Setting Realistic Goals for 2014



Have you ever noticed that the successful people in your life have a passion and drive that surpasses most? They seemed focused and have a goal that they are looking ahead to. We can learn from their example when setting our own yearly goals. It is important to not be generic ("losing weight" or "looking better"). Without a deeper reason you are like a wandering ship at sea; your destination is not 100% clear and when the storms hit you might abandon ship before you reach your goal. 


1. Start with that generic answer and ask "why?"


 - I want to lose weight in 2014."

 - WHY?

 - To look better.

 - WHY do you want to look better?

 - I don't feel like myself.

 - WHY don't you feel like yourself?

 - I used to feel strong and in control when I was younger.

 - WHY do you want to feel strong?

 - I want to be able to do things myself like carry 3 bags of groceries

   or carry my instrument up 3 flights of stairs without getting winded or injured.


2. Now get more Specific.

Once you have established a deeper "why" ask how you are going to accomplish it. 


 - I am going to get stronger by weight training and losing 10 pounds. I am going to work out 3 times a week and track my calories. 



3. Now challenge yourself.

You can potentially accomplish more and will build confidence when you check things off each week.


 - I am going to work out 3-5 times a week, track my calories every day and add in more fiber and water.

   (Notice we have added in practical things like water and fiber which means more vegetables and fruit and whole grains.)


4. Focus on positive goals.

 - I am going to eat more fruit and vegetables vs. stay away from chips, etc.


5. Track your progress.

 - 1. Follow your weight and measurements.Try not to obsess with your weight as this can be a major let down when you are retaining water. Instead, choose 1-2 times a month that you know you will not be retaining extra water and weigh in using the same clothes.


 - 2.  MyFitLife has a useful report of your entered weight that lets you see the downward trend of your weight loss. This will help when you are feeling like you are not progressing when in reality you are.


6. Find a cheerleader.

Every one needs positive words of affirmation and someone who will cheer them on when they feel like giving up. If you have someone like that in your life see if they will be your cheerleader. Make sure they are respectful, but will be honest with you when you are feeling like giving up. 


2014 can be a year of positive change if you have the right focus. Here is to looking toward the future!









Exercising With Type II Diabetes


When you first hear the words, "You have diabetes." from your caregiver I can only imagine the emotions that follow. I got a taste of this world with my last pregnancy. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and for 3 months had to follow a strict diet and monitor my blood sugars.


Everything happens for a reason and as a trainer I was opened up to a world I have never understood and to frustrations that many people around me deal with silently. Ironically, I started the research for this blog to fill the time as I was doing my 2 hour glucose test for my pregnancy and am writing it after I was diagnosed and lived through it. I have a real passion to encourage and help those living a life with this disease.


Here are some exercise basics for Type II diabetics to get you off to the right start if able to exercise. (Please check with your doctor before starting.)


Getting Started:

1. Diet and exercise has been proven to help control glucose levels, but you still need to check with your doctor to see if it is right for you.

2. Wear appropriate foot wear to avoid blisters and micro trauma.

3. Eat carbs or take insulin before and after exercise to avoid a hypoglycemic event.

4. A 200-300 calorie burn is recommended per workout.

5. If you are obese and are choosing to work out at a gym, machines might be awkward for you. Try working with dumbbells, exercise bands or cables. It is important that you feel comfortable in your environment.



1. Low impact cardio such as cycling, walking on a treadmill, walking outside, and low impact aerobics is recommended.

2. How often? 4-7 days per week.

3. How long? 20-60 minutes.

4. Try to keep your heart rate 50-90% of your Max Heart Rate 


Weight Training:

1. 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

2. How often? 2-3 days per week.

(Weight bearing exercises may need to be avoided to prevent blisters and micro trauma. Ask your caregiver about this.)


It is my hope that you can live a life free from disease and I know the power of proper nutrition and exercise. Best of luck as you start your journey and don't give up. Expect the ups and downs but know that if you keep at it you can reach your destination and live a healthier life.


References: National Academy of Sports Medicine




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"Just Do Your Thang"


"Your best what your best at." A favorite saying of my husband and the other night I was able to apply it when thinking of this blog entrance.


I was having a conversation with a dear friend about a nightmare experience she had with a trainer at a gym. She just started working out and getting to the gym 3 times a week was a success in itself with her busy schedule. (She is just starting her fitness journey and is at that "building a foundation" part.)


The gym offered free sessions from a trainer and it sounded like a great accountability for her, so she signed up and had her first session. It, as she said, "kicked her behind" and not in a good way. She was flipping a punching bag over and over again aross the gym. Her knees hurt. She couldn't walk for days. Her spine was at risk of severe injury. She was too scared to go back. I heard this and I couldn't help but be disappointed. This was not the kind of experience I wanted her to have and the thought that she was too scared to go back for fear of what the trainer would make her do in front of people made me really sad.


Clients are vulnerable when starting out, especially if they are overweight and the last thing you want to do is embarrass them in front of the whole gym or start them on a program that is way too advanced.


Why am I writing this?


Getting discouraged happens all the time, not just in the gym but from home videos, overly motivated friends, etc. It is important to feel comfortable with what you are doing. I am obviously in favor of trainers, as I am one myself. This blog is not about that, but about being comfortable and finding your place. I really came to that conclusion when talking to my friend. How could I encourage her to go back to the gym?


When starting out you need to find what you're best at.


My friend loves cardio, so my advice to her to get her back in the door was getting back to basics and getting back on the elliptical. Start there and when she is ready, meet with a qualified trainer or take a class that she enjoys and build up her confidence. If you have no confidence in what you are doing, you are not going to want to come back.


I had a personal experience like this when I first started training. I had a woman train with me that wanted to lose weight but wasn't ready to make the commitment and didn't personally enjoy free weights or cardio. I made an easy program, found photos of each exercise so she could reference them, started her out at the easiest levels but she didn't want to do the exercises.


Later she e-mailed me to tell me she lost 50 lbs and wanted to start training with me. She found an aerobics class and had a lot of fun and wanted to attend each session. I was so happy for her and you know, when she was ready she called me and wanted to take it to the next level.


What is it that you enjoy?


Walking? Running? Weights? Watching calories? Videos?


Find YOUR thing and get started.


If something doesn't work, try something else. The important thing is that you DO something.


After you are established, then bump it up.


Meet with a qualified trainer (I strongly recommend working with a NASM certified trainer). Get a good video that is at the right starting place. Walk, run, do pilates, elliptical, find a good class.


You have to start somewhere. For my friend, she needed to get back in the gym, get comfortable, get a routine and stick to it. I would rather see her get built up and find the love of exercise than get so discouraged that she stopped it all together.


So find what you love. Seek more knowledge and if you are ever not comfortable with what you are hearing or doing or your gut says, "this will hurt me." discontinue whatever that is and try something else. It is your right and you are the one who knows your body the best.





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