Tag: health

What’s Your Barrier?

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If I told you I’ve struggled with my weight for a long time, would you believe me? The photo on the left is almost 15 years ago, right after college. I went to the gym everyday, and thought I ate healthy, but I hated the way I looked and I constantly compared myself to others. I tried every workout out there and every nutrition program out there. I even did some pretty unhealthy things to try to lose weight, and it never worked… Then, after I broke up with my boyfriend who was a personal trainer, I lost my love of the gym, but luckily, I quickly found it again. My uncle was doing a program called P90X and got great results, and offered to pay for my program and weights… and since they I was hooked with at – home workouts… But, I still struggled and self – sabotaged, and actually never finished that program and never got those great results… Until now

The picture on the right is a girl who works out for herself and not for anyone else. It’s the girl who exercises so she’s a healthy 80 and 90 year old lady and who works out to be the best version of her for yourself, her husband, her family, and her friends. It’s also the girl that constantly reads and listens to personal development in order to overcome negative feelings and thoughts. But, those comments and thoughts of comparison and self – judgement still swirl around in her head at times, and can prevent her from feeling confident. Sometimes the reasons we don’t workout or eat healthy is a deep rooted barrier, that is hard to unmask and something I’ve been uncovering for the past two years.

So what is your barrier?

What is it that prevents you from reaching your goals?

We all have the surface level barriers… Time, will power, space, money, etc… Sure I work out 6 – 7 days a week and am relatively healthy but tell myself that because I work so many hours, I have to work out so early, which prevents me from going full out in the morning, which means I can’t get in great workouts all the time.

But is that the real reason we don’t stick to a workout program or a nutrition plan? What if I said, there are deeper reasons and some that I can’t even name for myself. I am still plagued with ex – boyfriends telling me I was gaining weight or that they didn’t want to be with me because I loved eating Sour Patch Kids (and don’t worry – they are both long gone and I still love Sour Patch Kids)… Today, I have a husband who loves me and tells me I’m perfect, and as I write this, I’m actually the lightest I’ve been since early high school – and yet, I still find flaws and I still find reasons to beat myself up when it comes to food and nutrition…

But why and how can we overcome these internal barriers that prevent us from reaching our goals… We all have an internal struggle and when we don’t address that while working out and eating healthy, we might never be happy with our progress nor will we ever truly love our bodies – and let’s be real – we only have one and the more we love it, the better we’ll treat it.

I’m telling you all this because I am beyond excited for the newest workout program I am going to complete in January with legendary celebrity trainer… Shaun T… You all probably know him from Insanity, T – 25, Cize, or Max 30, but I know him as a motivational speaker. Sure I’ve worked out with him (though I’ve only ever completed Cize), but I’ve heard him speak and the way he speaks talks to me… He talks about trusting and believing… He talks about transforming your mind, to transform your life. He talks about letting go of the past, and this comes from a person who was sexually molested his whole childhood. So when he releases a workout program that also is a mindset program, you know I’m signing up.

For the first time ever, a trainer has created a program that aims to break down those internal barriers, so you reach those external goals… And, not only will this six week commitment help break down those internal barriers, but the design of the program, makes it easy to quickly turn down external barriers… Why?

  • It is 20 minutes a day so for busy people, parents, college students it makes it harder to not work out when its only 20 minutes, which is 1.3% of your 24 hour day.
  • There is no real equipment needed! The program does use a step (yes, like the 80s step aerobics), but its not a step program, and there is a modifier who doesn’t use the step at all in the whole program so you don’t need it if you don’t have space or money to get it. You also do not need it, if you do not want it. The program calendar does not have a single weight workout; however, if you love lifting weights like me, there are options to include weight lifting workouts.
  • Speaking of modifier… there is one who takes the impact out, so if the external barrier is your current fitness level or restrictions, you have someone who you can follow.
  • There is a calendar… I have gotten a lot of questions about how can I workout consistently first thing in the morning. One of my reasons is I follow a calendar so if I skip a workout, it just messes up the calendar and that drives me crazy ha

The program is currently only released to VIP members and I’d love for you to join me. Prep week starts January 7 and the workouts start January 14. If you’re interested in learning more or trying a demo workout, or signing up, reach out to me ASAP.  Even though I have worked hard to tear down barriers (internal and external), I look forward to tearing down more and helping others along the way.

 

Why Meal Prep?

If you’ve ever followed anyone who is into health and fitness, they probably talk about meal prep and show you how to meal prep. I recently heard from my husband that a friend of his, who is interested in joining our health and fitness community, had never even heard of meal prepping, so I thought to myself, maybe other’s need to know why meal prep is so easy and important, and how to do it… Here are my top 5 reasons to meal prep (and don’t worry, I have plans for next week to share my weekly meal prep plans)

  1. It saves time! I make a plan on usually Saturdays or Sundays and then go shopping for the week. It takes me a total of two hours I would say to make the plan, go to the store, and put the food away. I don’t have to do any more thinking and I don’t have to take extra trips to the grocery store. This may look different if you live in NYC for instance though. If you do go to the grocery store more than once a week, you go in with a plan and leave with what you need. The meal planning makes it less likely for you to buy random junk.
  2. It saves money! Now I’ll be honest – we have been known to waste some food since we meal prep for the week (and would love suggestions to avoid this), which drives me crazy (and something we’re working on), but we eat out less and we order less. When I wasn’t so into meal prepping, we would eat out regularly or order delivery more than once a week… While I still love a good take out night and a good date night, we plan those… It no longer becomes a random choice to enjoy someone cooking for us, and we honestly enjoy it more and we save money by not eating out so much. Plus we’re finding ways to enjoy take out tasting food with less calories and more importantly, less sodium.
  3. Mornings go faster! My husband and I eat the same thing each week for breakfast so we just grab and go. Almost regularly I have an egg bake made for him that he can just take and heat up at work. For me, I  like to switch it up weekly, but I like to eat the same thing each day in a week. This week is overnight oats and I just grab and go.
  4. You’ll be more likely to try something new. When I have a lot of time to meal prep, I always find really exciting new recipes and avoid the mundane same 5 recipes. While I definitely have my go to meals, we’ve come across some amazing recipes that both my husband and I cook.
  5. The obvious one – it’s healthier! We know what we are eating, when we’re eating, and have more control of what we’re eating. We’re able to plan for our dietary needs right now and not hope that there is healthy food in the house to eat.

The best part is it is easier than it looks. Meal prep can be as simple as cooking up some protein, chopping some veggies, and prepping some breakfast.

 

Thinking about posting my weekly meal prep recipes and plans? Let me know if that is something you’d be interested in reading!

Healthy Chicken Cacciatore

(Gotta love the image… this is what happens when you post to Insta Stories and don’t save the photo first)

I always work to find and make healthy and quick delicious meals for the weekday! Most days I get home after 7 pm and want to be in bed before 10, so my goal is to make it quick and simple! I’ve also been working on eliminating carbs at dinner and finding alternatives!

Since my honeymoon, I’ve lost 8 pounds and am 0.4 away from wedding weight (hoping to be at wedding weight at my weigh-in Saturday). One of the biggest things that has helped me is no carbs at dinner and mostly veggies instead. Carbs give you energy so you don’t need them to sleep. Veggies on the other hand get you full and the little protein I add keeps me full until the next day!

So here is a healthy version of chicken cacciatore that can be made in 1 pot and in less than 30 minutes (and even less time if you buy precut things)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into bite stir pieces
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil, but olive oil works well too)
  • 1 onion, cut
  • 2 peppers, cut
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small potato (I added this because it came in our CSA this week but totally does not need it)
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • Basil, salt, pepper
  • Directions
    1. Heat oil in large skillet or wok… add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes
      Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for additional 3-4 minutes, or until veggies begin to soften
      Add tomatoes, optional potato, and eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and basil… I used a few pieces of fresh basil but dried would also work
      Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until eggplant is soft… Enjoy!

    Serving Options

    1. My husband and I love hot sauce so we naturally put some in
    2. The tomatoes make it a little liquidy, which I like and the broth is delicious! You can serve this over a veggie rice like cauliflower rice or brown rice if you are eating carbs at dinner
    3. Feel free to add any veggie to this dish! The original recipe I got this idea from (The Beachbody Blog) had mushrooms and zucchini.
  • As alway, let me know what you think! If you post it on social media, make sure to tag me at @lovelearninghealth
  • Stop Saying You Don’t Have Time!

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    This post may not be received well by everyone, but I think it is important to give some tough love… and that is… stop saying you don’t have time to workout and be healthy! If you really want it, you’ll find time… It might be hard to find the time and that’s what I’m here to do – help you find that time… but if you really want to live a better, healthier life, you’ll start prioritizing your health and stop blaming your busy schedule on your inability to workout a few days a week.

    So you might be thinking what does this girl know? She works out 6 days a week and is pretty healthy and fit so it’s easier for her… and you know what, you’re right, but I wasn’t always like this and I sacrifice things like sleep or watching TV to get a work out in. Don’t believe me? Let me explain a typical day…

    I need to leave my house at 6:10 to get to the train. If I work out, I’m up at 4:30 and if I have a rest day, I’m up at 5:15. During the day, I am a learning specialist and spend my time working with students from 8:00 – 3:00 (and yes my commute is over an hour and a half)… I am currently getting certified to be a Wilson Dyslexia Reading Specialist so I work with my practicum student from 3:00 – 4:00. Then I tutor (Monday – Thursday) from about 4:15 – 6:30. After that I take the hour and a half train ride home. On Tuesdays I actually get home at 8:30, Wednesdays I go to a dance rehearsal until 9:30, and Thursdays I have a team call until 9. I also have to find time to eat dinner, say hello to my husband, and get ready for the next day. On top of that I am a Beachbody Coach so have to find time to help my clients, am currently getting certified in 2B Mindset, am completing the coursework for the Wilson Certification, and work for two other nonprofit organizations…

    I don’t write what my day is like to complain or say I am busier than you, but I am writing to show you that if you want it, you can find the time. 4:30 sucks and I HATE that alarm clock but if I didn’t work out then, I would say I don’t have time to work out… But I know if I take care of myself for 30 minutes a day, I am going to add years to my life. I owe that to my family and to myself. I also know that my workouts give me energy… sure I’m tired at 4:30, but give me a 30 minute workout, and I am beyond ready for everything else in my day.

    So here are my steps to finding time to take care of you.

    1. Write down your goals. Don’t just say you want to lose weight but be really clear and these can constantly change. My goal right now is to get my body in the best shape possible because soon we’ll begin trying to start our family and I know my health is important for that.
    2. Map out your day… and like really map it out… There will always be things that come up that will change your schedule, but knowing it, allows you to see when you can work out.
    3. Decide on a workout plan that will work with your goals and your availability. Right now I’m completing an online program that is only 4 days a week and between 30 – 40 minutes a day, which works so well with a busy schedule like mine.
    4. Schedule your workout times for the week. Write it down! You won’t cancel on a doctor so why would you cancel on what would prevent you from visiting the doctor.

    Still not sure… spend a week writing down what you do throughout the entire week… and be specific… Then look at your week – how much time did you scroll through facebook or watch TV, or sleep maybe more than you needed to?

    Want help? Let me know! I can help you schedule out your day, recommend a workout program, or send you daily messages for accountability! Send me a message on cair4health@gmail.com if you want this help…

    If not and you still think you don’t have time, you probably aren’t ready for this change or you may have other priorities… and that’s TOTALLY OKAY… I know plenty of really busy people with other priorities, but be truthful with why you are not working out. If you want it, you’ll find the time.

    It is not Always About the Numbers on the Scale

    I am one of the first to admit, I am obsessed with the scale. As much as I try to tell myself otherwise, I often let the scale dictate my success.

    This can be hard, especially with a program like 80 Day Obsession, where I am building muscle and we all know, muscle weighs more than fat. I set weight loss goals prior to the beginning of this program, and want to achieve them.

    However, it is not always about the number on the scale. A lot of people say to take measurements… I have and I don’t find the numbers to changed significantly. Maybe a total of 3 – 4 inches so far. Then people have said to take pictures and while I haven’t yet done the side by side, when I look at the pictures I take, I am not impressed…

    But, that changed today. Today I realized my size 8 capris were big on me. Due to having extra time, I decided to go to my favorite store – Gap Factory Outlet… and I then decided to try to a size 6. I literally don’t even know the last time I put on a size 6. I was pretty much a size 10 once I started wearing “adult clothes” and only began wearing size 8, a year or two ago. I decided just to try it for fun, and see how much more I needed to go to reach a size 6. Well, take a look…

    weight loss

    Green is my size 8, and the blue pair is the one I bought today – size 6!!!

    Even though when I look in the mirror I still see the girl who is overweight and not healthy, today’s Non Scale Victory (NSV), reminds me of how far I have come and the progress I did make.

    I know my journey is not over. Both with where I want to take my physical transformation, but even with my mental transformation. I will get to the point where I love my body both physically and mentally… but for now, I am going to celebrate this NSV and push a little harder knowing I have made this progress so far.

    Just Keep Pushing Forward

    Friday is my “weigh – in day”. It’s the day that I track my weight and measurements to see if I lost anything and for the first time since starting 80 Day Obsession, I gained weight. Over a pound. This is disappointing for a lot of reasons, especially since I have my first dress fitting today (though, I am still less than I was when I bought the dress)…

    However, I have two choices. I can be upset and blame the program and say things like it isn’t working for me, nothing works for me, I’ve tried everything, and give up.

    OR

    I can reflect on the type of week I had… and I’m going to be honest. Last night, I had two margaritas, a glass of wine, guacamole and chips, and half of a salad… (wow just writing that out makes me realize how much it was)… Most likely the weight gain has a lot to do with salt, but reflecting on how much I ate shows me that the program works if you follow it.

    I am not going to dwell on this weight gain today and I am just going to keep pushing forward. I am going to push hard in my thirty minute cardio workout today and make as many good food choices as I can. I know I am doing Happy Hour with my best friend tonight, and I’m not going to hold back because we only live once, but it means the rest of the weekend will be clean eating and lots of water.

    When you have a set back, reflect on why versus giving up. Then keep pushing forward.

    Why Coaching Inspired Me to Workout

    In 2015, I was approached by someone who I never met to become a Team Beachbody Coach. This person was my coach, assigned to me because I knew his sister, but other than that, I didn’t know much about him besides that he worked out regularly and posted some videos about it. Each time he asked, I said no… thinking it wasn’t for me.

    But then one day, something in my head, and I still don’t know why, made me stop and think about it. I already was working out, and more importantly, I desperately wanted a body that I didn’t hate and that others admired. I didn’t agree to coach to make money, and to be truthful, I didn’t agree to coach to help others either… I agreed to coach to help me.

    Since that day in April 2015, my coaching journey has been a lot of ups and downs, and again, not because of money or because of helping others, but because of my own belief in myself… I completed programs, but did not follow the calendar faithfully and took more rest days than prescribed… sometimes stopping and restarting, and rarely ever completing a program. More importantly, I did not follow the nutrition components and so while I was getting in better shape, I was not seeing the results that made me comfortable in my own skin or the results that I wanted to inspire others.

    Until April 2018.

    After I ran the Boston Marathon, I thought a lot about coaching and my commitment, and late one night, after eating way too much food and feeling pretty disgusted with myself, I wrote myself a letter… a letter that said I wasn’t going to help others until I learned to help myself. a letter that said I was no longer going to be X pounds and from this day forward I would lead a healthy life, a letter that said I deserved better, and had a choice to make. I spent the next two weeks doing the 21 Day Fix, and then jumping into 80 Day Obsession… and when I say jumping into it, I meant giving the workouts my all, having all of the supplements, and following the nutrition plan 80% of the time (have to be realistic with all of the wedding celebrations)…

    Since this new dedication, I have lost 6 pounds and some inches… but more importantly, I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever have before. For the first time ever, I can look at pictures and not hate my arms, and I can sit at the beach or pool and not find ways to cover my stomach. Am I completely satisfied? No… but this just makes me hungrier to keep pushing each and everyday. This program is challenging, but I also know if I wasn’t a coach, I wouldn’t be doing it. I would have said that Beachbody was just another program that didn’t work and would have tried something else.

    Being a coach means people are watching… they may be judging or thinking it is some pyramid scheme, but in the end, even if I make no money, I am healthier, I feel better, I am confident.

    Being a coach means developing as a person. I listen to Personal Development almost everyday, and it has helped me focus more in work, in my relationships, and on me.

    Being a coach means helping people. Even when that is not my main motivation or my initial reason for signing up, I love getting messages from my coaches or customers about scale and non – scale victories.

    Being a coach means getting a check each week to help me pay for my Shakeology and supplements.

    Being a coach means I am working on the best version of me each day.

    If you read this at all and it resonated, send me a comment. Maybe today is the day you become a coach so you inspire yourself to be the first version of you.