Tag Archive for transformation

Why Is It So Hard to Change?

Why is it so hard to change?

IMG_8563This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

Mainly because after 2 years of “wanting” something, I finally dug in and started DOING it.

As many of you know, I competed in the NPC Bikini division in 2009. I did 2 competitions and then hopped on a roller coaster of disordered eating and a poor relationship with food shortly after.

It took me over 2 years to pull myself out of that hole and learn to love myself again. I literally defined myself by my weight at that point and just felt like such a failure.

When I finally decided that I needed to love myself and move on, it became easier. I was able to make a change for the better, and although it certainly didn’t happen overnight, I pulled myself out of disordered eating and started having a normal relationship with food again.

That was change #1. Even though I had wanted it for 2 years, it wasn’t until I was READY, that I was able to make that change.

Now I sit here today and I’m once again curious about what it was that allowed me to make this change (Operation: Get Lean).

For the last 2 years, having felt that my relationship with food was good and feeling like I had regained control of myself, I decided I wanted to get lean again. I had the best of intentions, but for some reason, could not make it happen. I wasn’t gaining weight or doing anything detrimental, but just simply not allowing myself to eat in a deficit that was needed for fat loss.

So for 2 years, my body stayed relatively the same.

Finally, 6 weeks ago, I was able to turn that corner and start changing. So I’ve spent a lot of time looking into myself and wondering what it was about THIS TIME that was different.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

I was truly ready. While I felt I was ready before, I wasn’t. I wanted to be lean, but I wanted to eat whatever I wanted more.

My life is really hectic lately, and while you may think that would make this harder, it’s made it easier. This is the one thing I feel in control of. It is the one thing that I can do and nobody can stop me.

I needed to fail. This was a big one. In order to really dig in, I needed to fail. I needed to trip up so many damn times that I finally had enough. I needed to recognize that if I continued half-assing it, I would continue getting the same results.

I needed someone tough in my corner. I needed someone who would not take anything less than 100%. Because the people that told me I could get away with 80-90%? I took it to heart and didn’t try as hard. But when you have a coach that literally calls you out when you give anything less than your best? When it is someone you trust and respect? Well you better bet you’re going to push yourself as hard as I can. It’s human nature to want to impress those who you look up to.

What this has really shown me is that anything is possible. It truly reminded me that you can fall 2304823 times and STILL get back up and move forward.

I think that is where a lot of people give up. They’ve tried so many times that they’re embarrassed to even admit that they’re trying again. I was in that position too! Hell, I’m a freaking personal trainer that writes a health and fitness blog. And I couldn’t achieve my own fat loss goals? Talk about feeling embarrassed. My life revolves around this stuff and I couldn’t make it work for myself. I GET YOU.

But I wasn’t ready. I WANTED to be ready, but I wasn’t. And if there is anything you can take away from my experience, it’s that you should never stop trying. I know you hear that ALL THE TIME. But it’s true. Because I did fail A LOT. What I didn’t do, was stop trying. I didn’t even believe in myself when I started this 6 weeks ago. The first 2 weeks I literally felt like at any moment, I would sabotage myself. But I put my willpower into play and just kept going. And now? I feel like me again. I believe in myself again. I KNOW what I’m capable of. I’m still not done yet, and there is still plenty of work to do. There will be much harder times, and I know and expect that. I also know that I can get through it all. I’ve gained that confidence through this process. Nobody can stop me.

If any of this resonates with you, know you’re not alone. And in fact, you’re probably in the majority. If you’re sitting there feeling like a failure. Like you’ve given up and don’t want to try anymore, just keep trying. You may not be ready yet, but eventually you WILL be ready. As long as you don’t give up. Fight the urge to quit. Unless your goals and ideals have changed (in which case, you change your course), you must keep going.

If you’re ever in need of support, I have a great group of people in a private Facebook group and we’re constantly sharing our achievements and struggles. If you’d like to be a part of that group, just send me an e-mail at fitlizzio@gmail.com

Here’s to YOU. YOU can do this, your goals are within reach, just don’t give up.

Operation: GET LEAN Update #2

Happy Friday peeps!

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#workmode

I wanted to pop in and give you an update on Operation: GET LEAN!

In my last update, I was feeling really good and like I had finally gotten in the right head-space for this.

I’m happy to say that I feel even more dialed in today than I did then!

STATS:

Starting Weight: 152 lbs

Weight Today: 145.4 lbs

I’ve lost:

  • 1 inch in my waist
  • 0 inches in my bootay (that will be the last to go for sure..)
  • .75 inches in each leg
  • 2 inches in my chest (REALLY?! ugh haha)
  • 1.5 inches on my hips
  • 0.5 inches on each arm

Are these crazy numbers? No. But 5.75 inches in 6 weeks is fine by me. I’m not trying to win a race, I’m just trying to lean out and be healthy. Progress is progress and as long as I’m moving in the right direction, that’s all that matters to me.

What I’m Doing:

I’m lifting 4 days per week, with 1 ab circuit each week.

No cardio. (except for 1 baseball game I play every Sunday and the occasional rollerblading by the beach, which only happens about once every 2-3 weeks)

I think that’s one of the biggest things that makes people’s jaw drop.

“What?? No cardio?? How is that possible?!”

“I have to do cardio everyday!!! How are you doing that?!”

The truth is, quitting daily cardio was the best thing I ever did for ME. It doesn’t mean cardio is BAD by any means. In fact, a little bit of cardio is good for you. And if daily cardio makes you feel good, clears your head, or of course, is part of your training for a race, then by all means DO IT. But daily cardio for the purposes of fat loss is just unnecessary, in my opinion.

I lift heavy (for me) weights, and I go hard in the gym. I’m a sweaty, out of breath MESS after EVERY one of my workouts. I don’t half-ass them. I’m also diligent with eating well and staying within the parameters that will help me achieve fat loss.

The formula is SIMPLE

Executing it is CHALLENGING.

BUT, if you have your eyes set on a goal and are WILLING to put the work in,

Results Happen…

Photos are 8 weeks apart, but I didn't start dieting until 6 weeks ago.

Photos are 8 weeks apart, but I didn’t start dieting until 6 weeks ago.

Question of the Day

  1. How are you doing with your goals?
  2. What do you find to be the hardest part about fat loss?

Good Coach vs. The Right Coach

Looking back on our lives, I’m sure each one of us can think of a teacher we had in school that really impacted us in a different way than the others. That person was someone we looked up to, wanted to impress, taught us lessons, and made us ultimately feel good and empowered.

I also would bet that there was at least one teacher you had that you just didn’t jive with at all. It didn’t necessarily mean they were a bad teacher, it just meant that there was something that didn’t work between the two of you. Maybe the way they taught you wasn’t the way you learned best. Or maybe their way of giving criticism had a negative effect on you.

Just like academics, this holds true in health and fitness as well. There are literally 10’s of thousands of coaches out there. Some good, some bad, and plenty in between. If we narrow it down to the good coaches out there, we can safely say that there is someone out there for everyone.

A Good Coach

A good coach is someone who has education, experience, and a genuine interest in helping their clients succeed. They have spent their time researching and learning best practices, put them in action successfully, and grown a business that allows them to help others.

The Right Coach

While there are plenty of good coaches out there, the right coach will be different from person to person. The right coach is someone who has all of the qualities of a good coach, but in specifics to you, has some additional qualities. Their values align with yours, their way of operating feels good to you, their methods are something that you can manage, and most importantly, you get along well.

Coaches Benefit from Coaches

I’m a firm believer that coaches need coaches too. I don’t care how well educated you become, there is always more to learn and an added accountability from having a coach that you don’t get on your own. I actually would shy away from any trainer or expert that tells you they don’t “need” a coach because they are a coach. They may prefer not to have one, which is totally fine, but if they claim that it wouldn’t be useful or that it isn’t necessary because they know everything, they probably don’t know very much. A teacher never stops learning. In fact, I’ll take that one step further and say that any intelligent person will never stop learning because they are smart enough to know they don’t know it all.

With that said, even before I was a trainer or coach myself, I had many coaches. It started with my flag football and baseball teams growing up. I had several different types of coaches. Oddly enough, my favorite ones were the type of coaches that yelled at me when I made an error. They weren’t total dicks, but they definitely let you know when you weren’t doing your best. I could appreciate that because at the same time, they gave me praise when I did well. The coaches I didn’t like were the ones who didn’t take the games very seriously. They were the “don’t worry, you’ll get it next time!” type of coaches. I didn’t learn anything from them because all they cared about was making everyone feel good. I hated feeling more competitive than they were and those teams never did very well (shocker).

In-Person Coaches/Trainers

My first personal trainer gave me the best foundation I could ever ask for. Even though I was a total pain in the ass, he was always (and still is) there for me whenever I needed anything. THAT is a good coach. He was never one to just “give me a trophy”. If I did something well, he told me. If I was sucking it up, he told me.

My next trainer was at a different gym since I had moved and it was during a stage I like to call the “I’ve been training for a year so now I know everything” phase. Seriously guys, I got a little ahead of myself. (Side note: Bret reminded me just a few weeks ago about the time I went back to his gym with all the “cool new things I learned from my new trainer”. I think I actually told him that I was thankful for the “beginning stuff” he showed me, but that my new trainer was showing me more advanced stuff. I cannot believe he didn’t slap me! I think I’m lucky I was cute.) Anyways, this trainer was the type of trainer that just pushed me to my limits every workout. I really liked training with him and he was a big help in getting me ready for my first NPC Bikini Competition. He didn’t make it easy and he never let me give up.

This is where things went down hill. The next trainer I had (about 3 years later) was an IFBB Pro (which shall remain nameless). She actually didn’t even charge me beyond the 1st month she coached me and was quite honestly the worst coach I’ve ever had. She gave me a restrictive diet to follow that was about 1200 calories per day and consisted of mainly veggies, chicken, fish, and egg whites. Surprisingly, I couldn’t stick to it. The workouts I did with this coach were “fancy” but didn’t make me work very hard. It felt more like she was trying to show off than anything. I would leave the gym sweaty, but the constant “you’re doing great! great job!” got old quickly.

Because of this lackluster experience, I moved on to another trainer that was recommended to me. This might have been even worse. The workouts we did were cookie cutter and involved constant high reps with no consideration for form. I seriously felt like a bunny rabbit jumping from station to station (literally…these workouts were about 80% plyometrics) and I’m not even sure my trainer was in the gym half the time I was doing these workouts. Bye Felicia.

The last trainer I had before moving to LA was Karl. He is a former competitive power lifter and has really helped me to perfect my squat and deadlift form. He is so in tune with the human body and so practical that sometimes I wonder if he’s human. Talk about giving it to you straight. There were times I’d be working out on my own and Karl would grab my workout log and just look at me. He’d say “why are you doing this?” and I’d feel myself stumbling with my words to try to find out the answer he was looking for. Needless to say, NOTHING is sugar coated with Karl. He tells it like it is and I know I’m in good hands with him.

Online Coaches

I’ve since had 3 different online coaches and this is where the idea for this post came about. All 3 coaches are fantastic coaches. I don’t have one poor thing to say about any of them, but I can clearly see why 1 of the 3 has helped me actually see results and progress. Yes, I realize that me not seeing results or progressing is on ME, but there is also a correlation between the coaching styles. While I don’t want to get into their coaching styles since it is irrelevant, I do want to highlight the attributes that I believe are making me successful with my current coach.

1. Trust. I’ve been following him online for a long time. Probably 5-6 years, actually. I’ve read multiple articles written by him, seen his personal FB posts that resonate with me, and chatted extensively with him before signing on with him. Because I know his track record, I feel a compelling urge to impress him. Knowing he has had so many clients come in and out of his life, I want to be one that he remembers. This has helped me to push myself harder than I have in a long time.

2. Honesty. In our first conversations, he was extremely realistic. He didn’t try to massage me into being his client or tell me what I want to hear. In fact, he told me the opposite. He gave me the harsh realities and expectations. He didn’t leave anything out and told me just what it would take for me to achieve what I wanted. He also helped me refine my goals, as what I had in mind wasn’t totally realistic either.

3. High Expectations. He doesn’t allow me to be anything but my best. Great example: I sent a video to him of my front squats last week. I was really proud of this video and was excited to hear his feedback. Unfortunately, I had not followed what he had told me and he called me out. So what did I do? The very next workout, I made corrections and sent it back over. I appreciate this completely. High fives are EARNED, they are not handed out.

4. Methodology. While macro counting is a fantastic method for fat loss (and oddly enough what I do with 90% of my clients), it actually wasn’t right for me. I found it harder to manage and instead, I eat a pretty simple meal plan each day, with flexibility in my post workout meals. It’s the best of both worlds for me. There is consistency, ease of preparation, and I do get to fit in treats each day, so I don’t feel deprived.

Applying this to You

While these traits are specific to me, it can help YOU in the search for the right coach. Along with seeking out someone who is experienced, educated, and has a proven track record, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you learn best?
  • What is your current lifestyle like?
  • How do you handle praise and constructive criticism?
  • What did your favorite teachers/coaches have in common? Look for those qualities in a coach.

Just like in love, there is someone for everyone. What’s right for one, may not be right for the other. Take your time when looking for a coach and don’t base your decision off of progress pictures or testimonials. Read that coach’s material, spend time messaging with them to see if your personalities work well together, and get an idea of their methodology before you jump in. Having a coach can be a GAME CHANGER, but if you don’t have the right coach for you, it can be a giant flop.

Have you had a good or bad experience with a coach? Share it in the comments.

Liked this article? Check out Who Should You Trust?

Lizzy Ostro is a NASM and AFPA Certified Personal Trainer with over 8 years of experience. She is currently working on her NASM FNS Certification and currently trains clients out of Santa Monica, CA as well as providing online coaching to clients across the U.S. 

 

Full Review: 21 Day Clutch {progress pictures}

So, much to my surprise when I woke up today, it wasn’t Friday. For whatever reason, yesterday felt like a Thursday for me and my week now feels discombobulated.

HAPPY WEDNESDAY

On another note, I’m getting my wisdom teeth out today. TERRIFIED, although I’m sure it won’t be that bad. (right? RIGHT?!) I’ll be sure to fill you all in afterwards (aka, I’ll share my chipmunk cheek photos with you for your viewing pleasure).

21 Day Clutch Review

bodybuilding.com

Photo Credit: Bodybuilding.com

I finished up the 21 Day Clutch as part of the FitLizzio Experiment! I’m soooo excited to give you all the details about this, so let’s get right to it!

The Program: 21 Day Clutch by Ashley Conrad

Program Length: 21 Days

Intensity: Hard

Workouts per Week: 5

Average Workout Length: 45-60 minutes

Overall Score (1-10): 7

Starting Weight: 152.9

Ending Weight: 149.1

THE WORKOUTS

This program had a mixture of lifting days and cardio days, with 2 rest days each week. The lifting days were full body workouts to be done circuit style. The cardio days were HIIT sessions that lasted anywhere from 15-25 minutes with an ab routine at the end.

Success rate: 99%. I stuck to all of the workouts and didn’t miss a single one. I did my own stretching and foam rolling (instead of what was prescribed), and added a barbell to the body weight squats to make it harder.

Likes:

-The workouts kicked my butt. I always left the gym a sweaty mess!

-You can day anything for 21 days. I liked that this program wasn’t something I had to commit to for a REALLY long time.

-While there was a small amount of steady state cardio that was recommended (but as an option), the cardio days were based around doing sprints on the treadmill. I agree with this philosophy and feel that it is the most effective way to improve your cardiovascular health as well as lose fat.

-I plan peppering both the lifting and HIIT workouts into my regular workout schedule about once per week.

Dislikes:

-The lifting workouts stayed the same throughout the entire program. I would have welcomed a little bit of variety.

DIET

I followed the diet to a T for 7 days, but found that it just wasn’t enough food for me. Ashley recommends 1/2 gram of Carbs per pound of body weight (for me, that’s only 75 grams per day!), 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight (150g=good), and 1/2 gram of fat per pound of body weight (75g=good). While I had intended to follow this plan exactly, it just wasn’t doable for me. I am up at 5:30am and work 12-13 hour days sometimes. I workout, work, train clients, and chase a dog around throughout the day, so I’m very active. 1300 calories per day and such a low amount of carbohydrates wasn’t sufficient. Instead, I stuck to my own macro-nutrient numbers: 150g Protein, 60g Fat, 190g Carbs per day, with slightly less on rest days.

Likes:

-While the first 7 days I followed the exact foods that the 21 Day Clutch called for, by Day 8 I realized that it was also a macro-nutrient based diet, so I could swap out foods for other foods with similar macro-nutrient values: SCORE! Considering that’s also my philosophy when it comes to dieting, I went with that and made the adjustments I mentioned above.

Dislikes:

-Not enough food. I’m 5’7 and it suggested I eat 1300 calories per day. As I mentioned above, this isn’t nearly enough on a day I’m working out.

-The diet seemed like a “quick fix” type of diet, which I do understand. It’s laid out to be a 21 day turnaround, so to see big results that quickly, requires drastic measures. However, I prefer a plan that leads to a sustainable lifestyle and this didn’t seem sustainable to me. It’s also possible to see results without being too crazy about it (see below).

PROGRESS:

At some points throughout the last 21 days, I felt that my body was changing. Other times, I couldn’t tell. I have had several people tell me my upper body is leaning out a lot, so I figured something must be happening and I just continued to trust the process. I took my 2nd set of progress pictures yesterday and was surprised to see the changes:

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It’s funny how seeing yourself every day can skew your view of changes that are happening. I’m definitely happy with the results!

I haven’t decided what my next installment of the FitLizzio Experiment will be, but I’m going to be scouting that out over the next few days. I’ll likely go back to lifting heavy weights for a few weeks (and incorporating the 21 Day Clutch HIIT workouts, too!) before starting my next experiment.

Question of the Day

1. What programs have you done that you like?

2. Checkout the programs on BodyBuilding.com. Anything in particular you’d like me to try next??