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!