Trainer Blog

Are You Motivated? Or are You Committed?

Whether or not you have made a New Year’s Resolution, you have likely been thinking about what the New Year is going to bring, what you want to enhance in your life and what you want to shed. With the holidays behind you, you may be motivated to lose weight, eat better, get fit, reduce stress, try a new hobby, and/or get organized. You are excited to pursue something better or different than what you’ve done previously. You want to change, and you think you can do it. That’s great! Whatever your goal or goals may be, you CAN do it. But it’s first important to differentiate between motivation and commitment.

As disheartening this statement may seem, motivation is temporary. With it, comes feelings of exhilaration and hopefulness. With motivation, your goals are like a new relationship, where everything is simple and easy. You decide you want to set these goals because you have a fascination for what it could bring you.

The key is to be emotionally in tune with the fact that reaching goals is hard work. One week, for one reason or another, you will eat a candy bar or not go to the gym. The progress will be slower than you anticipate, and you will feel like you’re spinning your wheels. Even if you do everything right, you may gain a pound or tweak a muscle. Life will happen and shit will hit the fan in one way or another.

Will you hold on to your goal?

Commitment is long-lasting. It is the difference between setting goals and realizing them. With commitment comes planning and preparation, so plan and prepare your meals for an entire week schedule your specific workouts a week in advance. Set your sights not on short-term satisfaction but instead on the growth you will attain as a result of realizing your goal. Like any successful relationship, the test is not in going through the fun and easy parts, but rather making it to the other side the difficult trials that you will inevitably face.

Your challenge this week is to figure out if you are simply motivated to hit your goals or if you are truly committed to them. (By the way, it’s ok if you are not committed to a goal that sounds exciting and rewarding. Don’t waste your time on it and come up with something you can be committed to!) If you decide that you are committed to the goals yo’ve set, then figure out a plan to get you through the easy times as well as the more difficult ones. And if you need help, you know where to find us!

Changing the Conversation- Coming to you this week from instructor and barre superstar, Sarah Blackmore

Katie’s Corner

“Barre is about building up the mental stamina to dominate those last few reps – not torturing yourself so you’ll look good in a bikini. Let’s change the conversation.” -Robin Hilmantel, Women’s Health Magazine, November 2015

As I was scrolling through my Instagram, I came across this quote and instantly thought of our gym, not only in our barre classes, but in all aspects of our fitness classes and trainings. I clicked thru the link and continued on to read the article and other fitness quotes, and Energia-50/50 kept popping into my head. At the conclusion of the article, all I could think is how lucky we are to be part of a gym that already is having this conversation. The way I hear different instructors motivate during a class is so positive and all about challenging yourself to do things you never thought your body could do—to listen to your body and to do what it is capable of in that moment. I feel extremely lucky to have found such a nurturing, positive fitness environment that still challenges me every time I walk through those doors.

I continued to think about this article as I went about my everyday life, and it kept popping up at different points. Each time I would take a moment to regroup and remind myself of my own mental strength to push through. I have also continued to think about how many times have we heard or even said ourselves “I have to look good for…(bathing suit season, vacation, a reunion)”. Let’s change our thinking on fitness, remind ourselves it’s about feeling good and give ourselves the healthiest body possible! It is absolutely about focusing that mental stamina to push ourselves and dominate those last few reps. It’s knowing you just completed your first race or got your best race time, it’s conquering that heavy hill, it’s holding ourselves accountable and celebrating our fitness milestones. That mental strength and attitude is what will pull you through your workout and will translate into all facets of your life. This is the time of year that we need it the most, the last push of the year, and we want to finish it out strong. In these last two weeks of 2015, continue to remind yourself that living your best life is about creating a healthy, strong body and working out to feel good mentally and physically.

Your Holly Jolly Workout

Shopping, pageants, parties, family gatherings, and food, food, food. The holiday season is filled with good things, making it the holly-est, jolly-est time of year. And it’s easy to get caught up in the tinsel, lights, eggnog, and chocolate and forget about barbells and running shoes. This is why people gain an average of one pound (studies show that overweight folks gain more) during the winter holiday months. You may not think a pound is that big of a deal, but pack them on year after year and they add up.
While a pound is the average, who wants to be average? Beat the statistics and avoid holiday weight gain by fitting in exercise this year. Here’s how.A New Tradition

Along with stockings, trees, and carols, why not create new family traditions that include exercise? After your big family meals, plan to take a walk, go on a hike, or ride bikes together to burn off the extra calories. Spending time outdoors beats sitting around on the couch and you won’t regret it…especially this year. It’s practically Spring!

Shed the Stress

In case you’ve not heard, stress can be a major contributing factor to overeating. For many, the holidays can bring on all sorts of stressors. The good news is that you don’t have to hang onto that stress and use it as an excuse to overeat. When going into a situation that you anticipate will be stressful, gear up beforehand with a run or quick trip to the gym. The good vibes coursing through your veins afterward should help ward off negative stress and help you make better dinnertime decisions.

Lose Your Tunnel Vision

Ideally, you will be able to get in for a workout four to five times each week. However, the holidays often make this impossible. Not only are you on the road part of the time, you also have parties to prepare for and presents to wrap. Don’t let this cause you to fall into complacency. Wherever you are, you’re able to exercise. Remember: jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, chin-ups, and running requires no special equipment. Just will power.

Shop Healthily

In today’s world, many people prefer to sit in their pajamas and do all their holiday shopping online. Don’t be one of them. Appealing as it may be to shop online, you can burn off a few more calories if you’re willing to shop at stores. Sure, there will be loonies out who are willing to do whatever it takes to get the last toy or sweater available, but shopping at actual stores forces you to walk and get rid of calories while you’re doing one of your favorite things.

Be Useful

Across the world, the holidays are pictured as times of fun and relaxation. While they should be both, that doesn’t mean you should sit around doing nothing. No matter where you’re spending your holidays, someone still has to work to make sure everything goes off as planned. Have family coming over? Better grab a shovel and clear the snow off the sidewalk and driveway. Your mom cooking up her famous recipes in the kitchen? Get in there and help by cleaning the dishes! It’ll give you a chance to burn a handful of calories, while spending quality time with your loved ones. After all, that’s what makes these days so holly jolly.

What Makes the Weight Loss Challenge So Great?

Katie’s Corner

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, the holidays are here, but it’s also time for our favorite program of the entire year: the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge! This is our third year to hold the challenge, and in my opinion, it brings out the essence of the Energia – 50/50 Fitness community in the most definitive way possible. On paper, it’s a weight loss challenge, but it is authentically about leading your best life possible by learning about what your body and your spirit need independently and synergistically. So many great relationships have been formed and connections made among participants, trainers, area organizations and small businesses because of this effort. It’s incredible to watch the challenge’s effect take place from year to year, during the 8 weeks of the competition and well after. Many participants are still carrying through those lessons learned during the first two years, realizing goals and setting new ones as they continue their journeys. And I sit in awe of their resolve and dedication that was once a mere ambition of theirs. We are excited to kick off the New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge in anticipation of all the greatness we know will materialize.

Your challenge this week is to determine whether the Weight Loss Challenge is right for you. Do you want to lose weight? Do you need help in figuring out how to eat and what you should do for exercise? Do you want to be a part of a community of trainers and co-participants who want to help you along the way? And probably the biggest question of all: do you want to gain tools you need to set and reach long-term goals for yourself in the future? Even people who don’t have 8% to lose have utilized the resources offered as a way to hold themselves accountable as they head into the new year. There won’t be any repercussions for choosing not to sign up (I promise!), but if you are thinking about it, talk to one of us and we can help you figure out what’s best for you. I can honestly say that with all the perks and benefits, no one has ever said to me that they regret signing up. I have had people say to me though, “I should have done the challenge.” Don’t be one of those people! Let us help you actualize those dreams you’ve had for yourself for so long for no other reason than the fact that you’re worth it.

Please decide

If you’re like most people then reading this subject line was a little uncomfortable and you may have even experienced a bit of anxiety.

Make a decision? Do I have to?

We are forced to make decisions every day, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

When you stop to think about it, your life is the sum total of all the decisions that you’ve ever made up to this point. Your health, your mindset, your finances are all an outcome of the decisions you’ve made.

Some decisions are so small that they seem insignificant…

…and other decisions weigh on you for days because you know that the outcome will change the course of your life.

You’ll wade through a myriad of trivial decisions today – ranging from the flavor of your coffee, to the gas you put into your car, to the food you put into your body. It’s easy to be fooled into believing that these have no real impact on the big picture – – but they do.

You’ll shift over to automatic while making your habitual decisions today – these ones no longer require a second thought since your preferences are defaulted.

The time you wake up each morning, the way you take your eggs, the frequency in which you exercise. Your habitual decisions play a huge part in determining major factors in your life, and these ones aren’t always easy to modify once the habit is in place.

We’re always making decisions…

Big ones like “should you marry him/her”, “should you have another child”, “Should you stick it out another year at that job”? Life changing decisions are forks in the road that demand your full attention and analysis.

There’s a famous quote from General Norman Schwartzkopf: “A bad decision is better than no decision” which makes sense when you realize that indecision is a decision. It’s best to simply bite the bullet, choose a side, and stick with it (unless you realize you made the wrong decision).

You make a life changing decision when you chose to get fit.

We want to help you with that…

We want to help you reach your goal in a big way.

And that leads us to the decision that we want you to make today…

Will you reply to this email, call, or come in to sign up for one of our fitness programs?

Spots are filling up quickly – decide now!

Good Things Come to Those Who Sweat

This week, I want to touch on something that may seem blatantly obvious, but is really worth repeating. Exercise is good for you! There are countless benefits, but some of the best parts of regular exercise are the intangible rewards, such as stress relief, mental fortitude, and the overall feeling of wellness. General stress is normal, but sometimes, things seem to come crashing down all at once. And when that happens, it’s easy to let overwhelm consume us and to check out with distraction, such as TV, food, or alcohol. In more serious cases, stress can cause a sort of mental paralysis, which effectually causes us to fall off our fitness routine completely.

I get it. Sometimes curling up into the fetal position seems like a much better option than subjecting myself to a workout that involves lifting anything heavier than a pint of ice cream. But I ultimately know that I will feel so much stronger and healthier once I am actually doing a workout. Exercise for me is a way of proving to myself that I can absolutely do what I set my mind to, and it almost magically removes my mind from the haze that stress can cause. And I won’t even get into the endorphin rush that I experience after a good, hard class! Taking time that is just mine and pushing past my perceived limits, especially during more stressful periods, helps me reset my attitude, my will, and my approach to problems, big or small. And, based on my professional experience, I bet the same is true for you, too.

If at any point this week you feel that curl-up-into-the-fetal-position overwhelm, your challenge is to immediately take to the stairs, or get into plank and do some pushups, or sign up for a class. Don’t think about it. Just do it. I promise, good things will come to those who sweat.

One Step at a Time

We’re in the middle of the holiday season and things are getting overwhelming. Chances are, your thoughts consist largely of lists and lists of things you have to complete over the next four weeks, like shopping, hosting and/or attending parties, volunteering extra time or getting together donations, and prepping the house for extra guests—not to mention all of the normal daily tasks you have to carry, like work, family, and your own personal care. How is it even possible for fitness and nutrition to fit in to your life at such a stressful time?

The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t. I get it. Trust me. Even though I work in a fitness studio, it can be difficult to get my own workouts in. It is tough to plan out my meals, especially at this time of year. Some days are more successful than others, and that’s ok with me. I find that working on a day-to-day basis, rather than trying to tackle the world helps me to stay focused and on-task. Having overall weekly or monthly goals and breaking them down into smaller daily chunks makes them much less daunting and overwhelming. Then, amid all the busyness, I make myself sprinkle in 25 pushups and 50 squats into my activity so I can stay on track.

You may not be able to do everything (like attend 5 classes per week and eat healthy for every meal), but you can do something every single day to keep you in alignment with reaching your goal. Laying the foundation for achieving your fitness and nutrition goals a step or a day at a time will ultimately turn into miles and marathons. You may diverge from the path occasionally, but the cool thing is, you can step right back on at any time. So, this week, break things down for yourself and take things one step at a time.

Be Thankful for Your Body

Katie’s Corner

Last week I was in a private session with a client who disclosed a story that I thought was quite poignant. She had recently been with a friend in conversation in which she carelessly said that she hated her legs. Without skipping a beat, her friend retorted, “The legs that let you run half marathons and 5Ks? The legs that take you from place to place? The legs that let you travel and see the world? The legs that lift you and move you and carry you? You hate them?” My client quickly saw her friend’s point and immediately changed her tune. She recognized that her legs were actually pretty wonderful, no matter the shape or size. They were hers and she should place value on them rather than criticize them.

We all have things that we don’t particularly like about our bodies. Whether it’s the skin that hangs on your arm when you wave hello, rolls on your belly, or saggy boobs, most of us have something we’d like to “improve.” We hold ourselves to an ideal of beauty rather than appreciating the function and practicality of our bodies. Placing a value on what our bodies do for us on a day to day basis is much more rewarding than disparage it for the way it looks.

At the end of many of my Spin classes, I say, “Thank your body for what it’s done for you and your mind for getting you there.” This week my challenge for you is to take a peaceful moment each day, especially on Thanksgiving Day, to appreciate your body—for it’s function, it’s ability, it’s strength, and, yes, even the way it looks. By spending this small amount of time respecting your body, you may even be more inclined to fuel it with nutritious foods and to be faithful to your workouts. Baby steps, though. First and foremost, thank your body for what it’s done for you.

The happiest of Thanksgivings from all of us at Energia and 50/50!

Have your workouts suffered with the change of season?

Ask yourself this question (and answer it honestly!) How hard are you really pushing yourself while you work out?

Do you workout enthusiastically, feeling the burn with a smile, pushing yourself to the limit? Or would you describe your exercise time more like an even trot? Coasting along, breaking a respectable sweat, doing the same old thing.

Since you take the time to exercise and desire to have your body change into a slimmer, more toned version of yourself, then use the following tips to get more out of your exercise time.

Focus your mental energy. It sounds simple, but often isn’t. If you’re lifting weights during class, really focus on that specific muscle group. Researchers saw a significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on the action at hand, rather than thinking about unrelated topics. Make sure you get the most out of each round and each repetition by dialing it in mentally.

Have an audience. Research also shows a significant increase in strength and endurance in people who have an audience, compared to those training on their own. One of the main reasons why group exercise is so effective. The other? Accountability, of course!

Pump up the volume. Listen to upbeat music while you exercise. Researchers found that personal music motivated every day exercisers to complete two more repetitions (on average) than those who were not listening to or engaging with the music.

Keep things fresh. Alter your routine often. This will help you to avoid plateaus and will continue to challenge your body. Try new exercises, new intensities and new environments. Have you been intimidated to sign up for a class that sounds scary and out of your realm? Trust us when we say that no class is ill-suited for any one person. Let us do our job and offer modifications and appropriate accommodations for everyone involved! It’s something that we pride ourselves on.

Stay nourished and hydrated. Pay attention to your food and your hydration levels. You’d be amazed how much being dehydrated can affect your performance, even away from the gym. When you’re eating and drinking well, you’ll feel your energy levels naturally rise and the results will be transparent.

Find your magic time. Work out when your body is at its best. If you’re not a morning person, do not force the issue on your body…if/when you can avoid it.

Wear clothes that you love. Not only will you be happy to put them on and show them off, but you will be able to focus completely on the task at hand, rather than stressing that your pants will split whenever you squat. It sounds silly, but confidence is everything!

Make sure the shoe fits. Can you imagine a tap dancer performing without tap shoes? Your shoes are just as important! With correctly fitted shoes for your workout or run, you’ll keep your feet, ankles, knees, and back protected and healthy. Everything starts from the ground up! If you have been thinking about spin shoes, for example, check-in with one of us. We’d be happy to explain to you the benefits and how you can really start to take your cardio workouts to the next level.

Use a professional. If you haven’t already, have us design a custom routine catered to all of your needs, restraints, limitations, and goals. This will ensure that you’re being challenged appropriately and seeing those long-lasting results.

Don’t know where to start when it comes to exercise? Or making changes to your current routine? That’s where we come in. It’s our passion to make exercise a regular and enjoyable part of your life.

Call or email us today and we will get you started on the exercise program that is right for you.

It’s Just a Cup..

Katie’s Corner

Social media has been splattered this past week with what I’m touting as the 2015 Starbucks Controversy of the Cup. In case you haven’t heard about this on your Facebook newsfeed or even on the front page of major news sources, Starbucks released their paper holiday coffee cups for the season and many customers are up in arms about it. Traditionally laden with snowflakes and festive scenes, the cups this year are a solid red with the company’s logo stamped on. People are essentially accusing Starbucks of taking Christmas out of Christmas, and without going into the flaws of this argument, I want to simply state what I think should be the obvious: it’s just a cup.

The details of this argument are negligible; what’s interesting—and disappointing—is that people are really and truly bothered by the look of the cup and what they have (mis)interpreted the cup to represent. On a broader scale, this is one example of how our society has become accustomed to getting pissed off about the littlest of details while subsequently managing to blow things out of proportion in an epic kind of way. Why though? What is accomplished?

In the spirit of the holiday season especially, I challenge you to actively work to take a more enlightened perspective and to let minor problems roll off your back. Choose a sense of peace where you may otherwise let your blood pressure soar. Physically speaking, this is a great practice for you to explore, but it’s also good for your mental health to keep those cortisol levels in check. And when you do inevitably get flustered, think about what the importance of the issue actually is to you. It very well may be extremely concerning or problematic. But remember, more often than not, it’s just a cup.

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