Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Do...Something

Do you feel discouraged because, once again, you've let that New Year Resolution to get in shape slip away from you? Do you have a pair of "dream pants" that you've been keeping in the back of the closet that you just can't squeeze into? Have you found yourself avoiding the camera at family gatherings because you feel that you look bloated in pictures? You're no alone. Very often, when people learn that I'm a personal trainer, they will say, "Gretchen, I just can't seem to lose the weight. What can I do?" When I inquire about their lifestyle choices, I typically learn that they've truly not been making the lifestyle choices necessary to reach their goals. Usually, it's their overworked, busy schedules causing this. Sometimes, it's because they find themselves slowly drifting back to the old lifestyle patterns even after a short period of fitness success.

Something that saddens me a bit is when I see people, especially women, beating themselves up emotionally opver their struggle with weight. Once we allow that depth of discouragement get the best of us, it is easy to give up. So, I'd like to encourage you to reach your fitness goals in a way that is not overwhelming. What I often recommend is that you just do SOMETHING. Start by writing down or discussing your fitness goals with someone you are close to. Once you have set these goals, telling someone will help you stay accountable. If you have health concerns, then the first "something" you should do is to see your doctor and discuss any restrictions or recommendations he/she may have for you so that you can safely get on the road to better health.

When my personal training clients seem overwhelmed by the many new changes I may recommend, I often suggest that they make two lifestyle changes a week which will improve their health and to journal what those changes are. For example, the first week may include drinking the recommended amount of water and taking a walk twice a week. The following week, that same person may get rid of processed food in the house and pack healthy food to take with them to work. For many, trying to do too much at one time becomes overwhelming. Can you imagine what kinds of positive changes you can experience in one month with just two lifestyle changes a week. Within a month, you may very well find that you have lost a dress of pants size because you're finally drinking the water your body needs, you're incorporating strength training into your weekly routine, you're taking walks in your community, your family is getting used to eating vegetables every evening, etc.

Whatever you do, don't let discouragement stop you from being the healthiest, fittest you that you can be. I'm sure that you can do it! If you're an "all or nothing" type of person, perhaps this approach won't work for you. If you find that your tendency is to, time and again, fall short of your fitness goals, perhaps this approach will work for you. Remember, if you'reding nothing to reach your goals now, doing SOMETHING is a big step.

Best wishes in all that you hope to accomplish! Remember, you are worth the effort it takes to get healthier.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hello 2010

Here I am, writing on my blog over a year after my last post. So much has changed in a year. Last I wrote, I'd just had knee surgery to clean up my patella (knee cap). I wasn't quite into a good groove when it comes to working out and I wasn't sure how I was going to get myself up to par; although, I was positive I could still train effectively. In many ways, I was vicariously living through their successes as I recuperated. I have to admit, that was the beginning of a dry spell when it comes to being where I needed to be to fully focus on my own fitness.

It seems that during that time, I was at the beginning of biting off more than I could chew. My appetite for serving, bettering myself, reaching personal goals, and achieving elite fitness was insatiable. I was working on my degree, recuperating from knee surgery, beginning to feel the effects of a slowing economy as clients started backing off of training, and was a bit overwhelmed by it all. I guess you could say that I was caught between where I was wanting to be and where I needed to be. Within a few months, I took a second job and intended to phase out my personal training to focus on what I still to this day believe is the best thing (for women anyway) since sliced bread. That's the ingenious creation of my sister-in-law, Staci Berner. She developed the Shapeez Unbelievabra (check it out at www.shapeez.com). By Spring, I was working for Staci and David (Staci's husband/my brother-in-law), Monday-Friday as Staci's personal assistant and the primary Customer Care person. What a great place to work! Drama-free atmosphere, great bosses, and a team of women (and David) all working together on the best new thing for women. I can't deny that it was a rewarding experience!

Unfortunately, I was trying to "do it all" as they say...do the full-time working mom thing which included working for Shapeez and holding on to some of my personal training, work on my degree, keep up with all of the kids' activities (did I mention there are five to keep up w/?), and somehow try to muster up the emotional energy for myself and my husband. Eventually, I tuckered myself out and became especially ill. I just couldn't recover and stayed tired.

At this point, it was apparent that I had to make a change-a few changes! One of the hardest things I had to do was leave Shapeez. It was especially difficult to tell my sister that I had to leave and focus on my personal training and family. The flexibility my life requires is just too much to be able to ask of any employer, especially one that I love so much! It was also difficult to truly believe in myself enough as a business woman to re-enter personal training full-time. Thankfully, my loving husband, my children, and the clients that I still held onto encouraged me. I even remember my big brother, Tony, calling me when I was sick and saying, "Gretchen, you can't keep doing that. This is going to bite you in the ***." My parents were worried about me. My mom and dad would lovingly express their concern that I was not taking care of myself. And my sweet husband....Elon was doing such an amazing job, holding down the fort here at home, but he really missed me. Little by little, I could see Elon's need for more time with me here at home. So, it was a no-brainer. I had to make the change and it was not going to be easy.

Once I wrapped my mind around what I needed to do, I prayerfully weighed every step of every day and every word of every conversation. I wanted to be sure that, as hard as it would be, my heart was in the right place. What a blessing it has been since!

Here I am back to what I need to be doing! My training schedule is starting to fill again. I'm working on my degree again (at my own pace thanks to online opportunities), and the kids have a mom who isn't tuckered out. Elon and I have been able to have "us" again.

So, 2010 is being met with new goals:
1. Get my home organized so that it is peaceful for us all.
2. Get my workouts in no less than 5 days a week.
3. Book my schedule so that I am training/teaching classes no less than 20 sessions a week.
4. Give each kid no less than 1 hour of "mom and me" time each week.
5. Spend quality alone time with my husband as much as possible.
6. Keep my GPA (3.75).

More goals to come! What are your goals?