Thursday, July 30, 2015

Workout! Even When You Don't Feel Like It

We all have those days where we just don't feel like working out. And one thing I've learned over the past 4 1/2 years is that when you have bad days or days you don't feel like working out, those are the days you really should get your ass in there! I have actually found when I do I end up leaving feeling better, verses if I would have skipped my workout I would have felt the same and then started feeling guilty.

I had one of those days recently. I woke up with a headache, had a busy day at work with meetings and taking care of some escalated claims issues for our members, and it seemed it was non-stop. So, when it came time to go workout I really wanted to just shut myself off from everything and sleep; but instead I went and worked out. My headache was still there, but I did feel a little better. And when I got off work, I really wanted to go home instead of going to do cardio; but once again I remembered these are the times I need to suck it up and just get in there. So, I made my way down to the Jenks studio with intentions to just do cardio, but when I got there the trainer had this really awesome workout that would be challenging so I decided to jump into that and do something to push myself harder. And let me tell you, that workout definitely pushed me harder.

Now, if you've been injured or have some type of pain issues, maybe you can still go in and the trainer can modify things; or you might truly need to take a few days to recover as to not further injure yourself. But, what I'm talking about when I say getting in there regardless of how you feel and working out harder is when you are just having one of those days where you don't feel like it or just don't want to. So, definitely listen to your body and if it's feeding you a bunch of bullshit then get out of your own head, get into the gym, and as I like to say...DO THE DAMN WORK!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Superhero Saturday

Today was Superhero Saturday at FT and these are all the superheroes that showed up this morning and conquered the workout! And let me tell you, you had to be a superhero to survive the suicide burpees we had to do. That would be me in the middle with the mask. I wanted to be a mysterious superhero. Actually, I was trying to hide the tears I had shed during the The dude on the far left standing backwards was our trainer today and that's Juan. See, working out doesn't have to be boring, and even when it's hard, it can be fun. I wouldn't want to start my Saturdays any other way.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Daily Thoughts - What Is A Mentor?

I'm starting to put myself out there more to be able to help others with their own health and fitness journey, and even updated some of my profile information on the various social medias where people can follow me, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. I use all of these sources to post my blog updates, motivational quotes, and just my thoughts regarding my journey in hopes I'm inspiring others and making a difference. One of the things I updated was the description of what my goal is and that's "Becoming healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually", because it's important to be healthy in all of these areas. The past couple months I've been helping others who have reached out to me, but want to be able to do more, but unless I put myself out there I'm just sitting and waiting for it to happen. And how is that going to help anyone?

Over the past couple days I've thought about what it means to be a mentor, and for me it's not just about inspiring, encouraging, being their friend, and helping someone; but being honest with them even when sometimes the truth might not be what they want to hear but what they need to hear. When it comes to being a Health & Fitness Mentor I couldn't have asked for a better one than I have and that's Michael Watkins. He has given me the tools and guidance to help me in all four of the areas I listed above and I can always count on him to be honest with me, even when it pisses me off. And as I thought about, not just who I'm currently helping, but about being the type of Health & Fitness Mentor to others as Michael has been to me, I started to actually get anxious and scared. I mean, can I be the person who makes a difference for someone else as he has done for me? What if I screw up or what if I don't have all the answers they need to be successful? And it was something I really had to think about today, so during my meditation today that's what I did. And what I realized is, I have the best mentor in Michael anyone could ask for and he is nowhere near perfect! So why am I doubting my ability to be the best mentor to someone else? Why am I afraid to fail? Because when it comes down to it, being the best mentor isn't about having all the answers, but willing to share what you do know. As long as I continue to do that, then I will be able to be the Health & Fitness Mentor that makes a difference and inspires others to be the healthiest they can be as well!

Regardless if I work with you directly, or you follow me through one of my social media sources, I hope I'm making a difference in your own personal health and fitness journey!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Daily Thoughts - ACTION > WORDS

Photo courtesy of Michael Watkins (owner)
Fitness Together Downtown Tulsa
Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside
Some of the things I hear from others are, "I know what I need to do, I just need to do it.", "I'm going to start eating healthier.", "I'm going to start working out."

A lot of the times I hear these statements from people; but I don't really see the action. Unfortunately talking about what you need to do and what you are going to do won't get you results or get you closer to your goals. You have to actually do the work of what you say you're going to do.

When it comes down to it you have to be willing to make the changes and do the work. Don't just talk about what you need to do, or what you're going to do, get up off your ass and DO THE DAMN WORK!!!!

Now, are you ready to take action? Here's a great opportunity to work with Michael Watkins (my personal trainer), owner of Fitness Together Downtown Tulsa and Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside, AND Georgeanna Johnson from Extreme Weight Loss. They have teamed up and for just a little over a $1 a day you can sign up for the 90-day transformation workshop where you can be THE BEST YOU! What's awesome about this program is you don't have to live in the Tulsa area because it's all on line and e-mail. Click on this link, for additional information and to take advantage of this awesome opportunity. Check it out now....workshop begins August 15th!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ab Challenge

I'm starting a four week ab challenge today and invite you to join me. Here's how it will work. Every day you will do the following exercises below for the number of reps indicated, and I challenge you to do them in the morning and then again before you go to bed. BUT WAIT, there's more!!!! Each week it will become more challenging. Not only will you do the following exercises for the number of reps indicated (still both in the morning and night), but each week you'll do an extra round each day.

WEEK 1 - one round in the morning and one round at night
WEEK 2 - two rounds in the morning and two rounds at night
WEEK 3.....I think you get where I'm going with this

  • 20 sit ups
  • 20 leg lifts
  • 20 knee grabs
  • 20 bicycle crunches (per side)
  • 20 second side plank (right side)
  • 20 second plank
  • 20 second side plank (left side)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Daily Thoughts - It's All On You

One of the differences between Fitness Together and your typical gym is that Michael, the trainers, and other clients actually care if you show up or not. If you're not going to show up to the sessions and do what you committed to YOURSELF to do, then why are you wasting your time, your money, and the trainers time? When you don't show up, it's noticed.

When attendance is low in the group sessions at FT, especially if it's consistent, Michael will post in our client page asking where everyone is. And he doesn't do it to be mean or embarrass them, but because he does truly care about his clients showing up and getting results. And typically those who have been out will comment with why they've been out and when they'll be back. But, something I've noticed is some of them will apologize for not showing up. Last week I had another client actually apologizing to me for something, and I thought, why are they apologizing to me?

This got me thinking about all the situations I've seen where people are apologizing to me, Michael, other trainers, or other people for not showing up or not doing what they said they would do. I mean, if you say you're going to show up to a workout and you don't, or you say you're going to follow your meal plan and end up eating a bunch of crap instead, why are you apologizing to us? You're not letting anyone else down except yourself. The things I say I'm going to do are commitments I've made to myself, not anyone else. So, next time you are considering going off your meal plan, or you want to skip a workout for whatever your reasons are, or you don't do what you've committed to yourself to do; just remember, IT'S YOUR BODY! YOUR GOALS! YOUR EFFORT! No one can do it for you! It's all on you and the only person you are letting down is yourself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Don't Wait For Others

Over the past few years my passion to help others has continued to grow. I even at one point looked into going back to school and getting a degree, or at least getting certified, in some type of personal training field. I do have many people, other FT clients, friends, family, and coworkers who reach out to me for help when it comes to working out and eating healthy. Since I've been doing the Empire program with Michael, I've really been able to focus on what it is that I really want to do. Yes, I want to help people become healthy, but what I've figured out is that actually, I don't want to be a personal trainer. I love being able to sit down and talk with people about their goals, what it is they want, and even discuss the areas they are struggling in and help come up with ideas so they can start getting results. I'll leave the personal training to Michael and his team of trainers! Ha! But, it's more than just helping them figure things out and sending them off on their own. I want to be someone who they can depend on for encouragement, motivation, accountability, and to be tough on them when needed (only because I care). I'm not sure if there is a technical title for that kind of person, but I'm calling it a Professional Health & Fitness Mentor.

After I talked with Michael a couple weeks ago about what it is I want to do and what my true passion is, I told him I know I can do more to help others and I want to do more. I'm tired of sitting around and just waiting for people to reach out to me. Sometimes I might go a month before someone reaches out, but I know there are people who need and want help that might not feel like they deserve the help or that asking for help means they've failed. So, I've decided I'm no longer just sitting around waiting for others to reach out to me, but I'm going to start putting myself out there more. Eventually this will be a service I'm hoping to be able to offer to others, not just our FT clients, because there are so many people who need and want help; and I want to be able to be that person who can make a difference. But, in the meantime, Michael is helping me set goals and even giving me the opportunity to offer seminars to our FT clients. In August I'll be doing a carb cycling seminar for our clients. Carb cycling is something I've been doing for about two years now and so I get a lot of questions on it from our clients, so this is a good way for me to put myself out there for others instead of me just waiting for them to contact me. And I'm really excited about it and already have five people signed up!

So, if you have a passion and you're sitting back waiting for someone to reach out to you or something specific to happen, you're not going to get much done. When I saw this quote above, it really hit home with me, because sometimes I do underestimate the difference I'm making to others. I know I'm inspiring, motivating, and making a difference to others; I just need to step up, reach out, and do more.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Depression & Anxiety

I suffered depression and anxiety, which was one of the many things that led to me weighing 350 pounds and being just mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually unhealthy. As most of us who do suffer, we don't want to admit it out of fear and embarrassment. But, when I was 29 and I had become the most depressed and finally confided in an old boss, he is the one that encouraged I see a counselor. After almost 20 years of keeping silent and living as if nothing ever happened, I was getting ready to talk to a stranger about the sexual abuse I suffered. I was scared, embarrassed, and truly in my mind thought no one understands what I'm going through. I almost backed out of my first appointment, but so happy now I didn't. Even if at the time I didn't realize it, the first time I stepped into that counselors office was the day I was taking control of my life again. All my life I basically lived life to make others happy, family, friends, coworkers, everyone but myself. I quit college after a year and a half, I didn't trust others so never allowed people to get too close to me, and over those years I allowed myself to become unhealthy every way possible.

I was almost 29 years old when I first started seeing a counselor and psychiatrist to work through the 4 years of sexual abuse from my childhood. I couldn't sleep and still continued to have signs of depression and anxiety. I met with the counselor once a week to talk and the psychiatrist once a month for medication management. He had me on Ambien to sleep and Zoloft for my anxiety and depression. After almost two years I had come a long way and decided it was time to focus on my education. I went back to college and ended up getting my associates and bachelors degree in business management. Just as I was in the last 6 months of my bachelors program, that's when I realized I was 350 pounds and decided it was time to get serious and focus on my health. That of course was when I decided to invest in a personal trainer and in March of 2011 I started my journey with Michael Watkins and Fitness Together. Now, here I am a little over four years later and I've never been stronger and healthier mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

I'm not saying I don't have bad days, or that I never have those horrible flashbacks, but because I've been given tools how to deal with them better I get through those situations easier. I've recently started doing the Empire program through Michael and Fitness Together and it's helped me even more. I focus on the four core areas of life, body, being, balance, and business, and in the past couple months have noticed an even bigger and better change. Just in the last couple weeks I've started to focus on a true passion of mine and that's to help others in their own health and fitness journey. I think the most important thing is that I've grown as person and I'm loving who I am for the first time in about 28 years.

One thing I've learned in being open about my depression and anxiety experience is that I'm not alone. Those of us who suffer from depression and anxiety a lot of the times feel we are alone, but in reality we are far from being alone. If you feel you are suffering, I encourage you to seek out someone who can help, and face it head on. Not only will you feel better in the end, but you are worth it! You deserve to be happy, healthy, and more importantly as Michael says, you deserve to have it all!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Focus On Your Passion

I've talked before about focusing on passion and purpose in a prior blog post titled "Passion? Purpose?" and I mentioned the lesson I learned is if I focus on my passion I'll find my purpose.

Since writing that post, it's not that I haven't focused on my passion of helping others in their own health and fitness journey, but I just haven't been putting the effort to do something different besides writing this blog or waiting for someone to reach out to me. There is so much more that I can do, and that I want to do.

Just recently I've been able to help a couple of our other FT clients, and one even lost 6 pounds her first week after I met with her. This is something that I love being able to do and want to be able to do even more. I was able to talk to Michael today about what I would like to do, and by the end of the conversation I was really excited about having specific goals to accomplish within the next 30 days in order to start focusing on my passion.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reps For Vets 5K - I Ran For My Daddy

U. S. Marine Lance Corporal William Bullock
This 4th of July weekend I participated in two different 5K events. The one I ran today was a fun run obstacle course called The Mud Factor, and as you can guess by the title involved A LOT of mud. But, the one I ran Saturday July 4th is the one I want to focus on and talk about.

I've ran a couple 5K races in the past, The Tulsa Run and the Aquarium Run, but it has been three years since running my last one. I really enjoyed running and even had goals to work my way up to a 10K. But, about three years ago I had stopped training because the summer was just so hot and so I went about 3 months with no long distance running. Once it started to cool off I decided to get back into running but made a mistake of taking off like I had been running all summer. I ended up pulling my hamstring, but the other mistake I kept making was I wasn't letting it to completely heal before I would try to get out there again. For the next year, I found every time I would go for long distance runs I would end up being sore for several days, my trainer would have to modify my workouts, and decided it wasn't worth it anymore.

I've been wanting to get back into running, but out of fear decided I didn't want to risk it. Couple weeks ago on our Empire call Michael asked us to list things we loved to do but don't do anymore, and running was one of mine. We each committed to one thing on our list to start doing once a week. With Michael's orders that this couldn't take the place of working out or cardio, but I'm doing it for myself and fun, I decided to go with running. So, I basically just started training again for running and started back at the basics and downloaded the Couch To 5K app. Michael partners up with several other local business owners and is involved with Reps For Vets where we workout and proceeds go to help local veterans in some way. Originally I thought I would just do the 1 mile fun run, and then at one point had talked myself out of running at all because I haven't had time to train, but then decided it's a great benefit and I'll just get out there do the 5K and just do my best.

I only got a few days of training in and each day was only about 30 minutes of walking/running intervals so when it came time for the race I decided I would run as much as I could and walk as little as possible. I had already accepted the fact that there was no way I would be able to run the entire 5K without stopping to walk some of it and even told myself if I could complete it within 50 minutes I would be happy with that. So, as they start the count down, fire the shot to go,  I took off with a nice steady pace and because I was familiar with the route I was mentally planning approximately where I'll need to start walking and how long I'll walk for. As I'm approaching that first place where I figured I would need to walk, I thought to myself, no not yet. I'm still good. As I continue to keep a good pace, I started to not only think about what and who this race was for, I started to think about my own father (pictured above) and what these men and women sacrifice for us and our country. As I'm approaching the first turn around, and another spot I intended to walk a bit, I kept thinking about my daddy and just kept running. I'm 40 years old and my entire life all I've known about his military career was he was a Marine, served in Vietnam, and had a hand grenade go off near him which left what I call his football scar (the skin graft covers his entire forearm and is in the shape of a football). What happened while he served was just not talked about, and since his time served was prior to him meeting my mother, she knew about as much as I did.

But, a few months ago he was diagnosed with pneumonia and was in and out of the hospital. This last time he was in the hospital he was in there almost two weeks and while I was up there visiting one of the nurses noticed his scar and asked about it. And to my shock he told them what had happened in some detail even I hadn't ever heard and I was sitting there thinking "How is he even here?" I asked my momma later if she knew those details he just mentioned, and she said not until a few months ago, and they've been married 45 years. Recently someone put him into contact with a counselor at the VA clinic and he talked about it there, and since she goes with him to these sessions, she's hearing things for the first time as well. I've always been proud of my daddy for being a Marine and serving in Vietnam, but within a few minutes I went from not just being a proud daughter but a proud American.

I'm sure there is a lot more to his time served, and I hope I'm able to learn of it all in time, but what he said that day at the hospital kept me running. First, it wasn't just one grenade that went off by him, and he said as his arm was hanging there he was behind rocks with his gun in his other hand firing at the enemy to keep them away as he waited for help. He remembered the blood and others coming to his aide wrapping him and his wounds to apply pressure so he doesn't bleed to death. There's so much more I want to know, like, if he was still firing at the enemy while he waited for help, how did they get him out? I know the military has plans for these situations; but how does someone train for something like this and then when it happens to be able to keep their head straight when going in? Like I said, I've always been very proud of my daddy for his service to our country, but hearing this and knowing there's even more I don't know about his time over in Vietnam, I'm so thankful he's here today.

As I'm running the Reps For Vets 5K, there were a few times I really wanted to stop and walk, but the whole time I'm remembering this about my daddy so I kept pushing through those thoughts and never stopped running. Not only did I complete the 5K without walking any of it, but I ended up placing 2nd in my age group for women and ran it in 43:10. He didn't give up on our country, he's never given up on me or our family, and there's no excuse for me to give up on a short run! Thank you to all the men and women for your service to our country!