I believe sometimes in this world of instant gratification and reality TV we forget that the route to our goals can be challenging. But don't give up. Discomfort is part of the journey, don't be discouraged, it is only making you stronger. Click on the video below to find out more.

Many times people believe that goal setting just means thinking about the destination. Honestly, it's a bit more involved than that if you want to get results. Here's a quick video that will help you set goals that almost guarantee results -- click below.

Time for a little Mid-Week Motivation. Need some motivation to get you started, to keep on track, or just plain get you fired up and ready for the day. Click the video below and get it done!

I honestly believed, for some strange reason that everyone knew the truth about Cellulite. I was under some strange impression that the average person was clear on what was and what was not true about cellulite.  I was blown away, when today, someone came to me and asked me for an exercise to get rid of cellulite on their thighs.  So let's get to it.  Here are 7 facts about cellulite so you will know what it really is and how to get rid of it effectively and keep it off.

1.) Cellulite is a term that originated in France over 150 years ago. Widespread promotion of the term began in the United States in about 1973, following an piece done by Nicole Ronsard, a New York City beauty salon owner that specialized in skin and body care.

2.)  Cellulite is described as the dimpling of the skin, caused by the bulging or protrusion of subcutaneous fat into the dermis (upper layer of skin), thus creating a rippling (waffling, orange peel syndrome, cottage cheese) affect of the skin.  The culprit affects 85%-98% of post-pubescent females, though primarily targeting females over the age of 35.  It is rarely seen in men.

3.)  The reason it is seen in women more than men is because of the way a woman's skin attaches to muscle and how fat is effected by this type of connection.

4.)  There is NO RESEARCH that demonstrates cellulite is any different than "normal" fat stores.

5.)  Genetics are the largest indicator as to who will most likely have cellulite. It's in your DNA.

What you can do to decrease your chances of getting cellulite or decrease it?

6.)  Drink plenty of water, choose lean sources of protein, fiber and whole grain foods, fresh vegetables, unsaturated fats and of course, a rigorous and consistent exercise routine.

7.)  There is NO SUCH thing as spot reduction.

There you are. The basics of cellulite. It's not a mystery, it can be gotten rid of with healthy balanced food choices and exercise.

Remember, there is nothing you can't accomplish if you put your mind to it.  Set a long term goal with 3 short term goals in between.  Make them challenging, but achievable, and watch the magic happen.

If I can be of any service in helping you achieve your goals, don't hesitate to contact me.

Now you've got the facts, go out and get it done.
If you're serious about making changes in your life Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Understand that when you're comfortable, you're not being challenged.  If you are not being challenged, then you are not growing, evolving, or moving yourself upward and onward. Whether it's referring to physical, financial, or spiritual improvement, challenge yourself to be better each week, each month.

I frequently remind my clients who say "this is tough".  "Yes", I respond, "and that's how we know you are making improvements -- because you're being challenged to a higher level -- the body is having to work harder to get better".

If you're doing a certain exercise for 12 reps, go to 15 reps.  Or if your circuit contains 5 movements, make it 7 movements in a row before you take a 2 minute break.  If you've been doing slow "fat burning zone" cardio, try intervals (alternating periods of fast, followed by periods of medium to slow pace).

From a financial perspective, if you've been saving 5% of your monthly income, try moving it to 7 or 10%.

It's all about continuing to challenge yourself to be better. Now be clear, you can't go out and tackle every issue you have in one week. But I encourage you to choose at least one thing and commit to getting it done.

I don't know where we got this idea that being comfortable was going to help us achieve our dreams, but it's false. Being comfortable will only keep you in one spot, feeling comfortable and typically not growing and evolving to be your best.

Reasons or Results! 

It's that simple.  Get out of your comfort zone and surprise yourself with your greatness.

Now get up and go do it!
A relative asked me over the weekend what is the formula for lasting weight loss.  BINGO, I thought, this would be a good blog post.

So here it is in four easy steps, the formula to lasting weight loss:

1.)  Commit to taking excellent care of yourself both mentally and physically. Whether it's getting up a bit earlier to do a bit of yoga and meditation for 20-30 minutes before preparing to work or ending your day with this type of routine, each day needs to take into account the physical and mental aspect of the body that we rely on to carry out our daily tasks.

2.)  Set realistic short and long term goals.  From my experience most people set their initial goals much too high for the time period they've given themselves. And of course more often they not they don't meet their goal, get frustrated and abandon the whole process altogether. Initially, set easily accomplished goals, that still make you accountable, but allow you to build momentum to the long term goal. That way you ensure your success from the start.

3.)  Commit to a nutrition schedule (way of eating, diet if you will) that meets your lifestyle, tastes and budget constraints.  No matter what the promises someone else may make about their way of losing weight, if you can't commit to it or don't like the food, you won't get results. The nutrition schedule should suggest and encourage a variety of protein sources, large low-glycemic carbohydrate use and limited uses of high glycemic carbohydrates, and regular consumption of healthy fats (i.e. poly and monounsaturated).

4.)  Commit to a regular resistance exercise program that periodically changes to keep you both motivated and challenged.  A reputable trainer or reference book should be able to provide you with a workout you can do on your own, that every 6-12 weeks, based on the individual, changes to challenge your skills and fitness level.  Based on your goals and lifestyle about 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days per week should allow you to challenge your body enough to get measurable changes.

There you go.  It's really that simple.  That challenge is to be consistent.  But I believe you can do it.

As always, let me know what you think.
It continues to amaze me how many people ask me for my advice about getting out of pain, weight loss or weight gain, but when given the answers, seem disbelieving. "How can I get rid of this little fluff around the middle?", the person will ask me. "I would really beware of how many starchy carbs you take in each day, and I would suggest intervals for cardio and/or circuits to really get the results you want quickly", I respond. They look at me as if I'm speaking Latin. "I have to do all that!", they retort. "Well", I reply "try either circuits or cardio and let's see the results.  Then we can make a better decision where to go from there". In desperation they ask, "Couldn't I do just maybe 10-15 extra sit-ups or skip breakfast?" "No", I respond, "skipping breakfast will actually make the problem worse, and you can't spot reduce."

Now, I'm not quite sure when it happened, but when did people start believing success at anything is easy and painless, and is almost instantaneous? I mean c'mon, if being in shape or being successful was that darn easy, everyone would be walking around looking like a cover model and driving an exotic sports car.  The fact of the matter is anything that's worth something generally takes some pretty serious effort and commitment.

And here's something that I just spoke about with my clients this morning -- within the seeds of greatness there is some level of pain and/or discomfort. Simply put, if you want to achieve something that is valuable to you, don't expect the process to be painless.  That's not living in reality.  Know that anything that is worth achieving or is a goal that you have set, is going to have some elements of pain and discomfort. Think about it, it wouldn't be a goal if it was easy to achieve. Setting a goal means, I'm not at such and such a point and I will change my habits and focus to assure that I get there in X amount of time. So you've set a goal, which means the point you've chosen to achieve requires that you break unproductive, perhaps destructive bad habits so that you can reach a higher level of satisfaction with yourself. Built into that aspiration is pain and discomfort. Why, you ask? Because it is requiring you to change the previous way you've been behaving.

And therein lies the frustration of setting goals and expecting them to be painless and instantaneous. If you aspire to do anything, know it will come with some level of discomfort. BUT also know that if you commit to the process of achieving that goal, you will evolve into something much greater than you were before. You become a better you by aspiring to be more.

You deserve to achieve your dreams. Dare to aspire to be something more than you are right now. Remember, success and accomplishment is not convenient, it's a commitment to your greatness. And by the way, success, greatness and accomplishment is not always convenient, but it sure feels good when you get there.

As always, Reasons or Results.  Which will you have at the end of 30, 60, or 90 days? Set the goal and go GET IT!

I'm watching TV and I see this advertisement for a workout DVD set. The people in the ad are all dripping with sweat, the host is taking turns going from one person to the other yelling encouragement to them as they run in place, jump up and down, doing something that's supposed to be a push up, etc. The music is loud, and the people keep talking about how "pushed" they are by the host and workout DVD; that they couldn't accomplish it before and this push is what they needed.

Then this morning I'm watching my 2 clients train -- one is working on increasing her core strength, rehab and losing weight.   The other is a recent mother who does triathlons as a hobby.  Both are sweating, working hard, each in their own zone, and yet they are still able to interact.  On the surface, you wouldn't expect them to be training together. 

And there is a reason for that...the benefits of personalized, group training. 

Group training creates a sense of shared experience. It creates a sense of cohesiveness and a sense of belonging.  Personalized training gives us the ability to focus on our own body's needs, listening and staying in touch with our own health and fitness.  Most of us could use both a sense of shared experience and a sense of being able to turn inward. 

Here's the point.  Jumping around like a nut is not necessary to achieve body transformation (whether it's weight loss or to get rid of pain). Most programs are made with a shotgun approach, trying to meet the needs of everyone. (Sounds a lot like the very feeling most of us are trying to avoid.)  A good program would be more sniper-like.  It would assist you in reaching your goal through effectively using functional movements to push you mentally and physically to the limit, BUT in a way that gets you to connect with you.

To me the whole idea of working out is that it allows you the space to recharge your batteries, let go of stress, and create a sense of inner peace -- all while training the animal in us, that place that allows us all to keep moving forward even when we're tired.

For each client, I develop a unique program they follow at each session. Each of them is appropriately challenged, each of them feels pushed appropriately, even though each of them have VERY different fitness levels.  If you're not getting the results you want, maybe you don't need to be pushed; maybe you need to get centered. 

Are you ready to take your fitness to a new level?  Make the workout about you and not you about the workout.  Unless, of course you have too much time on your hands and would prefer to jump around.

This morning as my client was doing his core work he stated, "I really hate doing this stuff, but you know what I hate worse . . . . how I feel if I don't do this stuff", chuckling just a bit as he finished his statement.

It got me thinking. THAT is probably the single most important perspective to have when it comes to accomplishing any goal. You've got to keep focused on the goal and know that no matter how uncomfortable things are in the moment, it's worth it, because the goal you've chosen is worth it.

I think sometimes in the world of instant gratification, cell phones, emails, texting, we sometimes forget that old saying, anything worth accomplishing takes time, patience and perseverance. Somehow I think many of us out there have forgotten that growth is not painless. Success and accomplishment take time and come with periods of discomfort. Success and Accomplishment aren't things that grow on trees or you that you can run down to your local store and pick up. It's almost like some of us have forgotten what makes success SO FRIGGIN wonderful, it allows you to go past your previously held ideas about what you could accomplish. YOU evolve in the process of committing to and achieving your goals.

Truth is, Growth, Success, and Accomplishment often come with some level of discomfort, if not down right pain sometimes. Now obviously there is a difference between good healthy pain and suffering. Here I am referring to the discomfort that comes from breaking old patterns, and discovering strength and clarity about yourself that you only suspected existed. The pain and discomfort that come along with changing your behavior patterns and perceptions about what you can accomplish, even when it's not convenient.

So the next time you start complaining about how hard cardio is, how uncomfortable it is to do your rolling for self-massage, how inconvenient it is to make time for your exercise and health, think about this:

How committed are you to your success?

How many hours do you think Serena and Nadal practice Tennis?

How many times did Thomas Edison try different elements for the light bulb?

Now maybe you don't won't to become a professional athlete or create something as life-changing as the light bulb, but what you do want to accomplish is worth the commitment. Otherwise why bother making the goal.

You can accomplish virtually anything you set your mind to as long as you make consistent steps. Know that the discomfort you experience at any given moment is just part of the process, It Will Pass. Stay focused, stay on target, and enjoy the transformation.

Now Go Out There and Make It Happen!
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I think it's safe to say that most of us believe that a veggie burger is a wholesome alternative to a meat patty, yes? 

Well, a new report from the Cornucopia Institute states that some of the most popular veggie patties are contaminated with hexane, a neurotoxic chemical solvent that’s classified as a hazardous air pollutant by the EPA.  It appears that hexane is used to separate soy protein from the rest of the bean (the resulting ingredient goes under names including “soy protein isolate” and “texturized soy protein”).  “If a product that isn’t certified organic contains soy protein, it’s 99 percent likely that hexane was used to process it,” says Charlotte Valleys, a farm and food policy analyst for the Cornucopia Institute. “And that includes not just veggie burgers, but energy bars, meat substitutes—anything containing soy protein.” Click the link below to find out if you're "healthy" choices are listed www.cornucopia.org/soysurvey. 

One easy solution is to stick with products that are labeled "made with organic ingredients" or “USDA Organic” label. But according to the article this doesn't even guarantee that hexane is not present at a toxic level.

As if all your friends needed more encouragement and information touting the benefits of exercise, Dr. Fred Gage and his colleagues at the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute in San Diego have demonstrated that exercise can actually make you smarter! 

As we age stem cells in the brain become less responsive and sluggish, going into a sort of cellular sleep. Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago have demonstrated that exercise encourages and facilitates the production of adult stem cells in the brain through a process known as "neurogenesis".  And at least thus far in mice, exercise has demonstrated it is of extreme importance to this process because of the brain chemicals the body produces in response to exercise.  So NOW not only is exercise good for your body, it can make you smarter as well. 

Think I'll go do some lunges, squats and bicep curls and raise my IQ a few points today.

For those of you still wondering what the best way is to lose weight and keep it off, other than reading my blog posts each week, the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) states there are 4 major points:

Monitor Weight and Food Intake -- which basically means keep a record of your weight weekly and a keep a daily food journal.

Adopt an Effective Eating Frequency and Pattern -- as all my regular readers know, 3 regular meals and 2 snacks per day is key.

Control Portions -- as I shared in "the skinny on carbs" be aware of how you divide your plate so that you are aware of your portion sizes.

Fill Up on Less -- means eat your veggies and fruits.

And of course they do mention physical activity (also called exercise) at least 1hour a day.

Hope this info helps keep you informed, healthy and on the right track. As always, let me know what you think.