From Famine to Feast on FASTer Way to Fat Loss®

I always thought I was fat

Today I want to talk about all things food! I have a long and complicated relationship with food, which left me in starvation mode starting at the age of 13.

My mother always battled her weight, and unfortunately went through that when the only options were strict old-school Weight Watchers and Atkins. She was also bipolar, and would project a lot of her crap on me, including calling me fat.

She took me to Weight Watchers, where they played along and gave me a diet plan. She also tried to take me shopping in Lane Bryant (plus size only), where they laughed at her because I was not plus size.

So basically, I thought I was overweight when I wasn’t. This led me to have no idea of what healthy should look like (apparently it looked like me, but who knew?) and to a place where I just ate 600 calories a day and weight 103 pounds (that is 60 pounds less than I weigh now, and I am at a healthy weight).

I starved myself for decades

From then on, I either ate whatever I wanted and overexercised (I remember doing hundreds of situps in my room at 3am when I couldn’t sleep), or starved and overexercised. After I started endometriosis treatment, and especially after my hysterectomy, I found it impossible to lose weight or fat at all.

I remember carrying lots of snacks and eating little tiny portions every few hours. Stuffing snacks in between Pilates clients was never fun! Then there was the plan that had me counting bites of food (nothing overly controlling about that ;)), the no carb diets (Atkins, South Beach, and Keto - they all ended in a pile of mashed potatoes with bread), and the general calorie cutting plans.

For exercise, I would push myself to do tons of long-form cardio (which I HATED) as well as strength training (low weight/high rep for fat burning, remember?) and Pilates. This took at least an hour every single day. Plus teaching and running around. Why rest?

I was hungry all the time

As you might imagine, I was hungry all the time! All the time!

And I just couldn’t lose weight. I was stressed out, seriously overweight (I went up to 208 at one point), and totally frustrated.

 Me at 163 pounds today

Me at 163 pounds today

 Me at 208 pounds

Me at 208 pounds

Finally, my thyroid and adrenals went. I started a low dose of levothyroxin, and as I started to feel better I searched for solutions.

Enter the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®

My friend Amanda Tress started talking about this program she had developed, and I watched her gain muscle and lose fat before my eyes, as she was literally eating donuts! I tried some pieces, like intermittent fasting and adding two rest days per week, and immediately started to drop weight and fat.

So when she opened the program up to train coaches, I raised my hand! And here I am, over a year later, still eating more than I have in years and helping others find there happy place. I almost can’t believe how much I eat and don’t gain fat!

I eat full calories for an active woman

Having always lived on around 600-1400 calories per day, I had no idea how much I am actually supposed to eat. When I calculated that on My Fitness Pal, I was amazed to see that I could eat closer to 1600 calories every day! I am never hungry anymore.

Did I say “fasting”? How is that a feast?

Intermittent fasting as I practice it and teach it, simply involves eating within a time window. For me that is 8-12 hours a day, which means that I am fasting 12-16 hours per day (a chunk of which is sleep time).

Because I fit a full 1600 calories into that window, I eat a lot! I just ate a giant chicken cobb salad with avocado and bacon for lunch, after breaking my fast a few hours ago with a protein shake. No deprivation here!

Did I mention donuts?

I also carb cycle, which means that two days per week I intentionally eat very low carb. Not every day, just two days per week (matched with HIIT cardio). The other days I either rest or lift weights, and eat balanced macronutrients (50% carbs).

Because I never want to feel deprived, on a heavy weight training day I will enjoy a treat. Donuts, cookies, pastries, ice cream, and even fried chicken or a burger and fries may show up as my treat in any given week.

Life without treats is not a life I wish to live. That is another reason why I love FASTer Way!

I would love to help you come to a healthy relationship with food that you can maintain forever. My next round starts prep week on Monday, October 29th. Click below for more information and to register!

My Results After One Year of FASTer Way to Fat Loss®

Has it really been a year of FASTer Way?

My parents always said that time flies, and I really notice that more in my 50s! It has actually been a little over a year since I started making the FWTFL program a part of my life AND I became a certified FASTer Way to Fat Loss® coach.

My fat loss and weight loss results

Fat loss and weight loss are different things. In the FWTFL program, we do a lot of heavier resistance training and eat enough carbohydrates to support the work it takes to build muscle, combining this strategically with low carb cardio days and plenty of rest. Because muscle is denser and weighs more than fat, you can lose fat and actually weigh more.

Now, I needed to lose both weight and extra fat, and have not only lost both, but maintained it! I lost 45 pounds that I have maintained pretty effortlessly, and gained obvious muscle (my body shape is completely different and I am down many inches - 3 sizes worth).

  AFTER

AFTER

  BEFORE

BEFORE

My cholesterol and thyroid results

I take prevastatin for high cholesterol and levothyroxin for my underactive thyroid. About six months ago I was able to cut the prevastatin down to 3x per week, and my TSH levels improved even more, on top of the low dose of thyroid hormone replacement. My energy is better (I did have to make some adjustments to my fasting schedule to account for adrenal fatigue, but more on that in another post), and I am stronger than ever! I look great, but most importantly, I feel great!

Intuitive eating

After a year of tracking my nutrition and calories per FASTer Way to Fat Loss guidelines in My Fitness Pal (MFP), I am now able to eat intuitively and know what my body needs and when. Some days I eat in an 8 hour window, while others I expand to a 12 hour window, depending on how I feel.

I know now what a day of low carbohydrates looks like and what to eat, as well as a full carb day. Every once in a while I input a day into MFP to check myself, and I am always on point.

What I eat on FWTFL

I eat everything. Seriously, I eat everything. On low carb days I treat myself to higher fat foods - ribs, brisket, salmon, organic aged cheese (I tolerate dairy), lots of vegetables, full fat salad dressings and yogurts, berries for when I need a little sweetness. On regular and rest days I add carbs - rices, pastas, quinoa, and sometimes even good bread. And on leg day I treat myself.

Lately hubby has been baking, so I have had everything from orange iced shortbread cookies to flourless chocolate torte and lemon poppy iced bundt cake! But sometimes my treat is Blue Ribbon fried chicken with sweet potato fries. Seriously, what I don’t eat is junky processed food. Everything else is fair game!

  LUNCH ON REGULAR DAY

LUNCH ON REGULAR DAY

  LEG DAY TREAT - SHORTBREAD COOKIES

LEG DAY TREAT - SHORTBREAD COOKIES

How much do I exercise on FASTer Way to Fat Loss®?

Not too much, actually! I do heavy strength training (including Pilates for full body powerhouse work) for a total of 30-45 minutes, 3x per week and higher intensity cardio for about 30-45 minutes (including sprints + lower intensity fat burning ending), 2x per week. The other 2 days I either rest but for dog walks or do some gentle pilates or yoga.

Nothing crazy. Not an hour of high intensity exercise every day, like some programs require.

Would you like to lose fat and improve your health?

Women and men of all ages have had success with FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. The combination of enough whole foods in the correct proportions, intermittent fasting with carb cycling, exercise, and enough rest, is powerful and life changing. It worked, and continues to work, for me!

My clients ALL feel satisfied and full at the end of the day, because they are giving their bodies exactly what they need. No deprivation, no depression over what you can’t eat - because in your week you can eat all the foods you love. In fact, I usually have to encourage my clients to eat more, since so many of us have eaten way too little for way too long.

My next round of FASTer Way starts prep week on October 29th, and I would love to see you there. Let’s get stronger and healthier together!

Online Pilates Workshop to Benefit Sunni Almond 8/8/18

Sunni and Scott

I give thanks every single day for my husband and our marriage, and as he gets into his 60s I feel some anxiety. My friend and colleague Sunni Almond, the vivacious creator of Going More Joe, lost her husband Scott suddenly and unexpected just a few weeks ago, leaving her without many financial resources.

safe_image.jpeg

From Sunni,

"What happened instead, after the doctor was going to turn us away this third time, was, I told the doctor that I wasn't taking Scott home until he diagnosed him. After the Ultrasound, the doctor didn't find a hernia, but Scott had spent three solid weeks in bed in pain, and I demanded an answer. I pressured him to do further diagnostics, so a cat scan was done, and stage IV inoperable colorectal cancer was found. It had also traveled to the lungs, lymph and liver."

Scott Almond passed at home, in hospice care, just 6 weeks later. I just can't even imagine.

After buying an advertising subscription on Going More Joe and donating to the Go Fund Me page, I thought, "what else can I do?" Well, what I can do is teach some online Pilates workshops and give half the money to Sunni!

Mastering the Mat - Sunni Almond Benefit

In this 2 hour Mastering the Mat online workshop for Pilates teachers, we will explore the basic and beginning Pilates mat, standing exercises, 2x4, and wall exercises, along with modifications and variations for special populations. We will also explore where we see these shapes on the apparatus. Just this one training will give you tons of ideas for your current and upcoming Pilates classes.

Workshop includes unlimited access to the workshop video (in case you can't make it to the live event) and a private Facebook group for questions and discussion.

And I am sending 50% of proceeds directly to Sunni to help with ongoing expenses!

Mastering the Mat - Sunni Almond Benefit

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 3-5pm EDT

$75

HOW IT WORKS:

  1. Register for the workshop.
  2. Look for email with links to liability waiver and Facebook group..
  3. Complete waiver and join private Facebook group (if you are not on FB, I will send meeting and video links via email)..
  4. Join online workshop on Zoom meeting or view the video (via FB group or emailed links)..
  5. Try new ideas, give feedback, ask questions and get answers!
  6. Enjoy unlimited access to the workshop video, along with online community access for Q & A and general support. 

How To Take Full Advantage Of The New FWTFL Coach Certification Opportunity

FWTFLPyramid.jpg

The new FASTer Way To Fat Loss Coaching opportunity is creating a huge stir!

The income potential is off the charts, and the response has been massive. We couldn’t be more excited to get things rolling!

This opportunity is perfect for Fitness Professionals, including personal trainers, and Pilates teachers, health-focused Network Marketers (I'm looking at you, my Isa friends), and FASTer Way clients who are interested in learning more and changing lives. 

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Before you apply for the FWTFL coaching certification, you must complete one round of the FWTFL as a client. You need to know and love the program.

If you need to take the program, my next round starts April 23, and as long as you are registered in advance you can be on the waiting list for the coach opportunity, and start as soon as you finish the round! 

  • Once you are accepted into the coaching certification program, you will have 6 months to go through the material and take your exam. Most people finish much sooner than that, some in just a few weeks.
  • Our new online backend office for coaches will take care of registration, payment and document signing. YOU KEEP 75% of all commissions with no ceiling! (This is unheard of, and we are SO excited to truly change lives with this income opportunity!)
  • WE take care of all the insurance, which means we take on all the liability, should any client issues arise. It’s rare, but it happens, and we don’t want you to worry about it. - THIS IS HUGE!
  • You receive a business in a box! You’ll receive branding assets, marketing materials, and online portal access. Everything you need to start, promote and run your business!
  • You’ll receive the Business Accelerator Workshop self-study course to walk you through the process of setting up everything you need for your business marketing and sales funnels. You’ll also receive access to our private Facebook community for coaches. This is a very valuable resource!
  • Other FWTFL coaches can join your team for even more income opportunities! This is where it gets really good. Once you have 5 coaches on your team, you will be elevated to Premier Coach. You will receive a $1,000 bonus for each coach that signs up under you, PLUS 10% of ALL of their commissions!!

Here’s the best part!

Special Recruitment Event on April 23rd!

We are holding a LIVE EVENT on April 23, 2018 for potential FASTer Way coaches! Don't miss this event! 

Space at this special event is limited, so download your free guide - How To Scale Your Fitness Business The FASTer Way! - and register for this amazing opportunity!

Book Review - Your Fitness Career: The Business Guidebook For Trainer's Success by Lalo Fuentes

A couple of months ago I received an email from Hollywood A-List personal trainer, Lalo Fuentes. He had seen some reviews that I had written for various business and marketing books for personal trainers, and asked me to review his. Within a week I had a hardcover copy of his Your Fitness Career: The Business Guidebook For Trainer's Success.

Why Listen to Lalo Fuentes?

Lalo Fuentes has an interesting background related to business, as he decided to become a personal trainer while enrolled in business school. Halfway though, Fuentes realized that the world of numbers was not enticing. He didn't want to be stuck in an office, and saw a fitness career as a departure from that grind. Upon graduation, he moved to NYC and started in fitness.

Now, those of us who have been slogging it out in the fitness industry know well that so many trainers still end up grinding out way too many hours in the gym with clients. They work hard, not necessarily smart, and many end up burning out early and leaving the industry.

Fuentes avoided this by targeting a high net worth audience and selling to them. Plus, he was able to make good on all of his claims with very little drama, which led to a huge word-of-mouth following. Frankly, if your words are in the right mouths, that is really all you need!

Trainers who are successful in the fitness world and stay around have found a different path that allows us to open up multiple streams of income, scale our businesses, and charge enough to have a life outside of the gym or Pilates studio. In Your Fitness Career, Fuentes shares all of the information you need to make success happen.

Basic Business Skills for Trainers

I mentor Pilates teachers specifically in how to make more money by taking better care of their clients and themselves, which entails still having a personal life. Much of my mentorship work is in teaching basic business processes, good business behaviors, and marketing. Fuentes handles all of this in his book!

Money

If you struggle to figure out how much to charge per hour or per day, whether to give a free or discounted first session, and how to decide what to pay for advertising and leads, Fuentes addresses all of these early on in his book.

Not sure what cost per lead means? Cost per client? How about return on investment? Loss leads? Net income? You will understand all of these and more after reading this book.

Behavior

Most trainers need help in inter-personal skills. But Fuentes takes you even further. Not sure what to expect at a celebrity's home? What order to board or leave a private jet? How to behave with your clients outside of the gym? This book answers all of your questions, including ones you didn't even know you had!

Social Media

Not sure what to post, where to post, and how frequently? Have questions about buying followers (short answer is, "don't") as opposed to organic reach? Fuentes has answers.

Online Training

Have you considered training your long distance clients online? Have you thought about what to charge? How to automate payment and booking? Does your liability insurance even cover online training? Are there better programs? Again, the answers you need are here.

Marketing & Product Creation

We all know that how you present yourself to prospective clients is a huge issue. Do you want to come off as approachable or scary? Are you a screaming boot camp leader or a calming presence in your clients' otherwise crazy lives? And do you know what the physical signs are of each? Fuentes even delves into arm position in your headshot and what that signals to your prospects.

Self Care

To avoid burning out, we all must practice the self-care that we preach. For me that means both working out hard and relaxing. It means taking time when I need it to focus on my own needs, so that I am ready and able to focus on my clients. 

While not cheap, this valuable information in this guide justifies the price. Plus, an hour of consulting with Fuentes will cost a lot more than the time it will take to read this book and implement his recommendations. Highly recommended!

 

My Top 3 Functional Exercises (that will help you look and feel great)

What is a functional exercise, anyway?

I consider a functional exercise to be one that works with a movement pattern that we use all the time, helps correct imbalances in that movement pattern, and builds strength. Other people may define that differently, but this is my definition. If it doesn't work with a common movement pattern, doesn't help correct imbalances, and doesn't build strength, it ain't functional.

And what is a common movement pattern?

A common movement pattern is one that we do as part of our basic daily lives. The big ones for me are:

  1. Sitting down and standing up. - We use this one often - getting out of bed, up from a seat, down and up from the toilet.
  2. Kneeling down and standing up, climbing up and down. - Also used often - kneeling down and standing up, climbing up and down stairs or ladders, getting in and out of SUVs.
  3. Pushing things away, or using upper body to help with 1 and 2. - Your upper body can help stop you from falling by pushing you away from the ground, help push things away from you, and help lift things.

My top 3 functional exercises

1. Squats

Squats are the workhorses of the workout world, They help us stand up from sitting, deep sustained squats help build collagen in the hip joints, they help tone our butts, calves, and thighs, and they work core stability. 

If your knees bother you, I recommend doing squats as sitting and standing, literally, with a chair behind you. Sit down and stand up, and repeat it several times. 

There are many versions of squats - front squats, plie squats, jump squats, pistol squats, Bulgarian split squats (which is also, arguably, a lunge)....

In Pilates we have footwork, standing footwork, the standing 2x4 work, sitting down and standing up from the mat, the russian squats (with pistol squat variation) on the reformer and with arm springs, the centering exercise on the ped-o-pul, seated leg pumping on the chairs, and the wall sit.

2016-11-03 12.08.03.jpg

2. Lunges

Kneeling down and standing up, climbing up and down stairs, climbing up and down ladders, and even getting in and out of an SUV involve lunging. I would start with walking lunges, then back lunges, side lunges, and then more complex moves like the curtsy lunge. A step up and down is another version of lunging. And lunges strengthen your core and tone your thighs, calves, and butts. 

In Pilates we have many lunges! Standing arm weight lunge series and arm spring lunge series, the splits on the reformer (especially Russian splits), going up front and side plus mountain climber on the chairs.

3. Push Ups

Since push ups involve plank (front support) with a controlled pushing and scapular stability and mobility, they are perfect for building core and upper body strength in a way needed to help us break a fall or push away from someone or something. Combined with the first two, we have the ability to push ourselves up from the ground to one knee and actually stand up. 

Push ups are also very amenable to modifications and variations. You can make them easier by separating your feet, bending knees, elevating your upper body, or shortening your range of motion. You can also easily make push ups harder by bringing feet together, straightening legs, elevating feet, or increasing range of motion. You can also alter hand/elbow positions to target triceps or chest more.

In Pilates we have Push ups on everything. Mat push ups, reformer push ups, and chair push ups, just to name a few.

I did a Facebook Live video about this topic yesterday. You can watch that here.

FASTer Way To Fat Loss features functional exercises 

If you are looking for a fat loss program that works through whole foods, functional exercise, and cutting edge nutrition and workout strategies, FASTer Way To Fat Loss is for you. This is, hands down, the best program on the market for a healthier you.

And if you are reading this on 2/25, it is the final call for my group that starts Week 1 tomorrow - Register Now. 

If you are reading this after 2/25, registration is open for the group starting 3/19.

Register for FASTer Way To Fat Loss here.

In and Up Diastasis Repair also features functional exercises

Moms need to sit and stand, kneel and stand, and climb around with their little ones. They also need to stabilize their spines and torsos to lift heavy children and play around.

For Moms with Diastasis Recti, all of these movements can be hard. My In and Up Diastasis Repair Program features functional exercises presented in a gradual way that will help heal your diastasis without surgery.

Register now for the In and Up group that starts tomorrow, 2/26!

Deep Core Strength Shown to Prevent Back Pain

semi_circle_1.JPG

People Feel & Function Better When They Do Pilates

We in Pilates have been talking about back pain and exercise for decades. And while a whole host of anecdotal evidence does point to the deep core strengthening of Pilates as a huge help in preventing and treating back pain, the scientific evidence has been scant.

The connection between Pilates and less back pain is clear to me. It seems obvious to me that if you strengthen pelvic and shoulder stability, and strengthen deepest as well as more superficial layers of muscle, you are in a better position to withstand higher impact activities without fear of back injury and pain.

And, guess what? Not only is it clear to me, it's true!

A new study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and published in the Journal of Biomechanics, examines what may cause chronic back pain in runners and what exercises may help. Basically, runners with weak deep core muscles are at higher risk of developing low back pain. "[W]eak deep core muscles force more superficial muscles like the abs to work harder and reach fatigue faster. When those superficial muscles are doing the work the deep core should be doing, there are often painful consequences."

It is not the six-pack that matters, but what is underneath it. And that is what we teach in Pilates!