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Ava Diamond

I have developed my clinical expertise through more than two decades of work with hundreds of adolescents and adults struggling with the most challenging parts of life: addiction, trauma, mood disorders, physical pain, and divorce.

​I am a Clinician with an entrepreneurial bent and pioneering leadership style.  That means I can use a mix of evidence-based practices with a creative approach to best meet your needs.  I think "outside of the box" and can help you or your organization expand your understanding of self and effectiveness in the world that matters to you.

My personal endeavors as an emerging adult who took an a-traditional path from bottom of the class high school to Ivy League graduate school; Mom of three kids born within a four year time span; divorce and discovery;  and fitness enthusiast to internationally recognized professional athlete have given me a wealth of first-hand experiences on how to overcome obstacles of all kinds: mental, physical, emotional, and professional.  

My work has been utilized by individuals and organizations throughout the Country.  I have developed programs and taught them at Yale University School of Medicine.  I am joyful about my hard work and the people, places, and things that have joined me in life because of it.  

 

Site: http://www.avadiamondlcsw.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mentalfitnesscoaching

 

"The most underrated concept in fitness is mindset."

"Too much training can raise your cortisol levels and that actually backfires in the brain and body"

"Experiment with time of day for your
workout as we all have natural biorhythms that allow us greatest energy at different times"

"Cardio can decrease muscle development when overdone"

Download the free PDF version of this interview (and recieve also a free ebook "Loose weight without hunger"):
Free Interview PDF + Free Ebook

1 - How can I get motivated to start a healthy/active lifestyle?

With 20+ years as a Clinical Psychotherapist and several years evolving from a “gym rat” to pro fitness competitor, I have developed an evidence-based, strategic Mental
Fitness Coaching program that is designed to enhance motivation. Mental Fitness
Coaching helps my clients from all over the Globe to gain what I call the “Two C’s of
SuCCess: Clarity and Conviction”. First step in enhancing motivation is to uncover
your dynamic PURPOSE…or your “WHY” for wanting to engage in a healthy lifestyle.
Motivation is maximized when you have a “healthy marriage” with your WHY.

2 - What are your best tips to get a flat stomach?

Abs are built in the kitchen, ladies and gentlemen. It’s true. We all have them…they
hold our insides in! The reason they don’t show well is twofold: genetics and POOR
NUTRITION. I was known for my washboard abs all through my 40’s to the point
where I had a nickname, “Diamond Cut Abs” (with a pun on my name and the
chiseled nature of my midsection). With hormonal challenges of midlife, I have
noticed that over the past two years it has been difficult to reduce the belly fat to
where my famous washboard re-appears. Nonetheless, as a Pro Competitive Athlete
at age 51.6, they made an appearance on stage this Fall. It took significant
nutritional adjustment to reduce the fat and bloat that is more easily accumulated in
midlfe.

3 - Do I need to take supplements? Why?

Supplements are over-rated, most of the time. I say this as someone who both uses
them AND who is hired by three different supplement companies to write and
promote some of their products. I only do so with products that I believe in,
however. Consumers don’t know how to sort through the good from the bad with
supplementation. Most supplements are NOT true to label and research may only
support that they are effective in a minimal capacity compared to their cost to you.
Always know if your products are 100% accurate to their labels. Realize that food is
best for your nutrition needs for a healthy lifestyle.

4 - Do you think it's easier for guys to lose weight than it is for women? Why?

I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer. I am a Mental Fitness Coach. I work with
people on the Mindset that Matters for reaching, maintaining, and surpassing your
goals physically, professionally, and in relationships. That said, from a Mental Fitness
standpoint, stage of life matters more than gender. Women who are in the throws of
child-rearing (say mid 30’s) have often lost themselves in their role as Mother. They
have let go of self-care and rationalized poor eating, lack of exercise as part of being
“too busy”. Men in their 40’s often underestimate the impact of testosterone levels
decreasing on their ability to stay fit. Lowering testosterone levels result in similar
symptoms for men that us women experience with pre-menapause and menapause.
Our bodies burn fat differently. Our minds feel less passionate about different things
that used to interest us. Women who prioritize wellness model a lifestyle for their
children that will help reduce the obesity issue that exists. Men who evaluate their
hormone levels with a medical professional may discover how to ward off depression
and less healthy physical functioning. Midlife need not be a crisis anymore…
introduce Midlife Creation to my clients: a time where you get to Master your
physical and mental self.

5 - What is the most underrated concept in fitness?

The most underrated concept in fitness is mindset. People tend to invest with vigor
in the beginning but often “fall of the wagon” after about 12 weeks. Why? Well, as
mentioned earlier, there is not the Conviction, or healthy marriage with their “why”.
Also, a concept that I teach in my Mental Fitness Coaching program called, “Flexible
Discipline” is absent. Flexible Discipline is the practice of planned deviation from
your fitness and nutrition plans. In other words, it allows you to live life and remain
in charge of your wellness. For example, you have a special occasion coming up.
Instead of turning the celebration into a binge fest and losing ground with your goals,
you decide to allow yourself to sample foods during the cocktail hour, but then
choose healthiest options for the meal. You allow yourself to not go to the gym one
day and choose to meditate for an hour instead to destress. Deviating from your
plans can be planned and then it is not a deviation at all, but part of how you live a
whole life well.

6 - How do you make exercise a more enjoyable activity?

I personally make my weight training more interesting and challenging by trying
someone new (either a weight exercise or a cardio routine) every couple of months.
Changing it up is not only important for staying interested, but it also exercises your
brain in important ways to ward-off decline in memory, believe it or not. Changing
your routine has benefits to your muscles and your mind. Some people need to find
their niche to get started in fitness. I always suggest creating a list of five forms of
exercise that COULD be enjoyable and then spend one month testing out each one.
Some people need to have music and other people as in group fitness. Some people
need to be outdoors. Some need to find a jump rope

7 - How much is too training?

Too much training can raise your cortisol levels and that actually backfires in the
brain and body. Cortisol can cause fatigue, bloating, and holding on to body fat.
Over training is very personal. Knowing your recovery time is essential to not
overtraining.

8 - Please, give us your best pre-workout tips

Pre-workout for me is about creating the mental space for the best workout to
happen. Visualizing my workout allows me to maximize the impact. As for pre
workout energy, I use P4P products as they are true to label. Coffee is, quite frankly,
a great pre workout!

9 - What's a good exercise & diet routine?

An exercise and diet routine that is best is very subjective and requires a
consultation with a trained professional. Not all professionals in fitness are created
equal, however. Be an educated consumer: know the certifications and education
that your hired professional has and what his or her approach is to training and
nutrition. Be honest about your struggles with food and fitness so that he or she can
support your with adopting healthier ways. Experiment with time of day for your
workout as we all have natural biorhythms that allow us greatest energy at different
times. Keep your food appealing with natural seasonings as healthy food is not
synonymous with boring food.

10 - What newbie mistakes did you make when you first started training?

Newbie mistakes would have been to do too much cardio. Cardio can decrease
muscle development when overdone. I would train super hard and then cardio-away
my muscle growth. Less cardio and more muscle training actually allows you to burn
more fat throughout the day AND creates a sculpted physique that lasts long and
strong

Download the free PDF version of this interview (and recieve also a free ebook "Loose weight without hunger")
Free Interview PDF + Free Ebook

 

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