I am all about health and fitness. I live, eat, breathe it but that doesn’t mean that I HAVE to go to the gym no matter what. It doesn’t mean I have to spend hours working out. It means I choose healthy and fit options when
given the chance. I take it easy when I am tired instead of drinking a double espresso. I walk to the store instead of drive. I drink water instead of juice or soda. I sleep instead of watching television at night. I don’t keep alcohol in my home or desserts.
You don’t have to workout everyday to be healthy and fit. In fact, lets say you get to the gym five times a week for an hour but you are drinking coffee to get yourself there. You are sitting in your car all day. You are drinking soda with your meals. You are staying up watching TV. You are drinking alcohol every day after work. You have dessert every night after dinner. Lets just say that is you. You are not healthy and fit just because you go to the gym.
I see most clients two to three times a week for an hour but is it enough to be healthy and fit? Hell NO! That is 2-3 hours of their week. What are they doing the other 165 hours? Just because you workout with me doesn’t make you healthy and fit. You need to constantly keep choosing healthy and fit options. It isn’t something that you can buy a membership to. It isn’t someone you can hire to do it for you. It isn’t even an app that can keep
track for you. It isn’t found in a pill. It isn’t seen as lean or muscular. Its you making healthy and fit choices: spiritually, soulfully and seriously.
Many times in a session I will ask the client, “Do you feel it?” And more often than expected I hear, “No I don’t.” I am always surprised to find out that clients will go through the motion and feel nothing. I am shocked when they don’t tell me. What is the purpose of working out if you don’t feel it? What’s the purpose of anything if you aren’t feeling something?
There are some clients that won’t say anything to me in which I have to keep asking, “Do you feel it?” I even quiz them, “Where do you feel it?” There are a few clients that will tell me if they aren’t feeling the exercise. My rule is, if you aren’t feeling it in the first few seconds or repetitions then something isn’t working properly. There are those clients that will feel it and stop because they don’t want to feel anything at all. These clients are the toughest. They don’t want to experience feeling. They connect feeling something with something wrong therefore they stop. I see this as, “Feeling something doesn’t give you permission to stop, it gives you the chance to grow!”
I understand it is scary especially if you have been injured in the past. I know you don’t want to feel “pain” or anything like that. I am not guaranteeing that you won’t get hurt. I am promising that if you can put aside your fears, detach feeling pain with fleeing or stopping and attach it to learning and living – then you will come out a stronger person.
The next time you are working out and you get to the point where your really feeling it in your muscles, remember this: you either stop and stay the same or you work through it and grow stronger.
Way back in my group exercise instructing days I filled in to teach a “Bootcamp” class. I was told the class was mostly men, early twenties. The teacher I was filling in for was a young muscular guy that boasted about how hard the class was and told me to “kill” them. I would hear about the 100 burpee challenge and the push up contests. He would enjoy it when people could not make it through his class. It sounded like torture to me and an equation for injury. I never understood the mentality of an instructor whose intention is to kick their students butt and make them “die” during the workout. I don’t even know how to prepare for that.
So the day I subbed for the “Bootcamp” class I was conflicted. There was no way I felt comfortable trying to “kill” these guys but I didn’t want to let them down. The guys walked in and immediately sized me up. They were “voicetress” and arrogant. They all started grabbing jump ropes, barbells, various dumbbell weights etc. What a waste of time to set all of that equipment up and a waste of space to keep all the equipment around you. I stopped them and told them all to grab one weight. I think my words were, “Take only ONE weight, choose wisely because that weight will be with you the entire hour and you are to NEVER put it down.” I heard the guys talking amongst themselves and saying things like “How are we going to get a good workout with just one weight?” They looked disappointed.
Of course the bad ass boys rushed over to get the heaviest weight that was available to them in the class. I believe it was a 20lb dumbell. About three minutes into class they were changing out their 20lb dumbell for a 15lb and 12lb. About ten minutes into class they were changing their weight to a 10lb. The egos were tossed aside. The mouths were shut. The eyes stopped rolling. The boys were working hard. They ran high knees with the weight behind their back. They punched with the weight in their hand to a five count while holding wall squats. They put the weight between their feet and hopped while in a low push up. They did handstands against the wall and passed the one weight from left to right. They even did their ab workout and stretches with the same one weight. I got asked, “When do we get a water break?” I said, “It is your hour to do whatever you like. I don’t announce breaks.”
At the end of class everyone was extremely anxious and happy to put their one weight away. It was a different group of guys. They were quiet and humble. One guy even came up to me and said, “That was a great class – I was not prepared for that!” I said, “Some of the best things in life happen when you are the least prepared.”
At my studio I do not weigh my clients. There is no scale. I personally don’t own a scale. When I go to the doctors office, I look away from the scale because I don’t want to know how much I weigh. I suggest to all of my
clients to throw their scale away and stop looking down at that number.
I understand that many people focus on their weight so they use the scale to measure that. They use a scale to keep them on track because once they reach their ideal weight they will be ….. happy? But what if I told you – you
didn’t need the scale? What if I said that as soon as you release yourself from being owned by the number you see looking down at your feet is when you will be happy? What if I said, stop looking down?
As soon as you can get rid of the idea you need to be a certain number – you will be happy. As soon as you can pick walking outside instead of watching tv – you will be happy. As soon as you can choose clean food versus processed food – you will be happy. As soon as you can stop counting at calories and start throwing away chemicals (artificial sweeteners are the worse) – you will be happy. As soon as you can spend more time preparing your food than ordering your food – you will be happy. As soon as your actions define you and not a number, what you wear, what you drive or where you live or even how much money you make – you will be happy.
Your happiness with yourself isn’t defined by a number you see looking down at your feet. It’s a reflection of a continuous healthy relationship with yourself with no breaks, pauses or my favorite phrase “cheat days”. You are
honest with yourself. You are true to yourself. You are good to yourself meaning you sleep when you are tired. You rest when you are ill. You eat so that you can have energy. You drink so that you can be hydrated. It’s the mentality that you can always be better, versus thinking you are worse than before. It’s the “wanting” to take care of yourself versus “having” to take care of yourself. It’s the motivation and drive to be the best you can be and never settling for less while being appreciative for what you already have and how far you have come.
If you are the type of person that keeps a scale in your bathroom and starts your day looking down, this post is for you. Throw that scale away and stop looking down in order to be happy. Choose to look up instead and just BE
I recently had to tell a client to go through her fridge and pantry and throw out everything that does not benefit her health and fitness goals. I know this may seem drastic but I have a method to my madness. You need to feel safe.
You should be able to go home, relax and feel safe. If you open your fridge there should be fresh produce so that you are safe to choose something to eat. If you open your pantry there should be nothing but healthy choices so that you can feel safe to eat whatever you want. Your home is your safe place and if it is not – change it!
Everyone needs to feel safe. Safe to be vulnerable without judgement. Safe to feel weak without pity. Safe to be intimate without feeling threatened. It is exhausting to go through life always on “guard” – feeling you must protect yourself and you must defend yourself all the time. No one is expected to be strong 24/7 and in order to be comfortable enough to let down your “guard” you need to feel safe.
When you go home make sure your health and fitness goals aren’t being compromised in your safe place. If you have crackers and chips in your pantry, throw them out. They will only fill you up and not fuel you. If you have diet drinks and soda in your fridge, throw them out. They will only spike your blood sugar and will not hydrate you. If you have leftover candy from the holidays, throw it out. It will only create tooth decay and will not feed your muscles. Make your home a safe place to be healthy with ease.
I read this quote, “Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be” by David Wolfe. It automatically made me think of New Years resolutions. Anyone who wants success or just to stick to their new years resolution must abide by this quote.
Accept what is: You are at a place in your life for a reason. Stop complaining about how fat the holidays made you. You have no one and nothing to blame. You aren’t to shame yourself or feel guilty. You are to accept and to take responsibility. Your actions and lack of actions have had a direct impact on your life. Accept it.
Let go of what was: You aren’t ever going to be able to get the past back. You won’t have the body you had twenty or thirty years ago or weigh the same amount you did in college. Stop wanting that, in fact throw your scale away. Throw those clothes away that you were “waiting” to fit back into. Let it all go.
Have faith in what will be: Give yourself the opportunity to be better. Stop “pigeon holding” yourself. Stop saying things like, “I know I won’t be able to stick to my diet” or “I will never be happy with my body” or “I can’t imagine doing a pull up”. Have faith.
With a lot of acceptance, continuous letting go and a strong relationship with faith – you can succeed. Remember this when you are struggling to hold onto your new years resolutions. Don’t be a statistic (85% quit their resolutions by week two).
I am out to dinner with friends and as we all sit down to look at menus someone says, “I really want to eat healthier.” Someone else says, “I want to get into shape.” The waiter comes, takes orders and I hear things like
pizza, fish and chips, a burger with fries being ordered. This is the same table that just all spoke about their wants to be better and yet in a split second they are choosing to not put action to their words.
It’s frustrating. People telling me what they want and then doing something different. You want to be leaner but then you eat fast food. You want to be healthier but then you drink alcohol every night. You want to feel better but then you stay up late. You want more money but then you spend too much money. You want to be happy but you complain about unhappy stuff. You want peace but you allow things to steal your peace. You want love but then you push love away. Sound familiar?
Make up your mind. Write down what you want and how to get it. Then don’t do anything else that would prevent you from having what you want. Don’t sway from your decision. Stay focus on what you want and do something about it besides talking about it. You want health – then work on it. You want happiness – then work on it. You want peace – then work on it.
Here are some of my favorite holiday “freebies” that can keep you healthy and happy.
1) Make homemade coupon books to give to your loved ones as gifts. No money spent, no bills to pay – the gift of giving is FREE!
2) Make gingerbread houses, bake-decorate-enjoy time with your kids. Display the house so you cannot eat it – baking is fat FREE!
3) Donate your family’s time at an animal shelter. Give the permanent volunteers a break during the holidays and get your “Awe it’s so cute” fix for FREE!
4) Map out where all the lighted decorated houses are in your neighborhood. Walk to them and bypass all the traffic, no gas used – it’s FREE!
5) Attending holiday parties with way too much food? Bring containers with you to take leftovers to homeless. You can’t find any homeless? Check the mall entries and exits. Give away your carbohydrates – it’s FREE!
6) Traveling a lot? Stock up on all the bath products that you get in hotels and drop them off at any shelter. The cost to you – FREE!
7) Want to keep a drink in hand at a party? Soda water with a small candy cane to stir. 60 calories that I am sure you will burn walking around at a party. FYI- it takes about 15min of walking to burn off about 60cal.
Ultimately when the holidays are over you won’t need to “start” your diet or pay your bills. You will be calorie and debt FREE! To me that is Free-ing!!
I am going to admit it, I am a good trainer. I am knowledgeable in many exercises, fitness equipment, stretches, yoga poses, etc. I stay current on diet trends and study the nutritional constants. I am very thorough with all the physical aspects of my job and I feel there are many people out there that are good as well. What I do isn’t rocket science and as of right now those who choose to work in my field of personal training can buy a book, study, take an exam and be certified. So there are many of us to choose from.
What am I getting at? You can always find a trainer. But what you can’t always find is the “personal” part of a personal trainer. That’s the part that isn’t in the book to study. That’s the part that has no test for. That’s the part that I am the BEST at. I may be good at training but I am the best at personal-ing. Which is the first part of my job title.
You can easily replace my training ability with another trainer, with group classes, an online trainer, an app, a video, a YouTube, etc. You CANNOT replace my personal attention to your needs, my compassion towards your
health struggles and my understanding of your being: mind, body, spirit.
What I have, they don’t teach. What I offer, is not found in many. What I can do for you and with you, is NOT replaceable. I am a PERSONAL trainer and not only am I really good at what I do, you will not find anyone like me.
Clients ask me all the time, “Aren’t the workouts suppose to get easier?” Their thought process is that they are getting stronger both muscular and cardiovascular so why is it that the workouts feel more challenging? I get that. What they don’t understand, is my thought process.
I have gotten to know their body better. I know where they can push harder because I see their strengths. I know how to work around an injury so that they don’t have to be afraid to get hurt. I know how to fuel them so that they can endure a sixty minute workout.
So my answer to “Why doesn’t it get easier?” is, “It does get easier.” You can move with ease, pain free. You can breath with ease, no dizziness. You can push weight with ease, no joint aches. You can endure with ease because you are eating the right foods. You can sleep with ease versus tossing and turning. You can live with ease knowing that you are giving back to yourself. Your life gets easier!
Okay – so your time with me might not feel “easier” because it is my job to modify, alter, tweak and adjust your workouts so that you meet your goals and stay challenge. BUT – the rest of the time that I am not with you, your days, your workouts, your sleep, your life – they all get easier.