Monthly Archives: March 2016

Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry

Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry

Theres so many lies in the fitness industry, so many, I don’t know where to begin, I’m also worried that once I start ranting about them, I won’t stop and might just bore you to tears…so I will limit this post to just 3 of the main ones that really get to me:

  1. Adverts – if you believe the hype you need to wake up . Theres a company currently selling a thick double belt that you wrap around your waist to hold in your fat and make you appear slimmer. FFS. The tightness of this belt will compress and disturb your breathing patterns, and you will use your neck muscles to breathe, creating pain and dysfunction in your neck and lower back..expect that to happen if you buy it. Expect, also, to lower your self esteem even further by thinking that you will be a better person by being slimmer. Accept yourself as you are. Then change anything you want to by moving your body, its designed for that, rather than paying just under £20 for a belt that wont help you out at all…however, if you find movement difficult because of your size, start with changing your brainiest, your thoughts. This post hasn’t got the scope to discuss that in depth, but it doesn’t have to be complex, it does though involve a lot of realisation and acceptance, which can be really tough to do, if you choose to see it that way, many of us choose the path of least resistance , making excuses, blaming others, finding comfort in eating, realising that theres no one else to blame expect ourselves is a tough and bitter pill to swallow. Byron Katies work on managing your thoughts and beliefs and having realisations that will rock your world are available for free on her website and many videos on You Tube plus her books are very helpful – Loving What Is could just change your life. Once you realise something though, accepting it and releasing it can be the hard lessons.There could be tears shed along the way, but remember, to climb the mountain and get to the summit, you have to earn it, train, research, accept truths that flip flops and shorts aren’t the things to wear and you have to invest in some real equipment, ask those who have already been there and done it, ask for help, take the bits that work, discard the rest…every journey to the summit starts with one step, and each step takes your further to your goal, those steps are the most important, don’t lose sight of them.
  2. Movement & Muscles. Its a shame that the industry touts pink small weights and shake weights (really…?)  for women. Lift weights, you don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up. Muscle burns fat, movement creates a better functioning skeletal frame and more stamina. This works its way into your life. Everyday tasks become easier, Walking becomes easier. Breathing becomes better. However – if you are a person with a desk bound job as many of us are, me included, I do a lot of writing, photo editing and research on my laptop, you are deluded (Im being polite) if you think you can just get up and move and function well. It doesn’t happen. If you’ve ben stretching tight hamstrings for months, why aren’t they stretched by now? If you’ve been stretching tight hip flexors for ever, why are they not stretched by now? If your lower back twinges when you stand up, why is that? If your feet roll inwards and your knees hurt, what can you do about it, do you really need orthotics, is there anything else you can do to work your foot muscles? What happens to your glutes when you sit, do they stretch, why is that, and why don’t they work when you stand up, what does their job instead? Is a herniated disc a cause…or a symptom? Is plantar fascia a cause…or a symptom? Why is having a tight toned ab section more important than having a functioning body that moves well so you can keep moving well with no pain well into your old age? Because tight toned abs sell dvds and make money. However..a tight toned muscular area doesn’t mean those muscles are working well. Form doesn’t equate to function . Being sold a toned ab fitness class doesn’t mean those abs doing their job. I’ve seen tight over worked neck muscles for dysfunctional core muscles. I’ve seen tight necks for poor foot mechanics. I’ve seen a class full of men and women doing sit ups so fast they are all using their necks to complete the move. This really gets me. Form is key. In every single rep you do. Unless you have a great reason as to why the 3rd, 4th or last rep isn’t as important as the first.The hardest thing is keeping awareness throughout each repetition.
  3. I cant think of a third…theres no many more..but, well, when I trained to be a  Pilates instructor, I was so fortunate to have a wonderful tutor, Joanne Cobbe of J Pilates. I had a few wobbles on the course, I was unsure of my path and unsure if Pilates was the be all and end all, her advice was that this was ok, its normal to doubt, but to examine why and if I believed Pilates wasn’t for me, then to seek what was. Now, 7 years later, I still teach Pilates. However. It isn’t the be all and end all. It is for some, but so is Yoga, running, climbing, swimming, rowing, weight lifting, canoeing, hang gliding  etc etc Finding what works for your body is key. If you do what you loathe you will end up cancelling sessions, turning up late, feeling demotivated and end up blaming yourself. Bootcamps are all the rage, I was fortunate to go to some workshops run by Paul Mort, I learned a ton of truths from him, and still do from his emails and Ive been a member in his monthly marketing group. he too bemoans the lies in the industry. I ran a bootcamp on a beach. Then i started to realise that getting up early to train wasn’t the right thing for some people whose sleep was being affected by hormonal imbalances. Theres calories in stress and sleep…but these wont sell dvd’s..should you get your sleep and stress sorted out first before signing up for a Bootcamp course. Sure you should. Will you? probably not, but if you go to a great bootcamp instructor who knows about hormone balance, nutrition and cycles of the body, you will learn  that success comes from working from within. This may mean changing some things about your routine – black out blinds in the bedroom, no mobiles/laptop use an hour before bed, no caffeine after mid day(if that works for you, you may have to change that to 9am) reading a book before bed to help calm the mind, keeping em and paper by the side of the bed to write down thoughts when you wake up during the night, eating more fat and protein closer to bedtime if you regularly wake at 4am because blood sugar releases stress hormones, meditating, breathing exercises, going for daily 20 minute walks to de stress and calm the nervous system, practicing 5 slow deep breaths before eating to help improve digestion and calm the nervous system…..stuff like this can be taught at bootcamps, so if you are attending one that just shouts at you to do more sit ups and eat less food, move on…if its not something that you love or thats lasting, or that fits into your routine, you wont stick at it.

Rant over…

Conclusion – don’t believe the hype, stop doing stuff that doesn’t serve you on Facebook ( a great procrastinator!)  listen to people who have been there and done that..got the scars and can help you move on, don’t follow the sheep – find what works for you, your metabolism is unique, what works for your mate (or what worked for you last year…) wont necessarily work for you, spend time on you, be kind, loving , laugh, play, have fun, enjoy life, but most of all, realise your body is a instrument, learn its tune, how to play it, be in harmony with it rather than against it, stop grabbing your spare tyre and hating it, this reinforces negative self talk, but massage it, learn to accept that its just the result of loving what you have eaten, once you accept yourself, change becomes easier, you work with it rather than against it.

Life is worth living. Go live it. With no excuses.

x

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

Firstly though, do you really want to reduce belly fat for yourself, or for someone else, because knowing why you want to achieve something and what it takes to get there are the real reasons you stick at something, show up when you don’t feel like it, realise that you will come across obstacles,life will get in the way and its not as easy as the celebs say on the dvd…

  1. Effort. Yes you need effort, realisation and a passion to really want this, willpower doesn’t work, it will fail you and you will reach for sugar and cancel your training sessions. Motivation , a passion and real reason behind your WHY is your key to sticking to your goal, you need more than “I just want to lose my belly”…peel the onion, peel back the layers and ask yourself why you want to…is it because you want to look great naked with the lights on in the bedroom…if so, why is that, so your other half will still fancy you, do you believe they wont fancy you if you have a belly, do they tell you that, is that thought true, if it is, who made you feel like that? This kind of peeling back the layers can be very painful, and induce tears sometimes, so be prepared to face your real truth, its liberating…but a bumpy ride for many of us as we face reality.
  2. Working in is just as important as working out. Shame really that sex sells…and things like meditation and breathing done make as much money, however, the tide has started to turn and people are seeking some peace and quiet in their lives. Belly fat stores cortisol, released from the arenal glands which sit on top of your kidneys, this means stubborn belly fat wont budge until you calm it down a bit. Working out for longer and every day may not cut it for you, might have done when you were younger, but if you are now stressed, hate your job, have low self esteem, think you aren’t worthy, menopausal and don’t celebrate the fact that you are alive and love your planet, then cortisol just might hanging around for too long. Yes we need that hormone, but not too much of it. Working in means breathing slowly and deeply a few times before you eat, touching your lips stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps with rest and digesting food, taking a 20 minutes walk everyday, loving sex with your other half (if you are single then yes, masturbation also helps reduce stress…it also doesn’t make you blind…)Meditation and mindfulness are the obvious others as well, you’ve heard of them Im sure, but do you bother to practice them. You don’t need to be a Buddhist or chant, or indeed wear Orange robes, but a minute, 4 or 5 times a day, just focus on your breathing, be aware of you, be aware that in those 60 seconds, your thoughts will distract you. Busy brain you have there, as we all do. Clarity comes with practicing mindfulness, meditation, which helps reduce stress and anxiety, but you’ve got to do it. Always a catch…
  3. Perfection. Drop the perfection thing. Waiting to do something until the time is right, until everything perfect, until you are perfect, may take a while. Just start, make errors, make mistakes, its part of the journey, yet no one talks about their errors on social media, just their perfect lives..yet behind that mask they wear are may errors and mistakes. Be prepared to fail, embrace them and move on. You are already at perfection, just as you are. Its everyone else judgements about you that tip you of balance. Awareness of where you are right now is enough, you are enough and doing what you can with the best of your ability, is enough. Stop comparing, and accept you. As you.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

x

 

Mel Collie | What should you have for breakfast?

Mel Collie | What should you have for breakfast?

We want cheats and short cuts towards a leaner healthier body. As a health and fitness consultant, one of the common questions is ‘What should I eat for breakfast? ”

As you a dieter, always searching for the solution to your problem, cutting foods, exercising more, wanting fast results in the shortest amount of time…is a dieters approach which you may have done before, and found yourself back at square one again. Frustrating isn’t it?

Body change is not linear or predictable…nor is it fair…damn it!

You are unique, I’ve said that to you before though… because its true.

It takes time, change takes time, and effort, and your results will be different to your best friends efforts or even those results you got last time. Because life has changed, you may have more stress now – with the kids, the house, the job, your relationships, your finances have changed…all these everyday life things affect your hormones which in turn affect your cravings and energy levels.

Your metabolism changes all the time, its not static, the world turns, things change, always.That means you change, every day, you are never the same person twice.

Be flexible in your approach to your diet, your lifestyle, your mindset because you don’t want a one size fits all approach..you are different.

Accept that, then you can truly untie the knots and listen to what your body is saying, what cravings are, if your sleep isn’t happening…why, if you are hungry after eating a carb rich breakfast …why, if you are tired after eating a sandwich at lunch time..why, if drinking coffee is a must to keep you awake and get you going in the morning…why..

Know what your struggles are, where it falls down and begin your journey of being a detective.

I’m not a breakfast person, Im not hungry in the morning, if I do have breakfast I would like to have protein(eggs – omelette/scrambled/poached) and greens (kale/watercress/spinach)- because they fill me up and keep me full until late lunchtime – thats 1 or 2pm, and even then I’m not feeling so hungry that I feel I have to eat something, I can go on until dinner and not eat, just drinking water to keep me hydrated. This means that the protein and carbs I’ve eaten has kept my cravings and energy in check, I’ve found what works for me.

These are my personal preferences, doesn’t mean that it works for you though, you have to be a detective and find out what works for you.

Awareness is key, because you do what works for you.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

 

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Mel Collie |Is Plantar Fascia Just a Symptom?

Your feet are hurting , maybe your heel is burning and keeps you awake at night, it could possibly be a plantar fascia issue..

 

You used to rub a tennis ball over the fascia and that did the trick…for a while, but it always came back.

 

It may be a simple test, but when I assess you for plantar fascia, I will look at your single leg stance.

 

What happens when you stand on one leg.

 

What happens to the foot, does it roll in or out, what happens to your toes..do they scrunch up?

 

Does the same thing happen on the other foot?

 

Do the muscles in your toes seek stability, they are probably doing that if they scrunch up, grabbing at the floor with the tips?

 

What happening to your big toe? Does it lift up, lose contact with the floor?

 

What is happening further up the chain, in the shin, the calf, the thigh, the glutes..the neck and the head.

 

Very often the foot pain is a symptom, and rather than place a plaster over it, would you like to know why , find the cause, deal with it and then understand the “why”?

Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes
Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes

Our bodies are so amazing at compensating, that we don’t even realise it. Quite fascinating.

 

The patterns it has, the patterns that change, through injury or just bad movement habits picked up over the years, the brain will choose the path of least resistance.

 

Its my work to unravel the pieces and put back the jigsaw, but without guessing or going by the text book. By testing your bodies compensations and finding out its “why”. Because we are all unique.

 

Single leg stance testing  – its my favourite “go to” test to unravel a puzzle.

You can try it out on yourself, you may find one foot pronates – flattens, you may find the other one supinates, lifts up, the arch increases.

The muscles in the foot start in the lower leg. You may find the outer shin muscles can be quite tender to massage, its a good place to start though, by massaging the tender areas, it will feel like you are pressing on a bruise, for 2 minutes, be gentle though, until you feel the high toned area begin to “give” a little, then increase the pressure a little more.

After 2 minutes, do a glute strength exercise, a standing donkey kick is a good one. Bending the knee, and kicking back to the wall behind, with a flat foot, as though the bottom of the foot is pressing the wall away. 5 reps should do it.

Repeat the whole thing 4 times a day.

However, because this ia a blog post and Ive not assessed your posture, this is a very general “go to” exercise, your glutes may not be the issue, it maybe the neck, the jaw, the lower back..but the glutes are a good place to start, after all, we all sit more than our bodies like us to, and glutes “switch off” when we sit, and other muscles take over and of the job.

We are an amazing piece of kit!

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

How strong is your core? Is there something else compensating for your abs? Want to nail those core exercises? Fed up with nagging lower back pain?

Assessments and treatments from Portreath, Cornwall from May6th 2016.

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Check the NKT website for a practitioner near you
 http://neurokinetictherapy.com/certified-practitioners