Anonymous asked: Are you backed up on your questions or something because I asked one but you didn't answer it :(
So sorry, Anon! I get dozens of ?’s each day. While I do read all of them, I can’t possibly answer each one individually. I try to get to as many as I can, particularly those questions that I think other people might find helpful or interesting as well. In addition, I get a lot of questions that are very in-depth and specific to the sender’s particular situation. Those are difficult to answer in this kind of format, since a proper answer would require a back/forth dialog. Again, I’m sorry if I haven’t gotten to your question. It’s nothing personal. I’m just one person and questions come in from people all over the world.
beautyfromparadise-deactivated2 asked: I love your tumblr, everyday before i start insanity i look at it to get that extra bit motivation i need to push through my workout thanks <3 i love itt!
Hi Mydelyn! Glad you like my blog! I know how difficult Insanity is. Shaun T’s a great motivator but sometimes his workouts are just impossible to get through w/o pausing! Keep pushing play and keep digging deeper! Thanks for the shout out!
katherineadamsw asked: I'm stopping soda.
I'm not fat. I'm not chubby. I'm just out of shape. I'm unhealthy. I've been drinking Dr. Pepper literally everyday since like two years ago. Thank god and my daddy for a fast metabolism or I would be the world's fattest person.
I was just wondering if you know any foods/drinks that will stop the headaches!! It's horrible. Unless I drink caffeine, I get the worst migraines EVERR. (I just stopped soda two days ago.)
I love your blog, I'm so inspired. THANK YOU!!
Hi Katherine! Glad to hear you’re changing your mind about soda. If you think about it, it’s really a waste to be consuming calories via beverages. I’d much rather spend my calories on eating real food than on drinking, especially since water is such a good option. There’s nothing that you can eat that is calorie-free, so you might as well drink something that is calorie-free and be able to eat that much more. That’s not even counting all the other ingredients in soda that your body doesn’t need to deal with. Smart move on your part! The migraines you are getting is simply your body going through caffeine withdrawal. This is bc when you suddenly stop caffeine intake, your body sends more blood than normal to your brain, causing pressure on the nerves & creating the headache. Two things I’ve found to be effective is to drink lots and lots of water. Giving your body something to process other than soda or caffeine will help alleviate the overload of blood to your brain. If that doesn’t work, try drinking green tea. It’s low in calories, is a powerful anti-oxidant and also contains caffeine so your body will still get it’s daily fix. If you go totally cold-turkey on your caffeine intake, your body will adjust in a couple of weeks and will become acclimated to not having it. Hope this helps! Feel better soon!
startnew-habits asked: are you a guy or girl? u have a guys icon but im not sure
Hi Bee! I’m 100% guy. See my ‘About Me’ page.
keeptalkingdarling asked: Hello! I'm Whitney. I've always been really skinny, but these past few months it seems I've developed a really small pot belly. I always watch what I eat (I can't really cook anything atm bc of my living circumstances) and I exercise daily. It seems that no matter what I do, I'm stuck with this little belly that I can't get toned up. I just want it to be flat. I have a very small chest, so it kind of emphasizes my belly. I'm 5'5" and I weigh about 123 pounds. Can you please give me some advice? I'm pretty stressed about it. I know it could be worse, but I'm a perfectionist. Haha. Thank you!
Hi Whitney! I really like your blog. Don’t be stressed out about your little belly. In fact, some of your belly fat may be caused by stress. There is hormone in your body called cortisol which is produced by your adrenal gland when you are under stress. Cortisol is important bc it helps to raise blood sugar & blood pressure when you are stressed. But studies have shown that high cortisol levels also leads to higher belly fat. So the stress of your belly fat may actually be partially causing your belly fat! More directly, tho, I hope you don’t smoke or drink alcohol. If you do, you should cut out those things as well. Also cut out sugar, soda, bread, pasta, white rice, white potatoes and fried foods from your diet. These foods (simple carbs & starches) are converted by your body into fat very quickly, usually more quickly than you have the chance to burn them off. Don’t stop eating completely bc that’s a guarantee of failure. Just try to include more veggies (bc they’re lower in calories, more filling & provide more fiber) & lean meats (white meat chicken, turkey or tuna). Not sure what exercises you are doing but make sure you work your entire body (lower, middle & upper), keeping an elevated heart-rate for at least 45-minutes, 3-4 times per week. By elevated heart-rate, I mean you should be breathing harder than if you were jogging but not so hard that you can’t carry a conversation with the person next to you. The goal at first is to stop your little belly from becoming a big belly. Next, you’ve got to start burning off the existing fat in your midsection. If you’re serious about this, take a picture of yourself today. Then put in 100% for at least 5-6 weeks and take another picture of yourself. If you’ve done it right, I’m sure you’ll notice a difference. Good luck!
petithibou asked: Hi, I'm Megan. I was wondering what you thought in term of weight lifting vs cardio for weight loss.
I have been trying to slim down for a variety of reasons, and I have been exercising a lot to get to my goal size, including biking 40 km per day, and doing strength training and fitness classes at the nearby gym. I am getting fitter, but not smaller, I seem to be replacing all of the weight loss with muscle. This is a little problematic, because of dance; I really cannot afford to bulk up. How can I ensure that I maintain the strength I need for ballet and contemporary while losing weight and sizes? For dance, I need to be strong enough to lift, but light enough to be lifted.
(To be a little more specific about my size and where I'd like to be, my tumblr has a picture of me at prom 2 months ago, I'm in navy blue, and where I am hoping to get is anything like the dancers in Kate Jablowski's choreographies-- youtube it perhaps, one like "off the rails")
Hi there, Megan! Love your blog. This is a very common issue. There are lots of sports where strength is important but the extra weight of muscle is a detriment: cycling, rock climbing, dance etc. In these activities, being stronger helps but being light is just as important. You therefore have to train to improve your strength-to-weight ratio, not just pure size or muscularity. The best way to control not bulking up is through diet. You only get big if you eat big. So to lose fat w/o gaining muscle you first have to reduce your caloric intake. Based on your age, current weight, height & activity level, you can check your basal metabolic rate (BMR) here. This will tell you how many calories your body burns per day simply to stay alive. Never eat less than this amount. Next, it will tell you how many calories your body burns based on your activity level (low, light, moderate, high or very high). If you are trying to lose weight, eat 300-500 calories less than the amount listed for your activity level. Also, make sure you take a multi-vitamin each day to ensure you’re getting your required micro-nutrients. As far as exercise goes, cardio is important but that won’t build strength. You must also include resistance/weight training but w/ one crucial caveat. Only do weights heavy enough so that you can perform 25-30 reps w/o stopping. You want to do light weights/high reps. Whatever the exercise, if you can’t do 25 reps w/o stopping, lighten the weight. If you can do 30+ reps w/o stopping, increase the weight. This will help tone your muscles w/o bulking up. Straightening out your diet, doing cardio to burn off fat & adding resistance training will help you develop strength w/o adding much muscle. Give it 6-8 solid weeks of effort & re-evaluate or tweak your program as needed. Hope this helps! Good luck!
Anonymous asked: Hey, I'm Kelly. I'm 17 and got my drivers licence at the beginning of the year, surprise surprise I was in hospital by March because I got into a crash and now i've got this scar on my stomach. I've been working out on the sly because my doctor said 'no rigorous activity' but I took it a step too far in the gym and damaged the scar tissue so I had to go back in. I'm still running 30mins in the morning and swim 3/7 days a week but is there anything else (like a watered-down version of ab-crunches) I can do? And are there any foods I should flat-out avoid. Because I eat pretty much everything :) Thanks mate.
Hi Kelly! It’s best you listen to your doctor if he/she said you should take it easy. I don’t know the nature of your injuries or how long they will take to heal so I’m not going to contradict your dr’s advice. Your body is working hard & using it’s resources to recover from whatever happened during the crash. You don’t want to add additional stress to your body by forcing it to recover from your workouts as well, especially if you’ve already re-aggravated your injuries like you said. If anything, simply walking around more or going about your daily activities (nothing strenuous) would allow your body to heal as quickly as possible. Once you’ve gotten over your injuries, you can slowly ease into running & swimming. Until then, you’ve got to be really careful about what you eat. Since you won’t have the increased caloric usage from physical activity until you fully recover, you only need to eat enough to cover your daily activities. No junk food, no fatty or fried food, no processed or manufactured food. All that stuff is loaded with calories but has very little nutritional value. If your body is recovering from injury, it needs real nutrition to heal & rebuild. If you feed it lots of calories w/o the nutrients it needs, you’ll only gain weight and your body will take longer to heal. Hope this helps. Be safe on the road and I hope you get better soon!
shannonmary asked: hi! im shannon & i'm hoping you could possibly help me out. i've been athletic all my life but never had that athlete's body. ive done soccer, basketball, track and field, cheerleading and now rugby. i go to the gym but i feel as though im making little to no progress. my dad is a championship weight lifter so when he comes with me im left forever alone cause he just goes to the weight area. don't get me wrong i can hold my own with the weights but i feel so out of place. do you have any at all workouts with the machines or any workout plans that could help me? im about 5'5" and 165. one wouldn't consider to say im "fat" but i definitely could tone up my body, esp my core and thighs. thank you for taking your time out to read this!
Hi Shannon! Love your blog! Sounds like you have very strong genetics from your dad & your athletic background. Keep in mind that powerlifting is very diff than working out to tone/shape your body. In fact, they’re complete opposites. Powerlifters are only concerned w/ lifting as much weight as possible - regardless of how they do it, how their bodies look or how much bodyfat they have. They’re not concerned w/ aesthetics at all other than using proper form, only bc it allows them to lift more. Most other people (even if you’re not a true bodybuilder) use weights/exercises to sculpt/tone/shape particular parts of their body. A perfect example is abs. Powerlifters tend to have thick midsections & would never work towards a 6-pack bc that wouldn’t help them lift heavier. Most other people would do ab-specific exercises that target/slim their core. In your ?, you didn’t mention anything about your nutrition or how you eat. 75-80% of toning/shaping/slimming is directly related to HOW you eat - what you eat, when you eat & how much you eat. Exercises get a lot of attention but nutrition is actually much more important. If you’re really serious about toning/slimming, you’ve got to first understand your caloric/nutritional needs, examine your current eating habits & make changes to your eating plan (most likely eating healthier, smaller meals, more often throughout the day) that will move you closer to your goal. Just going to the gym & working out won’t do anything unless you change your eating plan. Personally, I avoid all bread, pasta, rice, sugar & alcohol. I only have limited dairy, red meat or pork. I eat a lot of lean protein (lean chicken, turkey, tuna), vegetables (broccoli, string beans, tomatoes, green peas, mushrooms). I prefer grilled, roasted or baked instead of fried. I only drink water, tea or low-cal energy drinks. I drink protein shakes but I count them as meals instead of beverages. I adjust my caloric intake based on my upcoming goals (building muscle or shredding fat). I eat my bigger meals in the beginning/middle of the day & smaller meals at night. I indulge every now & then but mostly on special occasions & then I get right back on track very quickly. Changing your eating will have the greatest & fastest impact on slimming down overall. Not just your core & thighs but all over. Hope this helps! Best of luck to you!
Anonymous asked: Hi, my name is Amber. For my workouts, I do 30 minutes of cardio every day. However, some people say that it isn't safe for your muscles to do cardio every day because they need time to repair. Does this mean intense cardio, or is 30 minutes too much to do every day?
Also, I was reading a fitness blog that said you should lose the fat on your stomach entirely before you start working on your abs because if you don't, you can get a "pouch". Have you ever heard of this/ is it true? Thanks so much. Awesome blog!
Hi Amber! There’s really no harm in doing cardio every day as long as you feel strong enough. The whole idea of your body needing time to repair after a workout applies primarily to weight training, where the idea is to cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers so that they grow back bigger over time. Cardio, like running, biking, skating, boxing, etc is something that can be done everyday. The only thing you need to be concerned about is doing the same thing over & over again. Over time, you’re body will get used to the routine & you will stop seeing results. You have to constantly mix up your workouts so that you keep challenging yourself & keep your body from entering a plateau. I know people who do the exact same workout day in & day out - same routine, same duration, same intensity - and they can’t understand why they’re not getting closer to their goals. The reason is because their bodies have adapted to their workout & won’t keep progressing until it is faced with a new challenge. If you find yourself comfortable doing your 30-min/day, next time add a little more intensity or duration so you keep pushing your limits. About losing fat on your stomach - it’s impossible to target your fat loss to one particular area. Your body just doesn’t work that way - no matter what anyone tells you. You can only lose overall body fat, which will means that some fatloss will come from your mid-section, while the rest of it may come from your butt, thighs, arms, even your boobs. Eventually, if you lose enough fat, you will eliminate your stomach fat altogether, revealing your abs underneath. Hope this helps. Keep up the workouts and keep challenging yourself!
fluorecent-hippies-deactivated2 asked: Hey So i seen in one of your questions that your a personal trainer?
Ive nearly finished school and this past year ive really gotten into fitness, and i was thinking of becoming a personal trainer but im not really sure how to get started? Once i move out of home i really want to eat healthy and get in shape, because its so hard living at home and not have your mum support you. Saying im too fat to be a personal trainer etc. Anyway, Question is: How do you get started, what do you recommend doing? And do you enjoy what you do? do you work at a gym?
Im so sorry if its to many questions, Love your blog :) x
Hey Cassie! Glad to hear you’ve gotten into fitness & interested in making it your career! I’m not a personal trainer but many of my friends are & they really enjoy what they do. There’s a very deep satisfaction in helping other people achieve their goals & improving their lives. I would say the 3 requirements of being a great PT are: 1) Knowledge of fitness, exercise & diet - You’ll need a solid grasp of how to design an exercise program for your client’s specific situation, how to correct bad form, how different exercises target specific areas, etc. While you won’t be a nutritionist, you’ll also have to understand the role of proper eating, since diet has such a huge impact on body composition. All the exercise in the world can easily be undone by poor eating habits. 2) People skills: You really have to enjoy working closely w/ other people. This skill is crucial. You’ve got to be a motivator & a friend but also firm & authoritative. You’ve got to enjoy being around your clients & they need to enjoy being around you. At the same time, you have to be able to ‘crack-the-whip’ & make them do the work they need to in order to get in shape. It’s almost a love/hate relationship. They should love you but hate how hard you push them. 3) You’ve got to be in great shape yourself - Your physical condition will be the best way to advertise your skills & attract clients. Would you ever take fashion advice from someone who didn’t know how to dress themselves? Of course not. The same thing with PT’s - your clients are much more likely to follow your advice if you set a positive example w/ yourself. To get started, there are several ways to get certified. In the US, the 2 most recognized organizations are the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) & American Council on Exercise (ACE). These programs will give you a basic foundation of knowledge to begin training clients. Next, you’ll most likely go work for a gym & offering your services to it’s members. You can be a personal trainer (working with individual clients) or a group fitness instructor (teaching a class of multiple people at once). Overtime, as you gain experience, repeat clients & develop a reputation, you might consider becoming an independent personal trainer, where you work for yourself, obtaining clients on your own, setting your own schedule & essentially being your own boss. There are advantages/disadvantages to working for a gym vs being an independent PT & I know lots of people on both sides. Either way, it’s a very rewarding career path, especially if you have an interest in fitness & have great interpersonal skills. Hope this helps! Thanks for following & best of luck on your journey!
geeksexual asked: Hey, I saw you reblogged my photo, to explain the blurriness, there was a period of time in my old photo's that almost all the pictures I took were blurry, thats because during that time I had just bought this phone and on the inside of the lens was this weird yellowish protective cover that I didnt discover until I took the phone apart, I just assumed the camera was shit or there was something wrong with the phone. The "before" picture was taken during that period of time in the bathroom of my doctors office and I figured since I was there today I would mimic the picture for and "after". Thats why the before picture was blurry.
Hi Nia! Thanks for reaching out and for clarifying. Your transformation is mindblowingly awesome & I’m sure you’re extremely inspiring to many, many people! I didn’t mean any disrespect. If anything, it highlights how much better you look in the ‘After’. I always tell people to take ‘Before’ pictures bc it’s the best way to track progress. Understandably, most people are reluctant to document their ‘Before’ state, so they miss out on the satisfaction of seeing how far they’ve come. I’m so happy you kept the photos even tho blurry. Mad props to you for pulling off what so many people strive for. Keep going in the right direction and keep up the awesome blog!
improvebodyandsoul asked: Hi :) I'm a 17 (in less than a month) year old girl, i usually weigh around 125, my weight is always up and down and its frustrating. I have always loved lifting weight and i just recently made a commitment to myself that I wouldn't give up anymore, I got a membership to a gym 4 days ago and have been going twice a day... but i have very little patience. My body type is pudgy around the middle, not very bad but i want a six pack so bad, i've been working my ass off but I'm used to diets that are fast (not very healthy) but fast. I just need to hear that it will take time because right now I am really discouraged...
Hi Lisa! Glad you started taking control of your fitness & going to the gym! One of the reasons so many people covet a 6-pack is that it is relatively hard to get. Despite what most people think, the key is not doing crunches or sit-ups. The key is reducing your body fat low enough so there isn’t a layer of fat covering your abs. There is a saying that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym - meaning that your diet is more important than your workouts. You can do sit-ups & crunches ‘til you’re blue in the face but your abs won’t show if they’re buried underneath a layer of fat. This, my dear, takes time, hard work & persistence. It starts w/ going on a fat-reducing diet - one that gives your body enough of the fuel it needs to function but less than the energy you expend through daily activity & exercise. This way, you will burn more calories each day than you take in & over time, this will lead to fat loss, allowing your abs to show. Avoid bread, sugar, pasta, rice & alcohol - these all get converted to fat very easily. Eat more veggies & lean protein like chicken, tuna, turkey & lean cuts of beef - these take your body longer to break down & are less likely to be converted to fat. Next, do a combination of both cardio & weight training, preferably workouts that engage both your upper & lower body. Unfortunately, you can’t target fat loss to just one area. You’ll need to lose the overall fat around your body. Doing cardio will help burn calories at that moment, while building muscle through weight training will help burn calories throughout the day. Give it time. Take your ‘Before’ pictures now and then again every 30-days so you can compare visually. Ignore the scale bc that’s irrelevant. Go more by how differently your clothes feel over time. Relish in the idea that your clothes will get looser over time & you may need to start buying clothes that are a size or two smaller than what you wear now. It’s not going to happen over night. Anyone who tells you that is lying and probably trying to sell you something. If you lose too much weight too quickly (by starving yourself, for example) there’s a much higher chance of that weight coming back and you ending up worse than where you started. Don’t be discouraged. If it were easy, everyone would be walking around with a ripped 6-pack. But it is totally possible. Keep at it and it will come! Hope this helps!
ocean-and-pacific asked: Hey I'm currently running about 40 miles per week and I was wondering whether doing lower body lifts such as dead-lifts and squats would have an averse affect on my running?
Hi Exiled! You’ve got a very cool blog. If you’re logging 40-miles/week that means you’re a seasoned runner & you probably have very well developed slow-twitch muscle fibers in your legs. Slow-twitch muscle fibers don’t produce that much force but can go on and on for long periods of time. When you dead-lift or squat, you engage your fast-twitch muscle fibers - the ones that can produce a lot of force but fatigue very quickly. Adding dead-lifts and squats will most likely help your running because whenever you improve your weaker areas, it allows your stronger areas to further improve as well. By strengthening the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your legs, you’ll be improving their overall strength, which will in turn make running easier. The most important things about dead-lifts and squats is using proper form & isolating the appropriate muscles. Using bad form or too much weight too soon can very easily lead to injury of the back, knees or hips & that could set you back for a very long time. You could also do weighted lunges (w/ a dumbbell in each hand), leg presses or squats on the Smith machine. Hope this helps!
xingins asked: hey i love your blog :) so, basically I started training for running a few months ago and I ended up with an injury in my legs due to overtraining :( so I started a couch to 5k plan and I am on my 5th week. My doctor told me to take a rest and I did but I regret it when I don't run so I started running again slowly this time. unfortunately, i think i sprained something in my muscles AGAIN (if that makes any sense) and my calves hurt when i pick my leg up. should I continue running or what? I have my first 5k run in September so I need to be ready. please help, I'm so confused and no one seems to understand my love for running lol, thanks :)
Hi Yao! I totally understand what it’s like to be sidelined w/ injury & not be able to do what you love. I’m in the process of recovering from a muscle strain myself so I know how frustrating it is. The thing about running is that you really need to ease your body into long distances. BC of the high impact on your bones/muscles, you need to allow your body to acclimate to the stress before going on longer distances. Rushing the process or using improper form will more likely lead to injury. There are lots of possibilities but they basically boil down to: 1) Form: you want to land mid-foot (not on your heel) w/ your foot under your center of mass (not in front of you). Then, your heel should be pulled up towards your butt (not kicked out behind you). Simply leaning forward as you run will give you forward momentum. Your shoulders should be relaxed, eyes forward (not down at the ground), arms relaxed & swinging forward/back (not across your body). 2) Breathing: Your inhale/exhale should be timed w/ your strides, in through the nose, out through the mouth. You need to keep a steady flow of oxygen to continually refresh your muscles. 3) Warming up: while the effectiveness of stretching has been debated, one thing for sure is that you should include a moderate-intensity warm-up period. Run at a slow & comfortable pace at the beginning to prepare your circulatory/respiratory systems for what’s about to come. 4) Proper shoes: Everyone’s feet are different - width, arch height, weight, pronation/supination, etc. So you really need to find the right pair of shoes for your feet, not just which ones are the prettiest or most stylish. Lots of people choose their running shoes based on looks, not on how appropriate they are for their foot-type. If you have a severe, acute injury, I would follow your dr’s advice & just let your body heal. If not so severe, I would start off w/ slow jogging for short distances to see how your body feels. Remember that in the beginning, being able to run a particular distance is more important than running fast. Speed is not the priority - distance is. Don’t re-injure yourself by trying to do too much too quickly. Hope this helps. Best of luck on your 5k! Take care!
girlsgobeastmodetoo asked: Good morning! Just wanted to stop by and say that I really love your blog! It helps motivate me and keep my focus on getting healthy and strong, not just skinny. I'm 5'3", 128 lbs and although I don't really have a lot of weight to lose, I want to seriously tone up. I eat clean, workout almost daily for at least an hour but I feel like I'm not getting the results I should be. Any suggestions?
Hi Beastmode! Thanks for following. Love your comment about getting not just skinny but healthy & strong. That’s a really important distinction that a lot of people miss. Sounds like you’ve hit a plateau in your training. Doing the same exercises over time results in diminishing gains - you see progress right away but after a while, the progress slows & then eventually stops coming. That simply means that your body has adapted to the exercises you’re doing & is no longer being challenged. In that case, you need to stop doing your usual workout & change your exercises so that your body is challenged again & needs to re-adapt. It’s not just about spending an hour at the gym. It’s more important what you do with that time, how intensely you workout & how varied your workouts are. I don’t know your current routine but taking some different fitness classes, adding cardio or strength training, increasing your intensity level, taking fewer breaks, even hiring a personal trainer could help. Keep in mind that shorter, more intense workouts are more effective than longer, less intense workouts. Eating clean is important as well but if you’re not seeing results, I would suggest dropping your daily caloric intake by 300-400. See where that takes you in 6-8 weeks and then re-evaluate your exercise & diet plans. Hope this helps. Keep up the motivation & stay healthy!