Get Off the Crack and Get Back on Track – SUGAR is a Bad Habit

SugarpicIt’s been a while since I’ve been on the subject of nutrition, almost as long as my recovery.  Don’t think that hasn’t been in the forefront while I’ve been recovering. In fact, what has enabled me to continue to recover as quickly is being mindful of my nutrition.  I will admit though I’ve not been perfect and probably caved in to more cheat days then I normally would give in to.. But hey, sometimes I am human.  So now that I am getting stronger on my track it’s time to reckon with those demons and banish them off the track.

Sugar does to your brain — the exact same thing smoking, alcohol and cocaine do.

Studies show that Lab rats prefer sugar to cocaine. When given the choice between sugar, cocaine and alcohol those cross-addicted rats always choose sugar.

Eating high-sugar foods lights up your brain on an MRI like a Christmas tree. The very same part of the brain that’s triggered by cocaine or heroine according to research by Dr. David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D.

The dopamine receptors are activated in the brain when sugar is consumed, and the more sugar that is ingested the more desensitized the brain becomes to the dopamine response and the more sugar is needed to maintain that high.

When the brain starts reducing its number of dopamine receptors in order to keep things balanced “downregulation” is the reason we develop a tolerance.

From there it’s a downward spiral…

Eating wheat, flour and sugar in processed foods spikes our sugar, then insulin. These are the hormonal disturbances that make you store belly fat, and then you are hungry for more sweets and starchy junk food and the cycle continues from there.

Sugar increases your insulin levels, which can lead to:

•OBESITY

•DIABETES

•HEART DISEASE

•IMPAIR BRAIN FUNCTION

•HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HIGH CHOLESTEROL

•PREMATURE AGING

Controlling your insulin levels is one of the most important things you can do to optimize your overall health, and avoiding sugar is the key.

Bottom line, there is no fundamental difference between junk food addiction and drug addiction and basically, Oreos are legal crack. : /

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VII: Getting Stronger on the Track: You don’t want to lift heavy weights.. Changing your Angle is like Changing Perspective

Just like changing your perspective can change your life so too can changing the angle you lift can change your physique. Sometimes just changing the way you look at something makes all the difference in the world.

posteriorangle picWhile in recovery the body has one thing to do HEAL.  The body is designed to heal itself, if you let it .

And yes sometimes surgical intervention is required but then there is healing time involved in that too.

The most obvious way to progress is to increase your weight load. SO how to progress and keep things interesting when you have restrictions placed upon you and lifting heavy is not on option… Change the angle.

By simply changing the way you stand or angle the of the weight bench you can target your muscles from a different angle, recruit adjacent muscle fibers and stabilizer muscles and promote a more balanced, symmetrical physique.lateral angle pic

If you continue to lift weights in the same angle every time you will only get stronger at that angle and eventually you will either plateau or create imbalances.

If your scared of lifting heavy weights because you think you’re going to get big and bulky, which by the way is a BIG MYTH, (you get big and bulky from the eating the wrong foods) this a perfect technique for you to incorporate into your training regimen.

Biceps anglepicsNot only did I use this technique while in recovery but I use it with my clients because it integrates movement in daily functional living.  From day to day we lift, we push and we move our bodies in different ways and different angles your body needs to be strong and ready for anything that comes your way.

Other options are varying your speed, changing grips, and recovery time between sets.

Doing angles you’ve never tried—even when completed on a common exercise—are almost like brand-new movements altogether. Your perspective of the same 10-pound weight will be completely different .

Simply adjusting your angle keeps it FRESH and offers up a whole new perspective!

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

VI: Getting Back on Track with Unstable Surface Training for Greater Stability

ropes bosuLike the name implies, unstable surface training is when you perform resistance or bodyweight training with all or part of you acting against a surface that it self is unstable. Stable surface training, is when you are simply standing on the ground or sitting on a regular bench or any surface that is stable.

Your core in general serves to protect your spine and prevent major injury and paralysis. When working on an unstable surface you’re always working on your core.pistol squats

Simulating an unstable surface environment in a controlled setting creates a shaking reaction. That shaking or balance reaction stimulates proprioceptors. Proprioceptors are position sensors in your joints.  This can improve sensory function, meaning that the central nervous system receives better feedback to improve the motor signals it sends out, Thus strengthening your joints and improving joint health.

bosu balanceFrom a neurological standpoint your body understands that if you improve joint health your ready for more tensile strength or more force to go through each and every joint in your body which means you can utilize more muscles on all sides of your joints to be able to recruit and co-contract to create a better more stable joint.bosu lunge

Joints connect bones and its primary function is to provide motion and flexibility to the frame of the body.  A strong joint provides stability for the overall framework of your body in motion.

By strengthening that signal, this allows for better coordination to send a more direct signal to get a stronger contraction and tell your body that it has the stability to protect you.

bosu pushupsSome great tools to incorporate into your rehab or workout are: Bosu balls (my favorite), stability balls, dyna discs and medicine balls.  Really you can create your own unstable surfaces to challenge yourself.

Also, the faster you go the harder the unstable surface gets, the more challenging it becomes to your joints and stabilizers.

Surge on!

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

V: Getting Back on the Track -Next Up… Plyometrics

Plyometric training and why it does the body good.

How these explosive jumping exercises will help recovery and bring us back to speed….

Tendons take A LONG- VERY LONG time to heal.

As I watch my gluteus maximus  (aka. my butt), tendon repair, which incidentally is the largest muscle in the body, it helps power you up hills and stairs and supports your hip and pelvis, little by little I’ve been adding on to my regimen by increasing the level of difficulty and strength.

Without getting too technical, I will try to keep this simple…

Box jump Plyometric exercises like Squat Jumps, Box jumps, Lunge Jumps, Single leg hops, Leap Frogs and skaters strengthen the tendons and improve their elasticity by placing stress on them in a controlled setting. There are numerous studies that support the use of plyometric and dynamic stabilization/balance exercises in neuromuscular training to alter movement biomechanics. The stronger the tendons, the less the risk of injury.

The nervous system also has to be trained to switch on.lungejump

By training the body in a plyometric way, the body makes demands on the muscular system, whose needs are met first by the nervous system. Plyometric training improves the efficiency of this system as well.

lungeThe ability to control the degree of eccentric movement before an extension or concentric movement is key to all explosive sports. This is known as the stretch-shortening cycle. Over time this strengthens the stabilizing muscles to lessen the degree of flexion before the subsequent extension.  This in turn improves coordination and produces more efficient movement patterns. Through this power and speed are born.

Plyos can be subbed for cardio or a sprint day.  Plyos raise the speed of force and speed of your muscle contractions leading to higher explosive power that is needed in sports activities. Every sport can benefit from plyometric training.

To recap plyo training benefits:squat jump

Stronger tendons +Better coordination + Increased stabilization + Strength + Speed=Increased power output systemically and safely

Among all the other benefits, the bonus again is plyos are one of the most effective ways to torch calories and burn fat!

Slow and easy does it but still moving forward.  : )

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

 

IV: Getting Back on The Track still – Achieving Balance and Single-Limb Training

This is a reoccurring theme.. Maybe it’s because it is so difficult to achieve and maintain.  At least for the time being this theme keeps coming up for me in my recovery.  It’s like two steps forward one step back.. Just as I begin to think I’m done with this recovery thing something pulls me back to let me know that I’m still in it.

SL stepupThe imbalance between the right and left side is persistant at making me notice that I still have work to do.

Six months out now and feeling frustrated … more than slightly.  Just the other day I decided to test my body.  I tried a light jog only to wake up 2 days later and find my neck stiff as a board and couldn’t turn it.

Thankfully nothing that a chiropractic adjustment couldn’t fix but still a reminder that there’s more work to be done before I’m free.

These imbalances between right and left occur more often than you think.  If you get used to doing things always with your dominant side and never train the other side, over time  you are more than likely to develop an imbalance. You may not notice it for years to come but prepare yourself because when it does hit you will feel the pain in all areas that will be trying to overcompensate for your weakness. You’ll be dumbfounded wondering what hit you.

SO how to correct these imbalances or prevent them before they get you?

SINGLE LIMB TRAINING

Single-Limb training corrects left-right strength and size asymmetries and improves general balance and proprioception different from the way heavy resistance training does.

SL deadliftAnother method I implement is adding one extra set on the right.  So basically I start and finish with the right side for 4 sets on the right and 3 on the left, in an attempt to correct the weakness on my surgical side and bring it up to par with the left.

Here are some examples of exercises you can incorporate into your workout:

•Single-leg deadlift

•Single-leg squats

•Balance lunges SL Balance lunge

•Strict step-ups

•Single-leg hops

•Single leg calf raises

These provide the smallest possible base of support and require the greatest proprioceptive response. An excellent tool for developing stability, balance and strength interdependently of each other.

Though it takes twice as long to train each leg individually as it would to train them both at the same time this can serve as a bonus to increase your metabolic conditioning which means you can burn more fat  : )

Well at least with the two step forward and one step back method I’m still moving forward :)

Hit me up for more exercises.

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

III: Getting Back on the Track and Getting Creative With My Rehab

Even with limitations, I’ve found quite a bit of things that I can do.  I started integrating activities that would challenge my balance, work my stabilizers, and of course continue to strengthen my core .

Getting creative with my rehab and making it a little more challenging and exciting by incorporating strength, balance and flexibility into my program in creative ways here’s my report:

Still no jumping or running but in the meantime…

In Tai Chi I have progressed to using full weight bearing, range of motion, strength, balance and flexibility.

At Force PT they have the Alter G, Anti Gravity treadmill.  I zip into the harness and the system calibrates my weight with the desired percentage of how much of my weight I can bear.  As of today 5 and half months post op I am at 75 percent of my body weight at a speed of 5.0 for 45 minutes.  This is a great tool to teach my body how to run again and develop endurance in the process.

Yoga incorporates isometric strength, balance and flexibility.

Figure Skating helps with my stabilizers and balance.

This surgery was a Glute Max (Butt) repair and that will be the last muscle that will work for me. Until then I’ve been strengthening every muscle around it. Often times this creates discomfort because my quads, hip flexors and hamstrings are doing double duty for that large muscle that doesn’t work to its full capacity yet.

All these modalities are teaching my body to move the way I’m going to ask it when all is said and done. Using functional and creative training methods to get me back on that track while keeping sane.

Almost there I can see the light : D

For fun watch video all the way through..

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

II: Getting Back on the Track, The Journey Continues – Proceed With Caution

Thank you to Everyone who reached out with messages after my post a couple of weeks ago  … for sharing your honest journey with me and thank you for being a part in mine and making me feel like you’re holding my hand.. It helps :)

Doc says I can start swimming. PT has me on the Anti-Gravity Treadmill to simulate running. LOOK I am moving forward…

AlterG

It’s been almost 5 months since my second surgery though it does feel like a year and 4 all lumped into one. That said I intuitively picked month 4 as the turning point when things would start to seem less challenging rather than the uphill battle I feel I’ve been fighting.  The weight would magically start to disappear from around my hips and thighs. That bloated feeling would begin to wither away.  My clothes would start to fit more like it should and I would start to look and feel more like myself again.

As can be expected, I still have limitations and staying within them is like coloring inside the lines. Even though I feel better there are still warning signs reminding me to proceed with caution.

My current challenge is finding the balance between doing and not doing too much.  Allowing my body to continue healing while I continue to strengthen and start integrating functional movement.

Moving forward cautiously…

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VIII: Getting Back on theTrack, Why I Choose Isagenix and About My Results

It’s Tuesday and things are flowing a lot better today. While still in recovery things are not moving as fast as I would like, but trust they are moving at the speed which they must,  I feel like I get  stuck in all sorts of places.  It seemed everything I tried to do was met with a complication, a challenge, or a brick wall so to speak.  Since I entered the world of Isagenix, I discovered an almost miraculous tool, the 2-day cleanse.   No matter how many times I’ve tried it, it always elicits a different experience with the same result, I ALWAYS FEEL BETTER!

On the morning after the second cleanse day, I wake up feeling energetic and positive with a renewed sense of perspective and magically I’ve been transformed in what seems like another world.

First thing I do is jump on the scale and I’ve lost at least 4 pounds- water, maybe. Four pounds may not sound like a lot but I’ve lost stress and blocks and negative feelings and loads of other …  lets call it 4 pounds of stuff.

It’s the end of something old and the start of something new.

My day begins with a renewed sense of self and I feel like I’m starting over.  Suddenly new opportunities are knocking on my door.  I now have clarity in situations where I couldn’t see the light.  In just 2 days I’ve managed to let go of other gray matter that no longer holds any significance in my life. I can move forward with a sense of freedom and no longer feel tired or locked down. Even my writing, where I once had writer’s block now flows effortlessly like a stream of consciousness.  My breathing is easier and my smile is my smile.  I feel amazing!

A jump start to feeling fresh and new or a reset button. I get to start over on a new path with a new perspective. Miraculously I’ve been catapulted into being in the here and now. I am present once again. :)

Attitude adjusted…

Feeling Grateful

Plus It’s time for that Spring Cleaning so Hit me up if your interested or follow this link….

http://jbefit.isagenix.com/

( copy/paste link to browser if doesn’t take you there)

GO for Life! ™

contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VII:The Importance of Muscle Balancing and The Correlation Between Mind, Body and Spirit

sarong saluteI could talk about the importance of skeletal alignment, improved posture and improved proprioception but instead I’m going to go off the beaten path and refer to the correlation between mind, body and spirit, and how the physical manifests the spirit and what the spirit needs will manifest physically. Into the esoteric I go…

While I’ve been trying to balance my muscles to work symmetrically, it seems my life mirrors just that.  Things have been a bit off balance since my surgery as well. It should be no surprise when you come to realize how the physical reflects the spirit. In our lives we fall into patterns and routines, and during my recovery, hard as I try I can’t seem to keep my routine while trying to restore balance and stability into my body and my life.

There seems to be no routine and maybe that is because what I’m going through is not part of my routine or will never be and I’m just passing through.

Some days are easier than others and some just don’t make sense at all. I’m getting through it though :)

Sometimes things have a flow and then for no reason at all everything seems all over the place.  At times I feel like I’m going nowhere, other times I feel like a turtle moving ever so slowly and sometimes I don’t know where this going at all. I try to listen to the messages the universe is sending me and continue on the healing path.  It’s amazing the things you can discover here. Just the change in perspective from my pre-surgical days has led me here. My routine has changed the things I see and the way I see them, the things I do, the people I meet and the places I go.  I remind myself that like Tai Chi,  take one step at a time, take it slow, remember to breathe, where you are is where you are and therein you are in the flow…

You will be guided by your recovery.   Listen closely…As strength is restored, balance is recovered and life is uncovered.

Namaste

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™lotus pic

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

While STILL On the Road to Recovery VI- Muscle Balancing- Patience and Time is Required

BicepjbefitIt’s about a month since we last spoke.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling a little stuck.  You know that feeling when things are moving so slowly that you think nothing is happening.   But that’s exactly where I need to be to heal.

And thank goodness film work has been keeping me quite busy and mentally occupied.

Here at week 14-post op my natural body strength is finally starting to come back to its senses  : )

As I have mentioned before, strengthening the muscles around the injured area is paramount to a safe and quicker recovery. And I have found quite a bit of things that I can do. I started integrating activities that would challenge my balance, work my stabilizers, and of course continue to strengthen my core. We’ll get into those soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on muscle balancing which means making sure that each muscle is working interdependently and doing their part in doing what each one is designed to do and working synergistically with the whole.  Sounds simple but really very complicated and takes a long time to achieve that balance, especially after 5 weeks non weight bearing plus.  Though the core work I’ve done throughout has made it easier and safer for me to do it’s still a process and the one I’m living through at the moment.

As proactive as I’ve been throughout the course of my recovery I am still reminded, by my body and my physical therapist that I keep around for adult supervision, that it takes TIME.  And though I want it yesterday I am at this point today: Accept here and now and find the message in each day and grow through this trying experience.

At 14 weeks, strength is starting to be restored and balance of muscles and stabilizers are coming back, but when I call on power I get no feed back. Nope, not there yet… Still more patience is required.

Cant rush through this, like anything it’s a process that takes time.

Thankfully, I have found plenty I can do while my body heals to keep my head right. There is no pain and minimal discomfort. More on that in blog to follow…

In the meantime, get back to work, stay positive, BE patient and

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer