Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just Keeping It Real

I had started working on a blog post, and it was starting to become quite lengthy, when someone posted an inspiring testimony about how they remembered why they were there pushing through the sweat and pain. And then it hit me, why am wasting my time putting so much focus on the situations that are not motivating when there are so many people I’m around who have such inspiring stories. Now, that doesn’t mean what I was writing wasn’t important or didn’t need to be written as a “keeping it real” topic, but after thinking about it, those need to be just kept to the point. It’s those people and moments that are inspiring people that I need to focus on and not worry about how long my posts is. So, with that said, below I took what was becoming a novel of a post (yeah, believe it or not, this is the shortened version…lol) and wrote a somewhat brief summary of some points that might just be the “oh, crap, she’s talking about me” motivation to get back in there and get back on track. Also, know I’m really not trying to call anyone particular out, these are just situations I’ve witnessed or read posts about recently that make me just shake my head.

- We all have moments where we go hard in our workouts and tracking our meals. But, then we also can get burned out. What I’ve seen recently is where people are getting burned out, but instead of just cutting back or getting refocused, they stopped showing up and just started eating and drinking whatever they wanted. I mean, I have been going hard by working out three, sometimes four, times a day. Well, that’s okay, but I was getting burned out, but I didn’t just stop showing up completely. I basically cut out my evening sessions so I’m only working out twice a day, once in the morning and then at lunch. And if I have time I might do some light cardio in the evenings, but nothing intense. This has allowed me to get home earlier and I’m in bed at a decent hour allowing me to get more sleep and rest.

- Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are your “friends” and family supportive of your health and fitness lifestyle; or do you feel the pressure that you are “doing too much” or “you’re losing too much weight” or “oh, go ahead and just eat/drink this”? Sometimes the most important people in our lives, and those who even love us the most, can be the most discouraging people. I don’t think, at least I hope anyway, that they truly don’t mean anything malicious by it; but, it can still be bad if you allow their negativity to bring you down and pull you away from what you need to do to meet your goals. Remember, you’re doing this for YOU and no one else. And anytime you go through a drastic lifestyle change like this, you have to surround yourself with people who will support and lift you up and not people who continually bring you down or focus on the negative.

- We all have moments where we quit getting results. Heck, I’m going through that right now. But, the question is, what are YOU doing about it? Are you getting to your workouts (on time as well) and giving your all. Are you following the trainer’s advice on your meal plan? Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing outside the fitness center when big brother isn’t watching? Are you being honest with your trainer on what you eat? If you are, then it’s completely understandable why you’re getting frustrated. I’m at that point where I follow everything exactly as Michael has told me, but still struggling on the scale. But, even when I end up on the floor in the shower crying because I’m doing everything he says but still struggling, I NEVER stop showing up and NEVER give up. I show up to all my sessions and bust ass and then whatever modifications he makes on my meals I stick with it and see what happens. Now, if you’re NOT doing your part to make sure you get results, then who do you really have to blame? There’s nothing more frustrating than for someone to continually ask for your advice, and then not follow that advice and not show up for sessions, and then constantly complain about not getting results. Michael once told me, “Be strong and do the work.”

- Is it a lifestyle or a phase you’re going through? That’s the other thing, you have to remember in order to become and stay healthy this has to be a lifestyle. It’ can’t be a phase, or something that’s temporary, or even something that can be done when it’s convenient for you. You have to make time for your workouts, you have to plan your meals for success, and more importantly (especially if you have a trainer) you must be willing to trust the process and trust your trainer. Yes, you pay for your time, and I guess if you choose to not take advantage of the time and knowledge you can get from the trainer, I guess that’s your problem. But, if you take having a personal trainer for granted by not showing up for your session, always being  late, or not following their advice (especially when you ask them for it), in my opinion that’s disrespectful to them and wasting their time because they could be training someone who really wants to be there and is committed to the process.

Now, don’t get me wrong, no one is perfect and it is a learning process. But, when a person just totally stops trying because it becomes hard or becomes discouraging, there’s really nothing anyone can do for them. Because just like anything else, this has to be something they want and are committed to. People can encourage, support, and be there for you when you have those moments when you feel like giving up; but no one else can do it for you. One of my favorite Michael Watkins quote from my consultation day, “We’ll spoon feed you everything. We’ll give you everything you need to be successful, but it’s up to you to do it.”

So, ask yourself, are you really committed to your health/fitness program and lifestyle; or is it something that is only important when it’s convenient for you? If you’re committed, remember you’re going to have struggles and you will have moments you feel like you’re not able to do anything else, but as long as you don’t stop and don’t give up you’ll be just fine. But, if you’re not totally committed, then you might want to take a step back and just think on this. YOU and your life are important, and you shouldn’t make yourself a convenience, but make a commitment to yourself to be the best and healthiest version of YOU!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weigh-in Update - I'll Never Give Up

I can't remember the last time I struggled so much to stay positive during my health and fitness journey. I really think it's important I share even the lowest moments on my blog. I feel it's imperative people realize it's a tough journey and it's not easy at times, but in the end it's definitely worth it.

I go through ups and downs, but the past six weeks or so I've struggled a lot. And the issue for me is that I'm following my meal plans and working hard during my sessions, but it seems I just keep going up and down with the same six pounds or so. I was only up .4 this week, which isn't even a half a pound, but I'm still about eight pounds up from the lowest I was about six weeks ago. I feel at a loss right now, and keep wondering if I'm fighting a losing battle. I also know it could be a lot worse, I could just give up and say the hell with it. But, that's not me. I know I have options, but I'll never allow giving up or quitting as one of those options.

It's hard sometimes, and like right now I keep trying to figure out what I could do differently to start seeing results again. But, instead of stressing about it I'm going to continue to move forward, stay focused and positive, eat right and bust my ass in my workouts, trust Michael and the process, and be grateful I have so many people in my life who support me no matter what I'm struggling with. Like I said, I feel at a loss right now, but I do know one thing, and that's I'll never give up!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Don't Settle For Cheap & Easy

I started to compile this post about three days ago, but this week has been so busy I just haven't had much time to be able to just sit down and write. But, I wanted to address a couple comments that were made to me earlier this week in conversation I had with someone. When someone asks me about my experience or ask for my advice, the passion I have for health and fitness just kind of takes over. But, from time to time, I get replies that make me leave the conversation wondering if what I really said made sense to them or made a difference. I know, just because someone questions me about health and fitness, doesn't mean they are wanting to change anything in their lives; but they are just simply curious. And I would never turn any conversation into a lecture, or try to tell someone what they need to do, because until they are ready to make the changes anything I say or do won't matter anyway. But, I do always try to make sure they understand how much my life has improved by working out and eating healthier. And the other day I had a lady ask me multiple questions about what I do for workouts, my nutrition, and where I train. I can typically tell if someone is asking questions because they are interested in making changes in their own life, or if they are just curious. Either way, I don't mind answering questions, but she said a couple things that made me grateful that I didn't settle for less by choosing Michael Watkins and Fitness Together.

This past Tuesday I had a VERY intense leg day, in fact my legs just started feeling somewhat normal yesterday, and this conversation took place on Wednesday. One of the comments she made was after I told her how my trainer doesn't let me slack and always pushing me beyond what I think I'm able to do. Her reply to that was, "That's why I like the place where I go, they don't make you do something if it's hard or if you don't feel like doing it." I can't remember where she goes, but it's some ladies group program. But, it got me thinking, and it's like Michael always says when I'm complaining something is hard, "If it wasn't hard, everyone would be doing it." I will be the first to admit, when I'm in the middle of a tough session, I get pissed at Michael because all I want to do is stop or do something easier, and he's over there saying things like, "I thought you had goals to meet." or "Oh, it's hard? Okay, keep going." But, afterwards, I'm always grateful he didn't let me slack or take it easy on me. If it's not hard, then I'm never going to change, and I'm never going to get the results I want. So, even though there are times that I don't know if I can make it through the workout, I'm grateful Michael never takes it easy on me.

The other comment she made was regarding where I train and the cost. I never go into the cost of what I personally pay, one because what I pay is my business, but also because the cost depends on what you choose to do. You have so many options with Fitness Together, from private one-on-one sessions, semi-private, or group sessions. And it can also depend on how many days a week you commit to as well. I just know, getting into what I pay isn't important, so I just stick with what the average session can cost depending on what they want out of it. Well, her comment to that was, "You could probably find something cheaper somewhere else. Have you researched other places?" Of course my reply to her was that I did research over three years ago and that's why I chose Fitness Together, but the cost wasn't the main factor. My research was to make sure I was getting the best service, because as my Mom has always said, you get what you pay for. So, when I make any type of investment, especially when it comes to my health, I'm not going for cheap but I'm going for the best.

Now, I know, some people are saying, but not everyone can just go out and hire a personal trainer. And I totally understand that, but what I don't want people doing is settling for less than they deserve. Everyone deserves to be healthy and happy, so when you're searching for what is BEST for YOU, make sure you don't settle for cheap and easy! Make sure you only get the best, because that's what I did when I committed my life to Michael Watkins and Fitness Together!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Everyone & Every Journey Starts Somewhere

I didn't plan on doing a post tonight, but after seeing this quote I wanted to write something quick because I feel it's important we all realize we all have to start somewhere. Regardless if you have 10 pounds to lose, 100+ pounds to lose like I had, or if you're just wanting to tone or get more fit, starting the journey can be intimidating and maybe even embarrassing. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the comment, "I've got to lose some weight before I start going to the gym.". Now I can't speak for these people, but I would have to guess they feel this way because we have this concept engrained into our minds that a gym/fitness center is for the people who are skinny and strong.

I personally know how it feels to be scared and self-conscious, that's how I felt the first day I walked into Fitness Together to meet with Michael. But, I also knew I needed a personal trainer if I was going to be successful with any type of weight loss. It also helped that he made me feel comfortable and never once made me feel like I was unimportant or not normal. Of course he might have a different opinion now on if I'm normal or not...LOL! :) But, what I started to think about was how far I've come in the three years I've been training at FT. When I first started, I was using the 15 pound kettlebell for swings and I didn't even know what a burpee was until about four months into training. And today I'm using anywhere from a 55 to 70 pound kettlebell for swings, goblet squats, sumo squats, and many other kettlebell exercises. And then of course I think I've done more burpees than any person should ever have to do, but I've done from floppy burppes, one-legged burpees, one-armed burppees, to even (not so graceful) one-legged/one-armed burpees, and I'm sure there are more variations to come. What I want everyone to understand, is whatever you are wanting out of your own personal health and fitness journey, remember everyone has to start somewhere! So, get out there, do the work, and you can only get better!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sometimes We Just Need A "Fresh Start"

If you've read the last few posts you'll know I've been struggling a bit the past several weeks on the scale. I've been doing my best to stay positive because even though I've been going up and down with the same six pounds, I've improved in other areas such as hitting several new PRs, clothes fitting better, and even people noticing I'm "getting smaller". And even though I know better than anyone we can't only focus on the scale, after a month of going up and down on the scale, making my total weight loss only a half a pound for the month of June, I couldn't help be extremely frustrated and had a minor breakdown. This was mainly because I knew I was going into my sessions and working hard and I was following my meal plan like I should, so I just didn't know what else we could do. One good thing about having such an awesome support system with your trainers and the other clients at Fitness Together, is they understand and get you through these moments.
I ended up meeting with Michael, went over my food journal for the month of June and we talked it out. One of the things he mentioned in his message, and after talking with him it really made sense, is we may need to go back to square one. Just going by past experience, he suggested I do all high carb days next week to re-boost my body. He mentioned it seems I need to do this about every four weeks, and the last time I had done this was right before the Advocare challenge. We are also looking at doing my cardio different and he's going to write me some stuff to do in the evenings that I can do from home. This will not only change up what I'm doing, but will probably be good for me to cut back on the evening sessions I've been doing and just do some light to moderate cardio. It will also allow me to hopefully get more and better rest, which has proven to play a factor in weight loss success.
After we talked I felt a lot better about moving forward, mainly because I know no matter happened the past few weeks, as long as I continue to do what I'm supposed to do and work hard I'll start getting results again and will eventually hit all my goals. Again, as Michael has told me, "It's not a matter of IF you meet your goals, but WHEN  you meet your goals!". After we talked Michael wrote me a note stating he thinks we need a "fresh start", and I think he's right. I've got my meals planned for next week, will get them prepped tomorrow, and just make sure I give 100% and plus some in all my sessions. And then of course no better way to get a "fresh start" than with new "bitch mittens", aka gloves so my hands wont hurt and to avoid calluses! Ha! Not everyone might get the "bitch mittens" reference, but if you do then I know you're laughing right now because it cracked me up when I saw the note! :) So, regardless if you are six months, a year, three years like myself, or even longer into your health and fitness journey, when you feel stuck and are getting frustrated, don't give up! Just take a step back because you just might need a "fresh start"!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Have Not Failed

Over the past three years I've had moments where I've not been on track as I should have been with my nutrition and cardio, and it typically showed on the scale. As I mentioned in a prior post, those last nine months prior to Michael taking over my training, I had basically plateaued going up and down with the same five pounds. One of the things that I no longer had was someone keeping me accountable. I didn't have to turn in a food journal, I didn't write my workouts down, and I didn't do weekly weigh-ins because no one asked for it so what was the point. At the time I didn't think this was a problem, even though I didn't plan, prep, or journal my food I still did my best to make healthy decisions so I couldn't figure out why I wasn't losing. Of course looking back on it now, I realize, even though I was coming to my sessions with the trainer I wasn't doing what I should be doing outside of that to make sure I was successful. It's amazing at how these few little things keep you accountable and can make a difference in the results you get. There have been times when I've thought to myself, "Man, I've really failed this time." These past few weeks I've been struggling on the scale, but trying to not let it get me down because I know I'm getting results else where. People are making comments I'm getting smaller and I'm hitting new PRs which means I'm getting stronger. This past Saturday when I weighed in I had lost only .2 pounds. Thinking back, I'm still frustrated with my last weigh in, but because I do my food planning and prepping, get to all my sessions and bust ass, and weigh in weekly to keep that accountability, that I've done what I'm supposed to do and worrying about it won't help the situation. I'm participating in a couple challenges that are getting ready to end this week, one is a team challenge and the other is a the Advocare 24 day challenge. The past couple days I've probably been overthinking a lot of things and was getting to the point where I felt I have not only failed myself, but my team for the team challenge. But, after seeing this quote, it put everything back into perspective. I realize I have to just keep doing what I'm doing, and that's show up for my workouts, continue to plan and prep healthy meals, weigh in weekly to keep that accountability, and make any modifications Michael suggests. As long as I keep doing these things, and I never stop trying, then I HAVE NOT FAILED!

July 2014 Challenge - Total Body

Here is the July 2014 total body challenge! A little bit of everything, including burpees! Enjoy! And as always, if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message!

20 squats, 5 push-ups, 10 crunches, 5 burpees
80 squats, 35 push-ups, 40 crunches, 35 burpees
25 squats, 8 push-ups, 12 crunches, 8 burpees
85 squats, 38 push-ups, 42 crunches, 38 burpees
30 squats, 10 push-ups, 15 crunches, 10 burpees
90 squats, 40 push-ups, 45 crunches, 40 burpees
35 squats, 12 push-ups, 18 crunches, 12 burpees
95 squats, 42 push-ups, 48 crunches, 42 burpees
40 squats, 15 push-ups, 20 crunches, 15 burpees
100 squats, 45 push-ups, 50 crunches, 45 burpees
45 squats, 18 push-ups, 23 crunches, 18 burpees
105 squats, 48 push-ups, 52 crunches, 48 burpees
50 squats, 20 push-ups, 25 crunches, 20 burpees
110 squats, 50 push-ups, 55 crunches, 50 burpees
55 squats, 22 push-ups, 28 crunches, 22 burpees
115 squats, 52 push-ups, 58 crunches, 52 burpees
60 squats, 25 push-ups, 30 crunches, 25 burpees
120 squats, 55 push-ups, 60 crunches, 55 burpees
65 squats, 28 push-ups, 32 crunches, 28 burpees
125 squats, 58 push-ups, 62 crunches, 58 burpees
70 squats, 30 push-ups, 35 crunches, 30 burpees
130 squats, 60 push-ups, 65 crunches, 60 burpees
75 squats, 33 push-ups, 38 crunches, 33 burpees
135 squats, 65 push-ups, 70 crunches, 65 burpees