I got an interesting text from one of my clients the other day and it was such a great reminder of why we need to remember that working out is important for so many more reasons than how we look. We get caught up in our bodies and yes, I know I was right there, but I can’t express enough that it has taken on more than that for me and I hope that I do my best to help you all feel the same way.
Confidence is HUGE. It changes the way you walk, the way you talk to others, and it changes the way you see the world.
This client texted me and said that she was walking with her twin sister. They had compared their heart rates. My clients was at 98 to 99. Her twin sisters heart rate, walking at the same pace for the same amount of time, was at 150 to 160.
After working with many frustrated clients, I believe there is a very common reason that people who seem to be doing everything perfect are not getting the results that they want. When you think about burning calories you think of your work outs. You try and calculate how many calories you burn during a workout all the time. But have you ever calculated how many calories you burn at your job?
Most likely not. This isn’t necessarily a problem for people with fast metabolisms, but with medium to low metabolisms this very well could be a problem. Continue reading
For those of you who want to kick off the new year by getting in shape, check out these videos. I created them for you to be able to do in the comfort of your home (no need to sign up for a gym membership…yet). Remember, the path to getting healthy can be simple. Start by cutting out something unhealthy from your diet and do something active everyday.
Try these, and if you like them, there are plenty more videos on my youtube channel…just click here to be directed to it.
So let me be real with all of you…I’ve got fears about raising girls.
How could I not? I have an amazing mother, but I still grew up having to revamp my mind by encouraging more positive thoughts, less hatred of my body, and not idolizing bodies that I could NEVER have. I watched my mother be negative about herself and I watched friend’s mothers do exactly the same. When they said they hated parts of their bodies, I was watching…and it molded my eyes. I could not see truth about my own body or understand the meaning of confidence.
Yet, what do we do when we see something that our parents did and we want to try and fix it? Usually we go too far. Rebelling from what our parents did can do just as much damage.
So I’ve tried to take all emotion out of it, but sometimes that emotion slips in and it just did today…
My daughters got Barbies this Christmas. I know peoples’ fears about Barbie and I honestly never wanted to be that helicopter mom that kept them from Barbies at all. If I try and keep them from Barbies, I’m waging a battle that I just cannot win. There will always be friends that have Barbies. As with all things…if my girls are going to learn about anything, I want it to be learned from Ben and me first.
Whether it is AYSO Soccer or Little League Baseball, the first lesson we are all taught is to be a Good Sport. This means shaking hands after a game, playing by the rules, and congratulating the other team for their good effort. Why? Because nobody wants to play with a poor sport.
The same goes for combative sports. Touching gloves begins a fight. It is your way as the fighter to tell all who are watching that it is an honor to be there and it tells your opponent that you are ready to begin.
If you truly love the sport and truly love competing, you put in the effort for months and months or sometimes years ahead of time. You watch videos of your opponent’s style, you have a coaching team that helps you understand each competitor’s holes in their game, and you make sure that your body is in such amazing shape that you don’t gas out. Yes, most of this is so that you will win, but in the art of fighting, it’s also to show your opponent that you believe in them and respect their hard work to get where they are.
Watching the fight on Saturday between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, I thought about the fact that Ronda didn’t touch gloves with Holly. Not for the reason that Holm would be effected by it, because she clearly wasn’t…in fact, it seemed Ronda needed to do that more to convince herself that she had effectively intimidated her opponent–which clearly she had not…
No, rather, the reason I couldn’t stop thinking about it is because of the respect I have for athletes and fighters. If any of you have done a sport…specifically Martial Arts or boxing, you realize the importance of your competition and the way you treat your competitor.
Ronda Rousey vs. Angelina Jolie…According to Hollywood, Jolie would win!?!
We all know that there is no way in hell Angelina (or any other actress for that matter) would be able to beat the UFC Bantom Weight World Champion, nor would they be dumb enough to challenge her. This is not a bash on Ms. Jolie as she is clearly very talented and successful. This post, however, is meant to bring to light the ridiculous casting standards that Hollywood still seems to hold, despite the recent push for women to embrace curves and strength.
Ben and I were watching an older movie the other day that, of course, had a sexy scene where two women were half naked. Don’t worry this is not to complain about the scene…that’s neither here nor there because of what actually occurred to me in that moment. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but I’m pretty sure beauty standards have shifted in the last few years. THANK GOD. First off, this is not to say that naturally small women are not beautiful! They are…of course, but I feel like in the last thirty or more years, women have lost their ability to remain curvy or simply a larger and stronger body without ridicule. So while naturally thin has been welcomed for many years now, naturally curvy or athletic is told to lose weight or they don’t belong.
If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine, but you might want to climb back under that rock from where you came. Take a look back at my post a couple of years ago when I was doing background work. The everyday expectation of me was to be a size zero when I will clearly never be a size zero or even a size 2, 3, or 4, for that matter.
Some people hate Halloween and I am NOT one of them. I love it. In fact, you know how Christmas celebrating starts nearly two months early? Well, for Halloween I take almost the entire month to watch movies, decorate, and get into the fall spirit. Okay, so the FALL doesn’t happen as much in Hawaii, but the SPIRIT is still there. My brother and sister-in-law watch the tv show Ghost Adventures all the time, and even though it’s a bit OVERdramatic, I found myself watching it the other day. Although I wasn’t scared, I found myself noticing the main guys arms.
I remember when I was a kid and church had me completely believing that I was worshipping the devil if I liked Halloween. Oh my poor soul, how I thought I was evil for loving Halloween. But you see, the Halloween I love is not the crazy, scare-you-out-of-your-mind, play with a Ouija Board kind–just a suggestion…don’t touch those things! I like movies like GhostBusters, The Haunted Mansion, Charlie Brown and Garfield Halloween, and I’ve even started making The Goonies a routine watch in my house.
First off, I want to relish in the fact that I am at home, sitting on my bed, and enjoying a couple of days where I do NOTHING. Life has been so fast paced–
which will start again tomorrow–but today I am reborn, as I sit in my white, turqiouse, and gray room, enjoying the warmth of my feet (airplanes always make my feet cold) and the snuggle of a one hundred and sixty-five pound lazy dog.
I am so excited today…many things are changing…and it’s opened up a new door for me. New doors that I never even thought about. Isn’t it funny how life works? Whenever you think that your motivation is lost, if you are open, something comes in to usher you forward into a new world of passion.
There have been a few reasons why I’ve been light on the blog posts and videos… Continue reading
Oh lawdy, lawdy, my original post about getting a bubbly booty definitely reminded me that I AM NOT the only one that desires a little more on the backside. I mean come on…it’s one thing to be skinny…it’s another thing to have curves where you need them.
Putting all vanity reasons aside–which I do not discount–having a strong and muscular butt means so much more to me than I ever thought it would. I used to walk up the stairs and try to connect to my butt. I couldn’t. I used to try and simply squeeze my butt and I couldn’t. This just shows me how disconnected I was from one of the MOST important muscles in my body.
Why is this one of the most important muscles in our bodies?
Today I was so excited for a fellow personal trainer and his client. The client had suddenly found some success after a while of no success. You see, personal trainers really do care…we want people to find so much success because we know how amazing that feels. Yet there are so many times that we explain to clients how to lose weight and they just don’t believe us.
Finally this client decided to try our advice. He started eating more. Low and behold, he started to lose weight. For months his weight had been stalled.
He has a job that makes it difficult to eat all day…so he would go all day without eating, then eat all of his calories in one huge meal at the beginning or the end of the day. He was eating a fairly small amount of calories for his size, but it still wasn’t what he should have been eating.
Here are the changes he finally made:
Eat all Day
Eat plenty of clean calories
For the first time, he found that the scale started to drop. Oh lucky day.
I used to have my calories between 1100-1300 (sometimes even lower) and I used to think that I should be proud of myself for having them so low. While they were this low, I was working out a ton with both weights and cardio. I felt as though I was being disciplined and responsible for my health. Yet, even when my calories were low, I was using decently heavy weights, and I was in small sizes of clothes; I was completely uncomfortable naked or in my bathing suit. I had cellulite from my ankles to my thighs. It would not go away, not matter what I did.
Then, I decided to be a little more relaxed on how much I ate, how many calories I took in from Protein and fats, AND even let in a little bit more carbs… WHAT? Even with more, I ate super clean except for one day a week where I got to cheat on anything.
At first, I didn’t know what to think of it. I had eaten so little for so long that I was panicked. But it worked.
The cellulite started to disappear.
I had more energy.
I could work out harder.
AND I could feel the effects on my metabolisms because the scale didn’t fluctuate nearly as much.
I eat more now than I ever had and I am comfortable with my body. You see, we need to eat clean to find success…but it also has to do with how we build our metabolisms. So make sure that you work on fueling your fire properly. If you feel like your calories are low and you still aren’t losing weight, look at these things:
Do you understand why we eat? For energy. We need to have just enough to get us through the next couple of hours…the way our body’s work, we can’t have a ton of calories at one time because the food stops being used for energy, which is why keeping food in your body every couple of hours reminds it that it doesn’t have to go into screen saver mode just like our computers do…It has to work to break up just enough calories and nothing is left over…then we fill it again, never allowing our energy to bottom out.
Eat every two to three hours.
Eat Protein every two to three hours.
Make sure it is clean food, unprocessed!
If your calories are clean and you are sufficiently moving through out the day, then don’t worry about counting calories. Only if you sit all day at your job, then I would encourage a bit lower calories and counting…and a little more cardio than normal. Also, keep your food changing up, meaning that you are naturally implementing higher carb days and lower carb days. I feel like our body needs this…especially if you have been overweight before.
Lift weights, do a bit of cardio, and a bit of high intensity intervals…but make sure you support ALL of this with eating plenty of clean food.
So if you ever find yourself saying, “My calories are low and I’m still not losing weight”, remember that it’s not about your calories being low. It’s about having your metabolism on high.
Trust me! My cellulite didn’t understand low calories. But it understood healthy food.
Tonight I came home and texted my brother a video of my mom doing a deadlift with 105 lbs. You see, beyond the fact that it is impressive to see any woman in their 60’s lifting that much weight, we as a family are so happy and proud to see my mom enjoying something. For the first time, I have found something that my mom enjoys. LIFTING!
And to be honest, I didn’t give my mother enough credit–she’s skyrocketed in her weights in a very short amount of time.
When you love someone and you see the way that their weight, other people’s stares, and their health are such a burden; you hope and pray that something will click to make things easier for them.
Little by little–and I mean in very small steps–we have changed up the way my mom eats. Five years ago she would eat fast-food for every meal, she would have diet coke all day, and she would sit all day. Her weight was at an all-time high and I was getting so worried. I want her to be here for a long time. Yet I couldn’t talk to her about it without her being sensitive–very sensitive, as most of us are with this subject. There was a plan that I had over and over again that we would just bust a move and get her crazy in shape. I never told her this was my plan but I had it in the back of my mind. So when it never happened, I would get so disappointed.
Yet now I look back at the last few years and I realize that we HAVE been doing a lot to change up her life…it just didn’t happen in the time that I wanted.
Here are some things that I realized:
The ideal body type has morphed into so many different shapes and sizes throughout my life. Somehow I knew as a child…maybe 4th grade or before…that I had bigger legs than other girls. Funny thing is that I was never a chubby kid…not even slightly chubby, yet because of the space that my legs took up, I assumed otherwise. Even at my smallest, my legs were vastly larger than most girls around me.
Apparently in this culture we are supposed to have legs the length of a football field and as thin as ski poles. (not tree trunks, I guess?)
No matter who I compared myself to I was always disappointed. When living in Southern California–a place that in my words is “hell on earth” for anyone with confidence issues–I couldn’t figure out how to get my legs small enough to fit the mold of what was deemed the perfect figure. The more weight I lost, the more cellulite I seemed to have. Funny thing is, my legs seemed the same size no matter how much weight I lost. Duh… Continue reading
When my girls were babies I found that if I turned on the song ‘To Sir, With Love” when they were crying and I started to sway back and forth, it would immediately relax them. They would simply lay there and stare at me. It was funny that it was just that song. I would put it on repeat and just enjoy the fact that they liked this song as much as I did. I mean, come on, Lulu, Sidney Portier…my dog’s name is Mr. Tibbs…if you get this connection than I have all the faith in you that you appreciate this song as much as I do. If you don’t? To Sir With Love…or Lillies Of The Field…Go. Watch. Them.
Since I was a little girl I’ve always had a sensitive, but gentle personality. I was always terribly shy and insecure which made me a prime target for a bit of harassment in school. Don’t worry…this is not a lament…As I’ve gotten older, the sensitivity has luckily been shaped by maturity. My shyness has somewhat dissolved.
I love my girls. I love them more than life itself. And sometimes I see parts of me in them as they get older. All I can hope is that I am capable of teaching them how to be good human beings and that they are capable of learning to be good human beings.
And I’m doing my best to give them confidence.
Yet I’ve realized…It’s not going to be in any compliment or instruction that I give them, rather it’s going to come from my example…my attitude…my words about myself.
My mother spoke poorly of herself and her body as I grew up. Continue reading
Sugar is my downfall…for sure. If I am going to cheat, it’s going to be with something that is available within the walls of Willy Wonka’s factory. When I first started eating really clean, it used to be that my cheat day was an excuse to have anything and everything I wanted. In high school when I was still new to this eating healthy business, one of my friends, Sara, and I used to pig out on EVERYTHING. Anything you can think of, that’s what we would have. We would make cookies, lemon bars, eat fast food, and all that screamed comfort in a sugar coma sort of way. I would get so full that I was in pain and I would lay on the couch and groan.
Then, my cheat days started getting a little smarter. Instead of eating a zillion things from my dreams, I would get one or two things and eat them all day long. This worked for a while.
Yet as my pallet started to change and my stomach shrunk, so did my ability to eat anything and everything that I wanted. Now it was affecting my sleep. I would wake up in the middle of the night with heavy sweats or sick to my stomach. So let’s just say, my body stopped being able to tolerate what it used to.
This months challenge for Tessa Van Wade Fitness Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/TessaVanWadeFitness — is to begin tracking your intake of food on a fitness app. The one I use is myfitnesspal. I always ask my clients to try this for a while… simply because we don’t know what our problems are, until we see them in front of our faces. Everyone who has ever struggled with weight (too little or too much… or who needs to gain muscle etc.) needs to chart what they are eating at some point in their life–at least for a while.
It can teach you so much. Let me help you understand the basics so that it WILL teach you what you need to know.
Sugar, Carbs, and Bad Fats are the main reasons that people have trouble losing weight.
I believe there are different kinds of people. Let me try and separate it into three different types. Continue reading
There are so many reasons why people don’t lose weight. So I am going to try and set up a list that is plain and simple for all of you that wonder. I’ve had some clients that have struggled for years, but once we finally find the culprit, they start shedding the body fat. Here’s the truth…it is never the same for each person.
First off, the way to figure out which one (or more) on the list is specific to you, you need to give yourself two to four weeks to try ONE thing. Never try more than one at the same time. If you have no results after trying something for up to four weeks, move on to the next possibility.
Here are the reasons you may not be losing weight:
1. Food. 95% of the time, my clients are not seeing results because they have not cleaned up their diet. And the honest truth is that when it gets down to it, I have noticed many people don’t even understand what they are doing wrong. I will write another post about the many things that people think are good for you, but actually aren’t.
But here is a small idea about it…
I hear this all the time,”I am eating great, why am I not losing weight?”
After they tell me a couple of things, I send them to myfitnesspal.com or another app of their choice, and make sure they chart their diet for a little while. This opens up sooooo many truths!
So start charting!!! Continue reading
I am always searching for that perfect workout pant. There has to be a combination of cool (it gets hot here in Hawaii), flexibility, and straight up awesomeness for me to be happy with a pant. Come on, is awesomeness too much to ask?
Once I found LuluLemon a few years ago, I was sold. There was nothing better than their leggings. The Wonder Unders stayed up even during runs and high intensity intervals, AND most importantly they were cool–I can’t just sweat all over my clients, you know. The only problem I have had with Lululemon is well…the price…and a couple holes…but to be fair, I have worn them into the ground. Was it ever intended to wear workout leggings everyday? Cause I do. Every. Damn. Day.
Yet I have never stopped searching for more. I want more diversity in my closet…and honestly I love wearing just plain black, but my personality and style tends to need something a little different/unique every once in a while. I’ve always been this strange dichotomy of tomboy (movies, sports, athleticism, even fashion) meets uber girly (long nails, shy, pink, dresses, wedges, etc.). Gwen Stefani in her baggy cargo pants with chains, wrist bands, and bright red lipstick is an example. Continue reading
One of my clients, Jim (who I promised to write about this week), is sixty-six years old and one of the funniest men I’ve ever had the opportunity to train. He says some of the most off-the-wall things, but I absolutely love that about him. When you meet him, you think this guy’s been fit his whole life–he has golfed and done spin for many years–but what people don’t realize is that two years ago, he had a mini heart attack. One day he felt something in his chest and the next day his body basically told him…something’s wrong. Being on an island, he had to fly over to Oahu to get help. When all was finished, the doctor told him, “Work out as hard as you ever have before.”
It’s not like Jim was out of shape. He was thin and tall…but when it really got down to it, it had to do with genetics and some lifestyle choices. He didn’t weigh too much…he didn’t look like a heart attack’s primary victim. Continue reading
This sounds like such a strange title, but I sat for a long time trying to think of one that says exactly what I wanted it to say…and this was it. Let’s not read this with the intention of hating our cellulite, rather let’s read this with the idea that there might actually be a reason for it, and a possible solution…and if anyone has had the hardest time dispelling cellulite from their body…it’s me!
I spent a long time wondering why certain ways of working out worked for some, but didn’t work for others…For Example, I spent years doing Tracey Anderson and while it dropped some weight off my body, it never changed the cellulite on my legs. It was still there after two years…in fact, it was possibly worse. Yet Gwyneth Paltrow was able to do it for a year, drop her baby weight, and seem to be as smooth as ever. You might see the hole in my dissatisfaction, but I didn’t…for a long time.
Finally, after so many years…I finally found a use for cellulite. It’s no longer just the annoying, lumpy, adipose tissue on my thighs. In fact, it was my cellulite that spoke the most to me when helping me figure out how to guide ladies when they ask what they should do to workout.
This is a continuation of my Blog Post, Gaining Weight To Lose BodyFat. Find it here: http://www.tessavanwade.com/2015-challenges/gainweighttolose/
For years, in my mind, I was supposed to fit the virtues and look of a woman. Somewhere deep within, this meant small, pretty, dainty…and strangely…fragile. Yes, fragile or weak was something that subconsciously I was trying to obtain. I can’t say why, but it was just one of those things to which there was no answer.
So when I started to gain weight by working out more and eating plenty of clean food, it was difficult to wrap my brain around gaining weight while gaining muscle. In my warped brain I was feeling as though I was being pulled away from the very woman that I assumed I should be. The first time I stepped on the scale and was up fifteen pounds, yet I looked better…was so frustrating. For the first time in my life, my cellulite was disappearing…I looked more muscular, but I was smooth. Yet I weighed fifteen pounds more. Ugh. I had lots of muscle. Ugh. I should be small. I’m already 5’8…I don’t want people to think I’m man-ish. Ugh. Continue reading
I lost quite a bit of weight right after getting really into working out. For someone who is 5’8 and whose body loves muscle, I was down to 130. Yet the thing that baffled me was that I didn’t have the look of my body that I desire. I had the weight that I thought would bring me the body I wanted…why wasn’t I getting what I wanted?
For example…I have sound legs–truly substantial thick legs. I always have–well before I ever had any trouble with weight. So that just shows you that this is my body. I am capable of leaning out pretty well on my arms and waist, but my legs just never seemed to get it! There was this idea in my head that if I could just get down on the scale then I would have to eventually lean out all over, right? Yet no matter how much weight I continued to lose, I could not lean out my legs. They would get smaller, yes, but not leaner. In fact, they would be softer and have more cellulite. Yet I continued to try. I ate beautifully (in hinds sight, I wasn’t eating with enough strategy…I’ll explain later) and I was working out with intense weighted circuits. No matter what I did, the cellulite was not changing. I did not understand!!!
It was only when I got so sick of eating perfectly and working out for an hour a day, with no results, that I let go of the concept for a while. Clearly other people know more than me.
This woman, Michelle Lewin, knew more than me. (she’s my favorite because I have almost the same body type…thick legs and a smaller upper half)
Ashley Horner knew more than me.
Jamie Eason knew more than me.
When I was eighteen I started cutting my plates in half. One of my favorite things to eat was Fettucine Alfredo at a wonderful little restaurant in Visalia, California called Rosa’s. They had the richest, most amazing Alfredo sauce. At one point, whenever I went with my new boyfriend or friends and I would order it and immediately cut it in half. (Just a quick fyi: the Kid’s Double Mac and Cheese at “Macaroni Grill” is 1070 calories…sickening, right?). Eating only one side of my plate was enough for me to lose weight almost immediately. At first I would be hungry after dinner because my stomach was used to taking in the entire plate, but soon my stomach shrunk and it wasn’t as hard as it used to be. Even though I was still eating food that I shouldn’t have been eating, at least I was eating less of it…you gotta start somewhere, right?
I started this without scales or knowledge of serving sizes.
You can only imagine my surprise when I started actually figuring out serving sizes. I was already eating half of what I used to and I still wasn’t at proper serving sizes. Good Lord, how much had I been eating before?!
I remember having a conversation with a client and we were discussing his milk intake. HE LOVED MILK. He would drink multiple glasses of milk a day. I asked him once, “Have you ever figured out one serving size of milk?” He answered no. Next thing I know, he comes back to me after separating out actual cups of milk. Turns out this client was taking in nearly twelve servings of milk a day.
I think sometimes we just aren’t prepared to find out just how little we actually need or how many calories are in the amount we are actually eating.
So since we are doing a Portion Control Challenge for January, I want to make sure to let you in on some realities of changing your serving sizes.
1. You will be hungry– If you are changing up the amount that you eat and it is different than what you are used to, there will be some times when you will feel hungry!! This does not mean you are starving yourself, this most likely means that you have stretched out your stomach and it needs to find it’s original size. The left over space that has been stretched out from years of overeating will send a message to your brain that you are hungry. Does it mean you actually need the calories? No. Unfortunately this is something where we just have to sit on our hands. This is NOT a call to drop your calories too low! That will only hurt your efforts. But it does mean we need to be aware when we have taken in enough.
2. It will take some time at first to measure your food– Eventually you will not need to measure and everything will be very easy to understand, but at first things need to be measured. This helps for a couple of reasons. A.) To figure out how much is too much, but also B.) To figure out how much is too little. I was surprised by how much meat I needed to eat. This is the only time that measuring helped me figure out more than what I was taking in.
3. Measuring doesn’t have to last forever– One or two weeks will cover nearly everything you eat. Once you have it, believe me…you won’t forget it.
4. It’s important to teach kids this when they’re young– AND without emotion! Kids need to be fed proper portions even as a child and they need to not worry about it emotionally. It needs to simply be a knowledge they have…just like math or science.
I’m looking forward to this month and hearing about the success stories!! Please make sure to send them in.
You’re strong and you can get through this journey. I truly believe that if someone can figure out portion control, than they are halfway there.
I ALWAYS encourage people to go after their goals, but part of reaching those goals is being strategic. There’s a mental game that must be played in weight loss and part of that is helping people feel successful and not broken down. It’s very easy to get discouraged…truly. That’s why so many people quit too fast…most likely they have tried to do too much or have set their expectations on a goal that is physically impossible…
So what do I say to my clients during the holiday season?
Maintain. Plain and Simple.
If you can maintain then you have done well!
Most people gain a good ten pounds during the holidays…yes, it’s because of all the food, but I also think it’s a few other things. So I’ve created a list of things to possibly help with the holidays.
1. Unless you just have EVERYTHING together and are awesome at this game…Don’t tell yourself that you are going to lose weight before christmas! That’s just unrealistic! A good goal? To stick with the same healthy habits you have already started and just do your best. For example: if you workout four days a week and have certain days of the week that you eat healthy…don’t change that just because it’s Christmas. Continue reading