Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Guest Post from Stephanie Mansour, Step it Up with Steph, Fitness and Body Image Expert
We encourage you to pop over to Stephanie’s site and check out what she can do for you.
One of my clients came to me recently regarding her New Year’s Resolutions list, which included wanting to lose 10 pounds. At halfway through the year, she was successful with all her resolutions except weight loss. She was baffled. I asked her to read to me the resolutions she had written out. They included:
And this was what her weight loss resolution said:
Obviously, this statement was in a totally different form than her resolutions which had already come true. According to her weight loss statement, the reason she should lose weight was because she hated her body. How could you possibly do good things for your body to lose weight (i.e. exercising regularly, eating healthfully, and taking care of your body), if you claim to hate your body?
Here are some guidelines for writing a successful weight loss mantra such as the one that has now totally transformed my client’s life:
If you’ve written down a goal in a negative context, such as “lose weight, stop hating my body, avoid being seen in a bikini, etc.,” then turn this phrase into something positive.
Example: “I want to lose 10 lbs because I hate my body” becomes: “I am healthy and fit because I love my body and want to take care of myself.”
Example: “I’m working out, so I can stop hating my body” becomes: “I work out because it makes me feel good about myself.”
Example: “I’m being healthy and fit because I don’t want to avoid being seen in my bikini” becomes: “I am healthy and fit because I love the way my clothes fit and look on me.”
You are then reprogramming your subconscious to start acting like your goal is already happening in your life. As well, include a relevant, motivating reason that drives that goal. Link your goal to the benefit it brings you, such as feeling well rested or being a worker who deserves a raise.
What weight loss or fitness statements have you tried? What was the motivator that drove that goal?
Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up with Steph, is a nationally known Health & Fitness Expert and Body Image & Confidence Coach. She’s a reality TV show trainer, helping her client lose 80+ lbs in 12 weeks on NBC Chicago’s “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” Her workbook and One Day Intensive program are a hit among women. She combines yoga, Pilates, personal training, and body image & confidence coaching for a holistic approach to health & fitness and also gives corporate presentations. With her no diets/no guilt mentality, she’s dramatically changing the way women everywhere view food and exercise.
As our parents (and grandparents) age, they tend to lose a lot of their strength, mobility and balance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sarcopenia (progressive decline in skeletal muscle mass…that may lead to decreased strength and functionality) is common among older adults, but exercise can help prevent muscle wasting (yup, the article in the link is by OUR Alexandra).
In honor of Father’s Day, and all fathers (mothers can do this workout too) who need more strength and mobility, we have created a functional, achievable mini-workout. Have your favorite fairly inactive older adult try it and let us know how it goes![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ordMc5oBDM[/youtube]
Cardio: 10 minutes
* Lower body – foot movement
* Upper body – arms and torso movement
If you use music, 150-160 bpm is ideal for really working up a sweat in this seated workout
* Sit to Stand – 10 reps – leg & core strength
* Wall Push-ups – 10-15 reps – upper body & core strength
* One- arm reach and rotate – 10 on each side – core strength, flexibility and balance
Heck, why not try it out yourself? It’s effective! May all our dads be around to enjoy good health for many years!
We talk about QiDance by Qignition a lot for two reasons: 1) we love it; 2) people are curious. These are the most common questions, with our uncommon responses:
What is QiDance?A pre-choreographed group fitness program that has music and moves that take you on a tour around the world. For example, one song could be disco (see how we put that one first? There’s no denying the rumor that Fun and Fit are disco queens beyond compare. Way beyond), the next jazz, another funk, then Latin, followed by Bhangra. We love the variety and the fact that it’s just plain fun. And just in case you missed it, did we mention our love of disco?
Do you have to have dance skills? Er, well, if you saw us trying to do the “snake” move, you’d know the answer is “no.”
What makes the music so enticing and entrancing? – (Okay, no-one has worded the question quite like that. Mostly they say, “what kind of songs?”) All of the songs are written specifically for QiDance by Kike Santander, a superstar songwriter who has won numerous Grammys creating and producing for artists such as Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, and and and….. He’s also trained as a medical doctor, so everything at Qigntion is geared toward “turning on” your life in a holistic way.
How do you actually pronounce “Qignition?” – On a phone call with our colleague Linda McHugh, the director of Qignition’s operations, we had to ask her to say it three times before we got it right! So it isn’t just you asking. All is revealed in this interview with Kike, including the proper way to say his name!
Where is it offered? “I don’t live in Santa Barbara, but I really want to take the class.” – The fine, busy folks at Qignition are working to get instructors trained as quickly as possible, as the demand is so strong around the country. If your club doesn’t offer it yet, ask for it. The training is free for instructors and clubs, so it really is as easy as asking for it. Of course, we encourage you to come to Santa Barbara and take OUR class. We are awesomely, astonishingly fantastic. Except for that snake move.
In the meantime, this video “sizzle” reel will give you a good feel for the spark and style that is QiDance.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L21UfXD4WqU[/youtube]
Will I ever get to meet Kike Santander in person? Maybe, if you live in Florida. But don’t get any ideas; he’s married. We know, due to
our efficient groupie behavior good research.
We love your comments and questions. They help us convince our children that we have friends, no matter how imaginary!
And a shout out to BlueFish Sport for the cute outfit they provided Alexandra in the picture above.
Kymberly: We hear your cry, louder than a baby’s and are here with good news/ bad news. The good news: we wrote a post called Wave Bye Bye to Baby Weight on this very subject that is loaded with help for your exact situation. Start by reading that and trying those exercises. More good news: We created a video with a super tummy tightening abs exercise that is a waistline definer plus all-over core strengthener. Try the Side Lying Plank Rotation Move and feel the challenge right away.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyXmkqRxG4M[/youtube]
As for the bad news: You’ve got to get a move-on as summer is fast approaching. You are going to need to add more mid- to high-intensity cardio activity to your routine to burn the extra fat you may still be carrying.
Alexandra: Your tummy weight is probably two things – muscles that haven’t paid rent in a long time (possibly with stretched skin on top), and extra fat. The muscles can be toned via the video we made just for you, as well as via these other posts: Fab Abs 1, Fab Abs 2, and Fab Abs 3 (do those sound like 3 seasons of Absolutely Fabulous)?
As my sister mentions above, you will need to do some intense cardio to burn off the extra weight. I don’t know if you gave birth via the Big C or the Just Right V, but if it was the latter, you probably don’t like jumping activities, right? I pushed out two big-headed boys and hate to jump ‘cause it feels like I’m going to pee my pants. (Men, don’t read this bit…jumping actually does make me pee my pants. I hate that, and yes, I do my Kegels. And my kids are teens now. They had BIG heads). We have a post called “Move Your Duff if You Want to Get Buff,” which goes into the “short time frame, big fitness goals,” but you might wish to do your high intensity in the pool or stick more with moderate-intensity and lose the excess weight a wee bit slower. Me, I prefer that path to buff glory! Try Step, stroller-based classes or QiDance.
Readers who have given birth and fought that “baby” weight after at least a year: What worked for you?
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Yet that is what we see from a lot of stairstepper and treadmilling exercisers. Ouch and WTH?! (“What the Heck” – we don’t cuss ‘round these parts much).
At any given moment we can go into the cardio equipment area of a gym and see people working super hard. Yet their form denies them cardio benefits while stressing joints. Don’t let this be you!
Three major no-nos we see involve:
Take a look at our priceless video demo.
Then check your form next time you hit the climber or treadmill. Go for natural arm swing, not death grip on the machine. If you can let go of the side or front bars and stay vertical you are probably doing it right! If your hair looks good when you are done, you are probably doing it light! Ahh ahha. For the record, we shot this footage before Kymberly’s new haircut. You’ll have to return to see the new do. Did “the do” do or didn’t it?
Dear Climber-Stepper buddies: Are you a wrist leaner? Horse reins grabber? Do you even know what Alexandra is talking about relative to “Lost in Translation?”
by Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Alexandra: Yes, or no – Do you think working out sucks?
Before you answer that, ask yourself a few other questions:
These are some of the questions Chuck Runyon, the CEO and co-founder of Anytime Fitness poses in Working Out Sucks. Whatever we’ve been doing over the past few decades to get fit and healthy, it isn’t working. We are less fit and less healthy, and our children are expected to have shorter life spans that we are. I don’t want that for my kids.
The mind tells the body what to do and Runyon and his co-authors, Rebecca DeRossett, a therapist and registered dietitian, and Brian Zehetner, a conditioning professional, share a lot of expert information about ways to train yourself out of bad habits and into better ones. I thought the book would be “in your face” and it is, but not in a blaming, name-calling way. More in a sincerely concerned, “Save your own life and money” kind of way.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dvwv1Dwk6V0[/youtube]
Kymberly: Bottom line — the main message of the book is that the consequences of NOT working out suck more than exercise. Yes, inactivity super suckity sucks the most.
If you are someone who needs a boot in the booty; motivation and information to get your giddy up a goin’; a straight shot of “no excuses” advice, then take a read. But move as soon as you put the book down for goodness’ sake!
Fair warning given — the three authors have oodles of personality and do not mind sharing opinions. Are you someone who needs a “no more lame excuses” smackdown to get started on the journey to better health and all around fit-tastic-ness? Do you like stats and quotes that rouse you? Most controversial and misunderstood example: “Money is allergic to fat people.” You will then respond to the opening chapter-ettes that are designed to get you out of your snuggie and into the gym or outdoors.
The later sections help you change any sabotaging behaviors and set a plan for your eating and (dare we say) workouts. “Move a muscle; move a feeling,” is one side benefit of being active. Yes, you really will feel better if you follow the authors’ advice.
Alexandra: Most people hate exercise because it seems like punishment, Even though we at Fun and Fit are all about finding ways to make fitness fun, Runyon’s perspective is more like, “Hey, so exercise might be punishment, but the alternatives are far worse, so get going.” He’s the nagging mom; we’re the teen who knows we should be doing our homework but have procrastinated till it’s almost too late. If you want to get an “A” in life, lace up your shoes, dust off your sweats and do your push-ups!
K and A: Why do we mention push-ups? Because Anytime Fitness puts their money where their LOUD mouth is, and are giving a free one-year membership to one of the participants in our Push-ups for Patriots challenge. To find out why 212 push-ups a day for 31 days does NOT suck, read the post.
And if you want to be entered to win your own copy of Working Out Sucks. you just have to ‘fess up in the comments about an excuse you’ve used to avoid working out. You can also enter to win by tweeting about the giveaway using the hashtag #WorkingOutSucks. Then link to this post or either of us on Twitter so we’ll know you tweeted. We have four copies to give away, so comment at will! While jogging in place! We’ll announce the winners on January 30th, the same day as the #WorkingOutSucks tweetchat.
If you do not win one of our giveaway copies and can use a solid, thorough, easy-to-follow guided tour to start on the path to a better and more active life, buy the book. It includes a 21-day nutrition and fitness plan, AND two coupons in the back for a free 30-Day Anytime Fitness club pass or a one-year Anytime Health online membership. These are worth more than the price of the book, but hey, if you win one, it’s worth waaaaaaay more than the price you paid! Even sweeter, 100% of book proceeds go to support Limbs for Life, a non-profit organization that provides prosthetics to those in need.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Readers: Did working out ever suck for you? If so, did you overcome that feeling? How?
We took this video of our walk through a butterfly grove in the Santa Barbara area. We are hoping to entice you all to make a visit here! We’ll take you on a walk AND invite you to our exercise classes![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jeahZ4VRiE[/youtube]
Exercise Tip #1: Strolling through a butterfly grove and along the ocean counts as exercise.
Exercise Tip #2: You don’t have to sweat to be active.
Exercise Tip #3: Go with a friend (and possibly a video camera) to make it more fun.
Bonus Santa Barbara tip: Here is information about the butterfly season and grove from our local paper.
Readers: What are some of your favorite walking spots?
Photo credit: Randy son of Robert
by Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Health and beauty are inside jobs! Body image and a “perfect physique” are matters of perspective, culture, history, and whatever the mass media tells us.
Can you say “Mixed Messages?” Don’t believe us? Take a brief tour through past wistful wishes for va-va-voom figures. Look at what people were willing to do to achieve that “look du decade.”
Don’t make us talk about you years from now! Our gift to you as we wrap up — no, not gifts. We are not that organized! — Work the look you already have. Embrace it; Look it in the eye and say “Ell-bees – you and I are going into the New Year together baby, guilt- and stress-free!”
Whoa now you Vixens, Dashers, and Red Nosed sorts! Don’t go overboard — or is that “oversleigh?” We said give yourself some body-lovin’ self-acceptance while staying active, not plunk down your hiney so finey!
We want YOU in our classes. We teach group classes because the people in them are the ginchiest and grooviest. And after more than 30 years of teaching, we can definitely say that almost everyone walks in to the exercise room for the first time with one thought in mind: “This is freakin’ scary!” How can we possibly know that? Because new students always come up and tell us. Not in those words. More like, “I haven’t worked out before. I can’t keep up with all these people. I don’t see anyone who looks like me. I don’t think I’ll last the entire time. I’m not coordinated.” These are the most common, but they all mean essentially the same thing.
I want THIS lady in my classes. She makes me feel happy!
People who teach group fitness do so because they love working with people. You are that person! When you’re in the group fitness room, all you need is a willing attitude and desire to try your best. So take a deep breath, remind yourself that the people in the club were once just as scared as you, and step into the light with these tips in mind:
Be aware that we (by “we” we mean all humans) tend to see what we are looking for. If you think you are going to hit the front desk and be whumped upside the eyeballs by “perfect bodies,” that is exactly what you will notice. If you can take a deep, yogic or aerobic breath and look again, you will notice something fabulous — “regular” people actually inhabit gyms. All ages, all sizes, all shapes, all kinds of fashion statements, all levels of everything. What they ALL have in common is a desire to avoid embarrassment; a desire to be healthier; to be more energetic; to be loved; to have friends; to have a low stress life; to enjoy their bodies more each day.
We leave you with a true and somewhat humorous story — in our 20s we taught at a small studio. The owner was one of those “ideal” bodies. And she was also beautiful and kind. Genetic Freak! A potential member came in to the studio to inquire about the classes. She took one look at the owner and remarked, “Oh, I could never look like that.” Then she spotted us. You wouldn’t run screaming from us, but we aren’t perfect. We are fun! Anyway, the woman pointed over toward us and said to the girl at the front desk, “But I could look like that.” So we have called ourselves the Attainable Goals ever since. We hope you’ll come be an attainable goal with us!
Readers: If you are new to exercise, what would it take to get you into the group fitness room? If you’re a regular exerciser, what could you do to make a new person feel included?
This post is part of a series inspired by Leah Segedie of Mamavation that has bloggers uniting to find ways to make everyone feel welcome in fitness settings. Please read the other posts right here! And please tweet our post using the #CreatingABetterFit hashtag so we can be included in the conversation. Thank you!
1. No-one else is at the gym. People are all out shopping and eating on the run, which means you can run on the treadmills and ellipticals without having to wait. And the gym trainers will be more available to help you figure out how those totally confusing computer programs work on the machines. Yeah, I’ve been teaching for over 25 years, but still do not know how to program the cursed treadmills. Damn things buck me off every time – video to prove it! * * (Stay posted for that video in a future post)
2. It’s cold in December. Exercise makes you warm. Just ask our friend Scott over at Your Inner Skinny. He lives in the part of Canada that no-one goes to on purpose, and it’s currently -42C, which is something like -3,956 in Fahrenheit. So get moving, you’ll warm up. Hug sweaty Canadians! Then steal their down parkas.
3. It’s the gifting season, and what better gift is there than making yourself healthier, which means you’ll probably live longer, and your kids will have you around for a long time, and you’ll be able to do stuff with them without getting exhausted, and your insurance will cost less, and you’ll feel and look better and you’ll get so strong and energetic that you’ll have the strength to read this very long, “make your high school English teacher crazy” run-on sentence.
4. Your stress levels will go down. Yup, exercise reduces stress. Even if you’re “downright out of shape,” as this Mayo Clinic article states. Holiday Season = Stress Hits the Up Elevator. Exercise = Stress Hits the Down Elevator. So basically, if you are a fan of higher math like I am, that means December will be just as relaxing as the beach in July once you start exercising.
5. You can get a good spot in the group exercise classes before the New Year’s crowd gets in the room. And everyone is in a festive mood, so they’ll be even more welcoming than usual. Instructor ad right here – professional group fitness instructors are always welcoming, and they set a good example for “their” students, so in truth you’ll be welcomed year-round. But they’ll share their eggnog and smile when they ask your name in December.
6. You will avoid the somewhat unrealistic (cough, cough) expectation that you can get fit on the morning of December 31st in time for the evening’s party. Much more realistic (as in “not really”) is to start a wee bit sooner. Since you can safely sustain a weight loss of 1 ½ to 2 pounds per week, if you start today you will be about 6 or 7 pounds lighter by New Year’s. If you’re thinking, “Hey, my goal is 35 pounds. What good is 6 or 7,” my answer is this – you’ll be 1/6th (oh, crap, math again. Yes, I estimated) of the way there. But, your outlook and how you feel will be 75% of the way there, because research (our BFF) says that you will start to view yourself as an exerciser, which means your habits will change to meet that self-image. In straight-talk, that means you’ll feel like a total hottie at the party. That is way cool!
7. You will save money. You will have more energy. You will look better. You will feel better. You will meet a lot of cool people. Your math skills will improve. You’ll get an end of year tax deduction…One of these may be false. Hint: Exercise makes you smarter, so it’s actually quite possible your math skills will improve. For example, I was going to write 10 Reasons, but got bogged down when I carried the 1, multiplied the 0, subtracted the junk food, added the Lycra and Voila!!!, ended up with 7 Reasons!
Remember December as the month you did the Zoom Zoom for your Boom Boom! If you come to Santa Barbara, we’ll even let you into our classes for free!
Dear Reader: What reason to start exercising now would you add to this list?