Do The Math (and Start Lifting)!

It’s really not that difficult…

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B12 Injections – Latest Weight Loss Fad (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Jessica from www.TreadmillReviews.com, and it brings up a great point – it’s always better to get our nutrients from our diets, and our weight loss from clean eating and exercise, rather than supplements. Supplements can get expensive … and in a world where everyone is trying to make a dime, you want to be confident that you aren’t adding something that is, at best, ineffective, and at worst, deadly, into your body. My advice? Be smart about your supplements!

Now, Jessica’s take on one of the many weight loss fads out there, B12 injections:

People will try anything to lose weight nowadays… even a shot! Would you be willing to get a shot every day just to lose weight? Honestly, if I were to do that I would just go ahead and buy HCG shots. According to Dr. Rina Shinn with Adonis Cosmetic Surgery & Spa, “”Vitamin B12 itself will not make you lose weight at all, so that has nothing to do with weight loss. But it gives you the energy and it supplements you while you tend to be B12 deficient.”

So, as you can see, there’s no actual evidence that it even works. I’m sure if you found a way to utilize it correctly, it might help you shed a few pounds.

How about instead of a shot, you just go and try eating B12 rich food? That seems like a lot better, cheaper, and easier way to get your B12 instead of paying an obscene fortune to get a little shot every day. Below is a list of the top 10 foods highest in vitamin B12:

1. Shellfish
2. Liver
3. Caviar (or Fish Eggs)
4. Octopus
5. Fish
6. Crab or Lobster
7. Beef
8. Lamb
9. Cheese
10. Eggs

Yuck! No wonder people are so deficient. I wouldn’t eat half of those things. Here is a different list of more palatable sources of vitamin B12:

  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fortified-Cereal
  • Soy Products
  • Yogurt
  • Energy Bars
  • Lunch Meat
  • Milk
  • Tofu

And the list goes on. Here are some reasons why B12 is so beneficial and why it is so important!

  • Protect and Repair DNA to Reduce Cancer Risk and Slow Aging
  • Protect Against Heart Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Protection
  • Energy and Endurance
  • Helps you be in a better mood
  • Helps depression
  • Better Sleep
  • Memory
  • Concentration

A lot of people out there who are looking for such weight loss fads are usually looking for an easy fix because they are too tired to do anything. They don’t have the energy to go running or workout at the gym. If they had the energy, maybe they’d be able to actually get up and do something instead of laying in bed.

As you can see, B12 is pretty dang important. There are many sources of vitamin b12 out there, you just have to get creative and find what works best for you. Even if you are vegetarian or vegan, there are still many foods out there that you can have to get your very much needed B12.

Happy Registered Dietician Day!

Did you know that Wednesday, March 13 is the 6th annual Registered Dietician Day? According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the purpose of this day is to, “commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.”

One of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle revolves around eating nutritious, whole foods. You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” and most athletes would agree that diet plays just as much (some would argue more) of a role as exercise in maintaining a strong body and healthy weight.

So, to all the RDs out there: thanks for making our world a healthier, more nutritious place! Here are a few tips from www.eatright.org  on why consulting a dietician or nutritionist can be helpful:

Top Ten Reasons flyer REV[1]

Don’t Let Happy Hour Destroy Your Diet and Fitness Efforts!

It’s Friday! What will you be doing to celebrate the start of the weekend? If Happy Hour, tailgates, Halloween parties or drinks with friends are on your agenda, don’t let it ruin the hard work you’ve put in at the gym or the good diet you’ve kept up throughout the week (fact: a perfect week of exercise and eating can be undone by a couple of not so perfect food and drink decisions on the weekend).

To put things into perspective:

So, what cocktail should you choose instead? Men’s Health/Eat This, Not That makes these recommendations:

Enjoy these options without the guilt (just keep yourself to one – two max):
Mojito: 160 calories, 15 g sugars
Bloody Mary: 150 calories, 10 g sugars
Cosmopolitan: 150 calories, 12 g sugars

If you’re a beer drinker, you can save yourself even more calories – as long as you make the right pick. These come in at under 100 calories per bottle:
Budweiser Select: 99 calories, 3 g carbohydrates
Yuengling Lager Light: 99 calories, 9 g carbohydrates
Miller Lite: 96 calories, 3 g carbohydrates
Amstel Light: 95 calories, 6 g carbohydrates
Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 3 g carbohydrates
Beck’s Premier Light: 64 calories, 4 g carbohydrates
MGD 64: 64 calories, 2 g carbohydrates

As with anything else, it’s all about moderation. One or two drinks won’t kill your efforts, as long as you’re making smart decisions. Have a great weekend!

Progress, Not Perfection: You’re Stronger Than You Think!

If there is one thing I have always struggled with, it is the concept of perfection. I am a first born. Perfectionism is in my nature. But if there is one lesson that I’ve tried to learn, it’s that in health and fitness, focusing on perfection will never make you happy – while monitoring your progess will keep you on track toward your goals.

I still remember when I first started working with my trainer, Steven, when I lived in Nashville (2009-ish), and he asked me what my goals are. I looked him straight in the eye, and told him, “I want you to make me perfect.” I don’t remember exactly what his response was, but I’m sure it was something that opened my eyes a little bit more to the reality of the situation.

The fact is, I will never be completely satisfied with my body, my strength, my musculature – but honestly, do we really want to be “perfect”? It makes think of something my mom mentioned my grandmother (who was a very smart woman!) telling her as a child: “If you  had everything, then what would you have to wish for?” I think this is kind of how we have to look at our workouts – I know that I’m driven by what I don’t like about myself. That pocket of fat on my hips (especially the right one) that, God help me, I’ve tried everything to get rid of? It makes me run a little faster. The little separation line between my shoulders and my arms? That’s what keeps me lifting on the days that I’d rather skip it.  But, like I said, it depends on the day.

Our “flaws” are what make us unique – and they are also what keeps us motivated. If we didn’t have to put in the work to get closer to our “ideal” would we really appreciate how far we’ve come? Is what we see as perfect today what we will see as perfect a year from now? Probably not. Perfect example: I can’t help but laugh when I look at high school pictures and wonder what I was thinking when, at 5’5″ and 120 lbs. at 18 years old, I thought I was fat. Granted, after more than a decade of hard workouts, I’ve put on a lot of muscle (and probably a few of those “age related” lbs. you always read about – at least that’s what I’m claiming) since then … but I’d still love to be that kind of “fat” again!

Trainers’ Top Pet Peeves … And Random Trainer Musings

I came across this great article regarding Trainers’ Top Pet Peeves, and I had to read it. As a person who spends, quite honestly, more time than a normal person in a gym, I have my share of gym pet peeves (as you may have read here, or here, or here).

I find it amazing that some people actually think that doing some of these things when they are supposed to be training are okay. Seriously, you’re paying this guy or gal upwards of $50 (in many cases, WAY upwards) an hour, and you’re checking your email? Or complaining that something is hard, then wondering why your body still looks the same three months later? Here’s a tip: a good trainer wants to help you succeed. But they can’t make YOU want to succeed.

But, that said … it also goes both ways. You want to make sure that if you are going to make an investment in yourself (both from a time and monetary standpoint – keeping in mind that a full commitment does require a lifestyle change), you are working with a certified, qualified, focused individual who is committed to helping you achieve your goals, be they to lose weight, to gain weight, to tone up, to run a 10k, to make it up the stairs without feeling like you’re going to die … Everyone wants something different, so be sure that your trainer is focused on what you want – not what they think you should want (or what they are good at).

(Side note on that point – back when I first started working with a trainer, the guy was convinced that I had the right body type to be in fitness competitions. I just wanted to look good. I’m pretty sure I will NEVER take off all of the nearly 10 lbs. of muscle I put on working with him. Now, I don’t want to be a waif … but I do put on and maintain muscle fairly easily, so I worry sometimes that people think I’m scary. Point being – be clear about what you see as YOUR ideal body. Don’t just let them turn you into their little project).

Going back to my point about finding a good trainer … remember that just because they are certified, or they have X number of years of experience, that doesn’t necessarily make them the right one for you. Which brings me to my biggest pet peeve when it comes to trainers.

I’d call this the “I know you pay me more than you make in an hour, but I have better things to do with my time than watch you” trainer. I’ve seen a trainer texting while his client is doing squats with her heels off the floor, undoubtedly one wrong move from blowing out a knee. I’ve seen trainers more concerned with talking to their friends or flirting with a cute girl than watching their client’s form (and, I’ll admit, on occasion, I’m guilty of being that friend or cute girl). And every time I see something like this, I make a mental note NOT to suggest that particular trainer should someone in one of my classes ask for a trainer recommendation. Because honestly, if you are paying someone to help you reach your health and fitness goals, they should be delivering their end of the bargain (as should you).

Luckily, I was fortunate enough to work with two phenomenal trainers over a span of three years. To Steven (in Nashville) and CJ (in Merrifield): if I ever did anything dumb/annoying/questionable (and I’m sure I did): I’m sorry. But at least I always apologized when you were forced to touch my sweat. And I think you kind of liked it when I’d get mad that I couldn’t do something right the first time. And I’ll gladly credit you both for teaching me so much, and for pushing me to train as hard as I do today. You’re the best!

Finally, I have to share a story that still, a good 10 years later, still makes me laugh about when I think about trainers and their clients (though, in the situation, it really was quite uncomfortable). My senior year of college, I would go to the campus gym, which was, at the time, had been relocated to the old bookstore, since they were in the process of renovating the fitness center – word is Fike is now amazing. I graduated before they finished gutting the place. But, I digress … back to the gym in the bookstore. I worked out in the morning or early afternoon – usually after my morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and before my afternoon classes on Monday and Wednesday (yeah, I pretty much had the best schedule ever my senior year of college – I started at 2 p.m. on Monday and was done at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday). There was always this older lady, probably in her 60s working out with one of the trainers, and I couldn’t be near her when she was doing anything that could even be considered somewhat strenuous, because she didn’t forcefully exhale, or grunt, or yell …  no, she moaned. Like she was REALLY enjoying her workout (if you know what I  mean). I still have nightmares about it. And I feel bad for the poor lady who had to train her.

14 Exercise Mistakes Beginners Make

Just getting started? Read these tips first! 14 great tips to make sure you can stay committed to your routine – and on track to the best shape (and health) of your life.

14 Exercise Mistakes Beginners Make – iVillage.

Fitness Flashback: The Thighmaster

Yikes.

Click here for a good laugh, 80s “fitness” style: Fitness Flashback: The Thighmaster | Fitbie.

I came across this gem over the weekend, and couldn’t help but share. Sadly, it makes me think of my college roommate, Deana, who actually had one of these (which she’d pull out infrequently) … and several of our sorority sisters who would pop into our room and end up playing with it (though I don’t believe ever using it as intended).

Kind of makes you wonder … how do people come up with some of this stuff? Knowing that it’s impossible to spot reduce (sorry!), it continues to amaze me that people are still willing to plunk down 3 easy payments of $19.95+shipping and handling (or something along those lines) for something you know is going to end up in the back of a closet somewhere within a few months.

Hope this one gives you a laugh. Now get out there and put in some real work if you want to see real results – anything worth having is worth working for!

#1 Key to Improved Fitness … You Have to Want It!

The society we live in today is obsessed with finding the quick fix – the magic bullet. The diet pill that will help you drop 30 lbs. in three weeks. The gadget that will produce six-pack abs in only five minutes a day. The shoes that will give you a tighter butt, and the pants that will reduce cellulite by 40%.

I hate to tell you … but it isn’t gonna happen. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

The unfortunate fact …

… and the good news …

I would never be so crazy as to say that getting into shape is an easy task – it does take time, and work, and dedication (not to mention sweat, sore muscles, and less of a relationship with cookies/candy/sodas/chips/fill in your junk food weakness of choice here). But the beauty of our bodies is that they are moldable. They are willing to give back what we put into them. Kind of makes me think of that commercial with the kid playing soccer dressed as a hot dog or a doughnut or something – with one mom telling the other, “kids are what they eat.”

Perhaps that hardest part for people to grasp, however, is the mental aspect of it. When it comes to fitness, attitude absolutely is everything. Do you tell yourself you can push harder, run faster? Or do you let one little slip-up drive you off course? Success in health, fitness, weight loss – whatever your goal may be – comes down to commitment and wanting it bad enough. Like anything in life, if you don’t view fitness as a priority, it will never be one – you’ll always find something more fun or less painful to occupy your time.

I hate to bring up yet another commercial (do I watch too much television or something?), but it makes me think about how true the Weight Watchers (I think?) commercial from a few years back is: diets don’t work. Getting fit and achieving your goals – be they losing weight, gaining muscle, eating healthier, or something completely unique to you – requires a lifestyle change. It requires time, and commitment, and sweat, and pain, and sometimes sacrifice.

But it’s absolutely worth it.