7 Strategies For A Sexy Physique

Strong women they inspire me, they make me want to grab the world by the lapels and go kick ass.  When I see a woman in the gym who has defined muscles and is throwing some serious weight around, I have immediate respect for her.  Sure, I respect the outer displays of strength, but mostly I appreciate the inner resolve that goes into achieving that level of physical success.

I was fortunate to get the opportunity to talk to such a woman, Wendy Heaslip, a 48 years old woman who backs up all that strength in the gym with being independent and charming.  

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She shared with me her strategies for creating a lean physique (along with a workout at the end of the article) and for the record, Heaslip is a mother, engineer,  photographer, friend and cares for her dad who has Alzheimer’s.  If she can do this with her busy life, you can too.  

Here are those strategies she shared for developing a fit physique.  

Secret #1  She wakes up early.

In her words;)  “I’m up at 4:30 AM and out the door to walk the dogs (2 ancient Chihuahuas and 1 young ‘ratdog’).  Then breakfast with my man, which he cooks.”  

Takeaways:  

🚶get in a few minutes of activity, like walking, to boost your mood and energy levels throughout the day.

😉 allow your man to make breakfast. New research shows that women find men most sexy when they’re working in the kitchen…Sounds like a win-win!

Secret #2  She meal preps for the week.

Heaslip is an engineer during the day and doesn’t get home until around 6pm.  How many of us can relate to this?  Walking the dogs and going to the gym doesn’t leave much time to make a meal, so her and her boyfriend, Richard, meal prep on Sunday.  

During the week all they have to do is a “quick warm up or veggie prep and dinner is ready.”  

Heaslip’s tip:  Focus your meals on protein.  She suggests investing in shaker bottles.  Protein shakes are good for supplementing when you can’t get enough protein with food during the day.  

Secret #3  She eats clean during the week and plans a splurge meal on the weekend.

Restrictive diets generally backfire so it’s important to plan a splurge and enjoy it without guilt.  When planning your splurge be clear on your boundary and eat a moderate portion.  

While food is wonderful, it’s important to find other ways to bring fun and sweetness into your life. For Wendy, she gets to play with her weekend job/hobby of photography.  

Secret #4  Meet yourself where you are.

Wendy said she got into lifting a few years ago after she read an article about the importance of resistance training to fight osteoporosis.  She said, “I found a fitness app with some beginner routines and started doing them at the gym. I’ve always loved to see muscles move in response to lifting something heavy. It appealed to me right away.”

Takeaways:  There are free resources available all around you so take advantage of those.  

⚫️Ask your gym if they offer a complimentary session with a personal trainer.  

⚫️Find out from your human resources dept. if they offer any wellness programs. I’m a health coach for Omada Health and many of my clients receive access to our program through their HR dept.  https://omadahealth.com/

Secret #5  Enjoy fitness with your family.

Around 2012 when Wendy started getting into fitness, her daughter, Tess, started showing interest too.  It was all fun and games until Tess got her personal training certification in 2014, and Wendy became her 1st client/guinea pig.  This is when her training was taken into a whole ‘nother ball game.  

Just another day at the gym for this powerful mother and daughter duo:)

IMG_6160Tess developed programs tailored to her mom’s personality and goals, which involved training like a powerlifter.  Wendy lapped it up!  Deadlifts, squats and bench she loved it all:)

These big lifts that stereotypically you see big bearish men performing in the gym became part of my routine.  The heavier I lifted the more I dug it.  I’m a little woman lifting heavy weights and there is just something so kick ass about that.”

IMG_6162While Wendy is extremely serious about her workouts I have often seen her on her phone and wondered what the heck she was doing;) She said that Richard and her text each other in the gym, sending funny memes or support to each other.

Secret #6 Make a bucket list.

Heaslip is training for a figure competition for Fall of 2016, and she said, “The competition is a bucket list thing for me right now.”  

A bucket list reminds you of what’s really important to you and brings some color and motivation into the regimented lives that most of us have Monday-Friday.  

The preparation is stretching Heaslip past her comfort zones.  Currently she is in the stage of bulking and this has been really challenging for her, as all of us women can understand.  Heaslip says, “it’s hard for me to wrap my head around (Gain weight? On purpose?), but I’ve been doing it for about a month now and have noticed larger, fuller muscles and I can lift heavier so I’m slowly getting on board.”

Takeaways:   Create a bucket list of anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do, be or have.  

Secret #7 Get a workout plan that excites you.

Wendy shared her special leg/glute routine:

Barbell Squat 6×5

Straight Leg Dead Lift 4×10

Smith Machine Hack Squat 3×10-12

Single Leg Curl 3×20 each leg

Goblet Squat 3×12

Leg Extension 3×15 (dropset last set)

 Wendy didn’t start out with all these habits, she developed them over time.  Pick 1-2 small goals that you can do everyday and start.  No one is too busy to take care of themselves.  Everyone gets the same 24 hours a day.  We make time for what we really want.  The thing is, when you honor your health it makes room to give even more to the people and work you love so much.  

Tess Redsky Heaslip is a personal trainer in Houston, TX and this is her boyfriend, Brandan Lacatino, with Richard.  Talk about a #fitfam?!  I think if Pixar ever needed a modern day family for The Incredibles, this is the one!  lol

 

 

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1000 Calorie Workout

Happy Thanksgiving!                                                                                                                                                   woodchop

I hope you all have fun, food-filled plans in store with family or friends.  Starting your day off with a high intensity workout is a great way to set a positive and healthy tone for the day.  Vigorous exercise will keep the body burning calories for hours after the workout is finished.

This “1000 calorie” high intensity workout I designed will ignite your body’s metabolism into burning the turkey before you even start feasting!  It’s balls to the wall intense, so get your game face on and have some water nearby.

This can be done at home or at the gym.

Here is what you need:

jump rope, dumbbells, stopwatch and a mat

How it works:

You will be running for 2.5 minutes, then going straight into Tabata intervals for 4 minutes.

Tabata is a type of High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) that lasts four minutes, but it’s likely to be one of the longest four minutes you’ve ever endured.  You will work hard for 2o seconds, rest 10 seconds, and complete 8 rounds.  I suggest that you download a free tabata timer on your phone.

In this workout I have 4 rounds.

  • Each round consists of 2.5 min of running (or brisk walking).  I play around with my speed and incline each round to keep it interesting.
  • Tabata intervals with 2 exercises that you alternate performing during the 4 minutes.  For example, perform up and down planks for 20 sec., rest 10 sec., then perform weighted jump rope for 20 sec., etcetera.
  • Rest for 2 minutes then start the next round.

*Modify if necessary to make this work for you.  If you need help with modifications, leave me a comment.

Let’s get this party started!

*warm up for 5 min with a walk or jog.

1st Round:

  1. Fast run for 2.5 min.  If you are on a treadmill increase the incline to a 3 and increase your pace.  When I do this at the gym, I jack the speed up to 7.5 (I generally run at a 6.5)
  2. Tabata Time!

▪️Up and down planks

▪️Weighted or traditional jump rope (if you don’t have a jump rope do Jumping Jacks)

2nd Round:

  1. Fast run for 2.5 min.
  2. Tabata Time!

▪️Burpees

▪️Russian Twist (use 1 dumbbell or a medicine ball)

3rd Round:

  1. Fast run for 2.5 min.
  2. Tabata Time!

▪️Dumbbell or Kettlebell swings 

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▪️Scissor leg lifts:  

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4th Round:

  1. Fast run for 2.5 min.
  2. Tabata Time!

▪️Skaters

▪️Mountain Climbers

Cool down or cycle through all these again for a Power Hour!

 

 

 

 

Nourishing Our Bodies Through Mindfulness and Gratitude

We are on to Thanksgiving, and if you sneeze or blink you could miss this special holiday. Christmas can overshadow the stillness that Thanksgiving calls us to, so let’s allow ourselves to slow down and appreciate this month.

I thought a great way for me to enter into this season of thankfulness would be to attend a series wellness classes offered at the Women’s Center For Healing & Transformation in Abita, Louisiana.  These classes were taught by some of the community’s most gifted healers and teachers.

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One of the classes I attended was on the topic of mindfulness and how it profoundly effects our health.  Mitzie R. Meyers, RN, MSN, CNE, AHN-BC, presented in one of their cozy rooms in the Women’s Center.  The small group of like-minded women combined with a rainy Fall day made the class that much more wonderful.😊

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As a health coach I have experienced through heart felt conversations how many struggle with not having a good relationship with food.  The fundamental reason is that we’ve forgotten how to be present as we eat.

Have you ever looked down at a plate of food and it has vanished?!  You feel a sense of disappointment that you didn’t even taste your food, and then the internal critic shows up and ruins the pleasure of eating.

It’s time for us to show up for ourselves and put an end to this cycle.

The recipe for mindful eating calls for the warming effect of kindness and the spice of curiosity.  Jan Chozen Bays M.D.

What is mindful eating?

It is much more than eating slowly & without distraction, although that is a big part, it involves so much more.  Meyers shared these definitions:

  • Giving focused attention to your meals (put away electronics)
  • Using all your senses with the process of eating
  • Being aware of your hunger and satiety (see hunger scale http://www.whereineedtobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Hunger-Scale.jpg)
  • Making choices that support health and well-being
  • Awareness without criticism or judgement.
  • Having intention and attention both internally and externally.  For example, at your Thanksgiving meal think about where the food came from, the process it took to get to your table & allowing that to expand your appreciation😇

Here is a visual to help you practice these ideas:

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Why is mindful eating important?

In her presentation Meyers said,

research shows a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and reduce the risk for Type II diabetes.  Some other benefits she shared is that it improves digestion, increases the enjoyment of food & reduces over-eating.

After the class I had an opportunity to ask Meyers about how mindfulness can help us enjoy the holidays without gaining 15lbs. in the process-;)  She said, “have an intention for what you want the holiday to mean and make that happen.”

We talked a little bit about how the holidays can lead to depression for some people, but she says, “you can feel empowered to make the holiday what you want it to mean to you.  This openness in the heart will allow gratitude to come in.”  When we are grateful it removes us from walking under a dark cloud, and we realize the abundance that is present in our lives.  “It all starts with intention.”

What will your intention be for Thanksgiving and this time of the year?  What is the reality you want to create?  How will you show up for yourself and your family?

 

Healthy Treats For A Halloween Bash

Dressing up for Halloween never gets old even for us grown ups!  It can be hard for me to come up with costume ideas, but while we were watching the Underworld series I thankfully found my inspiration:)  I have always teasingly referred to my guy as my ‘Wolf Man,’ so Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf sounded like the perfect couples costumes! LOL

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I believe play is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids.  Play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships.  If you are being told you are a fuddy duddy, you need to loosen up or that you’re too serious then it sounds like you are past due for some good old-fashioned PLAY!  I have to admit, I had so much fun getting us ready for a Halloween Bash at my friend’s house.  I’m by no means crafty or a make-up artist, but I didn’t let that stop me from throwing some make-up on my Wolf Man and making my cape with glue:)

I’ve been realizing the idea that we don’t have to be perfect to create something.  If we have a desire and want to create something then we need to do that. I love this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert,

The point is not for you to do something that’s never been done before. The point is for you to do something you’ve never done before.

I hope you find joy in creating just for the sheer play and fun that it bring you.

Here are some of my original and not so original “Little Red Riding Hood” treats I took to a Halloween Bash.  I wasn’t sure how these healthy treats would go over, but I took them anyway and everyone seemed to enjoy them:)

Pumpkin Spice Energy Ball

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*recipe by Dani Spies http://cleananddelicious.com/2014/09/30/pumpkin-spice-energy-balls/

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. real maple syrup *I used a TBS stevia
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1.5 ounces dark chocolate *depending on mood, I omit this and add cacao nibs

Directions:

In a large bowl combine almond butter, pumpkin puree, almond flour, maple syrup, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and kosher salt.  Mix until everything is well incorporated.

Scoop up about 1 tbsp. of ‘dough’ and roll in the palm of your hands to create a small, golf-sized ball.  You should get about 8 balls.

Place the balls on a plate lined with parchment paper in the freezer while you melt your chocolate.

Set up a double boiler (see example in this video).  Add two ounces of dark chocolate and stir periodically until the chocolate has melted down.

Remove the pumpkin balls from the freezer and dip each one in the chocolate to coat half of the pumpkin ball.  Place back on the parchment paper and continue until you have dipped all the pumpkin balls.

Place them back in the freezer and enjoy any time you need a quick and delicious nutrient packed snack.

Makes 8 balls.

Quinoa Chocolate Chips

Y’all these are surprisingly delicious and satisfying.  Please try them and share your feedback-:)

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Ingredients: 

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup chocolate chips *mix in at the end

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or use brown sugar)

2/3 cup Stevia

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together: eggs, vanilla, yogurt, sugar until combined.
  3. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda & baking powder until just combined. Add the oats, quinoa, and coconut.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 2-3 tablespoon-sized portions. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are browned but the insides are still nice and soft. If you want a thinner cookie (instead of puffy), flatten slightly before baking.

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*I make a double batch and freeze what is left so that I will always have a healthy treat on hand when I have a craving.  ENJOY!