A few weeks ago, a few friends and I went for a hike. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we were excited to be on a new trail. We had an idea of where we were going and which trails we needed to follow in order to get us to where we wanted to go. We took a picture of the map so we could have it on our phones and started out. It was about a nine-mile hike, and we were confident of our ability to read a map and follow the trail markers! All was well as we hiked and enjoyed the scenery and the company of each other. We took a little detour down to the lake and basked in the warmth and sunshine. We contineud to follow our signs and our trail markers and arrived at the point where we would take a different trail to get us back to our car. It was a place where several trails crossed and one could choose to go right or left. We knew according to our map that we needed to go right and that is what the trail markers indicated, as well. We turned right and began the trek back. Well, we began climbing and climbing and a few began to get concerned that we shouldn't be climbing in order to get back to our vehicle. I was confident we were going the right way because we were following the correct trail markers and had turned on to the trail with the name we were looking for. Because of that little bit of doubt, we stopped a few times to check our maps and the trail names. We knew according to all the facts that we were on the right path; however, the difficulty of the climb was causing doubt because it didn't make sense to some that we would be climbing at that part of the trail.
This made me think of how we are with our goals and things we want to achieve. We set the goal and we know where we want to go. We start out and all is well. There's sunshine - there's food - there's laughter - everything is going our way and the path seems smooth. As we get farther and farther on our journey, that is when the difficulties usually start happening. Challenges arise - the path gets steeper - and that is when doubt and discouragement comes in. We begin to wonder if we are on the right path - we begin to doubt that we will ever get to our goal and see success. And many people simply give up at this point.
When things get difficult on your journey towards your goals, that is not the time to quit!!!! That is the time to dig deep, gather your strength and be confident in what you set out to do. Distractions will come - you will see other paths and other trails and will consider trying one of those to get you to your goal - but don't do it. Don't give up just because the trail gets challenging and becomes difficult to climb. When that happens, it usually means that you are almost to the top or almost to your destination.
We did continue on the trail and trusted the map and the trail markers and we did make it to our cars. And, so will you! Just keep going!!!
I receive so many questions in regards to my health and wellness coaching, so I decided to answer the questions in one place and then refer to it as a resource. I want to explain what it is, what it isn't and what you should look for when hiring a coach.
Health and wellness coaching is a research-based process that supports and empowers people to make the changes they are wanting to make in their lives. Through the coaching process, people can better understand any barriers they may have in attaining their goals. Coaches will work alongside you, support you, partner with you, and hold you accountable for the action plans you put into place. Coaches listen deeply to your concerns and are non-biased and non-partial. They will help you move forward from where you are now to the places you want to be. Health and Wellness coaches will help you explore your dreams and goals and work with you.
The coach's role is to help guide and facilitate the coaching process. You are the expert on you and the coach's job is to help you discover what actions and learning tools you need to move you forward to achieve long-term and short-term goals and experience positive behavior changes. Coaching is not counseling or therapy. It is about determining goals to work on and designing action plans to accomplish those goals. It is about building a healthier future and not reflecting on the past.
Typically, sessions are 30-60 minutes long and take place over the phone or in an office. Most people hire health and wellness coaches to help them with setting health-enhancing goals, discussing obstacles to adhering to wellness goals, and then receiving support and having accountability to adhere to wellness goals. Coaches do not prescribe diets - they do not recommend supplements - they do not sell you workout DVDs nor do they give you a fitness routine to follow.
The coach should have a degree or an accredited license from a recognized coaching training progam, such as, the International Coach Federation. There are many people out there calling themselves "coaches" but have no recognized training. This term is used quite loosely with many multi-level marketing programs who sell supplements. It's important that people know the difference and ask questions.
I am currently working on my Master's in Health & Wellness Coaching with an emphasis on nutrition through Maryland University of Integrative Health. I also plan to take the national certification for health and wellness coaches in the US. The National Consortium for Credentialing of Health & Wellness Coaches and the National Board of Medical Examiners just signed an agreement for the launch of this national certification in early 2017. This will make certain that the education standards are met and professional practice guidelines are set for the field of health and wellness coaching.
In my 15 years of being in the fitness industry, I have observed that the greater percentage of people struggle with attaining their health and wellness goals...and this isn't because they fail to workout. I've had faithful clients and class participants whom train hard and train consistently. However, it's the choices and actions in the other 23 hours of the day that bring the obstacles and hinder them from meeting their goals. This is why I decided to go back to school and pursue my degree in health and wellness coaching.
So, my friends, this defines what coaching is, what it isn't, and gives some guidelines about what you should look for if you decide to hire a health and wellness coach. If you feel like you're stuck or if you've realized that the year is almost half over and you are no where near your goals for 2016, maybe you should consider hiring a health and wellness coach. Try it for at least seven sessions. What have you got to lose?
The time of year is upon us when we want to open the windows and allow the fresh air and sunshine into our homes that have been closed up all winter. This is one of my favorite times of year as I spend an entire day cleaning out closets, drawers, files and moving furniture to clean all the cracks and crevices. I love the smell of a freshly-cleaned house!!! I also enjoy getting rid of things and clothing that just add clutter to my space. If I haven't used them in a year or worn them in a year, they leave the house. It always makes me feel 10 pounds lighter when I get rid of papers, clothes, shoes, etc. that I don't use or need. I usually set aside one entire day to have this annual purge. I also like to spring clean my body. So, on the day that I have determined to be "Spring Clean Day," I will make sure I have fresh veggies, fruits, seeds and nuts in the house and will juice twice that day and snack on nuts and seeds. I will drink lots of water with fresh lemon and herbal teas and will make a big salad for dinner. I feel that taking one day to eat raw foods is vital to my health and wellbeing. At the end of the long day of purging, I will make a foot bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oil and soak my feet for 40 minutes while sipping hot tea and reading a book that I haven't had time to read. Fresh flowers in vases, essential oil in the diffuser, and fresh bedding on the bed add to the festive mood of welcoming Spring and renewal and life into my home. If this isn't something you usually do, I highly recommend that you try it out. Just maybe it will become a spring ritual for you just like it has become one for me. You may even want to make it an entire weekend and allow one day to be spent at a spa getting a facial, massage, pedicure and manicure. A way to get rid of the old "skin" of winter and allow the fresh layer to shine and welcome spring! Do you have your own spring cleaning ritual that you do? I would love to hear about it - I am always looking for things to add to my day and weekend of welcoming Spring into my home. Here's to Spring and all of the hope it brings us!
This blog is being written in response to a client telling me how she went clothes shopping and got so depressed because she couldn't fit in the size that she is wanting to be her goal size. She's putting in the work - making good choices with her food and drinks, doing workouts, losing inches and losing pounds; however, this one shopping trip was making her want to just give up and stop trying because she wasn't in her goal size yet. My response was don't look at the tags....find clothes that you like, clothes that look fabulous on you, and clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Buy them, take them home, and CUT OUT THE TAGS. We are more than a number on a tag inside our clothes. We are more than a number on the scale. The way we look - the way we feel - who we are - how we treat people - the impact we are making in our circle, in our community, in our world - those are the things that define us..NOT a number on a tag inside an article of clothing. We all need to remember that most people cannot take an article of clothing off the rack and it be tailor-made for us...especially at today's low prices. And let's not forget that a small for one clothing brand is not the same as a small for another clothing brand. I guarantee you that you could get 10 articles of clothing from different brands that are all labeled a size 10 and they will all fit a person differently. I refuse for a label to determine how I feel about myself. I make good food and drink choices 90% of the time; I work out consistently; and I maintain a weight that is good for my body. I fuel my body to help it run efficiently and effectively and make choices that will support my health and wellbeing. These are the things that are important.....not what is on the tag on our clothing. My advice is to cut those tags out of your clothing...just cut it out. If a number is going to mess with your mental wellbeing and emotional wellbeing and make you want to stop moving forwards towards your goals of being healthy, then remove the numbers. Now I do know that a result of making good choices will show up in lost inches, pounds, and smaller-sized clothing and I am all about people going in the right direction in losing weight. What I do not like is our tendency to allow a clothing size to mess with our brains, emotions, and cause us to go eat a pint of our favortie ice cream!!! Buy the clothes you like, cut the tags out and keep moving towards your goal.
've been in the fitness industry since 2001 and have worked with so many people in regards to health, fitness, and food goals. One thing I've discovered is that everyone has a general statement as to why they want a person trainer or why they are coming to fitness classes. Usually the statements are: I want to lose weight. I want to get skinny. I want to fit in my wedding dress. I want to look good for my high school reunion. And I always tell them those statements are not acceptable and are not going to get the job done. What happens when you lose weight? What happens after you fit into your wedding dress? What happens after the high school reunion?
Those statements are not a big enough "WHY". Since the beginning of the year, I've read many things and heard many people talk about finding your "why". And it is so true! You have to discover the "why" that is going to be big enough and strong enough to make choosing a healthy lifestyle a priority in your life.
Here are some "why" statements that create a bigger picture and have really helped some of my clients choose health and wellness over cheeseburgers and french fries: I want to live a life symptom-free of the disease that runs in my family. I want to be able to get down on the floor and play with my grandchildren and take them to the park and be the most fun grandmother that I can be. I want to be the first one in my family to run break the obesity curse. I want to present my body as a living sacrifice to the One who created me and I want to do my part to keep it whole and healthy by choosing the things that He created for my body to run at its optimum health. I want to be a successful entrepreneur and have the energy and health to see it succeed to a Fortune 500 company.
Do you have a "why" for the goals you have set for this year? Maybe you want to take some time this weekend and figure out your why. When you have your why, the what and the how will be easy.
And, maybe you need someone to be accountable to - a person that will give you daily encouragement, motivation, and accountability via text and who will talk to you once a week on the phone. As a health and wellness coach that is what I offer my online clients. Some clients like one-hour coaching sessions via the phone once a week and some just want thirty minutes. Maybe you have never even considered having a coach? Maybe it's something that can help you succeed in 2016 smile emoticon If this is something that may interest you, send me an email at email@example.com.
Sometimes you just need that person in your corner reminding you of your why and holding your hand through the bumpy times. I know that I have definitely needed that before and will probably need it again in the future. Two is better than one!
I you will all consider and decide what your why is and then start applying it and seeing your dreams come true and your goals achieved!
Thanksgiving to me is time spend with loved ones. Thanksgiving is always celebrated with family and then we add friends into the mix, too. My mom has spoiled us all by getting up early and filling the house with the aroma of food being prepped for the turkey and the stuffing. For several years, my sis, nieces and I have participated in the Y’s 5k Turkey Trot - it’s always a great morning spent in the brisk, fresh air mingling with friends and acquaintances from the community. Our table is always set with grandmother’s china and silverware - once the table is filled with all of Mom’s homemade goodness, it truly could be on the cover of a magazine. We all give personal thanks before Dad says the prayer. Then, let the conversation and the eating begin! We all help to clean up and then will spend the rest of the day looking at sales papers, playing games, watching a Christmas movie and just enjoying one another’s company. Of course, we will have seconds on the fabulous food later in the evening! This year, I’ve had friends whom have had to say “goodbye” to loved one so I’m very aware that time is precious that is spent with our loved ones. We never know what tomorrow holds, so it is so important to live in the moment and forget all the small stuff and focus on what is valuable and meaningful and what will last. I also was deathly ill almost the entire month of July and couldn’t eat. So, this year, I am so grateful for health and being able to enjoy food. With all that is going on in our world and now knowing what tomorrow holds, I am grateful for the freedom to travel and have food on the table with a roof over my head with heat, electricity, and running water. I am thankful that I have learned to look at what I have and not what I do not have and that I have learned how to be content. I learned that from my mother growing up - she always referred to Philippians 4:11-13. This is the Amplified Version:
11 Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. 12 I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. 13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
It is my hope that you will have moments of contentment this Thanksgiving season and that a heart of gratitude will overflow as you look at what you have and know that you have been blessed. I am grateful for each one of you!
Fitness Specialist, Health & Wellness Coach
Halloween is Saturday, and candy will be all around us! It's okay to indulge in some sweetness in moderation - just make sure you offset it with a great workout! Since pumpkins are everywhere and you probably have a few on your porch, grab one and use it in this workout!
Warm-up for 3-5 minutes by walking, using a jump rope, doing some jumping jacks - then pick up the pumpkin and get busy!!! Do the moves for 30 seconds and do the circuit three times!
Pumpkin Pushup: On your knees or toes, hands on the pumpkin, and go!
Goblet Squat: Hold the pumpkin at chest height, sink into your squat, stand and push the pumpkin overhead, repeat.
Side Lunge: Feet together while holding pumpkin at chest height, step left foot out to side and take pumpkin to the ground beside your left foot while lunging, return to center and repeat on right side.
Overhead Triceps Extension: Stand while holding pumpkin overhead, bend arms to take pumpkin between shoulder blades and then straighten arms.
Twisting Lunge: Hold pumpkin straight out in front of you, lunge left leg forward and rotate to left side, return to center, lunge right leg forard and rotate to right side, return to center, repeat.
Sit-Up: Lie on ground, with legs bent, and arms overhead holding pumpkin, sit-up and bring pumpkin to knees.
Sumo Squat: Toes and knees angled out, pumpkin on ground between feet, squat into sumo squat, pick up pumpkin and stand back up. Squat into sumo squat and place pumpkin back on ground, stand up. Repeat.
Sit-up to toes: On the ground, legs up in the air, arms overhead holding pumpkin, crunch while bringing pumpkin towards your toes.
Uneven Pushup: On knees or toes, one hand on the pumpkin, one hand on the ground, do a pushup, then switch hands.
V sit and twist: Sit on ground and lean back so abs engage. Back should be flat and diagonal from the ground, starting at the tailbone and continuing straight through the spine, long through the neck and up the crown of the head. Make it harder by lifting the feet up to tabletop. Lower pumpkin to right hip then lift overhead and lower to left hip for one rep. Repeat.
Upper Back Row: Hold pumpkin and hinge at hips with back flat and knees soft. Extend arms to reach pumpkin towards ground at knee level. Pull the pumpkin in towards your navel and bend elbows up towards ceiling. Lower back towards ground for one rep. Repeat.
Reach and Crunch: Lay on ground and extend arms (holding pumpkin) and legs long so they are a few inches off the ground. Pull the knees in and crunch the shoulders off the ground while reaching the weight towards feet. Return to starting position for one rep. Repeat.
Pumpkin Climbers: Hands on Pumpkin and do mountain climbers.
Have fun playing with the pumpkins!!!
Have you been working out and not seeing the results you want to see?
If you said, yes, then I have a few things for you to try.
The biggest issue for not seeing results is that we overestimate how hard we are working. We go to the gym and get on a treadmill or elliptical and get our 45 minutes in and then leave and go to our favorite coffee shop and get a latte and a muffin. Maybe YOU don't do that, but many people do that. They feel that since they worked out, they can afford to eat and drink that treat.
There's two problems. 1) If you're not getting your heart rate at 60-85% of your maximum heart rate, you're not getting a good calorie burn or working out at the intensity you should be. Also, when you put your age and weight into the little computer, at the end it gives you a number for calories burned. THESE ARE NOT ACCURATE NUMBERS!!!! So, you cannot go by the numbers the treadmill computer tells you. 2) There's at least 600 calories in that latte and muffin (probably more) and you did not burn that many calories in your average workout. Consequently, you are consuming more calories than you are burning; and you may even see weight gain.
An easy way to figure out if you are working out at an intensity high enough to get results is to use the Rating of Perceived Exertion chart (RPE).
0-1 No exertion. You're pretty much just sitting still.
2-3 Light exertion. This is how you should feel during a warm-up or cool down.
4-5 Medium exertion. You're breathing a little faster. Your heart is pumping a little faster. You're feeling a little warmer.
6-7 Moderate exertion. You're breathing pretty hard now, you're probably sweating. You can talk, but it's getting tougher.
8-9 Hard exertion. You're breathing really hard and you can only say a few words at a time. You're wondering how long you can go on like this.
10 Hardest exertion. You can not keep this pace for more than a minute. Speaking is impossible. This is your limit.
During your workouts, you should at least be at 6-7. Strive for 8-9 and once in a while hit the 10. There are various workouts can address these numbers (more on that at another time).
If you want to get more technical, I would suggest buying a heart rate monitor (Polar is a good brand for this) or a fitness tracking device that measures your heart rate. This way you know exactly where your heart rate is. You put in the information for you - your weight, age, gender, etc. so it's more accurate when it gives you the calorie burn when you are done with your workout.
So, if you're not seeing results, don't quit! You may just need to up the intensity and reduce the amount of food and drink you are consuming. Try it and see what happens!!!
This past weekend I was humbled and honored to be part of LTS Master Trainer Summit in Atlanta. It was three days of intense learning and intense workouts as Marc Lebert, Jenn Hall, and Sharon Mann led us in training to become master trainers for LeBoot, LeBarre, and LeHip. Their experience, qualficiations, and expertise was mind boggling....BUT not only were they such an inspiration, there were 39 other fitness professionals there whose talent was out of this world. As we interacted and shared things, I realized I was surrounded by some of the best in our industry. It could have been intimidating to me; however, I realized that the only way I can get better and become stronger at what I do is to surround myself with people like this. When you are surrounded by people who inspire you, challenge you and movitate you, your only choice is to become better at what you do. I definitely feel like I walked away a better instructor, a better personal trainer, a better entrepreneur, and just a better person than what I was prior to our summit. What about you? Do you want to become healthier? Do you want to become stronger? Do you want to become more fit? Do you want to be more positive? Do you want to be more successful???? You may want to check out the people that are closest to you and with whom you spend most of your time. Are they pushing you towards your goals? Or are they holding you back??? I'm not saying to get rid of all of your friends and stop hanging out with your family. I am saying that you need to evaluate how you spend your time and with whom you spend your time. Are you part of a community that supports your goals? Are you part of a team that is going to help you become stronger? I would suggest that you take some time and look at your goals and then evaluate whom you spend most of your time with. If you're the same person you were last year and you aren't any closer to your goals, than maybe it's time to make some changes. Remember, you get to make choices and you want to make those choices count. Choose wisely!
For those of us who live in the South/Southeast, we had a little more snow than usual this winter. So there were quite a few snow days where events were cancelled, businesses didn't open, and we were pretty much confined to our homes. Our first few days hit after the beginning of the year, and I'll admit I got a little antsy. Here I am a fitness professional and wanting to help people on their wellness journeys but we're having to cancel fitness classes because of the snow. AND, it's the beginning of the year when people are really wanting to commit to working out; momentum will decrease quickly especially when everyone is being stuck inside and just sitting and eating. So, those first few snow days, I did not embrace nor welcome the change to my daily scheudle. In fact, I was quite stressed. I dislike being confined to my house and not able to get out and about; furthermore, I don't enjoy just sitting and watching TV or movies. I want to be busy helping people and teaching my classes. I finally had the "aha" moment that being confined to my house was a welcome break in a crazy, hectic shedule and that I needed to learn to just go with the flow and enjoy the time that I was being given to get caught up on some things, read a little more, rest, catch up with some friends via the telephone, and just "BE". By the time our third snow came around and i knew we would be inside for at least a day again, I willingly embraced the day and looked forward to it because I knew that it might be another year before another day like that would come along. As a result of the snow days, I've decided that I need to allow some more rest days into my life because rest brings renewed passion and purpose and it refuels and revives us. May we all learn to just relax a little bit more!