After hearing the news that someone close has been diagnosed with cancer, it only feels right, to blog once again, about the importance of feeding the body. I said if before, and I'll say it again, it is more important to focus on what you are putting in your body, rather than focus on what you're doing for the outer body. Tip top physiques, will not keep us safe from health issues you may suffer from in the future. With the right nutrition, combined with exercise, we greatly improve our chances of warding off any deadly diseases. I see it everyday, people in the gym, doing there thing, lifting heavy weights, running on a treadmill for hours, then stepping outside, firing up a smoke, or purchasing a bag of chips from the market next door.
We have the power to help ourselves, and each and everyone of us, should do exactly that. The processed foods, artificial flavorings, colorings, and other foreign additives, I believe, do indeed take a toll on our health. Unfortunately, some people learn the hard way, after it's too late, when anything bad might possibly had been prevented, just by making healthier choices. It pains me to see a society that makes such a big deal over what we look like, rather than what we are doing to our insides. Every where we turn, there's a get slim quick miracle diet, or pictures of skinny ass celebraties plastered all over the magazines, screaming..."you should look like this". It is absolutely ridiculous, as a culture, we actually give in to it.
As grown adults, capable of making our own decisions, we should know better then to make irresponsible choices, that could harm us. Can we stop lisetening to celebraties, believing any magazine crap that is published, wake up, and make the choices that best suit us, not some famous person that means nothing to our lives! It is crucial that we fuel ourselves with proper nutrients, such as fruits and vegtables, that are packed with anti-oxidants, that can aid in warding off harmful diseases and other health issues. Just because we might work out 6 days a week, doesn't mean we can eat burgers, fries, cake and ice cream everyday, all day. But I guess as we look good on the outside, that's all that matters right?
As a society, we really need to bring the focus back on health, not body image. Having a nice body will not help us live longer, as long as we don't feed it right. Personally, I want the best of both worlds, and guess what.. I have it. I'm happy with how I look, my health is excellent, I couldn't be happier! It is possible to have both, but it does take discipline, determination, and the ability to get over the ego. Vanity in my opinion is a killer just on it's own. Vanity can play tricks on our mind, dillute our imagination, and propel us to sheerly foucs on what we see, totally neglecting the importance of our inner.
I don't think anyone of us wants to suffer, or see someone you love suffer from anything they don't have to. As hard as it is to change our ways, or to even change someone elses ways, we have to at least try. There comes a time in our lives, particularily when our parents get older, that they just don't want to hear it. They feel they've been there done that, and we know nothing. We most likely can't change them, but we can change how we live. For our sake, we should take those precautions right now, so when we get older, we stand a better chance, because we do know better. Not to say, nothing will get us, sometimes, genetics catch up to us, but we at least can try our best, put up a fight, and defend ourselves from any harm. I hope everyone can understand the importance, and we as a society, can move past the vanity crazed culture we walk amongst. There is no point in just looking good, we have to feel good from the inside out.
As a former overweight women, who successfully lost 80 pounds, I am here to affirmatively say, that the "1200 calorie/day" diet is bogus. Thousands of magazine articles have been published, with the suggestion to women, to eat only 1200 calories a day, when trying to lose weight. Do they factor in exercise to that caloric intake? I guess not, because anyone who exercises even a little bit, knows that your body needs fuel to keep you going, as well as increasing your metabolism. If we exercise on a daily basis, and don't eat enough, our metabolism will shut down, and now your just defeating the purpose.
It makes me irate, to read these articles from so called "fitness experts". They know better than to eat 1200 calories a day, so why on earth would they suggest that to an average person? It is a dangerous thing, to eat only that amount. Your body will suffer on the inside. You might think you look good on the outside, but the chances of you keeping it off, is very slim. You are actually depriving yourself of the necessary nutrients your body needs to not only survive, but to recover from any exercise activity.
You're not shocking your body, as they like to tell you, you're not doing yourself good, by eating like a bird. You're actually counteracting your efforts to lose weight, the safe, healthy way, by following these "experts" instructions.
For the life of me, I can't figure out, why anyone would suggest to someone to follow that program. It makes me sick. I lost 80 pounds, and it wasn't restricting myself to 1200 a day either. I ate probably around 1800-2000 a day. I also exercised 6 days a week, and I'm going to tell you exactly what I did to lose that weight.
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When it comes to health and exercise, we live in a society that unfortunately, makes the primary focus on the exterior. The pressure to look good on the outside is worse then it has ever been. Everywhere we look we see magazine ads, commericals, celebrities, are all focused on the outside. Nevermind if they are nice people or not, they look good, so it's ok. They must be healthy on the inside to right? You would think so, since what meets the eye looks so good.
Sadly enough, gyms are packed with people who only want to either, get skinnier, bulk up, or are there just to socialize. The overall effect that exercise has on us, is a huge missing link in our society. The focus is clearly intended to be appearance and appearance only. The other positive effect it has on us, is ignored and actually creates a negative atmosphere, with the focus solely on the outside. Exercise can improve how we live our daily lives so much. It can make us feel like we can conquer the world, if we are open to the idea that, there is more to it than aesthetics.
Yes, we all want to look good, I would lying if I said we didn't. I know i do. But I also want to reep all of the benefits from it as well. Exercise can improve our mentality. It can switch our thoughts, from negative, to a positive. It can boost our clarity, we think sharper, more clear. It revives us, energizes us, our bodies become to thrive on it! It helps us feel better about ourselves, as an entire being, not just what meets the eye. We gain the confidence to do anything, no obstacle is to much for us to overcome.
Our professional and personal relationships also benefit from it as well. We become better people, because we feel confident. We lose our insecurities, and we realize what we are physically capable of, which transfers over to what we are professionally, mentally, emotionally and personally capable of. We begin to see, that we deserve more than we have, we can gain more, we are worth more.
It boosts self esteem to a level that we didn't know even existed. We start to lose the bad demons that once brought us down. We begin to eliminate the company that told us we couldn't do it. We re-evaluate the people in our lives, and weed the ones out that don't want to see us succeed, in anything we do. We start to perform better on the job, leading us to better opportunities. All of these things are the effects of exercise and living a healthy lifestyle. Along with the health benefits, like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and decreasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. But the media and famous people world doesn't want us to celebrate that. It's all about what size our jeans are.
We are supposed to do this for overall health and well being. We are supposed to do it to be better people, with stronger minds, as well as bodies. It should give us the discipline to control our diet and everything else that potentially could destroy us. We all need to turn the focus inward, leave the ego trip behind, lose the vanity reason for doing this. Be more intuned with what's happening to you as you begin your transformation. All of this can be life changing, and if change isn't what you are seeking, the least that will come out of it, is you will overall be a healthy person, body, mind, soul, and spirit.
I work in a gym, so I see it all of the time. People doing outrageous maneuvers, thinking what they are doing, is actually effective! It's not! Stop twirling the dumbbell all around your body, it's not helping you. When it comes to exercise and seeing results, we are going back to basics. Just as we apply basics to our diet, we shall do as well, to exercise.
Let's begin with abs. I see, hear and read, so many crazy ideas on how to get a flat belly. Yet, I see very few, practicing the basic moves that will actually work! Yes, you have to do more than crunches, but crunches can be effective alone. When it comes to working out, men and women are so different. We both need to do different moves that apply to our muscle mass and build.
For women, we don't don't want our abs to stick out. I see some women doing things men should, because men want there abs to stick out. Stop copying from the guys you see at the gym, they have a completely different mechanism they are working with. I'm going to give you a few exercises you should execute at least 3 times a week to see results in a few months. Abs aren't created over night, nor are they an automatic thing. You need to follow a clean basic diet, as well as ample cardio time. Your diet is what ultimately will get you abs, and cardio is what will shed the fat around the pooch area.
Here are some basic core moves:
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Back to Basics
Thanks to the mass media, marketing and advertising companies in the USA, we as Americans are always depending on someone else to find the solution to our problems, Some look to tv characters for advice on how to get fit, eat right and stay thin. Others order pre packaged foods, because they can't cook and portion control food themselves. It is alarmingly disgusting to see how many Americans dont' realize you are the pilot in your life. No one else is flying the plane!
Whether you want to lose weight, get in better shape, tone up, compete, whatever our poison, you have the power to do it! Not the celebraties, not the athletes, no one in the world can make it happen for you, except you! So many times, I hear people whine about how they want to eat right but don't have time, or don't know how, or some other lame excuse. So, when the see the commercials for the latest miracle pill, or celebrity diet, they rush out and buy it! Thinking to themselves, this is going to be so easy, look how it worked for the Oscar award winning actress! Seriously now, get a grip. We all know famous people, or anyone in the spotlight, have trainers, personal chefs to aid them in staying slim.
What gets me so fired up, is that we all have the abilities to do it ourselves. We don't need to depend on people telling us what to eat, or how much, take this pill, drink this juice! It's ridiculous! If we all just stepped back, and looked at it from a deeper level. an understanding of how much power we have as individuals will seep thru. No one needs to be told what to do by someone else. Everyone can learn to cook, eat healthy and exercise. It comes down to self control and self discipline. Someone you never met, but just because you see them on tv, and they seem like and honest, nice person says, hey, eat like me and you can look like this, doesn't mean you listen! You don't know them, they don't care about you and never will. When you buy whatever they are selling, that's money in there pockets, and that's all they care about. We need to take more pride in ourselves, and hold ourselves accountable for our own actions.
We are poisoned everyday, but the media, selling us nonsense, convincing us that we are weak, and we can't do it on our own, just for a money ploy. That's all we are to them, is a money ploy. Please have more respect for yourself, and take more pride in your health and body, to know not to buy into it. You are in deed capable of doing it on your own. It takes time, it takes some getting used to, it takes hard work and discipline. But, it can be done, by none other than the pilot with the controllers.
As we are told time and time again, our eating habits are what gives us abs. We also know, to lean out we need to eat this, not that, x amount times a day etc. I work in a gym, so I see first hand, people's habits. The one thing I noticed, is that many people, particulary women, have no clue when it comes to what to eat, how much to eat, what not to eat, and when to eat it. It can be very confusing and overwhelming for someone just starting out, but after 10 years of this, you should get it by now! People see me eating, members and co-workers, and they are astonished how much I eat, but they also bust my balls for what I eat. I'd like to think I eat clean, I cheat every now and then, but overall, I feel like I have a healthy diet, that suits my body type.
If there is anything anyone takes from this, is to believe the fact that your diet is critical in achieving your desired goals. You need to feed your body with the proper nutrients. You need to do it at the right time as well. I get a lot of people that roll their eyes at me, when they see me eating the stereotypical lunch, which consists of grilled chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli. I can't tell you how many "oh my god, I can't believe you eat that" comments I receive. An alarming amount is how much!
You absolutely, positively must make the sacrafices, in order to see results! Listen, it doesn't mean cutting out everything you enjoy out of your life, I do not for one second feel that anyone should deprive themselves of anything. Life is too short. I'm going to give an example of a typical Monday-Friday diet plan that I follow. Yes, it is a pain in the ass to prepare all your meals ahead of time. And yes it takes time to cook, but it is all worth it. My suggestion is to do it all on Sunday. This way, you don't have to rush around all work week, scrambling for food, making poor choices. There's no excuse to eat order lunch at the office, when you have your nutritious lunch packed, that will provide with you with all the nutrients you need, and will give you lasting energy.
So a typical week looks like this for me:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup blueberries
6 egg whites
1/4 cup spinach
few crumbles feta cheese
Mid Morning Snack
1 medium sweet potato
handful of almonds
1 small chicken breast
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup rice
drizzle olive oil over
fresh squeezed lemon
1tsp peanut butter
Mid Afternoon Snack
1/2 cup no fat cottage cheese
hand full almonds
Chicken breast or Other lean meat
baked red potatoes seasoned with rosemary, tyme and garlic
vegtable of choice
1 cup whole wheat pasta
olive oil, garlic, spinach
green salad on side
I also have 1 square of 86% dark chocolate everyday. This satisfies my cravings for anything sweet, and also provides anti-oxidant benefits. This is a simple plan to follow. It might seem blan on paper, but once you see progress, you can start to add things to your food for tasting. I like to add a mango salso or pico de gallo, over my chicken. This plan works for me, it may not work for everyone. But, it has stabelized my blood sugar, given me the necessary energy, and nurishes my body with the necessary nutrients it needs. I love to eat just as everyone else, I'm not going to lie, and I have experimented in everyway to try to find something that would keep my blood sugar in check and keep me energized.
On the weekends, I am more leanant. I switch my breakfast out for honey nut cheerios and 1 slice of whole wheat toast, topped with peanut butter. I can't help but to eat cereal, I love it! I stick with the sweet potatoes for a mid morning snack, because it regulates my blood sugar. I like to eat that before I work out. Lunch is usually tuna on wheat, still do the protien shake post work out. I keep greek yogurt in the fridge as well, as I like to have that on weekends. I personally don't eat the yogurt during the week, again, for blood sugar reasons. I have to really watch my sugar intake.
I hope this is helpful for anyone looking for any ideas on what to eat. I'm not a dieticial or a professional dietician. I am just a woman who lost a ton of weight, sticking to eating habits such as this.
Best Wishes To Everyone!!
I love to hear people tell me I can't do something. Or, I may be able to now, but I won't in the future. These people who meddle in others lives, make negative comments, add potent fuel to my fire. At times, I get extremely frustrated with them and want to slap them, but then I take a moment, breathe deep, and remind myself that they are not strong enough to be as disciplined as I am. They don't have the capabilities or the will to overcome the obstacles I have. They not only don't want to, but can't make the sacrafices I do to achieve my goals. So everytime someone says "you can't", it gives me more and more motiviation to get to where I want to go even faster.
It's easier said then done, to shake this type of person off. As much as we want to ignore the comments, and block out the criticism, it still lingers in our ears. We are conscious of these words, and at times, we may even be a little sensitive to them. But no matter what, we always must, take a step back and consider the source. Anyone who is happy with themselves. will never say "you can't do that". Anyone who has a single goal in life. and makes an valiant effort to reach it, will never tell you that. They are ignorant to life, and ignorant to success. I want to see people happy and succeed. I want to see people continue on with the good job they are currently doing. The sacrafices we all make and the decision we have made to get healthy and stay healthy, is something many others can't do. Often at times, people may look at us in disgust. But everytime someone says "you can't" or "you won't", let that propel you closer to your goals and dreams, cause that will really piss them off.
The other day, I was doing dumbbell reverse flys, when I looked up into the mirror, and saw the definiton in my arms serioulsy stand out! I guess when you see yourself everyday, you don't notice the changes as quickly as others. As I saw myslef in this form, I became so elated. It gave me such a rush, knowing that I did that. That was my hard work that caused the result. Yesterday, when as I finished my workout, I was approached by an older gentlemen, he said I looked better everytime he sees me, and to keep up the great work, and praised how hard I go. Those are the things that make what we do, all worth it. No, we don't need praise and attention from others to feel good about ourselves, but it feels really good knowing that other people notice, and that will make you feel even better! It's almost like, it verifies all the hard work you put in. It also makes you feel extremly confident in all your abilities in life.
This kind of attitude, transfers into your personal as well as professional life. It allows you to become less fearful of anything you do in life, it gives you hope and the confidence knowing, that if you can dedicate yourself to fitness, you can do anything. Dedicating yoursefl to fitness and sticking with it, isn't the easiest thing to do, it has it's challenges, and the majority of the population, can't bring themselves to stick with it. So we should be proud of ourselves just for that achievement! People always notice who's working out hard, they always will, and hearing just one compliment, will totally put you in overdrive. It amps you up to do more, to step it up, and challenge yourself more. Especially for women who aren't all that comfortable with lifting weights or going to heavy. The minute you step out on the floor, people notice. As women, think of what we do can set a good example for younger girls. They see us out there, getting it done, they'll want to do the same thing. It's a very positive impact to make on others. We have the ability to inspire others, just by them noticing us. You never know who's watching, and you never know who you might be inspiring
I see it all the time, all the men hang out where all the weights are on the gyms main floor. The ladies can be found in the ladies locker room area, where there is a private area just for them. Ladies, there's no reason why you should hide. There is nothing to be embarassed or ashamed of. Yes, I know at times, it can be a little much, when the men decide to stare, but realize that it's a compliment. Yes it can be annoying and uncomfortable, but you are there to workout and reach your goals. You're not there to worry about what's going on around you, or who's looking at who. Unless they are verbally torturing you, get out there and show em your stuff!
I work in a gym, so I see it all the time. Ladies piled in the private workout area, not even gettting a decent workout in, becaue all the good stuff is on the main floor. You don't have to hide. In order to get the results you are after, you must conquer your fears and insecurities, and get down there, and get it done. You're missing out on so many possible exercises you can be executing. There are crucial machines, weights and benches, you need to tone your body. Ladies locker rooms usually don't have a good variety of weight training equiptment. Nor, do they have the space you need to do certain things such as walking lunges, anything having to do with barbbells or dumbbells, and a small free weight option.
People will admire your balls, working out with the big boys. It shows confidence, and confidence is sexy. No one cares if you have makeup on, or if your hair is done. No one is paying attention to that. But they will pay attention to your strength, power and self confidence to workout like that. People respect and admire women who can fearlessly get down there with the men, and tear it up. Once you conquer your fears of it, you yourself will start to feel more sure of your abilities, and you'll feel sexier and more confident in your body. You will even start to forget that anyone is around you. You will be so friggen zoned into your workout, you'll feel like the only on there.
Of course you'll need to take baby steps. Start by incorporating some lat pull downs into your workout. This will force you to get down there and get in the middle of it. This is a simple exercise, everyone knows how to do, there's nothing complicated, and virtually, mistake proof, so you won't look stupid, feeling as if you're doing it wrong. Gyms are not just for men. It might seem like they are, but women are making there way. We are starting to make quite an impression on the fellas, they are starting to give us the respect we deserve. We are not looked at as fragile little flowers anymore, we are looked at as strong and confident. We exude an ora that says.."we can hold our own". Get out there and be proud of your body, and work it out like you want to. Never hold back because you're afraid of what others think of you. If they are starring, that means they're jealous, and that means, you look good! Keep up the good work ladies, and get down there and get dirty!!!