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Author

Hannah Dawson

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Over the next 12 months, my mission as a coach is to help as many women as possible to change their stories. And like with any story, we must start one chapter at a time.

Chapter one – She is consistent.

“Consistency is a requirement for success in your fitness journey”

January was all about learning to build consistent healthy habits. When we start our fitness journey, we can feel more is better, and that’s not the case; more can hinder us from adhering to our plan long term. The goal should always be to build a lifestyle you love and look forward to.

“It’s less about intensity and more about consistency.”

You must meet yourself where you at, not where you want to be. This means if you are just starting our start by committing to 3x week for 30 days and if you are consistent in that, then add a day.

Where I see most people go wrong is starting from nothing to committing to 6x a week training and restricting calories too low, and it’s not sustainable, so after a couple of weeks, they give up. This may be where they aim to be someday soon, but they must learn to meet themself where they at and build on that.

“Consistency beats perfection.”

You’re not going to be perfect on this journey, and no one is. It’s going to be trial and error; for the most part, even the most experienced bodybuilders still learn by trial and error. You must be ok with failing forward. As long as you don’t give up, you will build momentum and see results.

“Consistency breeds confidence”

Be ok with being a beginner and/or starting over. It’s ok to feel a lack of confidence initially, but the more you keep at it, the better you get, and the more your confidence will grow.

I will finish by saying that it’s never too late; you are never too old or far gone to change your story. With the proper support, encouragement and tools, anything is possible.

I want to share these top 5 ladies that are featured; I first want to mention that all the women who completed this consistency challenge are amazing and a winner. I am so proud of every FCB who decided to leap.

So we have our grand prize winner Tiff Burges who just started her fitness journey in January; she lost 12lbs and 3.5% body fat, but besides that, she has a massive mental shift. Tiff shows you that a lot can change in 30 days if you are consistent.

Then we have our four featured spotlight winners, and these women all have shown consistency. Some have been consistent for two years while others one year and some not quite a year.

What I want you to see is that 30 days is a small chapter of your story, and when you see these incredible transformations, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes years and not just for the physical but most importantly, the mental and spiritual change.

This can feel like a roller coaster through your journey. That’s why I always tell my FCB consistency beats perfection; consistency doesn’t mean you do everything perfectly; it means you keep getting back up every time you get knocked down.

It’s never too late to start changing your story; we have a new challenge, each much in the FCB and the most supportive community you’ll ever meet.

For most of us, the New Year represents a fresh start, a do-over; I don’t know about you, but I don’t like going into a New Year with the mindset of failure, and I have to start again.

The best way to be successful is to focus on all the things you have accomplished until this point. And then create more of what made you proud of yourself.

  • Was it starting your fitness journey?
  • Eating better,
  • Walking more?
  • Are you sleeping better?
  • Getting out in the fresh air more
  • Working on your mindset?

How can you add to what you’ve already started and fine-tune it to make it even better?

TOP 5 TIPS

  1. SET GOALS THAT WILL CREATE A LIFESTYLE YOU LOVE
  • Creating a lifestyle you love that will enhance feelings of joy & peace and a growth mindset.
  • Don’t think so much about just creating goals rather than a lifestyle. Yes, I know I am a huge believer in setting goals, but sometimes, this is where our goals can get out of alignment with our lifestyle. When setting your goals, ask yourself: “Will this make my life better? Can I do this forever?”
  • Think of some previous goals you set out that you have already accomplished; how did those make you feel? Make a list of them and, beside each one, write the feeling attached that you felt at that moment.
  • Now write your new list of goals for 2022 and keep your list of accomplished goals beside them where you can see them daily.
  • Remember to start with your most important goal or the one you can start on right away, don’t try and chase all at once as this will be counterproductive and lead to discouragement.
  • Pick one goal and start small; remember consistency beats perfection.
  1. PRIME YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND PREPARE FOR SUCCESS
  • Now that you have your goals, you must prime your environment to help you reach those goals and have everything prepared. We will talk about the three areas you should have this done; you may only need to focus on one of these or all three. But remember, like anything starts small.

Nutrition:

If you struggle with the nutrition part, make sure your fridge and pantry are set to help you not derail you. Having food pre-planned and prepped in advance will help you with this.

It’s important to know you can only resist something for so long before you cave, so let’s use the mantra ” out of sight, out of mind.”

Remove it from your house if it will be a stumbling block.

Mindset:

You have to have a plan for your mindset, no matter who you are. Again, start small 5 minutes every day or even one day a week, and then as you get consistent with this, increase your time or frequency. The best time to work on your mindset is as soon as you get up in the morning.

Make sure you have your morning routine set up in a place where it has everything you need and creates the environment for you to focus. This means a podcast, book, bible or journaling, a gratitude list and maybe even your goals for the day.; this will help set your intentions for the day.

Workouts:

If you struggle with doing your workouts, make sure you schedule them for the week. Set your schedule up to meet you where you’re at, not where you want to be.

Example:

You haven’t worked out in 3 months, and you set up your schedule to train 5-6x a week…maybe that’s your end goal, but you have to start where you’re at, so start with 3x a week and then build from there. This will help you not feel overwhelmed and build your confidence when you accomplish your 3 workouts that week.

  1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
  • It’s important to remember that for any success in life, with must be consistent. As long as you take small daily action steps towards your goals, you will reach your goal no matter how small the steps are. Remember, consistency doesn’t mean doing things perfectly; it means never giving up no matter how many times you fall.
  1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MIND PEOPLE
  • This is so important! Who is your support system? Who are the people that inspire you, give you words of wisdom, encouragement and mental push when you need it? The FCB community does just that! So if you are looking for support, then we got you 😉
  1. CHECK YOURSELF OFTEN
  • You must be willing to check in with yourself or your coach if you have one, to make sure you haven’t wandered off or got distracted.
  • We must be willing to reevaluate where we’re at.
  • Consistency is going to require weekly and sometimes daily reflection and even redirection.

I hope these tips will be your guide; and help you have a new year and a new you never liked before. I can’t wait to hear all your success stories and all the goals you’ve accomplished!

You got this; I believe in you!

The only thing standing in the way of your ultimate dream body is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself. When I changed my story, everything changed. It didn’t happen all at once. It takes time, but as the saying goes,

…… Little by little, a little becomes a lot.

I struggled with my weight and body image from the time I was a little girl. I had a really toxic home life, not the one you would want any child to grow up in. I grew up knowing abuse on many levels, seeing addiction and disorders to the extreme. Growing up, I turned to food to cope, then exercise that eventually led me to many unhealthy choices, including eating disorders, body dysmorphia and addictions of all sorts.

So what does this have to do with building your dream body?

EVERYTHING!

We all have a story, and that story, if led by traumas and pain, will always lead to distortions of our mind, body and soul. You can follow the next diet fad, cut out food groups, overtrain, take diet pills, and get plastic surgery, but nothing will change if you do not change your story. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what others have said about you or your body. It only matters what you believe.

If you want to achieve your dream body, you must change how you think and speak about yourself to align with the person you want to become.

In the FIT CLUB, I have a Plan do Success journal that all the members use to write their goals, create a vision and track their progress for their mindset, nutrition and training. To reach your dream body, you first must come up with a plan and then prepare for that plan; then, you will succeed.

Your brain needs direction to focus, just like a GPS in your car needs an address to take you to your destination. Your goal acts as an address. Your GPS is the plan that will take you there. However, if you don’t trust the GPS and start taking shortcuts, you will soon be derailed, lost and frustrated.

Sound familiar?

If you do not change your story, you will not trust the process and soon look for shortcuts and quick fixes. Those quick fixes only take you around the mountain but never to the peak of the mountain. If your story is full of negative thoughts, self-talk, doubt & fear, your brain will start showing you all the reasons it won’t work. You then begin to self-sabotage, and it’s a never-ending cycle.

When you change your story, you will change your focus on building instead of destroying. Your mindset changes from I can’t to I CAN; you start seeing your body as this amazing thing that works for you, not against you.

If I can change my story, so can you!

Are you ready to create your dream body? Let’s rewrite that story.

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE HERE

Let’s talk fat loss plateaus; they are so frustrating if we don’t understand what type of plateau we are in. If you are reading this, I’m sure you have experienced a plateau at some point or another in your fitness journey, and if not, you will.

I’ll start by saying that plateaus are normal and will be a part of your journey. We all go through them, and it’s just recognizing what stage you are in so you can navigate and pivot through the plateau. There are three stages when it comes to plateaus, and these stages are all based on where we are at in our fitness journey.

Leave me a comment below on what stage you’ve been through or are currently in? Is there anything new you’ve learnt from me today? Can’t wait to hear.

These are the 3 stages:

STAGE 1: Lack of adherence to plan

STAGE 2: Metabolic adaptation & Adaptive thermogenesis

STAGE 3: Overtrained & Depleted

This is what they are and how to break through them:

Stage 1: Lack of adherence with your plan

This plateau happens due to a lack of adherence to your plan and is broken with working harder and progression in mindset, nutrition, training, cardio, and consistency. I usually tell the FCB members to rate themselves from 1 to 10 in each area ( mindset, nutrition, training, cardio and consistency). Whatever one is the lowest, that’s your area that you need to dial in.

MINDSET:
Look over your goals. Are they smart goals? Are they attainable? are you doing your mindset work daily? What are you feeding your mind? How is your self-talk?

NUTRITION:
Then there’s nutrition. Are you tracking your food or following a meal plan? If you’re not doing any of those, you have no idea if you are in a caloric deficit and chances are you are not.

TRAINING:
Then there’s the training component. Are you tracking your workouts? are you adding Progressive overload? Chances are, if you’re not tracking, you are not adding progressive overload.

As I said, this type of plateau is broken with working harder and progression. Most times, it’s working hard in the kitchen and working harder in the gym, tracking your workouts pushing yourself.

CARDIO:
Another thing to consider is cardio. Are you the type of body that just needs to do a little bit more cardio? Do you have more weight to lose?

CONSISTENCY:
Then there’s consistency. Are you consistent? Results come from consistency; consistency is going to require TRUST, FOCUS & PATIENCE.

So whatever area you rated yourself less than an 8/10 needs focus! So dial in, don’t complain just do the work.

STAGE 2 PLATEAU: Metabolic Adaptation & Adaptive thermogenesis

Metabolic Adaptation:
This type of plateau happens around 3-4 months into your fat loss plan because of loss in total body weight. The more weight you lose, the more your deficit shrinks because your BMI decrease.

Adaptive thermogenesis :
This means your hormone system detects a change in body weight below its usual set point. It works like the thermostat in your house. If your temperature drops below the normal set temp, your furnace will kick on the heat. In the same way, if your hormones detect a significant decrease in weight loss, it will turn the calorie-burning down and increase the hunger hormone, so you eat more, burn less, and your body can get your weight back up.

If you are already in a pretty low caloric deficit and you’ve lost weight, decreasing your calories more will not work. You need to re-establish a new deficit for your current weight.

There are six ways to re-establish a deficit and break through a stage 2 plateau: choose one method from below.

  1. Add refeeds 1-2x week increasing calories: this will tell your hormones everything is good and make you mentally feel better.
  2. Calorie cycling: this means you will have higher and lower calorie days based on your training program.
  3. Carb cycling: this means you will have days that are high carb days and lower carb days, and this will again be tailored to your training program
  4. Clean up your food choices ( food quality), so if you like me and your flexible diet, you may have to limit those soul foods and start eating more whole foods.
  5. Add HIIT or PLYO as this will help create a new deficit as well. If you already do this, you can increase the frequency, intensity or duration.
  6. Increase your NEAT (non-exercise activity). This means moving more. Increase your daily steps, standing instead of sitting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of driving.

STAGE 3 PLATEAU: Overtrained & Depleted

This stage can happen 6-8 months into your fitness journey. This is a late-stage plateau, and you have to break through this differently than the first two. I have gone through all stages, and this one is by far the hardest, in my opinion. You have to understand that training harder and dieting harder won’t always work, especially in this plateau type. A dieted down, taxed out nervous system and depleted body will not respond the same way as a well-fed, well-rested body.

HOW TO BREAK STAGE 3 PLATEAU

  1. Take a reload week: decrease volume, intensity, duration, frequency.
  2. Take an entire rest week, no workouts at all.
  3. Take a diet break, stop counting, tracking- eat some yummy soul foods and give your mind and body a rest.

NOTE: rest periods for this may be more extended than others. Some people may need just a week; others may need up to a month. Just know whatever you need, listen to your body and don’t worry about losing all your gains. I can promise when you start again; you’ll get even better results.

I am happy to help; if you feel stuck in your plateau, feel free to send me an email at ask@fitnessministry.ca

If you are a visual learner, watch my YouTube video.

Want to start tracking your progress and start seeing amazing results? Get my PLAN DO SUCCEED JOURNAL

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What does it take to have a successful transformation?

Some of you may think this is just physical, like a huge weight loss or increased muscle size. While those are a part of a transformation, the physical change is just the by-product of the complete transformation.

“Health and fitness tools without purpose or direction become sources of addiction, dysmorphia and disorders.” ~ Hannah Dawson

I teach the five pillars to a successful transformation on my online platform called the Fit Club, and my PLAN DO SUCCEED Journal.

If you apply all five pillars, you will have a successful, lasting transformation.

1. MINDSET: You are only as healthy as your mindset.
Mindset is the first pillar and one of the most important pillars. Just like the foundation of a house is the most important for building a home, your mindset is the most crucial foundation for building your body and relationship with yourself.

Like you have to train your muscles to get stronger, you have to train your mind to stay focused, disciplined, and positive.

Training your mind takes work and planning, just as training your body does. You have to have a plan and follow through on that plan. You couldn’t expect you to walk into a gym and wing it with no program and see results. You can’t expect to have a strong mindset without coming up with a plan.

3 KEY INGREDIENTS FOR A STRONG MINDSET

  1. Trust, you must trust the process, the program, and your coach.
  2. Focus, You have to lose all distraction and focus on your goal.
  3. Patience, results take time, so you will have to practice patience daily.

Ways to build a strong mindset:

  • Write out your goals and your WHY
  • Practice gratitude daily. It’s pretty hard to be negative when you are thankful.
  • Create a morning routine and set your mind right for the day. It May look like making a list of all the things you’re grateful for; it could be journaling and setting your intentions for that day.
  • It could be prayer or meditation, or both.
  • It could be listening to motivational speakers on a podcast or youtube videos.
  • It could be having a look at your workout and planning your meals.
  • It could be ALL OF THE ABOVE.

The point is to saturate your mind with the right stuff, the stuff that will inspire you to stay focused and reach your goals.

2. NUTRITION: You can’t out-train poor nutrition
To transform your body, it starts with what’s on your plate. Your food has the power to accelerate your results, health, and quality of life.

Understanding that you must adhere to either a caloric deficit or surplus if you want to burn fat or build muscle; means to build muscle; you must eat more than you burn, and to burn fat, you must burn more than you consume.

To transform your body, you have to follow your meal plan and be consistent with your nutrition. You must adhere to your calories but also proper energy balance ( proteins, carbs, and fats). You will base your calories on the goal you set, body type, age, height, weight, and activity level.

Lastly, educate yourself on your food sources, proteins, carbs, and fats. Get to know your nutrition; the more you know, the more flexibility you’ll have and the more creative you can be.

If done right, your nutrition will enhance your results, goals, sleep, hormones, and energy levels.

3. WEIGHT TRAINING: Weightlifting is one of the most powerful tools to transform your body and mind.
Weightlifting will transform your body and mind. If you want to burn fat, then lift weights. If you’re going to build muscle, then lift weights.

Like with your nutrition, you need to track it and hit your caloric needs to see results. Tracking your workouts is just as important; you cant progress what you don’t track. For each exercise, you should be adding progressive overload.

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” ~ Pearsons Law

You have to show up with a plan and keep showing up; that’s it. Just like you need repetition in your exercise to get stronger and build muscle, you need repetition in your workout routine to create consistency and transform your body.

4. CARDIO: This is a fat accelerator but not the foundation to lasting fat loss.
I find women obsessed with this one but can do so much damage if not done correctly. Your cardio routine should complement your training and nutrition in adherence to your goals.

Cardio is a tool to enhance your results; unless your training for a marathon or a runner, it’s not the main focus. Cardio is like the sprinkles on the cake.

Cardio is excellent if implemented right, but if not done correctly can leave you with extreme sugar cravings and adrenal fatigue.

The key is doing the right amount for you and your goals to adhere to long term.

5. CONSISTENCY: It’s less about intensity and more about consistency.
To reach your goals, you must be consistent. Once you reach your goal, you must be consistent.

Being consistent is a mindset that creates a behavior. Doing something intense for a week because you want your results faster is counterproductive. What you want to focus on is changing daily behaviors that will guide you towards your goal, and keep doing that until you reach your goal.

Lastly, consistency beats perfection, you will not be perfect at this, but you must be consistent.

Just For Today!

I found myself in a slump; my days were routine, and my evenings, well, I would binge on my favorite show and eat treats, leaving me feeling blah when I woke up. I said to my husband, I feel like what’s the point?
What’s the point if I work hard all day only to undo everything at night?
This past year with a worldwide epidemic can make one question if there’s any point to setting goals. I get it. Everything feels uncertain and unpredictable. Sometimes it feels easier to get lost in a Netflix show and a bag of M&M’s and forget about everything. But that doesn’t work either; just because the world feels at a standstill doesn’t mean our goals need to be.

ULTIMATELY WITHOUT DIRECTION IS EASY TO FALL INTO A NEGATIVE MINDSET AND LIFESTYLE HABITS. GOALS CREATE A FOCUS AND PURPOSE; WRITING YOUR GOALS DOWN GIVES YOU DIRECTION.

I realized I have to redefine my goals for this season, that my goals right now are going to be different than they use to be. They would be different because I would have to change the way I saw achieving them. What I have learned during times of uncertainty is when we need our goals the most. Having goals help us channel our energy towards something productive and beneficial for our mental health.

How you channel your energy will determine the direction of your focus, mental health, and quality of life. You have the power to either channel that energy to enhance your quality of life or rob your quality of life. There’s a saying that goes like this: “If it cost you your peace, it’s too expensive.”
  • Eating junk food and binging on Netflix is going to cost you your peace.
  • Drinking every night is going to cost you your peace.
  • Not getting quality sleep is going to cost you your peace.
  • Not eating quality foods is going to cost you your peace.
  • Complaining is going to cost you your peace.
All of the above things you have power over to change. Setting health and fitness goals keeps you focused and enables you to channel your energy to the right things and away from the peace stealing things. The best way to channel your energy to produce results in your health and quality of life is by setting goals that give you small daily wins. Just like when you go on a trip, you need to input the address of the destination in the GSP. Your goal will set a destination of focus for your mindset, body & quality of life. Without the GPS set, we would be lost and frustrated; sound familiar?
Like I said in the beginning, I had to redefine my goals for this season. I had to set more short-term goals that could create small daily wins to keep my mindset positive.
  • What if you decided to take one day at a time?
  • What if you decided to say three things you are grateful for today?
  • What if you decided to workout out just for today?
  • What if you decided to track your food and eat on the plan just for today? What if you decided to go to bed a little earlier just for today?
When I struggle in my day, I remind myself that junk food and Netflix will always be there; social media, gaming, drinking, shopping, or whatever your thing is, will always be there. It’s not going anywhere. You have to remind yourself after you set your daily goals and gratitude list, you will feel so much better. After the workout, you will feel so much better; after the meal that you didn’t want to eat but did, you will feel so much better; after you get some fresh air, you will feel so much better, after a good nights sleep you will feel so much better.
And when I’m struggling at the moment, I tell myself …..Just for today!

Hannah Dawson