Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fitness Together - Together We Succeed

Some of my FT family! (L-R) Chinoise, Jennifer, myself, Brianna,
Michael (owner), Mikah (Michael's wife), and their two kids Beckett and Marley

I've talked before about how my health and fitness journey has been successful because of all the people who have been a part of it. Yes, as Michael has told me before, it's me doing the work; but without the people who have been there to help me through it I know for a fact I wouldn't be where I am today and I wouldn't be as successful as I have been.

One of the goals I wanted to set 90 days ago was to incorporate running into my cardio, but I also know running is one of the things that is hard for me to stay motivated to keep doing. And when I talked with Michael about this goal, he actually suggested I start the run group up at Fitness Together so it's something that could involve other clients. I thought this is great and I pretty much took that opportunity and ran with it. I invited any of the clients who wanted to be a part of this group, and anyone interested I created an actual FT Run Team page so we could make sure we are keeping each other accountable but also make sure we are encouraging everyone to keep going and do their best. Most of us have not had much running experience, so the first thing to do was to start training for a 5K. I personally have done three 5K races, but each time I either had to walk at some point or go down to at least a speed walk pace. So this is the first time I was going to actually train for a race. So I set up a run schedule where we would run three days a week, and each week I posted the schedule along with the program for that week so for those who couldn't make it to the scheduled runs could do the training on their own time. That was 90 days ago, and the goal was for us to run the Bedlam Run here in Tulsa on July 30, 2016; and not only did we complete the training (for me the first time ever) but we ran the 5K and we all rocked it! I was able to run the entire time and I completed the race in just over 41 minutes! So, 90 day goal met! :)

Me after I completed the 5K
My medal I received when crossing the finish line!

Now, there are some who for various reasons are still working on their training for the 5K and some who wish to continue working at that level, but there are some of us are ready to start working towards a 10K and we start that training this week! And that's one thing about this group, is we all have our own level and pace, but we can still train together and be successful. I'm not only blessed that Michael allowed me the opportunity to start this group up, but beyond grateful of everyone who is involved and who are supporting our group. There were several people who told me they would have never started this or done this had I not started the group and continued to encourage them to keep going. And this isn't only humbling, but it's also the reason that I was able to stay motivated to keep going.

So, not only was I able to follow through with my own personal goal and be successful, but by training with this amazing group others were able to follow through and accomplish their own goals. This is one of the things that I love about Fitness Together, and why that's a perfect name for our FT family; because we aren't left to do things on our own, but instead we are actually encouraged to work together. So, if you're not receiving the support and encouragement where you're at now, or if you feel like you're working alone, I highly encourage you to contact Michael Watkins at Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside or Fitness Together Downtown and see exactly how we can help you meet your own personal health and fitness goals. Because here, we are Fitness Together, where together we succeed!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

When Will I Stop Working With A Personal Trainer?

I get asked often about how often I workout and all that I do in my workouts. I'll get asked things like....

1) "How much longer are you going to workout with a trainer?" 

2) "Don't you think you've become obsessed with working out?"

3) "You know you don't have to do everything the trainer tells you to do, you are the client and are paying him?"

4) "When you meet your goal, will you stop working out so much?"

These are probably the four questions I get asked the most, and at least once a week someone (sometimes the same person) will ask me one of these questions. Even though it's still irritating to be asked these questions, especially numbers 2 and 3, I've gotten used to it and so now I just do my best to answer the question without sounding like they've just asked me a dumb question. I say that because I can remember what it's like being the person who is seeing someone working out and getting healthy and thinking to myself, how much longer do they have to do that? Or, they seem obsessed with working out and not sure that's a good thing. But, because I've made this lifestyle change, I no longer see these things as obsessions or temporary situations.

But, for those who might be curious, I'll answer the above questions real quick and even explain my answers and then I'll get off my soap box! :)

1) I'll never stop working with a personal trainer. Yes, I've learned a lot over the past 5 years, and yes I do come up with things to do on my own and I am more self-motivated, but that doesn't mean I should stop working with a personal trainer. The reason being is a personal trainer helps keep me accountable. My trainers know when I need to change things up, and they know what changes I need to make. They know when I need some extra motivation and are there to give it to me. They know when I'm struggling and wanting to give up and they are there to listen to me and not let me give up on myself. My trainers help me grow and improve so I can continue to be better every day. My trainers are the center core of my support group.

2) No, I don't think I've become obsessed. I know my limits and I know my body. There are times my body tells me to slow down or back off and I listen. I also know in order to improve, I must be willing to do more. That means maybe going longer in my cardio, doing something different and more intense, using heavier weights. By making working out part of my daily routine doesn't make me obsessed, but it makes me dedicated to my health and my goals.

3) I know I don't have to do everything my trainer tells me to do. But, why would I pay a trainer to help me improve and then don't do what he says? First, my trainer won't ask me to do something that he feels will hurt me, not benefit me, or that I'm not capable of doing. I know he's going to ask me to do things that will push me outside my comfort zone, that will help me get results, and that will benefit my health in the end. Now, I might not like to do everything or every exercise (for example I hate burpees); but as a client I know everything that's asked of me my trainer either knows I can do it or has the faith in me that I can do it. So, even if it's something new I've never done before, I'll always try it and see if it's something I can do. I will never refuse to do a workout or an exercise I'm truly capable of doing just because I don't like it or just because it's too hard. As the quote says, "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it."

4) When I meet my goal I'll probably have to work harder to maintain. For me this question doesn't make sense. I mean, if I'm going to have to put all this work and effort into getting my results and meeting my goals, then chances are once I meet my goal if I stop or cut back on working out then all I've worked for will eventually be lost. I will gain weight back, I will lose strength and endurance, and then be back on the path to being unhealthy again. I'm not sure why some people think that once you lose the weight you want that you can stop working out, or not workout as much, and expect to keep the results. But, anyway, no I don't plan on cutting my workouts out or down when I hit my goal weight.

So, what prompted me to write this post? Yesterday someone noticed the new flyer in our break room at work with all I've accomplished at Fitness Together and I mentioned that Terri (FT Community Manager) was one of the people helping me with my boxing. And so that prompted the question number two listed above, asking if I'm obsessed with working out. And like I said, it does still get a little irritating but I answered them pretty much like I did in the answer above but couldn't help but think about the question along with the other common questions I get. So I meditated on it and decided to post about it because I truly do understand why some people have these questions. But, all I can say is for me personally, having a personal trainer and working out, eating healthy isn't a temporary because I don't want temporary results. This is now my lifestyle because I've decided I want my results to be permanent. And the only way to do this is to take the opportunities presented to me so I'm always learning, growing, improving, and moving forward.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Where I've Been & Where I'm Going

I know it's been some time since I've posted, in fact I didn't even realize how long until I got on here to write this post and it's been almost 2 months! I've had a lot going on, not just with my health and fitness, but in my personal life and at work. Staying busy and just haven't made it a priority to make time for my blog. I've definitely missed posting and interacting with my readers, but by making this part of my core4 and actually scheduling the days/times each week, I'll be posting at least twice a week. I think by saying I'm going to try to post something on a daily basis I put too much pressure on myself to follow through with something that I wasn't even actually making time for or even making a priority. But, by scheduling the time to work on it, not only means I'm making time for it; but making it a priority. I already meditate and journal on a daily basis, so taking those daily thoughts and compiling them into a blog post a couple times a week will allow me to put the effort I'm wanting into writing my blog posts. These posts help me in many ways because it allows me to work through my thoughts and emotions, and in the process I hope my story and journey inspire others to set and reach their own goals. So, because it's been almost two months, this will be a somewhat lengthy post so bear with me and I'll get you caught up on what's been going on and where I'm at now!

Like I said, I've been busy with so many things in all areas of my life, but a couple things that have been keeping me busy are two of my 90 day goals which is at the end of this month. I've been training for a spar (yes, an actual boxing spar) and to run a 5K. Michael Watkins, the owner of Fitness Together who has been my biggest mentor for over 5 years now and has helped me with all my goals in some way, once again made sure I had the tools and access to the people I needed to be successful. He got me set up at The Engine Room, a local boxing gym owned by Aaron Sloan, where I'm working with some amazing coaches which include Terri, Bruce, Kevin, and John. We hope to have the date/time set up within the next couple weeks for my spar, and yes I'm a little nervous, but very excited and ready! This probably has been one of the hardest things I've done, not just physically, but mentally as well. But, I've been working my ass off, doing well, and I've come a long way! I'll keep ya updated on when I spar and how it goes! The second thing I've been working on was training for a 5K. Not only was I wanting to get more running in to help with endurance and conditioning; but I wanted to work towards running races. But, for me running is hard to stick with so Michael actually suggested I get a group going and he's been so wonderful at allowing me to lead this group of people who also wanted to do more running. We are the FT Run Team and each week I post the schedule of when we run, along with the running program. I've even coordinated with Tulsa Runner to have workshops for those of us that had questions and wanted some expert running advice. And not only have we completed the entire 5K training program, but we are running our first 5k as a group this Saturday! We are running in The Bedlam Run! And then after that, I will continue to lead and help the group keep moving forward so we each are able to reach our own individual goals.

So, that's been the two biggest things that have been keeping me busy outside of work, but there is one thing I was inspired to write about today and that was regarding a couple goals I just set for myself. If you've followed me for any time at all, then most of you know that I've been with Michael and Fitness Together for over 5 years, and within the first four years I lost 153 pounds. I started out at 350 pounds and after losing all that weight was under 200 pounds for the first time in I don't even know how long. Well, this past year, even though I never gave up, I always showed up for my workouts, and I continued to eat healthy, my weight did take a roller coaster ride and gained about 30 pounds back; which in the big picture isn't too bad because that means I was still down 120 plus pounds. And I believe the reason my weight suffered even though I worked out and ate healthy was because I allowed myself to get inside my own head. I had a lot of mental and emotional blocks that I just had a hard time getting past which caused my weight to fluctuate. But, that's all changed recently since I started to incorporate the boxing and running. And then of course Michael always has new challenges for his clients and the most recent one was a new nutrition program he wanted some people to test. I thought this would be a good opportunity to test something for him and change up my nutrition in hopes to jump start the weight loss again. It's an 8 week program, we just finished week 2, and I've already lost almost 14 pounds! And this got me thinking about what I want to accomplish at the end of this 8 week program. This is what I meditated on yesterday a great deal, and today decided on two goals. One is a scale related goal and the other is a non-scale goal.

But, I couldn't set my goals without looking back at what I've done and where I want to be in 6 weeks. And let me tell you, it was a real eye opener and also a fantastic realization of just how far I've come. My scale goal is to lose another 18.9 pounds. I know I can do it with hard work, dedication, and staying focused. How I came up with this number is looking back my lowest weight was 197.8 so losing this 18.9 pounds will not only get me back under 200 pounds but will put me at 197.7 which will be a new all time low since starting my journey at Fitness Together. And then I don't want to only focus on the scale, so decided my non-scale goal is to get into a size smaller jeans. I started out 5 years ago in a size 28 women's plus and today I wear a size 14 in misses. Since starting the meal plan a couple weeks ago I've noticed my jeans are getting looser in the waist so I went today and bought a pair of size 12 jeans with the goal to be able to wear them in 6 weeks. I know this too is possible because I could get the jeans on, just need to be able to button and zip them up! :) The last time I was in a size 12 was probably back in 5th or 6th grade! Just check out the comparison of my jeans in the picture below. The huge pair on the bottom are the size 28 women's plus, the dark denim in the middle are the jeans I can wear today and are size 14, the top black pair of jeans are the size 12 which I WILL BE WEARING within 6 weeks!

Sometimes I get so focused on all I still have to do or how far I have to go that I forget to stop and celebrate all I've accomplished. Which is why I've hung on to only one pair of clothing from my original starting weight, which are these jeans, so I always have a reminder of just how far I've come but also a reminder of where I never want to be again. One thing I've learned is in order to know where I want to be, and even how to get there, I have to stop and remember where I came from and what all I've done.

I'll keep ya updated! Until next time, keep pushing and stay focused on your goals!
And of course my favorite way to end my posts on Facebook...

#noexcuses #onlyresults