Sunday, January 29, 2012

A set back is not a failure

I almost completely broke on my diet today.

This week has been brutal, and I am just exhausted.
I was up at 5AM Tues and Wednes, left my food at home on Tuesday and missed my workout to come back and get it.I have been staying up too late, so I have been hitting my eating cycle again.

Last night I ate a couple of vanilla chips as a late night sweet snack, I should not have done it, I should have had my 2nd serving  of vanilla protein shake.  So that was slip #1.

This afternoon I was completely exhausted and craving something sweet again.  So I added a tsp of honey to my rice cakes and almond butter that was pretty good.  But, I still managed to grab another serving of vanilla chips, slip #2.  I really can not keep things that are not part of my meal plan

This evening was one last test for the weekend. I was starving, and trying to find a way to break my diet and not feel bad about it.  Maybe some chicken strips or chicken teriyaki.  I had run out of ground turkey breast, I failed to plan ahead.  I had a taste for something salty or sweet or greasy.  I was on a very slippery slope.

So at the last minute.  I made the decision. I will be strong, I will just make the best turkey burger I have ever made.  We hit the grocery store and I picked up 4 pounds of ground turkey picked up some not so healthy food for the husband and got to work in the kitchen.

MMMMmmm it was delicious.  4 oz ground turkey, sauteed onions, 6 pickles chopped, and hot sauce all mixed in. Heated a pan with a splash of olive oil.  Sauteed a side of green beans with a dash of seasoning.  It was sooooo good. It was definitely worth it.  I am so glad I decided to stay on track.

For me, cheating on my diet is a very slippery slope.  So it is better for me to just stay on track.
Wooooo, but it was hard.  Plan ahead and prepare your food in advance and perfect the process.  I know that is how to be successful.  So back on track.  The fridge is stocked and I am good to go for tomorrow and the rest of the week.

So I had some minor setbacks this week, I could have just decided to go completely off meal plan, but instead I stayed true to my commitment to myself, recognized the mistake and got back on track.  Remember a setback is not a failure, unless you quit. A setback is an opportunity to make better choices.
Make better choices :-)

Health and Happiness


Friday, January 20, 2012

Re-Evaluating Your Resolution

So, we are about 3 weeks into the New Year.
Have you been meeting your fitness resolutions?
Or have you been falling short?
Or, have you hit a barrier that you need help to overcome?

Maybe your goal is not right for your body type or timeline?
Whenever I work with a client the first thing we do is establish goals. We start off pretty general and then we use the ACE SMART goals system to clarify their goals. The end result is making sure we establish customized goals that are attainable for the client.

SMART goals are:

S – Specific: goals should clearly state what should be accomplished; the process (who,what, when,where, why, how?) required and the product to be accomplished.

M – Measurable: there must be a way of measuring progress towards the goal; frequency, weight, time, distance, inches etc.

A – Attainable: this is where a great trainer comes in, they can help you determine realistic goals based on individualized factors and fitness recommendations

R – Relevant: the goal should be related to the individuals needs, interest, or ability.

T – Time Specific: Goals must contain an estimated timeline for completion.

Process Goals, something a client does a certain number of times to achieve a product goal.
Product Goals, these are your end products as a result of the process goals.

So let’s use the SMART system to break down one of my goals, and hopefully it will help you set your own specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time specific goal.

I want to place in the top 3 for my division in a bodybuilding competition this year.

Specific - Who – me!, What – Place top 3 in a bodybuilding competition, When – April 7th, Where – SNBF, Why – to earn a pro card one day. Process goals include: Including moderte to vigorous intensity of cardio 5-6 days a week to decrease body fat (product goal); Strengh training 5-6 days a week focusing on the legs to increase lean body mass and improve muscular definition (product goal).

Measureable - My weaknesses last year were muscle size and definition, especially in my legs. I would like to increase my lean muscle mass and decrease my body fat percentage. All measureable.

Attainable - My trainer and I think it is an attainable goal. She thinks we can get me down to about 13-15% body fat, which would put me at about 5 pounds lighter than my last competition. I retained my muscular strength, it is more about following her nutrition plan and fitness plan. Last year I I went rogue on the eating, alcohol was my biggest obstacle. I am completely commited this year. We have 15 weeks, I have lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks, if I can maintain that over the course of the next 13 weeks we should get there.

Relevant I am competitive. My trainer thinks I have a good body for it. I have access to a great training facility and a great support system. And, I really think its fun to strut on stage and get trophies for being in great physical shape.

Time Specific - Oh yes. We have 15 weeks and a deadline. April 7th. And then we’ll have another deadline and another ;-)

So keeping that in mind, my SMART goal would be:

To strength train 5-6 days a week and follow my trainers nutrition plan so that I can drop my body fat by 10 - 15% and increase my muscle definition, and then place in the top 3 for my division in the April 7th bodybuilding and fitness competition.

That is how you turn a good goal into a SMART goal ;-)

It starts with a goal, your goal is your game plan, wirte it down, post it on your calendar. Now go get it!

Here are 2 links form the ACE website to help you make and meet your goals:

Resolute Resolutions
Health and Happiness,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gym Etiquette

Last night I made my way to the gym for my evening cardio.  It was great to see the gym so full of energy.  I saw some old faces and many new faces, happily getting through their workouts.  And then there were the others, those who were acting like the gym was there own personal facility. So for those of you who are new to our world and for those of you who made need a refresher; here are a few tips to help you navigate the jungle that is the gym during the new year.

Use a towel Towels at my facility are free to checkout. If you sweat like I do, you need a towel. Your sweat and the accumulated sweat of others can cause damage to the equipment. It is also really gross to workout in someone elses sweat. No one wants to sit in your puddle.  If you don’t think you sweat, well at least think of your towel as a barrier between you and the sweat left behind by someone else.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings If you do not have space to extend your arms out to the side, in front of you or behind you do not have room to perform your burpees, lunges, or other spacious exercise.  Do not block door ways, water fountains, walkways, or the dumbbell rack.  You could hurt yourself, a fellow patron, or me, and you don't want to hurt me :-)

Wipe it down – Wipe down everything you use, before and after use.  The gym is crowded and busy. More than likely the last hand that touched that dumbbell did not clean it…or the 20 hands before that.  Protect yourself from the wrath of gym germs, wipe it down!

Ask for help – If you are confused about how to use a piece of equipment pleeeease ask the attendant on duty. It is their job and their pleasure to assist you.  Asking for help it will decrease your workout time and keep you from hurting yourself or damaging the equipment. I had to ask how to adjust the squat rack the other day, it was better than wasting my workout time trying to figure it out.

Share - Yes the gym and its equipment are 1st come 1st serve, but this is the busy time of the year.  An efficient patron can get through there set in about 5 minutes.  But, most of us need a 30 to 60 second rest between sets.  If you see someone waiting to use your equipment. If you would like to use a piece of equipment someon else is using, ask them "to work in".  Do not interrup someones set to them anything though, it takes a lot of focus to workout effectively, but once I have released the weight it is ok to interact. 

Re-Rack - Re rack the weights.  I don't care if it is 5 lbs or 45 lbs.  If I had a killer bicep day and now I am doing legs, I do not want to have to remove any of your plates from the machine before I get on it. Weight plates belong on the racks, not on the floor or the wall.  Benches belong in corners and in the free weight area not in the middle of the floor, where I will trip, and hit my shin, and contemplate hulking out and throwing it across the room.  That bar came from a bench or a wrack, please put it back, I came to the gym for cardio and strength, not an obstacle course,  but thanks for the added agility portion of my workout, it did make me feel like batgirl.

If we can all keep these things in mind during the new year rush I think we can all survive until February.  If not, the gym will implode, disease will run rampant, and we will decide who gets what equipment gladiator style.

But seriously, play nice, being polite goes a long way, we are all trying to achieve the same goals, lets not destroy each other in the process.

Health and Happiness


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weeeee're Baaaaack

Things are back in full swing now. Clients are signing up for new sessions. I am geared up to teach the weekly employee fitness program again, it was a huge success last semester, and I look forward to continue making an impact with our faculty and staff members. Our Biggest Loser application are due today, so I should know if I will be working with a team or just helping out with last chance workouts this year. I am signed up to teach a core clinic in March and I am offering group training for Functional Training and Kettle Bell Training. Oh yeah, and my little sis is interning at my gym, they grow up so fast!

Looking forward to new challenges, new clients, and new opportunities!

Health and Happiness,


Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Look, New Goals

So the other night, I could not sleep.

There was something on my mind, and unfortunately, the way my mind works, that means if I don't purge the thought, it will nag me and keep me awake until I do.

My brain was racing with all these ideas about health and fitness and where I want to go next in this industry.

I went to undergad at UGA to be a health educator.  I was going to save the world, one person at a time.  I was going to join the peacorps and give back on an international level.  I was on a great track I was working on new and interesting topics each semester, and I was loving educating the community on different topics.  And then I graduated.  And I went to conferences and I applied for jobs.  I remember applying for a job at The American Red Cross, and they told me I was "over qualified"... but, isn't that the kind of new employee you want, educated, driven, eager to learn and teach and save the world...and then a promising opportunity at Piedmont Hospital opened up...but it didn't get funded.

I was discouraged, it just didn't seem like anyone needed me (fresh out of college it is verrry easy to get discouraged, I wish I had leaned more on the network of health educators I had met along the way for encouragement and support).  So then I just decided to look for a job, any job.

I got lucky. There was a temp position at my current place of employment. I applied, and I got it.  I later found out that working in the University System you could go back to school and they would pay for it.  I free education, and a chance to get back to what I love.  So I developed a 5 year plan and I stayed.

I stayed for 5 years, I got lucky.  Me taking that job has lead me to so many opportunities.  I started frequenting their University Fitness Center.  Through my frequent attendance in the gym I learned about a program where they would train you to become a fitness instructor for the price of taking the test.  So I did. Then they said they need personal trainers. So I took the test and I passed.  Then I decided to go back to school, I applied to the MPH program but did not get accepted.  I applied to the Exercise Science Program under the Fitness and Health Promotion program and I was accepted.

The Graduate Program in Exercise Science was amazing.  I finished in line with my timeline.  As a matter of fact I had met all the goals on my year timeline: Boot camp Certified, PT Certified, established myself as one of the elite trainers and instructors at my gym; and met a few other goals along the way. At my job they were promoting me, I was applying the same drive and focus I had for fitness in my work life as well.  I had nearly doubled my incoming salary.  I also got married, that wasn't even on my list ;-)

Now I have graduated.  Now what? I can stay where I am and keep educating through blogs and personal training?  Or I could move on to a job in Exercise Science?  Or I could follow my Dad's lead and start my own business?

I got into this industry to help people.  I saw the people around me making poor health decisions.  I wanted to be educated on all the issues surrounding making healthy life choices so that I could help them to help themselves.  I feel like everyone is put on this earth to do something great, to contribute somehow to the greater good.  All I know for sure is that I want to help people, and maybe this blog is how I'll do it?

So it is time to get back on track.
I need a game plan,
I am looking forward to see how things play out over the next 5 years.

I hope you will keep following me on the journey,
because whether you are a friend, a family member, co-worker, a teacher, a client, a participant in a class, a follower, or just someone who happened to drop by due to a google search,
you are part of the journey too.

So thank you,

Health and Happiness


Saturday, January 7, 2012

We Did It!

I graduated!

Wednesday, the fourteenth of December
Two thousand and eleven
at eleven o'clock in the morning

I participated in the graduation ceremony acknowledging completion of requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Education
with a major in Exercise Science

Now I have the degree, time to apply it!

Health and Happiness