Plexus Day Four

First Mix: 8:45am

I still am not loving the taste. I mix my slim with 20oz of water, which is the max of the range recommended. And still I have to force it down. The aftertaste is interesting and I always drink my regular glass of water right after finishing the slim.
I haven’t noticed any difference in my body yet. I get a slight headache immediately after finishing slim. It abated yesterday at lunchtime so if the pattern holds, this won’t last long. I likely will skip this afternoon’s slim as well and stick to one a day.
Skeptical thought:

I’ve seen many people say the slim has reduced their craving for caffeine in the morning so they don’t feel the need to have their coffee.
I have a few thoughts on this.
1. In the morning, I know reaching for a cup of coffee is a habit for me. It’s routine. It is enjoyable and comfortable to start my day with a sweet coffee. Perhaps people don’t crave the coffee because they have replaced their routine cup of joe with a routine cup of pink. Placebo? Maybe.
2. The slim does contain some amount of caffeine. Maybe those who claim to have a reduced craving for their coffee get enough of a fix from the slim.
3. Maybe it does work in reducing caffeine and sugar cravings. Im not sure.

Conclusion:

For now, I am leaning towards a combination of 1 and 2. I have a reduced urge to buy my dunks coffee in the morning because I already have a 20oz beverage and my 32oz water bottle. Putting more liquid in my stomach first thing in the morning just isn’t happening. Also, I am a creature of habit so having the to-go cup of slim is a similar feeling to me.
Has my urge to eat sugar decreased? Barely. I have had slightly less of an urge to eat sugar, but I believe that is due to my mentality using this product. I am trying to be “healthier” while taking slim, right? So I’m drinking my water and adding the slim and working out…. eating soft serve ice cream or having chips kind of feels like cheating. So is the reduced urge for sugar a real result of the product or a result of a determined mentality to commit to be healthier? Despite my doubts of the product’s effectiveness, I WANT it to work. I obviously would love to see results and be healthier. But I want to be factual too… Hmm. I’ll be keeping an eye on my cravings and get back to you on that.

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Dear Coach: Losing Weight

Clients: You’re lucky you’re so skinny/toned/small/etc/etc/etc……..
Me: It’s not luck!!!


As a personal trainer, I think it’s really important to be able to relate to my clients when it comes to fitness goals. Most of my clients assume I’m just one of those special, lucky people who are naturally thin and fit without even trying – one of those extremely blessed people who can eat literally anything they want, as much of it as they want, and not gain a pound. But that isn’t me. While my weight loss total wasn’t over the top or as significant as most, it still counts and it certainly gave me insight on how difficult it is to lose weight!

When I was a senior in high school, I gained about ten pounds. Part of this was travelling abroad and experiencing Spain’s diverse foods to the fullest and part of it was not continuing to exercise when my team sports seasons ended. A big part of this was being social all summer with my friends, going out for ice cream every chance we got before jetting off to college.

My freshman year of college at UMass Amherst, I gained even more weight. The “Freshman Fifteen” is real people – especially at a school like UMass where the dining is delicious and all you can eat. Not to mention that if you want it to be, the drinking scene can be heavy.

By the time I was heading into sophomore year of college (I transferred to Gordon at this time), I was over 135 pounds. I had never weighed more than 120 in my life. I’m not extremely tall, about 5’6″, so 135 is on the upper end of an average weight. But I was clearly not muscular, not toned, and definitely not fitting into my old jeans.

That spring, I really took to the gym and started eating healthier. I lost about 5 pounds over break and came back feeling awesome about it. So that summer, I decided to forego all ice cream excursions and dedicate myself to getting my cardio in every week. It wasn’t just one thing I changed, but my whole lifestyle. I slowly cut out junk food to the point where I didn’t even crave it anymore. The gym became a haven where I could de-stress and love the work my body could do. The roads of my town became my treadmill and I revelled in making it farther and farther on each run.

By the time I went back for my junior year, I lost all the weight I had put on and then some. I fluctuated between 115-120, but continued my healthy eating habits and exercise routines. Maybe losing 15-20 pounds doesn’t sound like much. But it was a lot to me! I could see the difference and feel the difference physically, emotionally, and mentally. I had more energy, was happier and more focused, and I felt more confident and motivated in other aspects of my life.

Photo Jun 20, 6 52 52 AM Photo Jun 20, 6 53 52 AM

[After freshman year of college (2011) I was at my heaviest (left photos). Most notable is the weight in my face (chubby cheeks!) and arms. Right photos are 2014 and 2012 respectively.]

Photo Jun 20, 6 55 34 AM Photo Jun 20, 6 57 34 AM

[Again, left photos are all 2010-2011. Right photos are 2012 and 2014. Again, the weight in my cheeks and arms is most notable, but I also lost quite a few inches around my waist and stomach.]

No matter what your fitness goal is, it’s important to do it for YOU and only you. Be determined and love yourself. Give yourself the credit you deserve when you get closer to your goal. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen over night. Surround yourself with people who understand what it’s like – what it’s like to strive toward your goal, what it’s like to slip up and fall off track, what it’s like to lose motivation and get down on yourself, what it’s like to crave dessert, what it’s like to feel your body burn during your workout, what it’s like to achieve that goal.

I always tell my clients that I certainly did NOT always look the way I do now. And I still have fitness goals I want to achieve. There is a reason I always refer to your fitness journey as a journey, and it’s because you’ll never be “done”. Even when you achieve your goal, there’s always another one to strive for, or at least maintain.

I was really discouraged when I finally realized I had put on 20 pounds and could barely do a push up or run a decent mile. But I’m glad I went through that journey because it’s allowed me to relate to all my clients who have weight loss goals and struggles. I can get personal and honestly say, “I’ve been there, I GET IT.” It’s hard, and it takes time and dedication, but it’s a day to day process. We’ll get there.

  

 [Present. 2015]

-Coach A

Oh, Cardio

The journey toward your fitness goals is an intricate path. Various components contribute or detract from your success in achieving the goals you set for yourself. Diet and nutrition is a large part of the story, as is strength training and exercising. The third leg of this journey is cardio.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with cardio. If you’re working hard and doing it right, it can stink! But boy, do you feel great after it’s over… The benefits of doing cardio are undeniable. Your muscles get stronger, your heart rate improves, you burn calories and lose weight… It’s a key contributor to achieving just about any fitness goal!

But why do most people skip it? Most likely, you haven’t found the cardio that’s right for you. Getting your cardio in doesn’t have to mean running for 30 minutes on a treadmill, or using an elliptical for 45 minutes… There are many ways to get your cardio in AND enjoy it! Below are just a few suggestions, now that the weather is warm and sunny and the outdoors isn’t totally off limits!

  • Walking – Walk outside around the park, or around a scenic lake or beach boardwalk for 30-45 minutes to get your cardio in. You’ll be able to people-watch, enjoy the view and the sounds, and get some sunshine.
  • Hiking – Take some friends or family and hike a mountain! There are local trails nearby that will get the heart pumping. You won’t even feel like you’re doing cardio and walking for miles, but you are. Plus, you totally get to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Rock Climbing – Work your arms and back and get some cardio in by rock climbing. It doesn’t have to be up high! You can traverse sideways, a foot or two off the ground, and get just as much of a workout. There are various local areas to do this in and outside.
  • Dancing – Sign up for a dance class, go out to a dance event in a local bar, or just go nuts at home! Really moving and grooving for 30-45 minutes gets your heart rate going and works your legs and arms.
  • Zumba – Similar to dancing but incorporating more strength exercises, Zumba is a great way to get your cardio in.
  • Bike Ride – With this gorgeous weather, I’m sure you’ve seen tons of bikers out in there bright gear taking up the roadways. Well, join them! Dust off your bike and get on the road this weekend. If you’re feeling confident, bike to work with your lunch and a change of clothes in a backpack. Biking outside is a great way to get your cardio in without feeling claustrophobic in a gym. You’re outside – you can enjoy the wind and sun, see so many different things on your route, and change up your ride with hills and turns.
  • Community Rec-League/Pick-Up – Many towns and cities have local sports clubs for people looking to engage in a fun sport activity with low intensity on the rules. Playing kickball, baseball, or basketball on a local recreational team, or even just getting in on some pick-up basketball at the public courts down the street, is a great way to change up your cardio routine.
  • Play a Childhood Game – Do you have kids, nieces and nephews, grandkids?! Then you have an excuse to run a game of tag, flag football, kickball, or any other game you may have enjoyed as a child. Even if you don’t have little ones for an excuse, get some friends together on the weekend to enjoy a fun game, socialize, and get your cardio in!

I hope you enjoy some of these fresh, new ideas for cardio and take advantage of them! Cardio doesn’t have to be boring! You can still get your 30-45 minutes of cardio in, be fit, have fun, and socialize all at once 🙂