How To Feel Good Again

Good Food and Training Can Help You Enjoy The Simple Things Once More.

When I was a little girl, I rarely wanted to stop playing in order to eat. I would rather play outside in the sandbox or on the swings. On rainy days I didn’t want to leave my dolls or drawing in order to have lunch or dinner. Most of the time, eating was just something I did before learning, living, and playing.

I was a healthy and energetic child, but I do remember having terrible eczema in the Winter, and frequent stomach aches. At some point in my early childhood, my Mother’s doctor had convinced her to stop serving the family so many eggs, and replace them with cold cereal and a children’s vitamin.

I remember how hard it was to get full and satisfied on the new breakfast cereals like Quisp, Trix, and Capn’ Crunch. I used to want two or three bowls, and the Capn’ Crunch would scrape up the roof of my mouth, but I’d keep eating it.

By the time I was eight years old, I was getting more than chubby. In later years I started to have early dental issues, and I was regularly overeating. I just couldn’t seem to get satisfied the way other people could.

About a year ago, I came across an article from the late 1990’s that offered a possible explanation for what was driving my overeating. That article introduced me to Reward Deficiency Syndrome, its causes, and consequences.

This recent article has an excellent description of Reward Deficiency Syndrome:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00919/full

RDS is the consequence of a difference in the D2 Dopamine receptor. Dopamine controls our feelings of pleasure and reward, and when reward deficiency syndrome is present, the individual doesn’t respond to dopamine as readily. This means that the low does of dopamine that some from completing a simple task or eating a simple healthy meal might not register strongly enough in the brain to make those activities feel worthwhile.

The RDS brain needs a bigger stimulus to get motivated, and sugary starchy foods are especially problematic for people like me who have RDS. The sugar is tempting enough that I’m motivated to seek it out, and the rush I get from eating it makes it incredibly hard to stop. On top of that, the over stimulus of sugar and starchy carbs can de-sensitize the dopamine receptors. There is evidence that dopamine receptors can be harmed by just a two week period of indulgence in highly processed snacks and sweets.

Here is a link to an article for a closer look at sugar’s impact on brain chemistry.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327512

So how can you feel good without sugar or other stimulants like alcohol and nicotine? A simple, whole food, sugar free diet can bring relief from cravings, and a re-connection to non-food activities. A program of resistance training can help manage blood glucose, and reduce the insulin resistance that can also make it harder to respond to dopamine. As dopamine receptors recover, and insulin sensitivity improves, better physical and emotional well being starts a positive feedback cycle. Eating, exercise, and fun combine to create a win, win, win, situation.

You can use the Sugar Freedom Diet on this blog, or simply start to choose Whole Foods from the outside aisles of your grocery store. In addition, 20 minutes of resistance training three times a week, plus time for fun and hobbies like gardening, music, sports, art, or dance can expose you to regular doses of dopamine, and happiness.

Natasha earned her Rally Title. Obedience training is a fun activity for me and my dog.

Our world is full of expensive, time consuming distractions. I encourage you to think about activities that could make you feel like a kid again, and make a little time for them.

Be well, and eat for yourself,

Catherine

Does Jogging Work for Weight Loss?

I answer questions about weight loss on Quora.com, and here is my latest answer to a good question about jogging or badminton for weight loss.

Would jogging or badminton be more effective in weight loss? Let’s say an alternate jogging days of 2km with a daily one hour play of badminton. I’m obese and trying to lose weight!

Here is my answer:

When I finally figured out how to overcome my own struggle with overweight and obesity in 2008, the most important change I made was the shift from traditional steady state cardio to resistance and interval training. Jogging can certainly be effective, and you can get good results in less time with interval training. Here is a quote from and excellent study in the medical journal Obesity on High Intensity Intermittent Exercise:

Conclusions and Clinical Implications

Research examining the effects of HIIE has produced preliminary evidence to suggest that HIIE can result in modest reductions in subcutaneous and abdominal body fat in young normal weight and slightly overweight males and females. Studies using overweight male and female type 2 diabetic individuals have shown greater reductions in subcutaneous and abdominal fat. The mechanisms underlying the fat reduction induced by HIIE, however, are undetermined but may include HIIE-induced fat oxidation during and after exercise and suppressed appetite. Regular HIIE has been shown to significantly increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and HIIE also significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in increases in skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation and glycolytic enzyme content.

You can read the entire study here: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss

Here are the three main benefits of HIIE for the overweight or obese individual who wants to lose weight:

  1. It works. Studies show consistent weight and fat loss for people who do HIIE.
  2. It takes less time. A regimen of three 12 minute HIIE sessions per week can lead to more weight and fat loss than a program of traditional cardio workouts that last more than an hour.
  3. If you use good form and respect your limitations as you work up to HIIE, there will be less chance of both acute soreness and chronic injuries from your exercise program.
VERIFY: Yes, it is safe to exercise outside as long as you keep a safe  distance | wthr.com

So the answer is that jogging can be very effective if you transform it into interval training. You can use a timer to tell you when to pick up the pace and when to rest. I like to use a 30 second acceleration interval where I jog or run with a 30 second rest interval of walking. You should adjust the interval to suit your fitness level by picking a recovery time that leaves you eager to accelerate again.

File:Badminton-1428046.jpg - Wikipedia

Badminton is an excellent addition if it is an activity you enjoy. I believe that the secret to training for weight and fat loss is that it should feel good and be fun for most of the session, with brief periods of hard work to improve your weight, body composition, and overall fitness.

Of course and effective eating plan is essential to get good weight and fat loss results. The exact program I used to to lose 70 pounds and keep it off for more than 12 years is available here ===>Click Here!<===.

You can also check out this post for ideas on creating meal plans for fat loss in this post: Fast Fat Loss Plan

Whatever fitness activities you choose, give yourself permission to enjoy your training while you work to improve your abilities.

Fast Fat Loss Plan

Fast Fat Loss Plan: 14 days of food and fitness

Summer Is Here! Enjoy It In Good Health.

My ketogenic food plan enhances your energy, mood, and shape by getting rid of bloating, flattening the belly, and shrinking the waistline. I developed this plan when I was working with my training clients at Gordon Studio, and it was effective for women and men of all ages. Note: check with your doctor before starting a new nutrition and fitness program.

For my book on creating a life long fitness plan you can get my kindle book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3amo1vi

Here are the guidelines for my 14 day fat loss plan:

  1. Every day: Drink the Freedom Tonic. 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and 8 ounces of water. You may add liquid stevia to taste to cut the sourness.
    (We had a saying at Gordon Studio, “Hold Your Nose and Drink Your Tonic.”) It may not taste great, but it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, aid digestion, and we all swear by it to increase fat loss.
  2. Every Day: Drink an additional 6 glasses of water. You can make “Freedom Water” by adding cucumber, mint, ginger, and sliced lemon to a large pitcher of water, and finishing it by the end of the day.
  3. Protein: Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of your ideal body weight per day. I’m 5’1″ and although my preferred body weight at age 56 is 123, I go with 110 grams of protein per day.
  4. Carbohydrates: Limit carbs to 20 grams total or less per day. Here is my list of favorite low carb vegetables, along with their carbohydrate grams per serving.
My Favorite Freedom Carbs.

5. Fats: Have enough fat grams to feel satisfied up to 80 grams of fat per day.

Resistance Training 3 Times Per Week

3 super-sets

8 repetitions per exercise. Do a total of three rounds for each super set.

For example:

Super set #1: Squat/Push up

Super Set #2: Romanian Deadlift/ Dumb Bell Rows

Super Set #3: Reverse Lunge/ Bicep Curls

Here are 5 more examples of effective super sets for fat loss and muscle growth or maintenance: Forward Lunge/Tricep Extension, T-Bend/Overhead Press, 1 Leg Sit To Stand/Chin-up or Dumb Bell Pullover, Goblet Squat/Reverse Fly, Bulgarian Split Squat/ Butterfly raise.

You can complete your fitness session with interval training. My favorite style is to use my favorite House and Shuffle Dance steps Tabata Style. Here is an example of Tabata Style Training:

You can do this without weight if you’re a beginner!

The most important goal is to use these 14 days to discover what exercises work best for you.

You can e-mail questions to Catherine@dareshine.com

I’ll be blogging for the next 2 weeks to fill in all of the details for this Fast Fat Loss Plan.

In the meantime, be well, and eat for yourself.

 You can click the sponsored link below for the Kettle Bells I recommend.

https://amzn.to/2MkyZJJ

Thanks!

Catherine

 

 

Simple Weight Training

To Get Lean Safely and permanently, embrace the lifting lifestyle.

Here’s how to get started.

Personal Training is expensive and time consuming. In person one on one training requires you to travel to the gym, or get your home ready for a visitor.

Group weight training, which I taught for years at my studio, is very effective, but it is difficult to match the weight, reps, and rest intervals perfectly for everyone in the class. In addition, the trainees who have the most success for years and years are the ones who embrace the lifting lifestyle, and learn to lift on their own.

Before you start a weight training lifestyle, I want you to know the two things that are most likely to wreck a resistance training plan.

  1. Injury. If you pull a muscle, twist an ankle, or inflame your knees, your training pattern will be broken. You will have to take time off to heal, and it is extremely de-motivating to start back at square one. Some people do learn their lesson and start over, but it’s much wiser to lift with caution and respect for form in order to prevent acute and over use injuries.
  2. Avoidance. I also call this unwillingness to train, or even: resistance to resistance. This is the impulse to skip training sessions because you perceive them as too long, boring, confusing, or difficult.

One key to embracing resistance training for life is to treat it like the sport and art form it is. Begin with the basic lifts the way an athlete or a musician would start with drills or scales. I approach each session the same way I approach the barre in ballet class, or the center steps in jazz class.

Another key is to stay within the boundaries of your skill and ability by giving yourself permission to keep the weight low until you are willing and eager to increase it. For the beginner, just performing the movements themselves with body-weight creates progress.

Key number three is to have a complete plan every time you train. Your complete plan will cover exercises, repetitions, sets, and the frequency of your training.

Pairs of 10, 8, and 5 pound Dumb-bells for the beginner.

Here is the complete plan I recommend for your first four weeks of lifting.

Frequency: Three times per week with one day between sessions: For example Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Exercises: Three non- competing super-sets with eight reps per movement for three sets.

The first super-set is your warmup, and it should be performed with 50% of your working weight, or body weight if you are a beginner.

Super-set #1: Dumb-bell squats: 8 reps followed by Push Ups: 8 reps. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.

Super-set #2: Dumb-Bell Romanian Dead-lifts: 8 reps followed by Dumb Bell Rows: 8 reps per arm. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.

Super-set #3: Dumb-Bell Reverse Lunge: 8 reps per leg followed by Dumb-bell Curls: 8 reps per arm. Rest 30 seconds. Perform two more super-sets for a total of 3 rounds.

Gently stretch major muscle groups, and you’re done.

If faster fat loss is your goal, you can perform 8 to 16 minutes of interval training exercise, but the resistance exercises are the priority. As a dancer, I use dance steps for my interval training immediately after my weight session.

The simplest way to do beginner intervals is to walk briskly up hill for 20 seconds, then walk back down for 10 seconds. Complete 8 rounds. Rest at least one minute and repeat the interval round if desired.

Please leave a comment with any questions, and share with someone who wants to get lean and strong.

catherine@dareshine.com

All the best, Catherine

My Book: Keep the Change Transform Your Body For Good on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ql26LB

Is It Better To Walk or Jog to Lose Weight?

I’m happy to answer this question because it lets me dig in to some of the things I’ve discovered about walking, jogging, running, and sprinting in the course of the past 45 years.

When I was in the 7th grade, I struggled to jog a mile in P.E. even though I was pretty good at sprinting. It wasn’t until I learned how to do intervals in my 40’s that I was able to use walking, jogging, running, and sprinting to lose weight and to increase my speed and endurance.

There are some good studies that demonstrate the connection between muscle fiber composition and running ability, here is an article in Runner’s World that goes into this topic in depth:

https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20784071/how-muscle-fiber-recruitment-affects-running-performance/

It’s good to understand how your muscle fiber genetics can affect your walking and running, but my experience with walking and jogging for weight loss is that the method you enjoy the most will give you the best fat loss.

I suggest using walk/jog intervals like this: warm up with five minutes of easy walking, then jog until you become winded. Your level of conditioning will determine how long this takes. Ease back into a walk until your breathing and heart rate come back down, and you feel eager to jog or even run again. Repeat this sequence for eight rounds, and then walk until you feel completely rested. Repeat the interval session if you wish.

When I was a certified trainer, I learned that fat burning and conditioning happen during recovery from an interval as well as during exertion.

In other words, every time your body returns to baseline from the exertion of jogging or running, you are getting just as much fat burning benefit as when you are working on your endurance. To wrap up my answer, I will say both walking and jogging enhance weight loss and fat loss, especially when you perform them in intervals.

No matter what, enjoy your training, and I wish you well.

Catherine Gordon

How Do I Lose Arm Fat?

How Do I Lose Arm Fat? Is the question I just answered on Quora.com.

Quora has been very helpful in showing me what people are really looking for in fitness advice, so I’ve decided to share my answer with you.

Catherine’s Answer on “Arm Fat.”

When I was trying to overcome obesity back in 2002, I did a lot of cardio and almost no resistance training. As a result, I lost muscle in my legs and arms, and I experienced loose skin starting in my late 30s. When I learned how to lift weights with proper form and technique, I was able to bring definition back to my legs and arms. When I had my fitness transformation studio, by clients were always amazed by the fact that when they trained their arms with resistance exercise they got smaller, not bigger!

Here is one way lifting makes the arms look better: If you build the deltoid muscles, which are at the top of your arms, that lifts and lightens the skin on the opposite side of your arms.

Here are my favorite exercises for defined arms:

One Arm Overhead press, Deltoid Raises, Tricep Kickbacks, Bicep Curls, Hammer Curls, Bent Over Double Tricep Extensions, and Butterfly Raises. You can find video examples of all of these exercises on YouTube, and I would incorporate them into your fitness routine two or three times per week. A sample arm day would be One Arm Overhead Press: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds. Tricep Kickbacks: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds, Bicep Curls: 8 reps per arm 3 rounds, Deltoid Raises: 8 reps 3 rounds.

Finally, it sounds like your diet is already working for you, so if you keep doing what works in the nutrition department, you should definitely see improvement in four weeks if not sooner with these exercises.

Healthy Happy Summer

For a healthy, happy Summer I want to invite you to practice what you love, especially when it comes to movement.

Whether you are lifting, dancing, doing yoga, or my current favorite, playing with your dogs, I hope you will find enjoyment in everything you do this Summer.

I know that it takes discipline to make healthy choices, so I want to invite you to use most of your will power in the kitchen, while you have more fun with your fitness.

In my classes and training sessions, I will be offering ways to connect the way we train to the activities we enjoy.  Balance, strength, and flexibility give us the freedom to live life to the fullest.  Whether you book a one-on one session, come to the morning Strength Plus class, or take a gentle approach with Chair Yoga Fitness, I want to encourage you to enjoy your fitness journey.

Here is the Summer schedule:

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 8AM: Strength Plus.

This class includes warm up, intervals, resistance, dance based movement for balance and co-ordination, plus yoga inspired cool down.

 

Every Thursday at 5:30PM: Chair Yoga Fitness.

This class is for anyone with balance, knee, of back issues who wants a class that improves strength, flexibility, balance, and well being with a chair for support.  Note that this class incorporates light to moderate weights, and the level of difficulty is tailored to your needs.

For more information or to book a training session, e-mail me:

catherine@cardiofreedom.com

 

 

Cabbage Soup: Sugar Freedom Style

Sugar Freedom Style Cabbage Soup Can Help You Get Off Of Sugar

When people ask me, “How do I get off of sugar?” I reply, “Eat something else.”

So many of the simple grab and go foods we eat contain sugar, grains, and processed vegetable oils.  All of these foods are inflammatory and appetite boosting in my experience.  The fresh whole foods that make me and my students feel energized and satisfied can take time and effort to prepare.  That’s why I’m posting this recipe.  It is simple enough that anyone can make it, and once it’s prepared you can have some whenever you feel a craving, or you need something to hold you over until it’s time for your next meal.  Plus, if you practice intermittent fasting, in my opinion, this soup won’t officially break your fast.

Freedom Soup Recipe

Ingredients: One 31 oz. Jar of Bone Broth

1/2 Onion: diced

3 Stalks Celery: sliced

1 Basket Mushrooms: Chopped (about 1&1/2 cups)

2 Cups Cabbage: chopped

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Directions:  In a large soup pot over medium heat add the oil and sauté all of the ingredients above in the order listed.  Add bone broth and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer 40 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

This soup is ideal for anyone starting a low carb or Ketogenic diet, as it can stop the symptoms of “Low Carb Flu,” which happens when the body looses sodium and electrolytes through the diuretic effect of a transition to low carb eating.

Contact me at 9catherine9@gmail.com for personalized training plans.  Here is a sample below.

The entire Sugar Freedom program is available at: sugarfreedom.com

Here is a salad to go with your soup, or anytime. (Oops, it goes sideways at the start, but then I turn the camera the right way.)

Do Your “Besties.”

Do your Besties: a new way to do interval training that you will enjoy.

If you are doing the Spring Training Challenge, you will need to be training at home, even if you can make it to my classes at Dance at the Dome.  You will be weight training three times per week, and these intervals should be done on two other days per week for 11 minutes.  Evidence shows that a session this long has powerful health benefits.    You can also do these as a warm up: just do 4 rounds.

How to do “Besties.”

This beginner session consists of ten reps of Stick ups followed by 10 seconds of rest, ten reps of squats followed by ten seconds of rest, 10 reps of cross crawls, followed by 10 seconds of rest, 10 reps of total body extensions, followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Do for rounds as a warm up or repeat for 11 minutes as a training session on days when you don’t lift weights.

E-mail me: 9catherine9@gmail.com with any questions, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel when you watch the video.

 

Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018

Catherine’s Spring Training Challenge Starts 3/20/2018. In class or on-line.

I am delighted to announce that the  Spring Transformation Challenge: Train For Joy, will begin on March 20th.  The challenge will feature Sugar Freedom, and my Positive Training Program.  The Sugar Freedom method encourages you to find your most wholesome foods, and I created the T.E.A.M. technique to teach you how to train for the life you love.  The challenge lasts 4 weeks, and there are two  $125.00 prizes for the most inspiring transformations.

E-mail me: 9catherine9@gmail.com for details or click on “class schedule” above.

Catherine Best Gordon ACE-CPT Presents:

The Spring Transformation Challenge

Discover the “Best Practices” to lose fat, and never gain it back.

4 Weeks of Proven Nutrition, Training, and Support. Plus: 2 $125.00 cash prizes for the most inspiring transformations.

Cost: $50.  Location: in class at TCAA: Dance at the Dome or on-line.

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Do you need a simple exercise routine for beginners?  Here is a warm up and a simple weightlifting program for you.

Don’t be afraid to start lifting weights.

One of my biggest fears when I started resistance training was that I would look foolish in the gym.  I’m 5’1″ so many of the machines are hard to adjust to my height, and  I didn’t know very many dumb-bell exercises, so it was hard to get good results.

That’s where a Certified Personal Trainer can help.  I learned from Craig Ballantyne, John Barban, Jennifer Nicole Lee, and more by searching for programs on-line. I was able to start lifting at home with their programs, and when I switched to the gym, I knew what to do in order to get a safe, effective workout.

Today, I invite you to learn from me, and get started with these exercises.  I designed this program for a small group class that I just started teaching, and they asked me to to post it on-line so that they know what to do at home, so thanks students!

Start with a warm up of 8 Stick ups, 8 Prisoner Squats, and 8 Cross Crawls.  Repeat.

Super sets: do 8 reps of each pair of exercises. Do each pair three times.

Super Set #1: Chest Press and Glute Raise.

Super Set #2: Bird Dog and Double Tricep extension.

Follow along with the video to learn how.  Learn proper form and technique before you increase the weight.  By using good form, and contracting your muscles, you can get excellent results with light weights.  That’s one of the wonderful things about being a beginner.  With patience and persistence, you will get stronger, more confident, and you will train safely.

2/1/2018: Here is the latest “Homework” video.

10 Squats, 10 Romanian Deadlifts, 10 Overhead Press, 10 Rows per side, 10 Curls.  Do all exercises as a circuit, and repeat 2 times for a total of 3 circuits.

Remember to check with your health care provider before staring a new exercise program.

E-mail me: catherine@sugarfreedom.com if you need a custom program.

Happy training,

Catherine