Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tips for a flatter abdomen!

Everyone wants flat abs and yet so few people know exactly how to go about that! For a great ab workout series check out my fitness tips blog.

What you eat can affect how your abs look.

If you will eliminate (or seriously restrict) three things in your diet you will see improvement.

1. Alcohol: alcohol is fattening, especially if you drink beer. It's called a "beer belly" for a reason!!

2. Carbonated drinks: i.e. soda. If you have a habit of drinking soda, or red bulls/energy drinks, ginger ale, etc. then the carbonation (bubbles) will build up in the top part of your stomach causing you to look bloated. Seriously cut back or stop drinking them altogether and the bubbles in your stomach will dissipate, though it can take a month or so.

3. Fried foods: now being a southern girl I am a fan of almost anything fried, but not nearly as much as I once was! Fried food is full of fat and usually salt as well. Although I believe fat doesn't make you fat, fried foods are not good for your waistline but you can have it occasionally.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pancakes!!

About a week ago I picked up something at the grocery store I had never seen. I bet you've never seen it either!

It's not only amazing, but an idea that is long long long overdue:

Organic Batter Blaster Original Pancake and Waffle Batter...in a spray can, like whipped cream.

I know. I know. I have just rocked your world!

Sit down. Take a few deep breaths! Now run out to your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and get some!!!

But before you do...

Who actually thought of this?? Really, is whipping up a batch of pancake or waffle batter that hard? Seriously, Bisquick, some milk, a few eggs, stir a few times and VOILA! pancake/waffle batter. It's not labor intensive or even tedious.

And the pancake batter in a can seems very un-green and un-organic to me. The can says to recycle but I don't know where to recycle steel. I'm sure I'd have to drive to wherever that is done. Steel is not part of the recycling reportoire here in the building where I live. It's not on the list of approved recyclables that I have on my fridge for my reference.

But it's a novelty and I just had to try it. I heated up the skillet and sprayed ("blasted") the batter into the pan...and it was a flop. Why is the very first pancake a flop? Or is it just me? I mean every time I make pancakes the first one is a total dud. Does this happen to cooks at restaurants? Does it happen to you?

Anwyay...first pancake ended up in the garbage. All the rest were beautiful. I was really looking forward to having them.

What a disappointment, they were chewy and not very flavorful. They were bland and not fluffy.

The good thing about the spray pancake batter in a can is that all the ingredients are orgnanic and each pancake had two grams of fiber.

Other people might enjoy this more than I did. Organic spray pancake batter in a can is not for me. No amount of syrup or butter could have improved them enough for my liking. Give me good ol' Bisquick pancakes any day!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fondue coma

Monday night I went to the Melting Pot, which is a chain of fondue restaurants. Fondue is obviously neither low fat nor low calorie, which is part of the reason I love it. The two coctails I had were full of sugar too.

So you're probably asking yourself, why is she talking about the high fat, high sugar, high calorie dinner she had? Because if you've read anything I have written you know that I believe that you can indulge every now and then and still lose weight or maintain your weight loss.

You absolutely cannot indulge daily. If you do then you will not get the results you want.

I enjoyed every single mouthful I ate and every sip of my drinks. I don't feel the least bit guilty for all the fat, calories and sugar I ate. It was delicious!

I also experienced a sugar and fat crash after eating all that fondue. (Plus the caramel apple martini I had was LETHAL!!) When I got home I literally crashed and fell asleep immediately. It was because all the fat in the cheese fondue slowed my circulation. Also the sugar in the drinks and chocolate fondue caused a sugar rush and subsequent crash.

My sytem was overloaded. I overdid it. And my body reacted by shutting down. When I was morbidly obese I pretty much ate like that every day. Hmmm, no wonder I weighed 291 lbs!!!

I like to eat. Always have. Always will. I don't understand people who don't eat (like 1 or 2 tiny meals a day or who live on diet coke and cigaraettes). I'm a southern girl so I adore stuff that is battered and fried and covered in gravy.

I eat how I want, when I want...occasionally. On a daily basis, though, I eat a variety of vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy, and fruits. I eat 5to 6 small meals daily. Oh and 96 oz. of water and some coffee. I also workout faithfully (most weeks) 5 days a week for approximately 1 hour.

And that's why I can indulge when I choose to. My Inner Circle friends can vouch for what I ate in Philly and almost none of it was health food!! But when I got home after the weekend I was back on track eating a healthy diet.

Picking and choosing when you indulge will help you stay on your diet as long as you keep it to a minimum (no more than one meal/snack per week)! I guarantee it!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lose weight or live longer?

A few years ago, women were polled and asked the question:

Would you rather lose weight or live to be 100? And 51% said they would rather lose weight.

I'm saddened by that.

I also hate the saying, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."

I've been both very morbidly obese and quite thin (growing up I was all arms and legs and long hair and skinny as a rail) and now, a healthy weight and body fat.

Thin isn't everything. Skeletal isn't attractive. I would suggest that you ladies (and some of you gentlemen) stop dieting and start learning to eat healthy. Yes, there is a difference.

I know this person, who a few years ago looked quite good. Slender but not too skinny. She shared with me that she had been taking diet pills for the past year (and I know she wasn't exercising). Her diet pretty much consists of alcohol and cigarettes. Two years later she looks horrible: emaciated, ashen skin, no life in the eyes...but you know, she thinks she looks great because she is so very thin.

I'm sad for her. She had an attractive body before and now she has no breasts and no ass. I can only imagine the internal struggle she has been dealing with for years that would cause her to go from healthy looking to a walking skeleton. She has succumbed to the American idea that being super thin makes you more attractive.

She isn't the only person I know who would give anything to be thin, severely thin. I just don't get it. Ok, I sorta get it. Every actress or model you see is so thin they have to jump around in the shower to get wet. And as women we compare ourselves.

So women feel pressured to be thin at any cost. Why do you think the diet pill industry is a multi-billion dollar per year industry? Why do you think that every January gyms see a 200% (or more) increase in new memberships?

Bulimia and anorexia aren't going to stop being a problem anytime soon.

Men, too, feel the pressure to look like Brad Pitt (not my idea of an ideal man BTW). Though the numbers are drastically lower for men, there are still plenty who abuse diet pills and are anorexic or bulemic.

I beg you to stop trying so desperately to be thin and instead strive to be healthy. Do not base your self worth on what number the scale registers or what size your clothes are. You will have a much longer and and more fulfilling life if you will.

And frankly how many grandmas and grandpas have you ever heard reminsce, in the twilight of their lives, they the thing they are most proud of is that they were skinny?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Do you plan on losing more weight?

So I'm on the phone with Kevin Hogan and we're discussing me doing videos and DVDs to sell for my website. I'm not opposed to it but I'm just not photogenic and on video I look worse. And Kevin asks, "Are you planning on losing more weight?" Which to me implies that he thinks I'm fat.

Granted I'm not a size 4 or even a 6. I'm sure plenty of people would look at me and think I'm a little too large for my profession. I notice the surprised looks when I tell people that I'm a personal trainer.

Ok, I get it. Most people expect a female personal trainer to look like a fitness pageant contestant or body builder, and I certainly don't fit into either of those categories.

I have not been a gym bunny all my life. Heck I'm not even a gym bunny now. I don't workout hours a day. I'm just not that vain. And frankly that is part of what makes me so good at my job. I can relate to the average person who is trying to get in shape and lose weight.

I used to look like this:



In that picture (age 31,and yes, that really is me) I weighed 291 lbs. In Texas the proper term is "big as the side of the house".

So I think I look a great deal better now. And no, I don't plan on losing more weight...not much is going to change on my body until I have it surgically altered with a tummy tuck, or a body lift (same thing as a tummy tuck, though more skin is removed).

True, most people do a double take when I tell them what I do for a living and so many have suggested that I just do more abdominal exercise. I know they mean well but they are just uneducated. You cannot exercise away skin. And I guarantee my abs are way better than yours! Wanna see my 2-pack?

I try not to be offended when people ask me if I plan on losing more weight. I know they aren't intentionally trying to be rude...though it makes me wonder how bad I look for them to ask that question.

We girls are judged so critically on our appearance.

Regardless, I love what I do and I am very good at it and I help people every day and that's what matters to me.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Motivating Dieters

Successful dieting is not just about what to eat and how to exercise, but from the effort it takes to achieve it.

I have been teaching a weight management class for the past 4 years. My classes, in general, have been highly successful. On average my students, which range from 5 to 15 women per session (7 weeks), lose around 125 to 200 lbs. as a group. The average body fat percentage lost as a group is around 22 to 25%.

I like to think that my students' success is because I'm such an inspiring and amazing teacher. I do think part of that is true. I think part of it is my success story motivates my students to become an after' as well.

The real reason for my students' success is that they start to believe that they will be successful. No matter how much I stress positive thinking and positive self-talk there is almost always at least one lady (sometimes two or three) I just can't seem to help. I have to step back and let everyone make the decision to believe in themselves on their own, my only job is to love and support them to the point they can takeover where I leave off. I also like to tell my students that they should inspire and help each other along the way.

My current weight management class of 7 women lost an amazing 30.5 lbs. and 7.2% (or ~ 21 lbs.) of body fat in just the first week! Everyone lost weight and body fat. They have started realizing that what I'm teaching them works if they will just follow the plan. I am extremely proud of them.

So many times my students will tell me and anyone who will listen that I'm the reason they were successful. And that's just not the truth. I wasn't the one feeding them, or preparing their meals and snacks, or working out for them. They were the ones who did it. I just gave them the tools, motivation and support.

It's nice to hear my ladies praising me but their praise is misdirected. They should be praising themselves that they took initiative to become healthier and followed it through to success. It is humbling for anyone to say that I'm responsible for their success but I refuse to take credit. It was their individual effort that made them successful, I just stood back and cheered and answered some questions now and then.

If you have succeeded at becoming more fit you probably tell everyone who wants to know exactly what program, workout, book, trainer, or diet you followed. There is so much information out there to help anyone succeed and it's great when others are inspired by someone's (yours maybe?) story.

However, you and I both know that it was your own inner resolve, determination and working at it day by day that is the real reason for your success.