Why I Became Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified

I feel like a bit of an anomaly in the fitness world. I’ve lived and worked in this space for a few years now. Even as I have worked in this space I have still been on my own journey to discover what health and fitness means in my life. As I have come into a world dominated by people who have lived in health and fitness for most of their lives I felt like an outsider. Many fitness professionals have chosen their career because it was the easy choice, because fitness has always been easy for them. I didn’t end up in this profession because it was easy for me. I ended up here because when I was starting out on my fitness journey I felt like none of the people I went to for help understood where I was at. I had to fight like hell to get here. The things I have learned aren’t just from a textbook. I’ve lived them.

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It wasn’t that long ago I was on the other side of this industry… not the fitness professional, but the terrified fat girl walking into a gym of mostly fit people. I vividly remember what it felt like to not be able to hold myself up on a pull up bar for a millisecond. I remember how terribly difficult it felt to push my 250 pound body up off the ground, even doing a girl push up from my knees. I remember crying in the dressing room because nothing fit or getting winded climbing the stairs. But I also remember the very first time I deadlifted 100lbs and couldn’t believe I just lifted that much weight off the floor. I remember the first time I jumped on a box after months of being terrified of it. I know what it feels like to work hard and see results. I know what it feels like to work hard and see no results.
I have been where you are. 
 
It is overwhelming and confusing hearing everyone try to tell you what you should do… shouldn’t do… what to eat… what not to eat. They try to sell you shortcuts, magic powder, pills, or wraps to get you to your goal in 21 days for 10 easy payments… or whatever. I’ve tried a good amount of them and none of them worked. I was gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, whole30. I spent a long time following a strict meal plan that dictated exactly what and how much to eat. While that last one wasn’t bad in itself (it was a healthy meal plan) the overly structured format left me terrified to deviate from the plan… not wanting to attend social outings because there would be food and I’d have to be “that girl” who brought her own food or didn’t participate because it wasn’t on my meal plan.
There are no short cuts to lasting change.
If you aren’t seeing results some fitness professionals might tell you that you aren’t trying hard enough or you must be lying about what you’re eating or how much you’re working out. They tell you to get motivated….  To workout more, eat less. Push harder. Rest less. Eat high carb… no paleo… no try no carbs. If you slip up they tell you to work it off. Workouts should be painful. You should turn down fun life events because they don’t fit your diet. You should be starving. Society in general has told us that losing weight can’t be an enlightening experience. That we should deprive ourselves, starve ourselves, overwork ourselves. We are put down, or we put ourselves down, for not being good enough.
This process will be hard work, but it shouldn’t feel like punishment.
 
I became a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Nutrition Coach because I want to help people reach their goals in a way that makes sense for their lifestyle. I believe the best diet is the one that works for you. I believe that food isn’t good or bad, it’s just food. IMG_7787I believe that whatever way you most enjoy moving your body is the best exercise for you. We are all different. I want to help people quiet the noises of society, the media, that old friend from high school who messages you on Facebook to tell you about this awesome opportunity they have… and discover to what works best for YOUR BODY. Not what worked for your mom, your friend down the street, or some celebrity.
There is no one size fits all prescription for health and fitness. 
I became Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified so I could help coach people to live their best life now. Not 30lbs from now. Not when they fit back in those jeans from high school. But NOW. Today. I want to help people find true health and wellness. That includes being at peace with their bodies, having a healthy relationship with food, and realizing it will be hard work… but that they are worth the hard work.
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I spent the last year learning the both the science and psychological aspects of Nutrition Coaching through the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Program. I also have a Degree in Psychology. I’ve been a CrossFit Coach for 3 nearly years now. Helping and Inspiring others has been a passion of mine my entire life, that’s one of the major reasons I blog! Now I’m getting more personal. You’ll probably start seeing some more posts here about nutrition and wellness. Be sure to sign up for my free email newsletter to stay up to date on the upcoming launch of my online coaching program as well as get exclusive content and free resources to help you live your best life now.
What would you be looking for in a online coaching program?
How are you living your best life NOW?

 

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Oh hey there.

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It’s been faaaaaar too long. I had a moment this summer when I realized that I was trying to juggle so many different things and doing none of them exceptionally well. I wanted so desperately to be good at everything and ended up feeling like I wasn’t good at anything. And while it was something I loved and worked so hard to build… the blog was something I had to let go of updating regularly. Who knew being a wife and mom, running (and expanding!) several businesses, trying to maintain my own health and fitness, and figuring out life with a kid now in school would be too much for one person to handle… ha. It was important to me to be more present in every day life and most of my responsibilities, like running a CrossFit, weren’t ones I could give up on. So I took a break from posting regularly here. But I’ve missed it! And now that I feel like I have a little bit of a better handle on things I’m excited to try to get back into the groove with posting here.

This blog has grown and changed as I have grown and changed. It has been a place for deep reflections, a training journal for my past races, it had a short stint as an attempted crafting blog, but mostly it has been the way I have documented my weight loss and fitness journey over the past 5 years. The thing is along with realizing I couldn’t do it all I reached a major turning point in my weight loss journey this summer. I reached a point where the number on the scale wasn’t very important. I wasn’t willing to go to more extreme measures just to see that number change. I stopped stressing about it. As I continued to study for my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification I started implementing some of the principles I was learning. I kept up with my regular Crossfit workouts, which range between 1-2 hours a day 5 days a week. I made healthy choices for the most part and enjoyed some indulgences on occasion as well. I’m almost scared to admit it… but I feel like I found peace and balance. I don’t want to say I’m in maintenance mode. I do want to be more lean than I currently am. But I absolutely love my body where it is at as well.

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It’s weird, though. To be at a place I always dreamed of being. We just got back from a trip to Jamaica (I’ll write more about that in another post) where I spent 4 days in a bikini and not once felt ashamed or self conscious. And when people started posting pictures from the weekend I didn’t cringe or hate any of them. I looked at myself and think “wow, I did this” instead of thinking how I need to eat less or workout more.

This shift in mindset didn’t happen because I lost weight. This shift in my mindset happened because I worked on my mind and soul. By learning to care for my body I learned that there is so much more to being healthy than just eating right and working out. Being completely healthy means taking care of your body, mind, and soul.

Healthy concept, Spirit, Body and Mind, drawing on blackboard

Doing things you love, challenging the lies you’ve been told about yourself your whole life, speaking powerful truths in place of those lies, taking time to invest in yourself, discovering your worth, surrounding yourself with people who support and empower you… all these things lead to being completely healthy. And that is what a lot of people miss on this journey. That’s dangerous. If all you do is focus on the physical aspect it is far more likely the changes you see in your body won’t stay around for long. I’d wager to say the changes I’ve seen in my body, especially in the last few months, have been not because I was focusing on the physical changes but because I have been focusing on my mind and soul as well. Realizing (and admitting) that I can’t do it all was a huge step for me. It eliminated the stress I put on myself. Because no one expected me to be able to do it all… except for me. When I started removing stress and unrealistic expectations from my life I became happier and healthier.

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Same bikini, 5 months apart. I noticed a huge difference! According to the scale I’ve lost 13lbs on the scale, PR’d several lifts, and even got a few pull ups, got toes to bar, and got my rope climbs back. I haven’t changed my eating or workouts significantly. I’ve simply focused on my mental and emotional well being and tried to manage my stress more effectively.

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It’s been a process, It always is. But you are worth the hard work.

Do you focus on your mental and emotional health or just your physical health?
What can you do today to be healthier in mind, body, and soul?

 

 

The 5 Limiting Factors That Can Stop You From Reaching Your Fitness Goals

Happy first Monday of the New Year! I know it is just another day, but motivation and resolve seems to be at all time high on Mondays. and first Mondays are even better. The best though… the best is when the 1st falls on a Monday. I’m not alone, right? My OCDish personality loves it when that happens. I am particularly excited about today because I finally started to feel better. After about a week of battling a sore throat, cough, and congestion I’m finally starting to feel somewhat human again. Aside from feeling better, I’m also really excited to get back to a sort of normalcy. I enjoy the holidays, I really do, but I also really love the rhythm of a well created routine.

This is my life.

A photo posted by Courtney Norman (@courtnorm) on

That pretty much sums it up.

As we dive into a new week… month… year… Goal setting is at its peak. I love having goals, giving me something to strive towards. Many people have set goals related to their health. It may be the first time you have resolved to change your lifestyle or maybe it is the 100th time. Either way, let’s make this time different. The best way to reach your goal is to pin point what has been stopping you from achieving that goal and remove that obstacle. When we are talking about your ability to live a healthy life there are 5 major limiting factors that stop you from reaching your fitness goals.

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Genetic Makeup

This was one of my fall back excuses for a long time. I was convinced that my genetics prevented me from losing weight. A good portion of my family was overweight. After my mom lost a huge amount of weight when I was in my early twenties that excuse crumbled for me. If she could do it, I could to. The truth is most people don’t come close to realizing their genetic potential for health and fitness. No, you may not be a Rich Froning… he is a genetic freak. But your genetics typically allow for improvement in health, fat loss, and muscle gain.

Physical Activity Patterns

This is one that we often acknowledge. If you live a pretty sedentary life that could be what is holding you back from reaching your health and fitness goals. The recent influx in popularity of fitness tracking gadgets has helped many people become more active simply by making them aware of their inactivity. Even though I coach CrossFit, I still have a desk job that has me sitting for hours at a time. If I am not purposeful about my exercise and activity it doesn’t happen. Start wherever you are at. You don’t have to go from sedentary to marathoner overnight. If you want to get fitter, leaner, and healthier you are going to need to pursue an active lifestyle as well as purposeful, regular, and intense exercise.

Physiology

This is one I will preach about until I’m blue in the face. While exercise and nutrition are important, there are certain physiological imbalances that will severely impact your ability to reach your goals. This includes all kinds of things like thyroid problems (Hello, Hashimoto’s) and hormone imbalances (oh, and hey there estrogen dominance). These may not be issues with every person who struggles to lose weight or get fit. They were, and still are, very real issues with me. You know your body.  You know when it just doesn’t feel right. You could very well have some physiological limiting factors, but please please listen to me very closely here… While these may be limiting factors, they are not excuses for not trying. Yes, I’ve had to work twice as hard for half the results in some instances. Yes, I’ve felt like my body was fighting me every step of the way. But I did not let it defeat me. It may have been the medical reason why losing weight was hard…. harder for me than others…. but it did not stop me. I identified it as a limiting factor and did my best to remove it, or manage it. If you think your limiting factor may be physiological, find a team willing to help you get to the bottom of the issue. A good doctor, trainer or coach, and nutritionist. It’s worth the fight.

Mindset

Maybe I should have put this at the top. Having the courage to believe you can is the biggest part of the battle. After being overweight the majority of my life it took a lot of courage to step out and say maybe I can change this. Getting to that point is huge, but it isn’t the end all to the mental battle. Once you believe you can you must have the mental strength to stay in the battle once the feel goods fade away and all thats left is hard work. Getting up early to work out, eating healthy, and most of all staying consistent is not always easy. Your mindset is critical in determining if you will reach your goals.

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Nutrition

Ah, yes. This is the one. The one that more often than not will hold people back. It could be from lack of knowledge, lack of implementation, or being inconsistent. Nutrition is almost always, if not one of many, the most important limiting factor. It can be overwhelming with so many different points of view on nutrition. There is no right or wrong answer. There is no one best diet. You have to do something that works for you! Fad diets may help you for awhile, but what you need is something you can sustain for a lifetime. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. The truth is most people who think they have a generally good diet, but are still unhappy with where they are in regards to their fitness probably aren’t eating according to their goals. Regardless of what your goals or what “diet camp” you find yourself a part of there are a few things that all types of healthy eating philosophies have in common like making you aware of what you are eating, focusing on food quality, help eliminate nutrient deficiencies, they help control appetite and food intake, and they all promote regular exercise. So regardless of what route you take to get there all the popular healthy eating philosophies will help you reach your goals in similar ways. Stay consistent. Don’t give up because you mess up. Nutrition will be the make or break piece of the puzzle on your journey to health. If you’re looking for some one on one coaching to help you figure out this nutrition stuff, check out the  Precision Nutrition Coaching Presale List. this is the company I am doing my certification through and they offer a year long coaching program to help you reach your fitness goals.

Now that you know what the top 5 Limiting Factors that stop you from reaching your fitness goals you can see which of these may be problem areas for you and start making a plan to remove them so you become an unstoppable fitness force! For me it was a combination of many of these factors. Once I identified the problem, reaching my goals became just a matter of time, hard work, and consistency.

Do you struggle with any of these limiting factors? If so, which one(s)?