I have a stretch goal, literally and figuratively. I want to improve my flexibility and my other goal causes me to reach just a bit. It’s the beginning of a new year and there is lots of excitement and renewed motivation – use it to help reach your goals, not to set them. A little advice, Go BIG or Go Home, is not the way you set New Year Resolutions/Commitments. In my opinion, when it comes to wellness goals, go small and make ‘em SMART. It doesn’t matter where you are on your wellness journey, everyone can be a little healthier by making a few small changes. If you have not been working out, instead of making the commitment to go to the gym every day, commit to 2 days. Decide which 2 days you’ll go and what you will do on those days. Make a plan. Set yourself up to be successful. The goal is to overshoot every goal. If you need to lose 60lbs this year, a small goal: 6lbs in 6 weeks is a SMART goal and a great place to start. When it comes to goal setting, as I said, go small and keep them SMART – Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Timely. What is it exactly you want to accomplish? Be as Specific as possible. Don’t express goals vaguely like, lose weight, run a race, or eat healthier. A few good examples: Lose 20lbs and 4 inches around the waist. Run a half marathon in less than 2 hours. Drink moderately consuming less than 5 alcoholic beverages a week. Eat healthier consuming more than 4 vegetables a day and abstaining from fried food. Each one of these examples you can measure. Each goal should be Measurable. An objective test is much easier to grade than a subjective one. When it comes to reaching your wellness goals, each day is a test, an opportunity to move closer to your goals. You don’t want to get to the end of the term and see you failed, when it could have been avoided. You can achieve your goals, if you set Achievable goals. There is not a parent who is encouraging their baby who just begun crawling to run. No. They have to walk first. You must be this considerate and realistic when setting your personal goals. Where are you at this very moment in your life? What is the next step in your wellness journey? It could be hard to process this alone. For this reason, I encourage you to chat with a friend. Have a conversation with someone who may be a few steps ahead, be it friend or fitness/wellness professional. Setting unrealistic goals lead to feelings of failure and discouragement. Unrealistic goals are the reason so many resolutions have such short life expectancy. When a client says to me, I want to lose 30lbs in 2 months. I can say that’s not realistic, or healthy. A weight loss 1% of your bodyweight a week is healthy. This would be 2lbs a week for a person weighing 225lbs. Experience says this is not the rate that most people want to lose weight, this feels slow. However, experience (and research) also says a person with an average 1-2lb weight loss a week is more likely maintain their weight losslong term. The same goes for getting stronger, running faster. You have to move at a rate that supports you and your health, avoiding injury or setback. Your wellness goals should support your well-being. Therefore, when setting goals, you have to determine how this goal is Relevant to who you are. This is when I invoke the 5 – Whys to my clients. I want to lose weight. Why? To be healthier. Why? To feel stronger and lose weight. Why? To improve my self-esteem. Why? To be happy, fulfilled and confident in my own body. The answers vary from a better quality of life, to be able to parent better, to reduce medication. Each why is important and necessary and help to determine good goals. If you can’t get to a good answer, it’s most likely not a good relevant goal. Once you figure out your why you can decide your when. When can you celebrate the reaching this goal? Your goal should be accomplished in a Timely fashion. Whether it’s a 3 month, 6 month or 9 month goal – create a timeline with check-in points and milestones. Don’t just schedule workouts, but schedule celebrations. Celebrate each win, when it happens. Allow them to fuel you. There will be mistakes and failures along the way, that’s ok. Learn from them.
6 months ago I participated in the 360Approach Fall Fitness Challenge… The last bit of baby weight from my second child just didn’t want to come off on it’s own (said baby was almost 2 years old), and I was tired of feeling like I was never going to get my body back. I was already working out consistently, both cardio and strength, so I didn’t feel like I needed any huge changes there. Overall I ate fairly healthy – lots of fruits & veggies, very little fast food or fried foods, mainly whole healthy things. But, I knew my very bad sweet tooth and almost-nightly glass of wine were probably not helping. I was also very good at justifying eating pretty much whatever I wanted since I didn’t eat junk food and worked out religiously. So, I signed up for the FFC hoping to lose 5-10 pounds, clean up my diet, and feel better in general. I followed Chan and Sara’s diet plan- cut out sweets & alcohol, focused on more fruits & veggies, tracked everything I ate in MyFitnessPal, and started paying attention to portion sizes. Over the course of 2-3 months, I ended up losing around 17 lbs – far exceeding my initial goal – I even survived the holidays! I felt great eating healthy foods and not eating all the sweets and treats I used to let myself feel like I needed. By changing my eating habits (my workouts pretty much stayed the same), I realized how important that piece of the puzzle was. I could work out all day long, but if I didn’t pay attention to both what and how much I ate, I would not reach my goals. 6 months in, I’m still going strong! This was a lifestyle change for me, not just a temporary diet or a one-time challenge. Viewing it as a lifestyle change has really made all the difference for me. Thanks, Chan, for all you do for us!
Last Monday I began the 21 Day Shred and … Day 1 might have been the hardest day of my life, or at least that’s how it felt in the moment. I kicked off my 21 day shred with a 3 day detox. I was not prepared in anyway, especially mentally. Coming off of the holidays I had not done any meal prep nor did I have a lot of food in my fridge. The detox simply consisted of fruits, veggies, brown rice, oats, beans, tofu, eggs and yogurt – yep, that’s it! I had oils to cook with and as much many herbs and spices to liven things up but I wasn’t ready and it showed. I completed Day 1 very unhappy – that’s real. Day 2 however, I was a little more prepared. I had 6 good meals Day 2 Breakfast: Strawberry smoothie with 1 cup strawberries and 6 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt Snack: Brown rice cakes with ½ avocado + 2 boiled egg whites Lunch: Kale, black eye peas, brown rice and broccoli Snack: Fresh juice (spinach, mango, pineapple, ginger) +2 boiled egg whites Dinner: Chickpea Ratatouille Day 3 Breakfast: 4 egg whites with spinach and mushrooms, ½ potato Snack: Brown rice cakes with ½ avocado + 2 boiled egg whites Lunch: Chickpea Ratatouille Snack: Fresh juice (spinach, mango, pineapple, ginger) +2 boiled eggs Dinner: Lentils with spinach I share this with you because you don’t have to begin your 21 Days unprepared – you can choose to commit and get prepared today! At the end of my detox I felt lighter, refreshed and energized. Its purpose wasn’t to lose rapid weight or “cleanse my liver and kidneys” like a lot of “detoxes” propose. I actually encourage avoiding supplements and other “cleansing systems”. For my mental, spiritual and physical health I detox to exercise discipline – to remove processed, high-fat, and sugary foods, and replaces them with more whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains – eating like this often seems foreign but it’s the most natural thing for our bodies. This clean-eating approach is what our 21 Day Shred is about. If you stick to the plan, it doesn’t matter what level you choose, you WILL LOSE weight and shred not only fat but hopefully you’ll drop some of the bad habits that you’ve accepted and practice. Those things are engrained and now seem natural BUT it doesn’t have to stay that way. If you commit to this 21 Day Shred – not just the diet and exercise, but the philosophy, you will be on your way to living healthier. For this reason this is the “Start” of our 100 Days of Health. Last week I posted about our start, “21 DAY SHRED IS A JUMP START TO HEALTHY LIVING WITH ACTIVITY EVERY DAY AND A CARDIO WORKOUT 3-5 TIMES A WEEK. Yes, activity every day – go for a walk, spend 30 minutes or so cleaning, or active play. In addition to the activity you will need to complete a 30-60 minute cardio workout 3-5 times a week. There are levels to this: Level 1: Stick to the nutrition plan 5 days and complete 3 or more 30 minute workout sessions a week. Level 2: Stick to the nutrition plan 6 days and complete 4 or more 30-45 minute workout sessions a week. Level 3: Stick to the nutrition plan 7 days and complete 5 – 30-60 minute workout sessions a week.” *The nutrition plan is posted in our 100 Days of Health, Start! You have some questions to ask yourself and some decisions to make. Can I commit to this? If yes, what level can I commit to? How will I find support and accountability? Know that you aren’t alone. I am committed with you #live360together – I committed to Level 2 – seems the most reasonable for my life right now. Today I will prepare some healthy meals for the week. I am excited to try the Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Brussel Sprouts recipe our dietician Sarah posted this past week. Here’s what else is on my menu this week: Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks + steel cut oats w/ berries + veggie quiche + granola with greek yogurt + chickpea ratatouille + white bean + veggie wrap + lentil loaf, cabbage + sweet potato + cauliflower soup + veggie omelet + loaded spaghetti squash + protein shake / smoothie + veggies with hummus + brown rice cake with almond butter + carrots with ranch yogurt dip + apple with peanut butter *I don’t use flaxseeds in my lentil loaf, I use an egg instead. I also don’t make the sauce, just topped with tomato sauce with basil. Whether you are on your 7th day like me or whether you are choosing to begin – you can do this! All the Best, Coach Chan
Ready to commit, again! Last year I wrapped up the holidays and committed to getting back on my wellness track in January. I made a commitment to get active and eat well for 30 days. I had no idea I would move from one commitment to the next which ultimately resulted in an improved diet, 4% bodyfat loss, better skin, more energy and a brighter spirit 😊I have a desire to begin this year off with a fresh commitment and I am inviting you to join us. I say us because I am not doing this alone – I have some awesome trainers on my team as well as a pretty committed dietician. You can choose what and how long you want to commit – 21 days, 30 Days, 60 days, 84 or the WHOLE 100 Days of Health. I am encouraging you not to go from 0 to 100. Set yourself up to be successful. As I stated earlier, last year I only committed to January. Perhaps you’ll Commit to the 21 Day Shred or Make the 30 Day Pledge. Whatever your commitment is, it begins with a 3 Day Detox. Take this time to rid your life of everything that will not serve you on this journey. There are some easy things you can do like cleaning all the junk food out of your pantry and fridge. Then there are some not so easy like separating yourself from those who don’t want to move forward, do better, or live healthier. I am turning off the tv, unfollowing any “hate” on social media, and cleaning out my body and system by following a detox diet for the next 3 days. It’s similar to the shred diet, just a little more discipline is needed. The asterisk identifies items that are NOT a part of the detox. 21 Day Shred is a jump start to healthy living with activity every day AND a cardio workout 3-5 times a week. Yes, activity every day – go for a walk, spend 30 or so cleaning, or active play. In addition to the activity you will need to complete a 30-60 minute cardio workout 3-5 times a week. There are levels to this: Level 1: Stick to the nutrition plan 5 days and complete 3 or more 30 minute workout sessions a week. Level 2: Stick to the nutrition plan 6 days and complete 4 or more 30-45 minute workout sessions a week. Level 3: Stick to the nutrition plan 7 days and complete 5 – 30-60 minute workout sessions a week. Most don’t have an issue with working out but the diet holds people back. Know that weight-loss or fat-loss is 80% diet and 20% workout. You must follow a healthy nutrition plan designed to shred fat. This nutrition plan coupled with your workout is the foundation of Healthy Living. Drink plenty of water – approximately half of your body weight in ounces (example 200lb person would drink 100 ounces of water, 12.5 cups). You can flavor your water with herbal tea. During our shred our goal is to only drink water. Protein is power! Choose lean, high-quality proteins like egg whites, poultry, tofu, beans, nuts, and protein supplements. Carbohydrates are your friend and should be consumed in moderation. Good, clean, fiber-rich carbs include oats, brown rice, potatoes and whole-grain bread. Nutrition Plan Protein Carbs Vegetables Fruit Extra Chicken* Fish* Eggs Tofu Beans Lowfat yogurt Nuts* Cheese* Brown Rice Oats Quinoa Potatoes Whole Grain Bread or wraps* All vegetables preferably fresh or frozen. Lightly steamed, sautéed or raw. All fruits, mostly berries. Spices Mustard Honey* Maple syrup* Butter Oil Tips Take your before picture. You don’t have to post it on social media but have it to refer to. If you are doing this for fat or weight loss, you should also take some measurements of your body – arm, chest, waist, hips and thigh. Invite a friend or 2 to join you. Commitment is easier when you have support. Create a weekly plan. Plan your day, your workouts and food for each day. Have fun. Exercise with others, to good music, try new recipes… you can choose to enjoy the ride!
I am a father of three. I have been physically active all my life, as a high school athlete, an intramural sports enthusiast in college and graduate school, and a YMCA regular. However, like many others, the increasing demands of professional and family life took its toll on the frequency, intensity and results of my workouts.
Being healthy and being a father can sometimes conflict and present some challenges. Our 4 month old requires middle of the night feedings, which can make it difficult to muster enough energy to attend the morning workout classes that I love. Having a supportive spouse and specific goals definitely helps, as do the friendly, familiar faces I see at The 360 approach each morning.
Until I graduated college, I gave little regard to exercise or eating a balanced diet. I am embarrassed to say that I did not eat any vegetables regularly until I was 20 years old, and I had an on again off again relationship with the gym. During medical school and residency, my habits worsened. I lived off hospital food, little sleep, and no exercise. After the birth of my daughter in 2009, I got to my heaviest non-pregnant weight, and finally had enough.
“Why did you share my mom’s journey on Facebook? Why did you make it so public?”
People often ask me about my mom and her journey and why I elected to share it on Facebook. A quick response – Accountability and Support. If I could elaborate. When my mother came to me ready to begin this journey, again – I questioned her pertaining her commitment, her goals and her ability to stick with it.