This is the time of year that homeschool mothers love. We’re planning our next school adventure and enjoying the summer with our families. I am actually behind in my planning this year with my brother visiting this week, but my husband leaves today for a month and that gives me plenty of time to get my school year planned out.
I just returned from my grandmother’s house. I love going there because life slows down to a crawl. She refuses to own a computer because she thinks she will break it. She doesn’t have cable and only picks up 2 channels with her antennae. If you bring your laptop, you can’t get onto the internet unless you go to a WiFi spot which is quite a drive. So, life really becomes easy going. I am able to rest and restore myself while I am there.
Everyone should have a place where they feel like they can unwind and relax. When you return home you seem to be energized and rearing to go again.
I get a lot of thinking done which always helps me come up with great ideas to implement when I get back home.
This time my brother and his family drove up from Texas to meet me there. We had a lot of fun. I only see my brother every couple of years. He is staying with me right now and I am enjoying every minute of it. Unfortunately, he will be leaving early Friday morning. It will be hard to see the family go.
Find your spot for relaxation and restoration. You’ll feel and think better for it.
We had a great day at fitness camp yesterday. Our main workout of the day was Roll Your Destiny. This is a great workout that you can re-create at home and do with the kids.
Get yourself a kitchen timer and set it for 15-20 minutes. Grab a pair of dice and your good to go.
I love trying out new workout combinations and exercise equipment. I’m not talking about machines. I stay away from those the majority of the time. I mean equipment such as kettlebells, resistance bands, Valslides, stability balls, medicine balls and rings. All these things are small and easy to store. Most importantly, they make exercise fun.
For people who don’t like to exercise due to boredom, you should try new things regularly. A lot of exercise equipment now come with instructional DVD’s or charts to get you started.
I tried kettlebells out a year ago and haven’t stopped loving them. I’m even going away for my birthday weekend to become a Russian Kettlebell Certified trainer. Who would have known?
Besides the anti-boredom factor of trying out new things, you will also keep your body from plateauing. Our bodies are extremely adaptive and an exercise program you have been following for 4-6 weeks will no longer give you the same benefit as it did when you first started it. To keep your body progressing, you need to change up your routine every month. You don’t always have to change the exercises themselves. You can:
- Change up your reps, sets and rests.
- Create supersets by combining two exercises together and eliminating a rest period between them.
- Instead of doing an exercise seated, stand up.
- Throw in a cardio move at the end of a superset before resting.
- Split your full body workout into two Push/Pull workouts.
The possibilities are endless. Ladies who are part of my online coaching program receive a new program every 4 weeks to keep them from plateauing. Their results have been amazing.
Keep changing, learning and growing. Stay out of the rut.
Are you like most people and feel like you have no idea how to properly lose unwanted pounds? There are so many diet books out there that it can become overwhelming for you to choose the right one. Due to the over commercialization of all the so called weightloss gurus, people are more confused than ever about how to lose weight. I want to give you the facts about dieting and how you really should eat to lose weight safely and permanently.
Losing weight should be as easy as eating less, right? Well, it sounds like it should work. In fact, that is what most diet books will do. They reduce the amount of calories you consume. This approach will work for awhile, but then you will come to a point where you stop losing weight. What do you do now?
Some people will then reduce the amount of food they eat further and they will continue this cycle until they’re skipping meals, eating light snacks for meals and a few bites for dinner. Even when eating such small amounts of food, they find that they are still not losing weight and some may even find themselves gaining weight.
Additionally, while you were losing body fat, you were also losing muscle. Losing muscle is a big problem. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, which basically means, you don’t have to work as hard to lose unwanted body fat. So, when you gain back the weight you lost you are actually gaining even more body fat than you had when you began the diet. This is what is called yo-yo dieting. Every time you
diet, you are setting yourself up for even more fat gain when you resume your normal eating patterns. Why does this happen?
Our bodies are geared toward survival. When we deny our bodies the nutrients and fuel it needs just for keeping us alive, it will enter the starvation mode and begin to hold onto everything it gets in the form of fat
storage. Your metabolism slows down and you may become tired and lethargic as your body attempts to conserve energy.
What tends to happen is the dieter goes back to their normal eating patterns because they are unable to maintain these types of eating restrictions. You begin to eat larger amounts of food, but your metabolism is still suppressed and you will begin putting on weight quickly until your metabolism readjusts itself.
So how do you lose weight without dieting? First, you must have some idea of what your normal daily caloric intake should be. After you have established your baseline, you must factor in your daily activity levels. This
will give you a general guideline to follow. Here is a formula you can use to establish an estimate of your daily caloric intake:
Activity Factor Chart
Generally Sendentary (Desk Job, very little exercise)
Age Under 30~ multiply by 30%
Age 30-40 ~ multiply by 25%
Age over 40 ~ multiply by 20%
Somewhat Active (Exercise 1 hour a day)
Under 30 ~ multiply by 40%
30-40 ~ multiply by 35%
Over 40 ~ multiply by 30%
Really Active (Lift weights 3-4 times a week, very muscular)
Under 30 ~ multiply by 50%
30-40 ~ multiply by 45%
Over 40 ~ multiply by 40%
Off the Charts(Elite, competitive athlete)
Under 30 ~ multiply by 75%
30-40 ~ multiply by 60%
Over 40 ~ multiply by 50%
1) Take your current weight and multiply it by 11.
2) Multiply this answer by your activity factor. Find your activity factor by using
the chart above.
3) Add answer to number 1 to your answer in number 2.
This is the amount of calories you should be eating each day. Of course every person is unique and there may be other factors to consider. This is where a fitness coach can really help you fine tune your fitness program. As your body composition changes, your dietary needs also change.
Let me point out though that while it is very important to eat the right amount of calories a day, it is equally important to have a strength and high intensity interval training program to build muscle and lose body fat. This factored in with eating the right types of foods will turn you into a fat burning machine.
Most women believe that in order to lose fat they must do long aerobic sessions. The truth is there is a much more effective way to lose fat that requires less time – which is a precious commodity for working or stay at home mothers. High intensity interval training (HIIT) can be done in only 20 minutes and will have a greater effect on your overall fat loss goals. HIIT is short bursts of intensity followed by short rest periods. HIIT cardio will help you lose 9 times more fat than those who train the traditional way of doing low – moderate intensity for 20-60 minutes.
Here are 5 reasons you should use HIIT’s in your weight loss program:
1. Longer Fat Burning Effect (After burn)
There have been many scientific case studies that show that using high intensity short intervals for training results in EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) levels remaining at a high level for several hours longer than regular low intensity aerobic activity. A higher EPOC level means you keep burning calories at an increased rate after a workout.
Regular low intensity cardio sessions only burn fat while you are doing the exercise. After you stop calorie burning stops. Steady state cardio just allows you to become more and more efficient at burning calories so you burn less and less each time for the same effort.
This is not going to be very effective in the long run because your body will adapt to this amount of physical activity very quickly. You will end up needing to increase the amount of time you are doing these sessions to continue to see results. This is not a very efficient means of weight loss.
2. No Loss of Hard Earned Muscle
Low intensity intervals for weight loss is synonomous with muscle loss. During high intensity exercise muscle is spared at the expense of other tissues if there is a need for it because it offers the stimulus necessary to tell the body it requires muscle. This is the bodies way to protect itself against stress, and exercise is a stressor.
When a muscle is taken to failure, an alarm goes off, telling the body it’s in danger and it must do something to protect itself. Therefore, muscle will be protected at the expense of fat.
Low intensity intervals may cause weight loss. However, in addition to fat, muscle can be lost. The alarm system that signals the body to spare muscle is not present. Your resistance is often not intense enough to trigger the body’s protective alarm.
Look at the bodies of marathon runners versus sprinters. Marathoners look almost
emaciated while sprinters are lean and muscular. Which would you prefer to look like?
Losing muscle is the complete opposite of what you want to do to lose weight. Your focus should be on gaining more muscle because muscle will burn fat during our resting periods.
3. Less Chance of Injury
Doing long continuous cardio sessions day after day puts a lot of stress on our joints. Over time, you will find many people have problems with overuse injuries in their knees, ankles and backs. Continuous loss of muscle will also cause an increase in the risk of osteoporosis.
4. Takes Less Time – More Bang For Your Buck.
HIIT sessions take only 20 minutes. This is great for the time crunched person who needs to get in and out of the gym quickly. With all the benefits of high interval training, why would you waste your most valuable commodity – your precious time?
5. Can Be Done With a Variety of Equipment
High intensity intervals can be done on elliptical trainers, recumbent bikes, treadmills, stair climbers or even outside jogging and walking (for the very beginner). You can also use kettle bells, body weight squats, body weight lunges or jump ropes. You are limited only by your imagination.
Save wear and tear on your body and increase your fat loss engines with high intensity interval training. Not only will you begin to see significant changes in your body, you will have more time to spend with your family.
Sample HIIT Workout using your choice of exercise equipment:
5 minute warm-up at about 40% intensity level.
Follow with 3 rounds of the following:
1 min. at 70-80% intensity level
2 min. at 50% intensity level
Finish with 5 minute cool down at a leisurely pace.
This Saturday, my husband took me on a date. It wasn’t anything extra special. We bought some Speedway capuccinos and spent some time chatting at a local park. No one was there so we had a nice peaceful afternoon together. It was just what we needed to do – reconnect and rest.
Rest is so important when following a exercise program. Your body needs time to recover and rebuild itself. Muscle is not built while you are working out, but later when you are resting. When you resistance train you are breaking down muscle tissue. Rebuilding happens while you are resting. If you never rest, they never repair.
If you fail to give your body sufficient rest, you may find yourself fatigued or ill because your immune system is weakened. You may get injured or end up at a plateau.
Always schedule regular rest periods in your programs also. If you have been following a 12 week fat loss program, give your body a week of rest before moving on to another program.
Give yourself a break from calorie deficits also. If you are constantly in a caloric deficit, you will find yourself with hormonal imbalances, mood swings, fatigue and possibly more. Taking a week or two off while eating at maintenance level can do wonders for your hormones and fat loss progress.
Rest means the best fat loss results ever. So, you have my permission – take a break!
My teenager received her driving permit on Thursday. What an exciting time for her. She waited quite a while before taking that test. She scored a 100%. She is growing up fast! I sure can’t believe she is graduating from high school in two years.
To celebrate and as a treat, we went out for ice cream. We rarely keep junk foods in the house. Sometimes they make their way in if we have out of town guests or someone gives us some, but most of the time they are not allowed in.
The reason being that you can really sabotage yourself if you know it is a trigger food for you and it’s in the freezer or pantry. Trigger foods cause binging. For myself, I have to keep baked goods out of the house. I can’t have just one brownie or cookie. Once I’ve had one I want another.
Since you keep a food journal (You do right? Cause if you don’t we need to talk.) you can identify which foods caused a binge or negative reaction. Once you’ve identified trigger foods, make an effort to keep them out of the house and only have them as a treat when you are OUT somewhere. If you love cookies, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy one when you are at a restaurant, a friends house or a church potluck. Keep yourself busy by staying away from the food table. Move around the room talking to everyone. You can’t eat while your talking (well, at least without spitting food at someone).
Do not sabotage your weight loss efforts by making trigger and junk foods easily available in your home. Your home should be your safe zone.
When you have little ones, you spend quite a bit of time at the park. I like to throw in a few exercises while I’m there. Recently, a couple of clients went through a playground workout. They had a lot of fun and learned some great exercises.
This workout has 3 supersets. That means two exercises done back to back with no rest. Each exercise was performed for 60 seconds.
We did 3 sets of each exercise. 60 second rest at the end of each superset.
Homeschoolers are always accused of overprotecting our children or creating an anti-social generation. I’m not going to get into that one today, but there is definitely something we should be protecting our children from – the negative body image problem that is so prevalent in our society.
I know I have caught myself on numerous occasions saying, “Oh, look my thighs are getting bigger!” or “Does my butt look fatter to you?” I admit that my negative body image is something that I sinfully fret about on a daily basis. I know it stems from growing up as the chubby child, later to the chubbiest cheerleader and then on to the overweight bride. I worry too much about heading back to where I came from. How many of you can relate to this? I’m sure there are more than a couple of you.
It doesn’t help that magazines, movies, television and Hollywood create an image of the perfect woman that is near impossible to maintain by the average mom or that society decided that it is the definition of beautiful. Even after knowing how much they doctor up all those photos, we still secretly strive to be like those women.
I had a reality check a few months ago when I was hanging out with my teenage daughter. She turned to look at me and said, “Mom, I need to start working out with you, I’m getting fat.” I could have cried. I was so upset with myself because I knew it was my negative body image that started this in my daughter. My daughter lacks any bodyfat because she is extremely athletic. She is muscular and very beautiful. I was heartbroken.
I could not let this go on. We began a bible study together on true beauty. It has helped us both. I know I will continue to struggle with negative body image self talk, but there is no reason for my daughters to ever worry about it.
Eating disorders are developing in girls from the early age of 5 or 6. A recent study indicated that 70% of 6th grade girls worry about their weight. I believe their worry stems from their parents who are preoccupied with their own poor body images.
If you ever find yourself talking negatively about your body, stop yourself immediately and tell yourself, “I am beautiful inside and out. God loves me just as I am.”
Never say the word “diet” around your children. Ask friends not to discuss dieting or being fat around your children.
Be an example by working out, but don’t complain about it or they will have a negative image of exercise. Let them know that working out keeps you healthy, strong, full of energy and stamina so you can keep up with them. Let them join you and make it fun. Engaging in physical activity as a family can be a lot of fun and you should do it every day as part of a routine, such as taking nightly walks, going on a bike ride or roller blading.
Getting your children involved in sports will help them become self confident and improve their self esteem.
Prepare healthy meals so you can teach your children the importance of good nutrition. Remember there are no “good” foods or “bad” foods. Kids will gravitate to bad foods (like candy) if they think they are not supposed to eat them.
Damaging behavior learned from a parent may take years to overcome, but I am in for the long haul. It starts with you.
I’d love to hear what you do to create a positive self image in your children.