Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rebounding and Finding Your Way Back

This is a hard post for me to write. For a long while after my show I had no issues with rebounding. I ate more, trained hard, stayed lean and then I don't know...it got harder to stay lean and I stopped trying. I hate to say it like that because I wanted to think I was trying - I was still training, maybe harder than ever, but I was all over the place with my diet. I'd be right on my macros for a week, then I'd be eating everyone's macros and then some for a week!

I thought I had balance.

I thought I had it figured out.

I thought I had successfully competed and returned to normal life.

I thought a lot of stuff...until I woke up and nothing fit right and I felt gross. Now, I am not crazy. I am not saying I am fat or that I made no progress in the last year. I know for sure I put on muscle...but did I put on 15-20lbs of muscle (the amount I am up from the show weight)? Of course not. Not even close. As a woman, if I put on even 5lbs of  muscle in the past year, it's a bloody miracle.

I found myself avoiding things - like this blog, like seeing people who only knew me in show prep, not wanting to wear certain things. I felt uncomfortable. I felt ashamed. I felt like people would be judging me. I wasn't happy.

So I officially signed on with a new trainer this week. Why? Because I miss having a goal but even more because I believe in this trainer. He is an advocate of #iifym (If It Fits Your Macros) or flexible dieting like I am. Because he, like me, believes fitness and even competing can fit your life, without having to be your whole life. Do I know the technicalities of weight loss? Sure. But I am not a contest prep trainer and I like accountability. I want to prove to myself and others that you can compete, have fun, do well and not rebound.

Last year was just a warm up, this year is the big show!

Have you competed? Did your rebound?

What is the hardest part of weight loss for you?

(stay tuned for more on healthy competing, what to look for in a trainer and warnings signs that you're eating become disordered - all things I have dealt with in the last year!)

Friday, March 20, 2015

International Happiness Day!

(I thought this had published awhile ago...like March 20th, the actual international happiness day.  Oh well, trying again!)

Apparently that's today! I don't need another reason to focus on all the great things that make me happy but I'll take it! 

What makes me happy? 

Family of course!

Awesome friends! 

Traveling! I picked my job after discovering my love of traveling (which I think I inherited my grandma who we called Presh; her whole life, she was all about seeing the world. She even went to places like Iran, Israel during fighting, the arctic and Antarctic!). I love culture shock, being out of my element and seeing something brand new to me! That moment when you realize how big and yet how small the world is through travel? Happiness. 

Fitness and health! They say look good, feel good but I think it's the other way. When you eat for your goals, train hard and break a sweat often, you feel good and feeling good makes you look great! 

What makes you happy? 

Happy International Happiness Day!  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Probiotics, gut bacteria and weight

(My first post filled with knowledge! Haha enjoy! What topics should I cover in the future? Full disclosure: I am a student doing my Masters in Nutrition, and a certified trainer working on more education...not an expert yet!)

Recent studies have shown that certain gut bacteria are associated with being slim, while a lack of certain gut bacteria appears to be directly related to being overweight or obese. 

How can some tiny microbes be controlling so much and what can we do to help them work for us?

Certain bacteria can reduce the stomachs production of ghrelin - that's the hormone that says "hey, you're hungry!"  Typically when we eat, our ghrelin levels go down, and we know to stop eating but if gut bacteria is out of balance (in this particular case, if we don't have enough heliocobacter pyori - H. Pylori), the ghrelin production doesn't stop and we don't get that stop eating signal. Too much H. Pylori isn't good enough but an increase in antibiotic prescribing has made H. Pylori infections must less common...but those same antibiotics have furthered contributed to our weight problem. 

We're getting hit with antibiotics everywhere, from doctors to factory farmed meat and the effect on our gut bacteria is significant. 

So if we have so many hits against us, how can we beat this bacteria influenced weight gain? 

Simple diet changes help a lot! Eating high fiber foods such as fruits, veggies and grains helps provide prebiotics, which help nourish healthy microbes. Reducing sugar intake also helps as healthy gut bacteria thrive on complex carbs while the less healthy types, Luke the types that cause yeast infections, bloating and constipation, love sugar! Adding probiotic rich foods like yogurt, fermented foods and even supplementing with probiotic supplements will help plant the seeds for healthy gut microbe levels. Lastly, get moving! Exercisers with healthy BMIs have been shown to have more diverse gut microbes than sedentary folks and although it's not clear if that's a chicken or egg scenario (aka which came first, the healthy BMI or the diverse microbes), it's always good to sweat! 

Give yourself the best chance at keeping a fit, healthy body keeping your gut health in check! 

Long Time Gone

Ok...I totally disappeared again! Who knew having a blog could be awesome and still lots of work! I have been going through a few personal things, as well as trying (still!) to find the right balance between fitness, health, regular life, relationships etc. I think I am getting there but I am work in progress!

I started a great program (The Fitness Trainer Academy) to further my personal training certifications and I have found it has given me a renewed focus to make this blog about more than just my fitness journey, but also to provide education and information (I am a certified trainer, working on two more certifications and a MSc of Holistic Nutrition student - I will share what I know but will always stay true to when something I share is my view or opinion versus fact).

So with that said, thank you to those who've checked in to see if I've posted, even when I haven't and I really hope you'll check back for more posts going forward, both about my newest fitness endeavors and and for fitness and health info!

And I wanted to leave with one of my fav songs since it fits so well:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Holiday Help! Happy New Year!

Well it's almost 2015 which is crazy! As everyone begins making New Years resolutions, I think it's the perfect time to look back on things you've accomplished this year. Sure it's great to set new goals for the new year, but what about a pat on the back for what you did this year?

For me, I'm proud to say I met my goal of competing in a bikini (bodybuilding) contest. I'm proud that I didn't go crazy eating everything after and that im actively working on creating balance so i can compete but still enjoy the other parts of my life. 

I'm proud that I'm lifting heavier than ever at the gym and that I rarely feel intimidated to try something new or harder in the fitness world. 

I'm proud that I've found a good balance between whole, nutrient dense foods and some treats using #iifym (If It Fits Your a Macros). 

Personally, I'm proud that my husband and I have added another year of marriage under our belts. It's not always easy but it's always worth it.  

Proud of us for being in the process  of buying our second home while still keeping possession of our first. 

Proud of myself for going out of my comfort zone a lot this year but it remains one of my biggest goals heading into the new year.   

Before you set 2015's goals, take a second to congratulate yourself on this year. 

If you stuck to your fitness plan through the holidays, kudos! If you gained a little, make a plan to get back on track immediately. Reflect on all you've done this year and then set your intentions on an amazing 2015!

Check in soon for my New Years resolutions and share yours!  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Holiday Help! Merry Christmas

Let no calorie or macro be counted today! Honestly, the biggest thing I've learned in the past few years of fitness is that one day doesn't define your body. Enjoy your Christmas Day with your family and friends. Enjoy the foods you like and the drinks you like. Open presents. Have fun. Go for a walk. Challenge your family to a board game. For a day, just relax and just be - happy, full, content, loved.

It's not always about fitness! 

I'm spending Christmas with my husband, my parents, my sister and her husband and their brand new baby girl. I'll miss my TX family but I'm so happy to be going home. We aren't doing a traditional dinner but we are definitely doing our traditional smoked salmon breakfast/brunch and exactly zero fucks will be given to calorie count! This year has been all about balance for me and I'm capping it off by eating well and exercising lots, but not stressing about it or missing out on anything. 

Have a wonderful Christmas or whatever you may be celebrating and relish in the goals you've accomplished this year. 

Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Help!

On Christmas day, why not be the one to suggest a walk why the turkey or roast (or beef short ribs in my family's case!) cooks?

Instead of driving around to see light displays, walk or bike (use reflective gear at night!)?

Why not bring something healthy to add to Christmas dinner?

Choose your favorite 2-3 alcoholic drinks and savor them over the whole day on Christmas? Then you're less likely to overeat and more likely to make it to your workout on the 26th! 

Simple changes
let you enjoy the holidays without setting your health back. Remember, the holidays are about friends, family and love first, then food! 

How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

What's your favorite holiday food or drink?