Ask The Fitness Expert

Q. I’m training for a 10k and have noticed that despite the hours I’ve spent on the pavement, my endurance has not gotten any better. I feel like my legs just aren’t strong enough to keep going. What can I do to keep this from happening so I can go further without tiring?

A. A simple solution is to incorporate a few days of strength training into your running program. Muscle fatigue is caused by a buildup of lactic acid (that burn you’re feeling) in your working muscles. Increasing your leg strength through resistance exercise will make your muscles more efficient at converting lactic acid into energy for your run – not to mention those hills won’t seem as treacherous once you’ve gotten stronger. Better yet, you’ll become less prone to injury since resistance training strengthens the connective tissue around and within the joints, not just the muscles themselves. One other thing you should consider is flexibility training. Tight muscles can fatigue quickly and are also more prone to injury. A personal trainer can design a customized resistance and flexibility program based around your running schedule and individual needs.

Blair Meadows is the manager at Fitness Together, a private personal training studio in Greensboro. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from UNC-G and is certified through the American Council on Exercise, Titleist Performance Institute and The American Academy of Sports Dieticians and Nutritionists.

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Reject The Diet Mentality; Cindy Mondello

Become an Intuitive Eater

In the August 2010 edition of Guilford Woman, I began writing a series of articles to share some information that every woman should have – the steps to freedom from the shackles of dieting and disordered eating! Research suggests that 83% of college women diet on a regular basis…no matter what they weigh. Another study by UNC at Chapel Hill reveals that 3 out of 4 women between the ages of 25 and 45 suffer from disordered eating. It is estimated that 30 billion dollars is spent in the weight-loss industry annually. And, yet, the reality is that nearly 95% of all diets fail.

So why are we women (and men) still allowing ourselves to be deceived by the dieting mentality…doing the same things over and over and expecting different results? This reminds me of an Old Testament Scripture found in the book of Deuteronomy, when Moses and the children of God were made to wander in the wilderness for forty years. In chapter 2, verse 3, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north.”

Do you feel like you have circled this mountain of failed diets and disordered eating long enough? Are you looking for the way to “turn north”? Well, if so, that is what this series on intuitive eating has been all about! Nutrition experts and authors Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., are responsible for paving the way “north” for us with their 10 Intuitive Eating Principles. And it has been my pleasure to provide you with a peek into the process through these summary articles featured monthly in Guilford Woman. (Find the previous nine in the online editions at http://www.guilfordwoman.com.) However, before we say good-bye, we have one more step to take – the final principle in this life-giving, bondage-breaking journey we’ve been taking together.

Principle Ten: Honor Your Health e Nutrition

Many times when people hear about the intuitive eating principles, they mistakenly believe that it’s an “eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and don’t worry about health” program. While honoring your hunger and welcoming back all formerly forbidden foods is central to becoming an intuitive eater, making healthy choices is an equally important piece of the puzzle. Both Tribole and Resch are registered dieticians and have years of experience with nutrition. However, they also know that if nutrition and healthy eating are introduced too soon in the process, even the most sincere chronic dieter on the road to recovery will still equate “nutrition” with “diet.” And, if you remember, the first principle of this process is rejecting the dieting mentality. Therefore, it is with purpose and intent that nutrition comes last, suggesting the need for a healthy relationship with food to be in place first.

So, What Is Healthy Eating? This question is difficult to answer in light of a nation consumed with reading food labels and counting calories. Michelle Stacey, author of Consumed: Why Americans Love, Hate, and Fear Food, introduces a unique concept for healthy eating – enlightened hedonism, or a balance between information and pleasure. Information is derived from listening to your body, as well as following nutritional guidelines (a modified Food Pyramid presented in detail in the book Intuitive Eating.) In regard to pleasure, it is important to never lose sight of the satisfaction factor lest you slip into the role of diet/health martyr. In other words, you need to make sure you actually like the taste of the nutritional food you are choosing!

Healthy eating also includes choosing foods from across the food groups. Many chronic dieters have learned to “manage” their diets by just eliminating certain foods altogether. Yet, gentle nutrition involves balancing these foods into your meals, and for good reason. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that people who omit several food groups from their diet have a higher risk of dying sooner! In summary, eating healthfully is not about a perfect diet. It is about choosing foods that honor your overall health and your taste buds!

Well, friend, this may be the end of the series, but if you choose to put into practice these ten principles of Intuitive Eating, it is just the beginning of a wonderful new way of living. You have been circling that mountain of dieting chaos for too long now. It is time to change direction. Turn north.

Cindy Mondello is a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Restoration Place Ministries, a local nonprofit organization offering significantly-discounted Christian counseling services for women. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, call 336-542-2060 or visit us at http://www.restorationplaceministries.org.

Ten Core Principles of Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R. D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise – Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition

Keeping Positive; experiences after weight loss

One thing that I learn that it takes great dedication and motivation to wake up a 4:30 am in order to get to the 5:30 am bootcamp sessions that are three times a week.  It was hard at first but, one must realize that weight loss does not come off that easy.  It takes determination, dedication and motivation in order to fully achieve a persons goal.  Today was my hardest day because its Labor Day and, I am trying to stick to the veggie burgers and Veggies dogs instead of the meat variety.   I had to bring in the vegetable fries and the sweet potato fries because everyone puts in the junk food.

Now they have classes at the fitness center that I go to and, they are very fun but, its the matter of how you view yourself and, what level of motivation that you have.  Now many guys are not aware of the psychie that women have after extreme weight loss for, they don’t know the emotional downturn it takes on a woman to be told that she can’t do anything because she’s big so, that is why I favor gyms that have a women’s-only section of a women’s-only bootcamp.  Yes there are men out there that have the impression that these things are a form of feminism; this could be true but, that’s not the case when it comes to workout sessions with women.

Now some how I found that there is a form of hypocrisy when it comes to the aftermath of losing a lot of weight; don’t worry that’s common when it comes to the matter of losing weight.   You are going to have those people whom were overweight like you but, some how they figured well you need to do this and you need to do that.  Ironic they want to tell you how to keep off the weight but, they can’t lose the weight themselves.  This is what I have experience a lot with those whom were overweight when I was and, I do ignore them because they can’t tell me anything unless they lose the weight themselves.

Next, I would also like to mention the ones that teased those whom were overweight and all that unmercifully that try to befriend and, tell you all sorts of nice things and give out suggestions to keep that weight off.   Yeah how about you tell someone who cares or ones that want to actually deal with you from here on out.   Yeah you are going to have people like those that are going to be like that and, they are going to act like nothing happened between the two of you but, continue to ignore them and do what is best for you.   These are the most fake people that you can find on the planet after a extreme weight loss.

Atmosphere of the gym setting 

Now what I mentioned that all the gym bunnies are really nice no matter if they are masculine or they are feminine; they are the nicest and most supportive groups of women that you’ll ever meet if you go into a gym.    Now the masculine ones are probably more unapproachable at first but, they are really nice (don’t assume that they are gay or bi because not all of them fall under those stereotypes); they do stick together when it comes to dealing with those guys that are trying to mess with you in the gym.

Not all men in the gym are jerks because there are some really nice guys in the gym but, you have those guys that notice you when you are going to the gym on the regular and, when they notice that you frequent a certain gym they want to get close to you for, you are a subject of curiosity that can lead to them become annoying as the result they don’t use proper gym etiquette.   Now if they are hogging the workout machines, telling you that you don’t need the protein shake and the fat burner smoothie after a extreme out or, they are following you around asking you why you are socializing; those are the ones that you need to avoid because they are not using the proper gym etiquette that is required of them.   They see you as a different person but, they don’t know how to handle you now because you have a different appearance.

What does this lead to?  Well this leads to gym members, trainers, fitness coaches, and workout instructors to also take notice because, some of these don’t stop to think other people are watching them while he is watching you.   If he starts acting real stupid then most of the muscle guys whom are either the athletes or bodybuilders deal with him and, they are not nice about it when it comes to messing with the gym bunnies.   Messing with Gym bunnies are a big no no in the workout world so, do communicate with the muscle men because they are you great asset in keeping the guys that are jerks away from you or in line.

Now who are the muscle men that I am talking about that you need to communicate while going to the gym?  Here is what I know from years of going to the gym and years of making friends at the gym.

Skinny Ripped-Definition? Check. Striations? Of course. Six-pack? They know it. their veins pop, every surface muscle is shredded and separated, and their abs tell a story of hard work and sacrifice. Why wear a shirt? Women want them and men want to be them, even if they can’t admit it. This is ripped.

Male Model-their upper abs are visible; their lower belly is flat. their muscle is defined, not striated. they’re in shape, but their aren’t shredded to the bone. their body is gym-built with a mainstream appeal. Softer but photo-ready, this look is at home on the beach. Feeling good is looking good, and they do both.

Athlete-This body is built with plyometrics, high-intensity training, and weightlifting. It’s about power, speed, and agility. They want to look good, but performing well is equally important. They’re packing a lot of muscle from years in the gym, but drills keep them lean, mean, and explosive. People see them and instantly think, “Athlete.”

Bodybuilder-The gym is his second home, and it shows. Every surface muscle is chiseled, visible, and pumped. Anatomy charts are made from his physique. This body takes years of training, dedication, proper nutrition, and support. Bodybuilding isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. He want it? Make it his life.

Strongman-Bigger is better and stronger means everything. They don’t have the look of a toned bodybuilder, and they don’t want it. Cutting? Forget it. They eat big to lift big. Their muscle is dense and powerful, built by years of heavy training. They want to push tires and lift cars? Train hard, lift heavy, and don’t let anything get in their way.

Pro Bodybuilder-Bigger wasn’t big enough, so he became the biggest. they’re beyond lean, larger than life, and their muscles have muscles. What describes their physique? Garden-hose veins, cheese-grater striations, and superhero-worthy size. When he  steps on stage, He owns the stage. He is  the epitome of bodybuilding.

They aren’t that hard to find in the gym and, they are the sweetest guys that you’ll ever meet but, taking them home to momma is a entirely different story.  I find these men more attractive them the ones that don’t go to the gym at all nor do not work out at all.

For those who have trouble with the girls who think they are trying to help by telling you that you need to do this and you need to do that.  I got some news for them, there is a wide range of gym bunnies ranging from Fashion model to Bikini/swimsuit model to Fit woman to fitness model to bodybuilder.

Now these girls don’t play when it comes to outsiders or noobs that do not know proper gym etiquette that want to act out of line because I found some that will cut a noob like a fish and ask questions later.   Its good to talk to those in the gym because they stick behind you when it comes to dealing with the wanna-be trainers or wanna-be fitness experts.   Now don’t get me wrong there are fitness experts to be in the gyms and they are awesome and, they are the first to stand up for you when it comes to dealing with the wanna-bes.  When it comes to the female wanna-bes versus the guys getting their butts handed to them, they don’t like it at all and then try to play the victim role or the concern individual role.

Now this is going to happen its not avoidable at all.   Though there are ways of staying positive through out this.

When you have you workout have the shake and smoothie because you deserved it and, no one should tell you what you should have along with what you shouldn’t have since they are not knowing what’s going on inside your body.

You don’t have to reward yourself with food because there are other things that you can reward yourself when it comes to losing weight.  One way is have a spa day another is buying a new workout outfit or, buying a ticket to a zumba concert.

Another way to keep positive is to walk an extra ten minutes after making a new milestone to weight loss or biking for an extra twenty minutes.

Tell yourself good things and let the negativity keep you motivated losing and keeping the weight off for good.

Keeping positive and keeping good relations in the gym are great ways to stay on track.  Thanks for stopping by.