BLOG 107 MUSCLE VS FAT
Well we all know which one we like better haha. There are a number of misconceptions when it comes to these two subjects. So I’m here to debunk some myths, tell you the truth, and help guide you on your fitness journey.
Let’s start with the basics. Muscle: “Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called “skeletal muscle.” Heart muscle is called “cardiac muscle.” Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called “smooth muscle” (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4464). Oh then that pesky fat: “The soft flesh on the bodies of people and animals that helps keep the body warm and is used to store energy” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fat).
Most of us want to replace fat with muscle. Say good bye fat and hello muscle. It then needs to be said that we aren’t exactly able to spot reduce fat. Certainly we can emphasize target areas and pay a little more attention to detail on improvement zones. Yet, when our body uses the energy to perform tasks, it pulls from our energy sources collectively as a whole…. not just biceps for bicep curls.
Does muscle weigh more than fat?? We all would say yes. The reality is that a pound is a pound. But, “This means that if you look at five pounds of muscle and five pounds of fat side by side, the fat takes up more volume, or space, than the muscle. That’s important when you’re on a diet and part of your goal is the lean look of muscle, not the flabby look of fat” (https://everydayhealth.com/weight/busting-the-muscle-weighs -more-than-fat-myth). The best part about replacing fat with muscle is that the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism operates, so even at a resting/no activity state, you are burning more than you would be if fat was the majority of your body’s composition.
How can you lose 1 pound of fat?? Well, if 3,500 calories equals one pound, you would need to “burn” an extra 3,500 calories. Hmmmm…. so cutting 500 calories down every day (7 days per week), means you could lose 1 pound per week. My trouble with this is that all calories are not created equal and that activity levels vary. Calories in vs. calories out is the basic premise of weight loss. Easier said than does as most concepts in life are.
At Every BODY’s Fit, I do emphasize the importance of strength training. Because clearly having more muscle means we burn more. We know that the treadmill for hours doesn’t kill that fat like we want it to. So get that heart rate up and put those muscle to work by lifting. Steve Nash says he will help me watch your form.
BLOG 106 INSECURITIES
Having self-doubt, questioning yourself, feeling a lack of confidence…. I’m sure we can all identify with bouts of feeling insecure. This could be something very minor like whether your top matches your shoes, or something major like whether your spouse is cheating because you aren’t “good enough”. This negative thinking can be debilitating and certainly impedes on the journey of becoming the best versions of ourselves. But it’s natural to feel this way from time to time. We just need to reel it in and know how to move forward because these feelings don’t validate truths.
It’s human nature to worry about what other people think about us. As a business owner, I constantly am under public watch and have to remind myself that as long as when I turn the lights off when I go home and say that I gave my 100% today, then that’s the best I can do. We live in a culture that seeks approval. Meaning, recognition gives us value.
It takes courage to face what we are insecure about. Leo Babauta from Zenhabits.net discusses the obstacles that a person may face that derive insecurities (https://zenhabits.net/insecurities/)
- Past criticisms. If a parent or other relatives criticized us while we were growing up, or if we were bullied, we’ve probably internalized.
- A negative self-image. When people criticize you over the years, you start to criticize yourself. All this criticism, along with unfavorable comparisons of yourself to others, results in a self-image that isn’t so great.
- Needing approval. The becomes a fearful cycle of need.
- Lack of trust. We learn not to trust other people to stick with us, to accept us, to see our side of things as understandable.
- Images in social media & the media. We compare ourselves.
- Not accepting things about ourselves.
We have to forgive the past, know that the media is not 100% real, trust our intuitions, stop comparing ourselves, and accept ourselves. Certainly easier said than done, but taking these thoughts and practicing them in good faith can lead to better outcomes.
Clients come to me fully aware of their insecurities, but not quite ready to let them go. As we get stronger, more FIT, and develop relationships with myself and others at the studio, we find an uplifting community of acceptance. That is the environment I create. After all, those who judge you are only there in your life for a moment, so move forward without them. There are certain aspects in my life that I don’t doubt or question one bit (like my work ethic and passion for fitness) so I thrive on these elements and focus on letting go of what transpires feelings of insecurity in my life. I ask you to do the same and I will do my best to help you with this.
BLOG 105 VOICES
Our own voice, the one no one else but ourselves hears in our head, is the most powerful dictator in our lives. That chatter box is the greatest influence. And on our fitness journey, those voices are strong indicators of the choices we make. So let’s talk about “The Voice”.
I believe there are 3 voices in our head:
- Negative/Demon: the ruler of our addictions, poor self-worth, and self-destruction
22.. Down to earth: rational, neutral, logical
- Change/Forward Thinking: vision, dreamer, what needs to happen in order for future
A recent book I read, Suddenly Skinny Day by Day (2012), by Freya Taylor, was a comedic weight loss memoir about Freya’s weight loss journey while on the Medifast diet. Her story was relatable, funny, and completely honest. Freya refers to her voices as:
- Addict: “It wants more more more. It thinks it needs food for comfort, or to quit anger, or to alleviate boredom”.
- Practical: “I have to live my life side of ourselves”.
- New, emerging, wisdom: “The voice that can listen to the other inputs and weed out the garbage from the healthy”.
We are tested every minute on our fitness journeys when it comes to eating and healthy habit making. In a world that equates food with celebration, communication with technology, and a want for instant gratification, the voice in our head opts for the most convenient, desirable, choice regardless of consequences. The mind and body can be at odds. There are influences all around including the media, relationships, peers, and the medical industry. Deep down, that gut feeling is the voice I turn to and the honesty of knowing what is the right choice, all emotions aside, tells me what to do when in doubt.
I’m sure you can all relate to these voices. You have told yourselves to have that cookie, “Oh just one won’t hurt anything” (Negative/Addict). When out with your friends at happy hour and asked if you want another…. “Well I still want to have a social life” (Down to earth/Practical). When the alarm goes off in the morning to wake up, “I can’t hit snooze I have to go workout” (Change/New).
These voices truly indicate that we can be our own worst enemies on our fitness journeys. Don’t talk yourself out of change and know that you are worthy of becoming the best version of yourself. The old addict will put up a good fight. The practical will tell you to just take your time. And the change will be me on your shoulder leading the way to great healthy and wellness. So tell yourself to make today ridiculously amazing!!!!
Taylor, Freya. Suddenly Skinny Day by Day: A Weight Loss Memoir. (2012).
BLOG 104 THERESA LARSON
A wonderful client recommended a great read to me. The book is called, Warrior, written by, Theresa Larson. Her story of sheer strength, struggle, and leadership, was empowering and relatable. So let me share Theresa’s life/fitness journey with you.
Theresa Larson grew up in a male dominant household after losing her mother to cancer at age 10. She was a daddy’s girl growing up in Seattle with her two brothers. They were an active and healthy family, and together they followed a fitness program called Fit Forever. Solid nutrition and exercise were the foundation of this program, with one day to “cheat” or have whatever you wanted. Theresa fell in love with softball and she became an all-star pitcher. She received a softball scholarship to play at Villanova, where she also became a member of their ROTC program. Following in the footsteps of her brothers, who were also military members, Theresa entered the Service.
She had an incredible level of fitness and her work ethic set the bar for her teammates and fellow ROTC members. She could outperform anyone on the physical fitness tasks. All the while, she stuck to the strict restrictions of Fit Forever. But at this point the program wasn’t exactly in line with her lifestyle. Barely eating and exercising for endless hours every day while keeping a perfectionist attitude in all she did, made school a challenge to stay awake during classes. She was wearing herself out. Part of the reason I enjoyed this book was because Theresa was stationed at Camp Pendleton here in Oceanside. She even entered a fitness competition. This didn’t turn out to be an ongoing activity, but she did get up on stage and prepare for the event all while being in the military and following Fit Forever.
Theresa became a Lieutenant in the Marines and she was known for her harsh fitness training with her squad. They were the most in shape group by far. She was deployed to Fallujah and took on an interesting role of being the middle “woman” with negotiations in a country that did not accept women.
Yet, internally, the pressure Theresa was placing on herself was taking its toll. Few people knew that she was struggling with bulimia. Being in a desert country, exercising excessively, and eating very little, added up to a recipe for self-destruction. When she finally went to her Commander, her medical concerns were not met well. In the end, she asked to be sent home and the discharge process was not ideal. She had a real problem, yet, the military wasn’t quite understanding to a condition of this nature. She was given a desk job upon her return to the states and the psychologist in the military she was assigned to knew themselves that this area was out their scope of practice.
Theresa is now a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She especially likes to help wounded veterans. Today, “She is now a Doctor of Physical Therapy and the founder of Movement Rx, a physical therapy and wellness company that offers support to wounded warriors and individuals with health and movement issues. She travels all over the world as a speaker for MobilityWOD and the CrossFit Movement & Mobility Trainer Course. She is a lululemon ambassador, and works with nonprofits including Team Red White & Blue, LinderKids.org, Resiliency Project, CrossRoads Adaptive Athlete Alliance, and the National Eating Disorder Association.” (http://www.drtheresalarson.com/about/). Sharing her story meant sharing her secrets. This was a great read and Theresa is certainly STRONG both inside and out.
Larson, Theresa. Warrior. HarperOne, 2016.
BLOG 118 MULTIVITAMINS
Don’t forget to take your vitamin. Sound familiar?? From the time I was a little girl I took my Flintstones chewables. The chalky tasting goodness was a daily routine. The world has been swamped with many different brands now and it’s difficult to know exactly what our bodies call for in terms of deficiencies, what we get from foods, etc…. but we are always told to take a multivitamin. So do we really need to take this supplement?? Our pill driven society tells us to do this, but what are we putting in our bodies??
Multivitamins do support our overall health. Studies vary between the benefits and necessity, but in general it seems that having a multivitamin won’t cause a vitamin overdose or negatively impact a person. In summary, “A balanced diet goes a long way to getting the vitamins and minerals you need to feel good and head off health problems. Trouble is, very few people eat right every day.’When we compare recommendations for vitamin and mineral intakes to actual consumption, many Americans do not even come close to getting what they need for several nutrients,’says Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School” (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/making-the-most-out-of-multivitamins#1) .
Most contain some amount of the following: “riboflavin), B3 ( niacin), B6, folic acid (B9), B12, B5 (pantothenic acid), biotin, A, E, D2 or D3 ( cholecalciferol), K, potassium, iodine, selenium, borate, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, betacarotene, and iron” (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrition-vitamins-11/choose-multivitamin?page=2). Ideally you want 100% of each of the items, and any amount over that might be too much. Asking your doctor which brand he/she recommends is probably your best bet. Our yearly physicals also let us know what deficiencies we have, so your doctor might emphasize one type over the other.
Ultimately, remember that taking a vitamin isn’t a substitute for healthy eating. I like this statement: “That’s because multivitamins lack a number of beneficial compounds for wellness, including phytonutrients, and fiber, found in plant foods. Multivitamins also typically fall short of the recommend daily amount of calcium and other important vitamins and minerals. Think of multivitamins as an insurance policy, but don’t fool yourself into thinking dietary supplements measure up to the benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight, eating right, and getting regular physical activity, Blumberg tells WebMD” (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/making-the-most-out-of-multivitamins#1) .
We do want to be in tip top health on your fitness journeys so understanding our bodies needs is important for this. Quality always rules out quantity. Better, more informed choices are required for our best results. Knowledge is power so know what you are putting into your body!!!!
BLOG 103 LARGE CULTURE
After watching a recent Amazon movie called “Loving Large”, I became intrigued with this counter-culture movement of embracing being big. Certain social conventions say that skinny means healthy; skinny means attractive; skinny means “good”. But after watching this documentary, there is another perspective I wanted to share.
We have learned from the media that size matters. Let’s start with fashion. Models are presumed to be very thin. Yet the average woman wears a size 14. I have come to think that clothing sizes are totally distorted. 2010 brought a whole new industry of run-way models. Brands like Queen Grace and Torrid celebrate larger women. The term “plus size” has been replaced by “flattering”. I did find it interesting that these clothes were still tight and form fitting. To me, that’s just uncomfortable no matter what your size and obviously I’m not one at the studio to wear super tight clothes. Fashion is fashion no matter what size and the trends remain the same. Many larger women feel that people use a backhanded compliment telling them they have a pretty face, when they want to embrace their body and be complimented for a cute outfit every now and then.
The world of love is also now trending with some people being attracted to larger individuals. Men might like “fuller” women. Men might be referred to as “chasers” who like a certain weight. One person might become is called a “feeder” in the relationship. Food equates to love. We are attracted to what we are attracted to but sometimes the reason we are with someone can become troublesome. Liking a larger person is fine, but enjoying seeing them become larger despite health risks, is a little disturbing and almost controlling.
I truly wish that we could all see people for people, not size or appearance. The trouble is that in this large culture there are health risks. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) predicts that by 2030, 42% of the population will be obese. Some feel that the standards to be small or in the healthy zones are unrealistic so why try. Questions concerning personal value arise. For example, is Jennifer Hudson a better singer because she lost weight?? Georgia has public service announcements that claim 75% of parents are in denial that their children are obese. 4 year olds are being diagnosed with high cholesterol.
I absolutely hate the stereotypes that revolve around being larger. When did we become so judgmental?? Maybe I’m sensitive to the topic because of my profession. Every BODY deserves to be the best versions of themselves. Body shaming is terrible on every level. We must lift each other up and hey, whether your friend is skinny or large, a true friend speaks from the heart always. I celebrate diversity at the studio as we all continue to learn to grow both personally and physically on our fitness journeys.
Loving Large, Directed by Christopher Hines (2016)