While medication may be a necessary tool for those dealing with chronic forms of depression, most people can actually pull out of a depressive state utilizing one or more of the 5 steps listed below… medication free!Read More
The fitness world is FULL of ridiculous MYTHS!!! There is so much contradicting information floating around out there that is leaves us feeling confused and unsure of how move forward!
I want to discuss a common misconception in the fitness world:
WORKOUT TIME OF DAY
Q: Which is the better time to workout: morning or evening?
A: The time of day that feels best to you! PERIOD!!
While many of us have heard that "morning workouts are best", this may not be the case for everyone!
Morning workouts are great because, like eating breakfast, a morning workout will kickstart your metabolism! Morning workouts increase your caloric expenditure (calories burned) throughout your entire day, improve your mood, and help you feel energized! Studies show that morning workouts help you get better sleep at night! Many say that the best thing about a morning workout is YOU GET IT DONE AND OUT OF THE WAY so it is easier to stay consistent! It ensures that less things get in the way of your workout!
Unless you are someone like me... because to me, workouts before 9am are THE WORST!
If I workout too early in the morning, I get a headache AND a tummy ache, I feel sluggish, I feel cranky, and my workout just feels like a waste of time! I am unable to work as hard as I know I can work, so I just don't get the intensity I need to create an adaptation in my physique!
So should I just force myself to be a morning workout person even though I hate it?
No!! There are so many benefits to working out in the evening too!
Evening workouts are awesome because Strength and endurance are both higher in the afternoon/evening and the likelihood of injuries is decreased. Exercising in the evening improves performance and increased power due to a lower body temperature. Your muscles are more flexible since your body is more warmed up than it is in the morning. Protein synthesis peaks at this time of day, as well. Based on this, though a morning workout will increase your calories burned throughout your entire day, you could potentially burn more calories during your actual workout by working out in the evening! So really, the benefits equal out!
Don't fret about what time of day you are working out because there are different benefits to working out at any time of day you choose! The only key is to make sure it's the time of day that works best for your SCHEDULE and your ENERGY LEVELS! Choose the time that helps you stay CONSISTENT!
Now get get that workout and quit worrying about waking up at the crack of dawn!!
(This is a real picture of me trying to get an early morning workout on👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼😂)
Do you feel like your lack of confidence is holding you back from setting and achieving your goals?
What if I told you that the act of setting and achieving your goals is the thing that will build your confidence?!
If any of you are like me, this can seem like a total mind bender! In fact- this has been one of my huge obstacles to overcome!
I tend to play things safe. If I don’t trust that it’s a total SLAM DUNK move, I tend to just not go for it! I have always told myself that it’s because I am “methodical” and “smart” about the actions I take.... I never get myself into situations where I fall flat on my face.
The reality is- my “playing it safe” is less about making smart moves and more about my LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE. I play it SAFE because I don’t have the confidence in myself to take a risk! It not because I don’t “think” I can do it... it’s because I truly don’t KNOW! I have never taken a huge risk, so I honestly don’t KNOW what I have in me!
This gives me a lack of self confidence!
Because I play it safe, I don’t KNOW If I will rise to the occasion in a high stakes situation! Because I play it safe, I don’t know my full capabilities!
AND Because I play it safe, I am never living up to the full vision I have for myself!
So- although it may feel totally backwards and terrifying, the best way to build self confidence is to take action toward the thing that scares you!
Falling on your face is not a failure, Falling on your face is liberating! Once you stand back up after falling on your face the first time, you no longer have fear of falling on your face! You build confidence with experience!
It’s not CONFIDENCE that creates success. It’s successful behavior that creates confidence. It is taking action toward doing the thing that scares you! It is taking the leap of faith and showing yourself what you are REALLY made of!
#success #personalgrowth #selfconfidence #takerisks #mindset #fitmindset #healthymindhealthybody #utahpersonaltrainer #onlinepersonaltrainer #selflove
I’m a huge fan of moderation.
If you want a cinnamon roll every now and then, just have one!
It has been my experience that when you tell yourself you CAN’T have something, you all of a sudden obsess over that thing!.... Multiple days in a row of obsessing over something could cause you to cave and binge out! That one cinnamon roll you could have had on Wednesday could turn into a whole pan of cinnamon rolls on Sunday!
HOWEVER- we also know that it will be really challenging to achieve our goals if we are consuming cinnamon rolls EVERYDAY... especially if we have not built up our metabolism to support daily intake of high sugar/ high fat/ high calorie foods!
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
This is where healthy versions of our favorite foods come into play!
If you are trying to cut back on sweets, but feel like cutting them out would turn you into Captain Obsesso, try a healthy substitute!
WHAT MAKES A GOOD HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE?
I like to look for recipes with these ingredients:
•oat flour or wheat flour instead of white flour
•honey, xylitol or stevia instead of sugar (I don’t like Splenda or Sweet n Lo... I’ll cover that later!)... or just reduced sugar
• added protein (protein powder or eggwhites)
• coconut oil, Greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, or applesauce instead of vegetable oil
Here is a link to my favorite cinnamon protein bread recipe!!
(Remember- calories still count! Just because it is healthier doesn’t mean that it is calorie free!)
Drop your favorite healthy recipe below if you’ve got it!!👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
TOPIC OF THE DAY: WILLPOWER
Ahhhh, this is such a great topic!! Let me start by asking you a few questions (feel free to comment below with your answers, or just ask your self in your head)
Have you ever started a workout routine, with the intention of staying consistent, and then gave up in 1-3 weeks?
Have you ever started a nutrition program guaranteed to get you fast results, and couldn’t stick with it for more than 1-3 weeks?
Have you ever been disappointed in yourself and thought, “if I just had more WILLPOWER I could stick with this!”?
Do you ever feel like your perceived lack of WILLPOWER gives you anxiety when you think about starting a new workout program or diet because you feel like you are just going to fail AGAIN?
I’m going to guess that most of us- if not all of us- have been there before.
There are some of us that have been there MANY times!
So what is the deal?? Do we all just lack the WILLPOWER it takes to achieve our health and fitness goals?
It’s not that we lack WILLPOWER, it’s that we often MISUSE it!!
In order to utilize WILLPOWER properly, we have to understand it better....
WHAT IS WILLPOWER?
Willpower is the CONTROL exerted to do something (or not do something) in opposition of an impulse.
In other words, it is using mental focus to physically do the opposite of what you want to be doing
It’s the mechanism you use to NOT eat a donut when you really WANT a donut....
HOW DOES IT FUNCTION?
In a metaphorical sense, It functions much like a muscle!
When willpower is used in short bursts and given adequate recovery time, it can get called upon frequently throughout the day with no issue!....
However, when willpower is called upon too often throughout the day for excessive amounts of time, your willpower (much like a muscle) runs out of fuel. It fatigues. It burns out. It reaches a point of failure.
If you burnout your willpower too many times without proper recovery time, you could potentially BLOWOUT your willpower!
This results in you acting on impulse alone, making you feel like you are not in control of yourself or your actions.... making you feel crazy and ashamed.
Is this making sense?? If you over use your willpower, you run out of willpower!!!
SO WHAT DO WE DO TO AVOID WILLPOWER BURNOUT/ BLOWOUT?
Willpower is called upon in the presence of internal CONFLICT.
We use it when we are getting ourselves to do something that we don’t really WANT to do.
Now you may be thinking, “well- Mackenzie, I WANT to eat healthy and exercise every day! I WANT to change my lifestyle! There should be no conflict!”
I’m going to tell you- you may THINK you want change, but NO ONE really WANTS change.
The funny thing about CHANGE is-ANY change, even a change you KNOW will be SO GOOD for you, creates anxiety! Seriously!!
We are creatures of habit and we feel COMFORTABLE in routine.... even if it’s a unhealthy routine!
You could change your hair color and have everyone compliment you on your hair color, but you will still have a bit of anxiety adjusting to your new hair color.
You could buy a new toothbrush because your old one is totally frayed and you will still get just a little bit of anxiety the first couple of times you use it.... “this doesn’t feel right...I miss my old toothbrush”
So can you imagine the level of stress that can come from asking yourself to change what you eat, how often you eat, how you workout, and how often you workout all at the same time??
Imagine the amount of willpower it would take to get yourself to do ALL those things you don’t want to do (because of your inherent instinct to resist change) throughout the day!
For most- it will take more WILLPOWER than you have!
IN ORDER TO AVOID WILLPOWER BURNOUT/ BLOWOUT, YOU MUST AVOID MAKING TOO MANY CHANGES AT ONCE. You have to be realistic about your commitments!
HEALTHY MINDSET TAKE AWAY OF THE DAY:
When starting a new health and fitness program, change 1-2 things at a time, implement them until they become a routine, THEN add the next 1-2 things!
Instead of going from working out NEVER to working out every single day, just start working out 1-2 days per week. Once that becomes comfortable, add another day!
Instead of going from eating fast food and sweets all day to eating 6 perfectly calculated and evenly spaced meals, each with balanced protein, carbs and fat, try just changing ONE meal! Focus on eating a healthy dinner every night, and once that becomes a routine, change the next meal!
Now, you may be able to mentally handle making more than 1-2 changes at once, and that is great!Just be HONEST WITH YOURSELF!
What are you REALLY willing to commit to and what amount of stress will it REALLY cause? Err on the side of caution! If you truly want to change your LIFESTYLE, there should be no rush.... just consistent forward progress.
But the main take away should be:
IF YOUR WILLPOWER IS SHOT, you need to ramp things up at a pace that you requires less willpower exertion through out the day, allowing for more consistent and permanent change!!
The coolest thing about the ramp up method is- 6 weeks from now, you will have implemented all of the changes you originally wanted to make without feeling like you want to cry every day!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!
My Fitness Journey- A New Understanding
I smacked that wall. SMACKED IT! I Smacked that dang thing HARD.
Im so thankful I did too! I seriously feel like that is when I woke up. It was in smacking the wall that I was able to stand back up and ask myself a few questions.
"What am I doing?" "Why am I doing this?" "What do I need to do differently?" "What is working for me?" "What is not?"
Smacking the wall was the best thing that happened to me. IT inspired me to file for divorce, It motivated me to take some time away from personal training and move into gym management, and It made me begin to eliminate stress from my life. Smacking the wall gave me an opportunity to look into how STRESS AFFECTS the body, how stress damages the metabolism, and how stress affects your mind.... the way you think!
This catapulted me into studying the MIND.
The conscious vs. the subconscious. Positive neural pathways vs. negative neural pathways. Our thoughts vs. our actions.
What is Willpower? What is motivation? Do these things even exist?
Why do we act differently in our auto-pilot mode from the way we actually want to act? Why do we sabotage our selves in the pursuit of goals we really want to achieve? Why do we criticize ourselves SO MUCH? Why wouldn't we just be our own biggest fan? Where the heck does low self esteem even come from??
What is depression? What is anxiety? Why do they exist? What can we do about these things??
Why does it feel like a constant battle inside our brains????
I studied it all, and all the missing pieces started to come together.
My findings were mind blowing... and these findings have helped me develop my current training Philosophy! these findings are what I want to share with you!
My Fitness Journey- The Evolution of my Training Career
I became a personal trainer when I was 19 years old.
I was obsessed with fitness, so It was easy for me to start my career with a bang. I was full with clients with-in a couple of months and I had already had a reputation for being one of the club's "fat loss specialists".
I had success because I am fun to be around (if I may say so), but more-so because my workouts were TOUGH and I was SUPER STRICT with my clients on their nutrition.
Why wouldn't I be? Thats what worked for me! That was my safe zone! I knew that If was super strict on my nutrition and worked out as hard as possible as often as possible that I could maintain this feeling of power and control I felt I had one myself.
So for the next few years, I would have clients that would stick around, but more often than not- I was burning my people the F*** out!
When their progress would slow down, I would cut their calories. If that didn't work, I would add more cardio. If that didn't work, I would schedule two-a-day workout programs. My clients would definitely get results, but they were smacking into walls left and right!
I honestly did not understand what was happening! It was simple thermodynamics! It was calories in vs. calories out! Why were my clients' bodies not responding? Why were people quitting on me?! I knew my shiz, right?! So why did this piece of the puzzle not make sense?
I started doing some research into GOAL SETTING and VISUALIZATION techniques, and this seemed to help. I was convinced that if my clients used better goal setting and visualization techniques, then they could generate more WILLPOWER and they would stay on track... but somehow, they kept getting burned out......
Then in the background, personal issues started popping up. My marriage (I'm speaking about my first marriage... I have since re-married) was having some serious problems. I had married very young, and some heavy heavy shiz started to go down only about one year in. There were two deaths in the family, there was an affair (come to find- affairs with an S), there was alcohol abuse. There was A LOT going on.
My ways of dealing with these issues were: take on extra clients to stay busy, take on extra group fitness classes, stay super strict on my diet, drink TONS of caffeine, go tanning every day, get my nails done, get my eyelashes done, get hair extensions, set goals and do visualization techniques to generate more willpower (of course)....and.... to start binge eating again.
Yup, The binge eating started making its way back into the picture. I was so embarrassed and ashamed!! I thought I had crushed that terrible habit!!! I couldn't believe that I was right back to binging in the presence of stress! I justified my actions because I had not to gone back to throwing up... I was a personal trainer. I was better than that.
Unfortunately, I felt a strong compulsion to throw up.
So- I did the only thing I could think of to stay ahead of the binging.... I started doing insane amounts of cardio. INSANE AMOUNTS!! I started chasing my calories. Some days, there were A LOT of calories to chase.
What I didn't know at the time was- cardio in excessive amounts can actually add stress to your body. my strict dieting, binge eating, cardio craziness, and my home life stress actually began to damage my metabolism once again. No amount of cardio or goal setting was staying ahead of my broken metabolism, resulting in my gaining weight once again! Those 20 lbs I thought I had lost forever began creeping their way right on back. I could not believe it.
I was frustrated! How could this be happening?! I was working out A LOT! I was being so strict on my food!!! Yeah I would binge out, but I would make sure I would burn that amount of calories during my cardio sessions!
I figured I would just have to work harder to stay ahead.
I wish I could tell you that I had an epiphany right then and there, but I didn't. I proceeded with the extreme approach, convinced I needed to set better goals, I needed to have better willpower to be more motivated to keep up with my exercise. I continued to push this narrative to my clients. It was the only way I KNEW I could get them results.
It took me a few more years of this insanity to finally hit a wall.
My Fitness Journey- Knowledge is Power
My experience with my first personal trainer changed my life. For real, I owe that guy big time.
My trainer helped pull me out of the darkness. Or rather, he helped me pull myself out of the darkness. Either way, the timing could not have been better. Fitness was the perfect thing the perfect time to help me shake my disordered eating habits.
First thing my trainer did for me was give me support. That was huge for me. I was feeling so isolated and so alone in my extreme dieting. I felt embarrassed that I was working so hard and gaining weight. I felt embarrassed that I had a habit of binging and purging. I felt so much shame about it that there was no way I could tell anyone about it. It was so nice to have someone to talk to about craziness, someone who I trusted went going to judge me. I felt so good to have someone to talk to about my goals, and it was especially nice to have him re-assure me, without judgement, that anything was possible. I loved having someone in my corner.
The second thing he did for me was help me to understand how nutrition and exercise worked together to help me get my metabolism back on track. He helped me understand that I needed CALORIES to thrive (calories!... who'd a thunk!). He helped me understand what impact my disordered eating had on my body, and helped me make a plan to get things back on track.
The third thing he did was teach me how to DO WORK! Now let me just say, his workouts were completely insane, but I will tell you this- his workouts helped me gain a passion for exercise. That dude helped me LOVE my workouts. Not just going through the motions, but getting up and giving 110% every time you hit the gym. It is intensity that changes the body. It is intensity that creates the adaptation in your muscle. It is the intensity that helps you build mental toughness! The workouts with my trainer made me feel like I accomplished something great for the day. They helped me build confidence in myself and my abilities.
So- thats when the tide changed. I had knowledge, so I had power. I fixed my nutrition, I quit barfing, and I PUT IN WORK at the gym. I trained so hard, so consistently, that I even squatted 315 bs for 6 reps that year. I built 10 lbs of muscle and lost 25 lbs of fat. I was shredded. I was jacked. I was yolked. I was whatever the gym bros wanted to call it. For the first time in my life, I was proud of my body and proud of the work I had put in to get there! I could NOT get enough of that feeling!!!!!
It was such an amazing feeling that I decided I wanted to help others feel the same way! I decided to switch my major from broadcast journalism to exercise and sports science, I enrolled with the national academy of sports medicine, and I got certified to be a personal trainer. I was going to change the world one person at a time by helping them learn how to lose weight.
And you'd think I would have learned my lesson about the dangers of "being extreme" after overcoming binging and purging, losing a bunch of body fat, and certifying to become a personal trainer.....BUT... I didn't. (twist!!)
What happened next, you ask??
Well- what happened was this-
While I had gained all the knowledge i needed to help myself and others GET IN SHAPE, I still didn't fix what was going on inside my head. I didn't even know that was something that needed to happen. I had no idea that the battle in my mind would change form.
So instead of ridding myself of dysfunction, I just shifted it to something else.
My Fitness Journey- The Dysfunction
Freshman year of collage. Such an exciting year for most people!
Talk about the biggest MIND F*** year of all years for me.
Maybe you can relate...
I went from being surrounded by the same walls, with the same people, in the same group of friends, being told exactly what to do, having an "identity" (or at lest what I thought was an identity ), feeling like a total champ, feeling ready to take on the world... to immediately feeling like a nobody, living and operating in a whole new environment, with all new people, where no one knows who you are or how cool you were. I felt stripped of my identity, and that freaked me the f*** out.
Graduating high school made me feel completely lost.
On top of that, my home life was falling apart. My dad had entered rehab for alcoholism and my mom decided she had had enough. My parents were getting divorced. It was absolutely what was best for everyone, but I still felt my world crashing down.
So, in order to take control of the chaos in my life, I started dieting. And because I was in a new school, around new people, and had an opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be, I decided I wanted to be WAY skinny. Like runway model skinny. For some reason, I thought being ultra skinny would make all my problems go away!
I put a plan (?) together...
I was going to go to the field house every day and workout, and I was going to restrict my calories to 300 per day. The math added up beautifully! I would be burning SO many more calories than I was taking in that there was no way that I wouldn't be runway skinny within like 6 weeks.
And by golly.... my plan worked!
Well- It worked at first....
You see, I really could only keep that up for like 5 days. In the first 5 days, I remember losing like 6 lbs or something,. I remember feeling SUPER pumped, but I remember that I was NOT feeling ok. I was dizzy, I was irritable, I had brain fog, and most of all- I was hungry AF.
After 5 days on my extreme diet, my biological instincts hijacked my plan. I remember opening the fridge and shoveling anything I could grab into my mouth. That was literally the most satisfying meal I can remember eating ever in my whole life. I laid on the floor of my dorm feeling SO FULL, but so GOOD!......until the guilt set in....
What had I just done??!
All my hard work from the week just got tossed out the window!
But then I had a thought- maybe if I threw all up real quick, it wouldn't get converted into fat! Maybe if I threw it up real quick, it would be like it didn't even count!
So I did just that. I threw up everything I could, and in my head, the crisis was averted.
And that is pretty much how things went for my entire freshman year. I would diet as hard as I could, and then when I couldn't take it any longer, I would binge out and throw it all up.
Sounds awesome right??! Sounds like a solid plan! Sounds like a way to have your cake and eat it too!!
Well- Im not sure if you have heard of metabolic distress, but my "diet plan" pretty much jacked up every hormone in my body and I became a fat storing machine.
I wish I could say that my freshman 25 (yes 25) came from partying hard with all my friends, but it didn't. It came from extreme dieting and frequent binging and purging.
Oh- and its fair to mention, that NONE of my problems were resolved form all of that- just in case you were wondering!
At the end of my freshman year, I decided enough was enough. I finally realized my plan was not working and what I was doing to myself was not healthy.
I decided to move back to my home town and get my shiz together. I switched schools, got a new roommate, and I got a Personal Trainer!
My personal trainer pulled me out of the darkness!
My Personal Fitness Journey-
the beginning of the madness
I was in 7th grade the first time i tried counting my calories (WTF??), but I remember my sophomore year of high school is the year when I started to become completely body image obsessed.
It was sophomore year when I reached 5' 9" and 155lbs. I know 5' 9" and 155 lbs is a completely healthy height to weight ratio; but as a high school cheerleader and dancer where the average height is 5'3" and average weight is 110, I remember feeling like an Ogre.
I tried a variety of fad diets throughout my sophomore and junior year; including but not limited to: atkins diet, south beach diet, low fat diet (stay under 7g of fat for the day WTAF) and calorie counting (staying under 1100 cals per day- WTAF again!).
I would lose 10 lbs then gain it right back over and over again until the end of my junior year. Th e end of my junior year and into that summer is where I really had some success.
Senior year I stumbled upon this mediterranean diet where you only eat fish, fruit and vegetables (trust me- my house smelled AWESOME). There was not counting involved, so I was really pumped about it! My mom did it with me, so I had some support, and by following this diet, I went from 155lbs to 133 lbs in just a couple of months. Man- was that just the best feeling in the world!
Losing 22 lbs was the pretty much a game changer for me. I was so much more confident in myself, I was getting more attention from guys, I was getting noticed by girls on my team, It was fun to go shopping for close, I was totally on cloud 9! Any self esteem issues I had, any drama I was dealing with at school, and any problems I was dealing with at home seemed to be completely eradicated by my losing 22 lbs.
That is where the dysfunction set in. I had subconsciously labeled my WEIGHT LOSS as the solution to my problems. I had subconsciously attached my WEIGHT to my self worth, and I had subconsciously associated DIETING as a means to gain control in the presence of chaos.