Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jessica's Journey Results!!

Jessica started her journey back in January and since then has lost a total of 59lbs, 5 dress sizes, 12% body fat and gained a significant amount of strength and endurance. She competed in this year's Naturally Fit Transformation Competition where she came in 4th place and won a $4000 scholarship to PFTA. Here is her story...

My Journey to Naturally Fit Transformation Contest
July 2012

This transformation did not happen over night. It had been stewing in my head and heart for as long as I have been an adult. The feelings of knowing that I had been a varsity athlete in high school and what I turned into were disappointing. I have spent most of my life as the “bigger girl.” Sometimes it was tough to hear but I managed it because I was still an athlete. Once I hit college, I decided to focus on things other than sports. Of course my party life was a top priority and with that came horrible eating habits and lifestyle choices. I had made gradual changes and commitments to working out but eating properly was impossible. My doctor told me that I was fine now, but in a few years that I would be diabetic.

The best decision I made for my health was walking into Woodward Crossfit last year. I knew I was ready for a challenge, however I was unaware of the positive impact it would have on my life. It’s funny to look back and remember that I would throw up every day during workouts but always come back for more. Unfortunately, my nutrition prohibited me from seeing the results I desired. This concept of the Paleo diet was completely foreign to me. I would do 30 day challenges, lose weight, get excited, then go right back to old habits and gain it all back.

My coach/nutritionist, Emily Talley, and I talked about my goals and entering a figure competition was one of them. I wanted to sign up for this because I knew I needed accountability, and walking on stage in a bikini was motivation. The question was how was I going to be successful. Emily suggested that I set up my support system over the Holidays. I think this was the best strategy to take on this goal. I let everyone know at work, my friends, and family that I was embarking on this journey and to please be on my side. I will say my relationships changed as I altered my habits and relationship with food.

Seven months into my journey, I have lost 52 pounds as well as drop 5 dress sizes!!! I am so proud. This transformation was not just physical, but mental and spiritual as well. When I look in the mirror I see someone that I love, and when I love me the world reciprocates how I feel about myself. My progress has entered other areas of my life. I am more disciplined with my finances and my work ethic is stronger then ever. I am so grateful for this opportunity to prove to myself that I can do anything. This is only the beginning. I plan on competing in a figure competition this fall and hope to become a competitive crossfitter someday. I wake up every morning to the affirmation that I love myself enough to make everyday count in the gym and the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jessica's Journey Update!!

Here's an update on how Jessica has been doing on her road to the Naturally Fit Transformation Competition. She has been doing amazing! Her dedication and persistence is inspiring. She has not wavered from the plan once and I cannot wait to see what sort of transformations we will see in the next 9 weeks. So far she is down almost 9% body fat and 3 dress sizes!

Sooooo I am 9 weeks out from this transformation contest and I am so excited. This has been a wonderful and challenging experience.  In the very beginning it was nice to see the results just show up so quickly. It feels amazing to watch my body change, I feel so much better inside, and my work outs are improving. As I get closer to my goal weight, the pounds are not coming off so quickly. During our bimonthly weigh ins, Emily has added some more work outs and of course changes of my diet. I will say the morning cardio sessions are the hardest to accomplish. I am just not a morning person. So my plan to over come my sleeping habits is to have my all my stuff packed and in bed by 10. If I cannot joyfully wake up I can rely on my boyfriend giving me a wake up call. He is at work by 5 am and he lives in Salt Lake City. And last, I surround myself with the thought that I love myself enough that I can follow my diet, wake up for my work outs, and not give up for the next 9 weeks. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Michelle's Mission Complete!

Here's a summary of how Michelle's Zooma Half Marathon went. I'm excited to report that a paleo lifestyle not only helped her achieve her goal, but she excelled at it!! It's amazing what can happen when you take someone with great athletic ability and tweak their diet to promote recovery and reduce inflammation. Way to go Mom :)

Mission accomplished, and then some….  What a great reason to visit Emily during my spring break – to run the Zooma Half Marathon at the way-too-beautiful Hilton Resort outside of Austin.  My goal was to run under 1:55:00, my previous personal best.  Through bobbing blue bonnets and incessantly rolling hills, I managed to run 1:47:21, place fourth in the master’s division (runners over 40), first in my age division (50-54), and 23rd out of 1,036 runners.  Emily coached me through the last .1 of the race, challenging me to pick up the pace and sprint to the finish.  I maintained a paleo (primal) diet throughout my training, and regular weight-training and yoga to supplement at least 35-40 miles of trail/road running a week.  At this point my training and diet are ingrained in my over-all lifestyle, and I feel great.  A side note:  I ran a 10K three weeks ago in Albuquerque in 45:22, which placed me in second place of women, and 11th overall in a field of 108 runners.  I’ll be qualifying for the National Senior Olympics in the 10K in Las Cruces this July in order to compete in the national games the following summer (2013) in Cleveland, Ohio.  Coming up this weekend – the Jemez Mountain Half Marathon – the mother of all trail runs up and down thousands of feet of elevation.  Can’t wait!!  Thanks, Emily. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm Back...with snacks!!

It's been far too long since my last post. The easiest way to sum up why is school...'nuff said.

I'm sure you are all wondering how Michelle's Mission turned out and what's happening with Jessica's Journey. Well, don't fret! I will have posts from both of them within the week :)

In the mean time, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is "What do I eat for snacks?". The first thing to do is stop thinking of meals v. snacks. "Snacks" can quite simply be smaller versions of "meals", like a small portion of leftovers. The key to success is preparation! Make sure you are cooking multiple meals at a time and cooking more food than what you plan to eat at that moment to ensure you have food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Always have your cooler/lunchbox with you and fill it with more than you think you need for the day, this way you will always have access to clean food! Here are some more ideas for snacks that you can mix and match:
  • Sliced Veggies (bell pepper, green beans, snap peas, jicama, cucumber,  carrots, etc.)
  • Guacamole/avocado
  • Boiled eggs
  • Deli meat (nitrite/nitrate free)
  • Jerky (nitrite/nitrate free, gluten/soy free!)
  • Smoked Salmon (always wild caught!)
  • Olives (olives, salt and water only!)
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Nuts (in moderation!)
Happy snacking!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Michelle's Mission #3

Whenever I would begin anything that was going to be good for me, I would
get a couple of days in row, and then my desire would lapse, and I'd be
back to old behaviors. Then, I began to set goals that I could meet ONLY
if I stuck with the plan at hand. These goals had to be public,
otherwise, there wasn't really any consequence for failing to meet them.
My first was getting in shape to take first in my age group in my first
competitive 5k run (I aim high). Thank God that I accomplished the goal!

The goals I set are my motivating force. They are also realistic. I'm not
trying to qualify for the Olympics or anything, but each goal is an
incremental step in my overall desire to stay fit and strong well into my
later years.

Here's a glimpse at my current goals/accomplishments:

Training consistent for the past three weeks: 4-6-4-6-4-12-rest = 36
miles (one day of speed work), yoga 2x a week @ 40 minutes (abs and other
sets), spin 2x a week @ 60 minutes, weight training 2x a week @ 20
SLEEP @ 8 hours a night (the most difficult thing to adhere to...)

Upcoming: 5K Cupid's Chase, Santa Fe, February 11.
Goal: Under 23:00. I ran a 23 and change in training last week.

Later: 10K Shamrock Shuffle, Albuquerque, March 17
Goal: Around 48:00
Current PR: 48:13

Later still: 1/2 Marathon, Austin, March 31
Goal: Around 1:45
Current PR: 1:55 (at 9,000 ft.)

One last thing:
Discoveries this week: Bangers and Mash!! and the BEST "Breakfast
Muffins" -- sweet and delicious, sans grain-flour or added sweetener. Both from Paleo Comfort Foods.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jessica's Journey #2

I LOVE this post from Jessica!! I have not doubt that this girl is gonna rock the Naturally Fit Competition!

So it has been about 3 weeks since I began this challenge. I have received many questions on how it’s going and if I have caved yet. Well it’s going and NO….I have not cheated on my diet. My goal is something that I think about every hour of every day. I wake up every morning with my lunch and snacks already packed from the night before. If I have a lunch meeting, I let my hosts know about my dietary restrictions. The idea is to prevent any kind of hurdles that might come up. You know, work smarter not harder.  My friend told me that I was obsessed and then questioned me when this is over. Well my friend, this will never be over. As long as I continue to fight this battle of obesity and all the ugly that comes with it, the mindfulness of nutrition will never go away. And to the accusation of being obsessed: I saw a motivational picture on Facebook that said, “Obsessed is what the lazy call the dedicated.” I couldn’t agree more. 


Friday, January 20, 2012

Don't like it, CHANGE IT!!

This picture that I found floating around on Facebook is the inspiration for this post. I will apologize in advance if I come off a little harsh here, but I feel it is necessary .

As a trainer and nutrition consultant I come across people who want to loose weight, gain weight, and everything in between. What I notice for most however, is that they want all these great results but don't want to put the work in! Everyone's always looking for a quick fix. Well, news flash sweetheart, THAT DOES NOT EXIST!! To loose weight, keep it off and look great forever takes WORK!
You can work out until you are blue in the face but if your nutrition is not in check you simply will not get the results!!! If you are working out, whether that's running, CrossFit, biking, yoga, etc and wondering why you just can't seem to shed that extra body fat, GET REAL!! It's time to check your nutrition.  Nutrition + Exercise = Success!! It's not one or the other and there is no such thing as "working off those Twinkies"!!
Nutrition can be the hardest part for most. "I don't have time" "I don't know what to eat" "it's too expensive to eat healthy" or  You simply can't quit the beer, pasta, bread, cookies, brownies, cake...must I continue. "I have to give up beer?!" Seriously people!
Before I go any further, ask yourself "how bad do I want it?". If you are happy in your current state, whatever that may be, Great! If not, suck it up and continue reading.
Let's break these down
"I don't have time"--Make time!! Prep your veggies in advance, make large dishes all at once. Example: I will have chicken baking in the oven, while stew is cooking in the crockpot, veggies are steaming and eggs are boiling on the stove top and I'm making beef patties on the Foreman. That's 4 protein options are 3 veggie options. If you have a grill, utilize it and grill all your meat and veggies at once! (I live in an apartment and don't have that option)
"I don't know what to eat"-- Meat, veggies, fruit and fat!
 See my Nutritional Philosophy page for further resources or contact me for a one-on-one and we'll talk it out :)
"It's too expensive to eat healthy"-- Hospital bills and medication are expensive! Cancer is expensive! Diabetes is expensive! Invest in your health! That being said, I will be doing a  post on this topic soon. For now, don't get hung up on organic or grass fed. Just do the best you can with the resources you have and remember that meat and veggies will always be a better option than bagels and pasta!!
Carb-a-vores-- this is an addiction!! Dopamine is released when you eat carb laden foods like breads and pasta. Just stop!! It's the only way to curb the addiction.

If you bitch about your love handles, flabby thighs or beer belly, STOP! Just like the picture says, put that energy into doing something about it. Throw out all your processed food and junk that you know is not helping your situation. Head to the grocery store and stock up on meat, eggs, vegetables and fruit. Don't allow yourself anymore "cheat meals" that turn in to "cheat weekends" then to "cheat weeks"! Make every workout and don't allow yourself excuses to miss them. Get adequate sleep! WORK to make your goals and look good in your bathing suit, fit into your polo shirt, or tighten the belt another notch. Not only will you look amazing, you'll be healthy and feel great too! After accomplishing your goals you can walk around strong and proud that YOU made it happen!
So, again, ask yourself "How bad do I want it" and make the necessary lifestyle changes to make it happen. If you don't make those changes,  then don't bitch!