Living the LEAN Life
Being physically active most of my life has been a great advantage for me and I know it. But after having kids, relying on exercise alone wasn’t as productive as it had been in the past. Even though I was dedicating the time and effort to exercise it began to feel like I had hit my “new normal” and I just settled in to accepting where I was. Work, kid’s sports, planning meals and teaching classes took enough of my focus and energy. There wasn’t a lot of time to prepare for a change. I was like many of you, skimming through magazines, Facebook and the internet seeing how people were jumping on the “21 day fix/challenge” bandwagons and adopting nutrition and exercise advice. I am in the fitness business, but there is always something new that claims to be the answer to getting fit, lean and healthy. I wanted to do something that got results, but more importantly, was sustainable!
Then one day I came across a post that simplified it all for me. The author was stating that many of us don’t have a weight problem, we actually have a muscle problem. I loved it! That is what makes sense to me and I had been preaching for many years. This was my turning point. I tossed my all or nothing attitude out the door and dove in without fear of failure or deprivation. It worked so well for me, that my clients, students and friends started noticing and asking me for the secret.
The secret was nothing new, nothing crazy, but also not easy. It was all about change. Changing the combination of food I ate at each meal, slightly. Changing the amount of cardiovascular exercise vs. weight training, weekly. Changing my mindset from “all or nothing” to a more open, growth mindset that allowed for trial and error, failure and ultimately less self-induced pressure to be perfect. My results were so significant that I decided to create a realistic program that other busy women could use to become the best version of themselves too!
The L.E.A.N. for Life program takes 4 basic principles and teaches you that through moderation and consistency, lasting change can happen. Let me explain a little deeper. Each letter represents a principle…
L = Lift weights. If you want to have a leaner body, you have to build muscle. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking body builder style, just toned and strong. Having more lean muscle tissue will burn more calories at rest, keeps you functionally strong and more productive in your daily life and improves bone density, blood sugar levels and many other health issues.
E = Eat more protein. Most women are not getting enough protein each day, especially if they are exercising and striving for a leaner body. Eating healthy has become such a general term these days and anyone who avoids fast food thinks they fall in that category. There is so much more to it, but starting with a balanced combination of protein, carbs and good fats at each meal provides your body with the essentials it needs to build muscle and reduce body fat.
A = Alleviate stress. Let’s face it, life is stressful these days! With increased stress comes increased cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for weight gain, especially around the mid-section. When we schedule our day, rushing from place to place, going to bed late and using high intensity cardio sessions as a stress reliever, we are creating a favorable environment for our body to go into a defense mode and store calories overtime.
N = Non-negotiables. We all have something we just can’t live without, right? When we restrict ourselves from most of our favorite foods, we start feeling deprived and that becomes a downward spiral in relation to our motivation. Finding ways to incorporate a few “must haves” creates a balanced, long lasting plan.
So, fast forward 18 months and I can now say, I feel really comfortable with myself. That is a place of feeling really energized and liking the reflection in the mirror because I have been taking care of myself and not letting the craziness of normal life take over. So, when’s the last time you felt that way? Weeks? Months? Maybe years? Curious if you could feel the same way? I would love to help you.
Schedule a discovery call today and let’s find out how you can start becoming the best version of you!
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Aimee Chandler has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut and is certified in many fitness programs. She has been teaching group fitness classes and personal training for over 25 years. She is the founder of Aimee Chandler Wellness, which focuses on helping busy women find life balance through moderation and consistency. She lives in CT with her husband, a Physical Education teacher and her 2 young children. Her passion is helping others in their pursuit to live a healthier life, find self-acceptance and reach their full potential.