Category Archives: Motivation

The Little Black Dress Challenge Is On.

Begins January 24th

Begins January 24th

Do you know what keeps me up at night as a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist?  This question: is it wrong to focus on appearance more than health?

The ideal figure of the past 40 years has become so thin that fitness professionals need to be cautious about chasing fashion at the expense of health, strength, and vitality.  It’s hard to live a fulfilling life when you’re walking around hungry all the time!

Still, I am so proud of the results my readers and clients have achieved during our challenges.  I asked Cherie, who did our first LBD challenge and lost 10 pounds and 13 inches in six weeks, what I should call the challenge going forward.  She said that “Little Black Dress,” was the right name because it described what she wanted: to look wonderful when dressing up.  She’s right, LBD isn’t about getting super skinny, it’s about looking your best and having confidence, not just on special occasions, but every day.

Plus, the great thing about this challenge is that you can get that tight dress, or pair of pants for the guys, out of the back of the closet, and use it as your gauge for success.  That way it doesn’t need to be all about the scale.

Now here is the best part: anyone who has purchased the Sugar Freedom program is invited to take the challenge as a free bonus!  That’s right: I will send you the new LBD meal plans, and add you to the LBD Challenge group on Facebook if you simply e-mail me with the phrase: LBD Challenge in the subject line.

All I ask is that you drop me a line describing your experience with the program at the end of the challenge.  Join me for accountability, recipes, meal plans, and the training you need to get results at home or the gym.  Training will be posted in the private Facebook group.  If you want a plan designed just for you, e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com, and I will create a plan that takes into account your equipment, skill level, and the number of days per week you have to train, for just $50.

Women and men just like you have literally lost thousands of pounds and inches with my programs, and the LBD Challenge is one of the most popular I have ever presented.  Join us to drop a size by Valentine’s Day, and 2 sizes by the end of the six week challenge.  If you have the Sugar Freedom program, it’s free!

Getting the most out of Sugar Freedom

It’s day six of the six week sugar freedom challenge, and it’s time to establish our ongoing fat release eating and moving pattern.

The goal of this six week program is to learn how to get and stay healthy for life.  It’s a big goal, but we can do it.

Individuals who have a permanent solution for a healthy body learn a way of eating and moving that makes them healthy and happy, and then they keep practicing what they have learned.

You are here to find out if eliminating sugar and grains, lifting weights, and doing interval training gets you to your health goal.  If it works, you learn how to keep it up for life.

The longer I coach, the more evidence I see that this is the best method.  Here is today’s menu, which is an example of how I eat each day.

Wake up:  Freedom Tonic, water.

Morning: Coffee with organic heavy cream: 3T maximum for the day.

Breakfast: 1/2 cup organic Greek yogurt. 1 oz. walnuts.  1 cup blueberries

Lunch: 1-2 chicken thighs, mixed green salad with oil and vinegar dressing, 1 cup broccoli, 1t butter

Dinner: Repeat lunch.  Add ons: 1/2 avocado, 2T salsa.

I don’t snack because I simply have no appetite for it, and my clients and readers generally report the same thing.  If you find yourself hungry, have a hard boiled egg, celery with salsa, or an extra serving of  the protein you have made for the day.

The way to win on this program is to simply eat more of what is already on the menu if you get hungry.  Just don’t go off plan by eating sugary or starchy foods.  This keeps your appetite under control, and that is the key to your success.

Leave me any comments of questions you have so that you can get results.

Get the program at www.sugarfreedom.com

 

Three Diet Fixes You Can Use Right Now

Three Diet Fixes You Can Use Right Now

1.  Find out exactly how much you are eating with www.fatsecret.com

Fat secret is a totally free, easy to use, and accurate food and calorie tracker that gives you the information you need in order to be confident that you are following your food plan correctly.  For example, if you are starting a Ketogenic diet, you need to make sure that you are eating 20 grams or less of carbohydrates a day in order to get into nutritional ketosis for the first time.

If you are training to build muscle, you may be following the advice to get one gram of protein per pound of your lean body weight.  It’s pretty hard to get the results you want if you’re guessing, so it’s always best to have an accurate tracking program.

2.  Simplify Your Menus

You don’t need to prepare elaborate meals in order to create satisfying meals that you actually want to eat.  As a matter of fact, studies show that a little less variety helps to reduce appetite.  That way you eat less automatically.  This is a strategy I have literally been using for years, and it never fails.

Here’s how:  I pick 3 proteins, 3 carbs, and 3 fats as the basis of my meals for the day.  I have even used the same foods for 3 days in a row if I absolutely have to shed fat fast.  Here is an example of a daily meal plan using this tip:

Proteins:  Eggs, Shrimp, Chicken.  Carbohydrates: Avocado, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes.  Fats: Cream, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs, 1/4 avocado, shrimp.

Lunch: Chicken breast, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, 1/4 avocado

Dinner: Shrimp, romaine lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg.

Olive oil and vinegar dressing, and 1T home made mayo (made with avocado oil, 1 egg yolk, lemon juice, and cider vinegar) are included to make these meals enjoyable without over stimulating my appetite.

3. Slow Down and Chew Every Bite.

Recently, I was shocked to learn that eating too fats was a common cause of stomach bloating.  Imagine, instead of doing all those crunches that really don’t help to get you a flatter belly, you could simply slow down and enjoy your food.

Try this experiment: see what happens when you try to chew each bite 30 times.  By practicing the 30 bite technique, a healthy sewing pace of 20 per bite will become natural and normal.

My readers, clients, and I can assure you that quick fixes like these have helped us lose up to 5 pounds in three days.

If you want to simplify your workout, I highly recommend The Venus Factor plan that you can find at this link: ===>Click Here<===

I used this program to get fantastic results before I became a personal trainer.  The entire program can be done with Dumb Bells, which is a big plus if you train at home, or in a busy gym where the bar bells and the squat rack are often taken!

I hope this report was helpful, and I want you to e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you need tips, strategy, or coaching to help you reach your goals.

P.S.: E-mail me if you want to join the free Facebook Accountability Challenge that starts September 6th.

Free Weight Loss Accountability Challenge

It’s been eight weeks since the floor literally blew up at Gordon Studio.

The doors are closed, much of the equipment sold, and everything I kept is put away in its place.

It has been wonderful to get back in the gym, and return to the training that changed my body and my life eight years ago.

So many times, I have pursued the latest thing in diet and exercise in order to get leaner faster.

Every time I have had to face the fact that I can’t get greedy and try to cut my calories too low, while making my training sessions too long.

In my case, that always leads to rebellious over eating, skipped workouts, and beating myself up for fooling  myself again.

Does any of that sound familiar to you?

I don’t stay down for long though.  My solution is to get back to what works:

No sugar, grains, or processed vegetable oils in my food plan, a limit of twenty grams of carbs per day until my appetite is obviously reduced, and three weight lifting sessions per week without fail.

I add bodyweight training, yoga, or dance class two times per week, and I make sure I do activities I enjoy on my two recovery days like gardening, walking with my husband and son, and training and romping with my dogs.

The one thing that guarantees that I will take all of these actions is accountability from a like minded group of individuals who are pursuing clear fitness goals.

If this style of health training sounds good to you, this is my invitation to join me starting September 6th for a four week accountability challenge in the closed Facebook group: Sugar Freedom/LBD Challenge.  The group is free to join.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/972825209446395/  and click the join button in the cover image.

If you would like meal plans, tailored training sessions, or coaching by phone or Skype, please e-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com by August 29th.   Tailored plans are $50.00 for a limited time, and weekly coaching is $250.00 for the 4 week session.

Let’s get leaner, stronger, and happier together.

 

Adobe Spark

Before. After. Still.

Do you know the definition of insanity?

Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

But wait. It gets crazier.

The next level of insanity is knowing what to do, and refusing to do it. I can’t blame people, or myself for that matter, for trying to just eat less and move more. Really, if that worked wouldn’t we all have our dream bodies?

You see, we have to move beyond “Eat Less and Move More” by cutting fat and increasing cardio, to figuring out how to eat and move so that we satisfy and reduce appetite spontaneously.

How do we do that? Simple. We reduce or even eliminate the appetite stimulating foods like sugar, grains, and starches form our eating plan, and we eliminate appetite stimulating exercise like moderate intensity, steady state cardio from our movement plan.

Back in 2008 I cut the sugar and the cardio, and I got my dream body.

Then I went insane and started doing hours and hours of cardio again.

I gained back 15 pounds. What was I thinking? Oh right: I was insane.

I had actually reached the third level of insanity: I knew what to do in order to achieve a physical transformation. I had actually done it, and helped over a dozen people do the same thing by that point.

Then I stopped. I call that the third level of insanity.

Then I got wise. I gave up the cardio, and I stopped trying to cheat on my food plan.

Thank Heaven, my figure came back.

The most foolish mistakes I have ever made happened when I ignored my instincts in order to be popular or please someone else. Perhaps that’s the best definition of insanity that I can come up with.

I can only hope that whatever plan you follow, Sugar Freedom and TT, or something else, that when you find what works for you, you will stick with it. Find your solution, and then trust yourself. it will save you a lot of time and heartache.

Before

Before

After

After

Still

Still

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.