Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To do more

My journey to an active, healthy lifestyle has been awesome!  But let's be honest.... it doesn't just happen.  There's a lot of ups and downs along the way....

UP: Day to day, I feel better. 
DOWN: I'm sore. 

UP: My energy level is through the roof.
DOWN: Getting up early.

UP: Getting to know people, and hearing their stories.

DOWN: Going for a run with Dexter (my dog) and carrying his poop for blocks because I can't find a trash can.  
UP: Getting Dexter some exercise!

DOWN: Organizing food/grocery.
UP: Always having good healthy snacks

DOWN: There's so much I don't know.
UP: Learning new things I didn't know.

DOWN: There's so much I can't do (hand stand challenges? don't think so!)
UP: Learning to do things I thought I couldn't do (chin ups!)

UP: Helping others find the "up" side of things.

UP: Being excited to try on new clothes.

UP: The way you feel after a good work out

UP: Not being restricted to do the "easy hike" on the mountain because you're out of shape

UP:  Get the picture??

I have realized that the work outs I end up skipping, are the ones that I do alone.  One Saturday, I went for a run then laid on the couch the rest of the day (don't tell). I dread getting out of bed for an early work out, but then I'm always glad that I did.
 It's about the journey and who you have to share it with!  I have loved getting to hear from y'all. Thank you to everyone who's shared with me and joined me in this!! KEEP GOING!!!

Questions? Comments? Interested in joining me?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jock Jams

This weekend I had the opportunity to learn a different kind of workout from some friends.  I don't know a lot about Crossfit (if anyone has more information on it, please let me know!!) but we got to do one of their workouts with some friends!
Strength is my weakness.  Yes, I just said that. I might be able to take a yoga class, go for a little jog, do the occasional sit-up.  But CHIN UPS???  PULL UPS???  PUSH-UPS???  Nope. Not on my list of talents.  Come to think of it, there's really not a whole lot on my 'list of talents'.  I'll have to work on that too.
Carolyn and B are good friends of ours. Their daughter, Abigail, just celebrated her first birthday this weekend!  When Crossfit wouldn't let them bring Abigail to the gym anymore, they decided to set up a gym in their garage and follow the workouts from home! They do their work outs in the afternoons together, while Abigail watches :-)
Just looking at this gym made me nervous.  I mean, what are you supposed to do with those bars?  Who lifts those big weights?  And what are they even called?!
B starts every workout with a good warm-up.  Abigail loves to watch her daddy work out.  She laughs the whole time!

 Carolyn and Abigail have started "Mommy Gymnastics" together.  I have never even heard of this.  Carolyn says that they have so much fun!  She wants her kids to grow up learning that exercise is part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.  Abigail is abnormally strong for her age! Love it!
Cross fit has a different work out everyday (WOD).  Since we were beginners, they picked an easier one for us. The work out was:
 21 pull ups
21 elbows to knee
30 sit-ups
30 push-ups
Oh, and then repeat it fast as you can!
I knew I would need a little modification, since I didn't think I could even do a pull-up.  I ended up struggling through 7 pull-ups, 7 knee to elbows, 15 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, repeat x3.  I was dying!!  It was definitely a challenging work out for me and way out of my league.  But Carolyn walked me through it - - and sometimes my chin didn't exactly make it over the bar.  But I figured, you have to start somewhere!
 Can you believe this????
Carolyn during her Cross Fit work out!  Check out that strength!
The work outs for Cross Fit are a competition, who can finish first?!
Happy 1st Birthday Abigail!
I really enjoyed Cross Fit.  It was very different for me to do that kind of workout.  I've seen so many people have incredible results from Cross Fit. Congrats to the Hampton family for getting into amazing shape and setting an incredible example for your daughter, and the generation to come.  Y'all are such an inspiration!
Questions? Comments? Interested in achieving your health goals?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired....

Getting motivated is a great way to get started, but what about when the motivation runs out?  Or you're tired? Or your roommate wants to order pizza? Or you had a bad day at work? 

Sometimes the challenges you will face during your lifestyle change, don't appear until after you've gotten started.  Lindsey Strom got started, and in her first week she discovered several areas that were going to be challenging for her to overcome.  Lindsey works night shift  in an ICU as a registered nurse.  Her eating and sleeping schedule is constantly changing, and she needs food that she can put in her pocket and eat between patients.  After running around all night on your feet – who wants to work out?  You’re getting exercise during your shift, right?  - - Eh...sort of.
How is she overcoming her challenges?
Lindsey knew that her first challenge would be finding time.
She made a schedule to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio, 3x per week.  She is currently finishing a travel nursing job in Los Angeles, and will be returning back to her normal life in a few weeks.  With only 20 days left on her travel assignment, she decided it would help her best to go ahead and figure out what days she’ll be working out in the next 20 days.


Lindsey’s first workout was awesome.  She was motivated and ready to see a change in herself.  We went to "Fitness Friday" with all the coaches in Malibu.  We did 30 minutes of spin class, then 30 minutes of yoga.  Most importantly - we jumped on the trampoline!!   Working out with groups of people is fun and it gets you doing more than you would normally do.

But then you have to get back to normal life.  You may not have the opportunity or time to do group workouts.  But when you're first getting started, the second workout… just isn’t as exciting as the first.  You’re sore from the first one – and the couch – oh the couch.  It’s just so comfortable!  For Lindsey, she didn’t want to go to the gym when she had scheduled herself to go because the MIZZOU game was on tv - she hadn't thought of that when she made her schedule.  Normally, her entire night would have been consumed with beer, pizza and the game (sound familiar to anyone?).  But she made it anyway. She said she was tired - and not looking forward to it.  But she still made it. Can't you see her enthusiasm?

She discovered the gym had the game on tv and she could watch it while she worked out.  Also, she didn’t have to watch the game alone.  She got to watch it with other people working out as well.  It's always easier to work out when there are people there with you. You can learn from them, and be inspired by them.  Or if you're competitive - you can compete with them! Ever stayed on a machine longer because you couldn't let the girl next to you do better?

Congratulations for getting started!! – for learning the bumps in the road, and not letting them faze you.
Phase 1: Getting yourself to exercise.

Phase 2: NUTRITION. 

Eating habits are hard to change.  It’s a lifestyle change.  Don’t diet – LIVE.  A couple of things that will really help boost your metabolism is:

1.       Eat within 30 minutes of waking up

2.       Eat good food, and frequently!

To help Lindsey get a jump start on her nutrition plan, we took a little grocery store trip.  If the good food is in your house, and easily accessible…you will eat it!!  So make a grocery store list!

Snack food:
1.       Protein Snacks 2-3 hours after a meal.

2.       String cheese, almonds, cottage cheese, apples w/ peanut butter, carrots with hummus, protein bars, celery w/ peanut butter, yogurt, trail mix, yams beans, turkey, chicken, fish, tofu, beans

3.       *Stock your pantry and fridge with these snack, and snack frequently to prevent cravings

Meals: A balanced meal should include 1/3 lean protein and 2/3 complex carbs. Complex carbs include veggies, fruits, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grains
What keeps you motivated during the constant obstacles of living a healthy, active lifestyle?

 Lindsey Strom's "get pumped" song before she works out! 
"Cause sometimes you just feel tired
You feel weak and then you feel weak
You feel like you wanna just give up
But you gotta search within you
You gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that * out of you
And get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter
No matter how bad you wanna
Just fall flat on your face and collapse"
Collapse, Eminem

Interested in getting started? Let me know!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words

I had the opportunity to hear so many amazing stories this past month!  Hearing the why part of people's story, and the struggles that come along with their accomplishment - is just a reminder that we are all human. There's no super heroes here who get up every morning at 4am to drink 5 eggs (just watched Rocky for the first time - new favorite movie!) and then go work out for 2 hours.  Honestly, my morning starts like this:

I snooze for at least 30 minutes after my alarm goes off, then think of every excuse under the sun to text my health coach for not showing up to work out....

"I had a flat tire! Sorry won't make it today:-( "  -  I hope I don't jinx myself and really get a flat tire

"Not feeling so hot, I think I've got the flu."

"Ooops, over-slept. Maybe next time"

"Couldn't find matching socks, won't be able to make it!"

If you know me, you know my socks usually don't match. I mean, what a pain? Trying to keep your socks matching - that's just too much for me. I have other things to do (like hit the snooze button). So I just get them close enough (don't tell mom).  But that's irrelevant - my point is by being open and honest with each other about the why part, and the struggles that come along with making a change, you're actually encouraging others around you. I have found out lately, that a lot of us have similar stories and - - everyone struggles.  No one decides to make a change and then it happens with no effort. 
So let's share our stories with each other, the good, and the bad. Let's share what we've struggled with, and how we overcame those struggles; or how we haven't overcome them yet.

I want to share Natalie's story with you, who has made the choice to change. The first time I met Natalie was at a wedding in Oklahoma City, maybe 3 years ago?  We were sitting at the same table, and bonded over the tortures of being a nurse.  Something that we both complain about constantly - but actually both love dearly (never get a bunch of nurses sharing stories at the dinner table - you're bound to become nauseous).
This is Natalie's story.  I'm excited to share her story because Natalie is extremely busy.  She works full time as a registered nurse, and is also working on her masters degree. Oh yeah - and trying to have a life by balancing friends, family, and 'day to day'.  But she's decided to take the time to make some serious changes for herself.   Plus - I learned a lot from reading her story! She's full of great advice.

What was the point that you decided to make a change? What was your inspiration?

Well, I have been a dedicated gym rat for the past 3 years. I really love exercising, including yoga, spin class, and pretty much anything you could think of, but to be honest I wasn't seeing many results. I felt like I had tried pretty much everything under the sun. I was frustrated, and losing focus. I have a full plate already, so with school and a full-time job I completely lost motivation. During a work-out one day, I saw somebody with a personal trainer. I thought to myself, "Boy, that would be nice! Who has time for that, though?" As I was leaving the gym, he approached me and gave me his card. I saw him again the next week, and he spent about thirty minutes talking to me about what he does. I have always had a desire to be in the best possible shape I could be in, and it was like he read my mind! I decided then and there that this could be the change I needed to regain focus, and I really needed somebody other than myself to help motivate me, because I am constantly on the go. Sometimes the last thing in the world I want to do is exercise.

How did you lose your weight?

My trainer rocks! Now, more than ever, I really believe that diet is the key. My trainer took me to the grocery store, and helped me load up my grocery cart with things he wanted me to eat every day. I eat anywhere from 5-8 times a day, and there are some things I don't eat at all (no dairy, which is a bummer). I am a person that works really well with extremes, so cutting something like that out completely works better than allowing a little bit. He has me on a clean diet, so no more sodas (he says a Coke is better than a Diet Coke), and I eat everything in pretty much the simplest form it comes in, with no preservatives or additives. I also keep a daily food diary, which helps to keep me accountable. I train with him three times a week, and the other four I do cardio on my own. We do a lot of plyometrics, lifting, and drills. Now, I really look forward to exercising, and it is one of the best parts of my day.


Was there ever a time during your weight loss that you became incredibly frustrated, if yes, what made you and how did you handle it?

Yes! With as strict of a diet as I am on, about 3 weeks in I was not seeing many results. In fact, at first I gained a pound. It can feel so defeating to be working hard at the gym and on the diet and not see results. I knew that I needed to stick with it, and my trainer encouraged me that my metabolism was changing, and with my body type there is usually a stagnation right before a huge drop in weight. I have a great support system at home and at the gym that kept me motivated. Taking my food diary in helped as well, so we could tweak some things when we weren't seeing results.

What would you tell people who are wanting to lose weight?

You can make it happen! I think the hardest part is making the decision to change. There were a lot of things I did not want to give up, especially cheese! But, at the end of the day, it is JUST food. There are a lot of great alternatives, and I think diet is a huge hurdle for a lot of people. Once you are able to say no to your cravings, you realize that you really don't need those things, and the cravings pretty much go away. Cravings for the things you are supposed to eat begin, and cravings for the junk food disappear.

How much weight have you lost?

In about five and a half weeks, 10 pounds!

What does your weight loss mean to you? How did it change your life?

I feel like I can accomplish anything if I set my mind to it. Honestly, I realize that if I have goals that I want to achieve, I can make them happen with a great amount of determination and some sacrifice. I feel like I am more organized now, because I have to be. I know that I have to work-out every day. It is not a question of if, but when. I plan that out depending on my work schedule, and know that if I don't do it then my school work will suffer. I am actually saving money, too, since I rarely go out to eat. I am down about two dress sizes, so I will soon be in need of a new wardrobe (which is scary and exciting).

If you have a story to share, I would love to hear it!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gettin' Jiggy with it....nah nah nah nah

What goals have you set, and achieved?  What did accomplishing your goals mean to you?  I love hearing peoples stories.  When you know the background of what inspired people to begin, it completely changes your views on their accomplishment. 
On March 25th, 2012, my friend Perla complete her first half marathon in Dallas! This is Perla's story about her half marathon, and what it meant to her to complete it.
What made you want to run a half marathon?
The first, second or third time I tried it? Kidding. Ish. I lost my mom at somewhat of a young age, and shortly after my 24th birthday, I decided I needed a "bucket list." I thought of how young my mom was when she got sick (36) and the fact that she had no regrets made me want to live a full life like she did. She was never a runner, NEVER, but she embraced every day and made the most of it.
I wanted to do some crazy things and that was one of them!

How did you choose a training plan?
I read Hal Higdon's book, Marathon, and felt so inspired that I decided to follow his training plan. Someone helped me tweak the plan and personalize it to meet my needs. For instance, Hal Higdon's training plans have your 'long runs' on Sunday morning, but I knew that I would be going out on Saturday nights and wouldn't be up for Sunday mornings. I knew my long runs needed to be on Saturday mornings instead. So I took the plan, and adjusted it to my needs.
Was it your first race?
It was my first half marathon! I started running 5Ks three years ago, and I had run my first 10K about 9 months before that.  But before three years ago, I had never run before at all.  I did dance in middle school and and high school.  In college, my background was in eating and walking to class.  I didn't run if I was late, I just skipped class! So it was something I never even imagined I could do, which made the accomplishment that much more exhilarating!

Was there a time during your training that you became frustrated? What kept you going?
Of course! The half marathon was so important to me because it was the 3rd time I'd trained for one! I don't run at a fast pace and that gets frustrating. Also, I have asthma, and sometimes asthma attacks would keep me from finishing a run. And the biggest one of all - I am unfortunately an excuse queen.
"I don't have time"
"I'm sore"
"I don't need to run today."
Blah blah blah!
You name it! The first two times I'd started training, I was doing it because it was more important to someone else in my life than it was for me.  So the first two times I started my training - I ended up quiting and having to start from the beginning.
In January 2012, I set a PR (personal record) for myself in a 5k I ran two months before the Rock 'n Roll half marathon, and I was so pumped about my improvement that the first thing I did after crossing the finish line was log in to the Rock 'N Roll website and signed up to run my first half marathon! In the end, when I finally decided I wanted to have that accomplishment for myself, I did it. I realized that even if I did run slower, and even if I wasn't always running a long distance, I was still lapping everyone sitting on their couches. That made me feel like a badass. Feeling like a badass tends to help. :)
What did finishing the race mean to you?
It was so incredible! I have been skydiving twice, and I still believe finishing my half marathon was more exhilarating than skydiving because I worked my tail off to build up to it, and I did it!  I had dirt, salt and tears all over my face, I was afraid I was going to pee my pants before I got to the finish line, and the last .10 of a mile was the hardest part of a race I've ever run, but MAN! I get goosebumps writing about it now! I think I spent an entire week telling everyone I saw, "Hey, how was your weekend? Cool. I ran a half marathon." followed by a silent "BOOYAH!" in my head.
The craziest thing? Three years ago, I started Couch to 5k, and I remember staying in week 4 for about a month because I just couldn't run more than two minutes consecutively.
Now? I've run 13.1 miles, and I'm working towards half number two!

“That’s why it is important to enjoy the journey not just the destination. In this world, we will never arrive at a place where everything is perfect and we have no more challenges. As admirable as setting goals and reaching them maybe, you can’t get so focused on accomplishing your goals that you make the mistake of not enjoying where you are right now.”
Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Comfort Zone

How do we even develop our "comfort zone"?  It's like we magically put together this bubble that is filled with everything that comes easy to us, and outside that bubble are the challenges - the things that we are scared of.  How do we get outside of our bubble?  And what's keeping us standing INSIDE?
If you're waiting for this profound answer from me - - I don't have one. But I can tell you what I am learning.
Get out of our comfort zone, because that's when growth begins;  In life, and in fitness. Don't be resistant to change, and don't blame old habits for holding you back.  Make the effort.
Move forward.
Interested in achieving your health goals??


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Oh...this is the start of something good...Don't you agree? (name thatsong)

Let’s share our successes. Let’s share our failures. For bothhave the power to inspire change.
I met Taylor about a week ago at a community work out. Webonded over being new to Los Angeles, and also new to Active Fitness – which meanswe bonded over the fact that neither one of us knew what we were doing OR knewanyone that was there ;-) Which is agood thing to bond over. Taylor is a genuine person, who recently moved to LAfrom Pittsburgh.
After that first time we met, I didn’t see Taylor for severaldays, so I had assumed that she wasn’t going to be coming anymore. However, I saw her today, and was so excitedto hear her new, and still developing, story. Her enthusiasm for her goals is contagious, and I wanted to shareit! For lack of a better way to get herstory shared, I set up a mini-interview with Taylor. Her story is not aboutsucceeding in her journey; it’s about the startof her journey, and how she made it to the starting line.
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
What was the point that you decided to make a change? Whatwas your inspiration?
I have always wantedto change myself. I can remember as far back as 9th grade when I was worriedabout how my stomach or butt looked in this or that piece of clothing. I beganexercising (on my own time, apart from sports) when I was 17. I went to theYMCA every day and became BFFs with all the old ladies there. I got so in shapepeople wanted to know what I had been doing. But to me, I still felt bad. Ifelt fat, ugly, not as good as I could be. Looking back, I realize I wasfoolish. The reason I was never satisfied: I was looking to CHANGE myself,rather than accept who I was and BETTER myself.
It really wasn't until last week when I attended a Fit clubworkout and talked to my new coach, Ashwin, that I started to see how easy itcould be to BETTER myself while accepting who I was. I always struggled withnutrition-- I began binging at a young age due to stress, anxiety and theoverwhelming idea that I needed to be perfect. This nutrition plan has alreadygiven me so much more confidence in who I am, and it's only been 5 days. It isnow my inspiration to strive for a better me, not only in my workouts but in myday-to-day activities.
How did you lose your weight?
By eating 100% right! I began my nutrition plan on Thursday,September 13. I have lost 3 pounds. There hasn't been a moment in the last fewdays where I felt deprived, fatigued, or unsatisfied.
Was there ever a time during your weight loss that youbecame incredibly frustrated, if yes, what made you frustrated and how did youhandle it?
No, though it has only been a few days. But I was findingthat I had less time to workout (due to hectic work schedule) and I eat moreoften than usual on my plan, so I was feeling a bit unbalanced. However, evenwithout working out I lost 3 pounds. That makes up for missing some sprints andcrunches!:) I did workout Monday and Tuesday of this week though and realizethat in order to really balance this plan out and avoid any frustrations, it’s20% workout, 80% nutrition
What does your weight loss mean to you? Howdid it change your life?
It fills that void that I've always felt-- the one thatreminds me that I am not my best self. If I take care of myself every singleday, to the best of my ability, I am a better me, a happier me, and a much moreconfident me. My attitude about myself affects everything I do in life, andespecially affects those around me. So just knowing that I am not bringingnegativity upon anyone gives me so much satisfaction.

Taylor has lost 3 pounds since starting her active, healthylifestyle! That’s incredible! Congrats and keep going J