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 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?
When I was younger I was the middle child wedged between a super duper cute younger sister that did everything perfectly and a talented athletic pretty older sister. When I was born my grandmother said, “If you don’t pin back her ears she will never find a man”. When I was four I started ballet and my mom said, “You should wear black because its slimming.” Through grade school I never liked being Asian
although back then I was called Oriental. Through high school I was obsessed with staying under 100lbs. I can remember being about five years old and laying out in my backyard with my eyes open and hair spread out on the grass starring at the sun. My father said, “What are you doing?” I said, “If the sun can turn my skin brown then maybe it can turn my hair blond and my eyes blue”. This started my everlasting journey for change.
I struggled with changing myself and connecting that to disliking myself. It took me a long time to truly appreciate what I was born with and at the same time learn how to maximize my genetics. I am always changing my workouts to get stronger muscles. I am always changing my diet to see what affects my body the best. I am always changing, it’s who I am.
I can never turn off my brain thinking about how to change my clients diets or workouts so that they too can see and feel changes in their bodies. It’s who I am. I will always be working on changing myself especially my body. I love sculpting it. I love being able to challenge what I have been given but finally I don’t want to be something I am not. Who am I? I am a 42year old 5″, 115lbs Chinese Korean woman but that doesn’t define me. It’s what I do with that – that does!
Who are you?
The other day I had to go to the gym in the evening. I hit a ton of traffic driving to the gym. My three mile drive on the highway took me fifteen minutes. I circled the parking lot for about ten minutes trying to find a spot. I finally found a person leaving. I followed her to her car, put my blinker on and waited patiently. She pulls out of the space and in races a little sports car. At that moment my first reaction is to swear and think, “What an A__hole!” I did not just sit in traffic, circle the parking lot, closely drive behind a woman walking to have some guy who is obviously oblivious to his surroundings take my spot. I was really pissed but what good was that going to do me? Normally I would drive off, find another space and probably stay pissed. Instead I put my car in park, stepped out and walked over to the other driver who was still in his car. I said to him kindly and with a smile on my face, “Hey – I am sorry but I was waiting for this parking spot.” To my surprise, he smiled back and looked embarrassed. He apologized and pulled his car out of the spot.
You cannot control what anyone is going to do. You can’t predict it. All you can do is control how you react to it. A lot of people will do things that annoy you, how will you react? A handful of people will do things that hurt you, how will you react? A few people will intentionally try to harm you, how will you react?
My workout that day was incredible. Finding the inner strength to not give into anger felt good. Having the courage to walk up to the driver felt great. Being able to stand up for myself in a kind confident manner felt fantastic. I chose to react with strength, courage and confidence.
How do you react?
I don’t ever want you to think that my posts are me “preaching”. I don’t claim to have all the answers. I don’t think I am teaching you anything new. In fact it is just the opposite. I have so many questions. I am constantly the student. I am always ready to learn. My life prompts my posts. My day to day observations are what ignites me to think deeper. Everything that I share with you is just me talking through my own journey out loud. It is me “working out” through life’s ups and downs.
In the gym, I work my muscles. In my day to day life I work my mind. In my relationships I work my heart. In my quiet moments, I work my soul. I live by this rule, “If you aren’t working at it then don’t complain when you lose it”. As I have gotten older I can see muscle atrophy quicker when I have had to take time off from the gym due to illness or injury. So I make sure to work out on a regular basis. Throughout the day my mind tends to go to the “dark side” by over analyzing and spiraling into pensiveness. So I make sure to work on letting things go. My heart is forever trying to figure out forgiveness so I am working on allowing time to heal. Lastly, my soul has been injured by me not practicing self-preservation. I am working on protecting myself. It is all a constant obstacle course with mistakes made, lessons learned and growth be had.
I am always working out. Although I am rarely complacent, I am grateful. My posts on Facebook, my newsletters, my workouts are all an on-going journey to be better. I am just lucky to have an audience to share it with. Thank you for reading. If a post resonates with you please “like it”, share it, pass it along and know that it’s all a work in progress.
Do you work out?
There is a phrase I hear often at work, “I had no choice” and it truly pains me to hear it. I will read in someone’s fitness journal that they “had” to eat a donut. I will hear from a client that they “had” to drink alcohol. Why is it you feel you have no other choice? Why do you put yourself in that position?
My first reaction to “I have no choice,” is to be sympathetic. I want to be understanding to how someone feels because saying, “I have no choice” is just a feeling. It is NOT your reality. We ALWAYS have choices. You may not see the choices that lie in front of you because guess what? The choices that you are offered are reflections of where you are in life and what you have done up to that point. See your life as it is, stop fooling yourself. You may not “want” to hear there are other possibilities. Acknowledging possibilities means you are responsible for your decision and the repercussions to that decision. So start owning it. Lastly and most importantly, you may not “like” any of the realistic and healthy options that are out there for you. That’s really the heart of the matter for most, liking what your options are and doing what’s healthy versus what you like, want or feel. You can tell yourself over and over, “I had no choice.” It relinquishes you from owning your life. It makes you a spectator in your movie. It makes you a passenger in your drive. It gives the weak a chance to deny their power. It gives the sad a chance to blame others when their “choice” back fires.
I hate to be the one to tell you. You don’t have to eat the donut just start packing your food. You don’t have to drink alcohol to feel better just exercise. You don’t have to do something that’s going to hurt others. You don’t have to do something that will eventually hurt yourself. You ALWAYS have choices.
What do you choose?
The other day a clients says to me, “I cannot wait until I lose all my weight.”
I ask, “What will happen once you lose all your weight?”
Client says, “I will be super happy and proud of myself.”
I ask, “So if you don’t lose all your weight, will you be unhappy and not proud of yourself?”
Client says, ….. (silence) …..
Think about the words you say. Your words have repercussions deeper than you realize. Telling yourself something truly dictates your future. There are enough things and people out there to challenge your happiness, why be one of them?
Can you be happy now?
It’s no surprise to any of my clients what’s in store for them when they walk into my studio. I am going to challenge them. I am going to push them outside their comfort levels. I am going to send their body into stress mode. It’s the price they pay when they hire me to help change their body. They pay a price but guess what, so do I.
The way a client reacts towards the sessions designed for them might surprise you. A lot of clients give me dirty looks. Some clients yell at me. A few clients hit me. One time a client walked out and never returned. I pay a price. It’s my job and I don’t take it personal but why do people react like this? Why do challenges create frustration? Why does being pushed outside comfort levels elicit anger? Why is stress the common excuse to be mean? Why would you hurt the one that wants to help?
There is a big price that you pay when you push away those that want to help you. You find yourself alone in the world. Is it worth the price? Can you let challenges go to create closeness? Can living outside your comfort level elicit self awareness? Can stress be the common reason for relying on others who care about you? If you can’t or you won’t or you answered “No” then…
What price do you pay?
Almost three years ago I started LisaFIT. It was challenging to go on my own. It was sad to say goodbye to the fitness companies that were like family to me. It was scary to stamp my name on everything that I did. It has been exhausting, stressful, tiresome, expensive and one incredible journey that I would not change for anything.
Three years ago I followed what I have loved since the day I taught my first jazzercise class. I had no idea how many beautiful people I would meet along the way. I wasn’t aware how much my passion would affect others. I never imagined that this journey would open my eyes to my purpose, our purpose in life – to care!
Although fitness is my passion, my purpose is to care. We can all be authentic in our passions but there is only one purpose – to truly care. It’s to care about the earth. It’s to care about one another. It’s to care about yourself. It’s to care and to never stop.
What do you care about?