Do you know one of the most important muscles in your body?

Everyone needs to understand their diaphragms importance…..

The importance of this in Pre and Postnatal women is huge, but in reality EVERYONE can benefit from some knowledge of this muscle of MAJOR importance in their body….. The diaphragm. Is yours activated? Can you feel it? 9 out of 10 of us will probably say no. Most of us don’t breathe as we should. If you tend to have tension headaches, tight neck, shoulders, upper back, feel like you can’t catch or take deep breaths, etc more than likely you definitely don’t. The good news is we can learn how to, and if you are pregnant or trying to get there, or even just had a baby and want to work on restrengthening that core then this is  prime time for you to learn! But first lets understand it a little better.

What is the diaphragm?

Our diaphragm is basically one of our main if not the main respiratory muscle (with the external intercostals that help elevate ribs). It attaches at the bottom of the lungs and top of our core structure. It is vital in our breathing process because it acts to pull lungs down to allow the thoracic cavity to open up and fill with air.

The problem is most of us don’t fully engage it with our breathing. When we don’t do this other muscles can overcompensate (like our traps, chest, tva, etc) and cause imbalances/ tightness and make us feel like we cant catch our breath. This also weakens our diaphragm and over time it causes our overall core to be weaker since it acts to hold our core structure together. Without a strong core we can develop back aches, lordosis, poor respiratory and functional performance (breathing and moving with ease) it can also cause dreaded diasistis recti with pregnancy/ and or hernias. Our core is our FOUNDATION!

In pregnancy think of the extra weight you are holding onto, if you’re not able to breathe properly that tension in your chest is going to lead elsewhere. You basically have a weight vest on so learning to breathe to get optimal oxygen consumption can help ease your pregnancy substantially!

The good news is we can learn to activate and use it the right way, BUT understand it wont happen overnight. We have to learn to breathe through it, not hold our stomachs/ core in. We’re all good at sucking in, think about it, I am sure you can name a time or 100 that you have stared in the mirror and drawn your stomach in when you inhaled….. That does nothing for your diaphargm, it actually can make it weaker. We need to focus more on letting it expand when we inhale, then as we exhale our stomachs should look more flat as we push all the air out. Make sense?

So take a minute and breathe. Do you see it going in and out? Or do you see your chest go up and down. Most of us probably see our chest initially. Thats that overcompensating thing I mentioned before, those muscles taking over for the one that should be doing the work. This means we aren’t getting as much air in our lungs and we aren’t working our respiratory system to its potential and possibly causing stresses in other parts of our body (tight neck/ back pain/ hormonal imbalances, etc).

If you see that chest moving I want you to do this. Lay on your back and place one hand on your stomach with knees bent. Lay flat and breathe, lay there until you see that stomach rise with an inhale and flatten with an exhale. Go slow with it. Keep at it until its easy. Once you reach that point do it standing, keep repeating that over time until its easy or second nature rather. Once you get to that point progress to movement such as squats, bending over, running. Breathe through the movement, don’t just keep that core engaged, but breathe through it!

Do this for as long as it takes to get second nature to you. I promise it will benefit you in more ways than you can count. It will relieve stress that we carry in our shoulders, our functional and cardio performance will improve. It can help fix your core if you have diastisis recti, and if you’re pregnant help you sleep and move better along with potentially easier labor.

Stay consistent and just like with everything else the results will come if you do, and speak for themselves. 🙂

– C

No Bake Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

I know I am not the only one out there who has a sweet tooth. Even with as healthy as I try to be I am human and give in to cravings here and there…. and lets be honest most “healthy” cookies taste “healthy” meaning…. like they came from a forest or are hard as a rock, I could go on….

I love cookies, not ashamed to admit it, and everyone who knows me I have an obsession with peanut butter. So combining the two and knowing it’s truly not bad for me definitely keeps my attention (which can be hard to do)…

So wanted to share 🙂

What you need:

1 serving:

Mix peanut butter, water, stevia and salt together. Mix protein powder and flour together then add liquid to dry mixture. Stir until dough like consistency. DONE.

Seriosuly that simple. You can add cacao nibs or dark chocolate to it if you wish. You could do this with other flavors/brands I am sure as well but the consistency of the PB quest protein powder makes it super easy.

Macros/Nutrition Info:

Calories – 170, Protein – 25.5 g, Carbs – 5.5g, Fat- 5.5g and only 1.8g sugar!

Yes those calories may be high but they are GOOD calories…. meaning your body will use them right. Know the difference 😉

Get your spoon out and you can thank me later 😉

 

And if you need ANY help, or have questions please do NOT hesitate to contact me!

CandiceCFitness@gmail.com 🙂

What the heck is “skinny fat”?

Well I will start off by saying that I use to be a poster child for it. If you have never read my blog about my struggles…      Coming Clean….. Eating Disorders and Food…. From me   do so. I used to count calories like no other, but it did NOT matter what they were. Oh and I did cardio, ALOT of time on the elliptical. I was unhealthy, looked gross, and was 100% skinny fat…..

Unfortunately a lot of people are skinny fat. Just because someone looks thin on the outside does NOT mean they are healthy. They can carry just as much if not more visceral fat than those who are obese. Visceral fat is the most dangerous to have as it accumulates around organs such as the pancreas, heart and liver and then can begin to release hormones and other secretions into the bloodstream that can lead to disease.

Recent studies have concluded that,”Older adults with normal BMIs (well-known to be an imperfect measurement) but high levels of body fat are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and death than previously realized, according to a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology. More recently, a 2014 report on people with “normal weight obesity”—normal BMI, high body fat—found that they have a significantly higher risk of metabolic problems and death from these diseases than any other group.” Time Magazine

If someone who is naturally thin is not utilizing resistance training into a workout routine, if they are just doing cardio and not watching what they eat, they are definitely a target of making skinny fat a reality.

So how can this be reversed? Or prevented? Add resistance to build lean muscle, women you will NOT get bulky by touching a weight. Work with someone to discover how you should eat, how you should train, etc. Feeding your body right will not only help your metabolism and body start working properly but it will help tone and rebuild those muscles you are breaking down during training. Which in turn will give you a more toned look! Winning 🙂

Bottom line is, take care of yourself. Don’t assume just because you are skinny that you are healthy. Watch what you eat, even if you can put away a pizza late at night and feel like you don’t gain a pound, it is NOT a smart idea to do…..

Lets make the best choices possible here on out 🙂 – C

 

#NOSCALENOVEMBER

So just like I LOVE me some Mondays, I LOVE me some first days of the month… New opportunities and goals to be set with both!

I did this challenge last year, so I definitely want to challenge you all with it again. Anyone who has worked with me knows I don’t let you get near a scale until I say so. As far as I am concerned they are stupid, evil things that get into your brain and try to jeopardize all your hard work by making you think you have done absolutely nothing… Which can potentially lead to self destructive thinking and can in turn lead you to just stop your healthier living journey all together. We get a number imprinted in our head we want to see and until we see it we stress, we beat ourselves up because we “think” we need to be a certain weight. I am living proof that’s a lie, if you go back to my earlier food struggles you can see exactly why in my Coming Clean Blog. I am also not just speaking to the ladies either, this is just as apparent for men.

Reality is, when you work out, strength train and burn fat you also gain lean muscle. This can in turn make it appear you are not losing any real weight according to mr. scale…. when actually that is not the case at all.

My 3 Reasons Why the Scale Sucks:

  • Muscle and fat are not made equally. Muscle is denser (see the image below). Therefore if you lose 1 lb of fat but gain 1 lb of muscle that scale is not going to move…. BUT you have gotten leaner because as you can see that 1 lb of muscle takes up A LOT LESS space than the 1 lb of fat.

  • It’s Never The Same
    • Weigh yourself in the morning when you wake up, then weigh yourself before you go to bed….. You will probably cry if you are trying to lose weight. Why? Because you can gain up to THREE lbs in one day. With food, water, etc that you ingest throughout the day your weight WILL fluctuate. This is not a bad thing as your body NEEDS food and water (duh) . You will eventually absorb and use that food and water for energy and you will rid yourself of everything else if your diet is right, but depending on the time you weigh yourself it can vary drastically. (side note, if your diet is not so great… for an extended period of time… some of that food might possibly stick around though… so eat right 😉 ).
  • Because I said so
    • Seriously though, how do you really know what you SHOULD weigh? Why do you get obsessed with getting to a certain number? Ill tell you why, because society makes us think that way, celebrities, fad diets, etc. They all get in our heads. The skinnier the better. So naturally that means we need to go down on the scale not up right?!  I know personally I obsessed over a certain number for far too long in the first picture below, but I am pretty sure I look a WHOLE lot better in that second picture with more muscle/weight!

BOTTOM LINE: 

If you are putting in work, making healthy choices, and doing what you can to change your life then you are doing it right. NO SCALE IS GOING TO CHANGE THAT.

If you are just starting out, know that it can take up to 3 months for your real results to be visible. It takes time and consistency to get to where you have gained enough lean muscle to burn enough fat to really get that scale falling.  On the contrary, if you are doing a fad diet where you restrict full food groups, drinking some nasty juice for days (don’t even get me started), etc, you can see some substantial weight loss initially. THEN as soon as you eat normal again your metabolism will be either slowed down or affected in a way to cause your body to hold onto that food as fat… so helllloooooo weight gain.

You want a lifestyle change… key word LIFE. This isn’t an overnight thing! Make healthy choices, get moving, drink water and sleep. If you do all 4 you are destined to see LONG TERM results. My challenge to you is to stay off the scale from today through December 1st. Keep putting in the work, do everything you can to stay on the healthy train and see what happens. See how you feel about yourself, see your perspective of YOU change. When you are proud of YOU and appreciate yourself, you will see much bigger results. I promise. A scale should NOT determine your worth :).

Who is with me?! Get some friends and challenge yourself. Hide that scale and instead of justifying your hard work via the scale, justify it by each night thinking of the healthy choices you made that day. Keep track and hold yourself and others doing it with you accountable!

Let me know how you do!

And as always if you need help in any way please do not hesitate to contact me!

Why BMI sucks….. in my opinion…

Have you ever personally been told you are “obese” when you know you are in fact healthy? Or maybe you know someone who has? Do you really know what BMI is? How about why it seems to be (thank you sweet baby Jesus) getting moved out the door as a factor in measuring health?

First off BMI (Body Mass Index) measures your body fat based on ONLY height verse weight…. So basically it is saying whether or not your 5’2 self (an example) is holding 30 lbs of muscle or 30 lbs of fat you are both equal on the BMI scale…. Can you see why this is inaccurate?!?

Look at body builders, many times they are shorter and have TONS of muscle but if you were to calculate their BMI they would 110% be considered obese! It drives me crazy!

I have worked with multiple people who are in GREAT shape but according to their BMI it would appear they are obese…

Going back to one of my favorite discussions I have with clients…. the SCALE DOESNT MATTER!!

Being “obese or overweight” has nothing to do with a number on the scale. More so, it has to do with how much actual fat you have, and the type of fat for that matter (visceral is the worst). For example, 30 lbs of muscle is not bad, but 30 lbs of fat carries a totally different array of health risks (type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc) .It should also account for things such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and other things along those lines in my opinion.

This can also be applied in the opposite direction, just because someone is in the “healthy” BMI range doesnt mean they are “healthy”. Ever heard of skinny fat? Well it exists, I for one used to be in this category and its not just a term… Some people especially when they are younger have much faster metabolisms so they can eat whatever (unfair at times I know), with that said though they may look thin on the outside but their insides are screaming for help! Skinny people can have high cholesterol, high blood sugar, etc… One of the main reasons I tell my clients to stay off the scale and pay attention to how your clothes fit and how you feel are these exact reasons!

When you work out and strength train, you are going to put on lean muscle. Muscle is much denser than fat, it also BURNS fat so you WANT muscle (ladies I am talking to you).  When you build muscle you are going to burn  that really bad for you visceral fat as well!  Muscle also helps protect bones, and keep your joints healthy, and helps against osteoporosis.

So bottom line, if you are working out, eating right, and feel good then be proud! Do not worry about what your BMI is if you get it measured (and just don’t in my opinion), do not worry about that scale…. Just be happy and proud of the progress and consistency you have! Get your actual body fat and measurements taken as an alternative. If you have access to a bod pod that is one of the best ways to measure it. If not just take good ol’ measurements with measuring tape and do that every few weeks, plug it into a formula (I prefer this one —– here) and keep track that way!

Just stay consistent, stay proud, and know you are worth every little bit of effort you are putting in. No measurement should deter your progress or self esteem!

And as always if you need help with workouts, nutrition, or supplement/ all natural vitamins let me know! Thats what I am here for!!!

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter here if you haven’t already!

Candice 🙂