I was at a networking lunch (shout-out to the Evanston Chamber's Women in Business!) a few weeks ago, chatting with someone about winter weight gain and how easily it can creep up on you.
As spring approaches (it's coming soon, right?), I thought I'd share a few more tips for how to prepare NOW for lighter clothes that don't consist of moo moos and shirts that are two sizes too big. So let's get started:
1. Eat your veggies before your starchy carbs. I'm NOT vilifying starchy carbs, they have a place in our lives. But have you noticed that currently restaurant menus are loaded with duck confit mac and cheese, big burgers in bigger buns, bread puddings as entrees AND desserts? Now, I'm not ordering you to take the carbs out. I am strongly encouraging you to eat your non-starchy veggies first (like broccoli, kale, chard, carrots, beets, spaghetti squash, etc). I bet you won't have as much room for those starchy carbs.
2. Watch your alcohol intake. I was talking to a client last week who said she noticed that her pants were fitting a little tighter. She was part of the Clean Slate group in January and had given up alcohol for the whole month. "What changed?" I asked. "I started drinking a glass or two of wine every night." "Or two?" I challenged. "Well, sometimes the neighbor comes over and we finish the bottle." If you don't actively set a limit for how much you're going to drink, "or two" can easily become more. If you're doing that a few times per week, it WILL make your pants tighter. Take how much you're drinking now and try to cut it by at least half.
3. Drink. Your. Water. I don't know about you but the days I don't drink enough water, I eat more crap. I feel restless and hungry and cranky so I grab a snack. Half an hour later I grab another snack. And I never feel better. That doesn't happen on days I drink half of my weight in ounces of water.
4. Eat on smaller plates. There was a great post by Snack Girl about changing plates to 1" less in diameter. It's quick. Watch it here.
5. Wear tighter-fitting clothes. I know, it's scary. But you know what: Stop hiding! I am a STRONG believer in practicing self love and compassion where you are RIGHT NOW. Don't wait until you are your smaller self to love your body. If you don't love yourself now, you won't believe you're ever enough, no matter what size. Now, I'm not telling you to wear a skin-tight mini skirt and tube top. I'm just suggesting that it might be time to reclaim ownership of your body again.
Got all that? Great. Now, eat your veggies.
I need to be transparent here. Joanna is a very close friend of mine who married one of my best friends in the world. So when she asked if I could get her ready for her wedding, a few things came to mind: 1. HOLY S*#T! I'm so honored! 2. I know that getting anyone ready for their wedding is a very important task but I felt added pressure here because, well, Joanna was about to become my "sister"-in-law. 3. If this was going to work, I would need to have a different relationship with Joanna in the studio than outside of it. I would need to become The Trainer and she The Client. And luckily it all worked like magic!
Joanna's progress and results were incredible and came because she worked her butt off. She stuck to her nutrition habits and exercised conistently and proved, once again, that if you put in the work, over time you will not only look better but FEEL better. And hopefully, as Joanna talks about below, you can get to a point where you love yourself every step of the way.
Also worth noting is that Joanna hasn't stopped now that she's married. She participated in my Clean Slate program in January and WON and is continuing to train (FYI, the next one starts at the end of April -- stay tuned)! This girl's got goals she's gotta crush. But I'll stop yammering on. Time for you to meet Joanna!
What were your initial goals when you started training?
I started training in earnest last spring in order to get in shape for my wedding. I told Izzy that my goal was to feel like the most powerful woman in the room when I got married. We started the constantly preaching, "Bridal arms, bridal back!" I became obsessed!
How do you think your sessions have helped you out?
I have been trying to lose weight my entire life. I have beaten myself up and pushed myself to great lengths (sometimes unhealthy lengths), yet I could never say I was proud of my progress or felt like any of my prior attempts were sustainable. I think my IzzyFit sessions have helped me feel strong and beautiful at any weight. I feel like a beast walking down the street after a session, and I am proud of how much stronger I get with each session. Also, my arms were pretty darn kickass for my wedding.
What have you enjoyed the most about your training?
I love learning from Izzy. Yes, she is my dear, dear friend outside of personal training, but in the studio, she is my teacher. From her, I have learned to enjoy eating fats again, to stick out my butt and bend my knees during deadlifts, and to value each exercise. I also have learned not to put myself down when I don't immediately excel in an exercise.
Is there anything surprising that you discovered when you started strength training?
I can DO this! I am floored at how much stronger I am now than I was a year ago, and I am floored by how sustainable my exercise and nutrition habits can be.
Do you have any fitness goals for this year?
2 goals: 1) Pass the physical fitness test this spring that my students must pass to promote to the next grade level; 2) Climb a couple of Colorado's 14ers this summer with relative comfort and endurance. I'm 35, and I will be in better shape than I was when I was 25!
How would you describe your philosophy on working out and nutrition?
Mantras work, and I've been using 2 of them a LOT lately. The first helps me consider making small choices for myself: "Every moment is an opportunity to make the world a little better." The second comes from Izzy herself and makes the biggest difference in allowing myself to be successful: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Thank goodness for this second mantra, as it gets me packing my breakfast and lunch every night for the following day. I have more control in my diet, and I feel better!