Happy New Year

Originally published January 1, 2016

As the year comes to a close, this is the time that many of you begin to reflect upon your year, thinking about all of your accomplishments as well as areas of improvement.

As I reflect upon my own year, I realize this year has brought upon many changes in all aspects in my life; some good, some not so much.  Learning how to deal with the changes that occur within your life aids in your personal growth and development.  Have you had changes in your life that have forced you to grow?  I certainly have!

Traditionally on New Year’s Eve, people make New Year Resolutions.  By definition, a resolution is a firm decision to do/not do something.  Unfortunately, many people go year after year and never keep those resolutions.  Rather than making resolutions, it may be more effective to set goals.  By definition, a goal is a desired result or something you are aiming towards.  Therefore, if it is your desire to lose weight, eat healthy, etc., set a goal, not a resolution.  Listed are a few of my goals for 2016:

  1. Be a better me
    1. This is always a goal of mine.  This is something that I work on daily.  Daily, I strive to be a better Christian, a better mom, a better daughter, sister, etc.  The saying, “New Year, New Me” is very cliché, but, daily I’m striving to be a new and better me.  When you constantly remain the same, your situation remains the same as well.
  2. Better business woman
    1. This, and all of my goals could fit under my first goal because it’s all about personal development.  I have several business goals that I would like to achieve.  I am elated to report that I have already began putting them in place.
  3. Fitness, health, and wellness
    1. I’m sure this one doesn’t come as a surprise to you.  My goal with this is to remain consistent with both my workouts and my nutrition.  There are many times that I am not consistent with both of them at the same time.  I know that being consistent with my workouts and nutrition (at the same time) will yield the results that I would like to achieve.

What are your goals for 2016?  I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

Miss Sherri

Whatsa Macro?

Originally published February 19, 2015

If you’ve checked out fitness posts on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen the term “macro” mentioned within the post.  Everyone is talking about their macros and you may be wondering, whatsa macro?  Macro is short for macronutrients.  Let’s break it down.  Macro means large.  Nutrients are substances needed for growth and metabolism in the body.  Therefore, macronutrients are substances needed in large amounts for growth and metabolism in the body.  There are three macronutrients:  Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Importance of Protein

Protein can help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve your overall general appearance.  It aids in growth, tissue repair, helps with your immune health, makes essential hormones and enzymes, provides energy when carbohydrates are not available, and preserves lean muscle mass.  The daily recommended protein intake is 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  Currently I’m taking in 1 gram per pound of body weight, putting me at 140 grams of protein per day.

Importance of Carbohydrates

Generally speaking, the majority of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates (may vary depending on your specific goals).  Carbs are the body’s main source for fuel and energy.  They provide glucose to all of our tissues and cells in the body.  Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system and other main organs such as our brain, heart and kidneys to function properly.  Carbohydrates can be stored and later used for energy.  Carbohydrates also play a role in our intestinal health.  Your carbohydrate intake is your total daily calories less your protein and fat calories.  My total carb intake per day is 160 grams or 640 calories.  Again, the amount of carbohydrates you take in will depend on your current goals.

Importance of Fats

Contrary to popular belief, consuming fats do not make you fat.  Consuming an excess of calories, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbs, makes you fat, not the intake of fat alone.  Now that we have that settled, let’s continue.  Fats help with normal growth and development, gives you energy, helps with the absorption of some vitamins, gives cushion to your organs, maintains your cells, and gives taste, stability, and consistency to foods.  There are three main types of fats:  trans, saturated, unsaturated.  Trans fat is the unhealthiest of all the fats.  It has been shown to lead to an increase in your bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.  They should be avoided.  Trans fat is typically found in fried foods, fast foods, chips, cookies, etc.  For the most part it is found in all the foods we know we shouldn’t be eating anyway.  Saturated fat is not as unhealthy as trans fat, but it’s still not good for you either, especially in large amounts.  Saturated fat has been known to cause high cholesterol.  Saturated fats can be found in beef, veal, lamb, pork, butter, lard, and cream just to name a few.  Intake of saturated fats should be limited.  Unsaturated fat has been shown to decrease the risks of heart disease as well as lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol.  Unsaturated fats are most commonly found in fish, nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, and seeds.  The majority of our fat intake should come from unsaturated fats.  Fat should be 20-30% of your diet.  Personally, I choose 25%.  My daily fat intake is 44g.  Calculate your macros here.

For myself, this is the diet that I am currently following.  If I were competing, I would follow a stricter plan or incorporate some form of carb cycling to get my desired results.  At times, people take the IIFYM approach to the extremes.  Some will consume a lot of unhealthy foods and then give the excuse that it fits their macros.  Yes, at times I will have Oreos, skittles, or peanut M & M’s and yes, it does fit into my macros but there’s a downfall.  Per example, 1/4 cup of skittles is 37g of carbohydrates with no nutritional  value.  They’re 160 calories, contain 1.5g of fat and 30g of sugar.  1/4 cup of fresh pineapple is only about 5-6g carbs and provides vitamin C.  The pineapple is only about 20 calories and only has about 4g of sugar.  It’s obvious which snack would be more beneficial to you but if you just have to have the skittles or your favorite snack, have them; just know that you are giving up a lot of calories for non-nutritional foods and will need to adjust your macros accordingly.  Many people feel less restricted when following the IIFYM method.  Which method of eating works best for you?

The Struggle is Real

Originally posted December 31, 2014

According to the Urban dictionary, the phrase “The struggle is real”, denotes a situation where the user wishes to express that they are encountering some sort of undesirable difficulty, but dealing with it.  Currently, my undesirable difficulty is food.  I struggle with it on a day-to-day basis.  During the off-season, my goal is to put on more weight.  I have therefore increased my daily caloric intake.  Unfortunately, I have been slack.  I’ve been indulging in my favorite fast food restaurants and eating my favorite candies as though it will not be present tomorrow.  I try to “make up” for it by doing a little extra in the gym.  As most of you know, you can’t out exercise a bad diet.  Maintaining a proper diet during both the on and off-season is important.  It is frustrating to me because I know what I need to do to get back on track.  I am however having difficulty putting it into action.  Each week begins with me setting the goal to get my diet in order.  I approach the week ecstatic about my goals because it’s a new start, a new beginning, a chance to make improvements.  By the end of the week I’m having BoJangles and eating peanut M&M’s.  Unfortunately, what you eat in private, you wear in public.  It’s such a true statement.  My midsection is a clear indicator of what I have been eating in private.

What are my plans for change?  Well, I began writing this post about 2 months ago.  My plans from 2 months ago has definitely changed.  My plans have changed because my goals have changed.  When I began writing this post, I was planning for the upcoming competition season.  Due to scheduling conflicts, I do not foresee any competitions in the new year (sad face).  That of course does not stop my grind.  I continue to train hard because I love it.  I see it as an opportunity to bring a better package when I do step on stage again.  Not participating in competitions does not give me an excuse to have poor eating habits and indulge in all of the junk that I love.  I still plan to keep up with my macros and only indulge in treats sparingly.  What are your fitness goals for the new year?  Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Signing off for 2014.

Happy New Year!