Small habits=huge change

Small habits=huge change

Over the past week or so I have been thinking about what makes a person successful, no matter what business they happen to be in. I’m not just talking about success in your job, but success in every aspect of your life. True and complete joy and contentment.

Is it talent? Is it luck? Rich family?

I really tried to look around people and within myself asking these questions, while quietly observing those around me trying to see if there was a top secret “code” that people were following that other people could try out too.

The truth is, there was no ‘code.’ There was, however, a common thread that I picked up for sure among those where I was seeking some sort of answer.

Everyone that I observed that was living a truly fulfilling life, not just in their job but with everything it seemed, all did certain LITTLE things every day. I always say it’s not the big things that yield results, but the culminations of small things done here and there that give you the big pay off you are looking for.

And wouldn’t you know that is applicable everywhere?

That daily UN-SEXY habits and rituals are what build us or break us. 

This doesn’t apply to just our health and fitness goals, but to our relationships, family, business, etc. Pretty much everything!

  • waking up at 5 am for a workout? Unsexy
  • Leaving a little love note in your kids shoe the night before school? Unsexy
  • Making sure you are hydrated every day? Unsexy
  • Getting that last sweaty rep in the gym even though you are exhausted? Unsexy
  • Treating the janitor like the CEO? Unsexy
  • Taking the garbage out before your spouse asks you? Unsexy

These are just examples…but you get the point. What I’ve observed is that it’s the little things that truly matter at the end of the day and it can apply to everyone and to every aspect of your life. So what now? Think about everything you say and do today. Are you speaking from love and kindness? Are you taking care of yourself?

Lets be mindful today.  Un-sexy habits make us into sexy individuals in more ways than the physical portrayal of the actual word.

In Health-Demi

Inside Demi’s Gym Bag

Inside Demi's Gym Bag

As a Personal Trainer, especially in the hot and humid climate of Charleston, South Carolina…there is definitely a bag that I bring with me every day to the gym that help me tremendously.

Besides what I’m wearing to the gym, I always bring extra supplies just in case something gets too sweaty or dirty, and of course when I get hungry…which happens often!  The gym I train out of, Exemplar Fitness, has bathrooms with every personal cleaning amenity that you can imagine…so I don’t pack soap, shampoo, body wash or any of that (thank God!).

I always wear my favorite crosstrainers by Brooks…the women’s PureFlow 6 shoes, they are currently my absolute fave for everyday training, not only other people but for myself as well. On days when I want to get my cardio in on the spin bike-I always carry my Bontrager Cycling clip in shoes to help me sweat and be super comfy at the same time.

Of course water and snacks are important! I ALWAYS bring a Lenny & Larry’s cookie with me (Peanut butter is A MUST!), sweet and packed with protein…it makes for a great snack! Also I prefer to drink alkaline water-our neighborhood Earthfare…great store with tons of healthy choices, including some good quality H2O.

When I need a SERIOUS pick me up, I love to make a protein shake combining Dr. Schulze’s Super Food Plus (blasts your bloodstream with a rich supply of vitamins and nutrients that increase energy, vitality and strength) with some Bone Broth with Collagen powder (I love the chocolate flavor, great for overall gut health, muscle recovery, and skin!). Throw in some water or almond milk, ice, and some stevia…delicious and SO good for you!

As far clothing-I always bring an extra sports bra, and I love Fabletics!  They have great leggings and sports bras that are super flattering. I’m a BIG fan of ANYTHING by Under Armour, NIKE of course, and Champion Apparel is just awesome.

All in all-I always bring a long sleeve top in case the AC is blasting in the gym on any given day, extra leggings, sports bra, extra socks, cycling shoes, snacks, water, lip gloss, and protein shake ingredients that I can mix at the gym in between clients.

It’s all about being prepared! Looking and feeling good about yourself are crucial in all areas of life. As my drill instructor from Marine Corps bootcamp always said, “If you look good, you’ll feel good, and then you will perform your best.”

As always feel free to ask me anything!

In Health-Demi

Most important element of your fitness journey is…

Most important element of your fitness journey is...

SLEEP.

That’s right. It’s not nutrition, not your workout, or how much water you are drinking.

Although they all play an extremely important part of your health and fitness journey..SLEEP is your money maker.

Let me first preface this: If you are apart of the crowd that thinks “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”…don’t even bother reading. Your quality of life will suck, and when you’re dead-you are just dead. This is all about living a life full of health and vitality.

“Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.”

Well, seems pretty important I would say…just by reading that alone.

Think of it this way; take a triangle and flip it on it’s head. At the very top is SLEEP, next layer is HYDRATION, next layer underneath that is NUTRITION, and the itty bitty point of the bottom of that upside down triangle is…YOUR WORKOUT.

I know for many that can come as a surprise. I always tell my clients this and they are always surprised/shocked.

This is an example of an ideal day: You wake up refreshed because you got your 7-10 hours of sleep (everyone is different). Energy is already up and you feel ready to face the day with a pep in your step. Mentally-you have your goals and you are ready to demolish them. You hydrate throughout the day. You eat sensibly, because when you DON’T sleep well-your body releases the hormone ghrelin AKA the hunger hormone, causing you to be-you guessed it-hungry. The hunger is there not because you are actually hungry, but simply because you did not get enough sleep. This where overeating of the wrong types of food comes into play. When this hormone is secreted, your body wants energy in the form of sugar and starchy carbs to combat that lack of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. Ironically, this is also the same hormone that is secreted when you get the “munchies” when you ingest marijuana. ‘Food’ for thought. (pun intended) 

Anyway-if you slept well, this hormone stays in check and is only released if you are truly hungry, but it’s very controllable and a normal part of your day. You will also be more motivated to work out and your performance WILL increase.

All of what I just mentioned…your ENTIRE day will be better and you will reach your goals faster if you get the proper sleep you need.

**That is exactly why SLEEP is the most important part of your fitness regimen. Your workout (if it’s an hour) is only 4% of your day. 2% for 30 minute workouts. Your recovery begins as soon as that workout is over and you are in your stretch/cooldown. Your recovery continues with your post workout nutrition and hydration and goes right into the NEXT night of sleep. During sleep is also where your muscles recover. When you are weightlifting for example: you are creating micro tears in your muscle fibers. This is the feeling that makes you “sore” the next day. Sleeping good, eating properly, and hydrating enough are what heals these micro tears and helps your muscles to become stronger for your next workout.   Stronger muscles will lead to more muscle mass and therefore less body-fat.**

Did you just hear what I just wrote above?! Read it again.

If you are wanting to maximize your fitness potential according to your goals, the recovery is where it’s at. When you recover with good sleep, hydration, and nutrition, you become STRONGER and more fit.

The understanding of this cycle is of the UTMOST importance for you to reach your goals and keep them for the long haul.

As always feel free to ask me anything. I train in the Charleston area and would love to pass this and much more information to you if you are in need of a personal trainer. 

In Health-Demi

“When will I see results?”

How long until you will see results

This is a question that I get asked ALL.THE.TIME.

And I get it. I was the girl who would workout, eat good, and get some good sleep, and I would weigh myself every single day! I would find myself very disappointed because sometimes my weight would go up, or there would be very minute changes. One thing you must know is:

THE SCALE IS A BIG FAT LIER.

(for the most part)

The scale is great to give yourself an overall glimpse of how your diet and workout are working for you BUT only as one simple tool, because it does not give you the whole picture of how you are progressing. That number does not represent how many pounds are fat and how many pounds are muscle are on your body at any given moment.

THIS IS WHY I MEASURE. 

Body measurements are more trusting and can give me and you a more accurate glance of how you are moving along. It can give us a baseline for body fat percentage, where we can measure every 4 weeks to make sure we are progressing and moving in the right direction. Keep in mind even measurements can vary in ways that are “not desirable” at the moment because it can measure water retention as well as differences in your body composition that is very common in the beginning of a workout program. What matters most is that we keep a general baseline that includes a combination of the scale AND measurements every 4 weeks.

Most people will tell me that their clothes are fitting differently and are looser. THAT is what I am looking for. That tells me that you are not just losing body fat, but you are putting on muscle. I had a client in the past that over 3 months of solid training with me: lost ONLY 3/4 of a pound. Do you know how devastated she was?! THEN we got to measuring. Sure enough she lost 22 overall inches! Can you see now how much the scale is SO not the end all judge here? The scale is just a tool. This woman’s clothes were so loose on her! Those numbers tell me she put on muscle and boy did she get strong! When she saw how many inches she was down, her happiness could fill that gym times ten. She was happy and I was so proud of her.

So getting back to it: you know you can’t spot reduce. Think of yourself like an onion. Every day that you eat good, workout, and sleep good-a SLIVER of that onion comes off your entire body at once. It will take time to get to any problem areas. But it is doable! You just have to stay consistent.

Here’s JUST AN EXAMPLE of what can be typical as far as when you can see results. Of course everyone is different; so please keep that in mind. This represents someone who is watching their food intake and hydrating properly, working out most days of the week, and sleeping well in general every night.

  • Week one: Most people start to see some change in the scale (usually up to five pounds) during this week. You’re likely to feel better, but not see major changes in your body.
  • Week two: During week two you’re likely to start to see changes in the way your body looks and feels. Exercise starts to feel easier and your clothes will start to feel loose.
  • Week three: Week three is when you start to feel momentum in your weight loss journey. If you’ve been consistent in your plan, your body is responding well and you start to feel like the program is successful.
  • Week four: By week four it is very possible that you’ve lost enough weight (safely) to be a different clothing size.

Again, remember this is all very relative and different for everybody. I will be talking more about all of this in-depth in the coming weeks and really breaking it down so please stay tuned. Feel free to ask me any questions you would like me to cover in the comments or send me a message via the ‘contact me’ tab on this website.

In Health-Demi

Small things always lead to big results

lushfabglam the importance of water and staying hydrated.png

The first thing I ALWAYS talk to my clients about is “how much water are you drinking?” No joke it’s within 5 minutes of our first meeting. Usual responses:

“Well when I’m thirsty I’ll have a glass”

“Does soda count?”

“Juice? I need flavor”

It goes on. I’ve heard it all.

I cannot stress the importance of how important being hydrated is. If you do this ONE SIMPLE TASK (of staying hydrated with good quality H2O) EVERYDAY-you will see results!

You will sleep better. You won’t over eat as much. You will feel clear of mind. You will have more energy. Your joints won’t hurt as much. You’ll probably lose some weight without even changing your eating habits and not working out. You will just flat-out FEEL GOOD.

So, how much water should you be drinking?

HALF OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT CONVERTED TO OUNCES OF WATER PER DAY.

Maybe more if you are sweating a ton. As the old saying goes: “If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.”

There are some add ons to this simple change you can make in your life today that can yield you results:

No empty calories.

That means: no juices, no sodas (no sparkling stuff either).  Stay away from “sugar-free anything, because you may as well see “chemical shit storm” on the label. Your body hates that stuff.

Also, black coffee is ok! Be careful with creamer (dairy to be specific). Your body does not handle caffeine and dairy too well causing an insulin spike from hell and therefore causing you to be very hungry for starchy food a couple of hours later. If you MUST have creamer: find some solace in almond or coconut milk creamer. It’s actually quite tasty!

To make this water consumption easy-you don’t have to be that person that carries a gallon jug with you all throughout the day. I mean you can if you want. For myself I like to keep a 20 oz bottle with me at all times. I aim for at least 60 oz’s of water per day, so in reality I just need to drink 3 of those, and it’s mentally super easy to get that done. If you absolutely must have flavor: fear not! Try adding fresh lemon (aids in digestion when you do this as well, and is overall very good for you). Also, the night before: you can add in some of your favorites fruits so soak in your water overnight, then strain them out in the morning, and pack the fruit for snacks throughout the day. Your water will taste delicious without all the extra calories and the negative effects of soda.

Your body loves water. I can’t stress that enough. Especially if you are working out. You will sweat more (which is a GREAT thing), aids in overall detox, your skin will look incredible, and your performance in the gym will increase and that means better results for you.

Little things..over time=results. Cut out the empty calories. Drink the water. And just see what happens. 🙂

In Health-Demi