You don’t have identity based goals. Your goal (resolution) may have been to “lose 20 pounds” or to “go to the gym regularly.” Those are “what” goals, not “who” goals. Consider reworking the goal. “I’m the type of person who can maintain a lower weight.” or, “I’m the type of person that works out consistently.” Goals that focus on WHO you are rather that WHAT you want are way more powerful.
You haven’t asked for help yet. Listen, no one accomplishes goals on their own. No one! You need to ask the RIGHT people for help. Your friends who love soda and candy aren’t going to help you lose weight – they can’t be your accountability partner. It’s your job to find the right people who can help you along the way. A coach and community of like minded people will be the best answer. Find that!
You beat yourself up – and you have to stop that. Negative self talk will not produce positive results. It just won’t. This is pure psychology and I’m not going to dig into it, but trust me, you have to be kind to yourself. When you do something good – tell yourself, “I’m awesome because I just ____” or “I’m proud of myself for ____” Use positive affirmations when you do something good. Skip the negative self talk.
Have you investigated why those roadblocks keep coming up? Why do you always go for the cookies at night? Why do you really hit snooze 10 times in the morning? It’s time to really find out answers to these questions. Dig deep. Be critical (but kind to yourself). Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You have to make a change. Uncover what’s really getting in your way and make a change – change one thing and stick with that for a few weeks and then make one more change. Don’t overwhelm yourself. This will be challenging – and that’s a good thing! Accept the challenge! And reward yourself with positive self talk!
Trust the process. You probably didn’t realize it was going to take 12 months to lose 20 pounds. You also didn’t realize that it takes 90 days or more to get into a habit (and you’re probably 30 days or less into that first 90 days.) Listen to me carefully, whatever change you are going to make – it will take time. I’m guessing it will take the rest of the year. Are you ok with that? Are you ready to work towards something for a year? I sure hope so. But you have to trust the process – because it will take time. You’ll need help. You’ll need to be kind to yourself, and you’ll have to constantly make adjustments.
Small wins are important. Write these down every day and every week. You’ll need to look back at these small wins over the course of the next few months. Didn’t buy cookies (and didn’t eat any) all week? That’s a win. Write it down and celebrate it. Made it to the gym twice? That’s a win! It seems cheesy and silly – but I promise you – you need these small wins. This will build momentum and momentum is what you desperately need!
Easy food swaps to keep you fit.
Is there anything like a piping hot slice of pizza sliding out of the oven? How about a heaping mountain of nachos in front of you during the game or a tall stack of pancakes for weekend brunch?
As you look to improve your diet you may have struggled to give up certain foods. Knowing how to make a few simple ingredient changes can have a major impact on your nutrition and health. The best part is that you don’t have to sacrifice any of the delicious foods you love. Whether you are an athlete, a mom, a busy working professional, or maybe even a combination of all three of those, making healthy diet choices easier is something you can benefit from. Try these a few of these easy switches to make any meal healthier!
“You are what what you eat eats.” -Michael Pollan
A twist on pasta
Spaghetti dinner is a staple in many American diets but if you are focused on eating healthy you have to tread lightly. The calories and carbohydrate content of pasta adds ups quick. Even alternative pastas that are gluten free are still calorie dense foods to keep an eye on. A better choice is to try veggies like spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini. Combined with a low sugar tomato sauce and a healthy serving of lean protein pasta night can take on a whole new meaning of health.
A new slice on pizza
Pizza can be tough to navigate as your range of options is so vast. Some local joints may use great quality ingredients but still pack a caloric punch. National chains should be totally avoided with the processed ingredients and additives that make up their knock-off pies. Since most of us would love to keep pizza in our lives it is important to develop a system of eating it that supports your diet and lifestyle goals. One key to success: pizza shouldn’t be on the weekly menu; create healthy boundaries and only indulge infrequently. Gluten free has become a buzzword and marketing tool used to attract new customers. I’m not here to have the GF debate about whether or not your body can digest it, I’m saying that a pizza crust made from processed starches that happen to not have gluten does not make them any healthier. Luckily you have a few options…
One method is to limit total intake, order a pizza with as many veggies and proteins on it as possible and limit yourself to one slice of the crust. Or you can try finding a restaurant that has or making your own cauliflower crust pizza. This is a great low carb alternative that lets you reach for another guilt-free slice.
Flip what you sip
It’s easy to forget the calories that are found in drinks. A study conducted by Harvard found that women who consumed sugar sweetened drinks daily tended to consume more calories daily and gained weight. Meanwhile women who eliminated sugar sweetened beverages tended to consume fewer calories and demonstrated better body composition. Scientists believe that drinking calories doesn’t provide the same signaling mechanisms in the body as food does. Basically our body doesn’t recognize it has consumed calories and the subsequent insulin spike can leave you feeling energy depleted and hungry.
Soda, juice, and alcohol don’t really belong in your diet if you are trying to build muscle or burn fat. If you are looking for a fun drink try reaching for a juice made from vegetables like kale and collard greens, powerful nutrients like ginger root, and maybe a dash of lemon or lime juice. Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, can be a great option as well provided you find a low sugar variety (always read the label) and of course there are many great flavored sparkling and seltzer water options out there.
The Burger Swap
One of the toughest foods to give up can without a doubt be the hamburger. Before you part ways with this American classic let’s figure out a way for you to still enjoy your cheeseburger in paradise…
There are two ways to clean up this delicious food. One way is to eliminate the bun. Replace it with a collard greens wrap or two pieces of fresh romaine lettuce. Two large portobello mushrooms can also do the trick if you have them available (Pro tip: Grill the mushrooms for 2 minutes on each side with a little oil, salt, and pepper).
The second way to clean up your burger is to make sure you have a patty made from high quality grass fed beef or organic ground turkey. Balance the fats you use as topping and try swapping out the cheese for some fresh avocado slices.
Pancake, stacked to jacked
Fluffy buttermilk pancakes or Belgian waffles are a staple of weekend brunch. Instead of shooting for the white flour varieties though try a cleaner approach next time. Start with the batter. Substituting bananas and ground flax meal, almond, or coconut flour are a much better alternative. Keep an eye on the fat content if using nut flours as they are very calorie dense. Make sure you have a ratio of at least one egg per pancake or add a scoop of protein powder to the mix to keep the macronutrients balanced. Top with fresh berries and grass fed butter and avoid the powdered sugar and whipped cream. Also be sure to spring for real maple syrup over any of the high fructose corn syrup versions. It is packed full of antioxidants and so sweet that just a teaspoon will go a long way in terms of flavor.
If you want to learn more about eating healthy and getting in shape then talk to a coach today.
We can develop a plan for you to help you achieve your goals!
noun; a firm decision to do or not to do something. eg. “she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”
Some things happen in life with the flick of a switch. When you want to turn a light on you simply flip the knob, clap your hands or yell across the room to Alexa and “voila”, let there be light.
Others take time to build, layer upon layer, like a brick house. The process can only happen in a very specific way. With a strong foundation, one brick at a time.
On January 1st many folks scramble to find the switch that will yield the results they are looking for. But behavior change is not a light switch. Behavior change is a process. Getting stronger, eating healthy, or losing weight won’t happen instantaneously. It happens brick by brick. You only get the results if you follow the process. The right plan and the right effort simultaneously.
“You are never pre-qualified to live your dreams. You qualify yourself by doing the work. By committing—even over-committing—to what you believe you should do.” – Benjamin P. Hardy
If you are committed to an outcome then the process it will take you to achieve your goal should be irrelevant. Your focus is on results now. Your focus is on determining the right plan and taking the first step towards achieving.
If you are someone who worries about how far away you are from your goal then you are focused on the wrong thing. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t.
When you set your goals say exactly what you want. Getting specific here is key. Numbers and dates. These make your goals realistic and allow you to work backward to where you are today. This will help you set realistic expectations for what you can and should be achieving on a given day.
If your goal is to lose 40lbs then it would be impossible to achieve in one session. Your goal doesn’t feel like something that you can actually achieve. By February you may be frustrated that you haven’t hit it.
But if you start thinking about the future version of you that weighs 40 lbs less than you can start to understand what needs to be done. Your focus is not on losing weight but acting like the person who has already lost it.
You might do things like have a gym membership that you use regularly. Have a salad for lunch every day. Go for walks and spend your weekends on the go. You probably have other healthy friends that support your decisions.
“You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.” -Charles F. Haanel
In his book The Master Key System, Charles Haanel unpacks the process of achieving one’s goals. He explains that you have to “be it” and “do it” BEFORE you can “have it”. Most people get this process backward. They expect that they will change their behavior once they have achieved their goal. Instead, you must act in accordance with what it means to achieve your goal. Ask yourself, “Would a person who cares about their health make the decision I am about to make?”
The more your decisions and actions align with the goal, the faster it will come to you. Don’t let this New Year slip away from you. Stop looking to flick the switch that will make all of your problems go away.
Instead look for the path that is more difficult, but leads to success. Surround yourself with people doing the thing that you want to be doing. Who look the way you want to look. Learn from them, adapt their behaviors, and put in the work.
This is your year.
Warmups and cooldowns are an essential part of training and should be given as much thought and effort as the workout itself. In fact if you’re short on time you are better off going through a proper warmup, mobilization, and stretching session than to try to get a quick workout in while skipping those other components. Let’s take a look at why these components of training and see why each one is so important and how you can optimize it.
Your warmup prepares your body and mind for that day’s training. Not every day is the same and your warmup is specific to that. When planning and executing the warmup you need to consider which energy system your body will be utilizing. A max rep back squat requires very different preparation than a conditioning session with double-unders and wall balls. The warmup helps to elevate heart rate, stimulate the nervous system, and optimize the function of the tissues and motor patterns you will be training that day. This will reduce your injury risk and optimize your ability to perform.
If you are someone who enjoys chatting during the warmup or never quite breaks a sweat then I want to challenge you to dial it up a notch. Give your warmup 100% of your effort next class and see what I mean. If you are giving your best effort in the general and specific warm-up drills you will notice a huge difference in your ability to recruit and activate muscles. This will allow you to move with better form. The efficiency of moving with better form allows to lift more weight and improve your fitness. Isn’t that why we’re all here in the first place… 🙂
Human movement patterns can be broken down into a few broad and overarching groups like squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate and walk.
Sometimes you will accomplish mobilization through a dynamic warm-up. Taking your joints through an increasing range of motion in order to prepare them for the rigors of the workout. Sometimes you will slow down and target specific tissues through foam rolling, flossing, or distraction techniques with a band.
Let’s say the day’s workout is to build up to a heavy single deadlift. The first step is to consider what movement patterns will be involved. In this case, the deadlift involves a hinge as the primary movement pattern. You want to make sure that your back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings are well oiled and firing before you start touching a barbell.
The cooldown can and should involve more than making sweat angels on the floor. The goal is to ensure continuous blood flow to remove the toxins and metabolites that have built up during your training session. By continuing to move after a workout you are actually improving your recovery and setting the tone for your next training session. Hopping on a bike or rower for 10:00 minutes and moving at an easy conversational pace can be a total game-changer in the way you feel the next day. This habit can be hard to do at first. Instead of laying on the floor until you crush your protein shake and head out the door you will develop mental toughness by challenging your body to keep moving. There are huge dividends to this and you will notice improvements in your recovery each day and reduced soreness.
After your cooldown incorporating stretching and additional mobilization techniques into your routine is essential to optimize recovery and performance in your next workout. When you perform an exercise your body is in “fight or flight” mode. There is a huge shift that occurs during your stretching and rolling session where your body switches back into a parasympathetic or “rest and digest” state. Stretching muscles has been shown to temporarily improved range of motion and will help you when you go to tie your shoes the next morning. By focusing on breathing and moving your tight and sore muscles you are helping to establish homeostasis and you will feel much better for the rest of the day. This is a great practice to repeat again later in the day before bed, especially if you are someone who has trouble shutting off at night and unwinding.
Today we looked at why it is so important to optimize the warmup, mobilization, cooldown, and stretching. We all love to go hard in the workout, but by focusing on improving in these areas is really how you will start to see results!
The body thrives on balance. Our muscles and joints are happiest when they are getting equal and total range of motion. The spine is no different and since it’s range of motion is smaller than most other joints, imbalances can be felt more intensely.
The spine requires the stability of the supporting muscles that surround it to keep up upright and mobile. When a link in this system is weak, the body will compensate in order to expend the least amount of energy.
A common issue seen causing that dreaded lower back is due to tight hip flexors, tight spinal erectors, accompanied by weak abs and glutes, also referred to as the lower cross syndrome. The tightness of the body in one area causes another area of the body to become weak.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Buddhist Proverb
So how do you fix or prevent this? Here are three things you can do today to make sure your glutes are firing, your core is tight, and your hips and back muscles stay strong but supple.
- Single leg glute bridges, to strengthen the core & glutes. Aim for 3 sets of 15 on each side. Plant the bottom of your feet and palms firmly on the floor. Stack knees above ankles. Lift one foot off the ground and perform a single glute bridge with the other, pressing firmly into your palms, shoulders, and foot to take any pressure off the neck. Get the hips as high as possible, then lower to the ground.
- Couch Stretch, loosen the tight hip flexors. Aim for 2 minutes on each side. Using a couch or a bench, get into a low lunge in front of your object of choice, and the goal of this stretch is to use the front leg to support your weight as you put your back foot on a couch or bench and get your knee as close to the couch or bench as possible to stretch the hip of the back leg.
- Supine single-leg twists to loosen the tight muscles in the lower back. Lay on your back, hands out to a T, and legs together, bring your right knee up to your chest and let it fall to the left side of your body. Try to keep the spine stacked in a straight line. Repeat on the left leg, bringing left knee to chest then letting it fall to your right, knee resting on the ground or a block. Spend at least a minute on each side. (sometimes referred to as the “iron cross”)
Incorporate these exercises and stretches into your daily routine to help ease and prevent lower back pain. Consistency is key – so don’t look for a quick fix! As always if anything causes pain, don’t do it and always consult your doctor before trying new things.
Krysten and her husband Ron have been members at KCI for 3 1/2 years. In that time, Krysten has given birth to 2 boys and continues to make CrossFit a top priority in her life. Her and Ron have changed schedules & made sacrifices so that they can continue to life a healthy and fit lifestyle! Truly the KCI CrossFit #GratitudeAndGrit lifestyle!
You and your husband both attend classes at KCI, at different times of the day. What’s the typical conversation between the two of you about fitness or working out? Are you competitive with each other about workouts?
Ron is a unicorn. I can’t say enough good things about him making the switch to the early mornings. It allows us both to get the workouts in. We both believe working out is an important aspect; we feel good, look good, and have more self-confidence. Most importantly we make the time to get it done while figuring the balance of our boys and our relationship. We want to be good examples for them when it comes to their overall health and when they begin their own fitness journey. Yes, Ron and I are competitive with one another about the workouts but also very proud of each other. We both have our strengths and weaknesses in CrossFit. We have areas we talk about improving and then others we just want to maintain. I wish I had his kip! We like working out together when we can, and we like pushing each other. We usually discuss the workout over a quick cup of coffee and he gives me a few pointers since the 5:15 A.M. crew is the first out of the gate!
You came to classes throughout both pregnancies. Detail your training experiences during pregnancy and postpartum.
When I say I love CrossFit because every movement can be modified, pregnancy is why. I was able to keep getting in good effective workouts with the right modifications being made. The coaches played a big role in helping me figure out what those modifications needed to be. I always felt welcomed to come workout while pregnant, by the members and coaching staff. That was the big motivator to keep moving the further along I got with both. By continuing to attend workouts regularly, it allowed for me to come back as soon as I did.
I definitely don’t think my recoveries would have been as smooth if it wasn’t for CrossFit. I found it relatively easy to get back in the swing of things. My body was ready to move again about three to four weeks postpartum. So I kept modifying and scaling down to what was appropriate while my body fully recovered. It allowed for a safe transition back into the “normal” WOD standards.
What motivates and or inspires you?
I like being physically capable in life. Ron likes that I can help with heavy lifting around the house when needed. I would like to remain that way as I get older & CrossFit provides me with that. I have a few family members who have become weak as they have gotten older because they didn’t exercise for years and now trying to build up muscle and bone density. My goal is to be ahead of the game. I feel like I look at it differently, but I’m thirty. That number is just going to keep going up. The older years I want to enjoy without having physical limitations, if that makes sense. With also being thirty, I do still enjoy the motivation to get the top score on the whiteboard and collapsing after a hard workout. I don’t think I will ever outgrow my competitive spirit.
How do you describe CrossFit to friends and family?
I often describe CrossFit as functional fitness program anyone can do with an added bonus of being a great community and support system. What I love most is that every movement can be modified to different fitness and skill levels. Before I ever started CrossFit I was probably the biggest critic. Now, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The feedback I usually receive is that people are nervous to try CrossFit because they don’t know how to do any of the movements, lift weights, etc. We all had our first day!
As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling rundown or beat up or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.
The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accepting that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn
Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!
- Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
- Go for a walk during the daytime.
- Break a sweat every day.
- Stay hydrated.
- Structure your day for success.
Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
During the summer months, there seems to be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around. In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need. Omega-3s found in fish oil can help with skin health, heart health, and has been shown to support
Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Doing it in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.
Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get soft and complacent.
In the winter months, you may never feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.
Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors is key. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.
If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!
If you currently want something in your life that you don’t have then there is a 100% chance that you are human. How you define yourself is by the action you take towards bringing those into your life. Some people make declarations about how they are finally going to make the big change
Generally, if you have a goal you haven’t achieved yet you fall into one of these three camps.
- You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.
- You don’t think you deserve it.
- You haven’t put in the work.
So what’s really keeping you from achieving your goals? Let’s find out…
1. You don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to do it.
This is generally the first challenge you encounter when you have a new goal. Luckily it is also the easiest barrier to address when it comes to making positive changes in your life. Whether you seek to earn more money, improve your health, or find your soulmate there are websites, coaches, books, podcasts, and more resources than you know what to do with. Success leaves clues and in the information age we live in you have access to the tools and resources you need to get started on the path to your goal.
“When action is our priority, vanity falls away.” – Ryan Holiday
Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 pounds and keep it off. Like forever keep it off. Many adults find themselves at a weight they don’t feel comfortable and confident at. The problem is that if you have only ever gained weight since you were a kid and never seen the scale go (and stay) in the opposite direction then you are a total novice. Being a professional weight gainer is easy for you, you’ve done it your whole life. If you want to lose weight then you have to start fresh. It’s time to throw out what you think is true about nutrition and exercise because all of the information you have is through the lens of a person who has only ever gained weight. Let go of ego. Let go of pride. If you want to make the change then you have to start with fresh eyes.
2. You don’t think you deserve it.
This could be thought of as self-sabotage. Maybe since you were a child you have been conditioned to think a certain way. Many of the long-standing beliefs humans hold are instilled by parents, environments, or traumatic experiences. Long ago the brain accepted as fact that “this is the way it is”. If you have a long-held belief that is clashing with one of your current goals then your first order of business is to remove that roadblock. No amount of will power or strategy can overcome a fixed mindset. You are an adult and you are responsible for your own life. You have the power to change any condition that you don’t want.
“How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” -Jerry Colonna
Executive coach and author Jerry Colonna asks a powerful question to himself and his clients. “How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” Ask yourself this question in the context of your current goal. If you are struggling to lose weight, what are the things that you have been “okay with” lately? If it’s the food in the fridge that you snack on, skipping your workout, or surrounding yourself with people who have unhealthy habits then that is entirely on YOU to change. That starts by demanding more of yourself. You have to consider yourself worthy of the goal you claim to want. When you are mentally ready to be the person who achieves this goal you will be able to receive it.
3. You haven’t put in the work.
This can be the most frustrating camp to fall into when it comes to not achieving your goals. You may be doing everything right. You hired the coach, you have a strategy, and you’re executing on it every day. So why haven’t you accomplished your goal yet?!
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi
Whether growing a business or growing your biceps it can be tough when the results haven’t shown up yet. So what should you do?
Constantly ask yourself: What else could I be doing? Continually revisit camps one and two in this post. Are there any additional resources or tools that could be getting you to your goals faster? Could you work with someone who has proven results in the exact area you are trying to grow? Are there any roadblocks you are creating for yourself? Is there an area where your behavior is inconsistent with the outcome that you seek?
Frustration or anger can itself be a powerful tool. If you are fed up with your lack of progress then you should use that as fuel for your fire. If you have the bandwidth to be upset about your situation then you most likely have the bandwidth to work harder (or smarter 😉 )
If you still don’t know why the results won’t come then you should consider working with a mentor or coach who can help you get there. A great coach will help you set up a framework for success. They will help you develop a SMART goal that aligns with your mission and current state. Understanding the time frame and order of steps necessary to achieve a goal can dramatically improve your mindset and the way you tackle each day. You can break your goal down into manageable chunks and as you check them off you will build momentum towards your big goal. The best coaches will be clear and neutral in their feedback about what it takes to get to you to your goal.
You want to surround yourself with people who will be supportive and honest your path to success. Avoid the detractors. That includes anyone who tells you they support you, but that you can’t achieve what you want and to “get real”. This life is yours to choose and you can’t waste time with the people that will only hold you back.