Hope your week is off a to a great start – mine certainly is. Last week was quite hectic for me. I had to travel to both Memphis and Salt Lake City for work. When the weekend came I was completely exhausted. Needless to say, I did not feel like the hitting the gym on Saturday nor doing anything that required even the slightest bit of energy. Fortunately, the thought of hanging out with my “fit friends” was enough motivation to keep me from skipping my Saturday morning workout. Afterwards not only did my body feel better, but I was less stressed and had a more positive attitude overall. It was like magic – lots of good vibes and positive energy. That’s the beauty of exercise, it’s great for the mind, body and soul. Activity generates the energy that brings about good vibes. Good things come to those who sweat!
On that note, here’s some fitspiration to get your sweat on – 20 Minute Calorie Blaster treadmill workout from the GRIT by Brit archives. You can check out the original blog post for detailed instructions. I highly encourage you to give this bad boy a whirl some time this week. I am.
And finally, check out these 13 Mental Health Benefits of exercise. On the list, Stress Relief ranks #1. I can attest to the accuracy of this claim. Just for fun, here’s a pic of me and my girlfriends on Saturday night enjoying the residual good vibes from my morning workout.
Wishing you a wonderful week with lots of sweat and good things! xoxo, Brit
Wow – I can’t believe 2 years have passed since the first GRIT by Brit blog post. To celebrate our 2nd blogiversary I’m having a giveaway – yay! The first 10 people to post a gym selfie on Instagram with hashtag #gritbybrit will receive a free GRIT by Brit workout tank top. You can check out the styles at my eStore. I’ll message the winners for their mailing address and size (S/M/L/XL). Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @GRITbyBrit.
Let’s also take a little trip down memory lane. First up, CLICK HERE to read the inaugural GRIT by Brit workout from March of 2012 – I called it the “Sexy Ladies Sweat Sesh” (wink wink). Also, here’s a recap of the 5 posts I most enjoyed writing this past year. While all of my posts have sentimental value, these 5 especially stand out. Hopefully these can be your pleasure reading for the week.
I saw this quote and LOVED it, so I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s so true – right? When I think about the key moments in my life that really made me feel strong, each moment forced me to do something I didn’t think I could do. From running a mile under 8 minutes to teaching a group fitness class, each moment pushed me out of my comfort zone.
As many of you know, I’m a not a full-time fitness professional. I work long hours in corporate America and feel most comfortable in a conference room presenting PowerPoint slides. On top of that, I’m not a “writer” and I’ve struggled with my weight over the years. All of these facts make it easy to convince myself that I’m “unfit” to be a fitness blogger. However maintaining this blog has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made my stronger in several ways – my fitness, nutrition, relationships and even my writing skills!
If you’re like me, you typically like to focus on things you’re naturally good at because it makes you feel good about yourself – nothing wrong with that. The only issue is that refraining from pushing ourselves doesn’t make us stronger. It doesn’t require grit. And grit is what elevates our lives from ordinary to extraordinary. So go ahead and do 5 burpees instead of 4, run for 16 minutes instead of 15, start that blog you’ve been contemplating or take on a new project at work even if it feels a little intimidating.
Hey gang! Spring is around the corner and I know that my inbox will be full of Spring time shape up requests. To keep us ahead of the last minute slim down dash, here’s my 6 quick and easy tricks to burn excess calories.
First, remember that in order to truly lose 1 pound of body weight, we must burn 3,500 calories more than we consume. Assuming your diet and activity remain consistent, adding these 6 tricks to your daily routine can result in losing 1 additional pound every ~18 days. Not bad huh? Also be sure to note that these estimates are based on 150-160 pound person. A lighter person will burn fewer calories and a heavier person will burn more.
Brit’s 6 Tricks
Stand up at your desk instead of sitting. Standing burns about 50 percent more calories than sitting. Standing at your desk for 30 minutes will burn about 72 calories (2X the amount burned while sitting). Standing instead of sitting for 30 minutes = 36 calories
Learn to Laugh. 15 minutes of laughter = 20 calories
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing two flights of stairs, three times per day = 30 calories
Dance in the mirror. Dancing is a fun, self-confidence boosting calorie blaster. So twerk a little something while getting dressed for work in the morning 🙂 Dancing for 10 minutes = 58 calories
Stretch in front of the TV. Doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying Scandal or the Bachelor, be sure to stretch instead of sit on the couch. 8-10 minutes of stretching = 31 calories
Choose the parking spot farthest from your building entrance. Walking for an extra 5 minutes = 25 calories
Hello lovely guys and gals! I personally wanted to wish you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day and week full of love and joy. Hopefully you have a special someone in your life, but if not, know that I LOVE YOU exceedingly and abundantly!
To show my love, I’ve partnered with Socialite Pink Jewelry for a special V-Day necklace give away. Just copy the picture BELOW, post to your Facebook page, and tag Socialite Pink + 4 friends. After doing so, you’ll be entered to win the lovely necklace below.
But that’s not all. I’ve also been intrigued (yet kinda grossed out) by all of the #Belfies I’ve been seeing on Insta which has motivated me to make a Love Yourself Legs and Booty Workout just in time for Valentine’s Day 😉 The workout is a great warm up or finale to 30 minutes of cardio training. It goes like this…
Plie’ Squats – 25
Regular Squats – 25
Squat Jumps – 12
Wall Sit – 45 seconds
Single Leg Step Back Lunges – 20 Right, 20 Left
Single Leg Side Step Lunges – 20 Right, 20 Left
Regular Squats – 50
Have a wonderful week with filled hugs and kisses.
As a group fitness instructor I see several hard workingmen and women regularly attend the gym and still have difficulty losing weight. They log hours of cardio, eat “low-fat” foods and have loyalty cards to Smoothie King but nothing seems to work. Personally, I also struggled with weight loss until my personal trainer at the time (Thank you Sam!) gave me some “real talk.” See, many of the tips and tricks I learned from my mom and friends were flat out wrong. The reality is that our bodies are really smart and really efficient. Therefore we have to shock them in order to get the results we want. We also have to respect the principles of Biology – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories that you consume.” So with these nuggets of wisdom in mind, I also wanted to share the 5 biggest weight loss lies that led me astray for several years…
Must Do More Cardio – Okay, it’s true that minute for minute, cardio burns more calories than weight training.However, if your usual 30-45 minutes on the elliptical or recumbent bike isn’t doing the trick, it’s because you’re heart rate is getting elevated enough. In order to burn a lot of calories, you have work really hard. Yea, like sucking air at times. You heart rate need to reach the anaerobic zone (60-85% of your max heart rate). This is why interval training is so effective. In interval training, you sprint for 20-30 seconds then take a quick rest and repeat. In fact, you can burn twice as man calories in 10 minutes of interval training as compared to 10 minutes of regular, steady pace cardio activity. The truth is that harder, smarter cardio is the key to weight loss, not more cardio.
Skip Meals to Drop Pounds – Skipping meals keeps you from losing weight in 2 key ways: First, doing so makes you binge eat later in the day because you’re starving. Binge eating stretches out your stomach and allows you to consume far too many calories. Also, eating large meals late in the day leaves minimal opportunity for you to burn off the calories (because you are going to sleep soon and the food just sits in your tummy). Second, starving yourself slows down your metabolism which makes it harder for you to burn calories and harder for you to lose weight. Long story short, don’t skip meals. Eat 5 small meals throughout the day that are high in lean protein and fiber. It actually takes true grit to plan 5 healthy meals than to skip breakfast and lunch and indulge in one giant dinner.
Focus on Fat Reduction – This may come as a shock, but the truth is“Fat (in moderation) is GOOD, Sugar is BAD.” We need fat for bodily functions. “Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, and they are vital for your nervous system.” – Barbara Roberts, MD, director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence. The key is to eat unsaturated fats like olive oil and olives, canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds and avocados. “Several studies have shown that eating small amounts of nuts helps dieters lose weight because the fiber and protein help dieters feel full longer. Dieters are less like to overeat and more successful at losing weight.” – WebMD 2013Sugar on the other hand is the devil when it comes to weight loss. Sugar absorbs quickly, provides minimal nutritional value, makes you hungry and then turns into bad fat if you don’t immediately burn it off. When making a food decisions, always take unsaturated fats over sugar if weight loss is your goal.
Smoothies Make You Skinny – The truth is that most smoothies are loaded with sugar and too much sugar makes you fat. Now, smoothies are good for meal replacements every once in a while as long as they are made with raw fruits and veggies (not fruit juice) and if they include protein. Be sure to ask for a scoop of whey protein in your smoothie so that you will feel fuller and help offset the sugar spike. Be careful about having smoothies for snacks as you can easily pack on an extra 300-400 calories without even realizing it.
My Genetics Make me Overweight – “While genes strongly decide the shape of your body, peoples’ lifestyle (primarily eating too much and moving too little) is by far the main reason they’re [overweight]. Research has shown that our eating and exercise habits are heavily influenced by the people we spend time with the most, which is likely the main reason we see obesity running in families. Genes have an influence, but it’s relatively minor for the vast majority of humans.” – Melinda Johnson, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The moral of the story is, “Get rid of the genetics excuse and get you some fit friends.” – Brit For realz.
May the weight-loss TRUTH set you free. xoxo, Brit
Confidence really is the “key” to… everything. After working in 2 totally different environments, full-time in a conservative corporate organization and part-time in a gym teaching fitness classes, I’ve noticed that in both contexts the most confident people always fare best. Notice I didn’t say the smartest, most experienced or even the most talented. For example, at my corporate job the person who speaks up in meetings and boldly takes on new projects is always first in line for promotion. Also at the gym, the fitness instructors who risk looking like an idiot to energize their class always have the biggest following. The consistent trait among these successful folks is a high degree of self-confidence.
The reality is that we all have insecurities. We compare ourselves to others and feel shameful at times (or at least I do). To me, it’s refreshing to see people who are fearless and confident enough to take a stand or risk failing. Seeing someone who believes in their self makes me believe in them too. It’s a self-fulfillingprophecy.
That said I did some research on tips that can help us boost our self-confidence. Below are my 10 favorites. I hope these tips helps you as much as they’ve helped me.
10 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence
Sip coffee – Studies show that just a little coffee increases alertness, energy and confidence. But remember to skip the cream and sugar, no need for the extra calories.
WIN! do something you’re naturally good at – It’s great to improve on our weaknesses, but it’s really nice to be the best at something. Make winning a habit by doing something each week that you are naturally good at.
Strut some stilettos – High heels make us stand up straighter and walk taller. Don’t be afraid to stand tall and be big! Throw on those pumps and “get on wit yo bad self!”
Blog – Sharing your innermost feelings online rather than in a personal journal can help us feel more comfortable with ourselves – flaws and all. There’s something powerful about taking the risk of sharing your thoughts and experiences with the world. The vulnerability required to blog can increase self-confidence.
Dance in the mirror – I find dancing in the mirror to be extremely liberating. I’ve told you guys over and over that I am not a great dancer, so watching myself let loose (and look kinda silly) helps me feel more comfortable in my own skin. Try it!
Savor compliments – Instead of dismissing compliments, simply say “Thank You” and then repeat the compliment in your head 3 times. It’s okay, don’t be shy 😉
Sweat – Exercise gets endorphins flowing and increases serotonin which makes us feel good. It’s easier to be confident when you feel good. Also the physical benefits of exercise makes us feel better about our abilities and our appearance.
Write about a time you felt “powerful” – I was at women’s brunch a few months ago and the speaker asked the audience how many of us wanted to be powerful. Only only like 10% raised their hands. Then she asked how many wanted to be influential and like 90% raised their hands. I don’t get that? What’s wrong with being powerful? Powerful people with good intentions can make the most significant positive impacts! People possess power because others believe in them. Powerful people exude confidence! Spend some time writing about your most “powerful” moment to give yourself a confidence boost.
This weekend my Turbo Kick class was PACKED! More people came than ever before. Clearly getting “fit” is high on our list of New Year’s resolutions. I’m so motivated by the energy, foggy mirrors and soaked pony tails that come out of a packed group fitness class. Unfortunately, I have to face the reality that this awesome feeling will only last for a short while. The February “drop off” is just around the corner. You know what I’m talking about, that point when we all push our resolutions to the back burner. As a group fitness instructor, this is the month I most dread. It’s depressing indeed.
The “February drop off” really makes me sad, because I understand why people quit coming to the gym. I understand because I was one of those people. I was the person who set out the New Year with high hopes and expectations of perfection. However, the minute I slipped up, I beat myself up and quit. I showed myself no grace. It was all or nothing. The crazy thing is that many of us think this “do or die” mindset is critical to achieving our goals, but the reality is that aiming for perfection only assures failure.
I had to learn that each day I’m blessed with a clean slate. What happened yesterday is gone. It doesn’t matter. Yeah, even that chocolate cake I smashed and that workout I skipped. My entire outlook on my health and my weight management changed once I learned to love myself enough to forgive myself for my slip-ups. I had believe that I am worthy of a healthy body despite my occasional lack of discipline. Indulging and being lazy WILL cause a delay in achieving my goals, BUT I can still achieve my goals as long as I DON’T QUIT – the same goes for you!
So, I simply encourage you to be kind to yourself as you set out to achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Calling yourself a “fat cow” after enjoying a burger will NOT help you achieve your goals. However, committing to an extra 30 minutes of cardio will help you 🙂 Hold fast to your goals despite your slip-ups. We are human. We are perfectly imperfect. Embrace it (and keep coming to my Turbo Kick classes.)