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Stay tuned….

28 Apr

Stay tuned....

A picture say a thousand words – this one truly does. This is just the beginning #lebertfitness #lts #leboot #lehip #lebarre

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Sleep – it does a body good!

19 Jan

In the November/December issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, there was a 5-page article that went into depth about sleep and what it does for a body.  I think many people are working on their food choices and activity choices when it concerns their well-being, but I know a lot of people do not factor in the importance of getting enough rest and quality sleep.  I know we have long to-do lists, and it seems like there’s never enough time to do all that we need to do. However, I’m hoping that after reading this, you will see how important and vital it is to your total body health to put sleep at the top of your list.  

Most adults need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, but most people only get about 6.5 hours per sleep.  Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, memory loss, high blood pressure, diabetes, overall fatigue, headaches, muscle aches and has been found to influence how well one can pay attention and focus.  One big important thing that sleep does is it allows the body to release the human growth hormone (HGH) which can improve fitness and sports performance. When HGH is being released into our bodies, the body does its repair and regeneration work.  It helps build and repair muscle mass, tissue and cells.  So, see, a lot is going on while you are sleeping; and you are actually helping your body out by choosing to set a bedtime for yourself every night.  I know I hear a lot of people say, “well, I can sleep when I’m dead.” Well, guess what?  By choosing not to get adequate rest, you could speed up your time to get that eternal rest.  I think I would rather get my vital sleep and live a while longer.

IDEA suggested to share the following list with clients, so I’m choosing to share it here:

~ Limit caffeine, particularly in the afternoon and evening.

~ Limit alcohol.  Especially avoid excessive consumption before bed.

~ Try to quit tobacco use; nicotine is a stimulant.

~ Don’t use a computer, cell phone, or handheld device in the 90 minutes before bedtime. LED lighting “tells” the brain to stay awake.

~ Limit television viewing before bed.

~ Lower the temperature in the house or bedroom before and during sleep.  The body likes cooler temperatures.  Many sleep doctors suggest lowering body temperature 90 minutes before bedtime.

~ Take a hot bath 90-120 minutes before bed.

~ Use the bed for only sleeping, lovemaking, and perhaps reading before bed.

~ Nap only 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon, if necessary.

~ Keep a sleep diary to track patterns.

~ Eat 3-4 hours before bed and avoid heavy meals. Some evidence suggests that a light carbohydrate snack before bed helps sleep.

~ If possible, protect sleep from intrusions (unexpected noises); consider wearing earplugs.

~ If you don’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something else until your body and mind feel tired.

~ Meditate, listen to soothing music, or create other nighttime rituals that signal it’s time to sleep.

~Use blackout curtains to block light.

~ Buy and use a reliable, effective alarm clock.

~Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow.

(Source: Rosekind, 2008)

Try these suggestions and begin to put sleep at the top of your priorities.  If problems still persist, you may want to talk to your doctor about possible sleep disorders and get the correct tests/studies to see if you do have one.  Sleep isn’t just for babies and children; it’s for all of us. The hours we spend resting and sleeping will benefit the hours we are awake.  You will see results by choosing to get the right amount of sleep. Try it!  You’ll like it cuz sleep – it does a body good!

Do and don’t try!

3 Jan
Happy New Year!!!
 
As you take a moment to see where you are today – -compare with where you were on January 1, 2013….are you better?  Are you healthier?  Are you fitter?  Are you stronger?  Are you more flexible? Do you have more stamina?  Are you happier?  Or….are you the same?????
 
Only YOU can determine what you do this year and if you improve your wellbeing.  You are in charge of that – no one else is…not your spouse…not your children…not your parents….not your friends….not even your fitness instructors and coaches.  YOU and YOU alone can only decide that the time is NOW to be a better, healthier, stronger version of you.
 
And you can’t do it alone – you  need to surround yourself with a team.  This team should include people who will encourage you to do your best and not hinder you.  So this team may or may not include family – many times in our quest of wellbeing, family can actually be a hindrance. That is just the plain, honest truth.  As much as we would like for our partners and family to be with us on our journey of wellbeing, they may not be there yet.  So, you have to do this for you!
 
Of course, I’m one who will be a big team player for you and am here to help coach you along your journey. 
 
Don’t try this year…DO it this year.   A big difference in the two words – the word “try” leaves room for doubt and hesitancy.  The word “do” is active and powerful.
 
I expect you to “DO” this year….quit trying 🙂
 
Yours in wellness,
Angela

I was one of the 1 in 3….

26 Nov

I recently read an article in my Women’s Health Magazine that brought back a flood of emotions and caused my heart to tighten in my chest as I remembered a time not too long ago where I was living some of what was written in the article.  I hesitated to write this blog but decided to write it because someone else could be one of those women and trying to deny what is happening to them. 

Domestic Terror is the issue and the statistic is 1 in 3 women in the U.S. experience violence at the hands of a man in her life.  1 in 4 U.S. women have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner (hit with a fist, beaten, slammed into something, etc.).  1 in 2 have experienced psychological aggression (insults, humiliation, name-calling, coercive control). 1 in 6 have been stalked by an intimate partner. These numbers are way too high and something needs to be done.  Women need to be educated and taught that is okay to walk away and to seek help. 

Thankfully, I got out of the relationship before it turned into physical abuse but mental/verbal abuse is just as bad and does as much damage on the emotions and wellbeing of a woman.  I was blessed that my recovery time was short and I had a great support system that was there when I decided to be open and honest and admit what was going on.  Also, I am blessed to have an uncle who is a retired cop who had a “one-on-one” conversation with the guy and let him know what would be done if he tried to contact me ever again. 

You may wonder how a woman would allow herself to be in a situation where a man could abuse her….it’s easy.  You ignore the red flags, and you are willing to overlook certain behavior because you want to prove to that person that they are wrong in what they say about you or think about you.  You also observe him being kind, friendly, charming with others so you begin to think the issue is with you or that maybe you are overreacting and being petty.  Most often, after an argument or episode, he will be very charming and make you forget about what just happen.  You will keep your opinions to yourself to avoid an explosive argument….even stating my opinion on a certain book sent him into a rage one night. 

The article  gives some behaviors to watch for…warning signs that a man could be an abuser.  The Source is Debby Tucker, executive director of the National Center on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence:

1 – constantly checking up on you

2 – Isolating you by criticizing close friends.

3 – Driving a wedge between you and family.

4 – Acting overly charming.

5 – Monitoring your social media accounts and pushing for access.

6 – Moving too fast in a relationship.

7 – Wanting to control the finances.

8 – Putting down your appearance.

9 – Dismissing your opinions quickly – or worse, calling you stupid.

Ladies, if the man you are dating exhibits ANY of these behaviors, please break off the relationship completely and get counsel.  When I say break off the relationship, I mean to break it off and have no more communication at all with him.  The guy I was with had several of these behaviors – and I wish I had read this list to know and be aware before I got in too deep.  Again, I am very blessed that we broke up before it turned physical – I remember the last night…a conversation turned into him exploding with anger because he was convinced I was lying to him and was going to a conference to meet someone. He proceeded to yell, cuss me out, and  throw a piece of furniture across the room.  I remember thinking, “what am I going to do if he hits me?” I think that is the moment things started becoming clear to me. 

Another reason why I almost didn’t write this blog is I realize what could happen should the wrong person read this and report back to him.  But the day I cut off all communication with him is also the day I stopped allowing him to control me in any kind of way.  I will never share his name or give away his identity but I will share my story to help other women get out of abusive situations because I believe everything we go through in life is to help someone else.  I never want any woman to have any of those feelings of low self-worth and that nothing you do is good enough.  Please don’t be a statistic.  Be Smart. Be Safe. Value yourself, your wellbeing, and your health.  Don’t be one of the 1 in 3.

Puzzle Pieces

15 Nov

This week was one of those weeks of question, uncertainty, and just feeling like pieces of dreams were falling all around me.  There are two of my friends that I group text with on a daily basis – we live in different states but our daily tag-ins keep us apprised of our days and what is going on in our lives.  My week started out with a negative doctor’s report and I was quick to text them and just share my fears and my doubts and my worries.  Both my girlfriends were there for me with words of encouragement and hope.  My friend, Dawn, made a great statement that has really stuck with me.  She said, ‘God will bring the puzzle pieces together in an organized fashion.’  Now, I’ve done several puzzles; in fact, my nieces and I have started a tradition of buying a Christmas puzzle and putting it together during Christmas break.  When you have 1,000 pieces all over the table, it can be quite overwhelming but you start with you foundation first – all the pieces that have a flat side you start connecting so you can make the frame.  And then you look for similarities and colors and start trying to fit pieces together.  You don’t wait to check if pieces will fit until you have found the perfect match…you just start trying to connect them.  If one piece doesn’t fit, you put it aside and try another.  That’s how life is…..you have the general frame of what you picture for your life and then there’s the pieces that somehow will fill the middle and make a beautiful picture.  You try things – sometimes they don’t work; but you don’t stop. You try something else.  You try a relationship and that person may not be the right fit at the time…so you go to another piece.  You make connections and you develop a network and somehow, eventually, more and more pieces fit together and it gets easier and easier to see the big picture and bring the puzzle to its completed perfection.  I’m not going to leave a puzzle half-finished with pieces scattered everywhere…i’m going to keep trying pieces and know that the puzzle will come together and will look better than what I could have pictured from just looking at the box!

Slide out of your comfort zone!

20 Sep

We all get comfortable in our routines and in our habits; and if we are not careful, we settle comfortably into our ruts and burrow in.  I’m always pushing my classes to do things out of their comfort zone, and to live life and try new things.  Tomorrow is the day I MUST practice what I preach!!!!  I will be participating in my first Marine Mud Run with 5 of my Boot Camp girls from Nature’s Fountain.  Now those of you that know me, know that I despise being muddy, dirty, and wet – the thought of being covered from head to toe in red mud makes me want to go jump in a hot shower!!! To top it off, there is an 80% chance of rain tomorrow and not just a drizzle….the weather person said expect torrential downpours….really????? May I just make a donation?  I don’t mind the obstacles and I don’t mind the run – it is only the mud and being sopping wet that I detest.  However, I cannot expect any less of myself than what I expect of my class participants; so I will be there leading the charge up and down the slippery slopes of sopping wet red mud…yelling encouragement (to myself, as well) and making memories with a great group of women.  We will be wearing the lime green shirts, crazy socks, headbands and will have our faces painted like a marine.  We WILL kick butt on the obstacle course and will be a team pulling each other through the mud and over the walls.  Will I love it?  I don’t think so but I will do it and will slide, slide, slide out of my comfort zone! 

Birthday Reflections

23 Jun

A few weeks ago I celebrated the day of my birth.

I have to admit that during that week I did some reflecting on where I am, who I am, what I’m doing, who I’m becoming and how it all fit into my grand scheme of life that I dreamt of as a younger person. 

I’m sooooooooo far off point it’s not even funny!!! By this in my life, I had pictured I would be living in the perfect house, with an amazing husband, beautiful children, and enjoying my life as a loving wife and stay-at-home mom.

Instead, I’ve discovered that there’s plan b…..plan c……plan d…..plan e….plan f….and so on.  Life has many twists and turns; and just like a tree, my roots stay firmly planted in the foundation of faith, hope, love, family and friends but I’ve had to do some bending and twisting to adapt to the winds of the change. 

There is no way I could have ever imagined all the things I would do – the places I would go – the people I would meet – the different paths my career would take….and that’s good!!!!  I would have never planned such an exciting, adventurous life.  I’ve met fabulous people and acquired amazing friends. Even at times when it looked like failure and I could see all my hopes and dreams crashing around me, I was able to get up (after having the wind and life knocked out of me) and keep putting one foot in front of the other and continue living, believing, hoping, loving, and expecting great things to happen.

I’m pursuing my own business….something I would have never done if life had not happened the way that it did.  I get to work with people and help them live healthier lives and become stronger and leaner.  I get to watch people transform their lives and their families’ lives as they make better choices when it comes to food, drink and exercise.  I love what I do and do what I love. 

I’ve learned that I get to choose the people that I allow into my life – that I don’t have to keep people around me who are not good for me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  I don’t harbor hate, bitterness and unforgiveness…instead, I forgive, learn, and move forward.  I understand that I get to choose my reactions to life, people, words, illness, divorce.  I have learned the power of choice – I choose life, wellness, happiness, blessing, looking for the best in people, love, contentment, and hope.

I can truly say that I am happier today than I’ve ever been in my life and am looking forward to this new year of life….bring it on!

WSSC13 Thoughts

7 Jun

I had the privilege of attending and volunteering for the World Spin and Sport Conditioning Conference in Miami.  Although I have been certified with Mad Dogg Athletics for a few years, I never had another Spin enthusiast to go with me until this year.  I could have went by myself but it’s nice to have someone with whom you can discuss lectures, workouts, workshops and rides….someone who “gets” your love and enthusiasm and craziness! 

For anyone who may not be aware of what Spinning is (no….it’s not twirling in circles and getting dizzy!!! I really have had people ask me that.) here is a brief explanation.  Johhny G is the man who was a cyclist enthusiast and wanted to be able to train indoors when it wasn’t feasible to be outside on a road bike.  He is one of the creators of the Spin bike and the concept of Spinning.  For detailed info, go to this page http://www.maddogg.com/history.html

Spinning is a trademarked name; and an instructor has to be trained through Mad Dogg in order to call himself/herself a “Spin Instructor”.  I am totally a Spin snob…..there are other indoor cycling programs out there but …. I’ll just leave it at that. 

The conference is one of the best that I have attended and I’ve been to several different conferences.  There were 17 different lectures/workshops/workouts/rides to choose from every block of time – barefoot, mind/body, boot camp/circuit, dance/barre, nutrition lectures, Spin lectures, Peak Pilates sessions, Spinning, stretch & restore, yoga, and mind/body business of fitness lectures. The presenters were some of the best in the fitness industry and were there to help us become better at what we do and were always willing to spend time answering questions.  Over 80 countries were represented at the conference and that diversity sparked great conversations and connections were made and friendships were formed. 

The conference began on Thursday night with over 256 energized and enthused people in the Grand Ballroom on Spin Bikes as master instructor Josh Taylor led them on the Fighter Pilot Ride.  He worked over 18 month creating the ride, putting it with music, and with a multi-media presentation that started you on a aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, had you up in the air flying, switching over to scenes of our men and women in the military and their families, back into the air and finally landing back on the carrier.  The crowd was energized to begin with; but when he started the ride with Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” from Top Gun, it escalated to another level.  I was not able to actually ride but volunteered to fill water bottles just so I could be in and be part of the epic ride.  I could never adequately describe the energy, the camaraderie, and the fun that happened during those two hours.  I loved watching the hotel workers observe people “working out” and having a blast.  No one should ever suffer through a boring run on the treadmill with just one’s iPod for company!!!

I hit the ground running and ran hard.  If there was something going on, I was there.  I am not one who can attend a conference and go to my room and rest when there’s a lecture, workshop, or workout going on.  I’ll rest and recover when I get home – I’m there to learn, grow and become a better person….can’t do that when I’m going to my room to rest! I started two mornings with a ride….Friday morning, Master Instructor Elsa Storm from South Africa, created a ride called, “E = mc2”.  We challenged our body and our brain as we explored Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.  Saturday morning’s ride was SoulSistas….led by four fabulous female master instructors – Wow!  Once again, words fail so I’ll quote part of the description from the program guide:  “A strong woman works out to keep her body in shape.  A woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.”  It was the first ever and I was lucky to be part of it. 

I gleaned from business lectures that I attended and from the valuable connections made with female studio owners.  It was during Vito LaFata’s session that I realized I had not changed my mindset to “I am an entrepreneur…I am a business owner” and that was quite the revelation.  I walked away from his lecture knowing what I need to do and how I need to think. 

The last session of the conference I chose to ride with Scott Schlesinger in Rare, Remixed and Mashed up.  During part of that ride, he had us envision another rider in the distance and he took us on a mental imagery journey.  He talked us through getting closer and closer to the rider….then coming up to the back of their bike….then starting to pass the rider….being side by side and looking over….seeing our old self – the person we were before the conference…and then pulling away from that rider and leaving that person behind and going forward with all we had learned and discovered to be the person we want and aspire to be.  I know I left the old me in the dust….I appreciate her but I’m ready for this next part of journey….in this ride of life. 

I’m still going through my notes…making contacts and connections via social media…processing everything I heard…and deciding what two things I am going to focus on in the rest of this year. 

I’ll finish this blog with some of the thoughts that stayed with me from Elsa’s Ride and SoulSista’s ride: 

As long as you’re moving, you are going somewhere.  ~Natasha

We’ve all come through struggles but we keep climbing. ~Elsa

Being strong is the ability to endure tough times but stay soft.

Life’s greatest mistakes bring blessings and we should capitalize on them.

It’s in the journey that women of strength become strong.

When it all falls into place, you wonder why you ever doubted that it would happen.

~Angela

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Grandma’s pink

17 May

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Confession

16 May

Yesterday morning in a class, I forgot something very important.  I forgot that it’s not about me and it’s allllll about my students.  I try not to do that but I failed in that moment.  You see, the ladies were coming in later than usual – not as talkative – and the energy was very low.  I figured that when I turned on the music, the magic would happen and the room would come alive with energy and attitude.  Well, it didn’t happen – in fact, I wondered if anyone was there….I tried to engage them and was my typical crazy, energetic self….but to no avail.  During a pause between songs, I even commented on the low level of energy – i know, BAD instructor!!! The class continued and somehow we all survived.  One of my usual spunky girls was very quiet – I did take note when she came in that it appeared as if she had been crying.  She apologized on her way out for her lack of energy and I knew right then that I had failed as an instructor.  I quickly reassured her that all was well and that it was probably just my energy.  It was then that I noticed the splint on her fingers – I didn’t ask any questions but just had this feeling that something had happened to make her upset. 

I walked to my car and gave myself a much needed scolding.  Even though the energy was low of my class participants, at least they were there.  They could have stayed home – but they still chose to attend class….even if they couldn’t give 100%.  It’s not my job to judge them or try and change their circumstances.  It IS my job to encourage them – brighten their morning with a smile – and to be a ray of sunshine in their day.  It is NOT about me….it is allllll about them.  They should never leave my class and feel defeated and wish that they had stayed home. 

This is a confession I wish I didn’t need to make; however, I guess I needed to be reminded of what my job as an instructor really is – really, what my “job” as an individual is – every person who comes into my day should leave feeling happier, encouraged, motivated, and loved.

I promise to do better.