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Tag Archives: fitness

How Do I Guarantee My Results After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on June 18, 2018 by

everydayThis is a great question and one that isn’t asked often enough.  Understandably, your initial focus is usually on researching the available surgical options.  After that, your next focus tends to be who will perform your surgery, where your surgery will be performed and how much it will cost.  Unfortunately, the focus doesn’t usually turn to one of the most important considerations – what you need to do to guarantee your results after weight loss surgery.

The reality is that everyone loses weight after weight  loss surgery (particularly with the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures).  It’s exciting!  It’s rewarding!  It’s awesome!  But…eventually…your weight loss slows down and you will plateau.  Don’t despair, with proper support and guidance, you can get through plateaus and the final plateau will ideally be somewhere just above your ideal body weight.

This occurs, especially if you use the time after surgery (particularly the first year) to not only lose weight, but learn how to modify your mindset and your lifestyle habits…for good!  If you do this, your potential for true long-term success is exponentially increased.  Remember, weight loss surgery is a tool to lose weight.  If you don’t fully understand how to properly use your tool, your results can be compromised.  Instead, why not optimize your results?  This is where your post-operative comprehensive program comes in.  Don’t skip this important aspect of your research process prior to surgery.

This may be disheartening to hear because you might think of weight loss surgery as a guarantee.  Don’t get me wrong, I see success each and every day and it is truly amazing!  However, weight loss surgery is not a magic bullet.  Long term success requires long-term changes.  Don’t worry though.  With proper comprehensive support, this process is not only rewarding and fulfilling, it is actually fun!

So…What should you do after weight loss surgery to guarantee your results?  This was reviewed somewhat in Chapter 10 but I am going to expand this explanation.  I will begin with identifying the most common things you should be doing and then I will take a slightly different approach and share with you the five most common culprits to poor/slower weight loss or eventual weight re-gain.

In addition to the actions described in Chapter 10, your post weight loss surgery steps to success should include:

  1. Don’t miss your post-operative visits with your surgeon. It is important for him/her to monitor your recovery and progress.  Sometimes people avoid their visits because either they are feeling so great, they don’t think they need to be seen or they are struggling and too embarrassed to see their surgeon due to a perceived sense of failure.  Unfortunately, this is the time you REALLY need to come in for your visits.  If you feel great, you can confirm your progress and celebrate even more.  If you are doing well, your surgeon WANTS to see you and celebrate with you as well.  If you are struggling, your surgeon WANTS to see you to help you identify the reason(s) why you are struggling.  It is best if this occurs as early as possible so you can take necessary actions to get back on track as soon as possible. You are not alone and recommendations can usually be determined quickly.  You can leave with a plan in hand and the confidence you need to master the use of your new tool and get back on your path to success.
  2. Don’t miss any scheduled visits with your primary care provider. This is particularly important if you are on any medications that need to be adjusted as you lose weight (i.e. hypertension and diabetes medications).
  3. Don’t miss any scheduled visits with your team of weight loss coaches. Included in comprehensive programs such as the one offered at the Center for Weight Loss Success, you will also be coached by a dietician, weight loss coach and/or personal trainer.  These professionals help you navigate the specific barriers or situations that may impede your optimal progress.  They will also keep you on track and guide you through this life changing experience.  In addition, your team loves to help you celebrate your success and assist you to avoid pitfalls and create new habits that keep you headed in the right direction.
  4. Make the most of the educational materials provided to you before and after surgery. At the WMU4WLS hardcover 2018 whiteCenter for Weight Loss Success, you receive a comprehensive  pre-operative and post-operative learning series called Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™.  This program is reviewed at your office visits guides you each step of the way for the first 12 months after surgery.  Each monthly module explains what to expect that month, what to expect the next month, success stories, recipes and educational materials explaining what you need to know.  They also include information regarding nutrition, metabolism, fitness and other topics that assist you to attain your optimal success.  The modules are supported videos in your membership site and homework assignments that help put it all together.  This comprehensive system is well received by patients.  By the end of your first year after surgery, you will feel as if you have earned a new degree in weight loss surgery!  No matter what learning method you prefer, all bases are covered so dive on in and enjoy!
  5. Attend the support group provided by your experienced surgeon/center. These are generally offered in a group setting and often supplemented with online support as well.
  6. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who have healthy behaviors. Beware of saboteurs.  There will usually be someone at work or at home who intentionally or unintentionally attempts to sabotage your new way of life.  Sabotage comes in many forms.  Here are a few strategies for dealing with the most common types:
    • Self-Sabotage: Hard to admit, but sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Do you have an internal dialogue that sounds like a tug of war between something you want to do and a rationalization as to why you can’t possibly do that today (better known as excuses)? It all starts with a realistic goal, a realistic plan and realizing that you are in control of your own behavior.  Try replacing the word “can’t” with the word “won’t” the next time that happens and your “self-talk” will begin to change!
    • Family/Friends: You like to think they are all supportive but the reality is that those we count on the most for support are often the ones encouraging a “treat”, “celebration”, “one more bite” or those trigger foods that you can’t say no to. The truth is that you are vulnerable right now and they need to understand your dedication to your goal.  You may need to have a “heart-to-heart” asking for their support. Be assertive, keep your goals handy, put treats out of site or give them away, focus on activities rather than food events.  At parties, focus on conversation and go in with a plan of attack you know you can stick to.
    • Vacations: Time away should be a time to enjoy and relax. However, be careful about your sabotaging thoughts to “let loose”, “do nothing” or “blow it out for the week”.  You can have fun in moderation, incorporate a new sport or activity, enjoy new foods (focus on protein, new vegetables or fruit) and feel great by working in a long walk, run or visit to the fitness center at that great resort!
    • Office Life:  Why is it that your office has to celebrate every event with cakes, cookies & donuts?  Let your co-workers know you are trying to get healthier and welcome them to join you.  Start a new office healthy thinking initiative. Avoid trips to the snack-laden break room and take your break outside.  Make a point not to eat at your desk or if you have to, only bring things you know fit into your plan. Keep a stretch band or small weights at your desk to use.  You could use eight different muscle groups in an eight-hour day!
    • Holidays/Parties: We need to celebrate life!  It can be done though without all of the focus being on food and/or alcohol (which diminishes our sense of control).  Plan for the event ahead of time and don’t go hungry.  You will be less tempted. Plan on picking one or two special food items, giving yourself permission to sample what is there…you don’t want to feel deprived.  Keep your alcohol consumption absent or to a minimum and stay hydrated with water with a twist of lemon or lime.  Hold your drink in your dominant hand to avoid picking at food and talk to others…it’s harder to eat while you are talking.

You can overcome these problem areas!  Make sure you identify what is risky for you so you can have a game plan to combat the situation(s).  Don’t prevent yourself from enjoying life but sometimes (especially early on in your weight loss until new habits are developed) it is easiest to limit exposure, make small strides, build your confidence and then celebrate your success!

Another way to look at how to achieve long-term success is to know and understand the most common reasons you might not get the results you desire and what to do about them.  Below are the five most common culprits to poor/slower weight loss or eventual weight re-gain:

  1. Depression – Emotional health is as important as physical health.  Although depression is not a problem for most after surgery, it can be a significant deterrent to optimal weight loss.  It is important to identify depression (admit that it is ok) and seek appropriate treatment so you can move on with your weight loss journey.
  2. Not Exercising – We require each of you to complete a fitness evaluation with a personal trainer which is included with the program.  The reason for this is because we believe some form of consistent exercise is essential for optimal success.  You should determine what form of exercise is right for you and begin your exercise plan before surgery.  We cannot over-emphasize the importance of this factor.  Although most find it difficult to begin an exercise plan, those that take that plunge never regret it.  It can only enhance your weight loss experience and progress.
  3. Drinking High Calorie Liquids – Many do not realize the excessive amount of sugar and calories contained in some liquids (i.e. Gatorade, Juice, Soda).  As a result, you may “waste” calories on such liquids.  This can significantly impede your weight loss.  It is better to choose water, water with lemon, Fruit2O, Crystal Light or other low or no calorie drink options.
  4. “Grazing” – After the first 2 months or so, you should have progressed to three meals per day with some higher protein snacks in between.  If not, you may develop the habit of “grazing” or eating throughout the day.  If this is the case, you tend to take in a significantly higher amount of calories throughout the day (more than what your body needs).  This will slow down your weight loss and can potentially cause weight re-gain.  Please guard yourself against such habits.
  5. Eating and Drinking at the Same Time – When you eat and drink at the same time, the food is “washed through” the stomach quickly.  It is important to hydrate yourself by drinking a low/no calorie beverage approximately 30 minutes prior to eating.  In this way, your hunger will be decreased.  When you eat, you should not drink at the same time.  As a result, your “pouch” will remain fuller for a longer period of time.  Thus, you will remain satisfied for a longer period of time.  Be sure to stop eating before you truly feel “full”.  It is a slow communication from your stomach to your brain to indicate a feeling of fullness.  Thus, you may overeat and realize it too late.  This can be a very uncomfortable feeling.

So although you may be focusing on the surgery itself, you will be doing yourself a big favor by not neglecting your post-operative plan.  Use these tips and don’t forget to enjoy this journey of self-discovery.

CFWLS-Rhonda-13- 

Rhonda’s Opinion:  Make yourself a priority and it will work.

Will I Have to Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on June 04, 2018 by

fit for lifeThe short answer is “Yes”.  Exercise is extremely important following weight loss surgery because you will be losing weight at a rapid pace.  Your body will try to fight this weight loss by attempting to store fat for this perceived starvation.  Your body does this by burning muscle mass and storing fat.  This is undesirable.  To combat this effect, it is important to exercise regularly so that your metabolism is increased and your body burns fat rather than muscle mass.

If you decide to have weight loss surgery, you should seize this opportunity after surgery and integrate activity/exercise into your daily routine. This will not only help you through any plateaus, it will help you build muscle, enhance your metabolism and overall energy, and greatly influence your overall success.

I encourage walking beginning the day of surgery to improve circulation.  Early walking forces the heart to pump blood throughout the body and prevents it from pooling in your legs which could cause clots that are potentially life threatening.    The more walking you can do, the better.  We ask that you avoid lifting heavy weights or doing sit-ups/abdominal crunches until you are at least 4 weeks from your surgery.  Prior to that time, you may ride an exercise bike, or swim (not until 2 weeks from your surgery).  When you choose your particular exercise program, make sure it incorporates weight training along with some form of aerobic/cardiovascular exercise.

Most everyone knows the benefits of exercise – it’s just doing it that is difficult.  We all can find excuses (not enough time, not enjoyable/boring, inconvenient, lack of resources, don’t know how, etc…).  The bottom line is that you must make time for exercise and make it a priority.  This is easy to say, but hard to do.

The benefits of exercise are many.  Some of these benefits include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased stress level
  • Reduced risk for development of heart disease
  • Reduced risk for colon and other cancers
  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Improved balance and independent living
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved energy levels
  • Improved sleep pattern
  • Improved sexual satisfaction
  • Improved overall quality of life

So you may logically understand the benefits of exercise.  If you still choose not to exercise, you must ask yourself “why?”  Determine your roadblocks to exercise and then identify solutions to the roadblock.  Once you “get the fever” for exercise after doing some form on a regular basis, you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.  If you choose weight loss surgery, you are making a life changing decision.  Maximize the benefits of this decision and commit to a regular exercise program.  You will not regret it.  Your weight loss will be enhanced and your overall quality of life improved.

It does take time and effort to get started.  In addition, after you have had surgery, you may have some feelings of fatigue for the first one to three months after surgery.  Until you can begin a more vigorous exercise program (4 weeks after surgery), walk as much as possible.  If you are unable to walk due to a health problem/disability, perform as much upper body exercise as you can tolerate using light weights (until 4 weeks after surgery).  If you have cardiac/respiratory problems, be sure to obtain clearance for starting an exercise program from your primary care physician and/or specialist.

Choose a fitness program that will work for you.  It should be tailored to your specific needs, abilities, preferences and activities that you will enjoy.  Otherwise, you will be tempted to quit.

Remember that at the Center for Weight Loss Success, we love making fitness fun and specialize in starting wherever you are.  We work privately with our patients and offer three personal training sessions as a part of their Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™ program.  Our certified trainers love working with clients at all levels of fitness.  You can also participate in our Group Fitness classes as a part of your program.  Remember, you are not alone.  Please use these resources available with your experienced bariatric surgeon/center to enhance your weight loss and improve your overall health and metabolism.

walking_feetWhen starting a workout program, take it easy.  Be sure to gradually work up to at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three or more times a week.  Stick to it and strive to make exercise a habit (usually considered a habit once performed regularly for at least three months)!  You won’t see dramatic changes overnight but you will see dramatic changes over time.

When you exercise, be sure to warm-up prior to the activity and cool down/stretch after the activity.  Do not lift too much weight (increase weight gradually), and remain hydrated – be sure to drink water before and after your workout.

Best of CoVa Contest!

Posted on January 21, 2018 by

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We have to admit it.  We know we have the very best patients around!  We drive to work with smiles on our faces. looking forward to helping our patients improve their health by losing weight.  Your success makes us happy!

If you’d like to let others know about Dr. Clark’s Center for Weight Loss Success, please take a minute and VOTE FOR US in Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Best of Readers’ Choice Awards for 2018!

You will find us under HEALTH and BEAUTY in THREE categories

  • Best Gym/Wellness Center
  • Best Specialty Fitness
  • Best Weight Loss Center

You can also nominate/vote for us in SHOPPING

  • Specialty Foods

You can vote ONCE each DAY through Friday, March 30, 2018

Share the Love!

Walk Your Way Healthy

Posted on October 16, 2017 by

So often people want to exercise, but they don’t know where to start. Walking is a great place to start. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be done anywhere, and all you need is a comfy pair of shoes.

HOW TO GET 10,000 STEPS A DAYfeet on sidewalk
Everyone knows movement is good for the body. The hardest part is often finding the time, especially if you have an office job. However, 9-5 is a long time to be sitting at a desk. But don’t worry, anything is possible with a little bit of change.

Walking is the best way to start adding movement into your day. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be added in small time frames, and needs no fancy equipment.

If you have the option, I highly recommend an activity tracker. While pedometers and activity trackers are in no way a necessity, seeing your steps add up can motivate and inspire you to keep moving. Seeing your steps also adds accountability. You may think you are getting an adequate amount of movement, but having a concrete number to track will help you ensure you are hitting your goals.

If you are new to walking try to hit 10,000 steps a day at first. That may seem daunting, but think of reaching 10,000 steps in smaller goals. Set a small goal to hit 250 steps/hour or 100 steps/30 minutes throughout the day. Newer activity trackers can often be set to alert you at different times of the day or a well-placed post-it note can sometimes be all it takes to keep your mind focused on your goal. Also start to recognize what activities equal 100 steps. You’ll be more motivated to continue changing your habits if you can see a concrete benefit that results.

If you are at a desk for the majority of the day there are great ways to sneak in steps throughout your day:

1. First, stepping side-to-side does count! Stand and pace as you read your emails in the morning. Are you brainstorming with colleagues? Don’t be afraid to stand and move as you think. The fun thing about counting steps is every step counts! Even if you’re not walking anywhere.

2. Park in the back of the parking lot. This advice is nothing new. But it still stands as good advice. I bet walking into work in the morning from the last spot in the lot can easily get you 100 steps.

3. Do you take an elevator? Change to taking the stairs. If you are new to stairs don’t feel like you have to conquer them all at once. Simply walk one flight up and then take the elevator the rest of the way. Add in the extra flights as you get stronger. Fitness success is about making a lot of little changes over a long period of time. It’s not about making a lot of changes all at once.

4. Rather than emailing or calling a coworker, walk over to their cubicle.

5. Walk the longest path to the bathroom, printer, scanner, fax, kitchen, water cooler, etc.

6. Take a short walk during your lunch break. Instead of spending your time driving to and from a restaurant, pack your lunch and then squeeze in a short walk with the time you saved.

7. Dress for success! Keep a change of shoes, socks, undershirt, etc. in your car during warmer weather for your longer lunchtime walks. In the winter, keep mittens, hat, and a scarf handy.

8. If it’s still too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer you can head to your nearest mall. Walking end to end one time is sure to add up!

9. Be the one who walks the dog, gets the mail, takes out the trash, and picks up the house before bed

10. Make time with your family count. Take a walk after dinner. Start playing Pokemon Go with your kids. Dance in the kitchen as you cook. Start a new hobby like bird watching, golfing, or hiking. Free time is when you’ll really rack up the steps.

Once you start tracking your steps you’ll be motivated to squeeze in more steps and set new goals. More importantly, you;ll be finding more ways to live a happy and long life. Steps don’t just result in better physical health. Walking will give you more opportunities to de-stress and clear your mind. Innovative ways of hitting your step goals will create new hobbies and create family memories. The more you get moving the more life you’ll have in each step.

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Join the CFWLS Steps for Success and add your daily steps to our group walks!  It’s easy – just log into World Walking and join the group.  It’s fun and a great way to stay inspired.

If you would like more advice on reaching 10,000 steps a day contact a CFWLS personal trainer or lifestyle coach today.

Spring Teller croppedContributed by Spring Teller, CPT, Group Instructor

The Fallacy of the Fat Burning Zone

Posted on September 18, 2017 by

Dr C with tie croppedWe talked recently about heart monitors and how they’re helpful in determining how well you’re doing with your fitness routine. You’re often taught to exercise in the “fat burning zone” to maximize the utilization of fat.

We want to burn calories and fat. That fat burning zone is where you burn the highest percentage of fat as your energy source during your exercise. It’s usually at about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. We talked last time about maximum heart rate (220-your age).  That’s a good estimate. We’re then taking 60-70% of that maximum heart rate.  It’s somewhere between 108-126 if you’re 40 years old. In theory, that’s your fat burning zone. That means that the highest percentage of calories burned is actually coming from fat.

The problem is that you’re not actually burning very many calories. Most of the calories you’re burning are coming from fat, but the issue is that you’re not burning that many calories. What you really want to do is bump up the intensity.  If you bump up the intensity, you’re burning a lot more calories. As you’re burning a lot more calories, your body can’t use fat quite as efficiently and so you’re burning more calories from carbohydrate. Is there something wrong with that?  Absolutely not! If you’re burning more calories from carbohydrate, what you’re doing is decreasing your carbohydrate stores.

We can store carbohydrate in our muscles. If we start decreasing the carbohydrate stores, you can actually replace that carbohydrate. For example, you can’t put more gasoline into your car’s gas tank until your burn the gas off. There’s only so much carbohydrate that will fit into your muscles. If you don’t actually decrease the amount that’s in the muscle, then you can’t replace it. You want to burn off that carbohydrate that’s in the muscles. If you burn that off, then you can actually put more in.  That’s how we can smooth over blood sugar swings.  Then, you can get a little leeway on your carbohydrates.

There are two reasons why the fat burning zone doesn’t work really well.  The first is you’re not burning that many calories. If you bump up the intensity, you’re going to burn a lot more calories. Number two, you want to use some of the carbohydrates stores because you want to be able to replace those stores. When you’re exercising, use a heart rate monitor and bump up the heart rate to higher than the fat burning zone. If you’re just starting an exercise program, you can’t just jump right into that.  But if you’ve been in exercise for a while you can go into that higher intensity as your fitness level increases. That’s where you burn the most calories and you get the most after burn as well. That’s burning calories long after you’ve finished exercising.

I have a great 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout you can use to get the intensity up!  https://youtu.be/WBAw-pRraGY

Your Challenge: 10,000 Steps

Posted on August 01, 2016 by

feet on sidewalkHippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, said “walking is man’s best medicine.”  Walking as a fitness activity is becoming increasingly more popular. According to the CDC (The Center for Disease Control) and the NIH (The National Institute of Health) Adults need 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.  We recommend 10,000 steps a day! This helps you stay healthy and lose weight.  Those 10,000 steps will burn between 2000-3500 calories a day. That could result in a 1-pound a week weight loss.  Make walking part of your daily routine.  It’s fun, inexpensive, and easy on the joints.

It’s even more enjoyable to walk in groups, which is why we started the ‘CFWLS – Steps to Success’ walking group.  We are racing, as a group, across America. The race started in California and we’ve already made it to sunny Arizona.  We enjoying setting goals, encouraging each other, and challenging ourselves physically.  Join the fun!  Just download the World Walking app on your smart phone and join our group at:   https://worldwalking.org/groups/cik7y.

steps group banner
GETTING STARTED:

You need comfortable clothes, supportive shoes, and a fitness tracker.  There are many places you can enjoy walking including: your neighborhood, track, water, park, treadmill, or the mall.

PROPER FORM:

Stand tall, keep your eyes on the horizon, practice heel-to-toe walking, neutral pelvis, relaxed shoulders, contracted abdominals, and unlocked arms.

BENEFITS OF WALKING:

Weight loss, encourages bonding with other walking buddies, increases energy and stamina, lowers Blood Pressure, and decreases stress.

ADDING INTENSITY:

Add inclines (hills), wear a weighted vest, add skips or jumps, take bigger steps, or incorporate speed intervals.  Walking longer and faster will help you burn more calories and lose weight faster.

FUN FACTS ABOUT WALKING:

*Former President Jefferson walked 4 miles a day and lived to be 83 years old.

*Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the United States.

*The average person will walk about 65,000 miles in their lifetime.

*Walking an 18-hole golf course is equivalent to about 12,000 steps.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to establish healthy habits.  Move your body as much as possible.  You can dramatically improve your health one step at a time.

I’ve included a short video to get you started!  https://youtu.be/LOYcFLk3YWw

Helping Your Overweight Child

Posted on March 14, 2016 by

active father son The rates of childhood obesity have tripled in the past 3 decades. Today, 1 in 3 American kids are overweight or obese. Our changes in lifestyle have led to this sad epidemic. We’re eating food on the run in lieu of sitting as a family for a home-cooked meal. Video games have replaced exercise, PE has been reduced at schools to 2 or 3 times a week, and portion sizes have tripled.

Children are now facing serious health issues that, in the past, were primarily associated with adults. These health risks include: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems, heart disease, and more! That’s a big burden for a child to deal with. Parents of overweight children are often frustrated and searching for answers.

The first step to helping your overweight child is to make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician for a check-up. It’s important to find out if they are clinically obese and if there are any underlying health issues. Then, follow these guidelines:

*MAKE THEM FEEL LOVED: Above all, make them feel loved no matter what size they are. Their self- esteem is often lacking and they feel stressed and anxious.

*EDUCATE: Teach your child about proper nutrition, how to read labels, and even how to cook. Explain the importance of exercising every day.

*INVOLVE THE WHOLE FAMILY: When a family member has a chronic illness, it affects the entire family. Likewise, if one of the kids is obese the family is impacted. Everyone needs to be encouraging, supportive, and eat home-cooked meals together. Challenge the whole family to eat healthy in order to set a good example.

*NUTRITION: Ensure they eat breakfast every day, drink lots of water, refrain from sugary drinks, limit sweets, and consume sufficient protein.

*EXERCISE: Encourage your child to fit in60 minutes of moderate intensity activities every day. Participate as a family:

*Sign up for a Family-friendly 5K race/walk
*Take the family on vacations where they can hike, ski, climb, or swim
*Sign your child up for a sport
*Take fitness/dance classes together

*LIMIT ELECTRONICS: Use electronics as positive reinforcement after they’ve completed their homework and gotten some exercise. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 2 hours a day for electronics (TV, IPAD, computer, etc…). Studies have shown that children with TV’s in their bedrooms are more likely to be obese.

As a parent you have the responsibility of setting a good example for your kids by eating healthy and exercising regularly.  Help them lead a healthy, active lifestyle and provide them with love and support.

For more support and advice on helping your overweight child, listen to Dr. Clark’s podcast interview with Childhood Obesity specialist, Dr. Wendy Sinclair at: https://cfwls.com/blog/bouncing-back-from-childhood-obesity/

Boot Camp – A Workout for All Ages and Stages

Posted on February 01, 2016 by

BOOT CAMP BASICSI’ve been a fitness instructor for 27 years. I teach 12 classes a week, 8 different formats, to clients of all ages and fitness levels. Class participants often ask about my favorite class format. I always hesitate because I enjoy all my classes, but my secret favorite is BOOT CAMP! Just the name sounds intimidating to most people. This class is a combo of cardio and strength training and torches fat and calories. But is it really for EVERYONE?

Many people tell me they will come to boot camp once they got in better shape! That seems oxymoronic since fitness classes are meant to get people in shape. The mind set is that the class is so challenging that it can’t be attempted until a certain fitness level is achieved first. Well, I’m going to debunk that myth. First of all, we all have to start somewhere with our fitness level. You challenge yourself and do what you’re able. I don’t expect perfection in my classes. What I expect is effort.

Everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone and attempt the challenges. If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. Safety is number one and it’s perfectly acceptable to modify any of the moves. I have a variety of participants from beginners to triathletes in my class.

Boot camp is a great workout because:
1. Burns a lot of calories and promotes weight loss.
2. It’s diverse, yet intense.
3. Most of the workout is timed so you can go at your own pace.
4. All the moves can easily be modified.
5. There’s no choreography. It’s straight-forward, challenging but easy- to-follow moves.
6. Variety—it’s hard to get bored in this class! Different types of equipment are used: balls, Bosu’s, steps, gliders, and more.
7. Built in rest periods.
8. East to check your progress from week-to-week.
9. Comprehensive—you get everything you need in one workout and it’s highly effective in burning calories and fat. It incorporates strength training, cardio, speed, agility, power, flexibility, and more!
10. It doesn’t require much coordination.

The following people may NOT be good candidates for this class:
1. People with hypostatic hypertension or veritigo.
2. People with serious orthopedic problems—knee or back issues.
3. Pregnant women.

Examples of Modifications:
1. Wall push-ups in place of regular pushups (or on the knees).
2. Wall squats in place of standard squats (lower down as far as you can).
3. Stepping up and down on the step in place of jumping.
4. Floor touches instead of Burpees (or extending one leg at a time).

Boot camp classes should be designed to accommodate and challenge all fitness levels. It’s important to trust and enjoy your instructor. Shelly Thomas teaches Boot Camp every Saturday at 8:30 here at CFWLS. The members are thoroughly enjoying the class along with Shelly’s fun personality and expertise. Come join the fun every Saturday. It will be the perfect start to you day!

Arlyne Spalla-Benson, LWMC, CPT

***Watch for word on our Self-Defense Boot Camp course coming up soon!  This will be a 4-week course taught by Shelly Ann Thomas – beginning March 16th!  Sign up in the Nutrition Store or call us at 757-873-1880.  Price for WLF & WMU Members is $20 – Non-Members are welcome too for just $40!***

Motivation Matters In Achieving Your Goals

Posted on December 28, 2015 by

inspiredAnd maintaining that motivation is key to success. As the New Year approaches, most of us find ourselves looking ahead and contemplating some type of change.  Generally, one of our goals involves weight loss or some other health-related change. Sometimes the changes we propose can seem overwhelming. The following tips can help you stick to your fitness/wellness program:

1. When it comes to fitness – start slowly. We are all anxious to get moving and see results, but your body needs to adjust to your new routine. Make sure you begin every workout with a warm-up to get the muscles moving. Then start off with 30 minutes of cardio or light weights – walking, biking, a machine circuit or low-impact exercise class. Gradually increase your workouts as your endurance increases.

2. Take a mental picture! Every day take time for yourself to visualize your new healthier, happier self. Close your eyes, relax and see yourself at your desired weight, and feel how happy you will be when you finally achieve that goal. Many athletes practice this to achieve their goals and you can too..

3. Seek Inspiration. There is nothing wrong with maintaining your motivation with inspirational quotes posted where you can see them throughout your day.  Sometimes it’s just what you need to see to get you back on your feet and focused.

4. Stay Balanced. Success isn’t all or nothing – you will be more successful with your diet and exercise program if you start to make small changes in your lifestyle.  Small changes add up to big results! If you miss a day of exercising or eat something off your program occasionally, don’t overreact. Just get back on track the next day and continue with your fitness routine. Keep your eye on the goal and you will be successful!

5. Make it fun! The time goes by faster when walking with a friend for conversation and mutual support. If you like to exercise alone, consider this time for yourself. Crank up your favorite tunes and feel the energy! When you enjoy your fitness program, you are more likely to keep it up.

6. Weigh in Weekly. The daily fluctuation in your weight is normal and it’s easy to get too wrapped up in the numbers.  Increasing your lean body mass takes time and it won’t show up in those daily trips to the scale. Try to focus on improving your overall fitness and feeling healthy & happier in the New Year. Don’t get discouraged if the numbers move slowly! Keep focused on your exercise and workouts and it won’t be long before you see results.

7. Listen to your Body. No one time is perfect to exercise. If you are a “morning person” get up 1/2 hour earlier and do your workouts in the morning when you energy is at peak level. If you stay up (or get up) late, you would probably do better to exercise in the evenings. Work with your own personal body rhythm to keep your enthusiasm up.8. Consider a Personal Trainer or Health Coach. A personal trainer/health coach can really help keep you on track. We have some of the best trainers in Hampton Roads right here at CFWLS.  They can work with you to create an exercise plan that is right for you.  Our nutritional coaches can teach you what you need to know to feel your best and get that scale moving in the right direction.

 

 

Summer is (un)Officially Over – It’s Time to get Back on Track!

Posted on September 14, 2015 by

The kids are settled back in school, summer cruises with all-you-can-eat buffets are a not-so-distant memory, garden cucumbers and peppers have ceased production, and cooler weather is on the way. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that summer has passed ( along with the mosquitos) and Autumn is around the corner. Fall is a breathtaking time a year, full of brilliant colors. It’s a perfect time to take long, purposeful walks.

“One’s greatest challenge is to control oneself.” (Kazi Shams).

How far off track did YOU get over the summer? It’s time to get back on that wellness track: healthy eating, consistent exercise, and regular sleep patterns. Getting back to a healthy routine will be especially beneficial when faced with the temptations of the upcoming holidays.

CFWLS mobile appThe first step is to get on the scale and assess the damages. Weigh at least once a week to avoid surprises. Body fat and lean body mass are critical percentages to track. The higher lean body mass is, the faster your metabolism is, which leads to weight loss. Be sure to enter your weights into your CFWLS Mobile app each time!

Back to Journaling! Be aware of how many calories you’re consuming. Along with calories, carefully track Carbohydrates and Protein. Surgical patients should keep carbs at 50 grams and medical patients should consume about 50-60. Your CFWLS Mobile app can take care of that too!

CFWLS Weight and Inches Chocolate Protein ShakeOur Weight & Inches shakes are a tasty and effective means of losing the unwanted inches from summer. Filled with vitamins and minerals, 29 grams Protein, and only 200 calories, they make a perfect meal replacement.

Plan ahead by preparing meals the day before. Prepare enough supper to provide leftovers for lunch the next day. Bringing a packed lunch to work will avoid temptations such as fast food or co-workers’ birthday cupcakes. Fill up on protein which will keep you satisfied longer than carbohydrates (which break down more rapidly in your system).

Don’t forget to take your Vitamins for a strong immune system, increased energy, synthesis of hormones and more! Our Lipo-B injections can help give you energy and burn fat. We’re offering a great deal this month. Only $70 for 4 injections (Call 757.873.1880 to purchase)!

walking_feetExercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood.  Walking up and down hills at Busch Gardens on the 4th of July, and floating around the Hubba Hubba Highway at Water Country on Labor Day burned some calories, but it’s essential to incorporate movement into EVERY day. 10,000 steps, or 5 miles, a day is an attainable goal. Exercise will increase lean body mass, making weight loss easier. Even 15 minutes a day will make a positive difference.

Sleep deficiency is linked to numerous, chronic health maladies. It can lead to obesity due to increases of blood sugar. Proper sleep fosters creativity, memory, and proper growth and development. Cooler temperatures are more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Watermelon is a refreshing and popular summer fruit. 92% of watermelon is water, which makes it a good choice to aid in hydration. However WATER is the best option to stay hydrated. Other drinks or fruits can add unwanted calories, carbs, and sugar. The average person should consume 64 ounces of water a day.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” (Winston Churchill).

Success should be a habit, not a goal. Make it a habit to eat right, exercise, and sleep well. It’s time to get back on track and put the summer behind you.