Gaga Greatness

WOW! What a performance by Lady Gaga at the superbowl halftime show. I must admit that while she is not necessarily my cup of tea artistically…she is growing on me rather fast. Did you see the Versace outfit? Oh my; eye catching to say the least. Her boots are items I now desire. Her dare devil jump from the roof top was astounding and let’s go ahead and say how incredible she sounded and danced. I am now a fan of hers. BUT, my own opinion is just one of many. The most outrageous opinions are the people who are saying she has a gut. YES, people are actually body shaming this woman. Out of that whole dazzling performance people are focusing on her gut!

First off, Lady gaga is reportedly 5’1 weighing in at a whopping 108lbs AND her measurements are 34-26-37. Soooo, where is the gut here? What do these people think she should weigh and measure? Those measurements are eerily close to my own. I am just a bit narrower at 5’1, 100lbs, 33-24.5-33. I am in an industry where looking your best is the utmost important. I really hope to change that view. Looks can be deceiving. There are many women who are battling eating disorders, exercise overload, flabby skin due to lack of weight lifting, stress and anxiety disorders…and these women “look” good.

As a personal trainer, fitness instructor and nutritionist…basically a health coach…looking good shouldn’t necessarily be the focus. Don’t we all truthfully want to be healthy and energized so we can be the most productive living fruitful fulfilling lives? Why do we feel the need to “look” a certain way? Society places entirely too much criticism on women’s bodies. Worse than that; women place too much criticism on women’s bodies. I was told that when I weighed 115lbs, was 26″ waist and could lift some heavy weights and I was muscular, that I was fat. The person told me after I had lost down to 100lbs. She wanted to know what I did to look this way because I used to be fat. (True story, promise) And she was a woman, a friend. Another friend of mine was told that she had gained weight and needed to lose about 15lbs. Her friend told her that! (by the way she is a size 6 and wears smalls) My own daughter was told by her paternal grandmother that she didn’t understand what had happened because she had gained so much weight. Are you kidding me?! I wish I was, because that sent me through the roof. By the way, my daughter is an athlete and she is 17 years old. She is an overachiever who makes all A’s. Why didn’t her grandmother focus on that?

We women are taught at a young age to look our best. Be thin, stuff your bra if needed, suck the tummy in if needed, makeup on, hair always done and find a good husband. Most of us are now taught to also make tons of money becoming wildly successful, have babies, take care of the house, cook, get kids involved in sports, etc. The list is endless and society is relentless, but those around us are just as harsh. When do we say…I love you and accept you for who you are. If someone is overweight…I love you just the way you are, your health is of concern to me, does it concern you, what can I do to help. Be alive! Be healthy! Be kind! Be Energized! Be empowered! Be you! Be the best you that you can be. God only created one you and your body is His temple so we must treat it with respect, but most importantly we must treat others with love and respect.

Proverbs 15:1-2 ESV 

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

Matthew 7:1-5 ESV

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

A new year, A new you (or me)

New Years day seems to mark a beginning point for people to set new goals for themselves and their lives. As I have gotten older; I don’t understand that whole tradition. So many people set new goals on New Years day, but they fall short just a few weeks into the year and then give up on achieveing the goal. Shouldn’t we set goals each day? I must admit that I have always set resolutions and made vision boards. I want the best and want to be the best I can be. You all probably want that too. Can’t we make each day a New Year?

It seems I become dumber rather than wiser as the years pass by. I look back on things I have or haven’t done and wonder why. I also realize how much time I have wasted. Each day I awake and breathe is a blessing. There are 24 hours in a day so one would think I’d get all I need to accomplished. Excuses flow from my mouth as if it was my breath. I don’t have time to do that, I can’t because, I wish I could… Some things need to be done no matter how tired I am. The priorities in my life are changing though. The laundry can wait, the dishes will be there, the floor can be swept and mopped later. People won’t always be here. So as you all make your resolutions for the year 2017…prioritize, remember you can always hit that reset button in your life and try to reach your goals.

My priorities this year is spending time with my family and friends. Seeing them more often. Spending quality time with them. Worrying less about how many miles I have ran or how many workouts I did or how clean my house is. People and relationships are what matter to me. What matters to you?

Here is to 2017! Praying you all have many blessings, prosperity, joy, happiness, peace and love.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

 

Taking for granted

Every day we see loved ones, speak to family and friends or co workers. If we are lucky, then our family and friends live close to us. For others family members are spread all over the country or even the world. Today’s technology allows us to keep up with each other’s happenings simply by looking and posting on social media. We can even call each other via skype or facetime. It is truly amazing to have so many options available to us so we can see and speak to our family and friends no matter where we live.

How many times do we take advantage of these situations? How many actually use these technological masterpieces on a regular basis specifically for family time? I know I can honestly say that I am a facebooker. I frequent facebook daily. I love looking at the things going on in my family and friends lives. Even if it is sad news and someone I love needs a liitle extra prayer. What astounds me though is that I have overlooked the importance of face to face, in person contact. I have family members I haven’t seen in person in years. I take the in person time for granted.

For my family and friends whom I see daily, I apologize for ever taking you for granted. Sometimes I say hurtful things (which I truly don’t mean) and even do things I wouldn’t otherwise do if I knew our time together was limited. The truth is that our time together is limited. Saying hurtful things is unacceptable. Doing hurtful things or acting in a hurtful manner is unacceptable. No one is promised tomorrow. Do you really want to have regrets? Do you want to make someone you love feel unimportant? I know I don’t. I love my family. I take the time I have with them for granted each day. I know I won’t always be able to spend every moment with them and I know that I am human so I will make mistakes and will probably say things I don’t mean. I can promise you though, that I will apologize and let my family and friends know just how much they mean to me.

These past few months have shown me how precious life is and how real death is. Death is inevitable. Sadness is inevitable. But regret can be prevented. If anyone I love dies tomorrow, I want them to know and feel like I loved them deeply and sincerely because I do. I never want them to feel unimportant or unloved.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 –

On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days, So that we won’t take anything for granted.

Are you serious? 

Yesterday my children went trick or treating and came home with crap loads of candy. Of course there was already a mound of candy at my home because I expected to have a lot more trick or treaters than I had. ‘Tis the season to be eating crappily.  Chick Fil A nugget tray for dinner and candy for dessert. We added sweet tea, lemonade and soda to the yumminess. The joy I get out of eating my favorite things and drinking my favorite beverages is immense. Smiling face, happiness in my heart and fabulously filled tummy. The next day is the intense guilt of what I chose to eat the night before. Yes, the grogginess, bloating and overall yuck feeling exists but so does the emotional crappiness. Why did I eat that? How many miles did I run to weigh what I weigh? How much time in the weight room have I spent to be the size I am? And how many times have I chosen soy and veggies over fried? UGH! YUCK! 

Anyone else ever feel this way?  There is such an intense emotional bond tied to what I eat, good or bad choices, that it seriously takes a conscious effort. There are times when I pat myself on the back and others when I want to kick my butt. There have been times when I’ve thought I was doing everything correctly and yet I didn’t see results. Truthfully I feel those times are the hardest. There is so much information out there in this world regarding exercise and nutrition. Some is true and others are myths or theories. Deciphering what works best for me is sometimes a challenge. I feel at times that I just can’t win but I keep going. Perseverance which is purely driven by my emotions. 

Today I am a little guilty because I did eat a few boxes of milk duds, chick fil a chicken wrap, 3 musketeers, kit Kat, Milky Way, tootsie rolls. (Sigh) But I have to decide that it’s ok and one cheat night, however big it was, isn’t going to sabotage all I’ve done to be and live healthy. So the decision to go for a run and get in the weight room this morning was indeed driven by the desire to be healthy. The choice to eat a thin layer of peanut butter on a whole wheat high fiber low carb tortilla, rather than eat the Dairy Queen biscuit (which is so yummy), is driven by the deep down want to be healthy. 

Life is full of choices and full of emotions. Staying in bed, working out, eating butter, eating fruits…all of these are made with emotion. At least for me. My assumption was that everyone else possessed these feelings. Weight and size can be such a roller coaster ride of emotions unless I am a rarity. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Protein Power

Fitness is so much more than just working out and most of my clients are very aware of how their diet directly impacts their healthy weight goals. As a personal trainer I get asked all of the time about protein and how it impacts our bodies. What is protein and why does our body need it? Protein is a macronutrient necessary for our bodies to build, maintain and repair tissues. It is what our body uses for bone, cartilage, muscle, hair, nails, skin, blood, enzymes and hormones. Without protein, our bodies are unable to maintain proper health.

High protein, low carb diets are all the rage and there is good reason for such. Our bodies use more energy to breakdown proteins than it does digesting fats and carbs. We are burning calories just digesting protein! We feel full longer than we would if we ate carbs or fats too because it takes longer for our bodies to process. While protein isn’t our main source of energy; it is used as a fuel source. Approximately 5% of all calories burned comes from protein. This amount increases as our activity level increases. For all of my workout peeps, we burn approximately 10-15% during our workouts. When you go to the gym and you see a bodybuilder working out, you will often see them drinking a protein shake or eating protein after. Our bodies need to replenish the amino acids used during the workouts and assist in the muscle building and repair process. In addition to burning more protein during our workouts, we also have to consider the length of time and level of intensity of these workouts. If we are not eating the proper amounts of carbohydrates, which is our main source of energy, then our bodies will need to utilize even more protein. So once you have burned your carbohydrates and fats; the body will break down the protein in your system and begin burning it as energy. Since our body doesn’t keep a large storage supply of protein, the muscle tissues themselves are what gets broken down.

How much protein does the average person need? According to the institute of medicine,  .8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. So an average woman weighing 150 lbs would need approximately 54.4 grams of protein per day. An athlete weighing 150 lbs should eat around 112 grams of protein per day. A person who is more sedentary needs less protein and generally less calories than a person who is more active. Another thing to consider is that as workouts become more intense, more energy is used. Food is our energy and fuel so if we think of our bodies as cars and food as gas…we can get a better understanding of why our bodies need more protein at higher activity levels. Does that make sense? We wouldn’t fill up our gas tanks for our cars to sit in a garage.

Just like anything else though, we can get too much protein in our system. Women generally shouldn’t consume more than 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. So for the same 150 lb woman who should consume at least 54 grams of protein per day; she should consume no more than 170 grams per day. Eating too much protein can cause someone to gain weight, have diarrhea, nausea and even death.

Sound a little confusing? The basics are to make sure you are getting sufficient amounts of protein in your bodies for the activity level at which you live your life. Should your activities increase in intensity then your protein levels should also increase. More miles equals more fuel. Protein is powerful, but just as with any powerful tool we need to use it wisely.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

An emotional mess

The chocolate m&m’s, almonds, cashews & peanut butter pretzels taste sooooo good. Salty and sweet. Yes, it’s that time of the month. Yes I’m hungry and tired. Yes I will cry one minute, get angry the next and then laugh in another. Just give me a quiet room, lots of food and Steel Magolias. Has anyone else ridden this PMS roller coaster?

I feel badly for my family and friends, but only after I’ve discovered that maybe I overreacted to a situation. That doesn’t happen right away either. Sometimes it’s a few minutes, a few hours or even a few days. Let’s face it…we become a little on edge emotionally when it gets close to that time of the month. There actually is some science behind it. Premenstrual sysndrome effects approximately 85% of women. Only 3 – 8% of women have severe symptoms which require treatment. Progesterone and estrogen horome levels fluctuate when a women is nearing her cycle and while she’s on it. The symptoms usually occur during the week before and the week of a woman’s cycle and tend do be relieved once a woman starts menstruating. What are these symptoms?

  • Acne
  • Swollen or tender breasts
  • Feeling tired
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Upset stomach, bloating, constipation or diarrhea 
  • Headache or backache
  • Appetite changes or food cravings
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Trouble with concentration or memory
  • Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells
  • Anxiety or depression

Symptoms vary from woman to woman and some women may be lucky enough to only experience one symptom. Other women may find that her symptoms vary from month to month. We can’t prevent it and we can’t always control it, but we can do things to maybe help us deal with it a little better.

Avoid caffeine which will effect your mood. (I am a coffee junkie & even though I am a nutritionist and I know not to drink more than one cup a day…I love my coffee. bad, bad, bad) Avoid alcohol. Hello ladies, there are so many reasons we should avoid alcohol, but we all know that we don’t need any help impairing our rational thinking when we are pmsing. Just sayin. Avoid salt and sugar which will cause you to retain fluids, make you feel bloated and of course gain weight. Get enough sleep! Any other women out there suffer from the “I didn’t get everything done on my to do list today, oh and oops forgot to turn the light off, did I pay that bill, and Jan’s birthday is tomorrow so I’ve gotta get her card”….yadayadayada. Go to sleep. My husband says it all of the time to me. He doesn’t understand of course because he can sleep if World War 3 was happening. Eating healthy foods which nourish your body and help to fuel your body properly is always a good plan. Don’t smoke! Need I say anything about this, really? Nicotine makes people irritable anyway. We don’t need help while pmsing. Exercise! Exercise regularly. You don’t have time? I get it. Just do 20 minutes every day. We can all find 20 minutes. Play with your kids in the yard. That counts! PRAY! Yes, we should all be praying daily anyway, but God created us this way so He can definitely help us out. Last but not least, get together with your girlfriends. We are all in this together and we can rely on one another, hold each other’s hand and get each other through.

Proverbs 29:11  – A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Ecclesiastes 3:4  – A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Romans 12:15  – Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Discussing Shapes

Thankfully the good Lord made us all in many different “shapes,” sizes, heights, widths, characteristics, personalities, talents, etc. We are all uniquely made. If we were all the same then it would be boring, right? Yet we all desire to be a certain “shape” or body type. Why is that? Why can’t we embrace one another’s differences as well as our own uniqueness?

My theory is that society places such emphasis on categories and labels that we just want to fit into one of those little boxes. You have an athletic build or a small frame. You are in the upper class or lower middle class. You are a socialite or blue collar worker. There are so many flipping labels that I can’t keep up. Can you? Do we really even care? I mean in the grand scheme of things does it truly matter what shape or body type you are? Honestly, to many of us it does. I can’t sit here and lie and say that I don’t care. I do. I care a lot. I am vain. I want to have the hour glass shape that society says is so desirable. (sigh)

I have tried so many different ways to get the hour glass shaped body type. I have starved myself, I have worked out, eaten strange foods that taste horrible, obsessed to the point that I focussed more on calorie counting then I did on anything else. The list of not so likable things I have done is a long one. The industry of fitness is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. I would venture to say that many people think shapes and sizes matter. The problem with our desire to be a certain shape is that some of us just don’t have the God given body type to be that shape. You see there are Endomorphs, Ectomorphs and Mesomorph body types. Let me break these down for you…

Ectomorph is the delicate, small, lean, not terribly muscular body type. These are the people that find it difficult to gain muscle. Our naturally thin people.

Then we have the Mesomorph. Our athletic builds. The muscularly defined, hard body types. Usually these are our hour glass shapes for females and Rectangular shapes for males.

And finally we have the Endomorph. These are our thicker bodies. Usually soft skin, tapered legs and arms with a rounder mid section. These people tend to gain weight easily.

An Endomorph will not likely ever achieve becoming an Ectomorph and vice versa. Not everyone fits perfectly within these body types either, but has characteristics of each. The explaination of these body types is just to further clarify the importance of how different and unique each of us are. We can be physically healthy without being an hour glass or rectangularly shaped body. But just in case you were wondering…I am leaving a URL below to the different female body shapes. Just copy and paste in your web browser. Below the link is a verse from the bible. I would above all else prefer to be the shape of a heart.  ❤

Body Shapes

1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”