Amanda Fisher Coaching

I help women get crazy strong - physically AND mentally - through strength training, sustainable eating habits, and a heathy mindset.

The Keys To The Fat Loss Kingdom: The Queen

Did you catch my first post in my fat loss series last week?  I was up in this internet space all talking about The Keys To the Fat Loss Kingdom.  Last week, I introduced you to the King.

So, last week, I was talking to you all about my dear client, who has had fat loss success in the past, but with unsustainable methods (drank all the shakes).  While she did let me know that she had great success getting familiar with protein and veggies and getting awesome at eating them, she also felt overwhelmed by the loads of information out there related to fat loss, how to eat, how to keep the results, all of it.  Her head was literally SWIMMING with information, and she wanted to figure it out, and figure it out for HERSELF, once and for all.

It prompted me to get crystal clear about how this stuff works.  So, I turned over the keys to the fat loss kingdom TO YOU last week with my post.  I introduced you to the King Of Fat Loss, or as I like to call him Consistent Calorie Deficit.  The King is responsible for the biggest part of fat loss.  The part we NEED to slay if we want to generate fat loss.  We need to get comfortable with how much we need to eat to get that fat loss ball rolling.  Calorie deficit is responsible for that.

To be fair, and clear, and muddy this all….we don’t actually need to COUNT the calories via app, paper and pencil, or whatever.  But we do need to tune into a few things.  Go back and read through that post if you need some help figuring out how calorie deficit works.

Today isn’t about The King anymore, although he is important.

Today, it’s time for me to introduce you to the OTHER half of the equation when it comes to sustainable, HEALTHY fat loss.

Today, it’s time to meet The Queen.

The Queen Of Fat Loss is Consistently Eating Quality Foods.  Said another way, more fruits and veggies, more lean proteins, more complex carbs, more healthy fats…..and less food from boxes.  Or, another way yet, a plate balanced with ground beef, roasted veggies, and some noodles…..and not….Hamburger Helper.  Make sense?

So The King pretty much is the one that holds the MOST power in fat loss, eating a sustainable calorie deficit CONSISTENTLY over time.  He tells us HOW MUCH.

The Queen, she pretty much helps us identify WHAT to put on our plates.  She helps us sort out the details of what kinds of foods to build our meals from.

How much food and what kinds of food, the two BIGGIES of fat loss, mmmmmmkay?

Back to The Queen.

Here’s what you get when you eat most of your meals with The Queen:

  • Lots of foods that give you tons of nutrients
  • Lots of foods that give you tons of energy
  • Lots of foods that give you lots of satiety
  • Lots of foods that are difficult to overeat

Here’s what you get when you consistently bail on your lunch dates with The Queen:

  • Lots of foods that are high taste, low nutrient, low satiety, and high calorie (means you are still hungry or craving them right after you are done eating them, and they don’t give you much for nutrients or “health”)
  • Lots of foods that are slicked up with trans fats and other ickiness (means ICK for your health and your insides)
  • Lots of foods that are all carbs, sugar, fat and not much lean protein (means you might never feel truly satisfied from eating them OR you might have the nasty blood sugar swings)
  • Lots of foods that are easy to eat and eat and eat (which really just means overeat)

So, we have to really buddy up to The Queen, do we not?  After all, she does does have a huge role in ruling the Fat Loss Kingdom.

Spend LOTS of time with The Queen.  Lots.  Suck up to her so you have a high place in The Court.  But, you know, sometimes you gotta live, and it’s ok to cancel on a lunch date with her here and there (so long as about 80-90% of the time you aren’t cancelling).  Make sense?

Bottom line, The King (consistent calorie deficit)….well, he’s a big deal.  But, The Queen and her food quality ultimately feed (Ha!  Pun definitely intended) directly into the calorie deficit game plan by giving us TONS of ways to work with the foods we choose to eat, right?

Ok, ok, ok.  I was going to stop here.  But I think we have to go one more week on The Fat Loss Kingdom.

Next week, we meet……

……The Court.

And by the way, I’m working on my own fat loss project right now.  And I’m sharing HOW I’m doing that with my email list.  If you want the ins and outs of what I’m doing, you can sign up for my exclusive email list below.  I share the good, the bad, the ugly, and dare I say it….the feelings with that list.

Want Exclusive Weekly Content?
I send weekly knowledge bombs on fitness, nutrition, and mindset!
We respect your privacy.

The Keys To The Fat Loss Kingdom:The King

I was chatting with a brand new nutrition client the other day, and heard the same story from her mouth in the first 10 minutes of conversation that I’ve been part of myself, and have heard from most of my nutrition habit crew that I work with.

Let me set the stage for you:

I ask a few questions of my new clients to get to know them better, and to get to know how they have approached nutrition or nutritional concepts in the past.  And what they are currently doing now in terms of nutrition, and where they’d like to go.

My new (and fabulous, I might add) client, a young and busy mom, had a lot of experience nutritionally in the past few years.  She’d gotten comfortable with eating protein and veggies.  She’d gotten comfortable with building meals and snacks.  She’d done a shake program that yes, focused on shakes and bars, but did ultimately get her eating protein and veggies and recognizing their importance.  And now, she wanted to learn how to eat healthy permanently, and not just for a short time.  She wanted to begin approaching fat loss.  She wanted to know exactly what to eat so she didn’t get the 9AM blood sugar crash that left her with that dreaded shaky feeling that makes you want to eat food, and a LOT of food, simply to just get rid of that yucky shaky feeling.

“But what do I eat?!?!  How do I do this?”  I can sense her frustration.  I’ve been there before myself.

“There is so much information out there, and I just don’t know which path to follow!”  And I nod my head in agreement.  There IS so much information out there.  Who is right?  Do you follow the shake people?  Or do you follow the points people?  Or….do you follow the calories don’t matter, just eat clean people?  Who?

And something really not awesome happens when there are so many choices on who to follow and what information is true.

We follow no one.  We ultimately have lots of ways to know what to do.  We just don’t do them.  We have all the “know” and none of the “do.”

The answer on who to follow by the way, is to begin building your own knowledge and figuring out what works for you (and probably that’s a long ass essay we will save for another day).

So today, I’m going to begin giving you the keys to the fat loss kingdom.  The overall framework, or the FOUNDATION of the kingdom that is fat loss, if you will.  The foundation is the most important, and gets us about 80% of the results we are after.  And this doesn’t include choosing the paint colors or the gutters or the trim you want on that castle, but DOES include the very ground it’s built upon, the castle itself, and the entire support system that holds it together.  The paint colors, the trim, the gutters?  Minutia…..the 20% that maybe matters down the road, but not right now.  The 80%, the big players, the things to build your meals around?  That’s what we’re getting down and dirty with right now.

And really, it breaks down to two very simple things, really, this kingdom foundation.

And I’m turning over the keys TO YOU because I trust you.

I trust that you, like I, loathe the plethora of information that swirls in our heads and around the internet surrounding fat loss.  I trust that you, like I, loathe all the gimmicks and nonsense and products and the throwing away of money at these things.  I trust that you, like I, want to know what’s best for you, and learn how to get there once and for all if you don’t know already.

And so now, I hereby bestow upon you…..the first installment of keys to the fat loss kingdom.

(Imagine me waving my hands around in the air in wild pomp and circumstance as I make a big celebratory deal of handing you a new and shiny key encrusted in diamonds and sparkle, and we unlock the castle door together).

Let me introduce you to……

The King

The King Of Fat Loss is consistent calorie deficit.  Or a really fancy and technical way to say “learning how to eat just the right amount less than what you use each day to live your life.”

Read that again with me please.  Learning how to eat just the right amount less than what you use each day to live your life.

The King Of Fat Loss is not:

  • Eating a thousand calories or less
  • Cutting food groups (although cutting food groups from your life ultimately DOES cut calories)
  • Dying a slow death on the dreadmill to burn off your food choices
  • Wrapping yourself in some plastic wrap concoction that says It Works (but we all know It Friggin’ Doesn’t)
  • Shakes, potions, cleanses, pills (things that cost lots of money but don’t actually do a whole lot)

The King Of Fat Loss is:

  • Knowing how much you need to maintain your current physique and shaving off just enough of your calorie needs on average, and consistently
  • Knowing that overeating isn’t the answer and will lead to fat GAIN (and probably muscle, too, if you are lifting)
  • Knowing that cutting TOO much from our food intake leads to ugliness of cravings and binge cycles (and low energy, low everything, and a bunch of other yuck)
  • Knowing how to Goldilocks your food intake (not too much, not too little but juuuussssttttttt right)
  • Knowing that eating too much chicken for your caloric needs is the same as eating too much cake for your caloric needs….too much of ANY food for your caloric needs is just that, too much

I can already hear you.  You want to know exactly how to do this, don’t you?

So I’m giving you my favorite ways to do this that do not involve counting calories or logging your food into some app that doesn’t tell you anymore than looking in the mirror and paying attention to how your clothes fit.

Because, again, I trust you.  Because I know how it feels to have alllll that info swirling around in my head. Just like my new client a few days ago.  And I want you to have the information to begin making your own game plan.

My favorite ways to goldilocks sustaining a calorie deficit (without actually counting the calories):

  • Eat slowly, and without distraction.  Another way to say this?  Don’t eat in front of the TV.  Or as Geneen Roth says, Don’t Eat And Tweet.
  • Eat until somewhere between satisfied and stuffed, or until 80% full.  Usually, for fat loss, this means you COULD eat more but don’t.
  • Include a ton of whole foods to your daily food choices.  By doing this, you begin limiting the processed and high taste/high calorie ones.
  • Not my favorite way of course, but a truthful and important one.  See less of Mr. Beer and Mrs. Wine.  Booze is fun, of course, but it comes with tons of calories and also tons of  way to make you HUNGRIER (drunken pizzas at 2AM rings a bell for me).  Don’t worry, you can still have some.  SOME.  But not ALL the booze, all the time.

Tomorrow I’m diving deeper into two of these ways to my tribe via email.  If you want in on those ways, take a peek below these words and find my sign up box.  That will hook you right up.

And next week…..

…..I’m going to introduce you to The Queen.

Postpartum: My Experience With A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

Last week, I made a case for getting your postpartum body to a women’s health physical therapist.  

This week, I’m doubling down on that same subject to tell you about my own personal experience working with a women’s health PT.

While I was researching a good one in my area, I learned pretty quickly that these professionals aren’t just laying around for a quick visit.  They are pretty specialized, for a variety of reasons, and when you try to get into visit them, they seem to be generally booked out fairly far (considering they are pretty specialized, this makes sense).  So I booked my first appointment with my PT when I was two weeks postpartum, and had it set for when I was almost five weeks postpartum.  I visited the Institute for Athletic Medicine.

To be completely transparent, I knew I needed to make this appointment based on all the new writings and research in strength and conditioning world.  I knew I wanted to get back into strength training COMPLETELY ready to begin training smartly and progressing smartly.  I knew, after last time when I didn’t really know better, that I needed to take this seriously.

And to be completely honest, I booked my visit with the attitude that I was doing my due diligence in my postpartum health, but that I was only going to have to “clock it in” because I was probably one of those women who didn’t have any issues.

Did you know that women’s health PT’s want to know EVERYTHING about your core and pelvic floor health?  How many times a day do you go #1 and #2, can you hold it, for how long, do you ever leak, does it ever hurt, do you have back pain, how were your babies born, how many babies, how long were labors, any assistance during birth, EVERYTHING.

Upon talking about all these things with my PT, we began biofeedback testing.  Which basically means, I got undressed from the waist down, and got hooked up to little electrode thingies on my butt, on my thigh, and on my hip, and then she began coaching me on contracting my pelvic floor.  Then my core.  Then my core AND pelvic floor.  And we found out pretty quickly that my pelvic floor was hypertonic.  Meaning, it was ALWAYS working – contracted – and trying to do the job my transverse abdominis wasn’t.  A strong muscle is one that can contract AND relax.  My pelvic floor could not relax….thus, it was very weak.  Apparently this is very common, and especially common in those who lift.  Who knew?  Ha!

So, my first appointment was basically getting me to recognize coordinating JUST my pelvic floor and JUST my core, and then the two together via seeing a computer screen and the use of biofeedback to show me when I was contracting, relaxing, and the like.  And, my PT sent me home with some exercises to do daily to work on this.  We found that I could get my best contraction and coordination in a seated position versus a side lying position.  My PT also coached me on the importance of posture – sitting up straight, stacking ribs over hips, etc – in all of my daily life to support healthy core and pelvic floor function.  Feeding and nursing positions with baby especially, since that’s where a bulk of my time was spent.  She also gave me a hefty reminder to sit the hell down a TON during the day, because my pelvic floor needed rest and recovery, and getting up and doing a lot just made it work all that much harder.  She also recommended a follow up visit in two weeks to assess strength and coordination.

It was quite the coincidence that a few days after my first visit, I was at home, and began thinking I had symptoms of prolapse.  I felt weird.  I felt like I had something possibly lower than it should be.  I could feel something lower than it should be.  Cue all the freaking out on the planet.  I’m going to spare you about two weeks of drama until I saw my PT again, but the Cliff’s Notes are that I sat my ass off, I saw my midwife for my final PP check, and I also sought out an OB to double check, and to establish care since my care with the birth center was complete.  I also had emotional meltdown after emotional meltdown.  I knew that a prolapse would change a lot of things for me, strength training wise and work wise, and to be honest, it sorta felt like I was majorly getting betrayed by my body.  After visiting the OB, I had a sort of sigh of relief.  She was pretty confident after an exam that I didn’t have a prolapse of uterus or bladder, but since I had some symptoms (like I couldn’t go #1 all the way gone), that it could possibly be very mild prolapse, OR it could be par for the course of being only six weeks PP and still nursing, with very loose joints and connective tissue.  She advised continuing on with PT, and checking back in sooner (versus a year later for an annual visit) if I felt like things were getting worse instead of better.  I was happy to have this feedback, but to be honest, I trusted the expertise of my PT over the OB.  Not because the OB doesn’t know anything.  The OB knows women’s health, and specializes in the overall health of me and my female anatomy.  However, she doesn’t have the expertise of how specific muscles and systems work, and how those muscles and systems need to be treated, how they need to function, and how they respond to force during daily activities (I’m not saying any of this “right” but I hope you get my gist).  Her job ISN’T to know those things, and so the help of someone who’s job it IS (the PT) is vital.

Upon visiting my PT for my third visit, she agreed with the OB.  Not a prolapse, but potentially a very mild one IF symptoms continued.  She also very optimistic that with additional exercises, we could take care of any issues. That visit was internal.  She checked the strength of my pelvic floor muscles, and rated them at a 2 out of 5 for strength.  We also checked coordination of them – could I contract them and not my TA, could I contract my TA and not my PF, and could I contract both together.  I was definitely getting way better at this.  Because I had good coordination, and because I was actually doing my exercises, she said I could begin strength training smartly, and without any additional load (aside from floor presses) than my bodyweight.  You KNOW I was jacked up to begin this!  I think that was somewhere around 7-8 weeks PP.  She also explained that while I thought I was feeling symptoms of prolapse, that it was likely my pelvic floor was just on overdrive, and that I needed to be diligent about relaxing it as much as I could.  I did that in various ways – laying on my back with my legs supported on a couch above me, and letting my legs have zero tension, doing some child’s pose stuff and breathing drills, and some other things I’m forgetting at this point.

Over the course of 14 weeks, I had five PT visits.  Each one, I could tell I was getting stronger and stronger.  I was also learning that those weird prolapse symptom feelings had way more to do with having an overactive PF, PLUS they were really present when I was overtired, and when my hormones were changing.  For instance, I work really long days on Mondays and Wednesdays, and could pretty much bank on prolapse symptoms those days, and then most of the rest of the week was fine.  And also, I quit nursing at 12 weeks, and not long after that I could tell that my body was trying to generate some sort of cycle, and that made me feel off again.  I guess this is all normal stuff with tiredness, stress, hormonal changes, and a host of other things.  I’ve also been very diligent about introducing “new” exercises into my strength training to test for a few times to see if any of THOSE generate weirdness.  So, basically, I’m just really freaking aware all the time about this stuff.

My last visit with the PT was learning how to make intense exercises – think jumping, running, and those type things….pelvic floor friendly.  How to add a PF contraction and when.  How to incorporate breathing.  My PT also said since I had good awareness and good PF and core coordination, that I was safe to begin pushing the envelope a bit and testing myself.  On a full bladder, try jumping.  Stand in weird positions and side lunges and try doing my contractions, etc.  It’s super interesting stuff.

I’m about four months PP at this point, and can tell you that each week is getting better and better.  My coordination is good with my core and PF.  My PF is beginning to do it’s job without me having to mentally think through it during every exercise, every sneeze, every lifting of the infant seat, etc.  I also still have those weird tired days sometimes where I can feel that it’s exhausted.  I’ve been working out with lighter weights for two weeks, and this week have begun increasing the load so long as that each exercise, each rep, feels good, feels coordinated with core and floor, and as long as I can pass the 3 P’s (no pain, pee, or pressure).

All in all, I would categorize working with a women’s health PT as self-care.  I had a reason to work with one for five visits.  I think every woman should visit at least once to get an assessment.  I wasn’t referred by an OB or midwife, so this was self-refer classification.  I think people should know the ins and outs of that too, financially.  Each visit was approximately $200-225, and everything except $32 each visit was covered by our insurance.  I know everyone and everyone’s insurance was different, but that’s the kind of info I wanted to know before visiting and couldn’t really find so I had no clue what to expect.  Here’s how I’m doing the math on this one – if I DID NOT go this route, I would likely be having the bladder/sling surgery (that has a 70% fail rate and/or has to be re-done every 10 years) down the road.  At who knows what cost, but also losing my ability to work for a minimum of six weeks in my profession.  So for roughly $150 out of pocket, I’m very confident in the workings of my body and managing this stuff on my own, and know what to do next if something pops up, and will likely avoid any type of surgery.  $150 feels like pocket change considering all that.

I also feel pretty strongly that even if prolapse is a diagnosis for someone, this can very much help the severity of it, or help things almost completely.  And if prolapse isn’t, but incontinence or other things are issues, this is what should be the first step – not “just accepting it as normal” or waiting until you are done having kids to have the surgery, or considering surgery as the only cure.

This is NOT a sexy topic, but it’s a necessary one.  Running a gym, I see about 60 faces a week.  During my post natal fitness certification, I learned that 50% of women deal with this stuff.  You know what?  That’s 30 of my weekly faces, and I’m one of them.  So….it’s pretty damn common, and there is a HUGELY helpful resource available that really isn’t talked about.

So I’m talking about it.  If you have questions, I’m an open book on this one…..I pretty passionate about it at this point.  So, feel free to PM me on Facebook for questions, or just to get pointed in the right direction of a PT, and I’ll do what I can to help you out!

« Older posts
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: