Hey good morning!
I wanted to send a friendly reminder that the Finally Fit Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber of Commerce is coming up THIS Saturday, August 19th!
We’ll begin at 11:30 to mingle and check out the new space if you haven’t seen it already.
12:00 will be the Ribbon Cutting with some of the Chamber’s key members and after that enjoy some refreshments, finger foods, door prizes, and Sophie’s personally designed mini workout!
We are also giving away Finally Fit 14-Day VIP Complimentary passes to the first 15 people to attend the Ribbon Cutting!
We are super excited and grateful to be sharing this event with you all! Thank you all for your continued support!
Also, our next round of 6 week programs will begin August 21st! We have 7 spots left to join in Recommit to YOU, Drop 2 Sizes or STRONG and Lean!! If you’re able to come to the Ribbon Cutting you’ll receive 10% off your next program! To learn more about our programs click here!
I was recently asked if I had ever been heavy. She said, “You seem like you’ve been trim your whole life so was just wondering.”
Yeah I gained weight during both pregnancies, reaching the recommended weight gain of 20 pounds. My weight climbed up to 150# from my usual 130# frame. For a moment after answering her question, I felt as if that wasn’t enough. Like I didn’t gain enough to feel what is was like to be obese or heavy. I even found a before and after picture of me before I had kids during my happy and in love I’ll drink and eat whatever I want phase, just to prove that I had been pudgy.
But that feeling of having to prove quickly subsided.
I remembered WHY I began my fitness journey before I decided to help others.
Growing up, I was a “closet athlete.” I had always wanted to play soccer but we didn’t have any money for sports and it was ok because I hated jocks and THAT crowd anyway. They were always so full of themselves and rude to everyone else. So, I hung out with kids who drank and smoked weed. Then when I was alone, I’d run around the block in my converse and then come back into my room and do push-ups and bicep curls with 5 pound weights until I “felt the burn.” I had no idea what I was doing but I enjoyed how it felt. I enjoyed riding my 10 speed Schwinn with my friend Sarah.
Over time, my mom had purchased a couple of VHS tapes of Tony Little and she wanted to get in shape. I always had been a momma’s girl and wanted to do them with her. Together we worked out in the living room and went for walks.
Flashback to when I was 5-6 years old: mom and I lived in Palmer Lake, Colorado. We were headed to the 4th of July parade with a friend of hers in a Volkswagen bus. As we were getting out, I looked over and my mom’s seat was covered in blood. All of a sudden mom was rushed to the hospital and I stayed with my friend for a week.
There are some more elements to that story of course but that was first time I understood death and that I could lose my mom. From that moment on, my worst fear in life was losing her. Something that would inevitably happen. I remember crying myself to sleep at night at the thought of losing her. I was so full of fear and panic at times and would do anything for her, to make her “invincible.”
So as the years passed by mom was overweight and I think at that time she had just been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. When she wanted to get in shape I was totally onboard. Anything to prolong mom’s life. She wasn’t dying, but my memories always took me back to that day. What I saw.
So back to Tony Little: Over the next couple of years while I was still in high school I began to put connections together that bad foods and lack of exercise made for an unhealthy body. Seems like a no brainer now but at the time, it wasn’t talked about. I began looking at my family and those who ate and drank and were overweight. I noticed a lot of my friends were that way too. I started putting the pieces together and decided what I DID NOT want my life to look like. Realizing later what the meaning of an addict is, I knew I could easily fall into that trap and I worked like hell to not follow in the footsteps of some of my family and friends who had turned to alcohol, drugs or food. Instead, I became a workaholic, but I digress. That’s another story. I began racing BMX with some friends and one friend in particular, Danette, took me to a gym and taught me the ways of lifting. I was hooked. We raced BMX and lifted together for several years and my love for fitness continued to grow.
More importantly, I wanted to continue this path to help mom become healthier. I was there during her struggles and I remember feeling helpless not knowing what to do. We’d continue to walk but her work would often take priority over exercise. Eventually, nearly 10 years after graduating high school, I decided to finish my bachelors in Exercise Science and Nutrition. I had to help mom in some way and this was the start.
Then, December 29, 2006, just months after graduating UNM, mom suffered a heart attack with 90% blockage. Thankfully she recognized the symptoms immediately and made a full recovery.
After that she was totally onboard putting herself first and making changes. We had to ease into walking again and I created a meal plan for her that lead to her losing 30 pounds. She had never felt better and her cardiologist said she was one of his star patients!
Things were great until her primary care physician changed her thyroid medication dosage (something that I would learn later from my own personal struggle). Mom gained her weight back very quickly and we were both confused, frustrated and a bit pissed off.
It would be two years later to realize just what all of that felt like. I had given birth to our first baby girl and within 6 weeks I was having panic attacks, severe heat sensitivity, anxiety, and heart palpitations.
My thyroid levels were so far off the spectrum I was prompted to see an endocrinologist immediately. At first, I was diagnosed with HYPERthyroidism and 3 months later, I was feeling fantastic. I asked to be taken off my medication and my endo said, “Just one more month.”
Three weeks later I went from feeling phenomenal to feeling extremely lethargic and foggy headed. To the point I felt like I was drunk without the fun. My speech felt slurred, my body felt weighted down with bricks, and it would feel like my body was nailed to the bed and could not wake up. My hair was falling out and I had the look of “crazy eye druggie.” One of the symptoms I had was “unusual and debilitating reaction to exercise.” It would take me 90 minutes to do something low intensity like rows. My lips, jaw and entire body would go numb and start cramping up. I was told “this is the new you now and it’s probably just new mommy fatigue” and basically to get used to it.
My thyroid levels went so far down the other end of the spectrum and was diagnosed with HYPOthyroidism and Hashimotos, an auto-immune disease. I remembered what happened with mom and her immediate weight gain. I admit I was fearful I was headed down that same path.
I call BS. There is NO way this is the NEW me.
It took three years for my thyroid levels to finally balance out, blood work every six weeks, different medications that didn’t make me sick and learning that the doctor I dealt with had no idea of the impact of nutrition or adrenal glands. Specifically, wheat/gluten, dairy and saliva testing. Most of the changes I did on my own through research, trial and error and a lot of persistence and patience.
Mom had reminded me of being on Armour thyroid before Synthroid came out. She loved how she felt and remembered feeling full of energy and back to normal. My family moved around a lot before I was born and her new doctors kept her on the synthetic Synthroid. She never felt "good" after that. For 50 years.
I had to get brave with my doctor and request things she didn’t approve of and fought me on. When she finally agreed she phrased it “WHEN this doesn’t work, you’ll go back on this other medication.”
Six years later and it’s still working and I am ME.
Mom continued to struggle with her thyroid levels which affected her weight and emotions that contributed to her stress eating and continued fighting her diabetes due to her stress foods. She wanted to be healthy, she wanted to lose weight, and she fought and struggled for it. It was a viscous cycle and when she saw the progress I was making she fought the same battle asking to switch thyroid medications. "Not yet" was the answer she would get. March 22, 2014, my greatest fear became a reality when mom, my best friend, passed away after suffering a stroke just 2 days prior.
I could go on about how strongly I feel about being our own advocate for our own health, pharmaceuticals, doctor kickbacks, finding the right doctor with your best interests and fighting like hell to keep your body healthy and from turning into what “runs in the family.”
At age 40, I gave birth to another beautiful little girl and I find myself going through the same symptoms as before. However this time, applying what I’ve learned and practice daily, the process has been a lot quicker.
Now, my WHY for my family is to make sure our girls grow up to stand up for themselves, fight for their own health, and more importantly, love their bodies inside and out. To continue to fight for those who were just like my mom and help empower women with the knowledge they need with their health, hormones and nutrition. To build that foundational strength, self-confidence, self-esteem and positive nutritional habits.
It’s easy to say, “You have to have the right mindset to achieve the body you want.” While that’s all true and I don’t disagree, it’s a different story when your hormones affect your mindset.
If this sounds like you, know that you are NOT alone and there is hope to feeling better again. Feeling like YOU again.
Our online Nutrition Coaching program is now ready and available to YOU!
Who this is for?
I wanted to check in with you and see how you’re doing with cleaning up your nutrition. What are your successes? What are you struggling with? Do you feel you’re on the right path of achieving the HEALTH that you want?
What I wanted to share today is how certain foods make you FEEL.
So Wednesday night, Joey brought us home Frontier burritos. Mmmmm! Now, here’s where KNOWING what you shouldn’t eat because you know how it’ll make you FEEL comes in. I know I HAVE to stay away from wheat. But I ate it anyway. C’mon it’s a Frontier breakfast burrito. Who doesn’t turn that down? Yeah, I know better.
So Thursday morning at Emma’s 2:30am feeding, I woke up feeling HUNGOVER! Extremely weighted down, foggy headed, joints hurting and just feeling like I could sleep another 30 hours. It set the start of my day rather slow and groggy. And of course, I knew that this would probably happen with what I ate. And it did. It was about 3:30pm before I started to “wake up.”
Other than that, I have to say I am feeling so much better. It’s been just over 6 weeks since my panic attack, blood work, etc and for the first 4 weeks I focused solely on nutrition. Two weeks ago I slowly started working out again and I’ve been able to keep up with my workouts 3 times per week. I’ve been able to get to the yard which really makes my heart sing. Even just pulling weeds really soothes my soul! It’s the simple things for me and I’m super excited to keep this up!
The main message here is to really track and see how certain foods make you FEEL. Do you feel bloated, exhausted, get headaches, achy joints…? Your awesome body does a great job of letting you know more than “that food doesn’t agree with me.” We just gotta listen :)
Are you eating packaged foods, processed foods, and take-out on a regular basis? Continue to track and also be mindful of how you feel after each meal.
As we approach a new week let's take a look at last week.
How was your tracking? Were you able to keep up with it? If not, what did you struggle with the most?
Let's assume we all did our tracking 100%. Take a look at last week and see how many meals (snacks and grazing included) were NOT on point and put a X on it. How many X's do you have for the week?
For example: I would put an X on my cocoa puff snack with Sophie.
I would also put an on X on Wednesday night as we had pizza. Another X for Thursday night left overs. And then another X for last night for my small scoop of ice cream, bite of chocolate cake and about 7 sips of JW Dundee Honey Brown beer. 😋
That gives me 4 X's for the week.
Now reflecting back to one of the first emails about mastering the basics, I had mentioned staying on track 90% of the time. This leaves about 10% to be able to have a little bit of something a few times a week.
As I look back at my week, for as often as I eat (5x's/day) I should probably only have about 3 X's on my tracking. 4 would probably be OK but pushing it to stay in that 90% range. If I were to grade myself I honestly would say I was about 85-90% on point for the week.
Here's another thing to look out for though. You've got to give yourself an X for meals MISSED as well. If you're not eating breakfast, X. If you skipped lunch, X. Think of the more you eat healthy foods you eat, the more X's are allowed (within reason of course).
So in my tracking, Friday wasn't a great start to my day as I didn't have my usual breakfast. I still had a fig bar and string cheese but it wasn't "the best."
How can you improve for next week?
Look at where your X's are and why did that happen? Birthday party? Ok I don't have to worry about that for awhile. Friday skimpy breakfast? Ok I'll make sure I'll prep the night before so I'm not grabbing whatever is in the cupboard.
That should dial me back into no more than 3 X's.
Is this good stuff? Let me know if it's helping.
Also, a question was brought up about shakes. Do I? Should I? What kind? When?
Shakes can be a wonderful thing to incorporate in your daily nutrition, especially if you find yourself skipping meals and not eating enough. I will do about 2 shakes per day.
It's quick, it's easy and I know I'm not skipping a meal.
I will often have my first shake in the morning while I'm working. I'll have my second shake either as a post workout recovery shake OR for dinner if we get home late.
I've been using shakes for the last 15 years and have tried just about every kind. When choosing a brand make sure it aligns with your nutritional preferences. Do you need no dairy, lactose, whey, artificial sweeteners, etc?
For the last year or more I've been using Orgain. I pick it up at Costco and it's an all organic planet based protein with servings of greens. No soy, lactose, whey, wheat, or artificial sweeteners. I always get the chocolate flavored and add 1/2 banana and 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter. Vega is another great brand with 2 servings of greens (powdered broccoli, kale, spinach). Ideally, work on getting all of your nutrients from food. But if you are having a hard time getting that food in consistently and you do decide to use shakes as part of your daily nutrition, look for quality ingredients. A good rule of thumb, if you can't pronounce it, don't consume it!
So by now, hopefully you’re developing some good consistent habits with your tracking and allowing yourself to have a little bit of wiggle room to enjoy the foods and drinks you want. We shouldn’t have to deprive ourselves with the foods we love but learning HOW and WHEN to have them are extremely important to achieving the RESULTS you want.
The next step in this is eating until you’re 80% full.
Well what does that mean?
How do I know when I’m 80% full?
We live in a society where everything is rushed. We’re rushing to go somewhere, picking up the kids, making dinner, etc. Food is no exception. Generally, people are pressed for time and find themselves scarfing down their lunch or dinner just to get to the next task.
We need to find a way to STOP that. You may have heard that it takes about 15-20 minutes for your brain to catch up with your stomach on satiety and it’s true. Taking the time to enjoy, savor and SLOW DOWN your meal will give your brain a chance to catch up to your stomach and avoid overeating. This is your 80% fullness. Not feeling stuffed, not feeling starved, but satisfied. This is a PRACTICE so be please be patient with it.
Here are some tips with portion sizing to help with your 80% full practice:
We are SUPER excited to announce our Member of the Month for March to Drew Setter!
Drew has made some CONSISTENT steps for his health and fitness. He usually gets a great start to the year as he stays in Santa Fe for work. When it's time to come home around March those habits built are hard to keep, especially with all of the other family activities.
He lost 11 pounds on in own while he was away and CONTINUES to work hard in varies activities as well as Finally Fit. His strength has increased and his waist line has decreased! During his workout this morning, he was very happy telling me that he was able to pull the waist band away from one of his suits and there was a considerable amount of space in between!
It's such a great feeling when you see a difference in yourself, especially when trying on clothes! As he's gearing up for basketball, I think we need to also think about another Spartan Race coming up in August!
Anyone else in?
Congrats Drew, keep up the STRONG work!
So this week while you're tracking your nutrition, you may be asking "what is the ONE THING I need to do to get results?"
There is always that ONE THING that people are looking for to take them to the next level. To provide all of the solutions to their problems. To get them into the clothes they desire. To feel better. To move better. To perform better.
Far to often I see people trying a bunch of things and not giving it enough time to make an impact.
"oh yeah, I tried that for about a week and I didn't see any results."
"I went to the gym twice and I didn't see any results."
"I tried that program twice and didn't see any benefit."
"I signed up for that 12 week program but only went a handful of times."
The truth about success is simple and as stated by Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, "there are not 5,000 things one needs to do well to be successful. There are about a half-dozen things that need to be done well, just done 5,000 times over to be successful."
So for example, if we were to pick out a half-dozen things that need to be done well:
1. Continue tracking nutrition, exercise and in some cases sleep
2. Following your nutrition program 90% of the time throughout the week.
3. Eating until you're 80% full
4. Drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day (200 pounds = 100 ounces of water)
5. Having a protein, veggie or fruit with every meal
6. Including healthy fats in your daily intake
Seems pretty basic and it really is. We really want to be able to master the basics therefore, if I were to suggest ONE THING it would be CONSISTENCY.
Consistency with the basics. Master the basics. Doing the basics 5,000 times over to be successful. Instead of doing 5,000 things once or twice.
This is something that has taken me a long time to put into action for a different area in my life. Once my mindset shifted, it has simplified the way I do things and also less stress!
My food for today so far:
One chicken sausage (no nitrates) with one zucchini and 1/2 avocado
Protein shake (organic plant based protein, 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter)
Spinach and kale salad with salmon, feta and balsamic
One small bowl of cereal (cocoa puffs)
Dinner will probably be sweet potato and salmon
The cocoa puff story- As long as I know the rest of my day has been doing well, I can trust myself enough to have a something in small amounts. In this case, Sophie wanted to spend time together eating cereal. We enjoyed a small bowl and that was that. No guilt for what I ate and I enjoyed our time together. If circumstances were different, (training for a show, getting blood sugars down, leaning down for a specific dress size, etc) then this probably wouldn't apply.
Let me know how you're doing and share your tracking!
So how did you do last week in terms of nutrition?
What did you struggle with? Was it planning? Eating out too much? Not eating enough?
Did you track your foods (right down what you ate, drank, etc)?
If not, totally OK, but I want you to really think about what your goals are.
What is it that you really want to achieve? Is it a clothing size? A certain feeling? Feeling of wellness, health, confidence, sexiness, strength? Or maybe it's energy. Energy to keep up with your kids, to work 12 hour days, to do something totally out of the ordinary but always something that you've always wanted to do.
Why is it encouraged to keep track of what you eat?
1. If you don't know what you've done, how do you know where you're going?
2. If you've tracked your intake, we can see what changes need to be made to move you further.
3. To keep yourself accountable.
4. To see on paper, or for you techies on your app, and have that visual and remembrance "oh that's right, I forgot I had a couple of beers on Tuesday night" or "yeah, I did eat the rest of my kids mac-n-cheese."
All of those little things add up.
So this coming week focus on tracking what you're eating. If you want to bring it in or email it to me that's great, I'll be happy to look at them.
One of my mentors would tell his clients that if they weren't bringing in their food logs each week, he wouldn't take the time to do measurements at the end of each month.
He's a pretty straight forward Scotsman, but it shows just how important keeping track of what you're eating, drinking, and even sleeping play in your success.
Last week I did pretty well with the exception of tax day. I had chic-fil-a's spicy chicken sandwich, a couple of fries (too dry and hard), and a sprite. Throughout the week I did some intermittent sampling of chocolate coated almonds.
If you aren't familiar with intermittent sampling, let me know and I can include that in a future post.
It was just over a month ago that I was happily walking up to Sophie’s school for her awards ceremony. It was a beautiful morning! Emma was in her stroller and I was ready to conquer the day. I had my priorities lined up to do that day. Breakfast done. Coffee done. I was ready.
Sophie’s school isn’t too far from the house, maybe a 5-7 minute walk. About half way through my toes started getting tingling and like they were going numb. Soon after my fingers and hands started to feel the same. I’ve had this sensation before and it usually doesn’t end well. I took several deep breaths, slowed down my pace and focused on the beautiful day, not what my body was about to do.
I got to the school and as I got my visitor badge I remember thinking, “I really hope this (the tingling and numbness) passes.” I settled into the gymnasium with tons of kids, parents and teachers and I immediately felt my heart race. The more I focused on deep breathing, the more the rest of my body started going numb, including around my face. It started getting really hot in there, or it could’ve just been my body reacting, I don’t know but the hotter it got, the more my body said “nope, we’re not doing this today.” This made me even more nervous as I walked there with Emma. I still have to get back home.
When the awards ceremony ended, I had to get away from the commotion. Quickly. I headed out determined to “cool off” or find a quiet place before I headed back home. I didn’t make it but a few feet out of the gymnasium door. I reached out and gently put my hand on the back of Coach. As she turned around she knew right away something was up. I said “I don’t feel well.” Not long after that the paramedics were called and it was determined I had a panic attack.
As I mentioned, my body as done this a few times before. And the paramedics have been called before. I’ve been to the ER before. While I’m still not sure why I had a panic attack or even if the previous ones were panic attacks, I can tell you that all of the symptoms I had on this occasion were related to my thyroid issues (Hashimotos) since Emma’s birth. Even though my brain was ready to rock that day, my body simply said “nope.”
So I’ve been focusing on me (rest, workload, activities, surroundings, and nutrition). Nutrition has played a huge role in how I feel just 30 days later. I’ve removed coffee (sad sigh), eggs, potato, chili (another sad sigh), cheese (I’ve been dairy free with the exception of a smidgen of fiesta cheese on my eggs) and also my beloved coffee. Oh wait, I already mentioned coffee. Basically my entire breakfast.
After Sophie was born I went through this as well and it took me about 3 years to research and figure out what works best for me. What worked well then is not the case this time. As I’m revisiting and learning more about what to eat for Hashimotos I'm relieved to say I feel so much better!
The key take away pieces of all of this is: