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Monday Challenge

Monday Challenge
Posted on July 21, 2014
Bridgette with hands in hairHappy Monday everyone. I hope you are all well and encouraged for what the day will bring. Today, I am going to workout with my girlfriends, then I am going to take my boys to the Denver Botanic Gardens. There is an exhibit there by Dave Chihuly that is supposed to be beautiful. It’s going to be hot, but I don’t mind. My daughter is away at summer camp, so I thought I’d have a special week with my guys.

My workout will about 24 minutes long this morning, very high intensity. It will be short, sweaty, and sweet. I love sweating. My personal fitness goal for this week is to cut back on my sugar consumption. This means that I will cut back on breads, grains, processed foods of any kind, potatoes, beer and wine, and of course goodies. I will focus on eating healthy proteins, fruits and veggies.

Remember fruit and vegetables give us all the glucose we need for energy. Protein is also an energy source and many people don’t realize that. We have been trained to think of carbs as our primary energy source. Our bodies burn glucose first, fat second, and protein third.

Here is the Monday challenge for you: Pick one or two items in your daily intake and replace them with something healthier like a piece of fruit or just take them out all together. I’m not asking you to take out all carbs, just one or two. Slow change is easier to do than drastic change.

This will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help your body function in a healthier way. Remember excess sugar is not helpful to our bodies at all. I don’t care if it’s agave, honey, maple syrup, white sugar, organic sugar, molasses or whatever. All sugar is bad for you. Maple syrup, honey, and molasses are the only sugars that have minimal health benefits. Sugar is sugar period. Don’t be fooled.

It also doesn’t matter if your bread is white, whole wheat, or gluten free, it all converts to sugar once it enters the body. Bread is simply sugar in a different form. So as you can see, sugar overload can happen quickly. This is something we all need to be aware of and then make our food choices wisely. Sugar reduction is not a bad thing, it just feels hard to do.

If you decide to take the challenge, you won’t be alone, as I will be taking the challenge myself. Here is my plan: Smoothie for breakfast-vega one protein powder, 1/2 banana, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, coconut oil, and flax seed. Lunch-salad with protein (I am ordering this at the Botanic Gardens) and Dinner-baked turkey with guacamole and kale salad. You have my word, I will not cheat today. Good luck on your own personal journey.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

Is Sugar Your Master?

Is Sugar Your Master?
Posted on July 16, 2014
We may frequently look down on the alcohoIic, the smoker, or the drug addict, but the rest of us have a much more acceptable addiction. In fact, it is one that is widely accepted. We worship and admire and dream of food. I do it all the time. I consume food in my thoughts, with my eyes, and eventually with my mouth. Since there are literally thousands of pictures of food posted on websites like pinterest and on personal blogs, there is never a shortage of new material for me to consume. There is even a new term for this purveyance of food. It is called food porn.

Food addiction and more specifically sugar addiction is running rampant not only in our society, but also in myself and in my children. I may not be the first one to go for the cookie jar, but I am the first one to go for the potato chip bag.

So even though I don’t need to lose weight, I do need to lose my addiction to sugar. But why does it feel so impossible not to eat sweets and carbs? It feels this way because our bodies literally become addicted to the sugar. The sugar changes our brain chemistry and therefore we are compelled to eat more and more. Sadly, we remain hungry. And to make it even worse, the more sugar you ingest in all of its various forms, the more unhealthy your body becomes. Enter disease.

This may seem a little melodramatic I admit. But watching a loved one die from obesity or from obesity related diseases is no picnic. My father died recently from all food related illnesses. He wasn’t obese, but his body had become a toxic playground. He would’ve lived much longer if he would’ve just changed his diet. But he simply didn’t want to, desire to, or believe he needed to. Such is life. What good are his Hostess Ding Dongs and his Coca-Cola to him now? They were simply his escorts to the grave.

Therefore, take a look at your sugar consumption. Reduce your intake of the white and deadly. I am limiting my intake of sugar because I no longer want it to be my master. Is sugar your master? Think about it.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

Do you Love your Body?

Do you Love your Body?
Posted on May 16, 2014
Loving My BodyMany times when I am on pinterest.com, I see postings of women with very little clothing on with a caption saying something like “Love Your Body” or “Your Body is Beautiful”. I do believe that each one of our bodies has been beautifully crafted, designed and created. However, I do not think our bodies are necessarily beautiful because of how they look, but I think they are beautiful because of what they can do. This is why it is important to love your body.

Over time, age, bearing children, stress, overeating, circumstances, disease and many other factors begin to take a toll on our bodies. They begin to slowly lose some of their youthful luster that they once had. And this is okay. Life happens to all of us and to our bodies. Our bodies do not have a choice but to reap both the good and bad consequences of every choice that we make that directly affects our bodies. Your choices matter to your body. So do you love your body? Do you treat it like a beautifully crafted machine?

I don’t mean do you love how it looks? I mean do you love it? Do you show it love or do you show it neglect and indifference? Do you nourish it properly? Do you keep it clean and well groomed? Do you take it out for a brisk walk or for a jog in the morning? Do you give it enough sleep? This is what it means to really love your body. This is not what the woman in the picture means. She wants you to love what you see when you look in the mirror.

But let’s be blatantly honest. Some of our body parts really aren’t that pretty to look at anymore. Take my boobs for instance. They look okay but they are completely different from when I was 20. Now they are like little raisins. They even float when I sink down into the bathtub. Are they technically beautiful? No they are not and that’s okay with me. I can say it and I know it’s true. I’m not trying to put myself down, I’m just stating a fact. They performed their duty of nourishing three children and now their job is done. Nursing took away some of their aesthetic beauty.

Now if I let the fact that they weren’t perky and full anymore get me down and depressed all the time, then we have a problem. Our focus shouldn’t constantly be on our appearance anyway. It should be more on our functionality. Women have a hard time with this. Many of us have our priorities shifted thinking it is better to look a certain way than to be a certain way. We should think of how we want our bodies to operate smoothly and less about how they look aesthetically.

So can I please challenge you to love your body in this way? Love your body not because of how it looks but because of what it can do. If you don’t love it through your actions then it will cease to perform optimally. It will be tired if you don’t give it sleep and proper nutrition. It will become flabby and weak if you don’t give it exercise. It will eventually become more of a burden to you than a blessing.

And in the meantime, If you want to work on how it looks aesthetically, then go for it. There is nothing wrong with doing that, it’s just that how it looks shouldn’t be your first priority. Your first priority is to love your body and to keep it strong and healthy.

Do you love your body? Think about it.

Bridgette

Burn Your Labels

Burn Your Labels
Posted on May 7, 2014

label burningLast night we watched a message by Andy Stanley. He was speaking to a group of middle schoolers about labels. First, he asked a profound question. Who has the right to label you? He said the only people who have a right to label something are the manufacturer, the owner and the purchaser.

Then he shared his personal experience and the different labels that he had been given in his life. One was Not Smart, another one was Not Athletic, and the other was Not Attractive. Some of these labels he gave himself and some were bestowed upon him by teachers and coaches. These labels had a negative influence on his life.

So tonight in my family we are writing down our own labels that we have been given over the years, and we are going to burn them in our little smokey joe. Most of my labels I gave myself over the years, but I do have some labels that were given to me by family or friends. My labels are Not Good Enough, Selfish, Lost, Mean, Different, Average, Mediocre, and Unsuccessful. I was happy to put those labels in the smokey joe and watch them go up in flames.

So when someone labels you, ask yourself this question. Do they have the right to label you? Did they make you? Do they own you? And did they purchase you? There is only one person who made you. There is only one person who owns you. And there is only one person who purchased you. His name is Jesus. He is the only one who has the right to label you.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

Be True to You

Be True to You
Posted on April 29, 2014
BR_kkp_51I had the privilege last week to interview/audition for a position at a very well known gym here in the Denver area. I was very excited about this audition for many reasons. 1) The trainers at this gym deliver very challenging and very unique workout routines that really take you and your body to the next level. 2) They play loud fun music which I love to be listening to when I am struggling through a workout. 3) They are located in cool little neighborhoods in Denver. I love the city vibe and the company of urbanites. After all, I was an urbanite for 20 years. 4) This would be a great learning environment for me. I could grow as a trainer and as a student. 5) They highly value community and relationships and these values are the core of who I am as a trainer. I would rather teach two or three people that I can develop a relationship with other than 40 people with whom I cannot. As a fitness professional, I desire change for my clients over dollar bills in my pocket, although I do need dollar bills.

For the audition, they requested a kettlebell workout from me. As a kettlebell trainer, I see kettlebell training as a very pure sport, whereas much of the fitness world does not. They tend to see the kettlebell as a prop that they can add to any given exercise. This in itself is not wrong, it just doesn’t magically transform any exercise to a kettlebell exercise. So in my preparation for this audition, I struggled within myself on how to present a kettlebell workout that was varied and diverse. Because there are only so many pure authentic kettlebell moves, it could’ve potentially gotten repititious after a while, since the workout was 45 minutes long.

After much deliberation, I included what my coach would call “bastardized” kettlebell exercises. For example, a “bastardized” kettlebell exercise would be a squat with a kettlebell. This exercise is no different than a squat with a dumbbell. The only difference is that kettlebells always look cooler. :) Let’s face it, dumbbells don’t come in different colors. They should. It would inspire more people to lift weights.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with these “bastardized” moves. I only have a problem with everyone thinking they are doing a kettlebell exercise when in fact they are not. They are just using the kettlebell as a prop. I like using the kettlebell as a prop, but I know this is what I am doing. Your average gym client would not know this unless you told them.

Here’s the other thing. You cannot teach authentic kettlebell technique in a fast paced environment and this is what I was asked to do. The “bastardized” moves are easy to teach quickly, but to teach a pure kettlebell move, you really need time to demonstrate the technique. I did not have this liberty. I knew this going in, and I really should have spoken up.

As I was leading the workout, the people in the class were struggling with the single arm swing, which is usually one of the first moves a person is taught to perform with the kettlebell. In its purest form, it is highly technical. You can just demo it and people can blindly follow, but w/o proper instruction they miss out on so many elements of the exercise.

What am I trying to say? I am trying to say that I should have been more open and honest with the people asking me to do the audition. I was presenting a workout in a style that I did not believe was a good match for the kettlebell. I believed in their method of training, I just didn’t believe in it for a pure kettlebell workout routine. As a teacher, I felt I couldn’t really teach kettlebell in a fast paced manner. Maybe I could have, and I simply failed to do so effectively. Who knows?

What have I learned from this process you ask? I have learned much. I have learned that I need to be true to myself and I need to speak up when something is troubling me. If I would’ve spoken up and elaborated on my thoughts about kettlebells, then maybe I could’ve presented something different to them. I ignored my inner voice that wanted me to slow down while I taught the moves, but I was trying to stay with the clock.

In conclusion, you should never ignore who you are and what you believe in. Yes, you may want to impress someone with your skills, but it isn’t worth changing yourself over it. Be true to you.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

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