All Posts by Crystal Love

Weight Lifting For Women

Importance Of Weight Lifting For Women 

Weight lifting has an extreme benefit for anyone, especially women.  Have you ever had a man say to you, “want me to do that for you”, “oh, let me handle that”, so on and so forth. We as women are capable of such things and all it takes in a little toning up and muscle building.  We will go over the truths about weight lifting and cover some of the misunderstandings about weightlifting for women.  If you have been interested in beginning a weight lifting program, I highly suggest you read this article all the way through.

Before you dive into lifting for the first time my suggestion is to make sure you are working with someone who can help you move with proper form.  Proper form is extremely important for the overall health of your body.  Generally, there are trainers at every gym that are willing to help you for free!  If you aren’t using a gym, you can use an online trainer or watch videos on form before you perform the exercise.  Now, let's get started on all the benefits.

woman weight lifting

Mental Health

Many of us have heard about the “feel good hormones” you release when weight lifting or exercising, but what are they really?  When you weight lift your body increases serotonin output as well as endorphins and dopamine. Serotonin is responsible for your mood, sleep, and appetite.  Increasing your serotonin with exercise can greatly affect all areas of life and help many bouts of depression or anxiety. The endorphins are the feelings you get following a workout. That good feeling of endorphins also includes dopamine which is the offset for the “monoamine hypothesis”.  The Monoamine hypothesis is the hypothesis that lower levels of monoamine encourages depression because of the lack in serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the system.

Increased Fat Loss

So many women believe that cardio is the primary factor when trying to lose weight, but they are mistaken. Yes, cardio is wonderful and has many benefits but resistance training can be even more advantageous.  It's true, you may burn more calories during a cardio workout than a weight training session.  However, what people don’t mention is that your body stays in a fat burning state and your metabolism is higher much longer after a weight training workout.  With weight lifting you will gain muscle (and not that bulky muscle you are afraid of) which leads to more fat burning.  Let me explain, when you are weight training you are building lean mass.  When you build lean mass, you burn calories more efficiently and quickly.  If you are trying to build, this allows you to intake more calories on a daily basis. If you are trying to reduce body fat, this will aid in that as well.  Your metabolism will be higher even while doing everyday activities.  The best way to see the true benefits of this is to keep a consistent schedule with the gym.

Physically Stronger

Now, obviously if you are building muscle you will be building strength. Well, what if you don’t want to be a bodybuilder or powerlifter?  That’s ok!  Resistance training will help with everyday chores such as lifting children, washing dishes, loading groceries, playing with children, and all your normal daily activities. How nice would it be if all those tasks were just a tad bit less exhausting?  Training your muscles with weight lifting can also aid in helping your current love of whatever sport you may be a part of (golf, tennis, swimming, skiing, etc.).  Another benefit would be increased flexibility which we can all use more of to help reduce risk of injury.  Resistance training is also known to increase energy levels which will allow you to better accomplish all that you have to do in a day.

joint health

Bone Density, Arthritis & Health

As we age health, health declines.  Women in general are known for getting weaker in the bones (porous bone) which is called osteoporosis.  Studies have shown that resistance training long term can actually help increase bone density and protect the bone you currently have.  Weight lifting has now been proven as a helpful factor in arthritis as well.  Weight training helps to lubricate the joints and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints.  It also helps control some of the swelling and pain.  Weight training has been proven to help with many different health factors within the cardiovascular system and digestive system.  Exercise in general gets your blood pumping and your organs moving.  Have a diagnosis?  First thing you should ask is if resistance training of any sorts could be beneficial.

Curves In All The Right Places

Many women are fearful of weight lifting.  They are taught to believe if they start to lift heavy weights they will get “bulky”.  This is incorrect.  It is actually extremely hard for women to become bulky or have bulging muscles because we simply do not make as much of the hormone that encourages this type of building.  You have to have been training for years and years and generally supplementing hormones as well in order to get the way most women fear.  "Toning up" should be synonymous with building muscle. You can not tone anything without having adequate muscle tissue.  Building muscle is great for overall health but great for getting that perfect defined shape you are looking for.  Want a booty?  Build it.  Want a tiny waist?  Build it.  Want to be thick and curvy?  Build it.  There are many different styles of resistance/weight training and many different ways to get the look you have always wanted.  You just have to work a little for it.  Now, I challenge you to get up and go do some weight training.  Doesn’t have to be anything crazy.  Studies show that even 1-2 hours a week of resistance training can highly improve a woman's life.  I recommend splitting that up between 3-6 days a week or whatever you have time for.  A little goes a long way.  Now, get to lifting!

Crystal Love
For coaching with me click ​HERE 

Keto Electrolytes

Ketogenic diet and electrolyte supplementation

The ketogenic diet is one that is becoming extremely popular. Generally, when someone is beginning the ketogenic diet they hear about the “keto-flu”.  This "flu" is often just an electrolyte imbalance. Truth be told, this can happen at any point on any diet but specifically on keto. 

You may hear, “keto is so healthy”, “keto is the best diet”, “keto changed my life” and then wonder why all of a sudden you have to supplement specific minerals. As you begin keto, you cut out carbohydrates to the extreme and replace them with fats. When you remove carbohydrates from your diet, your body begins to produce less insulin and has less glycogen storage. With every 1 gram of glycogen, you store 3 grams of water. When you deprive your body of these stores, your body will start to flush out water weight. When people begin the ketogenic diet, they often drop many pounds within the first week or so. This  water loss helps you feel better and be less bloated but it also causes your electrolytes to leave your body with the water.  Therefor,  you need to replenish your electrolytes. 

What are the electrolytes

The basic electrolytes talked about on the ketogenic diet are Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium. There are a few others but generally they are not thought to be supplemented in addition to what you get from your food. Electrolytes are important for muscle function (including organs and the heart), nerve function, balance in the acidity of your blood, keeping your body hydrated and so much more.

Sodium

Sodium is extremely important for hydrating and helps the body retain water. The other electrolytes rely on sodium to help keep proper balance. Sodium is also extremely important when it comes to nerve and muscle function. 

Potassium

Potassium helps regulate the heart and blood pressure levels. Potassium also plays a large role in making sure the body has the proper fluid balance. Nerve and muscle function also rely on potassium. 

Magnesium

Like potassium and sodium, magnesium also aids in nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is critical for a healthy immune system and for regulating a normal heart beat.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle weakness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Muscle cramps

  • Changes in blood pressure

  • Nervous system issues

  • Constipation

  • Bloating

  • Dizziness

Other general causes of electrolyte imbalance

  • Loss of body fluids (diarrhea or vomiting)

  • Sweating (especial during exercise)

How much should you be supplementing?

All things depend on your specific body. How well does your body use electrolytes and the hormones that keep them balanced. How often do you exercises. Your height and weight will also cause this to vary. Now, we don't want electrolytes too low or too high so it is important to keep yourself in check. You can even ask your doctor to test these.

Each electrolyte is going to need to be supplemented differently. Sodium should be between 3-7 grams of sodium a day. Sodium is not to get confused with salt. Salt does not contain only sodium but other minerals as well such as chloride. So make sure you are supplementing the proper amount. The total potassium intake should be about 2-5 grams per day. Magnesium is a tad less than the others and should be supplemented between 1-3 grams a day.

Please keep in mind that not everyone will need to supplement these electrolytes.  If you feel fine without supplementation, try it for a week or two and see if you happen to feel even better. Electrolyte imbalance can happen quickly. Many of the symptoms are so similar with other things and you might overlook it.  A suggestion might be to up your electrolytes first if you have any of those symptoms rather than reaching for anything else.

What foods have the electrolytes?

Sodium

  • Eat salt (Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt)

  • Add 1 tsp of salt to 1 liter of water

  • Drink broth or Bouillon

Potassium

  • Avocado

  • Meat (114 g for every 4 oz)

  • Swiss Chard

  • Spinach

  • Salmon

  • Broccoli

Magnesium

  • Spinach

  • Swiss Chard

  • Avocado

  • Mackerel

Hydration

One thing we didn't speak about in this blog is water and hydration. As most of us know, water makes up more than half of our body.  It's critical that we stay hydrated in order to have a normally functioning body. The electrolytes need water in order to do their job properly as well. Drink more water and do not be afraid of gaining water weight. It is natural at times for your body to hold on to water. Truth is, if you restrict your water, your body will hold on to even more water. Drink it to lose it.

Supplements

There are many safe supplements to take to provide all of these aforementioned electrolytes.  Any grocery store, pharmacy, or drug store near you should have them. There are different types of these electrolytes.  Some are absorbed by the body very quickly while others take much longer. There are many keto electrolyte products out there that are great to use and generally make it much easier for us. Don't stress about the electrolytes but know that they are just as important as the food you put into your mouth.

Staying on track through the holidays

Staying on track through the Holidays

The holiday season can be rough for many to get through when it comes to staying on track, working toward a healthier lifestyle, and focusing on macros. Remember that holidays and vacations are here for a reason. That reason is to allow us to take a step back from work, school, and other stresses to focus on our family, happiness, faith, and health. The reason we have gatherings are to spend time together as family and friends, to celebrate with the people we love the most. Gorging yourself on food should not be the thing we are drawn to. Rather, feed your body with nourishing food and feed your soul with your family.

Why we fail to stay on track

We fail to follow through or stick to the plan simply because we are weak. There is no other reason. There is always a way to track, hit the macros or simply fast. You mentally choose to eat carbs, overeat or nibble on things we know are not optimal. There are many excuses and some are really good, but is it worth it? Remember, the only person you are hurting is yourself, the only goals that are being set back are yours. Get mentally strong, grow and stretch yourself.

drinking on the holidays

Tips for staying on track during the holiday season

As mentioned above there are many ways to stay on track, I will list a few.

  • Plan ahead

  • Learn how to say no

  • Offer to bring a main dish or side (One that you are able to eat)

  • Fast through the holiday

  • Bring your own food

  • Keep it simple, Focus on the meat and light veggies

  • Dont even entertain the idea of eating what you know you shouldn't

  • Remember the reason you are at the gathering

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Stay away from alcohol

  • Eat OMAD for the day

  • Eat most of your food before gathering then get a small plate

  • Bring a small food scale (they have ones as small as a phone)

  • Make the gym a daily must, even if its at home

  • Have a partner there who understands you are trying to better yourself and can have your back

Decide what is more important

Why are you cutting? What is the reason for you focusing on your health and nutrition?  Could in be to be there, alive and healthy for the ones you are spending time with? Possibly to feel more confident in yourself? Is the reason strong enough? Find your reason and remind yourself each morning why you do what you are doing. Remind yourself that it will be worth it.

family gathering

When family & friends dont understand 

As mentioned above, know your reason. Remind people that it is your body and you are doing what you believe to be best for you and your health. If people don’t like what you are doing or eating, more than likely it is an insecurity within themselves. Most people aren’t concerned with their food, nutrition, and health. When you bring up the fact that you are taking action with yours, it makes them insecure and allows them to recognize what they could be doing for themselves. This right here is the best way you can be an example for the people you want to see healthy and happy. Be the leader in the group of family and friends. Take action and they shall follow. Most importantly stick to it for yourself. Why give up or give in now?

This Holiday season I challenge you all to stay true to the commitment you have made yourself. Be stronger than you ever knew you could be.


Crystal Love- DSK Coach

For coaching or consultations with Crystal click ​HERE

Dealing with Body Dysmorphia

Dealing With Body Dysmorphia

Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) is a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance. In other words pertaining to someone who overthinks and can obsess about pieces of their body. BDD tends to sneak up on people, even those who may be extremely confident. It has been said that 1 out of 50 people can suffer from this disorder.

Body dysmorphia

Symptoms Of Dysmorphic Disorder

Symptoms are  some of the following:

-Obsessing over a slight imperfection on your face, skin or hair.

-Emotional distress over the way you look

-Feeling that your appearance is too fat or even more slender than you truly are.

-Covering up your body or specific areas of yourself

-Constantly looking in mirrors or completely avoiding them

-Excessive exercise or dieting

-Continually talking negatively about your body (specific parts) or putting yourself down.

The list goes on.

The reason I am touching on this subject is because I believe many people suffer from this disorder and it is simply not talked about enough. I personally have gone through trial and error trying to correct the way I think about myself or my body.

Healthy Body Fat

My Struggle With Body Dysmorphia

My quick story:

As many of you may know, I recently competed in my first ever figure bodybuilding competition. I went from 26% body fat to 12% body fat within a 6 month time period. We used this DSK protocol along with extensive exercise. I did this process in the most healthy manner and I did everything perfectly by the books. As my body fat began to shed I literally could not see the difference in the way I appeared. I knew I had lost pounds and I knew my body fat had gone down but I could not physically see any changes. I felt that my “loose skin” was fat and I would look down to see “rolls”. I could see the veins popping out of my biceps but could not understand because I simply didn’t see myself any different. I would go to the gym and pinch my stomach fat so hard to hurt myself  so I could remember why I was working so hard. The image I had of myself was beyond skewed. After my competition, I needed to gain some weight back to maintain a healthy female body fat. As I did, the dysmorphia got a tad worse. Gaining even just that healthy weight back was horrible in my mind. All I could see was so much fat. I obsessed about food, my body, my workouts, my nutrition. I’d spend hours working on my diet and workout plans. I simply couldn’t maintain this way of living. So, I asked for help and put myself out there for others to see. I changed the way I looked at myself and I chose to see beauty in the healthy weight I had gained. I look back at pictures of my competition or my prep and well up with tears. In those moments, I had no idea that's what I looked like. I am now better, not completely but always a work in progress.

Crystals Competition Picture

Body Dysmorphia Awareness

I bring this to your attention because most of you are following DSK as a simple weight loss strategy. I have seen many come and go through this program that also have suffered from BDD. I am here to bring its awareness. I am here to put its ugly face out there and give you freedom from those thoughts. Open up to someone, allow yourself grace, take a look at yourself from a larger perspective, look at how far you have come and what you have accomplished. You can do every single step right but somehow our minds still go another direction. Be confident, be strong and be willing to watch your body change as you put in the work.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”

-Marilyn Monroe


Crystal Love- DSK Coach

For coaching with me follow this link..​COACHING