The PLT Community exists more than just online, its very real & united through a common bond of health, fitness and well being.
They are from all corners of the globe, from New Zealand to Zambia, Australia to China, Spain to Hong Kong; our community works together, regularly getting out of their comfort zones, trying new things, training hard, living, loving, laughing, we are better together
Here are some of this amazing community’s recent activity and achievements...
FB LIVE Coaches Corner topics covered:
- Cortisol & Over Training
- Food Quality Matters
- Meal Timing (for the individual)
- Tracking Supplements
The community celebrated many notable non scale victories
PLT coaches Patti, Deb & Paul attended The CrossFit Games to watch clients Tracy O'Connell & Mike Rando compete. Tracy came in 4th & Mike 6th after an intense weekend of competition. They were also supported by many of the community cheering them on!
Anthony Mckee competed in The Masters Worlds Olympic Weightlifting Championship in Canada placing
4th and hitting many PR's
Allie Wiseman got married and coach Patti walked her down the aisle!
Clients trained for Ironman races & for Strongman Nationals
Coach Paul visited Ohio to watch clients participate in a CrossFit competition!
Coach Patti led a community group on a hiking day on the Appalachian Trail.
Matt Salyer competed in his first Powerlifting Competition
Courtney Ruggaber & Jill Roth both completed a 10k race achieving considerable PR's
The community continued to work hard, learning more about nutrition, creating new habits and progressing towards their goals. This community knows how to have fun, they know how to work for change and most of all they came together as a community every day to support, inspire and love one another.
A Message From HQ
August was a vastly successful month for existing client success and new community members. Our numbers swelled and we are always truly grateful for your ongoing support for our program and the work our coaches do.
Having listened to many clients; we launched a completely new client only coaching package! This was met with strong support and take-up and that's what PLT is all about, we will never be a cookie cutter company. This program exists for you, the community, and if there's anyway we can tailor our service offering more to your liking please don't hesitate to contact me! email@example.com
A 2 minute read - a collection of our community's 'whys'
‘....because it’s my solace, my therapy, my ‘me time’. Because I want to see how hard I can push this body that started late. Because I love to sweat, I love to grind and I love to gain. Because I can💛’
‘...because it makes my body and mind so strong. I love pushing to places most people can’t imagine being. Feeling that level of uncomfortable that is so freaking comfortable to me’
‘Cos I enjoy the process. The day after full Achilles repair I was bench pressing.. I love the atmosphere. The people. The honesty of it. The seclusion of heavy lifting. The camaraderie of CrossFit. The feeling of something heavy on my back or in my hands. It keeps me grounded, sane. It manages my anxiety and stress levels. It completes my day. It’s just what I do. On/off now for 36 yrs...’
‘this is a good question. I wish I knew why. I have been doing it for so long I am not sure anymore. I do feel that I am not myself if I do not move everyday’
‘To stay healthy and strong as I age gracefully ❤️’
‘I need an outlet to release stress and I always feel better after lifting both mentally and physically ♥️’
‘It is a great way to process the trials and traumas that life delivers’
‘It’s a craving I need to feed. It’s the movements I need to conquer. It’s the ability of be being able to do things I never thought were possible. It’s the people that make me smile. The feel of the metal in my hand. The sweat that makes me look like I just showered. It’s the one thing I’m not afraid to fail at because I know I’ve pushed my hardest and I’m not being judged and because of that failure both physically and mentally I’ve made myself stronger.’
‘It makes me feel rejuvenated and felling like I can accomplish anything. Exercising in a group setting pushes my limits and always go for more. It’s my stress relief and a big social event with all my gym friends. Would never stop doing it. 💖’
‘I enjoy seeing what my body is capable of, especially when my mind thought otherwise. I also want to keep functioning as long as possible to stay out of nursing homes when I’m old’
‘To keep up with my little ones and be better for myself, to be strong for them and be an example on how to be healthy, strong and motivated!’
‘Originally it was to get active, now because it’s so much fun and I love the people I’m with’
‘To provide an example for my kiddos- and hopefully live long and be strong as I grow older. I also mentally need to “teach” myself that I can do hard things. It’s ongoing struggle😂’
‘Because I can! I don’t mean that in a snarky way. Years ago when I was sick I couldn’t stand up without having heart palpitations, couldn’t eat and actually lost too much weight. Working out is empowering - I get to decide how hard I can push, it's my therapy, my "me time”. It's my gift to myself and my family that makes me a better person emotionally and physically!’
‘Because it is in my blood! I have to move or else I am miserable. I love the challenge and competing is life to me.It brings me to places I never knew I could go and makes me happy! It feeds my soul! And many many more reasons!’
‘Basically, I’m a bitch if I don’t🙄🙄’
‘At first it was to get in shape after having 2 little ones. Now it’s to be a badass. Also the mental part is a big thing for me now. I’ve pushed thru workouts that I never thought I could do before. So many times I’ve wanted to quit and I know I can push through to the end. It’s a great feeling to know that you did it!’
‘It gives peace of mind...it gets me out of the house for additional hour...I actually feel stronger then I have in years...and now with the help that Deb is giving me...I’m hoping the gym & my nutrition will be better then ever!!’
‘Because I can and should! Working out helps relieve my stress and anxiety... it’s also fun to see the “athlete” I’ve become, I never even touched a barbell until 5 years ago. My biggest thing though is that I want to live a long, healthy life and not be sickly when I’m older. Only nutrition and working out can do that!’
‘It makes me feel better about myself and what else do people do with their time anyway?’
‘Mind & body strength. And b/c I'm so inspired by others.’
‘I work out for the joy of physically pushing myself; it is my way of dealing with the stresses of life. For that hour, I can just let it all go. Honestly, I’m struggling right now with my son being out of school; I can’t get to the gym with any regularity. And boy can I feel the effects on my mind and body. It’s my antidepressant.’
‘I chose to live instead of give up’
A 6 minute read
Living with ADHD by Tracy O'Connell
Many of you know me as ”Coach Tracy” or the “Crossfit Athlete”. But, what many of you don’t know about me is that I have ADHD. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder is a term that is used in conversations loosely. Kinda like when people say they are starving or are OCD. I often hear adults say, “I forgot my keys, my ADHD is kicking in.” Its strange how these terms have crept into everyday life to cover ourselves in a jokey way, but in all honesty, living with ADHD is no joke.
ADHD is a neurological condition that impacts executive function, working memory, impulsivity, focus, distractibility, and emotional health.
If you meet me in person, on the outside it appears that I am just a high energy kinda gal. But, what is really going on is that I feel like I have a motor running from the time I wake up in the morning until I collapse in my bed. It is the only way I can function. Sometimes I hear my colleagues, friends, and family say “you just never stop and why can’t you just relax?” This often puzzles me too. I want to sit and watch TV or a movie or read a book for a long period of time, but it is really hard to do that.
You see there are three types of ADHD.
I like to describe ADHD like this. If you were to look inside my brain it would be like opening up a very disorganized filing cabinet. There are plenty of files in there, but the pages are scattered everywhere and though some get in the right slots some are just lost and don’t know where to go. This makes being organized difficult. NOT impossible just probably way more effort than for the average person. It is helpful with technology, I have found ways to keep myself organized with google calendar, Siri reminders, and notes. Before that I had to write in a spiral notebook calendar which was great until I lost it then bought another one then found the old one and well which one should I use now? Yea, that is how it is. So while I have some inattentive ADHD, it's not my primary diagnosis. Mine is weighted heavily on the “hyperactive-impulsive type”.
Some people see me as a lucky person to have such high energy and one that is gifted and can workout and never get tired. Well, that is not true. I do get tired, it just looks different. The side you don’t see is when I totally exhaust myself to the point when I collapse in a heap, tears streaming down my face, and just wanting to give up. Sometimes stopping is ok too. I get it, you have to slow down, but then I begin to beat myself up. My mind plays tricks on me. If I am not moving I have way too much time to think about what I need to do better. I am my own worst enemy as my Dad would say. So many negative thoughts enter and it becomes debilitating.
Another difficult thing are conversations. I try to be a good listener, but if I didn’t work out and burn off some energy, forget it I have very little ability to settle and focus. I can’t sit still, and my mind is finishing your sentences and growing impatient with what you have to say. Over time I have had to learn to really focus on what people are saying. I remind myself to stay calm, breath slowly and listen. So what seems to be a simple task for most, for those of us with ADHD is exhausting.
My ADHD was pretty much in check as a child. I grew up in a family that athletics was the usual. So it was no surprise that I found a sport that I loved and that kept my ADHD hidden for the most part. I mean in the 70’s it wasn’t really a thing in girls to be diagnosed with ADHD. As a kid, my parents didn’t know what to do with me. So they put me in gymnastics. I started at the age of six. By the time I was nine years old I was training twenty hours a week. It worked. They could tolerate me, and I was happy to be in motion. Gymnastics saved me. It was when I would take a break that I drove my mom and dad nuts. I did gymnastics until I was twenty-one years old.
But then… I stopped doing gymnastics. I was completely lost. So…
I tried to do different things like bodybuilding which was ok, but wasn’t quite intense enough. Then I ran a few marathons, but quickly lost interest, I also become distracted easily while running and would find myself falling off my pace due to random thoughts.
Once I had my children I was very busy and there was no time for exercise. For ten years I was focused on keeping my youngest daughter alive (she has Down Syndrome and had seven open heart surgeries by the age of eleven) and keeping my oldest daughter focused on achieving her dreams as an elite figure skater.
As a wife, mom, and teacher I was no longer living for me. I was frustrated with my lack of ability to focus, and I became depressed. Then something happened, my husband and I decided to try Crossfit.It changed my life, who knew that exercise was just the prescription I needed for my ADHD? As a child, I didn’t know that gymnastics was the key to keeping me mentally and physically healthy. I started Crossfit in January of 2014 and never looked back. It keeps me active and focused. Being fit has so many benefits, for me, it is far better than having to take medication for my hyperactivity and inability to focus. As I became more involved in Crossfit it lead me to have a need for better nutrition.
When I started tracking my nutrition it was solely for looking fit and improving my performance. But then…I learned that when I reduced my sugar intake, decreased the amount of gluten I was eating and increased my fiber intake I could focus better. I truly gained control on so many levels. Tracking food is a game changer for people with ADHD. Finding out how you react to certain foods can be life-altering. I had no idea that gluten and sugar increased my anxiety and decreased my attention.
Life is full of ups and downs that is for sure. Finding a way to cope through diet and exercise can allow us to be physically and emotionally fit for life.
A 3 minute read - A Guide to Navigating Travel & Managing Your Weight
Vacation plans are exciting but can cause some anxiety if you are working hard towards some important goals regarding health and fitness. Can you go away for a week or weekend and not derail all your progress? Heck yes you can! You might experience a slow-down in your progress but there is no need to go backwards; you just need some guidelines
When you are on a weight loss plan it’s important to remember that there are times that you are ‘all in’; focused and driven for weeks at a time and then there are brief periods (like vacations) where you pull back just a little giving yourself a bit of a reprieve without going back to square one; a diet break of sorts.
Let’s start with the basics.
Control your environment & limit the variables where possible.
Regardless of what type of traveling you are doing you want to have a solid foundation every morning; keeping in mind that you will likely enjoy a more indulgent meal in the evenings, a high protein breakfast will set you up for a day of success
Start your day with a high protein, low carb & fat breakfast. You will feel more satiated through the day and be less inclined to reach for snacks & treats that are not in your game plan.
This meal should also be protein laden; maybe a massive salad of fresh greens and veggies with grilled fish/chicken, dressing omitted or used sparingly. Salsa is an epic replacement for salad dressing and puts a little zip in your meal
This is the meal you have focused your day around. Keeping the eating prior to this meal, protein and veg focused, ensures you can eat and enjoy your favorite meal with little concern
Whilst we usually try to refrain or limit snacking, travelling is where you are more likely to snack and where they actually can make sense. Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile there will likely be snacks and preparing ahead of time from this basic list will help you immensely – these items are also excellent to throw in your hotel fridge should you have one:
Don’t let food define your day; simply be mindful. Keep alcohol to a minimum if you do drink and keep the H2O flowing day and night.
When dining anywhere remember that you are in the driver’s seat; ask for what you would like prepared the way you like it as most restaurants are extremely accommodating. Don’t fall prey to ‘peer pressure’; this is your vacation too and just because others might want to over indulge around the clock that doesn’t mean you have to.
Embarking on a weight loss journey doesn’t require being a hermit. Life still happens and life is meant to be lived! Relax but use what you have learned so far on your journey to make travel a little different this time around and to come home feeling good about yourself and not looking back with any regret.
PLT Nutrition & Fitness LLC
A 5 Minute Read
The influence of social media on our self-esteem by Carrie Jones, MA, LPC
It is pretty likely that many of you found the PLT Nutrition & Fitness group through social media. I know I did. I creeped on a few Cross Fit and weightlifting athletes on Facebook and Insta, from there I experimented with a few other online nutrition programs and even tele-coached with a well-known athlete from Texas. Late last year I stumbled across PLT, and boy am I forever grateful I did. No one else out there rises to this level. NO ONE. The positivity in this community is infectious…complete strangers love on and support one another.
Our world needs more of this…
However my stumbling into PLT resulted from years of trying to lose weight, get fit and “feel good about myself in my own skin”. I lost days and weeks and years scrolling social media and being focused on a number on a scale, someone else’s weight loss progress and what their abs look like, what products they were or weren’t using. I fell for fads and lose weight quick schemes. I have been a group fitness instructor since I was 19 (my hobby profession) and spent years comparing myself to other instructors, trainers, exercise methods and even hating on Cross Fit to now being completely obsessed with it (in a good way).
I was nervous, anxious, depressed and distracted. Most of this was fueled by messages on social media.
This loss of time and obsession with “what everyone else is doing”, not to mention my mood instability, caused me to step back and really look at what was happening to my relationships and in my life. I started to research a bit into social media and its effects on our well-being, particularly our emotional well-being. The School Counselor/therapist (my real profession) in me began to find some staggering statistics.
We are now referred to as “The Anxious Generation”. Why? Because of technology and our inability to form quality relationships with others. We are lacking love, respect, and human contact. We are inundated by social media messages telling us we need to have more, do more and be more. 40 million people in the US alone are diagnosed with some type of anxiety disorder. This increase is not due to something in the water or food or genetic malformations. It is because of our constant need to check our phones and see what Suzie is doing and how perfect her house is, how much weight she has lost, her new outfit and how successful her kids are…
All while not realizing that Suzie is probably suffering too.
See, the images we see are just that…images. They are not always real. They are open to interpretation. And most of the time people are only posting the good stuff. So all we see is the good stuff and our brains are hard wired in a way that when we see these things over and over again, we begin to believe that no one else has any bad stuff. Then I think about our kids and how all this affects them. Their brains (specifically the prefrontal cortex) are not fully developed and reason goes right out the window with them, so how do they handle these messages? Well, for the 8% of children diagnosed with anxiety, most develop symptoms before age 21, 1 in 5 college students have anxiety (diagnosed or undiagnosed)
Because of the messages they are getting, most kids tell me that looking at other peoples stories, makes them feel they can never live up or be good enough.
So how do we cope with all the messages we are getting? We need to use what we learn from THIS group every day: eat right, drink your water and exercise. Exercise itself is actually a behavioral intervention used to treat anxiety and depression, and it also helps to release the “feel good” endorphins in our brains. Additionally, it helps to take our mind off of our worries while we are moving. We need to love the number on the scale RIGHT NOW. We need to appreciate how far we ran or how much weight we lifted today even if it was not our best or as heavy as someone else. We need to appreciate the journey of our own progress and get real: with ourselves and with our friends, family and loved ones. We need to talk to the people in our lives in real time and with a loving heart. If that is not enough, seeking our professional help is okay. Finding a good therapist is worth its weight in gold.
Teddy Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
We need to put our devices down and separate ourselves from social media and stop comparing our lives to those of others. One of the first things I did to separate myself was track my usage (like my food) and reduced my number of minutes by 5 minutes each day until I had a reasonable amount of time. It was a struggle at first, but I was able to re-connect with my husband and children in those extra minutes every day. And in those precious minutes, I began to realize that my life was better than those I was watching. I got real, I stopped comparing myself to everyone else and started to love who and what I am.
A 3 minute Read
Having personally battled with mental health issues since childhood, I was eventually diagnosed with clinical depression and Bi-polar disorder. As a result of the depression and bi-polar I had very low self-esteem and self-worth. I was on medications for a number of years but due to life changes and loss of insurance I had to stop taking them. In 2004 I had a major episode and was hospitalized, I was put back on medication which I continued to take for many years. Eventually, believing I was well enough to stop taking my medications, I stopped. Gradually over the years things deteriorated and eventually it was suggested that I go to the doctor and restart my medication.
Refusing to accept this, I knew there had to be better options than being on medication all the time. I began to research and learn how food effects our bodies, gut and brain, as a whole. I decided to eliminate gluten and within two weeks I was starting to notice a change, physically, mentally and emotionally, my husband commented how different I was.
I have been gluten free for almost six years now and I feel so much better; mentally, physically and emotionally. I no longer have the brain fog, I no longer feel fatigued and I no longer have the mood swings and negative thinking that I did before. Its very personal but having gluten for me is life and death (hence hospitalization), and I am so glad I have figured that out. I have also discovered there are other foods my body responds negatively too as well, such as corn, dairy, rice, and peanuts. I have found that I feel so much better following a Paleo diet, when it comes to mental clarity, emotional well-being and physical health. For me following a Paleo diet is so important, helpful and key.
Working out, has also been a HUGE help for me. When I lift weights, run, walk, hike, or whatever other physical activity I decide to partake in, it is time for me to do my "mental filing", time for me to "clear my head", "focus on the WHY", push out any negativity and sort out things that are bothering me. Getting my nutrition, physical health, and mental clarity/health in order has helped me feel more confident and happier.
I deal with anxiety as well but have learned to manage it for the most part. Managing my diet and food selection has helped by managing my diet and food selection. I find the added control enables me to reduce most of my anxiety
Over the years I have learned to listen to my body, we must listen and learn what our bodies need. What works for one person, what works for me, may or may not work for the next person. We each must be in control of ourselves and our own bodies. We can use food as medicine, put good in, get good out. We are what we eat. I love fresh fruits, veggies, clean proteins like chicken, eggs, egg whites and my chocolate Paleo protein powder. (I make it almost daily and it is like having a milk shake, just a Paleo version.)
Thank you for your amazing support and starting and growing PLT. I am so happy to be a part of such a great community. I am so thankful for PLT’s help, from the amazing coaches to the awesome community. Being part of the PLT helps me mentally a lot, and seeing other people achieve goals helps me to keep pushing and reaching to be a better version of myself.
Things are better for sure and being part of PLT and having the nutrition aspect in balance has helped that so much and I am so thankful.
By definition community is 'a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.'
We refer to our clients and our coaches collectively as our PLT Community and they are an amazing group of people from unique backgrounds with varied interests and lifestyles. They come together from all over the globe to share their journeys, to support one another, to inspire and sometimes even to entertain one another. Friendships are formed that otherwise never would have developed, connections made on line that sometimes lead to face to face meetings as people travel and meet up; how much fun is that?!
We are an active bunch; runners, yogis, climbers, hikers, CrossFitters, weightlifters, dancers, and swimmers. You name, we do it! Our community is humble and kind, often giving of themselves in charitable causes and doing what they can in some small way to make the world a better place.
We are fit, we are healthy, and we LOVE to eat. We share recipes and ideas daily; encouraging each other to continually improve our diets so that what we fuel ourselves with comes primarily from whole food sources while still enjoying the occasional ice cream cone with our kids. We work hard to create balance so that we can live in bodies we love for a very long time.
More than anything we nurture one another. We care deeply and take good care of one another. We are a community after all and together we are better.
.Summertime is fast approaching and here come the invites to bbq’s, tailgates and pool parties! So much fun for sure, but how do you navigate the fun and stay on track as you work towards your goals? We are here to help as it CAN be done. A little planning, a little strategizing and you will be on your way to fun in the sun feeling confident! Here are some tips:
· Pre-game like a champ; eat a high volume meal that doesn’t greatly impact your numbers before you go. Low carb, low fat, moderate protein
· Have a plan in place regarding alcohol before you go. Volunteer to be the DD and plan to not drink at all OR set a number of drinks that you will allow yourself; 2-3 at most, and bring along alternative beverages that you enjoy so that you can alternate non-alcoholic drinks with cocktails
· Bring along some food (to share) that you know fits your plan so you will have at least one option to go along with whatever might be offered from the grill
- Spinach salad w/strawberries, chicken and goat cheese
- Tossed salad with grilled shrimp and black beans
- Chicken or shrimp kebabs with veggies
- Fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes
- Grilled veggie platter (easy to do ahead at home)
- Fruit platter
- Raw veggie platter w/hummus or dip made from fat free yogurt
- Fruit platter instead of a baked dessert
· Navigate carefully and be a conscious eater. More likely than not you will have grilled proteins to choose from; burgers, dogs, brats, chicken, shrimp, ribs, etc. You know your numbers and which proteins work best for you, choose wisely and if you are low carb, skip the bun and go naked! Beware of salads with mayonnaise and heavy dressings, stay away from pasta and/or potato salads and reach for the green salads instead
· Leave your food scale home please! Social occasions are great opportunities for you to practice what you have learned in regard to portions and of course we can use our hands….
- The palm of your hand is equal to approx. 3 oz (steak, chicken, burgers)
- The size of your fist is equal to about 1 cup (think rice, fruit, veggies)
- Your cupped hand is equal to 1/2 cup or 1 ounce (nuts, etc.)
- Your thumb is equal to approx. 2 tbsp (guacamole, dips, hummus, etc)
- Enjoy yourself! Laugh, talk, socialize, sun yourself, play games, swim
If you are part of our PLT community you have a toolbox full of tools; put them to use and enjoy yourself knowing that you are one day closer to your goals. If you are not following a nutrition plan and would like to start your journey towards your best self and have more confidence about living a healthy life, come join us, we can help.
With just 3 simple ingredients, this is a fool proof recipe that’s so quick and easy to make
Protein shakes are great for getting some quick digesting proteins and enzymes into your body. They also make a great snack. This quick, easy to make protein packed pudding is slow digesting and makes a great treat for breakfast or right before bed. It will keep your metabolism moving and keep you full for hours. A tasty alternative from other night time snacks
Mix ingredients into a bowl and stir vigorously for about 30 seconds or until you reach the desired consistency. The consistency should be of a pudding mixture.
Leave in fridge to chill and set for an hour or so and eat!
1 serving with Soya milk
Amount: Calories 180, Total fat: 2.8, Carbohydrate: 5.7g, Protein: 31g
If you use Almond milk instead of Soya the following nutrition applies:
Amount of Calories 166, Total fat: 2.6g, Carbohydrate: 6.3g, Protein: 28.4g
**If you have an extra carbohydrate allowance for the day, you can add a handful of rolled oats (30g), leaving to soak for a few hours in the mix before eating or overnight. Make sure you calculate the additional macros.
30g Oats: Total fat: 2.1g, Carbohydrate: 18g, Protein: 31g
Hi, I'm Paul Leonard.