Resolve to make a lifestyle change in 2018


There’s something ominous about the phrase New Years Resolution, isn’t there?

How many long term, sustainable changes in your life have started with a New Year’s resolution? Probably not many, if any, right?

More often than not, New Year’s resolutions backfire come February or March. Often it’s because they’re short-term in nature—things like 30 days without booze or sugar—so on February 1st you shamelessly get your booze or sugar-high back on without regret.

Other times, it’s because they’re too narrow in their focus: Things like committing to going to the gym three days a week, or not eating chocolate for two months. Problem is going to the gym three days a week all the while continuing to eat like crap won’t bring you success. Neither will cutting out chocolate but continuing to be lazy and replace chocolate with ice cream.

While I don’t like the idea of a “New Year’s Resolution,” per se, what I do like is the idea of a new year being a chance to come up with a real plan of attack for gradual, all-encompassing, lasting health changes.

If you’re going to do this, though, you need to be willing to adopt a three-pronged approach to change that includes FITNESS, NUTRITION and LIFESTYLE.

If you’re not sure where to begin, look no further. Our coaches revel in helping motivated people make health transformations that go just beyond getting stronger and improving their endurance in the gym. We’re looking for people who want to get more fit, make positive diet changes, and transform their lifestyles in the process.

First of all, its important to figure out WHY. Why do you want to get fit. Before you contact us, take the time to dig really deep as to your why. If your answer to the WHY question is weight loss, then dig deeper: WHY do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get strong? What is the real, raw, vulnerable impetus behind your motivation to work on your fitness? Be real. Be vulnerable. Thats whats going to allow for true change.

Once you’re able to let your guard down and understand what’s really driving you, then you’ll work together with a coach to come up with a health, fitness, nutrition, lifestyle plan that’s right for you.

How?

  • It will start with one-on-one personal training sessions. Your coach will assess where you’re at physically, address your health and injury history and get you moving in the direction of improved mobility, strength, endurance, speed, power etc… Once you’re competent physically, you’ll be able to attend group classes in conjunction with personal training sessions with your coach. Having a coach in your corner to keep you accountable is what’s going to prevent you from falling off the wagon like you have other times you’ve made New Year’s resolutions.
  • Diet, diet diet: Your coach will get you logging what you’re eating and will educate you about the best way to fuel your body. He/she will look into your gut health and address ways to fix it if it’s something that’s preventing you from, for example, losing weight. And most importantly, your coach will be there to support you every step of the way, as we know that diet changes are WAY harder to make than getting you to walk through the doors three days a week.
  • Lifestyle: Your coach will take a look (if you’re open to it) at what else is going on in your life. Is there something funky with your sleep these days? Your mood? Your job? Your relationship? Although we all started out interested in the fitness aspect of overall health, we also realize we can’t look at fitness in a vacuum. It’s part of a bigger picture of life, and for you to truly achieve the results you want, everything in your life needs to be in order. I hate the word life coach, but that’s kind of what we do: We help you get better at life!

 

2018: The year you started taking care of you! (Sounds pretty good, right?)

I’m eating well! Why aren’t I losing weight?


The more clients we work with, and the more we dig into diet, the more confusing it sometimes seems to be…

Because I have learned there’s no one-size fits all approach, and I would be suspicious of anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

This is especially true when it comes to weight loss. It seems some people look at sugar or bread and gain pounds, while others can eat a pint of ice cream a night with no visible body composition repercussions. It’s an unfair world we live in.

Though there isn’t a golden rule, over the years we have witnessed some general trends and some fairly powerful anecdotes from clients who struggled for months, years or decades to lose weight, and were finally able to figure it out.

If you’re one of these people—struggling to make sense of why your body isn’t losing the weight you want—consider the following:

 

GET OFF ALLLLLLLLL OF THE SUGAR

You might think sugar just means refined sugars, like putting a sugar cube in your coffee, pounding daily Cokes, or eating apple pie for dessert, all the while you continue to eat fruit every morning, handfuls of figs at lunch and put honey in your coffee because it’s a more “natural” sugar, you have been told.

I worked with a client once—and have heard many other similar success stories—who finally decided to give up all forms of sweeteners, including maple syrup, honey, agave, dried fruit, fresh fruit—you name it. The moment she did: BOOM! Weight loss galore.

If the thought of not being able to eat fruit or honey or anything sweet ever again makes you suicidal, relax a moment. Many people are able to re-introduce some sweet things back into their diet after a few months of zero tolerance. But you need to go through the zero tolerance period first. Try it for 30 days and see what happens.

 

HEAL YOUR GUT

The problem for some is they’re eating lots of good food, but their gut bacteria is messed up, so their bodies have lost the ability to absorb nutrients effectively, which means their metabolism and digestive systems aren’t working as well as they should.

We wrote about gut health recently.

Or the Coles Notes version:

  1. Eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet (gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes)
  2. Take a probiotic supplement (the higher CFU count the better)
  3. Eat more soluble fibre
  4. Consume apple cider vinegar and bone broth
  5. Look into supplements (namely Vitamin D, zinc, L-Glutamine, Betaine HCL, fish oil)

 

FIX YOUR SLEEP

Don’t believe me that sleep is THAT important for bodily processes like metabolism (i.e. weight loss)?

You have probably worked out after a night or two of bad eating. Maybe even after a night or two of heavy boozing. Maybe you even PRed your back squat when you were hungover…

But imagine going two nights without any sleep and then trying to workout at intensity. The thought of it is painful, right? Two consecutive nights of little to no sleep and you probably feel way more ruined than you do from an entire month of poor food choices.

This article from the International Journal of Endocrinology explains more (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498/) about how sleep deprivation has profound impacts on your hormones, your metabolism and your cardiovascular health.

In short, if there IS a magic bullet solution, it might just be sleep.

Sleep tight, folks. And avoid the sugar.

What you’re paying for, and what you’ll receive at 7 Mile


How much are your classes?

A question often asked by a newbie who pops into our facility.

“Group classes aren’t really what we sell,” we say in return.

Generally, this is met by a dumbfounded look and a slight hesitation, and sometimes a cautiously-worded question:

What.areyouumselling?

“I’m glad you asked…”

Bear with me as I backtrack for a moment:

There are lots of styles of gyms out there: There are the community centres, where you pay $10 bi-weekly for access to treadmills, bikes and weights and can drop in whenever you please. You get zero guidance from a professional and are left to your own devices to figure out this fitness thing on your own.

And there are the posh gyms that look more like spas featuring all the bells and whistles: tanning beds, pleasure massages, saunas and towel services, and where people, well, just don’t get that fit.

And there are the personal training studios, where you work with a trainer for $100 an hour, and where you’re passed off to a new trainer every four months because trainers keep leaving.

And, of course, the group exercise and bootcamp facilities, where the going rate is around $150 a month for unlimited group classes, and where you receive little to no personalized coaching.

We are none of the above.

Yes, we offer group classes, as well as personal training and individual programming, but what we’re really selling—the value you will receive when you train with us—is a coach for life. In other words, an experienced, professional coach in your corner—someone whose pursuing a lifelong career in the health and fitness industry.

I repeat, you are NOT paying for “the workout of the day” or “unlimited classes” or “open gym time.” You will receive those things, too, but the value is in our professional coaching service.

What does this look like?

This means you have someone by your side to help you with your health, fitness and nutrition wherever you’re at in life. Whether you’re a 17-year-old looking to snag an NCAA sports scholarship, a 50-year-old looking to reclaim your health before it’s too late, or whether you’re injured and need guidance getting your mobility back.

The value you receive comes in the form of a relationship with this coach, who will also provide his/her ongoing expertise—technical expertise, programming expertise, nutritional expertise—and even mentorship if you’re looking for it.

Why do we think this is the best way?

Health and fitness is complicated, and human beings are like snowflakes: No two are the same.

Our model gives you the one-on-one attention of a personal training studio (without costing you upwards of $1,000 a month) and the social community of group classes. But beyond that, it gives you the assurance that you have someone who knows YOU—and  your strength and weaknesses—to help you live the best, healthiest life you possibly can.

We arent selling workouts, or classes: We are selling a professional coaching service. If this sounds like something youre looking for, contact us.

Why do some people stick to a fitness routine while others fail?


This question has long intrigued me.

As a coach, as much as I like to think I can predict who will end up sticking around and committing to fitness, the truth is I can’t. Sometimes the least likely people get hooked, and people I expect to last years fall off the wagon.

In the last six months, I have come across a number of health transformation stories that have helped me develop a theory as to why some people commit to fitness for life while others fail.

I met a man who used to weigh 340 lb. He drank a dozen sodas a day and a pint of ice cream every night. And it wasnt uncommon for him to eat an entire brick of processed American cheese in one sitting. Then one day in 2015, he decided to make a change. Today, hes 205 lb. and hasnt had a single soda or a bite of American cheese since that day two years ago when he took his health into his hands.

And I met a woman who, at the age of 69, weighed 220 lb. and could barely get off the floor. She, too, made the decision to get healthy and hasnt looked back. A year-and-a-half-later, shes down 50 lb., has been taken off a host of medications she was on, and can get up and down off the floor with ease.

When you hear people tell their stories of massive, long-lasting change, it’s impossible not to become inspired.

Unfortunately though, those stories aren’t the norm. They’re kind of the exception. Truth is, most people have good intentions to take real action in their lives and change but don’t ever do it. They think about wanting to change, they verbalize the need for change, and maybe they try the gym for a couple weeks or months, but it ultimately feels too hard or too overwhelming, so they fall back into their own patterns and continue to live their mediocre lives.

The question becomes: What was it that both the American-cheese addicted man and the 69-year-old woman did to be able to create lasting change in their lives?

They both told me, independent of one another, that for them to decide to commit to health and fitness, they needed to throw away the tapes in their head that told them change wasn’t possible. The tapes that told them they couldn’t do it. The tapes that told them they would fail.

Once they were able to beat the voice in their head, they were able to develop a sense of certainty, and more importantly, come to terms with the fact that their pasts were not their futures.

I have come to believe this is the difference between people who commit to fitness for life and people who don’t: Empowering versus self-limiting beliefs.

What exactly is a belief?

A belief is essentially something you feel certain about. Often, there are no solid facts or rationality behind the belief.

Most people don’t realize it’s up to us what we believe. Instead, we blindly believe our beliefs as truths and we let them limit us.

Usually, our beliefs come down to our past experiences. We assume that just because the last job interview didn’t go well, neither will this one. Or that we failed in our New Year’s resolution attempt to go to the gym three days a week in 2010, that we will fail today. This is not the case.

The former soda guzzler and the 220-lb. woman are real people. In fact, you can read about his very real story here (https://journal.crossfit.com/article/mcmanus-beers-2). They’re not superhuman, made with more willpower than you. They just chose to say screw you to their unfounded beliefs and choose a new, better, path for themselves.

Fitness in childhood can make you a healthier adult!


I have been vocal for a long time about my hypothesis that—when it comes to health—what you do as a kid will translate into who you are as an adult.

My friends have often poo poo-ed my theory, but it has always just made sense logical to me.

I was a gymnast as a kid. I spent my weeks as an 8-year-old training six days a week, four hours a day, 24 hours a week. It goes without saying, my flexibility, body awareness, strength etc… are better today as an adult than they would otherwise have been without gymnastics. Everyone usually accepts that.

But when I suggest that being a gymnast helps my metabolism today, I get laughed at.

No more laughing!

There’s now proof, or strong evidence at the very least, to support my apparently wild theory.

A new study published in The Journal Frontiers in Physiology (http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphys.2017.00476/full ) suggests that being fit early in life can have health benefits that last into middle age. The study looked at the effects of exercise on gene expression, inflammation, and YES, metabolism!

This doesn’t bode all that well for today’s children, seeing as in 2013 the World Health Organization reported there are as many as 42 million obese children under the age of 5 roaming around the world.

Back to the study: It found that exercising in your early years changes how your body metabolizes calories, and how it responds to high-fat foods in adulthood. The study also suggests that early life exercise can help decrease bone mass loss, as well as inflammation, later in life.

One of the professors in the study, Elwyn C. Firth, explained: ”Bone metabolism strongly influences energy metabolism in the body, and metabolism—what you do with energy from diet—is the central crux of why some children and adults become obese.”

In other words: Do gymnastics as a kid and you’ll be able to eat entire ring of brie cheese without consequence as an adult?!!! OK, maybe not quite that simple…But it certainly suggests it’s never too early to think about, and pursue fitness!

Even if you’re skeptical as this is just one study, here are a list of 7 other known health benefits for starting fitness as young as possible—reasons to enrol your kids in a fitness program ASAP!

  • Physical activity is linked to better classroom behaviour.
  • Physical activity requiring balance and coordination are associated with better emotional responses and emotional control.
  • Exercise is linked to decreased in depression and anxiety in children.
  • Exercise promotes better self-esteem and confidence in both childhood and adolescence.
  • Exercise improves quantity and quality of sleep.
  • Exercise helps children develop interpersonal skills (this is especially true when we consider participation in team sports).

Have a 16-year-old? An 8-year-old? A 5-year-old? Contact us for getting them going on a fitness plan for life!