I am going out of town this weekend and you better believe that I am bringing food, using hotel gym for my morning cardio and finding a gym for my weight training.
I am sharing this with you because I get clients telling me all the time how their family, friends, coworkers, loved ones are constantly giving them a hard time because clients want to stay on track with their fitness regimen. Guess what? I too am given a hard time. We all hear the same thing. “It’s only a couple days -
you can miss a few workouts.” “Come on, live a little.” “You deserve to have fun.”
I am hear to tell you that I LOVE the way I live. Working out makes me feel energized and strong so why would I want to miss that? The way my body feels sweating, heart pumping, lungs breathing hard – aren’t those signs of living? Jamming to my tunes, in my own world, giving back to myself, true me time – isn’t that fun? I have a relationship with my body and in order for it to work for me, I work hard for it.
One of the best times to really stay on track with my fitness regimen IS on vacation. I don’t have work or kids to get in the way of taking care of myself. I take advantage of the empty time to get in two workouts especially since I love checking out new gyms. I enjoy finding healthy food restaurants. It’s like a hunt that many of you might get when you find a good deal.
So here is my suitcase for the weekend. I have carrots, apples, oatmeal packets, protein shakes, almonds, peanut butter packets, sprouted bread, protein bars, instant coffee, emergen-c and I LOVE IT!
What’s in your suitcase?
What’s In Your Suitcase?
When To Fight – what did you think I meant? I am telling you that life is constantly throwing things, people, issues, obstacles, etc in front of me and in my head I am thinking, “Pick my battles” which is why I say, “WTF – When to fight?” I have no idea which battles I am suppose to rise to the occasion and put up a fight
and which ones I am suppose to cut my losses and walk away. Plus it doesn’t help that I am one of the most indecisive persons you will ever meet.
But in the gym, it is a total different story. I put up a fight! So when I get clients that don’t “fight” through a workout, I go into my toughest LisaFIT mode. I tell the clients, “Come On! Here is where you need to fight!” ”Here is where the fighting is a guarantee win!” ”Here it’s just you fighting against yourself and I promise – you won’t get hurt.” With that I get two types of people. Those that will work so hard that when it is time to stop they literally fall to the ground. When it comes near the end, they push harder because they know it is temporary. When I tell them to go five more seconds, they don’t stop when I countdown and say, “One”. Those people do one more rep and collapse. Then there are the other types of people who pace themselves. I find them to be hard workers but different. When nearing the end of an exercise they will drop the weight at their third to last repetition. When there is a countdown they will stop at five seconds left. They are still pushing themselves but there is one element that I don’t get. They aren’t fighting. I can tell when someone is at their end. I can see when someone can’t do anymore. I know when someone is fighting and when someone is NOT fighting.
When to fight? I can’t tell you if you should fight for a job, a relationship, an opinion, a decision, etc. I have enough problems making those decisions for myself. What I can tell you is that the moment you step into my gym, my studio, my space – the moment you are with me, you have to fight. Because the second I get the feeling
that I want it more than you do, that I am fighting harder than you are – is the same second that you have lost.
When to fight?
When to fight?
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?
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?
Are You Hungry?
Where Do You Fall?
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?
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?
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?
How are you doing?