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Real Body Image Talk

Hi. My name is Jessica and I have a problem.

I cannot look at my body without having some sort of criticism. Today, I found some broken blood vessel on my face. It looks like a freckle but up close, it isn’t. I stretched the skin around, inspected it as if I was a scientist, reviewing cells under a microscope. I found the vein. I leaned away from the mirror to see if it was noticeable as it was up close. All I could imagine were varicose veins plaguing my face, like some kind of connect-the-moles game. I started to relive fifth grade again. When the kids made fun of the moles on my face: “Moley! Moley! Moley!” mimicking Austin Powers.

I used to think I had strong, muscular legs. That was until I had a body fat analysis scan that revealed most of my fat is in my legs. Oh, and arms. Now all I see are sausage legs in my cycling kit. I don’t look fast. I look fat. I look like when you stuff a giant pillow into a tiny pillow case – seams and material stretching, pushing maximum density, as it curves into itself.

I am more self-conscious now in shorts knowing full well that there’s more fat than muscles. And I rub the sides of my thighs a lot as if I could rub away cellulite like you do with scuff marks on the floor. Once I scuffed the floor from my bike tires. I tried all different kinds of solutions believing one of them would finally wash away the black rubber streaked across the laminate wood flooring. Finally, I took a butter knife and etched away at the black.

I can’t etch away cellulite.

When I walk, I can feel my inner thighs rubbing together. I know it isn’t muscle because of how much it jiggles. It’s soft and flimsy like silly putty. Only I can’t mold my thighs like a stone statue. And my thighs smash into each other when I sit – doubling in size. I try not to look down when I’m sitting because I know I’ll see a single thigh. One giant, jiggly, fatty thigh.

And I eat another piece of chocolate.

My shirts lay against my stomach just right where I can see the little bump that no matter the number of crunches, planks, or skipped meals, it stays there. I constantly tug at my shirt to hide it, pulling material loose. Using two hands sometimes to stretch the material if it hugs my belly too tight.

I’ll dig my thumbs into my hips trying to find the bone. Then pinching the excess that peeks over my jeans. If no one’s around, I’ll lift my shirt high enough and stare and scrutinize my midsection. Twisting and turning to view every possible angle in a desperate search to find the most flattering. Tightening my stomach, pushing it out, and sucking it in to find the right amount of contraction it’ll take to make it look flat. But it never gets as flat as I want it to. I look down and see that fucking bump every day.

And my gaze travels up. Up to my back where skin folds along my bra strap. Months and months of back strengthening exercises and there’s still back fat leering. Months of attempting to cut portions, match my carb-to-protein ratio, and staring longingly at cookies. Sometimes, I’ll reach behind with a false sense of optimism believing that I’ll be unable to pinch anything.

I call my breasts “orangutan boobs” and now you’re picturing it. A sign of getting older and the effects of gravity. I joke their small size keeps me aero on the bike. Always self-deprecating. Never self-appreciating. I also joke about my “bingo flab,” also known as triceps.

Again with the months of Tricep exercises believing that one day I’ll defy gravity and there won’t be loose skin hanging below my arms. That when I do the first place stance my arms will look strong and mighty, not droopy.

And while I complain about all the physical limitations and imperfections of my body, I never apologize for taking up space. Rarely do I complain to the general public about the size of my thighs or the numerous moles on my face. And when I get really fucking down about my body, I remind myself that at least I have a working one. It takes a single accident to lose it all. With all the activities I do, my flabby stomach drops when I consider what it’d be like to no longer ride my bike, hike, run, stretch, walk, and take care of myself. At that moment my eyes look at the blue sky instead.

Jessica’s Weight Loss Formula

Protein + Fiber – Sugar/Processed Foods = Weight Loss

 

There are two types of fat around our bellies: visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. The stuff you can squeeze and jiggle is subcutaneous fat. It’s the fat right below your skin. While it’s not exactly harmful to your health, it’s what we see when our shirts come off and what we hope to lose when we think of “love handles” or “spilling over my edges.”

 

Visceral fat, on the other hand, is harmful to our health and it’s the fat that surrounds our organs. It’s hard fat that causes people’s stomachs to stick out. You know the look: small arms and legs, but the pot belly. It’s dangerous because it causes harm to our bodies, such as increasing our resistance to insulin. It also increases our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

When we want to lose weight, especially around the middle, there are foods that we should be eating in particular if we want to shed fat. Better yet, there are foods you should cut from your diet immediately.

 

Increase Protein

 

Protein is a macronutrient (along with carbohydrates and fat) that is essential in building and rebuilding muscles. Scientifically speaking, protein is made up of amino acids. Protein helps us fuel our muscles, keep us feeling full, and aids in metabolism.

 

When you eat more protein, you increase your satiety (hunger-reducing) hormones and reduce your hunger pangs. Theoretically, when you eat protein you stay fuller longer and you automatically decrease your calories because you’re not snacking as much.

 

Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbs, which means your body is burning calories to metabolize and digest the protein. It also increases your metabolism if that wasn’t enough.

 

So how much protein should we be eating on the daily? The short answer is: it depends on your goals. To lose weight, particularly belly fat, aim for 30% of your calorie intake to be protein. Another option is eating 0.7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

 

High protein foods

  1. Eggs

A study published by the International Journal of Obesity found that eating eggs for breakfast instead of a bagel aids in weight loss. The protein in the eggs increased satiety while decreasing hunger hormones.

  1. Cottage Cheese

If you’re not a fan of eggs, another breakfast or snack option is cottage cheese. Cottage cheese has a high amount of protein as well as calcium, A and B vitamins. Participants in a clinical trial increased their protein and dairy intake and saw significant weight loss.

  1. Chicken

Grilled chicken packs you with protein without packing in calories. 3 ounces of chicken breast provides 19 grams of protein while only weighing in at 102 calories.

  1. Broccoli

For the vegetarians and vegans, broccoli is higher in protein compared to most vegetables with 2.6 grams of protein per cup.

  1. Whey Protein Supplements

If you’d like to get your protein from a different source or you’re short on time, whey protein supplements are plentiful. Whey is the byproduct after milk has been curdled and strained. A lot of lifters will supplement their diets with whey protein before and after a weight lifting workout because of whey’s digestion rate and its ability to send amino acids to the muscles.

 

Increase fiber intake

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is a plant-based nutrient. It’s not broken down by the body the same way carbs are broken down, though. “Dietary fiber” is the indigestible parts of plant-based foods that remain intact during the digestion process. Fiber regulates digestion, lowers cholesterol, reduces blood glucose levels, among many other benefits. It can also make you fart if you increase it too much too soon, so think about your loved ones downwind when you begin your path toward more fiber.

 

In a study published by Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that by changing a single dietary behavior (adding more fiber to the participants’ diet) aids in weight loss. Like protein, fiber helps us fill fuller for longer periods of time, which helps reduce snacking and arbitrarily eating junk foods.

 

Right now, most adults are only eating 15 grams of fiber per day, which is about half the recommending amount. For men 50 years old or younger, they should be eating about 38 grams of fiber a day. For women 50 years old or younger, they should be eating about 25 grams. For men 50+, they need to stick with 30 grams of fiber per day and women 50+ need to aim for 21 grams.

 

High fiber foods

  1. Almonds

One serving of almonds packs 3 grams of fiber. You can add almonds to nearly any dish or grab a handful walking out the door. They’re also full of protein, so you get double bang for your buck when you eat them.

  1. Oats

If you’ve been enjoying your oatmeal for breakfast then you’re well ahead of the gang because oatmeal contains a powerful fiber, beta-glucan, which helps lower cholesterol. Sprinkle almonds on top of your oatmeal for a protein and fiber-packed breakfast.

  1. Brussel Sprouts

Another shout-out for the plant-based eaters among us, brussel sprouts have as much fiber as they do protein, coming in at 3 grams of fiber per serving.

  1. Lentils

For omnivores, herbivores, and carnivores alike, lentils are not only low on the glycemic index, but these guys pack on the fiber and protein – another double whammy. With the high fiber and protein, you’ll stay full much longer than you would if you only ate a bagel for breakfast.

  1. Whole grains

Eating whole grain breads and cereals will help you reach your fiber intake as well. It’s best to check the label of any food that claims it’s “whole grain” because some will still contain flour. A single slice of whole grain bread contains 2 grams of fiber and if you eat the bread with oatmeal, you’re getting a complete breakfast.

 

Cut out sugar and chemically processed foods

If you really want to make a difference in your belly, cut out the gross, processed shit you’re eating. Really, anything that has a label on it, with more than five ingredients, that can hang out outside of the fridge for more than a few days without going bad is processed. The problem with processed foods is that they have a ton of weird things in them that causes inflammation, makes us sick, and makes us fat.

 

Eating processed foods introduces way too much sugar into your diet. While sugar in moderation is one thing, a Western diet typically eats 82 grams of sugar per day (supposed to stick to 25 grams or less). Eating too much sugar makes you fat, obviously. It also jacks with your metabolism and leads to insulin resistance. It can cause diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

 

If you’re looking to make a change in your diet or lose belly fat, increasing your protein and fiber intake will help you achieve goal. You’ll increase satiety and decrease your snacking because you’ll be less hungry. Adding in exercise will double your effort and the pounds will eventually melt away.

Excuses are like assholes

You aren’t working out because you don’t want to. It’s just not a priority for you. Own it. We only have 24 hours in a day and we all prioritize them differently.

The biggest excuse (and yes, that’s what it is) I hear is: “I don’t have time to workout.”

You do.

The problem is that you don’t want to spend your extra time working out. I get it. I was once like that. I thought walking 500 steps from car to school was a workout.

Back in high school, my best friend wanted me to join soccer with her. I remember thinking I didn’t have the time after school to go to practice. And the games. And all the days/nights spend running around. Instead, I thought going to cafes and punk rock shows were more valid uses of my time. Mosh pits and chai teas were my priorities.

I didn’t want to workout. It seemed like a chore or something my mom would make me do when I talked back. I associated working out with pain and sweat and my 16-year old mind thought, “ew. Gross.” I did not want to find time to go through that.

My friend finally convinced me to go to a soccer try-out with her. I distinctly remember the coaches walking us to the stairs that my crew hung around and I thought, “why the fuck are we going over to the stairs? We’re not running up that shit, are we? No way. I’m not doing this.”

So there I was, running up and down these stairs that I only ever used to get to my next class or hangout at the bottom. And I was panting, sweating, and cursing my friend for dragging me to this. I felt awful and as I made my way to the bottom I told myself that once I reached the top again I was booking it around the corner and running away from this bullshit.

Five steps from the top I was ready. I was ready to dart away and be done. I semi-considered how the other girls would react to this vanishing act I so quickly invented as I gasped for air and that top step. Then I took off. I ducked behind a railing and heard a girl yell, “a girl just ran away.” Yup. Sure did.

Then I army-crawled down the hall, later finding my punk rock friends haphazardly rolling a cigarette. Like I said, I didn’t have the time for sports.

What changed? The inner tube growing around my waist was a pudgy nudge to get my ass moving. I did 30 minutes three times a week in Undergrad. That was plenty, surely, to lose weight and stay fit. I worked out to YouTube videos that were definitely under 30 minutes. Anything that creeped over that 30-minute mark were skipped. Who has time to do a 34-minute video? A new cafe just opened up on Broadway and their untasted chai tea had my name on it.

Unbeknownst to my ignorance, the chai I later drank did away with whatever no-greater-than-30-minute YouTube video burned. I wasn’t seeing results and I heard once that weights were good, so I signed up at Bally’s for $10 per month with my mom.

I had no idea what to do with the racks on racks of weights, the sweat-stained machines, and weird cardio equipment I never heard of before (rower? TF?). I started Googling and teaching myself how to lose weight, gain strength, and grow muscle.

I started going every other day, slowly carving more time out of my day so I could workout at the gym, even adding a weekend into the mix. My mother started doing weights with me and we tried new moves. I began to add weight to my lifts and ventured away from the 30-minute workout to 40 minutes to 50 and so on.

Then I met Jared who probably revolutionized my training routine. I made fun of him at first for how often he trained and how meticulous he seemed about health and fitness. Tracking your workout? With a smart watch? My money was still going to concerts and chais.

Then I got on a bike and fell in love with Bullseye (their name). I wanted to improve on my bike. I remember seeing Jared taking selfies, talking on the phone, texting, adjusting his bibs while he waited for me. I hated being the “slow one.” I felt uncomfortable knowing I was messing with someone else’s workout. I was determined to get stronger.

I started training specifically for cycling, carving out more time from my day to dedicate to riding my bike AND weight lifting because strong legs meant faster legs. The time that was once devoted to chai tea lattes and blaring music in spilled alcohol and grimey dance floors began to shrivel compared to my “training” time.

For the first time, I understood it to be training and not “working out.” I was training for a 100-mile bike ride and late night shows prevented me from waking up early to conquer the trails.

I stopped going out during the week for drinks and coffee because my alarm was set for 5:30 AM to get my workout finished.

I was told you have three choices in training – sleep, training, social life – and that I could only pick two because it was impossible to have all three. This is where priorities come into play and how mine changed.

As I trained, I hung out with my friends less and less. They eventually stopped inviting me out because they already knew the answer. I don’t blame them. Constantly receiving the same, “sorry, I have to get up early morning to train” response would also push me away from asking someone to hang out. They knew they weren’t a priority. My priorities were sleeping and training. I learned the hard way how important sleep is to training when riding my first 80 Miles on little sleep. There were tears.

You must find the time. No one has more hours in their day than you. You have to prioritize. You must make hard choices. You can totally have your cake and eat it too (wouldn’t recommend this every day), but you can’t have your cake, eat it, and reach your weight loss goal.

Same goes for working out: you can’t have all three (sleep, train, social life). You can have a little of all three, but it’ll take you that much longer to reach your goal. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make the hard choices that get you to your goal. You’ll stop doing shit you thought was important (watching tv, drinking at bars, sipping chai, watching bands play until 2AM).

If you want to lose weight, get stronger, achieve some fitness goal, you’ll find the time to do it – only if you’re motivated enough and only when you prioritize.

Heart Rate Zone Training

 

 

 

Want to start heart rate zone training? Get at me: grinandgrindit@gmail.com

The Purposeful Gym Workout

I greet most members in the gym with, “What are you working on today?” and either they don’t want to talk to me or they truly don’t know their goal for the day. Most of the time they’re confused with the question and typically ask me, “What?” They’ll look away – thinking of what to tell me – and then stammer out with, “uh.. cardio….” or “I don’t know.”

Granted, I’m wearing a Personal Trainer shirt so I’m assuming they’re assuming I want to sell them services, which, duh, but also it’s a great way to learn about people. I have some fascinating conversations with people who have years of experience in a particular sport or activity. I also learn a lot about aches, pains, and tears and it reminds me of how important it is to move.

When I walk the floor, I notice a lot of people moseying around, most likely thinking to themselves, “Oh, seated leg press…I should try that.” Then they’ll do one set and move on to another machine. This doesn’t get results.

Planning and following through on that plan gets you results.

1. Start with your goal.

What do you want to accomplish in 30, 60, 90 days? I previously posted about S.M.A.R.T goals, which you should read if you haven’t. Set a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. When you give yourself a goal it motivates you to do the things it takes to reach it. If you always go to the gym without motivation other than “you have to,” you’ll always look the same.

2. Develop a Plan

You’ve made your S.M.A.R.T goal. Now you make the plan. What will it take to reach your goal? What sort of training will it take and how long?

This is probably the most intimidating part because most of us have an idea of what we want, but not sure how to get there. That’s when people like myself come in handy. If you don’t want to hire a Personal Trainer, then research. Find blogs, articles, and free sources that can give you an idea as to how other people have reached similar goals as yours. It’s out there. It just takes time and research.

 

3. Keep Yourself Accountable

You’re more likely to slack on a goal if only you know about it. Tell people about your goal. Make them hold you accountable. Start a group of people with similar goals. Do what it takes to force yourself to stick to your goal.

And show up. Set the goal. Make the plan. And do it.

Excuses are like assholes – everyone has one and they all stink.

Everyone has the same number of hours in the day. It’s the successful people who make the most out of every second, minute, hour.

Go to the gym with your exact workout written down with sets, reps, and a column to track it all. That way, when someone like me asks you, “What are you working on today?” you’ll be one of the few with a specific workout and a plan to get ‘er done.

 

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Ready to change your life? Email me: grinandgrindit@gmail.com

 

Functional Strength Training for Cyclists

Simply put, functional strength training is strength training exercises that are useful. You’re not going to build glam muscles with functional strength training. Instead, you’re building strength to excel in your sport – in our case, cycling. Sure, you’ll look good too.

 

Major Muscles Used in Cycling

The major muscles used in cycling are the glutes, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, and quadriceps. While these are all the legs and hips, you can’t forget your core and upper body. Your legs may be doing the brunt of the work, but your core keeps you balanced and helps you with tight turns while your upper body, well, supports your upper half.

 

When you conduct functional strength training, you’re training your body to perform its best during cycling.

 

 

Glutes

Squats work your glutes as well as your quads and hamstrings. You can conduct squats using a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, or bodyweight.

 

Hamstrings

Single leg deadlifts not only work your hamstrings and hip flexors, but they also help identify weaker muscles. When you single out legs (or anything, for that matter), you’re likely to see deficiencies easier, which means you can strengthen the weaker one efficiently.

 

Calves

Calf Raises are solid calf-strengthening exercises. You can do it with or without weights, on or off a ledge. As cyclists, we’re prone to overactive gastrocnemius and soleus, so it’s probably better you stretch and foam roll your calves more than strengthening them.

 

Hip Flexors

Balancing Hip Flexion or Lying Prone March will work out those hip flexors. Again, as cyclists, we’re prone to have over active psoas muscles, so you want to stretch them as well. Off-season, when you’re not cycling as much, then yes, strengthening your hip flexors are key, but you definitely want to stretch them with poses like the seated butterfly stretch and pigeon pose. Your hips and back will thank you.

 

Core

Core is essential to cycling and controlling yourself on the bike. The Plank and all its variations is great for developing core strength. There are too many kinds of planks to list and luckily, with that amount, you’ll never get bored.

 

Upper Body

As we see in the pro peloton, cyclists lack upper body muscles. Sure, there’s the whole power to weight ratio, but taking care of your upper body will only help you on (and off) the bike. Don’t worry about gaining tons of weight from developing your upper body.

 

When you’re supporting yourself on the bike, you’re probably using your biceps, upper back, chest, and triceps, so strengthening all those muscles during the off-season is key. Exercises like Shoulder Presses, Tricep Dips, Pull-Ups, and Rows target those muscles.

 

The winter is the best time to develop and strengthen those cyclist muscles, so you can come back to the season stronger than last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:
https://www.bicycling.com/training/strength-training/the-ultimate-guide-to-your-cycling-muscles
http://www.bicycling.co.za/training-nutrition/5-upper-body-strength-moves-for-cyclists/6/
https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/the-best-strength-exercises-for-cyclists/
https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/the-primary-muscles-used-for-cycling-and-how-to-train-them/

 

WTF: Hydrogenated Oils

It all started when I jumped on the scale solely for the purpose to learn how to use the body composition analysis scale at the gym where I train clients. I knew I wasn’t 12% body fat, but when the scale said I was 28.4% body fat, I damn near fell over from shock. I played it off like, “Yeah, sure… how accurate are these things anyways?” I wasn’t fooling anyone.

Now I have a complex and think I’m overweight.

As I perused my emails, my buddy, Ben Greenfield, sent an email with the subject: “the secret key to fat loss + 5 ways you can get lean fast.” In my fragile state, I eagerly clicked to open the email, waiting for the epiphany for losing this 28.4% body fast ASAP.

Essentially, inflammation is making us fat. Greenfield said to decrease the inflammation in your body, which will decrease the insulin, and then this causes fat cells to die off or convert to other cells. Avoid rancid oils, processed oils, heavily heated oils. Choose natural oils like extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and extra virgin avocado oil.

 

What is hydrogenated or refined oil?

LiveSTRONG defined hydrogenation and trans fat as:

“Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils whose chemical structure has been altered to prevent rancidity in foods, which increases shelf life and saves money for food manufacturers. The process of hydrogenation involves the addition of hydrogen atoms to the oil’s available double bonds. As the level of hydrogenation increases, the level of saturated fat increases and the level of unsaturated fat decreases. The hydrogenation process converts what are known as “cis” double bonds to “trans” double bonds. This is where the term “trans fat” originates. Hydrogenation also has the technical advantage of making foods solid or partially solid at room temperature.”

Huh?

When an oil is hydrogenated, the healthy fats are converted into trans fat.

Happily Unprocessed define refined oil as oil that’s been “refined by using chemicals that are harmful to us.” What kind of chemicals? Acid, alkali, bleach, and Hexane. You can read how oil gets refined here.

 

Why hydrogenated/refined oils are no bueno

Trans fats really screw you over. They increase bad cholesterol (LDL) while also decreasing good cholesterol (HDL). They increase inflammation in your body and have been linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Inflammation, as we’ve learned from Ben also makes you fat. So, not only are you increasing your chances of having some shitty disease, but you’re also getting fat.

 

How to avoid them

Read nutrition and ingredients label. Companies do not have to list trans fats if there is less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving. Instead, companies will list “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” which means there’s totally trans fat in the food.

Eat food that doesn’t have a nutrition label, or if it does, you can pronounce all the ingredients.

 

List of oils & hydrogenated foods

  • Vegetable oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Shortening
  • Margarine
  • Baked and processed foods
    • Cookies
    • Chips
    • Crackers
    • Frozen foods
    • French fries

WTF: New Year Resolutions & Your “Why”

I venture to guess your New Year’s Resolution(s) is one or more of the following:

  • To lose # pounds
  • Exercise more
  • Find a new job
  • Start a new hobby
  • Eat more healthily
  • Learn a new skill
  • Quit something

These are all noble pursuits, but have you asked yourself “Why?”? Let’s go with the most popular: losing weight. Typically, people have a number. We’ll say you want to lose 30 pounds.

I’ll set the scene:

It’s December 31st and you’re at brunch with your friends sharing your New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone’s going around the circle saying they want to do this and that and it’s your turn. You say, “I want to lose 30 pounds,” and everyone’s stoked for you, like, “Yeah! Go get it!” “That’s a great goal!” “Good for you!” You’re feeling jazzed and motivated, thinking, “I’ll drop 30 pounds like it’s hot!”

You go home and share that with your family now that you’re excited from the conversation earlier. Your family is happy for you too and offer words of encouragement. “Sweet! Look at all this support I have!”

You party and wake up January 1st. You’re still motivated, albeit, a tad hungover. You go to the gym and see the hundreds of other people who have the same goal as you. You pick up some dumbbells and pump out 12 reps because that sounds right. You do that a few times. Then you jump on the treadmill for 30 minutes and call it a day.

You eat salad for lunch instead of the cheeseburger you’re used to eating.

And this goes on for about a month when you’re not seeing the results you thought you’d see. You become a little less motivated, cutting down gym time, and sliding those cheeseburgers back into the diet because at least you’re still going to the gym and you’re drinking more water.

By March, you’re back to your old habits: sleeping in on the weekends and cheeseburgers for lunch. You gained back the couple of pounds you lost in January and you’re back to thinking, “More cushion for the pushin’.”

Why do you so many New Year’s Resolutions fail?

Because we don’t have a Why.

 

We make resolutions because it’s the thing to do. We think of “nice-to-haves” and make it a goal, without regard to why we want to achieve that goal.

Back to losing weight. Why do you want to lose 30 pounds (pick your number)? How will this benefit you? How will it change you for the better? Who does this benefit? How will you feel once you lose 30 pounds? What will you do once you lose 30 pounds? Why 30 and not 40 or 10? What is special about that number?

Get crystal freaking clear on your resolution. Ask “Why?” until you know the answer deep down. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone but yourself, but you do have to know your “Why?” Because if you don’t, it’ll fall to the wayside, just like any meaningless “goal” we create because we feel like we need to.

 

Be so clear you can taste it.

 

 

 

Need help setting realistic weight loss and exercise goals? Get at me: grinandgrindit@gmail.com