Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just about 1 more year.......

      And then I turn 40.
      I'm not one of those people that fears getting older or hates my birthdays, but as the years go by I find myself continuing to put off any real goal setting for my future.
      When I was younger, I truly did not believe that I would be around this long. So, I never really gave much thought to my future or what it could look like. When I turned 30 and I realized that I was still young, healthy, smart, capable and able to do whatever I wanted, I simply had no idea what that was. I had no idea, and still don't, how to set a plan into action. How to want something for myself and then go about getting it.
      Now, I've got my career of choice in place. I'm still young and healthy and I'm still capable of making any goals or dreams into realities. I still may not know what goals to set for myself and my future, but I do know that there's nothing in my way to achieving anything I want. Nothing.
      I know that once I do set a goal for my future, that it is possible. That it's never too late and I'm ready for my future.
      I hope you are too, athletes!

                                                              Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A few thoughts as we end 2014 and start fresh in 2015

      A few years back, I decided to put myself first above all else. Selfish? Maybe, some may think so, I don't. And it was what I needed to do to become a better human being.
      I needed to invest the time and energy into sorting out my troubled soul and to find who I truly am. So, I dug my heals in, dug deep, uncovered many truths and faced them head on. One of the things that I needed to find was a career path that I would enjoy and thrive at.
      I had no idea what would come of this choice, I just knew that I had to do it. Now or never. I was at my rock bottom for sure.
      Fast forward to the present, I have learned so much and filtered through many foggy, confused memories and life experiences. I've found my work that I love and can freely say that I am far better off now than I was five years ago. I am by no means finished with this work, but it's been a good start to what will most likely be a long journey. One that I intend to continue to face head on and with relish.
     One thing that I didn't anticipate going into making such a change in my life was that I would lose support and openness from people that were friends. It's unbearably sad to know that in the time I took to better myself for myself, and for those around me, people that were in my life would vanish. Maybe those people were not the ones for me after all. I'm no less saddened by it.
      I have no regrets, however, and would do it all again if I needed to.
      My point in saying these things here is that the people in your life, your friends, your family, your loved ones should be able to show support and care through all life's ups and downs.
Admittedly, during my process I didn't go out as much, my schedule changed drastically so I no longer was around the usual scenes. Maybe it was just the old 'out of sight, out of mind' thing, I don't know. But that's besides the point. The point is that true friends don't turn tail and disappear when things change.
      I suppose those that are willing to stick it out with you are the ones that you know always will. The ones that don't, well in the end I guess they don't matter much anyway. I also know now, full well, that I'd prefer no friendships than ones that are dishonest. If you know me, you should know all of me. Not just the parts that are comfortable for you.
      I don't ever declare New Year's resolutions, but if I were to this year, it would be to continue on my path of being better. To keep moving forward with integrity and a sense of courage to do so. And, I will do it all alone if need be.
      I believe wholeheartedly that happiness and contentment starts with an ability to know yourself and like yourself. And, to put yourself first. Why not? You're worth it.
 
                                                          Train Today to Move Tomorrow


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Shameful? HELL NO!

      A couple of weeks ago, I read a headline that popped up in the Yahoo News feed and it's been bugging me ever since. So, I just need to get it out and say what I need to say on the subject.
The headline read "How to lose that shameful underarm flab", with a photo of a woman pinching her triceps. I didn't read the article, I didn't need to. The headline says it all.
      I'm so sick of this nonsense. It's no wonder that we have such strained relationships with our bodies when this is the kind of crap that we're constantly inundated with. Whether you read these kinds of articles or not, we all still see them. We see it on the news feeds, in almost all advertising, especially if the ad is for some so-called 'miracle' cure for weight loss.
      Let me just say right now that it's all nonsense and the more we ignore it and learn to love ourselves the better.
      There is nothing, let me repeat NOTHING, shameful about your body.
      I understand that we all have things about ourselves that we may not love, but at some point in our lives we do have to accept that we're human, we're not all perfect, we all allow body image thoughts to creep in. Whatever it is for you, it's still not shameful. Nothing about being a human being should be shameful. The idea of shame stems from more nonsense. I won't go into that rant though.
      If you strive for health, strength, well being, or satisfaction of any kind shaming yourself or allowing media to interfere with feeling good about who you are must stop.
      This angle that's taken by media and product marketers has always bothered me so much. But, now that I'm in the business of helping and guiding people to better health, it bothers me even more because all too often I have to have a conversation with someone where I feel the need to convince them that these types of articles are nothing but nonsense.
      If you want to try and change something about your body, by all means, do it. But, do it in a healthy way. Not because some article or TV show spouts off crap about how awful it is to have some body fat, or cellulite, or gray hair, or wrinkles. It's life people. And, I promise that you will remain unhappy and unsatisfied if you buy into it.
      So, let's learn to love or at least like ourselves and our bodies. It's the only one we have. It's not easy, I know that. I have days where there is nothing that I see in the mirror, I like. And, others where everything is great. That too is part of being human. I have a plethora of things that I could point out as being wrong or not good enough, but what good does that do me? None whatsoever. So, I will do my best to love my scrawny arms, and my cellulite and my wrinkles and I will keep feeling good about who I am. I encourage all of you to do the same.

                                                           Train Today to Move Tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Simple guidelines for healthy living and making it a habit

     Any of us that have ever struggled to make a change in our lives, our routines or our habits know intellectually what is needed and how to go about it. But, implementing any change whether short term or long lasting is another story all together.
      When it comes our health, our fitness and our eating habits, making lasting changes can be very difficult. I believe that it doesn't need to be extreme or even very regimented to make long lasting habit changes.
      It all comes down to our habits. If we're used to eating dessert after dinner, it can feel strange not doing that. If we're not in the habit of regularly exercises, getting up and doing it can feel like an unwelcome chore. So, how can we change our habits for the long term to be more healthy inside and out?

      Here are 5 simple things to consider, that I feel when implemented, real lifestyle changes will occur.
      1. Drink more water. Build up to drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces everyday. You may not get that much each day and you will be running for the toilet more often, but if you keep that thought--1/2 your body weight in ounces--on your mind throughout the day, you will drink more water and staying well hydrated is essential for good health.
      2. Become calorie conscious. This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. Learn where your calories are coming from. The information is out there. I use phone apps like 'myfitnesspal' and 'myfoods' which have been great for discovering what nutrients are in different foods. The more you learn and know, the more likely you'll be to make better food choices.
      3. Eat more protein. This is also especially important if you are trying to lose weight. And, as you become more calorie conscious, you'll also become more aware of how much protein you're getting in the day. Protein is a great source of energy and will help to keep you feeling fuller, longer. If you're not trying to lose weight, these things are good to implement anyway.
      4. Eat less added sugar and less processed foods. This one is not as easy as we'd like it to be. We want convenience and ease. However, for overall health and longevity, less is best. Read labels, know what you are buying and consuming and again, you'll be more likely to make healthier choices.
      I'll give you a quick example: Yesterday, I was at the store and wanted to get some yogurt. I usually eat plain yogurt and add my own fruit to sweeten it, but I was in the mood for fruity yogurt. I picked up a brand that seemed ok, then after a few minutes thought I should check the label only to find that a 3/4 of a cup serving had 19 grams of sugar. That's too much, I put it back on the shelf.
     5. Exercise. Everyday. Just get up and move, and try to get your heart rate up a bit. Even if you take just 15 or 20 minutes for some sort of exercise. Anything is better than nothing and you will find with exercise that as you do it more, you'll want to keep doing it.
   
      These don't need to be done all at once, but if you think about it more often, and try making small, manageable shifts in your daily routine, the routine will become habit and before you know it exercise, good eating and staying hydrated are things you won't have to think about doing.
      I tell my clients often that what we do in our training sessions often has more to do with our brains than our muscles. The same goes for our daily habits. Start with simply thinking about things differently, give yourself the information by being proactive and over time the thing we're trying to do becomes a habit and part of our lifestyle. It can take a lot of time, and it should. That's why fad diets don't work. They're not designed to help you make long term changes. Try using these 5 guidelines and find out for yourself that exercising and eating healthier is not only doable but also not the unattainable mountain peak that we sometimes feel that it is.

                                                          Train Today to Move Tomorrow 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Your fitness regimen does not need to be complicated.

      I'm someone that likes to keeps things simple. For the most part, anyway. I do my best to not complicate or dramatize my life. I keep my living space in order and clean, I manage my work schedule and to do list regularly to keep myself as stress free as possible. But, when it comes to teaching and passing along fitness and training information to my clients, I find myself overloading them with tips, ideas, new ways to try things etc. I can only imagine how their heads must spin sometimes when I get going.
      Why would I do this? I know better than that. I suppose it's because there is so much information to share and a sense of limited time to share it all. But, more is not always better. The more I think about this, the more I realize that less is more. Simple is better. One thing at a time, and all the parts and pieces will fit in place in time.
       Because, there is time. Time to let the information sink in and take hold. Time to allow for a simple change to become habit. Time to learn all there is to learn.
      I realize that no matter how much I want my clients to know what I know, they have to first-want to learn it and second-implement changes for themselves. Just as I have for myself over the years.
      In fitness and exercise routines, the craze these days is pretty complicated. Lots of moves stacked together with heavy loads and time crunches. While that may suit some, it's not the only way and sometimes, again, less really is more. Let's not rush our progress in the weight room or anywhere. Let's take the time to let it in, let's learn one thing at time, try one new thing at a time and be patient with our progress. It just doesn't need to be so complicated.
      If I can do this for myself, I can do it for you and more importantly, we can do it together.

                                                         Train Today to Move Tomorrow

Monday, August 25, 2014

Becoming more active. Daily, weekly, etc.

Lately, I've been putting together '10 Day Challenge' workouts in the hopes of encouraging habit change. Our daily habits increasingly neglect movement and physical activity. We bathe, we feed ourselves, we make it to our jobs each day, we find time to watch our favorite TV shows or spend time socializing at the local bar. But, more often than not, exercise is the last thing on our minds and the first thing to be dropped from the 'to do' list. We know that regular exercise has numerous health benefits, yet for so many of us it's still not even on the list of priorities.
I want to change that for myself and for my clients. I want you to recognize over and over again how much better you feel when you include exercise into your weeks. I hear it from my clients regularly that they feel better, have more energy, have more stamina and look better after training with me. I know that I'm nothing all that special, I'm simply an avenue for them to exercise regularly. Yet, even with that my clients may only be exercising on the two or sometimes three days of the week that they see me. While I know that's great and I know they get much from it, I also know that they, and all of us, could do much better than that.
So, a few months back I put together a short, easy to do workout that I said must be done each day for 10 days in a row if you choose to participate. The main reason for this is to continue to try to get my clients, my friends and family and myself to get up, get out and get moving everyday. I don't ask for much from these super short workouts, just enough to get your heart rate up, to get a little burn going in your body and most importantly to begin to think about daily exercise a bit differently.
We may think a workout takes up so much time, we have to get to the gym, we have to make sure to have our workout clothes and shoes, we have to decide what to do when you get to the gym. If one or more of these things isn't just right, we may just not go, easy as that. I say it's really just as easy to say yes to exercise as it is to say no. Who says we need to burn out at the gym on some treadmill to exercise, that's nonsense. I say anything is better than nothing.
That's where these 10 Day challenges come in. I've found with these workouts as I do them each day that more often than not I've repeated the exercises multiple times, I've been excited to challenge myself by doing more, or adding on more weight each day. I've felt a sense of accomplishment and success. If your start a 10 Day Plank challenge and are unable to hold a plank for a full minute but can with ease at the end of the 10 days, that's really something to be proud of. I hope with these workouts, my clients with begin to see and feel their potential more and more. Our bodies are not meant to be sedentary, our bodies become riddled with disease from being sedentary and unfortunately our lives in this modern world are more often than not sedentary.
But, we have the control. We have the strength and the power and we can change our lives for the better simply by moving more. It's really that simple. So, move with me 10 days at a time and before you know it the habit of regular exercise will be set in and you will reap the benefits.
The photos here show some of the exercises that I've included in the 10 Day Challenges so far. The rules are simple. If you do the exercises that I've picked, or you modify the workout to better suit you and your needs, all that matters is that you do it every day for 10 days straight. I'm always happy to help you find ways to make these challenges your own. Let's move more, and make it habit!

                                            Train Today to Move Tomorrow!


                                                                                 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Functional Movement Screening!

This week, I became a level 1 FMS certified professional. This is a screening system for movements. In addition to the regular initial assessment that my clients go through, I will be utilizing this system for information gathering.


      A few months back, I was experiencing an extraordinary amount of pain, stiffness and discomfort in muscles in my back, neck and shoulder. I went to a chiropractor and she put me through this screening. I've known about this for some time, but had never looked into it until after being run through the system.
      I decided a few weeks ago to learn more and get certified. The information in this course and in this system is very interesting. If you are active or want to be active, doing this screen will inevitably help you to be able to train better. It's a handful of simple tests that show how well your body moves. That's a simple way of putting it, but essentially we're just gathering information in an unbiased way.
      Up until now, the process of assessments for my training has been simple and effective but lacking in sufficient information. In other words, things like asymmetries, compensatory movement patterns, imbalances or pain associated with movement would not always be evident until later on making the initial training programming much more general. With this screen, those things will more evident right away so I'll be able to design a clients training program more specifically to them.
      We'll be able to focus right away on areas of imbalance or compensation and instead of unknowingly exacerbating any potential problem areas, we can train appropriately to move better.
      Check out the FMS website for more information on how it works. www.functionalmovement.com

                                                    Train today to Move Tomorrow!