Wednesday, January 13, 2010

focus on fitness results FIRST!

Phazes went through another round of fitness assessments this week with mixed results. some lost weight and inches others only saw inprovements in their heart rate and strength and endurance. I saw some clients jump for joy as they got off the scale and I saw others get severely depressed when they did not get the numbers they hoped for.

Here's the deal - everyone loses weight differently. there are a lot of factors that go into your end results and there is a REASON I do an entire fitness test and not just a weigh in to see your results.

- what have you been eating? are you keeping a food journal? eliminate all that processed food and increase your produce intake and really really TRACK what you eat.
We just went through a Holiday season when the typical American gains 5-10 pounds. did you have weight gain or a weight loss or did you manage to stay the same and still eat like garbage while working out? If you were able to maintain and did nothing about changing your past bad eating habits - pat yourself on the back - you just outdid the majority of the nation.

- how hard are you working? Most of us are NOT contestants on the biggest loser getting our butt kicked 6-8 hours a day. Our output is a LOT less. so you will not be seeing crazy weight loss results like that without going to drastic measures. that kind of show has a lot of doctors and lawyers backing them up in case someone gets put in the hospital for overdoing it. BUT are you working within your recommended training zone 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour? are you working up a sweat for 30 minutes a day? or are you quitting when it gets a little tough for you? don't be afraid to sweat!

- where was your fitness level before you started? This is why I do my fitness tests that covers testing your strength as well as flexibility and heart health. Often times when someone comes in as a Pre-Rookie level, they are trying to build up enough strength to just make it through a single session without passing out. after some time has passed (the amount of time is different for everyone) I encourage the client to try the next phaze of activity for the next fitness level. everyone has increased in ability! and really... isn't this where fitness and health are KEY!
are you able to do more than you did a month or 2 ago? are you stronger? how is your heart doing? I have often debated throwing the scale out and quit doing measurements. I know it's what gets everyone the most excited. But what is truly more important than any of that is what can you do now that you couldn't do before?
I had one client whose resting heart rate improved from 96 beats per minute (way under the mark to even hit BAD) to an insanely wonderful 60 Beats per minute! we are at the excellent mark now competing with athletes! You just added YEARS to your life! celebrate in it! that was for a woman over 50 years old.

- can you do push ups, sit ups, etc??? more than you could do before? I believe in functional fitness for a purpose. if you are just losing weight to get into your old jeans it serves your vanity and your self image. BUT if you are working out to get fit - your ability to do the things necessary for life is improved. can you hold your own body weight or jog a mile if needed? other than your vanity and self image, can improving your fitness help other areas of your life? do you have anyone in your life that may need you to lift them up out of a chair and help them across the floor at some point? could you do it? or are you the one everyone is going to have to lift up and carry around?

- Stress makes it hard to lose weight. Stress produces Cortizol which collects in the abdomen causing weight gain. so what are you stressing about? let it go - or change what you can.

- can you have fun doing your workouts? laugh about life! no matter what your fitness level - enjoy your journey! Like I said - most of us are not in a nationally televised weight loss competition trying to win 100,000's of dollars with personal trainers on our case all day and nutrition experts helping us prepare meals and doctors on call any time of day to assist us. we live in a real world. the danger of thinking you will have results that compare to shows like that, is that you will get depressed and quit. this is a LIFE LONG JOURNEY! I don't know ANYONE that is DONE getting fit! I certainly am not! I have many years ahead that I intend to get fit enough to one day run a marathon when my kids are older. I want to climb mount everest when I am 65. I want to be like my dad and be the oldest person alive to climb a mountain in some obscure village in south america. I want to backpack across the nation. I want to run, jump, climb and play. Or at least be able to do those things as long as I am capable and in control of my own health. I don't care how much I weigh anymore. in fact, I would love to put on a pound or 2 of muscle (or more). If I focused on the scale, or my size as my main goal, I would be just as depressed as the next person. the truth is I am a size 8-10. I know some people my same height and age that are 125 - 130 and are size 6. according to all the charts - I should be able to do that. but if that were my focus, I might not eat enough calories to keep up with my activity level - running, bootcamp, dance, hiking, kids, dogs, and strength training. I would find myself drained of energy. today I focus on eating right trying to follow the clean eating plan as much as possible) and building strength and endurance. my ideal weight and size will find me in time. Be patient - yours will too. keep up the amazing work everyone!

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