Tag Archives: Motivation

This food stuff is great!

19 Feb

We had a nice turnout on Sunday at the Mountain View Farmer’s Market (and apparently a couple near misses – sorry to those we didn’t get to chat with).  Kendra and I were there handing out recipes and answering questions, as well as getting awesome insights from other challengers.  While the morning started out kind of cold and foggy, we were blessed with nice sunny morning to walk around and pick up delicious produce other well-sourced foods.  For those that were present, what did you pick up?  Any new and exciting ingredients that you are looking forward to trying?  If so, please share those in the comments!  I bought two new foods that I am very excited to try – ground goat meat and yucca – stay tuned for pictures and recipe for how I prepared these.

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Additionally, we have had some great looking food pictures from clients near and far (we have a couple correspondent challengers from at least as far as Chicago!)  Without further delay, here are those great photos.  Hopefully they will get you thinking about other foods and combinations you can try.

How are we doing otherwise, everybody?  We are now a full 2 weeks into the challenge.  What has been the hardest part/easiest part?  Any foods you thought you “didn’t like” that you now can’t get enough of?  Any new favorite cooking methods?  Are we remembering to spice our dishes so that they are exciting and tasty?

Please add your thoughts and reflections to the comments below.

Clearing up a few questions regarding the Whole30 (60) Challenge

7 Feb

We’ve had great participation from many of you on the challenge so far; as well as some awesome success!

  • 4 pounds lost in the first 3 days
  • 7 pounds lost in the first 2 days
  • More awareness about food choices
  • Being more vigilant about reading food labels

There has also been some really good conversations that have led to questions that might help all of you:

Can I cook with wine, beer, etc?

When you cook with alcohol, the ethanol (what makes it boozy, and what we are avoiding) is burned off, so not present anymore.  With that said, beer and most spirits DO contain grains, so they should still be excluded.  For flavor, it is OK to cook with wine and grain-free spirits (tequila)

What if I don’t want to eat eggs every day for breakfast?

Eggs are a great option for breakfast – they are packed with protein, are quick, can be cooked in a number of different ways, and lend themselves to a vast number of different flavors.  With that said, though, they do not HAVE to be your food of choice for breakfast.  I often find myself eating leftover chili for breakfast, or sausages that I have grilled up the night before.  In essences, it is important to get away from the constructs of what “breakfast foods” should be.  They can be anything!  Play around with how you season your foods, and you might just find that your ideal breakfast is actually seared chicken thighs rubbed with cinnamon and coriander along with sauerkraut and avocado.

Maybe a little Salmon Hash instead of eggs for breakfast?

Maybe a little Salmon Hash instead of eggs for breakfast?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m really hungry.  Why isn’t this working?  You said I would be full.

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Often times when eliminating grains and legumes from our plates, we forget to refill that space with more vegetables, and possibly larger portions of protein.  Make sure that you are getting in AT LEAST 2 different vegetables at each meal (even breakfast).  What I always say is, “set your protein, and then FILL your plate with vegetables.”  This will add satisfying protein and fat to your meal, and physical bulk in the form of fibrous veggies to keep you full.

Why is my thirst “off”?

Since we have eliminated ALL processed foods, your sodium intake has probably dropped immensely.  Because of this, you might not be as thirsty as you were previously (salt craves water in the body).  What you CAN do, is salt your foods a little bit, as you’ll need a little anyways.  You are also taking in more vegetation, which also has a good amount of water inherently in its composition, possibly keeping your thirst down.  

You might also be MORE thirsty.  As the grains and starches have been removed from our plates, our bodies will naturally release water (partly responsible for the great early weight loss).  This will make us more thirsty as we try to recreate that internal hydration status that we have become accustomed to.

Keep the questions coming, and keep hammering those tasty Whole30 meals!  The pictures have been looking great, as well as all of the enthusiasm.  Please let us know if you have any questions along the journey.

#FITphoto Challenge

26 Sep

I am _____

A little bit ago, I challenged everyone to think about what picture came to mind for a particular word or phrase.  Now I want to more formally introduce the challenge.  This will be a 30-day challenge like no other we’ve done before!  There will be no restricting, limiting, ensuring you get enough!

All we are asking, is that for 30 days, you share your pictures with us.  This is a little experiment in using your creative muscles instead of just the muscles you’ve forged in the gym.  For each day of the month of October, there will be a new word or phrase; take one photo using that word/phrase as your inspiration (example, October 1st, take a picture of what “sweat” means to you).

Reflection

That’s the easy part.  We’ll give you a few ways to share the photo with the rest of your FIT family:

Post to the blog in the comments section of this post.

Add to the FIT facebook page

Email to your trainer, or to matt@focusedtrainers.com

We’ll be compiling the best pictures of the month and lining the hallway throughout November with our votes.

FIT Photo-a-Day Challenge

 

1: Sweat 17: Layered
2: Faith 18: In 5 Years
3: Gratitude 19: Center
4: Black & White 20: Pose
5: Reflection 21: Makes Me Smile
6: What’s for Dinner 22: I am _________
7: Focus 23: On the Run
8: Alma Mater 24: BHAG 

(Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

9: Powerful 25: Full
10: Curiosity 26: Set the Bar
11: Bright 27: Now Playing
12: Family 28: Serenity
13: In My Gym Bag 29: Cozy
14: Grace 30: Where I’m Going
15: Upside Down 31: Monster Mash
16: In My Shoes  

 

 

Busting through those Late Winter Plateaus!

9 Mar

So you’ve made it to March on your New Years Resolution program of eating better, sleeping more, and getting some exercise, but now you’re running out of steam.  I get it: you put all your gusto into changing all of your habits at once, and you’re just a little bit fatigued at this point.  Yes! You HAVE seen some great results, but you want more!  What do you do when the program you have been so diligently following is getting stale and no longer giving you the results that you want?

This is the perfect time to change things up for the better, adjust your program to jump-start progress, and reinvigorate your enthusiasm for health and wellness.  With the weather warming up, why don’t you take your program outside?  There are plenty of ways to create challenging and fun workouts in the sunshine and away from all of the noise and clutter of the gym.  In addition, you’ll give yourself a needed dose of vitamin D after spending all those months cooped up indoors.

How about a complete change in program? After working hard for the last 3 months, nothing will get your exercise passion back like trying something different.  Personally, I like to completely revamp what I’m working on a few times each year.  This keeps me from feeling stale, as well as gives me new challenges to work toward.  For example, if you recently spent the last few months trying to really increase your strength in the gym with a progressive weight program, why not try a completely bodyweight program?  How do you add resistance you ask?  Well take that push up and invert it – handstand pushups are quite challenging, but work the same muscles that you would with a shoulder press or push press.

 

 

 

 

 

Why not finally master those pull ups you have been working on?  Nothing says I’m ready for the impending beach season like well sculpted arms and a nice strong back.  And I know that too many of you have avoided trying those pistol squats for fear of falling and making a fool of yourself.  Now is your chance to master all those 1-leg exercises that looked too intimidating.

And what about learning a new skill or sport?  I myself have endeavored to become proficient in the competition kettlebell lifts and the Turkish Get-up.  While training with kettlebells is en vogue these days, the competition lifts – and the training that goes along with them – is still something that I haven’t really experienced yet.  Even though I have been using kettlebells in my training for the last several years, I have no idea how many 1 arm snatches I can do in 10 minutes.  Think about something new that you’ve been dreaming about doing, and set your heart and mind to it.  Think of this as your New Year’s Resolution version 2.0!  Find yourself a qualified trainer or instructor in a new discipline and dive in.

Outdoor Workout

Sprint 50 yards

10 x Tree Stump Throws (can use a tire, sandbag, big rock)

10 x Tree Branch Pull Ups

10 x Log Lateral Hurdle Jumps

50 yard Bear Crawl

5 Rounds; 1 min. rest in-between

Bodyweight Workout

5 x Pistol Squats (each leg)

10 x Handstand Push Ups

15 x Inverted Rows on rings or bar

As many rounds in 15 minutes as possible

Kettlebell Workout

5 Sets

5 x Snatch/5 Windmill

10 x Swings

5 x 3 Turkish Get Ups (per side)

 

Let me know how you get through the next 3 months!

January Client of the Month Spotlight – John Chang

26 Jan

John Chang
Age: 41
FIT member since: 10/2009

John’s goals starting his fitness program at FIT: I wanted to lose some pounds and inches.  I also wanted to get stronger.  In a word – get Fit!

John’s results: To date, I’ve lost 20 pounds of fat, definitely getting stronger – can actually see a muscle or two in my arms and shoulders!  It’s amazing the difference in situps, push ups, assisted pull-ups (at least for now they are still assisted!).  There is still a lot more to do…

Q. How did you feel about your fitness and physique before starting your exercise program at FIT? How do you feel about your fitness and physique now? I felt like I had let myself turn into a tub of goo.  It was harder to compete in sports, my injuries took longer to heal and I’ve had some back and neck issues over the last few years.  Now – I’ve lost 3 inches on my waist, 20 pounds of goo and have a lot more energy overall.  I do feel stronger and look forward to continued progress!

Q. What obstacles, if any, did you have to overcome to maintain your commitment to fitness? I travel a fair amount for business – which means missed workouts and dinners with customers…  I have to admit I’ve missed more than one wake up call for the 6:00am workout!

Q. What would you consider the keys to your fitness success? I think it’s been absolutely key to have workout partners.  I don’t want to let Josh and Karen down by not showing up and going through the pain together!  They keep me motivated, as does our great trainer, Jen.  Jen keeps things interesting by mixing things up and pushing us.  Lastly, commitment to making workouts a routine has made it easier.  It’s finally getting to the point that I miss it when I don’t work out!

Q. Want motivates you through your workouts? And what motivates you to come back each day? The goal of getting healthier / my trainer / my partners.  The results I’ve seen motivates me to keep on going.  It’s amazing how many people have noticed – and I have to admit it’s nice to hear the compliments.

Q. Are there any exercises you enjoy: Squats, kettle bell work, slams, any kind of stretching

Q. Are there any exercises you dislike: Decline situps!  Clean and jerk – haven’t figure that one out yet. That fourth set of rowing!

Q. What is your favorite healthy snack? Greek yogurt with blueberries and raspberries

Q. What is your favorite non-gym physical activity? Road cycling and volleyball.  Does golf count as a physical activity?  ☺

From John: I’ve really enjoyed the FIT community.  The support from the various trainers and early morning regulars is great.  We keep it going for each other.  Thanks!

From his Trainer – Jen: If I remember correctly, after an initial invitation it took about 6-12 months for John to make the decision, or should I say commitment, to come to FIT.  Around his birthday I received an email with all these overweight cartoon characters struggling to lift weights: he said he was ready to come in.

If you’re in the gym at 6am on Monday or Friday, you have met/heard John Chang!  He is always joking around, laughing or yelling about whatever exercise is coming up next.  Some would say we have way too much fun in that hour but Josh, John and Karen just make working hard as fun as it can possibly be.  John is always ready for a challenge and I think what is most admirable is that he is always trying turn a weakness into one of his strengths.  Whenever he comes to me with a new goal, it is not about improving something he is already good.  Rather, it sometimes involves his least favorite exercises.  It’s the things he sees value in improving and he is willing and ready to dive in and tackle them.  John has a very busy lifestyle (as does the rest of his workout crew), however he has made his health and fitness a priority, and has made huge lifestyle changes that I truly feel are permanent.  John is committed to his workouts and eating healthier in and outside of FIT and on and off the road.  Congrats to John and all his hard work!!