Time to Get Real.
As Amanda mentioned in our previous blog, her, Stacey and myself are focused on keeping it real and helping you to develop a great mindset, as well as fitness and nutrition habits, that fit INTO your life instead of CONTROL your life.
Nutrition is probably one of the most confusing topics out there. Go to the grocery store and you’ll see at least 5 magazines all claiming to have the magic solution to melt fat, burn fat, and give you a tighter this or that.
There are countless cleanses, detoxes, supplements, and diets books, and they all seem to be promising the same thing – quick results…. if you just “follow” the plan or buy the products.
And you know what? They probably work, at least for the short-term. But what happens when you no longer feel like drinking your meals, buying supplements or following someone else’s plan? Then what?
I know for myself, I’ve done my fair share of all of the above. For the first few days or weeks, when motivation was high, I felt great. I felt like I could do it forever. Then life would happen. An impromptu get together with friends, a trip to the movies, vacations, meals out etc…If I wasn’t able to follow the plan exactly as it was written in any of those situations, I figured I may as well go all out since I couldn’t be “perfect”.
It was a set-up. I was setting myself up to fail each and every time I opted for the quick-fix or easy way out. And I did. Every time.
We want you to stop failing.
Everyone is different. We all have different food preferences, schedules, and goals and our nutrition habits should reflect that. The only thing that will work long-term is taking the time to actually become aware of our choices and start to realize if our choices are first and foremost making us happy and making us feel good! Eating is something we re-visit so often during our day that we better actually LIKE what we’re eating. Secondly, we want our nutrition choices to help us to reach our goals, and third, we need to find something that we can do consistently.
Amanda, Stacey and I will share what has (and hasn’t) worked for us in the past, as well as dispel some myths and misconceptions that often come up with clients. Our hope is that our experiences will give you some insights into your own journey in finding a nutrition plan that not only helps you to reach your goals, but also makes you happy while doing so 🙂
First up, Stacey will share with you her 3 simple rules for approaching her nutrition and give you a few pieces of advice so that you don’t make the same mistakes she did.
When I was younger I ate whatever I wanted. I was always active in sports and didn’t think twice about the way I looked. As most of us tend to do I gained weight in college, due to drinking beer and experimenting with being a vegetarian.
I went to college for Exercise Science and became a Trainer. The early mornings eliminated alcohol from my life and I ate a bit better but still didn’t know much about nutrition.
In 2008 my closest colleague and I, opened the first kettlebell studio in the Boston area. I began experiencing debilitating stomach pains, diarrhea, I basically couldn’t keep anything down. At first I assumed it was just stress and it would work itself out. After months of tests for Crohn’s, IBS, endoscopies, colonoscopies I was finally diagnosed with food allergies. Wheat, eggs, milk corn soy hazelnuts and pistachios were the culprits. As you can imagine my active lifestyle had come to a shrieking halt. I basically couldn’t eat anything AND as a result my body hurt and I couldn’t exercise.
Once I wrapped my head around my new nutrition I realized finally how much of an effect food actually has on achieving the fat loss results everyone is after. I decided that with my newly discovered food restrictions combined with my love for lifting heavy that I would compete in a figure competition.
I am 5’7” and my walk around weight is 135-140. I ended up winning my Pro card at 119lbs. By my fourth show eating white fish and veggies took a toll on me not only mentally but physically. My joints hurt, I couldn’t sleep, my hair was falling out, I wanted NOTHING to do with SEX. I was fucking miserable. I knew that this was not the HEALTHY goal I had originally thought I was seeking. One week within competing in my last show I gained 20lbs in 2 weeks, and out of nowhere I had cellulite on my arms.
Eating less and exercising more is NOT the answer. TRUST ME. I messed my hormones up so badly that I contemplated taking my own life. I wanted nothing to do with the fitness industry. As life would have it I was introduced to a metabolic nutritionist and she legitimately nursed me back to health. I was so exhausted I had to go part time at work and just focus on me. This was at the ripe old age of 27.
Here are my two words of advice nutrition wise this year:
FOOD IS MEDICINE.
Your body already has all the answers you just need to focus on cultivating AWARENESS and start listening to what your body is telling you.
I have taken the past 4 years and developed awareness around how food makes me feel. I can lift heavy again and the weight I gained EVENTUALLY came off. It was NOT by eating less and exercising. It took TIME and EFFORT and a SHIT TON of mistakes.
This year I continue to be grateful for all the amazing things my body does for me. Some people say moderation is for pussies. I disagree and maintain an 80/20 rule when it comes to my nutrition.
I have 3 SIMPLE rules that make my life easier:
I stay away from wheat. I don’t drink my calories. I eat food that I enjoy.
It can really be as simple as that 🙂
Learn more about Stacey:
Next up is Amanda of Sistas of Strength who will share with you her tips on how she is approaching nutrition as a pregnant, working mom!
So excited to be here with Keri and Stacey again this week as we GET REAL in 2015. (Hint, hint…follow along on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #getreal15 to join the fun!)
If you missed our last post on mindset for 2015, my name is Amanda Perry and I am a mom, wife, personal trainer and blogger. I own a gym, Skill of Strength, in North Chelmsford, MA, with my husband. Learn more about us at www.skillofstrength.com and www.sistasofstrength.com.
Without talking much about my history with food (yup, we all have one!), I’m gonna focus today on how I’m approaching a busy 2015 from a nutrition standpoint. I have a lot coming for me this year (baby #2 is due in June) so I’m working on getting rid of the notion that I need to do it all.
I have three main priorities in 2015 – taking care of myself during the rest of this pregnancy (and after the babe is born!), taking care of my family, and growing our business. When I get overwhelmed I just remember that it’s so much easier to do all three of these things when I feel 100%. A huge part of feeling great includes proper nutrition. It’s important for my own health and the health of my little-one-to-be that I’m not using pregnancy as an excuse to treat each day like an all-you-can-eat buffet, but it’s also not the time to focus on dieting or fat loss!
It’s easy when you’re pregnant to want to go a little wild with your nutrition. You can’t de-stress with wine (mmm wine!) and you’re going to gain weight no matter what you do. During my first trimester, I didn’t feel great. My nutrition was far from perfect, but I cut myself a little bit of slack since I knew eventually I’d crave vegetables again. And I do…YAY!
Similar to how I am keeping things simple and focused mindset-wise for 2015, I’m keeping my nutrition simple too. Even though I enjoy cooking, I’m not at a point where I have time to be overly creative with food all the time. When I like a certain meal and it makes me feel good, I simply keep it in the rotation often. If something ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.
I chose a few daily minimums to meet nutrition-wise to make sure I’m staying on track. Since I’m not a huge meat-eater, and tend to end up a little low on the protein side of things if I don’t think about it, I focus on eating at least 100g of protein each day. I also make sure to eat as many vegetables as humanly possible to help fill me up and ensure I’m taking advantage of all the nutrients they provide.
My nutrition tips for a busy 2015
Keep it simple. Find some go-to meals you love. Have a few daily minimums that you meet if that helps you stay on track instead of trying to achieve 100 goals at once.
Plan ahead. Go to the grocery store and take the time to prep plenty of foods for the week. It feels like it takes a lot of time, but I assure you it saves a lot of time and hassle during the week. Have a few go-to meals like omelets or easy-to-make salads that you can throw together quickly instead of calling the pizza man.
Remember, it’s about eating foods that make you feel good. If you focus on eating foods, and combinations of foods that make you feel good, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll also get stronger, feel better and lose body fat (if you’re not pregnant!).
Learn more about Amanda:
My personal nutrition goal for 2015 goal is to continue to find the balance between eating (and drinking – unlike Stacey I love drinking my calories in the form of wine :)) the foods that I love, while being able to maintain my physique, have energy to get through my workouts as well as keep up with my 4 year olds! I’ve struggled for a really long time with the “all or nothing” mindset when it comes to nutrition, but over the past 4 years or so (since having my twin boys) I’ve really started to take a much more relaxed approach and honestly, I’ve never been happier.
I’m passionate about educating women on the hormonal effects of food and teaching them that yes calories do matter, but the type of calories we eat and the hormonal effect they have on our bodies matter even more. Every single thing we eat creates a hormonal response that can either make us feel really good or really shitty. Figuring all that out for YOU, starts with awareness and recognizing how certain foods make you feel.
Do your food choices keep you satiated and satisfied, or do you feel restricted and bored? Do they give you energy, or do you feel like you’re gonna face plant on your computer at 3pm? Do you feel like you could eat the way you are eating forever? Or are you counting the hours until your “reward meal” every week? These feelings are all ways that your body is telling you if your nutrition habits are working for you, or against you. Pay attention.
Unfortunately a lot of women I know are so stuck on keeping calories under a certain number, or following some ridiculously strict plan, that they never actually pay attention to how foods are making them feel. Instead of listening to their body, the treat it like a math problem. I’m with Stacey on this one, calories in versus calories out, does NOT work long-term.
If you’ve struggled with the “all or nothing” mindset in the past, or you’re afraid of NOT tracking calories etc., taking a looser approach to nutrition can be scary. I know for myself, I didn’t trust that I could actually get results without having to plug everything in to a spreadsheet or an app, but honestly, you can. It takes trust, and patience, but if we can do it, so can you!!
Bottom line is however you eat, it has to work for you. It has to get you the results you are looking for, and you have to LOVE it so that you can do it consistently!
We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below and let us know if you have any questions!
Stay tuned because next week we’ll be back with our tips on everything exercise!!