Posts Tagged ‘body image’

My journey with having an eating disorder and fitness

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and talk about something that those with an eating disorder never really feel that comfortable talking about…and that is that we have or had an eating disorder. No, I am not a therapist of any kind so the opinions expressed are of my own experience with having an eating disorder from the age of about 19 years old to about 28 years old.

I grew up a tomboy, playing sports all of the time from the age of about 7 to 18. Then something called “real life” happened and the fairy tales experienced as a child are gone and responsibilities took place. Any pressures or “not so fun” things experienced as a child seemed to surface and they had to be dealt with. Of course as you get older, you become more aware of things and coping mechanisms are created to deal with stressful situations. Some coping mechanisms are healthy such as writing in a  journal, going for a run and talking to others.

I was a quiet child, I know hard to believe if you know me now, but my stress relief as a child was playing, running, pretending I was chasing the bad guy, using my imagination. I was an insecure child who didn’t have the “in” clothes or the “in” haircut, oh and we had little to no money. I went to a school where everyone’s parents were either a doctor or lawyer and my mother was working exceptionally hard to just make sure we had food and a roof over our head.

As a teen, pretending to be who you are not is a lot of hard work and a lot of unwarranted stress.  I was no longer a child though and life super smacked me in the face. I was a grown up and had too much stress thrown my way. So, control for me came at the hands of food and lots of it. I could control what and how much I ate and when I wanted to “release” the fullness and control, I did so.

As time went on, life had it ups and downs, but then I found the fitness track again and the healthy means of controlling my life. I met people who had my same goals in mind, which was living a healthy life by eating right and being active. I talked to people about my journey with food and they did not judge, they listened and some could actually relate.

I believe my unhealthy journey with food and the on-going battle with food and stress in my life unknowingly created a willful, determined and strong mind that to this day helps me overcome things by way of literally working out the problem instead of eating it away. My workouts are not unhealthy, meaning that I don’t for 2-3 hours at a time running, doing weights, etc… I am on a schedule and if I have to veer from that schedule for some reason, I make sure that I hold myself accountable to doing something active the next day.

It works for me to say, “A healthy mind is essential for a healthy body”, so I have committed myself to eating well, working out at least 5 days a week, associating with healthy, like minded people and eliminating as much stress from my life that I have control over.

If you can relate to any of this, then don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to help people on their journey to having a healthier, active and happier life.  I am proud to say that I am 10 years “clean” so I must be doing something right.

Becoming the Real You…a Lifestyle Change

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I have had a lot of people come to me wanting to change the way they eat, workout, and go about their daily life.  They want to make a complete lifestyle change.  These people used to be like me.  The Jo-Anne Brandes I used to know was overweight by about 100 pounds, was lazy, didn’t workout, ate a lot of fast food and loved drinking soda.  The Jo-Anne Brandes I know now is the true me.  I do not eat fast food anymore, I cut out red meat completely, I do not drink soda, I lost over 100 pounds, and I enjoy exercise in all forms.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I will still have a dessert once in a while because I sure do love chocolate and there are days that I just don’t feel like exercising but I make up for it because I have made a lifestyle change.

I have talked to many people who log everything they eat on myfitnesspal.com or livestrong.com and that is great.  I have done it, trust me!  How are you going to learn how to figure out what to eat if you do not track your calories?  The P90X and INSANITY Nutrition Guide are there to guide you for that reason.  Every workout program from Beachbody comes with a detailed plan so you can learn how to eat right.  Yes, in the beginning you will be weighing your portions, tracking your calories, and it will be a bear.  I understand, I have been there.  You will wonder to yourself how on earth you can do this for every meal for the rest of your life.  Relax, you won’t have to.  Just like anything new to you it takes practice.  After you do it for a while you will learn it.  Eventually you will understand what is a normal portion size and how many carbs and proteins you need in each meal and you won’t need to track it.  Remember, you learned how to eat poorly over a long period of time so learning the right way will take a bit of time.  It is ok.

The same goes with your workouts.   For example, say you are starting with TurboFire, you are going to be a bit lost watching Chalene jumping around the screen.  I was very lost, I am so uncoordinated.  After you do the workouts for a few days (or weeks in my case) then you will adjust and you will have it down pat.  You will get the hang of it and you will know exactly what you are doing.  You will probably even start inviting friends over and laugh at them being as lost as you were.  It just takes time.

The bottom line is to not be discouraged.  Do not give up so quickly.  There are a lot of folks in your position and they are all struggling.  I am available and will be happy to work with you.  All the people on my team will be happy to encourage and motivate you.  We offer free fitness coaching and have a great support group on Facebook also that we would love you to join.  Just send me an email, friend me on Facebook, or contact me here.  It is no bother at all, I would really love helping you and my teammates would to.

Who Loses Weight Faster? Men or Women?

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Men are bigger and have more muscle than women. Why? Could it possibly be due to a certain hormone called testosterone? Yes. Men are genetically engineered, made, designed to have a higher percentage of muscle and less fat. Why would this matter? Because these factors keep men fit and allow them to eat more calories.

Women, not having hardly close to the amount of testosterone as men have, and for good reason, need to build more muscle and get their engine revving by picking up some weights, start pumping and get moving. Women will increase their muscle mass and decrease stored fat by doing strength training a minimum of two times a week.

Benefits of strength training, for both men and women, is building muscle mass and it will help burn more calories. Strength training will also prevent osteoporosis by strengthening the bones. Strengthening of the bones is particularly important to women, because women are more apt than men are to having osteoporosis.

Women tend to gain their weight below the waist (think hips and thighs) “pear shaped”, while men tend to gain weight in the middle (oh those dang “beer bellies”) “apple shaped”. Seeing as most fat is deposited in these specific areas of men and women, the most concern comes from the fat stored in the belly, due to this causing a higher risk for developing heart disease.

On average men have faster metabolisms than women. Men have higher amounts of lean body mass (aka muscle) than women. Due to this lean body mass, the metabolism rate is determined and a body burns more calories due to this lean body mass. More muscle = higher metabolism. Research shows that on average “the metabolism of a man is 5 to 10 percent higher than that of a woman of the same weight and height.”

On average, women tend to be physically less active than men.  The American Journal of Physiology found that women burn an average of 16% fewer daily calories than men. A women’s resting metabolic rate was 6% lower than a man’s and the calories burned during physical activity were 37% lower for a woman than that of a man.

Here is the skinny, eat right and keep moving. A majority of men will surpass women in weight loss even if they are on the same workout regime (program), but women should not be discouraged with the efforts they are giving towards their weight loss goals because people are different and the dedication you put forth in your program will have positive results for you in the end.

Good luck.

Are You Getting The “Support” You Need During Your Workout?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Consider some of the programs that are being done (P90x, Insanity, TurboFire) or maybe just everyday athletics like running, biking, hiking. Have you ever thought about the “support” or lack thereof you are getting from what lies beneath your clothing. Think sport bra, athletic shoes, jock strap??? As a women it is very important to have the right “support”, especially during High Impact activities, which are a majority of what our group concentrates on participating in.

sports braPurchase bras for those activities that specifically are marked for “High Activity” exercise. Depending on your cup size you will either need a Compression bra (A-B cup), Compression/Encapsulation Bra (C-D cup) or a Encapsulation Bra (D-DD cup). The band underneath your chest gives great support so the wider the band the greater the support and having an underwire bra also adds extra support. The shoulder straps should not dig into your shoulder and best to have broader straps for the extra support during High Impact activity. Look for a “wicking” sports bra that will draw the moisture away from your body. Brands like Dri-Fit and CoolMax, which tend to stay away from the cotton material that just absorbs sweat towards your body and traps it in . With wicking material, the bra will dry quicker and you stay cooler. So when it comes to bras think support, support, support and comfort.

nike free shoesShoes are very important and choosing the right pair can minimize knee, hip, back injuries or pain. For High Impact activities where plyometric exercises will be done (P90x, Insanity) or aerobic exercises (TurboFire) it is best to have cross trainers. The benefits of wearing cross trainers during these activities are that these shoes have the side to side support of a tennis shoe, the cushioning heel and flexibility of a running shoe and the extra support under the ball of the foot that is beneficial for most types of aerobic workouts. Of course, if you plan to go out for a run, it would be best to invest in a good running shoe rather than wearing your cross trainers because the support and tread/sole material is specifically engineered different for running just as it is for cross training.

How important is a jock strap during exercise and do you really need it for “support”?  Well, I think in any activity where there is a reasonable risk that the most sensitive organs in a mans body might get injured,  it seems reasonable to be safe and protect your equipment. But some say that the “strap” is passe and so welcome to 2011, the year of the compression shorts. The benefit of the compression short is that is not only keeps everything in place, but also will add support to your buttocks and your upper legs. Best bet and for comfortable fit, without the chaffing, would be the compression shorts.

So remember that if you are working out, especially with High Intensity programs, buy active wear that support your vital parts and will prevent or assist in the prevention of injuries. Have a great workout.

Do Your Measurements Right

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

So the folks at Beachbody posted a video today that I thought was worth posting here for everyone to see.  It shows you how to do all of your measurements correctly.  I thought it was the perfect follow up to my last post about how you should stay off of the scale and measure your success by inches and not pounds.  Watch this video, make sure your are taking your measurements properly and again, stay off the scale.

So grab your measuring tape, your body fat tester, a friend and a notepad and let’s get measuring!

Muscle Does Not Weigh More Than Fat

Friday, June 10th, 2011

I know you hear it all the time, muscle weighs more than fat but that simply isn’t true.  1 lb of fat weighs the same as 1 lb of muscle.  The issue at hand is the density of both materials.  Muscle is more dense than fat and that is what we need to understand here.  Muscle is clearly heavier by volume than fat but as far as weight goes, 1 lb of muscle on the scale is the same as 1 lb of fat on the scale.  Now a 1 lb lump of fat will take up more space, hence, volume, than a five pound lump of muscle.  I hope that makes a bit more sense now.

Picture a person who weighs 130 lbs with 15% body fat, they will look much smaller and leaner than a person at 130 lbs with 30% body fat. They weigh the same but since the fat is big and  lumpy and takes up more volume that person is bigger. Because muscle is more dense than fat the person with less fat and more muscle will look smaller and leaner.

This leads to the bottom line.  Get rid of your scale.  Do not weigh yourself obsessively, it won’t tell the whole truth.  It would do better for your self-confidence and for the truth about how you are doing with your workouts if you take measurements (both body fat and with a tape measure).  Next thing you know you’ll be fitting into those jeans you haven’t worn in a while and you wouldn’t have even expected it.

Go ahead and do your measurements now…go here to do your measurements right.

I am Ying, the other half of Yang

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Hello,


So today was one heck of a struggle getting through my workout. “Boy do I hate working out”. (You will never hear me say that. No matter how hard the workout is.) I, unlike Jo-Anne, never looked like I was unhealthy or overweight, but I sure did struggle with it mentally like most people, especially women do. I battled with my body image for more than 10 years. Always wanting to look that “special way”, but reached a point to where I look damn good and ain’t no one gonna tell me anything different. (Two snaps to the side and ending with a circle.)

I have always been active and encourage others to be as well, not just because it helps people keep up with me, but because it is good for you and keeps you younger. As I get older, I realize that being healthy and active will not only keep me sane, but make me stronger, help me live longer (a goal all people should strive to master) and hopefully not need botox.

So tomorrow is another day, another workout and another day of happiness. Cheers to you and your health.

Michelle