Happy Wednesday! I always think of Wednesday as the ‘springboard’ day of the week, because doesn’t it feel like the second it passes Sunday is here already? I dunno, maybe that’s just me, but lately, life is just going by so quickly.
I was sick for about six weeks, and during that time I couldn’t workout much, and it was making me so down in the dumps. I have such a hard time when I think back to the long periods in my life when I didn’t exercise regularly (even just moving my arms!) — no wonder I turned to other things to try and make myself feel human.
It is always so humbling when I’m getting back into the swing of exercising after many weeks of not having the ability to do so. I think of this whenever I think of people getting started with fitness — maybe for the first time in their life. Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated — in fact, it isn’t — the best advice I can ever give about getting into shape or coming out of a fitness ‘slump’ is to find something you like and take it one workout at a time.
I like to recondition myself by circuit and boot camp workouts. I love the endorphin rush I get after I’ve kicked ass for 45-60 minutes of challenging my body to move and build strength. It’s such a great rush.
So, check out this fit & fab boot camp workout I put together to incorporate into my schedule this week. Time may be flying by IRL but it absolutely will during this fast-paced set of circuits. You can even do this workout outside if you bring along a pair of dumbbells when you hit the park. Save and share this on Pinterest and give it a try!
Let me know if you try it or what your favourite workouts for getting back on track are! And if you’re interested in some great HIIT workouts, check out this article over at Buffedd.com for some more inspiration!
When it comes to an effective workout, many people believe they must go out and buy loads of pricey boutique fitness equipment items. But the truth is, many items you likely already own can help you get in a fast and fun workout that can also bring you great results and the following agilit workout can deliver them!
You may have seen, heard of or even tried a workout using a “medicine ball” as they are a popular (and affordable) piece of exercise equipment to own.
However, many of the moves traditionally performed with a medicine ball can also be carried out using a football, and they will still get you a great workout. Chances are you have a football kicking (pun intended) about somewhere at home!
Workouts using equipment like medicine balls are known as agility-based exercises.
What is agility?
Agility is the ability to change the body’s position while incorporating skills such as balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, and strength. Adding in 2-3 days per week of agility circuits will keep your muscles engaged, metabolism boosted and boredom squashed.
Fast-paced, fun workouts — like the five-move circuit I am sharing with you today — are perfect for those of you who like to keep your workouts fun and challenging.
You may be curious how the use of a football fits into a workout that increases balance, coordinatio, and encourages strength? Exercises performed using a football will allow you to control the force (strength + speed) of each movement you complete. In other words: If you throw your ball at an eight, you will also have to react to the ball at an eight as well. In this way, you can customise and build up your speed, strength, and coordination each time you complete the moves.
When it comes to making the most out of a movement, quality beats out quantity!
As a health and wellness professional, I am all about trying to help people achieve fitness. When I say this, I mean it. I charge SUPER reasonable prices for my services and am willing to work with people’s budgets whenever possible.
I do not believe that exercise (of any kind) should be reserved for the Lululemon-toting population only and that’s why I’m not crazy about brands that charge the price of a compact car for a package of their classes.
A single pair of leggings that cost what a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four does? And they are only available in straight sizes (for the most part)?
I’m cool with celebrities having the best of the best and being able to afford $75 indoor fitness classes and $3500/month for a personal trainer, but this ploy to get regular people to participate in this bullshit is beyond me.
As a former Mad Dogg Athletics instructor, I can also say without any hesitation that some of these high-end boutique classes are bad for you. As in, they will likely injure you due to their heavy focus on exercise contraindications.
Are overpriced fitness classes worth the cost?
Don’t believe me about the contraindications? Read this, this, or this.
Not that SoulCycle stands alone in this criticism. As a former instructor of a popular dance fitness class, I had to stop after the first year because the monthly license fees, insurance, music, and apparel were costing me more than it was worth.
I thought to myself, ‘I love to dance, but there is no reason why people should have to pay me $15/class so that I could afford to dress like MC Hammer and teach classes using corporate choreography.’
The bottom line is; I am just sick of elitism in the fitness world.
I know that they have always been there, but right now, in a time when more than 50% of people earn £20k ($30k USD) or less a year, the fact that people have to feel like shit about not being able to take the “hottest fitness classes” is absurd.
Want my professional advice? Oh, well, you’re gonna get it anyway: Find something you love to do that isn’t going to cost you 25% of your salary and go for it. There are plenty of free and inexpensive fitness programs out there.
As well, if you’re interested, you can sign up for a service like Booya Fitness and get all the benefits of trendy, boutique fitness for a fraction of the cost. Sign up for a 30-Day free trial and check out specially designed workouts by coaches like yours truly (small additional fees apply – but are worth it!).
Getting fit can be effective and affordable. You don’t have to be part of an elite craze to get in shape.
Have you tried trendy boutique fitness classes? Do you find them to be worth the money?
Every time I tried to give notice, the insecurity over not trusting myself enough around food stopped me.
It felt familiar. Crash dieting was second nature.
And so was my self-doubt and dissatisfaction with my body.
I tried every crash diet, pill, potion, cleanse whathaveyou over the nearly two decades of my toxic relationship with food and my body.
So, I tried something radical (for me): I simply quit crash dieting.
What do I consider ‘crash dieting’? Anything extreme – as in the polar opposite of whatever way a person may have been eating – and with strict parameters (i.e. cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and lemon ‘cleanses’; celebrity juice diets, ‘detox’ pills/shakes, etc.). I’ve worked with clients who would rage over not losing weight fast enough when they lived on celery juice Monday through Friday — and then drank bottomless glasses of merlot and the brunch buffet all weekend long. There is no need to do all of that black and white restrictive crap, and it is the one way I would say you will likely not keep the weight off if you continue your relationship with food in this way.
What I learned when I (finally) quit crash dieting
I got to eat what I wanted without feeling any guilt.
When you don’t have restrictions placed on your diet left, right and centre it gets a lot less stressful when you decide to let yourself eat!
I spent so many years worrying about whether the food had the right amount of carbs, sugar, fats, macros that it took all of the joy out of eating.
Seriously, just making a decision to eat was like solving a puzzle when half the pieces were missing.
Frustrating AND boring.
When I stopped restricting myself, I also stopped shaming and depriving myself. Deprivation is fuel to the crash diet and food-obsessed person’s inner motivation fire.
Without all the self-policing, I was able to focus on listening to my body and becoming more in touch with what I could eat rather than what I ‘shouldn’t.’
When you take strict restriction out of the equation, your urge to punish yourself for your food choices is no longer.
I saved money even though I was eating more.
I was a total sucker for energy drinks, diet snacks, and protein bars; not to mention diet pills, caffeine, and fitness-enhancing supplements.
All of these “health” products were slimming down my bank account and doing nothing for my well-being.
I soon discovered that eating whole foods was not only more satisfying but much more beneficial to my overall fitness level. And because I was eating healthy, flavourful foods like healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and real protein sources, I found that when I did try to eat an odd “energy” bar, I was paying £2 to eat something that tasted like plastic and probably contained it too!
In the same respect, a piece of pie or cake for dessert tasted so much better. Without eating processed foods, I appreciated the richness and flavour of the items I was eating.
I realised that I was “addicted” to certain foods.
I began to recognise my true hunger cues and my body was able to lead me to a better understanding of my appetite and how to feed it. It made me understand that I was truly addicted to certain processed foods. I now understand that some foods do ‘trigger’ me to eat more and fall into a food ‘rabbit hole. For years I thought that food addiction was bullshit. It’s not. I have read lots of research, I have worked with people who have successfully changed their body and life from cutting out foods that ‘trigger’ them, and I know from my own experience.
An arbitrary crash diet is an anchor for shaming ourselves. When I ceased to shame myself my relationship with food, I also stopped the cycle of body negativity.
A new cycle of rational and healthy give and take begins when you quit crash dieting.
Eating what my body needs for health and vitality, stopped the mental battle I was living through while I was engaging in restrictive crash dieting.
I stopped continually being in a bad mood which I attributed to two things 1) Arbitrary food guides were no longer screwing with my digestion and bodily functions and 2) I stopped shaming the hell out of myself for not being compliant with a wackadoodle diet plan.
It is incredible how much better you will see your body when you stop punishing yourself for not putting it through unnecessary hell.
Self-compassion is something with which most of us struggle. You’re only human, and there are enough causes in life to get passionate and fight against, your body doesn’t need to be one of them!
I lost some weight (and it has stayed off)
Emotional and physical weight can be present in our lives in equal measure. When I quit my crash diet cycle and began embracing self-compassion, it enabled me to shift weight without conscious effort.
As an eating psychology coach who utilises neurolinguistic programming, I can tell you that when you spend life thinking negative statements, you will also spend your time fighting against those thoughts and get the very thing you don’t want.
When you say to yourself “I can’t eat sugar,” your mind will only hear, “eat sugar.” While you think you are commanding yourself into not to doing something, you are talking yourself into obsessing over the very action you are trying to avoid