Trainer Blog

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!

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!

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