The Weekday Dieter…

“Diet starts Monday.”

Who has either said or heard someone say this at least once? I’m going to go ahead and guess it’s more than just a few of you. This blog post may be about you, or someone you know, but you can probably see someone either in the mirror or in your life who we would refer to as a “weekday dieter”.

Normally, the “weekday dieter” starts the week off right. Super motivated and pumped up to be compliant to their meal plan or nutrition guidelines to keep them focused and moving forward toward their goals. Tuesday passes, Wednesday and Thursday stay strong and it usually goes until Friday at about dinner time.

“Wow, what a great week! I was nearly perfect… time to reward myself with a pizza!”

If that treat meal ended there… I’d be alright with it. But unfortunately it often is followed up by a few drinks that night, pancakes for brunch saturday morning followed by a high carb dinner that night, Sunday maybe you sleep until noon and skip breakfast and then spend the day nursing your relationship with nachos and netflix. But don’t sweat it right? Monday is merely hours away and you’re ready to get back on track.

Most of these weekday dieters take a break from their plan friday night, saturday and sunday… so basically two and a half days a week. How bad can that be?  You’re being great for alllmost 5 days a week… we round up from four and a half.  😉 Five out of seven? Sounds like a win to me. That can’t really make that much of a difference… right…?

Two and a half days a week = Ten days a month.

Ten days a month = One hundred and twenty days a year.

One hundred and twenty days a year = Four months.

So you’re literally taking a break from your diet for a third of the year.

I’m just going let that sink in for a second. Feel that? That’s the feeling of your ridiculous justifications shattering. 😉 I’m not saying you’re alone, I’ll admit I’ve had times in my journey where I was a “weekday dieter” and it was super fun and a great way to not lose weight……

I don’t know about you… but I don’t usually put less than my best into what I do. The reason I was so successful when I got started toward my fitness journey was because I gave it my all. If you’re the kind of person who is cool with putting in work two thirds of the time, you better be the kind of person who is cool with getting two thirds of the results. Somehow I doubt that’s the case.

If you want results, and I mean head-turning, jaw-dropping, before-and-after-picture-taking results, you have to give more than 66% towards that goal. Being great during the week and losing all willpower every weekend isn’t going to get you to where you want to be if your goal is anything other than maintenance. If you’re reading this blog you probably have a goal you’re searching for motivation to move towards. Well, ladies and gentlemen, here it is. I’m not asking for 100%… but I need more than 66. Shoot for 80. Be great 80% of the time and enjoy some treats for the other 20. Baby steps will get you there, but if those steps are shallow enough for a teacup pig to race you up… you need to set your sights higher. Set realistic goals, control your treat meals and don’t waste a third of your year making choices that take you further from your goals… not closer to them.

Make good choices kids ;)…. oh and you should probably go lift something. 😉

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Friday Fit Tip #1 : Forget Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Ok, that title is not telling you not to eat. Just so no one is confused. I want to talk about the traditional model of breakfast, lunch, and dinner… and why it doesn`t always help.

What do we usually think of when I say the word breakfast?

  • cereal
  • toast
  • fruit
  • pancakes
  • french toast
  • breakfast sandwiches
  • waffles

Also known as… carbs on carbs on carbs. Sure bacon and eggs will pop in there too, but the majority of classic breakfast foods are starchy carbs. When you try to eat something nontraditional first thing in the morning people get all bent out of shape.

`You had WHAT for breakfast?? Steak and salad?! What is WRONG with you, ya maniac?!

Ok… maybe that was an overreaction. But honestly, when I try to talk to clients about incorporating more protein and vegetables into their early morning routine they often have a very hard time with it. What does lunch usually consist of? A sandwich, wrap, soup, etc. And then dinner rolls around and it has to be the biggest meal of the day, often including massive portions to slip you into a pre-bed carb-coma. So how do we fix this…?

You first need to ask yourself why you`re eating. Are you eating because you love food and it`s a delicious treat? Or are you eating because you need to fuel your body? What if we broke out of the social norms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and just started calling them meal one, meal two, etc.? I joke with my clients that I don`t have meals, I have feedings, (Yes… I`m aware that makes me sound like a farm animal) but isn`t that what eating is for? Fuel, energy, the calories that drive you through the day.

You want to eat fish and veggies for “breakfast“? Go for it. Want to have a veggie omelet for “dinner“? Who`s stopping you? Fuel your body with healthy varieties of protein, veggies, fats, and clean carbs to obtain optimal body composition, and forget the traditional. Remember… to get what you`ve never had you have to do what you`ve never done. You`re running the show, make the choices you know will bring you closer to, not further from, where you want to be.

Oh… and you should probably go lift something. 😉

Are You A Justifier?

Alright first off.. I know that isn’t a real word. But bear with me here.

“I worked out super hard today.. so I can totally afford to have pizza tonight.”

“I’m going for a run first thing in the morning, so sure I’ll have cake.”

“Let’s go to the gym first so we have all you can eat sushi without feeling guilty.”

Sound familiar? Too often I’ll hear members in the gym, friends, or even clients using this justifying attitude where they feel they’ve earned the right to eat junk because they’ve gotten their workout in. Sure… this may be a reasonable way to help maintain where you’re currently at… but if maintenance isn’t your goal it’s time to smarten up. Is exercising around a treat meal beneficial in helping your body partition that meal a little better? Definitely. But if you get yourself into a cycle of exercising and eating bad food, it’s going to be significantly harder to get to your goals.

Remember, you can’t out train a bad diet. Let yourself have treat meals but remember that being half compliant when it comes to following a healthy nutrition plan will only get you half the results. You cool with that? Didn’t think so. Stop being a justifier. If you rock a super awesome lift at the gym, why would you delete that hard work by filling yourself with garbage? Reward your body for that hard earned exercise with fuel that’s going to bring you closer to your goals not further from them. You want this? Go get it.

Oh… and go lift something.

The Hardest Post I’ve Ever Had To Write… Confessing a Step Backwards.

I’ve tried to start this blog entry at least a dozen times over the last month or so… have started a couple of paragraphs, gotten overly emotional, and abruptly closed my browser and walked away.

I’ve always prided myself that when I started losing weight I’d never gain any of it back. “I’m all about losing weight and never finding it again”, I’d joke to clients. Everything we do is about maintainable fat loss, no short cuts just healthy lifestyle changes to ensure none of the weight comes back.

Three and a half months ago I switched jobs and became a fitness manager, so on top of being a personal trainer I’m also now managing a team of trainers. Things got busy, life got a little crazy, and suddenly I was slacking on my workouts and slacking on my meal prep. What was the consequence?

I’ve put on about 10lbs.

Almost a pant size. I’ve been avoiding my jeans because I don’t know how comfortable they’ll be right now.

Today is actually my birthday, and usually that’s a time of reflecting over the past few years and how things have changed. Every year for the past 4 years it’s been a celebration of success… pride in all I’ve accomplished. I can honestly say I’m incredibly proud of my career success over the past year, and I’m significantly stronger than I’ve ever been… but this time last year I was 10lbs lighter than I am now… and that’s been extremely hard for me to come to terms with.

Is anyone to blame but me? Of course not, I take full responsibility. This is something I had to publically admit because it’s eating me up inside, and I know I can drop that 10lbs but I need to be honest with each of you that sometimes even people who feel the strongest can take steps back. I just spent a bunch of time going back through photos from my blog and I know I look heavier and that makes me unhappy. But there is no use complaining about something that’s within my capacity to change.

I’m not proud of where I’m at, and I can give a million excuses including a career change, a vacation, an ankle injury, minor surgery, pulling my back… but at the end of the day I made choices that took me further from my goals not closer, and it’s time for me to smarten up.

Two months from now I will be 10lbs lighter, a little over a lb a week to ensure safe and maintainable fat loss in the right way without crash dieting. Can I do it? Of course. Is it going to be a struggle? You bet. But it’s time to smarten up and get back on track. The time in now, no more excuses.

I’m sorry to any of you followers who may feel this post let you down a little, or lost a little bit of faith in the strength I seem to portray. Newsflash… I’m human and I make mistakes. Being strong isn’t about how long you can go before you break, it’s about how you put the pieces back together after you’ve been broken.

I’m going to go lift something, then prep some food and look towards tomorrow being one step closer to where I need to be.

Stop Cancelling on Yourself.

A client of mine was trying to get into the habit of getting up an hour earlier to get her cardio intervals done before she went to work. We joke about how with exercise sometimes it’s good to work out first thing in the morning before your mind notices what you’re doing. 😉 So instead of setting her alarm for 7, it was set for 6. There is an exercise room in her condo so all she has to do is go downstairs and get it done. Simple enough right?

You know what’s easier than heading downstairs to a gym to do intervals?

Hitting the snooze button.

What better way to start the day then some early morning procrastination! 😉 How do you think the rest of your day is set up to go if the first decision you make is to go back to sleep? We need to shift this mindset.

I told my client to consider this, if we had an appointment scheduled first thing in the morning… would she hit the snooze button and go back to sleep? Of course not! The whole idea of that is just absurd. She’s paying for a session so obviously she will be there, and she respects my time and knows I’ll be up early to train her so she’ll show up ready to go.

So why doesn’t this theory hold true for appointments we set for ourselves? You’re completely not ok with cancelling on your trainer, but you’re fine with cancelling on yourself? Something doesn’t add up.

Your personal workouts are appointments scheduled with yourself. Put them in your agenda. Set a reminder on your phone. If you wouldn’t cancel an appointment last minute with your trainer, your boss, your doctor… then why would you cancel on you? Your time is valuable, respect that and don’t cancel on yourself. Even if you’re tired, groggy, unmotivated… get up and get working. Remember, the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.

Let’s make this a killer week, smash some goals and really take hold of what we want! I challenge you to not hit the snooze button tomorrow!

Oh… and you should probably go lift something. 😉

“I Don’t Have Time to Eat Healthy.”

If I had a dollar for every time a client or potential client said these 7 words to me… I’d have enough money to hire someone to cook my meals for at least a year.

Darn… that would be awesome. For real.

Unfortunately, I’m not bathing in extra cash, and need to do this meal prep on my own. I often work 12-14 hour days throughout the week, even if I’m not working that entire time, I’m out of the house. Saturdays I usually spend the majority of the day either working at the gym, lifting, or running errands. With Sunday being my only day off… how do I manage to eat healthy all through the week? Here’s a few tips to help you stay on track amidst a busy schedule.

1) Stop making excuses. It’s isn’t about finding time, it’s about making time. 😉

I know no one likes to hear this. Part of the plus side of losing a boat load of weight personally through diet and exercise is that if someone tells me something is impossible or too hard to do, I can look them straight in the eye and say that I somehow managed to do it… so it must be possible. Think you don’t have time? Tough luck. If you have a goal, whether that’s to lose weight or gain muscle, you need to make time to prep food. Grab some paper and write out your entire week from the time you open your eyes to the time you close them. Bet if you try real hard you’ll be able to find a couple hours in there to hang out in the kitchen. And ladies… if this means PVRing the most recent episode of The Batchelor… it has to happen. Priorities. (P.s. is PVRing still a thing? Is the Batchelor still a thing? I haven’t had cable for 7 years… don’t judge me.)

2) Prep food in batches.

I usually spend a solid 2-3 hours on a Sunday evening while I’m doing laundry prepping food. I’ll have a tray of chicken thighs in the oven, big crock full of mixed vegetables in the slow cooker, a big pot of sweet potatoes on the stove, and usually some ground meat formed into patties and some fish waiting to hit the grill. All at the same time. I can cook meals for the entire week in one afternoon, throw some in the freezer, some in the fridge, and boom… no more excuses as the week gets busy. Right before I head to bed I’ll pull out my 5 containers, portion out my protein, veggies, fat, and starch for each meal, and it’s all ready to grab and go first thing in the morning on my way to the gym. No microwave or anything at work? No problem. I’ve been eating my meals cold for years. (The first couple of weeks are rough, then you get used to it I swear.)

3) Accept that healthy food isn’t necessarily convenient.

“I was rushing after work and didn’t have time to eat so I grabbed something on the way.” Unfortunate news for you if you’ve said this before… there isn’t really many healthy food options that you can “grab on the way”. This is where planning becomes paramount. Watch out for protein bars and shakes that can end up being loaded full of sugar and chemicals that will wreak havoc on your system. Real food, ladies and gentlemen. Often if I’m on the go I’ll literally have a container of cut up pieces of chicken, and a full pepper to eat like an apple in my bag. Easy. Convenient. Prepped in advance.

4) Make it a habit.

I challenge you to give me one month. Four weeks of spending a couple hours each week prepping food in advance to get your diet on track. After the first month I promise it gets a little easier. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll become so good at meal prep it’ll be done in record time. Not only will you save money on more expensive convenient foods, but your progress will sky rocket. Trust me on this one.

I’m not here to tell you that this is an easy process. I’ve said it a million times. No one said it would be easy. But it does take a conscious effort to ensure everything is on your side when it comes to success. Preparation is the key, in so many aspects of life. Don’t miss out on achieving a goal simply because you were too lazy to make time to plan in advance. You’ve got this. Get it done.

Oh… and you should probably go lift something. 😉

Fresh New Look… Fresh New Domain… Fresh Start!

Dear friends and followers…

Are we still friends? I know I haven’t called.. or texted.. or dropped by.. or really been in contact as much lately… things got crazy when I switched jobs and moved cities. BUT I still really care about you and don’t want our relationship to fall apart because you and your goals really do mean a lot to me…

Ok cheesy part over. Time to own up. I’ve been horrible! So I apologize. I promise to get back into posting one or two posts every week to make sure I’m helping you guys get to where you want to be as efficiently as possible.

So with a fresh start comes a fresh new look. Changed up the look of the blog to make me feel springy when I’m deep in the winter blues. And we’ve had a change in domain so it’s no longer http://www.fromdoughnutstodumbbells.com it’s http://www.fromdoughnutstodumbbells.co I ditched the m. M’s are overrated. 😉

As my first order of business… I will post an update on my own fitness journey this afternoon. Get excited! Oh… and in the meantime why don’t you go lift something. 😉