Met Fitness Blog
Here's the news, straight from the MET Fitness blog.
Being Kind To Ourselves
Thursday, 07, February, 2013
I use this phrase a lot when I work with people who want to make long-term, sustainable changes in their life, the kind of changes that will dramatically alter their health and their future.
They often interpret this to mean they donât have to live up to their health commitments, that they can go off-track and sabotage their food & exercise prescription simply because they â didn't feel like itâ or were âhaving a bad dayâ.
This is entirely opposite of what I mean.
Being kind to yourself, really taking good care of yourself, starts with a decision that is not negotiable and a willingness to be realistic about what is good for you.
Imagine: you've had a really stressful day at work, your boss is cranky at you, co-workers are being more difficult than usual and you have a splitting headache on the way home from work.
Dinner consisting entirely of chocolate and cheese, possibly wine, and staying up late to zone out in front of the television may seem like an easy option. â I've had an awful day,â you tell yourself, âI deserve some pleasure, I canât be bothered doing anything else.â
So you eat some non-nutritional food and flake out on the couch. Your headache feels worse, you feel sluggish and tired but instead of going to bed, you stay up too late watching television, exacerbating your tiredness.
Imagine that this is your child, or your best friend.
Would you deliberately ignore their needs, or make excuses for why you wouldn't help them feel as good as possible, especially under difficult circumstances?
I bet you wouldn't.
Imagine: you've had a really stressful day at work, your boss is cranky at you, co-workers are being more difficult than usual and you have a splitting headache on the way home from work.
â I've had an awful day,â you tell yourself, âso Iâm going to make sure I drink plenty of water when I get home. Iâll make myself a quick vegetable omelette and Iâll make sure I get an early night.â
The first scenario may seem like the easiest option, and by certain criteria it may be, but since when has easy meant better.
The second option means you actually change your situation for the better.
You contribute to your health rather than detracting from it.
You actually meet your real needs, rather than giving in to what it is you think you want.
Making your life a little easier the next day and helping yourself to feel better - THAT is being kind.
Tuesday, 18, December, 2012
With the Silly Season in full swing, there are Christmas parties to attend, catching up for drinks with friends, and myriad other social events that are outside of your usual routines - often involving mince pies.
As usual, the advice here at MET Fitness is sane, sensible and sustainable.
Rather than throw sensible eating out the window, remind yourself how hard you've worked this year.
You have acheived goals that were considered impossible or at least, unlikely at the start of this year. You have persisted in the face of all that life has thrown at you and you have felt how great it feels to have more energy.
Enjoy the holiday fun and remember it's all about balance. When (almost) every day is another party, there are some simple tips to keep you on track for a happy, healthy 2013.
* Eat a small, yet healthy meal before a night out to minimise those ravenous cravings and by all means enjoy the party treats - in moderation.
* Watch your alcohol intake.
* Maintain some kind of regular exercise routine, even if it's a quick 5 - 10 minutes before your morning shower.
* Daily strength training will keep your metabolism firing at optimal levels.
* Summer is a great time to be active outdoors, especially with the kids so get them out for a bike ride, playing chasey at the park.
Your dedication and determination has made a big difference to your health & fitness in 2012. You've come a long way, Baby!
I would like to thank all of my amazing clients for another wonderful year of health & fitness. Without you, I wouldn't be doing the work I love.
It is a priveledge to see the real difference you are making in your life and the lives of your families - you are the best example for your children and loved ones.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and looking forward to discovering what you are capable of in 2013!
Our Loyal & Generous Bodies
Thursday, 29, November, 2012
We are constantly assulted with false body images of celebrities, models and other media, designed to have a certain "look", a look that is unacheiveable and unrealistic, even for the people being portrayed.
Have you seen The Dove Film? With this level of unreality surrounding us, is it any wonder we can be so self-critical? No one can live up to this image, nor should we make ourselves crazy and unhappy in trying.
I work with so many wonderful men and women who make the commitment to themselves to value their fitness every single day.
They have made the small changes that make a big difference to their health and have learned how to take better care of themselves and their families.
They have grown in understanding of the body's natural state of health and work with the body rather than fighting it, resenting it or hating it. Asking them to love and appreciate the body they currently live in has been challenging for many.
We have such a hard time perceiving ourselves in a positive way. We allow others to influence what we believe we should look like and in turn allow this to determine how we treat ourselves.
Gratitude for the benefits of healthy movement, the ability to create and care for our children and loved ones, feeling our aliveness, all starts to shift our thinking and brings us to a greater awareness of how we can take better care of ourselves.
The difficulty in appreciating our bodies was eloquently described by a beautiful woman who has recently acheived what most of us would consider an a amazing feat - climbing to basecamp at Mt Everest.
"You know, I bore people to death with telling them that I realised climbing to Basecamp (only a few weeks ago) how loyal and generous this body is and I talk to it as it if is letting me down constantly. While it isn't.
It got me up a few mountains, yeah I am not as fit as I used to be, or as thin or muscular as I used to be, and I have a layer of pudge on my stomach that refuses to budge.
But I am 48 and dang it, the stuff this body can do is pretty amazing. Most of the things on that list I can do. And more. It's a matter of seeing things differently, I have come to realise."
See yourself as the unique and beautiful creature that you are and live accordingly.
Health and fitness is NOT about what you look like - it is about how you care for yourself, mind and body.
Sensational Salads II
Thursday, 08, November, 2012
Tomato & Bocconcini Balsamic Salad
serves 6 preparation 10 mins
2 x 400g tomato medley
1 large red onion sliced
200g tub of bocconcicni, drained and torn in half
1/2 cup pitted balck olives
1 cup basil leaves
3 tblspns olive oil or flaxseed oil
2 tblspns balsamic vinegar
Combine oil and balsamic
Arrange tomatoes, onion, bocconcini, olives and basil on a serving platter, drizzle with dressing and enjoy!
Salmon and Asparagus Salad
serves 4 preparation 20 mins cooking 10 mins
400g skinless, boneless salmon fillets
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
100g snow peas
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
125g Brie cut into thin wedges
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped dill
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced.
Line an over tray with baking paper. Place salmon on baking tray and cover with another sheet. Bake for 10 mins until just cooked. Set aside to cool.
2. Place asparagus and snow peas in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 1 min then lift out and plunge into iced water. Stand for 1 - 2 mins then drain and pat dry.
3. Cut asparagus and snow peas in half lengthways. Break salmon into large flakes and arrange on a platter with asparagus, snow peas, beans and brie.
4. For the dressing, combine ingredients well and season to taste. Drizzle over salad and serve.
Tomato and Olive Salad
serves 6 preparation 10 mins
6 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 small red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp chopped parsely
1/4 cup pitted green olives, halved
2 tbsp each Red wine vinegar and olive oil
Arrange tomato slices on a serving platter and top with onion. Scatter parsley and olives.
Drizzle vinegar and oil over the salad, season with salt and pepper to taste.
It Starts With A Decision
Wednesday, 17, October, 2012
I work with many clients who come to me when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
They come expecting me to 'fix them' or to give them the 'magical secret' of weight loss.
First we take a comprehensive medical and lifestyle history and I explain the benefits of being fitter, how great it feels living a more vibrant life and why Body Composition matters more than 'weight loss'.
I also emphasise that it is far easier to set up your environment to support your health and fitness goals, rather than to rely on will-power alone.
The truth is, no one is motivated all the time.
And you can't out-train a bad diet.
Then we get to work.
The MET Fitness 6 Week Challenge gets you thinking about how you nourish your body and you learn how much you are able to influence your body toward a healthier state.
Managing blood sugar levels, the amount of sleep you get and how much exercise you do all impact the way your body uses and stores energy.
Most people want to see results in a week and I remind them that it's a 6 Week Challenge for a reason. You WILL notice significant and predictable results, and changes to your body, based on your commitment to the program.
This program teaches you HOW to structure three healthy meals each day and gives you the skills to make healthy decisions at parties, dining out, other situations that life inevitably brings.
If you have been overweight for a long time, you may have tried loads of diets, programs, pills, shakes and found that none of it worked.
This is NOT a diet.
Dieting is unsustainable and leads to even greater weight gains once you 'go off' the diet, as you have trained your metabolism to store fat rather than burn fat.
Remember that Magical Secret I was talking about?
Well here it is - you are the product of your habits and behaviours.
What you do every day leads to results over time.
Eating for reasons other than hunger creates results that show up in your body. Driving to work to sit at a desk, driving home to sit on the couch will also lead to predictable results.
Including fresh vegetables and adequate protein in every meal, going for a walk every day, doing some basic strength exercises a few times a week will also produce predictable physical, mental and emotional results.
Let's be clear, if you are unhappy with yourself, losing weight will not make you happy.
Be happy now - and from there take the necessary steps towards your health and fitness goal.
Set up your life to meet your goals, surround yourself with people who value their health and fitness and start to think of your health as a precious gift you give yourself.
It starts with a decision. It starts with you.
And when you need to check in, be accountable or simply outsource your motivation, I'm here to help.
Make the Change that Makes the Difference
Friday, 05, October, 2012
Starting a training program can seem daunting at the beginning, there is a lot to learn about the exercise techniques, how to perform each movement, even how to breathe for optimal results.
Your body may move in ways you have not experienced before and you may feel uncertain, even anxious about what you are being asked to do.
Training with MET Fitness is more than just moving your arms and legs about and calling it exercise; our programs are designed to improve your strength and posture and teach you to be more conscious of how you move in your training session and in everyday life.
We often dissociate physical activity from our thoughts and feelings, but as many MET Fitness clients will attest, they notice profound changes in the way they think and feel in the whole of their lives, as a direct result of participation in their training program.
The word whole comes from the same root as the word health and by inquiring into deeper causes of our health problems, not âwhatâ but how we eat, drink, exercise and go about living our lives, we give ourselves the ability to influence our health in a profound and lasting way.
Increased personal neglect contributes to increased reliance on symptomatic âfixesâ such as drugs or surgery. What is required are new ways of thinking, feeling and being in our bodies with an awareness that we operate as whole rather than a collection of our parts.
Criticism vs Cooperation
By confronting learning opportunities with wonder instead of fear and being comfortable with the idea of not knowing while we are learning, we give ourselves the space to observe, receive feedback and alter our habitual patterns, creating new ways of moving and being.
We usually think that controlling ourselves is the best way to effect changes in our lives or improve ourselves, when what is needed most is cooperation.
Overemphasis on knowing, as opposed to learning, makes looking good in the short term more important that being good in the long term.
A new perspective is required.
Cooperating with ourselves
At MET Fitness we focus on deep learning on a physical level that allows us to embody new capabilities for effective action and movement. This embodiment is a developmental process that continues over time, in a continuous cycle of action and practice.
The impatient quest for improvement often results in superficial changes that leave our deeper patterns untouched. Conscious action is critical for transforming our will, thinking, emotions and body; we must be fully conscious to be fully effective for deeper learning.
Deeper learning often produces fewer obvious consequences for long periods of time.
In order to embody new competencies we have to practice continuously for periods of no apparent improvement. In Chinese, learning is expressed by two symbols: the first stands for Take In, the second stands for Practice Constantly. In the West, we are so focused on results that we have little time for Practice Constantly.â
Learning is a lifelong process that doesnât end when we leave school; it can feel dangerous or scary not knowing and many people prefer the safety of this, rather than questioning, exploring or experiencing anything new in their lives.
We humans are complex beings, we need to experience the unity of our system as a whole, working with our breath and being fully present in our body, to experience conscious activation of the correct muscles for the job.
What we tell ourselves about that feeling can stop us in our tracks and prevent us learning something new and delightful about ourselves, our bodies and our relationships.
There are no mistakes with learning. You cannot do it wrong. Just keep going.
5 Super-Annoying Things About The Gym
Saturday, 01, September, 2012
(with thanks to our Guest Writer, Clara Richman for a-musing on her gym-experience :)
1. Membership Hassles
2. Pushy Sales Rep
3. The People
5. Inconvenient Bathroom Locations
Clara is from Minneapolis, MN, raised by parents at the opposite end of the education spectrum: her father, an elementary school principal; and her mother, a middle school substitute teacher. Now living in San Diego, Clara draws on that dichotomy when writing about education.
5 Weight Loss Myths - busted.
Tuesday, 07, August, 2012
'Losing weight' is something I hear from almost every client I work with. My goal is to educate them on the difference between losing weight and losing fat.
Many people have forgotten about food as nourishment and prefer to base their choices on taste, comfort and habit.
The long-term results of these choices can be seen in ever increasing waistlines and diabetes diagnosis.
To clear up some myths about losing weight and 'dieting', here are my responses to comments I have had from actual clients.
1. "Some people are 'naturally thin'."
Firstly, how thin you are is not a determinant of how healthy you are but most people over 35 are interested in dropping a few kilos or fitting back into clothes they used to wear.
Follow a 'naturally thin' person around for an entire day, better yet, over the course of a week and you will notice how they balance energy intake & expenditure as well as the choices they make over that time.
Genetics does play a part in what body type you inherit - about 20%. So you have an 80% contribution to make.
Ask yourself how often you do the following:
eat in your car
eat walking around (for example, at the shops)
eat in front of the television.
These are all examples of unconcious eating and contribute significantly to weight gain.
And after age 35, good luck with relying on your 'natural thinness'!
2. "I don't eat very much but I can't lose weight."
I hear this a lot and the first thing I ask clients to do is to keep a Food Diary each week, to get accurate information about what they are eating and drinking.
Most of us underestimate what we eat & drink and overestimate how much activity we do.
We're optimists that way :-)
Usually, if the client is honest with themselves and me, we will see where and when they are eating more than they need or making poor nutritional choices. We make adjustments to give the body the nourishment it needs and they find they are not hungry and start to lose weight.
Refusal to keep a Food Diary is a refusal to ackowledge the reality of your diet and is a red flag that you will have trouble changing the situation.
Get the information, deal with your reality.
Of course if you really are eating too little and eating the wrong kind of food, you may also believe myth #3...
3. "I have a slow metabolism. "
This is about body composition; having a higher body fat percentage than is considered in the healthy range will have a lot to do with how your metabolism works.
Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR and lean body weight, are more accurate indicators of how much energy you need to take in, than the amount of exercise you do.
BMR is the amount of calories you would need if you were ill in bed all day, just to keep all of your bodily processes working.
Lean body weight is your muscles, bones and organs, all the tissues of the body that are not body fat.
Here's an example of how BMR and calories work:
Person A weighs 80kg and has 20% body fat.
This means she has 64kg of muscles, bones, brain & organs that require energy.
She needs 1523 calories per day to maintain regular bodily processes.
Person B also weights 80kg and has 30% body fat.
This means she has 56kg of muscles, bones, brain & organs that require energy.
She needs 1333 calories per day to maintain regular bodily processes.
Person A NEEDS to eat around 200 calories a day MORE!
Merely cutting back on calories will force your body to conserve fat, refusing to release it as an energy source, and of course drastic calorie reduction is unsustainable.
When you go back to 'normal eating' you have just trained your body to store fat even more efficiently thereby starting the whole cycle again.
4. Bodies respond differently to food.
No. No they don't. Some bodies may be more efficient at storing excess energy as fat due to the way the metabolism has been trained, but the human body responds to macronutrients, with the same physiological processes.
When you eat protein, carboydrate and fat, your internal chemical processes are the same as the next guy or gal.
Carbohydrate in particular is stored very efficiently as fat as it is converted to glucose and the body will always use carbohydrate as fuel first. The body will only burn fat when there is no glucose available.
Essentially the body is a carboyhdrate/glucose/fat storage environment OR a carbohydrate-free/fatty acid/fat burning environment.
5. "I've tried everything and nothing works for me."
There are many fads, restrictions and just plain crazy diets and other products that promise you instant weight loss.
Many of them contain the small print "when used in conjunction with a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise." (hint: save your money and follow this advice)
I'm sorry to break it to you but they just don't work, mostly because they are unsustainable over the long term.
I would respectfully suggest you may have tried everything - for a week or two, whereas it takes your body at least 4 - 6 weeks to make the necessary metabolic adjustments for fat loss.
For more information on how to create a sustainable eating plan that works for YOUR life, contact email@example.com
Join our next 6 Week Challenge for a fully-supported change program that will teach how HOW to eat - for life!
Thursday, 21, June, 2012
Imagine A Woman In Love With Herself
Friday, 15, June, 2012
The past few weeks I have been posting stanzas to my Facebook page, from the gorgeous poem "Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself", by Patricia Lynn Reilly, encouraging women to celebrate and embrace our wisdom and wholeness.
Women and men alike have responded enthusiastically to the poem, as different stanzas resonated, at various times, relevant to life situations and experiences.
Here it is in it's entirety...
"Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.
Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past's influence.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.
Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough just as it is.
Who celebrates her body's rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.
Imagine a woman who embraces her sexuality as her own.
A woman who delights in pleasuring herself.
Who experiences her erotic sensations without shame or guilt.
Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrated the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her precious life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.
Imagine a woman who has access to the full range of human emotion.
A woman who expresses her feelings clearly and directly.
Who allows them to pass through her as gracefully as a breath.
Imagine a woman who tells the truth.
A woman who trusts her experience of the world and expresses it.
Who refuses to defer to the thoughts, perceptions, and responses of others.
Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses.
A woman who produces original creations.
Who refuses to color inside someone elses lines.
Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her own image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.
Imagine a woman who refuses to surrender to gods, gurus, and higher powers.
A woman who has descended into her own inner life.
Who asserts her will in harmony with its impulses and instincts.
Imagine a woman who is interested in her own life.
A woman who embraces her life as teacher, healer, and challenge.
Who is grateful for the ordinary moments of beauty and grace.
Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who trusts her inner sense of what is right for her.
Who refuses to twist her life out of shape to meet the expectations of others.
Imagine a woman who participates in her own life.
A woman who meets each challenge with creativity.
Who takes action on her own behalf with clarity and strength.
Imagine a woman who has crafted a fully formed solitude.
A woman who is available to herself.
Who chooses friends and lovers with the capacity to respect her solitude.
Imagine a woman who refuses to diminish her life so others will feel better.
A woman who brings the fullness of her years, experience and wisdom into each relationship.
Who expects others to be challenged and blessed by her presence in their lives.
Imagine a woman who assumes equality in her relationships.
A woman who no longer believes she is inferior to men and in need of their salvation.
Who has taken her rightful place beside them in the human community.
Imagine a woman who refuses to use her precious life-energy managing crisis and conflict.
A woman whose relationships deepen in satisfaction and contentment without depleting her.
Who chooses friends and lovers with the necessary skills to navigate through the challenges of life.
Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.
Imagine a woman who has relinquished the desire for intellectual safety and approval.
A woman who makes a powerful statement with every word she speaks, every action she takes.
Who asserts to herself the right to reorder the world.
Imagine a woman whohas grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her own life and capacities.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.
Imagine yourself as this woman."