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Month: August 2015

Sometimes you have to chase a dream that no one can see but you

Sometimes you have to chase a dream that no one can see but you

powerlift why

 

I have lost a lot of friends over the past few years. Some didn’t understand my sudden change of lifestyle, some I simply just grew apart from, and some just I chose to distance myself from. As I kept evolving into my current lifestyle of heavy lifting and being a powerlifting athlete, I started to take notice just how many people I didn’t speak to anymore. Did it bother me a little bit at first? Yes. But I realize now that not everyone is going to support you. Many will even try to bring you down, but when you have a dream, a vision for yourself, you chase it no matter how many people you lose along the way.

 

Something that lights up your eyes, makes your pulse race, and fills your body with every single emotion you have ever felt all at once. That’s how I would describe passion. Now that I know what it feels like to be in love, I would compare it to that. Like falling in love, your passion kind of just happens. I was not searching for powerlifting (nor was I searching for love) when both came into my life. I was content with bodybuilding and enjoying life after prepping for a fitness competition when I noticed Josh incorporating powerlifting into his training. I was curious, simply because up until then I had only ever done 3 sets of 10-12 reps for every single exercise in my life. He was only doing 6 reps? Sometimes 3 reps? How was that beneficial? He was SO strong and at that time I was simply focused on how I looked. I was strong for what I was doing, sure, but that was not my goal in training. I wanted abs, a teeny waist, and defined arms and legs. I didn’t really care how much I could lift. Not to mention I always thought of powerlifters being these HUGE, scary looking people.

Fast forward to November 2014. At this time I was going to the gym with no set plan. I was creating new workouts and having some fun, but there was no structure and no end goal (besides the abs). It was Thanksgiving Day and Josh was deadlifting. I remember specifically him telling me “You won’t do it.” and pointed to the barbell loaded with 225lbs. Being the competitive girl that I am, I went over and deadlifted it effortlessly. That moment, seeing how strong and capable my body was, was the very moment I fell in love with powerlifting. I went home, did a bunch of research and found all of these beautiful female powerlifters who soon had become my new role models. I created a DUP program for myself and got to work the beginning of that next week. Suddenly, it wasn’t about what I looked like. I didn’t care about having abs or being shredded. All I could focus on was lifting heavy and doing better each day that I trained.

I have not looked back since that day. A lot has changed in my life- moving across the country, new friendships, the end of old friendships, and running a business full-time, however powerlifting (and Josh) are what remain constant. Someone asked me the other day, “Why do you do that?” referring to powerlifting. My answer was simply that I love it. I had nothing else to say and didn’t feel the need to explain myself like I did when someone asked me why I was torturing myself prepping for a fitness competition. Powerlifting lets me escape from the world, gives me the most confidence I have ever had, has taught me consistency and perseverance, and lights a fire within me that nothing else has even come close to before. I have not missed a training session and every single day I mentally prepare for it knowing that it’s going to be both a mental and physical challenge, but that I can do it. Some people don’t understand it, some never will, but the important thing is to never let outsiders stop you from doing what you love. It’s not for them to understand, its for you.

 

~Alessandra

 

4 ways to stay on track at events, parties or holiday celebrations

4 ways to stay on track at events, parties or holiday celebrations

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.08.54 AM

 

Around the 4th of July I posted a Vlog including tips on how to stay on track with your nutrition during holiday events. The video can be watched here:YouTube VLOG , but in the mean time I wanted to highlight the tips I included in that video as they can be used at ANY gathering, event or party that you go to.

Before I found Flexible Dieting, I found myself at family parties with an insane amount of anxiety. Being Italian, there was SO MUCH FOOD. So much food that I had completely banished from my life as part of an effort to “eat clean”. At times I found myself bringing my tupperware containers full of broccoli and tilapia to these events so I could “stay on track”. Sometimes this worked (and I was miserable) and sometimes it didn’t, I would completely go overboard and eat everything in sight, and then still feel miserable and incredibly guilty. Flexible Dieting has completely transformed my mindset and way of life. I now enjoy treats and foods that I love in moderation along with nutrient dense foods throughout my day. For more information on Flexible Dieting–shoot us an email, we would love to explain it to you!

Here are a few tips to help you stay on track at your next BBQ or event: 

Tip #1

Drink lots of water before, during and after the event. You are most likely going to be eating foods that your body is not used to. Foods that are higher in sodium or sugar most likely. Having water before will help keep you feeling “full” and guzzling during and after will help flush out what doesn’t need to be there.

Tip #2

Before going to your event, make sure to eat a semi-filling meal full of protein and fiber. I found that when I went somewhere and I was already hungry, it just led to bingeing. If you arrive and your stomach is already full, chances are you won’t go overboard. I will usually have a small spinach salad with some chicken (or something along those lines) before attending a party.

Tip #3

Bring your own dessert or appetizer! Having a macro-friendly option where you know what is exactly in it will allow you to have a back-up plan. If you get somewhere and either A) Don’t like the food there or B) want a fall-back option to keep you satisfied this will come in handy. There are so many recipes on Pinterest that are healthier versions of other desserts or recipes-so I bet if you didn’t tell anyone, they wouldn’t even know your contribution was a healthy one!

Tip #4

Finally, you should enjoy yourself! Living a balanced lifestyle is important and while you shouldn’t go completely haywire and eat everything you see, it is totally ok to treat yourself and enjoy the time you are spending with your friends and family. Getting stressed out over your diet or food intake is not healthy or a way to live. I always say, “One treat meal will not make you fat just like one nutritious meal will not make you healthy.”

 

Enjoy your end of the summer events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone’s Chapter 20

Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone’s Chapter 20

compare

 

When I first got consumed with the fitness world, I was constantly researching and looking at the Pro Fitness Competitors wishing for their bodies. I would hang pictures up in my room of the bikini girls and look in the mirror each morning hoping that I was a step closer to looking like them. Fast-forward to last winter when I took interest in the sport of Powerlifting. I was again researching other competitors wanting to lift as heavy as they did. “That girl weighs so much less than me and can lift SO much more than I can…what gives?!” This is when I realized what I was doing- I was comparing myself to the best of the best. I had barely been lifting heavy for a few weeks yet I was getting discouraged when I wasn’t putting up huge numbers. I took a step back and said to myself, “Alessandra, you are a newbie. Let yourself be a newbie.” That moment is when I started to build confidence in myself and as a result of that combined with daily dedication, my lifts started to increase.

 

My point? Never compare yourself to others, especially when it comes to training. I had a client who refused to step foot in a gym. She signed up for one of our Online Coaching programs and had me alter the program so she could perform it at home because she said that she would never step foot inside the gym because she felt lost, didn’t know what she was doing, and thought the gym was for the hardcore lifters. While I respect my clients wishes, I gave her that program and after a few weeks she was progressing, but wanted more. I explained to her that she needed heavier weights and needed to step out of her comfort zone and just TRY going to the gym. She agreed and now 3 programs later she lifts heavy at her gym 4X per week. She could have missed out on becoming the best version of herself simply because she thought she was going to be judged and compared. Who cares if the person next to you is lifting 5X the amount of weight you have in your hands? The important thing is you are there, you are increasing your confidence, and you are progressing.

 

I think it is great to have role models and I think everyone should have someone to look up to. That said person should inspire you, motivate you and drive you to work hard. It is great to get ideas and inspiration from a role model, however it is also important to know that they require different training and different nutrition than you do. What works for one person, is not always going to work for another. In fact, most of the time it won’t. Copying your role model’s training regimen or nutritional intake is not going to make you just like them. The Principle of Individuality states that everyone is different and responds differently to training. This is largely due to genetics as well as your fitness level. Would someone who has never performed a squat before progress well on a high volume squat training? Negative. Your training and diet should be specific to you.

With social media literally taking over the world, it can be easy to find yourself comparing YOU to someone else. Someone else’s abs, legs, hair, clothing. Being true to yourself is getting harder and harder to do, but once you find what you’re passionate about, what works for you and what makes you the happiest- stick to it and OWN it!