The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

Tag: mental health

Valeria’s Easy Weight Loss Hacks

 

Valeria is  a Russian model, 27, two children, and a long history of taking excellent care of her mind and body.  I adore her ❤

One of the main purposes of this blog is to show women how ridiculously EASY and SIMPLE losing weight can be when you have the correct knowledge and advice.  You DON’T have to stop eating carbs, or start making complicated meals that are super high in fat.

Losing weight should be a relaxing, simplistic, lifestyle change that fits into your already busy routine.  It should be something SUSTAINABLE over the length of your entire life!  I don’t promote the most popular diet fads or pills for weightloss or weird supplements that mess with your hormone production.

None of that.

Just simple, easy, kind of “lazy” ways to change your life so that you start seeing and getting the body you feel strong and comfortable and proud in.

And these tips are so easy & true.  I’ve been implementing the “hacks” she mentions since about 2009.  So that’s almost a DECADE of knowing these things work for maintaining a fit and beautiful body you love.

  • Eat on small, salad-sized plates- you psychologically see the plate with TONS  of food and you feel more satisfied and are less likely to get seconds
  • Fill up HALF of your plate with veggies (greens – dark leafy greens especially – are GREAT for this).  I’ve consistently lost the most weight when I was practicing this daily habit.
  • Chew your food… chew it slowly and take your time to eat.  It’s been proven you digest better and that your brain is able to understand more correctly when you’re “full” and need to stop
  • When you do eat out, always order your dressing or sauces on the side.  Yes!  I don’t bring my own usually, although I know women who do that… it’s too much work for me and this is about “lazy fitness” 😀  But just ordering it to be “on the side” that way you can carefully “dip” your food into the high calorie, high fat flavor, you WIN big time in not smothering your food in that stuff!
  • Detox water – I used to do this with lemon, but her recipe is much better (and she promotes making a big batch to keep in the fridge – yea I totally do things like that)

Hope you enjoyed her tips as much as I did!

Remember… losing weight isn’t really that hard… a TON of what you need to do to even begin is just slightly alter what you’re already doing.

Stephanie

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Meal Prep – Pulled BBQ Chicken!

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More gorgeous Meal Preps!!!  Ooooo and this one is so tasty!!!  It’s like a healthier version of “pulled pork” except it’s with BBQ chicken breasts, shredded.

  • 3-4 lbs of chicken breast, boiled and shredded
  • Homemade BBQ sauce (super easy, just look online for recipes!) or bottled BBQ sauce if you’re pressed for time)
  • About 1 cup of white rice cooked for each meal prep container
  • About 1 cup of veggies of your choice.  I chose corn and broccoli this time since it seems to go better with the taste of the BBQ ❤

Soooo delicious!  And again, soooo healthy and makes life a million times easier for us this week when it comes to easy and healthy dinners!

If you have any ideas your family does or for ours to try, please leave them in the comments I’d love to hear new ideas about healthy meal prep options!

Stephanie

Meal Prep Your Way to Fitness

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One of the things I’ve found to be really helpful in maintaining a healthy diet while avoiding bad food in a crunch, is to simply meal prep.

It’s too easy to reach for something on the go – namely fast food – when you’re pressed for time or stressed.  Turns out the Boy Scouts were right in their motto:

BE PREPARED!

Just taking the little bit of extra time to portion out your healthy meals and some handy-dandy snacks you’ll find makes life a lot easier for you!

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Super healthy greek yogurt cups homemade with blueberries & strawberries!

I always try to cook a big dish either on the weekends or Monday night, and have a second or third, smaller option, that way dinners for the week are completely covered!

So. Easy.  It’s. Ridiculous.

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Left: Breakfast Eggs & Chorizo Mix to eat each morning without having to cook!  Just scoop into a couple of tortillas, microwave, add salsa and GO!

AND it saves so much money!

 

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$$$$$$$

Think about how much people pay to have healthy, pre-portioned meals like this delivered, and yet if you do it yourself, you can save hundreds a month!

Seriously, we’ve saved so much through doing this… and it’s all super healthy food that tastes amazing, too!

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It also makes it easier for your husband if he’s trying to stay healthy as well, to be able to just reach in to the fridge and grab an already perfectly portioned, prepped meal in one  container.  There have been countless times my man has thanked me for doing this for him ❤ his favorite part is that I know just how much of everything to portion out, that way it’s filling and meeting macros but not over-loading.  

It’s the perfect portion control, because everything is right there and you’re discouraged from getting “seconds” – which would mean eating another day’s MEAL!

So…

Meal Prep… to borrow the famous Nike motto:

JUST DO IT!

Stephanie

Pro Tennis Beauty’s Workout

 

Phew!  Keto diet experiment is done finally, my husband actually had to make me stop – it was ridiculous not being able to make enough ATP (keto does make technically “some” and some claim it makes “more” lol, but since it’s actually harder work to convert fat into ATP, it’s not generated fast enough to be able to support high intensity workouts and heavy lifting that we’re currently doing in replacing the kind of energy used and then needed for longterm strength and endurance).  I’ll be writing a scientific post that goes into experts’ thoughts on why and how it’s not beneficial to athletes (unless they load up on carbs before an event… which debunks the entire keto claims that it’s good for athletes to always be in ketosis).

Here’s Maria Sharapova, pro Russian tennis player, working out/warming up and getting ready at a tournament.  Her diet is high protein (which keto limits as well… too much protein apparently knocks you out of that desired “ketosis”), low fat, and low carb.  Basically the way we’ve been eating for 10 years and have never had a problem losing weight.

Something I wanted to call attention to in the video was her usage of resistance bands for strengthening.  They are so cheap to get!  And they really work and can be used for a total body workout all over!!!  Definitely worth getting and implementing into your at home workouts (or to take to the gym – they’re so tiny they can go in your purse!).

And I love the tennis players’ body type.  Lean, long muscles, so strong and yet graceful.  A lonnng time ago I used to play a lot of tennis.  It’d be nice to get back into it!  Watching Maria is inspiring!

Enjoy the tennis beauty!

Stephanie

Cycling Your Training

I wrote a post a few years ago about how my husband and I tend to cycle workouts being “on” a few months, and then “off” a few months.  It works out pretty well for the most part, and it’s nice to have a more relaxed period where we aren’t exercising so hard (or at all really), and then feel geared up to go for a few months being hardcore and getting back into excellent shape. 😀

I feel like it brings balance and prevents burnout over the long haul, to cycle your “on” and “off” months.  You don’t get overwhelmed or burned out as much because you have an end in sight and another beginning beyond that to look forward to.  It’s kind of like interval training for runners.  You can go hard for a few months because you know you’re getting a nice “break” coming up, and then once you’re rested, you begin again full power.  And during your rest period, you enjoy a very in shape bod that doesn’t take so much to maintain.

The only problem I could see women having with this is not controlling their eating during their off months, which is understandbly hard – especially during the holidays.  As long as you’re not gaining large amounts of weight through eating excessively (some splurges are normal), then it’s really not such a big deal to get yourself back in shape in a fairly short time frame.  Anything over 10 pounds is probably too much to gain in your off months.  Losing muscle is also something that wouldn’t be fun, but having dumb bells and learning some body weight exercises to use off and on again should keep you from losing too much muscle.

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Here is what I’ve done in the past:

3 months on – Intense cardio and weights or mat workouts (Tracy Anderson)

3 months off – some light exercise every now and then, mostly eating healthy, some yoga, going for walks, playing outside with the kids (easy stuff that feels like relaxing exercises)

3 months on – By this time I’m fully ready for hard training again… it’s like my body craves it!  Heavy weight training upper & lower body, intense cardio either running or HIIT or stair master climbing (doing intervals of fast and slow).  Weight comes off fast but at the same time muscle takes it place.

3 months off – relaxing, maybe some yoga, enjoying feel fit from the months prior of getting in shape, if it’s Summer, we go swimming a lot which becomes our exercise, also a lot of walking at our water park, eating very clean (if it’s Summer lots of fruit and protein smoothies, salads, grilled chicken, etc.).

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And that’s a whole year of cycling your workouts!

In reality, we’ve recently been doing longer cycles.  More like 4-6 months on and then 4-6 months off.  Either way it’s how you personally want to set up your workouts.  There are some very few people who manage to workout hard every. single. day. but our schedules just change too much for that – either because of my husband’s work schedule, our son’s sports seasons, or me being pregnant or having just had a baby.  So now that we have more kids, it’s more realistic to schedule our cycles around what’s happening in our lives at the time or during that particular year.

Anyway, I encourage anyone reading this to try cycling your training in this way!  I swear it makes us feel so much more motivated and like it’s “doable” to know there’s an “end” in sight.  And then once well rested, starting up again feels good.  I’m sure it also lets your body heal and repair muscles and such to cycle it like this.

🙂

Enjoy!

Stephanie

New Year’s Bounce-Back is Totally Normal

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When that muffin top became a full-blown, busted can of biscuits! 😀

Yep, just after writing a post a little disappointed in all the fad diets people tend to try at the beginning of the New Year, I’m going to come out and say that wanting to “get healthy” or “start over” again, is totally normal 🙂 .

There’s something beautiful about a new year.  Maybe it’s the excitement of the fresh days of an early beginning, or the unknown of the future, and the promises that are to come.  I truly do get a little pumped up each time, and not so much in a resolution-making kind of way, but rather a general excitement for the new-beginning the year will bring.  I also enjoy looking back on the past year when it’s closing, and finding beauty in it to treasure moving forward.

So with all that said, I do believe it’s totally normal for people to want to look ahead to new and better things, to make promises to themselves about their fitness or whatnot.  I think it’d be a little strange if a person wasn’t motivated by the optimism a new year can bring… but then again, I am forever an optimist. 🙂

But yes, I am definitely relating to the picture above 😉  My muffin top from Thanksgiving has bloomed into what I would say a busted can of biscuits, as it should be after the holidays ❤  And now it’s my annual time to reset everything and bring a much welcomed balance back to our enjoyment of eating healthy.

The New Year’s “Bounce-Back,” is totally normal.  You’d have to eat ZERO pies or dressing or sweet potato casserole (and live a miserable life) to not feel the need to “bounce-back!” 😀

How Do You Have a “Fit” Postpartum?

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My husband took this picture without me knowing 🙂 my body is still not exactly where I want it to be (so much loss of muscle and probably still some fat to lose), but it does make me happy that my body is relatively back to normal.  I feel strong and full of energy, and am so proud of what it can do so soon after having our 3rd baby.  It’s like a celebration! ❤

Going on a beach vacation and celebrating our 10th anniversary this early postpartum was a little difficult, but thankfully the difficulty wasn’t so much because I was “out of shape,” but just due to having such a little baby.  We’re a very active, athletic family… so being out of shape really lessens the quality of my life as I’m not able to keep up or do the things I want to do.

But why is getting back in shape after having a baby important?  Obviously, it may not be important to everyone, but to the majority of women out there who eventually do want to get their bodies back, it seems like it is.

One woman in my fitness group recently admitted that if she had known how much excess skin would be hanging off her stomach postpartum, and how awful it would feel to even look at it, she would have DEFINITELY changed all her eating habits while pregnant and would have kept her weight down and been only gaining the minimum amount necessary.

I think it’s relatively normal for Western women to disregard their fitness while pregnant, not really understanding (or caring at the moment) how hard it will be to lose that weight, or to get the skin to go back in, after the baby is out.  And then once it’s a few months or a year postpartum, they start to realize how hard they made it for themselves and live with regret.

So what is the “secret” to having a fit postpartum?  What is the secret to having a pretty good body almost right after you have your baby?

The simple answer?

Having a fit pregnancy.

That’s it.  And it’s the truth. 🙂 The more “in shape” you are, the stronger you are and yes, even “thinner” you are while you’re pregnant, normal weight gain aside of course, the fitter, stronger, and even thinner you’ll be postpartum.

If you stay active and only gain what you and the baby actually need, you won’t have pounds of excess fat and weight to lose afterward.

I’m lucky to be in a fitness group right now where I’ve seen many ladies go through pregnancy and come out extremely fit and strong and capable.  They not only don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to eat anything they want, they don’t even use pregnancy as an excuse to stop lifting weights!!  Or to stop running and working out fairly hard!  It’s amazing to watch these women conquer the usual setbacks of pregnancy with hard work and discipline.  Very inspiring and motivating ❤ 🙂

Will pregnancy set you back some?  Definitely, in those first weeks, doctors don’t want you to workout again until cleared for a reason – because your body really is still healing.  But they also tell you right after you have the baby (the next day in my experiences with all our 3 kids), to start walking like you’re planning to do a walk-a-thon in a month lol!

Walking IS exercising, and they want you doing that 24 hours after having a c-section!

So yes, while you need to wait until your doctor clears you to do more strenuous things, your doctor also expects you to be walking and gently moving your body around actively on your own the day after a c-section.

Why?  Because they know for a fact that it helps you heal faster if you gently exercise those muscles and it keeps your blood flowing which also aids in a faster healing.

We were created to move, and its really no different during and after pregnancy.  Hence the more fit and strong you are during pregnancy, the better (and easier!!) it will be for you afterward.

So take care of yourself during your pregnancy!  You’ll never regret making healthy choices that make it easier for you when you have your baby 😉

It’s already hard having a newborn, but being overweight or weak and fat make it a lot harder.  Be good to yourself, and keep your body in shape.

Stephanie

“Fat Girl Fed Up” and Her Journey to Weight Loss

Article on Staying Fit Being One of the “Best Gifts” You Can Give Your Husband

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I’m pleasantly surprised how much traction this “staying fit” throughout life – even during and especially after having children – is gaining in our culture.  It’s still a somewhat taboo topic that seems to inflame many people wanting to deny that weight and healthy body size matters, but it makes me happy to see more people writing about it in a positive way.

Here is an article with a title I couldn’t have picked better myself (so elated!!):

“STAYING FIT FOR YOUR HUSBAND IS ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS YOU CAN GIVE HIM”

This is undeniably true, and yet, sadly, we just are not “allowed” to talk about this – or write about this – without people being offended at the simple truth.  Men are visual and love to see their wives looking sexy and thin.  Being fit and in shape makes them less likely to feel tempted all the time by other women, or to look at porn even, according to my husband!

Give the article a click, it’s a good, balanced read.

It reminds me of after my husband and I had our first baby, my husband, in a moment of brutal honesty, actually thanked me for not letting myself go.  He really appreciated it. ❤

 

So yes, I agree, staying fit for your husband truly IS one of the “best gifts” you can give him. 😉

Tracy Anderson’s Post Pregnancy Workout Review

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I wanted to talk some more about the official postpartum workout I chose to do this time.  I really didn’t do any kind of specific immediate postpartum workout with our first baby 7 years ago, or with our second just 2 1/2 years ago.  I did “workout,”my husband even trained me at the gym and did workouts with me at home, but nothing this well-structured for helping your body to go back to normal after being pregnant for 9 months.  Tracy has moves especially designed to get your muscles to come back to skin and to get that flap of skin (where the belly left) to disappear.  They are remarkable and get results fast.

Our bodies really take a beating during pregnancy, everything seems to move around – your hips, your pelvic muscles, your abs, and even your spine apparently along with sometimes your ribs.  It is just insane!  Tracy mentions these things in the video and gives actual specific workout moves/techniques that are supposed to make everything go back to normal.  It really works according to women who have done it and stuck with it.  And I’m amazed how incredible it feels – it’s hard but in a good way, I can actually feel my abs waking up and responding better each time.

Tracy Anderson’s Post Pregnancy DVD (link to buy)

Since I’m still kind of in a fog of sleep deprivation and it’s hard to write thoughts out well, here are some easy-to-read bullet points about the workout dvd you need to know:

  • It’s 49 minutes, which honestly… it’s a little too long for my “ideal” workout, but it’s so worth your time.  There are workouts out there that are 20 or 30 minutes and then you’re done for the day – I did that for our first baby, but it took a YEAR to lose the excess weight.  And my body was still better served by this woman’s “Metamorphosis” workouts I did **after** that… everything got tinier and I developed leaner dancer-type muscles with Tracy’s workout moves than with anyone else’s.
  • It’s HARD. I mean really pretty hard, especially that first time you try it after having a baby.  Even if you were active, it’s just a very strange feeling to experience how stretched out your muscles got during those 9 months.
  • It gets miraculously easier each time you do it!  I was amazed there were 2 positions/moves my muscles just would not respond to that first time, and then miraculously they did a tiny bit the next, and then MUCH better the next, and so on.  It’s like your muscles’ take time to establish those electric connections that make them move again… so weird, but Tracy mentions that as well when you’re doing it with her.
  • It’s totally safe to do this even if you had a c-section.  Just wait until your doctor clears you for exercise because this definitely counts as exercise.
  • She does all the moves with you.  I really respect a trainer who does Each. Repetition. With. You.  Most don’t… Jillian Michael’s will do a couple of examples and then stop and coach you through.  Tracy does every single move that she’s asking you to do – which for me is extremely motivating and makes me take her more seriously.
  • Speaking of repetitions… each move or exercise she has you do, has like 1,000 repetitions each.  I’m only slightly exaggerating here.  It’s what makes it so hard, your main muscles go into exhaustion phase, and you’re forced to use the lesser used, smaller/supporting muscles you never knew you had. Scientifically this works to make everything pulled in tighter and smaller – literally giving you that dancer’s body most women covet.  I’ve experienced this effect with her before after my first baby – after trying Jillian Michael’s and losing the weight, but still not being able to fit into my old clothes.  Her workouts were why I didn’t have to buy a new wardrobe.
  • You really need to buy this thing.  It’s so cheap, and again, it’s gone out of print ( is that the word you use for dvds?) before.  It’s so valuable, and yet I got mine I think for $8.00 online.
  • I should have said who this woman is 😀  She is a celebrity trainer that has worked with Hollywood clients for over a decade.  She’s a little strange (like you’d expect anyone from Hollyweird to be), and wears really skimpy outfits, kind of an exhibitionist really, but her workouts work.  It is a crime that you can get her teaching and training right now on dvd for so cheap.  Access to her personal training or special gyms in New York is a fortune!  And yet regular moms have access to her dvd for almost free (seriously)?!  Again, wise women will take advantage of this.
  • It’s only for women who really want to work hard.  Or find the time.  It’s not for women who make excuses and remain overweight.  You can make ALLLL the excuses you want, but in the end, it’s only you, your attitude about life, and your will or desire to make the changes you want.  No one’s going to force you to take your health seriously, it’s a choice you and only you can make.  Or you can continue to make those excuses.
  • She tells you to start it RIGHT AFTER you’re cleared for exercise.  Most American women just don’t workout right after they’re cleared, and then complain about how unsexy or fat they feel.  So the women who use this are the ones who really deserve the body it gives, because it is hard work but feels so good.  Be different.  Be a woman who chooses NOT to gain too much weight during pregnancy, and then be a woman who chooses to make her body strong again after she’s had her baby.
  • It’s actually relaxing if you do it at night.  I can’t believe how good and relaxing it feels – I mean it’s a workout and it’s painful, but somehow it feels so slow and nice that I’m ready for a hot bath or shower after, some chocolates and then to sleep.

And the best thing of all???  The endorphins and sense of feeling so accomplished and happy after you’ve completed another workout.  It’s simply taking care of yourself.  Like brushing your teeth, except the work and difficulty gives you a sense of healthy pride for persevering through the pain or desire to give up.  And spiritually it makes me more thankful to God for my health and strength He’s given me.  It makes me feel like I’m being a better steward of this body He’s given me instead of neglecting it.

Get it and enjoy it!

Stephanie