healthy

You are what you eat! Really!!

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I know what you're thinking..."I could really use a snack right now!" How did I know that? Because I'm human too, which means I get tired at this time during the work day and I love food!

And, similarly to you, millions of people make diet and nutrition goals and resolutions every year. Whether it's to lose ten pounds, follow a specific diet, or eat more veggies, we all need to pay attention to what we're eating!

Now, two weeks into the New Year, where do you stand with the resolutions you made just two weeks ago?

If you've already fallen off the bandwagon (we won't tell :), here's your chance to get back on.

In this week's video, I interview Shira Hirshberg of All Foods Nutrition to tell us what big food mistakes we're making and what small changes we can make that will have a major impact in our diet.

Why is this important to you?

Your nutrition and health is so central to how we feel and our ability to access our full potential. Need more focus at work? Well, what did you eat today? Feeling rather moody? What did you eat today?

See what I mean?!

{https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7T8EggQiA4}

So maybe you're one of those health wizards that has this all down already? Great! Make sure to share your strategies with the rest of us on the blog! 

PVD Lady Project's Summer Guide

Looking for things to do, what to wear, and how to stay fit this summer? Check out the PVD Lady Project's Summer Guide! It's chalk full of great gifts, activities, and.... yours truly :)

Along with 3 other AMAZING Providence women, I was asked to play a part in the making of the Summer Guide. The Lady Project was looking for women who are fit, goal oriented, and like to have fun! I was happy to share some of my secrets to success in business and fitness (see pages 16 and 41)

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Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 2.01.23 PM

Check out my beautiful friends and rest of the Summer Guide here: http://issuu.com/pvdladyproject/docs/2014_summer_guide

What are your favorite ways to enjoy summer? How about in RI? How do you stay fit and motivated during this time of year? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Be your best self this summer,

Brittany

Caretaker Syndrome

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Ever feel that some of your relationships resemble the picture above? You- taking care of a person who is supposed to be your spouse, partner, equal, peer?

Do you have days when talking with this person is more of a chore than an asset to your day?

Ever feel so exhausted by all the giving, listening, and care-taking you do for others that you don't have time to take care of yourself?

Want this to be different? Want to be taken care of too?

You first have to ask yourself 'How is this relationship serving you?'

There's a good chance that you're getting something out of serving others. Maybe it's a way to be close to the people we're taking care of, giving your life more purpose, or giving you something to complain about with others (this can be valid too!).

No, I'm not talking about taking care of Great Aunt Margaret. I'm talking about the relationships in your life that seem like you're the one doing all the giving, and when the tables are turned, this person is not there to listen, support, and validate your needs as well.

Get what you want out of the relationship by making the following changes:

Take inventory- notice the times when you feel drained after being with this person. What was talked about? What happened? How do you feel after leaving that situation?

Ask for what you want- These people aren't mind readers! Tell them what you need and see what happens. PS- this will be a pivotal point in the relationship!

Learn from a taker- Make sure you're not draining others with your emotional needs. Ask yourself 'Is the conversation balanced? Am I listening? When do I give back to them?'

Ever been in a relationship or friendship like this? Share your story below! How did it change? Or did it have to end?

10 tips for a healthy life from the World's oldest person

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Ever have a tough time getting up on a cold fall morning because you feel achy? Or feel really old because you can't keep up with teenage trends? Think again! Mr. Kimura of Japan recently passed at the ripe age of 116. And according to the article at the link below, he seemed very quick witted until the end.

Mr. Kimura lists 10 ways you can try to surpass his accomplishment of living to 116. These are some of my favorites:

- Exercise daily - Let your struggles make you stronger - Be one with Mother Earth - Practice gratitude

http://bit.ly/19dOi8C

What do you do to live 100+ years? Share your secret!

The Psychology of Overtraining

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The Psychology of Overtraining Brittany Drozd, MSW, LCSW

As summer comes to an end, we will inevitably return to our routines, be it an increased focus on exercise, school, or your career. Whether you spent the summer with umbrella drinks by the pool or training for obstacle races, it is important to consider overtraining as you return to focus on your fitness.

What is overtraining?

Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual's exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. The athlete may cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness (Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 2009).

Overtraining is the result of training loads that are too demanding of the athlete's ability to adapt. It occurs when the body's adaptive mechanisms repetitively fail to cope with chronic training stress (Silva 1990). This often results in performance deterioration instead of performance improvement.

Are you overtraining?

Overtraining can look different for everyone. However, it is often characterized by the following negative affective states:

Anxiety                                   depression                                         fatigue

Anger                                      lack of self-confidence                      decreased vigor

Beyond apparent moods, overtraining also presents as:

Physiological and psychomotor retardation                                  chronic fatigue

Depressed appetite              weight loss                                         insomnia

Decreased libido                   muscle soreness                                depression/tension

In more severe cases, other metabolic, hormonal, muscular, hypothalamic, and cardiovascular changes often manifest in the over trained athlete.

The multi-stressor model incorporates non-physical factors including psychological, emotional and social aspects to best explain how other seemingly mundane stressors in our lives can negatively impact our training, and result in overtraining. These stressors will impact an athlete varyingly based on the athlete’s personality- do you acknowledge and monitor these stressors in your life?

So how is your job, your kids/family, your other obligations, and limited sleep negatively impacting your training? And which of these factors do you tend to ignore because of your personality?

WHY are you overtraining?  [be honest with yourself here]

 

There are always motives behind everything that we do. We wouldn’t got to work if we didn’t get paid, or go to the gym if we didn’t see results. So what are your motives for doing CrossFit? More specifically, what are the outcomes you’re looking for from doing CrossFit?

It’s so important that you answer this question honestly for yourself: When you first started CrossFit, what were your goals? To look better naked? To run a 5k? To get harder, better, faster, stronger? How have you lost sight of those goals?

Reinforcement: So why are you overtraining at CrossFit? Positive reinforcements!! You know you look better, and other people are telling you how good you look! You feel better when you work out. All of your friends are at CrossFit. But these are not good reasons to over train.

Ego: Now that you’ve seen how much you can improve, how have your goals changed? CrossFitters are often victims of competitive egos. You reached your initial goals, so now you want to compete in the CrossFit Games?! It’s great to dream big, but is this a realistic goal for you? What are your life stressors that will make this goal more difficult for you than others- a fulltime job, being a parent, household responsibilities, and other hobbies? How should you’re training be modified to accommodate your lifestyle? Don’t let your ego lead you to overtraining.

Fear of Fat: If you take a rest day, or even 2 rest days in a row….You will not get fat! You will not undo all the work you have done for months in the gym! This is a common motivation for not taking the rest days you need. Instead, evaluate your nutrition choices to support your work in the gym. Give your body the rest it needs.

Negative Reinforcements- Why are you so disappointed about not getting a lift PR/time/Rx? What does it mean for you? How does it impact your desired outcomes to look better naked or improve your health? It doesn’t. Don’t let “missed” benchmarks lead you to overtraining. Maybe you need a rest week to hit that PR.

Addictions- Like drugs, physical exercise may be chemically addictive. This addiction is due to natural endorphins and dopamine generated and regulated by the exercise. Some people can be said to become addicted to or fixated on the psychological and physical effects of physical exercise and fitness. This may lead to over exercise, resulting in the "overtraining" syndrome. What other ways can you trigger a natural dopamine or serotonin release?

Competitiveness: The innate competitiveness of CrossFit makes us think we should always be at the gym getting better, because you know you’re competition is. But unless you’re a serious Games competitor, who is your competition really? Most of us should be competing against ourselves; setting goals based on your past PRs and times. If you find yourself competing against others, ask yourself “why?” Why is it important for me to beat them? What am I gaining? Why do I feel the need to lift beyond the recommended weight and go 5 days in a row to beat my “competition”? Who is really “winning” if I’m not training smartly?

Rx: When has one “prescription” ever been appropriate for everyone? The Rx description of the WODs should be used as a guideline. Always ask your coach what weight you should be using based on your 1 rep maxes. Don’t assume you have to do Rx and then get hurt.

Costs of overtraining:

Common results outcomes of overtraining include:

Sustained injuries                 extended recovery time                   physical therapy

Protein deficiency                 Rhapdomyolysis                                Increased cortisol

Emotional distress                decreased performance in other areas- work, family life

Recommendations:

-       Identify your motivations for training. Know your fitness goals.

-       If you find you’re overtraining: taper down your training load, increase recovery/rest time between workouts.

-       Know your body! Listen to signals (aches, pains) that tell you “something’s not right here.” Stop immediately.

-       Modifications to the athlete's workout should be made to help prevent future reoccurrences of overtraining.

-       Cross train- switch it up!

-       Sometimes, it's the pressure of performance that has created some of the symptoms. Are there ways of doing the activity for the sheer enjoyment of it, coming back to the reason that you got involved in the first place?

-       Write in your journal about what gives you pleasure, how you want to live your life, how to pace yourself, and what you’ve learned from overtraining. Always ask yourself, is my training activity aligned with my life goals?

-       Get educated! Read a book about exercise training and programming to understand the reasoning.

-       Ask your coach whenever you’re unsure about weight and movements.