Running on empty.
Do these sound familiar ?
Catch yourself saying or thinking them most days of the week?
Do you prop yourself up with excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar ?
We hear these kind of phrases on a daily basis - in pretty much every consultation we have with prospective clients.
It’s an all too common set of frustrations that we come across.
And what does all this add upto?
The sense that you’re just getting by day to day.
Which then leads to thoughts and feelings that you aren’t making the most of life.
Maybe, you even worry from time to time that you’ll always feel like this as you enter your 40s, 50s and beyond !
If some (or all) of this resonates with you, the good news is that we understand you and completely empathise, because this is essentially what we do day in day out.
Our work is literally about helping women in their 30's, 40's and 50's to get that mojo and spring in your step back.
And to find the energy to actually be more active (because let’s face it, it’s a vicious circle - often we struggle to be active when we’re so lethargic, even though we know it’s good for us).
Imagine for a second what it is like to wake in a morning, feeling fresh, full of beans, and ready to face whatever the day throws at you.
In the rest of this article, we’d like to share the 3 key habits of those women that we’ve worked with who’ve managed to literally TRANSFORM their energy levels so that they’re not just surviving on a daily basis, but THRIVING.
HABIT #1 - Prioritise your sleep
I’m going to dive straight in and say I know first hand how difficult (often impossible) this is, if you’ve got young kids.
I had twins who didn’t sleep for 2.5 years, and to compound things, we had our third just 1 years and 3 days after those first two!
Sleep deprivation does funny things to you - it makes you irrational, forgetful, moody, miserable, and often, argumentative!
So, I want to be clear with this, that when I talk about prioritising your sleep, I’m not being naive to the fact that many of you reading this are a mum of one or more young kids.
But in many respects, that just highlights how important sleep really is.
When you go without it for so long, even though you kind of know it, you don’t truly remember how good it feels to be well rested, until you actually ARE well rested.
If you wake up after too little sleep, or broken sleep, then your body won’t be primed to run as well as it should.
Your energy will be low.
This in turn means that even if you manage to resist a sugar breakfast (or one of those syrup-laden coffee drinks ), come 10am, your blood sugar will be so low, that all the willpower in the world, won’t be able to beat the insatiable craving for something sweet and sugary to get those blood sugar levels back up.
It’s also like that you’ll go through the day feeling grouchy, and at some point, end up trying to make yourself feel better via the medium of food.
When I say food, I mean ‘chocolate’ (or insert similar).
Then, you decide to label yourself and emotional eater, (because well, your were feeling emotionally sh*t), but often the driver behind that, was poor energy and mood due to simply being tired.
Getting enough sleep in the busy world of ours, where we’re up early most mornings, means only one thing.
Getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
And this is where many people fall down.
I once had a Personal Training client who openly admitted that she’d stay up till midnight, because after a busy day at work where she got in at 7pm then had to make dinner, and felt that going to bed at say 10:30pm, meant she was “missing out” on relaxation time.
After a bit of coaching, she agrees to “test” an earlier bedtime for a week.
She told me it was the most impactful thing she’d ever done for her wellbeing, and that she could see how staying up “just because I feel I’m missing out on life” was nothing more than a limiting belief.
As I said, this is super difficult if you have kids that don't sleep or often wake with thoughts running around your head.
So don't beat yourself up about it.
But DO recognise the importance of it.........and recognise that for the large part, we're far more in control of what time we go to bed than we are of the other stuff.
For many people, it's a simple choice between "just one more episode of my latest box set" or going to bed an hour earlier and feeling like a different person when you wake up.
HABIT #2 - HYDRATE
“Really?” I hear you cry!
“Give me the good stuff. Not this sleep and drink water nonsense”
You were hoping I was going to give a secret sauce or a magic pill, right ?
Unfortunately, the most basic habits on earth are usually the most important.
Drink plenty of water.
Eat good food most of the time.
Move your arse more.
Say 'please' and 'thank you.'
Help old people cross the road.
Oh, and ring your mum more often. (that's a note to myself by the way)
We ALL know this stuff - we just don’t always implement it.
Then we go seeking, hoping that there’s something more novel than exciting than the basics.
But those women who have amazing energy levels - on a constant basis - those are the ones who practice the basics more often than not.
Drinking plenty of water (2 litres is a good target for an averag woman) will:
As simple a habit as it is, it can actually be quite hard to remember to drink enough water each day.
Our top 3 tips for getting on top of this are:
1) Buy a 2 litre bottle of mineral water (or use an old bottle and fill it with tap water), and draw lines on it, with a time of day written alongside it. Keep it in your desk and every time you see it, it reminds you to have hit a certain line in the bottle by a certain time of day.
2) Put post-it notes.....everywhere. In a past lifetime I used to work in an office, and I used the "hack" of putting post-it notes on my phone, my monitor, my laptop, on my tray, in my draw etc..........each of them reminding me to do something (in this case, it's drink more water).
3) Set a few alarms on your phone - a bit like with the bit bottle, but this time your phone reminds you to walk over to the tap and drink a glass of water. We have these amazing devices in our pockets but don't use them enough for "hacking life".
HABIT #3 - MOVE YOUR MUSCLES
Some of our clients working on their upper body strength on the suspension trainer - great for the arms and core.
ANY movement is good.
Especially in this sedentary world of ours.
But actively challenging your muscles through resistance training, will not only help you tone up (bonus), burn more fat (double bonus) it’ll actually give you more energy.
Our muscles are what’s known as “metabolically active”.
They USE energy (calories) in order to move.
Fat on the hand, doesn’t.
It just stores calories ready to be burnt by those muscles.
More muscle = more calorie burn!
(And no, when we say “more muscle” we don’t mean looking like a bodybuilder, we mean a few pounds more of lean, muscle tissue that will actually hep you burn many, many more pounds of fat tissue.
When we train our muscles to get stronger and leaner, our body basically “lights up”.
It burns more energy than if we didn’t train them, which raises your metabolism, which effectively makes us more energetic.
Add on top of that, a strong body with the ability to handle all of life’s physical challenges , and the endurance to handle them all day every day.......well that’s just a recipe for going through life feeling hot to trot and pretty damn unstoppable.
How to implement:
Two of the three above (getting plenty of sleep consistently and working out regularly ) can be hard if you’re a mum of young kids, but this just means you should not beat yourself up about it, whilst st the same time, looking to build these in whenever/if you can.
For everyone else, if your energy levels are through the floor, then focussing on implementing these 3 habits, will absolutely transform how you feel each day.
1) Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
(And if you can’t, just aim to get more than you do now. Progress is more important than perfection).
2) Drink plenty of water.
Two litres is optimal but if you currently drink less than a cactus, then just aim for 1 litre to begin with.
(Progress is more important than perfection).
3) Move your muscles - train them 2-3 times a week with focussed resistance training. If you don’t know what you’re doing, work with a coach.
If you can't manage that to begin with, do less, but do something.
Because remember, progress is more important than perfection.
We're a little bit "different" to other fitness programs.
Unlike gyms, we don't just want to sell your memberships, and then hope you don't turn up.
Unlike bootcamps, we won't scream and shout at you, and best you to within an inch of your life.
Unlike "classes", we don't just give you a workout based around whatever the latest craze is.
Infact, if you would like to work with us, you need to apply - so that we can take the time to connect personally, and simply listen to where you're at right now, what your frustrations & struggles are, and get crystal clear on what your goals are.
Ultimately, we are 100% committed to helping people fall in love with their body again, feeling 10 years younger, and being in control of their habits & behaviours.
So we only want to work with people who are committed to making the changes, and putting the effort in - albeit with expert guidance, support and coaching.
If this sounds like you, then we want to invite you to apply for a space on one of our signature Transformation Programs.
> Group training sessions for ANY fitness level - experience our unique Metabolic Resistance Training™ system that's designed to NOT focus on how much energy you burn during those 45 minutes - but to create a spike in your metabolism so that you burn energy in the other 23 HOURS of the day
> Follow our simple nutrition plan that's designed to forget about calorie counting, and switch on your fat-burning hormones; the key to phenomenal health and weight loss. 5 simple habits that automatically helps you nourish your body and lose excess weight, without having to over-think it.
> You get immediate access to your own Personal Support Coach (yep before we even meet you) who will help guide you , answer questions, support you......and most importantly, hold you accountable with your attendance, nutrition and habits, to maximise your results during this kickstart phase
.To apply and book a no obligation phone consultation with one of our team, simply click the button below and follow the details.
Fed up with feeling 'frumpy and grumpy' every Summer, when you should really be having the time of your life, during the best season of the year?
Whilst we all know that we should look after our health, fitness & wellbeing, a priority in our lives 365 days a year, the fact is, we all want to feel at least a basic level of confidence and comfort in our own skin when it’s time to ditch the baggy clothes we can use behind during the Winter.
If you want to wake up on on the first morning of Summer, feeling hot to trot, then you need to give some serious consideration to getting going......now.
We’d like to share with you, precisely what you need to do to drop 1-2 dress sizes (your starting size and weight dependant of course) between now and August 1st.
And you’re going to learn how it’s entirely possible without :
1) Crash Dieting
2) Necking stupid supplements
3) Beasting yourself to within an inch of your life in the gym
4) Feel overwhelmed, deprived, and restricted
We believe in breaking the complex down into the simple - and having coached 1,000’s of people over the years, we’ve learnt that one of the biggest obstacles most people have, is being able to create a step by step plan that feels achievable.
When we see the steps we need to take, we immediately start believing that we can do it.
And when that happens, motivation kicks in - win win!
So......let's crack on.
1) Break it down
A Goal without a plan, is just a WISH !
Remember, this post is specifically about getting in shape for Summer
And we define getting in shape as “feeling a basic level of confidence in your body, by August 1st.
That's 7 weeks away (at time of writing) - plenty of time!
Let's pick a middle of the road number - 1 stone for example.
Losing 1 stone between now and July 1st is entirely possible (we've seen it happen time and time again with real world clients)
1 stone is 14lbs.
So that's 2lbs a week.
Already sounding doable, just from having it framed like that?
Good - so now let's dive into what you'll need to do with your nutrition, exercise and mindset, in order to wake up on July 1st, feeling hot-to-trot, and ready to PARTY!
1) We don't have to count calories, but calories do count.
2) If you focus on eating for health & energy, you will naturally consume less calories, and begin to shed unwanted bodyfat.
3) The best nutrition plan, is the one you stick to.
4) "Better not perfect" is the best mantra to adopt when it come to changing your eating habits.
We have our own nutrition plan we recommend to all our clients - The C.H.E.A.T Eating system - which gives you just 5 simple habits to focus on, that covers ALL basis of healthy eating for energy and fat-loss.
And we've not had to amend it once, since we first wrote it over 5 years ago.
Because it is based on principles.
And it is based on helping people to SEE themselves differently when it comes to nutrition - rather than just another arbitrary "eat this, and don't eat that" approach.
When you have sustained, natural energy through a good diet, you will experience far less cravings for sugar and other forms of ‘instant energy’.
Less empty calories.
When you eat foods full of nutrients (eg. whole foods) your body will switch on the “fullness signals” earlier.
We regularly hear people who used to insist that “they were always hungry” suddenly start eating a lot less, purely through increasing their nutrient intake.
The human body craves vitamins and minerals first, calories second.
When you consciously focus on hydration, your appetite decreases, your energy increases, and your body becomes far more efficient at burning fat (the chemical process going on inside the body when fat is physically “burnt” takes place in a water-rich environment).
We actually place hydration - drinking 3 litres of water a day, at the TOP of our nutritional advice.
What’s the one thing? .....YOUR "one thing" ?
95% of people know what a decent diet looks like?
Let’s face it, you don’t need us to tell you that some Fish and vegetables is better for you than a KFC bargain bucket.
It’s rarely a case of what we need to do more of with our eating habits - it’s more often a case of what we need to do LESS of.
And we all have our “one thing”.
A “one thing’ is a bit like the domino at the start of a domino rally.
Without tipping the one domino over, the rest doesn’t work.
Yet when we DO tip it over, the whole set-up usually works.
Your “one thing” might be that 2 glasses of wine you have EVERY night.
It might be the mid morning croissant that you just can’t say no to.
It could be the fact you hardly eat all day, then get home and overeat on processed food or takeaways.
Spend a few moments right now, asking yourself what your one thing is, that if you changed, or improved (remember, “better not perfect”) would have a BIG impact on the rest of your diet.
Exercise has so many benefits from improving flexility and balance, improving heart health, improving sleep, and even improving mental health.
But this article is about “getting in shape for Summer” so we’ll keep the focus there.
When it comes to shedding excess fat, especially around those troublesome spots, nutrition is 70-80% of it.
You probably know that, but we see a lot of people "hoping" that we wouldn't say that - because they want to find a way around it.
Boring statement alert.........There are NO shortcuts!
Exercise DOES matter though, and if done correctly, can manipulate your metabolism, quite spectacularly.
This point is critical to understand, because exercise for weight loss and fat-burning, is a very different ‘thing’ to just expending energy, getting sweaty & out of breath, or beasting yourself in the belief that it’s about sheer graft.
We believe that when it comes to fitness & exercise, it’s about working smarter, not harder.
Your metabolism is the sum of all the thousands of processes going on in your body at any one time.
Cells dieing and regenerating.
Energy being used for your heart to beat and your lungs to pump.
The body is constantly using up energy (calories) every second of the day.
See, around 65-75% of the energy we burn every single day (including when we are asleep) comes from our Resting Metabolic Rate (our hearts beating, our lunge pumping, even our brains thinking!).
Knowing this, it makes sense to increase that 70% of our total energy expenditure, so that we are burning way more fat, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Striving to burn off as many calories as possible in an exercise session itself, is a futile endeavour.
Exercise itself accounts for a tiny fraction of the total energy we burn each day.
The goal then, is to increase our metabolism so that we burn more energy the rest of the day.
And to do this, you need to train your body in a certain way.
HiiT (high intensity interval training) is the latest craze.
It’s backed by science and is a time-efficient way of improving fitness.
But in order to really change body composition (less fat, and more muscle ‘tone’), we need to include targeted resistance exercises (using dumbbells or kettlbebells for example).
We understand the sciencey, biology side to all of this, so you don’t have to.
And it’s enabled us to combine the best parts of what works from various approaches, to create our unique Metabolic Accelerator Training™ system that we use with all our clients.
The final point on exercise, is that it needs to fit into YOUR life.
There’s no point us telling new mums, busy self-employed women, or fulltime workers, that they need to magically find 5+ hours a week.
Our studio-based program operates on just 3 x 45 minute sessions a week - and the results speak for themsleves.
Our online program, operates on 5 x 14 minute sessions a week.
14 minutes a day!
Both approaches are based on the same principles of creating ‘spikes’ in metabolism.
The take home point is that you don’t need to slog you guts off in order to change your body - you just need to do the RIGHT things.
4) Your Mindset
Our favourite topic.
We understand that every single person we work with, is a human being and not just a body of muscle, bones and fat.
We understand that every single person we work with, is a human being and not just a body of muscle, bones and fat.
We understand that we are all complex beings, with various stresses and struggles going on in life, and that the outdated “eat less, move more” approach will never, ever work.
We believe that fitness and health should be the foundation of life - but not something to obsess over.
And we believe that everyone will keep ‘veering off track’…….frequently.
But it doesn’t matter so long as you:
a) recognise that you’re off track sooner rather than later
b) keep adjusting your course
NOBODY gets from A to B in a straight line.
But NOBODY wakes up one day, 3 stone overweight.
Part of our coaching model, is based around encouraging people to continually “check in” with themselves.
To say, even if it’s just once a week; “how am I feeling? what’s my energy like? is my body in a better or worse state than last week?”
And then importantly, encouraging them to refocus and keep going.
There’s no such thing as self-sabotage or any of those phrases used to explain away behaviour.
There’s only a refusal to LISTEN to our bodies, and ignore them.
Imagine if you only ever went a few days off track with your health, fitness and habits.
Either because you developed the discipline to keep checking in with yourself, or because you had a Coach to be that ‘gentle nag’ in the background - consistently asking you to make your own, better decisions, about what to do.
Summer is around 7 weeks away (at time of writing).
2lbs a week is totally achievable.
And it doesn’t require a “perfect diet” and “seamless exercise plan”.
You won’t eat ‘perfectly’ all the time, and even if you tried, you’d make yourself miserable and feel deprived.
There’ll be times when you don’t manage all your exercise sessions, and be tempted to beat yourself up, or simply give up.
The goal with all of this, is really to keep going.
It’s easy to do all these things when motivation is high.
But it’s those days that we ALL have, when motivation is low, that we need to do our best.
That’s the difference, and that’s why mindset matters most.
And that’s why so many people reach out to us - because they recognise that the fastest way to success, is to get a coach for accountability and guidance.
I’ll close by saying that it’s important to be proactive.
We actually don’t believe in short term aesthetic goals - we believe in training for the biggest event of all - LIFE !
But once or twice year, we understand that everyone wants to be in shape for a specific event or occasion.
And let’s not forget that we all put a few pounds on over Summer, what with all those BBQs, holidays, and cold drinks on beautiful, warm evenings -- so having a bit of ‘breathing space’ to put those few pounds on, without stressing about it, can only be a bonus.
How To Reprogram Your Mind So That You Stop Yo-Yo Dieting & Binge Eating ..........(especially at weekends)
It’s incredibly frustrating to feel as though you’re always eating well Monday to Thursday......but then seem to revert back to old (poorer habits) at the weekend.
And that endless cycle brings with it, the added frustration of feeling as though you just can’t get into “the zone” with your eating.
Couple those together, and you find that the binge-eating on a weekend, is not only undoing all of your good work from Monday to Thursday, but it’s actually causing more weight to creep on - maybe just a pound every week or two, but it soon adds up.
This is a very common pattern that we see, and with it comes the fear of many clients and prospective clients, feeling as though it’s a cycle they’ll have to battle forever - no end in sight, maybe into old age !
Do you just want to feel healthier, be more in control and feel as though it ISN'T a constant battle?
Would you love to develop a more relaxed mindset around food, and feel free of the common anxieties that many people (women in particular) have around food?
If so, then this article is for you.
We’ve got 3 key areas to focus on, in order to reprogram your mind away from yo yo dieting and the endless cycle of weekend binging.
1) Stop using black and white labels
Ever hear yourself saying some of the following phrases?
“I’m being good at the moment”
“I’m trying to be good”
“I’m eating healthily at the moment”
“I’m doing the xxxx diet “
“I’m eating clean”
Of course you have.
So have we.
The problem with this language however, is the MINDSET behind it.
Question: if you are not “being good”, what are you being instead ?
Answer: you’re being “bad”
If you’re not eating healthily, what are you eating?
Basically, our brains tell us that if we’re not doing one, we’re doing the other.
In essence, we tell ourselves that if we’re not being perfect , then we are failing.
With no inbetween.
And when we think we’re failing, what happens?
Generally feeling annoyed and pissed off that (yet again) we’ve not managed to stick to our diet.
And to compound this, we then reinforce our lack of belief in ourselves to EVER get a grip with our eating.
It might sound trivial at first, but reframing how we think about and label food, is a game changer.
STOP telling yourself that you’re “an all or nothing person”.
It’s not true and is just a convenient story you tell yourself for why you often struggle.
STOP thinking in black and white.
Good or bad.
Healthy or unhealthy.
START paying attention to the words you use - our language is a window to the brain, and our brains are the things that control or behaviours.
START seeking small improvements.
Can you eat foods that contain less calories or sugar , more often? (Rather than all the time).
Can you eat natural, whole foods a bit more of the time?
Basically, can you focus on micro- improvements and small progressions, rather than trying to hit a home run!?
2) Track your food & habits
What gets measured gets managed.
In other words, if you track something over a period of time, you become more aware of the details behind it.
If you weigh yourself every week, you’ll know for sure whether you’re losing , maintaining or increasing.
If you check your bank balance every week or month, you’ll know whether you’ve got more, less, or the same amount of money as before.
And you’ll also know where you’re spending too much.
These analogies are PERFECT for taking control of what goes in your mouth.
If you track your food and drink intake, and also record one or two comments about anything that triggered an emotional eating episode, you’ll be able to analyse what needs to change.
The second benefit of logging your food, is that you simply end up eating less junk.
Knowing that you have to write it down and see it on paper, means you’re less likely to eat it in the first place.
Infact, research studies have proven time and time again, that by writing down your food intake, you consume less calories.
Takes 3 minutes max on an evening.
Proven to work.
Yet so few people do it!
In our program we have a simple tool called a P.A.L (Personal Accountability Log) which is used to log meals, fluid intake, a space to log any comments or thoughts for the client, and a space for their coach to record any comments or suggestions.
But even if you just write down what you eat for a week in a basic notebook, I guarantee you’ll reap the rewards.
Or if you prefer using your phone, apps like MyFitnessPal are great too.
The method you use, is far less important than just doing it! (nudge nudge) :)
Habits take time to build.
Willpower can get us started, but it’s never enough to keep us going, and it's very rarely strong enough to keep us in track when our motivation and energy levels are low, and the lure of (another) take away and entire bottle of wine is calling.
Accountability is what people are actually buying when they hire a Personal Trainer.
It’s certainly not the quality of the workout - it’s having someone to keep an eye on them, give them a pep talk when needed (or a gentle kick up the arse for some people!), and to be “on their team” as they go on their journey of developing better, sustainable, lifelong habits.
When you’re accountable to someone else, you are ‘forced’ to keep more of your attention on your goal and your habits.
Cool Story >>> Sarah, who started our 8 week transformation last year (and lost 19lbs in the process), said this about the accountability part of the program
“Having to account to you guys is a definite help and something I’ve never done before.
The food diary is great , after a blow out in Amsterdam I went back to the diary and followed week one again.
It has definitely changed my outlook, and in particular alcohol (wine) I now only drink on my 2 days off and enjoy it so much more as it feels like a treat/ reward for all the hard work .“
Her amazing body transformation, and shift in her mindset didn’t just happen though a bunch of workouts - it happened by embracing the idea that working with her dedicated Personal Support Coach, she would spend more time “on track” than “off track”.