Sunday, November 11, 2012

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Sometimes when we are bogged down in counting calories and getting in our workouts (see Focusing on What is Important), we forget the bigger picture of what we are doing. Becoming the best you.  It can become so mundane and your thoughts cycle through:

  • eat less, 
  • eat this -not that, 
  • do I even have room to eat that?,
  •  need to get to the gym...
 We start to feel restricted. Then we get negative about the whole deal, and before you know it, you are throwing in the towel again! This is not the way to live.  STOP! And step back to see the bigger picture. You need to make this a lifestyle change, that means something you can keep doing for life.

If what you are doing is not sustainable, then stop. If what you are doing is affecting your attitude, then stop. If what you are doing makes you dread the next day, stop!!!  Why does it have to be this way? It doesn't.  Venuses put in the minimum effort for the maximal result. We work smarter, not harder.

Here are some suggestions for you to take a look at to see where you can improve your lifestyle:

1) Where are you spending your calories?
Are you mindlessly eating breakfast in the morning because it is habit? Cut it out, save the calories for later in the day when you are ravenous. Another one is eating lunch with co-workers because it is a habit. Go run errands or do extra work so you can leave work faster! Productivity! Most people's hunger peaks at dinner, so I like to save most of my calories for my evening meal with my family.

2) Do you feel like you are not getting to eat what you really want to?
As long as you are getting in your minimal protein needs (for me it is 77 g/day) you can spend the rest of the calories as you would like. I like to "save" my calories for dessert each night when I am not fasting, I love cake and brownies. I have them too and then I do not feel so restricted. Or on the verge of a binge. My morning coffee is also non-negotiable, with one tablespoon of heavy cream.

3) Are you burning yourself out doing cardio?
You do not have to do high intensity cardio. Why are you dreading the elliptical every other night? Why do you force yourself to do that? The healthy benefits, you say? Sure it keeps your heart healthy, but check your heart rate the next time you are in the middle of a VI workout. Yeah, it shoots right on up there. There is your high itensity cardio. If you feel like you must include some type of cardio, try walking on your off lifting days. Or add in more VI workouts, you can lift on sequential days as long as you feel up to it! You have to be careful with the extra cardio, it can make you extra hungry!

4) Are you cranky and hungry all the time?
You might have cut your calories too low. If you really want them there for a short run, that is fine. I agree with ripping the weight off quickly like a band-aid and getting it over with. But if there is no time deadline, you can cut more gently and be a happier, less cranky version of you! If you are hungry but you are still eating over RMR, that is another story. You need to make sure you are eating more volume so that you feel less hungry at lower calorie levels.

Those are some common themes that I see, and my advice for them! Hope you find them helpful. Next week I plan to share my weekly eating habits when cutting weight. I will even share how I ate this week to give you some go to meals and tips.

Inspirational Story of the Week

Meet Denise DeGrazia, she has been lifting since the age of 16 and has seen every fitness fad come and go. She has tried them all too and will tell you the ins and outs along the way. What I really like about her story is that she is a professor of Anatomy and Physiology, so she has a different take on lifting for women than vanity. In her podcast when she placed in the VT2 open, she shares how lifting can keep you strong and able through your later years. Heavy resistance training like the VI workouts, will build up your bone density and can keep you out of a nursing home and living on your own in your golden years.  It will keep your muscles firing so that you can get yourself up and down in the bathroom too, one of the top reasons people are placed in nursing facilities.  She knows her stuff too, and I have learned lots of great form and stretching insight from her wisdom.  Check out Denise's VI blog post- Stop Wasting your Gym Time: How Women Shortchange Themselves at the Gym, it is excellent.