Trainer Blog

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

There’s no denying that we are creatures of habit. We are efficient and effective when we put  routine systems in place for ourselves, at work and in everyday life. I have talked (sometimes incessantly) about the importance of setting goals, planning ahead, and following through by method of practice. The desire to put routines in place is natural and healthy, for sure, but it’s also important to remember that these routines get interrupted all the time. One thing that is constant in our lives is change, and over the past week, particularly, I’ve been contemplating what I’ve dubbed as “certain uncertainty”—the knowing and accepting of the inevitable transitions we endure. I was sifting through Katie’s Corners of yore and realized that I have never solely addressed the topic of change. Probably because it can be so effin’ scary.

Change is standard and tenacious, and yet, we can be so resistant to it. In my view, there are two types of change: that which we expect, such as a change in weather, and that which we don’t, such as getting into a car accident. And then there are those changes we expect but are still incredibly averse to, such as a decline in a loved one who has a terminal disease.

For all the many reasons we have for being resistant to change, our ability to adapt makes us beautifully human. And once we adapt, we become more equipped to mentally accept the changes present in our lives, no matter how daunting or overwhelming they may seem. We often think of change negatively, which is natural, as it “interferes with” the ability to accomplish our everyday tasks efficiently. But this negative view is not especially growthful.

My challenges for you this week are twofold. The first is to find small ways in which you can alter the environment around you. Choose the front row in spin class rather than the back, or try that new recipe you pinned on Pinterest last week instead of making meatloaf for the thousandth time. Note how these controlled, seemingly insignificant acts affect you. See if they vary your perspective and/or encourage you to learn something. Simple practices like these can help prepare you subconsciously for those big changes that are sure to come your way every now and again.

The second is to recognize and understand your patterns when dealing with change. Do you immediately get overwhelmed? Or maybe you become indecisive. Maybe you’re doing a helluva lot better than the rest of us, and you are flexible and easily adaptable. Whatever your specific pattern, gathering this knowledge will only help you to know yourself better and how to move forward.

Of course, it’s much easier to accept change when those things are new and exciting. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge—stay tuned, ya’ll!

Just Breathe

In an age where we are consumed by and inundated with stimulation from ads, text messages, social media, news, (I mean, I could go on), we rarely take time to be fully present in a given moment. We don’t have time to do everything the day calls for, and many times we don’t take a second to look up from the whirlwind that is our life. Many of you might not know that I graduated with a degree in Religious Studies and took to meditation pretty eagerly during my college years. Vipassana meditation, in which the practitioner focuses on the breath, has helped me immensely with being in the present moment and to manage general anxiety, and it’s something I still practice today. I encourage you to take a break one or two times over the next week and quiet your mind in an effort to deal with daily stressors and general goings-on in your life by following this meditation guide below.

  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit with good posture, either on the floor or in a chair. Decide the length of time you want to set aside, and maybe even set a low-level timer for yourself. For your first session, I would recommend 5-10 minutes max.
  • Once you have established a comfortable sitting position, begin to notice your breath, not forcing it in or out.
  • The practice is simple: notice the rising and falling of the breath. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Try to avoid expectation of yourself. Especially when you’re new to meditation, your mind will wander. You will think about—and maybe even worry about—the laundry list of tasks you have to accomplish. Stressors, conversations with others, memories, etc., will enter your mind. And that’s ok. Notice that your mind has wandered, actively let go of whatever your mind is focused on, and refocus the mind on the breath.

Chances are, you will feel lighter, taller, freer, and/or more aware than when you started!

Inside Katie’s Kitchen

Many times, people will ask us what we eat during the day to get an idea of foods that might be healthy for them. Verging slightly from my regular routine of Katie’s Corner, I thought I would bring to you one of the most vulnerable parts of my house-my kitchen! So I sifted through items in my own refrigerator and pantry and am presenting them to you here in hopes that you are able to get an idea of items that might be great for you to eat for meals and snacks. This is not intended to be a guideline for your own diet, but I do think it’s helpful to get an inside view of someone else’s kitchen. I’ve made notes here and there, but if you have specific questions, please reach out to me in the studio or by emailing me at katie@energiastudios.com.

Staples:
Ziploc or Tupperware Storage Containers in various sizes
Olive Oil
Spices
Mozzarella Cheese
Goat Cheese- I like cheese.
Sliced Almonds
Spicy Mustard
Real Maple Syrup- I’m from the South, so I feel the need to clarify the “real” part.

Most of these items you’ll want to use sparingly, as they can be high in calories, but they can provide bursts of flavor even when used sparingly. Healthy food does not equal bland food!Items that you don’t want to use sparingly in this list, however, are the storage containers. Plan your meals in advance and portion them into these, so that you have grab-and-go options for lunches or snacks during the day. I cannot stress this point enough-planning and preparing your meals in advance are the keys to staying on track and in your ultimate success. You will spend less time planning and prepping your meals in advance than if you wing every meal.

Breakfast:
Berries
Fage 0% or 2% Greek Yogurt
Go Lean Crunch

This breakfast combination is what I have most every day for breakfast. I can carry it with me to the studio when I have an early-morning training and not feel like I have to wolf down my breakfast before I leave for the day. When I have more time and am feeling a little fancy, I will have two of the three proteins listed below with half an avocado and salsa. And pepper. Lots of freshly cracked pepper.Smoked Salmon
Eggs
Lentils
Avocados
Salsa
Lunch:
Lentil or Split Pea Soup
Egg White Salad prepared with Greek Yogurt and Mustard
Curried Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt, Curry powder, Halved Grapes, Sliced Almonds, Cracked pepper
Wheatberry Salad
Loaded Sweet Potato
Many of these things, I get pre-prepared at my grocery store of choice, Trader Joe’s, though sometimes, I will make lunches ahead of time, i.e. the Curried Chicken Salad. I cook the sweet potato in advance and will load it with any combination of chicken breast, cheese, avocado, black beans, or sautéed veggies.
Dinner:
Chicken Breast
SalmonBrussels Sprouts
Heirloom or Cherry Tomatoes
Spinach
Mushrooms
Beets
Quinoa
Quinoa and Brown Rice Pasta
Black Beans
Chick PeasI make the side items in bulk at the beginning of the week and portion them into those storage containers I have been speaking so highly about. That way, I can pop home, cook my protein and heat up the sides in the meantime. And I have a healthy, nourishing meal to eat at the end of a long day.
Frozen Staples:
Turkey and Bison Burgers
Mixed VeggiesSnacks:
Hummus
Cauliflower, Carrots, and Broccoli
KIND Bars
Almond Butter
Apple/Pear
Air-popped PopcornSnacks are such a necessary thing to prepare in advance, and again, grab-and-go options are essential so that you don’t find yourself at the vending machine in the middle of the day.

Desserts:
Dark Chocolate
Greek Yogurt Sorbet with a teaspoon of honey

Yes, I eat desserts! Just in moderation.
Drinks:
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
This is a low-calorie option for something other than water.
Your challenge this week: Plan, prepare, and portion your meals ahead of time, and ask us for help if you need it!

Beginning to Heal

Last week, I wrote about motivation versus commitment. This week, let’s take a step back and delve into what brought about these goals you have set for yourself, whether it be because of the New Year, or because you simply wanted to make a change. Maybe something was lacking or you may have felt disappointed, embarrassed, worried, or angry about a certain event or situation taking place in your life. It is important to note here that’s it’s wonderful that you have the desire to set a goal for yourself, but you must first acknowledge why you wanted to make a change rather than simply what you wanted to change. Identifying and coming to terms with those difficult feelings instead of brushing them all pain under the rug will help you immensely in your success and will keep you from repeating the same mistakes again.

For example, you have decided that you want to drop a pants size in the next two months. You’ve figured out all the logistical steps you need to take to do it: you’ve planned your meals, you’ve got a workout routine in place, you have set a specific time to wake up and go to bed. Good job! Now it’s time to focus on your feelings around your goal, rather than just creating plans for success. Reflect on the way you felt before you decided to change. Why did you decide set your goal of losing a pants size, for instance? Maybe you didn’t like the way you looked, or you felt sluggish during the day. Maybe you don’t want to put yourself at a greater risk of heart disease, or you know that you feel alive and active at a smaller size. You may have to make it a practice once a week to call to mind the reasons let led you to set your goals because, many times, once isn’t enough. Dwelling on the past won’t help you move forward, but understanding the reasons for your motivations will.

Many times, I speak about health and fitness in my Corners, but this could pertain to anything you have goals for. Other examples could be to laugh more in the new year, to forgive yourself or another person, to cut down on spending, etc. Your challenge this week is to think about why you’ve decided that there was a need for change. Because sometimes, in order to move forward, we must go backward first. And once you acknowledge why you finally decided to change your mindset, beautiful things will happen: you will begin to heal and get one step closer toward success.

 

Your Success is our Success,

Justin, Katie, and the entire 50/50 team!

The True Test Starts Now

As we approach the month of February, many of us find ourselves falling into a pattern, a routine, one that may ultimately define our “new year”. Inevitably, many will struggle with continuing to progress and persevere as time ticks on. It’s something about the month of February that really presents a whole new slew of challenges to us all. Momentum wanes and the cold weather takes it’s toll. So how do we make this year different? How do we not fade off into 2016 with our sights forever set on new beginnings? I write this now, because we see it every year. It’s not at all about deciding to make change; it’s about continuing to make change. And the latter takes a lot more work, dedication, and commitment. So we challenge you to forget the last month, throw it away…the good, the bad, the ugly. The real challenge starts now. Your year, your life, all of it.

So here it is, the secret to your sustained success: accountability.

It means keeping food journals so you can monitor your diet consciously. It means setting up a reminder on your phone to notify you every day to take some time to exercise. It means fighting every inclination to drive straight home after work or to take that seat on that couch.

Accountability is EVERYTHING.

If you’re not working towards a specific goal, how likely are you to find success? Where does the passion come from? …the motivation?…the drive? And how can you realistically expect to overcome the obstacles that are constantly thrown your way?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. But, we can help. We are here to hold you accountable. To work through obstacles, excuses, and insecurities. To challenge and support you in ways you never thought possible.

So what’s your biggest downfall? Ask yourself why you can’t exercise on a consistent basis. Or maybe ask yourself why your diet is in pieces. Have the two ever really come together for you?

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!

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