One of the biggest questions I receive almost daily is how I stay motivated to go to the gym. The answer is fairly simple although not always the one that people hope to hear, sometimes I need to force myself. I like every single person in the world lacks motivation to stay healthy every once and awhile. I have a big weekend or exhausted from work and the last thing I may want to do is go to the gym, but no matter what I make sure to work out my body 6 days a week in some way or another. I promise you some days that is a very limited amount but even then I feel so much better after. Here are a few of my tricks to getting to the gym even when you really don’t want to.
- Set yourself a goal. As a personal trainer I ask all of my clients what their next goal is. Of course some are exterior like getting ready for summer or a wedding, but many are much more individualized. I have one woman who wanted to pick up her bag of 40 lb bird feed, after she accomplished this it was turning on her lawn mower. No matter how big or small I really recommend coming up with some kind of goal for yourself to work towards. Setting specific milestones helps you work towards something as well as realizing your progress over time which is often difficult to see.
- Find your own motivation. I think this one is really important. Similar to setting a goal you need to find your motivation for going to the gym every week. This should be made for yourself. If you feel forced into working out by a friend or boyfriend, ask yourself truly why do I want to do this. Maybe it is to live a long healthy life or look better in a bikini. For me it is so many things but over anything else it is keeping me happy and keeping my anxiety at bay. When I work out I am happier, more confident and less stressed than I could ever be without it.
- Figure out the best time for you. Everyone is different in terms of when they like to get moving and finding your best time frame is essential to the process. I am 100% a morning person if I wait until even the afternoon I know my motivation goes down substantially. Even when I work at 6 A.M. I would rather wake up early than go after work to the gym. Because I know this about myself I do not set unrealistic goals. If I work out later in the day that’s great but I know my strongest, most intense work outs are first thing in the morning so that is when I schedule almost all of the sessions.
- Buddy up. Find someone who is on a similar path to yourself and hold each other accountable. If you know every week at 1 P.M. on Tuesday the two of you work out together you will be a lot less likely to skip the gym that day. Accountability is key! Also a slight bit of competitiveness can be beneficial too. If your workout partner is seeing progress you will be motivated to see some too and it can be really inspiring to your overall health to have someone to talk to about new exercises, recipes you’re trying out and that new meditation practice you have picked up.
- Make it a habit. I have talked about this point before, but it is so important to mention again. Working out is something that needs to become part of your schedule. If you plan to work out 3 days a week, put them into your calendar just as you would a work meeting. Once you get into the habit of it you will crave the feeling and want to keep it up. When I don’t work out for a few days I miss the endorphin rush and the calm that it gives my mind. It may take a little bit of time to get the point of actually craving the soreness, but trust me it will happen. Once you give your body movement it will constantly crave it. Schedule your sessions, create workouts beforehand and pack your clothes the night before, allow yourself no excuses to get your butt to the gym!
- Lastly go easy on yourself. You are not always going to be head over heals excited to get your butt kicked at the gym and that is OK! Motivation ebbs and flows and I always try to listen to my body and what it is telling me. Things happen, life gets busy and some weeks are just hard, take it easy on yourself and truly listen. Why is my body so tired and what is it trying to tell me? When the energy levels are particularly low I still make myself go to the gym even when it is hard. If I get there and begin stretching and feel like this is all I need for the day I will stay there for 20 minutes only foam rolling and doing small yoga flows. Other days the motivation starts low but once I get moving my energy levels instantly perk up. Some of my hardest workouts have come from days where I had absolutely no motivation to start. My advice is do something, even stretching, to spend time moving your body. Especially if you have a desk job where you sit for 8 hours a day, your body is craving movement even if your mind is tired. Go and do what you can, a walk on the treadmill while watching your favorite show or a 15 minute circuit will have you feeling better in no time. But over anything know when to take a break. If you get there and your body truly is just exhausted take a break for a few days. Listen and love your body for all that it does for you.
Working out does not have to be something you dread every week. Make it fun for yourself, try new classes and find what speaks to you. Getting stuck in the same routine every day can lead to failure to commit. Experiment with different times of day and different styles of exercise. I love to change up my routine every day and switch off between high intensity work, strength training, yoga and running. I feel it gives my body the best work out and I am always excited for something new. I would love to continue to expand on personal training and help you find what works best for you! For workout plans, motivation and health and wellness tips and tricks contact me, I cannot wait to help you experience the happiest, healthiest you!
“All disease begins in the gut”
Gut issues impact so many of us. It is not pretty or glamorous so many people don’t talk about it and thus not facing the huge problem we have in front of us. For so many million people living in pain and discomfort out there, you are not alone. Not only can gut issues cause problems with digestion, bloating and discomfort, there is also a slew of other disorders that stem from bad gut health. It is crazy to think something as small as our gut flora is effecting our entire body both inside and out, but it couldn’t be more true.
First of all a bit about what exactly our gut flora is. Our gut microbiota is made up of tens of trillions microorganisms of over 100 different species. This gut microbiome has a wide range of uses but on the most basic level the gut flora found in our digestive tract helps us to digest the food we eat. Unfortunately though not all of our gut flora is good, every person also contains many bad gut microbiota within them as well. More and more research is being introduced showing the true possibilities of an unhealthy gut on our overall health and the results are something we should all be paying attention to.
It is easy to see whether or not your stomach is bloated or uncomfortable, but your body also has so many other ways it is possibly telling you that your gut is unhealthy if we know how to listen to it. Before anything else it is important to know a little bit about leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is a broad term used to describe a permeability of the small intestine. This means that there is a “leaking” within the small intestine walls which allows food particles, toxins and bacteria to permeate through. Obviously this can cause a lot of issues within your gut and throughout your entire body. Fortunately though our bodies give us so many signs of this distress if we simply listen to it. Below are a few of the most common.
- Sugar cravings can often be a sign of bad bacteria in the gut. Bad bacteria eat sugar, so the more you consume it the more you are feeding this beast already inside of you. Unfortunately this also means carbs, as your body treats carbs as a sugar source. While loving carbs does not mean you necessarily have leaky gut, it can mean that if you have many of the issues below you could be feeding the bad bacteria already inside you. Carbohydrates are an integral part of our diet and I believe that people should include them into their diet especially when exercising, but keep in mind how much you are eating and greatly reducing the amount of sugar you consume could help your gut immensely.
- Mental health issues. I know this isn’t a disorder that you would necessarily connect to your gut, but in truth your gut has everything to do with what is happening in your brain! If you have depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, OCD and even things such as alzheimers and autism there is a good chance that your gut bacteria has a lot to do with it! I will talk more about this in blogs to come because this specific topic is so near and dear to my heart but I urge you to really focus on gut health and rejuvenation if you suffer from any of theses. Scientists have found that about 90% of your serotonin is created in your gut along with many other neurotransmitters! It is no wonder that disturbances to the gut health will cause mental health issues!
- Most commonly people will notice an imbalanced gut flora due to digestive issues alone. This is a great starting point and if you are having digestive distress then listen! This is often not the first sign our body sends us, but it is often a powerful one! Listen to it and begin treating naturally immediately!
- If you have taken a lot of antibiotics throughout your life there is a good chance a lot of damage can be seen on the gut flora. I understand the need for antibiotics but it can greatly harm your digestive tract. If this is the case for you, email me and I would love to talk about some healing options for you going forward.
- Acne, eczema and rosacea are all signs that your body is out of whack as well. Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and if there are signs that it is hurting or unhealthy it is often a big clue that your insides are feeling the same. Study after study has shown that skin issues are directly correlated with leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation and stress within the digestive tract quickly shows its signs on the surface of your skin, so again please listen!
- Food allergies or intolerances are quite commonplace for people with gut issues. For me this was the sign I most held onto. My entire life I have had food that upset my stomach. I also had headaches as a kid that were so severe I had to have brain scans and CAT scans because they were convinced I had a brain tumour. It was a really difficult time in life. That is until I went to see a natural medicine practitioner who after many tests realized I had an inflamed small intestine. She took me off gluten and dairy (which I had already been off since birth because of allergies) and quickly my headaches reduced ten fold. This was before the age of gluten free life and before most people knew what the word gluten even was. It changed my life dramatically, not only in feeling better but also realizing how integral this type of medicine was. It is the reason I believe so whole heartedly in natural medicine today. I have had a few of these experiences in my life where a natural medicine practitioner was able to find problems. Allergies can come in all shapes and sizes, but most of the time it is our bodies telling us important messages about what is happening inside.
The incredible part is that this list could go on and on! There are so many other signs that our body sends us to inform us of this distress, but most importantly we need to be listening. If you are tired of this discomfort, whether it be in the form of acne, gas, depression, losing hair or even springtime allergies I urge you to contact me! I can help to get you on the right track, finally feeling like the happiest, healthiest you. This is not something you simply have to live with, because with the right meal plan and changes to your environment all of this could change! I have gone through so many of these symptoms myself and I know what it feels like to be sick and tired of it. That is why I am so dedicated to helping people through gut issues and on your way to living your best life. If you or someone you know struggle with any of these symptoms, please contact me right away!
“People who love to eat are always the best people”
Many people out there are not eating enough to lose weight. Yes you read that correctly. Sometimes in order to lose weight you need to eat MORE. What a beautiful sentence that is. For women in particular restrictive eating is incredibly common. If you are doing it I promise you are not alone. I definitely used to limit my caloric intake and spend hours in the gym in order to achieve my dream look. Did it ever happen? No. I am more fit and thinner now than I ever was when I was counting calories and making myself crazy. Does this mean that if you are eating junk food and lots of it and still not losing weight the only solution is more junk food? Absolutely not. But eating more healthy, nutrient rich calories per day can help significantly in weight loss if you are currently under nourishing your body.
Eating helps to boost your metabolism, making weight loss possible. When you eat too little your body automatically goes into starvation mode, putting all of your food into fat supplies similar to a bear in hibernation. When in this starvation mode your brain begins slowing down your metabolism. Because your brain is worried where the next meal is coming from, it is going to slow everything down and store rather than allowing food to move through your body. Our bodies are freakin magical and SO much more intelligent than we give them credit for. If we starve them they become confused and try to help us survive. Stop hurting your body and allow it to do it’s job! A very important aspect of your metabolism is making sure it gets jump started first thing in the morning. Once your metabolism turns on it powers high for the rest of the day. If you are not a breakfast person I recommend fruit or toast. Even something small will help this process immensely.
One other huge issue I have touched on before is weight loss with exercise. Eating enough when exercise is CRUCIAL. Providing protein and carbs for your body when working out allows your body to grow muscle. If you do not provide enough food for yourself, rather than taking your energy from fat stores while working out it starts to attack your muscles and cause a decrease in lean muscle mass. Seemingly all of your hard work goes completely unseen. I know this is true because I have seen it for myself. I would eat very little post workout and see little if no results and still have stomach fat I wanted to get rid of. As soon as I started to boost my nutrient dense calories, voila! I lost weight and fat almost instantly.
So you’re saying that all I have to do is eat more and I will lose weight? Well yes and no. If you are in a caloric deficiency, yes eating more is going to help rev up your metabolism and if exercising gain muscle mass. Also as I have mentioned before, the more muscle mass you have the higher your caloric burn per day without doing a single thing. So once you get that muscle mass up, you can happily eat more calories and burn them off without doing a thing. If you are not in a caloric deficiency it depends where your calories are coming from. If you are eating crap, more crap is not going to help you lose weight. I strongly encourage you to start replacing and implementing more nutrient dense foods into your diet. This can be in the form of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains and protein. They will fill you up and keep you full like a bag of chips has never done before. Don’t worry you are still allowed to have chips or a cookie, just try to make them a side or treat after you’ve filled up on the good stuff. So yes, more food can definitely mean losing weight. I urge you to give it a try and tell me how it goes. I think you’ll be very surprised at the results. Happy eating my friends!