Posts Tagged ‘health and wellness checklist’
I will be 40 May 30 of this year. Ecstatic as I am (and I truly am excited, because all the women in my life tell me that the 40′s are the best years!), somehow, my body’s signs have been in disagreement. My moods have been swinging, patience has been shorter, sleep patterns have changed drastically (I can’t help but wake up at 3 or 4 am, like clockwork!), and energy has been doing a roller coaster number for the past year.
Maintaining my physique has actually been the least of my concerns. In fact, aside from having three awesome kids, nearing age 40, I have found that continuing to workout has been my main grounding factor, as well as the only thing that has given me more energy throughout the days. Eating better has definitely gotten easier with age, as I do believe that I am kind of “over it” with the “temptation” factor of food. These days, I eat to live and instead of living to eat. I experience and appreciate each day’s moments and accomplishments in order to “indulge.” Therefore, my indulgences are seldom beset in food, because I have children, a career, and I still continue to dream and do all that I can to build great things in my life, both for my family and for just myself.
As I said, nearing the age of 40, I have noticed a decrease in mood stability, and I am usually a vibrant and happy person. As well, my energy levels have begun to bounce extremely, making it less difficult to stay excited. I started doing some research and I found out from a counselor friend who is 48 years old and gorgeous, that she herself had experienced similar things at about age 42, so she started taking a supplement call Sam-E. I looked into it more, and yes, in fact as we near the aging of the 40′s, our bodies do slow down on the manufacturing of this amino acid derivative. Also, of course, I know that B-12, and all B-vitamins are a huge component in energy levels. I have my own multi-vitamin formula that includes a beneficial B-complex blend, but I also increased my dosage of the B’s, specifically of the B-12 and B-3 vitamins. I have a great liquid dropper of the B-12 made by NOW and I also got some additional capsules of Niacin (B-3), which help with circulation, energy, and seemingly for me, metabolism. Doses of niacin should be researched considerably prior to intake, so as to avoid some possible side affects.
With the three in combination with my usual daily intake of supplements like Fish or Krill Oils, multi-vitamins, glutamine, and Echinacea/Vitamin-C combination, I have enjoyed the benefits of taking Sam-E, and additional B-vitamins. I started by taking the Sam-E at the 200mg dosage daily and one B-12 dropperful with a Niacin capsule. I have already noticed a change in energy and moods. In addition, I should tell you that I cut out coffee about three days prior to doing this new supplementation combination regimen. It’s been helpful, tremendously! I have a lot more patience on the road (and in Los Angeles, that is difficult), I am less snappy with people, and I am getting a different, better type of rest now that I am back to maximizing the day’s hours. I did not add in any melatonine or sleep aids at any point because I wanted to see the change in my patterns simply by adding the Sam-E/B-Vitamin combo. It’s fabulous!
I recommend you do your own research, and start out with the lowest dosages (while removing caffeine pills or coffee for the first week, for the purposes of accurate energy measurement) of Sam-E and B-Vitamins 3 & 12. Increase as needed, and pay attention to your body. The age of beauty, inside and out, is definitely 40, and I am truly looking forward to it. If you’re not, then feel free to search out natural ways of maximizing what you have in you to offer not only to yourself and your family, but also what you are destined to bestow on the world with your wonderful energy! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
I have been in the fitness industry since 1998, and in that time, I have taken baby steps at some points, and leaped strides in others. Knowing that I grew up with weight struggles and many addictive behaviors, many people have asked me what has been most difficult for me to change in living more fit over the years. To that, I always say that the food has been the biggest challenge to overcome, but overcome it, I have! If I can change from a processed and fast food lifestyle to living fit with my three beautiful children, I know anyone is capable of it.
There are steps, not always big steps, that can create big change. Here are some great tips for a quick change in both your physical appearance as well as your energy levels:
1) Drink at least a gallon of water daily
You don’t have to drink it all at once! Just carry around a liter bottle and drink & refill it 4 times, and that will be an easier way to manage your intake.
Start with 1-2 liters daily, and gradually increase from there. Trust me, you will crave more, the more you drink, if you drink water in these amounts consistently.
The more water you drink, the more you will pee, most definitely, but you will flush out toxic build-up, thereby increasing your energy levels!
2) Pull the high-sodium foods
Traditionally known amongst fitness experts and nutritionists, we say that one “cheat” day per week makes sense. You won’t cause much damage that one day, and eventually, you may not even want as much “junk” on your cheat day as you have starting out.
High sodium foods include:
- canned foods (unless noted as “no salt added” – even the “low-sodium” soups and canned foods still have a lot of sodium if you’re someone who is trying to manage their weight or blood pressure).
- processed foods, like frozen tv dinners, burritos, pizzas, even Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and Nutri-System have TONS of sodium in their meal packets and frozen meals.
- packaged foods, like anything out of a bag or a box, tends to have a higher than desired sodium content.
- jarred foods, like pickles, salsas or anything else that is out of the jar, ready-to-eat
- condiments & sauces, like ketchup, bbq sauces, dressings, even mayonnaise has a lot of sodium most of the time!
- dairy, like milk, yogurt, some ice creams, butter, fake butter
I’m certainly not saying that you should completely cut these foods out of your diet, but if you are trying to manage weight or blood pressure, most often some of the excess weight can be dropped by pulling sodium and drinking more water. This is due to the fact that the first 8-20 pounds of weightloss on everyone tends to be water weight, and if you can just cut back on these foods that cause the water-retention, while drinking more water, you can usually lose that water weight quickly. The less junk you eat with sodium, the less water you’ll hold, and the less water you hold, the less lethargic you will feel.
These foods are simply something that you can, in baby steps, begin to cut back on and eventually eliminate, and the water is simply a rule of thumb that you can work up to, from the suggested 1-2 liters daily. The health tips can remedy blood pressure issues, weight management challenges, energy levels, skincare issues, and bloated stomachs. Try it, and feel free to post to this blog or email me at nitasworld.com.
That’s my tip for today! Remember to Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Aaron is a friend on our group America’s Hottest Fit Moms on Facebook. He has graciously supported our group with healthy, tasty raw food recipes that have made his life stronger, easier and better. He has an amazing attitude and you can find out more about him and his Raw Experiences by going to his YouTube channel and watching his shows titled “Ghetto Rawness.” Aaron has used Raw Eating to live a more powerful life, to go from fat to fit, and to live with energy beyond aesthetic fitness which he also gained through the raw lifestyle. Thank you for sharing your story Aaron, and to the readers, thank you for your Energy. Be Fit, Be You, Be PHENOMENAL. You are worth the work!
This is how my journey started. I always exercised, but when I started truck driving I was 24-years-old and weighing 180 pounds. I quickly fell into the customs of other drivers. And ultimately gained weight at a rapid pace. By age 26 I put on 50 pounds I felt terrible.
I had a physical, and the doctor said I was gaining weight too fast and I had to lose some weight. So I made my mind up, I was going to get more fit and that was that.
I was a big YouTube head (still am). I wanted to see ways to lose weight without exercise because of my schedule at the time. I stumbled across a video documentary called “simply raw”. In the show, about 5 type 2 and 1 type 1 diabetics that were sent to Arizona to eat an all raw diet to reverse their disease.
At that time I didn’t know anything about eating raw. As I watched the show, I saw how it was working for people. And they were losing weight! That struck my curiosity that people can let their bodies heal and go back to its natural state just through eating.
After that I learned more about raw food through books, web, Tv, and word of mouth. I stopped making excuses, got my butt out my truck when I stopped, and worked out in the parking lot at truck stops and rest areas.
Now at 28 I’m down to the weight I started with, but I have more energy and wisdom than I ever had before. I’m now a advocate for not only raw food but just good eating and strong fitness.
Here are some foods I enjoy regularly to stay fit:
Life is a series of goals when I reach one I set another one. So never look at me as a finished product but a work in progress. – Aaron “Rawfood” Raglin
Hey there Family-First Fitness Folks! Fit Moms and Dads are joining America’s Hottest Fit Moms on Facebook and here at NitasWorld.com to celebrate some of the most inspiring Fit Moms around. This week we are especially excited to introduce a mom who lost weight and inspired a life-change for her son. Meet Fit Mom Donna I. Nehrich! I was blessed to learn about her inspiring journey through her posts in our group on facebook
My highest body weight was 320, I don’t know what my body fat percentage was then because I didn’t care enough to measure it. My current weight is 145 and 13.9 percent body fat, I’m 5’6. Because I had such a tremendous weight loss and also because of my age I do have some skin issues.
I’ve been at my goal weight for over 2 years so I did, 6 months ago, have a tummy tuck-to remove the panniculus and also a breast lift and augmentation. I have great definition in my arms but I have flappers which I am currently scheduled to have removed on February 2nd. I have worked out hard for 2 years and the skin wasn’t bouncing back. Surgery was the only answer because the skin movement can be quite painful. Of course it wasn’t as bad as say someone who lost that amount and didn’t exercise but because I am an exercise fanatic the skin is more troublesome.
My ah-ha moment was when I started having heart palpitations and was sent for an echocardiogram which came back normal. Went back to my primary physician who, as I was leaving her office, poked at my arm and said I think your having palpitations because your retaining fluid let me put you on a diuretic.
All I heard was blood pressure pill and said, “Oh no, I’m retaining fluid because I’m a fat ass!” I walked out her door and said that was it for me I wanted to shed the weigh. I didn’t stop there I decided I wanted to get into the best shape of my life. All thru my life I have been overweight, there are so many down stories to tell. I think the biggest down was having such low self esteem that my choice in men sucked. I always chose men that were abusive and cheaters and always thought that I couldn’t do better.
I think the proudest moment I can remember was when I dropped below the 200 pound mark. it was life changing. I also remember the smaller I got the easier and more fun the exercise became. Another moment was when my son came to my house and I was in bed, and he felt around in the bed and said where are you, where is the rest of you. Made me feel really good!
I wake up every morning KNOWING I’m a fit mom because I will NEVER go back to the old me! My two sons, 23 and 21 love the new me.
My weight loss caused my younger son to lose 100 pounds himself and my older son is extremely fit now because of my urging! I am so proud it is a family affair. We all have our different loves as far as exercise is concerned and we don’t exercise together but we all exercise!
My favorite exercise is group exercise.
- I love the Les Mills programs.
- Body Attack-sports inspired cardio
- Body Pump, high repetition class using weights
- Body Vive, an all over work out including cardio, stretching, toning with bands
- Body Combat, a martial arts cardio class
- CXWorks, a core training class
- but my all time favorite is Body Step, step aerobics at its finest!
- I also enjoy an occasional 5-8 mile run.
I have gone from 300 plus pounds to actually being a Body Step instructor. My diet is mostly calorie counting and filling those calories with good food. I keep sugar at a minimum, eat high protein and good carbs. I don’t really follow any specific ratio. I just eat good! With all the cardio, I need fuel.
I work out pretty much everyday but I do try to take one day off a week. I log about 12-15 hours of exercise a week. Seems like a lot but I will never go back to where I came from and I enjoy it! Its a family at the gym!
My favorite Fit Mom snack is peanut butter. I get it just ground peanuts, eat it on whole wheat bread with no sugar added preserves.
Most of my inspiration came from within. The determination, the sweat, just the general wanting to be fit was me. I owe a lot though to the instructors at the Brooks Y where I work out. Their hard work and love of exercise and being fit definitely kept me motivated! Also, wanting to live longer and better was a big factor.
I’ll be honest, at first, I thought losing the weight would make my marriage better but I lost 145 pounds in 13 months and 250 overnight! (divorce)
I always tell people I don’t want to be their hero, the determination comes from within and everybody’s health and weight loss is a personal journey for themselves. What works for me may not for another. I am there for support and to motivate but I don’t want to be considered as super human. I ground myself all the time by saying it was a great thing losing all the weight but I shouldn’t have been there in the first place!
I just don’t have the will power is a commonly heard phrase in fitness. Whether it’s a client, a fitness newbie, or someone who just explains why they refuse to even try getting fit.
Long ago, when we finished writing our book, FIT FOR COMBAT, my fitness co-author JD and I started cataloging what makes fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors different from everyone else. Will power was at the top of the list. Will Power leads to self-discipline. When you want something badly enough, you will for it. In fitness, it’s no different. When you have the will for something, you CREATE the discipline to get what you want. If you want to be leaner, if you want to get into better shape, if you want to compete, or if you just want to be more active and feel more fit, will power is the doorway that leads you into manifestation of that goal.
It makes sense that self-discipline and will power would play a role in being able to stick to the diet and training program required to get into competition shape. We initially thought it would be the real difference between those who succeed in mastering their bodies and everyone else. As we studied what self-discipline really is, we realized that we had fallen into a common trap that social scientists call fundamental attribution error.
Every person has a reservoir of will power to draw on, like a will power battery, but the amount in that reservoir is not fixed at a set level. Research, by Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University, shows that our will power battery can be depleted by repeated acts of self control and decision making. Newer research by professors at the University of Chicago shows that our reservoir of will power is affected by whether we think there is a set amount of it or that it is unlimited.
The classic experiment by Baumeister, which has been replicated in hundreds of variations, asked student test subjects to eat radishes while being tempted with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Baumeister then asked the students to solve an impossible puzzle. The students did not know the puzzle was impossible to solve.
The real purpose of the experiment was to see how long the students who had to overcome the temptation of the cookies would work at solving the puzzle when compared to students who sat down, ate some cookies and then worked on the puzzle and a control group who just worked on the puzzle with no cookies or radishes involved. The results show that the students who had to overcome the cookie temptation gave up on the puzzle quickly. Their battery of will power and resolve was depleted by fighting the temptation to eat the cookies. The students who had to overcome the cookie temptation, used up their reservoir of will power, their reservoir of resolve, and gave up on the puzzle in less than half the time of the other two groups and made far fewer attempts to solve the puzzle. Baumister calls this effect ego depletion. The experiment shows that when we use will power for one thing, overcoming the temptation of a cookie, it drains a little of that energy from the battery making it harder to exercise the will in totally unrelated things like trying to solve a puzzle.
Baumeister showed the energy depletion of decision making in an experiment where students, prior to working on the impossible puzzle, were either forced to make a decision about a task or were assigned a task. The students who had to make the decision gave up on the puzzle faster and made fewer attempts to solve than the students who just carried out an assignment.
So, in fitness, we note that a general 9-5 lifestyle tends to lead to the attitude that “I just don’t have time” or “By the time I get home at night, I don’t want to eat a chicken breast and salad. I just want a quick snack, a TV and a bed.”
In our fitness data research, JD and I found that most people have a lot of power. However, most people’s will power is just all used up with the demands of their jobs, running a household and raising two young girls. Every act of will power, every decision, drains the battery a little bit more, but the battery is not fixed, it is rechargeable and we can have more will power if we want it, just by thinking we have it.
The point being that, Yes, You Do have the Will Power! You are just in need of a budget of your will power! It’s about management of your energy resources, and not about your lack of energy. For fitness, you do have the energy, yet, you have been lacking knowledge. Gaining more fitness knowledge, working out to gain awareness of your body, and learning to listen to your body’s language in terms of what to feed it to stimulate energy is the only real way to go. You can stop blaming your will power for your fitness disasters or your state of health and wellness. The key I have found as a mother, is that fit moms have just learned how to start managing the will power better.
When JD and I first thought will power was the difference between the physique competitors and everyone else, we were making a fundamental attribution error, an error that is endemic among humans. Fundamental attribution error is when we use a psychological or personality based explanation for a behavior instead of the situational explanation. We were too focused on the personality trait of will power and thought that the competitors must have larger reservoirs of mental energy—a bigger battery. When we went back and studied Baumeister in depth, we found a better, situational, explanation for the seemingly large reservoirs of will power of the competitors.
Fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors are cooler toters, especially when preparing for a contest. Their meals are planned and timed and they carry them around with them. They know what they are going to eat and when they are going to eat it. It is all scheduled and becomes a routine. When something becomes a routine it no longer involves a decision. When it is no longer a decision, it does not require any mental energy.
The physique competitors did not have a larger battery of will power than everyone else, they just used less will power by making many decisions about eating a routine. It was easier for them to stick to the diet because the decisions that take mental energy were removed. The situation, the eating plan to get into contest shape, makes them just appear to have more will power.
When we started looking at the lives of successful physique competitors they nearly all had a structured daily or weekly routine. The diet and training demands precision, the only way to be that precise is with a pre-determined structure. Once the structure and routine is set, there were fewer decisions to be made leaving more in battery to handle temptations as the cropped up.
Most fit moms have figured out the secret. Women tend to be better planners, but that’s not limited to women only, just happens to be a general statistic. What I see in fitness and in the general population of fitness enthusiasts is that fitness minded individuals plan what they’ll eat and make it a routine. With those decisions removed, people are then expending less will power and found that they had more energy. Most of these fitness people and fit moms have ready-made forms of protein around their house, in their car and at their office. JD and I found that common possessions among the successful fitness enthusiasts included powdered whey protein, shaker bottles, water gallons, tuna packs, and pre-cooked skinless/boneless chicken, among the most common possessions. Even if routine is disrupted, there is always an automatic back-up that did not require a decision, like an apple and a can of tuna or a ready to drink protein shake. And of course, every one of them owns some kind of fat-loss grill for their chicken and fish
Removing will-power draining decisions is one way women figure competitors maintain their diet, another is the actual nutritional content of the diet.
A lot of people never even try to get into their best shape because they think they don’t have the will power to do it. They make the fundamental attribution error and think the competitors have more will power than they do. As the research shows, if you don’t think you have very much will power, then you will not have much will power.
The only true act of will power was taking the time up front to set the schedule and routine. After repeating the routine it becomes automatic. Women figure competitors don’t have a larger reservoir of will power than everyone else, they just expend less of it by having a structured routine and fuel their brain with ketones from fat.
Hollywood’s Anti-Aging Secret: The Natural Way to Fat Loss, Youth, and Fitness Longevity for Everyone
Two years ago Dr. Patricia Wexler let one of Hollywood’s fat loss and anti-aging secrets out of the bag–Growth Hormone. “Actresses use it to slim abdominal fat and increase muscle tone and libido,” Wexler said.
Actresses with insider connections to discreet doctors may inject their way to a youthful, fit and sexy body, but you can boost your own growth hormone naturally without any side effects by exercising smarter, Fit Moms and friends!
Human Growth Hormone is naturally secreted by the pituitary gland to regenerate cells, strengthen bones and make the immune system stronger. Its biggest effect, the ones the movie stars are after, is fat burning, which leads to a lean, fit, sculpted and beautiful physique, of course. Growth Hormone turns your body into a fat burning machine. Most women produce less than 10 nano grams of GH per milliliter of blood. A nano gram is one-billionth of gram, which means a little GH goes a long way.
The natural way for all you Fit Moms and Friends to boost your natural GH levels, and get the same effects as the starlets, is to ditch the pink dumbells and treadmill for sprints and real weights. Yes, weight training can lead to fat loss, Fit Moms, without leading you to a “bulky” physique (which is a common misconception that Fit Moms and most of our female friends have yodeled for years!). Weight training is the key to fat loss, anti-aging, and even well-maintained weight loss! Fit Moms and Friends, read more to learn the key to unlocking that potential in your body through weight training and sprints!
The results of an experiment on the effects of sprinting on women published in Oxford University’s journal Acta Physiologica found “Women elicited a greater response of serum GH to sprint exercise” than men. They always say men are the stronger gender physically, but it seems that in this trend, nature is possibly trying to bring ladies into a balance in this sense. Even the body’s nature is to bring balance between the sexes! The swedish scientists who conducted the experiment concluded, “this may contribute to explaining the earlier observed muscle hypertrophy in women in response to sprint training.” If you want toned, shapely legs, Fit Moms and Friends, well, even the doctors and scientists are suggesting that you run sprints. If you don’t run, then look at our other fat burning articles on interval training, which will yield similar results.
Yes, this is Empowerment for Everyone- Mother nature has in some ways leveled the playing field. We Fit Moms can get stronger with this work as we continue to do it, without gaining the muscle that a man will. Women cannot get big, bulky muscles from natural GH, but they get larger percentage increase from GH boosting exercises than men and a few extra nanograms will deliver a flat stomache and tight butt fast.
The quickest way to boost GH is to run sprints (as I stated earlier, check the fat burning category of articles at http://nitasworld.com/blogs for further articles on interval training, which will deliver similar results). The research shows that they key to effective sprints are the intensity, the speed you run, not how many you do or how far you sprint. When I use the word “effective” I am relating the “effective” results of sprinting or interval training to how well this exercise style will burn fat, helping the body look and feel sculpted and lean and beautiful, which is what every woman is striving for when we do any workout. Am I right, Fit Moms? I mean, seriously, which one of us wouldn’t kill (or sprint) to have Selma Hayek’s killer calves, and that Fit Mama’s fit and sexy thighs?
Do you think that it’s inconvenient to do sprints? Well, it takes less time than cardio to burn the calories you can burn in just a few minutes of sprinting, so time is not an issue, Fit Moms. And all you skeptic friends and fit moms are sure to realize that location is easier with sprints than going to the corner store. You already take your kids to half the places you can sprint, fit moms, and all the pet owners take their “kids” (pets) to the other places. None of this is rocket science. Not one of these places is an inconvenience Fit Moms and Friends, because you already go there!
Fat burning Sprints can be done anywhere: An empty parking lot, a low-traffic residential street, the play ground on the weekends at our kid’s school, the park while the kids play, or the sports field or running track at your teenager’s high school at night or on weekends. If you haven’t sprinted recently, don’t jump in head first running as hard as you can the first day, start by doing strides at a pace faster than a jog for four repetitions of 50 to 100 yards. Gradually increase the speed you sprint until you can do four of them all at all out racing speed. When you can do four at full speed, add an extra sprint every week. To make sure your intensity stays high, use a stop watch to time your sprint workout and push yourself to get them done in less time.
By running sprints three times a week and adding some negatives to your weight training, you can boost your natural Growth Hormone levels, burn more body-fat than you do with cardio, and save more time while you preserve your joints and bones, since sprinting is better for your bones and joints than jogging.
Here is a clip of my business partner and co-author JD Johannes running sprints:
As good as sprints are, the scientific research shows the super GH booster is lifting heavy weights.
An experiment conducted at the University of Virginia found, “For each incremental increase in exercise intensity, the fractional stimulation of GH secretion is greater in women than in men.”
That means the heavier weights you lift, the more GH your body produces. The biggest boost in natural GH came when women used weights that were heavier than they could actually lift. When you use a weight that is heavier than you can lift up with good form, but that you can control on the way down, your GH levels skyrocket. These types of lifts are called negatives and
an experiement published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that heavy negatives boost natural GH more than anything else. Pull ups, curls, squats, lunges and other types of weight training are really effective for this type of effect, and all these exercises will help you get a sculpted, toned, beautiful physique.
And Dr. Patricia Wexler does not approve:
“Human Growth Hormone is unsafe. I know dermatologists and actresses who use it to slim abdominal fat and increase muscle tone and libido. But it can accelerate also a hidden cancer to grow. It can cause funny bone spurs to grow and enlargement of the heart … just to name a few of the many reasons why I consider it unsafe.”
Women get more out of sprints than men. More GH, etc. “Women elicited a greater response of serum GH and insulin to sprint exercise. This may contribute to explaining the earlier observed muscle hypertrophy in women in response to sprint training.”
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
“The findings suggest that the acute metabolic and GH responses in the 90/70% condition were more favourable compared with the 70/70% condition, and a significant correlation between the optimal ECC load and 1RM per BM-ratio was observed.”
Heavy eccentric load produces best hormonal response…heavy negatives
University of Virginia, Journal of Applied Physiology
“For each incremental increase in exercise intensity, the fractional stimulation of GH secretion is greater in women than in men.”
After the birth of my daughter, with the proper nutrition and a consistent weight training/cardio routine, I sucessfully lost 75 pounds (40 from pregnancy, plus an additional 35 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight) and 20% body fat. I am not only a fit mom, but I am also aspiring to become a licensed nutritionist, and I’m even helping transform my family’s fitness habits. We are a fit family!
I am in the best shape of my life at 37 years old. I’ve proven to myself that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have had children, or if you don’t have model perfect genes. With hard work and clean eating you can absolutely attain the physique you have always dreamed of and bring your health and quality of life to a whole new level!
This journey hasn’t been easy for me with a baby and husband to take care of, a household to keep in order, and running my own skin care business. It has been difficult at times to keep a consistent workout schedule, as well as spending countless hours in the kitchen, planning and cooking meals for my family.
Our health is very important to me and, above all, I want to set a good example for my daughter. My fitness transformation has been a wonderful experience even with all the challenges, and I offer many thanks to the support from my husband for that. My husband is also an amazing father! He has always been there when mommy needed to squeeze in a workout, or stay late for clients at work. On top of all of this, he has gotten into the fitness lifestyle with me. He himself has also benefited from a cleaned up diet full of veggies, lean protein and complex carbs, losing 25 pounds in 5 months!
My incredible fitness trainer, Jamo Nezzar of Jamcore Training, has been the core of my fit physique success. He is a constant source of workout inspiration, exercise and nutrition guidance, fitness knowledge and overall fitness motivation. He has helped me in so many ways to become more powerful, not just in fitness, but also in other areas of my life. Through getting more fit, I gained more power in my life in all aspects. I have discovered a strength in myself that I never knew existed, and I attribute that to the habits and determination that I retained throughout my fitness journey. Because of the advancement I found in my fitness lifestyle, I feel strong and confident, and I look forward to each and every workout with my trainer as well as my solo workouts.
I want to continue the fitness lifestyle forever! Thank you Jamo, for changing my life in such a positive way. You are more than a fitness coach. I am thankful for your impact on my lifestyle choices for being more fit, setting goals, and learning to develop the habits and determination to reach them.
On December 3, 2011, I reached my ultimate fitness goal, competing in my first NPC Bikini competition! It was an unbelievable experience, sharing the stage with some incredibly fit women.
My goals for 2012 are to continue to condition my physique and possible do another show in May. I would also love to earn a degree in nutrition and to help others change their body and their health through better food choices. Cooking and collecting recipes has become a hobby of mine! I love transforming unhealthy, fat-laden recipes into clean, delicious meals that fuel your energy and keep your metabolism running at it’s peak. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless! Here I will share quick & easy recipes to support a fit lifestyle, as well as training (based on my own experience) and motivational tips. Thanks
Please join me and Nita Marquez in the Fitness Empowerment Movement on the following links on Facebook:
Bodybuilders don’t run, and nor do obese people. But I’m not a bodybuilder, or an obese person. I’m a fitness chick, a fit mom, and a fitness personality. My goals are obviously different from a bodybuilder’s goals, and definitely, I have a different lifestyle choice than a person whose main goals involve constant fulfillment of my taste-bud compulsions.
At this stage in my life, my goal is always to become truly fit and achieve prime longevity. As one point in my career as a fitness competitor, I was running a lot and lifting weights with an extremely high carb, high protein diet, and only then I was starting to resemble a bodybuilder. People who didn’t know better thought I was one.
But you know what kind of fit physique athletes have a lot of muscle, and are really lean, with Olympic level stamina and power? Women’s Fitness competitors.
They run. They run a lot. They do weekly sprints, middle-distance, plyometrics anything that will get their heart to the bursting point.
And if these women can carry body-toned muscle around, while running and with the power and stamina to do our fitness routines—well they are worth at least probing into the minds of. Where I learned about my own fitness interval training from was from my ex-husband, who was basically my trainer before I met my trainer of 13 years, Tim Sparkes, at Die Hard Gym in Arizona. My ex-husband was a former track and football star in high school and college.
What I learned from my ex-husband is that I was doing my running all wrong. First of all, I jogged, and I did so very lazily. I loathed the cardio work, so I dragged myself through it. It didn’t matter that I was a fit mom, a fit chick, or a fitness athlete in training. I was thinking about my cardio conditioning the wrong way, as most of us do for the first few years of our fitness quests.
Just about every fitness center has some serious runners as members. These “fitness” people log 20 to 40 miles a week and are in great cardio vascular condition—but most of them look remarkably average. They do not have much muscle and many of them are skinny fat. Sure they have strong hearts, but some of them store more body fat and subcutaneous water than the person who is walking into a gym for the first time. These runners are not in poor health, but their shape is generally not of the optimal fitness aesthetic grade considering the fitness workload they are undergoing. I believe in running, I do. I also like working out smarter, and distance running for fitness is definitely the harder path, if you’re trying to look better and even feel better.
The best explanation for this phenomena may be controversial, but the facts are right in front of us. Cardiovascular exercise DOES NOT WORK to lose body fat long term, period!!
Why is this? Let’s take a hypothetical individual: Female, 30 years old, 145 pounds, sedentary. She decides she wants to be fit and “get toned” (keep in mind, everyone has a different idea of this word, so it’s subjective). So she takes up running on the treadmill for an hour a day 5 days/week. Nothing else in her life changes, her diet and lifestyle remain the same. In the first week she loses 5 pounds. If she maintained her consistency 5 days a week, would she lose 250 pounds this year? Of course not, and why is this?
Firstly cardiovascular activity is very efficient at chewing up muscle tissue, the steps are as follows:
1. Conversion from fast twitch muscle fiber to slow twitch muscle fiber, by
acquiring mitochondria and relinquishing contractile protein. Smaller fiber, less
2. Excessive Cortisol released in response to the damage to the fiber as a result of the exercise. Cortisol acts as a natural analgesic, but severely hampers protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also damages the immune system, and ultimately will contribute to all of our deaths – so I’m not sure why anyone would do anything that would accelerate this process.
3. It has been shown that high volume cardiovascular exercise can completely deplete satellite cells in muscle fiber, which means no new fiber can grow or existing fiber be repaired, and as we age, we have a natural propensity to lose muscle as well as bone density. Muscle helps our metabolism and enhances bone density.
4. Growth Hormone levels decline with high volume cardiovascular exercise, which also hampers the repair process. Low growth hormone also accelerates aging.
5. To sum it up, you can’t train all day, and you can’t stop eating, but you can always build a bit more muscle, so quit the cardio and concentrate on the weight lifting.
Secondly, after all these details about how cardio fitness training eats up muscle, you must know that the first week of ANY fitness program, and likely the first month even, you will lose weight with rapid results. That’s water weight dropping off because you are actually getting off of your butt. That’s not the “weight” you are losing, it’s the water. You are not really getting more fit, but your body is filtering out a bit so that it can set a better foundation for you to start getting fit.
Your weight-loss will look more like 8-12 pounds monthly if you’re doing it right and if you expect it to stay off. If you’re an athlete or you’re training for an athletic event, your body requires more training than average, and more extreme dieting than average, but that’s not average for a person who is just trying to lose weight and just starting to get fit.
That was a very strong argument for not doing cardio. But I need to be able to keep up with kids, work, training clients, caring for my household, and still having stamina in the gym. Cardio conditioning is a must for me. Plus, I need strength and power.
The solution was to train like a professional female fitness athlete—specifically, one that always wins the fitness routine portion of the contest. And what does the fitness athlete woman do? Sprints.
For women who run, but they want a great physique:
With high-intensity interval training you “sprint” on any cardio exercise for short bursts that go for less than two minutes, and then you slow to moderate, and sometimes even low-intensity pace for a short burst. You want to go high intensity to kick your heart rate way up, and then you drop the intensity to less your body rest, while not giving your heart rate enough time to drop out beneath a fat-burning zone. If you do this for short bursts of time, you don’t give your heart rate a chance to drop severely, and therein, you are able to keep your body burning fat, burning calories, and staying hard at work, even though you won’t feel like you’re working hard while your body recovers during your lower-paced durations.
Like cardio, this too can strengthen your heart, and keep you from feeling sluggish. On the other hand, in comparison to cardio, interval training burns fat for longer periods of time. You will burn fat for up to 13 hours post-workout with intervals, whereas with cardio at a constant moderate rate will only burn fat efficiently for up to 2 hours post workout. So, why would you spend more time and burn less fat, much less want to gamble the possibility of kicking out cortisol? This is why many fitness professionals who know what they are doing will not recommend long dull high, low or medium-intensity periods of cardio.
The best way to gain cardio conditioning and maintain muscle is to do what all fat-burning physique athletes does—sprints.
As sprinting becomes the core of your cardio conditioning program and distance running becomes the ‘functional’ training, so you do it for form, awareness, and monitoring. It’s a means for measurement when needed, but it’s not necessary for the actual progress.
When I started doing sprints in the morning for my cardio, my strength gains in the gym accelerated a little bit and I started to get leaner without really trying, and my husband noticed an extreme difference in how my body was responsive to my diet and weight training. My lines and cuts in my muscles showed up and they never had before I started sprinting. My workouts were more exhilarating and I could produce more within them because my fitness level and stamina was increased through sprinting.
Now I was able to get more in my fitness routines, I could run with my daughter in her stroller for better bursts so I wasn’t gasping for air. I was stronger than I would ever need to be on the fitness stage or in the gym. I had burst speed and explosiveness and I had the stamina and endurance to keep up with any of the guys at the gym.
So, I am not advising the novice to average fitness person to sprint, but I am encouraging those of you who run– just try this for 6 weeks and see how rapidly and extremely your fitness levels, your energy, your stamina, and your physique changes. See how lean you get and watch a sculpted physique appear that you never knew you had.
As for the fitness enthusiast who is new to the world of fitness and fit physique training, try intervals, we have more blogs on the Fat Burning Workouts categories to your left here in the blog at nitasworld.com. Check it out. Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are worth the work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
America’s Hottest Fit Mom ™
Fitness Empowerment Author
Miss National Fitness
Proud Mother of Three
The fitness of a woman who is trying to stay fit but live a normal life doesn’t change in one day of eating poorly. If you’re wondering why you gorged yourself on Christmas day, and how you can get that lean fit physique back, fit moms & fit chicks, and fit guys: There is a perfect combination that is simple and very doable to help you get that beautiful progressively fit contour back in your body lines. There are a lot of solutions out there, but this is by far the most optimal, practical, tried and true method of fitness execution that you can possibly reach your fitness results through. When you think about the way you feel normally, and then you think about a day after drinking a whole lot of alcohol, you think of a hangover. Yes, we can all relate to that word: hangover- the consequence of “too much.” With food, it’s no different. We are very naturally wired to be moderate, and thus, even with food or fitness, our body sounds off alarms when moderation is botched. Thus, the food hangover.
Fitness Buffs are familiar with this, as we’ve all experienced food hangovers in our quest for perfect dietary balances. We have eaten perfectly for weeks on end, training for our stage presentations in fitness competitions. Then, the second we come off stage, GORGE! We proceeded to eat like garbage disposals for the next 24 hours. It’s part of what people do to learn balance. ”The path of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” Thus, as a fitness personality myself, having gone through this in my first few fitness competitions (yes, it subsided with repeated episodes that taught me it feels like utter crap, so I quit doing it), I have learned what my colleagues in the fitness competition industry do. We have all, our entire fitness population of athletes, gone the gorge route, and felt like crap the day after. It’s a load up of sodium and sugars and fats and foreign things that our bodies are not used to on a daily basis that makes our fitness levels, mental acuity and energy feel completely extinguished. Fitness people know that it’s just a food hangover, and we know how to cure it, based on our own experience.
Hydration is key here. I normally drink about a gallon of water a day, so I stay hydrated. Yet, the day after an episode of gorging, I have learned that water will balance my body back to it’s normal fitness state within a day, when combined with even mild activity. When you drink a lot of water, you flush out the toxic buildup of those excessive properties you added in when eating too much.
So, whether you are fit, or whether you are somewhat out of shape, if you’re experiencing a food hangover, water and walking will fit your body back into it’s normal mold. Take a walk in the morning with some water in your system. Flush by drinking approximately 4 liters of water if you are not one to hydrate extremely on a daily basis. If you’re into fitness, chances are you drink a lot of water, so you will want to double your normal intake in that case. For me, I normally drink a gallon (because it’s normal for my fitness lifestyle, and athletes typically acquire that 1-gallon habit), so if I eat too much, I’ll take in 1.75 or 2 gallons of water for a day after eating in a way that was not only excessive, but also not fitness oriented in it’s ingredients. Everyone has cheat days, and they should. Those girls who walk around eating perfect all the time, well, they’re never happy. Being “perfect” isn’t the key, it’s “perfect balance” that impacts our fitness lifestyle in the most effective and empowering ways.
You are worth the work. Be Phenomenal.
-Nita Lee Marquez, Fitness Empowerment Author, IFBB Pro, Miss National Fitness, and Proud Mother of Three