Monthly Archives: December 2013

Everyone Told Me To Eat Less and Move More.

Everyone told me to eat less and move more, but nobody showed me how.

Yes, I was a chubbette.  By the time I turned 8, it was apparent that my good appetite wasn’t an asset anymore.  No, what used to be a great way to please my Mom and get approval had turned into a problem.  Thank heaven I didn’t know at that age that it would take me 35 years to figure out how to stop overeating, and five more years to work up the courage to tell my personal training clients how I did it.

Now, I’m getting ready to tell the world, or as many people as I can reach, how I got off of sugar, grains, and processed oils, and finally lost all the weight I wanted.  For keeps.

In the photo, you can see a tiny fraction of the books I read on my search for a solution to my fat problem.  These are just the books I kept, and these two stacks don’t even include all of the Kindle and E-Books I’ve bought over the past 5 years.  I kept buying diet books, and I keep buying diet books because I’m a curious cat.  I don’t just want to know that a diet works.  I want to know why it works.

Even more than wanting to know why fat gets used up and sent packing, I wanted to tell my students, and anyone else I could get to listen, how to use up excess fat too.

Now, I suspect  you know full well that a great body only comes with great training.  You also know, that only a tiny fraction of women can eat without any thought for food quality or quantity  and stay lean and vital.  How many trainers have you heard say that fat loss is 80% diet?

I say it too, because I believe it’s true.  Although a great exercise program can actually reduce appetite, and it will certainly build muscle, an eating strategy that satisfies and nourishes you while allowing you to shed fat is something to cheer about.

The students at my fitness studio tell me that what they value most is my honesty.  They want to know what it really takes to eat for fat loss and figure goals.  I’m so excited that the time is almost here to reveal Sugar Freedom.

What is Sugar Freedom?  It’s exactly what I ate to get to my ideal goal weight, and stay there for 5 years and counting.  I’m going to go ahead and call it a diet because it is intended to cause fat loss.  I think that any eating plan that is meant to change your body should be called a diet.  An eating strategy that keeps you at your desired weight should be called maintenance, and the “Lifestyle Change” that so many of us seek is found in maintenance.

The Sugar Freedom Plan starts with the Three Day Sugar Strike, which is a simple and specific, short-term diet that gets you off of sugar, grains, and processed oils by showing you how to get satisfied on nourishing, fat burning, appetite lowering foods.  The Three Day Sugar Strike is going to have you feeling full, and empowered to “walk on by” when sugary, starchy foods try to get in the way of your fat loss and figure goals.

After 3 days, you will transition to the Sugar Freedom Diet, which adds back some of the foods like fruit that are eliminated on the Sugar Strike.  Part of the Sugar Strike strategy is to give your taste buds a break so that naturally sweet foods like berries and carrots taste great again.

You will follow the Sugar Freedom Diet with “Occasion” or “Bonus” meals every 10 days until you reach your fat loss goal, and maintain it for 3 weeks, or longer if you wish.  Occasion meals give you chance to add back foods like dark chocolate, and baked goods like muffins and pancakes made with almond and coconut flour.  The idea is to give you the chance to eat super yummy foods, and see how your appetite reacts.  After 10 days on Sugar Freedom, you will know what natural hunger and a normal appetite feel like, and you will be able to make an honest decision about what “bonus” foods fit in with your fat loss goals.

Finally, you will embark on the Sugar Freedom Lifestyle.  The Sugar Freedom Lifestyle is personalized, as it contains all of the foods that make you healthy, vital, and dare I say beautiful, while  it leaves out the foods that interfere with your satisfaction, and your life goals.

My wish for you is that Sugar Freedom will help you find the ideal way of eating that gets you your ideal body, and the energy and confidence to create your ideal lifestyle.

I guess that makes me an idealist.

So be it.  If the 13 year old girl whose nickname was “Weeble” could finally reach and maintain her ideal weight after 35 years of trying, I sincerely believe that you can too.  Then we can be idealists together.

 

Catherine Gordon A.C.E. was named Certified Turbulence Trainer of the Year for her work with her clients at Gordon Studio in Sonora, CA.  She is a member of the National Weight Control Registry, and the author of The Sugar Freedom Diet.  Her website is www.sugarfreedom.com.

Diet Books!

Camera Ready Diet

Permanent fat loss happens when you discover that there is something, often many things, in life that gives you far more satisfaction than eating or drinking.

You are ready to change your eating habits, and release all the fat you wish, when you start to care more about creating, and less about consuming.  

You definitely need plenty of food to nourish and satisfy you so that you have the energy and motivation to get out into the world and make your dreams come true.

Too often, we get into a “Diet Emergency,” and try to loose five pounds in three days by eating nothing but cabbage soup, or just drinking that weird lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper thing, whatever it is.  This Three Day Camera Ready Diet is nothing like that.

If anything, you will be eating more food by volume than you usually do if you are currently living on breakfast cereal, sandwiches, and pasta.

The point of the Camera Ready Diet is to reduce inflammation, (especially facial puffiness) and give you energy and a healthy glow.

My former student, and now fellow Zumba instructor, Melanie and I will be shooting three episodes of “Simple Fitness” for our local cable channel this Sunday.  Can you imagine trying to do three thirty minute interval workouts in a row on a juice fast?  I certainly can’t.

So here is the eating strategy that will get you glowing, and ready to power through your office party, yearly family photo, or help you look smashing and dance all night on New Years Eve.

First, lets get the “Nos” out of the way:

No alcohol, sugar,  grains, or dairy.   It’s just for 3 days off of the alcohol and dairy, and trust me, it’s worth it.

You’re going to focus on foods that are nutrient dense, and high in fiber and water content.  Vegetables for breakfast?  You bet.  (IHOP may suggest that you eat breakfast for dinner, but if you want to look fantastic, I suggest you turn that suggestion around.)

Start your day with the juice of 1/2 lemon in warm water that I always recommend.  If you need to sweeten it, use a few drops of liquid stevia.

If you drink coffee, lighten it with unsweetened almond or coconut milk.

The veggies that are the star of the show for these three days are:  Spinach, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, and parsley.  You don’t have to limit yourself to these, but other than the carrots, stick to vegetables that grow above the ground.  Some of these are stars for containing phytonutrients that enhance the color and texture of your skin, and some support proper fluid balance.

Note:  Remember the water paradox: the more you drink the less you retain, so drink up.

For breakfast yesterday morning I sautéed onion, celery, carrots, spinach, and parsley in 1T coconut oil, and seasoned it with organic iodized sea salt, ginger, and turmeric.  I added 2 poached eggs and I was in heaven.  Now you don’t have to have eggs.  This may sound odd, but I want you to get in some fish that’s high in omega 3s over these three days, so you could have salmon or tuna instead.

Here’s a way to prepare canned  salmon that I love:  To one drained 4 oz can of salmon with bones removed add 1T vegenaise soy free-mayo, 1t dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup chopped raw unsalted almonds or walnuts, plus 1 T chopped celery, and 1t onion if you like.  You can even form these into a patty and cook them in coconut oil, ghee, or kerrygold butter.  This works great at breakfast, or you can serve the salmon or tuna over romaine lettuce at lunch.

Speaking of lettuce, a big salad at lunch dressed with extra virgin olive oil and Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is a must!  Use whatever mix of oil to vinegar that you like best.

Other proteins for lunch besides salmon or tuna include poultry, grass fed beef, or pastured pork.  Portion size?  It should be about the size of your palm.  Please eat as much salad, and or cooked vegetables as you need to fell full and satisfied, not stuffed.

Dinner is going to be the same as lunch, with vegetables cooked in one of the fats listed above and salad filling most of the space on your plate, (or plates).  Then add serving of meat, poultry, or fish.

If you want a snack choose up to two servings of low sugar fruits like berries, or an organic granny smith apple.  Add an ounce of almonds or walnuts if you wish.  If you need a more substantial snack, add some sliced turkey, or have some left-over salmon or tuna salad.

Remember it is the simplicity of this 3 day strategy that makes it work.  The motto here is to trade “variety for satiety” so that you can look great for your picture or event.

You have a busy, active life so going hungry is not a good option.  Focus on “Beauty Foods” like colorful vegetables and omega 3 rich fish and you will be

Morning Veggies

Morning Veggies

satisfied, energized, and “Good to Glow.”

 

Plateau Freedom

I like to think of fat loss and body transformation as a journey.

The destination is a beautiful, exciting place where wishes are fulfilled, goals are reached, and yes, dreams come true. I’m a bit of a romantic by nature, but that’s a good thing because it fuels my optimism and that keeps me moving forward.

Here in Sonora, CA at Gordon studio, the transformation journey starts with training.

Today, I’m writing about the reality that when we start to train, we build muscle, and sometimes, if our goal is to lose fat, and our measure of fat loss is downward movement on the scale, we end up on a weight loss plateau.

I see the commitment and discipline of my students every day, and I see how nervous it can make them when the scale stops moving, so I want to share some strategies that you can use to keep moving toward your fat loss goal.

First, we have to consider whether your basic fat loss/body transformation strategy is dialed in.

Here is that basic strategy:

1. Choose a nutritious whole food plan that satisfies your appetite, while allowing for a moderate energy deficit.

2. Perform transformative exercise consisting of a full body warmup, resistance training, and intervals to shape the body, stimulate fat burning through increased metabolism, and moderate appetite.

30 minutes three times a week is optimal: This has been demonstrated through research, and in my experience at Gordon Studio.

3. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, ideally in a dark room.

I know, I know, in our busy modern world those three elements can be a challenge to bring together, but I trust my clients when they tell me that they are following those three strategies, but fat loss still appears to have stopped.

It may be possible, even likely, that muscle growth is masking fat loss when it

comes to the numbers on the scale, but if frustration is occurring because the scale hasn’t moved in over two weeks (the absolute minimum amount of time that must pass before you even start thinking plateau) here are some strategies you can add to your program that do not include additional calorie cutting.

(Note: nothing is more likely to backfire than further restriction of nutrition, especially if you are doing Turbulence Training, or Shawna’s Challenge Workouts. In my experience, trying to get off a plateau by further restricting food intake leads to overeating blowouts. Then you’re not just stuck- you gain weight.)

1. Drink and record 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day.

Go ahead and argue, but I’ve seen it time and time again- busy people get dehydrated, and I really don’t know any one who can metabolize fat in a state of dehydration. I drink the juice of up to half a lemon in water every day.

Here is the entry from Web MD explaining lemon’s use as a dietary supplement: “Lemon is a plant. The fruit, juice, and peel are used to make medicine.

Lemon is used to treat scurvy, a condition caused by not having enough vitamin C. Lemon is also used for the common cold and flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, ringing in
the ears(tinnitus), Meniere’s disease, and kidney stones. It is also used to aid digestion, reduce pain and swelling (inflammation), improve the function

of blood vessels, and increase urination to reduce fluid retention.

In foods, lemon is used as a food and flavoring ingredient.
How does it work?
Lemon contains antioxidants called bioflavonoids. Researchers think these bioflavonoids are responsible for the health benefits of lemon.”

2. Add 30 minutes of restorative movement 3 times a week.
Restorative movement is walking, yoga, flexibility practice, or any movement that doesn’t go much above a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 on the rating of perceived exertion scale.

Please note that I am not advocating extra cardio. This is so important. My direct experience and observation does show that individuals who are under 35, and who have never had a serious weight problem, do seem to be able to do as much cardio,

aerobics, treadmill running, or elliptical pedaling as they want. But these are not the people who need my expertise. For those of us over 40 who have been seriously or even moderately overweight, extra cardio just seem to increase appetite, and the likelihood of injury.

We do have proof that restorative, very low intensity movement uses fat and preserves muscle, but I think it works because it provides pleasurable movement.

To explain further, I believe that, very often, we over-eat as a pleasure seeking behavior. If you can get that same enjoyment out of movement, that’s a genuine win/win situation.

3. Meditiate.
I can hear you now,
“Who has time to meditate?”
“How do I learn to meditate with out wanting to jump out of my skin?”
“Will meditation interfere with my beliefs?”
I would never recommend any practice that would give you an uneasy conscience, but when I added daily meditation back in 2009, my body and my life went to the next level of transformation. 20 minutes a day with a guided meditation program on my iPod was incredibly effective, and I continue to love this practice to this very day.
Here is a simple meditation you can try today:

Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, and then imagine yourself walking in a beautiful setting in nature. I like to imagine the beach in Malibu CA.

In your meditation, take a walk in your ideal body. What are you wearing? How does it feel to move in this body that you’ve been training, eating, and changing your habits for? Imagine yourself running or jumping, if you wish- use your imagination. You can imagine that you meet friends and loved ones on your walk. Imagine that they respond just the way you would like them to when they see how healthy and happy you look. By exploring how it feels to reach your goal, you re- commit to the behaviors that will get you there.

Finally, I think that we need to find more and more ways to get enjoyment from our healthy transformative habits. I wanted to lose weight and fat in order to live a more fulfilling life, and my students want the same thing.

Very often, pleasurable non-food behaviors help fill the empty space we used to fill

with food.

Hydration, restoration, and meditation might just be the three keys to getting off of that weight loss plateau for good.

My Inspiration

She’s too hard on herself.

No matter what she achieves, she thinks she ought to have done better.

When she works out or trains at the gym, she thinks, “Everyone else here is younger, stronger, and more dedicated than I am.  They deserve the space more than I do.”

Sometimes, she is the least  outwardly fit person in the room, and she thinks,

“What am I doing here?  My friends and family are right, I’m spending too much time trying to get better at  lifting weights and losing fat.  I should be focusing on what matters: working, volunteering, taking care of the people who are important to me.  Am I vain, or just foolish?”

She doesn’t know that she is an inspiration to everyone around her.

When she kneels down to do her push-ups , people don’t think she’s weak.  They see that she is humble.  Her ego  doesn’t choose her level of difficulty, wisdom does.  When she has to pick up  the lightest weight in the rack, (and trust me, she wants to lift more) her fellow trainees  see that form is more important than lifting a weight you can’t control.

No matter how much leaner, stronger, and more beautiful she becomes, she believes that she will never measure up to the beauty of the young and physically gifted women she sees in films, in magazines,  on the internet, or even right next to her in class.

I won’t write your name, but I believe you know who you are.  I’m writing this to you.

Have I felt all of these emotions?  Yes.

I suspect that anyone who reads this here has  felt the same.

I want you to know that when I turn the key in the lock of my little fitness studio, and step in to begin my day of teaching and training, you are my inspiration.

I’m not young either.  All around me are beautiful girls, and strong young men, who can train harder, lift more, and perform feats of fitness that make everyone around them gasp with admiration.

So be it.  I resolve to eat well, train smart, rest and recover, so that I can keep doing this work that  I love.

I am a Fitness Instructor.  Without you my work has no point.

Secret Weapon Breakfast

Eat This: Stay Satisfied For Hours!

Eat This: Stay Satisfied For Hours!

This dish may not be my most beautiful recipe, but it will make you look beautiful.

Cook 3 cups of spinach in 1T coconut oil.  I added onion and red cabbage because it was handy.  I seasoned this with organic ginger, turmeric, and sea salt.  Top with 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, and organic salsa.

I’ve been recommending this breakfast for more than 3 years now because it keeps me full all the way to lunch time, even if I eat as early as 6:30AM.

The secret to letting go of sugar and grains is making sure to get nourished on satisfying food.  Plus, dark leafy greens and colorful vegetables literally make your skin glow with healthy color, and who couldn’t use that this time of year?

Don’t forget to opt in at the right so that you can get The Sugar Freedom Plan at a deep discount when it’s released this December 26th.  It literally contains all of the meals that I used to lose 60 pounds, and keep them off for good.

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water today!