Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Size Healthy

Nataisha Ramirez - Size Healthy LLC

Nataisha Ramirez

“October 25, 2005 I made a decision to live a healthier life physically but I did not know that it would be a mental journey from the inside out.”

I traveled the world as a child because of my military father. I came into this world a “big girl” weighing 9lbs.at birth and I started to gain from there. It started slowly at first but it got out of hand as I got older. Weighing over 100lbs. in the 6th grade was a normal weight for me. I had the obesity gene from both sides of my family. My mother was a big girl at a young age however she lost her weight and my father’s side of the family also has a strong obesity gene.

Throughout high school I was still overweight, weighing 230lbs. for my 5’9 frame. I was an active teenager but it seemed like I just could not get the weight off. Did I suffer from a slow metabolism?  Perhaps. No one knows because back then parents didn’t take you to the Doctor for being overweight they just withheld food from you and placed you on a diet. Conversations and facts around obesity wasn’t high in the 80’s and 90’s either.

No one ever said anything about my weight. I was always told “you’re tall, you carry your weight well”. Carrying your weight well doesn’t help you get healthy; it keeps you stagnant because you think it’s okay to be that size. My weight got out of hand when I got married. I was borderline 300lbs. and when I became pregnant, it crept up to 330lbs. I lost the 30lbs. pregnancy weight dieting, but it quickly came back. I was trying “this and that” with little exercise involved. Another pregnancy came and once again I was up there and with this pregnancy I gained more because I was eating and not exercising or exercising very little. I don’t know how and when but I hit an all time high of 408lbs. and that’s when I said enough was enough. October 25, 2009 I had the gastric bypass surgery and it has been a journey!

No one told me being healthy was a mental process. They just said I had to lose it physically. Well do you know I couldn’t do it physically without thinking about it mentally? It took 7 years for me to lose half of my weight. Diet, pills and even surgeries are not the best remedies. None of them last without a committed lifestyle change. It took me 4 years to lose 120lbs, which still makes me overweight and borderline obese. I had to change my lifestyle and I am not on a diet. I exercise 6 days a week.  My routine is to give to God first thing in the morning with prayer and then I train my 5 am crew and myself and then I give to the world.

My exercise routine is split up with cardio and strength training but at this juncture in fitness I do more weight lifting and use cardio as my post workout.  My current fitness goal is to build up the muscle in my legs to match my iron diva arms.  I am currently using a Jim Stoppani workout training plan to reach my fitness goal. I have developed a pescatarian lifestyle and have been doing this for 3 years. I am not a junk food eater and have no desire to partake in those things. My go to food when I need something sweet is black bean brownies or a slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.  I don’t believe in restricting my body from nutrients but I do believe in making alternative choices and eating in modification.

One day I had an epiphany that I wanted to help other women lose weight but from the inside out. I personally dealt with a lot of jealousy and insecurity; other women had bodies that looked better than mine. It caused me to have low self esteem; no confidence in myself and always thinking that I am not good enough to be who God says I am. If I was going through this then surely other women were too. I began to pursue and obtained my certifications as a personal trainer through the AFAA and started to help those struggling as I was; with weight-loss. 

As women we are all trying to fit into this one "society says" box, but truthfully God made us all different.

As women we are all trying to fit into this one “society says” box, but truthfully God made us all different.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 NIV)

So, if we are fearfully and wonderfully made why are we gauging our health by a number. Why not gauge it by how we think , how we look and how we feel? You can’t put a number on emotions. Heal-thy is healing of self not the scale, a number or what others say about you. The concept for Size Healthy was created from the thought that we are all a YOUnique Design. On Feb 4, 2012 I launched Size Healthy LLC as a faith based fitness business. I began working with women across the globe by motivating, encouraging and supporting them to attain their desires in weight-loss; giving them the support to become disciplined in their efforts and remain committed to their goals. Size Healthy improves your quality of life through education, physical fitness and building healthy habits. It’s a lifestyle change. We have a support group where we educate YOUnique women on the importance of dealing with the issues of the heart, eating healthy and exercising. We implemented walk to run clinics to help those that desire to run learn how to start. Boot camps are our signature class and we run that in 6 week increments 3 times a week. Individual personal training is provided to women who need that one on one assistance to reach their personal goals. We also provide workout classes at churches.

I speak at churches, empowerment retreats for women, motivate children to be active and encourage women of all ages to get healthy, stay fit and feel sexy. Your health matters and it’s your choice to do something about it.

On October 25, 2012 I reached my goal. I lost half of my weight! I went from 408lbs. to 200lbs. and the process has helped me to gain my confidence back. Gain my life back. It’s never too late to take your health back. If it doesn’t challenge you, it will not change you.

Take things one day at a time. Shift your focus from your weight to simply being healthy and you’ll win every time!  You can visit us at www.sizehealthylifestyle.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/sizehealthylifestyle

 
Nataisha Ramirez
Founder Size Healthy LLC
YOUnique Design

1, 2, 3 Lift!

For many women, and some men, targeting the butt during exercise is priority. From an anatomical standpoint, the butt consists of three muscles known as the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. When you want to create a fuller, rounder butt, you need to work these muscles with weight training exercises. You can use free weights and the weight of your body to achieve this goal.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

  • REDUCE your hips and thighs, and melt away those stubborn saddlebags
  • SHAPE your gluteal muscles to get you a perfectly round derriere
  • LIFT your bum so it looks great from every angle
Reduce, shape and lift your bum with the following exercises:
1. Lunges – Performed correctly, the lunge is excellent for reshaping the butt. Options include static, dynamic or step-ups.
2. Donkey Kicks (or kickbacks) are an excellent butt isolation movement.
3. Squats (or split squats) are a staple!
4. Butt Lifts – are very effective and work the hamstrings and lower back as well.
Wonderbum Womens Lift

Wonderbum – Women’s Lift

You may also wish to consider undergarments that lift and enhance your derriere! Having never tried one of these before  we decided to try Rounderwear.  Being a bit of a tom boy myself I was drawn to wonderbum women’s lift and couldn’t wait to give it a try. We ordered online and it arrived in a couple of days! Stress free! I am a firm believer in clean eating and exercise to deliver my fitness goals and I didn’t have much faith in the undergarment industry to deliver results BUT wouldn’t you know… it actually works! What a pleasant surprise! It took all of my hard work and lifted it just a little bit higher. Happy days are here again!  I’m no longer a skeptic. We’re still working hard at the gym but it’s nice to know that there’s a little extra support there when I need it!

Thanks Rounderwear your product kicks ass!

Your friends at Socially Fit.

http://www.rounderwear.com

The Misfitstudio

Today I am the owner and creator of MISFITSTUDIO. It’s a unique Pilates, fusion and yoga studio in Toronto. My interests lay in building awareness, love and building a community with like minded healthy individuals. My current projects on the go, beside running a studio, managing a full and amazing staff, creating classes, playlists and running an Art Collective; I am writing a fusion teacher training program.

I am grateful to have been raised in a loving and artistically supportive environment. From an early age I showed a deep interest in art and dance, and that was never questioned. Following both through my childhood and teen years, I continue to this day. It  has always been celebrated. Health has always been a priority in my home; eating well, then rushing off to ballet, rhythmic gymnastics and expressive movement classes were a part of most evenings. I have always been physically active. I actually didn’t think about it, other than I needed to move every day; that was just a beautiful given and amen for it. My life has organically flowed from dance to yoga, to Pilates, to teaching, to studio owner.

Movement as meditation is my mantra.

I believe we could all benefit from a little endorphin kick everyday; a reconnect to yourself; an untangling and a quieting that happens when we focus on just one thing. I value this so much. It is what I encourage every student to attempt to do knowing the positive affects on my body, mind and spirit. I see my physical practice as my faith. I have an innate desire to move, to breathe and to flow with grace.

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I am thankful that I have the most incredibly supportive system around me. My family and friends have been with me on this journey from the very beginning. They constantly remind me of love in the world; of devotion and pure support. I am grateful every day for them and their true belief in me and my vision. Everyday is a lesson; an unknown. The surprise of it keeps me guessing and I have acquired skills that I never would have imagined. I take it all in stride and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow and be a better version of myself. I see each day as an accomplishment and take great pride in what my body can do as opposed to what it can’t.

I wake up and meditate to set my day. Then I practice a little on the floor beside my bed; yoga; stretching and breathing; then I’m good to go for the day! My morning shake is seasonal fruit, a scoop of protein powder and a handful of Bcomplex, omega 369. I take a high performance multivitamin and I drink magnesium before bed. I eat tons of fresh vegetables, delicious salads, quinoa, seeds and nuts. I love me some good dark chocolate!

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What if today is it?  What if today was the last day? I would like to learn more about the aging body. It’s my current focus. As my mother grows older I want to know how to offer a positive support for her and her generation so I’ll keep working toward this effort. I learned a very difficult lesson as a young girl and it taught me that you just never know when life will end. So I urge you to make the most of each day. Feel good, smile and glow from the inside. The only way to be inspired is to feel inspired, and moving every day contributes to that in a tremendous way.

Community is a massively important part of my life. I would like to take this time to thank friends, fellow teachers, mentors, students and family for contributing to the endless supply of positive energy in the Pilates, dance and Yoga community in Toronto!

I believe anyone can achieve their dreams! I am living mine and each day I am grateful for the love, lesson and unknown. The journey can be up and down, yet full of beauty and inspiration. Follow your dreams!

I want to make myself better tomorrow than I am today.

ImageSean has served almost 20 years in the United States Marine Corps as a fighter pilot and a test pilotflying 28 different types of aircraft. He’s a father and husband and has been blessed beyond all he deserves. He’s passionate about fitness and health-taking a holistic approach to fitness and exercise with focus on endurance athletics. You can find him on Twitter at Sean Garick@push_ur_limits and on the web at pushurlimits.com. 

 

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Now how do I tell you everything about me in a few short lines? No, I can’t, no way. But I can provide a few highlights and tell you about some of the things which matter most. Let’s start with the amazing…  

 

One of greatest joys in life is watching someone accomplish something they once thought impossible. It’s amazing and life altering- to realize that there really are no limits to what you can do. I love to be a part of that. We live in a world of amazing people. People overcoming every type of obstacle imaginable; some are physical, some emotional, some mental. The people who are doing this have one thing in common- they believe! They may not have always believed, often it was someone else who believed in them first, but they believe now.  

 

“Every great achievement begins with the decision to try.” 

I’m constantly in awe of what people are capable of when they believe and apply. Of course, I’m also amazed by what others can’t accomplish because they just don’t believe it’s possible.I CAN’T are the words I absolutely hate more than any others! I’ve faced these ‘limitations’ myself. When I first joined the Marine Corps I had a group of buddies who invited me to go for a run with them. Then they told me they were going 10 miles. I quickly declined but inside I was astonished. How can someone run that far? I was firmly convinced that there were two kinds of people in this world: those that could run far and those that couldn’t- and I was squarely in the group that couldn’t. I lived with that until I was in my mid-thirties. 

 

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“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves” 

Then I began to wonder…hmmmm…what if...I wonder if I could add a little distance. I began incrementally with a little, then a little more. I remember the first time I ran 7 miles, then the first time I ran 10. I began to believe. Then eventually the Marine Corps Marathon. Now, remember my mindset at that time 26.2 miles was paramount to walking on the Moon. I mean, it was that far out there. It was an impossibility and yet, I did it. I had achieved the impossible. Here I was a pretty smart guy, a Marine and a fighter pilot and yet I had lived with a SELF-MADE limit for over 35 years. I had limited myself for absolutely no reason. I had held myself back. I had diminished how full my life could be. I had done this to myself. I vowed never to do it again. 

 

“Do not fear death. Fear an unlived life.” 

There are much better examples of this than mine. Just last weekend I met a Marine who told me about the number of screws and metal parts in his right leg- he’d been injured in combat. He and I met while both doing some open water swim training in the bay- training for his Half Ironman that he was doing the very next weekend. Awesome! I am fully convinced now that all limits can be overcome. And more importantly they can be overcome by anyone….anyone who is willing. We have the power in ourselves- the power to limit ourselves or the power to live an unlimited life!  

 

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t. You are probably right.” 

I love optimism. I have no room in my life for negative thoughts or negative people. I believe that attitude is contagious. The old saying, “You are either affecting or infecting others” rings very true. Motivation, positive thinking, and encouragement– these things are absolutely crucial to your mental state and your ability to achieve success. And these things have a shelf-life. They are fleeting! The book I read says ‘renew your mind daily’. It takes constant replenishment and that replenishment takes effort. We must work to remain positive and motivated. I love quotes and inspirational sayings- if you follow me on Twitter you already know this. These things replenish me. They renew me and my commitment. Yet another reason that I love Socially_Fitthe constant motivation and encouragement.  

 

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Athletes amaze me. I’m addicted to their inner strength. They get it, when the rest of the population doesn’t. Every damn day!That motto, that mindset. Regardless of the circumstances, the weather, the mood- they get up and go do their thing. Run, swim, bike, lift, Zumba, Crossfit, it doesn’t matter. That mindset translates into everything else in their life- the ability to push through the pain and to get up when you can’t. Because let’s be honest, life is going to knock us on our ass sometimes. How long we stay there is up to us and is often more a mental battle than a physical one. Every athlete knows it’s better to get up, get going and get it done. Life is always better when we do this rather than just lying there feeling sorry for ourselves. And similarly the day is always better when we get up and get that workout done. Love it.  

 

Balance: 

I am a big believer in well-rounded fitness and truly love all forms of exercise. In training myself to become a better athlete it didn’t take long before I expanded my view to include all the aspects of what healthy really means. The ONLY view that’s acceptable is a holistic view. We’ve all seen that guy in the gym that looks like the Hulk above the waist but is standing on toothpicks! Or the opposite version of the ultracyclist with amazing legs but looks like a 10 year boy above the waist. This imbalance is present in anyone who only focuses on ‘one’ thing. They develop imbalances in muscle strength. Different parts of the body compensate and stress is placed on parts that weren’t made for it. The eventual result is injury. Balance is the key to our health and I believe in holistic view of muscle development with an emphasis on core-related fitness.  

 

But we can expand this holistic concept a little more. For example, great exercise without proper nutrition will result in ceilings on our achievement as well.As I began to move into multi-hour workout sessions and multiple workouts per day,nutrition became a more important part of my life. You cannot train at high levels without making nutrition one of the pillars upon which your fitness is built. Now it’s about focusing on the various aspects of nutrition: pre-workout fueling, fueling during the workout, recover fueling and getting the body ready for the next session- which many times is only a few hours away. I get so tired of eating! Very rarely is eating for enjoyment- it’s about feeding the machine- about fueling the beast- making it better, stronger and ready for the next challenge.  

 

Now, if we dare to expand this concept a little more to account for our life as a whole, it’s easy to understand how all things need to be in balance– God, family, fitness/health, rest/recovery, work/career, seriousness, silliness, leadership, followership, father/mother, son/daughter, etc. If any of these grows too large individually at the expense of the others we will have issues sooner or later. We are made to be multi-dimensional- we can’t achieve our full potential living a one dimensional life. If we fail to achieve balance at any of these levels we will undermine our goals and will not reach our potential. Again, balance is the key.  

 

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“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” 

People often ask me how do I run and bike for hours at a time. What do you think about all that time? Why do you do it? Truthfully, inside me there’s a celebration going on! Every workout, every mile is an expression of gratefulness. There’s so many who would love to be doing what I’m doing and they no longer have the chance. I run because I can. And I run for all those that can’t. 

 

And my favorite feeling? Post-workout, laying on the ground, covered in sweat, too tired to move. The body completely drained of everything it had. You gave it all. There’s nothing left. That feeling of complete and utter satisfaction. The body is empty- but the heart, the heart if full!  

 

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Final Thoughts: 

ImageI want to make myself better tomorrow than I am today. I want to attain heights I’ve never reached. I want to inspire and help others to do the same. But I’m also at the point where I want it to be about more than just me. I want to do more. That’s why I was very excited to find the Charity Miles app. It’s an app that tracks your cycling and running and then a sponsor will donate to the charity you choose. It’s an awesome example of something that is ‘right’. A way to give and a way to help by doing what you were going to do anyway. There are some great charities and great sponsors. I run and cycle for the Wounded Warrior Project and PROMAX Nutrition donates for me. It’s a great relationship. I would like to find more ways to do similar things like this. If you know any, please let me know. 


Watermelon – Fresh Fruit Popsicles

You can replace the watermelon puree with honeydew melon or cantaloupe puree. Use any fresh organic fruit you have on hand. We used contrasting colors because it makes the popsicle look delicious!  Don’t forget to use seedless watermelon.

3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 peach or nectarine, diced small
handful fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree it in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

Set out about 1 dozen popsicle molds (amount needed will vary depending on size of molds). Fill each one with the chopped fresh fruit. Then pour in the watermelon puree until each mold is full to the top. Place a popsicle stick into each one. Place into your freezer and freeze for about 6 to 8 hours.

When ready to serve, run the popsicle molds under warm water for a few seconds and then pull each one out and enjoy. Summer here we come!!

Your friends at Socially Fit

http://www.nourishingmeals.com

I am a Body of Work in Progress

My life is a happy balance ~ Stephanie Joanne

My life is a happy balance ~ Stephanie Joanne

Describing myself and what I do is always the most challenging task. To be very honest, the simple truth is I am a personal trainer. I have been blessed with some great exposure and tv/media opportunities which have opened up some doors for me. The one thing I’m not afraid of is walking towards those doors and making things happen. I really believe that there are no chance meetings. Keeping this in mind, I am always thinking of ways to collaborate with those around me. Currently I am working with a few companies in marketing and the exposure side of their business. Aligning myself with key organizations such as The Treadmill Factory has my time tied up these days.

I was brought up in Europe. Sports and play were daily activities. I did it all. My parents pretty much encouraged me to play and do as much as my spare time could allow. Following a full extracurricular program my memories are of my father playing games outside with me that he played during his childhood. My big brother Jonathan always included me in games that he played with his friends and I played OBA (Ontario Basketball) until I was seventeen. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure that it’s because of this early interaction that I turned into quite the tomboy and sport fanatic. I also joined a gym with my Mom at thirteen years of age and I’ve been in love with fitness ever since. It’s like brushing my teeth. Something feels terribly wrong if I don’t move.

The hardest obstacle for me thus far has been trying to figure out who I am in this role as a “fitness expert”. I spend most of my time with media related obligations and in meetings. Yet somehow all I want to do is wear my tights and workout. Finding balance and making sure I enjoy the process of creating my brand has been my primary focus. My boyfriend frequently reminds me to stop and be grateful for all that I have already accomplished before looking at what is next. I need to be constantly reminded of this.

I keep my workout routine and supplements simple. I box twice a week, hot yoga twice a week and train at the gym three times. I take Cygen Powergreens21 and Cygen Fish Oil. I am obsessed with the new victory bars, my OhYeah and Quest bars have always been a staple. I am in love with this new Yoga place I found. The girl teaching is the best I have come across in YEARS!! Her name is Karin (from YogaTree) and she has me determined to get into all these poses I would have never thought possible. Bending legs behind my head, balance and hand/head stands…all that good stuff!

I have a great team of individuals cheering me on! My Dad offers a welcomed thumbs up and tells his little girl he is proud at times when I feel like I am still that 7 year old girl who does not have a clue what she is doing or where she is going. In reality this is the truth. The older I get the more I realize that “adults” as we knew it when we were kids, don’t quite have it all together like we thought they did. My brother is that guy who will always take care of his little sis; pick me up when and if I fall kind of brother. It sure makes life a lot easier knowing that even when the rest of the world thinks “you’ve made it” on the inside you still need to know that if time ever came and you’re about to fall, that someone’s going to catch you. That person would be my brother, hands down. My best friend Sabrina is the one I literally speak to for at least an hour a day. She is the one who knows all the details. It’s like a very attractive human diary. Then the man behind the woman is Sheldan. Most days after I’m finished running my business and taking on the world, he gets the cranky version of me. The version most would not believe existed. The big joke is that the Stephanie Joanne turns back into the Stephanie Beekhuysen (which is my real name) and all I want to do is sulk and get back rubs. He deals with me and he supports me, which gets him major points all day long. Life really is all about relationships. As long as I value my relationships and the time I spend with the people I love, everything else will fall into place…. I hope!

I'm always going to be Daddy's little girl ~ Stephanie Joanne

I’m always going to be Daddy’s little girl ~ Stephanie Joanne

If remaining committed to fitness is a challenge for you and you’re trying to figure out what’s the best path to success I really think it’s time to start looking inward for the solution. Too often people trust what “experts” have to say and they get caught up in a war of conflicting information. When I get stuck I turn off my cell phone; I turn away from the computer and I sit with a pen and paper. It may take me 5 minutes or it may (and often does) take me all day and night; but I take that much needed time to re-group and journal what it is that I want and more so why I want it. I take the time to answer the important questions, “What does it mean to me? What do I have to do to make my goals happen?” Then I act on it. I strongly suggest that you do the same.

Throughout this entire journey I have found that there really is nothing more important than my time and energy. I have had the fancy job and the fancy title and I reached a place in life where I had to let it go. No regrets! Now, I have the energy to do everything that I am passionate about in my own time.

My message is simple, take control of your life.

Twitter @stefjoanne or www.stephaniejoanne.com

We Are What We Lift

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts

There are certain leg exercises which will help you to build muscular thighs and lower body. Thighs are the most powerful muscles of the body, hence they are also capable of great endurance. Therefore, training your legs is also very demanding. It is often observed many people often skip training their legs or do not give sufficient time and attention to it. The leg workouts for mass are those which train both the thigh muscles as well as the hamstring muscles. At the same time, they should also include calf exercises. It is important to understand that leg training is way more demanding than training other parts of the body.

Leg Exercises for building Mass

Before we go to leg workouts for mass, let us see a few leg and thigh exercises, which will help you in your endeavor.

Squats

Basic barbell squats is one of the best leg exercises for mass. However, it is important to perform the exercise properly to get the right results from this exercise. When you do the exercise, your toes need to be duck-toeing out about 20 degrees and your knees should be above your ankles.

Hack Squats

This exercise works the quadriceps. You do not have to do many number of sets, but the ones you do should be done in full controlled repetitions. If you suffer from knee problems,  you should not do this exercise. You should try machine assisted squats instead. The position of your feet should be the same, as mentioned in the previous exercise.

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts

This exercise is very taxing on your hamstring muscles, hence you will have to make sure you do not use very heavy weights, you may injure yourself. The distance between your feet should be shoulder width distance. When you do the exercise, your back should be straight and legs strong. Keeping your legs strong will protect your lower back. While doing the exercise, if you feel uncomfortable in your knees or your lower back, then you can bend your knees a little. Be mindful of the weight being used.

Calf Raises

If you want to build the most difficult muscles of the body, then you will have to make either sitting calf raises or standing calf raises a part of your leg workouts. It will help you to add inches to your calves and tone them.

Lunges

This exercise is a must for any leg workout be it for weight loss or for mass. It works the front of the thighs and the gluteal muscles. While doing this exercise, you will have to ensure, that the position of the knee (of the leading leg) when bent, is exactly above the ankle. Both your legs should be strong, when you do this exercise.

Leg Workout for building Mass

It is important to note that this is just an example workout. You will have to modify the workout as per your needs. At the same time, do not forget to warm up and stretch before the workout.

Sample Exercise

Barbell Squats (Set/Repetitions)

1/25
2 /12
3 /10
Hack Squats
1 / 12
2/ 10
Leg Press
1/ 15
2/ 12
Stiff Legged Dead Lift
1/ 20
2/ 12
Calf Raises
1/25
2/15
When you start working your legs, you will have to ensure you keep changing your leg workouts every 6 to 7 weeks, as the body gets used to the workout and desired results become a distant dream. Along with these exercises, you can also include some cardiovascular exercises, running and jogging, step aerobic exercises, etc. into your workout. They will also help in strengthening your legs. See you at the gym!

Your friends at Socially Fit

http://www.buzzle.com