So I really suck at sharing before and after photos from my clients, but I really should because EVERYONE makes amazing progress and why should I hide all this amazing body transformation from you?? This is the type of stuff that motivates ME, so it must motivate you too… so, without any further delay, let me introduce to you: Inga.
I was rolling through my progress photos of clients from LAST YEAR and was caught by her progress. Sometimes body transformations are more subtle and sometimes they’re BAM in your face. This is a BAM in your face, one.
You see, this happened in just under 2 months… and this was sticking to her “eating plan” just about 80% of the time, with plenty of room for FUN EATING and REAL LIFE. Her plan was what we call SUSTAINABLE.
Look at how flat her stomach is in the after photos, and how much DEFINITION her arms have!! I haven’t altered these photos in any way – no funny lighting, no filters. These are legit bathroom mirror pictures. She looks amazing!!
Inga was already pretty athletic, but she had a lot of little eating habits that were keeping her from looking and feeling the way she wanted to. We used a slow and gentle system of resetting her eating habits. As a mom of three, going all-in and changing EVERYTHING at once (like with a meal plan) was NOT the way to go. She was also pretty clear that certain things needed to stay (hello, wine)… but she was able to incorporate all of that stuff into her nutrition strategy in a way that didn’t impede her results!
She also wasn’t doing enough resistance training (weight lifting), which is key for maintaining muscle when you’re trying to lose fat. Without resistance training, you end up looking skinny instead of strong and chiseled!
What’s one area of your body you’d like to see this type of progress on?? Comment and let me know!
This year, life caught up with me and kicked me in the **s. Instead of drowning in my struggles, I decided to fight the current and try to claw my way back from the abyss of stress, anxiety and misery. Thus, this list of personal development books was born.
You see, I figured out that the habit of exposing yourself to inspirational messages on a daily basis can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously, I’m not kidding you. IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!
On the day that this really “clicked” for me, I made this video for my nutrition clients – check it out if you want to hear more of my thoughts about why this habit can be a game-changer for you. Then scroll down farther to see a list of personal development books that I plan on reading.
Personal Development Books
In no particular order, these are the books on my list! I usually put them on “hold” at the library – currently, I have 50 titles on hold – and read them as they become available. I haven’t finished all the books on this list, and I’ll continue to add to the list as I get suggestions from others.
These personal development books span a variety of topics, but all of them are bound together by the common thread of seeking a happier, more fulfilled life. They encompass creative thinking, business, time management, financial fulfillment, parenting, marriage and much much more!
- Big Magic: Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
For me, this book was poignant and well-timed. Every page was a “right on” moment, for me.I wasn’t originally sure if this one was going to resonate with me at first, because my business isn’t really artsy fartsy or creative – I’m a fitness and nutrition coach! But then I realized that what I do as a coach IS an art. Helping others to reach their goals requires far more than technical knowledge – it requires creativity. So this ended up resonating with me quite a lot!It also helped me to realize that I need to have outlets for my creativity that have nothing to do with my work.
The Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
4. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead,
5. Crush It!: 6. Essentialism: 7. Wild at Heart: 8. The 12-week Year: 9. The Universe Has your Back: The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure,
You Are A Bad Ass:
If you’re online, then you’ve probably seen a lot of ads for new Collagen products, lately. These collagen products promise to help you improve your skin, the appearance of stretch marks and the appearance of loose skin. Lots of companies are marketing them, lately, including the nutrition megacompany Herbalife. It’s another reason why people go crazy over making bone broth (although scientists question that one, too). I hate seeing ads for this product because I think the science behind the products makes about as much sense as trying to brush your teeth with barbecue sauce. Read on to find out why collagen is a waste of money!
Please note that this particular post is specific to consuming collagen for the purpose of improving skin appearance, stretch marks and loose skin.
As always, my blog posts are not meant to constitute medical advice and you should always consult your doctor before adding OR removing any supplements to your diet. All opinions are my own. I do think they’re pretty awesome opinions, especially on this topic. I have my BS in Biological Sciences (I was a pre-med student) and an MS in Exercise Science & Sport Studies, which has a massive amount of physiology coursework (read more of my bio here). I’m currently an online fitness and nutrition coach and I dedicate a ton of my free time to staying up to date on the latest science in my field, including supplementation.
Why collagen is a waste of money
It’s my personal theory that most supplementation theories like this tend to be grossly generalized and miss some key points. This is the same reason that people started taking L-Carnitine to help them burn body fat and it’s made millions of dollars as a fat burner, even though researchers have clearly shown that it’s useless.
Collagen is a protein that comprises a huge percentage of tissues throughout your body. Collagen is very important and essential in the body – I certainly agree with that. Go Collagen! Woohoo!
People who promote collagen as a supplement think that orally ingesting collagen is going to increase the presence of collagen elsewhere in the body. However, critics of the collagen theory don’t believe that’s the case.
When collagen protein enters the body and arrives at the stomach, it’s broken down into smaller peptides and amino acids. Amino acids are passed from the stomach into the intestines, where they are absorbed. Collagen no longer exists. It existed as it entered the stomach, but now it’s gone. There’s just amino acids at this point. No collagen. So, This is the first point of contention with the collagen theory.
Amino acids are absorbed through the intestines and into the blood stream, where they become part of your body’s amino acid pool. When they’re in the amino acid pool, they act like little chess pawns waiting to be commanded by the king. Until they receive a command from the king, they’re really not doing much. Seriously, imagine a bunch of pawns sitting in your kids’ kiddie pool and that’s what’s going on with collagen. They just hang out in the kiddie pool until the king yells at them to get out and get to work.
When your body determines that there is a need for collagen, it will order those pawns to join up with other pawns and take action… in science terms, it causes amino acids to be taken from the amino acid pool and synthesized into collagen protein (or another protein, if that’s what the body deems is necessary).
This is a complex process that involves really fancy stuff like DNA, RNA, ribosomes and transporter proteins. It HAS to be triggered by a series of commands related to some more fancy things related to homeostasis, which is regulated your nervous system (the king). This is my second point of contention, because you can’t just increase collagen for the collagen theory to work… you’d also have to increase the numbers of all the different helper particles that help this process along… you’d need more DNA transcription to RNA, more proteins manufactured from the RNA, more ribosomes, more transporter proteins… if you don’t have more of all those things then you’re out of luck.
Let’s go back to the kiddie pool. The pawns are sitting in the kiddie pool, but now let’s assume that they’re not allowed to leave the kiddie pool without someone holding their hand and walking them from the pool to their new job site. You haven’t accomplished anything if you double the number of pawns in the pool but don’t double the number of helpers to hold their hand to their job site.
Anyways, the biggest and final point of contention… All you’re doing is adding more amino acids (pawns) to the amino acid pool. You’re not increasing the synthesis of collagen in the body and “refilling” holes of collagen missing from tissues. That’s something that has to be driven by your body’s homeostasis defenders (king), which (as far as we know) are not directly impacted by ingesting collagen. Any benefits from increasing collagen would be the same benefits of increasing total body protein/amino acid pool, which we know to beneficial for a multitude of things anyways.
If we go back to the kiddie pool analogy one more time, it doesn’t matter how many pawns are sitting in the kiddie pool if the king doesn’t command them to go do something. Ingesting collagen won’t make the king give more commands.
There are some studies that show that collagen is beneficial for skin elasticity, but there’s also some studies that show it’s not. Most of the research is done on people who have preexisting clinical deficiencies in collagen or illnesses that cause collagen loss.
Interestingly, scurvy is a vitamin C deficiency that causes issues with collagen production in the body… but collagen supplementation does not cure scurvy. Only Vitamin C supplementation does.
At this point, the pool of research is extremely mixed on the topic. I’d be really interested to see research studies that start comparing collagen supplementation to plain old protein supplementation. I have a feeling that boosting total body protein would give the same results as boosting collagen. But over all, this is why I think collagen is a waste of money.
I wish it really was a magic bullet. We sure could use some magic health bullets…
Moms, the struggle is real. Staying fit is hard enough in the first place, let alone after being pregnant for nine months and THEN the responsibilities of being a mom to a growing family. Even worse, your fitness takes on a whole new dimension after your baby is born – particularly if you’re breastfeeding! You probably have a lot of questions, like how to lose weight while breastfeeding, how to get your belly back in shape and more. I’m a mom of two AND I have a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and I want to answer these questions for you. Read on!
Lucky for you guys, I put this all in a short and sweet video course called The New Mom’s Guide to Fitness.
How to lose weight while breastfeeding
For me, I was always scared to lose baby weight because I didn’t want to mess with my milk supply. Most moms don’t know how to lose weight while breastfeeding – and there’s definitely some important points you don’t want to miss. You should never eat below a certain number of calories, and it’s important to have a specific mix of nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate). It’s also important to lose fat at a gentle pace. I talk about the specifics in the New Mom’s Guide to Fitness and include a worksheet that shows you how to calculate our daily calorie intake AND your proportion of fat, protein and carbohydrate.
How to safely train your core
The most common abdominal exercises might actually be dangerous after you’ve had a baby – especially the types of workouts you get on Pinterest and in mainstream fitness DVDs. Crunches, planks, V-ups and burpees can be too much load on your weakened midsection. There are some very specific steps you need to take to protect your abdomen postpartum, or you might end up with a hernia. I talk about what NOT to do, and also include a video with a few sample exercises you can do instead.
Preventing baby wearing injuries
A lot of moms end up with VERY sore backs from carrying or wearing their little ones. Since your kids always want to be held, this is not good. There are a few tips that can help you head off aches and pains and I’ll cover those in the New Mom’s Guide to Fitness.
The right goals
There’s so much else that goes into staying fit after having a baby. Planning and goal setting are two HUGE components where moms make a lot of mistakes. My goal is to help you get off on the right foot by having the right plan for you.
I’m an experienced fitness professional and mom. I’ve got a short, sweet and affordable video course to help you take ownership of your fitness after having a baby!