Tag Archive for weight loss

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. 

 

Dog Beach Sunday + Operation Get Lean Update

Most Sundays, I spend my time thinking about the week ahead, planning, prepping, and most often, dreading. Dreading because I start to think of the 23043 things I need to do and I get really overwhelmed. This week, I decided not to let my mind go there. To just enjoy my day, have fun, and not be on someone else’s clock. Don’t get me wrong, I love my clients, I love my work, but it’s also nice to not have any appointments or scheduled events. Yesterday was just that.

Charlie and I got up around 10am (score for sleeping in!) and finally Oscar couldn’t take it anymore and demanded that we get out of bed. Not kidding, he growled at us until we got up. We got dressed and headed straight for coffee. (Priorities)

We decided it was the perfect day to take Oscar to Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. The weather was great and watching him run around the beach is too much fun. The first 60 seconds after you let him off the leash is just pure crazy joy. He SPRINTS through the sand, weaves through all the people, splashes into the water and frolics around like a deer. It is seriously awesome!!

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After our day at the beach, we headed home and Charlie went to work. I went grocery shopping, started prepping my food, doing laundry, and finally started preparing for the week around 6pm. I think I like this schedule much better than many other Sundays!

Operation Get Lean!

Speaking of prepping food, I owe you guys an update on how my diet is going. I’m happy to say that it is going really well! I’ve got my head in the game and I’m actually really enjoying this process. I’m training my ass off, eating what I need to eat and the results are showing. I won’t say there aren’t times that are tough, because there definitely are! But I’m in such a good mental state and feel so glad that I’m doing this with a healthy relationship with food, unlike the way I dieted years ago (when all or nothing was how I saw dieting). My post-workout carbs on most days have been a McDonalds ice cream cone or cereal and that definitely satisfies any sweet cravings I have.

IMG_9389I’m also eating plenty of food, so while I do feel hungry at times, I feel pretty good for the most part. On the nights I’ve felt really hungry, I’ve had an extra serving or 2 of vegetables, which almost always takes the hunger away. I’m eating enough for my body and in no way starving myself, but some hunger is expected when you’re aiming for fat loss. The other thing I’m doing I like to call “Macro-Sunday”. I basically eat what I want within a set of macro-nutrient parameters so that I can get any cravings I have satisfied. For example, yesterday I made a pizza bagel with a whole wheat bagel, shredded cheddar cheese, and turkey pepperoni. Totally hit the spot!!!

I’ve had many questions about this, so I thought I’d answer here. For those wondering, I’m NOT following an IIFYM plan for the other 6 days of the week. I’m actually using a set meal plan (created by Erik Ledin) and it is because I’m finding that to be easier for me. I also really trust Erik and he isn’t “just another coach”. The dude is smart and knows what he’s doing. I don’t have to think about my food 24/7 or plan every day, which I’m terrible at doing anyways.  I just plan for the week and then eat the food I have prepped. So much easier for me. This isn’t to say that IIFYM isn’t a good thing. In fact, for many, this is much better for them. I just would actually prefer NOT to have endless options each day. It actually makes this process harder for me. Everyone is different and what works for one might not work for another. I start my clients on an IIFYM plan because I do feel that it can be one of the safest ways to diet (when it comes to the mental side of things), but some of them prefer a set meal plan. Anyways, just thought I’d throw that out there. There is no one way to do this, so don’t be afraid to experiment and DON’T feel like a failure if you try one way and it doesn’t work for you.

Here is what I look like 2 weeks in:

IMG_9380Please excuse the fact that I’m wearing socks (haha) as well as the deadlift bruises on my shins!

I’ve lost –

  • 1/2 inch off my waist
  • 1/2 inch off my hips
  • 1/2 inch off my chest (oh yay! cuz those needed to get smaller! (rolls eyes))
  • 3.5 lbs

Nothing crazy, but that’s just the way it should be. Slow and steady wins the race! I can’t wait to see what the next 2 weeks bring. I feel like I’m in my groove and I think the next 2 weeks are going to see some really great changes. 😀

On top of this, I hit some new PR’s this week too!

  • Deadlift: 6 reps at 205 lbs
  • Front Squat: 6 reps at 100 lbs
  • DB Push Press: 8 reps at 35 lb DB’s
  • DB One Arm Row: 10 reps at 40 lbs

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Overall, this is definitely going as well as I could have wanted it to and I’m just feeling good.

Question of the Day

1. Have you ever taken your dog to a dog beach?

2. What’s your favorite way to spend your Sunday?

How I’ve Been Staying on Track

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Hey people!

Are you pumped for the weekend? If not, it’s time to GET pumped!

Can you tell I have a lot of energy today? Weeeeee.

Anyways, I’ve recently started dieting again. (I hate that word. It seems to make people think you’re starving yourself or being unhealthy. What I mean by dieting is that I’m making a concerted effort to lean out. My goal is to drop some body fat while keeping as much muscle as possible.) If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll know I’ve tried and failed at this many times in the past few years, but I don’t give up and I’m back at it again. (more on that below)

The difference this time is my mindset. I’ve taken away all of the excuses, I’ve found my real reason…my “why”, and I’m focused. I’m doing everything I can to stay in this mindset too. It’s really the key to being successful. Being “dialed in”.

On another note, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into some of the things I’ve been eating lately. I’ve been trying some new things and getting creative, so I thought you might like to see it. I’m also eating a whole lot more fat now than ever before, which is kind of fun! This is definitely not all that I’m eating, but just some of the tastier meals.

Here are some of the foods on my menu lately:

-Eggs, egg whites, and cheese WITH coconut oil (don’t knock it til ya try it!)

-Chicken and potatoes with BUTTER (heavenly butter)

-Shrimp & avocado with lemon juice squeezed on top! (I cheat and buy 100% pure lemon juice)

-Protein pancakes with Almond Butter

-Greek Yogurt with fruit

My post-workout carbs are anything from sour gummy worms to low-fat ice cream. Sometimes I’m boring and just have fruit and kombucha, but those are 2 of my favorite things, so I’m perfectly happy with them!

How I’ve Been Staying on Track

Staying on track is hard, and it doesn’t come from being compliant (well, it does but hear me out)….it comes from getting in the right mindset first. Being compliant is EASY when your head is in the right place. When you truly WANT to achieve your goals more than you want anything else. In fact, if you don’t want them badly enough, you’re likely to not ever accomplish them. It’s why many of us (myself included) start and stop so many things. Sometimes our goals change, and that’s perfectly okay. Sometimes the goals we choose aren’t REALLY what we want….and we realize that as we start to get into them. But sometimes, we just aren’t set up to succeed. We haven’t prepared ourselves to take on what is necessary to achieve our goals. Sometimes it takes a few set backs to find out what it is that you need to succeed.

So here are some of the things I’ve been doing differently this time around….

-I’m telling everyone around me that I’m dieting. Accountability!

-I’m prepping and planning my food so it’s always ready for me (and I don’t grab the fastest thing I can find)

-I’m drinking lots of water and adding pure lemon juice to it (it gives it a sour kick and I drink more)

-I’m sticking to my rest days even though it’s really hard! I actually have 3 rest days per week right now. It’s totally weird. I’m used to having 1-2. 3 is a lot for me!

-I’m watching videos and reading other blogs to stay motivated

-I’m chatting with friends to help keep me motivated and on track and using the Fit Lizzio Fitness Private FB group (we have a really awesome group there….email me: fitlizzio@gmail.com if you want to join us!!)

-I’m not allowing excuses to happen. I have a goal in mind and I know how to get there. I’m not getting in my own way anymore, which I’ve been guilty of in the past.

-But the biggest difference? My mind is in the right place for this. I truly WANT it.

The bottom line is that I’m setting myself up for success. I’m PRE-ensuring that I have my bases covered. I’m NOT being lazy and forgetting/neglecting to prep and plan my food. I’m noticing what outside forces try to derail me and finding ways to combat them. I’m keeping my head IN THE GAME. I’m staying on my path. I know it sounds so simple (and in reality it actually is), but as I said earlier, mindset is everything. If your mind is “in it”, all you have to do is execute. Simple as that.

I also want to point out that failing is not a reason to stop trying. I’ve failed A MILLION times. In many endeavors in life, but especially in sticking to my goals. It can be embarrassing and the more you fail, the harder it is to believe in yourself. People around you also start to doubt you. But what I’m realizing is that failure is normal. It is part of us. We were meant to fail. In fact, I believe it is CRUCIAL to our successes. You MUST fail. Sometimes once or twice…and sometimes 30 times! You know what else we were meant to do? Pick ourselves up and SUCCEED. We were meant to persevere. In fact, our failures build our strengths, so long as you don’t let them ground you.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m picking myself up. And I’m going to crush my goals like never before.

Who’s with me?

 

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??

5 Fitness Myths: DeBunked!

As if the fitness industry didn’t have enough misinformation floating around, the internet has brought it to a whollllle new level. Now anyone with a computer can suddenly become an expert and give advice. It’s pretty scary when you think about it. Who are these people you’re taking advice from? Do they ACTUALLY know what they’re talking about? Or do they just have a fit body and an Instagram account?

If I see ONE more post about how a WRAP is going to tighten you up and make you lose weight, I’m going to vomit. What will be next?

Anyways, instead of ranting (which I’m really good at, by the way), I’m just going to de-bunk some of the myths that I STILL see floating around the fitness world. I thought for sure these would be extinct before now, but they’re not. As a fitness advocate, I feel it is my duty to remind everyone of these 5 myths that we MUST get rid of for GOOD.

SO, let’s get right to it:

1. More Exercise is Better.

overtrainThere are still plenty of people that believe that the more you work out, the better off you’ll be. The whole “sweat a little bit each day” has become “if you’re not doing work you’re lazy”. It’s not surprising that so many people are stuck in this mindset. After all, we’ve got fitness role models all over the world proclaiming #nodaysoff and shaming anyone who DOES take days off. Let me speak from experience here: TAKE DAYS OFF.  I, myself, used to be one of those people that didn’t. I worked out 6-7 days per week, lifting AND doing cardio. Sometimes I even did MORE than just lifting and cardio in one day. It was craziness, unnecessary, and it was hindering my progress. Sure, I got in great shape at first, but that isn’t sustainable. After a long period of time doing that, my body started rebelling against me. These days, I lift about 4-5 days per week and do 1-2 short (15-20 minute) conditioning sessions each week. I take at least 2 days off per week and sometimes more, depending on how I feel. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and I don’t feel like shit all the time. The facts: Recovery is NECESSARY for the body. Think about it this way: when you are working out, you’re tearing your muscles down. That’s good and normal. They then have to re-build and that’s what makes: muscle growth. BUT, if you continue to tear them down before they’ve had a chance to re-build, you start getting negative returns. Listen to your body, allow your body time to recover, and don’t over-do it.

2. Spot-Reducing.

Woman Tying Measuring Tape Around Her Waist

Woman Tying Measuring Tape Around Her Waist

You can do all the leg lifts, donkey kicks, and squats in the world, but they will never result in the ability to spot-reduce your butt (or any other body part for that matter). You can build muscle in specific areas, but the way your body loses fat is completely pre-disposed. Personally, I lose fat in my arms and stomach first, then my butt and thighs. To keep it simple: Body fat happens when the energy you’re expending is greater than the energy you’re taking in. (There are also hormonal factors involved, but we won’t get into that now.) If you’re keeping a sound diet and working out, you WILL lose fat, but you’re not going to ever be able to tell your body WHERE to lose it from first. Kapeesh?

3. Less is More.

One Green Pea On Plate. Table Setting With Clipping Path.

I cringe when I see people show me their diet plans, only to find out they’re working out 6-7 days per week and eating 1200 calories per day. It is simply just not enough for most people. If you want your body to have the ability to lose fat, you have to feed it. If you put your body in a starvation mode (ketosis), your body works to protect your vital organs by holding on to everything it can for storage. Your literally putting your body in a “fight or flight” state and I can assure you it isn’t going to help you lose weight in the long run. This brings on all new issues including a slow metabolism, wild cravings, lethargy, and possibly even more serious health issues. Obviously activity, height, weight, and age all play into the amount you should be eating, but getting rid of the “less is better” mentality is a must. Eat to FUEL your body. Macronutrient counting is my preferred way to do this to ensure you’re getting enough protein, carbs, and fat each day.

4. Instant Results.

understanding-your-choices-when-it-comes-to-products-to-help-lose-weight-fast So you worked out for a month straight and you’re not seeing #allthegainz yet? Congratulations, you’re normal. Yes, there are some genetic freaks that change extremely fast, but for most people, it takes months and months and years and years. Of course, you can make significant improvements in just a few short months, but if you were expecting to look like someone who has been working out for 10 years in just 6 months, you’re mistaken. There’s a reason they’ve been at it for 10 years!

5. Bulking Up.

hu_yan___female_bodybuilder___6ft_4in_by_theamazonclub-d56mg7r Ladies, for the 100432th time, you’re not going to bulk up and look like a man. Building muscle is HARD….like really, really, freaking hard. It takes a lot of work and a LOT of patience (see above). Unless you’re taking steroids, you’re not going to look like a man. In fact, you’ll probably look more like a sexy beast….and I’m guessing you won’t have any objections to that! 😀

I get it, it’s hard to know what’s right or wrong with all of the different outlets of information we have at our fingertips. You think I don’t fall victim to it at times? Of course I do! I’m human! But at the end of the day, I research the hell out of a topic when I’m not entirely sure about it or I look to my trusted role models for their advice and opinions on the matter. It’s impossible to sift through all of it and be an “expert” on everything, but what you CAN do is stay informed and do your homework. If something seems a little too good to be true, it probably is…and that’s your sign to dig a little deeper before falling for yet another gimmick.

Found this article helpful? Check out my article on “Who Should You Trust?”

Question of the Day:

Do you count calories or macro-nutrients?

2 Week Update: Day of Eats

Hey guys!

It’s a Mondenesday over here. If you’re not familiar, that’s a Wednesday that feels like a Monday = stressful. Either way, I’m working away and doing the best I can today. That’s all I can do, right? I’m thinking extra coffee would help, too. 🙂

It’s been almost two weeks since I started my 12 week program with Sohee, so I wanted to give an update and also show you a fairly typical day of eats for me while I’m on this program.

First, things first, here’s an update!

This is the first time in almost 5 years that I’ve been serious about leaning out again. It’s also the first time I’ve tried “dieting” again that has actually felt GOOD as opposed to feeling like a chore. It doesn’t feel like I’m restricted or even really like I’m dieting, for that matter. (If you’re just now hearing about this, I’m following an IIFYM diet).

Hunger

I’m a little bit hungry at times, but that’s normal when dieting (note: starving is NOT normal, but a little hunger is expected). I’m eating enough and it definitely isn’t intense hunger, it’s more of that lingering feeling of wanting something else. I’m actually not even sure if it’s TRUE hunger, to be honest. It can be annoying at times, but it’s definitely not a big deal.

Compliance

I’ve been really good about being compliant with this plan. Like I said, I’m not cutting out anything that I love, so i don’t feel like there’s anything I “can’t” have. If I want something, I just work it into my day. I’m eating enough food and like I said before, I don’t even really feel like I’m on a “diet”.

Results

Friday is my first biweekly in which I’ll submit photos, measurements, and my weight. It will be interesting to compare this to my initial submission and see what has changed. I can already tell a difference, but it will be much easier to tell when I compare photos.

 

So that’s how things are going so far! I’ll start updating with my progress photos once I start submitting my biweeklies…so stay tuned.

Day of Eats

There’s a misconception that by doing an IIFYM based diet that you can just eat junk food and crap all day and still lose weight. That really isn’t the case. You need to eat healthy, nutritious foods about 80-90% of the time (with room for some treats here and there) in order to make the most out of this type of diet. With that said, here are some of my eats for today.

Breakfast:

  • 1 large apple
  • Almond Milk Continental
  • 1 over-easy egg
  • 1 piece of Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage

Lunch:

  • Kombucha (trilogy is my favorite!)IMG_6664
  • Brown Rice, Ground turkey burger, jalapeno cilantro hummus concoctionIMG_6663
  • This little Honey Pattie. This thing was SOOO rich, but made for the perfect little chocolatey dessert. I’d never had one before, but will definitely be buying this again. IMG_6666

Snack:

  • Slap Chocolate Flavored Protein Powder
  • ice
  • almond milk.IMG_6667Blended and enjoyed. (tastes like a milkshake to me…Charlie says it tastes like chalk….guess when you haven’t had a real chocolate milkshake in a while, your taste buds forget. )

 

Snack

Yogurt mess of

  • Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
  • Small handful of Walnuts & Almonds
  • 1 TBSP Peanut Butter

IMG_6668I still have Dinner left for today, but I haven’t decided what that will be just yet!

Hope you’re all having a great day!

Q’s

1. What was the best thing you ate today?

2. What is the one food that you would never want to give up?

 

 

 

 

10 Secrets to Fat Loss

Good morning! Or afternoon if you’re on the east coast!

I woke up today thinking it was Friday, so boo to that. I know some people are weird about the number 13, but I love it! I think I love it because most people hate it and are scared of it. I’m excited for tomorrow to see all of the people on Facebook that blame their spilled coffee, torn jeans, or broken phones on it being Friday the 13th. 😀DSC03929

10 Secrets to Fat Loss

One of the biggest questions I am asked (almost daily) is regarding fat loss. I thought I’d put together my best tips for fat loss.

1. Food. I know, I know. This isn’t what you wanted to hear, but I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve heard it. We have all heard the phrase “you can’t out-train a bad diet”, and truer words were never spoken. If you want to lose fat, you have to have a good handle on what you’re eating. Tracking your food is the easiest way to do this (albeit not the only way). We often times don’t realize how many calories and macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) we are taking in until we actually take the time to track. If you like pen and paper, you can keep a food journal, but if you’re lazy like me, grab the MyFitnessPal app. It’s great for tracking and allows you to see how much of each macro-nutrient you’re taking in each day.

2. Strength Training. While nutrition is king, and the biggest part of the fat loss equation, strength training is a close 2nd. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. Lifting weights will NOT make you huge. Eating huge portions of cookies, cakes, crackers, and just overindulging in general will make you huge. Hypothetically, let’s say you were to put on 5 pounds of muscle and with a healthy nutrition plan, you were able to lose 5 pounds of fat. (These do NOT go hand in hand by the way, they are completely separate systems and just because you gain muscle, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose fat). The scale would tell you that you weigh the same amount, but you would actually look smaller. Muscle is more dense than fat, so 5 pounds of fat will always look bigger than 5 pounds of muscle.

3. Moderation. I’m not going to tell you that you need to eat clean. I’m not going to tell you that you can’t eat cookies and cake and dessert. You CAN. I eat candy almost every day. I just don’t eat an entire BAG of candy every day. If you keep the things you like in your diet, and eat them in moderation, it is completely possible to lose fat while still enjoying your treats.

4. Consistency. This goes hand in hand with #3. Staying consistent with your food intake is by far the best advice I can give to anyone. If you overindulge one day, don’t sweat it. Don’t try to counteract it by not eating all day or doing hours of cardio the next day. It’s not going to be the game changer. You didn’t gain the weight in one day and you won’t lose it in one day either. With that said, practice consistency. If your goal is to eat 2000 calories per day, aim for that consistently and if you overindulge, go right back to it the next day. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

5. Identify your trigger foods. This might sound odd, but we all have trigger foods. If there are certain foods that you have a hard time just having 1 or 2 of, you have to address this. For me, I have a hard time with cookies. I can eat candy, cake, cupcakes, and ice cream in moderation with no problem. There is something about cookies that just makes me want more and more. (Probably because they are so damn delicious!) For this reason, if I’m going to have a cookie, I just buy a single pre-packaged cookie. I know if I bake 12 cookies, I’m going to either eat more than I want to or spend a lot of brain energy trying to stay away. It’s not worth it to me, so I figured out a way that works for me. I don’t buy packages of Oreos or Chips Ahoy. Instead, I will buy a single cookie (like at Starbucks or something), and enjoy that. Find what works for you.

6. Stop beating yourself up. This was probably the key to my recovery from my eating disorder. I used to try to be SO perfect with my eating that when I screwed up, I would just feel so guilty. I felt like a failure and that I should just get it out of my system so that i could be “perfect” tomorrow. Newsflash: That doesn’t work. When I started being comfortable with where I was and not beating myself up so badly for “screwing up”, I actually started eating better overall. Feeling guilt over eating something that isn’t considered “healthy” will not help you on your fat loss journey, and will more than likely hinder your fat loss.

7.  Eat fat. Yeah, you heard me. Fat is good. I think it’s becoming more known that fats are good for you, but the “low fat” craze is still stuck in some people’s minds. Not only does fat help your skin and hair look bombtastic, but it aids in fat loss. You can’t lose fat without fat. It also helps to keep you satisfied. It’s more calorie dense than protein or carbs (9 calories per gram), so you don’t want to go crazy with it, but adding in things like nuts, nut butters, avocados, and oils into your diet will likely keep you more satiated throughout the day. (And give you locks of a pony!!! ;-))

8. Stop doing so much cardio. Unless you love it, that is. I am not going to say that cardio is bad. It’s not bad. What’s bad is the idea that cardio is NECESSARY for fat loss and that if you don’t do x minutes/hours of cardio per day, you won’t lose fat. Cardio basically trains your body to be more efficient. This means that over time, you’ll use LESS calories to get through that 3 mile run. So what does that mean? It means in order to burn the same amount of calories that you burned when you first started running, is now going to require more effort: more time running, running on an incline, running faster, etc. If you like to run, by all means RUN. Personally,  I like to run every now and then. I like to hike. I do all of those things when I feel like it. But gone are the days of me doing 30-45 minutes of cardio EVERY DAY. I used to do that, and you know what happened when I stopped? I lost weight. Cliff notes of what I’m getting at here: Don’t think that doing hours of cardio is the key to your fat loss. The key is nutrition. Cardio’s affect on that is minimal and will likely cause you to be hungrier and eat more anyways.

9. Accountability. This is definitely huge. I know how to lose fat. Most people actually know at least something about how to lose fat. But it’s hard to do it on your own. I didn’t sign up to work with Sohee because I don’t know what I’m doing. I know what I’m doing and I have my OWN clients that I coach. But I wanted someone to hold me accountable and to take the guess work out for me. I didn’t want to be the person that I was negotiating with when it came to how I was feeling and the progress I’m making. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to sign up with a coach. Friends work pretty well too. Find a friend that will either a) jump on the bandwagon with you and go on a fat loss journey together or b) be supportive and help you when you need it. It makes all the difference in the world when you don’t feel like you’re going at it alone.

10. Plan. This is something that I still struggle with, but I luckily live and work very close to Whole Foods and the Co-Op where I can get fresh, healthy meals on the go. If you plan and prepare some food for the week (cook up some chicken or beef or whatever recipe you like) and keep it on hand, it helps you to not come home and devour whatever is in the cabinets just because you’re hungry. It minimizes the impulse eating and the eating because it was “all that was there”. Plan your day or even your week out so that you’re ready. With that said, don’t be afraid to stray from it either. I pack my food most days, but if I want a cookie or something, I work it into my plan and don’t feel bad about it.

Questions:

1. What has helped you the most when it comes to fat loss?2. What is your biggest struggle with fat loss?

Leave your responses in the comments.

 

12 Weeks…

LOL, I just re-read that title and realized that people might think I’m pregnant. I’M NOT.

Now, that we got that awkwardness out of the way….

Most people that know me well, know I’ve been through some ups and downs in my fitness journey. I went from competing in the NPC Bikini division, to spiraling into an eating disorder and gaining a bunch of weight, to finding my peace with food and leveling out at a healthy and good weight for myself. I’m not shredded, and I’m not even necessarily lean, but I’ve got definition, strength, and I’m happy with my body. I lost weight after recovering from my eating disorder and I’ve been able to maintain the same weight for about 2 years now without much thought or effort. I eat healthy foods 90% of the time, not caring much about how many grams of protein, carbs, or fat that I’m eating. I make sure to eat a well-rounded diet, I look good, and I’m happy.

158dd4d4520d601c6f1b8ee0f9316154.jpg
But I also know what I’m capable of and what I feel like on the inside. The person inside of me is a beast. If you’ve ever worked out with me, you get it. I work really hard in the gym and don’t ever give up. I’ve been working out consistently for 7.5 years with my longest break being maybe 3-4 days. In good times and bad, the gym has always been there for me. But you may not be able to tell that from the outside!

Now, I’m ready to step it up and show myself what I’m made of once again. I’ve harnessed the help of Sohee Walsh (if you don’t know who she is, you should find out because she’s awesome) to get me down to the lean machine I want to be. I want abs again and I’m ready to have them back.

Oh hello there.

I don’t miss the no boobs part!

I chose Sohee because she went down the exact same rabbit-hole that I did. She gets it.

Questions:

Could I do this on my own? Of course I could. But when you do something yourself, your own thoughts can persuade you into different directions. I know that I do better when I have someone else telling me what to do.

Am I going to do a crazy clean-eating diet that I did when I was getting ready to compete? No. I’m not. I’ll be counting macros (proteins, fats, carbs) and still allowing myself to eat what I want when it fits into my day and I’m craving them.

What will be the hardest part for me? Not eating as much fruit. I love my fruit. Seriously, it is my candy. I eat a rainbow of fruit every day. Fruit isn’t bad, but the amount of fruit I eat equates to lots of sugar and carbs. I’ll still be eating fruit, but not all-day-err-day like I do now. 🙂

So why am I telling the world this? Because as much as I HATE the thought of telling the world my goals and potentially failing and having the world laugh at me, I know that accountability is a real thing that works. Plus, doesn’t everybody like to watch someone else’s health and fitness journey? You’ve all been watching my journey in the gym for a while now, so it’s time to take the other side into play.

I’ll be sharing my successes, struggles, meals, and thoughts. I’ll be sharing my workouts and things I’m learning along the way. Sometimes, I might cry out for help when  I want to throw the towel in, but I’m going to do this for real. I’ve signed up for 12 weeks with Sohee, and I’m excited to see what my body is made of in those 12 weeks.

Thanks for following along on my journey and keeping me accountable….let’s go!!!

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