Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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To Count Or Not To Count…

My friends, Happy Thanksgiving week to my American readers, I hope you are going to be enjoying family time this week and some good nomz!

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I wanted to chatter a bit about a topic I have been sitting on for a while…

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Yes dem Macros.

Tricky topic, well I believe it is, and you will see that in the video as I discuss both sides and try to come to a conclusion.

Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.

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Link HERE. I’m sorry I just checked it and for some reason the whole video is not in sync. Take a listen and ignore the fact that it doesn’t match up to my actions. Sorry, damn iMovie.

Happy Humpday friends! 

Do you track?

Do you think people should track?

-Chelsea


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More Food = More Gains

Friends! Today has been a really great day thus far and to share that happiness with you I thought I would jump into the link up party

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Lovely Link-up created by the wonderful Meghan 

…cuz I have been feeling and receiving all kinds of happy lately. Also the ‘list all your achievements’ theme is quite fitting this week.

1. I’m sorry I’m happy while everyone down south is angry AF still post election. But we won’t get into that because politics is just something you don’t touch.

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…Moving on….

2. My lifts…omg I amaze myself. The small increases I do with my coach every two weeks are lighting me up like a firecracker I kid you not. I started to wonder why I’m progressing so much faster strength wise now than I was with my previous coach. At that time I was getting much, MUCH larger increases compared to now and, yes, I was progressing, but not at this rate.

I thought about it hard and figured it’s probably having to do with the fact that my system is healing itself now. Back earlier in the year, it was overwhelmed being overfed and dealing with all the health problems (cough parasites..) and so I think that with those dealt with (I hope!) my body is now less stressed and less inflamed so perhaps now during this healing process it’s just going to get better and better.

So those PR’s…Excuse me while I grin like a crazy person…I’m just so happy about them!

~I squatted 4×3, 1×5 135lb back squats this past Friday. Thats up 1 whole set and 1 rep from last week. NOTE that this may small but its actually about 1.6x my bodyweight. My goal is 4×8 by Xmas. Getter!

~100lb DL this morning. DL have always been my weakest lift, so I was pretty damn proud of this lift, especially since I have felt stalled for a few weeks

~30lb DB shoulder presses this Saturday

~135lb Rack pull for 5

~135lb barbell hip thrusters.

~100lb barbell lunges for sets of 8

So yeah, excuse my pride face..

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3. Started off my morning right today with news that I had gotten a 90% on my clinical midterm. Once again I was terrified to check because everyone else was spouting about how bad they felt they did. I need to learn to trust my gut.

4. On the topic of marks, 88% for Metabolism and another 90% in Nutrition Assessment ain’t too shabby either.

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5. I managed to finish a Clinical assignment in 1.5 hours on Saturday. Holler at that productivity.

6. I have been writing training plans for my housemate and she told me how thankful she was for them because she has never felt so good about herself.

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Follow me at @lilmisscross!

Gym = more confidence in everything! Its not just about aesthetics.

7. This will be my 4th blog post this week!

8. I welcomed myself back into vlogging! I’m so happy to be back.

9. I have done the monkey work for my Master/Internship applications. Goals for the next two weeks is to crack down on those letters of intent/cover letters

10. Wrote a leg routine for two people at the gym and they absolutely loved it. I than so graciously received a Tims gift card, which was totally not needed or asked for but she insisted. So nice.

11. I made a peanutty version of these cookies and everyone loved them!

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12. I reconnected with a friend who moved away this year (Oh hey Cass if you’re reading this). It was so nice to hear from her and catch up!

13. One of my clients told me that he was so happy that he found me because I have helped him so much. Daaawww

14. Finally took my ass to Canadian Tire to get a spare key for my Dad. Than I got an even cooler key so my Dad gets the boring original…

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I swear I am an adult. Can I call it Mighty Mouse?

PS please ignore the U.G.L.Y callouses on my hands…gym problems.  

14. Three people have told me that I’m looking strong! I’m growing friends!

15. I left the gym on Friday feeling a sense of complete and utter bliss. I had trained my ass off that morning, hit my squat PR, trained both a client and my housemate and spent 1.5 hours trying to eat my post workout because everyone was chatting with me. I just feel like I’m supposed to be there. I’m supposed to help others and give information. It was a great feeling. Passion, I like you.

16. I forced my housemates to enter the Christmas season nice and early with me by putting these on their doors ;-).. Spread a lil love…

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Penguin for me (cuz I love them!), elephant for Em (cuz likewise) and a beautiful Xmas sweater for Rita because they didn’t have a turtle…(her nickname lol)

And with the spirit of Xmas now in our hearts, I will end it here. Overall a great week filled with a lot of great things. Heres to further growth and positivity my friends!

Thanks again to Meghan for giving me a platform to share my successes and happy moments of the week.

motivational-penguin

What is one success or happy moment you experienced this week?

-Chelsea


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Doubt Stalls Progress

My friends, so I welcomed myself back yesterday, and now I’m bringing you my first lil video. Nothing informational or science based, just something I have been dealing with as of late and some tips that hopefully you can use and I can follow through with myself.

We all go through periods of self doubt. What is important is that we eventually see that there is not reason to doubt ourselves and simply move on.

Self doubt kills progress. It stalls you.

You need to let go of that doubt, realize what an amazing person you are and what skills you bring to the table and continue to moving along whatever path you are going.

I’m not going to be naive and say that this process is easy or instant, but it’s something we all have to do. Look inside yourself, realize what you bring to the table, how far you have come and be proud to share that with whoever or whatever is standing at the end of your pathway.

Always always always remember you are enough. More than enough! You are the best person you can be and have a lot of offer. Never let anything or anyone stop you from reaching your goals.

Self doubt is not fact, it’s a fictional story made up by you and allowed to live until you shut it down.

I hope you enjoy, and check back for more. If you have any topics you want me to chatter live about, let me know in the comments 🙂

What do you do when you are doubting yourself?

-Chelsea


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Remember Your First Home…Fitness Friday 18

As cliche as it sounds, always remember to love the very thing that houses you because when you take it for granted, you may loose it.

Your body is not invincible. It doesn’t have a restart button. It’s just trying to do the best it can with whatever you decide to throw it’s way.

Dieting, restriction, stress, over exertion and over overconsuming are all threats to your home. It’s like a plague where it starts off affecting a small area and then it seeps into others leaving nothing left in it’s path and just causing one loss after another after another. When you deprive your body of what it needs (or go over it’s capacity), things are compromised and perhaps even sacrificed as it tries to keep fighting and moving forward.

But sometimes the plague is just too strong and the body looses the battle.

Unfortunately, that’s when you realize that the one thing that you should feel the most protective over is gone and that often means that you are too. 

your-body

…..

Now before someone thinks I’m writing my own death letter, I’m not dying. I have however gotten some not so nice medical results back as of late and am currently in the works with dealing with them.

The first was when I asked my doctor to test me for a gut parasite as a weird thing to check off the list of “what is causing Chelsea’s tummy issues”

As weird as it sounds (where most doctors wouldn’t even consider this as a possibility because we are a first world country) my results not only came back positive, but came back saying many…

So basically I was housing a rapidly growing colony in my gut that is possibly stealing my body’s resources. #FunTimes

Currently being treated with meds for the next few days (for a total of 10 days) to try to kill the parasite. Unfortunately it’s also going to kill a lot of good flora which is not so great for someone who already is at a disadvantage from a stomach/gut perspective. Thanks IBS.

So that was one.

Lesson learned here: You know your own body. When something is getting worse when you are doing everything the absolute same plus doing things that are known to help your problem, you need to take matters into your own hands and TELL THE DOCTOR WHAT TO DO.

If I hadn’t had said anything, those buggers would continue to eat away and do their thing (whatever that is) and continue making me miserable.

The second thing that came back was my pituitary gland hormones. To keep things brief and to the point, I basically have no LH or FSH (integral to menstruation) and my prolactin is through the roof. My doctor did not, however, ask for my estrogen or progesterone levels which is annoying but either way I have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

For this, I don’t know what’s is going to happen until I see her next Friday but I did happen to miss the clinic calling (and subsequently emailing me..) with a doctors message.

Why they don’t leave a voicemail is beyond me…

…so it ain’t looking positive.

All and all this was not a post meant for you to feel bad for me.

It was meant for:

1.To be transparent with you all about my journey as I always do.

2.The bigger thing was to show you that your body has a way of showing you it’s hurt and it will bite you in the ass eventually. Although my health is constantly improving, these show me that my body was very much effected by my lack of being a ‘responsible home owner” and now I have to suffer the consequences.

Never take your body for granted. Treat it with respect or it will come back with nothing but negative consequences in your future.

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I realize that this post is quite a bit different than the usual Fitness Friday informational blogs, but I wanted to get this point across. An integral part of being an active and healthy individual is taking care of the one thing that allows you to do what you do. We all need to be reminded of this fact every so often and so I suppose I can give you a realistic example as to why you need to be aware that you are more fragile then you would like to admit.

Take care of your home and it will repay you.

-Chelsea


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When Intuitive Eating Becomes Dangerous

It seems that amongst some of the diet trends, intuitive eating has become something similar to a movement as of lately. I almost get the sense that those who speak on their ability to ‘listen to their body’ and intuitively eat feel as if they are on a higher level then those who are tracking macros or practicing counting of any kind.

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Intuitive eating is understood as ‘natural eating’ or eating the way we all really should be. It’s quite simple. You eat when you’re hungry rather than based on the society’s created meal schedule. You stop when you are satisfied rather than when everything on your plate is done. Finally, you eat an amount based on body signals rather then set macros.

From a psychological standpoint, there is supposed to be zero guilt along with this way of eating because this is eating based truly on your body’s signals. If you are doing it right than you should be able to live without extreme cravings because when you do want something less nutrient dense you can have it in moderation without going overboard and over-indulging in it.

Food is therefore seen in a positive light and not seen as ‘bad foods’ vs ‘good foods.’

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Simple right? So this should be how we look at food…

But this isn’t always the case and I would argue that this idea of 100% following your body is actually impossible in our society these days. In more extreme cases, trying to listen to your body can actually be quite dangerous.

Let’s address the latter part of that statement first. Take me as an example, with all of my IBS symptoms and past ED experiences, I simply CANNOT attempt intuitive eating or I would loose weight like it was going out of style. Recently, I haven’t really felt much hunger. My IBS is really getting nasty and so food is just eaten and without being prompted by my body. Even post workout most days, I’m eating when I’m not feeling hunger because I know I have to eat. If I were to wait until I was hungry, I would be lucky to break 1000 calories I would guess.

The other issue here is satiety. Satiety for someone who has struggled in the past with food issues is not only physical but also equally mental. I may be having a bad body image day and look at a plate of food and assume it’s too much and actually feel full faster.

Your mind is powerful and can actually trick you into thinking you have had enough when you have actually under eaten.

Also, if you’re eating begins when you’re not feeling hunger, then technically you are already breaking the rule of ‘following your body signals’ no?

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So in a case such as mine, I have to track my macros and eat what is in front of me because it’s what my body needs to keep weight on and be able to fuel the rest of my day and training the following day. At the present time, that is just how it is and I have to accept that it is what will keep me on track and healthy.

On the other side of the spectrum, if someone is drastically overweight and used to eating certain excessive amounts of calories, they may have to feel a degree of hunger when making changes to their lifestyle to benefit their health. So in this case, once again, they may need to forgo what their body is telling them and eat based on a plan if that is what needs to be done to get them to a healthier body weight.

Now, I say this BUT at the same time I truly believe that the types of food that people choose to eat make all the difference here. Wholesome and nutrient dense foods are filled with fibre and water much more then processed and fast foods. As a result, they end up being just as filling (if not more) despite being dramatically lower in calories. In this case, people need to be educated on food choices so that they can avoid that hunger feeling as much as possible.

Again the mind may come into play here too, so a change of mind set may be in order. If you feel that something may not fill you up, that may just end up being the case. Be open minded and truly FEEL your body. 

….

So these are extreme parts of the spectrum, but I also mentioned that think that even the bulk of the population can never truly be intuitive eaters based on how it was described earlier.

Why?

~ Does anyone these days truly see food as food? Can 100% say that they haven’t changed their choice based the fact that what they wanted was ‘bad’?

~Jobs and school don’t actually allow for us to be 100% in tune with our hunger. You can’t just get up and walk out of class because you got hungry. No, you have to wait. By the time you get out of class you may be starving and eat so fast that you aren’t really listening to your body’s signals. On the other hand, you could decide to eat before when you aren’t hungry…

~Social events are almost always around food. Do you think the majority of people who attend cocktail hour are actually truly hungry…or is it just that the food is there and others are eating it that we eat it too?

~We are generally eating while doing something like driving, watching TV, studying, etc so we are often unable to recognize true satiety. I believe that this is one of the biggest problems these days. We need to be less distracted when we eat, then maybe many wouldn’t overeat as often as they do. 

There are probably other things I could bring up here as well but I will leave it at those. You see, we can never really say we are 100% intuitive eaters. Society has pushed it’s norms onto us so much that we feel guilty about food and label it a junk or bad food, when truly, there is no bad food, just less nutritious options. **Unless it’s legit not even food… We all have to admit that we don’t take the time to really listen to our cues because we don’t have the time to be patient. We restrict ourselves against our cravings so they just grow and become monsters.

So in this case, I believe that the only TRUE intuitive eaters are infants and toddlers, those who have not been influenced so heavily by society yet. Well, maybe physiologically (as they don’t have a choice of food options mostly) they are intuitive. They will tell you when they are hungry and full in most cases. It is us adults who force food onto them and make them eat according to a schedule.

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So, while I’m not trying to say that you shouldn’t be proud of listening to your body and feeling based on cues and needs, because EVERYONE deserves to be at peace with food and just enjoy it, I think this whole intuitive eating movement has gotten a lil dragged out. People just need to do what works best for them and not preach to others how to be a better eater. If tracking is what works best then do it. If eating whenever works for you, than go with that. We are all at different stages and by putting this type of eating on a pedestal, it may leave those who don’t or can’t eat in this way feel as if they are weaker mentally.

It would be nice if everyone could just eat to enjoy and to live without much thought, but that just isn’t realistic for most. I think my major point, I guess, is that we need to stop placing fancy labels on things like this because it isn’t anything special or something that will or can be followed by everyone. It’s just a way of life for some and perhaps a goal for others.

Sorry if this post seemed kind of strange or random, it was just something I wanted to comment on. Thanks for reading friends and happy Tuesday.

-Chelsea


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Today Was Just A Good Day

The title says it all. I was going to make some banana bread tonight for the gym but instead I just had to sit down to write down my thoughts and share them with you. A lil self reflection on the day so hopefully I don’t bore you all. I feel it’s necessary to share the good and the bad so here goes nothing.

To preface: I have been getting some help from another coach lately, Ryan. He has worked with a number of people with gut problems and helping them heal while also using his experience in bodybuilding and nutrition to help them their reach their goals. Overall, I have only just begun with him (about 1 week in) but I’m very excited to see how things go as he is trying to help me to reduce my inflammation (which I did test positive for in my lower bowel but was unexplained) and my body’s acidity issues while also helping to gain weight and continue my strength gains. This first week has been a slow introduction of a few new supplements and natural aids (spirulina, ACV shots, maca powder and MSM) and although it’s early to tell, I have had some very VERY good tummy days. I’m hoping that I get more and more of those because you have no idea how much of a difference it makes when I’m having a ‘good day’. 

So today…

Started off with an amazing lift with an extra boost from someone I talk to quite frequently. She has complimented my progress before, but today was different…

Her: You’re looking really good.

Me: Aww, thank you (smiles…)

Her: No really, you are looking really good, I mean it…

I really didn’t know what to say, I just kept saying thank you. It was just the way she said it that got me. It was like she was excited for me. She could see my energy. I dunno, it just felt really heartwarming.

The big thing is that she sees me train often, so it’s not likes been a month’s difference there. No, she’s noticing slight differences with shorter time intervals so that is a big thing.

…..

My friend Lexi met me at the end of my workout and spent some time with some rehab exercises and I showed her some glute activation exercises to help strengthen that area as she as a bummed out knee that was told by her physio that she needs to work on those areas. We then spent the rest of the afternoon together starting with post-workout noms (I made her a vegetarian greek pasta salad with chickpeas) followed by a trip to GoodnessMe! for me to show her some things as she is trying to make some changes in her diet and ya’ll know that I’m always up for questions and foodie talk.

She then gracious took me to Zehrs where she laughed as I legit squealed when I saw OSTRICH steaks. Oh the foodie in me reveals itself.

….60 bucks later ….

She dropped me back off at home, we chattered for a bit and then she headed off to see her Gran back in my hometown.

Spending more time with her I reflect back on how much I’m thankful that we reconnected (we are from the same hometown and high school). We never lost touch 100% but when I came into Guelph and realized she was living her, we got together and it seems as though we never have a quiet moment. We just talk and talk and talk and I can really appreciate that kind of friendship. 

I did my usual, napped (lolz), had dinner, etc but then as I left to go out for my nightly walk (which is something I still do despite Rita not being here, but Lexi joins me sometimes now), I decided to challenge myself a bit because…

I was feeling good. And THANK YOU RYAN!

Like today was a ‘good day’ tummy wise.

What that means is that I wasn’t feeling bloated out of my mind after dinner and wanting to walk around in a bag…

I had found a pair of cropped jeans that actually fit me from American Eagle a month or so back and because they were on sale and WHITE (I love white!) I bought them. I folded them up with the receipt and left them on my shelf. Well, I decided tonight was going to be the night, I was gunna put those damn things on and go for my walk.

DO IT.

Now this may sound silly to most, but people are shocked when I wear legit pants. It’s true and it’s not just a “I’m a gym rat and live in Lulu 24/7 or nothing” thing either (well that is a part of it..). No, it’s also a personal struggle for me that has hung over me for..wow for almost a decade since I was sick. Other then shorts in the summer time, which take me a bit to get re-adjusted to mentally, I have a really big problem with tight pants because I’m afraid of folding. So, especially after dinner and a full day of eating and drinking, lets just say tight clothing is a no.

But tonight was not one of those nights.

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I’m having a good day, so dammit I was gunna put those jeans on! Was I feeling absolutely amazing?

No, but I didn’t spend the whole time fiddling with them or doing weird checking behaviours… and I kind of felt good.

Big movement forward! Psychological win for tonight.

So as I made my way around the last bend of my walk, I literally couldn’t help but smile.

Today was a good day

Good days mean a happier, peppier Chelsea. One who beams and glows and I swear others must catch my mood and vibes because I find myself being the most chatty on those days. Smile are contagious all. 

And because of that, I had to write it down because that’s what I do with my feelings these days.

Much love my Friends!

-Chelsea

 


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Time To Think Rationally…Currently

Happy start of August my friends!

Hope all that had the day off on Monday enjoyed their long weekend!

So I just wanted to drop a line very briefly as we move into the next month on some of my gut stuff. The reason why I thought to do this was because I actually conquered a fear yesterday morning all in the name of gut happiness..

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Yes my friends. White rice.

Sounds silly to be afraid of white rice, but you see, I have been afraid of white rice for years now and can say that I haven’t touched the stuff since I was like 10.

Why? It’s pretty natural, so why be afraid?

~Processed

~Nutrient Void

~Simple carbs…ZOMG SUGAR!

~No Fiber

These are some of the many thoughts that I have believed for years all thanks to the media. So with that, I refused to eat it. Brown rice only!

To be honest, I don’t enjoy rice really (boring…) so that is also a reason why I don’t tend to eat it (I love my rice cakes though!) but with all of my gut struggles, it was time to really key in on some of my diet staples and some associations started to be formed.

My two hardest meals, where I now take those new digestive-aid pills (I talked about them here) is after my pre-workout and my dinner. Those are the meals that my stomach is often ready to put up a fuss that then lasts onwards either into the next morning, or throughout much of the morning and afternoon.

You know what is constant in both of those meals?

My bae (what do you think of this word? I actually kinda loathe it…)..

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Sweet taters. My beloved orange (or white or purple!) gems.

I have tried to be naive about it for so long because I just cannot fathom eating less of them then I do but I looked it up and they happen to be a somewhat high FODMAP food and are only supposed to be eaten in small doses.

Whats the tummy friendly amount for most?

1/2 a cup (or around 100g)

How much do I consume in one day normally…

ummm…maybe 300g…ooops. Well this is awkward.

Epic fail on my part. But it’s one of my main carbohydrate sources and since my carbs are high, well so is the amount of those. Seeing that, it would be no surprise to me if they are NOT helping with my tummy struggles.

So for the next week, I will be doing a white rice trial for all of my pre-workout meals to see how my tummy feels. Yesterday (1st day) it felt a bit crampy at first, probably because it wasn’t used to it, but then it was all good and actually I noticed less bloat so I hope that is what continues.

I will keep you updated.

….

So on this topic and going back to my ‘thoughts’ on white rice, I wanted to take this moment to address why those thoughts are irrational from both a gut health AND overall health perspective.

For gut purposes.

What foods do you eat when you’re sick? Rice. Plain. White. Rice. Yes, so it should be of no surprise that this should be easy on the tummy. White rice is a simple carbohydrate that doesn’t take the body much effort to digest and with that, less discomfort is often the result. So, as an alternative GF carbohydrate source that I need to digest quickly and not sit angrily in my stomach during my workout, this seems like a great choice…

…on paper that is…

Yes, on paper I can see that it’s a great option for me, especially during this time when apparently my stomach hates everything, but I also then have to battle the anxiety that has been created from those society driven beliefs that have kept me from this grain for so long.

So with that, here’s why eating white rice is NOT bad for you.

White rice and the body.

Th first thing that often comes to people’s mind is:

OMG simple carbohydrate, that means a sugar spike and insulin levels going crazy. Insulin means fat gain so therefore, no rice for you.

Plus, hello, it’s so high in carbs…

While white rice is a simple carbohydrate, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t or can’t eat it. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean that if you eat it you will get fat. There is a time and place for foods like this… I believe.

Explain…?

Okay, so it is true that white rice has been stripped of most of its nutrient properties during the processing procedure, which leaves it mostly being a source of starch and not much else. This loss of fibre is also what contributes to how quickly the body is able to digest it because fibre is ultimately one component that slows the breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates. This then does have an effect on your blood sugar and therefore insulin levels as well.

sugar spike

That being said, who generally eats a bowl of white rice alone?

Often you are eating it with a protein source and quite possibly some vegetables, both of which slow digestion of the entire meal. So just because the rice no longer has the fibre in it, that doesn’t mean that it’s a blood sugar spiker in the context of a whole meal.

Make sense?

This is one of the various reasons why the glycemic index is flawed and shouldn’t really be considered when looking at the ‘health’ of a food item. The original study that looked into it had fasted subjects eat JUST those single food items, so yes, in those cases, things like white bread, white rice and potatoes would definitely have a larger effect on blood sugar than something richer in fibre, protein and fat.

Context people, context.

High-GI-vs-Low-GI-examples

So, will white rice make you fat? No. One, because no single food makes you instantly fat. Two, you eat it with other things which will have an effect on how the body handles it.

Check out this review for some info!

 “Thus while it is clear that combining foods does influence GI and that the addition of protein and fat to a carbohydrate containing meal can appreciably reduce the glycemic response (Venn & Green, 2007).”

It has been known for some time that insulin response cannot be predicted based solely on the glycemic response to a food (Venn & Green, 2007).”

So does that mean I can have white, processed stuff all the time?

Well I’m gunna say no on this point. While I’m arguing that white rice is not bad for you, it doesn’t have the nutrients that other grains and starch sources do. So looking at prioritizing nutrients here, for pre-workout or post workout when you are looking for something fast digesting and a good carbohydrate source, white rice is great. Elsewhere in the day, I would suggest using carbohydrates with a lil more staying power.

~Oatmeal

~Brown Rice

~Sweet potatoes

~Etc Etc

These have more fibre which will keep you satiated longer and therefore delay your next meal. One big reason why people may gain weight eating more processed foods is simply because they are hungry too quickly and end up OVER EATING and thus going over their daily calories.

Fibre. Protein. Fats. Water dense.

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These guys keep you full!

Furthermore, you have to have variety in your diet to get all of your required micronutrients (i.e. minerals and vitamins). Having white rice before my workout doesn’t change the fact that I still hit a high amount of fibre and get all my micros in a given day.

So with that I will wrap it up here. To conclude I will say that I’m happy to take this leap of faith and go against what society tells me about eating white rice. I will test and see how it works as a fuel for my workouts compared to the sweet potato and also how my stomach deals with the change.

Have a great week friends! 

-Chelsea