Category Archive: Uncategorized

Jan 17

International Quit Your New Year’s Resolutions Day

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

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I just sent my weekly message to the Family & FIT eFamily. I normally reserve those messages specifically for the people who have taken the time to sign up for them

http://bit.ly/1CYWZQd

 

Today, though, I’m making an exception to that “rule”. Today, I want to share a synopsis of that message here too.

It was just two weeks ago, the world seemed full of promise and hope. Everyone had enjoyed their last excess on January 2 and 3. The refrigerator was stocked with “better” food. The last cigarette or drink had been had. The gym membership was purchased – or at the very least, the intent to “exercise more” had been set. Fitbits and similar monitoring devices were being sported everywhere, and it seemed, by everyone!

We were, collectively, ready to “make 2016 the best year, yet!!”

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Today, two weeks into the year, is International Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day. Timeandate.com calls it a “fun holiday” and under their synopsis, it reads: “Ditch those resolutions, relax and stop feeling guilty about breaking them. After all, resolutions are meant to be broken.” I’m not big on resolutions per se, BUT setting intentions is vital. Establishing goals is so important.

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Yet, here we are. As of today (per statisticbrain.com and several like websites), 29% of people have already given up. Another 7-10% will quit before the end of the month. Here’s another sobering statistic: while 39% of people in their twenties actually achieve their resolutions each year, only 14% of people over 50 are successful.

Wow!!

 

I may not be representative of the “average” 52 year old woman but…I absolutely refuse to give up on myself. Not in these first two weeks. Not in this year. Not in this life. I also don’t think that you should!! Male or female. 20 or 60. I am more tenacious now than I have ever been, and I have a much better idea of what I want from my life.

It bothers me when people, regardless of age or what the goal was, just give up on themselves. It bothers people, sometimes, when I say that. They get frustrated and retort, “Well, I (frequently accompanied by “especially at my age”) should be able to enjoy life!”

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I agree!!!!!

You should.

I should.

We should.

Whether we are 18 or 81, we should enjoy life.

 

 

 

But….when did “enjoying life” become gorging on food until we are uncomfortably stuffed? When did “enjoying life” become letting ourselves go to the point that we have trouble with everyday activities? When did “enjoying life” become just giving up?

Every thing we choose to do, or not do, has some kind of impact on our lives. Each of us decides how much of that we are okay with, and how much we will tolerate before we decide to do something else.

I’d like to quote Lisa Bullock, another kick-ass 50+ year old trainer/coach, I had the pleasure of speaking with the other day. “While I have a passion for both, I do realize that other women my age may not be interested in boxing or lifting heavy weights. Who doesn’t want to be able to get out of chair by themselves, though? Who doesn’t want to be able to lift their arms high enough to do up their own bra strap? Who doesn’t want to be able to bend down and pick something up? Or garden. Or play with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

WE make ourselves immobile, life doesn’t.

Ponder on these things for a few minutes.
Pull yourself together.
Decide what you actually want from life (not what somebody else might want for you – no matter how loving their intentions) and get back on track to working toward THOSE things!!!!

Jan 16

Why Even Bother? What’s the Point of this Healthy Food & Exercise?

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.
This is the message that precipitated my blogpost.

This is the message that precipitated my blogpost.

I saw this post on Facebook today and couldn’t help but write to it.  This is a topic I’m more than a little passionate about.
Our parents, and prior generations, provide DNA. That’s not open to debate and there’s nothing we can do about the DNA we were given.  We have what we have.  That is what leads some people to say, “Why bother then?” “Why eat healthy? Why work out? Why use sun screen? Seriously, why bother?’ ….and that really irritates me.
 
Why bother?  I can easily give you a hundred reasons.  In the interest of not boring you, or posting a 25 page thesis, I’ll limit myself to a Top 3 here.
 
#1: Because, while we can’t change our DNA, there is SO much we can have an impact on. Epigenetics is proving that, more every single day. If you don’t know what epigenetics is, it’s the study of how external and/or environmental factors can actually switch genes on and off – how things outside our body affect the DNA we can do nothing about. It’s FASCINATING!!!!!!! Truly.
 
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#2 By making changes in your life, not only do you have an impact on how your genes express themselves, but you influence which genes are passed to your future family 172708-20160116members. Wow!! When you are pregnant, are you going to drink, smoke, and/or eat whatever to heck you feel like? Probably not. Why not? Why bother taking care of yourself and trying to give your baby the best possible start? Why bother, because they (like you) are just at the mercy of their DNA…
If you have time, read more about that here.
 
#3 Regardless of how long I live, being active and flexible throughout life, is a pretty friggin amazing thing. During the entire time I’m fortunate enough to be here – be that aDIGITAL CAMERA

short or very long time – I am going to be strong and vibrant. Baring an accident or life altering injury/illness (which I’m not going to just sit around and wait for), I am going to be able to run and play with my grandchildren. I am going to be able to get out of a chair by myself and pick myself up if I fall. I am going to carry in my own groceries, and be able to reach and bend to put them away. I sincerely DO plan to be strapping a 35 pound scuba tank on my back, no matter how old I am, and jumping in the water.

 
The other issue I have with the passage, is equating “bacon upon bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never exercising, and being out in the sun burnt to a crisp” as the definition of “living life to its fullest”. Really?
 
While we’re talking about genetics, let’s talk about why we humans find such things as butter, bacon, and fat desirable in the first place. “If we were hunting and foraging for food in nature, we would need some way to signal us that we’d found something useful. Thanks to nature and biology, our brains have been hard wired to appreciate three basic tastes: sweet (a safe source of energy), fatty (a dense source of calories) and salty (a means of conserving fluid).” (From It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig). The problem is that the hyper palatable food-like things we eat today are far, far sweeter, and contain more salt and fat, than anything found in nature. The hits of dopamine we get from eating these things is what keeps us coming back for more, upon more, upon more. It’s not healthy and it’s also not natural.
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Do I eat bacon? …and cookies, and cupcakes, and “bad” foods? Hell, yes!!! But I do those things in moderation. Regardless of what my DNA has in store for me, or maybe because of it, I am not going to equate the quality of my life with how much butter I can eat. Some of us would say that having the opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, move our body, and exercise – while also “jumping in the ocean, speaking the truth, being silly, kind, and weird”, driving our motorcycle, and all of the other amazing things that active, flexible people can choose to do, leads to a pretty friggin amazing life as well.

Jul 07

You Can’t Harvest a Garden if You Never Plant the Seeds

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

 

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Here’s something you might not know about me. I have a degree in Organizational Leadership. This pursuit stemmed largely from an interest in how to motivate people, sociology, and cultural (world, societal, and micro) interaction. I studied people, what makes them do the things they do, and how to help them reach their own as well as shared organizational goals.

 

Throughout the course of study, we learned many leadership theories. One principle seemed to crop up on a frequent basis, though. That was the requirement to appropriately plan. It is important in everything from change management to setting performance goals and day-to-day supervision.

 

The underlying principle is; what you do today will lead to outcomes in the future.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

 

Stephen Covey, an educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker in the area of leadership, coined this theory, “The Law of the Harvest” and related it to farming. A farmer must prepare the soil and plant seeds in the spring. The seedlings must be fertilized and watered all summer. The farmer doesn’t just sit around all year and expect to have a harvest come fall!

 

Now.  You certainly don’t have to take a leadership class, or read one of Covey’s books, to learn this stuff.

How many times have you heard, “you reap what you sow”? That’s the Law of the Harvest!

Ever watch squirrels? They don’t wait until winter to go looking for food – they store it in the summer when it’s plentiful.

 

We have to do the background work!  Me.  You.  Squirrels.  Farmers.

It’s not sexy or glamorous.

It’s not always fun.

Sometimes you don’t feel like it.

It might not excite you, but it has to be done!

 

 

Here’s the second example.

I love traveling and teaching.Podium

All of my travel doesn’t “just happen” though.

I don’t just arrive at a location and teach my classes.

 

The trips start months in advance with a negotiation and contract-writing phase.

 

Today I spent a couple of hours booking airfare, hotels, and cars for upcoming trips. Once that was done, it was a few more hours editing, ordering, and shipping handbooks.

Before the class, I’ll need to review legislative updates and changes to ensure everything I’m presenting is current.  I will update my slides.  I’ll also need to follow-up and confirm the books were delivered.

As the date arrives, I’ll need to get to the airport, catch my flight, grab a rental car, drive to the hotel, find the class location and then – only then – stand in front of the class.

 

Do you know what? Getting healthier and making changes to become more fit don’t “just happen” either.

You don’t wake up one morning “magically” at your goal.

You need to do the work to get there.

It’s a process.

 

You have to plant the seeds before you can reap the harvest.

 

Sources:

Here’s a link to the book “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” by Stephen R Covey http://amzn.to/1gmKVoN

May 21

It’s an OPINION! Everybody Has One.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

I have been in the classroom almost every day for the past six weeks.  The classes have been relatively large and the people engaging but a couple of recurring issues have continually popped up.

11137148_985660421457971_550384260799636610_n1.  No matter what we were talking about, I had people chime in, “But I’ve heard xyz” or, “So and so told me this.”

My response is always the same.

“They are giving you their opinion as if that is THE answer.

In fact, that may have been THEIR answer. That may have worked for them.

That is not, necessarily YOUR answer.

Do you see the difference? “

 

We’re all different.
We think differently.
We do things differently.
We approach issues differently.

 

I am not going to give you an opinion.

I am going to make you form your own.

I will give you information and say, “If you do A, here’s what you can expect. If you do B, here’s what will likely happen.” Some people will choose A, and others B. That’s absolutely okay!!

 

This answer is relevant to soooooo much of what we do, isn’t it?

It’s rampant in the health & fitness arena.

 

Your friend lost weight on:

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Weight Watchers
Paleo
IIFYM
Zone
Eating 6 Times a Day
Eating 3 Times a Day
Fasting
The Blood Type Diet
The Mediterranean Diet
Jenny Craig
As a Vegan / Vegetarian
By Cutting out Dairy…or Gluten….or           Grains….or Anything White
By Doing Crossfit
By Doing Cardio for 2 Hours a Day
By Never Doing Cardio and Only Lifting Weights

….the list is seemingly endless.

 

The fact is that when you watch what you eat, or change your diet in some way (any way) that your body is not used to, you typically lose some weight.

 

Let’s be clear.

That does not mean you lost fat.
It does not mean the lSuzy Qoss is sustainable over the long term.
It does not mean you’re more healthy!!

I’ve talked about this before.

 

I lost 15 pounds on a chocolate cake, coffee, and nicotine diet!!!!!

 

 

People think I was crazy and irresponsible.

 

Let me ask you this: what about the fat burners, squeems, lotions, potions, and diets you’ve been trying?

No judgment. Just a question…

 

2.  Several times throughout each day, one person would start complaining. “This law isn’t fair.” “I don’t like that.” “I made a bad choice ten years ago.”  And so on.

This always leads to other people jumping in to agree and things can go down hill very quickly.

We only have 8 hours for class so I refuse to entertain this negativity. We just don’t have the time for it!!!

My response is always the same and it, too, is relevant outside of class.

“Is there anything at all that you do anything about xyz? Could you make a change so that it’s better? Can you do anything about a decision you made ten years ago?”

Many times people don’t want to answer because they know where I’m going with my questions.

Do Something

“If you can do something to fix the problem: do it! Let’s brainstorm about how you might do that.

If you can’t do anything about it, I am going to ask you to stop complaining.

It does nothing for you, and it detracts from productive things we could be doing.  It provides absolutely zero value to our time today.  In fact, it is a waste of time.”

 

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May 19

I Just Feel…..Big. The Newest Great Adventure.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

 

Late yesterday, Brooke Erickson posted on her Facebook page, “Competing is not and should not be for everyone and no one should ever compare themselves to someone else’s stage physique. As tempting as it may be for you to want to compare your body to that of a stage-conditioned competitor…
believe me when I say that there is a flip side. They too, suffer from poor body image and self-comparison. They just don’t talk about it. They too, don’t feel good enough and dissect themselves in the mirror. They just don’t want you to know they have flaws. They too, can feel lost and depressed after the stage lights have turned off. Your journey is your own. Don’t worry your mind or waste your time comparing yourself to anyone else. Work hard to be a better version of you…not the woman in your newsfeed. Strive to be your 10… not theirs.”

Brooke was my coach during prep for my last Figure competition (June, 2014) and, as she frequently does, she spoke directly to my heart with her post. I want to scream a reiteration of her thoughts.

“They too, suffer from poor body image and self-comparison. They too, don’t feel good enough and dissect themselves in the mirror. They too, can feel lost and depressed after the stage lights have turned off. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to anyone else!!!”

I have been struggling lately.

I’m not comparing myself to anyone else. I’m comparing myself to my stage-conditioned competitor FigureandLiftingself, which is just as unreasonable. Especially since I’m not competing.

Special thanks to Jeannine Trimboli for her support and advice: “Allow yourself to start looking at your weight as a tool rather than something that defines your value.”

 

 

Again….YES!!!!!! I’ve said this to clients. Why am I not applying it to myself?

The fact is, whether you are struggling to lose weight, to gain muscle, to be healthy, to find a healthy body image, or something entirely different, the struggle is just as real.

For the past 3-4 years I have been competing. I love the ripped, competitive body. I like being shredded. The physical aspect was amazing and I love being on stage.  But right now I’m trying something new.

 

I have a new coach (Jordan Syatt) and I’m working on Power Lifting.

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I can’t wait to share my experience and all of my changes as I go through this program. But, to be honest, I’m struggling.

I feel like I’m starting back at square one. I feel like I have never lifted. This is different than anything I’ve ever done. The workouts are different. The breathing is different. The body mechanics are different. I’m excited to see what I can do.

Yet.

I also feel like I don’t know this body. It’s not for figure. It’s not ripped. It’s softer. I am uncomfortable. I feel big. Not fat. Not muscle-y (I only just started this new venture two weeks ago).

Just big.

 

Not following my own guidance, I even stepped on the scale this weekend. I am the heaviest I have ever been other than when I was pregnant.

I’ve wrestled with that.

There’s a battle going on inside my head.

“Who cares what you weigh?”

“No one even knows what you weigh!”

“Weight is irrelevant. Your clothes still fit and you feel strong.”

 

All true.

I would say every one of those things, out loud, to a client.

But.

There is that number on the scale…….

My number.

My scale.

 

It shouldn’t matter, but it’s in my head.

 

So I stood in front of my husband, distraught and naked. I asked him what he honestly thought of this body (he liked the lean, competition shape as much as I did).

Anyone that knows him will verify that he wouldn’t lie. He can’t….

 

My husband said, “You look amazing. You aren’t shredded but you look so strong and powerful. To be honest, this may be the best I’ve ever seen you look.” I know he was being sincere.

But that’s not how I feel.

I just feel big.

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So why am I doing this?  For several reasons.

–  First, I got a little tired of just focusing on aesthetics.

–  It’s contrary to what I tell my clients so at times I felt like I was being dishonest – with them, with me or maybe both. I tell clients that their size doesn’t matter. I tell them that they need to focus on fitness, strength, and improving what they can do – – the rest of it will come. I believe that and they’ve proven it to me time and time again.

– I told a friend, who needed the encouragement to pursue her goals, that I would do this with her.

–  I am strong and I like new challenges, so I’ve decided to see what I can DO for a while, vice just what I can make myself look like.

It is my most sincere hope that as I go forward into this new challenge, I can come back and tell you that I’ve come to grips with this new shape and that I’m comfortable with myself.

It is my most sincere desire that you would also work on feeling comfortable with your body just AS IT IS RIGHT NOW…even if, and while you’re making changes.

I will share my journey with you. I’d love it if you would share your journey with me.

May 14

Sometimes You Need to Use the F Word(s): Fact & Fat

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.19.57 PMDebbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

The health & fitness world has gone crazy. At least the area that I follow has. Like so many other arenas, judgment is rampant and the dizzying height of political correctness is insane.

“Don’t talk about ‘mindset’ or ‘mindfulness’ because it’s too esoteric and you’ll scare people away.” I might lose some people then, but…

 

FACT: Mindset is the piece that’s missing from most health programs. People need help in stopping negative self-talk and self-neglect. When I receive e-mails like this from people in my private coaching group, I don’t think they’re frightened by the mindset work we do.

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“Don’t call weight loss a ‘journey’ because it’s “insensitive and makes people feel like they aren’t good enough right where they are.” What?

 

FACT: I consider the entire life experience a journey. When I stop looking forward to new goals, I will stop living. I have never seen this word as negative – in any way.

“Don’t talk about eating cookies because that makes people think that eating sugar is okay.” But, “Don’t talk about eating tilapia because that means you’re an extremist.”

“Hooray for Chipotle: serving all non-GMOs.” “Damn Chipotle for serving non-GMOs and adding to the food fear-mongering.”

 

FACT: I love cookies, tilapia, and Chipotle. I don’t think those things “make” me anything….except a little happier.

 

“Don’t talk about functional exercise because it’s useless.”

 

FACT: I believe we are ALL athletes. Life is our sport!!! That’s not a cliché. You pick up your children or grandkids, you carry in your groceries, you want to be able to get in and out of your car, take a walk on a sunny day, and be healthy enough to care for yourself. Every one of those things involves the ability to move!! That’s functional movement.

What to hell? Seriously. People are walking around on eggshells afraid to say anything because the words we used yesterday are not accepted today. Well, at least I have been. No matter what you say these days, you can expect someone to jump on you for it!

It really – I’m not joking – had me feeling almost paralyzed to do or say anything, recently.

Then this text message slapped me across the face and jolted me back to reality.

 

FACT: I’m not doing anything that I do in order to be accepted by other people. I do everything I do in order to help people who need help.

 

The message (which, I have permission from its author to share) was:

“I need your help”

“With what?”

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The message took my breathe away!! I sat and cried for about 20 minutes. It made me feel as though I had been punched in the gut.

The positive body image arena is now so sensitive that we shouldn’t ever talk about weight or fat, “because it makes people feel bad about themselves.” No.

FACT: This person already feels bad – it doesn’t matter what word I use. The word “fat” is not a judgment call. It’s a noun. It is a real thing…and a large amount of fat around body organs is not healthy.

This is a young single mother who takes less than 5 minutes a day caring for herself.

FACT: Me, or anybody else, telling her that she’s worth it and her actually beginning to believe it are two very, very different things. We’ll need to work on self-care and compassion. We’ll need to work on self-acceptance right where she is now while establishing goals to change, get healthy, and lose FAT.

 

This person is desperate for help. So, yes, I used that “F-word”.

We talked about FAT, working out, and eating for her goals. I didn’t tell her she should weigh a certain amount or be a certain size. We didn’t talk about “good” or “bad” food but we talked about the FACT that she’s going to have to change the way she’s eating.

I also didn’t tell her she should just accept herself the way she currently is, though. I don’t believe that helps anything and in FACT, it can have the opposite affect of what well-meaning individuals are trying to do. It can add more guilt. Now the individual can also feel shitty because, on top of everything else, they’re not accepting of themselves “like they should”.

We just keep heaping it on.

 

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.

FACT: I don’t care what a person looks like. I don’t care what a person weighs or what size pants s/he wears. Losing weight and getting stronger are not really the goal. They are outcomes. The goal is to empower people: to help them realize they are capable of so much more than they imagined they could do.

I can’t be so worried about picking the currently “acceptable” word that I don’t say anything.

 

Apr 24

What Are You Putting into Your Mouth? And Is It Worth It?

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.30.22 AMDebbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

I have to share what I consider to be a milestone (well, as I write this, I realize it’s actually two or three milestones) for me.

First, a little background. I love the way I look when I compete. I love curvy biceps and pumped shoulders. I love rounded glutes.  I love the shredded look. I love those things so much, that for years I have weighed and measured all of my food. I have obsessed over it. I have carried baggies of food into restaurants with me when I’ve met friends for dinner.

Do you know how exhausting that is? Every. Single. Day. In life, let alone with my travel schedule. I did it because I felt like I had to.  I did it because I had been told that if I wanted to be lean and look the way I like, that I needed to….and I believed that.

For the last month I have refused to weigh anything. I’ve carried my scale in my suitcase – I always do – but I refused to get it out. I have not eaten everything I see, nor everything I have a passing momentary craving for…but I have not eaten a specific diet either. If I wanted an apple, I ate it. I didn’t weigh it first. If I wanted ice cream, I had a little bit.

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I WISH I COULD PUT GREEN FLASHING LIGHTS AROUND THIS SECTION!!!!!!

The biggest tip I ever give to my nutritional clients is this:

Before you put something in your mouth, think about it. Ask yourself one question. Is this, whatever it is, worth the calories?

If it is – eat it. Enjoy it. The smell, the taste, the texture. No guilt. No self-imposed hour long cardio session later to “make up for it”.

If it really isn’t worth it to you, why are you eating it?

So many times we engage in mindless eating. We put stuff into our mouths just because it’s there or out of habit.

Stop!  Think!  Then eat.

 

Don’t put a ban on your favorite foods.  That makes you want them even more and getting fit should not be a punishment.  All things are allowed but not all things are helpful in reaching your goals.

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I have no idea what my macros (protein, fat, carbs) have been. That caused me a ton of stress (no joke) even a month ago.

MILESTONE 1:  Much of the stress has subsided as I have just trusted myself, listened to my body, and applied moderation.

Yes, I did carry food in my suitcase over this last month. I will always do that, for several reasons. First, I travel to many remote locations and there’s not always something nutritious available. Second, with my schedule, there’s also not always time for me to sit down to a meal. Many times I eat as I’m running through the airport, or while sitting on the plane. I like to be in charge of what I eat and I don’t want to be in a situation of being “forced” to eat a Big Mac merely because that’s the only thing conveniently available and I’m starving.

So after this month, what has the result been?

MILESTONE #2: I LOST, I did not gain, 4 pounds. I wasn’t trying to lose weight and I couldn’t care less what the scale says, anyway, but I did lose weight. I’ve been strong in my workouts. My mind is clear and I feel fantastic.

And here is the biggest, hugest (yes that’s a word!!!!!) thing.

MILESTONE #3:  I was talking to my husband last night and said, “I don’t have as many veins in my arms and my biceps are long and lean instead of bumpy (which I like). Maybe I should go back on a plan but I just don’t feel like it. I just can’t seem to make myself like the idea.” He said, “That’s because you know it’s not the best thing for you. You might not be as lean as you’d like to be but I think you look amazing. You look so much more healthy now than you did when you were competing.”

THAT made my day!!!! THAT made my entire week. I mean, who am I trying to look and be healthy for anyway?

Myself – check; and my husband – check.

Sometimes we do need a plan. Examples include when we are trying to attain the goal of losing fat, gaining muscle, competing, etc. Sometimes that’s important and during those times we need to track our food.

Sometimes we need to live our lives, apply some moderation, trust ourselves, and just find little ways to build healthy habits into our every day routines.  We all know that it’s probably better to eat a piece of fruit than a cupcake.  We know that eating until we are stuffed doesn’t even feel good – much less is it good.  We know that if we eat just mountains of fat and sugar, it’s not good for us.  We all know that if we move more, if we exercise, it’s better for our bodies and out minds.  Let’s just do more of that stuff!!!

Not dieting

 

Gi-normous shout out to my mentor, business coach, and dear friend JillFit Physiques​ for her inspiration to me in this area.

Apr 20

Why Are You Afraid to be Strong?

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.39.59 PMDebbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

This post is about  a little tough love.  I want you to think about something and I want you to be 100% honest with yourself.

Are YOU holding yourself back?  I think the answer is, “yes” and if it is – here are a couple more questions.  Why?   Why are you limiting yourself?  What can we do to fix that mentality?

 

Before you even read one more sentence, please let me assure you:

You are not alone.  

I am not judging you.  

In fact, I do it too!!  It’s part of the human condition.  The last couple of paragraphs will tell you what happened to me tonight in the gym.  

 

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about in holding ourselves back.

(a) I can go into almost any gym on almost any day of the week and see people there, sitting around on the equipment. Peddling the bi11149528_765401690245974_5867065370172598381_nke so slowly that they might go 1/10 mile in an hour. Walking so slowly on the treadmill that they never break a sweat. The worst? A couple of weeks ago, in my home gym, there was a young man sitting at one of the machines playing solitaire on his phone!! No lie.

These people are physically capable of exercising; they’re merely choosing to limit themselves. I only want you to do what you can, but I really want you to do WHAT YOU CAN, not what you think you can.

If you have medical concerns of any sort, and even if you don’t, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program!!  But, assuming you are healthy and able to exercise, your skin will flush, your heart rate will increase, you may be somewhat short of breathe, and you will (you should) get sweaty!!!

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Exclamation Point

(b) Saturday, I climbed the 900+ stairs to Exclamation Point – above Chimney Rock in North Carolina. It was challenging and I can definitely feel my calves today. Several of the ladies I saw there, didn’t hike. They rode the elevator to the restaurant mid-way and just sat waiting for friends and family. I overheard a small group talking. “Do you want to go to the top?” “No, I would die.” “No. I can look at pop’s pictures when he comes down.” “There’s no way I would make it.” Several others were meandering while texting or chatting on their phones; lagging far behind their family and friends.

To be clear, I’m not talking about people who CAN’T do it or who want to sit at the restaurant and relax.  I’m talking about people limiting themselves; settling to look at photos because they assumed they couldn’t make it to the top without even trying.

In contrast, I saw an elderly couple hiking.  He was using a cane and they were holding hands.  They took turns helping each other.  They were slow but he made it all the way to to top.  She didn’t – she stopped to rest on a bench just below the summit.  She did what she could!!  It was incredibly inspiring to see them there!  Enjoying the weather.  Enjoying each other’s company.  Enjoying the hike.

 

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Chimney Rock

(c) You may have seen my post last week. My brother in law was visiting. Every time we went in or out, I always headed for the stairs. After a couple of times of this, he asked, “is there something wrong with the elevator?” No there isn’t. There is also nothing wrong with our legs and there’s no reason we shouldn’t walk up and down the stairs merely for the movement!

(d) I’ve seen many people press the handicap button to open doors and then stand there waiting, many times impatiently, for the door to open instead of using their muscles to pull the door open. If you CAN’T open the door, use the button. That’s why it’s there. But…

(e) I’ve had clients that are perfectly capable of lifting 5, 10 or even 15 pound dumbbells, yet they lacked the confidence to do anything but 2 pounders (even though their purse weighed more than that!). If you’re a true beginner and you can only lift 2 pounds, please, please, please lift 2 pounds.

I’m not talking about a lack of physical ability, strength, stamina, or anything else. I’m talking about a self-limiting mindset. Why are you afraid to be strong? Why are you limiting yourself?

 

So here’s my story.

 

I am in Salisbury, NC this week. I know a total of 6 people in this town but no one at the local gym. I was in the gym working out last night. There weren’t many people around so I was doing supersets (exercise A for 6-12 repetitions and then exercise B for 6-12; back to A; back to B, and so on).

I did one set of two different exercises and was going back to do my second set on the first exercise. My plates had been changed from 25 pounds to 35 pounds. I thought it was weird but I just assumed that I was tired, hadn’t been paying attention, and I must have put on more than I initially planned to. Assuming I had already done one set at this weight, I did the second set of the exercise. Headed back to my second exercise. My weight had been increased by 10 pounds. I did the second set at that weight and headed back to my first exercise for the final set. My plates had been changed from 35 pounds to 45 pounds.

Okay…..something was up!!!! I wasn’t THAT tired. As I did the final set of this exercise, I kept my eyes on my other exercise area, and then it happened!

I saw one of the guys who works at the gym, changing my weights. He added another 10 pounds!!! I walked over to him and said, “Excuse me. I’m using that.” Maybe with some attitude.  He said, “I know, but I also figured you are stronger than you’re giving yourself credit for. I knew you could lift more than you had on there and sure enough…….you did!” Yup. He was right. I did.IMG_5775

I will not push myself to the point of getting injured nor should you!!!! I would not lift an amount I’m not comfortable with. I was in no danger. It was my head that was limiting me, not my body.

You can bet that I increased my weight on every single remaining exercise!!!!!

I had an excellent workout AND he gave me a free shirt. “For Strength. For Health. For Life.” for being such a good sport.

Do what you can – whatever that is. If you can only walk for 2 minutes; do it. Next week, walk for 3 and the week after that 5. If you can only (truly) lift 2 pounds; do it. Next week, lift 3 and the week after that 5. But do what you CAN.

I’ll bet money on the fact that you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for! So am I……..

Apr 15

I Will Not Conform! I Refuse to Fit into Your Little Box!

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 10.13.36 PMDebbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

This could easily turn into a rant! It’s something I’m quite passionate about but I’m going to try to get my point across logically and with slightly less emotion than I feel.  I am tired of the “holier-than-thou” attitude – from all sides of the fitness industry and it’s hard to be quiet.Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 10.48.00 PM

 

The “pure” body image camp advocates loving our bodies no matter what shape we are, no matter what we weigh, and no matter what level of fitness we choose.

I love this.  It motivates me to show self-compassion and acceptance.

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The “pure” fitspo camp advocates pushing ourselves to extreme levels by doing everything necessary to get as ripped and shredded as possible. [If you’re not familiar with the word, it’s short for fitsporation – a cross between fitness and inspiration. It’s the photos and intended to be motivating phrases like “never give up”, “strong is the new skinny”, or “what’s your excuse?”].

I love this.  It motivates me to work harder.

 

 

 

I refuse to cram myself into one of those little boxes. I have covered up both muscle and fat, because I was uncomfortable with each of them, and because people have commented about both at various times.

For me, it’s never been either or!  

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I love to compete and I carry more muscle than some people think a woman should!

I give 100% to my workouts, especially when I’m getting ready for a show. I do, “leave it all on the gym floor” and I personally have a sweatshirt that says, “Suck it up Buttercup”. The fitspo people love this about me. Many focused on body image, though, say this attitude is “too extreme”. They feel that by me heralding such slogans, I am shaming others into either working out like I do, or feeling like crap because they don’t. This is BS and, to be honest, it sounds a little judgmental to me.

Take Planet Fitness as an example. Yes, I’m bringing that up again. The “no judgment zone” is incredibly judgmental of people like me. Lunk alarms? Too much muscle is not welcome? Ummm…….

Bodybuilding and fitness competitions are not for everybody and that’s okay. There’s no judgment in that statement. Guess what? Running marathons, bull-riding, competitive volleyball, wine-tasting, sport fishing, distilling whiskey, playing guitar, barrel racing, knitting, and MMA are not for everybody either. I have friends who excel at each of those things!

I have no desire to do them myself and I don’t feel pressured to have to just because my friends are.

  • I don’t judge people who exercise hard and I don’t judge people who don’t.
  • I certainly do not feel that pushing myself to/beyond my limits in an effort to improve, takes anything away from people who have no interest in doing such things.

 

…but I am also okay with my imperfections, and carrying more weight than some people think I should.

There are days, and weeks, and months when I take a break. I work hard and have a life outside of the gym. Sometimes those other things require my full attention.

I love what my body can do – not just the way it looks. I have stretch marks. I have scars. And, yes (gasp) I have cellulite. Big friggin deal. Who doesn’t? I drink Bailey’s in my coffee every morning that I’m home (which isn’t often) and I like chocolate chip cookies. The body image movement is proud of me but fitspo thinks I “don’t have enough dedication”, and I’m “letting myself go”. Some think I’m trying to shame those who workout and measure everything they eat because they are “too extreme”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • I don’t judge other people for what they weigh, eat (or don’t eat), nor for how they exercise (or don’t).
  • I certainly do not feel that accepting myself for who I am – in addition to a body, not doing two-a-day marathon cardio sessions, or not staying at my “ideal” (whatever to heck that means) weight takes anything away from people who have no interest in doing such things.

We’re back to the topic we discussed a few weeks ago: either you’re on a diet or you’re not. Either you’re exercising or you’re not. Either you’re eating only tilapia and asparagus or you’re enjoying pasta and cookies without any limits. Either you’re shredded with a body fat so low you stop menstruating or you love every single thing about your body’s current state and set no personal goals at all.

Don’t both ends of the spectrum seem kind of extreme?

Don’t most of us actually live somewhere in the middle?

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Can’t you eat healthier but also enjoy occasional treats? Can’t you exercise more than you are right now but not spend 2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week in the gym? Can’t you desire to lose weight or become stronger without body shaming?

The answer is a resounding HELL, YES!!!!

I am a grandmother, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a military spouse, a friend, a teacher, public speaker, business owner, and coach. I love to scuba dive, ride motorcycles, hike, camp, workout, scrapbook, shoot, teach, cook, and help people get healthy as well as fit – among many, MANY other things.

 

I AM NOT ONE-DIMENSIONAL AND I DON’T BELIEVE YOU ARE EITHER!!!

 

I am an emotional/stress eater. My mother fed me to celebrate and to lament. Those lessons, and my dependence on food in every situation, are deeply engrained.

  • But I also like to compete so there are times I buckle down and focus on high protein, higher healthy fat, and lower (not NO) carbs.

I have never had a food “disorder”.

  • But I have binged. I have never purged but I have definitely chewed up food and spit it into the garbage can vice swallowing it. And…yes, I believe that happens more often than anyone might be willing to admit.

I do not believe in gimmicks and hard-core diets that eliminate entire food groups.

  • But I do not believe I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want and still accomplish my goals.

 

I have friends who compete and friends who don’t.

I have friends who have lost 100 pounds and friends who want to lose 100 pounds, or more.

I have friends who are now able to squat and deadlift more than their body weight and I have a friend who is proud because she increased from 3-pound dumbbells to 5-pounders this week.

I have friends who are finally kicking their soda habit to the curb and friends who have no desire to do that.

I have friends who exercise every single day for 30-45 minutes (or more) and I have friends who have just started walking 5 minutes a day.

I have friends who are training for their first 5K and friends who recently completed their first marathon.

I adore and support every single one of them in pursuit of their personal goals.

 

My world is not just black and white. There’s a LOT of grey….and yellow, blue, red, purple, and multi-colored starbursts! We come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We have different skin, hair, and eye color. We are different heights, with different passions, different goals.

We do not accept people putting us into boxes in any other areas of our lives. Why are we seemingly demanding it with health and fitness?

I refuse to choose body image OR fitspo. I choose both. I will work on loving everything about me – my body, and everything else – but I will still push myself to do more tomorrow than I can do today.

I eat tilapia AND cookies.

xo

Apr 07

This is me. No make-up. No cover-up. No pretense. Just me.

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Bear with me. Read the whole thing please….. this is from my heart.

This piece was originally written as a Facebook post on the day the photo was taken: a few days after my 50th birthday in June, 2014.

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“This is my favorite picture from my photo shoot because it actually shows my hard work. This photo may offend some (in the current anti-fitspo sentiment) and if so, I apologize. That’s not my intent. I am not looking for comments nor compliments. I am comfortable enough in my own skin to no longer require external input, so please don’t feel that you “need” to say anything.

Sincerely, I hesitated to post this but; ultimately I am for a couple of reasons.

First, because I am a figure competitor, this IS me. I haven’t always looked this way.  I worked hard to get to this point.  I’m fully clothed (even wearing more than you’ve seen in my stage photos). My husband and family support me. Many of my friends also participate in this hobby (I love my fitness girls the best – you ladies rock!!!!).

There are three things I want to specifically point out in hopes that I might be able to help SOMEBODY.

(1) This was taken a week after my 50th birthday. It does not matter how old you are.

(2) I am 15 (Fifteen) pounds heavier in this photo than I was at my last competition over a year ago. The scale is a liar!!!   Weight does not matter!!  No, I don’t think I need to lose 15 pounds. If this photo makes a difference to even one person who drives themselves crazy weighing every day, I will be thrilled!!

(3) Several of my friends [and family too] don’t care for the “hard” muscular female body that I appreciate so much…..it’s not for everybody. Strangers make comments. People sometimes look at me oddly. I wear long sleeves when I teach. Close friends treat me like I’m a freak when I’m in show-prep. It’s all okay. Sincerely. I CHOOSE this lifestyle.

But what I wanted you (my friends and family) to see is that I [we] don’t always appear “overly” muscular. All of the pictures were taken on the very same day and yet my body is different in every one of them. Hard in the first one. Very soft in several of the others.

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People used to make fun of my big legs and I’ve been told more than once that they’re “manly”. Well, I kind of like um!!!

Yup. This is me. No make up. No hair-do. No pretense. No cover-up.  Just me. and I kind of like it.

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