Reassessing my intensions

I started the journey to a more healthy life in 2009 and transformed my take on food and nutrition in 2010. Everything as I knew it changed for me. It was all a part of the journey:

  • Food prep
  • Portion control
  • Food choices
  • Balancing macronutrients 
  • Rearranging schedules
  • Planning workouts
  • Moving more 
  • Eating less (crap)
  • Learning what’s in the food we eat
  • How to deal with injuries
  • Coming back from surgeries

There are more facets to this lifestyle, but you get the idea.  There are levels to this life, if you are to maintain it. 

So here we are. I have not kept up my end of the bargain. After my last surgery in September, I have not physically or mentally recovered fully. Yes, I’ve pretty much healed and the scars are fading, but I lost something important along the way, I stopped  making time for food prep, working out and watching what food I put in my body. Dare I say, I stopped caring.

My weight has dramatically increased since the end of last summer and I’m struggling to get a handle on the problem. To my defense ( if there is one), I have scheduled my time to within an inch of its life with outside activities. I teach more fitness classes (yeah, bizarre, right) I started back to night classes to finish a program is started a few years ago and I’m also studying for another fitness certification. I still have a career that is very demanding and requires being on call, working off hours and studying to stay ahead of changing technologies.  AND we got another dog.

With all of that, I’m always tired and I don’t get enough sleep to ever feel rested. 

As I type these words, I wonder how it ever got to this point, how I got so busy and became this person I barely recognize. I so look fat, none of my clothes fit anymore. I saw a photo yesterday that someone had taken of me from the back and I almost cried. It’s so bad, I don’t wear my yoga pants as pants anymore and I’ve taken to wearing sweatpants everyday. Part of it is personal family issues, part of it is trying to overachieve, part of it is financial, part of it is fear of not completing something, part of is feeling isolated.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this post, I just needed to dump these words somewhere, even if I’ve not said them all outloud before now.
I hope writing is as cathartic as everyone makes it out to be. We shall see.

Sometimes you just know

morning

Before I went to bed last night, I checked my trusty Mindbody Express app to get a look at how many folks would be in my 6:15 AM class. I was pleasantly surprised that it would be a full house, so I got to working on a challenging, but adaptable workout for the crew.

There is a method to my madness when I’m creating a workout. Although I don’t repeat many moves week in and week out, I do try to allow for strength progression that always manifests into other moves. As I was typing up my routine and setting my workout timer for the timed circuits, I felt like this would be one that folks would enjoy.

When I got there, I was really siked! My energy was on 10. Once of my favorite little powerhouses, Genevieve, was on the list and LOVES this type of stuff (WIN!). I knew she’d be as siked as I was. It was warm enough for sprints, so we’d be taking our cardio to the streets. (WIN!) and a few folks cancelled at the last minute, so there would be more room to move around and coach everyone one on one. (WIN!)

Never Give UP
Never Give Up

As the workout when on, folks were OWNING their movements; strong, determined, game face ON! It was pretty amazing to see. There were 2 moves in the workout that were going to be a bit different for most. I added more weight to the dead lifts and put some handstands in the mix. The guys had no problem with the dead lifts, but for the women, they’d never lifted this much weight before and I could sense their apprehension. As each one stepped up the the bar, I coached them on form, movement, hand placement and breathing. As usual, the first few reps are rocky, but as the reps and rounds came and went, each one had a little gleam in their eye. The eye of the tiger if you will. Genevieve was beasting those bad boys OUT! I had to clap and cheer as they dropped the weights and moved to the next exercise! They DID THE DAMN THING! The handstands got more upright too. Chins tucked, hands moved closer to the wall and they held it until the bell sounded. They took everything I threw at them and did it with power & determination.

I love being a fitness instructor. It touches a part of my soul that nothing else can reach. The camaraderie, the genuine willingness to work hard, the strength that increases week in and week out, the sweat and the accomplishment of each individual in the room gives me the greatest feeling. It’s hard to get up at 3:30-4:00AM and then have to work all day then gear up to teach some more after work. It’s not because of the money (but it helps) It’s the feeling that you’re doing something right. They’re there for your class. With all that is going on in people’s lives, they’ve made time to workout with ME! It’s a remarkable feeling and it’s something I do NOT take for granted.

As they cooled down, toweled off, cleaned their mats, racked weights, talked among themselves then bid their farewells, it felt right. Sometimes, you just know.

I made instructor of the quarter at 12th street gym

When you love what you do, it’s never work.

 

instructorofQ4

Be sure to check out my indoor cycling classes at 12th Street Gym:

  • Tuesday and Thursday 5:45PM
  • Friday 6:30AM

Get there by 5:20PM to be sure you get a seat! It fills up FAST!

 

 

Get SMART With Your Goals!

As I’m studying for my ACE personal trainer certification, this post reinforced a very integral part of the curriculum. I think I’ll do this exercise for myself! I have my own SMART goals to create.

Never Give Up FIT. THOUGHTS

Get SMART With Your Goals

by Jordan Holbert, on behalf of all NGU Staff

At NGU we focus on goal- setting as a primary source for motivation and inspiration. Making a goal is more than you think! A goal is great, but will you experience success?

Effective goal setting is very important to achieve fitness results. That is obvious. What may not be as obvious is that the same goal setting techniques that help individuals build muscle, lose fat, and lead a healthier lifestyle can also be used to improve in other areas.

We have all heard famous quotes about the importance of having aspirations. “Make your dream a reality.” Or how about, “A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves as something to aim at”. I bet you have heard this last one at least once in your life, “A goal is just a dream with a deadline”.

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I’m turning a half year older and I’m celebrating

I had a 40 1/2 birthday party a few years ago and guess what, I’m having another half birthday. I’m grown, I eat my dessert before dinner, I can do whatEVER I want to do. My huzzband on the other hand is so sick of my shenanigans! I’m laughing as I type this because he thinks it’s the lamest thing ever.  Well, he’s not invited!  Ole’ stick in the mud!

Anyway, hot yoga is on the menu. I’m having my party at a hot yoga studio with.. you guessed it, hot yoga on the menu. My favorite studio in Philly, Diamond Hot Yoga is where we’re going to get bendy, detox in the heat and retox after the class is over.  We’re having a meet & greet before the 60 minute class. We’re keeping to 60 minutes for all of the newbies that will be trying hot yoga for the 1st time. We don’t want anyone passing out. Then, on to the retox! Wine, craft beer, exceptional cheeses and olives from DiBruno’s, green juices made by yours truly, healthy salads, hors’ d’oeuvres, cupcakes from the one and only Philly Cupcake and plenty other snacks, drinks and foods to keep the yogis happy!

Supporting local business while having a great time with friends and family!

I can’t wait!

lotus

My Journey to Fitness

Today, I’m especially reflective. I’ve ran into some people that I haven’t seen in over 25-30 years this week and I look at how much we’ve changed. The faces stay the same but sometimes we let our lives get in the way of our health. I don’t claim to know how healthy they are, but for me, I had several ailments that forced me to take a close look in the mirror & reevaluate my lifestyle. My arthritis and other joint issues had me struggling to climb stairs, get out of chairs, comb my hair, put my hands in my pocket, ride my motorcycle, sleep on my side…the list is long.

That wasn’t “normal” for someone in their 30’s. In 2009, after another round of physical therapy for my knees, my therapist said, ” if you lost some weight, your knees would feel so much better.”


Then I looked at myself. I was too heavy (IMO) for my frame and I felt like shit. I ate like shit and at that very moment, I got tired of that shit. That’s when I decided to change some things.

I joined the gym in 2009 and hit the elliptical a few times a week. I didn’t change my diet much, but I lost a few pounds. My friend, Tracy, recommend a book to me called, “The Eat Clean Diet” that showed me how to rethink what I was eating and make some changes. Some were drastic some seemed doable. From 1/2010 to 4/2010, I lost almost 30lbs. During that time, I started lifting weights. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I fooled around on machines, read a few magazines and kept up the cardio. Then, I happened upon another book called, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and that showed me that lifting heavy is OK!

I stayed at it and lost a few more pounds, but I got stronger & stronger. I met a trainer, Dave Miller, on Facebook. He ran a boot camp in the city. He touted lifting heavy, clean eating and staying active. His mantra was just like my own, it was like we were on the same page. In that studio with 15 other people who were working towards the same goals was refreshing. I wasn’t alone. I had my fellow “bombshells” with me every week inspiring me and motivating me to be better.

Iron Sharpens Iron

I hit another wall with my knees and shoulders and had to rehab again. This time, for my knees, my doctor introduced me to Synvisc. I got the injections and slowly but surely, I could move again. Steps were easier, standing was easier and I got back on the elliptical. I was a new person!! I started SPINNING again. The first time I tried it, I hated it. Too fast, too painful and it made my feet and ass hurt like hell. This time, I decided to try it again after the Synvisc & it was better. I actually liked it. So much so, I started teaching it. I get Synvisc injections every 6 months to keep me going and I LOVE it. I couldn’t teach SPINNING, squat, lunge, or run sprints without it. It’s keeping me away from knee replacements and I’m GOOOD with that. However, had it not been for the series of events that lead me to that inventory (and my physical therapist suggesting I lose weight) I’d still be in that body.


 I met another amazing trainer, Charlie Biggs, who helped me keep moving around my injuries. He listened to me. That was the most helpful part of our sessions. He respected my desire to go hard, and helped me around my limitations. We trained together for about 2 years and to this day, I still call him my friend. If I ever became a trainer (and I will this year) I’d like to be like him. He cares about people & it shows.

Best Trainer Ever

This journey wasn’t an easy one, nor is it over.,I started at 210lbs in 2009 and I’m now 156lbs. I’ve been as low as 148lbs, but after a few surgeries in 2013, I’d gained back 20lbs. I’m still working to get my weight back down (to fit all the clothes I’d bought) but as of 2015, I’m back strength training and down 8-10 lbs. lifting makes me happy. It gives me confidence I didn’t have before.
I’m no longer that “thick” girl, I’m the fit girl & I LOVE it.


My next goal it to help others get fit and healthy. I’ll get ACE certified this year and work on developing my own style of training. I’m a motivator & cheerleader so I hope to bring that to my brand of personal training. The past 6 years have been a roller coaster. I have had so many ups & downs & I’m still on my own journey. What always seems to bring me back to a good place is staying active. I want to help people like me, people who are motivated, but need some guidance and a game plan to get their life to where they’d like to be.

Even in my 40s, I’m still on my journey, but isn’t that what life is all about? The road to where we’re trying to be is filled with highs and lows & I embrace them all. Here’s to the next chapter of my life; fitter, happier, healthier & stronger!