Transformation Contest: Week one results

Weight Up, Inches Down

So I bounced out of bed this morning, fed the cat, dog, and fish (in that order), started a cup of coffee, and hopped on the scale.  It must be Friday.

What happened after my first week of the 15th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest?

I gained a pound.  Yep.  Back up to 128.  (I’m 5’1″ tall by the way if that puts it in perspective.)

So yeah, I’m wearing my FitBit every day, tracking my eating, and I know I’m in a calorie deficit, so what gives?  Well, first of all I’m lifting some weight and doing muscle stimulating exercises like squats and push ups again for the first time in a while.  I must confess that my focus on Zumba, Zumba Gold, my Yoga Alliance certification, and opening Gordon Studio has pushed out my regular Turbulence Training since I started personal training and leading group exercise back in January.

I have also put some more carbs back in my food plan in the form of fruit since my body was simply crying out for it.

On Wednesday I had a craving so strong for the slightly over-ripe banana on the kitchen counter you would have thought it was a street drug.

The fact is that training, teaching, and studying for  eight hours a week minimum means that I need more fuel in the form of food, but not too much, and I’m finding that balance.

The good news is that I pulled out my tape measure, and my waist and hip measurements are down in spite of the fact that the scale is up.  Even better, I can see definition in my arms and upper body returning.

Although most people see a gratifying weight loss at the beginning of healthy eating and training program (By the way, congratulations Melinda on your amazing start) I have seen plenty of people gain when they start to train.

If this is you, can you take a moment, think about your goals, and feel good about your successes that don’t involve the scale?

This is a good time to remind my clients and readers that non-weight goals are crucial on a transformation journey.

Do you want to do your first pull up or full body push up?  Do you want to make fitness a regular enjoyable part of your life?  Do you want to increase your confidence, vitality, and sense of well being?

The gifts of fitness are so much more reliable than the gifts of weight loss.  Ultimately fat release isautonomic.  In other words it is controlled by involuntary physiological responses to our actions.  Eat what we will, move how we will, ultimately the body decides when it’s ready to let fat go.

Let’s enjoy our training, relish our healthy eating, and trust that the rewards will come.

Transformation Step Three

Transformation Step Three: Get Real With Food.

I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had with my clients in this first year of being a trainer.  The most important thing I’ve discovered from their experiences is that, even though they have trained similarly, their diets have all been completely different.

One was vegan.
One did Atkins.
Another counted calories.
Another eliminated sugar and wheat most days.
Another stopped all eating between meals.

What did they all have in common?  Not one followed the eating plan that I follow, and they all ate more whole unprocessed foods.  Across the board they ate more vegetables.

Oh yes, and they all became more mindful of what they ate, and the truth is when it came to calories they ate less.

In all of these cases I believe that by eating real food they avoided constant exposure to foods that are so hyper palatable that they drive overeating.

A while back I read “The End of Overeating” by Dr. David Kessler, and I found a great deal to agree with in that book.

My personal fat release journey has been greatly affected by Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It”, Dr. William Davis’, “Wheat Belly”, and by personal stories written by members of Overeaters Anonymous.  I have had to come to grips with the many reasons why I overeat, and I will read anything I can get my hands on if I think it will help free me or one of my clients from the foods and behaviors that stand between me and my dreams.

That being said, I am convinced that one diet does not fit all, and that means Dear Reader that when it comes to food, you have to make your own choices.

Luckily, there are some free websites and tools that can help you to structure and keep track of your eating.  I personally have used  Simply Google “free food diary online” and several good options will come up.

My advice on food:  Get real with yourself, be true to yourself, and follow your best instincts.  What constitutes junk food for you?  What leaves you feeling guilty and hung over the morning after you eat it?  Is it a matter of content, quantity, or both?

Now for some practical advice.  Make a plan, and write it down so that you have the tools to be honest with yourself.  For those of you who are doing the 12 week transformation contest this is a time of honesty, focus, and faithfulness to your goal of developing the figure that frees you to live authentically.

Again, what do your best instincts tell you?  Are convenience foods crowding vegetables and fruits out of your eating plan?  Is that extra cup of morning coffee dulling your appetite for a wholesome breakfast- leaving you ravenous at 12 or 1PM?  Are you willing to get a book of slow cooker recipes so you can feed yourself and your loved ones well at dinnertime in spite of your busy schedule?

Getting real with food means bringing your behavior in line with your best personal wisdom about eating.

If you honestly are at a loss when it comes to knowing what to eat, then ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist who will listen to you.

Once you have a plan commit to it, and be honest about how closely you follow it.  What you learn from this time of honesty and commitment will be priceless- no matter how much weight you lose.

Transformation Step Two

Transformation Step Two: Your Before Picture

The truth is that I am small.  I stand just 5’1, and as I type this I’m wearing my size small Green Apple yoga pants, and an extra small tank top from the Junior department at Kohls.  So what is going on with my thighs?

I know, I know, I’ve got vanity issues, but I’m a trainer now and I want to represent a certain ideal.  In the right clothes, makeup, and lighting I can convince myself that I look the same as I did in the Spring of 2011 when I was firing on all cylinders in terms of eating and training, and I’ve learned not to blindly trust my bathroom scale to tell me how I’m doing health and fitness wise.  But now I see yet again that a picture is worth a thousand words.  The tight, shapely contours of 2011 have softened due to the happy stress of getting three fitness certifications, opening a business, and playing fast and loose with my eating and training.

Now that Turbulence Training Transformation Contest #15 has begun, it’s time to get honest and accept where I am fight now in terms of fitness, and I want you to do the same.

The before picture isn’t about punishing yourself for not being a model of perfect heath though- quite the opposite really.  The idea is that if you can take a clear look at your image and accept it, you can take steps to bring it into line with your authentic self.

It’s important to remember that your authentic ideal won’t look the same as anybody else’s, but when you do see your image, I want you to feel at ease with it.  The goal is to bring your image into line with your identity on your own terms.  In my case, I want to be able to train, coach, and dance safely and with confidence.  Yes, I can do that now.  I’d better be able to because I’m teaching Turbulence Training and Zumba tomorrow, but I do want to increase my confidence by becoming tighter, stronger, and yes, a bit lighter- with all of that lightness coming from the release of fat.

What do you want to do that would be enhanced by a higher level of fitness, and the improved appearance that would bring?  I do believe that beauty is the physical expression of well being, so what do you need to do in terms of your well being that would bring your looks in line with your hopes?

Your before picture gives you perspective, awareness, and honesty.  In order to get the most out of the coming 12 weeks of transformation you have to accept yourself right now in this moment, and bring the body you have right now to the table, the gym, the garage, the grocery store, or wherever it is that you practice health and fitness.

Is it hard to take a before picture and put it up on the refrigerator? Your computer screen? The bathroom mirror? Your Blog?  Maybe, but once you’ve taken this picture, taken a good look and a deep breath, everything else on this journey will be a little bit easier in comparison.  Trust me on this.

Here is my affiliate link to the Turbulence Training For Fat Loss program for any of you who wish to buy it in order along.

Step One on Your Transformation Journey

The First Step in Your Transformation

I have some good news and some bad news.  Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

Exercise may not be all that great for weight loss.  There are plenty of studies that indicate that committing to a fitness program without  changing dietary habits doesn’t make the scale move in a downward direction.

So why in the world would I claim that your fitness program is the most important element in your physical transformation?

Simple, a well designed exercise program that includes resistance training will help to ensure that any weight you lose on your transformation journey will be fat, not lean tissue (i.e. muscle).

Just last night I was reading about a study that compared diet alone, diet with endurance exercise, and diet with resistance exercise, and the results were gratifying for anyone who trains people for a living.
The subjects who did diet alone over the course of 12 weeks lost 9.6 kg- 69% of which was fat.  Those who added endurance exercise lost 9kg with 78% as fat, and those who added resistance training lost 9.9kg (not much more that diet alone) with 97% of the weight loss coming from fat.

Now those are the kind of numbers that would make any trainer smile, because that kind of change in body composition is going to create an obvious and highly visible improvement in appearance and performance.  Look hotter and get stronger in 12 weeks?  Sign me up.

So for those of you who are joining me in the 12 week transformation challenge that starts today here is step one.

Get out your calendar and schedule your training sessions.  A few of you will be coming to Gordon Studio to train with me.  Some of you will be going to your local gym, and many of you will be training at home.  Regardless of where you will practice schedule that time now.  You may not know exactly what program you’ll follow for all 12 weeks, but you should make a specific choice for the first four.  My local clients and I will be using the TT 30 Minute Thermogenic plan for the first four weeks.

Fot any of you who want to purchase the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program, here is my affiliate link:

Turbulence Training For Fat Loss.

Please note that you don’t have to purchase the program to enter the contest.

Now go grab your calendar or your phone, or open your scheduling app and enter those training sessions:  3 per week for 12 weeks.  Remember, TT style means those training sessions are only 30- 45 minutes long, and the return on your investment of that small amount of time will astonish you.

Now it’s time for me  to get ready to take “Before Pictures”.  Another crucial element of transformation that I’ll be writing about tomorrow.

15th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest

Why am I entering the 15th TT Transformation contest, and why should you?  Here are my top three reasons.

#1.  It works.

I was listening to a podcast last week with Dr. Stephen Phinney, and he called anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for more than a year part of the .01%.  who have succeeded at losing weight long term.  Not 5%, not 1%, but .01%

Is it really that rare to to release fat for good?  If it is, than it’s imperative for me to keep following, teaching, and writing about the program that keeps working for me.

My Turbulence Training Affiliate Link.

Yes, if you click that link and buy the program I earn a commission, and I’m proud to encourage you to do so because my favorite training programs are all there, including the famous TT 2K3 which made me believe for the first time ever that I could build the body of my dreams, and win the 2nd Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.

#2.  I’m joining to encourage and support my clients.

We live in a world that surrounds us with the temptation to just sit and eat, and I never managed to keep positive fitness changes until I stopped trying to do it alone.  I always thought if nobody knew I was trying to get fit, nobody would know if I failed, and I would have nothing to feel ashamed of.  I was a prisoner of the kind of foolish pride that kept me from asking for help, support, and encouragement.  After I joined the second transformation contest, I learned that lo and behold the best way to get support for your goals is to give support and encouragement to someone else.

#3.  The Transformation Contest Keeps Me Honest.

I am so good at fooling myself.  I am a master of the kind of self talk that says, “I’ll start tomorrow, “Just one won’t hurt”, and “These must have shrunk in the wash”.

For whatever reason, I find it a lot easier to lie to myself than to lie to clients, colleagues, and friends.

The truth is that I have allowed my focus to be pulled away from what created my transformation in the first place:  Turbulence Training, Optimal Eating, and Social Support.

So here I am, back for the good stuff.  On Friday we will be taking “Before” photos and measurements at Gordon Studio, and for the next 12 weeks I will be writing about what we discover on this latest journey towards the authentic ideal body that is the vehicle for our dreams.  Join us for some serious fun.

We’re open!

Thank you so much to everyone who came to Gordon Studio in our first week.  I know it can be a challenge to try something new, and I’m grateful to all of you who gave Zumba, Zumba Gold, or Turbulence Training a try.

To my returning students from Jamestown, you were the one’s who gave me the confidence to take the plunge and open my own place.  As little as eight months ago I was still claiming that I didn’t want to be a fitness studio owner.  Never say never right?

My husband and son pitched in and made it possible for me to get the space ready, and my friends who have been in the fitness or dance studio business were generous with good advice, and encouragement.

Glitches?  A few minor ones.  The speakers went out briefly on day one, and new students who called our number weren’t getting an answer or message, but I think I’ve got that squared away now.

Bottom line- Gordon Studio is open and ready to serve your need for fitness and fun, motivation and inspiration.

Come on down!

Schedule to begin September 4th, 2012

Here is the tentative schedule starting 9/4- the Tuesday right after Labor Day.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:  Turbulence Training at 6AM

Tuesdays and Thursdays: Zumba Gold at 9:30AM

Monday and Wednesday Evenings: Zumba at 6:30PM

Tuesday and Thursday Evenings: Zumba at 5:30PM


The floors are in and the mirrors are up.  It looks like we’re on schedule to get the doors open on Tuesday September 4th.