Stop Focusing on Weight Loss
Stop focusing on weight loss. Focus more on improving your OVERALL HEALTH!! Oh and guess what??? Health and hunger do NOT go hand in hand!!!
If you need to use baby steps, DO IT.....just start somewhere. And for goodness sake, stop dieting!!!
Seriously. Don't be afraid to eat. Just start eating real food...actually eating more vegetables than you do processed carbs and sweets. Four+ servings a day is my goal...along with 4+ servings of protein and I weave in good carbs 3-4x a day. Get rid of the 100 calorie packs....the packaged foods that seem healthy but they're simply marketing ploys. Look at LABELS and don’t consume things with tons of sugar all the time. A couple times a week maybe, but those things are TREATS.
Drink more water. MOVE your body daily. Think positive thoughts and just focus more on LOVING YOURSELF!
There's nothing more painful than seeing someone starving and hangry...killing themselves with exercise they don't enjoy....thinking they can't have treats or the things they love....and giving up after a week or two.
There's a better way. I promise.
Quitting Isn't an Option
Weight loss and getting healthy is just like driving....if you ever get lost or veer off the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction!!
Makes sense right?? Or would you just light the car on fire and say screw it?
The funny thing is, that’s what most people do!!! They “mess up”...and then just throw their hands up in defeat.
Don’t be most people.
If you ate too much junk yesterday....or drank too much this weekend or skipped your workout...or whatever....just make a U-turn or a course correct today!
Here are a few tips!
Golf, Beer and Supplements
If you didn't read our bios, in a previous occupation I actually used to work as a golf professional. No, I didn't play on the PGA Tour. I worked at a club, ran golf tournaments, sold merchandise, gave golf lessons and every once in awhile I got to play! People always would tell me how jealous they were of my job, to which I would usually just agree because that was easier. Easier than saying I work ridiculously long hours, never get a weekend off, get paid a shade above minimum wage, and had 300+ "bosses" called members that all wanted something different. But I digress...
This post isn't about my life as a golf pro so much. I got to thinking the other day after listening to someone else talk about selling nutritional products. They made the comment that nutritional products and health products are much easier to sell to the healthy! People that are familiar with things like probiotics, gut health, adaptogens, etc. That kind of sucks if you think about it. The healthy people already do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves so why should they invest more into their health.
That got me thinking about my days as a golf pro and how a similar analogy also rang true. It was much easier to sell golf lessons and golf equipment to the more advanced golfers. Four hundred dollars for a new driver, no problem. Five hundred dollars for golf lessons, sure!
You can pretty much change this analogy into anything else.
I also used to be a craft beer nerd too. Your average Joe wouldn't likely spend $10-20 for a bottle of beer but I didn't blink an eye at that. Why??? I saw the value in the beer!
The golfer sees the value in the lessons. The healthy person sees the value in nutritional products.
It all comes down to value... whatever you value that is where you will spend your resources! Since we live in the health world this is a tough predicament to be in and actually quite frustrating. There is nothing more that I would want to do then help people that are morbidly obese lose 100+ pounds. To actually save their lives of people that are in a downward spiral.
What does it take to help a person like that though? It takes that person seeing value in investing in his/her health! Unfortunately it usually takes a rock bottom moment for a person like that make a change. Maybe it is a diabetes diagnosis or a heart attack. When you take away health, it becomes a lot more valuable and you will be more apt work pretty hard to get it back.
I know we help a lot of people begin to believe in themselves again and reach a lot of their goals, which is amazing! We won't stop doing that! My hope and prayer is is that just one person will read this and think that their health needs to be valued more! That they are willing to make the investment with their time and money to turn their life around. That obesity and disease doesn't have to be the trajectory that their life is on.
If that's you, we would love to hear from you. I know that first step and asking for help can be one of the hardest. Know that we will meet you where you are at and will be by your side through the whole process.
Exercise Is A Lot Like Dating
Exercise can be a lot like dating.
You try a few different versions out. Some are pretty good and you and stick with them for a while but you maybe get bored or you just stop clicking. Others are just ok but don't get you too excited. A few are just terrible and you would be ok if you never tried them again.
Then... then you find that perfect match. You are committed! You enjoy your time when you are doing that exercise or with that special person. Yeah it is still work and you have to put effort into it daily but it is something you usually look forward to coming back to the next day. Not always. Let's be honest, we all have days don't want to workout or you don't want to put effort into your relationship. When you are with the right person, or doing your soulmate workout those periods pass quickly.
We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary this week. What a blessing the past 9 years have been for both of us. It was almost 11 years ago that we found each other and haven't looked back!
All of those 11 years we've been active, playing volleyball, running, going to the gym. It's was about 6 years ago though that Laura found her soulmate workout, Insanity! For me it was Focus T25 and later P90X3. Pretty much the perfect workout for us was one that we could do in the comfort of our own home or just outside our RV! We have been able to stay consistent and show up nearly everyday for our workouts.
That just didn't happen for us elsewhere...
For us the gym was like that person that you are attracted to physically but just don't connect with emotionally or mentally. We tried going and had gym memberships for years but never really accomplished anything.
We also both dabbled with running! I was a former cross country runner and Laura ran track. After we graduated from college running became like that blind date that your friend set you up on. You know it's going to be awkward and painful. No thank you!!!
We never did try Crossfit but I could imagine that would be like taking your date out to the most expensive restaurant in town. Then after dinner your date takes you to a big orgy where limbs and sweat are flying everywhere. People are comparing themselves to others and walking around slapping each other on the butt! Sorry crossfitters it's the best comparison I could come up with, I think I would actually join a crossfit gym if it was right next to my house and I had some more cash!
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those kinds of workouts. We know a lot of people that have had a lot of success at the gym or running! They have stayed consistent and continue to put the work in and show up everyday. They've seen results and that's what it is all about.
Fitness for us looked a little different and that has worked incredibly well for us. I believe there is a soulmate workout and form of exercise out there for everyone. Maybe it's dancing, maybe it's powerlifting, or maybe it's running. If you've tried a bunch of workouts that just don't click, don't give up, just keep trying!
I will say one other thing though that the environment (people and place) plays a big role.
Counting Macros 101
Curious what the process of tracking your macronutrients entails. We would like to give you an idea of the process along with the benefits and pitfalls.
Counting macros: What is is all about? 0:07
How to you calculate your macro and calorie needs? 1:13
Who is counting macros good for? 5:17
Who isn't it good for? 7:00
Two camps to losing weight... 9:14
Incorporating treats 13:38
Hope that helped you understand tracking macros a little better. There is so much with tracking macros that you just learn through doing. If you feel like you want to start tracking your macros. Head over to our Calorie Calculator, input some personal information then submit the form at the bottom of the page and I will respond with a personalized macro plan for you.
Shift Shop Tracking Worksheets
After doing multiple rounds of Body Beast and Hammer and Chisel, one thing I learned is, in order to make progress you need to track your actions. When it comes to doing a program with weights, that means taking Tony Horton's advice and WRITE. IT. DOWN.
I was a little shocked that Beachbody didn't create a tracking sheet themselves for their latest program, Shift Shop. Having a little experience creating Hammer and Chisel worksheets, I figured I would do it again for this program too.
Here are are the worksheets for the 3 strength workouts that you will do during this program:
There is also a bonus workout called Super Strength 50. The participants mainly use a sandbag for all the moves in this workout but if you don't have a sandbag or if it is too light or too heavy you can use dumbbells and track it via this worksheet.
I hope this helps you make progress as you move through the 21 days of this program. If for some reason you found this page but aren't working with a coach currently we would love to offer our support and knowledge to you as you go through this program. You can learn more "Who We Are" or just shoot us an email.
Shift Shop Details
What is Shift Shop?
Shift Shop is Beachbody's latest program that was developed by Chris Downing. The program is geared for anyone looking to get amazing results in 21 days. The program is a combination of agility, plyometric and resistance training that will work your entire body.
The program is designed to slowly progress you from shorter less intense workouts that will "ramp up" in intensity but also your results.
Meet Chris Downing
Want to Try Shift Shop?
There are a couple of ways that you can start this program. The first option is to purchase the DVDs. With the DVD package you get a total of 8 workouts, agility markers, and nutrition plan. You can upgrade that package and get the Deluxe kit that also includes a PT sandbag, 3 bonus deluxe workouts. The other option is join Beachbody On Demand and get access to all of the workouts including the deluxe workouts. You can join Beachbody On Demand for free for 14 days, then they have quarterly and yearly memberships also.
There are also usually specials available if you combine the program or Beachbody On Demand membership with either Shakeology or the Beachbody Performance Line of supplements.
PLUS... if you purchase any of these options through us you get access to both of us as your health, wellness, and nutrition coaches. Which also gives you access to our exclusive online accountability groups and our private Facebook group with hundreds of other people like you trying to get and stay healthy.
If you are curious about more info about whether this program would be a good fit for you, you can comment below or email us and we will get back to you shortly.
Is Obesity Contagious?
I've been smacked in the face with this concept a few times in the past month so I took it as a sign that I needed to write and share my thoughts.
Is Obesity Contagious?
We think of a lot of diseases to be contagious, the flu, a cold, but what about obesity? The American Medical Association back in 2013 actually changed it's stance on obesity and it is now classified as a disease. If you go to the CDC website it actually states that 36.5% of Americans "have" obesity. That word "have" struck me when I read it.
Philosophically that is a whole new ball game. Now a person isn't defined by being obese, they "aren't" obese they just "have" it. If you have something you can get rid of it, right??? That's good news! If you have it, does that also mean that you can give it to someone?
In 2007 researchers from Harvard published an article in The New England Journal for Medicine, The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years, that explains these concepts. Some things that stood out were, if you have a friend that is obese that you would be 57% more likely to obese yourself. The study didn't show that obesity was connected to geographical location. For example if you have a neighbor or coworker that is obese they won't rub off on you as much as someone which you actually have a close relationship.
"Obesity is a social disease. And it needs a social cure." - Dr. Mark Hyman
I love this line from Mark Hyman, "Obesity is a social disease and it needs a social cure." Unfortunately the population of the United States is heading in the wrong direction.
As of 2015 70.7% of Americans over the age of 20 are considered overweight or obese. If 71% of the population had a virus that was slowly killing you every government agency and medical professional would be hysterical in finding a cure. What gives? Why are people complacent about the disease of obesity?
I think it comes back to this being a social disease. If you walk down the street or through your office building and 7 in 10 people you walk past are overweight, doesn't that skew your perception of what is normal? Now instead of comparing yourself to the cover model on the magazine, I think people are comparing themselves to the people that are overweight or obese. The thought likely goes through their head either consciously or subconsciously, "Well at least I'm not as fat as that person, so I must not be that bad."
Then you have the people that use the genetic excuse as a crutch. The same study mentioned above found out that if a sibling became obese it raised your chances of becoming obese by 40%. So if your friend, that you have no similar genetic information as becomes obese it increases your chances by 57% but a family member only 40%. Wouldn't that suggest that obesity is more of a nurture disease rather than a nature disease?
Why does this matter?
Being overweight and obese can have serious health consequences. It can lead to things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, cancer and increased joint pain. Not all overweight people will develop these diseases or will report negative biomarkers but it does raise your risk.
There is also a direct correlation to how overweight a person is and their activity level. So once you get trapped in the cycle of being overweight it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight. Your activity goes down, you burn fewer calories, you pack on more weight.
What do we do?
First thing I think we need to start treating being overweight or obese as a disease that needs treatment. It can't just be the way a person is... It can't be something we ignore thinking it is just a benign condition without consequences.
What actions do we need to take?
I believe as individuals we need to support people where they are at! Whether they are fit and lean or morbidly obese, we need to be there for a friends, family, and neighbors. We need to be encouragers! We can't wait for someone else to take action, you need to be the one! The one that gets moving! The one that cuts out a lot of the junk food! The one that eats more veggies! Do it with joy! Be contagious with your healthy behaviors!
That's why I love so much what we do! We get to be those influencers! More importantly we try to encourage others to pay it forward, to pass along what they learn and share with the people they care about.
We need to be interjectors of positivity and health into the cycle that people get stuck in. If you feel like you are stuck, find people that are going to lift you up and believe in you. Find someone that won't let you fail, aka stop!
Lastly, as a society we have become overweight and obese! It will only be as a society that we can solve this problem. We need to reset that trajectory that our country's health is on currently. Health can and needs to become more contagious than obesity! If you are ready to help be part of the change, share this post, reach out to a friend in need, or reach out to a friend that can help you!
21 Day Fix Extreme RESULTS
Two rounds of 21dfx (roughly 2 months) and I feel like a new person (even though I don't look a ton different on the outside). This program is probably my soul workout...I've done so many rounds of it and every time I see changes in my body...and it's ONLY 30 min a day!
The COOLEST part: I weigh the same in both pictures!! 😳 Don't base your results solely on the scale...please please please take pictures. Take measurements of your hips, thighs, waist, bust and biceps! My goal wasn't to lose inches...so I didn't track those this time around.
Every workout uses dumbbells or a resistance band in some way. I used heavier weights: 20's for lunges, squats, squat jumps and even got up to the 25's at one point...and 8's - 15's for upper body (There's this one shoulder move with a curtsy I could never do more than 8 with 😳) and PUSHED myself every day to do more and get stronger!!
Without the burn, it don't mean nothin!! (As Shaun T would say 😂)
Jan 7th was the day I took the "before" pictures and the "progress" were taken Mar 1st and I'm so glad I stuck it out for 2 rounds!! My nutrition didn't change a ton...I still ate clean about 90% of the time and treated myself 10% of the time. I maybe drank a little less wine 🍷 and added a bit more protein (try to get some at every meal)...I eat probably between 1800 cal and 2000 cal every day.
PLEASE REMEMBER: you can do anything you set your mind to. Your mind is POWERFUL! Commit to something FIRST and then figure out how to make it happen. Commit first. Then take ACTION! Then be patient!
Email us if you need help!!
Believe it or not, this is actually a problem for some people out there. For others, they approach cutting calories the right way. I wanted to share what happens to a person when they subject themselves to a calorie deficit! It can be a good thing or it can lead to some long term issues.
So How Do You Avoid the Pitfalls of Being In a Calorie Deficit?
First thing would be to make sure you are getting an abundance of nutrients! This will happen through eating nutrient dense foods, mainly vegetables! Calorie for calorie veggies rank at the top of almost all the nutrient density scales. We also love Shakeology for this fact too. It is loaded with nutrition but not a lot of calories!
Second, make sure you are doing some resistance training! In a study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition two groups were put on calorie deficit diets. One group strictly did aerobic style exercise 4 times per week and one group did resistance training 3 times per week. The aerobic group lost a total of 37 pounds of which 27 pounds was from fat and 10 pounds of muscle. The resistance training group lost a total of 32 pounds but lost ZERO pounds of muscle. The aerobic group's Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) decreased by 210 calories daily whereas the resistance training group increaesed their BMR by 63 calories. Even though weight loss seemed to be more effective by doing aerobic exercise strictly by total weight loss, long term weight loss will be more difficult for that group due to their lower BMR and body composition. LIFT WEIGHTS!!!
Lastly, manage your stress and energy! If you have low energy levels, don't just drive through Starbucks, eat something! This is also another reason why we love whole foods! Quality proteins, fats and carbs will sustain your energy longer with less energy crashes than highly processed foods. Stress Less!!! Get adequate sleep is a great place to start here. Also work smarter not harder when it comes to exercise. Doing an hour plus of exercise daily causes a lot of stress, science has shown that 30 minutes 4-5 times per week is enough see substantial results. Meditation and finding some quiet time is also a great way to recenter and slow down. On top of cutting out stressful things, find some activities that bring you joy! Time with family, hikes in nature, playing a sport. Whatever it is build up your good vibes bank account to help you push through those stressful times.
Hope those tips help!!!
Don’t think you’re qualified to help other people get healthy?
Do you think you have to be a personal trainer or have some degree to do what we do?
Think you have to be in perfect shape or have all the answers?
Do you have a HEART that breaks when you see people hurting? Do you have EARS to listen? Do you have PASSION and FIRE to help others? Do you want to SERVE others greatly and help them change their life? Do you want to make a little extra $$? I put the financial benefits last, but they’re certainly not least. There are so many companies out there now that can make you a little extra money (Thirty-One, Pampered Chef, Jamberry, Younique, DoTerra, Rodan & Fields)…the key is finding one that fits YOUR passions and the things you’re excited about…while fulfilling someone else’s need.
I have to pinch myself day in and day out because I truly can’t believe this opportunity and how it’s changed our lives and changed me from the inside. I’m not going to lie…I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose when I first started, so I don’t have an incredible physical transformation like some people. My transformation has been mainly from the inside. Since becoming a Beachbody coach I have become more confident in my own skin AND in my abilities. I’ve become stronger and able to get past my struggles and insecurities. My focus and time management has gotten better because heck, life is busy but if you have a DREAM you find ways to make things happen. Do I still struggle with these every once in a while? Heck yes. BUT the emphasis that Beachbody puts on personal development and growth definitely makes those struggles easier to get through.
The blessing that coaching has been in my life is just incredible. I share this not to somehow help myself but to help you! Beachbody can be that community you are looking for. It can be the thing that keeps you committed to working out and taking care of your health. If you want to know more about what this coaching community and business opportunity is all about we would love to share it with you.
Core De Force Launch Details
We have been pretty excited for the launch of this program ever since we heard about it back in July. It just looks like a fun program and we know it will be a good change of pace for us. We wanted to share some of the details with you all just in case this type of workout might be something you are interested in doing.
Here is how Beachbody describes the workout:
INTRODUCING CORE DE FORCE
Created by Trainers Joel and Jericho, it's 30 days of zero-equipment, core-defining workouts inspired by the most high-octane sport in the world—Mixed Martial Arts!
SHRED DOWN WITH MMA-STYLE WORKOUTS
If you want to slash inches from your waist and shed body fat, nothing beats CORE DE FORCE’S effective—and addictive—workouts.
In just 30 days you can reshape your body with:
Check Out These Results!
Core De Force FAQs
How long is the program?
How long are the workouts?
Do I need any equipment?
What's included with the program?
The base kit includes:
Are there upgrades?
Yes, you can upgrade to a deluxe kit and you get everything mentioned above plus 3 additional workouts, an agility ladder, portion control containers, and a deluxe workout calendar.
Are there Challenge Pack options?
This document explains the 2 most popular Challenge Packs that include Shakeology. It is also available to order as a Performance Challenge Pack which includes a tub of Energize, a pre-workout drink, and Recover, a post-workout shake.
Hopefully that answers a few the questions you have regarding this program. If you do have any other questions or just want to chat about if this program would be a good fit for you we would love to hear from you. You can comment below or EMAIL us.
This might sound like a strange question to ask. One would think if you do healthy things you would be a healthy person. If you eat a lot of veggies, workout regularly and drink your water, all healthy things, chances are you will be healthy physically.
We want to dive deeper into this question though and talk about the mental side of being a healthy person. We believe the ball game really changes when a person get's healthy mentally and begins to identify themselves as being a healthy person.
Let's start with talking about why the person doing healthy things is different that a healthy person.
Do Healthy Things Person - This person likely has some goals to lose weight, change their body composition, get off medications, etc. All great goals! They also likely have been given a prescription to achieve those goals from a doctor, personal trainer, or nutritionist. They are told things like eat less processed foods, eat more fruits and veggies, follow an exercise routine or drink more water.
All of those things will likely make a person healthier! So why are we making this distinction between doing healthy things and being a healthy person? This person has a measurable and attainable goal. What happens when they reach their goal? Game over... now what? Their motivation was in achieving their goal, what is going to keep them motivated? They were committed to those healthy things to achieve a goal. No goal, No commitment.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Doing healthy things can help you make progress and even reach some pretty amazing goals but I believe to sustain that change there has to be a mental shift. So let's take a look at the healthy person.
Healthy Person - This person's identity revolves around improving his health. They are a student of health, always learning and striving to better themselves. The healthy person's goals are constantly changing and evolving.
A healthy person can still indulge from time to time but there is no guilt in it. There aren't rules laid out for a healthy person that they HAVE TO do certain things to be healthy. Their decisions come naturally, there isn't stress in decision making. Exercise isn't a thing to burn calories. It is something that they do to feel better or to be social.
One thing that has helped us stay in the "Healthy Person" category has been our commitment to become health coaches ourselves. As health coaches we are looked upon to be examples and leaders. It doesn't mean we have it all figured it out. It just means that we consistently do all those healthy things as a way to inspire others to switch from doing healthy things to becoming a healthy person. Part of my identity is being a healthy person. Yeah I get ridiculed at times but seriously like making fun of someone because they are ridiculously good looking. I take it as a compliment!
How would you identify yourself? Have you not stepped into the world of doing healthy things yet? Are you doing healthy things? Or are you a healthy person?
Focus On What You Can Control
We've worked with hundreds of people in an effort to improve their health and lose weight. I think most people strive to be healthy and live life at a reasonable weight. I will say though a lot of people put an emphasis on weight. They think that is the driving force to better health.
When I lost most of my weight I was doing a program called The Ultimate Reset. This program is a 21 day whole food cleanse/reset. The great thing about this and getting started was it laid everything out for me. I didn't have to think. The process was laid out in black and white. Eat this, take these supplements and you'll see results. I wasn't thinking about whether or not I was losing weight, I just knew what my next meal or snack was supposed to be. For more on my journey check out this post, Change Your Mind, Change Your Body.
We have made the comments before that it is more about progress and not perfection. I would take that one step further back and say that it is more about committing to the process first. You control the process! You don't necessarily control the progress. I think that is why I saw results with the program I did. I committed to actions and those actions led to weight loss and health.
If you you are looking to lose weight and get healthy, what process are you going to commit too? Some things that I believe are vital both losing weight and getting healthy would be:
We've put together a simple tracker that you can use to track your progress with these simple steps. Just click the button below and follow the directions.
We each have a story. Things that have shaped us and changed us and formed us into the people we are today.
We each have a CHOICE as to what we're going to do with those things. You can choose to continue coasting and taking the easy route...simply accepting what's in front of you, swallowing your dreams and never allowing them to surface OR you can go out and find whatever the hell you're looking for!!!
Four years ago I was ready for a change. A change in my fitness routine which then turned into a COMPLETE change in my life...for the better. I never used to dream or have goals. I would simply coast through my days, my weeks, my months with no vision for what I wanted or the type of impact I wanted to have. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to change lives somehow but I had lost my way and gotten complacent. It happens.
But all of a sudden I was thrust into this crazy Beachbody world filled with these people who were talking about goal setting, dreaming bigger, helping and inspiring others, living with purpose....and all of a sudden...God opened my eyes.
I felt in my gut that my purpose was here somewhere....so I jumped in with both feet and my eyes wide open. I started running online accountability groups and fell in love with encouraging people, supporting them, giving them a kick in the butt when they needed it...and then watching them SUCCEED. Watching them slowly lose weight and believe in themselves again and see that they could do the things they never thought possible.
My vision is to help people LIVE FULLY. To empower others and help them see that they are incredible...and can do ANYTHING. To give them HOPE! To inspire people towards health, sweat and proper nutrition and to most importantly, point people to Jesus with love and encouragement.
Who would have thought that this little side job would ever amount to much?? It's changed both of our lives and our health so much that we want as many people as possible to experience what we have.
If you've been following us for awhile and are feeling that nudge or even a bit of curiosity about whether you could do this too, we would love to hear from you. We know it isn't for everyone but we know if you are a follower of ours you likely have a similar heart to help people and this business has been a perfect outlet for us it could be for you too.
Beachbody Health Bet
One of the coolest things on the horizon for us is a new incentive that was announced last week at our Coach Summit in Nashville. It is called the Beachbody Health Bet. The concept is Beachbody the company and partially us as coaches are challenging you to commit to 2 simple behaviors for 4 weeks starting September 5th, 2016 with a prep week starting on August 29th!
What are those 2 behaviors?
You've maybe heard for the website, www.dietbet.com, where you can wager a certain amount of money and if you lose "x" percentage of weight by the end of the challenge you get a portion of the pot. Part of this is great in that people put a little skin in the game to give you that extra push to get results. The downside is that people can lose weight in some very unhealthy ways. That is why I absolutely love the approach that Beachbody has laid out for this challenge. It's all about creating healthy behaviors, and yeah weight loss might be a side effect of that but you don't have to feel pressure to starve yourself in order to get a piece of this pie.
So what's in the "pie"?
Healthy Home = Healthy Life
I want to share some stats and awesome info that I recently read in the book Eat Move Sleep. First off let me give a plug for the book...it's been a great read that goes super fast and has tons of practical tips to help you start making changes in your life. It's not loaded down with science but provides enough to let you know that the stuff he is saying isn't some nonsense he pulled out of thin air.
There is a chapter in the book where he refers to a study of more than 6,000 people that all tried to lose weight and what the common characteristics were of the most successful. A common theme among the successful was being healthy at home. Seems like common sense right??? You spend most of your time there but so many people live in a toxic home that doesn't promote health!
Here were just a few of the interesting stats that the study showed:
Eating breakfast... If you've followed us for a bit you know I've dabbled with Intermittent Fasting. There is a great science behind it and can lead some amazing results. It's a hard thing though for a novice to jump right in to and be successful. I think that is why the breakfast stat is an important one. Eating breakfast is a great way to set the stage for the rest of the day. If you start your day with a quality breakfast you will be a lot less likely to jump at the office donuts or the french fries at lunch. Your cravings will stay in check!
Weighing yourself once a week, this one was a little interesting to me. I get that tracking your progress is a good way to determine if you need to make changes but for the average person they really don't know what changes to make. Other than maybe eat less and exercise more, which we know isn't always a great solution. Plus weight isn't the sole determiner of progress. So we will just let this one go...and agree to disagree.
I love this last stat about TV watching. Frankly because I used to be a 10+ hour a week TV watcher. Let's be honest even the most riveting show gets boring at times so I turned to ice cream to help with that boredom. Mindless TV watching often times leads to mindless eating. On top of that TV watching also means sitting which is terrible for your health. The amount of activity went up substantially when we ditched the cable and we would encourage you to do the same.
Other Ways to "Healthify" Your Home
This week we held our first ever webinar! It was super fun to get online with some people and talk about what we do as coaches. We put together a fun power point slideshow to go along with it which totally brought me back to high school speech class.
We put this webinar together to share a couple different key points that a lot of people have questions about.
Life As We Know It, Right Now
I have to apologize that you've been missing out on recipe posts and nutritional posts lately. We are in a stage of life right now where things are just a little crazy in our home and work world. If you follow us, you know that we just bought an RV...if you don't know what that is all about, check out this post. That entire process was SO time consuming!! Being a first time RV buyer there is SO much to take into account. Length... Slideouts... Diesel or Gas... How old are the tires? BTW if tires are 12 years old they need to be replaced and RV tires aren't cheap. Goodbye $2,800! Those are just a few of the things that you have to think about when looking into buying one. AND THEN you have to learn how to drive the thing!
Now that we have all of that behind us. Our focus has shifted to renovating our new home. We want to make it feel like OUR home...so we're going to be attempting to take the "factory production line feel" away.
Just a heads up that there are Facebook groups of 15,000+ solely dedicated renovating RV interiors. Who knew???
We are also working on selling our vehicles and buying a new one that has the ability to be towed behind our RV. We are selling off, donating or trashing pretty much everything in our 1,200 square foot townhome in order to get things to fit into our new 250 square foot home. Let's just say I am turning into a Craigslist ninja. Did you know that there is a national craigslist search option? Yeah someone figured out how to do that.
Other things on the horizon of our life...
So yeah that is what our last month and the next month look like for us. It's been a pretty wild experience so far. With all of this craziness right now we are just trying to keep our heads above water.
Laura is still running accountability groups and mentoring coaches on our team.
We are still working out pretty much daily, drinking our Shakeology daily, eating healthy 80-90% of the time.
To us that stuff has become a habit or a non-negotiable which is great at this point. That wouldn't have always been the case. Five years ago I would have been too tired to workout and eating frozen pizza for the convenience.
So yeah we have to apologize for not having as much content on the blog but that will all change soon. Plus we will be sharing some of our crazy adventures from the road. Thanks for reading!
Give Up on Giving Up!
This post is for those of you that are some sort of health journey.
You've maybe just started or maybe you've been trying different things for awhile now.
I want to offer up a piece of advice that made all the difference in my health journey and I believe the reason I haven't been a yo-yo dieter like so many. I didn't connect the dots on WHY I hadn't reverted back to my old ways until I heard a fellow nutrition expert mention something on a podcast I was listening to the other day.
The concept or question you need to ask yourself if you are striving to be healthier or lose weight is... Are you somebody who is doing healthy things? Or... Are you a healthy person?
Let me break that down a bit. If you are somebody that is doing healthy things, you might be eating more veggies, exercising regularly, avoiding processed foods, or drinking more water. Sounds great, right? A person doing all of those things should become healthier, but will they stay healthier? This is where I was at 10 years ago. I was exercising regularly and doing some of those other things. The problem was...I'd get tripped up easily. If friends wanted to go out for pizza and beer, I was there. If I was invited to a happy hour, I would accept and pass on the gym. I did everything to fit a status quo that wouldn't rock the boat among my friends and family. My healthy habits flew under the radar and because of that I was easily able to justify not doing them.
Fast forward to 2 1/2 years ago. I had just completed an online accountabilty group and seen some great results. My eating had changed, I now had more confidence in "rocking the boat" and not succumb to all the unhealthy distractions that surrounded me daily. The difference: I was now a healthy person. My identity was now tied to healthy habits. This is the thing that just clicked for me this past week. I guess I never thought of it this way, but it is so true. Once I made that commitment, once I identified myself as a healthy person, everything changed. I was no longer easily knocked off of my healthy lifestyle. Or if I did get knocked off, I got right back!
People began to see me as a healthy person. They started noticing the changes in me, both physically and the choices I made. With this also came some ridicule and light-hearted teasing. Friends would make comments about my food choices or about exercising. Those comments usually led to inquiries and them wanting to know more. Had I just been "doing healthy things" these comments would have stopped me in my tracks. It would have never progressed to the point of them asking questions and then some of them making their own healthy changes.
It's good to remember that the people around you will also "test" your commitments. Think of a time when you went to a party and chose ahead of time to not have an alcoholic drink. A friend would likely offer a drink when you arrive, and when you say no thanks, they will press and ask why or pressure you a little bit. This might last for a minute or two but if you hold your ground, most people will respect that and move on.
Same goes for being a healthy person! People will test your commitment. They will try to get you to eat the cheesecake, the cookies, the pizza. If you hold your ground, you will earn their respect or you will find out that they really aren't a friend at all. This will also help solidify your commitment, making future challenges that much easier to handle!
One of the coolest things that happens when you make the shift from doing healthy things to becoming a healthy person, you begin to impact your circle of influence. You shift the status quo just a little bit. You help that coworker that was hesitant about ordering a salad at lunch because she didn't want her other coworkers to think she on some sort of diet. She now sees your lead and has that confidence to not be judged. At family holiday dinners, people begin to ask if dishes are ok for you to eat. They are open to possible substitutions. There is a trickle down effect that is noticeable.
If you have just been dipping your toes in this healthy lifestyle pool, I would encourage you to commit and jump right in the deep end. Let healthy become part of your identity and the game will change for you too!!
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Life happens to all us, that includes us too. I spent the majority of the summer and into early fall doing a program called Body Beast and I loved it and saw great results. After I finished that program my fitness slowed down a bit and my eating wasn't super on point. I wanted to share these pics to point a couple things out and tell that story a little more.
#1 - Pictures tell a better story than the scale. Before reading any further, which pic do you think I weight the least in??? Got it! Feel free to comment below with what you thought. The answer the middle one! Although I'm more lean in #1 and #3 I dropped to my all time low weight after completing Body Beast and before starting Hammer and Chisel. I had stopped working out consistently and my eating was just... meh.
I weigh 8 lbs more in the first pic than the middle one. Yeah I lost 8 lbs by not working out as much. That's not a justification to not work out, just so you know. I lost muscle mass and I gained fat. Not a good combo. The last pic I'm up 2 lbs since starting Hammer and Chisel. The cool thing is I can just feel my body changing. Clothes fit better, my shoulders feel broader and pulled back, I just feel strong!
#2 - A backslide or a plateau doesn't mean the end of the world. Think about what helped you with your initial progress and go back to that. For me that meant following a program strictly. I just do better when I have a calendar to follow. If I don't, it leaves too much up to chance. For you it might mean being held accountable or meal planning, whatever it is, return to the process and trust it.
#3 - Muscle burns fat! I posted this pic in a giant accountability group I'm a part of and one guy was disappointed that he didn't have any abs showing yet from the workout. He even posted a pic of his current self and it showed him to be on the skinny side but a little bit on the "soft" side. Or some would call it skinny fat! If you want to burn through layers of fat, work on building the muscles underneath that fat first.
2016: A New Year, maybe a New You, If...
It's that time of year where people start thinking about what they will change in the new year. To some degree, I think this is a good thing! If you listen to any media sources, you are bombarded with the talk of "resolutions". The thing that also comes with talk of setting resolutions is how you can be successful with your resolutions, or how to not break your resolutions, or even the talk about how "X" percent of people will fail by "X" day.
I mean come on, if there is as much talk about failing and how not to be one of those statistics, what do you think is going to happen? You will BECOME one of those statistics!!! Where your mind goes, your energy flows. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you know that 75% (or whatever that number is) fail at keeping their resolutions, when you begin to slip, mentally you are ok with that. You are normal. Most people fail, so don't feel bad.
Here's the thing, if you are reading this, you are either a really good friend or family that want to support us. You are trying to kill some time at work. Or you actually care about being successful with your health and weight loss transformations. Or maybe you want to grow your online business. For the sake of of this post, let's just assume you fall into that last category!
Here's some advice for you. Instead of resolutions, I want you to write out goals. Goals are serious, they are different. They don't have all the baggage that resolutions have with them. I recommend writing out new goals at least once a month. By doing it monthly you are constantly being reminded of what you want to accomplish. It isn't some distant thought that you had 6 months ago. The same goals might be on your list for 6 months which is totally fine. Next, make sure you write them out by hand on paper! Yeah we are talking old school. There is something that happens when your brain tells your hand to write something versus typing on a computer or phone.
Another thing that I heard the other day about goal setting and building a life of your dreams, is that most people tend to focus on all the ways they can't accomplish something. I can't start a new business or fitness program, I don't have the money, I don't have the time, I don't have the skills, I don't have enough friends, I don't have the education. Just like with all the talk about resolutions and how people fail because all they hear about is how people fail, the same thing happens if your mind is wrapped around all the reasons you can't do something. With your list of goals, I want you to write out all the reasons why you CAN and why you need to accomplish them. It will also help when writing out your goals to write them in a definitive tone or even in a past tense. For example, I will lose 20 lbs or I lost 20 lbs. Rather than I want to lose 20 lbs. See the difference?
Progress starts with a shift in your mindset. Once your mind is right, action becomes so much easier. When there is no doubt that you will take action, your mind already has, so your body will follow. With action comes momentum and even though you will hit some roadblocks there will be nothing that will stop you from accomplishing your goals.
I believe this is the most important question a person can ask themselves if they are trying to get healthy or lose weight.
"Is it Working?"
I think people can get very dogmatic in their approach to nutrition and it can lead them down an unhealthy path or maybe just a frustrating one. I think this is more prevalent today with the creation of so many "diets" or "lifestyles" out there. You have the Standard American Diet which I find funny that the acronym for that is S.A.D. Then you get into Paleo, Vegan, Zone, Vegetarian, Atkins, Pescetarian, Raw Food, Mediterranean, South Beach, Ketogenic, and Alkaline to name a few. Then you have the balance of macronutrients, low fat/high carb, high fat/low carb, low protein or high protein. Yeah, is your head spinning yet???
The truth is all of these "diets" could work. The opposite is also true, all of them could be totally wrong for you as an individual. If you ever hear someone say that this way of eating or that way of eating is the best way, my advice is run the other way!
Humans and the environments that they live in vary so much that there is no one size fits all diet. There are some common themes that science is showing gives people the best chance to be healthy and lose weight. Eat more vegetables and eat fewer processed grains and sugars. After that everything else is pretty much up in the air.
This is where that question, "Is it working?", comes into play. In order to get results I think you need to ask this of your current diet and fitness regime at a minimum of every 3 months and a maximum of every 1 month.
Why that time frame?
It is possible to over manage your choices...that's why I like 1 month minimum. You need to give things a chance to take hold and your body needs to adapt to the changes you are making. The concept of 1 step backwards to take 2 steps forward totally applies. Our bodies may have some perceived negative results before the good stuff starts happening. For example, if you start weight training, you are going to be causing inflammation in your muscle tissue which leads to extra retained water and therefore added weight and size. Also going from S.A.D. to a more plant based diet may cause some digestive distress initially due to the added fiber, but that will regulate after a couple weeks most likely. Point being, give it some time!
On the other side, if you aren't asking the question at least every 3 months then you might be wasting effort and resources. Which will eventually cause a person to go crazy and throw in the towel. If your goal is to lose fat or change your body composition, this makes it super important to track your weight, measurements and take photos. Without proper tracking you won't know if what you are doing is working. Three months should be enough time to make progress on a given plan unless a person has major medical issues. If you haven't seen progress I would recommend making fairly minor changes to begin. Some things that could mean would be; eating more or less food, recalibrating the %'s of calories you get from different macronutrients, or increasing your compliance (fewer treats), or switching up the intensity/duration of your workouts. Or as simple as adding a multivitamin or fish oil supplement. You don't need to go from a straight Paleo diet to Vegan if you haven't seen the scale budge after 3 months. Start small, but make adjustments.
If you have a decent knowledge of fitness and nutrition you can probably make these small tweaks yourself. You can use an app like My Fitness Pal to track calories and macronutrient %'s. If you aren't keeping a food journal, START!!! That will help you understand if you are actually eating the foods that you think you are. In the journal you can also track how foods are making you feel and maybe identify foods that cause distress in your body and eliminate those.
If you are novice or beginner, i.e. you had to google macronutrient, then I would recommend reaching out to someone that is trained. Chances are you want results sooner rather than later. Working with somone that is trained will help you get you going in the right direction faster and be able to make more educated tweaks to your plan. Your time is valuable and your health is important, make the investment!
I'll close with this, when you are analyzing your progress, don't just focus on weight or measurements. Your exercise and diet should maximize your health and performance too. Make sure you factor in those things when figuring out if you are making progress. It's really easy to lose weight if you just stop eating...but you will lose weight really fast and your health will deteriorate. If you lead with HEALTH, the performance and body composition will usually fall into place.
So... Is your current plan/program working for you? Share in the comments your results and what has worked or what hasn't.
One of the benefits that I never really thought of when I first got into this home fitness thing was accumulating workout equipment. As you can see in the picture above we've got a pretty good start on our home gym. We didn't have all of this equipment on Day 1 but over the years we've been doing this it's added up. We really have just about everything we need, minus maybe an adjustable bench, but we've passed on that just due to space issues.
I come from a fairly frugal family and it is ingrained in my DNA to justify costs of things we buy. For example, I was just chatting with some friends about the cost of the Vitamix we bought and value of it. They couldn't get over the $400ish price tag. I explained that the ease of use and cleanup will save you time each time you use it. Since we use it 2-3 times per day and have had it for at least 3 years now, that's a lot of time saved. We all know time is one of the most valuable assets we have so BAM... Justified!!!
With workout equipment and programs I also see the value in owning the stuff I'm using rather than paying a membership fee to use someone else's equipment. I can justify spending money on that equipment based on what we save by buying home workout programs versus paying gym dues. I'll explain just how much we are able to save below.
When Laura and I first got married we were members at Lifetime Fitness which is an extremely nice gym in the Minneapolis area. We were paying around $130 per month I believe for both of us. After a year or so we couldn't justify paying that much so we joined our city community center and I think we were paying around $60-70 for the two of us per month. We then tried a another local gym after moving which cost us about $70-80 per month. The point being we did the gym thing for a while and we never really used it to the point that we saw results and also couldn't justify the cost with the frequency that we went.
I'm a bit of a numbers guy so I just wanted to breakout the costs of what we were doing versus what we pay now. We usually buy 2-3 new workout programs every year and those programs cost anywhere from $30-90. We will just say yearly between the two of us we spend $175 on our workout programs or $14.50 per month for both of us. We also both have access to Beachbody On Demand which costs us roughly $13/month. All in, we spend about $41 per month or $492 per year. Compare that to the lower end gym memberships that we once had at $70 per month or $840 yearly. We are saving $348 per year for the two of us!!! That is compared to the lower cost gyms too. I looked up the cost of some others like OrangeTheory and CorePower Yoga and you are looking at $139+ per month for unlimited use of those facilities. (EDIT: As of January 1, 2017 we now only pay $99 each per year for our All-Access Beachbody On Demand membership. This gives us access to every Beachbody program ever created and all new programs that come out in 2017.)
I will be the first to admit that you shouldn't put a price on your health. The best workout that you can do is the one that you WILL do. So if you don't get excited about working out at home but you can get to the gym regularly great. I wanted to share this for those of you that maybe haven't thought about the numbers before. Who knows, maybe knowing the numbers will get you more excited to workout at once you know how much money you could be potentially saving.
What could you do with an extra $348? Buy more organic groceries! We always here how people struggle justifying the cost of organic food! Food is the real driver behind health so that would be a good use of those funds. You could also buy some workout equipment! All the workout equipment pictured above probably cost us a little over $400. In one years time, with the money you save by working out at home, you could have nearly all the equipment you need.
I didn't even mention the value of working out alongside some of the best trainers in the country. Nothing beats a personalized plan. The next best thing would be to follow a generic plan/program that someone who knows what they are talking about created. I was guilty of thinking I knew what I was doing when I was at the gym. I knew what lifts worked certain muscle groups but there was no big picture plan. The value of a working with a trainer is huge and if you are gym goer, I highly recommend you use them so you know what you are doing is helping you get closer to your goals.
Also with all of the programs that we have purchased you get a nutrition plan! That's usually extra at a gym if it is even available. Oh and if you are one to purchase a program through Laura or I you get me as your personal nutrition coach, which I normally charge a minimum of $200 per month for with private clients.
Doing the at home workout thing is a lot like buying versus leasing car. There are certainly some people in the situation where leasing a car or workout equipment is the right way to go. There value in owning your stuff though. That's why I've become a big fan of slowly growing our home gym. My dream is to have a mini crossfit style gym at some point. I know with the money I save it will happen over time, one piece of equipment at a time!
The Master's Hammer & Chisel Launch
We heard about the launch of this program when we were down in Nashville this past summer. My first impression was, wow, what a terrible name. We are going to tell people to go get "Hammered" and then I guess chiseled too. It kind of made me laugh. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue like P90X, Insanity, or 21 Day Fix.
Watching the promo video (posted below) though I got super excited for the style of this workout. I also thought it was a great way to get more women away from the treadmills and go pick up some weights. There is so much science out there that points out the metabolism boosting and health benefits of resistance training for both men and women. Here is Laura's take on lifting weights, Ladies, Don't Skip the Heavy Weights. I
I have no idea how the idea of women getting bulky actually started. I'm guessing it either stems from cover models of the 1980's and 90's that were rail thin so any visible sign of muscle would seem "bulky" in comparison. I think that image is/was more prevalent than the hulk like woman that may or may not have been taking steroids to gain ridiculous amounts of muscle. Either way I think we can all agree that both those extremes are not healthy, and from a guy's perspective not attractive. Women, unless you have an extraordinary amount of testosterone, combined with ridiculous amounts of food, combined with super intense workouts you will not get bulky. Yes you need all three for that to happen.
To the guys now, I can't begin to tell you how awesome this program is for us. It is a perfect combination of heavy lifting and high intense plyometric style workouts to help us shed fat and get ripped. This program also comes along with portion control containers that will help you either lose, maintain or gain weight. Personally my plan is to gain weight with this program, so the containers will help me get the right amount of food from the right areas to really maximize my results. Plus I'm looking forward to getting some seriously shredded abs!
Let's talk about what this program is all about and why both Laura and I are super excited for it. First off, we love that this program combines workouts from two different trainers. We love the style of workout that both of these trainers have done previously, so if it is even close to those we know we will love it. Having two trainers will also help keep things fresh too. You won't have to listen to the same trainer for 60 days straight! So here are the details...
PROGRAM DEATILS: It is a 60 day program, done 6 days a week. Workout lengths range from 24-41 minutes.
REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: Dumbbells (3 sets preferably, light, medium, heavy), workout bench OR stability ball, chin-up bar OR resistance band with door attachment (not included in base kit).
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Yoga Mat or Beachbody Core Comfort Mat are helpful but not required. Medicine Ball.
There are 4 different types of kits. Here’s what is included in each one:
Base Kit: 14 workouts on 6 DVD's plus 1 additional workout when you order through a Beachbody Coach, seven color coded portion control containers, Shakeology shaker cup, Workout Calendar, Quick Start Guide, Fitness and Nutrition Guide.
Deluxe Kit: Everything from the Base Kit plus 4 additional workouts, an extra set of portion control containers, 8 lb medicine ball.
Base Kit Shakeology Challenge Pack: Everything from the Base Kit plus a 30 Day Supply of Shakeology, 30 Day Free Trial Club Membership that includes Beachbody On Demand.
Base Kit Performance Challenge Pack: Everything from the Base Kit plus two supplements from the new Beachbody Performance line, Energize and Recover, a pre and post workout supplement to maximize your workout performance and recovery. This package also gets you a 30 Day Free Trial Club Membership that includes Beachbody On Demand.
Chisel Balance: A total-body workout creating stabilization, muscular endurance, and core strength.
Iso Strength Chisel: An intense resistance workout using isometric holds and flexibility to increase strength.
Chisel Endurance: Increase muscular endurance and strength in this time-under-tension workout.
Chisel Cardio: The cardiovascular resistance routine will increase heart rate, circulation, and burn an intense amount of calories.
Chisel Agility: A challenging cardio workout that will help you move quickly, improve coordination, and create greater stabilization.
Total Body Chisel: This full-body resistance workout focuses on creating lean muscle and strength.
Hammer Plyometrics: This jump training workout will use your entire body to create force, speed, and power.
Iso Speed Hammer: A tempo training workout that uses speed and isometric holds to create strength and grow muscle.
Total Body Hammer: A hypertrophy workout focused on pyramid-style sets to maximize strength and muscle growth.
Max Hammer Strength: Start with a pre-fatigued muscle, finish with a maximum lift. Increase strength, power, and muscular development.
Hammer Power: This intense powerlifting-inspired workout will increase speed, reactive strength, and power.
Hammer Conditioning: A workout based on compound movements that will improve stability, coordination, and strength.
10 Min Ab Chisel: This core-crusher will transform your midsection, without ever getting on the floor.
10 Min Ab Hammer: Carve definition into your core while strengthening your entire ab complex.
Here are some of our coach friends that were a part of the Beachbody Test Group. This program works!
If you would like some more information about this program and whether or not it would be a good fit for you and to help you reach your goals, click on any of the images or submit your email address below. We have our own Test Group starting on December 21st too! For more information about that shoot as email, reach out on Facebook, or submit your name through any of the links on this page. Let's Get Hammered! And Chiseled!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.