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.