Look!! The Perfect Diet Pill!! Lose all your weight overnight!!!

I very frequently have clients and/or salespeople ask me about supplements. Pretty much on a weekly basis actually. First, as an ACE certified fitness profession, it is unethical for me to do anything other than help a client research information on a supplement they are curious about. Second, I want each and every person to know that you DO NOT need a supplement to get healthy and lose weight!! Unless a doctor has diagnosed some hormonal imbalance or deficiency in your body, you don't need to pop pills, drink shakes or wrap things around your body! In fact, many supplements can actually be detrimental to your health!

These advertisements that you see for supplements, keep in mind that almost none of them are backed by actual scientific studies. Many of the "testimonials" are fitness professionals or body builders who have applied their knowledge of fitness and nutrition to losing a few extra pounds and agreed to take a company's supplement for some type of monetary gain. I am SO angry at the weight loss industry!!! I am SO SICK of the empty promises and the millions of dollars wasted annually! Yes, maybe you can find some kind of herb that may possibly provide a small boost to old fashion hard work and dedication but the difference is so small that your money would be better spent on higher quality food or new fitness equipment. YOU are the only tool you need. YOU!!!! YOU!!!! YOU!!!! That's it! You don't even need me!!! STOP looking for answers in pills!! Educate yourself. Proper sleep. MOVE. Feed your body quality food. Learn what quality food is for YOUR body!!! That's it. No magic bullet. Period.

Sorry for the rant but I get upset when I log on to find someone promoting garbage to my page followers on MY page!! A page I created from my heart for the sole purpose of trying to bring people the truth. Each and every person struggling so hard to lose weight represents me and what I've gone through in my life. I will not tolerate it. I will delete posts, I will block people, I will lose personal friends if I have to. I don't like to do it, but I WILL NOT allow people to be preyed upon. Not on my watch!

Always Hungry? Eat Protein!

Always hungry? I am! It's why I'm in the constant struggle with my weight. However, here's one little key thing I keep coming back to....

Protein! Lean protein has been shown in many studies to keep you more satisfied and fuller for a longer amount of time. Protein also takes about 30% of the calories ingested just to metabolize it (compared to somewhere around 15-20% for carbs).

Think protein powder (with a low carb/sugar count), skinless chicken breast, low fat dairy, etc.
Now, don't confuse me saying "lean" and "low fat" with me saying healthy dietary fat is bad! It's actually essential. However, fat is a dense macronutrient, coming in at 9 calories per gram so it's easy to consume a lot of calories with a small amount of fat. And, sorry guys, calories DO matter! Different foods cause different hormonal effects but, at the end of the day, calories in vs. calories out still holds true. Therefore, at 4 calories per gram and a much more positive metabolic effect to your body than carbohydrates, protein is your friend in weight loss!

For What I Hunger....

I feel fortunate to live in an area that provides access to what certainly has to be some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. A simple drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway and one can find themselves gasping at an expanse of mountainside as far as the eye can see, all from the comfort of one's own car. And that is exactly how I spent many weekends in my 20's. My idea of a perfect day would be loading up the car with a picnic lunch and some blankets, blasting some B-Tribe and driving up to the parkway to find a pull off to sit and stare at the magnificence that is North Carolina. 

Something I always noticed, however, as I sat and gazed in amazement at rolling mountainside was that I always felt this empty sort of longing, a hunger. I could never quite identify it. It was kind of sad. It was something I always knew was deep inside of me but it really rose to the surface at these times. I decided that it was my soul longing for God. Makes sense, right?! Yeah, it was pretty freakin' poetic in a tormented sort of way so that's the theory I settled on. Although sometimes I just decided I was hungry so I got some fudge on my way back down the mountain.

Then one day I learned something....I learned that hiking was not walking down a trail for a few minutes then getting kind of freaked out that a bear would kill me or that I might have to use the bathroom or get hungry and turning around and walking back. Trails...went....places! Some went to the top of mountains! No cars required. No cars allowed actually!

What I found at the tops of many of these mountains was a view similar to those I had driven to in my 20's. Here's the weird part. It wasn't just my car that was missing from this new view, it was also that empty feeling....

Since then I've learned what that empty feeling really was and I guess I could still identify this as my longing for God but not exactly in the conventional sense I had believed earlier in life. It results from a life not well lived. It was viewing nature but not being a part of it. It was the ache of not trying, not going the distance. I seldom feel that ache now. Why?! Because I'm living the hell out of my life, that's why!! Where I used to stay in a job I hated, accept relationships that weren't right for me, walk away from workouts the moment they made me sweat and watch hours of TV and just be overall content with status quo instead, I'm building businesses, KILLING sweat soaked workouts, wearing out hiking boots, laughing until my stomach hurts, building Legos, sun on my face, hands and feet in the dirt, accepting no less than passion and great love and just overall soaking up every sweet second of life. Yes, I have my stressful, boring and even tragic moments but they are the still spots and I am progressively finding peace and even joy in those as well. 

That hunger used to prevail in my life before I truly lived. I often filled it with food. Very often. Now I fill it with LIVING! As you go into this amazing weekend ask yourself, for what do you hunger?

My weight, My Emotions, KeVita and more....

Obviously I haven't written in a while. Life has gotten hectic! My career as a trainer is absolutely exploding which is amazing but overwhelming at times. The first thing to go, always, is my focus on clean eating. It's when I hit the weight I'm at now that I always snap out of it and get back on the straight and narrow before it gets too out of hand. In many ways I've become thankful for my weight. It serves as a compass, always pointing me back in the right direction, never letting me get very lost. 

So this time around is a little harder. Much more psychological. To respect her privacy, as she hasn't really announced it to the world yet, I'll keep my discussion of this topic general. Someone extremely close to me is sick and is facing the battle of her life. This is a time when I have to be hyper aware of my emotions....or I will eat them. While I'm not trying to make her struggle about me, I can't help but feel extremely emotional and scared by the whole thing.  But I have to be strong for her and for everyone else, including myself. The best way to do that is to meet my emotions head on and then make myself the healthiest person possible so that I CAN be strong for everyone. 

After much plotting, planning and rearranging, I managed to get an entire day and night in the woods. It's always so good for my soul. It brings me back in touch with the present moment instead of always thinking ahead or looking behind. I feel balanced and re-energized. But how can this translate to regular life? I have to find a way to "go into the woods" in my mind any time I need to. I need to find that peace within myself once and for all. And I truly feel that I'm closer than I've ever been.

Here's how I know. This is HARD to admit. This is embarrassing. But since I'm the queen of talking about the embarrassing, awkward stuff, I'll stay true to form. I used to, in some twisted way, enjoy drama. I was drawn to people who could provide it for me. I'm not exactly sure why. It definitely didn't make me happy! I think it was the opposite. I was angry and almost numb and the drama was some kind of temporary outlet for my anger and allowed me to FEEL something. Anything! 

I recently listed to an audiobook called The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz and the part that resounded with me the most is when he talks about the "poison" in us. When we have a low energy, negative thought (usually stemming from something in our past), an emotional poison builds up inside of us. We pick a fight with someone (usually someone closest to us) and when we succeed at something upsetting them, we are able to temporarily empty our poison into them and feel something resembling momentary relief. But then they are walking around with that poison and eventually they'll probably give it back to us. Not to mention, the poison doesn't truly go away. It can reoccur over and over again, each time we have a negative thought or experience.

Well, I realized when I heard this that, at one time, that was definitely me! But I am happy to realize that this is not me any longer. I truly desire peace. I hate conflict. I measure my words before speaking because I want peace. I choose the people in my life based on my desire for peace. I eliminate people from my life for this same reason. I want to be a cave of silence, deep in the earth, that is affected little by any storm that rages above. And I'm on my way.

Maintaining this peace within myself is crucial to being truly healthy. I've learned that my mental and physical health is completely intertwined and I can't have one without the other. So the mental aspect is well under way. Now to focus a little more on the physical aspect yet again.

Exercise. Ah, exercise. My sweet friend who helps me not gain all my weight back. I love to work out. I work out 6-8 times a week in addition to power walking for 20 minutes segments during most of my clients sessions most days. I know, excessive but my body and mind responds very well to it. I'm meant to move. A lot. Food.....damn, food. Still my biggest struggle. I love it. I love salty, crunchy things and soft, gooey sweet things that make me temporarily forget why I don't want to be obese again. 

Sooooo back at it!!! Same old science I keep applying over and over again. New day.

Less simple carbs. Lots more veggies and clean sources of protein and fat. Not focusing too much on what I shouldn't have but instead focusing on all the healthy, wonderful things I should. Lots of water aaaaand, my new favorite thing...KeVita! If you love bubbly drinks, you gotta try it. If you're used to sweet soda, you'll probably hate it the first time you do. I personally love the stuff! A little too much actually. At $3.79 a bottle, and drinking two of them some days, it's becoming an expensive addiction but I don't care!! This probiotic drink (that has as little as 5 calories per serving) makes my belly feel soooo good! No, I don't own stock in them. I am just so happy they exist and that I don't have to feel guilty about drinking them (except for the price, of course). Sometimes drinking some satisfies my craving for something indulgent....sometimes it doesn't but I"m happy they get to stay in my diet!

And realizing how much KeVita makes me stay on course makes me realize the importance of finding other things like it that I love and stocking up. Avocado, asparagus, sweet peppers, oranges. Things I tear into with glee and don't fantasize about what I would like to be eating instead.

But despite getting a little off course yet again with my eating and having personal issues going on, I'm actually somehow happier, more at peace and more loving and accepting of my body than I've ever been in my life. And all this is no accident. It's putting in the effort every day to be a better person. And, yes, some things crumble a little when I'm tending to other things, but it's all a balance. The goal of this life isn't to get out alive, it's to be the best person we can be and live the most amazing life we can live, touching as many hearts and lives as we can along the way.