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Health, Nutrition, Weight Loss

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?

 

FitFluential, Life, Weight Loss

Healthy isn’t A Size: My Thoughts on the Being Thin Doesn’t Make Me Happy Post

The last few days I’ve had a few discussions with people about health, size, & plus size fashion, plus size models in the media and several other topics which got me thinking about my point of view on it and then this morning I caught a clip on the Today Show about a woman who wrote about how Being Thin doesn’t make her happy, but being “fat” does. The article is beautifully written. I can see her point of view. And I agree, where she was when she said she was at her peak of “physical hotness” was NOT healthy. She said she was eating 1000 calories a day, sleeping around 3 hours, obsessively tracking food, and getting to the point where she lost her period. None of these habits are healthy at all. Yes, she was thin. and she was unhappy. but most of all she was unhealthy.

Healthy Isnt A Size

because healthy isn’t a size.

i’m with her up to this point. she was in an unhealthy place, physically and emotionally. she doesn’t go much into depth of her current exercise or eating habits other than saying she loves cake (who doesn’t?!) and we should be unaprolligetically fat and eat pizza and drink wine and not feel bad about it. I can’t judge her current health because again, healthy isn’t a size. I just don’t like that it seems she, and the media that helped this go viral, are promoting exchanging one extreme for another. she may be the healthiest she has ever been, but this particular post makes wanting to be healthy seem like a bad thing. And maybe this post will give some people the freedom they need to break out of the obsessive disordered eating. But it also doesn’t address how to still make your health a priority. She talks about having time for her family now. You can still exercise a moderate amount and have time for your family. Too many people, moms especially, already feel guilty for taking time out from their busy days to invest in their health. They don’t need another woman implying you can’t adequately take care of your family if you take 30 minutes to an hour a day to invest in themselves. I firmly believe you can’t adequately care for your family if you don’t take the time to adequately care for yourself.

You dont have to be thin or fat, just be you

no, you don’t have to be thin or fat to be happy or healthy… because healthy isn’t a size.

If you’ve been around for a while you know my story. I was fat. Hell, to modern standards I still am fat. At a size 14 I ride the line between plus size and “normal” sized clothing. I’m too big for a lot of average clothing and too small for most plus size clothing. In a world that thrives on being able to put everyone in a pretty little box… I’m a disappointment. I don’t fit in those labels. I don’t consider myself fat anymore, but I’m certainly not thin. But I’ll tell you what I am… I’m the strongest, fittest, and healthiest I’ve ever been. And yea, some people may look at me and think I’m fat. But they don’t know my story or the road I’ve walked to get here. Another reason why healthy isn’t just about your size. And losing weight isn’t just about eating less and moving more.

Fitness isn't about your weight and healthy isn't a size

i think that we need to move away from labeling people as thin or fat, judging people’s health by their side, and look to encourage people to find more balanced healthy habits. This includes learning to have a healthier mindset towards eating and exercise. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to be fat or thin. It’s not about punishing yourself. You shouldn’t be miserable. Does striving to live a healthy balanced life mean you’ll never eat cake again? Nope. I love cake. This week was my daughters birthday and I enjoyed a lot of cake. But do I do it all day every day? Nope. Find what works for you. Find what makes you happy. This lady ran 35 miles a week. Don’t like running? Try Zumba, walking, or CrossFit. Find something that keeps you moving AND makes you happy. It is possible, I’m proof.

You should take care of your body because you love it, not because you hate it. Because if you are only trying to change yourself because you hate yourself, the chances of you loving yourself once you reach your goal aren’t great. If you don’t love yourself now, what makes you think losing 10, 20. or 50 pounds going to do? Once you come to place where you truly love yourself you can’t help but want to take good care of the body you’ve been given.

Your Turn- What are your thoughts on health, size, & happiness?

Hashimoto, Health, Life, Weight Loss

My Crazy Hormones: Part 2

My Hormones Make Me Crazy.

Last year I wrote a post about how my hormones were making me crazy. I never really revisited that after that post so I wanted to write one. When I had my hormones tested last year I had a Mirena IUD and wasn’t having periods at all (TMI? Sorry…) I did use the prescribed creams for awhile but I still felt off. One of the problems is that Progesterone rises and falls as a woman progresses through her cycle, and at that point I wasn’t having one. I had plans to have my IUD removed and decided at that point to stop using the creams just to see what my body would do on its own. That was back in May of last year. My cycle came back pretty quickly and was pretty regular for the first few months, even with my surgery and everything. Once I got through my recovery and started to figure out what normal felt like again I was still feeling off. Foggy brain, sluggish, tired despite getting 8 hours of sleep on average, and most of all a more noticeable difficultly losing weight. I had even gained close to 10lbs since my Surgery and despite my best efforts with food and exercise I haven’t been able to lose it. I also started having some weird period issues… going from 28 days most cycles to 52 days at my longest cycle. Not too mention the PMS, cramps, mood swings were horrible. This article about the symptoms of low progesterone pretty much sums up my life lately.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

At the recommendation of my nutrition coach (after following detailed nutrition plans and seeing little to no body composition changes) I made an appointment with RevitaLive Wellness Center. I actually made the appointment last year, November I think? They were booked for 3+ Months! I decided to go to a specialist who works with hormone issues regularly instead of my general practitioner, which is what I did last time I got my levels checked. I went in January and got a bunch of tests done and went back last week to finally get the results. I absolutely loved that they did such a wide range of tests, including genetic testing for heart issues which my family has a history of. They tested not just my hormone levels, but also some vitamin and mineral levels, tested for markers of celiac, cholesterol, and tons of other things. I literally have a stack of around 20 pages of test results and explanations. A few things came back flagged. I’ll touch on each one a little bit.

Low Vitamin D and Omega 3 Levels – My Omega 3 Index came back at a 4.8% when the optimal levels are anything above 8%. This wasn’t terribly surprising as I don’t really eat fish and have been sporadic at best with my Fish Oil Supplements. My Vitamin D level came back at a 32, she said the optimal level is above 50.

Low Progesterone/High Estrogen/Low Testosterone- This would be classified as Estrogen Dominance. My estrogen wasn’t extremely over range, it was at 175 where the highest they like to see is 200. So on the higher end of normal. My progesterone, however, was super low. I had a 0.56 and she said they like to see a level between 5-10. My testosterone came back at 28 and she said they like to see it between 30-50.

Hashimoto’s/Hypothyroid- It’s no surprise that my markers came back positive for the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I was diagnosed back in 2009. I’ve been on Synthroid/Levothyroxine for almost 6 years now. My TSH levels have fluctuated in that time from a 9.0 down to 0.5 and averages somewhere around a 2 most testing periods. They tested me out at 2.49. The acceptable levels are anywhere from .5-4.0 depending on the lab. I have always said I feel better when I’m closer to a 1.0. She said they like to keep patients under a 2.0. She also said because of my hashimoto’s that my body has a harder time converting the Synthyroid to Free T3. She suggested upping my dose and switching me over to Nature’s Throid, which is supposedly more easily converted to what the body needs despite my autoimmune condition.

So, what now?

The first thing we changed was my thyroid medication and dosage. I’m now taking a higher dose of Nature Throid instead of Levothyroxine. I also got a small injection of testosterone to bring those levels to the optimal range. They recommend the injection monthly, but will test my levels again so see where they are. Finally, I’m going to be taking a progesterone pill to bring those levels up to a normal range. I’ll be cycling those pills for 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. I haven’t started them yet, as I have to wait for a certain time during my cycle to do so.

This is all just me sharing my experience with you. I’m not a doctor or medical professional. I know some people have very purist ideas about hormones and doing it all naturally and while I’ve tried to do that as best I can on my own I’m looking forward to seeing how this process works for me. I’m trying to have an open mind and pay attention to my body as best as I can to see what works for me. I’ve been on the new Thyroid medicine for about a week now and I’m noticing small changes, like not feeling as foggy mentally and not feeling like I need to go back to sleep as soon as I wake up. I’ll check in after my first round of progesterone and let you know if I felt like it worked or not.

Have you ever had your hormones tested?