Go to LisaFIT, Facebook page now. Read my fitness thoughts and watch my exercise clips.
And check out my Youtube!
Go to LisaFIT, Facebook page now. Read my fitness thoughts and watch my exercise clips.
And check out my Youtube!
I am watching the first show of season 16 of The Biggest Loser and I am fighting back tears. This season all the contestants are ex- professional or Olympic or collegiate athletes dealing with obesity. They are angry with themselves. They are disappointed. They are embarrassed and ashamed. They are all of that and now on national television half naked standing on a scale. If that isn’t vulnerability then I don’t know what is. If that isn’t courage then what is? If they aren’t a true fighter then who is?
This season makes it apparent that no one is immune to obesity and that it is a disease that can reach anyone. If you aren’t aware of the struggle that someone lives with when they are obese then please educate yourself. This disease and or addition is real. Obesity is one of the few illnesses that people wear on their sleeves. They can’t hide it. They can’t fake it. They can’t lie to someone about it. It shows and there is no escaping it. You can know someone diagnosed with cancer right now and never be aware. Your co-worker can be a drug addict and you will never know. You can even be standing in an elevator with a child predator and smile right at them with no idea what they have done or plan on doing. These people can walk amongst the world in hiding but someone with obesity cannot.
Right now more than one-third, 34.9% or 78.6 million of U.S. adults are obese. One in 10 children become obese from ages 2 to 5, and about 5% of 6 to 11 year olds are obese. Please understand that this is real. This is a disease that deserves attention and compassion. Children don’t grow out of it. Adults don’t get better on their own. We need to be a supportive friend to those battling it. We need to be better parents to educate our children to prevent it. We need to be an empathetic community to those around us that walk with it.
What is obesity?
Last night I played the Under Armour commercial featuring Misty Copeland for my daughter. When the commercial was done she said, “Mom she has a body like you – you could have been a ballerina!” I swear, never in my lifetime would I have thought anyone would have said those words to me.
When I was a little girl I fantasized about being a ballerina. I wanted so badly to learn how to dance gracefully. I was captivated by their effortless leaping and jumping. And in my head I had already told myself that I could not be one because I didn’t look like a ballerina.
My daughter has been told that she has the wrong feet for a gymnast. My son has been told he is too small to play football. I was made to believe that ballerinas weren’t full figured or short. Who has the right to tell us what we can and cannot become?
I love the story of Misty Copeland and all those who have defied stereotypes. We are a world of evolution, constantly setting new standards and breaking boundaries. Be inspired to become who you want to be no matter what anyone says. Be supportive to let your children become who they want to be no matter what you grew up with. Be a part of the world that is evolving.
What can you become?
At the gym yesterday I experienced back pain on my first set of hamstring (back side of upper thigh) curls. It was so frustrating. At that point I could have kept going and trained through the back pain or I could have stopped doing that exercise. Those are the two options that most people often do, fight or flight. Do you stay
Let’s say you fight, you stay – what course of action do you take? Why would you stay and put up with the pain, fight through the pain, settle for living with pain? Could you perhaps stay but alter yourself so that you don’t get hurt? Could you protect yourself and perhaps heal yourself while maintaining the “fight”?
Or are you the type of person to take flight, to stop, to leave when you get hurt? A lot of people will just walk away. They are too afraid to hurt more. Their past experiences of pain have scared them. But do you walk away understanding what you are truly scared of? Do you take the time to figure out why you keep putting yourself in situations that hurt you?
That workout, I changed the angle of my foot thinking I could slightly alter the exercise. I focused on really contracting surrounding muscles hoping to support the weak area. I stretched between sets to check in with my body to see if I could feel the pain getting better or worse. I altered, found support and checked in with myself to make sure I didn’t feel pain.
We all experience pain. We all make the choice to fight or flight. It’s the way we exist during and after that differ us. Can we learn from pain, regardless if we stay or leave? Can you alter yourself? Can you find support? Can you check in to make sure you aren’t feeling pain?
Fight or Flight?
From time to time a client will tell me, “But I am so hungry!” Usually they say this after a few days of living the LisaFIT rules of fueling. Trust me, I never want a person to go hungry. Physiologically hunger can cause a lot of symptoms that can take from your body. You never want to deplete your body so much that you can’t think well or can’t function every day activities. Your body won’t be able to recover efficiently and essentially you won’t be able to push yourself in the gym. I don’t want that to happen.
I tell clients when they feel “hungry” do the hunger test. Drink 16oz of water quickly and then do ten jump squats or lunges. If you feel light headed or dizzy then you are probably hungry and I need to review your Fitness Journal. If not, then you are not physiologically hungry. You most likely are mentally hungry and that is a whole other story.
Give it a try, next time you feel “hungry” do the Hunger Test. I have yet to have anyone tell me they are truly hungry. Plus- once you do ten jump squats you will probably want to workout after that. So instead of grabbing for a snack, you can get a workout in – Your welcome!
Are you hungry?
It is officially fall and everything starts to change. I have learned that love and fear are catalyst to change. It is apparent that clients either come to me because they want to love their body or they are afraid of being unhealthy or getting hurt. Their love or their fear is what drives them. It’s that simple.
Where do you fall?
I have trained many pregnant women, pre and post. I have lectured on this topic to personal trainers. I have helped friends and offered online advice because pregnancy was a huge part of my life.
Adding all three births:
pregnant for 30 months
gained over 150lbs
nursed for almost 36 months
I am by all means not saying that I know everything about fitness pregnancy but I do know what it feels like to not recognize your body. I know what it’s like to not be able to control how you feel or what you look like. I know what it feels like to have scars that embarrass you and limit you. I know what it feels like to not own your own body. I know what it feels like to think, “Will I ever get my body back?”
I get it. Whether it be from pregnancy, disease, illness or other circumstances. I understand not feeling good about your body. Will you ever get your body back? I am here to tell you that you will but it will never be the same. Like all things in the world, it has evolved and adjusted to accommodate what you endured. For me, my abdomen took the biggest hit throughout my pregnancies. My waistline is about two inches bigger because of a space that grew between my rectus abdominals to make room for large babies. I have loose skin that plastic surgeons have told me, “It’s in the wrong areas.” I have stretch marks that no cream was able to prevent. I don’t look anything like I did before pregnancy. I actually look better!
Will you get your body back? Yes and you will have an internal strength that came with enduring losing your body. You will have an appreciation for what you might have taken for granted. You will have a sense of empathy for those that have to walk your same path. You will be so incredibly thankful for getting your body back.
I look at this photo 9.5 years later and still can’t believe that was me. I definitely don’t have my pre-pregnancy body back. I have my post pregnancy body because that is my body now. It has birthed three children and it will never be the same.
Will you get your body back?
So many clients will apologize to me for eating bad food, drinking alcohol, skipping a workout or not pushing themselves during their sessions with me. They will say, “I am sorry Lisa but I …. ate all the cake, drink a whole bottle of wine, didn’t workout, can’t do 20 pushups.” They will apologize to me but they aren’t doing anything to me. They are doing it all to themselves. I will ask them, “Why are you sorry?”
A lot of times they feel they are disappointing me. They are letting me down. They aren’t listening to my suggestions. Ultimately they are sabotaging their own goals. So maybe they should be apologizing to themselves.
I have a three step rule about apologizing.
1) Say, “I am sorry for _______”. It is important you know and can admit what you did created hurt, whether it was intentionally or purposely.
2) Ask, “What can I do to make it up to you?” You should be given the chance to make right of the wrong you did. This part requires forgiveness.
3) Make suggestions as to what you can do to not let it happen again. Sorry loses its value if you keep doing things that hurt over and over. You must make a conscience effort to stop hurting.
I have found that saying, “I am sorry” isn’t enough for most people. It is a quick apologetic bandaid that excuses them from behavior that is not acceptable. Saying “Sorry” is the easy part. It is like saying, “I am getting healthy.” The hard part is putting actions to your words. It’s making your statement mean something to yourself and to others. Stand by your words.
Why are you sorry?
I came upon this photo and it brought back so many memories. When this photo was taken I had started yoga teacher training which was in conflict to my family’s wishes, my motherly duties and it was going to take up my spare time that I should have been taking to catch up on sleep . I promised myself that I would get all of the 200 hours done in 8 weeks while raising three children with a husband who traveled half the time. Whenever I could, I took three to four classes a day. I traveled around from studio to studio getting experience from various types of yoga teachings and instructors. In class I was always the first to raise my hand to volunteer to teach even though I did not feel confident. I laughed at my mistakes. I cried out of frustration. My stomach was in knots when I had to teach in front of the class. My body would break out in sweats when I heard myself speak Sanskrit. Although becoming a yoga instructor is what stamped me back into the fitness world, it is truly what made me realize who I had lost, who I had become and who I wanted to be.
I had been a stay at home mother for six years. My body belonged to making babies and feeding babies. Doctors and teachers addressed me as “Hi David’s Mom”. Before that I had been married to a military officer so I was greeted as , “Hi Mrs. Lieutenant Commander Bernstein”. It had been years since someone had asked me how I was doing without the follow up of “Where is your husband flying to?” OR “How are the kids?” I can remember the first time someone asked me, “How are you doing?” I was signing in for a my yoga training and the instructor asked, “Hi Lisa, how are you doing?” I teared up. It was such a simple question but it made a huge deal in my world. I was being asked about myself. People wanted to know me . To everyone there I was Lisa the crazy one that subjected herself to impromptu teaching. I was Lisa, the person who couldn’t pronounce “Ujjayi” breathing without giggling. I was Lisa, the woman who had no idea what Lululemon was. I was Lisa, the student that was determined to be seen as a yoga instructor and not a mother of three children or a pilots wife.
Sometimes we lose sight of who we are. Sometimes we forget what were suppose to do. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our day to day “crap” that pretty soon weeks turn into months and we realize we haven’t done anything at all for ourselves. Make a commitment once a month to stand in front of the mirror with pen and paper and ask yourself, “How are you doing?” Write down goals. Write down what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Write down what you want to change. Write down what you like about yourself. Take the time to ask -
How are you doing?
Calling all personal trainers, what do you do when a client cancels on you last minute? What do you do when a client keeps rescheduling? What do you do when a client doesn’t show up? What do you do when you can’t rely on a client to keep their appointments?
I have a policy, I treat others the way I want to be treated. I am ready for you when you get here. Sometimes things come up and I might have to reschedule. I would like you to understand. Sometimes emergencies arise and I have to cancel. I am trusting that you will be sympathetic. But what happens when a client or a trainer keeps canceling, running late, rescheduling? What happens when someone doesn’t do what they say? What happens when a person keeps making a promise and doesn’t fall through? What happens when you can’t rely on that person anymore?
It’s easy to look at this person as a “flake” because their actions are noncommittal but a lot of times this person is just overly committed. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of “flakes” out there but for the most part – a lot of people that I deal with are just over booked. Their schedule is jam packed that they don’t remember to drink water. Their life is so chaotic that they don’t have time to eat. Their multi-tasking usually causes them to go to bed late. Their actions fall short not because they are bad people but because they don’t know how to say “No” to people. I used to be like that. So that is why my cancel policy is what it is. I just simply say, “No” for them. Instead of charging them a no show fee or making them feel guilty or getting upset, I just let them know that now is not the time for them to commit. After all, my job is make sure you meet your goal and if you are so busy that you can’t drink water, eat food or rest – then guess what? You aren’t going to meet your goals.
What is your cancel policy?
So many clients bring me their “leftovers”. They buy a healthy product, try it and don’t like it. Some buy it in bulk to save money and get tired of it. My favorite is, they have grown too much and have to eat it before it goes bad. The first person they think of is ME! I am so lucky! I am the human healthy food garbage disposal. Everyone knows I refuse to waste food. I can create something edible with pretty much anything you give me. I will blend it, freeze it, jar it but one thing I won’t do is toss it. Your trash is my treasure!
For instance the fiber that comes from juicing, don’t throw it away – Try making raw protein bars out of it using oats, coconut oil, cashew butter and your favorite protein powder. Healthy chips or crackers that taste bland – Smash them up, add seasonings like pepper, salt, garlic, onion powder and now you have bread crumbs. How about protein bars you don’t like and you have a full box? Blend them with some almond milk and a banana then place in the freezer for a cold treat. I have a million tricks up my sleeve for anything left over.
Bring them to me! Give me your leftovers and I will create something. I promise. Post me what you have and let’s see what I can come up with.
What’s left over?