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Friday, April 27, 2012

Small steps toward your fitness goal.....

I've talked endlessly about the stress of having a family, but I haven't really talked about my career. Some of you might think I am a full-time Mom. While I do consider myself a full-time Mom, I do have a career, one that I enjoy and love.

I started Personal Training 13 years ago, about 6 months after having Lala. I started this career after feeling like I had burned myself out in the retail world. I knew I was meant to help others, but I felt like my purpose wasn't to help put away clothes or handle endless complaints, I had no control over. I left the retail world and followed my instincts to help others feel better about themselves. By helping people achieve their desired fitness goals, I was able to help them improve their self esteem, feel better physically, and help them connect with their partner again. It's a truly rewarding profession, and I feel that it's the right fit for me.

My biggest challenge is figuring out what is preventing a client from achieving their goal. I am constantly trying to figure out how to help, motivate and guide a client to continue working toward their goal. I wish there was a magic pill that we could all take to reshape our bodies the way we want them to look, but it doesn't exist. You have to be willing to sacrifice certain things, work hard toward the goal and stay in the game, mentally. It can be tough to change your habits, but replacing poor habits with healthy habits, will benefit you in the long run.

I sometimes think people have the impression that a personal trainer is someone who puts them through workouts. Although that is part of the service, it's not the basis of what we do. Yes, we have to continue to keep the workouts fun, challenging and effective, but we also have to be a big support system for most of our clients. Most people are not as disciplined when it comes to their food intake. Some people are not as disciplined in maintaining their workouts on their own. Others need help all the way around. We are coaches, motivators, therapists and life coaches all in one bag. Well, the good trainers are, anyway.

I have found that small, reasonable changes work best for most people. Although, we always have good intentions (I'll get up at 5am everyday and workout. I'll keep my caloric intake at 1200 everyday.), it rarely lasts for a long period of time. Most people are creatures of habit, so pulling out a few things and making small changes work best, rather than trying to make a complete make-over all at one time. For some people, the make-over approach works best, but for people who have struggled with weight gain and loss, their entire life, it's more difficult to break poor habits. Look at some of the Biggest Loser contestants. Although they inspire us, a LOT of former contestants have gained their weight back because they were playing a game on the ranch, and once they moved back into real life, real life took over.

My suggestion is to figure out what your plan is. What do you want to achieve? Set a goal, a timeline and figure out what will be realistic for your lifestyle. Understand that initially, you will be super motivated, but eventually, that wears off. What will you do once that happens? How will you track your food intake? What are you willing to give up and sacrifice and what are you unwilling to give up? Once everything is in place, start chipping away at your goal. Those wanting to lose 50 lbs or more, I suggest chipping away at it in pieces, so the number doesn't get overwhelming.

We all need a swift kick in the ass sometimes. It can come in the form of a doctor's visit, a look in the mirror, a spouse commenting on your weight gain, or simply coming to terms with where you are at in life. Whatever the spark is, ride the wave. Take photos of yourself, commit to the goal, the program and inch your way toward your goal. It's not easy, but what is in life? It's not going to be handed to you, so work for it! Claim it. Celebrate the small successes. Your pants fitting better, the scale moving in the right direction, or compliments from other people. Stay the course, because at the end of the day, it's your journey, your life, and your success.

I'm here for you. Do you have questions for me? Anyone interested in starting a Fitness Challenge to lose weight before summer really gets started?


  1. I love your suggestion that all goals start with a plan with a beginning, middle and end. Just started following you, can't wait to read more.

    Meanwhile, I have a question about upper arms. I am sick and tired of carrying around what looks like dangling chicken cutlets. Any daily exercises you can recommend would be appreciated :)

    1. Hi Megan,

      I'm so glad you came across my blog. It's not about all things fitness, but all things life related. Of course, there are going to be many obstacles and temptations along the way (there's a Pizza Hut ad on my page for goodness sake! Give me a break!) and it's up to you to make the decision to make a better choice, for your life, your goal and those that love you.

      Upper arms can be an annoying reality for women. You wave, but when you stop, there's still movement from the back of your arm (tricep). Ugh! Well, I'm assuming you are referring to home exercises, since you didn't mention the gym. You could get 5 lb dumbbells and do tricep kickbacks, overhead tricep press and chair dips.

      Tricep Kickbacks:
      Grab your dumbbells, stand tall, bend over keeping your back straight. Pull your elbows in next to your side and "kick" the dumbbells back toward your hips. 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps.

      Overhead tricep press:
      Sit in a chair with your feet facing forward. Raise the dumbbells over your head like you're reaching for the stars. Keeping your elbows next to your head, lower the dumbbells 90 degrees and then press (like your hammering a nail in the wall). 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps.

      Chair dips:
      Sit in your chair and grab the sides with both hands. Extend your body out, away from the chair and bend your elbows 90 degrees and push your body weight up, using those newly sculpted arms! 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps.

      Hope this is clear. Let me know if you need more detail.