True or false-the maybe of plateaus

reflecting in chair We’ve all heard of them–even stated “I’ve hit a plateau.”  Stagnate, nothing is working.  I’m doing everything right.  Well–maybe.

When someone says this, I can empathize, but not actualize.  Let me explain.  Cue in one of the rules of physics.  “For every action, there is an equal & opposite reaction.”  That doesn’t mean positive or negative. It’s just one of those “facts” here on planet earth.  It is also reason one for my insistence on food diaries.  And yes the old fashioned, hand written kind.

ACCOUNTABILITY is more likely Kinesthetic

Why?  Not real sure.  It seems to follow that when something is hand written, it becomes actual–actualized & realized.  The latter says it all.  If you take time to record your movement-exercise, what you ate afterwards, as well as what you were snacking on while binge watching political skulduggery, you may find that wasn’t your only BINGE.

EXERCISE is exercise–not really

True enough, exercise is movement.  Your activities of daily living (ADLs) are considered movement.  But most of us want more–we want shape, tone, definition, and of course muscle.  For me, I would add elongation w/accompanying definition.  Whatever you crave from your exercise routine–ask yourself “Am I getting it?”  Believing you’ve hit a plateau means THAT routine is no longer delivering.  It may have taken you into a smaller dress size, but may fall short in fine tuning.

TIME OUT to tune in

Mindfulness & meditation are often used (and overused) catch phrases without delivering specifics.  Each one of us is responsible for acquiring our own insights into these.  No one can really tell you how, when, or even if to do this.  We are each accountable for our own mindset.  The takeaway however, is that your ARE ACCOUNTABLE for it.  Sowing to mindlessness reaps its own ramifications–in excesses beyond overeating.

My own delve into this was through hot yoga–and not just an exercise class aka “yoga.”  That was the gateway.  Developing a practice of my own helped me with both meditation & mindfulness.  So it was a two-fer for me.

I’m BORED

If you are bored with counting every carb, shuffling through your cardio, or your grunt & fart routine at the gym, CHANGE IT.  With the advent & explosion of home workouts–from hip-hop to ballet, PILATES to YOGILATES, its easy to find that change.  Also consider trying something you may have been afraid to do.  It doesn’t mean you stick with it.  It just means you’ve tried it. For some it may be CROSS FIT. For others, learning to dance is enough to induce Metamucil-like results.  Whatever the case, doing the unexpected raises heart rate, and stimulates receptor sites in your brain BECAUSE YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING NEW.

Need a few more reasons to explain why you’ve plateaued?  Check these out.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reasons-you-arent-losing-weight_us_56ddb220e4b03a4056793d2f?

Keep up and keep at it.  Need a little more in-depth advice?

Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

 

Spring has FINALLY sprung…and I survived !

fitness center   Home workouts.  The GYM.  Running on the treadmill, running outside.  Barre workouts, yoga, hot yoga, BIKRAM yoga.  PILATES.  Which is right for you?  For most of us, it’s a combo plate, and not the a la carte menu.  However, even if you work out exclusively at a health club, are you getting the most out of it?

Here is one of my client’s experiences.

In years past, spring for me meant the same thing.  Attempting to make it back to my post summer weight, post winter.  Basically, getting back to where I was the prior October.  Since I teach for a living this allows me more time to work out and run over the summer.

However, one thing has worked in my favor this time; the advice of Crystal. I was able to continue working out through the school year with a program she set up, and didn’t lose what I gained during the summer of ’14

Sure, I put on a few pounds over the Holiday Season back in December but have already got back to where I was in October. Crystal showed me three machines that I had never used before at my gym and they have paid off.  Assisted chin up and dip press, torso rotation and a crunch machine that concentrated on my abs, instead of allowing me to pull the weight up with my legs. When I showed her the machine I was using for crunches, she immediately noticed my legs doing the work.

The effect of these machines are noticeable, people at work ask me if I’m still losing weight (I’m not). Now I get on them all the time when I go workout. I have been doing strength training M, W, F and cardio T, R. I do work what I call the “Ab Circuit” (torso, crunch, legs lifts) everyday. Strength training consists of bench press, row machine, leg machines, and lat pull-down. Cardio usually consists of treadmill and cross trainer. On Crystal’s recommendation, I find I get better results on the treadmill if I don’t aim for one long run. After the first mile, I prefer to run the second/third mile in spurts, as if I’m doing a type of HIIT. I’ll run at a fast pace for as long as I can, then come down for minute at a comfortable pace. I’ll do that for a mile or two.

I can’t wait to get back on the trails and run. It’s been a long cold winter and I’m not one to run outside before work. Too dark and hitting a patch of ice is not one of my favorite past times.  We did have a warm morning a week ago, so I did run outside. My guess was right, for a first run outside I know the gym work paid off.  I had no problem running at all…as well, if not better than last fall.

Although he speaks almost exclusively about running and health club workouts, this client is one of my “combo plate” devotees.  He has invested in a mini-trampoline, which gives his knees a much-needed break. He takes BIKRAM yoga classes.  I have also taught him some PILATES moves, with and without elastic bands.

What have his results been?  While I believe the above speaks for itself, this also translates into a 38 pound weight loss.  Yes, he’s hit rough patches.  Yes, he gained a few pounds back, and LOST THEM again.

My point is this:  what can a combo plate of exercises do for you?  If you are seeing slow results, or worse, no results–this may be your answer.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Like what you’ve read?  Interested in your own “combo plate?”

Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

Working out isn’t working…it takes a village

healthy living waterfall Most of us have heard the expression “it takes a village.”  However, it is most often used in conjunction with child rearing.  A parent myself, I tend to agree.

Yet it is applicable in many instances; diet and exercise not withstanding.

Those who follow my blog realize I write “What’s in my toolbox?” posts.  These are exercises I find helpful to keep excess weight at bay.  Again, regular readers know I believe it takes a village.

Before I reiterate my regimen, I want to call your attention to this.  “How you can benefit from combination Mind/Body, Agility, Strength, and High Intensity Interval Training.”  This worthwhile article can be found at http://fitness.mercola.com.

I’ve always believed differential thinking yields differential results. The above article highlights just that.  In nursing, it is called “evidence based practice.”  So what’s the evidence here?  You be the judge.

If your weight loss is stalling, or has stalled, perhaps your body is saying “change things up a bit.”  I find 2-3 days of running/or a high intensity workout like INSANITY gives me results.  However, it is counterbalanced with 2-3 days of parts of BALLET BOOTCAMP, or M.H. Bowers BALLET BEAUTIFUL.  The leg exercises in the Bower’s dvd, rival the intensity (in a different way of course) of INSANITY or any HIIT workout.  Don’t let the short vignettes fool you.  You’ll never feel so accomplished, or relieved, when 15 minutes comes to an end.  If you are looking to challenge your posture, not to mention every muscle in your body, BALLET BOOTCAMP Center Barre segment fits the bill.  Yes, there is a little choreography; but it is performed slowly.  The segments following however, labeled “Phrases,” are for those who possess a ballet background–at least from my perspective.  But they’re fun to try.

If intermittent stiffness is your issue (I can sympathize), hot yoga may be helpful.  It can help relieve tight muscles, as well as utilize those you may not know you had.  No hot yoga near you?  No problem.  Invest in a yoga dvd of your choice, or select one from the myriads on You-Tube.  Turn your thermostat up to about 90 or 95–and go at it.  Most yoga practices are about 45 minutes to an hour; so it shouldn’t overburden your heating bill.

In the quest to lose or maintain weight, remember this:  plateaus are multi-focal.  They are not simply nutritional or exertional.  It is your body’s attempt to regain composure, after all you are put it through with diet and exercise.  That doesn’t mean plateaus cannot be overcome; they can.  Knowing what to do, when to do it, and how can help.  Nothing though, substitutes for a well-trained ear attuned to what your body is saying.  This “listening ear,” like many endeavors, takes time to cultivate.  Once you do however, you will find it is well worth the time spent.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com