Tag Archives: fitness

What if you’re still writing the rest of your story….

23 Jul

I’ve recently listened to a series of messages entitled, The Rest of the Story.  Different leaders shared their story and then what they decided to do which resulted in the rest of their story.  These messages were inspiring, encouraging, empowering, motivational, and real.  Each speaker was honest, transparent, and vulnerable about darker times in their lives and shared how they made decisions that resulted in the rest of their story.  Each message ended with how they survived, triumphed, and moved forward.  Each week, I learned so much.  It’s always good to hear how a person makes it through challenging times.    However, as I sat there today, I realized that not everyone, myself included, has seen the “rest of the story.”  Many of us are still in the writing process and the waiting process.  The speakers talked about seeing their promises fulfilled.  What about those of us who are still waiting on the our promises to be fulfilled?  What about those of us who have dreams and hopes and have had them for a while but haven’t seen them turn out like we’ve hoped and dreamed???

This is where I believe in the power of sharing and being vulnerable while we are in the process of writing our story.  I believe it’s very powerful to hear someone say, “this is what is going on in my life right now…I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out and I’m not sure what is going to happen…but this is what my mindset….this is my perspective on things….this is how I’m not giving up.”

It’s very inspiring to hear how people have made it through financial difficulties and are on the other side and have achieved success in their financial goals.  But what about being open and honest while going through the financial difficulties???  What if people were to be vulnerable and say, “Right now, I’m trying to figure out job situations and I’ve had some unexpected bills arise and finances are tight; however, this is what I’m doing and how I’m meeting the challenges.”

I know that every person has some challenge or situation he or she is facing right now.  Myself included.  So, it’s very encouraging to hear someone share his or her story of being in the middle of his or her current chapter with no knowledge of how the rest of the story will go and to share how he or she is counting wins and moving forward in the direction of his or her dreams and goals.  I know for my clients who have weight loss goals it is much more effective for them to hear from others on the weight loss journey….not from people who have already lost the weight but from those who are currently on the journey of losing weight.

Sharing our stories…even the ones we are in the process of writing and have not yet seen the rest of the story….is powerful.  When we are going through struggles, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone and as if we are the only one who has ever went through that situation.  It’s always assuring to know that others are right in the trenches with us working towards a dream, a goal, seeing a promise fulfilled.  Yes, I want to hear from people who know the rest of their story; but I also want to hear from people who have no idea how the rest of the story will end up.

How are you choosing to hope in spite of broken promises?  How are you choosing to believe when it looks like your dreams are shattered?  How are you moving forward towards your goals in spite of challenges and setbacks?  These are the stories I want to hear, too.  Yes, I want to hear the stories of people who have made it – who have conquered illness – who have attained financial security and success after going bankrupt  – who have a wonderful marriage after having broken relationships and suffering.  I want to hear them all.

We need to know that there is beauty after hardship but we also need to know there is beauty during hardship.  We need to know about the mountain that someone climbed; however, we also need to hear from the person in the process of climbing the mountain.   We need to know that there is life after illness; however, we need to know that there is life during illness.  We need to know about the successful entrepreneur; however, we also need to hear the story of the entrepreneur who is struggling during the process of building his or her business.

I don’t have life all figured out.  My life isn’t all packaged nicely in a beautifully wrapped box with a bow.  I have dreams that I haven’t seen come to pass, yet.  There are financial struggles – there are career struggles – the single life has lasted a lot longer than what I thought it would – there are moments of uncertainty – my chances of motherhood seem to be slipping away.  Yes, I’m looking forward to the rest of the story and being able to tell the rest of the story.  However, I am writing a beautiful book…the story of my life.  I get to write it.  And I’m enjoying the process of writing it.

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What do you do when you fall down

30 Jan

What do you do when you hit a bump on your fitness journey or when you have a bad eating day? Do you just throw your hands up and say, “i’ve blown it so I may as just eat everything in my frig and pantry!!” or do you say, “Ok, I had a moment but now it’s time to get back on track and continue making good choices!” Which one are you?

We all have those days – those moments. It’s normal – we’re human and we mess up. However, it’s what we do afterwards that counts.

For example, last Saturday, I had one of those days. I had been getting up every morning between 4:30 and 5 and not getting to bed until after 10. Friday evening, I hosted a painting party to help me raise money for my upcoming missions trip to Haiti; so that meant planning and preparing for the 21 ladies that were attending. I had early morning prayer, fitness classes, and an afternoon of errands and preparing for the event. I didn’t get home until 11:30 that night and then had to be up early on Saturday to teach fitness classes. When I arrived back home Saturday morning after classes, I was tired and I was hungry and lack of sleep had my brain all foggy. None of these were conducive to making a good choice. I grabbed some chocolates that I had leftover from my party and ate them. Yep….on an empty stomach. And they were delicious!

Now….what did I do afterwards? Did I beat myself up for making those choices? Nope. I knew there were a lot of components that had led to my decision and that I’m human and once in a while I’m going to eat chocolate for breakfast! However, I also knew that I would get right back on track with my lifestyle and how I eat 90% of the time.

Again, it’s okay to have those moments. We all do. It’s what we do the next day that matters. If we continue making the choices we know aren’t going to bring us mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health and wellness, then that isn’t okay and we need to have someone help us get back on track. On the other hand, if we go right back to making those daily choices that will bring us life and well being, then all is well.

It’s not how many times we fall down, it’s how many times we get back up! So, get back up and keep walking!!! You can do this!

Friday Fitness Tip for 12/16

16 Dec

Friday Fitness Tip:

1) Have a bite before you go out.

Many times, people will choose not to eat because they know they are going to a party where there will be lots of food. That is the worst choice to make – by the time you get to the party, you’ll be ravenously hungry and won’t be able to make good choices and will end up overeating and feeling horrible the next day. Eat normally throughout the day – breakfast with protein, a great lunch (big salad with lean protein) and even have a snack before heading to the party…An apple and some almonds. This will keep you from eating too fast because you’re hungry and will allow you to enjoy the foods you want to eat.

2) Keep each celebration limited to one day.

Don’t go into Holiday mode and just eat everything and anything when you want and skip all of your workouts. This will cause you many tears on new year’s day when you realize you’ve gained five pounds!!! Go to your Christmas party – and then the next day go back to making your good choices AND make sure you get in a workout!

A review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that the longer it takes you to re-focus on fitness, the more your enthusiasm for it will dim, and the harder it will be for you to get back on track. In short, a day off won’t hurt you, but a week or two off can derail your progress toward your goals. It can also inflate your waist size, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The researchers found that just two weeks of inactivity can increase belly fat by seven percent. So, skip one day but then get right back on track!!! Your 2017 self will appreciate that!

3) Keep calories in perspective.

All of these tips are not meant to make you frantic and not enjoy the season. They’re just meant to help you be aware of your choices and how to keep from gaining the typical 5-7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. A few high-calorie meals during this season will not sabotage your fitness goals.

A better strategy: Focus on how many calories you burn during the course of a week, not each day. As long you are making good choices and eating healthy 80 percent of the time, you can cut yourself some slack during the other 20 percent.

What are some ways you stay balanced during this time of the year???

Focus and Choices

20 Aug

It’s been a while since I’ve made the time to sit down and write.  I can’t use the excuse that I’ve been too busy because we all are busy and we all have the same amount of time to get things accomplished.  It all comes down to what I have chosen to do with my time; and, obviously, I made other choices and let others things take priority.  In my life, when I see that I have not done something in a while that is important to me, I know it is time to pause, reflect, and see where I need to focus and what I need to let go.

Letting go of things is not easy, but I have to remind myself that I can’t be scattered in various directions.  I can do many things with mediocrity but that is not what I want to do.  I want to focus on 3-5 things and do them with excellence.  I have to be aware of what distracts me and know those distractions, recognize them, and then ignore them.

This became clear to me when I was lying in bed for 10 days with some kind of bacteria that got into my digestive system.  I was so ill that I couldn’t do anything…read, listen to the radio, watch TV, etc.  Nothing gets you thinking more than not being able to do anything or go anywhere.  I kept thinking “what if I had an illness that would leave me like this forever?  Have I done enough with excellence that I would be satisfied with what I have accomplished up until now in my life???”  I decided to take the three weeks of illness and the forced “pause” in my life to reflect, think, and focus.

I know that I will fall once in a while and get distracted but it doesn’t matter how many times I fall down….it matters that I get back up and get right on track again.

Do you feel like you are being scattered in multiple directions???  Are the important things in your life getting the attention they deserve?  Are the choices you are making today taking you in the direction of your goals, values, and vision for your life?

Don’t wait until an illness forces you to slow down and have to get off the merry-go-round.  Schedule one day or a weekend retreat to re-visit your vision for your life.  See where you need to focus – what you need to let go of – and the choices you need to make in order to do this.  Write it down. Put it in several places.  Remind yourself on a daily basis of what you need to choose to do and not do that day.  Every choice in each moment does matter.  I wish you all the best, and I will be right there with you making choices to get me to my goals!

Is there a better time of the day to workout?

3 Apr

Is there a better time of the day to workout?

People ask that question because they’ve read somewhere or heard it somewhere that a certain time of the day is better than another time to workout. And, there’s always research and a study that will confirm that morning is better, that afternoon is better, that mid-morning is better, etc. All of the information that is out there can be confusing and/or make you feel guilty if you can’t fit in a workout during the time that is supposed to be optimum according to the article, the book, the author, etc.

Here’s my opinion – the best time to workout is when it works for you and your schedule as long as you get it in during a 24-hour time frame.

As a fitness instructor, I’m glad that everyone doesn’t get up at 4 a.m. to do a workout because that means no one would come to my morning classes, my noon classes, my afternoon classes, my evening classes!!! I’m glad that people can find what works best for them and that they have a choice as to what class they can attend.

Is it better to do a workout in the morning? In my opinion, it is only because you know you have done it for the day and don’t have to worry about something unexpected happening to keep you from your workout later in the day. But some of my best workouts happen in the afternoon or evening. Some of my worst experiences running have happened while running first thing in the morning and then I’ve also experienced great early morning workouts. It just depends on the day.

You know what works well for you, your body, and your schedule. That is what should determine the time of your workout. You should never feel guilty because you can’t workout at a certain time that an article said you should workout. If you read something or hear something that makes you wonder if you would see different results if you could workout during that time, try it for a week or two and see what happens.

If you read or hear that working out on an empty stomach does “such and such,” try it and see how you feel and how your body responds. I, personally, cannot workout on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. I get very nauseous and can’t give 100% to the workout and it ends up being a waste of my time. Also, if you have low blood sugar or diabetes or other health issues, it may not be the best choice for you to workout with nothing in your stomach. You might pass out. (Also, you should always check with your doctor and/or pharmacist if you are taking medications.)

Listen to your body and know how you respond to a workout at a certain time and then make it happen. When I’m working with my clients, we always look at schedules and lifestyles and then we make a plan. I’m happy as a trainer/coach when my clients are working out and it doesn’t matter to me what time they do it as long as they get it done. And this would be my advice to you, as well….just get your workouts done…..and have fun while doing it!

Here’s to fun fitness and fabulous workouts!!!

It’s how you finish that matters…

11 Sep

We have just entered the last quarter of 2014; I know I find it difficult to believe that three-fourths of this year is behind us. But so it is, and the reality of the matter is we still have three months to finish this year strong. Many people started 2014 with a bang and lots of goals and dreams and plans of what they would accomplish this year. As the year has progressed, they have slowly lost momentum and enthusiasm has waned. My challenge to you is to remember that it’s how you finish that matters. It doesn’t matter if you finish fast and furious…what matters is that you cross the finish line. I always think of the famous fable of the tortoise and the hare….slow and steady won the race.

So take a moment and reflect on what you had wanted to achieve in 2014. I submit that it isn’t too late to do it. You have the rest of this month and three full months to go for the finish line. Finish strong! Don’t quit; don’t moan over 9 months being gone. Begin today. Start in this very moment. It is not too late to continue to the finish line and cross over.

I’m with you!

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!