Tag Archives: wellness

A moment at the Y

17 Mar

Today, I subbed for another instructor.  I’ve subbed for her before and noticed an older gentleman that would come in close to the time that class was to start.  I perceived him to be more on the quiet side – but he would always thank me at the end of class.  Someone had something to me at one time that caused me to form a preconceived idea of him which is something none of us should ever do.  We shouldn’t form an opinion until we have taken time to get to know someone for ourselves.  We even have to be careful of taking our friends’ word about someone and not making sure we find out for ourselves.

There were only two participants today – it’s Spring Break here in Knoxville area.  And they were chatting about his recent trip back to India.  He was sharing how he had attended a wedding that lasted for six days.  He was giving details about the beautiful flowers and all the food and that each day there were 500-700 people in attendance.  I was fascinated because I truly enjoy hearing and learning about other cultures.  I started class and so the conversation stopped.  I taught and then was cleaning up and waiting for him to get his mat and put his Equalizer away.  I decided to engage him further in conversation and that one moment turned into an hour-long conversation that left me with my mouth hanging open as I listened to him share about his life and all that he has done.  I mentioned to him several times that he needed to write a book  and share his life’s story.

His name is Arun Arora and he was born in India but moved to German when he was 23 to being his work as an engineer.  He’s lived in 20 countries – moved to the US about 34 years ago and has traveled to every state and every major city.  He said Colorado is the most beautiful place in all the world in his opinion and lived there for 15 years (I hope I’m remembering  all the details…I was listening intently and trying to take it all in!).  He worked for ABB, which is a Swedish-Swiss multinational company that operates mainly with robotics and automation.  However, he also mentioned building substations and transmissions for utilities.  He’s consulted for many companies – and the list goes on.   It appears as if he never married and he only moved to Knoxville because his brother became ill.  Otherwise, he would still be in Colorado…skiing, skating and backpacking.  I could have listened to him even longer because I’m sure there is so much more that he could share!

Our Y association in Knoxville is wanting us to share moments and stories that members tell us so I knew this was definitely a story I needed to share because I’m not sure very many people at that facility know any of this about him because he’s just one of those quiet people who come in for class and never says too much.  I emailed the director of that branch and recommended that he sit down for a cup of coffee with this gentleman and block out some time just to hear some of the history and wisdom from this member.

It was truly one of those moments when I was reminded that every person we come in contact with has a story and that we need to look beyond the outward appearance and go past the accent we hear when they talk and be more aware of these eye-opening moments that fill our days if we will just take the time to pause and listen.  My life became even better after spending one hour listening to Arun and hearing some of his fascinating life that he has lived.  This meek and quiet man has had so many adventures in his 75+ years of life that he could probably write one book for each year of his career.

Did I have that one hour blocked for him on my schedule of the day?  No.  In fact, I had several projects that needed to be finished for my online classes and had planned on being home by a certain time.  But as he began sharing with me, I consciously made the decision that I was just going to be present in the moment and listen to the life experiences and wisdom that I was being honored with as he chose to share with me his life.  I do not take that for granted and feel very blessed and grateful when people like him cross my path and cause my life to be enriched because they’ve spoken into.  You never know what one moment will hold and if we aren’t careful, we can miss it.  What moments will you choose to act on?

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 Tips

9 Dec

Friday Fitness Tips:

Here we go….take a deep breath….you can do this!!! The “most wonderful time of the year” is upon us. This month causes mixed reactions in most people. Some people love every moment – some tolerate it – some dread it. Regardless of your feelings for this month, I’m going to try and share tips every Friday that will help you be healthy and well and finish 2016 strong!!! I’ll share three tips today that I think are the most important for starting this month.

1) Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast sets the nutritional tone for the rest of the day, and you don’t want to send your body into survival mode by prolonging your overnight fast. Bonus points if you swap your bagel for eggs and your venti latte for a short black. Doing the former can help shrink your waist by 34 percent and your body fat by 16 percent, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.

The reason: You’ll consume fewer calories in subsequent meals. Doing the latter can save you 188 calories a day. And let’s be honest, it’s the caffeine you love anyway. Feel like you never have time to make breakfast? Have some grab and go options – almonds, apples, boiled eggs, bananas, etc – that can help you with the morning rush.

2) Keep a food log – yes, even during the Holidays. This will help you maintain and not gain and keep you aware of what you are consume. It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s shockingly effective at helping people eat healthier, according to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The researchers found that people who recorded everything they ate for a week lost six more pounds than people who didn’t. Don’t bother buying a notebook—smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal, Lifesum, and Eatly make recording what you eat easy. All three also sync with third party fitness trackers, helping you gain a more holistic view of your health and daily activity. I use MyFitnessPal and love how it helps me be accountable.

3) Don’t skip workouts!!!! Skipping just one workout can initiate a downward spiral, increasing your odds of skipping another one by 61 percent, according to British researchers.

The solution: Think smaller. Instead of trying to carve out time for one long workout, do two or three short ones. “In so doing, you’ll boost motivation, eliminate ‘too busy’ as an excuse, and accelerate both muscle building and fat loss,” says Chad Waterbury M.S., a Los Angeles-based exercise physiologist.

A great go-to is a Tabata based workout. 20 seconds of a move, 10 seconds rest and repeat for 8 times total. You can choose one move for four minutes and then choose another move for the next 4 minutes. In just 16-20 minutes you can have a great, effective workout done.

If you would like for me to post a tabata workout, comment below and I’ll give you one to add to your resources 🙂

So, incorporate these three tips for the rest of the month and I’ll share more next Friday! Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of help to you. I offer free consultations and would be glad to help in any way that I can.

Remember, breathe and take time for yourself in the busy days ahead.

Finishing 2016 Strong

8 Dec

It’s hard to believe that we are in the last month of 2016.  I think back to the beginning of the year when I had a brand new year ahead of me with blank pages upon which I would write daily with my choices and doings.  Am I where I wanted to be?  Have I done what I wanted to do?  Have I been what I wanted to be in 2016?  So, I take time to ponder these questions and reflect upon the last 12 months.  These reflections will help me determine what I set forth to do on January 1st.  I know that I have taken on new things which has caused me to neglect other things that I felt were important to me.  So, for 2017 I know that I need to think about the impact of taking on new things and what it will do to what is currently on my plate.  Yes, it can be good to take on new things and new opportunities; however, I think that if I add something new than I need to subtract something away.  It’s the process of continually growing and transforming.

One of the things that has helped me was the practicum coaching that I had to do as part of my online education at MUIH for my master’s in health and wellness coaching.  I was coached by a fellow student in my program; and even though it was a practicum, it was so helpful and beneficial to me as an individual.  I had some areas I felt stuck in and that is what I brought to the coaching sessions so I could be coached.  As my coach would ask powerful questions and utilize coaching resources during the sessions, I was able to have clarity and experience some “aha” moments as she coached me through the sessions.  This experience was also valuable to me as a  coach to understand how it feels to be in a coaching situation as the client.  It allowed me to see the value of having a coach to help discover the answers that already lie inside us and how having another person on our journey towards goals can be so helpful.

As I prepare for the new year, I’ve decided that I’m going to take advantage of the last 23 days of this year and finish strong by choosing daily to make choices to meet my goals.  My word for 2016 was, “execute” – I chose that word because I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go so all I had to decide was to just do it.  So, from now until the end of the year I will just do it – I will be present, I will make time to be with friends, I will celebrate life, I will be confident in what I do and who I am, I will learn and teach Strong by Zumba, I will run my one mile every day, I will limit my sugar consumption, I will journal, I will have my quiet time, I will practice gratitude.  You see…it’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish that matters! So, I will finish strong!

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!