I feel like I’ve written this a million times before…

Losing weight is hard

  • It takes some serious grit

  • It takes more than motivation day after day after day

  • It takes the realization that it took you years to get to where you are now, so why should it take any less time to get to where you want

  • It takes the realization that you may need new friends

  • It takes the realization that you may have to dissociate from your unsupportive family until you have a handle on knowing how to deal with their button pushing

  • It takes the realization that you may need some serious therapy to deal with trauma (this trauma can be anything by the way – not just some major thing that happened or happens in the movies)

  • It takes the realization that you may need to leave your unhappy marriage

  • It takes the realization that you may need to leave your unhappy job and find a new career

  • Its realizing that your sick and tired of spending one more minute uncomfortable in your own skin 

  • It takes the realization that you want to live a long, healthy life free from diabetes or heart disease

  • It takes the realization that you want to climb the stairs (or mountains) with a full set of lungs not weighed down by the extra weight your carrying (physically and emotionally)

  • It takes the realization that you need to stop making excuses for yourself (you are NOT too busy, you DO have time)

  • It takes the realization that YOU ARE WORTH IT

  • It takes determination, commitment, and major soul searching

…and all of that is fucking hard.

BUT…Once you make all of those realizations you can put a plan in place. You need to review that plan over and over and over again.

  • When you don’t feel like it, you have to

  • When you don’t have time, you make time

  • For every single thing you have in your life that is holding you back, you need to let go

  • For every thing you let go, you will gain something so much more

 

This is why we need coaches. We need someone who knows how to hold you accountable. Someone who will hold your hand but not be afraid to call you on your shit. I’m not here to be your friend, I’m here to be your coach. Coaches know the excuses, they know you have time, you know you need to adjust your priorities, quit using your past as an excuse, quit using the present as an excuse, quit with the poor me attitude. Either you want it or you don’t. Plain and simple. Simple – but no not easy – at least not in the beginning. 

Losing weight takes consistency and patience. We are a society that gets instant gratification from everything. Including the food we eat. Guess what? Your tastebuds also need patience. They get used to not being exposed to fat, sugar, salt combinations designed to leave you craving more. 

I preach enough about the plans, the powders, the quick fixes. What a coach has that none of that does, is true knowledge and education. They are there for you to teach you new, forever lasting habits. How to navigate social situations and travel. They are there to call you on your bullshit when you derail yourself. When you self-sabotage. They are there to help you repeat, repeat, repeat through the grit while you lose… and also to teach you how to maintain. They are a neutral party when no one else “gets it”. They are there to help pick you up when you’re down. They are there for accountability. 

You have to be 100% ready to commit. Because, its going to be a long haul. Its not always going to feel like sunshines and roses. Its going to feel downright miserable sometimes. But that grit is what helps build you mentally – for all things in life – not just nutrition. Learning how to control will help you succeed in so many other areas – in ways you never imagined possible. 

When you’re ready to live your best life, I’m here! 

~xo

 

 

Why Certification Matters and Red Flags for Health Consumers

As most of you likely know by now, I have become a PRO TRAINER for canfitpro. I’m quite proud of this as it was a huge amount of work as well as a very large investment. I take so much pride in what I do as a trainer. Especially when it comes to providing safe, effective workouts for my clients.

We have quite a unique situation here in the Kootenay’s. We are in need of Personal Training Specialists. This isn’t the case in the large centres, where there is an abundance of certification course offerings. I have so many contacts locally who are all crying for trainers. So, yay me! I see an opportunity, and I go after it! I’m going to train trainers! I love what I do and I want to share it!

Ok, well lets face it. Pretty much anyone can take a personal training course and get certified. With some studying and practical application, you can do it. Hell, I mentored someone who had never set foot in a gym as they had found a passion for fitness working out in their basement and now wanted to help people change their lives. If you think I’m kidding – I’m not. Unfortunately, this is a true story. This person went on to pass their theory and practical exam and was now ready to become a trainer. They were ready to take people’s bodies and get them into their best health. I hope you can hear the tone of my voice while reading this.

The fitness industry sucks. You see, there are people like myself who take their positions very seriously. I took my certification course, I wrote my theory exam, which I will brag that I got 96% on and then I went on to pass the practical exam with flying colours. I worked hard, studied hard, but my learning didn’t start when my course started. I was always reading and researching all things fitness, long before I became a trainer.  I had been a dancer until I graduated high school and then became an aerobics junkie during university because it was the closest thing I could find to dance.Think old school step class with some of the hardest choreography! I’m definitely dating myself.

My education didn’t end after my certification either. I do not remember the last time I read a book simply for pleasure. I fall asleep after reading some sort of book on fitness, nutrition, mental health, etc. I have built a very strong network right across the country and I continue to build. I am constantly asking questions. I am always curious. I can never ever get enough.

I don’t have a human kinetics degree or a phys-ed degree or a kinesiology degree. Just recently when advertising my new course offering, I received the response from a gym owner that they only hire registered kinesiologists. Wow… lucky for them! I can’t imagine what their rates are like. But, I’d like to quiz some of those kinesiologists on their anatomy that they likely took in first or second year of university [wink wink].

What I do have is a marketing research degree. That degree and my prior jobs have allowed me to build a very successful personal training business. An inquisitive mind can be a blessing and a curse. I am always researching “what’s out there” knowing that the fitness industry, especially since the emergence of social media provides a plethora of crazy shit to the general masses.

Shortly after I became a personal trainer, I also started noticing the myriad of different fitness companies that had their own certifications. This really confused me… So, I could essentially – with some really great ideas and knowledge and savvy business skills – put together my own certification program and sign people up online and charge them whatever amount of money I wanted and “x” number of months later they could call themselves [insert fancy title here]. Hmmm…

The fitness industry is completely unregulated. Actually, let me call it the “health” and fitness industry. A few years ago, I wanted to pursue some sort of nutrition training. Something that I also have a huge passion for. Again, completely unregulated – BUT – because I am an ethically and morally responsible person and abide by MY personal trainer code of ethics – WHICH includes not to provide nutritional programming other than basic nutritional advice for clients, I wanted something that would allow me to provide that service to clients. I spent HOURS researching which program to enrol in. My PRO TRAINER had a Holistic Nutrition Diploma for which she spent three years studying and a huge financial investment along with it, only to have the Alberta government strip her of her rights to use those letters behind her name. A retaliation of sorts from the registered dieticians who were frustrated by the same thing. No regulation. I understand, although unfortunate because I believe this program in particular is highly accredited. But, I just wasn’t willing to invest in three years and thousands of dollars. After deciding upon which program to take, I went with Precision Nutrition, which I am still happy with. It was very science based and mostly in-line with my own nutritional beliefs.

Doctors, accountants, nurses, physiotherapists, massage therapists, mechanics and financial planners all have colleges, associations and regulatory bodies that they must belong to that set standards and continuing education. Consumers have no protection within the health and fitness industry to guarantee that the person they hire to entrust their bodies with is competent in what they do. Oh, yeah – I’m certified. I got my certification online through [insert one of 800 online options]. Oh you tore your ACL last year – no problem, oh you have an artificial shoulder? Oh you have rheumatoid arthritis, a herniated disk, diabetes, high blood pressure – sure I know how to handle all that! I will fix you right up in no time – ok – start off with 800 jumping jacks, 500 power squats and oh – let me also sell you this shake.

Ok – you get my point. I’m feeling a little feisty today. Yes, there are other certification bodies than canfitpro that are very well accredited and recognized. NASM, ACE, BCRPA (as well as other provincial certs) are all very reputable. What I love about canfitpro is that it is nationally recognized. I attend their conferences, I receive newsletters with the latest trends and research. I’m required to update my knowledge and CPR on a yearly basis and it comes with a network of highly supportive teammates. Just yesterday I had a teleconference with another PRO TRAINER in Halifax who has been working in the fitness industry since 1986. She was so supportive, positive and excited to help me! I am so fortunate to be a part of a professional organization that lifts each other up and SHARES knowledge and support. Its a highly competitive industry, so to have others who are willing to mentor you [insert at NO CHARGE or MLM fee], is an amazing feeling. I get to interact and talk to REAL people, I get to go do conferences with REAL PEOPLE, I get to talk to so many highly energetic people face to face with the same passion for helping people that I have. Not online, in person. We need so much more of that.

Please do your research. When you are about to entrust your one and only body to someone – make sure they know their shit.

 

~xo Olivia

 

Stages of Behaviour Change…

Have you ever heard of the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change? Its something that personal trainers refer to when assessing where our clients are at with their commitment to their fitness regimes. The interesting thing is that we can even place people in this model before we even meet them! Sounds like we are slapping a label on clients – but its not – its actually a really useful tool for us to support you in where you are at on this continuum of behaviour change.

This model isn’t used only in personal training! Its used in almost every aspect of behaviour. Maybe you’re looking to start a new career or embark on some new education – basically anything that may require some sort of commitment (commitment you might not even know about yet!).

I wanted to talk a bit about this model because I thought it might be interesting for you to know from my perspective that I understand and may be able to help you – before you even realize you need the support!

I get a TON – a TON of Facebook messages, emails, texts and the odd phone call – those ones always throw me off guard now a day – lol! People message me and it usually looks like this:

“Hi Olivia, I’m wondering if you can tell me more about, [insert training, nutrition coaching, life coaching].” Its a pretty broad question for me at first because I’m not sure how this person has found me. Maybe they’ve been referred, maybe a website search, maybe Facebook or Instagram. So I often will lead them to my website, which has quite a bit of information and ask them if they have any more specific questions, what their background or experience is (in terms of training), what other programs they’ve done (in terms of nutrition) etc.

Sometimes there is a lot of back and forth and I’m almost certain I’ll have a new client, which for me is always really exciting. However, sometimes and I will admit, more often than not, they are not ready to commit. This can be for several reasons. I’m quite fortunate that I have a degree in marketing and I’ve had all sorts of experience with how to close a sale. However, when it comes to people, I have never once looked at a personal training client or a nutrition client as closing a sale. In that respect, I kind of suck because we are taught a lot about how to close a sale as a trainer. I find that I’m quite soft when it comes to this industry. First and foremost because its a very vulnerable thing. Sometimes people don’t realize how vulnerable until they start. Second of all, its a big investment. One that I wholeheartedly believe is worth every single penny, but I completely empathize with the fact that personal training and nutrition coaching are only going to happen when all the bills have been paid, kids’ activities and supplies have been shelled out and there is food in the fridge and gas in the car. Life is expensive, I get it. Having extra funds to pursue training and nutrition is usually way down on the budget items. I take that fact very seriously and if someone does sign up with me – I ensure that their investment is returned in full.

So here is a little diagram that will show you this model I am talking about:

At the top – we have Pre-Contemplation. These are the folks that aren’t even thinking about a trainer or nutrition coach. They might not know that such a service exists or that it is something that could even be accessible to them. Sometimes these people have their interest tweaked by a family member who may be concerned about their parents’ or partner’s health or maybe has a friend with a bad knee who suggests that maybe they should think about getting a trainer to assist them.

Contemplation – this is the stage where I spend all that time messaging back and forth with clients. When I first started out as a trainer, I used to get super frustrated that I couldn’t convince these people to come work with me. Now, as I said above, I am very respectful of the fact that this is a very vulnerable thing and a big investment. Some people may just not be ready to jump in. I tend to be a bit impulsive and jump in with both feet with whatever I do. Something a bit of age and wisdom has taught be to slow down a bit with! lol! So I treat these messages as a part of my job. Something to have compassion about and to respect people’s need to make this decision.

Action – this is when I’m actually working with clients. My favourite part. I love working with clients. I learn so much from each single person I work with. Whether its different health issues that I have to research in order to know what a person is dealing with, mental health issues, previous injuries, current injuries, getting ready to run a mud-run or obstacle course, maybe a first 5K – this is where the action is at!

Maintenance – ok – I lied – THIS is my favourite. This should be the goal of EVERY SINGLE TRAINER!!! There is NO better career satisfaction than to have trained/coached a client and to have them go off on their own and continue with their commitment to their health. To see that their investment has completely paid off. They know that they need to exercise and eat right in order to live their fullest life. If you have had a trainer that isn’t encouraging you to let their reigns free from you and help you get away from you (lol!) – but not kidding – then that trainer is likely in it for the money and not for the love or passion of what they are doing.

Relapse – no no no!!! But yes, yes, yes… Oh, unfortunately this is my least favourite. Especially when I’ve worked with a client for a long time. I get to know them and their life. A lot of times, at least in my experience, this comes with women (and men too) that put themselves last. Their family, their work, their whatever keeps getting pushed in front of their own needs. This one is the one that makes me bang my head (literally) on the wall. I see so many amazing people who have the hugest hearts and are so smart and giving and awesome who train with me and I think I have them all set and ready to go into maintenance… and then… it happens… they fall off the wagon. For a long time I took this quite personally. How dare they not listen to me!? lol! But you know what? I can only assist and support – I can’t do it for them. My only hope is that these people sometimes hear my little (evil) voice nagging them to get moving or drink their water or get their protein in! Maybe one day they will come back to me to get back on that wagon… but this is life – real life. It happens – I get it.

Ok – so a post that is a bit out of the ordinary – but something that might help explain how a trainer/coach sees our clients from a more “technical” standpoint. But also so you can see that we get it – no matter what stage of change you’re in – and we can help and support you no matter where you’re at!  When you’re ready – I’m here!

 

 

For Our Young Athletes

 

I came across this great article a couple days ago and I really wanted to share. Both of my daughters take part in competitive sports and YES, I definitely consider both dance and figure skating sports! The amount of strength, coordination, balance, agility and cardio-vascular endurance plus the conditioning of the anaerobic systems of both of these activitiesjicetest is incredible.  Both of my girls train upwards of 12 hours per week at their sports.

The past couple years, my older daughter, who is a figure skater began having trouble with her knees, which unfortunately for her is very genetic through her Dad’s side. Right away I had her at physio and she was taught to foam roll, stretch and tape. It lasted a while but without prompting, the routine was quickly lost.

This summer when her training started up again and I saw issues surface again but worse, I decided it was time for some good talks and some further steps, especially since it was declared in typical teenage melodramatic style that, “acrogI WOULD RATHER DIE THAN NOT SKATE!”.

On our first road trip a few weeks ago, I finally had her “trapped” with me in the car and fortunately/unfortunately having a Mom as a personal trainer she got an earful and I think she actually heard me. I explained how training in one area multiple times per week, year after year takes its toll on the body. Also, with skating and the amount of jarring with those crazy, powerful jumps and fall after fall after fall can mis-align the body and create issues. We also talked about how skating trains the quad muscles, which pull on the knees and about tight IT bands which all create those knee issues. I told her how her strength in her hamstrings and core need to be included, how she needed to take care of her body with her stretching and foam rolling.  I explained to her that if she would, “rather die than stop skating”, then she would have to take her training to a new level and do some very hard work. Of course, I added in the nice motherly threat that if I sajandafunrunw her knees digress any further, she would be off the ice, as somegballetday when she was my age, she may actually want to do other activities that involve her knees!

So with that, she has been working with a personal trainer of her own. No, not her Mom, as I learned very early on, kids learn much better from outside influences than their parents. A quick failed attempt of us trying to teach them to ski at age three was all that was needed! Her trainer is amazing – huge shout out to Sarah at Core Fitness. Just last week, my daughter was sitting doing her homework and she said, “Mom, I am starting to notice I’m getting stronger, especially with my jumps.”  I almost started crying! FINALLY – I did something right!! You parents of teenagers can empathize with that one!

I challenge parents to keep an eye on your kids’ bodies and immune systems. Especially the sports that are run by volunteers. These coaches do their best but might not have the right knowledge to be handling the accessory work that goes along. I’ve heard some nightmare stories of coaches taking their teams out for long runs and making them do a full-on intense workout only hours before a big game. Someone with proper fitness knowledge knows that only light warm-up and training should be done prior to an event that will demand huge amounts of energy stores from the body. jsupersThe focus should be on fueling those bodies, topping up glycogen stores, hydration and warming up the bodies. I know a few teams in town are super lucky to have PT Mom’s who do their off-ice training and conditioning, somehow I bet those teams are the ones killing it on the ice!

Another huge factor to consider is your kids’ nutrition. As busy parents running multiple children from activity to activity a lot are quick to grab something that will simpljsurfy fill their bellies. But again, oh my goodness, these are little athletes and they need proper nutrition. Once, I walked into the skating change room and there the senior girls sat eating a box of sugar cubes! I almost died! They all quickly got a lecture on nutrition and then a longer one when I had them in lock-down at their off-ice session.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Eat to Perform”? Its a big one out there in the fitness world and one that I often use with my own clients. We quickly learn that if we are up for an intense workout, we won’t make it through the session with full-strength and stamina without proper fuel. I’ve had many clients light-headed and unable to finish a workout because they didn’t have the nutrition to back them. So how are you fueling and hydrating your kids before their activities? I know first hand, that if you have two or more kids in activities such as dance, figures skating, hockey or gracebikegymnastics, you are already close to a second mortgage! Time to start thinking of your kids as an investment! You must keep those little wallet-draining, money-suckers in tip-top shape. Since you’re already spending THOUSANDS on them – make sure you make the extra investment in their nutrition and health.  Keep an eye on them. Are they sick a lot, sore a lot, tired a lot, having trouble concentrating? Think about your own body – do they need a massage? Do they need a chiropractic adjustment? Those little bodies get a lot of trauma. Sorry to bust those bubbles – that tropical vacation is going to need a backseat for another…. well, probably 15-20 years!  Good luck parents! Stick together and all that hard work and investment will pay off!

 

 

 

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Doing weight-loss the “right” way…

 

 

 

 

I’ve decided over the next while to incorporate more nutrition information into my blog as time and time again this is the missing link for many when it comes to weight-loss and general healthnutrition1. As a society we have over-complicated nutrition with mass amounts of information thrown at us daily regarding diet and health. Its time to get back to basics.

The majority of my personal training clients want to lose at least “some” weight. In fact, I would say around 85% come to me with that goal. I also have nutrition clients who come to me solely for nutrition plans and coaching. I often give my personal training clients nutrition suggestions and a macro-nutrient breakdown to follow. I am able to do this because I have nutrition coaching certification. Otherwise, as a personal trainer, I would be breaking my association’s code of ethics. Something to watch for if you are shopping around for a personal trainer.

The clients who follow my nutrition advice to the letter lose weight. You’ve read the statement, “abs are made in the kitchen” or “diet is 80% of the weight-loss equation”. Its true. I have nutrition clients who do not exercise or exercise very minimally (although I strongly encourage them to exercise for health reasons). These clients have more success with weight-loss than my personal training clients who train two to three times a week (plus do extra activity on their own) but do not follow my nutrition advice.

My methods are simple. No tricks, no fads. Just plain, basic, simple nutrition. Often times, I do not need to drop calorie levels, but the opposite – bring them up slowly. Much of the time, its as simple as changing the foods that are being eaten and playing around with ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. This dnutrition3oes require knowledge how to calculate ratios, which is where my certification comes in. However, over time, I have gained a lot of experience working with clients one on one to develop their “magical” formula.

Women are extremely stuck with a low-calorie, low-fat mentality. Often I will ask women to track their foods and quantities for three days and bring it back to me before developing their nutrition plan. What I find 90% of the time is that they are eating 1200 calories or below. Now, if you put that into perspective, the lowest calorie level someone should be on (or what would be considered a “low-calorie diet”) would be 10 calories per pound of body weight. Clients are often blown-away by how much MORE they should be eating. If you are exercising and strength training, there is no possible way to gain lean muscle mass on calorie levels this low.

I also FIRMLY believe that it is NOT a simple equation of calories in versus calories out. What about the woman who has been slim and trim her entire life, who then enters menopause annutrition4d all of a sudden is carrying 5, 10, or 20 pounds around her mid-section? She no-doubt is feeling down, less confident, not to mention frustrated and confused. This woman has never “dieted” in her entire life and while she wants to lose this extra weight, she has no idea where to start so she does what the media has told her to do – drop calories and exercise more. Of course this may work for a while but over the long term she is now miserable because she can’t even enjoy a glass of wine, dinner out with friends, or a piece of birthday cake without worrying that she will gain her weight back. She is also exhausted all the time due to the over-exercise and under-nourishment. Sound familiar?

How about all the people on medications? Anti-depressants, anxiolytics, anti-inflammatory drugs as well as mamy others all have an effect on metabolism. This is one of the most frustrating factors of all. Very little research has been done on the effects of various medications on metabolism. Our doctors often tell us, “well, your less depressed now, so you’re appetite is back” or something of the like… but we know, we are not eating anymore than we did before but somehow, we very quickly put on 10, 20, 30 plus pounds only a few short months after starting medication. So here we are now, feeling more mentally stable – but now depressed in another way – our clothes don’t fit. So here we go again, cut calories and exercise more… but it never seems to work long-term.

The third scenario I see is simply genetics. How can anyone dispute this fact? Some families have long and lean genes where they can eat whatever they want and not gain and ounce – or they just simply don’t have an “interest”  in food. They eat because they have to – the term eat to live rather than live to eat! What about the family you see where the grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and kids are all more than a little overweight? Are you quick to judge and say, well, they are fat and lazy and eat junk food all day? If so, you definitely need a wake up call and maybe a punch in the throat. These people battle food every day of their lives. They genetically have a slower metabolism and they are likely battling food addictions. The biggest problem is that unlike drugs or alcohol, they need food to live. If you haven’t read Food Junkies by Vera Tarmen, I highly recommend it. Its great knowledge for any person to have and a very easy read.

So now here is the question I get A LOT… why do I not promote or belong to a nutrition MLM company? Many personal trainers need supplemental income to make a go of it if they don’t have nutrition certification. I chose to invest in the education rather than an MLM start-up. This part will have many throwing fire-laden arrows at me – but hey – this is my blog and I get to say what I nutrition5want! I DO NOT believe in replacing meals with shakes and supplements. Oh and yes, I’ve read it all and I’ve had the pitch several times. “But the food we eat is filled with pesticides and herbicides and its not the quality that it used to be” and “blah, blah, blah”. There is definitely truth to it and I’ve read a lot of the self-funded third party studies reported by these companies that claim to cleanse and provide optimal nutrition. Here is the thing, there is a simple joy and pleasure that human beings get from eating food. It has been that way from the beginning of time. In the bible, many stories include breaking of bread and drinking wine in times of celebration. I also believe that you can save a whole lot of money and tailor your nutrition requirements to YOUR body without meal replacements. Yes, it takes more work but in the end I can guarantee it is sustainable for your entire life. You can go on vacation and know how to eat and what foods to pack with you. You can navigate pot-lucks, family dinners and summer barbecues without your shaker bottle and enjoy it too!

Now, with that being said, I do believe in supplements. But I believe in them in such a way that is based on getting to know your body intuitively and what nutrients you are lacking. This often takes some investment in being in tune with how you are feeling and learning ways to experiment with supplements that work for you. Again, there is not a one-size-fits-all pill to pop. I don’t believe that everyone needs a multi-vitamin. If that is the case, your daily nutrition needs a make-over. The exception to this is if your job or life requires you to travel a lot. Things to watch for? Perhaps you feel fatigued a lot – have you had your iron checked? Do you suffer from a lot of stress? Have you had your adrenal glandnutrition2s checked? B-vitamins can combat fatigue and stress as well as Vitamin C – but maybe “brand x” makes you feel nauseated but “brand y” makes you feel like you can conquer the world! Its all about doing what makes your body feel best, finding what you need and doing it in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

I also believe in supplementing with protein powders -NOTE: protein supplements NOT meal replacements. Another area where you can find what works for you and your digestive system and not a one-size fits all scoop. Most women simply do not or cannot fit enough protein into their daily diets in order to get enough protein to build lean muscle mass. This is my top discussion with my female clients. Eat the WHOLE chicken breast, eat the WHOLE can of tuna, eat an egg and add some egg whites to the omelette for extra protein. Many women are shocked at just how much protein they do need and how little they are eating. When they start replacing other foods in their diet with more proteins and healthy fats, many of those cravings for “junk-food” dissipate.

The take away that I’m trying to give is that diets don’t work. They are always temporary and they almost always leave people gaining weight back. We need to get back to basics. Basic nutrition, how to eat foods that nourish our bodies that fuel our performance and needs and that don’t create a viscous circle of crave and cave (if you haven’t watched the Hungry for Change documentary – you need to). How many thousands of dollars have you spent and wasted on dieting? Its a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason. If there were an easy answer, we would have it by now.

If your interested in a nutrition plan and coaching please contact me. I have very limited space for nutrition clients but accept clientele on an on-going basis. At this time, all of my in-studio personal training sessions are full.

nutrition6

You become what you believe…

Ever notice how things go in threes? What can I say, I’ve always been a bit superstitious. I blame it on my Grandma and Mom. Don’t whistle in the house… it calls the devil! Don’t touch the (I forget what they were – some sort of sculpture) – or you will get pregnant! haha!

Ok – time to get serious, because this is serious – and it pulled on my heart-strings very hard – three times this week.

By now, if you havbelief2e been following me or have trained with me or know me – you know my mantra and the one main lesson I try to teach women who work with me. Self-love. What a task… its something that takes days, weeks, months, years, decades of practice.

This week, my youngest daughter had a rough week with dance. She is at a new studio this year, new group of girls, new instructor, new surroundings and expectations. So far, things have been wonderful, but competition season is approaching and things are getting hard. For my daughter, if things get hard and she can’t “get it” right away, she shuts down. She calls herself down, says she can’t do it, its too hard, cries and gets frustrated. We had a lot of talks this week as well as a meeting with her dance instructor, to whom I was very grateful for as she re-iterated these very same things that I am about to say.

We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses. Something that comes easy to person A might seem almost impossible to person B and vice versa. However, rather than continually tell yourself that you are not good at whatever task it is at hand, you MUST re-structure your thoughts. If you are constabelief1ntly and repeatedly telling yourself that you are bad at something or can’t do something – it has been proven time and time again – that you will train your brain to actually believe that you cannot accomplish the task.

So, as my daughter’s dance teacher said, rather than say, “I suck at choreography”, tell yourself, “Choreography is difficult for me, however, not impossible. These are the things I can do to work on it to help it become easier.”

A couple days later, one of my clients posted in our private Facebook group, “I quit, just like I knew I would.” My heart sank. This client is so special to me. She is one of the most loving, funny, hard-working people I know. However, again, she truly does not believe in herself. She fails to see all of her strengths and she gives every last little piece of herself away to everyone and everything around her so that not much is left for her. When I first started with her, she told me, “I quit everything, I’m NOT quitting this.” But, I think deep down, she kept telling herself that she was a quitter and low and behold – she quit!

The third thing that happened just yesterday as I was running errands all over town with my eldest daughter, who happens to be the complete opposite of my little one. She has an abundance of confidence and is a figure skater. She was asking if she could skate in Calgary again this summer because she wanted to skate with her friends there. We ended up talking about her jumps and her frustration about not getting some of her double-jumps. I asked, “Why do you think you are having difficulty?” She said, “Because I suck at toe jumps.” I almost came unglued… but rather, I calmly stated, “Hunnbelief3y, just the mere process of you stating that you suck at toe jumps is training your brain to believe that you can’t do them! If you keep thinking and telling yourself that you “suck” at something – your brain changes its chemical pathways to condition your body to believe it!” She looked at me – and I really could see in her eyes, that she had an “ah-ha” moment. So we came up with some thought restructuring. “Toe jumps are difficult for me, but I can do them and these are the things I need to work on in order to get them done!”

I won’t deny that I can be the queen of negative self-talk. But for some reason, whether I was born with it or given the nurturing from my parents, teachers and mentors, I have a lot of confidence. I’m fairly stubborn too! lol! Tell me I can’t and I will try a hundred times harder to prove you wrong! I know that changing our thoughts and beliefs in ourselves works but its HARD work. I believe we just everything too fast, we are too impatient. Re-training our thoughts takes long, hard, work. But I can guarantee that it will be worth it. You just have to be willing to put in the work.

This pertains to so many things. Our society is so used to looking for a quick-fix. But those quick fixes are never sustainable and almost never realistic. Commit to the work. Do it for you. When a negative thought pops into your head… tell yourself (and no I’m not kidding), “thank-you for sharing, however…”. Re-frame the thought.

You are what you believe. You can accomplish anything you want. You can also fail at anything you tell yourself. One takes a lot more work that the other. Work for it, or give up. The one common denominator is that its all in YOUR control.

~xobelief4

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (that’s Happy new Year in Hawaiian)…

“Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!”.   

Our family decided to “skip” the Christmas festivhawaii4ities and spend almost the entire duration of the school break in Hawaii. Oh do I feel blessed! My heart belongs in Hawaii – its my most favourite place on Earth and one day, I plan on living there! Heck, I was contemplating just becoming a trainer there – teaching pool aerobics like the very tanned 65-year-old lady we splashed around with where we stayed!

I thought it might be fitting to tie in a New Year’s rambling with my Hawaiian experience as I had challenges from start to finish.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions as they don’t seem to stand for very long. However, I’m always about setting new personal goals and bests and using the start of the year for a re-fresh and re-assessment of what you want to work on personally. Hawaii was definitely a good place to realize that I am light-years away from reaching a lot of my goals still. The biggest one being body-confidence.

With the Canadian dollar being so low, we opted for more beach and pool time this time around… our one big adventure was Zip Lining – sooo much fun! hawaii2We did a lot of walking, hiking, swimming, etc. There was a fairly decent gym at our complex – so I hit that all but two days. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had only gained three pounds while I was away! We also ate all but 4 out of 16 dinners “at home”. I brought my good old Quest Bars with me, stuck to wine for my drink of choice (I did have 4 margaritas over the duration – I know I know – its Hawaii, not Mexico – but I love me some tequila!). We packed our own lunches to the beach etc. So, all in all, we did a good job of staying on track with that.

The problems for me came in with my body insecurities. I found this strange however. The beaches that we frequented were packed with people. ALLLLLLL kinds of people. I had commented on my personal Facebook page to friends and family that I had a whole new vision of thongs at the beach! There were women (and men) all around me who appeared to not give a f**k! In one thought I was thinking, “Wow, good for them for being so comfortable an confident!”… but then I was thinking, “How the f**k can then be so confident looking like that in a [insert various revealing or pretty much next to nothing beach attire]”?? I like to think that I am not a judgmental person – but I would seriously be lying if I said I didn’t judge… In my opinion no one’s arse belongs in a thong at a “family” beach… although, I think my husband and father-in-law were certainly enjoying some of the scenery.

So there I was, in my one-piece, feeling so uncomfortable every time I got up to go into the water – thinking that the ENTIRE population was watching my butt jiggle its way into the ocean, feelinhawaii5g as if I wanted to shrink and hide inside one of the tiny sea-shells that my daughter had found. But why??? Were other women (and men) feeling that way (except my mother-in-law who admitted she did). I’m sure that 80% of the women definitely felt that way, but it seemed that there was a portion who definitely looked relaxed at secure and truly did not give a F**k.

The six months leading up to our trip I kept thinking – “OK! Time to get these 10 pounds off for Hawaii!”, four months, “OK! Still have LOTS of time to tighten up the diet”, 2 months, “hmmmm… I should start to look at buying some swimsuits – but gotta lose those 10 pounds to expose my abs – so I shall wait!”, one month, “OK – seriously Olivia! 4 weeks – YOU CAN DO IT!!! – oh but nah…”. Sound familiar? So, I ordered one one-piece.

Interesting thing, one of my besties was over on Oahu at a different resort on the west side of the Island. We Skyped one night and I said, “uh… so most people are chunky here – there are not many fit bodies on the beach… why do I feel so insecure?”. Then she said, “Oh, just the opposite here – I’ve never seen so many tight bodies on vacation in my life!!” She then said that she looked up the housing prices there and the demographics and it was a very “ritzy” area. Sheesh – so I’m on the fat beach and she’s at the rich, fit people beach… well, I’d rather be at my beach…

hawaii1SEE???? OH EM GEEEEE!!!! What is that???? Why am I having these thoughts? My ENTIRE mantra is to be empowering women!!!! To feel strong, and confident, and beautiful no matter what their size or shape in the state that it is in NOW – not in 10 pounds less than from now – not to let it take over all the thoughts about your holiday – even obsess because I had no scale to check-in with… and CERTAINLY NOT to let my two daughters see my insecurity and have them feel insecure about themselves. My youngest daughter was commenting about her tummy rolls… there I was lecturing her about being confident and feeling beautiful no matter what. HOLY HECK!!! What ahawaii3 hypocrite of a mother!!!

So, here I am at the beginning of 2016! I’m getting ready to take on a whole new adventure training clients in my VERY OWN studio and to start back with my crazy-amazing bootcamp ladies! This year is the year that I will focus on goals such as:

  • increasing my PRs on my squat, deadlift and bench press
  • getting back to running (a little bit – heh – not over board)
  • increasing my endurance training
  • reading 8 personal growth books
  • reading for pleasure every night before bed
  • growing my personal training business
  • EMPOWERING MYSELF FOR REAL and shadowing that to all of my amazing women who I look at each and every day and see such amazing, beautiful people!!!

All I can say, is this is me, once again coming clean. I’m a personal trainer, coach, nutrition coach, bootcamp instructor, friend, wife and mom. I’m real and human. I’m not perfect – but I know my weaknesses and I will continue to bust my butt this year to get stronger physically, mentally and emotionally!

Most of all – I hope to take (and continue) with many of you on the very same journeys!!!

 

~xo Olivia

A year of growth and gratitude…

dec15dDecember is a trainer’s quietest month and a hairdresser and beauty tech’s silver pocket! As much as we try to remind our clients to stay on track through the holiday month, which seems to be getting longer and longer each year, we know that we may have a few unrealistic expectations of what might occur! An average of 1-10 pounds are gained through the holiday season from the time of the American Thanksgiving, to the New Year! However, we know its our job to get everyone back on track in January and hope that our hard working clients hear our little voice on their shoulder when they are about to have their 4th sugary cocktail of the evening or all those appies before a big dinner!

Lecture done!

This past year I have witnessed so much growth in so many of myDec15b clients and I’ve experienced a lot of growth as well. My “Mantra” has been and continues to be, “Power from Within”. My clientele is primarily women and I’m almost sure its through the “Law of Attraction” that my ladies and I come together. I train with them anywhere from several times per week, to once every couple weeks for a “check-in”. During our sessions a lot is confided in me and sometimes I’m shocked at how much trust is given to me so quickly. It is never something I take lightly and over time, some of what is confided helps my clients and I realize that there may be other obstacles in the way preventing them from reaching their goals. What I’ve learned the most is that when these amazing women find empowerment, things start falling into place.

One of the best ways I have found in achieving this is through setting new personal records at the gym. Lets take the focus off of looking a certain way, losing a set amount of weight, going on a vacation so you have to look good, etc. etc . Lets focus on lifting heavy, improving time on conditioning rounds and getting strong on the outside. Just today, one of my clients hit a new personal record of a bench press at 175lbs!!! The men at the gym were looking on and cheering – in complete AWE! Most men can’t lift that amount of weight. Through that session, she was able to vent to me about what was hapdec15cpening in her life. We channeled that energy through her lifts – and look what happened.

One of the biggest things I see in these women is that once they start taking time for themselves, getting that physical activity in, they gain a sense of control back in their life. When everything seemed to be spiraling out of control for perhaps months,
years or even decades… those heavy lifts, those tabata drills or metabolic conditioning workouts take them to a place for just one hour where they can let everything go and focus on their strength. There is not only a physical after-burn effect but also a sense of accomplishment. Once this becomes routine, that sense of accomplishment becomes self-confidence and self-love. When we love ourselves and start respecting our selves, we give our body what it needs. Proper nourishment to fuel those new goals, sleep, massage, chiropractic, regular medical check-ups, etc. etc. Its a wonderful wheel and I am so completely grateful for getting to witness this with so many. I couldDec15an’t have a more amazing job!

Of course, I can’t win them all. Some I try and try and literally bang my head trying to think of what I might be missing. What the missing link may be. However, I know that like anything else, you have to be in a place where you are completely ready to surrender and trust the process, know that its not going to be all gumdrops and roses and lots of days its going to feel down-right impossible. There may be weeks and weeks of no progress but it takes picking yourself up and repeating the process week after week to convince yourself that you’re completely worth it. I need them to know that I will never give up on them and when they need me, I will be here for them!

So on a final note, I want to express my gratitude to all of my clients. For letting me share in your life, for trusting in me as a friend, for letting me kick your butts and make you sore and cranky and tired. For letting me lecture you on your nutrition and most of all for teaching me sooooo much! I love each and every one of you and I’m so blessed!dec15e

May you all have a safe, relaxing, healthy holiday! I’m so excited to work with you and everyone new in 2016!

xo

~Olivia

Hiring a Personal Trainer – What to look for…

First off – ya gotta watch this... my pro-trainer showed it to our class the first day… flipping hilarious…

This topic seems to be popping up a lottrainer2 lately and seeing as sometimes our community can feel a little “small”, I thought I’d take the opportunity to clear a few things up!

Hiring a trainer can seem a little luxurious. I know that for most people this is something that will be scratched off the list as soon as times get tough and for many something that would never make sense to spend disposable income on, that is, if anybody has any disposable income these days.

I wrote a while back about ideas to help save for a trainer, if it is something you’ve been wanting to do for a long time. But today, I want to focus on getting value for those hard-earned dollars. You work hard for your income and I make sure I go the extra mile so that my clients feel that their time with me is well spent.

Does Certification Matter?

I just had someone say to me yesterday, “no disrespect, but having certification doesn’t mean much without experience.” I believe this to be very true. Anyone can get their personal training certification. You take a course for 30 hours, write a theory exam, do a practical exam, get your first aid ticket – and – BAM! Welcome to the world of fitness! – you can put someones health and fitness into your hands… right after you figure out how to do your first bicep curl… ok, well maybe that is a bit exaggerated – but there is some truth to it. I studied very hard for my theory exam, I actually ended up with a 96%. I took it seriously – the anatomy, physiology, energy systems… I wanted to know it inside out and backwards. But when it came right down to it, the three hours in the exam room – I just placed myself in the gym. It was a lot of what I already KNEW… I’ve been in a gym since I was 13, I already had my Fitness Theory from Canadian Fitness Exercise Services, as well as my Group Instructor Certification. For me, it wasn’t rocket science. It was a lot of personal and practical knowledge. It was also something I was extremely passionate about.

So to answer – yes, I do believe certification is very important. It gives a trainer credibility. If you can’t write and pass your theory and your practical – then you definitely shouldn’t be training. You need to know your anatomy and physiology. You need to know when NOT do things with your clients even more than what to do with them. What movements are they contraindicated to? What if they have high blood pressure, are diabetic, have had previous injuries?

Also, certification ensures you stay up to date. With my certification through CanFit Pro – you need yearly continuing education credits, annual first aid re-certification and a professional membership. As with anything else, fitness changes, there is always new research, new ideas, new methodology, new studies… if your truly passionate about something – you NEVER stop learning and investing in your knowledge.

Certification and professional membership also adheres you to a code of conduct. There are certain ethics and standards that personal trainers should adhere to. You can read the ones I am bound by here.

So what else should you look for in a trainer?

First Aid
They should have a current first aid. There should be comfort in knowing that if someone who has a history of heart disease or heart attack – or not – is in good hands if heaven forbid trainer4something terrible were to happen during your session. Do they know how to perform CPR? What if you hurt yourself? Its definitely a must.

Experience
Well, we all have to start somewhere. But when you have your initial consultation with a trainer – your “interview”, you should be able to get a pretty good feel for their knowledge. If they start spewing a bunch of technical terms and fancy terminology – it could be a cover. Experience is definitely something you should look for.

Are they Genuine?
This one kind of takes a bit of that “gut” feeling. Do they sound like they care? Do they seem excited about the opportunity to work with you? Do they ask you more questions about YOU than you have for them? I know with my sessions – I try to keep the focus 100% on my client. How their week has gone, how they are feeling, their weekend, their stress levels, their work, their family, their kids, their frustrations. Its a bit like a therapy session. But they’ve paid for this hour with me – its all ABOUT THEM!!! It has nothing to do with me. Of course, my clients are interestedtrainer1 about my life as well – but I definitely NEVER portray any negativity or spew my own personal stress to them during our sessions.

Do they discourage you from other activities other than the time they spend with YOU?
This one makes me chuckle. Sometimes trainers feel threatened when their clients want to register for someone else’s bootcamp or take someone else’s class or go to a yoga class outside of their gym. Really? If your trainer truly cares about YOU… they will be encouraging you to take part in ALL types of physical, emotional and spiritual activities that you are able to commit time to. We can’t be specialized in EVERYTHING… I always encourage my clients to partake in classes or recommend yoga or other activities to round the whole person. Its a bit egocentric to lead your clients to believe that they should only train with you!

Other Qualifications
Is your trainer a well-rounded individual? Have they only ever worked out in a gym? Have they worked anywhere else? What is their life experience? Again, when it comes to training people in fitness in health – each and every client is completely individual. No cookie cutter program will do. Also, a lot of times trainers are asked for nutritional counselling. This comes back to the Code of Ethics we follow as trainers. Without other Nutrition Certification, personal trainers are NOT to give meal plans to clients. The guidelines and regulations here are very loose but if your trainer takes their job seriously and wants to give nutritional counsel, they should have some sort of Nutrition Certification. They should also know when to refer out to a Registered Dietitian. Does your client have diabetes? Kidney issues? What if they go into renal failure because you’ve prescribed them too much protein… again, you are putting your health into someones trust – make sure they know what they are doing AND if they don’t, they are humble enough to send you to someone who does.

Word of Mouth
Nothing gives you a better idea of who a trainer is, what they do, and if they are good at what they do than word of mouth. Ask around, see what others experiences are… keep up with their social media. Again, if your trainer is passionate and serious, you’ll see a reflection of that through what they post. Is their Instagram full of half-naked selfies showing a six pack or their new hair or their latest muscle growth? Or is it of motivational quotes, recipes, REAL LIFE???

A last piece of advice:
Trainers have variable incomes. When the economy is up – our income is up, when its down, we may not see a paycheck. Most trainers need a more secure, secondary source of income. A lot of times, trainers are linked to some sort of multi-level marketing company that they then try to convince their clients to buy into. I personally believe that this is extremely unprofessional. I was just asked last week, if I had heard of or tried a certain brand of nutritional supplements and if so, why didn’t I use it for my clients. While this topic is a whole other post, I strongly believe that trainers should not attach themselves to any brand. If anything were to ever happen with a company and you had seventy-five percent of your clients enrolled “under you”… what happens to your credibility if it goes wrong? Yeah… not the best thing for your business model.

I have clients come to me each week asking me about the latest and greatest trend. My response is always the same. While I do not believe in “systems” for nutrition, I tell my clients to research them to death, I ask them how they think they could see themselves far into the future using this same system, and how much of an investment it would require as opposed to shopping for real, nutrient-dense foods. If its something that will work for them – go for it… if it makes them think a little deeper – all the better – they are now engaging in the process of taking the best care of their entire person.

Struggles…

I always have such a hard time starting my posts. My brain synapses fire in 8000 different directions and I’m not sure that everything that I want to say will end up coming together in a conclusive matter… but here it goes…

I’ve been pondering people’s struggles… a lot. I’ve even talked at length with my mentor about it. This past week, after finishing another couple of books with eight others on the go (I seriously have book ADHD – its amazing I ever finish a book!), watching a documentary last weekend (I have an exciting life!), and a whole whack of client cancellations (some weeks go like this), I have felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

The problem is that no one can solve the problem. Seventy-eight billion dollars are spent on the diet and weight loss industry every year in North America (53% of Statistics are made up on the spot – and while I’ve tried to find the EXACT number – there are too many variables – one indicated if you include bariatric surgeries – it soars to close to $140 Billion in the US alone). So I keep asking myself, “Can anyone actually ever change?”. One book I have finished, titled, Body of Truth, by Harriett Brown does not seem to think so. I read this book twice. I agree with some, but not all of what she had to say.

There are a ton of factors that go into why I feel we are not successful on our weight loss journeys. The first, quite obvious from the dollar expenditure above is that humans (in this generation) want instant gratification. We don’t really want to have to work for it. I don’t mean this as an insult but its one-hundred percent true (and yes, I made that statistic up!). The thing that comes to mind here is all the multi-level marketing companies out there promoting their “lifestyle” changes through various supplements and shakes. My clients come to me at least once a week asking about the “newest” system on the market. I then go research it and find another dozen out there. There are literally hundreds of these systems out thstruggle1ere. I have had clients show up for their workouts with me on their second “cleanse” day so depleted that we couldn’t make it through a workout. I always discourage clients from any of these systems. At first, they can have great success but I don’t know very many who want to bring their tubs of meal replacement to the Bahamas with them so that they can stay on track.

Another big problem is our perceived sense of reality. I need a huge kick in the ass about three times a week from either my husband or a friend when I whine and snivel about how I look. Who the hell am I comparing myself to? Well… of course then I have to research it to death (that’s my original trade after all…). Here is a great video I found (by the way – this gal is super cute and has a great, common sense approach). Well, I compare myself to those asshole Instagram pictures of girls twenty years younger than me who have rock hard abs and huge muscles!!! I have been told many times that I may be a bit “naive” about how these women are achieving their bodies. I do think our expectations of how we should look are slowly changing with things such as the Dove campaigns and the Special-K campaigns – LOVE this video!

One of the BIGGEST problems is our food, what we eat, how the food industry produces and mstruggle2arkets our food. Its awful, shameful, should be illegal… I recommend this documentary to EVERYONE!!! Its on Apple TV and Netflix. It should be shown in our middle/high schools. I almost blew a FUSE when my oldest daughter brought home homework on the Canada food guide. You’ve GOT to be kidding me. I know the teachers have no control over this, as its required curriculum – but seriously even the US is ahead of us now with their rendition of the food guide, although the grains is still way out of proportion. Our food is being created to be addictive. There are great books out there explaining this phenomenon as well. Moreover, while our food is being created to be addictive, there are some people who are genetically predisposed to be more addicted to certain types of foods (mainly white, processed foods – aka sugar and flours). Some people have the same types of addictions to food as those with a drug or alcohol addiction. I also recommend the book, Food Junkies, by Vera Tarman. She even goes into talking about how so many people who have bariatric surgeries (another instant gratification solution) turn to alcohol and become alcoholics or drug addicts. The problem with the bariatric surgeries most of the time is that these people still have not dealt with the CORE reason of for their obesity. This could be emotional trauma or chemical trauma such as food addiction.

Other problems include our emotions and our lives in general. We are too busy and too sleep deprived. Don Saladino – a celebrity personal trainer in New York stated on a TV program I was watching (I do occasionally make it past 8:00pm) that his biggest secret to weight loss is SLEEP. One of his male clients lost 9 pounds in ONE MONTH by adding 90 minutes of sleep to his night!! There is a TON of research out there on sleep and weight gain. I know myself, if I am tired – LOOK OUT CARBS – oh my word… I will devour any sort of sugar left in my path… My Mom (who is a part of the generation that did all the latest diets – along with all of my clients her age and now have damaged metabolisms and are stuck on the 1200 calorie a day regimen – side bar: you should see the look in their eyes when I prescribe them 1900-2200 calories – they almost pass out!) often talked about how she would tell her weight loss clinic or group or whatever – about the tiredness and always felt “silly” or that she was alone in that problem and how she couldn’t control her appetite if she was sleep deprived. Flash forward 20 years – OH we have HORMONES that get f#*ked up if we don’t get enough sleep and we eat like there will be no tomorrow (now they just have to figure out how to get these hormones in control – common’ science people!!!).

Emotions. I wrote about this a while back. You have to deal with your shit before you’ll get anywhere. Again, Brenda Turstruggle4ner in her response to the huge ass Nicole Arbour (may karma come to you bitch)… she talks about how so many people wear their battle scars on the outside in the form of obesity. I don’t believe that all obese people are obese due to emotional issues. I see there being a HUGE problem with food addiction, which I believe to be more chemical but can certainly be an emotional issue in and of itself. In this video however, she is talking more specifically about abuse, etc. I have clients who deal with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-esteem, self-confidence issues… the myriad of emotions that create toxicity within our body. Toxic thoughts create toxic chemical reactions within our body. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are worthless, fat, ugly, stupid, etc. Your subconscious does NOT know the difference, it may as well be the person standing across from you yelling these things. I’m a firm believer in that you become what you think or believe. Trust me, I’m a work in process as well…

So back to how I will pull this all together… I often hear the statement, “Why am I not seeing results?”. My answers can be summed up as follows:

  1. Are you working hard enough? That is, are you putting in the time at the gym or with some sort of exercise routine? We are so much more sedentary than ever before. One hour of exercise at the gym is NOT enough… walk – move around… park further away, go for small walks – keep your body MOVING… 1 hour at the gym is only 4% of our day!
  2. Are you being consistent? This relates to number 1. You can’t exercise 5 days one week and 1 the next and expect results. You need to be CONSISTENT!!
  3. What TYPES of food are you eating and HOW MUCH?? We always under estimate how much of what we are eating. Try using a food tracker for a few days to see where your macronutrients are falling (calories, fat, protein, carbs)
  4. BE CONSISTENT!!! Again, you can’t eat clean all week and then binge on the weekend… you’ll ruin ALL of your dedicated eating. Instead, as I’ve said before follow the 80/20 rule. 80% clean and 20% for joy and pleasure – whether you plan that on a micro level (80% of your daily meals, 80% of your week, month… ).
  5. SLEEP!!! Get enough – if you don’t your hormones will be out of whack and you’ll not burn fat the way you should and your appetite won’t be regulated the way it should.
  6. Deal with your SHIT! All the emotional baggage. Divorce, affairs, abuse, cancer, death, special needs, children, depression, anxiety, eating disorders… the list goes on. Until you deal with what is holding you back in your life emotionally, change will be almost impossible to achieve. Mental, emotional and spiritual health is paramount to fix first before you can be consistent with all the rest.

… But mostly I want people to know that they are not alone in their battles. Each and every one of my clients battles – I become so attached to them and want to take away their hurt and solve their problems as if they are my own children… it keeps me up some nights. I want to find THE ULTIMATE solution to the very problem I opened with. But for now, I don’t have all the answers… just the ones that are close to my heart. Knowing that hopefully if I can provide them with enough easy to digest knowledge, the right tools, the best support that I can, a place to vent or cry to that is not attached to them in other ways such as a family or friend – a place of “unconditional support” and confidence, that everything will be ok. Not perfect, but ok. We can achieve great things through small steps, common sense approach, long-term changes, and mostly through finding even the smallest of things to be grateful for when the world seems to be crashing down on us.

xo

~Olivia