Blog Archives January, 2012

Harmony

Your alarm rudely awakens you at 5:30 am with the audacious blare of Adele’s “Rollin’ in the Deep” that your twelve year old downloaded for you while you were busy cooking dinner, helping your fourth grader diagram sentences, and taking two phone calls from your hysterical mother who can’t find her Shih Tzu for the fifth time today. You are fatigued. You are tired. You are exhausted. Any you have every right to be. You are balancing the dynamics that many modern women struggle with: Work, family, the in’s and out’s of daily life. There isn’t much left in your day for you. When there is, you are just too tired to make it to the gym or out the door for that run you keep telling yourself you will get to. Well it is time that your Nike’s don’t look like you just took them out of the box even though they are five months old. They are crying for some TLC and would do just about anything for some scuff marks or even a ripped shoelace. Something to show them you care. But no matter how many pep talks you have with yourself, how many times you say “I will get to it just as soon as I finish…,” or how many motivational reruns of Dr. Phil you watch, you just can not seem to gather the energy to get out the door. Well I am going to offer you a few ways, that during the new year, you can decrease fatigue and increase your endurance and help to bring some much needed energy as we start 2012.

Remember in my last blog we discussed setting realistic goals. Now that you have determined that your goal is to decrease fatigue so you can have some energy for your own workouts, how do you go about getting to your goal. These are three steps that I have utilized throughout my career to help me refocus on goals I have set. First, I always de-clutter my environment once I have set a goal. I determine the factors that are keeping me from achieving my goal and if there is anything in my immediate surroundings that I can remove, I do so immediately. For instance, you have determined that one of the reasons you are so tired is because you are not getting to bed early enough. Determine the factors that are keeping you up late. Then, make the adjustments necessary so you can get into bed on time. Sometimes you have to be creative. For example, I turn off my phone and do not answer calls past 9:00pm. My mind needs to wind down and it is time to go into rest mode. Whatever it is can wait until the morning when I am better suited to deal with it. I also clear space in other aspects of my life once I have my eyes focused on a goal. I make sure my closets are in order, paperwork filed and gone through and everything organized. The clear space in my physical surroundings makes it easier for me to go from A to B to C through out my work day. Being organized means I spend less time looking for things and more time training. Hey I have even put boyfriends out with the recycling because the relationship was too distracting and not adding the support and encouragement I needed during the times I was working towards a goal. Now I am not saying that your kids, husband, pet fish and dog should be waiting out on the curb at the next trash day. But instead, anything that you can determine that is actually not healthy for you needs to be re-evaluated.

Ok, you have cataloged, codified and classified. The shelves are standardized and everything is accounted for. What to do next? Once I have created more space for myself, I immediately feel my stress levels decrease. With increased breathing room I can finally carefully choose what I want to add back to my life. At this point, you should be focused on reintroducing those aspects that add value to your life. Let’s say you have set the goal to have more energy so you can finally start working out. You have tailored everything accordingly in your life and you are ready to start your workout regime. Something that would be of value to your goal would be to add a training session per week with a personal trainer. This will help you reach your target faster.

You have harmonized your life and added those things that bring increased worth. One final step left. Add the extras that make a difference. Now you are finally at the place where you have the energy and time to add the “extras” to your life. For instance, taking the time to make a healthy breakfast before work will definitely give you more energy than your old 10:30am habit of two jelly-filled donuts at the office break room. Having your water bottle that sits on your desk at work filled with Vitalyte instead of triple-caff, extra-bold, quadruple pressed coffee, is a much better hydration solution. Slipping on your Nike’s and heading out for a walk or a run instead of putting on your slippers and heading to the couch for a few hours of TV when you get home is a much healthier option. It is true that one positive change leads to another and even though there are times when you would really like to leave the kids outside next to the Hefty Cinch Saks, now that you are less stressed, less fatigued and more energized, when those moments do happen, you are better equipped to handle them. Happy harmonizing and look for my next blog about what to cook for that healthy breakfast.

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Reason #2 – Motivation, Pain and the Great Oreo Cookie Caper

Reason #2 – Motivation, Pain and the Great Oreo Cookie Caper

We have all heard the “No Pain, No Gain” theory and to a certain extent this is true, but pain can also be the fastest way to demotivate someone to continue a New Year’s Resolution Workout Plan.

Let’s go back to talking about Bob. Now that bob has calculated his Basal Metabolic Rate and his Harris Benedict magic number, Bob is ready to hit the gym and start shedding that 10 pounds, or 35,000 calories.

Day 1 – Knowing that afternoons are hectic and his chances of getting to the gym after work are slim to nil, Bob sets the alarm for an hour earlier than normal so he can work out and still be back home in time to help the kids get off to school. Bob rolls out of bed at 5:30 and pulls on his workout clothes which he got as a very supportive gift from the kids for Christmas. Bob is at the gym by 5:45, right on schedule to meet the other hundreds of people who decided that this was the morning to begin their New Year’s resolutions of getting back in shape. A spot on the treadmill opens up and Bob hurries to claim his place before anyone else can get there. In a frantic rush to make sure that he can get a workout in, Bob forgets to stretch.

Bob selects a program from the onboard treadmill computer and within a couple minutes is jogging at a good clip. 10 minutes goes by and Bob thinks “This is not half bad.” Another ten minutes goes by and now Bob is starting to feel the burn. His underused muscles aren’t use to this kind of pace. By 29 minutes Bob is in pure agony. His lungs are screaming at him to stop and his heart is ready to beat out of his chest. But Bob is determined to finish his thirty minutes of cardio and burn that 310 calories.

The clock reaches 30 minutes and Bob pounds the stop button on the treadmill. Even though his legs are on fire and he thinks his heart rate is somewhere north of 2 million beats a minute, a small smile appears on his face. Day 1 in the bag. I can do this Bob thinks to himself.

Bob heads home, cleans up and gets ready for his work day. He kisses his wife and kids goodbye and heads to the office where he sits in his cubicle till lunch. Bob even decides to have a salad for lunch as further proof of his motivation to get back in shape. However, after lunch Bob comes back to the office where one of his colleagues has left a tray of holiday cookies out in the conference room. Bob, recognizing that he has really worked out for the first time in years, decides he has earned a couple of cookies. The white chocolate dipped Oreos are his favorite so he grabs 5 of those and heads back to his desk. A couple hours later Bob has to use the copy machine strategically located right next to the conference room. After making his copies, Bob, in his most Ninja like manner, sneaks back into the conference room and grabs another handful of those delicious Oreo Cookies.

Bob gets home at his usual time, hangs out with the family, takes the dog on a walk and orders up pizza for family movie night. The family crowds around the TV with pizza and a movie and Bob enjoys his couple large slices of pepperoni with a couple beers. Since Bob’s body isn’t use to getting up that early, he falls asleep shortly after the movie starts.

At some point the kids get angry with Bob’s snoring and send him off to bed where he sets his alarm for the same time before drifting back off to sleep.

The alarm’s obnoxious wailing wakes Bob from a dead sleep. He turns off the alarm, swings his legs out of bed, stands up and cries out in pain. Almost every muscle in his body is in agony. Bob instantly decides he can’t work out again and falls back into bed, glad for the extra hour of sleep. Right before he drifts back to sleep, he whispers out loud to none in particular. “I’ll go tomorrow.”

Bob’s story might sound a little dramatic but is really the commonplace for most people looking to get back into shape.
Tips we can learn from Bob:
1- Stretch. Gyms are crowded in the morning and it can be tough to get on a machine but afford yourself the extra 10 minutes to warm up and cool down. Your body will thank you the next day.
2- Snacks. Part of getting back in shape is training your body to always expect food. Now that you are working out, you will have more of an appetite. Oreo cookies, however are not the best way to reach your goals. Stock your desk with high fiber low sugar snacks like rice cakes or carrots. Diet Tips come tomorrow.
3- Hydration is Key. If you are working out you are sweating and losing electrolytes. Make sure to replace them with Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement Solution. Make sure to drink more water throughout the day. Not only does it make a world of difference in keeping your body healthy, but it also fills you up and will help keep you away from the cookie plate.
4- Recovery is key. Vitalyte’s Complete Recovery will help buffer lactic acid, reduce inflammation, and synthesize protein to make sure that you don’t wake up the next day feeling like you were in a car wreck.
5- 3 Days a week to start. If you set the expectation that you will be at the gym 5 days a week right out of the gate, you will be sorely disappointed. Commit to getting there 3 days a week in the beginning and build. Your body will thank you and it will be a whole lot easier to maintain that kind of schedule.

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Moving Day

Have you ever sat in the middle of your room, everything in total disarray but yet you feel at total calm and peace with where you are? That is exactly how I spent my New Year’s day. I wasn’t suffering from a horrible sunburn and completely dehydrated. I wasn’t frantically flipping through photos on my iPhone trying to piece together the lost memories of what happened the night before. And I definitely was not trying to figure out why I got a tattoo. No, there was no personal reenactment of “The Hangover.” Instead I was turning through the memories in my mind of where I was at this point last year in my life and how I got to where I am now. I remember I spent last New Year’s Day hobbling in a walking boot through the San Diego car show. Not exactly the Jimmy Choo’s I had hoped to still be wearing the day after New Year’s eve but the stress fracture in my shin (and my orthopedic) would allow for nothing else. So I spent four more weeks in the non-designer boot and five more months of no running. During that time I managed to move in with my dear friend Kurt and ten year old Maggie the Golden Retriever. The Spanish Colonial revival home that over-looked the San Diego Harbor is where I spent many nights drinking Merlot on the patio, watching 747’s land at Lindberg Field and writing articles for Kevin’s triathlon website flmstri.com. I learned a tremendous amount during the six months I spent with Kurt and Maggie. I learned that it is okay to ask for someone’s help. I reaffirmed to myself that my journey is better and easier if I surround myself with people who support and love me unconditionally. I accepted that it is ok to be who I am and to accept people unconditionally for who they are. I also began working for Vitalyte Sports Nutrition in the early spring of 2011. I spent an incredible two weeks with VSN at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA where I met some of the world’s finest tennis players, and where I learned that a hot desert spring day and margaritas on an empty stomach lead to quick and rapid intoxication. That is how I discovered that Orange Vitalyte is the best cure for an unintentional hangover. On July 1, 2011 Kurt and I had to part ways as roommates as he moved east into University Heights and I headed west towards the surf of Pacific Beach. Today I unpacked the vanilla candle and crystal little dog that looks like my Basset Hound, Mala. They were both gifts from Kurt and I keep them as a reminder of our friendship. Now they site in my bathroom in the new house I just moved into last week. It’s North in Carlsbad and I am roommates with my sister’s best friend, Madeline. I have known Maddy for sixteen years so it is nice to be sharing a place with someone I know so well.

This morning I went for a great five mile run up coast highway. The surf was pretty mellow and the sky was so clear. Last year at this time I wasn’t even running so I feel happy with the progress I have made in the last 365 days. Now I am training for my first race back in seven years and I am really looking forward to racing the streets of Hollywood. Yes a lot has happened in a year…I moved three times, suffered a stress fracture, healed a stress fracture, got a new job, broke up with a boyfriend, became at peace with myself and my relationship with my father, put on my big girl boots and finally took the adult role in my own life instead of playing the adult role in my family’s life. And you know I like it a lot. 2012 is going to be a great year and it felt great to start it out by going through the pictures in my mind and not the ones you find on your iPhone.

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Top 3 Reason’s New Year’s Resolutions Fail – Part 1 of 3

Top 3 Reason’s New Year’s Resolutions Fail

by Evan DeMarco

For so many people out there, there comes a moment shortly after Christmas where you recognize a startling and somewhat scary fact. It is that moment that comes when getting dressed for work, or when reaching for the remote on the coffee table, or even while preparing that third plate of leftovers. Your brain finally recognizes your expanding waistline brought on by overindulgence consistent with the holiday season. Enter New Year’s Resolutions. They usually sound something like: I’m going to finally lose those ten pounds, or I’m going to get back in shape, or I’m going to get back into those jeans I love so much.
Whatever the actual resolution, a vast majority of fitness or lifestyle based resolutions fail for all the same reasons.
#1 – Setting Unrealistic Expectations
The Problem – The TV is ripe this time of year with infomercials selling the latest and greatest exercise and diet fads. They all seem to have the same ridiculous sales pitch. Lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. Take 5 inches off your waistline. Get back that sexy more confident you in only 4 minutes a day. Crap, Crap and more crap. These infomercial products all offer a quick fix to a big problem and history has always shown that these never work.
The Solution – Throw away the scale, stop watching those infomercials and set a realistic goal. Just because you put on 15-20 pounds in two months doesn’t mean you can take it off that quickly. How do you set that goal? Time to do some math. Get a pen and paper and do the equation below based on your gender.

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

This equation is the Basal Metabolic Rate. It determines how many calories you need to function if you did nothing but lay in bed all day long. Now on to Harris Benedict:
Harris Benedict Formula
To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
• If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
• If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
• If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
• If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
• If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

The Harris Benedict Equation determines the calorie intake required to maintain weight based on your activity level.

Now we get into the most complicated aspect of weight loss called the Evan DeMarco Equation (that’s me by the way). This is a principle of weight loss that is so complex, most people have a hard time following it. Are you Ready? Here it is:

Eat more calories than you burn in a day and you gain weight.
Burn more calories in a day than you eat and you will lose weight.

Ok, so it really isn’t that complex at all, but so many try to make it that way so they can sell you something. Let’s break this down so it all makes sense. To do that, we will use Bob as our test subject. Bob is a middle aged insurance underwriter with two kids, a dog and mini-van (shame on you for the mini van Bob). Bob is 38 years old, 6 feet tall, weighs 195 pounds. He walks the dog every day and plays with his kids on the weekend but doesn’t really get any other exercise. Bob’s BSM is roughly 1911. That is the number of calories Bob will burn if he does nothing but lay around all day long.

Bob is lightly active so is Harris Benedict number is 2627. That number represents the number of calories Bob must eat to maintain his 195 pounds at his current activity level.

There are roughly 3500 calories in a pound of fat. Bob would like to weigh 185 pounds so he has a calorie differential of 35,000.

Let’s say Bob joins a local health club to get back in shape and starts off jogging on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day. He will burn roughly 310 calories. Assuming Bob doesn’t change his eating habits and sticks with his regiment, he will have to repeat the same 30 minute exercise for 112 days to reach his goal of 10 pounds.

So back to setting realistic expectations. Bob represents the most simplistic way of looking at weight loss and doesn’t factor in other concepts that we will get to later on but you can see why many people will get frustrated when it comes to weight loss.

Use this formula to understand what it takes to lose a pound of fat. Knowing is half the battle.

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