I have always been bothered by the use of steroids in the fitness industry. I believe the goal of fitness endeavors should be geared around improving one's health. Sadly, I had gotten used to steroids in traditional bodybuilding, but then they started working their way into bikini competitions. These were originally created as an alternative format where women could have a competitive option that didn't require the need for drugs. The truth is, if there are people posing on a stage, there are steroids on the stage. I quickly became disenchanted with the whole idea of fitness related competitions.
One of the main reasons is that women who choose not to take these dangerous drugs no longer stand a chance of placing. Often, they don't realize the people who are winning are taking steroids. This leads to self blame and criticism. "I didn't train hard enough. I shouldn't have eaten that extra ounce of turkey," etc. Fitness should make you feel good about yourself. Training for a show is hard work and, if in the end, the only way to be competitive is to take steroids, what is a fitness related competition actually about?
I came across a great article by SpotMeGirl.com that outlines the details of steroids in women's fitness. My only caveat is the article states that "No one should have to disclose if they take any enhancements." I disagree. When it comes to competing, if you walk on a stage or enter a contest, it needs to be a level playing field. If its a drug show or a drug free show, just say so. Other than that, its a great read. Here's an excerpt and the link to read in full "Here is the kicker: most of you follow them on Instagram or Facebook and don’t realize it. No one said that steroids were only for the muscle bound bodybuilder like Iris Kyle. Bikini models and competitors alike take steroids to maintain a lean and cut figure. When it is your job, or you’re trying to make it your job, you’ll do what you need to in order to maintain a certain look. That is why while many people steer clear of steroids, there are those who benefit from it and you’d never know. How does that effect the industry though? By setting standards that many can’t attain."
Some days you just can't face it. One more session on the bike, treadmill, or stair machine feels like it will kill you. When cardio dread hits you, just break it up into smaller parts. For example, do ten minutes of cardio in the beginning of your work out, train a body part, do ten more minutes, train another body part, and finish up with a final ten minutes on your cardio machine of choice. It's easy to skip it when you aren't feeling it, but by knocking it out even when you don't want to will get you over the cardio blues.
Eat Healthy Real Food. And Enjoy it.
That means shop the perimeter of the store. Avoid the aisles where processed food resides. Instead choose seasonal and diverse food. Enjoy eating and you will eat less. Take some time to not only plan your meals, but where you will eat them. Make where you eat as appealing as what you eat. If you need inspiration, Pinterest is great for this.
Develop Good Skincare Habits Early
In Europe, this often begins as early as 10 years old for both girls and boys and usually starts with their first facial. Teaching your son or daughter the importance of good skincare leads to a lifetime of healthy skin.
Make Facials and Massages a Part of Their Health Plan.
It’s really not a luxury. Skin is our largest organ — and it needs to be protected. Adults carry some 8 pounds and 22 square feet of it. This fleshy covering does a lot more than make us look presentable. In fact, without it, we would literally evaporate.
Move Their Bodies
Hike, lift weights, walk, ride a bike, take a class. We have wonderful weather here and there is really no excuse for not taking advantage of it. Your body is designed to move, and to do so frequently. When you think you are too tired, that is usually when you need it most. People who exercise always look better, feel better and have youthful energy
Smile More and Be Happy
Ok, maybe you're thinking “I can’t just be happy.” But actually, you can. The reality is that our thoughts create our experiences, because our thoughts determine what we notice, how we think, and therefore, how we feel. "Happiness" is not only a choice, but an active decision. Even if sometimes you don’t feel like it, smiling and positive thoughts can become contagious and lead to genuine happiness.
Less Media, More Interaction
While I believe there is a place for social media and computers in our lives, it is also important to be sure to disconnect. People who consciously turn off all electronic stimulation - yes, that means your phones, computers and headsets - and focus on the world around them are happier and more productive. Consider it the new conscious uncoupling ;)
More Maintenance, Less Extremes
While I always support doing what makes you feel better about yourself, there is more to be said for balance. Those who maintain their health and wellness will find more extreme measures less appealing. Ask Christie Brinkley. Small tweaks as you go result in a beautiful, more natural appearance. Asking an unhealthy body or neglected skin to respond well from extreme measures is unrealistic and will often result in a more artificial appearance. Start with the basics and build from there.
Develop a Sense of Style
You aren't missing the style gene. A sense of style is typically a learned and practiced skill. It is also one of the benefits of aging. As we realize what looks better on us, we care less about the fads and instead focus on our personal style. Getting a color analysis done to determine what works with your skin tone is a great start. Look towards cuts that flatter your body. Nowadays, it's less about dressing your age and more about dressing for your body.
It's bound to happen at some point. The system you have been using for optimum performance stops working : It's time to mix it up.
The human body (and the mind) are highly adaptable. You can get into a non-optimal performance pattern with your training regimen, your sleep schedule, and even your diet. We are looking for a constant upward progression, no matter how small, and the first step toward assurance of success comes in two simple words. Let go.
Let's pretend everything in your life is exactly the same, but you aren’t performing at your physical or mental peak. Go to the gas tank first. What are you eating? What are you not eating? What have you let slowly slip into your diet that seemed so benign at first but is now firmly in the rotation and is stealing your thunder? Fix it. The simplest way to achieve this is to do a five day diary. For five days, (one weekend day and four weekdays) write down everything you eat and at exactly what time you are eating. A simple entry of “coffee” isn’t good enough - You even need to log the 1 oz of creamer (even if it's sugar free). Try it. I think you will be surprised what has gotten off track. It’s not easy to maintain the discipline of a healthy diet day in and day out. Unfortunately, it is easy to allow variations in your diet become standard. It's those standards that make or break your efforts toward optimum health.
What about your work out? You have it down….its totally predictable - you know exactly how long it will take and what level of fatigue you can expect to have (or not have) as the day progresses. Plus it’s brainless and automatic. Headphones on, brain off, magically its over and you didn’t even realize it. Time to let go. You need a new way to reach your destination, and it’s going to take some new thinking. Get outside. Go plyometric. Do something different. Whatever you do, mix it up. You body is dying for a new challenge.
If your sleep is suffering, take a look at your nightly rituals. Do you stop looking at your computer or phone a few hours before bed? Have you started the nasty habit of eating anything close to bedtime that can disrupt your sleep cycle? Are you so overtrained that you are restless during the night and tired in the morning? Never forget that you train in the gym and you grow and repair in bed. Maybe you need a few weeks of conscientious under-training. Sleep is a precious commodity essential to both body and brain function. Never sacrifice your sleep. Remember - alcohol can significantly disrupt your normal sleep cycle. Be honest about the reasons you aren’t resting. Fix it. And get some new pillows……you deserve it.
When you make an investment, you are looking for a return. When you invest in yourself, you should expect no less. If your time is not paying the dividends you should be getting based on your honest efforts, then revamp your routine and let go.
September is finally here, and I have my house back again…It's time for back to school. While that gives many of us loads of new challenges, schedules and stress, for those going away to school it could also mean loads of extra weight
The freshman fifteen is no myth. And it isn't only reserved to first year college students. We have all seen it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So this year, let’s make a collective back to school resolution that will bring us into the holidays healthier and happier. So whether you are headed off to school, or missing someone who did, you can try these three simple things to maintain your summer fitness throughout the fall and winter.
Rule #1 - Avoid eating white food, specifically white and processed. Exceptions are cauliflower and almond milk. This means no refined sugar. No white bread. It’s very simple. We can all do it.
Rule #2 - Do not bat clean up. When your kids still have food on their plates, throw it away. You should have already eaten your meal. Imagine if you took just a month and added up all those tiny bites you took in the kitchen while cleaning up. That's a lot of extra food that serves no real purpose toward your ultimate health goals. So don’t do it. If you are at college, this applies in the same way. Just because there is leftover pizza around doesn’t mean you have to eat it. By maintaining good nutrition, you also maintain your ability to process information effectively. You are learning many new things and you need to be at your peak. Eating garbage at 2 a.m. is not going to get it done.
Rule #3 - Pay attention to those coffeehouse drinks. You may be getting much more than a boost of caffeine. I have watched adults, teenagers and now even middle-schoolers making their morning beverage purchase with the hopes of increasing their energy only to have the complete opposite and a much more detrimental effect. Drinks ranging from Iced Blended Frappuccinos to hot chocolates with whip have people consuming approximately 500 calories, up to 18g of Fat, and Carbs that come primarily from sugar. I can’t think of anything better designed for lethargy and weight gain than these so called "pick-me-up" drinks.
Your best choices are unsweetened or very lightly sweetened drinks. Iced teas without syrup, regular coffee, or if you must have a blended drink, the light varieties will at least save hundreds of calories.
I challenge all of you and your kids to take on these three simple rules for the next few months. By doing so, the freshman fifteen shouldn’t be an issue - for the kids or the parents.
Having a fit lifestyle starts at the dinner table, and unfortunately that is often the first thing that slips in times of stress. School can be stressful for parents and kids alike. Take the time to refocus on being good to yourself with a clean healthy diet. Your energy and sense of well-being will increase and lead to a remarkably productive and beneficial time for everyone.
Fit In a Peanut Butter World is a blog created to provide information as it relates to skin, body and food health.