It’s About Time You Be You

You probably hate being called “fat”. Or even a little overweight. Well, you know what I hate? I hate being called “skinny”. I hated it back in school and I hated it when I first started working out and was losing too much weight. Yea. There is such a thing. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. No one body type is superior to the other.

Then there is the body sculpted with muscle, and women get criticized, “it looks too manly”, “gross” and “unnatural”.  I remember I encountered a man who told me not to “lift too much more weight, you don’t want to look like a man” or the man who told me to “not lift heavy, I’m a girl…” Ok. Well, I was hurt. What did they know? That’s when I realized no one is ever going to be happy with how I look, so why should I care? I need to do it for me. Do what makes me feel great.  

There are so many diets, exercise techniques, training methods and theories out there; you just have to find what works for your body type, and not what someone else thinks your body type should be.

Find someone you could trust to help you.

I’ve spent my time at both ends of the scale; I never really focused on a “body type” until I got to the gym, and then I kind of let others decide that for me; with their unwanted criticism of course. 

When I first started working out, and hearing people tell me I was “too skinny,” I’d get anxious,  and I’d go on a binge; eating anything and everything. Then I would feel guilty, which made me restrict my calories even more for the next week or so, and workout even more. It took me awhile to discover what I truly wanted to look like and what I needed to do to achieve it. It took me awhile to come into my own skin, and I’m not going to lie and say that I have it all figured out yet. There are some days where I look in the mirror and like what is happening with my body, and then there are times where I want to gain more muscle, or get leaner.

It’s a swinging pendulum and it never stops.

And that’s why I feel it inside and out of me to help other people overcome their “body issues”; their insecurities that make them afraid to walk into a weight room or even a gym because they are afraid people are judging them…

Or that the mirrors that line the walls of every gym make them feel mocked and ridiculed…

Or that “someone” who’s already made you self-conscious of yourself; defined who you ought to be, and now you can no longer see through all that smoke to see just how capable you really are.  

We’ve all been there.

I want everyone to know that you’re in their somewhere; the real you, and everyone else is waiting for you to reveal yourself, and they’re just as scared as you are. It’s your best kept secret and by holding it in, you’re holding yourself back, and allowing everyone else to keep marching on. Without you of course.

There are so many people around you that see your true potential and they may just be threatened. So they make you feel sad. They define you, condemn you, and make you lie awake at night searching for the answers so that you can finally win the battle that is going on inside your head. It’s you versus them. But it’s affecting YOU not THEM. No one else. And it’s time that you made it about you.

It’s time for, YOU versus YOU.  Don’t allow yourself to be someone else; don’t allow yourself to be their reflection in the mirror. It’s all you baby. Let’s do this together.

Perfection Is Quite Ugly

I am sorry, but as a personal trainer, I cannot and will not guarantee that you’ll have an hourglass figure. I can’t promise you that you will have a “coke bottle body” or you won’t lose your breasts once you lose weight. And I’m also not going to lie and tell you that losing weight by “any means necessary” is not going to potentially cause you to have sagging, loose skin, and/or various health problems. I’m not going to advocate for fast weight loss or a quick diet to get you to your “goal weight”.  I don’t believe in a goal weight. We are all different, and your goal weight is when you feel the most energy; when you feel alive inside and out, when your skin is glowing and you’re happy and content.

 The only goals that I believe in are the small steps that provide you with the tools to improve your health and your life. If the side effect of that happens to be fitting into clothes that you never were able to before, then that is a bonus.  

 I am, however, going to keep my promise that you can gain strength, balance, flexibility; and overall the ability to depend on yourself, so when your children are all grown up and move to another state to start their own lives, you won’t feel so alone; you will not ever feel defeated or like giving up. You will have independence, confidence, and a boost in your self esteem as well as pride and love within yourself.

 I will also tell you that it’s the way a person twists their torso at the right angle, in the right lighting, and sometimes with just the right app, that they look “perfect”;  you look at them and see an illusion of  “a perfect body”, “perfect boobs”, “perfect butt,” “perfect abs, hips, legs” etc.

 I’m not going to allow you to believe that cellulite is going to completely vanish overnight. I cannot make those guarantees or promises. I will not lie. What I can and will promise you is through hard work and dedication, and of course sheer determination, you will and can achieve what someone else may call “their perfect body” But you will never be happy. You will probably still ridicule that reflection looking back at you.  

 Did you also know that it’s the way a person flexes in the mirror right before they snap a picture under the right lighting that makes their abs or muscle tone more defined and sculpted?  Sure, it also depends on proper nutrition and exercising, but it’s also genetics, lighting, and quite possibly the latest and coolest app. That may make them look oh so perfect. Or close to it.

 I know, because I am guilty of all of that. I am not yet vulnerable enough to put myself out there in a raw unedited image of myself. I am not comfortable with the cellulite that covers the back of my legs and makes me wince whenever I see a woman posing in a scantily clad bikini with absolutely no cellulite whatsoever. But I do my best, and I am proud of what I have accomplished through changing my eating habits and exercising. No one can ever take that away from me.  

 Perfection is unrealistic, yet so many of us spend so much time damaging and distorting our bodies and ourselves to try and alter our physical appearance, when all it’s really doing is causing us to suffer in silence as we allow it to destroy ourselves emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.

 All in all, perfection is quite ugly.

Who We Are In The Mirror

Who are you?

Do you say that when you look into the mirror? Does your reflection scare you, intimidate you, and make you look away? Maybe it’s the way you think others see you, or maybe it’s just how you envision others will see you.

You know you can change, you know the path, but life keeps steering you off that path and leading you in different directions, making you look in different mirrors, laughing at you through different angles. Eventually the lights become so bright, and you begin to think that if they just go easy on the lights; maybe dim them just a little bit; it wouldn’t even matter who you are, what you look like…you could even be anonymous.

Who we are in the mirror, is just a glimpse of what our insecurities tell us who we are.

A six pack, a flat stomach, doesn’t define you; sculpted shoulders or legs doesn’t create you or make you more valuable. It’s your health, your wisdom and your quirks. Whether you’re neurotic or just like to be free and have a good time, the mirror isn’t going to tell you that. The mirror isn’t going to tell you whether or not you’re healthy or unhealthy. It’s not going to reflect an image that is going to be life altering; life changing.

In that mirror, your reflection doesn’t tell the story that hides behind your eyes; your skin. No. You have to just learn to turn your back to the mirror, turn your back to the scale; remind yourself that a mirror or scale isn’t going to reveal the inside beauty that you have within. No one can tell you what to look like on the inside, only you can control that. You have the power. You are in control. It doesn’t matter if you have loose skin or cellulite; you’re doing the best that you can. Just do me a favor and let the inner beauty that you hold inside of you; the inner beauty that shines right through and captures every single light and makes someone laugh and smile; the beauty that could make a person’s day; just promise me that you’ll take care of that.

Promise me that you will try your best to never allow a poor diet or lack of exercise steal that shine away from you or from others way too soon.

Remember that your inner beauty is more important than your outer beauty, so nurture it and never, ever think that you’re not good enough just because you don’t have flat abs, wear a certain pant size, or look a certain way.

Release any doubts that may be holding you back.

Don’t starve yourself, don’t overindulge all the time, don’t drink excessively, don’t give up on yourself, I’m here for you. I need you. Someone needs you. Anything too extreme or anything deemed unhealthy just dims the light you hold within, and robs you of the life you should be living and it can and will kill you. Eventually. And maybe way too soon.

Diet Wars: 26 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t “Diet”

How we Rationalize our Eating Habits…

We’ve all been there at some point in our life. We start a diet, we’re in the middle of a diet, we‘re in search of a new diet, and we somehow find a way to rationalize our eating habits.

1. I’ll start tomorrow.

2. I just bought all this food, I can’t just let it go to waste; I’ll start tomorrow.

3. I didn’t gain weight from eating that ENTIRE bag of chips last night, and they were really good, so I can probably just eat this bag of chips too…yea, I’ll just start tomorrow.

4.  Beyonce’ was on this all liquid diet and lost like 20 pounds, I’m going to look into starting that sometime in the next few days.

5. It’s freezing outside, I don’t really shave my legs that much in the winter so there’s no real point to staying in shape, besides I can always just start tomorrow. Or next week…

6. That was my cheat meal. I’m entitled to at least one cheat meal per week. I’m on the right track. Tomorrow I’ll get real though.

7. Yesterday was my cheat meal, but that was what I wanted yesterday, not today. So, I can just eat this now and start tomorrow.

8. I’m not going to lose any weight overnight; I might as well wait until next week. Yea, I’ll start at the beginning of next week.

9. Carbohydrates give me lots of energy, I want to lift really heavy in the gym…I’m bulking. I’ll just start next week.

10. I haven’t had any carbs all week, I think I’m fine to eat whatever I want now.

11.The scale tells me I lost a couple of pounds in the past couple of days, I can splurge now. Besides, I’ll just start tomorrow.

12.  I have to go out to eat with my friend, it’s her birthday, I’ll probably have a couple of drinks too…I can just start next week because tomorrow I’ll just have a hangover…

13.  It’s the holidays. I’ll start when they’re over.

14.  I’ve been drinking lots of water and taking a fat loss supplement, I can eat whatever the hell I want. See. I don’t need to actually “diet”.

15.  I’ve been restricting sugar by not eating lots of fruit…I can have these cookies, and a few drinks. Besides, what the hell am I dieting for anyway?

16. I’ve been eating weight watcher frozen meals, and doing lots of cardio, but I still can’t seem to lose this extra fat on my stomach. I give up.

17.  I can eat whatever I want as long as I go to the gym for at least 2-3 hours to do lots of cardio. Screw the diet. What diet?

18.  I’ve been dieting for weeks now and don’t see the results that I’m looking for…I give up. Screw the diet.

19.  The people on the Biggest Loser lose like 20 pounds per week, why can’t I? I give up. Screw the diet. Screw the gym.

20.  The people around me aren’t very supportive of my “diet” they said I’m losing too much weight. They don’t approve. I give up. No diet for me.

21.  Yeah, I’m down to like 900 calories per day, and I can’t seem to lose any more weight. And I have no energy. I give up. No more dieting. Maybe I’ll only eat 1000 calories instead. I’ll let you know how I feel in about a week. Or maybe never…

22.  I’m too busy, I don’t have time to diet. Besides, I only eat once or twice a day anyway. That pizza really isn’t going to kill me.

23.  I can eat this cake, I just won’t eat for the next few days. Ha Ha.

24.  Ihop is running their “all you can eat pancakes” special, I can’t pass that up. “Stack after Stack…”

25.  I also have a coupon for Mcdonald’s…

26.  I can just start tomorrow. No. Really.

This is why I believe it shouldn’t be a “Diet”; it should simply be a “Lifestyle”

22 Facts Personal Trainers Want You To Know

Personal Trainer’s Creed

If you are overweight, your body is already under stress from your own bodyweight. Extreme diets can lead to added stress to the body, which makes you more prone/susceptible to injury etc; you will not be able to function at your best.

Don’t do so much cardio that you wreak more havoc on your body. Doing a ton of long cardio is not going to change you permanently; it’s only going to put more physical and psychological stress on your body in the long run (no pun intended).

Same thing with weights, don’t just train with weights. You do need some cardio to keep your metabolism functioning effectively.

Losing weight slowly is the best way to prevent muscle loss

You’re feelings are warranted. Everyone feels like a failure when they first begin, however, you can’t fail at something you don’t allow ample time to develop. That’s called giving up, not failing.

Everyone has feelings of insecurity.  Comparison is a hard thing to avoid. At least everyone wants to be “that guy” or “that girl”, but you can’t change who you are, you can only change what you think you are You are different. You are you. And most likely someone else is looking at you and wishes they were you too.

Improvement of any kind, that takes time, dedication and lots of hard work, but you can do it.

I believe you when you tell me that it’s impossible to look like “that” because I don’t even know what “that” looks like.  And quite frankly, neither do you.

I will listen to you, laugh with you, and share with you. But when it’s time to workout, it’s time to move your body, not your vocal chords.

I believe you when you tell me that you can’t do it. Obviously, you wouldn’t be standing here looking for a solution. However, if you’re not looking for help and you are saying that, I believe you only because you refuse to allow it to happen. You are the only one stopping yourself from yourself.

Everyone knows how to workout and exercise, but when you look at yourself and are unhappy with what you see, you must make a change. Unfortunately, you tend to call in the entire squat team rather than just the police. Interpretation: you tend to do drastic, unhealthy things to your body.

I know that the only reason why you scoff at my beliefs and passion for fitness and health is simply because you’re not ready for change. But you haven’t admitted that to yourself yet.

I also know that I am never going to convince you, you’re going to have to want it more than I do.

It is not unrealistic to look and feel healthy after you’ve had children, after you turn 30, after you’ve gotten married, or once you establish a career.

I understand that you believe that I am obsessed with working out and eating properly; that I must be nuts, that it’s unrealistic to maintain, or that you think that it gives people a way to have “control” you are wrong. It is a way to fight back and stop the things that have control over you. It’s a way to prevent the things that you fear the most from controlling you; it’s about going out and creating a change.

Exercising and eating healthy is empowering, once you see even the slightest transformation, you feel confident and powerful.

You can lift more than just five lbs. you aren’t going to break. You don’t give yourself enough credit for the empowering, challenging things you have already achieved in your life no matter how big or small.

Always be prepared to fight; don’t wait until you have a battle to win. It’s okay if you don’t win as long you still have the ability to still fight.

Do everything with purpose. Do everything like you mean it. Run with purpose, walk with purpose. Remind yourself that you have purpose.

It’s okay to NOT deprive yourself all of the time.

Group Fitness classes are fun, allow you to practice coordination, balance, and gain strength, but it doesn’t cater to individuality; it’s a one size fits all approach.

It’s not about the money. It’s about you and your transformation.

Losing Your MoJo

I’d much rather hibernate and never leave the house during these cold winter days. And even though it gets dark earlier, it feels like the day is a lot longer. Probably because it’s just so cold, I can’t wait for it to warm up again. This makes finding motivation to go to the gym somewhat difficult. I admire the runners I pass by on the street while in my nice warm car; they seem to find the motivation to run outside no matter what the temperature is; and I wish I could just grab some of it as I pass by them. Maybe just get a small sample of their motivation; find out what exactly their secret truly is. Until then, I will wage a war inside of my head, debating whether or not I should go to the gym and trying to come up with reasons why it would be okay to NOT go to the gym. Fortunately, by the time I get done with my long list of rationalizations, I am ready to walk out the door sports bra, workout pants and my furry winter boots, but the entire time I am driving to the gym, I have my hands on the steering wheel ready to turn around and go back home

Some of the rationalizations I come up with are as follows:

I worked out yesterday, I need a break

I can just go to the gym tomorrow

It’s not going to hurt if I miss one day (which sometimes gets repeated the following day and so on)

I could use the rest, and besides the gym isn’t going anywhere

It’s way too cold outside and by the time I get to the gym, change my shoes etc, I won’t have enough time to workout anyway (even though the gym closes 2 hours after I usually get there)

Blame-shifting: My husband won’t want to workout tonight, he’s had a long day…

I have a lot of other things that need to be done (but then I sit home and watch tv or spend time on facebook) 

I’m tired (I stays home, but don’t t fall asleep until 5 am due to insomnia)

I can do a workout at home (never do workout)

I haven’t seen my kids all day long (stay home and my kids stay in their rooms reading)

I ate like crap today, so what’s the point (except there is always a point!!!)

 

I go through these motions in my head every single day, but I know that they are just excuses/rationalizations, and I know that I will feel better if I just go to the gym, do a workout and then go home.  

So you see, you’re not alone. Everyone has off days; days where they don’t feel like working out or getting dressed to go outside in the freezing cold; it’s not going to hurt if you miss one workout or even a week, the important thing to remember is to make sure you make a promise to get back into a regular exercise routine and keep it. Don’t just keep putting it off; there is always going to be things that set you back such as, lack of energy, motivation, or you just simply need a break. And that’s okay. Listen to your body, just don’t forget about it forever.