Monthly Archives: April 2015

Getting Started – Week 1

So you’ve gotten your prep work all finished and you’re ready to start. Let’s do this! You’re ready to rock the workouts, put in the work and get it done. And I’m sitting here cheering you on. Now for some of the things you can expect during that first week…

You’ll sweat. A lot! If you’re not used to working out or any type of structured activity and have been mostly sedentary, the exertion will likely make you sweat. I like to think of sweat as fat crying. Sweat is a product of raising your heart rate and your core body temperature through exertion and hard work to retrain the way your muscles and body move. It is a measure and visible proof that you’ve been active, done the work, and are putting in the effort needed.

You may be sore. Let’s face it, when we use muscles we aren’t used to and push ourselves further than we are used to we make the muscles work. Those muscles begin to change their form and that can lead to tenderness and soreness. At first it will hurt. Some days you’ll even consider taking a Tylenol or Motrin to help ease the soreness. That’s perfectly okay. Long soaks in a warm bath with epsom salts also helps. As does massage and foam rolling. Show those muscles some love when you are done. But for heavens sake, make sure you are properly warming up and cooling down before and after your workouts to ensure you are showing those muscles all the love they deserve. Let me repeat that. DO NOT workout cold. Stretch. Both before and after. It helps to get the synovial fluid moving to coat and protect your joints, it helps to move along the proteins in your muscles, and helps to fight soreness and injury.

Remember that you are working for change. You are working towards goals and for results. And you are working to feel better. It takes time, consistency and effort. You can do it. Don’t quit before you start. Don’t quit just after you start. Stick with it, I promise you’ll see the results and feel better. It is just sometimes a slow moving boulder. You have to first push that boulder up the hill to watch it roll down and pick up momentum. Think of these first few weeks as pushing that boulder up the hill. You’ll reach that pinnacle and see the top soon enough. You can do it.

And remember, I’m here cheering you on. And always a message or email away if you’re working with me to find those results. I want to help you. I want to see you succeed. And not for me. I want to see you succeed for YOU! Remember, you are why you are doing this. I am just another tool in that tool box to help ensure your success. Let’s do this!

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Getting Started – Week 0

Week 0 is the week that we plan out menus, start prepping meals and groceries for the week(s) ahead, and go over the guides for the workout program you are dedicated to doing. If there is a video/DVD with “how to” for the different moves/forms this is the week to watch it a couple of times. Maybe even try out the moves with the instruction on your screen.

Knowing HOW to do the moves is vital to keeping yourself from getting hurt once you start. Having the right equipment and everything your program requires before you start also helps prepare you for success. You can look at it with a couple of sayings or anachronisms.

The first is to be like a Boy Scout and always be prepared. (No, we’re not all boys or scouts, but the adage fits.) Be prepared before you start and be prepared for eventualities that will come up and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

The second is one I learned from the Military, the 5 (or 6 depending on how you count and write it out) P’s – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Much like “be prepared” this one reminds us to plan ahead so we can kick butt and take names. Knowing what we’re doing, before we’re doing it, and being ready to get it done makes things so much less stressful.

This is the big reason all of the Beachbody programs come with schedules and meal plans and guides. They give you the tools to set you up for success. You just have to sit down, research, plan, follow through, and push yourself to your success. Heck, even the Beachbody website has a section to schedule all of your workouts and gives you the ability to log and track your workouts. That accountability is huge. It also has a section for helping plan meals and many ideas for the meal plans for each workout.

Some of the meal plans aren’t as concrete as others, and this is where the research and planning comes in on your part. With 21 Day Fix, I was given a guide of what to eat, how to portion it out, and I sat down and made the menu based on those guidelines. It took a bit of time, and creativity, and a good bit of planning, but I got it done.

You can too. It sounds pithy to say if I can do it, so can you. But honestly, it’s true. With dedication and work, you CAN do it. That’s why you committed to change isn’t it? You want to see those changes and are finally ready to take the steps to make it happen. So stop doubting and trust that you can do it. And believe that I am here to help you. It is why I am a coach. To help others find their fit, find their groove, and help when you get stuck or need more information.

What steps have you taken to achieve those goals today?

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Getting Started – You’ve Chosen, Now What?

We’ve worked to get your program figured out. We’ve created your Beachbody account and have you signed up and ready to start there. You’ve ordered your program and are waiting for it to get to you. What do you do now?

While you wait for the workout program to get to you (if you haven’t decided to add Beachbody on Demand to your access to have it online as well as DVD), the time is now to start prepping your nutrition and meal plan. While each workout has suggested meal plans and recipes, Beachbody itself has a very good Menu Planning system to help you figure out recipes and entire menus based on different activity levels and caloric intake suggestions, as well as many different dietary restrictions.

Why am I discussing meal plans and nutrition so strongly today? Because a large part of the success of ANY exercise program is diet. You can’t expect to have a six pack of abs while eating crap. The work you do in the gym or to those workout DVDs is only truly effective when you eat the proper foods to fuel your workouts.

Food is fuel, not a crutch. It, much as the decision to workout, requires a change in mindset. You have to look at it positively and commit to changing the way you view food. You have to eat healthy, nutrient rich foods to fuel the changes you seek to make. And you have to eat smaller portions, and more often. I eat 6 small meals evenly spaced throughout the day so that I can keep from letting my blood sugar drop. But I also listen to my body. Listening to what my body needs, and if I need to eat something between a snack, I go for something healthy. Healthy can still be tasty, and tasty can be healthy. You just have to get past going for the easy, the quick, and the processed.

You can do it. And guess what. Yep, I’m still here to help you figure out meal ideas, not just the workouts. I want you to succeed. 🙂 So get up, get active. And make that change. It starts with you!

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Getting Started – Choosing a Program

Last week I discussed motivation, why I chose to get healthier now. Why I chose fitness, how I keep myself motivated, why I want to help others. I figure this week, we’ll focus on just how we get started once we’ve decided we need to make a change.

You know you want to get healthier, you know you need to make a change. How do you decide what will work best for you? Do you need someone to help you figure it all out? Yes and no. If you are truly motivated you can go out and test drive a bunch of different programs, join a gym, what have you, and play until you find what works. Or, this is where I come in. We sit down and talk about what your goals are, what your time table for change is, what your daily commitment can and will be, what your dietary concerns are, and make a game plan. Then we work together to make that happen.

There are a host of workouts and programs offered by Beachbody, so it is is absolutely possible to customize and find something that will work for you! There is a family of supplements, as well as meal replacement shakes that can help kickstart your body and nutrition to help you move forward and supplement your workouts. We have workouts that are fun, serious, and everything in between. The trainers who lead the workouts are all motivating and there on the screen to help you move and find the form you need to get the workouts done safely and without hurting yourself.

I can honestly say, as well, that I have done many of the workout programs, or at least a couple of workouts from each programs (though there are a few that I haven’t tried yet because I don’t feel my fitness is on a level to test drive them yet). But those programs I have yet to complete, I do know those who have. So if I don’t know the answers to your questions, I know who to turn to help make the right decisions for YOU.

When I agree to help you, I’m here to help find what works for YOU! I am also here to help you every step of the way. I will listen to your concerns, will cheer your successes, and wipe your tears when you feel you’ve failed and need picked back up. I am here to coach you across the finish line, and celebrate every success you make right beside you.

So, are you ready to make that commitment? Are you ready to move forward and find the happier and healthier you? Have you gotten up and gotten active today? Have you changed your nutrition to support those movements and changes? If so, drop me a message. Let me help you move forward!

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Motivation – Making it Stick

Okay, so you’ve chosen your workout routine, you’ve committed to changing the way you eat and approach fitness. You’ve decided you want to make the change. Now what?

Now comes the easier part. Part of me wants to say it’s really the easy part. Deciding to make the change was the hardest decision. Purchasing the program or finding the program and committing to it a tad easier. Getting up and doing the work, well that’s just following through so should in some ways be a bit easier. Though I can totally see where it is still a challenge, and not truly “easy” until you get set in the routine.

So what do you to to make it stick? You get up every day and use the tips and tricks I’ve discussed this week. You work every morning to change your mind set to a more positive one. Reminding yourself that you can do this and why you are making the change. You fight to change the negative self-talk to a more positive mind set and remove the harsh words and harsh talk. You get up every day and eat healthier, prepping meals and snacks for the day and taking them with you when you know you won’t be home. You eat from the meal plan and menu guide you’ve created and dedicated to help you achieve your goals. And you press play every single day. You get up and get active, doing the workout or going for that walk, dancing to the songs on the radio. Whatever that activity you’ve agreed to commit to.

Will there be bumps in the road? Absolutely. It wouldn’t be life if we weren’t presented with challenges to overcome. But that is what they are. Challenges and tests to make sure you REALLY want this change. I’ve heard it said that anything worth having is worth fighting for. Are YOU worth the fight? Abso-freaking-lutely! You are the perfect you that the Universe created, and you are doing the work to make you the best you that you can be. Yes, there was a lot of “you” in that last sentence. Because in the end, this is YOUR journey. Own your successes. Own your “failures”. Own every single step on this path. Because at the end of the day, the only person you are absolutely, truly, 100% accountable to you YOU!

Yes, you have friends, family and acquaintances supporting you and cheering you along. But in the end, it is YOU that you see in the mirror every morning when you wake and every night before you go to sleep. You are the voice in your head determining just how far you are going to push and just what goals you want to achieve. Myself and all of those others cheering you on are merely the support staff on this journey that is your life.

We care, we support you. But you are the one doing the hard work and making the hard decisions. Do we think you’re worth it? Absolutely. So take our support, our help, and our belief in you and make it work FOR YOU! You can do it. And when it gets hard, ask and we’ll give you that support and that hand up to make your goals a reality. But we can only help and bolster you if you first make those steps to take this journey and truly make it yours.

Are you ready to get up and do it? Are you ready to make YOU a priority? If so, ask me how. I’m here. I’ll listen and work with you to find what works for YOU and support you every step of the way. Why? Because I want you to find your healthy, your fit, but most importantly your HAPPY! You can do it! I believe in you.

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Motivation – Remove “I can’t”

Instead of saying “I can’t do this workout for whatever excuse” say “I currently struggle with this exercise because I’m new to it!” Keeping ourselves motivated is all about the positive self talk, and kicking the negative self talk to the curb. Is it easy? Heck no. Is it worth it? HECK YEA!

It is true that we are our own worst critics, but it also true that a large part of our workouts are mental. Our minds will give up long before our bodies will. The trick is learning to listen to our body and trusting it to take itself to its limits and just beyond safely and turning the chatter off. We can easily talk ourselves out of a workout, trust me. I’ve discussed that already this week. But our bodies crave that activity. The body actually thrives on it. Have you ever noticed how much more you can do, how much easier things come to you, when you get up and are active more often?

When our bodies get used to more activity, the sore at the beginning begins to wear off and we are able to create new limits and new goals. It is important to our health to get up and get active and fuel our bodies. Yes part of that fuel is nutrition, but another big part is our fitness and activity levels. Muscle and strength keep us going where inactivity and atrophy keep us back.

My challenge for you today is to work on that negative self talk. Find an affirmation (either online, in a book or even write one for yourself) that helps to motivate you and keep you going. Find something that encourages you when your mind wants to quit. Then place it somewhere prominent. By your computer, on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, on the front door. Where ever you will see it often. And use it to keep you going. Use it to help form your goals and stick to them.

Once you have that affirmation, get up and get active. Get up and do something for 30 minutes. Your body, your mind, and your mood will thank you! You’ve got this. And I’m here, cheering you on! Happy Saturday all.

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Motivation – Is failure ever a success?

I know, you’re wondering, how on Earth could failure EVER be considered a success? Doesn’t failure mean I failed? In what twisted world could that be a good thing? Well, that all depends on the “failure” you are speaking of.

Having a cheat meal or a treat now and then won’t kill you. Honestly. It is a temporary derailment from your healthy eating path, but it won’t completely sabotage and destroy you if you approach it the right way. We all come upon situations where a less than healthy meal or treat tempts us – that slice of cake at the birthday party, a slice of pie at the family Thanksgiving meal, a couple of cookies at the holidays. They are treats, not failures. So long as they are viewed as treats and don’t become the start of a total backslide, it isn’t a total failure. Just a temporary failure of the eating plan. Dust yourself off and get right back on the wagon with your next meal.

When approaching your workouts, “muscle failure” is actually a GREAT for you failure. It means you have pushed yourself with the weights or reps of an exercise to the point that your muscles have given their all and one more rep just isn’t possible. It means you’ve found your wall, pushed past that sticking point, and made it to the top. Many trainers would rather you fail at 8-10 reps with heavier weights, than see you breeze through 12-15 reps and get no real benefit and result with lower weights. That doesn’t mean go out and push to a heavier weight just because you want to reach that failure. You build up to it. Slowly and steadily. You build yourself up to tear down those walls. But when you reach that 8th or 10th rep and you are shaking and just can’t go forward to finish the set, that failure is a real success. You are working. It is a beautiful thing.

Failure really is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, our strengths, our limits, and learn to work past them. They are a wall we have to scale. They set the bench mark for us to work towards and past. After all, how are we to truly appreciate our successes if we didn’t first fail to know what it felt like and to learn what we needed to achieve next? I say appreciate and embrace the “failures”. Use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Let them help you push further forward. Only then will you be accessing your full potential. Only then will you appreciate the successes and really, truly be able to celebrate them.

I hope you get out there and find your successes today. Feel free to fail. I won’t think any less of you. I promise!

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Motivation – “But I don’t Wanna…”

I was talking to a dear friend last night and asked “what would you like to see me write about?” Her response? “What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?”

This one is not always an easy answer or solution. It quite honestly can change with the day or my mood. Some days it’s as simple as putting on some peppy music and getting myself into the right frame of mind. Others it is telling myself to just go start and give it 10 minutes, if I’m not feeling it by that point I give myself permission to pause or stop the workout and come back to it later. Other times, I have to play Drill Sergeant and just force myself to go get it done.

Why force myself? Because I know I will be happier when I’m done. I’ll feel better and I’ll have accomplished something when my mind told me I couldn’t or wouldn’t. It’s not a perfect solution, and doesn’t always work. But some days it’s all I’ve got.

I admit I push and drive myself harder than many. It’s not because I have to, but because I want to. I’ve shared my why and why not, and touched on more this week. My workouts fuel my mind, body, and even my soul to make me a stronger, happier, and healthier version of myself. Someone I can be proud of. Getting that workout done, when I didn’t want to at the start? That’s something I can be proud of. Because I overcame an inner demon. I silenced that negative voice and proved it wrong.

I saw a great quote earlier this week on Facebook in one of my Fitness Accountability Groups. “Replace ‘I can’t’ with ‘I don’t'”. It was in reference to helping yourself overcome bad eating habits, but I think it definitely fits in this situation. Most days when we don’t want to work out, it isn’t because we physically can’t, it is more “I don’t want to right now because I want to do (insert distraction here)”. So, I think instead of saying “I can’t workout now because of (insert distraction)” say “I don’t want to let (insert distraction) keep me from achieving my goals so I will make the time/effort to get that workout in!”

I wonder, what do YOU do to motivate yourself and go do that workout when you don’t want to? Did you know that it is easy to do workouts even while watching TV? How about next time a commercial break comes up, you try doing rounds of 3 or 4 different workouts to work your abs. Just turn thee volume down/mute it and knock out a few things to work the body. Do some tricep dips on the edge of your chair/couch, do some crunches, and maybe even some lunges or squats. That right there, with 30 second reps for each, works 3 of the biggest desired muscle groups. And would take care of 3 or 4 commercials, leaving plenty of time to get back to the show when it comes back from its break.

I admit, the commercials idea, I borrowed that from Tony Horton (the creator of P90X). (In case you’re curious, you can see the video I’m referencing here.) No, I really don’t see him as one to watch a lot of TV, but he posted a video a few months back where he was showing workouts to do during commercial breaks. And what he said made sense. It also reminds me that one 30 minute show on TV, that’s the time it takes to do 1 21 Day Fix workout. Is it more important to watch something mind numbing on TV that I really don’t care about? Or to get up and get in 30 minutes of activity and to raise my heart rate to take care of me? Me? I choose the body. It’ll take care of me long after that TV show is no longer running unless in syndication.

I challenge you to give up just 1 30-minute TV show today to get in 30 minutes or activity. Or if you really “can’t” give up that show, open up a workout channel on YouTube on your computer and do that while you watch the show. Just get up and do SOMETHING! Turn the “I can’t” “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” into “I can” “I will” and “I want to!” Your body, your mind, your health, and your future self will thank you for it in the long run. As for me? I’ll be here, cheering you on while I sweat to my own workouts. 🙂

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Motivation: 30-60-90

What exactly does 30-60-90 mean when it comes to workouts? If you are part of accountability groups on Facebook or around trainers and coaches often enough you’ll hear this phrase at some point.

30 – It takes 30 days for you yourself to truly see results of your hard work? That’s 30 days of consistent hard work, clean eating, and sticking to your program. That means putting down the not so healthy, the processed, the sugar and salt laden foods. You know, the ones with a laundry list of ingredients you can’t even pronounce? Yea, those really aren’t all that good for you. So, when you cut them out and are consistently working on your health and fitness for 30 days, YOU see and feel the difference.

60 – You know that change you are seeing and feeling? Yea, by day 60, your FAMILY is starting to see it as well. Your hard work and dedication are paying off. You’re feeling better, and those closest to you are seeing it too. Heck, you might even be inspiring them to get up and make changes as well. Or, if you’re like me, you’re making the changes for them as you’re prepping their meals when you make your own and they are eating healthier along with you because that is what is in the house. (Yes, the kids may complain, but over time, and in the long run, they will really thank you for it!)

90 – By day 90, the rest of the world is seeing your results. They are seeing your changes. That hard work, dedication and the sweat and maybe even tears are showing real results. You are a force to be seen and heard, and you are inspiring others. They are asking you what you’re doing and what they can do to see the same results. Or at least similar results.

That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t see results sooner than that 30, 60 or even 90 days. No. What that means is by that 90 day mark, those new healthy habits are no longer habits. They are a way of life. They are sustainable. They are your way of life, not a fad diet. Not a get skinny quick scheme you saw on late night TV or the internet. It is, instead, habits and routines that sustain and enrich your life and are a part of your daily routine. They don’t define you, but they define a happier and healthier lifestyle that you enjoy doing. Even when the workouts are hard and you are wiped out afterwards. You begin to look forward to those times. It sounds silly, and you poo poo it now, but I bet you you start to enjoy it. Do you know why? Those endorphins your body releases as a result of a really good workout. They promote happy. They promote good moods. They make your body and your mind feel better. They create BALANCE! And they do it naturally.

So my question for you is this. What are YOU doing to find that natural happy? What are you doing to get the notice 30, 60 or 90 days from now? Have you committed to making that change yet? I believe in you and know you can do it. I’m here cheering you on. Let’s do this!

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Motivation – More about my why…

If you noticed at the end of yesterday’s post, I shared my before and after photos for the last round of 21 Day Fix. I posted Sunday I had lost 3 inches total from the round, but when I look at the pictures I don’t know that I see it all that well. Maybe I could have chosen different pics. I don’t know.

You’ll also notice I didn’t share my face. Who I am isn’t wrapped up in the mirror, and I’m not in this for recognition. I want to help others. So I may share my results and the occasional picture, but is seeing “me” really that important? I would hope my words and actions speak more than seeing me when I’m sweaty and red from a workout.

You see, I workout because I enjoy how I feel after, and the results that I see. I share because I hope to inspire others to get up and move. To get up and get healthy. To find their motivation and why for healing their bodies and finding longevity through healthy eating and activity.

But I also hope to heal myself and overcome my own difficulties. I have asthma, severe allergies (food and environmental) and have broken quite a few bones in my youth. So I DO modify my workouts. Not because I can’t do the workouts as they are unmodified (though sometimes that is the case), I modify because I want to make sure my body cooperates and doesn’t always support what my heart says I want to do.

Knowing ourselves is the first step in being able to find our health. Knowing ourselves is vital in overcoming the hurdles we put on ourselves. Asking medical advice before beginning anything – be it exercise or menu changes – is a very good idea. They know your health and limitations as well. And they can help you make informed decisions into what is best for YOU. So, feel free to ask me for advice and help. I’ll gladly help find what will work for you. But also exercise a bit of caution and ask your Doctor before you begin. Just in case.

Now, have you gotten active? My activity today was Upper Fix and 10 Minute Fix for Abs (both from 21 Day Fix). I admit that the Abs disk was a bit more of a butt kicker than I was ready for. But I got MOST of it done. I was interrupted by a face full of Cheeze-Its thanks to the Toddler.

So, if you haven’t gotten active today, get up and find your fit. Dance, go for a brisk walk, just do something. You can do it!

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