Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Why You're Not Losing Weight


I have so many clients coming to me asking for a program that will "fit" with their lifestyle. I also have people telling me that they're not going to renew with me because my plan didn't fit their lifestyle. It was either too complicated, too mathematical, or not realistic for them.

Let me explain something:

Fat loss is not a lifestyle. Being in a calorie deficit is NOT a way of life. It's a short term solution to a problem; you're unhappy with your weight, or your fat:muscle ratio, or how you look, or how your pants fit, and you want to do something about it.

Only people who have a lot of weight to lose can get away with doing some cardio, some weight training, and 'eating clean' (instead of tracking macros). People who don't have a lot of fat to lose, or who want to take their fitness to the next level, cannot just 'eat clean.' Fat loss is a numbers game; you NEED to burn more calories than you consume. With that said, how will you know how much you're burning (or eating for that matter), if you don't count?




You won't see results if you don't put the work in hard and fast at the beginning. That slow, 'lifestyle' plan is great once you've actually accomplished the fat loss part, and you just want to maintain what you've done. In order to accomplish that though, you NEED to do the annoying, tedious short term work - Like counting your calories, eating out of tupperware, and making sure you don't skip your cardio sessions.

So when you tell your trainer that you want to lose fat, and they give you a program, don't look at it and say, "There's no way I can maintain this ...", I hope they say, "That's the point." 

Maintenance = Lifestyle. Fat loss = Short term. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Why Bother Challenging yourself?


I have never hosted a guest blog, but this one touched me and spoke to me on a number of different levels, so I had to share it. I used to be a deeply religious and observant person, but now I just consider myself more spiritual. Though there's a religious connotation in this blog, the message applies to all of us. Please read through, and like/comment/share. I know I'm going to take this to heart, and apply it to my own life. I hope you all see the value in it too, and do the same. 
"In a famous story from the bible, Joseph (son of Jacob) fled from the house of Potifar, where he worked as a slave, when Potifar’s wife tried to seduce him.

As it came to pass, the bible ended up rewarding subsequent generations of Jews. So the question is, why was the particular aspect of Joseph “fleeing” so special, and deserving of such a great reward? Joseph withstood temptation as a teenage boy in a foreign country. This itself was truly heroic. What was so significant about the fact that he fled?

A famous Rabbi explained that through this, we are taught a fundamental and critical rule about religious life: we are to run away from challenges. We should not be looking for “tests,” to put ourselves in situations that arouse temptation or make religious observance difficult. A recovering addict does not keep a container of drugs on his kitchen table to prove to himself that he is capable of abstaining. Similarly, we are taught in another ancient text that if a man has two paths he could follow to reach his destination, and deliberately chooses the more difficult one with temptation, he is considered as having done "evil" even if closes his eyes. Voluntarily choosing situations of challenges is wrong – even if one successfully hurdles the challenge. Joseph's greatness was not just in resisting temptation, but in running away from temptation. He refused to stay there for even an extra moment, lest the "evil inclination" figure out a way to overcome him.

The rationale behind this rule is simple. Namely, we’ve got our hands full as it is. We already have plenty to deal with. Any conscientious person knows that the tests that God/The Universe sends us are enough for us. We should not be in the business of subjecting ourselves to further tests.

But there is a deeper reason for this principle, as well. Anytime we are subjected to a test, we can rest assured that we have the wherewithal to succeed. This is a basic rule that we should all know: We are not sent any challenge that we cannot overcome. If the situation is brought upon us, we can and must assume, unquestioningly, that we are capable of passing the test. However, we have no such guarantee regarding tests that we bring upon ourselves. There is no justification for voluntarily placing oneself in spiritually, physically, or emotionally challenging situations. Indeed, we often pray that we should not be subjected to tests. Certainly, then, we should not be
subjecting ourselves to tests." Rabbi Eli Mansour
So, there's that. Thought provoking, right? Stay away from the hard stuff, and you'll be better off for it. Take the path of least resistance, and you'll be rewarded. Interesting perspective.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Another Post About Discipline

“... Nothing happens by accident. If it happened, you can bet it was planned that way.”



People don’t run sub-5min miles, or squat 300lbs, or get down to 6% body fat by accident. They get there by discipline, desire, and dedication to their craft. If you want something, you have to be willing to work for it. I'm not saying you have to go all-in at the expensive of your relationships, health, and sanity, but to achieve excellence, there has to be an element of sacrifice.

Tim Grover, trainer extraordinaire to superstars like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade, said, "(Successful people) know what has to be done, and get it done. They expect to succeed, and when they do, they never celebrate it long, because there's always more to do. Every accomplishment is just a stepping-stone to the next target."
If you're perseverant, dedicated, and unrelenting, then you don't stop when you've reached a milestone; you don't quit because what you've done is "good enough", and you certainly don't give up when it gets hard. Your work ethic should be such that even when you've achieved what you want, you keep going - because there's always something else on the horizon. There's always something more, something better out there for you. 

Now I'm not telling you not to be happy with what you want/are/have, but I'm telling you not to be satisfied.




I'm telling you that to get to where you want to go, you should be relentless when it comes to pursuing your passion and your goals. When something goes wrong or off-plan, don't look around for someone to blame, or find an excuse for why it happened; just fix it. Move on. Do your work quietly, in the dark, and without bringing too much attention to yourself. Leave the fan fare and the stage lights to everyone else. You just stay in your lane, with your head down and nose to the grindstone, and don't look up until you reach your destination.

Shut out people who tell you that you can't, or you won't, or you shouldn't. Some of us have a dark place that we go when it's time to work. How else will you have the drive to immediately create new goals once you've achieved your present ones? We should constantly strive to be better versions of ourselves, in everything we do; from the gym, to our relationships, to our careers. The only way to do that is by taking your goals seriously. And I'm telling you this, because you're worth it.

"If you're good, it means you don't stop until you're great.If you're great, it means you fight until you're unstoppable." Tim Grover

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

So I wrote an ebook...

Excerpt: 
"The hardest part about having an eating disorder is learning how NOT to have one.
My story began when I was 11 and started my first diet. The apex was at 15-17 when I got hospitalized 3 times, and it ends when... Well, when I know, you'll know."
"Will I ever be able to REALLY see what's in the mirror? Perhaps not - at least not from the neck down. The mirror and I may have our differences, but the smile I carry from the neck up tells me that's OK.
And that's what qualifies me to write a book about motivation and inspiration; because I've been where you are, and I'm still on my journey. So let's do this together!"
Chapters include: 
Why Though, Finding Your Why, Commit to Something, Screw the Scale, Don't Dabble, 

Holla at me if you're interested!

Paypal me with your email address, and I'll send you a PDF with the book! If you don't have paypal, DM me on Instagram for another option.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Stop Getting in Your Own way

"Self handicapping is a cognitive strategy by which people avoid effort in the hopes of keeping potential failure from hurting self-esteem." According to psychologists, people find possible reasons for failing before they even try, in order to make failure (if it happens) easier to explain. You tell yourself on Tuesday that you're not going to do well on your check-in with your trainer this week because you have a party on Saturday and you know you're going to cheat. Or, you'll tell yourself that you probably won't get that raise because your bosses like some other guy in your department more. In both these cases, you've 'padded' your self-esteem with an excuse, which means that you won't feel as bad if you don't get it.

What the f***?! Why don't think you deserve that raise as much as the next guy? Why does one day of wings have to derail an entire week of progress? Says whom?


Me, looking for my goals, longingly
Another strategy people use is something called "task discounting", where we belittle the task in the first place so that failure won't hurt as much. "Fat loss isn't that important," we say to ourselves, "It's all about how you feel, anyway."  Except fat loss IS important to you, and you DO want to feel comfortable in your own skin. When you discount the task, you don't stand up for yourself, and you don't try as hard when it comes to being adherent to your goals. According to one behavioural economist, "The fear of failure can lead to failure in the same way that the fear of judgement can be self-fulfilling."

Why do these constructs even exist? And is it the fear of failure that really gets to us, or fear of success?

What I mean is, are you scared that you're not actually going to lose the weight (or gain muscle, or run a marathon, or whatever your goal is), or are you scared that once you do lose the weight, it won't be as amazing and magical as you expected, and it won't fill that void in your soul? This blog isn't about the WHY behind your goals though, it's about how you need to just cut the shit, and stop getting in your own way.

If you're a self-handicapper, STOP. You DO deserve everything you want, and you can get it by working hard.

If you're a task discounter, STOP. Your goals are important, and hold meaning/value. So there's no reason to diminish them.


Monday, 22 January 2018

I am not a bird. I just have a lot of feelings.

In sacred ancient mythology, the colorful phoenix birds ends their life cycle by bursting into flames, and miraculously, from their own ashes, a fiery bird is reborn. It’s immortal – And a symbol of rebirth, immortality, and renewal.

I’m a bodybuilder/Crossfitter/Girlfriend/Daughter/best friend. Not a bird. I’m pretty sure I just have one life cycle, and I’m definitely sure I haven’t come to the end of it. But I empathize with the bird because so many times in my own life, within my various roles, I feel like I've crashed and burned. And yet, here I am. In fact, I’m just beginning my next phase. 

I’ve plagiarized before, and I’ll do it again, because my own words aren’t as eloquent or concise as those of strength and conditioning coach, and writer extraordinaire, Chris Shugart. In his own adaptation of “The Phoenix Theory”, Shugart states that “Those who make jaw-dropping physical changes usually follow the same basic path of the phoenix (sic):

The Phoenix Theory of body-transformation involves four key stages:
1) A traumatic event leading to a sudden realization and awakening.
2) Anger and a firm decision to change
3) The physical transformation itself
4) Continued progress fuelled by fear of regression."


This is my mad face.
Now can you start to see where I’m going with my blog? Wait for it though, don't kill the surprise... 

I know for a fact that we’ve all hit steps 1 or 2 in our lives, at least when it comes to dieting. New year’s Eve comes, we promise ourselves we’ll lose 20lbs this year, and start out determined enough to do it… Until we fizzle out around either step 2 or 3; which means we don't make it to Step 4. Either we don’t get angry enough, and therefore the decision isn’t firm enough (see my IG post about commitment here), OR, we realize the actual physical transformation is a lot more difficult and time-consuming than it was in our heads, so we give up, and tell ourselves we’re “happy enough." What does that even mean!? What is "happy enough"? Is that a euphemism for complacent? *shudders*

I’ve been a New Years Resolutioner. I’ve also been a competitive amateur bodybuilder. I’ve also been anorexic. Let me reassure you that each and every label took on its own form of Phoenix Theory. Step 1: At 11 years of age, I underwent a traumatic event, and realized it was time to start my first diet. Step 2: At 16, I made a firm decision to get my 5’7” frame below 100lbs (ended up hospitalized). At 17, I had I vow to build enough muscle to actually be competitive on stage at my first show. Step 3: At 21, I had to make a physical transformation that took me from the depths of hell (near death at 95lbs), up to a healthy weight and lifestyle, and then diet down to compete in my 9th bodybuilding show. But now, we've safely arrived as another incarnation of the Phoenix at Step 4: 30 years old, recovered for 9 years, and ready to continue that progress... 


Although every day has it's own challenges (whether in life, love, or the gym), I realize there's no battle too big. And even if something overwhelming comes over me, there's nothing wrong with a little fire. It could be what you need to *spark* change (see what I did there?)

For more motivation, follow me on IG, and hit me up in the DMs. Happy to help with inspiration, training, diet, workouts; whatever you need.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How many likes until You love yourself

Recently, I was asked on my Instagram page, "How many likes will it take until you love yourself?"

"Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder?"


Oh honey... It's taken me 30 years to love myself. I loved myself long before Instagram was a thing. I was at peace with myself before the "Like" button was just a twinkle in Mark Zuckerber's eye. See, I had to work long and hard to get to where I am now. From the time I was 11, I've struggled with my eating and more importantly, my body image. They were tied into one another of course, but still, the sooner I tackled one, the sooner I could rid myself of the other.


I was in therapy from 14-29, specifically to learn how to love myself. So, b*tch please. Don't ask me how many LIKES it will take until I love myself. It took 10 years of battling an eating disorder, 15 years of therapy, and a countless series of ego-driven, short-term, trivial relationships that validated my physical appearance, in order to learn to be OK with me.

Looking for likes
Why/when did we become obsessed with likes on social media? And why do people automatically assume that because someone has 10, 20, or 100k followers, that they NEED the attention from people online? What if I just like you guys? What if I'm just one of those people who likes hearing themselves talk, or, G-d forbid, inspiring people through the written word and accompanying pictures. People definitely do differ in the extent to which they need external approval. Not everyone is aiming for 1,000 likes per photo. 


The most ironic thing about being accused of not loving myself, or being desperate for likes, is that I'm told steadily that people like me because I'm real, raw, vulnerable, and honest. Funny enough, in a study done by sociologists in New Jersey, it was found that "The honesty factor, which included stating that amount of likes are unimportant, and presenting oneself honestly in social media reporting was positively related to extraversion.  Therefore people who are unconcerned with likes and present themselves honestly seem to be more sociable and outgoing as measured on the personality scale." Essentially, people who don't care about likes GET MORE LIKES! 



Captain of Team IDGAF - 11.5k likes
So friends, I say this with the utmost respect, "I'm repping Team IDGAF" when it comes to #InstaFame. I don't understand it, and truthfully, it's all part of an insane algorithm no one understands anyway *eye roll emoji*


(If you want personalized training and diet, that's definitely my jam! Send me a DM from IG and we'll work something out)