Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Simple Diet That Works.

It's been two years and one day since the launch of Sugar Freedom. I remember that I was so afraid that no one would buy it. Even worse was the fear that people would buy it, and it wouldn't work. Back in late December of 2013, I had worked with about a dozen clients at Gordon Studio who had used the program, and the results were powerful. In the first three days, also known as the "Sugar Strike," the typical weight loss was 5 pounds. Then we saw consistent fat loss of a pound a week. When clients hit plateaus, which they did, I would advise more water, more green vegetables, and long gentle walks. This consistently did the trick, and so they were able to stick with the program. Many of these original "Freedom Fans" are still on the program, including the lovely Pam Junette who is now a trainer here at Gordon Studio. A little more than a year ago, I started offering 6 week sugar freedom challenges which combined interval, resistance, and restorative training training to the program. The results shocked me. Among clients who eliminated sugar, grains, and traditional cardio, the success rate was literally 100%. Specifically, every one of these participants lost at least a pound a week regardless or their age or how much body fat they wanted to lose. In 2015 alone, Gordon Studio members lost more than 1200 pounds and inches. By the way, Gordon Studio is less than 1200 square feet big so I can say that it's truly the little studio with the big results. I became a Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and a fitness studio owner specifically because I could no longer tolerate seeing women and men train and diet without seeing the changes they longed for. The feeling I get when I see a client transform her body is profoundly inspiring. I wanted to share their success with you because I know you can do it too. If you get the Sugar Freedom program, at, you have the exact nutrition strategy they used to create their fat loss success. The New Year is coming, and people everywhere will be making resolutions to lose weight. If you are like me and my clients, and you've become convinced that sugar and grains are holding you back from the body you desire and deserve, now is truly the time to take action. I am committed to bringing you more recipes, meal plans, and motivational strategies in 2016. Please don't hesitate to e-mail me: if you have questions or concerns when you do the program. This is our year to develop the health, fitness, and enthusiasm to realize our dreams. Your Friend in Fitness, Catherine Gordon ACE-CPT Certified Nutrition Specialist Member: National Weight Control Registry

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Best Weight Loss Advice I Ever Got

Last year, at the Turbulence Training Summit in San Diego, I had the extraordinary opportunity to take a walk with world famous fitness expert Alwyn Cosgrove. As the owner with his wife Rachel of Results Fitness,and the co-author of "The New rules of Lifting for Women," he has had an extraordinary influence on the world of fat loss and figure transformation. He and Rachel have a program that takes advanced trainees to very low body fat levels, and I asked Alwyn what his best advice was for losing the last five pounds. "Have fun." He answered. "Have fun?" I replied.  I thought the last 5 or 10 pounds were supposed to be the hardest to lose. Then he explained the secret.  "You have to make it fun, because if you don't, your cortisol level will rise, and you'll gain fat instead of losing it." Now, I warn my members at Gordon Studio regularly about the trouble with elevated cortisol, and how excess cardio can make cortisol levels rise at the worst time.  Lately, I've been studying how to manage cortisol levels through subtle changes to my exercise and nutrition program. You see, I have a photo shoot coming up in 2 weeks, and I'm always looking for ways to help my clients and readers get great results. My latest experiment has been to take Alwyn's advice and have fun in the pursuit of lower body fat. Here is what I've been doing.  Every week night, after I teach my last TT class of the day, I pick up my son and we head for the pool. We spent the last hour of the day as the sun gets lower throwing the nerf football and swimming slow laps or quick fun sprints. We both wear fins for the laps because it makes them feel almost effortless and completely enjoyable. It's working! As of this morning, my body fat percentage was down to exactly 19%, I'm in my ideal weight range, and I still have 2 weeks to go before picture day.  Why don't you try adding some fun, playful movement to the end of your day?  You could stroll, dance, garden, go for an easy bike ride, or a fun swim. Technically, I believe it's working because it normalizes cortisol and and insulin levels so I can release fat. What's more it helps me sleep.  Finally, it brings Summer happiness to the end of the day. So I want to to find your Summer happiness, and maybe you'll get a fat loss bonus to boot.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The 800 Calorie Diet That Didn't Work. (And a sample menu from the one that does.)

Years ago, when I was a “starving” actor in Hollywood, I was a member of a paid diet program that had me come in and get weighed every weekday. The program used some effective strategies for weight loss. For example, we all had a “Before” pictures taken, we were measured at the start, and usually every four weeks after that. Alcohol was strictly forbidden, and there were weekly group meetings where we could talk about our struggles and successes. I did my best to work the program 4 different times. Here’s how it always went: I lost weight rapidly at the start, sometimes significant amounts, but my appetite inevitably got stronger while my motivation and energy for daily living got weaker. I would fall of the wagon, eat like crazy, and regain the weight, plus more. Yes, it was the classic yo-yo dieting pattern I had been following since childhood. I had been meaning to go back, write down, and closely examine what was on that diet for years. I wanted to examine why it worked in the short term, and why it ultimately failed. Note that I wrote, “It Failed.” If there is one thing I have learned from my diet history, and from experience coaching fat loss clients, it's that we don’t fail diets the way we fail tests. I believe that carrying excess body fat is an individual issue, and that when a diet doesn’t work it simply isn’t the right solution for whatever is causing us to store excess fat at that point in our lives. When I posted this meal plan on the secret Facebook group that is part of the 6 week Sugar Freedom Challenges I have offered, I got some very interesting feedback. Many of the members had followed similar plans with the same results: Early weight loss followed by extreme hunger, weakness, and re-gain of the weight lost. So here it is: Breakfast: 2 Eggs cooked in 1 teaspoon butter1 Apple1 Wasa Crisp bread Lunch: Large green salad with 1 teaspoon olive oil and vinegar for dressing 3 oz chicken breast 1 cup cucumber Dinner: 3 oz sirloin steak 1 cup green beans with 1 teaspoon butter 1 wasa crisp bread Snack: 1 orange When I look at this plan, what jumps out at me is the lesson that, no matter how much you want to be thin, hunger always wins when you try to cut your energy intake to the bone. This is such a small amount of food, but I’ll bet you’ve tried diets that look just like this! So what does work? With every successful client I coach the answer becomes more clear. We must find the individual eating plan that provides satisfaction and abundant energy, while allowing for a moderate and consistent release of weight through fat burning. To put it more clearly, we must train the body to use fat for energy. So today I will leave you with a daily menu that works for me and for my clients. Breakfast: 2 Deviled Eggs Sliced tomato drizzled with olive oil and raspberry vinegar 2-3 slices Canadian Bacon Lunch: 4 oz. Turkey with red bell pepper and zesty sauce (I mix salsa with mustard.) Cabbage Leaf wraps Mixed Vegetables cooked in coconut oil or grass-fed butter Dinner: Shrimp with Zucchini “Pasta” and parmesan cheese Heat 1T butter in a large pan. Grate zucchini into the pan and stir until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated parmesan cheese. Thaw 3-4 oz large frozen shrimp. Stir fry them in butter and one large diced garlic clove until warm- don’t over cook. Serve over zucchini. Sliced Tomato and mozzarella salad with olive oil and a 1t balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar contains sugar, so use sparingly. Note: I make simple deviled eggs like this: Slice 2 hard boiled eggs in half. Scoop out yolks and mix with 1-2 teaspoons flavored olive oil: meyer lemon is my favorite. Add 1/2 teaspoon prepared organic mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Re-fill eggs and sprinkle with paprika. ===>Click Here<=== to try the eating plan that helped me finally lose the weight I struggled with for all those years.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Great Solution for "Low Carb Flu"

I have been so delighted about the success of our latest 6 Week Sugar Freedom Challenge at Gordon Studio.

The challenge group was small, but the results were big, with four challengers losing the Maximum Recommended Amount of Weight in six weeks.  Cherie and Whitley each lost more than 11 pounds, and Candy lost 13.

As an ACE certified Personal Trainer, I've learned that 2 pounds a week is the maximum amount of fat loss that one can expect on a diet and exercise program.  If we see higher weight loss numbers, chances are that the extra weight loss is coming for lean tissue: in other words, precious muscle.

What's more, I have been coaching a number of other clients in the art of getting off of sugar, grains, and processed vegetable oils, and I enjoy learning more about the challenges of getting off of sugar and starch from each of them.

Here is a common problem they are reporting to me, and a solution to that problem.

According to Dr. Eric Westman, one of the co-authors along with Jimmy Moore of "Keto Clarity,"  a low carb high fat diet can have a diuretic effect which drastically lowers sodium levels along with bloat and inflammation.

Now, nobody wants the bloat, but a drop in sodium levels can leave my clients feeing tired, cranky, and all around low energy.

Enter bullion in warm water as a fast pick me up.  My clients Jill, Whitley, Candy, and more have reported that the bullion drink is astonishingly effective.

There's just one problem.

Most bullions contain sugar!  Yes, you read that right.  One "organic" bullion even goes so far as to call it "Glucose Syrup" instead of sugar on the label.  Can you imagine why?  Companies must be getting wise to the fact that so many of us are discovering the benefits of getting sugar out of our diets

Luckily, my search on turned up this solution:

Finally, a sugar bullion that proudly declares its sugar free status right on the label.  I'm heading over there to order some now.

Let me know if it works for you:

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Sugar Freedom Food Pyramid

I am so grateful to my in-person clients who keep me on my toes when it comes to the information they need.

The number one request is a way to understand exactly what they can and can't eat.  I am currently creating a master list of Yes/No foods on the Sugar Freedom program.  

In the meantime, Dr. Mercola's food pyramid is great place to start.  I would add beans, legumes, and soy to the top of the pyramid (meaning minimal to no consumption).
Thanks for this excellent info-graphic!
Right now, I am starting a new 14 Day Fat Loss Super Challenge.

This was inspired by the fact that I have returned to my work as an actor, singer, dancer in the live Theatre.  My fellow performers and I need a fast effective plan we can follow for real results.  For example, auditions and photo shoots can come up unexpectedly, and we need strategies to look our best in a hurry.

The best thing about my 14 Day plan is that you can see improvement from just 24 hours on the program.  How?  It is specifically intended to get rid of bloat right away, and burn fat like crazy for the next 2 weeks.

Other elements that my clients demand are  simplicity and ease of use.  Translation: they don't have much time to cook.

By solution is to recommend Bio-Trust Low Carb Protein Powder mixed with water and 2T of organic heavy cream at breakfast time.  You can get the protein powder at the link above, and yes, this is an affiliate link.

Then, I move my typical Sugar Freedom breakfast to lunch, and I shift my typical lunch to dinner time.  Note: the entire Sugar Freedom Program is available ===>By Clicking Here<===.

Please check this blog for updates of the 14 Day Program.

More to come, and don't forget to keep it simple.

Click Here to Subscribe

Monday, June 1, 2015

Yes, Calories Can Count

Hi Everyone, Here is the calorie calculator from Brad Pilon.

Note that the Sugar Freedom program doesn’t ask you to count calories.  The key is to eliminate sugar and grains which then allows the appetite to lessen spontaneously.

Still, when we are pursuing fat loss and figure transformation, there may be stalls and plateaus, and at these times we need to check our energy balance to make sure we aren’t going overboard with, for example, the avocados or the home made mayonnaise.

In addition, there is a tendency among women to go into chronic under-nutrition, and the calculation to follow also has a bottom number that we shouldn’t go below if we want adequate nutrition.

Please note that this is meant to be informational, and it should not take the place of advice from your doctor, or a registered dietitian.

Here’s Brad.

I’m going to try something a little different today. Instead of diet advice or reviewing research, today I’d like to share with you what I’m currently trying on myself, and give you some of the rational behind my personal approach.

As usual, I’m experimenting. It’s still Eat Stop Eat, but I’m also going to tell you what I’m doing on the days I’m not fasting.

Firstly, I still do two fasts per week. My fasts are usually 20-24 hours long, depending on how I feel and time commitments.

At the end of each fast I do my main weight training sessions. So twice a week I weight train for about 1 hour, consisting of about 50-70 reps divided between 2 to 4 exercises per muscle group.

During my first workout I train my legs and my shoulders, then during my second workout I train my chest back and arms.

Once I’m done my workout I view the next 2-3 days as ‘muscle growth support’ so I eat to support the muscle repairing process.

This means eating 20-30 grams of protein every 4-6 hours, while keeping my calorie intake at roughly 14 times my current body weight (roughly 2,500 calories). Since about 500 of those calories come from my protein intake, the other 2,000 come from carbs fat and alcohol. I really don’t track any of these number as I only really care about 'protein in' and 'calories in'.

I continue this process until it’s time to fast again. I view my fasts as a reset, my workout as the ‘start’,  the next 2-3 days as the eating to support that workout, then I repeat.

I also rock climb twice a week, and do some gymnastics training whenever I feel the urge, but my weight training workouts are currently limited to these two times.

The other thing you need to know is how I tweak calories. I’m normally able to maintain my weight by eating about 2,500 calories on the days I’m not fasting, but if I want to bring my weight down a bit, here’s what I do:

I start with my ideal waist (Height x .447 = my ideal waist) <— that number only applies to men, women should use .388.

I measure my waist at my belly button (women would be above belly button at narrowest point of your ’true waist’). For every 1 inch I am over my ideal, I subtract 1 from 14

So if my ideal waist is roughly 31.5 and I have a 33 inch waist then my daily calories are roughly my current weight multiplied by  (14 - 1.5) or current weight x 12.5

**Since I never let my waist circumference reach over half my height (35 inches) this is never more than a 300 or 400 calorie reduction per day.

No matter what happens with calories, protein stays the same, roughly 4-5 protein meals per day, 4-6 hours apart, 20-30 grams with each meal.

And that’s it, that’s my entire approach. Simple, uncomplicated, and hopefully effective. Yes I eat breakfast most days, and no I don’t know how many grams of carbs or fats I eat, but I can tell you I eat them both ;)

Really, other than the eating, this approach takes up two 24 hour periods of my life, not a big deal to me, and fits perfectly with my schedule.

The only real differences between this and what I normally do is the lowered frequency of workouts and their timing.

This new low training frequency is new to me, I’ve trained as much as two times per day, and usually train around 5 times a week, but I want to experiment with doing less...

The timing is based off my work with inflammation and muscle growth, and a guess that in the long run training at or near the end of a fast may help.

Over the next couple months I’ll let you know how it is going, so if you're interested in following along, you can save this email as a reference

Your friend,


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Eight Years in Ketosis

Back in 2008, when I made the choices that finally allowed me to overcome a lifetime of overweight and obesity, I was afraid to share exactly what I was eating.

Back then, an eating strategy that consistently contained over 70% of energy from fat was radical to say the least.

Or was it really?  I've written before about the fact that President Taft lost a lot of fat on a high fat/low carb diet.  Unfortunately Taft gained the weight back, and more, because he couldn't stay on the diet long term.

That brings me to one of the loudest arguments against an LCHF diet.  Although many doctors and researchers agree that this kind of diet works for fat loss, they claim that it's it's unsustainable because nobody wants to cut out sugar and starchy carbs for life.

Or do they?

More and more, when I tell people about how I lost weight for good, and about Sugar Freedom which is the plan that lays out exactly how I ate, the reaction isn't horror at how much fat I eat.

Nowadays, when I tell people about the reality of living on a high fat diet day by day, they listen with interest, and a glimmer of hope in their eyes.

Over the 18 months since Sugar Freedom became available through Clickbank, and since many of my clients at Gordon Studio have started eating sugar freedom style, I have been able to read about and see first hand what happens when other people leave sugar and grains out of their food plans on a long term basis.

What are some of the reported effects of Sugar Freedom and LCHF?

1. Fat Loss
2. Improved energy
3. Better sleep
4. Mental Clarity
5. Improved athletic performance
6. Joint recovery (Fewer aches and pains.)
7. Healthier teeth and gums
8. More zest for life, including romance.

One happy consequence I have observed is that my clients' lives are expanding.  They are getting promotions, dating again, entering races, starting their own businesses, and volunteering more to name a few happy changes.

It appears that when we can access stored fat for energy by eating foods that lower insulin and satisfy the appetite, it gets a lot easier to go out and fulfill our dreams.

With every year that goes by life gets fuller, richer, and sweeter even though I don't eat conventional sweets.  If some experts claim that LCHF is unsustainable over the long term, then I need to add my voice to those who have been eating this way for years, and thriving like never before.

Finally, here is sample of the way I eat/drink each day:

Plenty of water.

Morning Tonic: 1T Braggs Cider Vinegar + 1T lemon juice in water with a few drops of Stevia

Coffee with organic heavy cream: preferably raw.

2 Eggs, 3 Strips Bacon, 1C cooked Spinach with salsa

Romaine Lettuce salad with olive oil dressing, 2 Chicken thighs, more spinach

4-5oz Rib Eye Steak, more salad, and another cooked vegetable with Kerrygold butter.

Many times I am simply too full to eat dinner, so I do a 16 hour fast until breakfast the next day.

As long as I stay away from sugar and grains, I simply don't want them.

Eight years into my nutritional ketosis lifestyle, I realize that I don't crave what I don't have: I enjoy what I do have.

I believe that is my ultimate Fat Loss Key.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Six Week Sugar Freedom Challenge Begins

Welcome to the challenge everyone.  This is our third on-line sugar elimination mission, and I am so happy to be able to share the new strategies we have learned during challenges one and two.

Today, we begin with this question,

Do you have a good understanding of Why you are undertaking the effort to take sugar, grains, and vegetable oils out of your eating plan?  Take a moment to think again what having your authentic ideal body would allow you to do.  This is why you are moving forward with Sugar Freedom, and nobody else gets to decide what your ideal is, or what you will create in your life as you achieve it.

Our goal for the next six weeks is to put food in its proper place.  It is fuel for our dreams, not some idol we worship three, six, or more times a day. If food has somehow become the number one pleasure and priority in your life, as it did in mine, this is the primary issue we will address during the challenge.

Each day we will satisfy our hunger and energize the body while releasing fat.

We will switch from primarily using sugar to using fat to fuel our activities.  The Sugar Strike pulls out the foods that make you a sugar burner, while providing enough fat burning food to make you say,

"Wow, I feel so full!"

Do not forget to drink bullion if you begin to feel out of sorts. You can lose sodium on the Sugar Strike, and the bullion will help replenish it.

I will check in at 2:30PM Pacific time Monday through Friday to answer your questions.  Stay strong and remember, if you want to eat off plan you are experiencing a craving.  A craving is a feeling, and feelings do pass.  Drink a glass of water, eat a hard boiled egg or another Freedom Food.  Do not go hungry.

Finally, reach out to the group with your struggles.  We succeed faster when we help each other.

I can't wait to see what you all achieve.

Your Coach, Catherine Gordon ACE/CTT
Author of Sugar Freedom

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Are We Unicorns?

We Are Unicorns

A few weeks ago, I tore through Harriet Brown's book,
     "Body of Truth," How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession With Weight, and What We Can Do About It.

Ever since I was a teenager, I have suspected that unrealistic, even unhealthy, weight ideals fostered by Western culture and driven by markets and media are promoting behaviors that make us fatter.  The overwhelming desire to reduce body weight and size seems to trigger physiological and emotional changes that drive fat storage and limit happy productive movement.

As a Certified Personal Trainer and sugar reduction advocate, my personal curiosity has changed to a professional obligation as I try to understand why traditional diet and exercise seem to be backfiring on so many women and men who are simply seeking a body they feel at home and at peace in.

Here is my theory.  If the media proclaims that a normal, healthy body is too fat, many individuals  will go on diets that actually promote more fat storage, and they will be worse off that they would have been if they had never dieted at all.

 I thought I was unique in the fact that my pediatrician put me on a calorie counting regimen when I was just eight years old.  It turns out that according to Harriet Brown's research the average age of a first diet for girls is eight.  Average.

The earliness of my first diet may not have been unique, but "Body of Truth" does argue that my experience of permanent fat loss may be.  This is the current reality for me and many of my readers and clients: many of us have lost more than 30, 50, 70 pounds and beyond, and kept it off for years.  In her book, Brown quotes psychologist Deb Burgard,

     "People who have maintained a weight loss, who eat flexibly, who are truly at peace with food- they're like unicorns."

Deb Burgard's quote is an accurate description of the way I have felt since 2008 when I turned everything I was doing in terms of eating and exercise upside down.  Now, at just shy of age 51 I feel more empowered, more joyful, energetic, and yes, beautiful than I have ever felt in my life.  Am I more beautiful than I was at 18, or 27, or on my wedding day?  Probably not not, but who cares.

I am living in a body that allows me to fulfill my dreams of love, work, and creativity.  Am I skinny?


Is any part of my body flat?

Certainly not.

So what.  I feel healthy, energetic, authentic, and powerful.  I have the enormous honor of doing work that I believe in.  When I walk in the door of Gordon Studio, put on the music, turn to my class, and say,

"You know what I want."  (That means the best form and technique my students can give me.)

I feel excitement, purpose, and a kind of wild joy.

I feel magic.

We are unicorns.

The method for becoming a unicorn is this:  Eat the food that nourishes and satisfies your, without triggering overeating.  Practice move meant that challenges, excites, and even exhilarates you without pain.  Rest, recover, and connect how you eat and move to what you want to give and achieve in your life.  Want health and self acceptance for everyone else as much as you want it for yourself.

What is more wonderful than being a unicorn?  Having other unicorns to play with.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rules of the TT Transformation Contest: Transform to Win.

Results of My first 12 Week Transformation in 2008

First, I want to thank every Gordon Studio member who has had the courage and perseverance to enter and finish a Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.

Standing in front of a camera and holding a newspaper for a "Before" picture is an odd way to start a fitness journey.  It takes more than courage.  It requires hope.

Over the past  two and a half years since Gordon Studio opened its doors, my hope and confidence have grown by leaps and bounds.  With Gordon Studio members making the finals of the international TT Transformation contests 21 times, and placing over a dozen times, I have begun to believe that we are cracking the code for overcoming overweight and obesity.

We eat well, train smart, think clearly, rest, and recover.  I am posting the rules of the 23rd. contest here in the hope that you will be inspired and join me in 12 weeks that can change your body, and your life.  TT is Transformation Training.

Default Rules of the 23rd TT Contest

Rules of the 23rd
Turbulence Training
Transformation Contest

The 23rd Turbulence Training 12-Week Transformation Contest officially starts on April 27th 2015, but you can join at any time during these 12 weeks. The final day to submit entries is Monday, July 27th 2015 at midnight EST.

2. If you start on April 27th you finish on July 20th. You then take your final photos and can submit your entry between July 20th and July 27th.

3. If you start on May 4th you finish on July 27th. You then take your final photos and must submit your entry before July 27th at 11:59pm (midnight) EST. You can start later, but you won't have a full 12 weeks to transform your life.

4. Your after photo must be taken 12 weeks after your before photo or on July 27th if you start late.

5. Any submissions after midnight EST on July 27th will NOT be eligible for this contest round. NO exceptions.

Contestant Entry Requirements:

"Before" and "After" Photos
Click here to see "Before" and "After" photo instructions

"Before" and "After" Measurements
Click here to see how to take your measurements

Short Essay on How You Transformed Your Life
Click here to see Essay instructions

In order to be eligible to enter the 23rd TT Transformation Contest, you must train with one of the TT programs or CTT related programs. See suggested workout programs.

Click Here To Submit Your Entry

Submissions will ONLY be accepted from the link above.

If you are Previous TT Transformation Contest winner you will need to enter in the Pro Category.

You must submit your complete entry by midnight EST on July 27th.

"Before" and "After" Photo Instructions

Before Photos

Grab a newspaper with the current date (your Day 1).
Wear your bathing suit.
Find a room where there's good lighting and it's not too dark.
Take 1 photo facing directly at the camera (full-length body shot).
Take a 2nd photo of you from the side.
Take a 3rd photo of you from the back.
Take a look at the photos and make sure they're not blurry or hard to see. If they are, re-take them. You'll want a good picture of how far you've come on week 12, trust me.

After Photos

Grab a newspaper with the current date (this will be your Day 84).
Try to wear the same bathing suit you wore in your before photo. If it doesn't fit or you can't, don't sweat it.
Take your after shot in the same room and same spot as your before (if possible).
Take 1 photo facing directly at the camera (same pose as in your before).
Take a 2nd photo of you from the side (preferably the same side as your before).
Take a 3rd photo of you from the back.
General Notes: The idea is to get a mirror image of your before photo and after photo, where the only thing changing is your sexy new body. Keep that in mind and don't forget to smile

"Before" and "After" Measurement Instructions

Take each of these measurements before you start the contest, and then measure again in the same way after you finish your transformation.

1. Weight

Measure your weight in pounds.

2. Waist

Measure (inches) around your true waist, the widest part of your stomach. This will typically be at the level of your belly button.

3. Hips

Measure (inches) around the broadest point on your hips/seat (usually right on the hip bone)

4. Chest

Measure (inches) fully around the broadest part of your chest (tape should rest over the nipples).

5. Shoulders

Measure (inches) the width of the back across the broadest part of shoulders, from shoulder point (where the shoulder meets the arm) to about 1-2 inches below the neckline.

6. Thighs

Measure (inches) fully around one thigh just below the crotch

Short Essay - 2000 Character Maximum

2000-character maximum essay about your 12-week transformation journey. Here's a list of questions that would be good to answer in your essay. These aren't mandatory but they are a nice guide:

What was your life like before joining the TT contest?
What type of workouts were you doing before? And if applicable, what results were you getting?
What was the biggest change for you after using the TT workouts?
What did you like best about the TT workouts?
How is your life better after the TT contest?
What TT workouts did you use?
Voting Process:

Once we've received all the contest entries, our Turbulence Team will then choose the TOP 5 finalists for each category. At this time, the Contest will then be open to public voting.

Voting will continue for 4 days, at which point first, second, and third place winners for each category will be notified via EMAIL and announced on FACEBOOK.

Prizes are as follows:

For the 12-Week Transformation Contest there will be five categories:
Men Under 40
Men Over 40
Women Under 40
Women Over 40
TT PRO Category*

The prizes awarded for each category are:
1st Place Grand Prize - $1000 plus a 3-Year Platinum TT Membership
2nd Place - $500 plus a 2-Year Platinum TT Membership
3rd Place - $250 plus a 1-Year Platinum TT Membership

*The TT PRO category is for all past prize winners. If you've won a prize in one of the previous Turbulence Training Transformation Contests you are eligible to enter into this exclusive PRO category. There are no age or gender restrictions. Voting rules are the same as for all the other categories listed.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Jamie's Transformation Story

My name is Jamie I’m 52 years old and have four children. Since my early twenties,  I have had gym memberships,  participated in several different workout  programs and started running, as a way to lose weight. Although successful at losing weight occasionally, I always seemed to “find” the weight again.

Last year my job became more stressful and more sedentary. Sitting in a chair 8-12 hours a day, I would actually be sore from sitting so much. So, I decided I needed to try and do at least some exercise after work a few times week, and start eating healthier.
 A good friend kept posting on FB about a “kick butt” exercise she had just done at Gordon Studios.
A few years ago, I had taken a few Zumba classes from Catherine Gordon and really enjoyed that, so I decided to try her Turbulence Training classes. I thought it would be exactly what I needed, 30 minutes of exercise after work.

 Well I could never have predicted how much it would change my body. NONE of the programs I had done in the past gave me the results that TT has given me in 12 weeks with 30 minute sessions. I have spent 2-3 hours a day at a gym and literally run hundreds of miles did not the get results I have gotten with TT.

Catherine’s expertise in nutrition and exercise is so inspiring and she makes everyone in the classes feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. Her maniac energy and enthusiasm is contagious. 

Not only have I changed my exercise and eating habits with Catherine’s help, my 16 year old daughter enjoys going to TT with me.  The TT2003, TT2004 workouts and the Homeworkout Revolutions sets are “kick butt,” whether your 16 or 52. It has not been easy but, it has been fun and rewarding.

I’m so looking forward to the next phase of working out with Catherine at Gordon Studios and all the other women I see weekly at TT and witness their transformations.

Thanks Jamie.  The best way to maintain a transformation is to pass it on.  I can't wait to hear who Jamie inspires with her story.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

At Peace With Food

Yesterday, my son Colin and I drove up to Roseville, just above Sacramento, to do some shopping.

By 1PM, we were ready to sit, relax, and enjoy a meal.  Colin chose Il Fornaio, an Italian trattoria, and we were shown to a lovely table by the patio.  It was quiet, soothing, and quite pretty there, and I proceeded to open the menu and look for a satisfying, trigger free meal.

I had already said, "No thank you," to the bread and olive oil (more for Colin) and I ordered the roasted chicken with no potatoes and extra vegetables.  

Colin had a beautiful dish of mixed seafood on crostini with spinach, fava beans, and grilled tomato.  He enjoyed every bite, and still had room for dessert.

So now we come to the central point of this e-mail.  As I enjoyed my coffee with cream and chocolate stevia, Colin chose a chocolate torte with caramel ice cream from the rolling cart of artfully prepared desserts.  

Why do I have to bring this up in a Sugar Freedom e-mail?  It's simple.  I had absolutely no desire for a taste of Colin's dessert, even though he offered me a bite, twice.  

The truth is that when I abstain from sugar, grains, and vegetable oils my desire for my personal trigger foods goes away.  Even better, I got full and satisfied on my delicious chicken and vegetables, and I stayed full for hours afterward.  Even with a lot more shopping, walking, and driving, I was still full when we got back to Sonora at 6PM.

Why would I trade that wonderful feeling of satisfaction for the cravings, joint pain, and puffy face I always get after a cheat meal?

I know that permanent abstinence from sugar, grains, and vegetable oils, one day at a time, can sound like a tall order.  The reality is that once the body adjusts to an eating plan of moderate protein, healthy fats, and plenty of above ground vegetables, the desire for trigger foods simply goes away.

I traded the excitement of wine and a fancy dessert for the deep enjoyment of lunch, relaxation, and conversation with my soon to be 14 year old son.

This is what I wish for all of my Sugar Freedom readers.  No matter what foods have gotten in the way of your happiness up to now, I want you to know that you can loosen their grip on you, and leave them behind.  The rewards of doing this are greater than fat loss and the chance to look younger and wear a smaller size.

The reward is the feeling of being at peace with food.
The fountain near our table.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Starting today: A Year Without Sugar.

On December 26th, 2014 Sugar Freedom was released to the public.  The program was, and continues to be, an evolving record of the eating strategy that allowed me, and now my readers and clients, to recover from food addiction.

Sugar, grains, and processed fats continue to be the main dietary culprits when it comes to out of control appetite and fat storage.  In addition certain behaviors, like eating in front of the television, standing up, or in the car, tend to lead to the kind of eating that doesn't satisfy our appetites.

I have spent countless hours searching for the keys to permanent fat loss and peace with food, and I am convinced that when we eat food that nourishes and satisfies us, without triggering our appetites, we can naturally arrive at an ideal authentic weight.

Sugar Freedom readers like Sharon S.,Paulann W., Maria C., and Pam J. have had wonderful success not just at losing weight, but at arriving at goal and staying there.

This is the gold standard of a nutritional approach: not only to lose fat, but to get all the way to goal and stay there for good.

How do we do this if we are addicted to sugar and foods that rapidly break down into sugar when we digest them?

Starting here and now, I am ready to get behind the concept of abstinence from sugar, grains, and processed oils one day at a time for the rest of my life.  I must confess, that over the course of the past year I have experimented with the idea that I might be able to add back certain foods and some wine without getting triggered, overeating, and re-gaining fat.

Many individuals with normal appetites and insulin sensitivity do beautifully on a program that includes cheat meals.  I personally know many men and women who get lean and stay that way in spite of, or maybe because of, their strategic indulgences.  Dark chocolate, almond butter, coconut flour, and maple syrup can work beautifully to enhance eating enjoyment within the boundaries of good health.

And yet... whenever I try to incorporate these foods I binge.  

Luckily, Dr. Vera Tarman has recently released her book, "Food Junkies" which explores sugar and food addiction from the point of view of a medical doctor who treats food addicts.  Indeed, Dr. Tarman is an addict herself, which gives her profound insights into what it takes to leave the addictive foods behind.  I highly recommend reading her book which is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

What a relief it is to know that I am not alone in my inability to incorporate sugar and starch with out causing an episode of compulsive overeating.  There is more good news. My readers, clients, and I are experiencing more energy, better sleep and mental clarity, improved mood, fat loss, and perhaps best of all, a growing indifference to sugar the longer we abstain from it.

This is the promise of Sugar Freedom: That by leaving sugar out completely, we can leave it behind easily.  Did I really say easily?  Yes I did.  This is the reality of the Sugar Freedom lifestyle.

Is it hard to get to this place of indifference to sugar and starch?  Yes, it can be, but my clients and I continue to discover new strategies for making the process as simple as possible.

One key is to add chicken, beef, or vegetable bullion to the 3 Day Sugar Strike.  This can help ease the lack of energy that comes with getting off of sugar.  

I am so eager to see where 2015 takes us as authors, doctors, scientists, and researchers continue to gain understanding into how any why we get fat, and how we release fat for good.

I stand ready to share every new technique I can for overcoming food obsession.  The incredible benefit that comes from getting free of trigger foods is the opportunity to replace harmful eating with joyful living.

I encourage you contact me at: with your questions, struggles, and personal solutions.  We can overcome sugar addiction together.  Then we can use the energy we used to waste fighting our appetites to fuel the lives we have always wanted.