Are you a yo-yo dieter?

I was one of those people who started and stopped repeatedly before something finally clicked in my head and I actually stuck with it . There comes a time when you realize that you just have to suck it up and work your butt off for what you want! For me, that time came when I was finishing my third year of university. I realized that I was about to enter into another graduating year. and I was quite a bit heavier than I had been in high school. I was miserable the year I graduated high school, and I spent much of the year by myself because I was too self-conscious about my weight to actually go to any of the events. I did not want to go through that again, so I decided to put my foot down and make a change.

Changing your habits isn’t easy, and I am not going to lie to you and tell you that it is. It is hard work physically, it is hard work in the kitchen, and it is hard work mentally and emotionally. You need to exercise regularly, eat clean 90% of the time, and deal with the mental battles you will face when it comes to temptation. You will also need to deal with the emotional ups and downs that comes along with a fitness journey. You are going to give in to temptation at some point, and you’ll feel guilty. You’re going to see progress and feel great. You’re also likely going to hit a plateau at some point or maybe even gain a few pounds back, and you’ll have to deal with the negative emotions that come along with that.

The important thing is not how many times you slip up or make a mistake, but in how many times to get back up and keep fighting. One bad day is not going to destroy your progress, but one good day is not going to help you achieve your goals. You just need to keep fighting the mental and emotional battles, keep on track with your nutrition 90% of the time, and keep working out regularly.

Slow progress is progress, so don’t give up! Each time you give up, you will just put the weight that you lost right back on. Then when you decide to get started again, you’ll have even more weight to lose. You need to remember that the time is going to pass regardless, so you may as well keep pushing toward your goals.

If you are ready to make the commitment to yourself and a healthier future, we should talk. Send me an email to hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “I’m ready to transform” to discuss the opportunity to be a part of a challenge group of individuals going through the same process!

Do your relationships hamper your progress?

Don’t let other people tear you down. There are going to be people out there that are going to try to discourage you from making positive life changes and/or tell you that you can’t do it. This may even come from someone close to you, like a friend or family member. This hurts, but you can’t let them beat you down to their level.

If you’ve watched Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell over the years like I have, you’ll have learned that sometimes the people closest to us will try to prevent us from being successful on our journey simply because they aren’t ready to make those changes themselves. Sometimes they do it without even realizing it, and though they would never intentionally do something to hurt you, their subconscious wins the battle and they say or do things that can set you back.

Making the shift from junk food to healthy food and from inactivity to activity on a regular basis is not easy. It takes hard work and dedication. This process is made much more difficult if you don’t have a support system to lean on. For example, if you live with a spouse or significant other that doesn’t want to make healthier choices, or if your friends constantly invite you out to places where you’ll be tempted to eat poorly.

What I would recommend that you do moving forward is to start analyzing the people in your life. Think about the people that mean the most to you, and the people you spend the most time with. Once you’ve figured that out, you should then have an open and honest conversation with each of those people. Say, “listen, I have decided to start eating better and working out because it is very important to me that I get healthy and/or lose weight. As my family member/friend, I was really hoping that you would support me on this journey.”

If they are the type of person that says or does things that bring you down and work against your health and fitness goals, you can add something like “You are very important to me, and I don’t want to damage our relationship. However, I feel like you sometimes say and/or do things that make it more difficult for me to stick with my positive life choices. I would love for you to join me on this journey, but if you aren’t ready, I at least need that discouraging behaviour to stop. Otherwise I might have to take some time away from you for a while until these new life choices have had the chance to become habits”

This isn’t always an easy conversation to have, but it is important if you want to be successful. If you’re open and honest with them about what you want and how you are feeling, they will likely be open and honest with you in return. It may be just the push they need to agree to these changes themselves, and it could really strengthen your relationship. However, if they refuse to join you and they continue the negative behaviour, you really should consider taking some time away from that person to work on yourself. You need to surround yourself with positive people that support you and your health and fitness goals, otherwise your chances of being successful tend to dwindle.

As for household relationships, like children and/or spouses, think about who does the grocery shopping. Is it you? If so, just gradually start reducing the amount of junk food you have in the house! Your family might not like it at first, but if you replace the junk foods that they enjoy with some healthier options, they will get used to it over time.

You need to be a positive role model for your friends and family. SHOW them that it is possible to make these life choices and what kind of results can come from making those choices. Invite them to join you on your workouts. Talk to them about how you are feeling now that you have started this awesome journey, and make them want to join in.

If you have children, this is more important than ever, because children will model after you when it comes to food choice in most cases. If you constantly eat junk food and allow them to eat junk food, they are going to learn that junk food is good. If you don’t eat junk food regularly and you don’t keep junk food in the house or allow your kids to eat it regularly, they will learn that junk food is not good for you and that they can only have it as a treat once in a while. The problem is that many people are eating junk food ALL DAY every day. For example kids get sent to school with chips, cookies, fruit roll ups, lunchables, gummies, etc. Instead, send your kids to school with healthier snacks like fruit and veggies.

If you teach your children healthy habits early in their lives, they are less likely to become overweight or obese going into adulthood. I wish that I had been forced to learn healthy habits when I was a child, because I could have avoided all of the years that I spent depressed and in self-imposed isolation because of my weight.

Send me an email to hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “I’m ready to transform” if you would like to make me your free Beachbody Coach. I look forward to speaking with you, and I can’t wait to watch your mind and body transform over the course of your health and fitness journey.

Are you addicted to junk food?

I saw a post from one of my challengers in my free Health and Fitness group yesterday, and I decided to make this blog post about it because I feel as though it is important. Anyone who has ever struggled with food addiction will understand this, and anyone who hasn’t, probably won’t. Some people may even find this notion completely ridiculous, but if you haven’t been through it, it would be hard to grasp. So, what is addiction anyway?

“A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol” Dictionary.com

The idea here is that food can be an addiction much like alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling, etc. If you struggle with food addiction, chances are you have formed a habit of eating snacks as you watch television or movies. It can be so drilled into your mind that it is actually hard for you to sit through an entire show or movie without getting a snack of some sort. I struggled with this bigtime when I started my fitness journey, and I had to ease my way into eating healthy by still snacking at night with healthier options. It is not easy to change these habits, but just like any other addiction that is damaging to your health, you have to work at it to break these habits.

Maybe this kind of addiction isn’t as obvious or extreme as some of the others out there, but it is still detrimental to your health in the long run. From what I’ve read, it seems there are differing opinions on this topic from health professionals. However, having been through it, I strongly believe that eating can be a psychological addiction.

“A strong or harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)” Merriam Webster

In this case, the strong and harmful need factor would be applied to junk food, and the act would be considered eating. What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that for many people struggling with weight issues, eating is more than fuel for our bodies. For some of us, eating is a form of comfort. We get sad, depressed, angry, frustrated, stressed out, et cetera, and we immediately head for the junk food. Sometimes this is completely subconscious behaviour, but we do it anyway. This ends up being a NEVER-ENDING cycle! You eat to make yourself feel better for negative emotions, and then you gain weight. The weight gain makes you feel even worse, so you go for the junk food again to feel better. You then gain more weight, eat more junk, and the cycle goes on and on and on until you put a stop to it.

“… most addictive behavior is not related to either physical tolerance or exposure to cues. People compulsively use drugs, gamble, or shop nearly always in reaction to being emotionally stressed, whether or not they have a physical addiction. Since these psychologically based addictions are not based on drug or brain effects, they can account for why people frequently switch addictive actions from one drug to a completely different kind of drug, or even to a non-drug behavior. The focus of the addiction isn’t what matters; it’s the need to take action under certain kinds of stress.” Psychology Today

What does this mean? Well, what this means to me is that it is possible for you to shift your “addiction” from food to fitness. It honestly worked for me, and I think it can work for everyone else too. Exercise releases endorphins into your brain, which ultimately makes you feel better overall! When I finish an intense workout, I usually feel refreshed. There have been many times when I’ve been upset or angry when I went down to do an intense cardio workout like Turbo Fire or Combat, and by the end of the workout, I felt a million times better than when I started.

If you start gradually decreasing your bad food habits and exercising on a regular basis, you WILL start to see results. You’ll start to feel better about yourself, you’ll sense the brain fog from all of the junk food start to lift, and you’ll start regaining your confidence as you lose weight from your positive life choices.

Are you ready to start working toward a happier and healthier life for yourself and your loved ones? If so, send me an email to hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “I’m ready to transform”.

I can’t wait to help you along your journey as your free coach, and I look forward to watching you transform!

On a diet do you look at junk food and think “I can’t have that”?

Chances are, you probably do. This is something that a lot of people do, myself included.

Here is the problem with that: You know that common saying that you always want that which you can’t have? Well when you think that you “can’t” have something, it makes you want it that much more. In order to change your eating habits long term you have to change your way of thinking about it first.

From now on, instead of saying “I can’t have this” to yourself each time you see a treat you’d like to have, but know you shouldn’t – try saying “I don’t eat this”. Think about what junk food does to your body and mind. It causes you to gain weight, it causes brain fog, it causes drowsiness, and much much more. Then think about your goals and what you want for yourself with respect to your health and your life.

Is your goal to be healthy, have energy, lose weight, etc.? If the answer to that question is yes, then you need to start telling yourself that you don’t eat junk food anymore. Not because you can’t have it, but because you don’t want to put all of that junk and toxins into your body.

Click Here if you would like to create a FREE Team Beachbody account to gain access to a variety of information on health, fitness, and nutrition.

Do you reward yourself with food for your successes?

I was really bad when it comes to stress eating, and reward eating, and just eating in general. If I was having a bad day, I would self-soothe with ice cream or chips. If I was doing really well, I would think that I had earned myself a treat.

Now that I’ve gotten into healthy eating, I consider healthier snacks to be treats like greek yogurt and strawberries. Once you find healthier versions of the junk food you used to like, they can become your treats. What I have learned about rewarding yourself with junk food is that it is a very slippery slope. Once you have that treat, you may bring back all of those cravings to the forefront of your brain and have to start from scratch trying to get rid of them.

When I reach goals that I set for myself, I reward myself by buying new clothes to replace those that are now too big for me. If your goal is to fit into a bikini or swimming trunks and look great by summertime, and you hit your goal, treat yourself to a hot new bikini or swimming trunks!

This is a lifestyle change, and it is not something you kind of start and then stop as soon as you reach your goal. It is something that you continue with for years to come to KEEP the results that you’ve gotten. I have made this switch, and you can make it too!

Email me at hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “Beachbody: I’m Ready”, and I will help you work through the options to find a program that will be best suited for your individual goals and needs.

Are people trying to sabotage your success?

You probably wouldn’t expect this, but people (including those closest to you, like friends and family) do tend to sabotage others unfortunately. A lot of the time they will do it subconsciously, and they don’t realize that they are doing it. This happens because you act as a mirror to them, meaning that you reflect their bad choices.

Seeing you make positive changes in your life makes them feel bad about themselves because they know they really should do it too, but they don’t have the strength to do it. Instead, they try to bring you back down to their level and get things back to the way they once were. When this happens you need to be clear with those people that they need to accept that you’ve made these changes, and don’t let them discourage you from doing something that is going to improve your life.

It can be really hard, especially if that person is your significant other. Unfortunately I’ve seen many cases where one member of the relationship chooses to change their life for the better, and the other does not. What tends to happen here is the person that chose to make good changes will revert back to old habits to ease the pressure, OR the relationship will end up on the rocks.

This can be REALLY scary for people, because essentially in some cases you are choosing between your relationship or your health. The way that I see it though, is that if your significant other can’t support you in your decision to get healthy and they would prefer to make you keep your unhealthy habits – they simply do not deserve to be in your life. You should surround yourself with positive people that motivate and encourage you, not people who try to bring you down.

Having a good support system is crucial for most people to be successful on their weight loss journey, so it adds a lot of pressure when those closest to you are not supportive. If you have someone (friend, family member, or otherwise) like that in your life, I would strongly recommend that you sit them down and tell them how you feel. If they still won’t budge, I would consider how much you really need them in your life. If you don’t want to cut them out completely, it would definitely be a good idea to at least limit the time you spend with them temporarily. Once you’ve fully established your new healthy behaviours as habits, you can then reintegrate them into your life if desired.

Click Here if think you could benefit from some extra support through myself as your FREE Team Beachbody coach as well as through our challenge group of like-minded individuals going through their own transformations,

3 key ingredients to a successful weight loss journey

I recently discovered the magic of podcasts (lol, yes, I am a total newb when it comes to that stuff), and I listened to an episode featuring the amazing fitness trainer, Tony Horton. I absolutely loved him in P90X, which was the program that I got started with initially when I was introduced to Beachbody. He has also put out a number of other programs including Power 90, P90X2, and P90. The point here is: HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT!

One of the biggest takeaways from this podcast was the three key factors that he listed as being necessary for most people to be successful on their health and fitness journey. Coming from personal experience, this is definitely true (at least for me).

VARIETY

First of all, the primary reasons that people tend to give up on their health and fitness journeys often involve boredom, injuries, and hitting plateaus. I have been through all three of these at different times throughout my own journey. Luckily, I have been able to bounce back from that and not throw in the towel completely. However, many people don’t have the willpower to jump back on the horse when they fall off.

How did I keep myself on track? Through VARIETY. After two rounds of P90X, I got bored. Instead of letting that be the end of my fitness journey, I started a completely different program: Turbo Fire. It was so drastically different from P90X, and it was super fun and upbeat, so I stopped feeling bored with my workouts. I felt a similar boredom when I was doing LES Mills Pump, because in the final month it just seemed like I was doing the exact same thing over and over. What did I do to rectify the issue? I started ChaLEAN Extreme! Problem = SOLVED.

If you are just running on the treadmill or using the elliptical, or doing the same old exercises day in and day out at the gym, there is a much higher likelihood that you are going to get bored. Most people don’t enjoy doing the same basic things over and over again, and it can lead to feeling of dread when you think about going to work out. You need your workouts to be fresh and fun to keep you interested and coming back. The thing that I love most about Beachbody programs is that most of them switch things up every month, so you are always doing something new and different. In addition, your muscles NEED change from time to time to improve. If you are constantly doing the same thing, your muscles will grow accustomed to what you are doing and you won’t make as much progress.

CONSISTENCY

You need to be consistent with your workouts and with clean eating. If you just do a couple workouts here and there and you are spotty with your nutrition, you’re not going to see the kind of progress that you may be hoping for. If you are serious about wanting to lose weight and get fit, you should be doing AT LEAST 4 workouts a week. You should always be working out more days than you do not work out. Personally, I always aim to do 6. Your body needs a rest period to recover from the intense workouts, so I usually pick my busiest day to use as a rest day. With respect to diet, you should aim to be on track with your nutrition 90% of the time.

“We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle

If you eat clean consistently over an extended period of time, you are going to become healthier and you are going to lose some weight. If you work out consistently over an extended period of time, you are going to become fit and healthy, and you are going to experience weight loss. In contrast, if you are eating junk consistently and you consistently skip out on your workouts over an extended period of time, at the very least you’ll stay where you are, but in many cases you just end up packing on more and more weight.

INTENSITY

You need to PUSH YOURSELF. You have to go as hard as you possibly can, without making yourself hate the workout. You don’t have to go totally crazy with this and make it so intense that you almost pass out or you throw up or something along those lines. It can be as simple as just going a little deeper in your lunges and squats, jumping a little higher, going up one pound in weight, adding one or two extra reps, etc. You just can’t keep doing the exact same thing over and over without making it harder, or else you won’t see much improvement.

If you’re lifting weights, you need to be constantly trying to push yourself by going up in weight and/or adding more reps. You need to really feel the burn in the last few reps, but as soon as your form goes south – you’re done. If you’re doing cardio, push yourself by jumping higher, moving faster, kicking/punching harder, etc.

If you keep increasing the intensity of your workouts gradually over an extended period of time, you are bound to see some pretty incredible results! Our Beachbody programs provide you with the tools you need to check off Variety and Intensity from this list, but the Consistency is totally up to you! Our programs are full of variety to keep you interested in your workouts, and the trainers will constantly encourage you to push harder and do your best. If you take this seriously and follow through consistently, there is no telling what kind of results you could achieve!

Click Here if you are ready to get started on your health and fitness journey!

What is Shakeology and why should you drink it?

Since I’ve spoken to a bunch of people in my Bikini Bootcamps and Challenge Groups, I have had numerous people ask me “What is Shakeology?” Many of you seem to be wondering if you can skip the challenge pack and just go straight for the program to save money, and you can, but I just wanted to share this so that you can see the true value behind the challenge pack.

I am a firm believer in the value of Shakeology, because I have felt the effects firsthand. Those of you that know me personally would know I used to promote Visalus back like 3 years ago, so you are probably skeptical, and I totally wouldn’t blame you one bit. However, I stopped promoting Visalus for a reason.. I gained all of the weight that I had lost back as soon as I stopped using the product.

I was super skeptical to try shakeology myself when I started P90X for the first time, and it took my coach a few months to finally convince me to give another meal replacement shake a try. I bought shakeology after being told of the bottom of the bag guarantee, where if you don’t find that shakeology works, you can send it back for a full refund – even if the bag is completely empty. I’ve been drinking shakeology daily ever since.

I find that it gives me a boost in energy, helps with regularity, makes me feel healthier, and because I make it in a way that I LOVE, I’ve found it has helped curb my sweet tooth cravings. If you asked any of my family members, they would be able to tell you that growing up I was always pretty sickly. I would get sick multiple times a year. Since I started drinking shakeology, I RARELY ever get sick because it has boosted my immune system.

Shakeology is NOT a weight loss drink. It is a nutrition dense shake that helps get your system functioning normally, which ultimately does help with weight loss. Even if you are not ready to get into fitness, I would strongly recommend you at least give shakeology a try – not just for weight loss, but for your overall health.

Click Here if you would like to learn more about Shakeology.

Sometimes all it takes is for you to make up your mind

One quote that has been resonating with me ever since I became a coach is that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. This could not be more true, and I’ve seen it time and time again. I can give you a million reasons why you should work out and eat healthy, but until you DECIDE that you need to change, it is not going to happen.

I can not physically force you to exercise, and I can’t force feed you healthy food or follow you around and slap your hand every time you reach for junk food. You are in control, and it is ultimately up to you to make the choice to create a healthier future for yourself!

You honestly just have to reach a point in your life where you know that you need to change for the better, no matter what the reason may be. For me it was because I was sick of isolating myself and being lonely and depressed. I wanted to regain my confidence so that I could start living my life again. Once you reach that point in your life where you just know that things HAVE to change, I sincerely hope that something will click in your mind and you will gain a sense of determination. That is what happened to me. I just knew I needed to make a change so that I could have a better life, so I decided to push through workouts that nearly killed me and to eat healthy because I was determined to reach my goals.

Click Here if you’re at that point in your life now, and you’re ready to make a change.

Don’t let failures hold you back

This is something that everyone should live by, and it holds great meaning for those into health and fitness as well. You are bound to slip up a few times, or even a bunch of time, and make some mistakes along your journey. That is perfectly normal, and it would actually be kind of weird if you DIDN’T make any mistakes or slip ups! Everyone has bad days sometimes where they just don’t have it in them to resist temptation. The holidays can be tough, because you’re surrounded with yummy treats. Vacations can be a menace because it is easier to grab a snack on the fly than to make a healthy meal. You don’t have to be good 100% of the time, and it is okay to splurge a little bit occasionally.

The problem with these “slip up’s” is not that you had them, it is often the way in which you think about them. For example, you have a big meal over the holidays with dessert. That is okay, it is a special occasion and everyone deserves to have what they want over the holidays. However, if you start worrying about that meal and thinking that you totally destroyed your progress, you are going to run into trouble. That is where people go wrong and start thinking “well, I already screwed myself so I might as well have more treats”, or “…so I might as well skip my workouts”. Once you get into that line of thinking, it can be hard to bounce back.

You need to stop thinking of those slip-ups as failures, and start thinking of it as a reward for all of the hard work you’ve put in thus far. It is only a failure if you choose to quit because of those slip ups, instead of using them as motivation to do better!

Click Here if you’re ready to embark on a health and fitness journey of your own!