughts about P90X – So, I’ve had the program for about a year now.  I bought it because I thought my husband would want to do it.  (I was doing Chalean Extreme at the time.)  But, of course, he hasn’t… ANYHOO I thought it would still be too difficult- that I wouldn’t get a good workout in b/c I wouldn’t be able to do anything.   Well, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it in 2009 but in 2012 I am kickin’ it!  Umm.. except for the pull-ups… BUT amazingly, on Monday I could do NONE and then on Friday I was able to do 1 at a time!  I could do a full, SOLID pull up and slowly lower and then if I waited about 2 minutes I could do another one!  Now… in the video they do about 15-20.  I am nowhere near that but I am getting better! 🙂  When I can’t do anymore I just use the bands so that I keep working instead of just standing around.  I’ve missed this kind of intense weight training and the incredible soreness that follows.  Doing cardio I don’t generally get sore so I’m excited to see what kind of changes will be happening.  And no, you don’t burn a ton of calories doing weight training if your heart rate doesn’t get high enough (my Polar monitor says I burned only 200 in an hour and a half!)  but you ARE re-shaping and building your muscles and THAT has an impact on form and on daily calorie burn!  (Both cardio & strength are important!)  Turbo Fire has some strength but it’s nowhere near as intense as this…

So, here are my “Before” photos this time around (These would also be “afters” of my 90 days of Turbo Fire but since the last month wasn’t totally consistent that’s a little sketchy..)

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Tumblr Took Over! – Update!

Tumblr!!  Oh I am ashamed… Well, not really.  But, yes, it’s true.  I have been tumbling!  “Micro-blogging” is so easy!  I’ve been very busy with my pharmacy school rotations and DRIVING to rotations (or taking the bus- which is the best thing that ever happened to my downtown commute.)  But, that means I have been neglecting my “main” blog here on WP – because I feel that this deserves more valuable posts… a little more thoughtful and a little lengthier.  And, they take a little more time.  So, if you want daily updates please follow me on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. 🙂

So, where am I with my fitness?

Well – looking back over my Beachbody SuperGym Workout Calendar I could be doing better.  I definitely had more time in January and so my workouts were much more consistent.  I am still exercising regularly- probably 3-4 days a week instead of 5-6.  But, my Turbo Fire schedule has been all thrown off.  😦  I started going to Fit Club- which is fun but we’ve done things besides Turbo Fire, of course.  And, I’ve been going to Boxing Class at the gym once in a while.

I have such early mornings- I have to leave the house at 5:40am!!!  There’s no way to workout before that!  I get home around 5:45-6:00 and have to do my workouts pretty much right when I get home or they don’t happen.  If I haven’t made plans for dinner or have something else going on it makes it very difficult to get them in.  So lesson?  Have dinner plans already made and ready to go!!

Meals?

I’ve been having Shakeology once a day for around a month now. I usually have it in the morning for breakfast but sometimes for lunch or dinner or as a snack.  I have honestly been enjoying it and miss it if I don’t get it!  Yesterday, actually, I was planning to have it as a snack on my way home from work but left it in the fridge!  I was so sad!  All the way home… Plus, it messed up my evening routine because I was hungry when I got home and so had to delay my workout which is a problem because sometimes it doesn’t happen if I put it off…

So my current thoughts on Shakeo:

I enjoy the shakes- both chocolate & tropical.  My GI system LOVES it!  Evidently I didn’t know what ‘regularity’ was before this… and I wasn’t a horrible eater!  I ate plenty of fiber, fruits, veggies, roughage… so it shouldn’t have been an issue.  Just that makes me feel much better.  Since starting it I haven’t wanted soda or ‘needed’ caffeine.  I haven’t had Starbucks at all and used to have it nearly every day!  It’s $3-4/serving which seems expensive at $120 a month.  Well… I spend at least $5 on lunch everyday if I don’t pack something ahead of time (then I still spend $2-3 depending on what I pack.)  So, having it for lunch is more cost effective than having it for breakfast (I could have oatmeal or fruit w/ yogurt for $0.20..)

BUT – If it is truly giving me everything it says that it is… a full day’s worth of fruits & veggies, antioxidants, pro & prebiotics (there is a difference), digestive enzymes etc… then it is worth it to me.  Could you get these things in other ways with other supplements and a balanced diet?  Probably.  There are Fruit & Veg supplements and pre/probiotic supplements etc.  They can add up too and would probably cost between $1-3/day themselves.  And doing that you aren’t replacing a meal so you are still spending $ on food.  And, a balanced diet is kind of like the loch ness monster- I’m not sure it’s possible with this kind of hectic life!

The closest alternative I have found is Vega meal replacements.  I intend to try them just to compare- but they are still around $3/serving so you aren’t saving a ton of money.  The convenience factor of Shakes can’t be overstated!  This is SO EASY to do everyday- it makes a great to-go breakfast, lunch or snack.  I don’t have to THINK, PLAN, SHOP for what I am going to eat for that meal.  This saves me TIME in my schedule to worry about other pressing things.  I don’t have to buy multiple products to achieve the same effect.  What about the quality of the products?  I trust Beachbody.  I don’t necessarily have the same faith in GNC if you know what I mean… I know the story behind Shakeo and am thrilled that they support local farmers- helping communities around the world.  Okay, okay, enough about shakeo- I’ll write another post later.  I’m really not trying to sell it.  I am a resource if people are interested in it but right now I’m really just interested in finding out what it can do for me.  (And, I am making a lab rat of my husband- he has high cholesterol so I’m having him try it for 30 days to see if it will help bring it down!)  It’s not magic!  It’s not a weight-loss shake like Body by Vi or Medifast but it can help with weight loss.  It is a nutritional supplement intended to help your HEALTH not just your scale!

Other Meals- 

They haven’t been fantastic but haven’t been horrible.  Mostly this has to do with my lack of planning.  I’ve been eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria- usually a salad, sometimes chicken wings with veggies… I try to pick a protein and veggies with a small carb side.  Dinner has been challenging!  We had fish the other night but then burgers (I only had 1/2), chicken wings, chicken noodle soup.. It’s just kind of been all over the place!  Again- it’s not that I don’t WANT healthy food- I’ve just been lazy to plan for it!  😦  I will do better!!

Beachbody Coaching

This seems to be coming along, actually!  My mom signed up as a coach (I’m not sure if she’s really interested or just did it for me…)  But, she’s also doing Insanity and Shakeo!  I am SO EXCITED to see her results!  I will be just THRILLED if she is successful!  I love being her accountability partner- she texts me everyday when she’s finished her workout and logs them in the SuperGym.  I am SO PROUD of her!  So, with ‘Emerald’ status Beachbody gives me clients- they  all have different needs.  Some purchased programs and are not interested in the site while others are very involved in the message boards, use the meal planner etc.  I’ve been able to get several people started with various fitness programs and a few are trying Shakeology.  So far it’s a fun hobby.  I LOVE going to Coach events!  I love the atmosphere, excitement and enthusiasm everyone has for fitness!!

My weight loss/ results?  Well, I have continued to lose- slowly.  I believe if I am able to get my diet under better control and my workouts back up to 5 days/week I’ll see results more quickly.  Since January I’ve lost around 10 lbs, 1″ from my hips, 1″ from my thighs, 1 1/2″ from my waist, 1 1/2″ from my chest and some other inches… about 10″ all over… slowly shrinking. 🙂  I’ll post some photos probably next week.

“Ain’t No Fool” April 2nd Challenge Group! – 1 Spot Left!

This will be my first challenge group! 🙂  I’m excited!  We have 4 people so far so we have 1 spot left!  If you are interested let me know.  I am super excited because I will be doing a P90X/ Turbo Fire Hybrid!!!  I haven’t done P90X- have always been too intimidated but now I am READY to do this!  (Will probably have to skip out on Fit Club- cut back to once a week so I can keep on track!)  I promise to plan my meals!!

That’s all I’ve got for now and sorry that it was so scattered!  I have many things on my mind and will try to write some more topic-specific posts soon! 🙂

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Water & 20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses Daily

As I have discussed before… I REALLY struggle with getting enough water!  This article may have helped convince me that I MUST do better if I want to see the results I am looking for… It’s really sad- even when I exercise I don’t drink enough (partly because I really hate having to go pee in the middle of a workout…)  BUT I WILL DO THIS!  My poor, poor kidneys… I will be nicer to you, I promise!

Water & 20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses Daily.

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Natasha – A Real Life Superhero

Meet my friend, Natasha Rusilko from New Mexico.  She’s 19 years old and pursuing a degree in culinary arts, practicing her craft in the Dairy Queen Bakery.  She is somewhat (or maybe a little more than somewhat) obsessed with Michael Jackson, Horror Movies, Star Wars, Christina Aguilera and Pirates of the Caribbean (roughly in that order.)   But, it’s not her love of the King of Pop that brings her story to my blog.  Natasha is a hero of mine. Over a period of 1 year she managed to shed more than 40 lbs off of her petite 5’1″ frame.  Her transformation is truly admirable.

At the beginning of her journey she created a Weight-Loss Blog on Tumblr called “Imgonnamakeachange.”  Her blog is no longer just about weight loss but has shifted focus and alongside the expected ‘fitspo’ you will find the Moonwalker, Star Wars, Aguilera, Gaga, Cake Decorating and thousands of answered questions.  What’s extraordinary about Natasha is that, having achieved success in her weight loss journey, she has not abandoned her Tumblr family.  She’s amassed a following of more than 6300 Tumblrs.  She continues to offer advice to her blog followers and to keep them motivated.  She responds to around 40 ‘Asks’ every day.  She’s become somewhat of a Tumblr celebrity- her before & after photos have been ‘reblogged’ thousands of times.

So, the burning question- HOW did she do it? The way it should be done- eating right & exercise!  She went from eating >3000 calories a day to around 1300 but didn’t count calories, per se.  She focuses on eating healthy foods and allows herself a ‘splurge’ day around once a month.  She did a variety of exercises- she has an elliptical in her house, does pilates, works out with her mom (Who happens to be a personal trainer) but the workout she swears by and continues to do is Shaun T’s Insanity.  

In her blog she says, “I also do Insanity, which I swear by.  I should be a walking billboard for them.  It is a workout DVD program that costs a lot, but it is WORTH it.  It is very intense and hard to do, but very worth it..”She really did turn into a Superhero!  Every time I visit her blog or Facebook page I am inspired.  She is a great motivator and has a fabulous story to share.  I am so proud of her.  Her story makes me anxious to try Insanity myself! Since achieving weight loss success she has also become passionate about fitness and wants to become a personal trainer.  In just 2 weeks she will be turning 20 and moving across the country to live with her boyfriend, Mitch.  (He’s almost as popular a topic on her blog as Michael Jackson…)  She’s been saving her money for moving expenses and, at the encouragement of her followers, set up a ‘Donation’ box.  When I met her I was blown away by her story.  I was surprised that she wasn’t already a Beachbody coach considering her obvious passion for Insanity and her motivation to raise funds for her cross-country move.

Much to her chagrin, other Beachbody Coaches with less integrity have already been using her photos to promote their businesses without her permission. She and I discussed Coaching and decided that it wasn’t the right time for her to sign up now but that her story should be told- that she would allow me to share it and split any proceeds with her- because she deserves it!  Every day she recommends Insanity to her followers.  Over the past year there is no telling how many of them have purchased it.  She worked very hard for her success and there is no reason that she should not also benefit from it financially as others seek to achieve similar results through her guidance.

Does Natasha inspire you?  Are you ready to take control of your life?  To push yourself?

Are YOU ready for INSANITY?  

Visit my Tumblr Site to sign up for a Free Team Beachbody account and to order INSANITY (go to “Store”.)  Want Natasha to be your coach?   Do you want to invest in your own fitness and help her reach her goal of moving across the country and becoming a personal trainer and culinary creator?  Send me an email with your order: fitnessphoenixx@gmail.com with “Natasha” in the subject line and your name.

To learn more about Natasha or make a direct donation- visit her Tumblr Site.  You can also find her on Facebook.

DIG DEEPER!

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The “Before-Before’s”

I thought I should share these terrible photos from July of 2009 before I started trying to live a healthier lifestyle.  This was during our trip to visit my in-laws in England.  These photos were my catalyst.  I have a love/hate relationship with them.  The next time I am at the Louvre, the photo will be MUCH different!!  I am forever grateful to my friend, Farah Elliot for introducing me to Turbo Jam!!

 

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May 5th: 11 Weeks to ULTIMATE FITNESS

May 5th– The day I GRADUATE from 4 long years (actually… they have gone by SO FAST) of Pharmacy School!!  That is 2 1/2 months away.. or to be more specific, 11 weeks.

11 WEEKS.

I have decided to give myself a specific objective with a specific deadline.  That deadline is May 5th.  The objective: ULTIMATE FITNESS.  I want to feel AMAZING on that day!  I don’t like to talk numbers… (You may have noticed that I haven’t posted my actual weight or measurements anywhere on this blog…) I do have an ‘idea’ of what I ‘think’ I would like to weigh but I really won’t know until I get closer… I just know that I want to keep pushing into Awesomeness!

But, I do need something specific..  A fast weight loss for 11 weeks would be 22 lbs, a slow loss would be 11 pounds.  So, I’ll aim for somewhere in between- say, 16 lbs (I like even numbers..)  Mostly, I’d like to have some killer arms and fit into a slinky Spring graduation dress comfortably even if that’s only a loss of 5 lbs.

How will I do this? Turbo Fire, WATER (still struggling with this… ) and… Shakeology?  

I’ve had people ask me about it, other beachbody coaches swear by it and I figure I should give it a shot- at least 1 solid month. I’ve used it 4 days in a row as of today.  I do enjoy it and it may just be a placebo effect but I have the sense that I am doing something healthy.. it’s certainly better than cereal, crackers or cookies…

Here’s to GRADUATION and ULTIMATE FITNESS (Wish I could play some dramatic music here…) 🙂

11 WEEKS

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