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Health

Sabotage : We have become awesome at this...

Sabotage : We have become awesome at this...

All along the path to change we doubt ourselves , we criticise ourselves for past mistakes, this is not helpful. In turn this leads to a perpetuation of the behaviour we may be seeking to change. We dwell on past failures and this affects current or future behaviour. We often pre conclude " I failed at this before therefore I will fail again"...

I Have Flown Countless Times But That Doesn't Mean I can Fly a Plane

I Have Flown Countless Times But That Doesn't Mean I can Fly a Plane

I have flown countless times but that doesn’t mean I can fly a plane....yes, that's the funniest thing I heard today! And it's so true. Actually, we were talking about health and fitness at the time. In particular, we were talking about gyms. It's no surprise that so many members pay the hefty gym fees but don’t use the gym...

Mindful or Mindless.... How much thought do you put into your Nutrition?

Mindful or Mindless.... How much thought do you put into your Nutrition?

I came across the concept of Mindful v. Mindless about three years ago. The concept was related to exercise. I'm afraid to admit a lot of the exercise I was prescribing at that time was verging towards mindless. In fact, even I was exercising like that to some extent. When I sat and thought about this, my mind turned to nutrition...

I Have Slipped Off My Path - How Do I Get Back On Board?

I Have Slipped Off My Path - How Do I Get Back On Board?

Ok, no names mentioned but here is a story of someone who found themselves slipping off the path. It happens to us all; something or a combination of things come along and before you know it you find yourself weighing more than you expected and maybe even heavier than you have ever been...

What Does The Indicator Light On My Dashboard Tell Me?

What Does The Indicator Light On My Dashboard Tell Me?

Indicator lights on the dashboard of your car telling you something is wrong are just annoying, right? But they are there for a reason (apart from squeezing money from you for some expensive service)! They blink away in front of you...

Liquid Calories Add Up Fast

Liquid Calories Add Up Fast

When people are filling in food journals I always remind them to add all liquids ....not just water but juices ( we recently discussed that  fruit juices could do without being in the fridge) , pop ( same as fruit juices) , alcohol, tea, coffee, yes calories are lurking every where especially fat and sugary ones...

Lean My Kitchen Up

Lean My Kitchen Up

If you buy it you will eat it. Eventually. If it's in your house you will eat it. Eventually. If it's in your desk draw you will eat it. Sooner or Later. If it's on your desk you will definitely eat it sooner. If some one gives you a food gift you will probably eat it. So if you can't resist temptation but can you minimize your intake of less than lean foods...

A Client's Journey Part 2: "Getting Going"

A Client's Journey Part 2: "Getting Going"

This is going to be a monthly feature probably. We are still following one particular client, this journey started many moons ago and still brings something new to the table each time we visit it. Imagine how you could be inspired by reading the words of someone who actually went on a real weight loss journey, after all the words are the words of a real life person like you or me...

The Journey So Far 2013.. (Half way through the year already!)

The Journey So Far 2013.. (Half way through the year already!)

So how is it going? Yes it's almost half way through the year already! How is it going with your health and fitness goals? I thought I should review mine and do it publicly so to speak, kinda makes me more accountable. This is a summary of the year to date and the issues along the way.

How to Facilitate Change in Diet and Exercise Patterns

How to Facilitate Change in Diet and Exercise Patterns

For most people, modification rather than elimination is all that is needed when it comes to changing ones diet or physical activity levels. Unlike stopping smoking, for example, there is no "quit day" when it comes to behavioural change linked to exercise and nutrition. There may of course be targets...

Balance Issues and Progression Ideas

Balance Issues and Progression Ideas

On a daily basis, I see people doing 1 legged squats on things like a Bosu ball. Even worse, doing the same exercise with weights! I always wonder why are they doing this. I am constantly referring to a phrase called "Goal of the Exercise" (GOTE). If I am ever questioned by a client as to why we are "doing this" and I don’t know the answer...

Effective Habits of Lean Eaters

Effective Habits of Lean Eaters

I have been following the Precision Nutrition (PN) Lean Eating programme for sometime, recently this has proved more successful to me than before, in the last 5 months I have lost 7 lbs and maintained and dropped 3.5 % Body Fat, my hydration level has climbed 3 %, not bad but could do better...

Do I Live Each Day Close To My Values?

Do I Live Each Day Close To My Values?

After an amazing weekend at the Precision Nutrition (PN) course with like minded people from all across North America, I have many topics that I could  focus on. The weekend oooooozed information! I have pages of notes, tons of ideas and masses of perspectives that I am going to disseminate and write about.

Confronting the Truth: It's Tough

Confronting the Truth: It's Tough

As a trainer I am often giving advice. I generally have an opinion on most things fitness related…are they valid?  I hope so!   One of my guiding lights is Dr John Beradini, who runs a company called Precision Nutrition based in Toronto (www.precisionnutrition.com). He was recently chosen as one of the top 20 most influential trainers in North America by Livestrong. He has a lot of awesome stuff to say…

Don't Eat Till You are Full : 80% is Full Enough

Don't Eat Till You are Full : 80% is Full Enough

Recently we were discussing the speed of eating and highlighting how few people take the time to eat slowly and find enjoyment in their nutrition...the premise was simple eating fast encourages over eating which in turn assists weight gain. This is a sort of part 3 to our 2 previous discussions related to this area...

Do One (Positive) Thing Each Day...You are So Worth it...

Do One (Positive) Thing Each Day...You are So Worth it...

I saw this quote the other day and like many similar quotes it made me smile.. "the difference between a rut and a grave is just the dimensions". I come across many people who if I was being judgemental are in a "rut", whether that be with their life, their health, relationships, work...

My Journey ( so far) in 2013...

Its only late  April and I already feel that I have accomplished a lot and I am pleased about that... I am going to share with you some stuff that I am proud of... The Alcohol Factor

In previous blogs I mentioned that I abstain from alcohol from the 1st of Jan for as long as possible..I have done this without blemish for 30 years ( the longest was until the 27th April some 2 years ago) this year I hit Friday 22 March...its like the only New Years resolution that I have " started" i.e. I only have one habit to work on....It takes some resolve to achieve and one way of spurring me on is to tell my clients, this means that they check in on me and push me along. Anyway I don't really do it for direct health reasons but more I guess as a willpower test...if you knew how much I liked the occasional beer you would be proud. During this time my weight didn't change if you were wondering despite keeping up a pretty regular regime of spin biking and weights and a bit of running, more about the latter later.Just as an observation about 3 -4 hours exercise per week.

Running Factor

The running started mid to late February in preparation for a 10k in early May, its become a bit of an annual thing and as my body doesn't like to run that much I have to train early and smart. This year I decided to go out earlier despite the cold weather..and I found that I was comfortable running around 20 mins straight off and felt ok, usually the first run is a killer to my body but I seemed stronger from the off.I soon began to build up my times and within 6 weeks had hit 10 k, for a non runner this was a good feeling, maybe I even started to enjoy it but don't tell my clients as I like to have something to moan about from time to time..

Interestingly when the running started even though I felt my calorie consumption was increasing the weight started dropping off..in a month between 4 and 6 pounds stayed off after an xmas period weight gain. I also noticed how less stressed I became and little things stopped annoying me.

Trainer Gets a Trainer

Yes actually I went and got myself a trainer... Having been a trainer for around ten years this was a MASSIVE step for me...this was also around Xmas time. Why did I do this? This had been on my mind for a long time, as a trainer its easy to stop taking care of yourself as you spend so much time taking care of others...your days are often long and tiring... you can get fatigued quite quickly and it becomes easy tho skip workouts. There is always " tomorrow" , however as I am always telling my clients " tomorrow never comes the the fitness industry, so it was time to bite the bullet. It was becoming hard to stay true to my values and principals I also felt I needed a bit of " looking after"....someone to feedback to, someone to bounce ideas off of...someone indeed to monitor and put value on my achievements...The benefits it seemed spurred me on , someone else was worrying about my weight ( I am not heavy by the way just fancied losing a few pounds and set myself a target....and NO, I am not telling you, but so far so good)... I was actually being held accountable. Very strange and at times frustrating..however it... made me look at how I relate to clients a bit.. dare I say differently..

So we stuck to 2 x a week which was/ isn't always easy , but its been working. In one discussion we actually decided that the all round consistency was the key...if you wondering I got my first " goal" number and have managed to maintain that figure for over a month...it was also interesting, and maybe a bit personal.. discussing " my nutrition" with someone else. It appeared that my calorie balance dipped but not straight away.. in other words it took me a month of increased cardio to start seeing real change. In addition I started to see real strength gains in the gym.

Did a 10 k but not the planned one!!

So all good on the training, running fine with a few niggling issues ...and then I realized I might be away for the planned race date..(15th May) , I had made a promise to a client to run with them in this race...Dilema. The running was going fine and I had hit the distance twice already in training, so 3 weeks ahead of schedule we entered another 10k on exactly the same course...It was bloody freezing as we headed out yesterday morning. Normally I get nervous before something like this but not this time...the race went fine, a nice fast downhill course...and a strong finish, slightly slower than last year but with 3 weeks less running I was happy, and was within my predicted time! . Happy Days!!! The only soreness was light and in the thighs, I was however exhausted but proud.

SUMMARY

So far so good , 3 more weeks to the target race which is actually on the same course so thats going to be interesting ...we have stayed relatievly injury free, stayed within my weight boundaries..kept the cardio and resistance training going, only problem on the horizon is an upcoming vacation so we are going to have to plan to get round the issues that that presents.  Updates coming soon.

Has the Fitness Industry had enough of deal sites?

Two years ago the deal site craze hit the fitness business and like many others we went along for the ride. There are many horror stories out there and I am sure there are equal success ` s too. When we first opened up we ran a very successful promotion for our  personal training, we had a a huge response, but in essence we were giving a fantastic deal, not only did we sell a lot but our website traffic went up tenfold for about a week. So we got business and a lot of advertising. So how did it pan out? DEAL TIME

In a way the  sales "success " is related to how much you want to " lose " per client initially and how much you think you can then flip into full paying customers is how you return on your investment. However you don't always attract by discounting what is right for your business long term.... I think some people would be shocked to hear we had clients asking " why can't I come at 6 pm?" and not understanding that someone was already in that particular slot and wasn't going to be moved just for them. Some people saw the deal  as a quick health fix on the cheap.. trust me this doesn't happen, devaluing  your health is always a strange way to look at life,they  could not understand that we were part of a lifestyle change process, or it didn't appear so.I don't think some people " got it" , failing to turn up on time or at all, not seeing anything other than " cheap" , pressuring for times that were not available , wanting workout plans  ... almost looking at our business as " cheap", maybe you get what you ask for?

Other people however just wanted to check us out, find their place and are still with us now( 18 months later), a remarkable conversion rate meant we kept and retained  a high % of our new found guests.So our first deal venture went well , produced long term clients and got us a lot of publicity.We were probably too generous and at the time deals were selling in abundance..I guess we would call it a success...One thing we were determined to do was to treat our deal clients the same as any other full paying client. I had read many stories about second rate service, failing to deliver on the deal promise, we didn't want to do that, it didn't seem right.

DEAL PART TWO

Roll on one year and we did the whole thing again , different deal company , this time we only offered bootcamps, it appeared that the appetite for a deal was undiminished and we sold hundreds of coupons, the phone rang for what felt like a week...most of the questions were .. well,, what can I say... less than smart. We were giving 20 classes for $49 dollars ( we get 50% of that) .. less than a dollar a class to the business....or $2.50 per class for the client .. for a fully equipped bootcamp you couldn't beat it, deal on.

We had to add extra classes and as such staff to help appease everyone... it just ended up being a headache. Never would you have thought so many issues could have surrounded such simple piece of business.....you would have thought that we were stealing from these people ( ordinary price was advertised at $189)...the amount of abuse we had to endure... people became oblivious to the goal , which we thought was to get healthier , and kinda made it feel like ..well... just about the deal and not much else... I could go on but I was almost ashamed to be part of the whole thing so the less said the better.Just as an example " Deal Expires 10th August" in our advert, people still calling us to " start " on the day before and get irritated that we tell them that it expires tomorrow, like its our fault, phew.However we got through and everyone was catered for.

As the deal came to the end we emailed all (250) the new clients to see who wanted to continue, offering them yet another deal ( basically half  our full advertised price... this gave people bootcamps by the hour for around $8 bucks, by far the cheapest in the city) . Amazingly only one person took us up on the promotion, it was still a great deal, but it came from us ( and not a deal site) and it didn't have the same impact on the psyche of the buyer. We had managed to capture only one customer from 250. The only thing that changed is the price...sadly the value placed by the customer  on  health was lower than $8 an hour, we were absolutely gobsmacked.

I wondered what these people were doing now? Moved on to the next deal? This was a year ago and its interesting to see ( I don't look often) how many fewer fitness deals are now being offered.

In summary we weren't unhappy with our returns , our first training deal was amazing and paid big returns, our second summed up our general feelings on " deals"  that the audience you are trying to attract long term may not be attracted by short term economic means.

Our bootcamps are full and thriving right now....

Eat slow, lose weight, it could be that simple..

Western society has become one of rush rush rush, busy is seen to be sort of status symbol. I hear it every day, "I am too busy to exercise", I once heard a fanatic quote surrounding this topic.In reply to " I am too busy"  a thought provoking reply was "tell me how you do too busy". Its a bit provocative but many people over busy their day and their lives , not only are they too busy to exercise but too busy to even look after themselves, too busy to even eat better, almost out of control.Food or nutrition is not a priority, in fact neither is looking after themselves. Even during the busy day everything is done at a rushed pace, driving is stressfully, the journey to work is fraught and stressful, breakfast is eaten a hurry ... its go.. go ...go... it ends up being a day of mindlessness from start to finish. Everyone needs 25 hours in a 24 hour day it seems.... we all know the end result .... stress, poor sleep, poor nutrition, increased good pressure, the negative list is endless, the positive list is less long. SLOW DOWN THE FOOD

It appears that this is the easiest way to lose some weight. Experiments have shown that eating quickly without putting the fork down can make a difference in a total amount of calories consumed by an amazing amount.Eating quickly showed a possibly 646 calories in 9 minutes but only 579 in 29 mins by eating slowly. A study showed that by not putting the fork down people could eat 67 calories more in 9 mins by eating fast than they could by eating slowly in 29! On top of that the fast eaters reported being hungrier after eating quickly even though they consumed more calories. A double whammy there. Where is rushing taking you?

The body breaks down enzymes slowly ...it takes over 20 minutes to get the brain to tell you that you are full...most meals are over in half that time. Its looking like a triple whammy! Our stomachs are full but we still keep eating ..if we slow down we only eat what we really need.We are treating our food disrespectfully, its all part of go go go... we eat in the car, we eat in front of the TV , we eat lunch of the phone,we eat standing up, it becomes stressful as we worry about our next task, our next job in our over stuffed day as we over stuff ourselves, and we don't really even know why we are doing this to ourselves.

I get up extra early for breakfast, I see it as essential, why would I rush the most important meal of the day...I like to be conscious of what my body is doing, its more enjoyable to taste what I am eating or drinking!!

Its simple when we eat fast we eat more than we need, its crap for our digestion, it increases weight gain, we feel over full...so chewers out there savour every morsel, slow down your day, make time for food, proper time, just slowing down your food is a great way to start to get healthier, start now, yes, tonight!

Comfort Food Thoughts..

I stole this wholesale from a trainer in Toronto who had this on their website, her name is Lynsy so if your out there you deserve the credit, I loved this sentiment... read on..
COMFORT FOOD
It is time to change our definition of COMFORT FOOD.
We all use this term on a very regular basis, and usually when we're describing foods that we know are not good for us. These foods are usually behind our emotional eating, weight gain, low self esteem and confidence, poor digestive habits, stomach aches and an overall 'crappy' feeling once the food has been ingested. Typically this comforting feeling we get from these types of foods last for a few minutes, and then the guilt sets in, along with all those fun things I just mentioned.
HOW CAN IT BE COMFORT FOOD IF IT ACTUALLY MAKES US FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY IN OUR OWN BODY?!?! How can it be comforting if it contributes to unhappiness and poor health? We need to change the meaning of this word now, and forever....
Fat and Sugar are not comfort foods. They are an addiction, and in fact this has been proved over and over again in many different scientific studies. These studies are done on the brain responses to food and desire for food and of course in terms of actual weight in adults and children.
YOU ARE ADDICTED. The only way to break this addiction is by practicing healthy habits one meal at a time. This is something that is extremely difficult, otherwise it wouldn't be the epidemic around the world that it is today. You need to take responsibility, you are and adult and capable of taking control over your eating habits. Don't let food control you, it is seemingly ridiculous to think that a donut from Tim Horton's will win an afternoon snack battle, or McDonald's runs your fast paced lifestyle. "Well body, instead of of feeding you fuel I'm going to treat you like a garbage can, because hey I just can't say no to those french fries!!" Sounds pretty insane when you think of it that way... but that is exactly what is happening!
It is time to start making the decision to make better choices, you'll be shocked at how quickly you feel empowered, confident, strong and physically lighter. Your body won't be weighed down by the actual food or more importantly the guilt every time you make a poor choice. YOU DESERVE better treatment, if you don't treat yourself well why should anyone else? These healthy habits (or unhealthy habits) run full circle in terms of your career and relationships as well, so ultimately if you take care of yourself physically you're also taking care of yourself in life. So start today, make healthy decisions one at a time so it doesn't seem like such a huge change, that is the only way to make it work. Beat your addiction, make it a priority, take control.... or stop complaining. In fact, stop complaining.
I hope this comes across well, sometimes the truth may seem like tough love, but that is exactly what it is, tough love. You'll get through the tough part and learn to love yourself and the world around you on a whole different level. Don't believe me? Prove me wrong, or better yet, prove me right.