Good morning! It’s the first full week of 2014. So, what are your intentions for today? Even for the week? What do you intend to do versus what will you actually do today? Do you intend to start eating better, maybe change your diet? Do you intend to start a walking/exercise program? How will you accomplish this? This part requires a plan of action and system of positive reinforcement in order to have a successful day, week, month…
So, you want to change your diet. Start by looking in your pantry and refrigerator. Substitute or eliminate one bad icky food for a healthier food every week. Ex: if you are a soda drinker, switch to diet. But if the artificial sweeteners in diet soda scare you, try switching to water. You can flavor it with fruit, cucumbers, mint or lemon. This can save you 150-200 calories per drink/serving.
Another example: if enjoy potato chips, try switching to a baked version. There are several brands that offer this option so you may need to experiment with taste. This swamp can save you around 250 calories per serving.
Now as for starting a walking or exercise program, if you are managing a condition please check with your doctor or primary care provider before starting. Walking is a pretty safe form of exercise, but you will need a few things to get started.
First, you will need shoes to walk in. You also may need a safe place to walk (gym, neighborhood with sidewalks or walking path). Do your research (plan of action). Ask your friends, family and neighbors where they walk (support system). Join a walking group at work. Get your own gym bag (or tote bag). Have it ready the night before with your shoes, socks, workout clothes and water bottle. Maybe even put it in your car the night before (plan of action). I’ve heard so many people tell me they can’t walk today because they forget their shoes. Kinda like when we were kids and our dog ate our homework…
Be aware of the barriers that will keep you from exercising (ex: work, kids schedule, day care issues) and have a plan B in place. You don’t necessarily need a gym to exercise in. If you have a little space in a guest bedroom, you can turn that into your workout center. Turn on some awesome music and DANCE for 10-15 minutes. If you have kids, have a dance-off!
If you live in an apartment complex, does it have a fitness center? Most do have a small fitness center so it can definitely be your primary workout location or plan B.
So, take today or even the next couple of days and seriously think about your intentions and how YOU will act upon them.
Today I intend to win the lotto (hehe!). But, I know I will walk my dog. That’s a sure bet!
May la fuerza be with you in 2014!
I'm not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, so I don't make any. The definition of "Resolution" is as follows:
1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
2. A resolving to do something.
3. A course of action determined or decided on.
I am a fan of setting goals. And I like the definition of the word "Goal":
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2. the terminal point in a race.
3. a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.
4. an area or point toward or into which players of various games attempt to propel a ball or puck to score points.
5. the act of propelling a ball or puck toward or into such an area or object.
6. the score made by achieving this.
You can be resolute and resolve to do something. But you have to follow through, take action in order to accomplish a goal, and see it through until the very end. It's not easy, so start by setting SMART goals.
Your goal needs to be Specific. It must be Measurable. It also has to be Attainable and Realistic. And finally, you must have a Time frame in which to accomplish said goal.
Start small and build up to more challenging goals. Have a plan. Enlist the help of others to help you meet your goal. If your goal is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and you’ve never hiked before, well you might want to start by walking around the block or hitting a local hiking trail. Build from there. Maybe set some mini-goals along the way to the BIG goal. Give yourself time to train and know your limits. Always keep your fitness level in mind during your training and try not to compare yourself to another person.
May the force be with you in 2014!
I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've blogged. Was I really that busy? Anyway, the holiday season is upon us and for some, it is not a joyful or joyous time of year. There may have been a life changing event that occurred or maybe there was a death in the family; making this the first holiday alone or without that special person. Remember to offer a supportive hug and just try to be there for your friend or family member that is going through this holiday season alone.
Nutrition factoid: The average holiday meal contains 4500 calories.
Now, for those of you that are courageous enough to battle the malls and shopping centers, may the force be with you! But if you are at the malls or shopping centers, take a few extra laps to burn off the calories from Thanksgiving Day dinner and the office holiday party! Walking is a great way to cope with stress during the holidays. And finally, remember to appreciate the things you already have!
Happy Holidays! Feliz Navidad! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanza! Merry Christmas!
Today was a very busy and emotionally draining day. An employee reached out to me today in need of help regarding alcoholism. Our office rallied together to help this person. We listened to what the employee said, which directed us to call services/resources through our healthcare plan. Then as I was leaving for my doctor’s appointment, I found an employee on the ground in the parking lot. This employee had stepped off the curb and fell but had managed to call coworkers for help. We all converged at the same time. I remembered that we had a wheel chair in our office so I called my admin and she raced through the parking lot with the wheel chair. Now seeing a 60+ year old woman, pushing a wheel chair through a parking lot at lightning speed was pretty comical. I really needed the laugh by this time. After I returned to the office, I had to put my health concerns on the back burner until my day was over. And let me tell you, the afternoon dragged on and I was not sure how I was going to get through appointments and teaching a yoga class. But as soon as I saw the yoga newbies waiting for me to teach them, I smiled and let go of the stressful day I had just encountered. I slowed down, took a deep breath and was energized by their enthusiasm. Class was amazing. My newbies were amazing. This made me realize that I need to take my mental health breaks. I tell my employees this, but I sometimes forget to do it. I think this is probably common among us working in the fitness industry. So as tired and stressed out as I was, my yoga class was perfectly timed at the end of my work day and ended up being part of my time out. The other part was sitting on a bench at the dog park, watching my dog play chase with her dog mates. Now that puts a smile on my face!
The holidays are over and reality has smacked a lot of people in the waist, butt and other places. It’s time to take back control by making small changes.
The changes you want to make should be SMART: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
For example, if you want to lose weight how are you going to do it? How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to reach this new weight?
Being “specific” about your goal is going to help you reach it. If you do want to lose weight, are you going to makes changes to your diet or are you going to increase physical activity?
How much weight do you want to lose? How much physical activity can you commit too each day? These types of questions are asking you to get to “measure” your level of commitment.
Can you lose weight? Can you commit to working out daily? Is this change you are about to make “attainable”? Is this change you are about to make “realistic”? For example, I want to lose 50lbs by next week is not attainable nor is it realistic. I want to lower my cholesterol level to 199 by tomorrow is also not realistic.
However, I am going to drop my cholesterol level to 199 within 6 months by replacing high fat meat with fish or chicken 4x per week, by increasing my veggie intake and by exercising 30+ minutes every day. This last statement is a SMART goal!
You need to give yourself enough time to reach your goal, but not so much time that it’s not challenging.
So if you are thinking about making some changes, remember to be SMART!
Yup, I ate too much. I tried my hardest NOT too, but I fell off the good eatin' wagon and it ran me over. So today, I got my butt on the stationary bike and the treadmill to warm up before lifting weights. It's a new day. To whoever is reading this blog, do the same. Get back into your routine. Your body will thank you for it.
This morning in the fitness center, I was helping a young lady with her new strength training program. Another fitness center user politely interrupted us to ask why I had her doing "so little sets". At first, I was surprised by his question but I explained that the young lady was a beginner. He then shook his head in agreement and remembered the rule of progression. That interaction triggered this blog comment.
I feel it’s important for experienced exerciser to remember that beginners are truly beginners. Sometimes we have good intentions in helping our friends or family members start an exercise program and we forget the rule of progression. So just remember to encourage a friend or family member, even if all they can do is 4 pushups or 6 squats or elliptical for 2 minutes. That is where they are today but not where they will be tomorrow!
Today while I was waiting to take an airport shuttle, one of the hotel employees asked me what I thought about Cross Fit. We had talked earlier in the week and he knew I was a personal trainer/wellness coach. Before I answered the question, I asked him if he liked doing the Cross Fit workouts. He said yes very enthusiastically. I then answered yes enthusiastically! I told him that as long as he enjoys doing the workouts, that's all that really matters. I explained that people are more likely to stick to a workout they enjoy doing. With the obesity rates on the rise, I just want people to move the junk in their trunk! Who knows what something as simple as walking can lead to....weight loss, fat loss, inches lost, positive body image, and increased self confidence....which could lead to running a 5k. What do you think?
So lately I’ve been really self conscious of my body, and I’ve been struggling with the way my body looks versus how I think it should look. Maybe it’s because of my age (44) or maybe it’s because of the enormous pressure to maintain a certain look with being a personal trainer. Newsflash: I don’t have a 6-pack. I have a pooch, a spare tire, love handles, I have flabby abby. Even at my lightest weight, flabby abby has been with me. Still, after my 20lb weight loss, I’m not comfortable in my new body. And it really isn’t new because I’ve maintained the weight loss now for 4 years. But I still see myself as a chubby girl. I wear loose fitting T-shirts to hide in and baggy shorts or track pants. I feel comfortable and confident in this type of clothing. The other day, one of my clients told me I should wear cute tighter fitting workout clothes and so I did. I put on a racer back style tank top and a pair of tighter fitting shorts. After about 3 minutes of wearing them I wanted to take them off. I even called her to tell her how uncomfortable I felt wearing them. She laughed and told me to keep them on. I did but I just wanted to put on a t-shirt and baggy shorts. Maybe it was my inner tomboy screaming at me; nonetheless, I have body image issues. I know I could get a “procedure” done but I’m not ready for that yet. I was talking about this to one of my girlfriends and her husband over heard our conversation and he said women are meant to have curves. I smiled at him and thanked him for saying that. I wish more men would say that, I wish more magazines would show women with curves and I wish I could embrace my imperfect body. I’m working on it; one day at a time.