Cardio and HIIT

HIIT Pic

I have gotten some questions about good cardio to do to complement a weight program. Do I recommend running, biking, treadmill, elliptical, etc? The truth is that they will all work, but you have to mix it up a bit. Just doing 30 mins on the treadmill or elliptical everyday will have diminishing effects because your body will get used to it. You should not do the same cardio day-in and day-out. Alternate doing a steady state run, some plyometric exercises, steady state elliptical, sprints, elliptical intervals, etc.

One of my favorite forms of cardio is high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a great form of exercise for intermediate to advanced exercisers wanting to tighten up. Beginners can start incorporating a few minutes of HIIT into their regular cardio routine and slowly add more.

Not only does HIIT burn calories for hours after your workout is over, it is it a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and it also helps to tighten and sculpt your legs and lift your glutes (aka booty). For most people, the best parts of HIIT are that it can be done quickly (30 mins including a 5 min warm-up, 20 mins of HIIT, and 5 min cool down) and it doesn’t require any equipment so it can be done at home or in a hotel room if you are travelling.

HIIT involves periods of intense exercise followed by a period of rest. That work to rest ratio can vary from person to person based on your physical fitness level and can even be varied within your workout. For instance, a beginner should start with a work/ rest ratio of 1:2 or 30 seconds of intense exercise followed by 1 minute of rest. As you get more conditioned you can change to a 1:1 and exercise intensely for 45 sec followed by 45 sec of rest. A 2:1 ratio would be 60 sec of work to 30 sec of rest and a 3:1 ratio would be 90 sec of work and 30 sec of rest. So you’re keeping your total length of an interval to about 90 sec until you get to the 3:1 ratio which will take about 2 mins total. While this sounds a little similar to regular interval training, HIIT and regular interval training differ in the fact that while regular interval training involves varying pace or speed of your workout, the intense exercise portion of true HIIT is done at 85% or more max heart rate. This is why it’s not recommended for beginners.

The reason why HIIT is so effective at burning the max amount of calories in such a short period of time is due to the concept of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Basically, EPOC is the process your body goes through after your workout to get back to pre-workout state. If your training is very intense, then your body will have to go through more after your workout to get back to equilibrium, thus burning more calories.

HIIT can be done using sprints, hills, stairs, step mill or stair stepper, elliptical, plyometrics, jump rope, and more. Here is an example of an HIIT workout using sprints and plyometric exercises:

Warm up: 5 min light jog or walk
Intense Exercise/ Rest Duo 1:2 1:1 2:1 3:1
Sprint/ 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 60 sec/ 90 sec/
Walk or light jog 60 sec 45 sec 30 sec 30 sec
High Knee Fast Run/ 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 60 sec/ 90 sec/
Walk or light jog 60 sec 45 sec 30 sec 30 sec
Burpees (push-up and hop optional)/ 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 60 sec/ 90 sec/
Light jog in place 60 sec 45 sec 30 sec 30 sec
Speed Skaters/ 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 60 sec/ 90 sec/
Light jog in place 60 sec 45 sec 30 sec 30 sec
Rapid Squat Jumps (hold DB for challenge)/ 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 60 sec/ 90 sec/
Slow squats 60 sec 45 sec 30 sec 30 sec
Mountain Climbers/ 30 sec/ 45 sec/ 60 sec/ 90 sec/
Rest 60 sec 45 sec 30 sec 30 sec
Repeat one more time through
Cool down: 5 min light jog or walk

Questions? Comments? Let me know.

Thank you,

Jessica

Women and Self Defense

I’ve been increasingly frustrated by the growing amounts of violence against women. Maybe I’ve just heard more stories recently or maybe more women have had the courage to report their attacks, but it seems more and more random attacks are popping up. I’ve heard one about a man who beat a woman horribly and raped her and then laughed and told her he had just given her HIV, while another woman was beaten on a subway platform and thrown on the tracks so her attacker could steal her phone. Luckily, she was able to get off the tracks before the train came and her attacker was caught later with her phone, but it seems like a woman can’t go anywhere without being worried about being attacked or raped. Women are told not to go anywhere after dark by themselves, don’t wear clothing that are too revealing, watch their drink while they’re out so no one slips anything into it, don’t get drunk at all because that makes them more vulnerable, and basically don’t put themselves into situations where they could be raped. I don’t know what they would have told the 80-year-old grandma that got raped by an intruder while she was asleep in her own bed. As a woman and the mother of a daughter the idea that we have to prevent ourselves from getting raped, like it’s the victim’s fault, really ticks me off. Telling women to avoid those situations hasn’t seemed to help the problem so far. It gives men the idea that they’re nothing more than wild animals that are not responsible for their hormonal urges, which as the mother of a son also ticks me off. I believe that teaching respect of each other is crucial for these attacks to slowly decrease, but things like respect and honor don’t seem to be taking hold today. Everyone seems to be out to get the best for themselves, forget about how that might affect everyone else.

Until the concepts of respect and honor take hold in our society, I do believe that women should know how to defend themselves and I’ve always admired the martial arts. Of course, there are always the guys that give martial arts a bad name, but I think the same thing could be said of any sport. True martial arts is about teaching self-discipline, respect, honor, and courage.

There are a growing number of training centers that give weekly classes specifically for women as well as those with an occasional evening or Saturday clinic. However, you want to make sure that the place you go has an actual respect for women. I once read an article about a woman who went to a women’s self-defense seminar. The women were crouched or kneeling on the mat around the instructor at the beginning and he started the session by saying that that’s how he liked his women, on their knees. Even if he was trying to crack a joke, that is completely inappropriate, especially for a group of women. If you go to a session and the instructor is like that, then you need to run, not walk, out of the room. Get a refund and don’t look back. There’s a high probability that if the gym or training center is not doing a good job of teaching respect for slightly more than half the population then they’re not doing a good job of teaching true respect for the other half either.

Having gone to the military academy and then being in the Army, I was exposed to several different types of self-defense. Army combatives are based on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so my husband has always been fond of that form of martial art. It’s also great for women because it teaches you to use your opponents body weight against them. I know that a lot of people prefer other forms of martial arts because jiu-jitsu moves are done primarily on the ground and ideally you wouldn’t get pushed to the ground in an attack, but that’s not realistic. When you watch the choreographed fights in the movies and guys lose their balance or trip over something, their opponent gives them a few seconds to get back up before continuing the fight. That’s not gonna happen in real life. No, in real life you may be in an alley or in a small room with lots of stuff to trip on. Even well-trained fighters don’t land 100% of their punches or kicks the way they want them to and they occasionally lose their balance, even fall down. Real attackers are going to pounce the first time you go down and you have to know how to fight from the ground in order to get back up and get away.

When Charley and I decided a few years ago that we were going to do jiu-jitsu for “Date Night” a couple of nights a week it was important for us to find a place that was not only good, but also was not just a bunch of hot-heads trying to teach people to bust heads with no control or respect. Texas Punishment Crew caught our attention because of the name (if you want to get really good training you don’t want a place that’s called Pink Fluffy Kitten Crew) so we looked more into them and tried them out. We found them to be very professional as well as very good trainers in jiu-jitsu, self-defense, and MMA. The instructors were great, but so were most of the people that trained there. Most of them were more experienced than me and they would help me learn how to correctly perform a move not only while we were drilling, but also while we were sparring. They really took the time to make sure that I understood it. I particularly enjoyed the lunch-time sessions because that was more of the older working professionals on their lunch break as opposed to the evening classes with the younger crowd, but they were both great.

Not only did I enjoy the self-defense aspect of the training, but I also enjoyed the physical fitness aspect as well. Learning the self-defense moves was very challenging. Continuing to drill them in practice improved my strength, hand-eye coordination, and flexibility in a way that my regular workouts did not. Once I went to 15 of the beginner classes I could start sparring. I work out pretty hard, but the challenge of sparring for five minutes with some of the more experienced fighters there really kicked my butt. Trying to remember how to correctly execute offensive moves while simultaneously defending yourself from the moves of your opponent is both physically and mentally exhausting.

I remember one time when I was sparring, I was having a hard time. I felt like I was running out of steam about 1 minute into the five-minute session and I was going through the movements very spastically. The lead instructor at TPC, Jason Ebarb, pulled me aside while I was taking a break and told me that I had to slow down. It was at a time when I was busy with work, getting ready for my first competition, kids’ activities, and had a lot of things on my mind. I literally could not wrap my head around what he meant by “slow down.” I thought it was some move he had taught that I could not remember. He went on to say that it’s more important for women to take their time when learning the moves and sparring than for men. When men get into a fight it’s more than likely at a bar with a guy that got too loud or grabby with their girlfriends. They only have to fight for about 30-60 seconds before the bouncer jumps in and stops them. When a woman gets into a fight it’s more than likely in a place where no one is going to come and help her. She has to be able to keep her wits and either subdue her opponent or keep him at bay until he tires first so she can get away. That really struck a chord with me.

I really believe that all women should find some sort of self-defense or martial art that they enjoy. Yes, you may find yourself in funny positions, but when you’re really trying to spar, you’re not thinking about that. You may get a knee or elbow to the boob, and you may accidentally give your opponent a knee or elbow to the groin. It happens. What’s most important is that you will get a sense of self-confidence that will change the way you carry yourself. An attacker is not going to attack a woman who walks with the confidence of someone who can choke him out, break one of his arms, dislocate his shoulder, or make future procreation a challenge. Well, I guess if he does he’ll only do it once because he won’t want to make that mistake again.

I know that Charley and I want to put Devin and eventually Wyatt into jiu-jitsu too, but we also want to keep extra-curricular activities to a manageable level so neither school work nor family time suffers. I also want to go back to it at some time, but unfortunately a trainer’s major busy hours are also the major jiu-jitsu training hours. If you want to try something new that will help not only your physical fitness but your mental quickness, coordination, and self-confidence, I definitely recommend that you try jiu-jitsu. If you’re in the Beaumont area, definitely give the Texas Punishment Crew a try.

I’ll leave you with this note as to how to really prevent rape:

How to Prevent Rape

If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don’t rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.
If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.
Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.

And if you are still confused, try this:

How to Prevent Sexual Assault

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry rooms to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are committing a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

The Beginning of One Buff Mama Online Workout Programs

MDP-JGunst POST-8 (2)

I have been thinking about starting online training for a while now, but have finally decided to kick if off. Having a plan and being accountable to my coach has really helped keep me on track on a regular basis so I’m going to start offering similar services in order to help you stay on track with your goals.

One of the things that delayed the start of this program was the fact that I truly believe that each workout should be customized. We all have different movement patterns and activity levels throughout the day. The NASM program that I got certified through really focused on tailoring the workouts to the individual based on their own level of conditioning, muscle imbalances, past injuries, etc. so I don’t want to create cookie cutter workouts that I can have everyone use, especially since most of my clients have been beginner exercisers. I’m going to go a little bit more into explaining this concept before I get back to explaining my online programs.

Every movement has an agonist or prime mover, a synergist to assist the prime mover, a stabilizer, and an antagonist that oppose the prime mover. Every muscle has an opposing muscle that must be relaxed in order to get full activation. For instance, in order to get full activation of the biceps the triceps must be relaxed. I’ll give you a specific example of this using my history. In my old job I sat at the computer a lot. Due to this, my hip flexors were overactive. Because my hip flexors were over active, I could never get full activation in my glutes, i.e. I had a flat butt. Now that I make sure to stretch my hip flexors on a regular basis I get better activation in my glutes and they are getting rounder in response to my workouts.

Muscle imbalances can also be seen in the jugheads at the gym. You know, the guys that spend all their time working their chest so they can flex in the mirror. Well, eventually the imbalance of paying too much attention to their chest will result in overactive pectoral muscles. This will cause the muscles on their backs (lats and rhomboids) to not be able to activate and over time their shoulders and arms look like they’re getting pulled forward due to the big chest muscles. Then when you do see them doing a back exercise, like the cable row, they will not be able to get full activation in their lats so their synergist and stabilizer muscle groups will have to make up for it. Their form will be horrible. It’s supposed to be a back exercise, but they’re rowing mostly with their arms and their shoulders. Instead of pulling their arms straight back and squeezing their shoulder blades together as would happen if their lats were getting activated, their arms are coming slightly up and they’re almost touching their ears with their shoulders.

The whole point of exercise is to make the body more efficient. Using proper form and range of motion as well as properly activating all intended muscle groups through a planned and purposeful exercise regimen causes a workout to be successful. If you are exercising without all of those working together then you are just an injury waiting to happen. That’s one of the reasons that I am not comfortable with beginner or even low-intermediate exercisers doing CrossFit, the injuries are through the roof, but that’s for another day.

Anyway, the point of all that was to say that I was not comfortable with doing online training because I don’t want to be one of those irresponsible trainers that lets their clients exercise with poor form. I want to make sure that all of my clients are doing the exercises the right way. However, due to the connectivity allowed through You Tube, Skype, email, Facebook and iPhones I think that I am comfortable enough to start an online training program. My programs will offer more explanation of the point of the exercises at the beginning of each new month’s plan.

Each plan will start with an initial assessment via Skype as well as forms filled out on the computer and emailed to me ahead of time and then will come with a new workout every month. Both plans will help you build muscle, but Muscle-Building plan will be a little more focused. Here are the monthly plans:

Lifestyle ($65): This will be a customized full-body weight-training workout that can be done in an hour or less three days a week. I will also give you some good options to do for cardio on your non-weight training days. You will check-in every two weeks with a picture as well as your workout and food log so we can go over areas that you need to work on.

Muscle-Building ($75): This is a more in-depth customized plan with workouts broken down into muscle groups. There will be four days of weight-lifting with one day of functional training. I can also work with you for some good cardio options. This program will also involve checking-in every two weeks with a picture as well as your workout and food log so we can go over areas that you need to work on.

Extra check-ins ($25 for 2):  If you feel you are someone who needs to check-in once a week in order to stay on track instead of every other week then you can add more check-ins to your program. This would also be helpful if you have a specific event that you want to get ready for like a vacation, a class reunion, or the wedding of a friend or family member in 12-15 weeks.

Please email me at jessicagunst@yahoo.com or reply to this post to get started.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Thank you,

Jessica

You Are Fabulous Just the Way You Are

Fabulous

At the start of the year we were all bombarded by lots of ads for weight-loss foods, equipment, programs, athletic apparel, etc. One of the one’s that kind of struck me was that of Special K. Never mind that their entire line of highly processed cereals and snack bars are packed with a bunch of GMOs, artificial preservatives and sweeteners, and mostly empty calories, nothing that will actual nourish your body. The thing that got me was their major slogan, “What will you gain when you lose?”

They go on to throw out a bunch of great adjectives that you can’t be until you lose weight as well as emotions and beliefs that you can’t have if you’re fat: “Strength, Pride, Beautiful, Sass…” You get the picture. If you lose the weight you’ll gain a bunch of things that you can’t possibly have in your current condition. They even have an entire picture gallery of women who are already beautiful, strong, and sassy that have submitted pictures of themselves next to words that will describe them once they lose weight. Because our society has them believing that they won’t be those things until they do actually lose that weight.

I get so tired of that belief. All of my personal training clients are women. They are all very strong and beautiful in their own way, but very few of them actually believe it. Some of them are raising kids, some are helping with their grand kids, some have crazy busy careers, some have lost their confidence because they spent years as a caretaker for a sick kid, a sick spouse, or a sick parent and didn’t have time to take care of themselves. Their strength and experience is what makes them great, not a number on a scale or a size on the back of a shirt.

While I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves or our appearance, I’m saying that I get tired of the people so busy looking for outward beauty that they can’t see the beauty and strength inside a person. I’ve met some pretty good-looking people that after I spent about 5 minutes with them I no longer thought they were attractive because they were so negative or so full of themselves. Then I’ve met some people who might not be as fortunate in the looks department, but they had a genuine smile, a warm heart, and just something about them that was very positive and endearing and after about 5 minutes with them I thought they were the best looking person in the room. Call me crazy, an idealist, unrealistic, that’s just how I work.

So, yes, you are fabulous just the way you are. You don’t need to diet yourself into extreme or kill yourself daily on the treadmill to fit into a Size 2. Exercise to make your body more efficient. Eat truly healthy foods (not the gimmicky “health” food) so you have a great energy level and can run along with your kids, grandkids, or even out-perform that so-called perfect co-worker. Live life fabulously now, don’t wait until you lose that last ten-pounds or whatever is holding you back.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

Sleep, Stress, and Weight-Loss

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If you have hit a plateau with your weight-loss and health improvement goals, consider the amount of sleep you are getting and the amount of stress that you’re under. This has been a big deal for me because I used to take pretty strong sleep medicines for years and even with those drugs had a hard time getting to sleep at night.

The average adult needs 7-9 hours of good sleep per night- a good night of sleep means that you don’t wake up more than one time. Good sleep is not passive. You secrete growth hormone, repair neurotransmitters, and allow your body, organs, and muscles to recover. Studies show that peak growth hormone secretion happens between midnight and 2am so this is a good reason for all of you night owls to get to bed early. If you’re not getting enough sleep on a daily basis, it can’t be made up. It’s just daily needed repair that is not happening. On top of that, lack of sleep leads to decreased insulin sensitivity. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid as is Valerian root. You have to be careful with melatonin though, I learned this the hard way, if you don’t take enough you won’t feel any effects, but if you take too much melatonin you can feel groggy or almost hung-over the next day. So you have to figure out the dosage that’s right for you.

Stress is another saboteur of weight-loss. If you are very stressed, your body will create more cortisol which causes you to hold onto belly fat. Therefore, lower stress= lower inflammation = lower cortisol= lower belly fat. Of course, the best way to reduce stress is to get rid of the stressor, but sometimes a big project at work or other external stressors are just not that easy to get rid of.

There is hope. Dr. Henry Benson out of Massachusetts did a study that showed that if you mediate 15 mins per day you can turn off about 2,000 inflammatory genes. Deep spiritual prayer also does the same thing; it turns on feel good hormones as well as growth hormone then turns off cortisol. Meditation, yoga, and tai chi can all help reduce your stress level, even in the midst of stressful situations. Exercise itself releases fell-good endorphins as well.

Nutrition can also help with stress in the form of adaptogenic herbal blends. They have been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, but were highly researched by Russians in the 80’s. Basically, adaptogenic herbs help your body deal with stress. If stress saps your energy during the day, they give you energy. If stress causes you to be uptight and not able to sleep at night, then they calm you down. For me, stress causes me to not be able to sleep at night. I use one scoop of Ionix Supreme by Isagenix in my chamomile tea at night, about 30-60 mins before bed, and I can usually get to sleep pretty easily now. I also take a serving after my workout to help my body recover.

Proper sleep and stress reduction are keys to a healthy lifestyle. I know for a lot of us stress causes us to lose sleep which is a double whammy. For me, sometimes I can’t stop thinking about stuff that happened during the day or things that I need to do the next day and I just can’t shut my brain down. When this happens I like to keep a notepad by my bed so when I think of something I can immediately write it down that way I don’t keep thinking about it. I also play “Words with Friends,” an app on my iPhone. Just thinking about the word game causing my brain to stop thinking about everything else going on and I can usually go to sleep. Of course, I don’t do very well on the game most of the time, but I guess that’s acceptable, especially for my friends who play me because they win most of the time. 😉

Another thing to consider is that lack of sleep and high stress can also cause pre-mature aging. Ugh, not what you want when you’re exercising and eating right. You truly want whole body health so sleep and stress reduction are a must.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica

I Don’t Want It vs. I Can’t Have It

Emotional Attachment to Food

I have to admit, I had a slip up the other day. My husband brought home a King Cake for the kids the other day and told them there was a tiny toy baby in it. Devin was very excited about that toy baby so when they had a piece as their after school snack, she was very upset that she did not find the baby. I’ve passed up lots of goodies before and I was prepared to pass up the King Cake too, but when I cut into it I discovered that it was not just a King Cake, it also had cream cheese filling.

I found myself offering to help Devin find the baby, by cutting a small sliver for myself, then another one, then another one…Well, we didn’t find the baby, but in about 30 mins I discovered why I had chosen to give up sweets. Even though the sweet cinnamon and cream cheese had tasted so good, it sat like a lump in my stomach and I felt so lethargic. Luckily, it didn’t last long and I was able to get back to business, but it reminded me of several things.

As someone who has eaten mostly clean for a while now, I feel fabulous. I don’t always have the perfect bikini body, but it’s not about that. The energy I feel from eating right is incredible. When I got hit by that bought of lethargy that energy was gone and I was not very happy with myself. Also, I found myself wanting more sugar later. I did manage to say no but it was harder to make the better choices because I had sugar on the brain. For me sugar is addictive and once I was able to kick it I found myself better off without it. I don’t always remember that.

That led me to my main point. When I remember my goals of truly being healthy, of wanting to have incredible energy and keep up with my kids, even outrun them sometimes, I can say no to sugar anytime. I simply “don’t want” it because the sweet goodness doesn’t last long. However, I think I’m like most people because when you tell me that I “can’t have” something, that’s the exact thing that I want. I was not in the right mindset when I cut into that King Cake.

I think most “diets” fail because they are simply a list of things that you can’t have and most people start out pretty extreme in all the things that they eliminate. The only thing that really works for me is to view it as a healthy lifestyle. I “do want” to maintain my great energy level so I “don’t want” to eat junk. I “don’t want” to feel lethargic so I “do want” to eat clean foods and lots of veggies.

I know it’s hard to think about it long-term like that when you’re just starting out and you’re battling lots of bad habits that you feel like you have to get rid of. One time before my first competition I took advantage of a complimentary dessert while traveling for work because I had had a bad day. When I told my coach about it I expected her to go all Jillian Michaels in the Biggest Loser on me, but she didn’t. She simply asked me how that dessert helped me reach my goals. I kind of scoffed inwardly because at the time the only goal I could think about was the instant gratification of getting that sweet dessert goodness into my tummy. Now I have a better ability to look long-term as ask myself how things are going to make me feel and how they’re going to help me achieve my goals.

The Biggest Loser approach, of yelling and shaming people into exercise and not eating junk food, just doesn’t work long-term. Considering that about 80% of the contestants on the show gain their weight back, they obviously didn’t think the constant “shame” of eating right and exercising was worth it. One former contestant told a story about how even several years after going on the show, she was in the grocery store putting food into in her cart and had people come over and look at her and ask her if she should be eating that.

No one wants to be told that they can’t eat something or that they have to exercise. It makes them want to do the exact opposite. What people do want is to feel good about themselves, have bodies that work efficiently, and have the energy to live life to the fullest. That’s what exercise and clean eating can do for you if you can focus less on immediate satisfaction and more on your long term goals.

Well, I hope that helped. I need to be reminded of my long-term goals every now and then, especially since I’m about 14 weeks out from my next competition.

Questions? Comments? Please let me know.

Jessica