Friday, December 27, 2013

Are You Ready For Change

2014 is swiftly approaching. Are you ready?

Below is a brief summation of the stages of change, a theory often utilized to guide people through wellness change. What stage are you in now? Where will your 2014 goal put you?

Are you currently Physically Active (ACSM,2010)?
In this stage you are sedentary and you aren’t considering starting a fitness program.  You don’t see any perceived or real benefit to incorporating physical activity into your life (ACE,2010). 

It may have been a long time since you were in precontemplation, But you might see this stage in the people around you. The co-worker or friend that gets frustrated with you because you use your lunch break for a workout instead of a social hour; The family members that suggest you skip your workout, or that you don’t need to work out because you are already so healthy.

To progress out of this stage let the media be your guide:

Do you intend to become more physically active in the next 6 months (ACSM, 2010)?
In this stage you are still inactive, but considering the consequences of inactivity and the benefits of activity (ACE,2010).

Maybe someone in your family got sick and their doctor recommended adding physical activity and changing their diet or you see someone who is similar to you achieve their fitness goal. 
For me I knew the benefits of activity so it was a combination of seeing what inactivity was doing to my body and knowing my family history and watching several other chronic diseases get worse with inactivity. I started looking for anyway to add some activity to my daily life.

Are you engaging in physical activity 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week (ACSM,2010)?
In this stage there is physical activity, but it is inconsistent as you are becoming mentally and physically ready to begin a wellness program (ACE,2010). 

In this stage you start trying to find a program that you can stick to for 6 to 12 weeks. Maybe try some group fitness classes, consult with some fitness professionals, watch lots of you tube videos, and browse fitness blogs. Then you might even buy a new fitness outfit to meet your new fitness goals.

I started with jogging. It was what I was familiar with and it didn’t require very much preparation. My sister liked the Turbo Jam videos so I started watching those and occasionally adding them with my runs.  I browsed the magazines at the grocery store and found Hers Muscle & Fitness, I flipped through and found a model that had the body type I thought I wanted to achieve and chose that workout; oh the power of advertising images, I now know fitness models aren’t always a product of that specific workout. Then I bought my first coordinated fitness outfits, the girl in me comes out occasionally.

Have you been physically active for more than 6 months (ACSM,2010)?
During this stage you have been engaging in a wellness program regularly, but for less than 6 months (ACE, 2010).

The best action plan is the one that is reasonable for you.  Can you commit to 30 or 60 minutes a day? Are you a 3 or 6 a week exerciser? Do you prepare whole meals, shakes, lots of snacks, a meal plan, or a set nutrition goal?

My 1st plan was 5 days a week of cardio and strength training.  I think it was 8 weeks long. I loved it. The workouts were 45-60 minutes long and had lots of variety. I was absolutely blown away by how quickly I saw results. I saw hamstring definition in my legs and saw muscles shaping in my arms. After that it was a series of magazine workouts and group fitness classes to attempt to maintain what I had achieved.

In this next stage participation in the wellness program has exceeded 6 months (ACE,2010).
Be consistent, B-E Consistent!
This is where that fitness lifestyle starts to grow. How do you maintain? Create an off season. Find a program or create a program that allows you to rest, recover and repeat. 

Bodybuilding was the 1st real time I had a maintenance plan. It feels great to have a full plan. Plan to meet your goal then program in a few more workout programs to cover your year. You can cycle through strength, cardio, group, and core workouts to create your maintenance plan.

More about programming in future posts.

So where are you in your fitness journey:
PreContemplation? Contemplation? Preparation? Action? Maintenance?      

Knowing where you are now will be really helpful in determining what you need to do next to achieve your 2014 goals.

Health and Happiness


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Evolution of a Resolution

It's a new month and nearly a new year! Time to set some new goals! Looking back on the year did you complete your 2013 resolutions? What were some of your successes? What were some of your setbacks? Do you have a game plan to be increase your success this year?

I had 3 main resolutions last year:
Personal : Dedicate more time with family and friends.
Success - My sister and I are closer than ever and I have been present at more social events with friends.
Solutions - I accepted more invites, but I could do better at extending invites to family and friends and creating social interactions.

Health/Fitness: Be consistent with my workouts throughout the year.
Success - I worked out the entire year, with no longer than 2 weeks off at a time!
Solutions -  I did not structure a 12 month plan I just sampled different styles of programs. I want to be more deliberate in my progressions and periodization. I also need to be more consistent with my nutrition.

Professional: Be proactive in expanding my fitness career.
Success - I joined a fitness professionals group online, attended a conference, and gained several new skills and certifications.
Solutions - I am currently working to focus my fitness career goals . I would love to be a presenter and CEU provider for AFAA, ACE, and ACSM as well as contribute wellness content to various media sources.

Over the next 4 weeks we will reflect on the stages of change; determine what stage we're in, discuss how to progress to the next stage, create a plan to over come barriers, and create our 2014 SMART goals!

Did you conquer all of your resolutions from last year?
Comment below and share your success and solutions!

Health and Happiness

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Oly Lifts, Olympia, and October Goals

These past few weeks have been amazing!

I work part time at a private gym, GetFit Around the Corner. Olympic Lifting is a primary piece of our programming. 2 weekends ago some of our Athletes participated in their 1st meet!

The meet was hosted by the Emory Weightlifting Club, a great group of guys that have hosted several lifting workshops at our gym. It was exhilarating  watching all the athletes gracefully power through their snatch and clean and jerk. 

What I was most impressed
 with were the number of women that competed.

I look forward to competing next time! I pulled my back a few weeks before so I couldn't participate :-(

Oh, and by the end of the day Coach G, my dad, won a medal for his division!

Great weekend!

So last weekend was Olympia Weekend! The Super Bowl of physique and fitness ! A group of my bodybuilding friends actually got to attend! So jealous, next year tho, next year I will be there! 

Thanks to I have been able to watch the Olympia live stream the past few years.

Dana Lynn Bailey entered the Olympia history books as their 1st ever Women's Physique winner. Tycie Coppett comes in   2nd!
Nicole Wilkins brings a more muscular physique and wins her 3rd Figure Olympia!
Oksana gives a memorable Joker themed fitness performance; Adela Garcia keeps her title.
Iris Kyle makes history with her 9th title as Ms. Olympia for women's bodybuilding.
Kai Greene had an amazing bodybuilding routine, he thoroughly impressed me when he threw in a yoga balance move, I lost my mind and was cheering as if he could hear me through the laptop. Kai came in 2nd, Wolf 3rd, and Phil Heath claimed his 3rd Olympia!

I wrapped up Olympia weekend with "Generation Iron" at Phipps AMC, the only theatre in Georgia showing it!

It was worth the wait! They did an amazing job connecting the audience with the athletes. I was really touched by Kai Greens journey and his ability to use bodybuilding as a therapeutic release. Now I need to go back and see "Pumping Iron".

Now it's goal time! 

Almost a new year and so much to do. A former coworker came by my desk today, he left 6 months ago to follow his dream of professionally brewing beer, came back to say hey to everyone. He looked so happy! Everyone should be that fulfilled and happy in what they do :-) Thanks for the inspiration! 

Stay passionate, stay driven, stay focused!

Health and Happiness


Friday, August 2, 2013

Change Is Coming!

Wellness for GaTech students is changing! 

What was once the drown proofing course at GaTech, was most recently known as HPS 1040. HPS 1040 included a fitness assessment or informational fitness course and now students have the option of APPH 1050 with an added physical activity component !

The school of Applied Physiology created the new Science of Physical Activity Course, APPH 1050 to give GaTech students a physical activity option. Students can chose from running, weightlifting, yoga, or fitness 101.

So guess who was asked to help facilitate the Weightlifting class? This girl!

Guess who gladly accepted the opportunity? This girl!

So any GaTech student who chooses to take weightlifting to fulfill there wellness requirement gets to hang out with me Wednesdays next semester!

I am excited to start this new venture! I will miss teaching my Express Fit employees but, I hope they've learned something new during their time with me these past several semesters. I look forward to working with a new group of students and sharing a deeper understanding of fitness and how it can fit into their daily lives. 

August 21st! Change is coming!

Health and Happiness


Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's Atlanta Mania TIME!

Well it's the most wonderful time of the year! Time for my annual SCW Mania  experience :-D 

If you have not experienced the "high" that is being surrounded by enthusiastic, driven, educated, and supportive fitness professionals ... You are missing out! 

I think fitness pros might be some of the most positive people you'll meet, and its contagious! I always feel like I can take on the world after these conferences. 

If you would like a little taste of this excitement, and you're in the Atlanta Area this weekend, I highly encourage you to attend some of the free sessions taking place this weekend. Yes! I said free!

The state of the industry panel was the highlight for me last mania. I had taken a year off from teaching group fitness, I was burned out from teaching so many classes, and the panel inspired me. I left with a renewed since of purpose. Fitness can change people's life and I was an agent of that change! See its contagious ;-)

Well if I'm attending a workshop, you know I am getting a new training under my belt. This Mania I am taking the Trigger Point Therapy MCT level 1 course.

If you glance back at my body maintenance post you'll know I'm a believer in incorporating restorative work into your fitness program. I am looking forward to learning proper techniques to improve the mobility and function of my clients, athletes, and myself.

If you happen to be at the conference come say hi! I'll be working as a staff assistant all weekend. I'll be sporting my signature Flirty Girl Camo cap ;-)

To follow the mania action online look for #Mania13ATL

Health and Happiness

Friday, July 5, 2013

Peachtree and Me

Let me start by saying I did not properly train for this year's 10K.

I felt the consequences of that decision a day later :-P oooooh the pain.
(2 days later all better)

So let's talk about the race.

En Route: Weather is looking very gross. Overcast, it's been raining for several days it is going to be a wet slippery run.

(Don't worry I'm not driving and taking pictures)

Mile 1: oh god what was I thinking" I learned very quickly this race was going to feel differently than last year. I never have that thought at mile 1. About 11mins.

Mile 2: "this still hurts, when are the endorphins going to kick in, thank God for down hill coasting" This year, in my super observant pain enduced focus I realized there are a lot of down hill treks. About 10mins.

Mile 3: "okay if I can just conquer this next hill I'll be okay" My husband is setting a great pace, I am struggling to keep up but I'm trying not to show it. About 10 mins.
(On the way up cardiac hill at Piedmont)

Mile 4: "Suck it cardiac hill! I crushed you!   Arrrrrgh! Yeah!" Okay I was feeling a lil cocky at mile marker 4, I think the endorphins kicked in here, it would be short lived.

(Top of my head and cardiac hill)

Mile 5: "Seriously! Can we slow down, maybe some walk run intervals. You're enjoying my pain aren't you?" At this point my fatigue is starting to show I am falling more than a few strides behind my husband, and I don't really care :-p I just want this to be over.

Mile 6: "Yes! Yes! Yes!" We hit the 10th street corner and I know it is a downhill stretch! My husband starts to create some more separation, I sprint up to take our post finish photo together. 

.2 for the finish: I can see the finish line! Woohoo. My husband has put quite a not of distance between us. Sensible me "hey let's finish this in one piece", competitive me "I can't believe he is trying to leave me, nuh uh, not today we will finish this together!". I hit an all out sprint! I might vomit. 

Whoohoo we finish together. I didn't vomit ;-) 

This is the 1st time in years I have felt this bad at the end if a race. Knees hurt, hip flexors are on fire, I am exhausted. We go meet up with friends and family.

(Me, Mom, and lil sis)

(Look the husband smiled for a picture!)

(Pic collage, one of my fave new apps)

I have been running the Peachtree with my friends and family for several years now, it has become a family tradition. Usually, this would be a benchmark race for me.  I would train consistently for 15 to 12 weeks to cut seconds off my time. This year my focus shifted from cardio to muscle hypertrophy. So high impact, hard surface, cardio training has been that extra thing that I should probably do in the back of my mind. 

I will not take this race for granted ever again. Under training hurts!

Official Finish Time: 01:02:47
2012 Time: 01:03:19

I don't know how we did better than last year. It was all my husband, cuz I was ready to walk that sucka at mile 5 ;-) Hanging up my running shoes til next year ... Wait, what, lil sis wants to run a half marathon, arrrrrgh ?!?! Love ya sis!

Hope you all had a happy healthy holiday weekend!

Health and Happiness,


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Goals!

Where did the 1st half of the year go?

Alright June is done! Time to evaluate progress on those goals. How did you do?

June Goals:

Exercise Libraray:
I filmed 5 videos on June 30th! Technically, goal completed :-) Working on editing those now and aiming to have them posted by end if the week! Don't expect a Jilian Michaels production here, but we have to start somewhere.

Fitness Facility Check In:
I have started working at a new Facility. Amor Fitness and Nutrition! It turns out my bodybuilding coach Adele is expanding her business and was looking for additional instructors. I am having a blast teaching and getting to know my fellow Team Amor competitors! We even have plans to bring New classes to the schedule... Ooooohm (hint hint)

New class at CRC:
Still working on this one my original pitch was accepted, but everything won't be in place in time for this semester. But, I am hoping to have BIG news on another opportunity I was offered by the end if this week! Looking for final approval.

Bi-weekly Blog Post:
Okay, I did fall short on this one, but I did post more frequently than usual. I think that's a step in the right direction we'll keep working on this one.

Now for the grand reveal of this months goals! Drum roll please. I do an awful drum roll, I'll imagine yours is fantastic !

Uploads: Yes you can be on the lookout for more videos from me! People are always asking about the moves I list or what my classes are like, and I want you to know, sooo more videos!

Vacation!: Me and the husband are taking a much needed vacation next week, but I don't want you to miss out on your daily fit geekiness ;-)

Conference: Mania is coming! It's a fitness conference I have been going to the past few years. I server on the volunteer staff for a huge discount, CEUs, and a chance to meet some of the top instructors in the industry. I want to share that experience with you this year, yup you're coming to mania with me!

So those are my goals for the month! Along with continuing last months goals. 

What are your goals for the month? Did you meet last months goals?

Good luck goal getters! You got this!

Health and Happiness,


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cardio Confession

Ummmm... 16 days until the Peachtree! 

Cardio Confession,
I have not run since Memorial Day Weekend.

We completed 2 miles during "Murph" on Memorial Day.

Prior to that we spent "military weekend" in Jacksonville, Fl . 

We completed a little over 3 miles.

I need to do some serious cardio over the next few weeks or the Peachtree will be brutal!

I guess nothing will be worse than the 1st yr I ran it. No training, never more than 6 miles. I was a giant ball if knots at the end.

Hopefully my strength will get me through the run. 

I usually adhere to a strict training regimen, but this season I have been focused on lifting and Crossfit. I looked up and it was nearly race day! 

So your turn. Tell me:
What is the shortest amount of time you've prepped for a race? 

I think I see some cardio in my future today after work! 

Health and Happiness
- L 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Days in the A

I had a busy and productive Saturday:  Team WOD, Food for Fuel Discussion, Yoga, and Virginia Highlands Fest!

These days the only Crossfit I can squeeze in is on the weekends.  Which is great it means I get to participate in our Team WOD! This week Ladies Vs. Gents, Tara and Larissa v. Keith and Jay.

Cleans - Yaaay, Burpees - Yaaay, Kettlebell Swings - Yaaay, Double Unders - Dang it!

Double Unders are my weakness. Oddly enough my form gets better as I get fatigued (I am not fatigued yet in this photo :-p).

The ladies are victorious! A final Team WOD win for Tara.

Refueled, then Tara and I got together to share some nutrition tips and guidelines. It was great to be able to team up with a registered dietician. I know the standard guidelines and I have attend multiple sports nutrition workshops, but nutrition can be very complex. It was great to be able to share notes with someone who can clarify those complex concepts.

We also swapped some snacks. Tara brought Paleo Protein bars and I brought my Cashew Chews!

Then I was off to teach Vinyasa Flow at Yoga Around the Corner. 

From there I grabbed some grub at Whole Foods, I love their Chicken Fried Tofu! 

Then I met up with my girlfriend Erin for the Virginia Highlands Fest. 

There were lots of art and food vendors. We explored some of the boutiques after getting in all the summer walking we could stand.  I did make one purchase while I was there .

Mmmmm this soap is so fragrant!

I have to stay busy, even on the weekends. So mission accomplished ;-)

I love summer in Atlanta, all the different neighborhoods are hosting festivals! You can find one pretty much every weekend. 

What is your favorite summer festival to attend?

Health and Happiness


Saturday, May 18, 2013

GaTech President's Walk

This was my 1st official event as co-health ambassador for my office...and we won for most participants in the small office category!

We invited the whole office to participate in a 1,2,or 3.14 mile walk with the Institutes president. 

We even got team T-shirts!

I chose the 1mike walk. It wasn't about me getting a workout it was about promoting corporate wellness ;-) 

Who was leading my group, one of my athletes Officer Gutierrez! He was a member of a 12 wk fitness group I trained. Still keeping up his walks and runs.

It was great to share my passion for fitness with my co workers. It's always nice to take a break from negotiations and budgets and get some fresh air in the lungs and blood pumping to the muscles.

Go team Research Administration!

Health and Happiness 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Year 30 ... Bring It!

It was a fantastic birthday week!

The weekend before my birthday we took a trip to Chateau Elan in Brasleton, GA.  The largest winery in Georgia. My husband booked us the "Winemaker Wannabe" package.

First we toured the winery. MMMmmm it smelled so sweet in the processing area.  Then we sampled the Chateau's Vigonier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and their sweet Muscadine Wine Duncan Creek.  Mmmm the Duncan Creek was my favorite, I love a sweet white wine.

After lots of sampling we got to try our hand at mixing. Anthony prefers a dry red, I enjoy a sweet white, so we blended the 2. It actually cam out very tasty! Good job hubs, putting that techie ingenuity to good use ;-)

Great weekend!

Then came my actual birthday :-)
Mom wins for 1st mssg of the day!
And dad  followed with a super sweet morning message.

Then I got to share my birthday with my clients. My buddy clients and my group class were able to experience the 13 minute birthday workout on the KB, they all loved the 30 burpees or jumping jacks.  Then my dad whipped up his own version of my birthday workout, Crossfit style, and everyone appreciated that!

My lil Sis Alicia, Me, and Husband Anthony killed that birthday workout! I had to wear my Flag nor Fail "I kill because I want cake" . Then we treated ourselves to some yummy treats at Whole Foods ponce.I had to get my favorite chicken fried tofu and OMG the strawberry cupcake was soooo tasty.

By the end of the week I acquired quite the birthday loot.

When I am ready to take on Paleo again I'll be ready thanks to the new books from mom and sis. Then my mom put the icing on the fitgeek cake and got me the TPTherapy total body package with learning guide and video!

It was a great birthday week! I had so much fun. Thank you everyone for all the birthday love, and playing along with the intense workouts. I see big things on the horizon for this year!

Health and Happiness


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Break up with Paleo

It's not you Paleo, it's me...

So I started to feel the Paleo crash coming last Saturday. But, I thought I would hold out for one more week and get in 3 whole weeks...I made it to the 22nd. A sign that Paleo was too strict for me at this point in my training. You shouldn't be counting down the days on a meal plan when it is the right plan for you and your goals.

My Paleo experiment ended with a yummy burrito bowl from Chipotle with brown rice and I had tummygasms and feelings of elation that do not make sense to most people.

Then I ate a box of Dr. Lucys gluten free cookies, very tasty! But all that sugar was too much for me, Had a 24hr stomach ache.

5 Things I loved about Paleo:
  1. simplicity, think fresh think hearty
  2. variety, I started following different Paleo blogs, twitter, and Instagram accounts, people get really creative it's not just salads and slabs of meat
  3. recipes, learning to cook with coconut flour and think about carbs differently
    4.   fruit, all the fruit I want, and finding fun ways to incorporate fruit into my meals
     5.   result, my goal was not weightloss but I did drop about 3 lbs in the first week and my tummy was as flat as it gets during lean out

5 Things that made me question our relationship
- I love oatmeal and brown rice and I can't have that on Paleo
- I love oatmeal and brown rice and I can't have that on Paleo
- I love oatmeal and brown rice and I can't have that on Paleo
- I love oatmeal and brown rice and I can't have that on Paleo
- I love oatmeal and brown rice and I can't have that on Paleo

My favorite moments with Paleo:
Finally learning to cook quinoa (not stirct paleo)

Post workout fruit salads and coconut water

Meeting my nutrient goals while on Paleo

I will look back fondly on the days we spent together. I don't think I was ready for an exclusive relationship with Paleo, but I'd love to hangout with it occasionally.

Have you had success with Paleo? Do you have a Paleo recipe or blog you'd like to share? Comment below.

Health and Happiness