Let’s start right where we left off with our last article > The #1 Reason Why you Can’t Lose Weight.
Due to obesity statistics, one might assume that the average North American isn’t really interested in losing weight and getting in shape, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It isn’t lack of motivation, but the way we’re approaching it that’s the problem - That’s right! It’s once again in the way we think! We put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed, and criticize ourselves when we fall short. This only leads to an emotional break; usually leading to giving up.
When it comes to losing weight, we are perfectionists with all-or-nothing attitudes. We set goals, and force ourselves to reach them. If we miss a workout, or eat anything but salad we punish ourselves, and feel guilty. This punishing usually results in trying to find solace in food, which just leads to one big downward spiral into beating yourself up.
“I’m worthless. I’m ugly. I suck. I’m unlovable. I can’t stick to anything! I hate my body.”
If you always put yourself down, you’ll neglect to see the positives and only see where you went wrong. If we lose one pound instead of the planned two we see the failure instead of the win of being one pound lighter. Feeling bad about yourself or your food choices doesn’t help in creating a healthier lifestyle. It actually makes you feel worthless, which hinders your ability to succeed.
SOLUTION: You need to begin to notice that judgemental voice of yours, and stop it in it’s tracks. Soften your tone, and be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would a friend or loved one. Would you talk to them like you talk to yourself? My guess is if you would, you wouldn’t have many friends. Instead of the toxic words like those written in italics above, replace them with a more positive approach: "I'm unhappy with the way I look right now, but I’m working on it." “I had a piece of cake, but I’ve been good all week. I’ll make up for it with an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill tomorrow.”
Keep a journal of all the accomplishments you make on a daily basis; no matter how small they may be. On a bad day, look back at all you’ve written. You’ll immediately notice all your success and feel better.
OTHER PEOPLE’S CRITICISM
Sometimes our criticism comes from external sources, or the meaning-well tough-love approach instilled on us by parents and other loved-ones:“Snap out of it! Don’t eat THAT! Do SOMETHING!” When people are forced to feel positive and take action they instinctively do the opposite, or claim they can’t help it. Positive thinking can’t be forced on you. It’s only effective if you actually believe it.
SOLUTION: I know this sounds hard to believe, but writing negative feelings out actually helps to lessen their potency. Keep a journal in which you write down your negative thoughts and feelings. Blast that person’s insensitivity in writing. If you’re frustrated with yourself, if you feel that you are lacking willpower, write it down — seriously. Do it. It does help to get it out.
The Deadly “Shoulds”
"I SHOULD be thinner. I SHOULD workout. I SHOULDn’t have let myself go.”
Shoulds is a form of pressure, and is a kind of self-bullying. It cause a feeling of being controlled and lack of leeway, leading to nothing but stress and a feeling of desperation.
SOLUTION: Remove shoulds from your vocabulary. Again, all it takes is noticing when the shoulds are creeping in and reframing the thought to a more positive one. THIS TAKES PRACTICE! It may feel strange in the beginning, but the more you do it, the more naturally it will come to you.
Here are some examples:
• I shouldn’t have eaten that.
Replace with: I had one unhealthy thing. No one is perfect. Now I’m right back to healthy eating.
• I should have exercised.
Replace with: I can’t exercise the way I’d like to right now so I will make sure to manage my portions, and pay closer attention to my diet.
•I should’ve lost more weight.
Replace with: Weight loss happens over time, and everyone loses weight at different speeds. This will not discourage me.
•I shouldn’t have let myself get this bad.
Replace with: I was not ready to do this before, but I am now. The past is in the past and I will focus on the present.
Learn to Love Yourself - flaws and all. Thinking: “I’ll lose weight and THEN I'll be happy” will never work if you hate yourself along the way. The more we learn to approach ourselves with kindness, and compassion the easier positive change will be.
Resources: jumpstartmd.com, caloriecount.about.com
Are you eating right, exercising, but still not losing weight?
Have you tried every diet in the book with no luck?
Do you lose weight only to gain it right back?
There’s one major thing that people in general, trainers, and fitness professionals alike, usually forget to take into account when dealing with weight loss — your mind. The mind is powerful and can very well be working against you. If it seems like you’re going nowhere fast, there’s a pretty good chance it has nothing to do with your actions, and everything to do with the way you’re thinking.
We have our upcoming Human Trainer Instructor course on September 20th in Richmond, B.C. at our HT Headquarters.
Save big $$$ with our Early Bird Special by signing up by August 30th, 2014.
Even if you are cautious of what you eat and exercise regularly, smoking is one of the leading causes of health problems today, and so we felt it was appropriate for today's gust blogger Jennifer Smith, to give you the ins and outs of smoking's effects on the body. Take it away Jennifer!
Smoking is by far one of the worst habits a person can have. It’s surprising that people still continue to smoke on a regular basis, even though smoking is one of the largest causes of death, something which could be prevented if a person just went ahead and stopped. More than 80,000 people die in a single year due to smoking, a shocking statistic.
Experts believe that one of the main reasons people continue to smoke is because they don’t understand the effects it can have on the human body. This blog will explain how smoking affects the different parts of the body, and you may be surprised at just how bad the effects can are.
An organ in the human body that is like no other, the brain is a complex network of billions of neurons that together, makes you who you are. All of our senses are dictated by the brain which means that even minute damage can cause plenty of serious issues.
A person that smokes is more likely to have a stroke, with chances rising by up to 50%. A lot of people worry about having a stroke, and rightly so. If a person was to have a stroke, there’s a good chance of death, as well as serious brain damage occurring. A smoker has double the chance of dying if they end up having a stroke when compared to someone that doesn’t.
You’re more likely to suffer from a brain aneurysm if you’re a smoker. A brain aneurysm is where a blood vessel bulges thanks to weakness in your blood vessel wall. One of the dangerous things about this is that they can burst, causing a subarachnoid haemorrhage.
Even if someone has been smoking for a long time, if they were to stop in two years time the risk of having a stroke is halved. Once five years has gone by without a person smoking then the chance of having a stroke is the same as someone who doesn’t smoke.
Another vital organ that ensures that we exist, the heart makes sure to distribute oxygen and nutrients in our bloodstream to our vital body cells, ensuring that they don’t die. If your heart was to fail, then your brain would stop functioning and eventually you’d simply die.
It may be a shocking fact but smoking doubles the chance that a person will have a heart attack. A person is also twice as likely to be afflicted with coronary heart disease, and there’s a good chance you would die from this. Another fact that is shocking is that carbon monoxide produced from cigarette smoke creates excess strain on a person’s heart, making more of a chance of blood clots.
Reproduction and fertility organs
If a male is a smoker, it can end up causing impotence. This is because the blood vessel that provides blood for the penis is damaged, harming the actual sperm, lowering how much can be produced, and it can also cause testicular cancer. Around 120,000 men that are in their twenties and young thirties have become impotent due to smoking.
For a woman that smokes, her fertility will be reduced by a scary amount. It has recently been discovered that someone who smokes is three times more likely to take over a year to actually conceive.
Another danger for women that smoke is the chance of cervical cancer can increase to dangerous levels. A smoker that contracts HPV infection will find that they have a much tougher task of getting rid of it, and it can end up developing into a cancer.
Without a doubt, one of the most dangerous things a woman can do is smoke while pregnant. There’s a multitude of situations that can arise, including premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, and the chances of cot death increases to 25%.
If a person is to smoke, there’s a higher chance they will develop a stomach ulcer or even cancer. Simply by smoking the muscles in the stomach that control your gullet can weaken. This can cause acid to travel in the wrong direction back up to your gullet, causing great discomfort.
Kidney cancer is more likely to occur if a person smokes, the more they smoke, the greater the risk is. Research has proven that a person who smokes at least ten cigarettes a day is more than one and a half times more likely to get this form of cancer, with the chances doubling if they smoke twenty.
If a car has oil that isn’t of sufficient quality, it can easily start to develop problems. This is very much like a human being and their blood. When a person smokes, all of the toxins produced in the cigarette smoke ends up entering their blood stream. This creates a number of issues.
Your blood will become much thicker, which has a knock on effect of increased chance of clots. It’ll also increase the pressure of a person’s blood and how fast their heart rate is, resulting in the heart working harder than it actually needs to. Arteries will start to narrow, drastically reducing the amount of oxygen rich blood that circulates around your vital organs.
All of these issues work together, making it more likely that a person will have a heart attack or even a stroke.
This is one of the facts that a lot of people aren’t aware of, but a person's bones can be affected quite badly if they smoke on a regular basis. You can find that they become brittle and weak, which means if you fall, you’re much more likely to injure yourself.
For women, because of the way they’re built, they are more likely to suffer from brittle bones, which is why smoking can be a real problem.
After reading about all the issues that can affect a person if they smoke, it all boils down to a single question, is smoking even worth it? Sure, you may get a tobacco buzz, but with all of the issues that cause serious problems when it comes to your health, there’s really no point at all.
If you still want to smoke despite these issues, think of the people around you. Second hand smoke can mean that another person that has never smoked in their life can suffer from these issues from your smoke. Be aware of who’s around you, and try to stay out of the way.
It’s summer vacation time, and that usually means some travelling. Though it’s true that relaxation and getting away from your daily routine can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul, it can also be detrimental to your workout and healthy diet regimen.
Most people take vacation as a time to let it all hang out and eat and drink to their heart’s content. The problem with this is that we usually hate ourselves when we get back home and realize we packed on 10 pounds. Plus, letting go of your workout completely, even if just for a week or two, can make it hard to get back into the habit. You’ll just feel like you’re starting all over again, and this can be very discouraging. Though it’s fine to take it a little easier while on vacation one must remember that health and fitness is an ongoing lifestyle choice.
Can you do that? ;)
X12 – Kneeling Two-Arm Ab Rollout
Similar to the ab wheel this exercise working your abs, shoulders, chest and stabilizer muscles. The further away from the anchor point, the harder the exercise. Kneel down facing the straps with a handle in each hand. As you extend your arms up and out to shoulder height, lean your body forward as far as you can so that your body comes as close and parallel to the floor as possible. Make sure to keep your abs tight and pelvis tucked throughout the exercise. Return to start. Repeat.
X15 - Two-Arm Row
Facing the straps, hold a handle in each hand, palms facing down with arms straight so that they are straight out in front of their respective shoulder. Keeping your elbows and shoulders down, lift your body so it comes up to meet your hands. Your hands should come back so they meet your shoulders, elbows behind you. Return to start and repeat.
X12 – Reverse T Fly
Great for toning and developing strong upper back muscles. Face the straps. Hold a handle in each hand with arms extended (elbows slightly bent) in front of you, palms facing each other and close together. Keeping your elbows down and slightly bent open your arms so that they are extended at your sides. Return to start and repeat.
X12 – Squat and Row
Squat and Row is a compound exercise where you are pressing your hips back and down into a squat and as you come up you’re pulling, working your biceps and back into a row.
X10 (Per Leg) – One Leg Squat and Row
Power, Coordination and Strength, Linking Upper Body and Lower Body.
Facing the straps, grasp both handles in neutral position and hold on so that the straps and your arms are fully extended in front of you (arms should be parallel with shoulders). Elevate your right leg in front of you. Lean back and press your hips back and down into a low squat position. As you come up, pull your body up to meet your hands. The end position should be with supporting knee straight, hands right up against your shoulders, elbows up and behind you. Release arms back in front of you and then come back down into a squat. Switch legs after 10 reps. Repeat with other leg.
30 sec - Two-Leg Foot Cradle Plank (forearms)
Get into a plank position with your feet elevated in the foot cradles. Make sure to keep your core engaged.
X12 - Two-Knee Foot Cradle Pull In
Still in a plank position, bring your knees in towards your chest. Return to plank position and repeat.
X12 - Two-Leg Hamstring Curl
Facing the straps, lie down on your back with your heels in the Foot Cradles. Make your legs straight and lift your hips off the ground. Keeping your core engaged, bend knees and bring your heels towards your butt. Extend your legs back out. Repeat.
X12 - Two-Arm Bicep Curls
Facing the straps, hold a handle in each hand. Straps and arms should be fully extended in front of you at chest height, palms faming up. Curl your hands up towards your shoulders, bringing your body up to meet your hands.
X12 - Two-Arm Overhead Triceps Press
Facing away from the straps, hold handles together overhead. Palms facing out, elbows bent. Extend the arms until they are straight, still overhead but slightly in front of you. Return to start and repeat.
X10 (Per side) – Forward Lunge with T Fly
Facing away from the straps with a handle in each hand, palms facing each other, stand with feet side by side, arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Step forward into a lunge with your right leg. As you move into your lunge, bring arms straight out to your sides. Return to start. Repeat with left leg lunge.
X12 – Two-Arm Chest Press
Facing away from the straps, hold a handle in each hand, arms extended in front of you at shoulder level, palms facing down. Keeping your shoulders back and down, lower your chest towards your hands so that your hands come just below your shoulders. Press back up to the starting position. Repeat.
X15 – Standing Two-Arm Ab Rollout
Similar to the ab wheel this exercise working your abs, shoulders, chest and stabilizer muscles. The further away from the anchor point, the harder the exercise. Stand facing the straps with a handle in each hand, arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping your arms straight, bring them up overhead. As you do so, lean your body forward as far as you can. Make sure to keep your abs tight, pelvis tucked, and knees straight throughout the exercise. Return to start. Repeat.
X15 (Per Arm) – One-Arm Row (1 Strap)
Facing the straps, hold a handle in your right hand, palm facing down with arm straight so that they are straight out in front of your right shoulder. Keeping your elbows and shoulders down, lift your body so it comes up to meet your hand. Your hands should come back so they meet your shoulders, elbow behind you. Return to start and repeat.
X10 (Per side) – Reverse T / Y / I Fly Combo
Great for toning and developing strong upper back muscles. Face the straps. Hold a handle in each hand with arms extended (elbows slightly bent) in front of you, palms facing each other and close together. Keeping your elbows down and slightly bent open your arms so that they are extended at your sides. Return to arms straight in front of you and then bring them up and to the sides to form a Y. Return to arms straight out in front of you and then bring them straight up overhead. Repeat sequence.
X15 – Jump Squat
Facing the straps, firmly grasp both handles and hold on so that the straps and your arms are fully extended in front of you with palms facing down. As you jump straight up press downward on the handles to increase the height of your jump. Focus on landing into a proper squat position and make sure not to land hard.
X12 (Per Leg) – One-Leg Straight Arm Squat
Grasp both handles in neutral position and hold on so that the straps and your arms are fully extended in front of you. Lift your right foot off the floor so that your leg is slightly elevated in front of you. Press your hips back and down into a squat and return to starting position without putting your foot down. Do 12 reps and then switch legs.
X30 sec - Foot Cradle Plank w/Alternating Mountain Climber
Get into a plank position with your feet elevated in the foot cradles. Make sure to keep your core engaged, not to sag down in the hips, and shoulders are stacked over the wrists. Alternate driving the knees into the chest.
X20 - Pushup with Side-to-Side Two Knee Foot Cradle Pull-In Combo
Maintaining the plank position from the above exercise, lower into a pushup. Return to plank and bring your knees in together towards your chest.
X15 (Per side) - Two-Leg Alternating Hamstring Curl
Facing the straps, lie down on your back with your heels in the Foot Cradles. Make your legs straight and lift your hips off the ground. Keeping your core engaged, bend one knee and bring your heel towards your butt. Then do the same with the other leg.
X12 (Per side) – One-Arm Bicep Curl (1 Strap)
Facing the door, hold a handle in your right hand. Strap and arm should be fully extended in front of you at chest height, palms facing up. Curl your hand up towards your shoulders, bringing your body up to meet your hand. Return to start and repeat. Switch arms after 12 reps.
X12 – Suspended Dips
Standing right under your straps, hold the handles on either side at waist height. Flex your triceps and press your body upwards off the floor into a full extension. Lean forward slightly to engage the chest, stabilize the arms and torso, and slowly dip downwards until your triceps are approximately parallel with the floor. Contract your triceps and chest and push back upwards to full extension/starting position)
X10 – Forward Lunge with T / Y/I Fly combo
Facing away from the straps with a handle in each hand, palms facing each other, stand with feet side by side, arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Step forward into a lunge with your right leg. As you move into your lunge, bring arms straight out to your sides. Return to start. Lunge with right leg and bring arms up and to the sides to form a Y. Return to start and repeat right leg lunge with arms straight up overhead. Repeat sequence with left leg.
X20 – Two-Arm Chest Press with Alternating Single Knee Tuck
Facing away from the straps, hold a handle in each hand, arms extended in front of you at shoulder level, palms facing down. Keeping your shoulders back and down, lower your chest towards your hands so that your hands come just below your shoulders. As you press back up to the starting position, with the arms extended straight, lift one knee towards the chest, then place it back on the ground. Go into your next chest press but for this rep bring the opposite knee towards the chest. Repeat.