fitness

What Really Matters

Fashion trends for the summer are one of my favorite things. As I look through magazines, I love to learn the basic essentials I need for the latest fashion trends.  It makes things easy for me to shop and dress when I just focus on those basic pieces.  I find that I don’t waste a lot of time when I focus on what the “experts” say really matters for the season. It gives me a sense of confidence in what I am wearing on the outside.  I have also discovered that, when I focus on the basics of life, life is much easier as well.  I then become more confident on the inside.  This week, I was fortunate to have time to sit on my porch one afternoon to relax and just read as my kids played. To be honest, I had used the very basics of life that day so I could enjoy that time.  Instead of going to the gym or killing myself with a work out, I had a long walk at home; instead of killing myself in the kitchen; I prepared a simple, healthy meal in the crock pot for our evening dinner; instead of thinking I had to work extra hours for my job or it would never get done, I gave my timeline to God; and instead of thinking I had to plan every minute of the day to entertain my kids, I realized they truly love “just playing” outside  

What I realized is this…when I focus on the basics of life, I’m able to enjoy what really matters.

As a Fitness and Food Designer for Busy women, I have seen many women who are chasing so many different things that it keeps them from enjoying the basic things of life and ultimately keeps them from living a healthy life physically, mentally and spiritually. 

Has life become so busy for you that you are no longer focusing on what really matters?

Are you so busy,

  • Trying to please other people instead of looking to please God which can keep you from feeling confident in who you really are in Christ.

 

  • Trying to be something you are not instead of learning what God created you to be which can keep you constantly busy, yet never feeling successful.

 

  • Attempting to do too many things at once instead of giving attention to one thing and left feeling exhausted with no energy for yourself, family or career.

 

  • Focusing on succeeding in things that are really not important that you feel like you are failing over and over or are not good enough.  I love what Francis Chan says in the book Crazy Love, “Our fear should not be failure, but at succeeding in things in life that really don’t matter.”

 These are things that can keep you so busy that you are unable to enjoy what really matters. Life can be easier when you focus on the basic needs of life, which allows you to learn how to be:

  • physically fit with proper diet and exercise
  • spiritually fit by spending time with God
  • mentally and socially fit by doing what you are called to do

 Ask yourself the question:  “What is keeping me too busy and keeping me from what really matters?”

 

A Fitness Plan that Works

One of the greatest challenges for busy women is to have CONSISTISTENCY with their exercise program. I frequently have women tell me, “I can’t stick with anything.”  If you can relate, have you ever given much thought as to WHY? I have discovered the reason is that most busy women have not found an exercise program that works for their schedule and the demands of their life?  Therefore when the demands of life happen, their workouts become hit or miss (inconsistent) or they quit all together. Think about it. When starting an exercise program, do you assess your schedule to see how much time you have and what plan is best for your lifeSTYLE and personal fitness goals?

 Take for example my client, Lisa. She was attempting to do one hour of cardio exercise Monday–Friday at her local gym. To increase her metabolism and muscle tone, she planned to add one strength training workout a week, but often struggled to get it done. She was unmotivated, bored and under the impression that she her strength training program would take her over an hour each week. She felt stuck and wondered how to make it work. With her work load and travel approximately three days a week, she found it challenging to stick with that program.

 By assessing her schedule, we were able to create a new work out that fit her lifestyle and met her fitness goals.

  • Because her time was limited Monday-Friday, we developed a cardiovascular work out that can be done in less than an hour with intensity that is challenging for her and can be done when traveling at most hotel gyms. Instead of giving up all together because her time is limited, she was able to see that she can still burn the same amount of calories in a shorter amount of time if working properly.

 

  • She is no longer bored and has overcome her misconception that weight training is slow and takes a long time. She now has a 30 minute strength training workout that she can do at her the gym at her office or at her hotel gym.  Her program motivates her because she is moving quickly, which eliminates boredom and with a new intensity, she is seeing results in her muscle tone.

 Lisa struggled to be consistent with her program of one hour of cardio exercise Monday-Friday and one day of strength training a week.  Her new program is 3-4 days a week of 30-45 minutes of cardio and one day of 30 minutes strength training work out. It is not only quick for her busy life, but at an intensity that allows her to meet her fitness goals.

 She now has a fitness program that fits her schedule and motivates her because she it is one that will give her CONSISTENCY.

 Lisa’s solution may not be your solution.  But that is the whole point of a personal fitness design.  We are all unique women with different challenges, busy lifestyles and goals.  There is not one program that fits all women. To be consistent, you need to find what works for your personal schedule. If you are stuck, unsure of what to do and feel like consistency is a challenge, I would love to help you with a free telephone consultation. Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com and place consultation in the subject line to set up a time.

 

A Quick Workout! A Way to Love Others

A quick workout.  Most busy women think they don't have time to squeeze it in.  One reason may be that they're busy taking care of family and friends and/or working over time at their jobs. You may try to give your very best with love and dedication by giving all of your time to your family, friends and job. But can you really give your best if you don’t take time for yourself and improve your own health. There is a misconception that if you give ALL of your time towards the needs of others, you're showing love. But that often leads to burn out, exhaustion, irritation, frustration, and poor health. To be a healthy example to children, coworkers ,or employees, your own health must come first.  You may feel selfish at times and struggle with a little guilt, but think about how much more you have to offer when you're at your best physically and mentally. In my own life, I've had to make this a realization.  When not giving myself time each day, my attitude and energy level for my family, children, clients, and friends, was not something they'd want to be around….even though I'd be “giving”.

Here's a challenge.  Write down your schedule on MOST days, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed.  Is there any time that is scheduled for you to focus on improving your health and fitness?  If not, I'm guessing, burn out is right around the corner.

The good news is that taking time to improve your fitness does not have to take a ton of time.  More and more research is showing that short bouts of exercise when done properly can be just as effective as long endurance activities. Another popular work out is the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program, which pairs quick bouts of high-energy exercise with low-effort rest intervals and can be done in 30-45 minutes. Exercise scientists have demonstrated that HIIT can...

  • boost the performance of competitive athletes
  • improve the health of recreational exercisers
  • provide the benefits of continuous-endurance training with fewer workouts

You'll have more energy to love those you care about once you begin taking care of yourself.  Once you connect with that reality, you can design a clear program that works for your lifestyle. And as a bonus… you're setting a good example to the ones you love.

 

A Date for the Busy Couple

Is it even possible to have a normal date (as you once did) and a candle lit dinner amidst every thing the world is bringing you.  Maybe you're new social life consists of party after party for those under the age of 10 and, to be honest, you're too tired to even think about a date.  How does today’s busy couple stay connected and still feel that they have time for each other? What I've learned as I work with busy women to create a Personalized Fitness Plan, is that most women are overwhelmed with life.  How in the world do you make time for exercise, much less have quality time with your husband?

For my marriage, we have to sometimes get creative and think outside of the normal dates we once had when our life was simpler.  Yet I still feel connected since we've made it a priority to find ways to spend time together.

A date for this busy couple may look something like this.

  • A walk or run

When my husband and I need to catch up or discuss certain things going on in life, we love putting on our shoes and going for a run or walk.  We tell the kids to grab their scooter or bike and head outside with the family.  While they are busy seeing who is the fastest, we are getting connected and spending quality time together.  We've also from time to time made a commitment to work out or train for a local race together.

  • Have Lunch

We don't always have time for a long dinner nor can we always make arrangements for a babysitter, so we schedule lunch.  The key words for a busy couple are “schedule it".  It's more likely to happen if you set a specific date and time and put it on the calendar that just having good intentions to make it happen.

  • Friend exchange

Some times we just need to have one hour for dinner.  We're fortunate to have best friends who need the same.  Babysitters can be expensive and not many want to waste one hour….which may be all they get.  Find a couple who's willing to keep your kids for an hour or two for a date night and be sure to find a time to offer the same to them.

The key is thinking outside the box.  You can still have romance and quality time.  It just may not be the way you once did.

 

No More New Year’s Resolutions

This may be time of the year when you are gearing up for a New Year’s resolutions to start your fitness program, lose weight or eat better.

 In my 20 yearsexperience in fitness as a certified personal training, weight loss instructor, licensed well coach and leader in the industry, I have learn that 50% of women drop out of most fitness programs within the first 6 months.  It is heartbreaking for me, as someone who is passionate about health and fitness, to see these women give up.  I have come to learn the reason why. 

 The truth is there is no one “diet” or exercise program that works for everyone. To be successful in weight management, women must find what works for them, personally.  Each year they are told something different. Give up carbs and their favorite foods; do P90X; walk 30 minutes a day or do the latest dance class craze. It can be confusing and overwhelming. The problem for most busy women is they are attempting new programs that are not conducive to their busy lifestyle or address the issues that lead to their inconsistency. When it does not work, it can quickly lead to feeling like a failure and giving up any hope that healthy eating and exercise are even possible.

 I know without a shadow of a doubt there is hope and they do not have to give up just because it is not working. For me, as a career mom with a desire to be healthy, I understand the challenges of multiple responsibilities with long to do lists for many women.

 If you are ready to be in control of your eating and have a consistent exercise program, even with your busy lifestyle, forget the New Year’s Resolutions.  You know they never work long term anyway.  Instead consider designing a personalized food and fitness plan that you know will work with your schedule and lifestyle.  Throw out what worked in the past (temporarily) or for some one else and discover how to be confident in your own program because you know you can do it consistently. 

 If you’re unsure how to do that and you’d like some help, a free consultation with me might be the best way to get started.  We will discuss strategies to overcome certain food triggers and inconsistencies in your exercise; the best exercise program and eating plan for your schedule; and what motivates you to exercise and eat healthy for a lifetime.  

 Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to get scheduled for this free session.

 

 

Your Body Image….It is not all about you.

There are many physical benefits to regular exercise including higher self-esteem and positive body image. When a woman makes the decision to exercise for herself and no one else, there is a confidence that is created within her and is reflected to those around her.  However, women who have a poor body image are sometimes unable to see how it may be affecting other areas of their life, especially their relationships. They may become busy with life and unable to evaluate what it is costing them. Being a size two or twenty two is not the point. It is about feeling good with who you are as a woman and taking control of your health and fitness.   It is easy to say, how you feel about your body does not affect anyone else, but it could be affecting your relationship without you realizing it.

For example:

  1. Your Relationship with Your Spouse

Your relationship with your spouse is greatly affected when being intimate with him   or     participating in his favorite outdoor activities become uncomfortable for you because you do not feel good about your body. The truth is your looks may just be your issue, not his.  He just longs to have his wife do the things she once did with him.

  1. Your Relationship with your Children

Staying physically active can give you the energy to participate in those activities that your children may be begging you to do WITH THEM. Regular exercise gives you the energy and strength you need for them and is a healthy example to pass down to your children.

  1. Your Relationship with Others

I have seen so many women shy away from participating in social activities with others or avoid putting themselves in situations to meet new people because of a poor body image.  It is very sad to think relationships and a deep connection with others are being missed because of a lack of security in oneself.

God wants you to know that you are wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).  It is not about being a certain size.  It is about feeling confident in who you are so that you are able to be the woman God intended you to be. Make a decision today to take control of your health and fitness by making exercise a part of your life. Don’t allow your feelings of self-doubt and poor body image affect other areas of your life, especially your relationships. If you would like to discover how to be in control of the choices you make with your health and be confident with your body, click here to go to my website.

 

Follow your "Fitness Sense" and be Consistent with Your Exercise

 

Have you ever wondered why you can lose your motivation or have trouble consistently exercising? I see so many women get excited when they begin a new program, yet quickly give up when it becomes a struggle to make it work with everything else in their life.

 

If that has happened to you, it could be that you are not following your own fitness sense. Does this sound odd?  Think of this way.  If you like fashion or dressing in the latest styles, you may look to see what is hot and trendy each season, but no matter the trend, you want to be comfortable with who are and follow your own fashion sense. Fashion experts will tell you to look at the latest styles and trends, but use your own creativity to develop your own style and stay true to who you are as a woman.  

 To stay consistent and get the results you want in your body and fitness, there are certain “guidelines” to follow just as there are trends in fashion, but you have to find what works for you.

 Right after I turned 30, I decided I was going to become a really strong swimmer, actually just a swimmer, not necessarily strong. Next year I will turn 40 and it has yet to happen. Spending the time I would need to be a strong swimmer does not make sense for me at this time in my life.  I know I would see amazing benefits, but I just don’t have the time or desire to make it work right now. Instead to be consistent with my exercise, I had to sit down and evaluate the time I did have and develop a plan to make that time count to achieve my desired results.

 I see so many women struggling to follow the latest fitness trends or do what someone else is doing to look a certain way. Yet, wonder why they are not motivated and have no discipline to stick with it. It may be that it simply does not make sense for their lifestyle.  If you find that you are getting stuck, see if this helps.

  • Choose Something That You Like to Do

Who cares if your girlfriends are getting up at 5 each morning to run 3 miles?  If you are a night person and hate running, you may see results for a short time,    but eventually quit because it does not make sense for you.

  • Develop a program according to your goals and daily schedule

Before kids, I worked out 1.5 hours 6 days a week.  If I thought I had to follow that same schedule now, exercise would never happen and I would feel like a failure. I’m thankful when I get four days a week and have learned to get the results I want in 30-45 minutes. I had to accept that what worked at that particular time in my life does not make sense right now.

 My sister Heather who is my personal fashion consultant, teaches me to design my wardroom by looking at the latest trends, but not to spend my entire budget on things that will only be a trend for a short season.  I need to spend my time and money on classic pieces that will carry me for a long time.  To look and feel my best, I have to blend the latest trends with what makes me feel comfortable and reflect who I am.

 We have to do the same when designing an exercise plan.  Changing things up is good to get past a plateau and renew our motivation; but to be consistent, we have to find what we are comfortable with and make it work for our lifestyle.

 If you have struggled to actually find a plan that works for you, I can help. With my

Clear Design package, I work one-on-one with women to give them a personalized fitness and food design for their own unique lifestyle.  I want to offer you, as a follower of Created Woman, a free telephone consultation to receive a fitness and food design for your busy lifestyle.

To learn more about this service and how you can benefit regardless of your geographic location, go to my website, which is developing, so be sure to follow. http://yourfitnessdesigner.com/Services.html

 

Hot Intensity

  Interval training is “hot” in fitness, especially for us ladies who are busy and struggle to find the time to work out.  Quitting and giving up on any type of exercise can seem like the answer when time is the challenge. To add to the challenge is the task of figuring out what type of workout should do for your personal desires and goals.

For weight loss and weight management, the bottom line is balancing the number of calories you expend and the number of calories you consume. For losing weight, it matters little whether the calories burned during exercise come from fat or carbohydrates.  You must burn calories.

Interval Training is a way to make the most of your workouts and burn the most calories.

This great way to workout breaks up the time with periods of rest and is for the exerciser who is short on time and ready to increase her workout intensity. Not only does interval training allow you to improve your fitness quickly, it is effective for burning lots of calories.

Try one of these workouts each week:

For the Advanced:

  • 3 minutes at 95%–100% maximum (max) heart rate (HR) with

2 minutes at 70% heart rate; repeat 5-6 times

Total Time: 25-30 minutes

For the Intermediate:

  • 30 seconds fast with

1 minute at 70% heart rate; repeat 8-12 times

Total time: 18 minutes

Interval workouts should include a warm-up and a cool-down; is best with a watch with a heart rate monitor; and a consultation with your doctor if you are new to exercise.

 

If you are not ready for that intensity, go for a long(45 min-1hr)  walk/runs with intervals of light jogging or bike ride with intervals of higher resistance and speed increasing your work load or time by 10% a week.

Getting a program that fits your lifestyle will definitely increase your motivation. Are you discouraged and frustrated trying to figure out an eating and exercise plan for your schedule and fitness goals?

Email me for a free consultation to customize a Fitness Design for YOU so that you feel confident, fit and secure with the choices you are making in your health and fitness.

Maximize Your Fitness

We all know that exercise is important to overall health and wellbeing, no doubt.  We know this.  Trying to fit it into our daily lives is a whole other story. Life is busy. Life is full. There are so many things that need to get done in a day. Whether you are a dedicated work out stud machine or a couch potato, the following information will help you be the most efficient and effective in starting a work out program or tweaking the one you have to ensure you get the most out of the time you put in. It all comes down to timing. The latest research shows that the beneficial effect of exercise lasts between 48 and 72 hours, including the positive effects on insulin, glucagon, and cortisol. So, you need to space your workouts accordingly. If you work out only twice a week, then put 72 hours in between, and work out Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/ Friday. The best way to get the continual benefit in your body is to work out at least 3 times per week, spacing it out like Monday, Wednesday Friday. If you work out more than 3 times per week, then alternate and do cardio every 48 hours, and then add resistance training on the other days.

Why is this so good? Working out helps every system to function more efficiently: our vascular system (heart and blood), brain and nervous system, joints and muscles, as well as our hormones and neurotransmitters. The latest research has shown the impact of exercise on insulin receptors. It makes them more sensitive, or receptive. You want that. I want that. Because when the receptors become resistant Type 2 Diabetes has either arrived, or is right around the corner.

For those who are in a rut and not working out, even just adding a brisk walk for 10 minutes per day has show to have positive benefits. Then just be sure to do that every Monday Thursday and you will have done wonders for your body. Then you can slowly increase it to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes on Monday Thursday, and just see how good you feel.

If you are having a hard time getting started, visit my website www.drsheffield@me.com and send me a message with your contact information and I will send you information that will help you be accountable and get you moving in the right direction. If you have any pain with walking, contact your doctor to have it figured out.

I Can Handle It

I can handle it and figure it all out on my own. If I mess up, I do not need anyone to help me.  I am strong enough and capable to turn it around and make it right.  I know the exact time when things need to be done according to the clock, day, week, month and even year. That WAS the story of my life. My need to be morally perfect and in control caused me internal frustration, hopelessness and missed opportunities for deeper relationships. 

 All of my life, I have had a desire to do the right thing. I prided myself in “keeping it together”.  However, when I could not keep it together and failed in certain areas of my life, I was too embarrassed and shameful to ask for help.  I KNEW if I tried really hard I COULD do it without the help of anyone, including giving it to God.  After all, I needed to TRY and please Him.  This struggle left me feeling like a failure more than once.  It was only when I realized I was powerless by myself and took the courage to ask for help, I became secure in who I was as a woman and more confident with myself than trying to do it alone.

 After many years of infertility, multiple miscarriages and trying to “fix” things in my marriage on my own, I had to realize there are things in my life I can not control.  I had to be willing to submit those things to God and give up my fears, my timelines and plans of how I think it should be done.  For someone who prided herself on being organized, on time and prepared for any situation, the lack of control in certain areas of my life left me feeling hopeless. The internal battle of not being able to figure it out on my own was exhausting.

 What a happy day when I really understood what is now my life’s scripture

Philippians 1:6

For He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.

What a relief. I am not expected to have it ALL together. God knows we are going to fail, so why shouldn’t we expect it of our self.

As a Fitness and Wellness coach, My purpose in life is to work with women who want to overcome the helpless feeling of not knowing how to maintain their weight and consistency in their fitness.

I understand the feelings of having control and discipline in so many areas of life, yet struggling internally in one area that is so important to a woman.

My heart is to empower women to feel confident in their choices with food and exercise and not allow this one area to dominate her thoughts.

I am passionate about helping women to overcome their fear of failure and to feel secure in all areas of their life by establishing a healthy lifestyle, no matter how BUSY life gets.