It seemed a bit odd to me when my buddy, Craig Ballantyne, asked me for a report of my perfect 24 hour fat loss day. Why would anyone be interested in a 24 hour period out of my life?
I’m in my late forties and don’t look it. I’m amazingly fit with what would seem little effort and I live an ‘average’ life without a private chef or anything fancy. Of course it would make sense to know what I’m doing. I must be doing something right….
Before I continue, I want to suggest that this is a great exercise for you to do too. What’s your perfect fat loss day? It usually doesn’t happen that you get a ‘perfect’ fat loss day, or ‘perfect’ day for anything for that matter, but it does help to set a standard for you to aspire to. By getting it down on paper, you’ll have a better idea of how you can organize your day to come closer to perfection all the time. No one has ‘arrived’ when it comes to a perfect lifestyle, and if they say they have you know they’re lying. We’re all a work in progress.
Okay, on with my day…
4:23 am – I set my alarm, but usually wake up a few minutes before…why 4:23 am? I have my morning routine down to a science. When I get up this early, I need every minute of rest I can get. If I know I have more set up at boot camp, I’ll set my alarm for 2 minutes earlier. Yes, this is a little weird.
I start with about 8 oz of water, wash up, dress and head to the kitchen. By the way, I have clothes out so no important ‘fashion’ decisions need to be made at the crack of dawn.
I always have a piece of sprouted grain toast with organic peanut butter with sliced fruit on top. It may be strawberries, blueberries, apple, grapes, whatever I can get my hands on that’s fast and easy. I have 8 oz of skim milk and have a handful of vitamins too.
My vitamins include a multi, vitamin D, omega 3, cod liver oil, PGX (insoluble fiber), and vitamin C.
I check my emails on my iPhone while I’m eating and if there are any pressing emails, I try to pop off an answer.
4:58 am – It’s off to boot camp.
Currently I teach my camps 2-3 times a week. I used to teach Monday to Friday to what would end up to be 17 hours of boot camp weekly. As much as I loved teaching, it’s physically very draining and I wanted to guard against burn out. So now that I have fewer camps to teach, I can really put my heart and soul into each one.
5:30 am – I set up equipment once and I’m able to keep it out for all my camps. . I have fun equipment like the TRX, gliders, dual resistance straps, bands, tubes, bender balls, jump ropes, battling ropes etc. I’m in an amazing soccer center with a ton of space, indoor weather with an outdoor feel.
6:30 am – A new group of campers arrive and it’s basically a rinse and repeat of my 5:30 am camp. I find I have very different clients in each camp, so I modify or intensify all exercises and workouts to suit the group.
While I don’t usually ‘do’ the boot camp with my clients, there’s plenty of demonstrations and movement. Even so, I don’t count this as my training session. Teaching boot camp is what I’d call ‘active rest’ in terms of fat burning for me. In other words, it’s not actually resting, but it’s not training either. It’s just low level calorie burning which is perfect first thing in the morning.
7:30 am – Camp is done and I whip home to be a mom. I get my teenagers off to school as much as they’ll let me. They’re fairly independent now, but on occasion I’ll be asked to quiz my son for a test later in the day or that sort of thing during breakfast. I spoil them by making their lunches still, even though I know they’re perfectly capable. It’s just something I like to do to ensure they have healthy choices. It’s important for me to know that they eat well to perform their best all day.
I look forward to my breakfast, similar daily. I’m usually famished by the time I get to it.
I have a bowl of large flake and steel cut oats, a handful of frozen berries, 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt, a handful of walnuts and a scoop of protein. I may add about a quarter cup of skim milk on top. Yum!
As well, I have my big slobbery boxer, Desi, that’s always excited for his breakfast. He makes me feel like a brilliant cook when I present him with the same breakfast every day.
Sadly I’ve been ‘banned’ from walking my junior high son to school, so I just take Desi out for a walk in the opposite direction for about 15 minutes. (Desi isn’t too proud to be seen with his mother and sometimes I can sneak a bit of a walk in with my son…)
8:40 am – I have about 25 minutes to answer any pressing emails, send out a broadcast to my clients, post a boot camp picture to Facebook or just catch up on small jobs. I know it’s only a short time, but I really squeeze out every second I can in the day.
9:05 am – It’s back to boot camp for my third camp of the day at 9:30 am. Rinse and repeat of the two morning camps. Super fun, high energy, drink a ton of water while I’m teaching this camp.
10:30 am – Finish up camp, smooze with clients, equipment away.
10:50 am – Head home, listen to voice mails and return calls in the car on the way, don’t worry, I have ear buds so I have both hands on the wheel.
11:05 am – Head to my home office and check up on my super assistant, Krista. She’s usually head down and plowing. We’ll review marching orders and I’ll put my head down and plow too.
This is the time that I work on product development, blog posts, website upgrading…all the behind the scenes work, well, behind the scenes.
It’s great having my assistant because about every hour, we take a mental break for 10 minutes to chat. A mental break is so important to keep and stay focused for a longer period. I know that this sort of office work may not seem important in my whole ‘perfect’ fat burning day, but it’s necessary for me to have some ‘down time’ energy wise so I’ll have some juice for my upcoming workout.
I should also note that I have a second ‘assistant’ in the office daily. Desi is with us, begging for attention, stealing all the warmth from my space heater, or just farting up a storm. I must say that Krista wasn’t aware of these ‘perks’ when she took on the job.
12:30 pm – Lunch! Admittedly, I often get too caught up in my work that I’ll forget to eat. I’ll look up and it’s 2 pm and too close to my workout to eat anything substantial without it returning on me. Since this is my perfect day, lunch isn’t optional.
One of my fav lunch choices is fruit, Greek yogurt and walnuts. I sometimes add about a tablespoon of vanilla protein powder as well. I chase this with as much water as I remember to drink.
Aaaand, I have my biggest treat of the day: coffee!
I always have a big cup of coffee before I train. I get a bit of a caffeine buzz since I only have one cup a day and studies show that it can be an ergogenic aid. I’m not tough enough to have my coffee black and since I only have one cup, I add a bit of half and half. A small indulgence that I would forgo if I were in serious need to drop some pounds.
I eat and drink at my desk and continue to crack the whip at Krista. Or more likely, she cracks the whip my way. We’re a great team to keep ourselves on track. We’re organized with ‘to do’ lists on separate white boards and although we have some gab time, we get a ton done.
2:00 pm – Every day about this time I have a shake with my greens, a tablespoon of physillium and I may have a small bit of protein powder if I’m a little hungry. Physillium is a soluble fiber that’s super helpful to keep a healthy gut. It’s considered ‘nature’s sponge’ while bran and other fibrous foods are considered ‘nature’s broom’. A combination of high fiber food and soluble fiber keeps me running like clockwork with no bloating or stomach upset of any sort. This may be a little too much information for you, but I find this to be an important part of my regime. I know many women that suffer from stomach and bowel issues that may well be addressed with this simple procedure.
3:00 pm – Krista is done and I head to the gym. If Krista by chance misses boot camp in the morning, she’ll come to the gym with me.
I usually do a push/pull/legs split for my resistance-training program. I’m a long time gym rat and actually have a fully equipped gym in my heated garage. It’s usually weights 3-4 times per week, HIIT on my stationary bike 1-2 times per week and full body boot camp style workouts 1-2 times per week. I shake up my program all the time. I’m a firm believer in muscle confusion. No workout is EVER the same in a six-week period. Factors that I’ll add or change up may include rest time, rep tempo, straight sets, super sets, tri sets, high volume/low weight, low volume/heavy weight etc.
My passion is creating workouts that I’ll experiment on myself so that I can deliver it to my campers, to my online clients, in my blog or for a program. Some peeps are creative with arts and crafts, poetry, whatever, my creativity comes out in workout creation.
Here’s a recent back workout that I loved:
4 sets of 25 push ups to 10 weighted pull ups (I usually add 5-10 extra pounds)
3 sets of DB row, alternating arms, no rest
3 sets of DB pull overs to hyperextensions
3 sets of hanging leg raises to BB bicep curl
You’ll notice a ton of super sets, a staple in my training to keep intensity up and time of training down. As well, no matter what day of training it is, I do 100 push ups and 25 (non-weighted) pull ups daily broken up into any number of combinations and sets. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in core strength and stability since adding this.
3:45 pm – My workout is done. I try to keep every workout to about 45 minutes. I can’t maintain any kind of intensity if it’s any longer. Desi is dying for another walk. We head out for a longer one depending on the weather. I’m not a cold weather person and neither is my short haired Desi. If we go for a longer walk, I take my Ipod and listen to one of my audio books. Currently I’m into Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
4:15 pm (ish) – My kids are on their way home from school, depending on what sports they’re involved in. I try to spend a bit of time with them while we all have a snack.
A great option for me is red pepper and hummus, or an apple and tablespoon of organic peanut butter. I always want to have a bit of healthy fat or protein with any meal/snack to stabilize my blood sugar.
4:30 pm – Back to the office for me, more of the same: product creation, phone calls, follow up with boot camp clients…the list never seems to end.
5:00 pm – Desi needs to be fed and I’ll get supper started.
If I had my way, I’d have fish or eggs whites every day but my kids have been known to say that I’m killing them with fish and veggies. To avoid a call to the Children’s Help Line, I’ll occasionally add beef to their dinner.
6:00 pm –This was a favorite dinner recently:
Stuffed baked peppers (brown rice, black beans, corn, peas, salsa, spices)
BEEF! For the kids, about 6 oz of steak, spiced and BBQ’d
Fish – (for me) marinated wild salmon (marinate: low sodium soy sauce, garlic, ginger, agave nectar)
6:30 pm – Kitchen clean up, school lunch making and hang out time. This may include doing some errands with the kids or watching a favorite TV show with them like The Office or Glee. I don’t ever watch TV alone. It’s a pet peeve of my son that I have to ask him how to turn it on every time and of my daughter that I often have my laptop with me while watching TV or movies with them.
Evenings aren’t ‘typical’ with teenagers. Both kids may be doing homework so I’ll work, or I may be the Mom-taxi taking them to yoga, friend’s houses, wrestling, football or whatever the flavor of the day is.
8:30 pm – Wind down time. I like to make my ‘to do’ list for the next day. This helps me get those jobs out of my head so I can rest better. I have an evening routine that I follow pretty religiously; I’m very much a creature of habit. Now that my kids are teenagers, they usually tuck me into bed. They’re trustworthy and honest, they know the value of rest so I feel I can trust them with an agreed upon bedtime.
Part of my routine includes a handful of vitamins including omega 3, vitamin D, vitamin C, a multi vitamin, CO10, selenium, cod liver oil, and glucosamine.
If I feel that I’m not my usual ‘fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow’ self, I’ll take a melatonin. This is a great natural supplement that helps to improve the quality of sleep. It should be taken about 30 minutes before hitting the sack.
9:00 pm – I try to be in bed between 9-9:30 pm. I try to get 7 hours of sleep nightly. I keep a pretty normal wake/sleep schedule so my body often wakes up on it’s own. Even on the weekends, I’m an early to bed early to riser.
Admittedly I’m on my iPhone a fair bit before I close my eyes, texting and emailing clients and friends. (I’d have to say I may have an unhealthy addition to that phone. I’ve considered a surgical implant so that I never have to be without.) Or, I may listen a little to an audio book while I relax, close my eyes and settle down.
And, that’s pretty much my day.
I like to live in a 3-mile bubble in the area around my home. I travel a fair bit, so I really enjoy my home, my children and my pooch. I live a ‘boring’ no drama life. It works for me to stay stress free and happy and it helps to keep my ‘fat’ in check.
Now, get out a pen and paper and jot down YOUR perfect fat loss day…