Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Killed It In 2013, Now Ready To Dominate 2014

This year I had several ups and downs in my fitness journey. And as I end 2013 on a positive note, I can't help but be excited about starting off 2014 strong and looking forward to meeting several new health and fitness goals! I wanted to share a couple things with you in hopes it will inspire you to start or continue your own personal health and fitness journey. I also hope anything I post throughout the year continues to be encouraging and motivating so this time next year we can all be even healthier.

The first thing I wanted to share is my most recent PR (personal record) for a deadlift. I couldn't have been more excited to end 2013 with a new PR of lifting 255 pounds (3rd pic below)! Michael and his team of trainers will always try to get pictures of these special moments, and each time I look at the most recent picture, I still can't believe what all I've accomplished. It not only got me thinking about things over this past year, but over the 2 1/2 years I've been training at Fitness Together. First, just to put my most recent PR into perspective, I have the last three pictures (see captions for dates and weight lifted) Michael took of when I hit PRs on deadlifts. In less than three months I increased the weight on my deadlift by 25 pounds! And the fact when I first started back in 2011 I wasn't even attempting any type of intensive strength training like this and was struggling to do exercises with a 15 pound kettlebell, just shows how hard work and dedication can pay off.

October 15, 2013 deadlift 230 pounds

November 11, 2013 deadlift 240 pounds

December 31, 2013 deadlift 255 pounds

The second thing I wanted to share, is the importance of focusing on positive thoughts. We will all have our moments and struggles during our health and fitness journey, it's just part of it. And we will even have moments we may not handle them the best way. I know for me personally I become very emotional, which leads to lack of sleep and then stressing about the fact I'm struggling. But the most important thing, is that we don't allow these moments to completely derail us from our main purpose, and that's to be the healthiest we can be.

Someone posted an idea on Facebook that I'm tweaking to help me stay positive through my health and fitness journey. The original idea was to take a jar, and throughout the 2014 year write down anything positive that happened. Then at the end of the year you take the notes out and read them to remind you of all the good things that have happened to you the past year. What I've done is made a "Positive Thoughts" box, that has various quotes on there. In the picture below you can see the top and front, and then on the sides and back the following three quotes are listed: "Persist", "Nothing Is Impossible, The Word Itself Says I'm Possible", and "Never, Never, Never Give Up". The quotes are intended to help me stay positive as much as possible. And then anytime I have something positive happen with my health and fitness, such as loss on the scale, going down a size in clothes, hitting a new PR, I'll write it down and put it in this box. The great thing about this, is you don't have to wait to the end of the year to remind yourself of what all you've accomplished. When you have those moments you feel discouraged or you're not doing good enough, those reminders of everything you've accomplished will be just what you need to get refocused and back on track.

If you take anything out of this post, I want you to know that you deserve to be happy and healthy! And if you are willing to put in the hard work and are ready to make the changes, there's nothing that you can't accomplish! I hope I've been able to inspire and help others through my blog in 2013, and I'm looking forward to another great year in 2014 for us all! Here's to a healthier and stronger you!

January Challenge Starts Tomorrow!!!!

This is just a reminder that the January challenge begins tomorrow! I'm excited about getting 2014 kicked off right! I'll attach the workout and demonstration video to this post for your convenience! Hope you join me in this challenge!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cardio Monday 12/30

I've decided to start posting the cardio workouts I do each day so others can do the workout on their own if they choose. The workout I have planned for Monday, December 30th, is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. It will take approximately 30 minutes. If you have any questions regarding the workout or the exercises, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail or a message!

THE WORKOUT: Will consist of 4 complete rounds of each exercise, with a 2 minute rest between each round.

Round 1 - 30 sec of work/30 sec of rest of each exercise
Round 2 - 40 sec of work/20 sec of rest of each exercise
Round 3 - 50 sec of work/10 sec of rest of each exercise
Round 4 - 60 sec of work/0 sec of rest of each exercise

Jumping Jacks
KB or DB Swings (regular body squats if you don't have access to a kettlebell or dumbbell)
Wall Sit
Bicycle Crunch

Friday, December 27, 2013

Forgiveness - Do It For Yourself

I've mentioned before that being healthy isn't just about eating right and working out, but it's also being mentally healthy. One of the things that can cause a person to be mentally unhealthy is not being able to forgive another person for their hurtful actions or words. The problem with that, is not only is it unhealthy for the person who can't seem to let go, but it can cause relationships with other friends and family members to deteriorate rapidly. I know this from personal experience, because I too held on to a lot of hatred. I thought I could never forgive the person who hurt me, not realizing over the years I was only hurting myself and others who cared about me.

Today I was talking with a friend and I couldn't help but think back on my own experience in dealing with forgiveness and letting go. If you read my bio, you'll know that I was sexually abused between the ages of 12-16. From the time the abuse stopped, I went almost an additional 15 years being angry at this person. But, the worst part for me, is I kept it to myself and over the years it effected my overall health and relationships with friends/family in a negative way. After many years of staying angry and not letting go, I eventually ended up going through a major depression. Luckily for me, I had someone I ended up being able to talk to and trust that I confided in. I started seeing a counselor and ever since then I've been making decisions based on what's best for me. But, the major factor in me being able to overcome my depression and to be able to be where I'm at today, is that I learned that I needed to forgive this person and move on. And the thing is, I'm not forgiving the person for their benefit, but for mine. Forgiving someone doesn't necessarily you've accepted their actions or words, just you are letting go and moving on with your life.

I know we all have our own stories where we struggle with forgiving someone. And I'm not saying it'll be easy, but if you want to be healthy mentally and have healthy relationships with your friends and family, I encourage you to look at your own personal situation and do what you need to do for yourself to be able to forgive and move on. If you can become healthier mentally, your overall health and wellness will improve drastically.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

January 2014 - Monthly Challenge Video

After I posted the actual challenge for January, Michael suggested I make a video demonstrating each exercise. I've completed a short video that will show you how to do each exercise, but I've also included ways to modify them if needed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

January 2014 - Monthly Challenge

And here it is! The first monthly challenge for 2014! What better way to kick off the new year? This month's challenge is a "total body". I'm looking forward to conquering these challenges, and hope you join in the fun! If you have any questions regarding the exercises, or need help in modifications or an alternate exercise, please feel free to shoot me a message. If you click on the image, you'll be able to view it better, and if you save the image you'll be able to access it easier. Or, I have this in an Excel spreadsheet, so if you would prefer that format, let me know and I'll send it to you. Hope you accept the challenge!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little Something Is Better Than Nothing

Because of my work schedule this week I have to get to the fitness center bright and early so I can be at work by 7:00 am. I didn’t have a session, but wanted to get some cardio in this morning. At the downtown location, the elliptical and treadmill are actually located in another room, and typically I’m the only person in there. So, while I’m on the elliptical this morning (really hoping Michael or someone doesn't come to check on me because I’m just belting out my favorite songs that are playing on my phone), I’m also figuring out how long I can go before I need to start getting ready for work. When I do cardio, I typically like to get 45 minutes to an hour in, and sometimes will even do more than an hour. But, then I have times like today, where I am only able to get 30 minutes in. There have even been a few times where I only had enough time to work out for 20 minutes.

The weeks I work early, I have to leave my house between 4:45 and 5:00 in the morning to make sure I’m at the fitness center by 5:15 or no later than 5:30. Michael is typically there around 5:15ish or shortly after, but by the time I get inside and get situated where I’m ready to start working out sometimes I get to only workout for 20 or 30 minutes before I have to stop and get in the shower so I can make it to work on time. And as I’m pushing through some sprint intervals, I start asking myself, is it really worth getting up at 4:00 in the morning so I can get in only 20 or 30 minutes of cardio? I kept thinking, if I can’t at least get 45 minutes in, I’m probably wasting my time. Of course, I know these are the type of thoughts that become excuses, and so I had to refocus my thoughts in a positive way. And I remember coming across quotes before regarding these types of situations, and so I found one that really was appropriate and I couldn’t have found a better quote to put it in perspective.

Something I’ve learned over the past several months is about HITT workouts. These are High Intensity Interval Training workouts, and Michael has written some for me in the past. These types of workouts are typically done in 20 – 25 minutes, and can be more effective than walking an hour on the treadmill. HIIT workouts consist of high intensity during short work periods. Here’s an example of a HIIT cardio workout Michael wrote for me for the first time. I did 4 rounds total where I would do 30 seconds of hard intense work and 30 seconds of rest on each exercise, and then a 60 second rest between rounds, which means this work out would take approximately 24 minutes.

·         Kettlebell Swings
·         Push-ups
·         Sit-ups
·         Burpees
·         Plank
So, next time you try to convince yourself it’s not worth going in to work out for just a short period of time, just remember doing something for only 20 minutes is better than doing nothing at all. Don’t let thoughts like this become your excuses to not get the results you desire.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Focus On You

The past few days I've had some private conversations that started to really bring me down and upset me, but I know how important it is to remain positive and not let others actions or words effect my mood or behavior. I even sent Michael a message this evening after I got home from work telling him how good I was feeling (even though I think it's because I was finally back into my routine and was able to get in some great cardio and sessions today). But, despite that I was feeling great, I couldn't help but think of the past few days and started to feel sad. It reminded me of a time where I blogged about not letting others control you. And even though I really should be in bed, I knew I would be constantly thinking about this until I revisited and blogged about it again. 

I revisited that particular post and I encourage you to read it as well. You can click here to go directly to the post from September 10, 2013 titled "Don't Let Others Control You". I'm not going to be as successful as I want to be if I continue to worry about everyone else's opinions and what they are doing, and I definitely can't allow them to control how I feel by their comments. Something I've learned, is there will always be people who will want to bring me down and try to sabotage what I'm working so hard to obtain (even if it's not intentional). And what I have to do is make sure, that no matter how hard it may be, I ALWAYS have to do what's best for me! And, as I've mentioned before in another recent post, make sure to surround yourself with people who will lift you higher, and not bring you down. Because when it comes down to it, the only person you need to impress or be concerned about, is yourself.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fitness Together - More Than Just A Name

photo courtesy of Michael Watkins - owner/operator
Fitness Together Downtown Tulsa
Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside
Today I had a discussion with someone through private message that really started to bother me. I think the thing that bothers me the most is this is a person I felt I could always open up to and trust, but recently I can't help but feel the trust slowly dissolve. This conversation started to make me really think about "Fitness Together", and asking myself what does that mean to me? For me personally it means so much.

Fitness Together is a place that has changed my life and has guided me to be a healthier person. It's a place where I can go when I'm happy, sad, angry, or frustrated and use those emotions to push through my workouts. It's a place where I can go when I'm having a bad day and know I have someone that will listen and be there to make me feel better. It's a place where I can share my story and know I'm not being judged in a negative way. It's place where I can get all the support and encouragement which motivates me to reach my health and fitness goals. It's a place where, not only I can get inspiration, but where I can inspire others to stay motivated and become healthier as well. It's a place where it's name is exactly what you can expect to receive, "Fitness Together". I love my private one-on-one sessions with my trainer, and wouldn't give them up for anything; but, I also love being able to train in the small group setting where together we are pushing each other each day to be better and to keep going. But, regardless if I'm training with the group or my private session, I always receive the support and encouragement from all my FT family.

My prior post was about working together, and in that I talked about having monthly challenges for 2014 to keep us all motivated throughout the year so we can reach our individual goals we set for ourselves. Recently I was able to find challenges for each month, and within the next week I'll post the challenge for January so you can start preparing to kick off the new year, but I wanted to give you a brief summary of what to expect for the 2014 challenges.

  • January - Total Body
  • February - Planks
  • March - Squats
  • April - Cardio
  • May - Push-ups
  • June - Glutes
  • July - Total Body
  • August - Lunges
  • September - Ab/Core
  • October - 5K (walking/running)
  • November - BURPEES Happy Birthday to me! :)
  • December - Arms
Having challenges and goals keeps the journey fresh and exciting. If we don't have something to look forward to, it would be easy for us to get bored and just give up. But, being able to face these challenges and work on your goals with others, is a great way to have some accountability and also a great way to stay motivated. So, hope you join me next year and accept these challenges!

And after much thought of what "Fitness Together" means to me, I've determined it's more than just the name of the fitness center where I train, but something we do. One thing I've learned over the time I've been Michael's client, is I'm never alone. Together we can accomplish anything, and there's no other place I would rather get my motivation and support from than my Fitness Together family!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Working Together

I'm finding a lot of great monthly challenges to start posting for next year. And I started thinking about why I started my blog, and also why I made it public. I started my blog as an online tool to help me stay focused and motivated, but more importantly to help me push through the difficult times instead of giving up. But, I made a decision to make it public hoping it would reach others who could benefit from my experiences and story, and it makes me happy knowing my blog reaches people all over the world.

So, what has all this thinking made me realize? It's reminded me that this blog isn't just for me, but it's also to benefit others in their own health and fitness journey. That's why I would love your feedback on what you would like to see me post more for next year. Not only do I want us to start our 2014 off right, I want us to stay motivated and be successful the entire year. I already plan on posting monthly challenges, like the 30 day ab challenge some of us are doing this month. There are various ways to contact me, which ever is easiest for you. You are more than welcome to comment here on my blog, contact me via my Facebook blog page Becoming Healthier With Sherrie or my personal Facebook page Sherrie Bullock, or email me at and let me know what information you think might benefit you or others.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grateful For Friends & Family

I've not been feeling well for the past week, and the past couple days have become worse. The cough was starting to keep me up at night, and I avoided the doctor as long as I could. I did go in for my morning session with Michael yesterday, and he about killed me because all I wanted to do between sets was lay down. I think he mainly was hard on me because I was wearing my OSU shirt! But, I ended up going to the doctor yesterday and found out I have an upper respiratory infection, and took the rest of the day off from work and didn't go back to the fitness center. I woke up this morning and decided to take another complete day off from work and working out, and let me tell you that is hard for me. I tend to start worrying and stressing about not being in there, which really doesn't help me "rest and recover" like I should be doing.

But, because I have such amazing people at Fitness Together, I quickly became grateful for Michael and my FT Family. I've talked before about how the trainers and clients at Fitness Together, are not only friends but have become like family to me, and that when you sign up with FT you are really gaining another family. And today was a perfect example of the support and encouragement I, and another sick client, received from our FT family. Besides my private sessions I have with Michael, the past few months I've been working out with a small group during lunch three days a week, and this group of people have become very special to me. Michael, another trainer Jamie, and my "Lunch Bunch" peeps, really got me through a difficult day and kept my spirits up with all the encouraging and kind messages they sent me. It's people like this that make me grateful for being a part of the FT Family and I can't wait to get back in there!

This is also a great example of why you should surround yourself with people who will lift your spirits higher. You can choose who you surround yourself with, so choose those people who will bring out the best in you instead of those who are bringing you down. I'm grateful for the people I have chosen to be around, and happy to call those friends my family!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I Never Claimed To Be Normal

One thing I've never done was claim to be normal, and if you know me personally I'm pretty sure you're sitting there laughing as you shake your head in agreement. And that's okay, who wants to be normal anyway?

When I find something I love and am passionate about, I move forward with all I've got. And there's nothing I'm more passionate about than my health and fitness. Others might even say I'm obsessed considering how much I workout. But, when it comes to my health and fitness, despite all the support and encouragement I receive from all the wonderful people in my life, I'm still the only person who can control the outcome of my journey. That's why when I want to shut the alarm off and go back to sleep, I drag myself out of bed and get into the fitness center instead. I say yes to challenges that seem impossible. When my body says no you can't do this, my mind (with the help of my trainer pushing me) says yes you can and will do this!

When it comes to my health and fitness I might become intense and obsessed with what I'm doing, but I'm on my own personal quest to a better and healthier life. I just wish I would have found this passion for health and fitness a long time ago. So what if I'm not normal, because if I never stop, I'll always be able to say I'm better today than I was yesterday.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Having A Bad Day? Workout!!!!

It's been about a week since I've posted anything, but it's been a busy and crazy week at work. This week has also been slightly out of the norm for me, not only am I fighting what I believe is a sinus infection, but the weather here in Tulsa, Oklahoma effected my schedule at work and the fitness center and I didn't get all my workouts in like I typically do. But, that's no excuse to just not workout at all, and Michael made sure he provided something on Facebook for the clients to do while we were snowed in at home. Always thinking about his clients, what a guy! :)

Anyway, back to the purpose of today's post. Prior to the snow and ice hitting us, as I mentioned I'm trying to fight something off, lost my voice, and Thursday I wasn't having the best day. So, I sent Michael a text telling him I was having a bad day, wasn't up to being around a lot of people, and wasn't coming to the lunch workout because I didn't want to bum everyone else out. And then his reply was (as I kind of expected it would be), come workout, you need a break, and working out always makes you feel better. When it came time to leave for the lunch workout, I decided to go and get out of the office in hopes I would feel better, and as usual I was glad I went. Not only did getting the actual workout in make me feel better, but being around all the other clients who are always encouraging and supportive made a big difference. I couldn't talk well without my voice, but we all had the same thought about that workout, "Michael, we hate you right now!" But, that just means the workout was effective and we got something out of it.

Besides the small workouts I've done at home, Thursday was the last time I was at the fitness center due to the weather until this morning. And when I woke up, I was really wishing I could crawl back in bed where it was warm and go back to sleep. But, I knew I needed to get in there and not only get a workout in, but today was also my weigh-in day. So, once again, I went in and ended up feeling better when I was done. Okay, maybe I left feeling a lot better because I lost about a pound this week and I also got to see my favorite precious kiddos (Beckett and Marley...those adorable smiles make my day), but the workout Jamie put us through pushed me hard and it felt great when I finished it.

The hardest time getting in there and working out is when you're tired, not feeling 100%, or having a bad day. But, when you are feeling this way, these are the times it's important you get in there anyway and workout. For me, it never fails, that no matter how crappy my day is or how horrible I'm feeling, I always feel better after pushing myself hard and getting a good workout in!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Challenges Accepted!

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time of year most people tend to not worry about what or how much they are eating The typical person will gain weight over the holidays, and the average gain is 5-8 pounds. Many people justify this by telling themselves, "It's the holidays and I'll go on a "diet" first of the year." But, me personally, I've worked too hard all year to just gain weight over the holidays. I can still enjoy a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with my family, so there's no need to do anything different the other days.

But, just to make sure I stayed focused and on track over the holidays, I accepted three different challenges. The first challenge I accepted was a 24 day AdvoCare challenge that I will incorporate with my current carb cycling meal plan. And then I also am taking on a 30 day burpee challenge (and I really hate burpees) and a 30 day ab challenge, along with my normal cardio workouts and sessions with my trainer.

By accepting all three of these challenges, and continuing to give everything I can in my workouts, there's no doubt I'll lose weight over the holidays.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Surviving The Holidays

I intended to get this post out sooner, so my apologies for it being last minute. One of the trainers, Jamie, posted this on Facebook and I thought it was some really great advice so wanted to pass it on.

We are getting ready to enter the time of year where a lot of people struggle to maintain their weight, let alone continue to lose. Often times, people like myself, can become discouraged and if we aren't careful can really sabotage the past 10 months of hard work in just as little as two months between Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Many of us are faced with multiple meals for each holiday, because we have our family dinners, work luncheons, and other parties to attend. I think it's important we enjoy these times with our families and friends, but it's still important we continue to be smart about our choices. By following the top 5 rules below, I believe it is possible to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and not feel you have completely lost control.

In addition to these rules, I've decided to have my own alternatives to certain foods so I have a healthier option. For example, our family has both regular mashed potatoes and stuffing/dressing, and instead of eating a serving of one or both of these, I'm making a batch of mashed sweet potatoes. The only thing I will be using will be the sweet potatoes and a little cinnamon to make it a little interesting. Also, instead of having green bean casserole, I'm just going to have a serving of regular green beans. This way I avoid any extra calories and fat that I don't really need to enjoy my dinner. But, I'm going to enjoy and not feel guilty about having a small piece of pecan pie. That will be my treat and there shouldn't be any reason I can't have the pie and still feel like I'm on track. I still plan on going in Saturday for my cardio and weigh-in day just as I normally would, so I'll let you know that goes. So, keep these five rules in mind as you go through the holidays and enjoy your meals with your friends and family.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weigh-in Update

If you are a friend on my personal Facebook page, then you already know I'm not excited about posting this weigh-in update. But, this is reality and all part of the weight-loss journey, so it's just as important to share this as it is when I lose. The last thing I want is for someone to ever mistake that this is an easy journey for me, or anyone for that matter. I also want to thank those who sent me positive and encouraging messages. 

So, I was up 2.2 pounds this week. I know I had to back off this week on my cardio, and in the beginning of the week I even had a couple sessions where I didn't push too much, because I have been sick. I know it's important to get plenty of rest, so that's what I tried to do. I made the decision to not go in early for cardio this week, and just focus on giving my all during my workouts. And regardless if that played a part in the gain or not, I still am not happy with that much of a gain. I keep telling myself it is what it is and there's nothing I can do about it now. But, I still can't help feel I used my not feeling well as an excuse and slacked majorly this week, and I'm very disappointed in myself. All I know is next week I have to refocus and give 100% physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

I received a few quotes from friends, and even though I'm still struggling about this gain and feeling discouraged, I do believe this quote has to be the most suitable for this week's weigh-in. I know there's many things to be excited about, including where I'm headed in my weight-loss journey. And I know as long as I continue to have the support and encouragement of my friends and family, and my trainer never gives up on me, there's no doubt I'll get where I want to be, even if it is a rocky road.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Revolution Health & Wellness Dr. Chad Edwards

First I want to give a huge thanks to Michael Watkins for hosting these monthly seminars for his clients with Dr. Chad Edwards. And then would like to say thank you to Dr. Edwards and his staff at Revolution Health & Fitness for taking their time to provide further education to the Fitness Together family so we are able to be more successful in our health and fitness goals.

Tonight was the third seminar, and I have attended all three. What's great about attending each seminar, even though there is some information he goes over again, is you always learn something new. I have found by attending all the seminars, he does add new information or maybe rephrases something that helps it click for me. Tonight there was one thing that really stood out, the two rules of nutrition. It mainly caught my attention because when he mentioned it, I thought to myself, well that sounds logical and very simple. And those two simple rules are, get good stuff in and keep bad stuff out. Makes sense to me. But, of course, we all know that is easier said than done sometimes. Sometimes the struggles we have following those two rules, besides we all have our food weaknesses, is that most of the time we are not educated properly on how or why specific foods effect our bodies. There are times when we think we might be eating something very nutritional for us, then come to find out it might not be the best choice after all.

After attending three of Dr. Edwards seminars, and the opportunity to meet and talk with him, I'm confident in his knowledge of health and wellness. He also offers Prolotherapy for various cases related to arthritis pain, back/neck pain, carpal tunnel, sports injuries, TMJ Dysfunction, migraines, and other chronic pains. I plan on contacting Dr. Edwards and his staff regarding the Prolotherapy for my TMJ. Want to know more about Dr. Chad Edwards and his services, click here to go directly to his Revolution Health & Wellness Facebook page.

If you're one of Michael's clients, I strongly encourage you to attend the next seminar, even if you have already attended one before. You will receive a lot of fascinating and motivating information, and it really is worth taking the time to attend.

Monday, November 18, 2013

If Only Stress Burned Calories!

For about the past week now I haven't been feeling 100%. But, every November I go through the sinus headaches, congestion, not being able to breathe well, and all that other wonderful stuff that comes with allergies and the weather change. So, you would think since this is something I go through EVERY year, that I would not stress about it. And, I used to not let it bother me. I knew it was something I would go through, and when I started to get symptoms I would take the necessary medications in hopes to kick it before it turned into bronchitis.

However, since my health and fitness has become such a major part of my life, I get very frustrated when I'm not feeling well where I don't get into the fitness center like I should and get my workouts in. Saturday I woke up with a slight fever and a sore throat, so I put off cardio. Sunday I attempted a little cardio at home, about 15 minutes of light cardio. And then today I intended to go in early before work for cardio, but shut my alarm off and went back to sleep. With the combination of me not feeling and sleeping well, my energy level is down and my body is basically just not up to it. And even though I know this is just something that happens and I need to let my body rest and recover, I get really frustrated and upset because in my mind I've basically slacked for three days and I'm actually stressing over NOT working out!

I talked with Michael this morning, and then again during my session tonight, and I really do understand everything he is saying about letting my body get the rest and recovery that it needs; but I can't help but feel I'm not giving my all and come Saturday when I weigh-in it'll show. After my session tonight, even though it wasn't anything intense, I do feel better and not quite as stressed. Hopefully I'll start sleeping and feeling better soon so I can get back to my normal routine and start kicking butt again!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why A Personal Trainer? Why Fitness Together?

Because I've been so successful in losing weight and becoming healthier, I constantly get people asking me questions, which by the way I love! The questions vary from what I'm doing, to how I'm doing it. But one of the most common questions I get is, "What made you go with a personal trainer, and why did you choose Fitness Together?".

Like most people, over the years I tried losing weight on my own, but had very little success. Any type of weight loss I accomplished, quickly came back after I went off the "diet". So, January 1st of 2011 I decided I was going to lose weight and joined Weight Watchers again. But this time it was different, this time I was hit with a big bucket of reality when I realized I weighed 350 pounds! I never imagined I weighed that much, because like most people who are overweight, I avoided the scales. I knew I had to take this seriously and focus on my health. After a couple months, I had lost 15 pounds, but kept going up and down with the same couple pounds. I was becoming frustrated, but didn't know what or how to move forward. All I knew is it was obvious I needed professional help if I was going to, not only change my life, but save my life. 

I knew the thing I needed the most was getting activity in my life, but I had no idea where to begin. So, that's when I decided a personal trainer was the way to go. I researched multiple places, and then I narrowed it down to five places, Fitness Together and four other local businesses. I filled out the contact form on their websites, and I received replies from three places. So, what made me choose Fitness Together over the other two places who contacted me? Simple, Michael Watkins made it about me! The other two places didn't even bother to call me, they simply e-mailed me their information and stated this is what they can do for me and if I had any questions to contact them. But, Michael on the other hand, had the total opposite approach. He e-mailed me back, thanking me for contacting him, and then asked when a good time to call would be. And then when he called, he didn't start throwing out all this information of what he could do for me; but, instead he asked me, "What is it I can do for you?". As we talked on the phone, and he asked me questions about me, I realized he actually cared about what I needed and wanted. So, I decided I would meet him for a consultation. I'll never forget the first time I walked into Fitness Together, I was nervous, scared, and excited all at the same time. But, as he did on the phone, Michael quickly made me feel comfortable in what I'm sure he could tell was a very uncomfortable situation for me. What I loved the most about our first meeting, was that he kept it real from the beginning. He never pretended it would be easy, or that I would never struggle. I could tell he was truly concerned about my needs and wanted me to be successful, and that I was more than just another client. I never felt any pressure to make any type of commitment to him or Fitness Together, because the commitment I needed to make was to myself. And that's why I sought out a personal trainer, and that's why I chose Fitness Together!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Weigh-in Update

I thought this quote was appropriate for this week's weigh-in update. Last update I didn't have an actual number to share, because when Michael weighed me he told me I didn't want to know. All I knew is I had a lot of ground to make up. I did work hard this week, missed a lunch workout and some cardio because I was sick, but I was pleased when I got on the scale today and I was down .8 from two weeks ago.

So I veered off the road a bit during the week of my birthday and gained a few (or several) pounds. And lets face it, there will be other moments during my journey I get off track; but if I continue to take Michael's advice and not just give up, it won't take long to get back on track and head in the right direction again. What's that advice? As Michael is seeing one of his favorite bands in concert tonight (and will be enjoying his own indulgences), I'll quote what told me today, "trust the process and listen to more Pearl Jam!" :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Workout Challenge

I had a few people asking for suggestions on workouts they can do at home, and even had a couple people asking about posting more weekend workout challenges. Now, don't let the title scare you, but here's one I will be doing tomorrow for my cardio. I will complete four rounds, taking a two minute rest between each round. My challenge to you is to set a goal of how many rounds you feel you can complete, and go for it! If you are unsure of how to do a specific exercise, or if you need suggestions on modifications, you can Google/Youtube it; or feel free to shoot me a message and I would be more than happy to help you out! Now....get moving!!!! :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weigh-in Update

This isn't a typical weigh-in update, because I don't have a number to share for this week. It's not because I didn't weigh-in, it's because I do not know what the scale indicated. This has not been a typical week, and I knew it would be up from last week.

This week I had a few days I didn't follow my meal plan for various reasons. Wednesday I wasn't having a good day and I ended up going to lunch with my trainer so I could talk and get all my frustrations out. Thursday was my birthday and my employees brought me a cake and another co-worker brought me a pumpkin cheesecake, and I enjoyed a little of both. Plus I had another birthday lunch. So, I debated on even if I should weigh or not. When I went into the fitness center this morning Michael was there. He weighed me and said "You don't want to know, but we have a lot of ground to makeup." Even though I expected it to be up from last week, just because I knew I made choices I normally wouldn't make, I still couldn't help feel Michael was a little disappointed and couldn't help be a little disappointed in myself. I told him I wanted to cry now, but just as he always supports me, he told me not to worry about because it was my birthday and just get back on track.

So, even though I may not have an update that's reflected by a number, I can tell you there's no doubt next week I will have to kick it up a notch in my workouts; because as Michael said, I have a lot of ground to makeup.

Start Saying "I WILL"

When I came across this quote I couldn't help but think of all the people I encounter that say these exact same things. There are several people who I hear make these statements often, and the sad thing is they are still in the same place they have always been, unhealthy and unhappy. The majority of the people I have talked with know what they need to do, but our conversations always end with something similar to this quote. There are several of these people who I encounter daily and have talked to the entire two and a half years I've been working out, and they still say things like "I know I need to start working out, but..." and they start listing the excuses. The sad thing is, if these people would have started saying "I WILL" when I first started talking to them about the changes I made, I can only imagine where they would be now. But, the truth is, just like anything in life, until they want it bad enough, their excuses will continue to be stronger than their determination to make the needed changes. If you're ready to start making the changes in your life to become a healthier and happier person, then stop the excuses and start saying "I WILL" and just do it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Power of Regular Exercise

Steven, one of the trainers from Fitness Together, posted this picture on his Facebook page and I wanted to share it along with my own personal improvements once I started a regular exercise regimen. Before I started eating healthier and working out I had multiple issues. I suffered from severe asthma, where I was on two different daily medications, back up inhaler, and a breathing machine just in case the inhaler failed to do the job. I was on two different prescription allergy medications and was getting two weekly allergy injections. I also suffered from depression, headaches, acid reflux, and even had problems sleeping. I took prescription depression/anxiety medications, along with Ambien to help me sleep.
Since changing the way I eat and working out regularly, everything I've mentioned I had issues with, have either completely been cured or have improved tremendously. I no longer take any type of prescription medications. I have not used an inhaler or a breathing machine in over two years, nor have I been to the hospital or doctor for my asthma in over two years. I no longer take allergy injections, nor do I have any prescription medications to control my symptoms. From time to time I do take over the counter Benadryl, but that's due to sinus and congestion issues with the weather and season changes. I no longer have issues with acid reflux. I no longer take depression/anxiety medication and I actually enjoy life. Yeah, I have bad days, but everyone does. But, the way I handle those bad days are more effective because I'm mentally and emotionally healthier. And from time to time I have a night I don't sleep well, but again we all have those nights. Those nights mainly stem from thinking about everything from work or something going on in my life, but nothing that causes me to not be able to function like it used to.
When I made the decision to start making healthier decisions by changing the way I eat and exercising regularly, the best thing I got out of that was the HUGE improvement of my overall mental, emotional, and physical health. If you suffer from even just one of the symptoms listed, I encourage you to seriously consider making the changes in your own life to become a healthier and better you.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Weigh-in Update

This week I really pushed myself, not only in my sessions, but making sure I get my cardio in. And not only was all my hard work reflected on the scale, but I had another non-scale victory. I lost 2.8 pounds this week, making my total weight loss 123.8 pounds! I also went and did a little shopping and bought jeans that were the next size down! Those times I didn't feel like going in, but did anyway...those days I was at Fitness Together three times in one day, was all worth it! It just proves hard work and dedication do pay off and I'm one step closer to meeting another goal!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Easy Doesn't Get Results

Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a workout, I tend to say things out of habit. The three most common things I say are: “I can’t!”, “Am I doing this right?”, and “This is hard!”. And every time these things come out of my mouth I get the same reply from Michael. When I say “I can’t”, he says “that’s four burpees”. For each time I say the word can’t, I have earned myself four extra burpees. Typically it will slip out only once during the session, but there have been times when it slipped out more than once in a session. And because I want to do everything perfectly, I will ask “Am I doing this right?”, especially on exercises I have not perfected. I don’t know why I ask, because it’s like he has said, he’ll let me know if I’m doing something wrong. But, it’s out of habit. And then when I feel I’m struggling in a workout, or a specific exercise is difficult, I’ll say “this is hard!” And every time he’ll tell me, “it’s not supposed to be easy”.

The last couple weeks I’ve really been pushing myself, not only during my sessions with Michael, but outside of my sessions by going in for extra lunch workouts and extra cardio. There are some days I’m in there three times a day. Michael has also been pushing me harder as well, so over these past couple weeks I’ve been making the comment “it’s hard” more frequent. And so I’ve been thinking about it the past few days, and I remembered one time Michael telling me “easy doesn’t get results”. I have goals to conquer, including an end of year goal I desperately want to meet. The other day I had written myself a very challenging cardio workout and was thinking to myself “this is hard”, and even wondering what the heck I was doing here for the third time that day. I quickly remembered I have goals to meet and I heard Michael’s voice with all his advice. Typically when you tell people you hear voices in your head, they may tend to think you’re crazy; but, in this case I actually think it’s a good thing. I’m constantly hearing the voices of the trainers who have always been there for me and think about what they would say to encourage me, and because of that I’m able to push myself when I feel like giving up, which will get me one step closer to my goals.

So, next time you think something is too hard and you want to give up, I leave you with a couple quotes that help keep me going. One is from one of my favorite baseball movies, A League Of Their Own, "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." And then the second is what Michael has said to me many times, "It's not supposed to be easy. Easy doesn't get results."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weigh-in Update

I did weigh-in Saturday, but got busy with work afterwards. And then Sunday, I slept in and then spent time with my family Sunday evening at a fall festival.

It wasn't horrible, but did feel a little discouraged only because just a few days prior to my official weigh-in day I was a couple pounds lower. Typically my trainer will weigh me a couple times through the week, but I don't get to look at the scale except on my official weigh-in day. And even though I lost 1.9 pounds in two weeks, knowing I was down a little more than that did frustrate me. But, as he reminded me, that's still a very good number and after sending him my food journal for the week we kind of had an idea of what the issue was. Wednesday I ate Thai food which is very high in sodium so my body may have been hanging on to those extra pounds from that meal. But, because I still lost, and we know that was not a normal meal intake for me, he reminded me I couldn't let it discourage me and that I'm still at my lowest ever. I have now lost 121 pounds and as I mentioned before have seen several non-scale victories over the past few weeks.

So, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, and take any suggestions Michael has and see what happens next week. And even though I'm taking smaller steps to my goals, I have no doubt I'll eventually get there.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekend Workout Challenge

Today I was talking to a co-worker about my blog and the things I post. I mentioned in the past I've even posted recipes and various workouts, but haven't done that in awhile and need to start doing that again. There are various cardio workouts you can do, and I really like doing the HIIT style workouts. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. You can click here for a great idea of what a HIIT style workout is and the benefits you can receive from doing them. I tend to get better results on the scale when I incorporate these types of workouts, and typically my trainer will write them for me. But, today I wrote a very challenging HIIT cardio workout for myself. I had a couple people private message me about what exactly I was doing for the workout, so I thought this would be a perfect time to get back into posting a weekly workout that people can do on their own.

Here is the following workout I completed today. I will give variations of the workout so you can choose what would be best for you, especially if you are in beginning stages of working out. It's always important to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, but just as important to know your limitations and be safe. If you have any questions on what a specific exercise is, or how it works, you can search YouTube for examples. Or feel free to shoot me a message on my Facebook page or my e-mail at Also, if you need modified versions of these, you can do the same thing, search YouTube or shoot me a message. I really hope this will give you some motivation to get a workout in and would love to hear your feedback on me posting workouts to challenge you all!

Advanced Complete Version - 4 rounds of the following exercises (total time 42 minutes)
ROUND 1 - 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
ROUND 2 - 40 seconds work/20 second rest
ROUND 3 - 50 seconds work/10 seconds rest
ROUND 4 - 60 seconds work/0 seconds rest
You get a 2 minute rest between each round

  • Boxing - If you don't have access to a heavy bag, do jumping jacks. Important thing is you're moving!
  • Body Squats
  • Ball Slams - If you don't have access to a ball, do burpees
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Leg Lifts
  • V-ups
  • Jump Rope - If you don't have access to a jump rope, do quick high knees in place
  • Plank

Intermediate Version - 4 rounds of the following exercises (total time 30 minutes)

ROUND 1 - 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
ROUND 2 - 30 seconds work/30 second rest
ROUND 3 - 40 seconds work/20 seconds rest
ROUND 4 - 40 seconds work/20 seconds rest
You get a 2 minute rest between each round

  • Body Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Leg Lifts
  • Jump Rope - If you don't have access to a jump rope, do jumping jacks
  • Plank

Beginner Version - 4 rounds of the following exercises (total time 22 minutes)

ROUND 1 - 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
ROUND 2 - 30 seconds work/30 second rest
ROUND 3 - 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
ROUND 4 - 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
You get a 2 minute rest between each round

  • Body Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Jump Rope - If you don't have access to a jump rope, do jumping jacks

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Non-Scale Victories

It's just natural for anyone wanting to lose weight to only focus on the scale. I still find myself getting discouraged when I step on the scale and it didn't go down the way I expected or wanted it to. I haven't posted weigh-in updates for a couple weeks, and that's due to I haven't weighed in for two weeks. I had plateaued the last two weigh-ins I did and so my trainer modified my meal plan. This Saturday I'll weigh to see how those modifications worked and I will post the results this weekend.

But, in the mean time, I've been able to have a few non-scale victories over the past couple weeks. The first one I actually already blogged about, but I'm so proud of it I'll mention it again. I hit a new personal record on deadlifts and maxed out at lifting 230 pounds. That's right, I've got guys that are jealous and I put to shame, I'm just sayin'! :) Then earlier this week, I was able to finally wear the smaller workout shirts I had bought. And then tonight I was able to hit a new speed on the treadmill. Just to put this treadmill accomplishment into prospective for you, keep in mind when I first started doing cardio on the treadmill over two years ago I was still over 300 pounds. In the beginning I was only walking at a speed of 2.0 - 2.5 for about 10 to 15 minutes. After a few weeks I attempted running and was able to run at a speed of 3.5 for about 30 seconds and then went back down to walking. Of course over time, now I'll do anywhere from an hour to two hours on the treadmill. I'm doing sprint and incline intervals and running longer periods of time. The last time I did sprint intervals the fastest I ever attempted on the treadmill was a 6.0. Tonight however I decided to go out of my comfort zone and go for a speed of 6.5. But, I decided not to stop there. I had one interval left so I just went for it and sprinted for one minute at a speed of 7.0. When I completed that minute I realized just how far I've come. When I first started I could only run at a 3.5, and now I walk at a 3.5 as part of my warm up, and I just sprinted 7.0 which is twice the speed! I feel I've bonded with that treadmill and I hope Michael never gets rid of it! :) 

Of course when I got done I went and bragged to Michael and the other trainer James, well mainly because I deserved to brag. But it's like Michael told me tonight, success isn't just about the scale. Sometimes I think we tend to get so focused on the scale, we forget to acknowledge the other ways we can measure that we are becoming stronger and healthier. So, next time you aren't seeing the number you want on the scale, before you give up or become discouraged think back on your own health and fitness journey and look at all the non-scale victories and celebrate those.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Options?

Obviously we always have options when it comes to our health and fitness. But, there is only one option that will get you the results and success you need, and that is getting in there and working out.

In the time I've been with Fitness Together, I was never given options when it came to my workouts. I hired a personal trainer because I need to be told what to do, so even though sometimes I may question or not like what they want me to do, they are the professionals. This is their job, and my job as the client is to do the workout. Of course they will modify any workout to your ability, because safety is always first.

Several months ago I ended up training with one of the trainers I had never worked with before, and he had given me a specific exercise and before starting he said, or you could do this instead. I was caught off guard, because I wasn't used to getting options. Tonight when I was working with Michael, I mentioned this in casual conversation, and he somewhat jokingly said "Your only option is to show up and workout! Now there's something to blog about." And after I got home, because I'm constantly rationalizing things, I realized he's right. If I knew what I needed to do, and when and how to make changes to my diet and workouts when I hit those plateaus, I wouldn't need a personal trainer.

You always have options when it comes to your health and fitness, from what you eat to your workouts. So, why not choose the one option that will get you the results you are looking for and one step closer to meeting your goals. Contact Michael Watkins and his team of trainers for more information regarding their services. They have two locations to serve you, Fitness Together Downtown and Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside. You can also click here to go directly to his website to see many success stories, including mine. Then choose the one option that is best for your health and fitness needs. Two and a half years ago I decided to contact Michael and now I'm down 120 pounds and am healthier today than I have ever been.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You're Only Cheating Yourself

One of the first things I committed to myself was I would not miss or reschedule a workout "just because" and I would take advantage of every opportunity my trainer gives me, during and outside of my sessions. I'm constantly asking questions, asking for new cardio ideas, new meal ideas, and I send messages to my trainer of things that are on my mind. I'll even send him messages of when I'm having a bad day just to vent and sometimes feel I've become this high maintenance client that is more of a bother. But, he has reassured me I'm no bother, but in fact, these are the exact reasons I've gotten the results I have and he likes being a part of my success. When I saw this quote, I couldn't help but think if I was constantly late, left early, cheated on my rep counts, or didn't give my all each session I probably would not be as successful as I have been. And the thing is, if you are a client who is not taking advantage of all the time and knowledge of your trainers, the only person that is being cheated is you. If you don't put in 100% effort, you will not get the results you want. So, my recommendation is to get your ass in there and put in the work, because until you do you have no right to complain about not getting results.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Challenge Yourself

Earlier I blogged about accepting, facing, and conquering challenges. The best challenges to accept are those against yourself. By challenging yourself, you're only bound to improve. My trainer challenged me this week to see what the max weight would be I could deadlift. A year ago I was able to deadlift 190 pounds. Thursday I was able to max out at 230 pounds. The best way to challenge yourself is to keep track of your workouts. My trainer has me keep a book logged with all my workouts which include exercises that are based on time, distance, max reps, max rounds, or max weight. By keeping track of these, the next time I do the same workout or exercise, I'm able to see how I've improved. This is one way to see how much more healthier and stronger you're becoming. I always enjoy a good challenge against other people. But, when it comes down to it, the only person I want to be better than, is the person I was yesterday. (photo courtesy of Michael Watkins owner Fitness Together)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Accept, Face, & Conquer Your Challenges

I didn't realize it has been a little over a week since I've been on my blog. With work, working out, and last weekend I went out of town for a family reunion, I guess time got away from me. I've missed being on here and will do my best to not let that much time go by again!

Today I'll be participating in a gauntlet challenge at the fitness center. I've seen what the workout will entail, but I'm still nervous because throughout this week I've really pushed myself in my workouts, and even had a couple extra thrown in, and I'm still sore from those. But, all I can do is go in there, do my best, and know as long as I finish I've already won!

I was thinking this morning about accepting this challenge, because we've been doing small weekly challenges for the past five weeks working our way up to this one big challenge, and wondering how and why do I get myself into these situations. And then I remembered this quote I saw, so I had to go out and find it again, but it really is true. If I quit accepting these challenges, or give up when I'm facing them, I'll no longer be moving forward. By accepting challenges and facing them head on, I'm not only allowing myself to go outside my comfort zone, but I'm improving myself overall and just another step closer to my meeting my goals.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Quitting Is Not Acceptable

This quote is perfect for today's post. I have days where my trainer has to really push me hard because I'm not giving my all, and he knows what I'm capable of accomplishing. But, then I have those days that I push myself to the limit and today was one of those days. There have been a few sessions where the trainers have pushed me pretty hard where I've either puked, cried, or was in pain; but today was the first time I managed to experience all three at once and I was only doing cardio.

Yesterday Michael mentioned he had something in mind for my cardio that involved the rower. So I go in and I ended up sprinting on the rower for 2000 meters, for three rounds. I didn't realize how hard sprinting 2000 meters would be, let alone doing it three times. Towards the end of the first set, I was starting to feel the pain and achiness in my legs, arms, and even my abs. But, a few minutes into my third round, I knew I wasn't going to finish before needing to puke. I can't stand to puke and always try to make it to the bathroom, which I did. I ended up walking out of there looking a mess and teary eyed, and I knew I had to go finish my last round. I wasn't about to quit just because I was sore, puking, and shedding a few tears. I finished, and it was rough, but one thing I don't ever want to do is quit just because something becomes difficult. As long as I'm not putting myself in a place where I can hurt myself, suffering a little discomfort is worth it and will get me closer to my goals.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


It's been a few days since I've been on here and wanted to take a moment to say thank you to every one who encourages and supports me. It's been somewhat of a crazy week and have had some ups and downs. I have many family, friends, and co-workers who are an amazing support system for me, but being able to write this blog is something I really enjoy and look forward to. It helps keep me on track and motivated, and I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. As I mentioned, it's been kind of an up and down week so far, and I know my trainer had a hard job this week keeping me motivated and I appreciate him not giving up on me and pushing me harder when I needed it the most. And he still has tomorrow to get through! :) So, I just wanted to take a moment to thank each of you who continue to encourage and support me. Regardless of how long or where I'm at in my journey, I have my weak moments, and having people like you continuing to encourage me is what gets me through those times. You all are the best!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'm Dedicated - Not Obsessed

I love this quote! I have been told many times that I'm becoming obsessed with my workouts. The majority of the time it doesn't bother me and I let it go, but there are times when I really want to tell the person off. I've had people tell me I shouldn't workout so much, or I shouldn't let my trainers be so hard on me. I even had one lady tell me I was wasting my time with a personal trainer. Of course these are the people bitching about still being overweight and not able to control what they eat, while all my hard work is reflecting in how I look and feel. 

So, these people want to say I'm obsessed with working out? That's fine, because regardless of what they say or do, I'll continue to do whatever I have to do in order to become healthier. And as I succeed at reaching each of my goals, I'll know it's my DEDICATION that has helped me conquer every challenge set before me.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weigh-In Update - Down Is Down

Throughout the week Michael will weigh me just for his knowledge, I don't get to look at the scale except for on my official weigh-in day, which is Saturday. And even though I followed my meal plan just as I have since starting it, I had a feeling this week I would either gain or not lose much. When I went into weigh this morning, I really was wishing this was a day I didn't have to look at the scales. And the feeling I had was right, I only lost 0.2 this week. Looking back on my week, I think there are two things that impacted my progress this week. I had a stressful and busy week at work that I allowed to effect my attitude, and that carried over into my workouts, especially the beginning of the week. I know I didn't push myself as much as I could have, plus I had a few days I didn't sleep well either. But, I'm staying positive and not worrying about it. It's like Michael said, down is down. So, now I move on to next week and focus on not letting the stress from work carry over into my workouts or any other parts of my life.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


A few times a week someone makes a comment regarding how well I'm doing with my weight-loss and wish they had the self-control I have. And then there are some they think this has become something that is always an easy process for me. Obviously after going through many changes in how I eat and workout, my old habits have been replaced with new healthier habits, but I still encounter temptations on a daily basis.

We had a company picnic today and there were a couple people serving that questioned the fact I didn't want a serving of everything they offered. Had I done that, my plate would have had brisket, smoked turkey, baked beans, coleslaw, bread, and cookies. For me, eating all this is not only not in my meal plan, but it's not necessary. So, being my high carb day, I chose the smoked turkey for my protein, small serving of the beans for my healthy carb, and then I had a few pickles/onions on the side. I said no to the slaw, bread, and cookies and I was satisfied with my meal.

But, to my main point regarding temptations (and the inserted picture), after I did my cardio today I went back to the office to be available for the work phone for a couple hours. And being I'm the only one there at the time, it was quiet and I had some time where I was able to just kind of think about things. I had went to the copier and as I came back I passed what we call our "Sugar Shack" and I thought this is a perfect example of how temptations are always around, and it's not always easy for me. As you can see this has everything from pop tarts, donuts, chips, crackers, candy bars, cookies, and I'm sure I'm missing something. But, what I want to point out is I took this picture standing in the doorway of my office, so you can imagine how often I pass this. For me personally, this is exactly why it's important for me to plan my daily snacks and meals. If I don't, then I'm tempted to grab something out of here, and that's not going to help me reach my end of year goal. So, yes it has become easier for me not to give into these temptations; but, the fact of the matter is, they will always be there and I have to decide what I want the most.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Should I Workout Today?

Well, I guess it can't get any easier than this. After having a weekend where I didn't feel well, and then having the last couple days of work where it seems everything is going wrong, I've been more tempted to just go home instead of working out.

Monday I already had a scheduled session, so even though I was cranky and whiny, I went anyway. Michael made sure to keep me in line and focused on my workout, and then I ended up leaving there feeling better. Today, after another crazy day, I really didn't feel like going in and doing cardio. And I almost didn't, but I had my workout clothes, and I knew if I would just go do it, I would feel better. So, I went and did a 1000 rep cardio circuit, that included five rounds of six different exercises. In the middle of the third round I really questioned what I was thinking, but then remembered my end of year goal I set for myself, and so I pushed through it and completed what I set out to do for my cardio.

When I saw this, simple yet effective flow chart, it seemed like a perfect tool for me to stay focused and on track. I'm going to print this out and hang it in my office, so when I do have those days where I'm tempted to just go home instead of working out, then I'll have this as a reminder of what I really should do, and that is go workout. I know in the end, even if I get frustrated at myself or Michael, I'll be glad I chose to workout and will feel better afterwards.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Client/Trainer Relationships

When you go the personal trainer route, just as I have, chances are as you work with them for an extensive amount of time your relationships tend to grow. You start out as client/trainer, then you start to build a trust with them that allows you to form a friendship, then if you're really lucky like I have been, they become more like family. But, more importantly, this develops into something where the two of you are able to keep it real, which can only benefit you in your health and fitness journey. 

I've been fortunate enough to work with some amazing trainers, past and present, and friendships have developed with them all. Mike (I miss him greatly, but we still talk all the time and we support each other), Michael, and Steven have been with me since the beginning and these three have become like the little brothers I've always wanted that my parents refuse to give me. See, I didn't get everything I wanted when I was a kid! :) But, the most important thing, is we have developed a relationship where we can talk to each other about anything. Mike used to tell me all the time, "you don't pay for sympathy". Both him and Michael have told me many times, "you can hate me now, we'll be friends later". And Steven, well, he just wants to confuse the hell out of me so he'll say random things that gets me frustrated to a point where I get the most out of my workout.

Below is one of my Facebook status Michael shared on his page as "realtalk". This past weekend I wasn't feeling well, today sucked big time at work, and I went in there whining and complaining hoping he might go easy on me. But, as you can tell from the conversation, it was just the opposite. And if you really think about it, regardless of how it may appear, this really is the best thing a trainer can do for a client. Keep it real and push them hard in their session. For these 45 minutes, even though I may wish he would just be sympathetic, he has to be my trainer first. Because when it's all said and done, at the moment when you need it the most, the best trainers will keep it real with you. They will tell you to get your ass to work, we can talk later! And that's what I appreciate the most about my trainers.