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Breaking My Diet…

What if I told you that I quit my diet?

I had enough, and I was over stressed, over worked, over tired – and just DONE!

What if I told you that although my diet is flexible and I am eating things that I enjoy – I was just burnt out on THINKING about what I was going to eat, or planning, or working-out?

Would you condemn me as a trainer to not know what I am talking about?

Would you accuse me of not walking the walk?

Would you discredit me as though I don’t know what I am talking about?

Chances are, you have been where I was at the start of last week.

Monday came and it was business as usual. I went to work, nutrition was on point, went home – got my workout done, made dinner for my family – and all was well… until the next day.

Tuesday came, and I was over it. I slept pretty hard and did not want to get up (which is not normal. My internal clock goes off no later than 6:00 AM even on the weekend). I was not excited about the day, my coffee, getting my kid up for school, going to the office, working, commuting – none of it. I had a client on vacation, and instead of taking the time that he would be training and using it to relax – I filled it with other things that took up my time and distracted me from the fact that I was hitting a wall. I had a friends business grand opening coming up and decided I would dive in and help her as much as I could. I took the day off of working out myself. I trained a new client that evening, which was great because I really do LOVE helping people get stronger and realize their potential! If I am also honest with myself, the scale was not moving – and I have been consistent for 7 whole weeks – and was just feeling drained.

Wednesday came, and things got in the way of me working out – my schedule became packed in the evening and I had to miss another day… Thursday came and again, I was met with one thing after the other that I placed in the time of me working out. Swinging by my friends business on the way home to discuss her opening for a few min and what she needed from me to help her get ready, then to get my kiddo, then pick-up produce that was sitting at someone’s house that I was supposed to pick up by 6 and it was 6:15 before I would arrive… coming home, unpacking, feeding the kiddo (who mind you was an ANGEL this day and could not have been better at listening and minding which was a true gift from God as she is finding her voice and personality…). I complained that evening to Paul (my husband of 14 years) about my efforts slipping away and going down the drain – and he just told me “you know it is ok to miss a few days right? You know you are starting to be obsessive about your goals and your schedule right?” And there it was… the realization that my OCD was creeping back in, in a monstrous way. I needed to take a break.

Thursday – I had come to the resolve that this week needed to be a break. A happy hour was happening with some of my fellow mentor-ship partners and I decided I would drink a couple glasses of whiskey and join in to hear how things were going for them, share a little bit of my world – and take another night off… it was good. It was relaxing and what I needed.

Friday – My friend’s grand opening. I took a half-day off of work and went to help her with the event. I am so glad I did. I did get to meet new people and help her with several things. Also note I am an introvert and this took a LOT of my energy and I started to feel drained by 7:30 PM. I got home with enough time to put my kiddo to bed, hang out with Paul for literally a min, before I said “Hun, my eyes are closing – I need to go to sleep.”

Saturday came and like clockwork I awoke at 5:45 AM. Made some coffee, some cinnamon rolls (which I did eat one) and did some catch-up on work since I left early the day before (that is another thing about me – even on my days off from my 9-5, I still answer emails and work and don’t allow myself to take a break). Then I ran some errands (picked up some special cookies for Paul for Father’s Day and went to the store to buy food for Sunday as we were having my parents and brother over for lunch. Side note – We have not seen them in person since February… it was a great visit. My dad has grown a full beard and is now SANTA! I had work that I needed to get done and a client program that I needed to write – but I could hardly keep my eyes open. Paul said, “you know you do your best work in the morning.” So I slept.

Sunday at 6:00 AM I was up… and my OCD was rampant. My house was not clean enough, I vacuumed – swept, cleaned the kitchen, fluffed the pillows, dusted… and then I missed going to the doughnut shop with Paul and Kenzie because a) it is their tradition on Father’s Day morning, and b) I still had some cleaning I needed to do… mind you NONE of that was on my to do-list for my clients for the next week… But before I knew it, it was 11 AM and the knock on the door that my family had arrived. It was good to visit, I was making homemade french fries, while everyone visited. Paul was grilling burgers and sausage – and we ate and visited some more. I cleaned the kitchen and handed out apple pie ala mode (as you can see I really just said “PAUSE” on my diet and macros) – and finished cleaning once everyone was done. Eventually – everyone wanted to go home and nap, and Kenzie needed one too! I could have, but knew I needed to write a 4 week plan, and film the videos to go with… then there is editing, and uploading and sending… it all takes TIME! By the end of the day, everything for my client had been taken care of – I got to get my kiddo off to bed, and I followed suit shortly after.

Today is a new day. It is MONDAY – and for me, that is the start of a new week. Even as my OCD was triggered in other ways this past week – I am determined to get myself back to working out and focusing on healthy choices when it comes to nutrition.

Moral of this long and unnecessary story is this… it is understandable and OK to take a break from time to time. Heck I am 8 weeks in and my brain and my body was really just over the schedule I was keeping… so it needed a break. In a shocking report – I was down 2 pounds this morning. Now it may not stay that way, but a break can be beneficial is so many ways that are not really common knowledge. This is why I express to you, that if you are feeling just like you don’t want to do it anymore, and you are burnt out – TAKE THE FREAKING BREAK! EAT THE PIE! It will do a lot for you in the long run when you learn how to adapt. It will help you grow!

If you are having a hard time, especially with all that is going on right now, and need someone to help you get started on a healthier path – email me and I will be happy to get connected with you and help you take some small steps now that will really help to snowball into big results over time!

XOXO Trainer Meggs

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The PERFECT Diet to Lose Weight!

I want to give a gift to you… one that you have been asking me for…

The PERFECT diet to lose weight!

You have been home for over a month. You have had to work from home, while homeschooling your kids, and making sure that your zoom meeting does not interfere with your kid’s classes… 

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Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Let me say if you are reading this in the future and you are not sure why all of this would be happening… We are currently dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. A time where we asked to shelter in place and EVERYTHING (well mostly everything) was closed. We wore masks to the grocery store and could not visit loved ones or friends, and if we were in public we had to remain 6 feet from any other individual – it was a crazy time…

Now where was I – oh yes… being cooped up in your house with endless apocalyptic snacks and beverages has left you with the dreaded weight gain that comes from eating said endless snacks and possibly having more screen time than you normally would. I am sure you, like many of us, watched everything Netflix, Hulu, and even TickTok had to offer – and chances are you may have gained a few (or more) unwanted pounds during this whole isolation adventure. Adventure? Yes – let’s call it an adventure, and one that we would like to not repeat.

Well have I got a treat for you friend! 

I am going to give you exactly what you need to do to lose the COVID-10,15, 20, (fill in the blank). And if you are reading this in the future, then you can follow this exact diet to lose weight – because… well… it is PERFECT!

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Really quickly – if you don’t know who I am – My name is Megan, but you can call me Meggs. I was on a journey just like you at one time to find the perfect way to lose weight. I had gotten married and happy and gained more than the “freshman 15” that people who didn’t drop out of community college say to have gained in their first year… I did not have a resource like this to help me get through all of the mess of fad diets and diet cleanses! NOPE! School of hard knocks learner here – but let’s get you back to why you are here!

This is the PERFECT diet to lose weight…

 

 

Are you ready? 

 

 

Calorie Deficit.

Before you start to roll your eyes at me, huff/puff, and click on to social media… Let me give you a little more information.

In order to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit. You need to be mindful of the food you are consuming and you need to make sure that you are drinking water.

Let’s dig a little deeper shall we?

Not everyone wants to count calories, and I understand that. However, if you do not at least try for a little while, you may not be aware of how much you are actually consuming. Even salads can be high in calories with all of the added toppings and dressing. 

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

If you are still crossing your arms, shaking your head and saying “Nope, I refuse to do that, it takes too much time out of my day to track everything I eat,” then I ask you to write down your goals or at least think about how you came to this article in the first place. 

For those who are ready to actually start tracking – I recommend the app “Mikes Macros” You can find it in the app store and download it. It will help you obtain your macros and get you an idea of what your calories should be for weight loss. 

Note that no this is not a perfect science – it is just a tool to use to help you lose some of the weight that you have been looking to shed off of your body. Even if you are just hanging out in the backyard in your kids kiddie pool this summer…

Once you have that – you can have the perfect diet – FOR YOU!

You get to choose what to get into those categories of Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats!

“Meggs, Where do I start though – HELP!” OK – Keep reading…

Protein… This is where carnivores, like myself, lean cuts of meat and poultry are going to be your best bet here. Lean beef, bison, lamb, turkey, chicken and eggs are great options… also – if you are just having a hard time getting your protein in by the end of the day you can add a protein shake in there too… Just be mindful of what is in your shake… (but try to eat your protein)… Vegetarian, Vegan and others – combining beans and rice give you a protein, but I am not well versed because, as I said, I am a carnivore… but if you need me to point you in the direction of a fellow vegetarian, I can – just let me know!

Carbohydrates (called carbs by literally everyone I know) – Fruit, Vegetables, Whole Grains… go nuts on the fruit and veggies. The more variety the better! Whole grains are rice, oats. (The less processed the better)

Fats – (to be honest you will meet this and probably will not need help in this department) avocado, olive oil, nut butters (as the middle school kid in me chuckles – I’m not always that mature ok!)

Need an actual list? Email me… I will get you a pick list that you can choose foods from if you need more help.

Water – for the love of the gorgeous sun that we don’t get to play in right now… put down the diet soda and go drink some water. Sure, water is not fun unless you are floating, diving or sliding into it – but it is necessary for your health. So adult up, and drink a glass… go ahead… I’ll wait. 

There you have it – the PERFECT DIET to Lose Weight!

You are not in this thing alone. It gets confusing and overwhelming and tiring and just downright boring sometimes… but I can tell you, I never get bored with food. I even eat out several times a week – but I make it work with my macros! 

“If you need me, call me – Wherever you are – no matter how far… Cause’ baby there ain’t no mou…” Oh – sorry… just fill out below!

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Losing the Pooch – Week 1 Results!

Guess what!

It is still there – is that a shock to anyone, it should not be! As I said in my last article (which if you have not read, I HIGHLY recommend and can do so here), this is going to take time. And I am not talking about the “30 Day” “6 Week” or even “12 week” challenge that you may have seen on any “influencer’s” email chain or Facebook post.

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These are real results, and the real and sustainable results take time. Now, if you are going through the same thing and groaning at the time it is going to take, understand that I am not doing this the “Biggest Loser” type of way.

Yes sure, there are ways you can speed up the process. However, I hope you will see that the way this journey is going to go is going to be healthier than a risky cosmetic surgery or spending hours upon hours doing cardio at the gym while only drinking vegan green protein shakes (really – no offense if that is you – but there is a better way)

Now when surgery is necessary and a massive amount of weight has already been lost and you are removing skin flap – that is not what this is addressing in this article. You have put that work in and if you want to feel good in your skin after your massive transformation – You will hear nothing but cheers from me.

This challenge is for those who are like me, maybe have a lot or a little to lose, and want to tighten some areas of sagging skin from having children. Hence why all of my hashtags are “meggsloseshermommybelly” or “meggsloseshermompooch” in my Instagram and my Facebook. It is about taking the time to put in some work and still enjoy life. At the risk of sounding cliche, it is about balance.

First thing – is always going to be – NUTRITION!

My macros are as follows: 1360 calories (99g Protein, 183g Carbohydrate, 26g Fat)

I have stuck pretty close to those numbers, yet going over on fat quite often and hardly hitting my carbohydrate numbers. I primarily always try to hit my protein goal. This is what a typical day of nutrition looks like for me:

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  • Fast through breakfast.
  • Lunch is a salad/sandwich/chili type of combination
  • Dinner is weighed out protein/lots of vegetables and (depending on my carbohydrate remaining) a serving of whole grains.
  • If I have a large gap in my protein goal, I will make a vanilla protein shake.

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Here is the exact workout regimen that I made for myself:

  • Monday – TRX Suspension Training Workout and Yoga (I train two yoga clients and workout with them)
  • Tuesday – Cardio jog/walk for 30 min (trying to improve my time or distance each week)
  • Wednesday – Resistance Training (using resistance bands)
  • Thursday – Weight Lifting Day
  • Friday – DANCE PARTY – if you have not seen my dance parties with my family on FB, you are missing out… my daughter is a HOOT!
  • Saturday – Longer Workout Day (45-1 Hour) Freestyle – meaning “I do what I want”
  • Sunday – REST – possible leisure walk as my daughter rides her bike.

You have to remember that these are the things that work for me. My workouts are 30 min long (with the exception of Saturday).

Also something to mention is that I am still aiming to drink a gallon of water a day and have, with the exception of one day, been successful. (Even on that one day I drank over 100 oz)

Here are my stats for week 1:

  • Current Weight: 124.2  (loss of 4.3 pounds)
  • Pooch: 34.5″ (loss of 1.25″)
  • Waist: 32″ (loss of 2.25″)
  • Hips: 36.5″ (loss of 1.5″)
  • R Thigh: 22″ (Increase of 1″)
  • L Thigh: 22″ (increase of .75″)

Loss of a total of 3.25″

Here is the reason behind such a drastic change in one week… are you ready to hear it?

Water. Bloating. Nutrition. Moving my body with a purpose. Nothing magical… just changing my habits. Also to be noted, when you were eating like the world was going to end, and drinking diet cokes daily (which I have not had one in 2 weeks) before you get started on a refocus of your diet… this is likely to happen. That is why so many diet programs promise results in the the first 7 days.

There is nothing magical about what I am doing. I am just doing the work.

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If you you are tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what you see, and are wanting a change… be willing to put the work in, contact me, and let me get you on the path to sustainable success.

XOXO – Trainer Meggs

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My Mom Stomach – Kangaroo Pouch – aka Sagging Skin after Kids

My daughter is currently three years old and in October she will be four.

FOUR YEARS OLD!

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My body is STILL not what it was before I had her – and that is OK!

However, it is something that I want to focus on for no one but myself, and this is exactly how I am going to do it:

Nutrition and Exercise

Now before I get a million e-mails from fellow moms who are also network marketers with the latest product that will help “tighten and firm” my mid-section or “detox” my insides in a week to get me the aesthetic results I am after – hear me out… DON’T.

Just… PLEASE DON’T!

There is a very specific reason I am going through this journey the way that I am…

That reason is this:

I want every mom to know that

  1. A) It takes time to get your body back in shape.
  2. B) It is unreasonable to put pressure on yourself to get back your body in a certain time frame. (Thank you social media for your constant pressure on moms to get their bodies back)
  3. C) That nutrition is the number one key ingredient in the fat loss/weight loss equation.
  4. D) That you do not have to spend hours in the gym to reach the desired effect.

 

A little back story before I dive in to my steps…

It took my husband and I 10 years to conceive and carry to term a viable pregnancy. I suffered 2 losses during that ten years and had thought that it was just not going to happen. God had other plans and shocked us when I did become pregnant – and it stuck… so I ENJOYED my pregnancy.

The day I found out I was pregnant I weighted about 122 pounds. I am 5’ tall (not to be confused with my IG post that stated I was 5’5” – wishful thinking), and I was pretty muscular. We realized I was pregnant because I was in the gym (this was also before I had my own personal gym) 5 days a week for one hour and I was doing primarily heavy lifting… but my weight was not moving. My nutrition, up to that moment was on point… so I had assumed I had hit another plateau. My energy was tanking however… I was tired and hungry all the time – and my husband called it. He knew I was pregnant before I did… and when I told him – his words were “I KNEW IT!” (funny note is that we had just paid in full for a week vacation in Cancun with our friends, which is the same thing that happened when we booked a trip to Jamaica about 5 years earlier).

Once we knew that the pregnancy was going to stick this time – I started to ENJOY my pregnancy. Paul would go and get me cheese burgers from Sonic, and everyday on my way home from work I would stop and get a small (not mini) heath bar blizzard from Dairy Queen – like I said I ENJOYED every moment. (And I do understand that some do not enjoy pregnancy and this is in no way to rub it in – it is just my experience…).

The day I delivered – I weighted a whopping 185lbs. At 5’ tall… that is a TON of weight, and my daughter did NOT weigh 63lbs.

I also did not have the easiest delivery… several things did not go “as planned” (my birth plan? My exact words to my doctor were, and I quote, “You GRADUATED from med school, and I dropped out of community college. My birth plan is to go to the hospital when you tell me to, and you do whatever it is you need to do to deliver a happy healthy baby that we have waited over ten years to meet) and I wound up needing a walker for about 2 weeks after getting home from the hospital.

All of that being said I started to focus on my recovery and health slowly, and I mean snails pace slow.

I went back to work full time, was taking care of a newborn – and on top of that, when she was 3 months old, I had the ingenious idea to start the course for personal training. I was busy, stressed, and tired. Overwhelmed I would put it…

Months turned into years. I was mindful of my eating most of the time…

Which brings me to where I am now:

Current Stats:

Weight 128.5lbs

Waist (belly button): 34.25”

MOM Belly: 35.75” (largest section on my stomach)

Hips: 38”

R Thigh: 21”

L high: 21.25”

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My focus to tighten my mid-section is going to come from nutrition and from exercise. There is no way one area is going to be able to be spot trained – that is not possible… You must reduce total body fat, and then you can gain muscle. I would be deceiving myself if I thought that ALL of the loose skin will go away, but it will decrease – and that is the overall goal.

My Steps to My #MommyMakeover

Nutrition: Attaining this goal is 80% food (and really if I am being totally honest it is more like 90% food)! That being said – I am not going to deprive myself of things that I love. I will be counting my macros (I use an ap on my phone called “Mikes Macros” to track and log my calories. I have found with my clients that if they deprive and completely cut out al the food that they love that is higher in calories, they will wind up binging on those things later.

My macro goals are as follows (please use a macro calculator such as Mike’s Macros if you are wanting to start your own 3mommymakeover journey as each person is unique and different).

Total Calories: 1,232

Macro Breakdown:

98g Protein

152g Carbohydrates

26g Fat

My total calories may seem low, but I have an office job where I sit most of the day and I need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. For someone who is more active the total calories would be higher.

As a general rule, I am usually always over on fat and under on my protein and carbohydrate goals for the day, but overall, still in a calorie deficit.

I personally fast through breakfast. I make myself drink 20 oz of water before I allow myself to have my first cup of coffee ***and usually my only cup of coffee***

I fill my diet (meaning food consumed, and not a specific fad diet) with vegetable carbohydrates that are more filling than the grain/bread type carbohydrates – meaning they are higher in fiber to sustain hunger for longer periods of time. I also do my best to eat lean protein. I am not a fish lover… but I will eat shell fish, so I generally stick to chicken, turkey, lean beef, and bison.

I am also drinking a gallon of water (or as close to it as possible) each day.  A gallon is 128oz. I have a 20oz cup and I keep filling it and have had about 80-100oz by the time I leave work and commute home. Disclaimer *** I also LOVE the taste of Diet Coke… not regular coke, it has to be diet… and CHAMPAGNE…*** I have made a rule that I can have no other drinks (besides my morning coffee) until I have had my gallon of water. These are my rules, not saying anyone has to follow them – but I have found that my cravings for sweets has gone down, and I don’t want the diet coke as much as I used to. I still LOVE champagne – that will not change. I have two bottles in my refrigerator that I feel like I am saving, but for no particular reason.

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Exercise: I am committing to exercise for 30 min a day 6 times a week. Now hear me out – exercising could mean a weight lifting workout, resistance band training, a TRX workout, a cardio session (jog/walk, bike, rower), an afternoon stroll with my family, or a dance party with my little in the living room… for me as long as it is 30 min of intentional movement… that is exercise to me.

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I want to show you my schedule and what works for me, and before I get any “mom shaming” for what my day looks like – my daughter is well taken care of and gets plenty of attention – so don’t come for me.

My Schedule: (Mon thru F)

4:45-5:00 AM – Alarm goes off, watch the news

5.00-5:30AM – Get ready for the day, wake up my daughter and let her say “Mommy, I want to sleep for 5 more min”

5:30-5:45AM – Make lunches, pack up the car

5:45-6:00AM – Get kiddo dressed and dropped off at preschool

6:00 -7:00AM (this can be a little longer sometimes because of #houstontraffic) Commute to work.

7:00AM-4:00PM WORK (desk job, not much movement… except all the steps I am getting from trips to the bathroom – HELLO gallon of water challenge!)

4:00-5:00PM – Commute Home

5:00-5:30PM – At home workout (weight or resistance training, or cardio)

5:45PM – Pick up kiddo from preschool (Dad helps with this too)

6:00PM Dinner – playing, learning with kiddo.

6:30PM-7:00PM (M-Th) – Training clients one on one

7:15PM – Kiddo in jammies, brush teeth, read book, lights out! (unless it is Friday… Friday is “FRIDAY MOVIE DAY – where we watch a movie as a family and bed time gets pushed a little later)

7:45-9:00PM – Clean up kitchen (this is also when I fit a workout in if the commute took longer than expected)

9:00PM – Lights out!

One weekends it is different… a little more relaxed.

Now this is MY schedule, and there is not a one size fits all. There are some days when my internal clock goes off at 3:30 AM and I can get up and do some light cardio in the morning, there are other days when I feel like my eyes are cemented shut when my alarm goes off. I have learned to take each day as it comes… but also to make the most of it!

Conclusion:

This is going to be a slow-go process. The reason it is going to be so slow, it will be sustainable. It is something that will be able to be maintained for the long term and not just a challenge that will be completed in 60-90 days and then go back to eating #allthethings and drinking nothing but diet soda and watching Netflix every free minuet I have to myself. (And that is not to say that there is anything wrong with challenges – I like them too – but this is not aimed to get flat abs in one month by doing a million crunches).

I hope to show moms, like myself, that it is possible to lose the body fat in a sustainable and healthy way that is not linked to supplements and wraps/pills that you “have” to take.

If you want to follow along my journey, see my progress and encourage me as I go – check out my Facebook or Instagram. There is not a time limit on this, as I expressed before – I am not putting the pressure on myself to get results in a certain frame of time.

Also to note – we are possibly looking to expand our family (me possibly conceiving) in 2020 – and if that happens, this will change into a “keep moving and don’t gain 63lbs during pregnancy” type of thing if you get my drift… but only God knows if that will happen – and with this pandemic we have currently, I am not excited about the thought of being pregnant during this – but if it happens, it happens! I have faith that God has a plan in all of this!

If you have the same “mom belly/kangaroo pouch” belly and want some results? Message me and let’s get connected! I am taking coaching clients and would love for you to be one of them!

XOXO Meggs!

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5 Ways to Grow Your Own Food (No Garden Required!)

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Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

Even if you don’t have a yard or balcony to grow your food, there are other creative ideas you can use to make sure you’re getting fresh produce regularly. No garden required.

If you’d love to save money on groceries and have fresh food ready for the pickin’ any time, here are five ways to grow it yourself without having your own garden to weed through.

1. Create an indoor growing situation

Perhaps you won’t be able to grow everything, but a sunny kitchen windowsill is a great place to grow smaller things. Think herbs, scallions, or tomatoes! Some great options that are easy to regrow from a windowsill include celery, lettuce, onion, green onion, bell pepper, and herbs.

2. Become a member of a community-supported agriculture program

Also known as CSA, it’s a great way to get local food for a great deal. It works by taking in members that purchase shares of produce from local farmers. You get your share every week or even biweekly during the growing season. And not only do you always get the freshest local foods without getting your hands dirty, but you also get the opportunity to help your local farmers, which boosts your community.

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3. Strike up a symbiotic deal with friends or family

If your parents or a good friend have space to spare, you might be able to talk them into letting you garden on it. You could negotiate the area by offering to care for and cultivate it while sharing the bounty. It never hurts to ask!

4. Work with a local farm

Live near the farms? Another way you can get growing on your food is to volunteer at your local farm. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves to gain experience and a few fruits and veggies in return, they might be willing to let you help out. The worst thing they can say is “no,” so give it a try!

5. Become a member of your community garden

In most communities today, community gardens are popping up in abundance. Look online near you, and you should find them. Don’t be afraid if you’ve got a brown thumbthey’ll show you the ropes. You’ll make new friends, learn something new, and get fresh and tasty produce without having to maintain your own garden yourself.

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In a community that doesn’t have a community garden? Talk to your neighbors and see about starting one. It could be the next big thing, and it will do so much good for everyone.

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Everything You Need to Know About Slow Carbs to Strike Your Best Balance

Since keto and low carb diets are all the rage, I thought it best to have a quick chat about carbs. Specifically, slow carbs. Most plants fall into this category — they’re low-glycemic, so they don’t send your blood sugar or insulin on a rollercoaster ride. You’ll want to eat plenty of them because they have phytochemicals, nutrients, and fiber to fill you up.

On those low carb diets, you’ll have your best results if the few carbs you eat come from non-starchy vegetables and low-glycemic fruits. Here’s what those slow carbs from plant-based foods do for you!

– They’re more nutritious

When you choose the right slow carbs from plants, you get gobs of vitamins and minerals, special plant compounds that heal, and plenty of fiber. The phytochemicals in them are naturally medicinal and bring balance to your health.

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Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

– Your blood sugar won’t go nuts

Slow carbs from plants have that high fiber content which mitigates any sugar they contain. That’s why you feel good after snacking on blueberries, but when you dump sugar in your coffee, you don’t.

– They help your gut stay healthy

Another great benefit of slow carbs is that the fiber nourishes your good gut bacteria and cleans your intestines. This helps keep you healthy and your immune system working optimally.

Best Slow Carb Choices

Now that you know about slow carbs, it’s time to add more to your plate. Some are better than others, and it’s essential to understand how to eat them.

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

With green carbs including asparagus, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale, seaweed, and basically any green vegetable — you can eat as much as you want. Then there are whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, or brown, black, and red rice, and legumes like lentils, soybeans, and chickpeas. You should eat them moderately.

Also on the moderate list are all kinds of berries and stone fruits. While these are wonderful for you, you can limit your intake and focus on filling your plate with green veggies. The starchier foods, such as potatoes and corn, raise your blood sugar more rapidly, so limit those to small portions. The same goes for fruits with high sugars like pineapple, grapes, and melons.

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Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

These aren’t hard and fast rules. I understand balance is essential in life, so for me personally, I adhere to filling my plate with mostly green veggies, and enjoying slow carbs in smaller portions. Of course, I leave room for the not-so-healthy carbs too in moderation.

How do carbs make you feel?

Do you feel a difference when you eat carbs or when you limit them?

What’s even more beautiful is we’re all different, so it’s mostly about finding out what your body tells you and listening carefully.

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Why Am I So Sore?

You are really pumped about the work out that you have accomplished! You have started to get focused on your health and are feeling like a CHAMP! Your leg workout consisting of lunges, squats, leg extensions, leg lifts, and lying leg lifts was such a good workout and you left feeling like you left all you had at the gym. You are feeling like a super hero!

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Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

But there is just one thing…

You wake up the next day and are so SORE

You are literally choosing to go to the handicap stall knowing full well that you feel like you need that bar to help you get on and off the toilet.

You look at the stairs going up to your office – and then you see the handicap ramp and decide that is the best decision for you mentally (and quite frankly physically).

You are crying every time you have to move after sitting still for even 5 minutes – or when you all of the sudden realize you have to go to the restroom and you are not already sitting on the toilet.

You cringe at the thought of the fact that you are going to have to move when the alarm goes off the next morning and are contemplating if you could call in to your doctor for a excuse note.

Sore

I hear you – and I can explain…

When you work out – you are actually creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. May sound like the opposite of what you are wanting to do – but those microscopic tears heal to build and strengthen your muscles.

An example of what I can compare this to is if you have a deep cut and it starts to heal, it starts to itch – its like that in your muscles but with them being sore. 

Still with me?

OK – let me explain Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness DOMS – (which is the pain you feel the day after or several days after) – if you were to Google it – you would see that it is because your muscles are damaged. 

“But Meggs – why would I want to damage my muscles?”

Those very small tears are the way that your muscles are re-building and getting stronger. The muscles adapt and change to the lifts that you put your body through. 

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I want to discuss one thing – whether or not you are sore – DOES NOT mean you had/or didn’t have a good work out. Ok – go read that again. There is a common misconception that you have to have some soreness in order to prove you had a good work out and that is simply not true. Those who are new to working out, sure you are working out hard and getting sore… then you notice as time goes on, that you are not as sore. Your muscles are adapting and getting stronger. 

Now that does not mean that you need to up your weights right away. A great way to gauge if you need to increase your load (weight) that you are lifting is if you are completing a set and are not feeling a slight shakiness or exertion the last few reps in your set… if you are breezing through – up the weights. **Or if you are working out from home with limited weights that you can increase – increase the number of sets in your workout**

One more thing – this is NOT lactic acid built up into your muscles. This is a slew of old theories – stating that “you have lactic acid in your muscles”… and that is not the case. I too used to believe this before I became more educated on the matter of DOMS.

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Now I want to give you some helpful tips if you ARE sore and how to minimize the number of days that you are walking like a penguin, or simply unable to wash your hair…

#1 – Self-Myofascial Release (aka foam rolling) – here is the trick – when you are foam rolling you do not want to roll your muscles on the foam roller back and forth. What you do want to do – is to roll the foam roller to the first spot of tension that is a 7-10 on the uncomfortable scale and hold the roller there for 30 seconds max. Make sure that you breathe through the hold (because you may want to hold your breath – but don’t). After the first 30 seconds roll about an inch more and hold again for 30 seconds. Do this for each muscle group that is sore for 3 or 4 holds. 

Foam Roller

#2 – Walk – “A body in motion, stays in motion.” Go for a walk. The more that you move your the more that they will have the blood pump to them and to help them heal.

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Photo by Achim Bongard on Pexels.com

#3 – Do some lighter sets – do a few set of lighter reps. You may feel some light soreness during the exercises but you also could feel some release after the lighter weight workout.

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#3 – Epsom Salt Bath – Take a 30 min bath with some Epsom Salt. You can add a couple of drops of some essential oils and as relaxing as it is – it can also help you heal.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Now these are not a “THIS MAKES YOU NOT SORE” type of “prescription”… These are things that will help you recover a tad bit faster – plus all of those things make you feel good – so there is that!

If you really can’t stand being sore at all (sounds funny but many people LOVE that sore feeling) you can make sure to not do as much in your work out. Do lighter workouts, do fewer sets, just have a less strenuous work out. Again – this does NOT mean that you are not having an effective work out – it just means that you prefer to not be sore – which is totally OK! You do You BOO!

Everyone’s work out looks different. That is the beauty of Life Stride Fitness! I get it! I wan your fitness to be unique to you – that is the beauty of working out in YOUR stride of life!

If you would like some more information about workouts that are tailored to you and your needs – fill out the information below and I will get back with you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

XOXOXOXO Meggs

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Best Ways to Begin to Lose Weight

Today I want to give you the best ways to begin to lose weight.

There is an abundance of information on what you should do to get the best weight loss results when you are beginning to focus on your health. Some of that information is spot on – and some of that information is straight from a dumpster fire.

That is why I wanted to give you the best ways to begin to lose weight that I used personally in MY OWN health journey!

Whenever you start something new, there is an excitement that runs through your veins. You decide to start something different, challenging, something maybe you have never tried before. It also can be scary, and overwhelming.

Everyone starts somewhere – even when it comes to weight loss. I am going to guess that you got on your computer and searched for best ways to lose weight , or best weight loss tips because you are tired of feeling stuck and tired of feeling the way you are currently feeling. In the world we live in now with the interwebs and it’s mass amount of information, and not all of it valuable – thank you memes and viral attention seekers – it is often times overwhelming and ever so confusing.

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Years ago it seemed as though the only options were infomercial style workout video segments on daytime television (or cable if you were one of the lucky ones who could afford it), a weight loss clinic that almost made it seem like an over eaters anonymous club, or other similar options.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Funny story I used to work at a popular weight loss clinic when I was just out of college because I had the grand idea that I was going to really help people… then I learned that the people I was helping did not really need all of the supplements and meal replacements that I was being commissioned to sell and I really lost my heat for that job… anyways… it did help some learn much better habits and how to eat more whole foods – but the meal replacement stuff… again… garbage fire.

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Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

But now in just diets alone, there is so much to overload your brain. Do you choose a diet for your blood type, do you try getting your body into ketosis, what about becoming a vegan or trying whole foods only?

I am going to try and break some things down to help you digest them maybe a little better.

First, if this is your first time reading anything from me, my name is Megan but you can call me Meggs. I’m an online health and fitness coach, that started out just like you… from the beginning.

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In 2012 I had reached my heaviest weight, and as a 5′ tall woman, 150 pounds looks slightly different then let’s say someone who is 5’7″. I grew up 90 pounds soaking wet and had a tough time gaining weight. Then came my early adult years and the some college that I attended while working two jobs and living on my own – kids if you are reading this – don’t try and grow up too fast… I partied with friends a lot. Then came marriage, then infertility issues, and weight gain and depression. I ended up a little over 150 pounds.

I snapped! I didn’t want a 6 pack of abs, or a thigh gap. I wanted to feel healthy, have energy and to not feel so blue all the time! I wanted to start losing weight.

Not to date myself, but this was before Google was king. I had every magazine with the headline stating that I could get a 30 day beach body that was in publication. So many that my apartment at the time I am sure was considered a fire hazard.

But I learned a lot from the start of my weight loss journey.

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Have you had thoughts of losing weight?

Would you like the exact steps that I used to being to lose weight that are easy to understand?

If “YES” – then keep reading, because this is just the article you need because I am going to give you the exact steps I personally used to begin to lose weight and to keep it off (minus pregnancy)…

Best Ways to Begin to Lose Weight:

  1. Know where you are beginning. You have to have an HONEST REALITY CHECK with yourself. This starts by weighing yourself and taking measurements. Without changing any part of your diet (what you eat), log everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that you put into your body – even the spoonful of ice cream that you take when no one is watching. (My husband keeps a spoon in the freezer and thinks I don’t know it is there…)
  2. Evaluate your beginning calories for weight loss. Calories do matter and that might make you cringe, but knowing what you have been consuming (amount of calories) helps you to know where to begin to lose weight. You need to start eating in a calorie deficit in order to start losing weight. In simpler terms – you have to start eating less than you have been, and it helps if you start eating healthier things while we are discussing it.
  3. Begin to make one healthier choice at a time. Often when we start a weight loss goal and we start with a bang! We change so many things at once that we crash and burn. Make a list of the things that you would like to change and focus on only one thing at a time.

Here was my list for example:

    1. Lose 30 Pounds
      • Eat 1,300 Calories a day
      • Consume 1/2 my plate full of vegetables
      • less processed carbohydrates
    2. Exercise 30 min a day 3-4 times a week
      • 2 days cardio
      • 1-2 days balance and stability
    3. No more soda

4. Begin to lose weight by moving your body. Now hear me out… I am not suggesting you sign up to run your city’s next marathon (but if that is your motivation – go for it!) I actually recommend you begin with balance and stability exercises because this is the basis for all fundamental and functional body movements. If you don’t focus on basic movements first along with balance and stability, you could set yourself up for injury as you advance too quickly. Your stronger muscles could over compensate for your weaker muscles – and can cause some muscle imbalances.

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Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

5. Hire a coach. So much information can be tricky to navigate. It can be overpowering to your brain muscles when you just want to get started. Hiring a coach can help You navigate thru all the masses of information and can help ease your mind. You can ask questions and not have to search countless pages of Google.

These are the EXACT things that helped me get on track with my health and weight loss… Now hear me out – you do not need to do all of these at one time! Take one thing at a time and focus on it. Like you have heard before – you did not get this way overnight, so getting the weight off in a healthy and sustainable way is going to take time. This is not a sprint, but it is also not a marathon – because both of those come with a “Finish Line” somewhere along the way. It is a life long journey… some days will be better than others. There will be days that you want to give- up and throw in the towel… but in doing that you are also asking your body to give up on you.

With the world we are in now, there is a lot of uncertainty – and if you are reading this in the future – this was written during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020. many of us are having to find new ways to get healthy and active as our gyms are closed, and we are quarantined in our houses. Our whole nation is going through it… You are not along in this struggle and fight… I am here for you!

If you need some assistance on how to get started or where to turn to make the first step in your health journey – reach out to me – and put your information below! I would be happy to connect with you and get something going for you!

XOXO Meggs!

 

 

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COVID-19 and Your Gym

It is more than likely that this pandemic is not going away anytime in the near future.

Most likely your gym will soon shut down for a time being as an act of precaution, and this might make you go crazy inside because YOU ARE NOT SICK!

I get it – but there are people out there who are sick and who’s immune systems are compromised and who could have a dire situation on their hands if they do become sick with the Corona Virus.

 

People being treated for cancer have no immune system…

People with COPD or auto immune disorders have compromised immune systems, and just because you may not be showing the signs or you think you can work through your fever – these people can get much more sick than your chills and fever…

So how do you not lose all of your progress that you have worked so hard for in the gym?

Workout at home!

Sure, it takes discipline to work out at home – but you can… you just have to make yourself do it. Body weight exercises can still be done to help you maintain your muscle growth.

You can do some HIIT cardio sessions at home if you are a Cardio Queen and can’t stand not being able to go for a run…

Have kids? Play with them… Lay on the floor and use them to bench press. (Or – “Ketlebell” swings with your baby strapped in her car seat)

Don’t have kids but have a dog? Pick up your dog and do some squats!

Living it up bachelor style and are completely solo? Use your dining room chairs – sure it may be awkward lifting all of your furniture – but it is something!

And let’s say by some chance you get COVID-19 (Corona Virus) and you feel like crud and need to take some time off and REST because your body says so… trust me when I tell you it is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! The rest and recovery IS what your body needs to get stronger and beat the virus.

Getting a session in at the gym is NOT going to cure you.

Running on the treadmill is NOT going to cure you.

Being able to bench press or dead lift your PR is NOT going to cure you…

SO, if the gym is closed – don’t go and curse out the gym owners for trying to keep everyone safe… respect their decision as this is probably hurting them more than it is hurting you – and return when the “all clear” is given…

It is not a personal attack on you and your gains.

If you need some at home body weight workouts, I am taking online training clients and would be happy to get you set up with home workouts so you don’t lose your mind (or your gains).

Meggs

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The Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight – For Beginners!

You have made the choice to get in better shape and you have heard that it really starts with what you are eating. With the help of the internet, you find that there is so much information on what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, and when not to eat… and with all of this help it is overwhelming and confusing to know where to start.

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So today, I am going to give you a SUPER EASY to understand the Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight.

Step One: Homework –

Before you get started with my Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight – I need you to go do a little homework. I know, I know… HOMEWORK?! But before you scroll ahead or decide to leave this little article, I ask that you just hear me out… OK? Ok!

Homework

Now back to your homework – go to your refrigerator and clean it out. I don’t mean deep clean with disinfectant, but if you want – more power to ya! (That would be speaking to my inner Monica Ghellar) I want you to go in and clean out everything expired, outdated, smelly – you get my drift. Throw it out, put it in the disposal, feed it to the pigs (and if you really have pigs – kudos!). Next take anything that does not align with your new goal of getting healthy out as well. In a way, I want you to Marie Condo your refrigerator… touch everything and find out if it has a place in your new lifestyle or not.

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I want you to do the same thing in your Freezer, and your pantry or cupboard. Cleaning out the old can be therapeutic, but I also know that for some people it can be overwhelming too, so I get that and I just ask that you do as much as you can.

Now if you are like me when I first started my journey to lose weight – it may now look as though you have absolutely nothing to eat in your home… I know for a fact my husband used to live off of Tontino’s pizza and chicken patty sandwiches. Once all of the expired, old, outdated, or goal compromising food is out of the house – it is time to move on to the next step.

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Step Two: Have a Plan –

If you are hungry – you need to pause here and get something that is fiber filled to put in your belly before we even contemplate making a plan for your trip using the Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight.

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OK – Did you snack? Alright – let’s move along.

You need to plan for the next several days. Now, there are many sources on the internet that can give you meal plans, and what they are eating to lose weight, and what to meal prep. However, I am going to give you the exact steps that I used and continue to use in this Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight.

Ask yourself these questions: (You may be able to find some of the answers in posts on Life Stride Fitness Training social media if you need help)

What produce is in season currently?

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What do I enjoy eating?

Do you have any meal time appointments this week?

Once you have answered these questions, get a piece of paper (or cardboard, or app on your phone) and start to make a list of things that you would like to eat for the next several days that align with your goal to lose weight. This is the time to set yourself up for success.

Once you have a list of things that you would like to eat for the next several days – go through the list you made and try and eliminate anything that is over processed. What I mean by over processed is things that are not mostly whole foods… For example: baked breads, pastas, cereals, crackers things of that nature. Now I know you might be sitting here thinking that I am ruining your list or your thoughts on the Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight, but you made the decision to lose weight. You decided that it was a goal of yours to lose weight – and in order to do just that, we need to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.

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Step Three: Head to the Grocery Store

OK – Here it is – the moment you have been waiting for… the moment of truth… are you ready?

THE ULTIMATE GROCERY GUIDE TO LOSE WEIGHT

Most, if not all grocery stores have the same basic layout – and this will come in super helpful. We are going to be sticking to the perimeter or the outside walls of the store. I want you to start in the produce section… I want you to put into your cart the following:

  • 2 green leafy vegetables (can be used for salads or lettuce wraps)
  • 2 Brightly colored vegetables (could be tomatoes, yellow/red bell peppers, carrots, or purple onions)
  • 2 green vegetables (celery, brussels sprouts, green beans)
  • 3 sources of fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, berries)
  • 1 or 2 Russet potatoes

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Next I want you to head to the meat/fish section, and put the following in your cart (now this is not a vegetarian or vegan guide, but if you want one let me know and I will get to working on that for you next).

  • 1 lean (90/10) source of ground meat (could use for lettuce wrap tacos or burrito bowls)
  • 1 small package of chicken breasts (cold also be the chicken breast tenders)
  • (optional) 1 package of uncooked white fish (be sure to check where the fish is coming from)

Try and avoid the pre-marinade packages of meat there can be a lot of additional sodium packed into those premade packages. You can however make your own, so that you know exactly how much is going into your meal.

Moving along, head to the canned section and grab:

  • 1 or 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 or 2 cans of chick peas

Now head to the rice section (often times this is the same section as beans – but sometimes it is not)

  • Minuet brown rice cups (these normally come in a pack of 2)

We are just about done with our shopping trip! But here are some final things you should get:

  • Seasoning (I prefer low sodium taco seasoning – but there are so many to choose from)
  • Greek Yogurt (if you can stand to get plain, go for it – if not… get the 100 calorie vanilla, it won’t hut ya)
  • Quick Cooking Oats (remember we are trying to stay away from the over processed, so no pre-packaged oats)
  • Stevia in the Raw
  • Cinnamon

Now if there are other “MUST BUY” necessities such as toilet paper, vitamins, allergy medicine – don’t forget them! Just make sure that you are being mindful of everything you are putting in your basket! Don’t forget water If you live in a place where you need to purchase your drinking water.

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Now when you get to the check-out line, make sure that you are not tempted to grab a candy and soda on the way out – keep your goals on the forefront of your mind!

When you get home put all of your groceries away and plan for the next meal!

With the items you purchased you have several different options:

Oatmeal

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Chicken Baked Potato

Roasted Veggies with Chicken or Fish

Toasted Oats

Taco Lettuce Wraps

Burrito Bowls

Roasted Chick Peas

Just with those few items you put into your cart, you have so many possibilities of lunches and dinners that will get you on the right track to obtaining your goals to lose weight!

Now, am I saying these are the ONLY things to put into your grocery cart? NO! But I am saying that a small list like the one above can help you get started achieving your goals… remember the ones that had you searching for a way to get thru the grocery store to lose weight?

Also, with a small list like this you will reduce the amount of times that you have to clean out your refrigerator of all the expired, dried out, moldy and very questionable items. You will use what you have and keep things interesting. And with keeping your list simple, your trips to the store will take you less time and get you more time to do things that you actually like to do.

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The Ultimate Grocery Guide to Lose Weight can help you make wiser choices about what you are actually consuming and keep your budget intact too!

Need more help, guidance, assistance? That is what I am here for! Join my email list, and sign up to get tips and tricks that I have learned and am using to help my clients achieve their goals of losing weight.

XOXO Meggs!