Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Specificity takes guesswork out of training. This training principle states that for an individual to become proficient at any given movement, that movement itself must be trained and practiced.The body will adapt to the specific type of training paced upon it.

The human body responds efficiently to gradual and progressive challenges. For progression to continue and physical exhaustion to be avoided, the exercise stimulus must be regularly increased.

Overload is introduced by increasing the intensity, duration or frequency of an established level of exercises. This can be done by adding another training bout during the week, lengthening the training, sessions, or training at a higher level of cardiovascular intensity.

Consistent exercise is essential for maintaining the benefits of exercise, because these benefits cannot be stored; instead they are reversed. If a person stops exercising, the body will adapt yo the decreased exercise demands and start to decline from the previous fitness level.

Training effect
Fitness levels are improved with regular, progressively overloaded training programs. At this point a maintenance stage should be established and there is no need to continue overloading.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday can be the worse enemy for you waist line

Okay, like most, the weekends effect my weight loss efforts in a big way. What is it about this one day (actually the whole weekend) that sets most of us of course?

Oh yeah, NOT sitting at a desk all day!

NOT having to pack a lunch because like we do during the week.

Going out for activities and stopping for fast food.

Not eating enough because you sleep in most of the day (my excuse!)

Lack of exercise because you had six great days, now you need a rest.

Okay, so I get it. But one day could ruin six perfect days, so is it worth it?

Not to me!

Here's how to relieve some of the pain for those Saturday crazy days.

*Pack all your meals and snacks as if it is any other day.

*Set a routine for the day, just like your work day.

*Eat a small meal before heading out to the movies (or even better, bring your own snacks).

*Incorporate some kind of physical activity into the day, even if it's an extra lap around the mall.


Monday, June 15, 2009

The Average Woman

I don't know why this got in my head to blog about, but I was wondering, what is actually the average size of women? At my job, even though we were having a weight loss competition, none of us really were extremely over weight. Sure, some could stand to lose a few, but in reality, they all were of average size. No bigger than a 12 here at my office (though we did have a co-worker who was well over 300 pounds, but she's no longer here--also, not counting the one that was pregnant before the competition started).

So I did some research. The average female height (this is for USA) is 5'3.8". Let's just say 5"4", and the weight ranged from 140-160. So when I was at my highest, my weight was about what the average was, though I'm 2 inches short of the height. Also, the average dress size is a 14. That was shocking to me. I thought it was a 10 or 12.

Now here are a little tidbits:
*The average Miss America winner is 5'6.5"
*"Ideal" women portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls and actresses is 5'7" and 100 pounds and wears a size 8. (Though I'm sure models' sizes are at about 0-4)
*1/3 of American women wear 16 or larger.*75% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
*50% are on a diet at any one time.
*Compared to the plus-sized industry, promotion of petite sizes in magazines and the fashion world is less prominent even though well-known celebs are short.
*Some celebs 5'4" and under are:-Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen 5'0"-Shakira 4'11"-Eva Longoria 5'2"-Janet Jackson 5'4"

Over the past 20 years, the American fashion industry manipulated clothing sizes to accommodate its widening public, especially women. To show how sizing has changed over time, size eight dresses for 1980s, 1990s and today were compared. The waist circumference on a 1984 dress was 25 inches. On the 1995 dress, it was 26 inches. And on a 2004 dress, it was 27-1/2 inches. A two-and-a-half inch difference from 1984 to 2004. Sizing standard in other parts of the world remained constant. Europeans, for example, had developed an entirely different view of fashion and their sizing standards had not changed.

And if this is not enough, knowing were you fall in all the various categories can cause more mass confusion!! Categories I found were Misses (5'5"-5'6" tall, average bust, average back), Miss Petite (5'2"-5'3" tall, average bust, shorter back), Junior sizes (5'4"-5'5" tall, higher bust, shorter back), Junior Petite (5'1" tall, average bust, shorter back), Young Junior Sizes (5'1"-5'3" tall, higher bust, shorter back), Women's sizes (5'5"-5'6" tall, average bust, average back). Most commonly, the Misses sizes are the 4-6-8-10-12 you see. Junior sizes are the odd numbers, 3-5-7-9-11 and so on. Young Junior has the two-digit sizing 5/6-7/8-9/10 type of deal.

Since technically a petite size is under 5'4" what makes me mad is why the fashion industry does not cater to us shorties!! I mean, finding a pair of pants that fit me is crazy! It doesn't matter when I was bigger or now smaller, I still cannot find the perfect fit. It's like, I have to be 5'5"-5'6" to fit them. It's rare that stores even carry petite sizes.

So why do top fashion models need to be so tall? I know, I know, since I'm obsessed with America's Next Top Model, I know the answer. Clothes just look better on a 5"7" model or taller. More canvass to show off the product I guess. I'm sure on some commercial advertisements and magazines, smaller models may be used, but can they strut on the runway? Hmmm, it will be interesting to see next season on ANTM what they tell the hopefuls.

I am TOTALLY PSYCHED that they are doing models under 5'6"! Woohoo to us!! What are the designers going to say? What will the photographers think? How will the judges respond? Most importantly, will they get booked? Is this going to change the industry? Remember, this is America's Next TOP Model--a distinct difference from commercial models who don't do runway and high fashion magazines. Give it up to Tyra for actually stepping out and doing this, like her or not, it takes a lot of guts for her to go against industry type.

So now it's time for the average woman to strut her stuff!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is it really 80% nutrition

You hear it a lot from me. You hear it a lot from other fitness professionals. Is it true? And what does it really mean?

Let's say you need to lose 50 pounds. You've never been on a diet before and generally (over)eat whatever you want and do little or no exercise. You're given a weight loss program to follow including a reduced calorie intake and increased cardio and strength training. You hate eating healthy, watching portions and counting calories, so you decide to put your all into your workouts.

You do 30 minutes a day and even sometimes go as high as 60 minutes a day if you've really been naughty with your eating. When weigh-in comes, you're up two pounds. What gives!

On the other hand, if you hate exercise and decide to give reduced calories intake a try the results will differ. You've created the necessary calorie deficit and have included little or no exercise at all. Weigh-in comes along and you've dropped two pounds!

Of course, the two go hand in hand. To maximize results of your weight loss, you MUST do both. I mean, REALLY people, there are no short cuts to this.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

No More Lies

The topic for today....STOP LYING!! Be truthful about your weight loss, to yourself, to others. I'm the type of person that gives it to you straight, no chaser. Well, I try and be tactful with it if I barely know you. You know I think we're tight when I don't mince my words.

Hmm, what ticked me off? This excuse I hate to see, "You just gained muscle," when the scale goes up. Ummm, NO!!! Maybe for a pound a two in a week, if you are lifting weights like crazy. But 3-5 pounds, in a week? Of muscle?? Do you honestly think you gained that much muscle in 7 days by doing 2-3 days of weight-lifting? Stop saying this!! Even if this is the case, rare as it may be, STOP SAYING THIS!! Stop saying it to yourself. Stop telling it to others. If someone has gained a few pounds, just be honest with them and ask them if they are honest with themselves. Can you gain 3-5 pounds in a week if you exercise and eat right everyday? Anything is possible when you are dealing with hormones.

But seriously.....no more lies!! You don't ever have to tell me you ate two servings of pasta instead of the one as planned. Or that you ate a bag of M&MS one day. Or that you, for no reason other than it being there, ate your kids' bag of half eaten chips (this was so me last night, and I'm just keeping it real). It happens!! But when that scale doesn't move or goes up, no whining! No giving up because you are doing everything right and you don't know what's going on. Yes you do! You know!! You may not put it in your food tracker. You may not blog and confess it. You may feel so guilty about it you forgot all about it. For 98% of us, weight loss is a mental game. Forget the food, forget the exercise! Get your mind right, and then let's work on the body. Let me say it again because it's my favorite thing to say, GET YOUR MIND RIGHT, AND THEN WORK ON THE BODY!!!

The first thing I ask of the friends I am working with is to be honest with me. If you mess up and fall off track, tell me! We can figure out why and make plans so that it doesn't happen again. I'm so done with the numbers right now. I feel like it's more important for my clients to work on mentally working through this process. If you never fix that, you can drop all the pounds you want but they'll just come back on. No more excuses, NONE! No more, "Well, I'll get back on track Sunday." It's frikkin Tuesday now, so you're going to just sit around do nothing and eat junk for 4 days AND then restart for the umpteenth time? NO!! No more, "I'm doing everything right and the scale's not moving." Throw the scale away and continue to do "everything right." You're improving your health, that's what's good.

I hope I made some people mad. Because I'm mad! I rolled my eyes yesterday when I read this in response to someone gaining so much weight in one week. You're not helping your friends when you tell them they gained 5 pounds of muscle in one week. I'd just rather lose every friend I have, because I'm going to just be honest with them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Look in the mirror

You want to know who's stopping you from making it to your goals? Look in the mirror--it's YOU!

Not your friends who love to go out for pizza and drinks every week and seem to drag you along.

Not your co-workers who bring in goodies every week and tempt you with it.

Not those girl scout cookies hiding out in your cupboard calling your name.

Not your boyfriend who can eat whatever he wants and not gain a single pound (not even an ounce!)

Not the economy which you blame for the high prices in food.

Not the TV that tempts you with so-called reality shows and high drama entertainment.

Not the bad weather either: Yes it's raining, yes it's cold, yes there is snow, yes it 100 degrees today, yes it's too windy, and yes it's too sunny.

Not your "skinny" friends who do nothing and seem to stay in shape.

Not your "fat" friends who have no interest in losing weight.

Not the day of the week, Sunday gets a bad rep for starting over. "Hmm, I'll have the pizza on Friday and start back on track Sunday."

Not the magazine that glamorize the super skinny celebrities: no one said you had to look like them!

Not your children that seem to take up 110% of your time and you find it hard to fined "Me" time.

Not your job, as stressful as it is.

Take a good look in that mirror right now. Only one person determines whether are not you are successful with your new healthy lifestyle. No one or nothing can control your life but YOU!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lifestyle Modifications and Behavior Change

As a Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant I must wear many hats. Not just as a coach, cheerleader and friend, but a guide. Changing ones behaviors is not simple. If it were, there would not be overweight and obesity issues today! If all a person needed to do was modify their behaviors to promote weight loss, they should lose weight, right? It's the old adage, "I know what I'm supposed to do....but I just can't seem to do it."

Our lifestyles have evolved over many years, and those behaviors work for us. It's comfortable to get up every morning make bacon, eggs and biscuits for breakfast if you've been eating that for the last 20 years. Going out with your friends for drinks and pizza every Friday may have been your thing since college. Your family expects you to make the best macaroni and cheese, homemade cakes and casseroles every year because that's just what you do. Lots of times we cannot make those changes very easily.

Lifestyle Coach to the rescue! It's my job to guide you through some lifestyle changes. To do that, I must try and understand you. If a client's cultural background is different from mine, I need to know about their diets and traditions, belief system and family structure. I cannot simply say, well eat less, if you come from a traditional family structure where everyone is overweight because the quantities of foods they eat (think of Filipe and Sione on Biggest Loser).

I liked this statement from my textbook: "For LWMC who have never had a weight problem, identifying with overweight or obese clients may be difficult. Clients do not want to be judged or criticized, especially by someone who just doesn't understand." It goes on the say LWMCs must learn more about the experiences of overweight people through a listing of books in that chapter. While I have been overweight, even 2-3 pounds from being obese, I think it's important for me to really study this dynamic. I want to be able to truly help each and every client. I don't want my clients to think just because I am thin now I don't get it. Trust me I get it!!

As a guide, it's my job to guide clients through their own lifestyle changes. You must set weight loss as well as lifestyle/behavior goals. Most people want to just focus on the weight loss. Not me! I try and stress that behavior changes are most important at the beginning. Behavior change: walk 10 minutes a day. Behavior change: take the stairs instead of the elevator. Behavior change: stop drinking soda. Small things in the whole scheme of things. Little many goals. Start a streak with these things before you even look at the scale!

I knew a co-worker who drank 6 cans of Pepsi a day!!! Wow! I asked her if she even considered diet Pepsi. Of course not. But even if she was to switch to Diet Pepsi, 6 cans a day, that would be an improvement. Then I would get her down to 3 a day, even 1, and of course none. Clients must be able to stick to these behavior changes, so many times they have to be gradual. And new behaviors they are adopting should require as little self-control as possible so that they can become habits as quickly as possible.

Sometimes our environment dictates whether or not we overeat or exercise. I was explaining to my kids last night on our walk, that in college, you can go to the cafeteria and it's like an all-you-can-eat-buffet. You can eat as many hamburgers and fries, pizza, soda, chips, cookies, whatever that you want. I didn't explain the "freshman 15" to them, that also includes limited or no physical activity, quick access to fast food, little or none of the good foods, vending machine junk food, late night study sessions with junk food, eating at irregular times, and I'm not even going to touch the major alcohol consumption (not me!). I lived next to a pizza place on one side and Taco bell on the other when I moved off campus. It didn't get any better! (I should note that I never gained in college, I lost--being a picky eater pays off!)

Or you may not have access to any gym near you and stay in a small apartment were there is no room to get much exercise in. EXCUSES!! I mean, I understand, but still excuses. Leslie's Sansones WATP does not require much space at all. Stretching and lifting some hand weights takes no space. And the vast outdoors--come on! One of the first steps to take in changing your lifestyle in "cleaning up" your immediate environments at home AND at work. Get rid of all high-calories, low-nutrition, fattening foods and purchase fresh fruits and veggies, low cal snacks, bottled or flavored water and proper cooking utensils so that you cook more and eat out less. Keep healthy foods at work as well to avoid going to a vending machine or eating those cookies from the break room (this note is to myself!) Invest in a couple of workout DVDs, some exercise clothes, small hand weights, good tennis shoes and get to moving!

So now you know what to do...why can't most of us just do it!! That's a whole other issue I may have to blog about real soon. Key words though: emotions, stress, habit, self-control, lack of support, challenge, and fear. Did I hit them all? Probably not. I'll have to come back and blog on why we don't do what we're supposed to do (I'm still learning). And I fall into one of those categories as well.