Category Archives: fitness
Introduction from Grass Fed Girl:
I set up a shopping tour at the grocery store with the lovely bride, Athena so we could get her diet on track for her upcoming wedding. At first she seemed to be confused by all the conflicting diet info she had read or seen on TV in the past. I quickly set her straight about what is really healthy (not low fat starvation diets)!
I think seeing all the food in the shopping cart made my advice tangible and applicable for her day to day life. She really took our session to heart and next thing I knew she sent me these amazing photos of her beautiful wedding. I am so happy that she wanted to share her story to help other brides who may try to lose weight in an unhealthy way.
From the Beautiful Bride:
In July 2011 I was going through my photos from a friend’s wedding when I came across one in particular that amazed me! I saw how much weight I had gained and how unattractive I thought I looked at 39 years of age. I told myself there’s no way I could look like that for my 40th in May and for my wedding in October of 2012. I knew I had to take action and fast!
I had already planned on attending a Wedding Faire in the Bay Area in August 2011 and I was fortunate enough to come across “The Bridal Fitness Coach” booth. I entered a raffle for (8) private training sessions with Tammy Foxx and (1) nutrition consultation with Caitlin Weeks.
However, I didn’t want to wait to see if I won or not so I purchased (8) training sessions with Tammy just a few days after the Bridal Faire. A week later I found out I had won the raffle! Instead of revoking (8) training sessions I had purchased I managed to keep the whole (16) as an incentive. Although the training helped me to kick start my weight loss, it was honestly my change in diet that truly allowed me to get to my main goal of looking fantastic at my wedding.
One Hour Changed My Life:
I asked Caitlin if she could meet me at a local Molly Stone’s Grocery to educate me on what foods to buy and what to avoid. Just an hour of Caitlin’s time changed my life. My strong will and trust in what Caitlin was teaching me is what led me to my end goal.
I saw noticeable changes in my energy by changing my diet and becoming more active. I didn’t huff and puff when I walked upstairs anymore. My vitamin D deficiency resolved itself and my skin started to glow from eating lots of nourishing food. I felt great for the first time in a long time!
The before and after pictures are proof in the change of weight, inches, etc. I was a size 8 in the before photo (top left) and at my wedding I was a size 2/4. I went from 135 lbs to 105 lbs!! I truly felt like a princess on my wedding day and I didn’t mind that all eyes were on me!
After the Wedding:
And now I can honestly tell you that since 10/14/12 (the day after my wedding), I let my hair down a little. I went back to the carbs, sugars, etc that I avoided for 14 months and have gained back 7 lbs… just like that! But do you blame me? 14 months of following Caitlin’s advice to look good and feel good, well, sometimes you miss the bad food. LOL!
So, yes, I’m only human and gorged on french fries, pizza, hamburgers, pasta, sodas, etc. My body hated me the 1st month and then got use to my intake of bad food.
I will be going back on Caitlin’s advice this month as I wold love to lose those 7 lbs again. I currently do not like the way I feel or look, so, I will begin taking out the bad food once again. Though this time, I know I can do it without any issues. It is a new year and I can have a fresh start on my health!
Do you want to look awesome at your wedding?
Or get this great e-book to get you started on a healthy diet plan to get ready for your big day!
You can find out the secrets this bride followed for her stunning results!
This entry was sent to me by an amazing client who really took responsibility for her own health and fitness so she could look amazing on her wedding day. I often collaborate with my friend Tammy from Bridal Fitness Coach to help her brides get healthy and into awesome shape for their big day. I focus on the nutrition and Tammy focuses on efficient strength training.
From A Super Star Bridal Client:
Almost a year after my wedding day, the new eating and exercising habits that Tammy and Caitlin inspired in me have actually made me feel GOOD about exercise and have kept the weight off….almost effortlessly!
Before working with Tammy and Caitlin, I was OBSESSED with calorie counting. I didn’t enjoy food, I scrutinized it. I ate all the low-fat zero calorie franken-foods that seemed good and “healthy” at the time, but at the core of it…they never really satisfied my hunger, but they were low calorie so I thought that was ok, right? I was so preoccupied with calorie counting and proportions, had online apps tracking the percentages of protein, fat and carbs. I HAD to count because eating properly was such a struggle because I CRAVED all the fatty, salty, sweet foods that I wasn’t supposed to eat! I also bought into the notion that you had to exercise at very high intensity (you know, like they show on those TV shows). I dreaded exercise yet pushed myself through it and often had so much muscle inflammation I would make myself sick.
I was getting married soon and I wanted to tone up and look my best. I needed an intervention and what I was doing at home wasn’t working! So I found the Grass Fed Girl and Bridal Fitness Coach and decided to make the investment! I mean, we were spending thousands on the wedding already…but what was it worth to look AND feel my best on my wedding day? So I jumped in and decided I was going to make the commitment!
Only a month before my wedding, I signed up to work with Caitlin and Tammy. And in that month, I really turned my eating and exercising habits around. Now I eat what I want….mostly more fresh vegetables and healthy meats, occasional fruit and sweets yet I NEVER go hungry. Before, fat was the enemy, now I’m not afraid of fat, in fact….I enjoy avocados and homemade salad dressing, even bacon, without guilt or worry!
My taste buds have changed. Stuff that I CRAVED like muffins and candy bars made with refined grains and refined sugars are no longer appetizing to me. In fact, I notice an almost immediate difference in the way my body feels when I’ve been tempted to try that type of food (usually at that time of the month!) and I immediately feel the bloat. The excessive sweetness of refined sugar and grains is now a turn off. I feel like I have more control over what I eat! My cravings don’t control me.
The same with salt. Most restaurant foods now taste too salty and so I prefer to cook at home where I can flavor the food to my liking. I’ve cut my salt intake dramatically because I feel my palette is more sensitive to the foods natural flavors.
I don’t calorie count anymore. I no longer use an app or online program to track my calories and macronutrients. It’s extremely liberating. I eat what I enjoy and what I sense is good for me. I’ve gotten really, really in tune with sensing fullness and sensing when I have had enough of anything. Caitlin’s advice was to was to “eat when you’re hungry.” And most days that’s only twice a day because my meals are so nourishing and there’s no sugar crashing throughout the day.
Tammy’s approach to exercise really woke me to the joys of caring for your body the way it should be cared for. Many people look at exercise as the enemy, or the mountain that they have to surmount. “No pain no gain” is the popular saying. But I learned from Tammy that you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to get the results you want, in fact nausea-inducing exercise can be counterproductive. Tammy really made me see and feel the difference between torturing yourself and enjoying challenge and mental discipline of strength and cardio training. And when you enjoy something, you’re more likely to stick with it.Thanks to Caitlin and Tammy’s support and expertise, I lost 7 lbs in the month before my wedding (yes, it was just a month!!) and have maintained my weight loss nearly a year later, loving food and moderate exercise!
I was honored to guest blog at Carbsmart.com about ways to beat the Freshman 15. Read about ways to avoid the mistakes I made in college that made me get to my highest weight of 240 lbs. Read more here:
1. Find exercise that you like: Do you feel like your feet are nailed to the ground whenever it is time to exercise? Then your choice of activity may not be suitable for you. The key to sticking with an exercise routine is finding an activity that you look forward to. I am always looking for new workouts and ways to keep exercise interesting. Recently I was treated to a Nia class at 7th Heaven in Berkeley by my friend Sandrine Hahn from Nourishing Our Children.
A description of Nia from their website:
Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance and healing arts. It empowers people of all shapes and sizes by connecting the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Classes are taken barefoot to soul-stirring music in more than 45 countries. Step into your own joyful journey with Nia, and positively shape the way you feel, look, think and live.
I absolutely loved Nia because I enjoy dancing and hearing new music from around the world. I used to dance a lot when I was younger with my girlfriends so the freestyle segments throughout were a great release. The class was packed with lunges and squats but they went unnoticed because we were enjoying ourselves so much. It felt great to loosen up and get out of my own head. I think sometimes I make myself crazy over analyzing nutrition and health resulting in information overload. Being in the Nia class I was able to go into a parasympathetic state which is a therapeutic way to relieve stress and reduce inflammation (the root of all disease). Going to Nia on Sunday was better for my health than any supplement that I could have taken.
2. Look at exercise as a reward: I urge my clients not to spend hours on the treadmill as a punishment for making poor eating choices or being overweight. Instead seek joy in your exercise routine by choosing activities that make you feel rejuvenated. I allocate several hours most weeks to walking around San Francisco because I truly love breathing the ocean air and soaking up the sun (when it’s out). You can try gardening, walking your dog, or cleaning house (with non-toxic products) which can all be rewarding investments of your time in an effort to improve your health.
3. Choose exercises based on primal movement patterns: Our bodies are designed to lunge, squat, pull (row), push (push-up), gait (walking), bend (deadlift) and twist (Wood chops) according to fitness guru Paul Chek. If your movement practice does not fall in line with one of these then your chance of burnout and injury are high. Running marathons would be an example of exercise that does not align with our primal ancestral movement patterns because it is a waste of energy and too taxing on the body. Quick movements such as sprinting from danger or crouching to hunt an animal are more compatible with our design and instincts.
4. Work in not out: With all the stress of our daily lives the last thing we need is draining workout. Sometimes we need to initiate the parasympathetic nervous system with our movement by choosing yoga or slow walking. Restorative yoga is a great practice that lowers stress, high blood pressure and inflammation letting the body heal itself. When we have too much stress attempting weight loss is like swimming in cement (next to impossible).
5. Keep it short and sweet: Who has hours to spend at the gym? I have said before 20-30 minutes of smart weight training is as effective as hours of boring cardio. HITT training is also a great way stimulate fat burning and youth promoting human growth hormone release. See a video about how to do this exercise here called Peak 8.
6. Be realistic: Make sure you are choosing an activity that is compatible with your life. If your gym is far from home or work it is pretty likely that you will not make it there very often. Try purchasing some videos, pull up bar and some hand weights to make a home gym to cut down on the excuses. You may also find that you need an appointment with a trainer to help keep you on track. Check in with yourself and ask what is really going to happen on a hectic day when I am busy and stressed? It may be that you need to go back to #4 and take a rest day to work in not out.
In 2001 when I went to Weight Watchers and lost 80 lbs I did a lot of things WRONG and I am still paying the price. But there were some things I did right and they actually teach some helpful tips in their meetings. The following habits are helpful and can help anyone achieve long term weight loss maintenance:
At Weight Watchers they teach you about points and some teachers emphasize how to use them most effectively. If someone uses all their points for sweets it is highly likely they will starve through the rest of the day. I quickly realized that if I was going to be successful at losing weight I would need to avoid sugar. I also noticed that sugar is a drug like substance for me and that if I have something in my house with sugar I will not rest until it is in my belly. After about 8 years I realized that bread turns into sugar too and has similar effects on my appetite so I learned to avoid that too. Another early mistake I made was eating fake sugars like aspartame or Splenda but those seemed to still make me hungry in the same way as table sugar. Fruit has also been a problem because it can be really sweet too. Check in with yourself about your triggers and if a food is too tempting for you to have in the house, don’t buy it. Watch a great video about the dangers of artificial sweeteners: Sweet Misery
Keeping a food journal:
I do not think this is something you have to do forever, but it is good to check in with yourself for increased awareness. Food journaling is especially helpful if you are working with a trainer, nutritionist (like me) or functional medicine doctor so that they can help you find ways to get better results. Even now when I feel like things are getting a little out of control with my food I pull out my notepad and start writing things down.
Eating protein with every meal:
Animal protein detoxifies the body and improves lean muscle mass. I followed a very low fat diet when I started on this journey but I centered most meals around eggs, chicken, fish, and beef. Unfortunately I did eat a lot of soy burgers read why that is a fail here. I wish I had had the sense to avoid cereal and healthy whole grains but hindsight is 20/20. Now I feel so much better by starting my day with eggs or meaty dinner leftovers to stabilize my blood sugar and energy.
When I started losing weight believe it or not I only walked around a flat residential neighborhood for 30 minutes almost everyday. It was difficult at first because I went alone with my Walkman but I just kept going. I was consistent even though my thighs rubbed together in the hot summer sun and I felt gross. I lost about 60 lbs in the first 3 or 4 months just by walking which was pretty amazing.
Cooking at home:
I prepared almost all my meals at home during that period to avoid added fat and calories, but maybe that helped me avoid lots of vegetable oils and fake food in the process. I really think preparing food at home helped me to get in touch with my body and learn more about cooking.
Eating lots of colorful vegetables:
Colorful vegetables have anti-oxidant properties that help our livers detox to burn fat in this chemical filled world. When you are transitioning into a healthy eating plan sometimes it is hard to figure out portions. Adding lots of veggies was comforting because it made me feel like I had a big plate of food. Of course now I add lots of grass fed butter and coconut oil to my veggies but I still eat lots of colorful veggies to add volume to meals.
In Weight Watchers they teach you to map out your day or “storyboard” day so you can have success. I think this is a very valuable habit. I remember a teacher I had that said “you either fail to plan or plan to fail.” I see this in my clients all the time. They get to a party or a restaurant then realize there is nothing they can eat. By then they are starving and they just grab the first thing they can find. Irregardless if the food it is fried in canola oil and breaded with flour or dipped in soy Teriyaki sugar sauce. Then they wonder why they are not losing weight. Try to think ahead of the challenges you have coming up and either bring food or eat at home beforehand. Also you can read the menu online to prepare mentally about what you will order. Do you think Michel Phelps just wings it on the day of the race or he has careful preparation for many weeks prior? I think you know the answer!
Going to bed on time:
When I started losing weight I was 21 years old and I loved to go out paryting with my friends. I took a break from going out for several months so I could really focus on my goal of losing weight. Since I didn’t go out going to bed early was really not that hard. If you do not sleep well your body will be a chronically stressed and in a fat storing mode. Is that what you want to fight against everyday while trying to eat right? Also hunger hormones become out of whack by lack of sleep which will make it impossible to turn down those sweet treats at the office birthday party ect.
Letting go of what others think:
This is a constant struggle but one you have to overcome if you want to be healthy. Misery loves company and your fat friends will not like you changing your diet or exercising more. In contrast your skinny friends will not understand that you can’t eat the same things they do and look slim. So either way you slice the cake you are going to piss people off. Change is hard but you have to decide you are worth it. This is your life and you only get one (as far as we know) and it is up to you to decide what kind of body you want to spend it in! So make a decision to get healthy and stick with it. It does not matter what your family and friends think. This is your life! Do you want to spend it hiding at home or outside doing lots of cool stuff?
Make a goal that really matters to you:
My goal was to have get a boyfriend that I really liked (okay it was to fall in love!). I was not attracted to the men who liked me when I was fat. I did not want to be alone all my life or settle for someone who did not make me excited. I also wanted to wear smaller clothes, be pretty, and go on a hike without running out of breath but all that was secondary. So you have to find the reason that will really motivate you and focus on it. You may have to write it on your mirror and put goal photos all over your room to stay focused. You may even need to hire a coach for accountability, but unless you have a reason that stirs your soul long term weight loss may not happen for you.
A couple of years ago (2009) the wheels fell off and I started to feel super low energy and have thyroid problems. By adding more healthy fat into my diet with protein and veggies I was able to improve my health and more easily maintain my weight. I stopped doing excessive cardio, focused on smart weight training and lowering my stress. A good guide to getting started on a healthy eating plan is available here.