Move it!!

With all the fancy apps and gadgets out there it can be confusing on which ones to use or not use.  Do we need the most expensive ones on the market?  Thousands of apps on our phones to pick from.  Then of course we have to  buy workout shoes and workout clothes…  I mean, we have to look good and feel good about working out! Right?!?

I think with a little research you can find the right app, fitness trackers, shoes and clothes.  You have to do what is right for YOU!  Not what is the “in” thing at the moment.  Some of those gadgets I swear you have to be a rocket scientist just to operate them, that and I am not tech savy at all!

Apps to chose from if you don’t have a fitness tracker are my fitness pal,  google fitness, workout trainer, Samsung Health….. the list goes on and on… try them out and see which one you like, see which one you understand and can follow.

I have a fitness tracker… my good ol fitbit, I love this thing!  I have it sunk with my phone so I can add in food intake, water intake, my weight goal… etc…  I got a new Flex 2 for Christmas and I like because it’s waterproof and I have it set so it reminds me to move every hour.  I don’t wear this one every day as there is no time display and that drives me nuts but when I get in the pool to water walk in a few months it will come in very handy because it’s waterproof and the fitbit is not!

Whatever is going to keep you moving and help hold you accountable is a great thing!

Last blog post I shared with you “why” we need to exercise… because your body releases Nitric Oxide which is like releasing shots of medicine into our bodies!!  Exercising prevents clogging of vessels, reopens clogged vessels, exercise makes our internal medicine stronger, exercise lowers blood cholesterol and makes more blood vessels.

How many of us have dreaded doing a workout or going to the gym but AFTER we workout we actually feel better!! And not too mention we get to give ourselves a little pat on the back for getting over that hill of doing it!  Remember this feeling!  Remember why you are doing this…  FOR YOUR HEALTH!! Make every day count, make every day matter!  No one is going to do it for you… no one can make you change… only YOU!  STRIVE & RISE!!  Go do a workout, you will thank yourself later!

Why Do I Need to Exercise?

What is the best exercise to do?  The one your going to do!! Make it fun, change it up and most importantly you don’t have to start out crazy….

How long should you exercise?  First, make sure you check with your Dr before starting any exercise program… it is recommended to start out at 10- 20 mins a day, six days a week.  Build up from here, add to your time as you work out. Walking is a great way to start out.  Walking faster is more efficient than walking longer.  Exercise to feel good, not to just burn calories.

Most of us think of exercise as a chore, just another thing added to our long list of things to do.  If we set our alarms 30 minutes earlier to get up for work so we can do a workout, how many of us hit that snooze alarm and go right back to sleep?  I’m guilty for sure! It seemed like a good idea when I went to bed but not so good in the morning!

Or are you one of those people that say, “I’m gonna go to the gym right after work, before I even sit down for the evening, or I’m gonna go for a walk when I get home or get on the treadmill?  Then it never happens!

Why do we need to exercise? This was one of my Ah Ha! Moments!  Since the beginning of time we have all heard, “exercise is important for our health”… “wanna lose weight, then you need to exercise” UGH!!!!  My question has always been why? Other than the common factor it helps us to lose weight.  But what does it really do for the body?  What happens?  I’ve often heard if you incorporate weight lifting then it burns calories well after the workout but I still never understood “WHY” exercise was important.  Other than it’s good for our hearts etc.. So let me explain this the best I can that helps me every time I sit too long or when I don’t wanna work out…

Bare with me here and don’t quit reading because this will make sense… this is what I was taught through my schooling at Dr Sears Wellness Institute…  it is also one of four workshops I offer for group and one on one coaching…

This is a picture of what your endothelium looks like… what is an endothelium?  The endothelium is located in your blood vessels and is the largest endocrine system in your body!  Spread out it would be larger than several tennis courts!

    (courtesy of Dr Sears Wellness Institute)

 

What does it do then? Endothelium is your personal internal medicine pharmacy. HUH? What the hell does that mean? When you exercise/MOVE your body releases Nitric Oxide which prompts the body to make it’s own medicines. Nitric Oxide lowers the highs… high blood pressure, high cholesterol.  Basically, you are getting your blood flowing… when you sit for long periods of time such as at work or sitting in front of the tv, your blood of course is flowing but not like when your up moving around or exercising.

(Picture courtesy of Dr Sears Wellness Institute)

In left hand picture you can see your medicine bottles at the bottom of the pic are closed.  The yellow stuff above the medicine bottles is plaque or what we call “sticky” stuff that gets in your bloodstream and slows the blood flow down, leading to…. bingo!  You got it…  CLOTS!  Heart disease, high cholesterol. The food in the top right hand corner is not “real” food, it’s processed food and fast food.  You see how the red blood cells in the center of that pic are more together and not spread out.  It starts to build a traffic jam and narrows the arteries and the medicine bottles can’t open and release the nitric oxide.

In the right hand picture it shows someone who moves more and you will see at the bottom of the picture how the medicine bottles are open!  The food in the right hand corner is of fish,  fruits and veggies. You will also notice how the blood cells are spread out, widening the arteries.  No “sticky” stuff is accumulating and the blood is flowing freely!

Bottom line…  if your internal pharmacy is CLOSED it means more health problems and shorter life span.  If your pharmacy is OPEN then less health problems and longer life span!

So next time your exercising think about what your doing for your body and that is releasing Nitric Oxide.  Think about exercise  as more than just being a chore or a task you dread… this is saving your life!  It is preventing major health factors!  Every little bit of movement or exercise helps!  Quit making excuses!

Scale vs Measurements

Ok, so you got on the scale and the number made your eyes pop out as much as your waste band has been growing!  Funny, not funny!

This year is a new year and you decided THIS is gonna be your year!  Now you have made this vow many times over but this is it!  Your gonna do it!  No looking back!

So we begin… we either love the scale or we hate it! As someone that has struggled for years with the battle, I know it’s real.  It’s about as real as the addiction I have to food… and the curse of the  scale or a full length mirror!

What I have learned is… it isn’t about what the scale says as much as it is the measurements.  Think about this… if you weigh yourself every day or multiple times a day, the scale is going to fluctuate… your body is constantly changing throughout the day…  and as long as your weight number is going down all is good with the world and gives us a positive feeling but if that number goes up negative thoughts come into play.  I was told by my personal trainer years ago to ditch the scale, he allowed me to weigh myself every 2 weeks.  And it was rough at first because of course since I was working out and lifting weights, I was gaining weight buuuuuuut I was losing inches!!  We took measurements once a week, we did that on the same day and time. And when I weighed I weighed every 2 weeks same day, same time…

Now fast forward to today and I apply the same principle.  Not only did he teach me this but I learned about this when I became a health coach.  The size of your waist is a very strong indicator of your overall health!! Abdominal fat releases chemicals into the bloodstream that harm our bodies and cause increased risk for health problems!

What is your body type?

 

Toxic waist raises the “highs”…. High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood fats.  This results in diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, Alzheimers, mood disorders, etc.  The bloodstream carries all these toxins that we store so you can imagine it effects everything in our bodies!

Toxic waist increases our chances for diseases!!

A women’s waist should be no greater than 35 inches and a man’s waste should be no more than 40 inches.

Did you know that when you go to the Dr if you are overweight or obese the new term now is pre diabetic?  What does that mean? Being overweight or obese increases your chances of becoming diabetic! Obesity accounts for 80-85% of the risk for developing type 2 diabetes!!  So in other words… your waist size matters!!

The scale can go up or down from day to day but your waist measurement is what counts!

So if your thinking of losing weight don’t put so much emphasis on the scale as you do measuring your waist.  When you go shopping for new clothes because you lost 20 lbs you don’t want to buy the same size, that 20 lbs wouldn’t mean as much to you as if you got to buy a smaller pair of pants. SIZE MATTERS! So if you have that pair of jeans from a decade ago that you want to get back into, let that be your drive more than the scale.

 

Happy New Year!! Day 1 of making changes…

Hello all!  Here we are beginning a brand spanking New Year!!!  How many of you made those pesky  New Year’s Resolutions?  How many times have we all broke them within a day or two or even a few hours in? I raise both my hands up high to the sky!!

The top number 1 & 2 resolutions made for 2018 (according to Evening Standard)  are, Eating better and Exercising more!  These don’t sound any different than the usual and ones that I know I have made these myself for the past 20 years.  But how do we stick to those resolutions?  Where do we begin?

We begin slowly, not sprinting out of the gate.  We start by setting goals!  We create a different mindset than what we have been doing.

Create short term goals that are realistic and logical about your health & wellness. Also create long term goals to keep you engaged for the long haul. Write them down, share them with friends or family. Remind yourself daily of these goals!

Now that we have that out of the way… let’s get educated!!  The group I have created on FB… Strive Health & Wellness Motivation… come to the group if you would like!  For those of you following from that group to this blog, there will be more in depth writings and educating here.

So how many of us have said, “well come Monday I am starting a diet and I’m going to start working out”?  And then by the end of the day we have already cheated on that “diet” and we don’t feel like exercising because we are too tired.  It’s a vicious cycle that goes round and round.  Then we decide to start over again the following Monday, I know I’ve said over and over again “come Monday my stomach is gonna think my throat was cut” I was gonna make sure I had all the bad foods out of the house, I was gonna stop eating fast food, junk food etc… I might of stuck to it for awhile but not long.

In this group “DIET” is a bad word!!  We will NOT use it nor refer to it. Diets DON’T work!!!  Well let me rephrase… they may work for awhile but not long term.  Eventually we get tired of it and go back to old habits. Whatever weight we lost we will gain back almost as fast as we lost it and then some! That is the only proven fact in a diet.  “Diet” always meant to me… restriction… it meant I had to give up something and the more I had to give it up, later down the road, I only wanted it more! Constant yo yo!

So what does work?  What is scientifically proven by Dr’s and proven clinically? Brace yourself… it doesn’t come from pills or juicing or some fad diet.  It’s by eating real foods. WOW! That’s it? What in the world does that mean? It means making smarter choices about what you eat! How many of us eat a food because it’s convenient?  Packaged food/processed food is a family go to.  It’s been a long day at the office, no one wants to cook… your starving, the kids are starving, who has time for this? Lets warm up a frozen meal or order out. Once in awhile this is okay, no one is saying you can’t ever do it.  But processed food has tons of preservatives and added things we don’t even know how to pronounce. I will discuss in another post how to read labels and food ingredients.  It is very eye opening esp when you learn what you are putting into your body and what you are doing to it.

What are real foods? Fruits, vegetables, fish preferably wild caught Alaskan salmon, grass fed lean meat, free range chickens, and of course anything organic. Now here is the deal, yes, I know these things are expensive esp for a family so maybe you don’t have the money for all these things… that’s okay!!  You can still eat healthier!  Get lean beef, eat more baked fish and chicken.. its how you make it that counts!  You can’t fry everything, learn to bake your foods!  And of course add more fruits and veggies to your meals is the best way!

If you eat salad that is wonderful!  But if you smother it in salad dressing…. read the label… 2 tbsp is a whooping 180 calories and 20 grams of fat!  So your nutritious salad has now become a fat bomb! There are plenty of salad dressings that are lower in calories and fat but make sure you read the ingredients!

I will be putting out blogs every day and I will discuss exactly what real foods are and give you a list.  But right now focus on cutting out some of the processed foods, you don’t have to eliminate them but come up with meal plans for the nights you cook.  Once you start doing your own cooking you will taste the difference, processed food won’t be as good and your body will crave homemade food! Make small changes at first and build from there. This is all a process remember that!

 

I am now a Certified Health Coach!!

Good afternoon all!  It’s been a while since I have posted!  I have been extremely busy studying for my health coach certification test!  I’ve been in school for several months learning all kinds of good things about how to live a healthier life!  Good news is I PASSED MY CERTIFICATION!!   Yaaaay!  So now I am a Certified Health Coach and I’m beyond happy and excited about that!

I’ve always known that I wanted to help others that struggle, not with just their weight but how to live a healthier lifestyle!  I wanted to know all the “whys” and “how” comes… I wanted proof and knowledge how these changes work for your body and what it does.

I just graduated from one of the top five Institutes for Health Coaching!  Dr Sears Wellness Institute!  I learned about the science behind living a healthier lifestyle, how the body responds to food and exercise.

As most of you already know… I am still going through this process of losing weight and incorporating better ways to get and stay healthy!

My goals are not the same goals that others may have in achieving a healthier lifestyle, not everyone wants to lose weight nor do they need too.  But if your wanting to learn about healthy living  and understand some of the things that goes on within your body, that is what I want to teach you!  I know for me, once all this was taught to me I defiantly had my “ah ha” moments!  All these years of struggling with my addiction to food FINALLY made sense!!

I will coach my clients on the acronym I learned from school….    L.E.A.N.

L= Lifestyle

E= Exercise

A= Attitude

N= Nutrition

I will also offer Individual one on one coaching,  group coaching, Pantry Makeover, Smart Shopping, workshops and much more!

My new business is STRIVE Health & Wellness Coaching!!  Website will be launched in the first part of the year but until then I am available to set up appointments through here on this blog or  my business email striveandrise4health@gmail.com

WEIGHT LOSS PICS FROM 2014-2017

           

This is me at 489 lbs!!  The picture was taken in Nov 2014, not too long before my gastric bypass surgery.

 

           

This picture was taken in February of 2015… 3 months after bypass surgery… I had lost about 75 lbs!

      

This picture was taken July 12-13th of 2017… my weigh in for surgery was 309

This is my most current picture… I need a full length one and I will get one soon…  but you get the idea… I’m still on a mission to lose weight but most importantly to be healthier.  I am still recovering from the  surgery I had in July, but I am getting there.  If I can do this, than others can too!  I am studying to become a Certified Health Coach and plan to start my business after the first of the year! I won’t be your typical coach and preach about what you should or shouldn’t do… God knows I’ve been told that my whole life and it set me up for failure every time. My approach is to teach others the science and proof for living a healthier life and once you get that, it makes so much sense! Diets fail, restrictions fail… I am proof it can work, it’s about changing your life for the better!

I hope I can inspire others to live healthier and learn to love yourself no matter where you are on your journey. Hurdles make us stronger!