Thursday, January 6, 2011

Abs ARE made in the kitchen - Client #1's Results, "You have nothing to lose but fat"

Hi friends.  .I wanted to share with you the results from my VERY first client. We'll call her Rosa =) I met Rosa a while ago when we worked together and she continues to support me in my health and wellness goals - even sending cards of encouragement as I struggle through this Ph.D. program.

Rosa is naturally tall and lean. As you'll read from her descriptions she was an athlete her entire life and has generally taken a healthy approach to eating and fitness. HOWEVER, last year Rosa kept telling me about her lack of energy, need for diet cokes, a desire to be even leaner and inability to ever feel full off of what she was eating. Around this time I was toying with Paleo and suggested some things to her, but hell I wasn't even really doing Paleo myself. BUT when it finally started to click for me I URGED Rosa to commit to eating Paleo.

She refused

It was like trying to get my near narcoleptic dog to wake up - NOTHING I said mattered. She finally came on board but complained for about 7-10 days. . .her energy was low, she was hungry, what could she eat here, what about here, what about when she went out to eat, etc, etc.

At this point I was doing strict paleo so her complaints fell on deaf ears and after the first week of tough love I can say without question that Client #1 is a ROCKSTAR! I saw Client #1 at my fantastical birthday party and she was the leanest I'd EVER seen her.

 Additionally, her commitment to eating has caused her to get ALL of her pants taken in. . .wait - let me repeat that.

Can you ever imagine in your life having to get ALL of your pants taken in?

I share client #1's results with you (she doesn't have a before picture but her abs in this photo I think say enough) =) because of the following

1. Many of the folks that I encourage are naturally lean like Rosa. And most of you complain and refuse like she did. As you'll see in her interview she NEVER imagined she could be this lean - ALL from changing the way she eats.

2. Rosa doesn't even do Crossfit (yet!). She's starting in February and I can't WAIT to see those results.

I hope this interview inspires you (regardless of your size-but especially for my more thin friends). . .look at what she says about sleep, energy, feeling full.

So the question is - why AREN'T you doing this?

PS - I'll be posting my 30 and 90 day reveal shortly

1. Client #1 (=)) - introduce yourself to the people of the interwebs. Tell them about yourself. . .what type of fitness activities have you done throughout your life? What do you currently do?
I am an (almost) 30 year old, married, professional woman living in Atlanta. I work full-time in a job I love and balance my work stress with working out - mainly running and swimming. Exercise is my best form of stress relief, self-confidence and fun! I have always been very active and started swimming competitively when I was 9. I swam relentlessly through high school and switched to playing water polo in college. As part of training for both of those sports, I have always lifted weights, run and done a combination on in-and out-of-water work outs. After college, I continued to swim, run and lift weights to stay in shape. More recently (in the last two years) I started adding structure to my workouts by training for road races, specifically half marathons.  
2. What was your nutrition like before paleo? What did you typically do to maintain your body weight?

Before I started eating an 80/20 Paleo diet, I didn't pay too much attention to what I was eating. I felt like as long as I was cooking at home - nothing too rich or creamy - I was doing my husband and I a favor by eating healthy. I focused on balanced meals that included meat, starch and vegetables, but didn't place too much emphasis on how much of each was involved in each meal. My philosophy was that I exercised so I could eat whatever I wanted. The long, intense exercise I did on a regular basis (3 - 4 times a week) kept my weight steady.

3. You've been athletic your entire life and seem to have a long and lean body type why were you looking for a change in your nutrition. What sort of changes did you want (did you think these things were possible)

I inherited some great genes - I am 5'10 with a slender frame and have enough athletic ability to really enjoy it and experience some athletic success, but I have known for a long time that I carry most of my weight in my hips and thighs. As I got older (yuck) it has been more of a challenge to stay lean. I found that even though I was a healthy weight and had a great shape from consistent exercise, I wanted to get leaner mostly through my hips and thighs. I started running more, which helped, but it didn't quite get me to where I wanted to be. I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't working hard enough and that with my lifestyle, I would never have the time or energy to do what I needed to to achieve success. Mind you, in high school, when I was at my leanest, and in college, when I got into incredible shape, I was working out twice a day at least 4 times a week, so I thought that's what I needed to do. So I gave up on working out more and decided to live with it.

Then, earlier this year, I found myself just absolutely crashing every afternoon around 2 or 3. I felt hungry after each meal I was eating and in the afternoon I felt like all I wanted was a nap. I tried more caffeine, less caffeine, more food, less food, more exercise and less exercise. Nothing was making me feel better for an extended period of time and it was getting really frustrating not to be able to focus for three hours of my work day - let alone go home, cook and work out!

Ultimately that's when I decided to try Paleo. If anything could give me more energy, I was willing to try it.

3. What were the three hardest things about switching to paleo eating in the beginning? 
Figuring out what I could take to work to eat was tough - packing three lunches every day was a challenge, but once I figured out a few "go to" meals, it was really easy.

Making dinner my husband would eat was hard - he's not Paleo, so it had to be delicious and filling (because if it wasn't filling he'd want to go out for ice cream after, which didn't help me much).

Getting used to eating more often without obsessing about the volume I was eating was the hardest part. At first I felt like I was eating all the time - just shoving it down. I didn't understand how that could be good for me and it took a while for my metabolism to catch up. I actually worried about getting fat - sigh.

4. What have been the largest gains and benefits you've seen since switching to paleo?
Fat loss - woo hoo! I started seeing a difference in my body fat in the first two weeks. It was amazing. I was shocked that I was able to get leaner and lose weight without working out more. I was seeing a difference that I never anticipated.

No food guilt! I can eat often and as much as I want as long as it's Paleo and I don't have any guilty feelings of overeating. It's such a relief.

I have a better sense of being full. Now that I eat more often, I have noticed that even when I want to overeat, I notice when I am full much sooner than I used to. So even for cheat meals, I don't eat as much as I used to.


5. How much weight have you lost? Have you changed clothing sizes? 

I lost about 8 pounds since the end of July when I started, which is a pretty big percentage of my overall body weight. I am not sure how much was fat loss. I have dropped a pants size (my dress size is still the same because of my build and that most of my fat loss was in my hips and thighs). Crazy! I never wore this size before - ever, not even in college. I had been a size 8 for as long as I can remember.

6. I know you recently had a PR during a half marathon. . .What can you attribute that to?

I bettered my previous best time by 5 minutes. I think there are a lot of factors that led to my PR - a flatter course, colder weather - but my training regiment was the same one I used for previous half marathons. I trained on easier courses, which should have meant I was less prepared for the race itself, but I found I was running really good times on my training runs. I had an incredible amount of endurance and while I am not ready to say it was ll because of my change in diet, I think it definitely played a role.

7. You mention that your energy levels are through the roof? Why do you think that is? What was your energy like before? Are you sleeping better?
I thought my energy before was pretty good. I was alert and engaged for most of the day, except for the afternoon. Once I hit a low between 2 and 4, I would rebound a little bit with a snack and a workout. Now, I have sustained energy throughout the day unless I don't eat enough protein at a meal. I have noticed a huge difference in the role of protein and how it relates to my energy levels. Also, everyone knows that eating carbs is a great way to get sleepy, so by minimizing the processed carbs, I am not wasting energy digesting those.

I have always been a really good sleeper, so I didn't notice a change there.


8. And finally. . .WHAT would you say to the tons of folks out there who are on the fence about paleo. . .who are resistant? Particularly those who are already athletic, thin people?
Oh my god - you have nothing to lose but fat! Try at least an 80/20 Paleo diet and if you don't have more energy and less fat in a few weeks, you can say "I told you so." Give it a try and really commit to it - you'll feel so much lighter and your body will feel so much cleaner and efficient you'll see the returns in the mirror and the gym. As hard as thin, athletic people work in the gym, going Paelo for a month will seem like you're cheating somehow and getting more return out of the work you're doing in the gym. You end up getting so many more returns for very little sacrifice. Just try it!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Diet = Size 24, there I said it =)

If you've set a new years resolution it's dumb. . .plain and simple. I hate to tell you but even dumber is calling what your doing a diet. I can say this because I pretty much have consistently dieted since the age of oh. . .I don't  know 12 or 13. Obviously that didn't work because at one point in my life I was wearing a size 24. So yes, diet does = size 24. . .

That being said. I am encouraging EACH of you to change the way you think about your health this year (after all I could care less what you weigh - I care about your overall health and wellness). So if your goal is to lose 20 lbs, deadlift 50 more lbs, run a half marathon (kill me - I don't know why I still am considering running 13 miles when no one is chasing me, but more to come in the next blog post). Start thinking about how you're going to get there. You won't get there from a diet or an exercise program.

Instead, you'll get there from 3,000 decisions you have to make EVERY DAY. Sounds daunting I know - but that's the reality of health and wellness. 

90% of the people you work with, go to school with or hell, even live with are not that concerned about their health and wellness. So if you're going to go against the grain and do something different you must be CONSISTENT in your decisions, to do better than you did the day before.  Although it's not ALWAYS going to seem this hard, in the beginning it IS going to seem like a struggle  But I'll leave you with this quote because it can become second nature

The hard must become habit.  The habit must become easy.  The easy must become beautiful.  ~Doug Henning

Below are my nugget's thoughts about resolutions - you'll see a theme here, there dumb =)

How many times have you set resolutions and broken them? Pretty much every year right? How many times do you set unreal expectations and resolutions for yourself then when you fail get more disheartened than before?

Jasmine has always encouraged the people she helps with paleo and crossfitters to set realistic goals... and I am here to re-enforce her concerns and encouragement all in one short blog. The number 2 New Years resolution for 2010 was to get fit and to lose weight, etc. but for all of those who failed this past year, was it realistic or not? Looking back on it, did you set a goal to loose 300 pounds or realistic numbers?

Now who would I be if I didn’t relate to the blog I posted. My goal this year was to get a 6-pack, did it happen? NO! Don’t stop reading now, keep going. So I may not have a six-pack but lets go over what has happened this year, I’ve lost 13 pounds, I am the thinnest I’ve been since high school, and I’m down to a size two COMFORTABLY... so what would’ve been the realistic resolution? To get fit and to get strong or to get a 6-pack... as I posted in an earlier thought from a nugget, it’s all about balance... could I get a 6 Pack, most likely, however, I will most likely not ever have one and the reasons are as follows: Mac and Cheese, Zaxby’s, and overall happiness.

Now don’t read this and completely jump the bandwagon, still set goals for yourself, still grow and achieve what you set, but find the best way to do it and maintain your happiness and most importantly, don’t set goals too high for yourself and get down on yourself when you fail...

If you’re still planning on setting the second most popular resolution and you’re debating joining a crossfit, please just try it... Crossfit Peachtree is one of the best things that has ever happened to me... The people are amazing, the workouts are challenging and hard, but not so hard that I’m miserable for days on end afterwards, and the results are indisputable!

I’ll keep this short and sweet! Hope you’ve had an amazing Christmas. Here is to 2011, may it only be better than 2010!

BIG THOUGHTS - little nugget...