Archive for March, 2011

Day 89: When failure can be a good thing.

I had 2 days left to complete my 90-day blog and I can’t even get myself to post the last two entries! What’s wrong with me? (Today is April 8th Friday but I predated this entry as March 30, which was Day 89)

I want to address the topic of failure. I admit in regards to my 90 day goal of getting my “abs” I fell short by a few bodyfat percentage points, so I failed. Have I given up? No. Was my goal unrealistic or unattainable? Maybe. Do I know where I could improve or where I went wrong? Yes. Will I ever reach this goal I’ve set? Yes, very soon.

When you have 10 minutes, please listen to the following clip in its entirety. It is a really good radio broadcast by Jillian Michaels, the hardcore trainer from NBCs “The Biggest Loser”. Some things you will learn from this:

“Failure is essential. Don’t be “comfortably numb” by not trying, not expanding and by not growing. We learn more when we fail over when we win. Learning encourages growth, and when we grow we experience joy.”

Refer to the article Jillian spoke of here.

Day 88: Thinking to hire a trainer?

TJ Handful of nuts

5:15 am: Awake

5:30 am: (Breakfast) 2 hard boiled egg whites, oatmeal with organic berry medley, 2 glasses water.

9 am: (Snack) Non fat Greek yogurt, Trader joes handful of nuts.

11 am: 50 minute resistance training focusing on back, liter water.

12 pm: (Post workout) Power Crunch energy protein bar, glass water.

12:30 pm: (Lunch at Souplantation) Large salad including iceberg lettuce, spinach, carrots,broccoli, beets, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pickles, hard boiled egg whites, bell peppers, tomatoes, chicken breast (from noodle soup), 2 glasses water. Dessert: Low-fat cranberry muffin with tiny serving of nonfat frozen yogurt.

3 pm: (Snack) White chicken chili with brown rice, glass water.

4 pm: 60 minute spin class that I taught at 24 Hour Fitness Hollywood, liter water.

5 pm: (Post workout) Muscle Milk protein shake powder with water.

Spinning is a great workout

 

7 pm: (Dinner) White chicken chili with avocado, glass water.

9:30 pm: (Pre-bed) Muscle Milk protein shake powder with skim milk.

10:30 pm: Bed

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Leg workout.
  • Clean eating.

Mood: Feeling fantastic.

If you are still unsure of how to get started towards your fitness goals, you have to accept that you need to educate yourself in order to get it done. That involves either subscribing to your favorite health and fitness magazine, following along to a workout DVD or ultimately hiring a trainer. Whatever method you decide, stay consistent. Hiring a trainer does not have to be uber expensive. See if they offer an affordable introductory jump-start package so that you can learn as much as possible before going out and doing it yourself.

Having first worked with a trainer years ago and as a personal trainer now, I believe EVERYONE NEEDS a trainer to get to their goal safely, effectively and in a timely manner. For those of you who are fortunate to afford the services of a fitness professional, I share with you the following attributes to look for by using the acronym, TRAINER:

T = Timely and Reliable. I hate being late and I hate when people are late. If I were to ever run behind, I would call my client to let them know I was on my way, expecting the same from them. If your trainer is chronically late and doesn’t respect your time, FIRE THEM! 🙂 My clients rely on me to be punctual, so I always allow extra traveling time for traffic and other possible mishaps.

R = Role Model. Not every trainer will have 4% bodyfat and 8 pack abs, but are they in shape? Do you look up to your trainer? Have they experienced what you’ve been through? Can they relate to your particular situation? Does s/he help motivate you to reach your goals?

A = Attentive. The trainer needs to show that s/he wants to be there by being attentive and making sure that you practice good form, keeping you safe from injury and getting you through the entire set. I’ve seen trainers reading newspapers, watching TV and talking on the phone while the client does their workout. I personally wouldn’t hire a trainer for an hour so he can attend to his personal needs.

I = Invested. Generally the best trainers are those that devote themselves full-time to training. For the most part, be careful of those fitness professionals who train on the side but have other “day jobs” or are actors that are trying to be discovered. When that actor has an audition, for example, guess who is put on the back burner as they try to chase their dream? It’s not always true for everyone like a part time trainer who is still going to school. The main thing is to figure out if they prioritize your training and the success of reaching your goals.

N = Neat and Organized. If your trainer keeps record of your workouts or your measurements and weight, that’s a great way to show they are organized. Does s/he remember what body parts were trained last and what is next for your current workout? Do they accurately log and keep track of the sessions that were performed? They don’t have to have a Dewey Decimal system in place but as long as they are neat and organized, then you are in good hands.

E = Educated. Make sure the trainer is Nationally Certified with an accredited organization such as these main ones: (NASM) National Academy of Sports Medicine, (ACSM) American College of Sports Medicine, (ISSA) International Sports Science Association and a few others. They must meet Continuing Education Requirements and keep their certifications up to date regularly. Some of these websites will allow you to verify if your trainer is indeed certified. Trainers should also be current with their CPR/AED certification but most important should have Liability Insurance to cover clients and property.

R = Reasonable Rates. Last but not least, do your research and see what the going rate is for your area. Don’t choose the trainer with the cheapest rates because you’ll get what you pay for. The more experience in the field and the certifications they possess will affect the hourly rate. On the other hand I know trainers who charge top dollar but lack many of the things I’ve mentioned above. More expensive doesn’t always mean better trainer.

There it is. Use common sense when working with a trainer. Be open and communicate to them your needs and expectations out of your sessions. If you feel that they are not meeting your standards, let them know. By doing that they may better themselves and be the very best trainer they can be or you may have to find someone else who can efficiently put your hard working money to good use.

If you are interested in a fitness consultation and personal training with me, please fill out the form here and I will get in touch with you shortly. Thank you.

Day 87: Did I maintain from 3 weeks ago?

5:15 am: Awake

5:30 am: (Breakfast) 2 hard boiled egg whites, oatmeal with organic berry medley, 2 glasses water.

9 am: (Snack) Banana, plum, Muscle milk protein shake powder with skim milk.

10 am: 50 minute resistance training focusing on chest, liter water.

11 am: 60 minute spin class that I taught at 24 Hour Fitness Hollywood, liter water.

12:30 pm: (Lunch) 2 slices Trader Joe’s meatloaf, brown rice, lettuce, spicy peanut vinaigrette, 2 glasses water.

3 pm: (Snack) Greek yogurt, TJ Handful of nuts, glass water.

White chicken chili

7 pm: (Dinner) White chicken chili with avocado, glass water.

9:30 pm: (Pre-bed) Muscle Milk protein shake powder with skim milk, tablespoon organic TJ peanut butter.

10:30 pm: Bed

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Back workout.
  • Keep eating clean. 8% body fat.

Mood: Was anxious to find out if I really maintained my weight.

I took photos this morning, weighed myself and measured my waist. I weigh 189.6 lbs currently compared to 187.6 My waist remained 32.25 inches and I unfortunately can’t post the photos because the camera cord to upload is in a box somewhere packed away. This morning I looked and felt pretty good.

Later today in the afternoon I noticed my masculine frame was a little rounder at the waist and that my “abs” weren’t as visible. It was as if the extra poundage showed up days after I had my way with food. Sheesh! Who am I kidding to think I maintained my weight? I’m not sure the exact equation or what the rules are on how much food/junk you can eat until you go from maintenance to weight gain but I think I just figured out that I overdid it last week. Here is what I learned or re-learned these past few weeks:

  • I’ve accepted the fact that although it can be difficult to quit emotional eating, I can work on staying busy, happy and stress-free so that the occurrence of wanting to emotionally eat will be less. More importantly rather than disallowing yourself to emotionally eat, deal with the emotion that is making you act this way.
  • Pack your food and plan ahead.

    Assuming you have a kitchen, refrigerator and access to a grocery store there should be no reason why you can’t lose weight. Living in someone else’s house in transition before moving to a newly renovated condo is not the most ideal, but if I really wanted to I could have prepared all my meals, pack them for the day/week, set an alarm to remind myself to eat every 2-3 hours and still reach my goals. Remember your eating is about 80% of your success. (What I’m trying to say is regardless of how busy I was these past few weeks, and how the living situation I am in is not ideal and the stress involved with a move spaced over 2 weeks, I had no excuse to take a break from my diet.)

  • As much as we go through life trying to impress others, set these goals for you, not for anyone else. During the first two months of this blog I was on a roll. I saw great results. After a while when I started to lose focus, I wanted to only choose things to eat that I wouldn’t be afraid to list on my blog. In other words I was going through the motions to appear as if I was perfect in my eating, when in reality I didn’t want people to know I was eating junk food, so I chose not to eat it. Regardless if I was going to write it in my blog or not, I should be choosing nutritious foods because it is healthy and important for MY BODY, not because I want to appear healthy to others. Working hard to impress others may work for a short time, but you have to ultimately do all of this for your own benefit. Focus on the body YOU want and focus on the way YOU will feel, don’t do it for others. It’s more meaningful this way.
  • Don’t settle. Your body is not meant to be overweight and unhealthy. I once had a client who professed that he was comfortable in his body and felt better and healthier than before he started to work out with me. Some comments that he would make, made me realize that he wasn’t happy with his appearance, was lazy to take the steps and rather than working hard, he’d say how he is okay with the way he looked to make himself feel better. All the fat he was carrying was not healthy. Cosmetically, I didn’t care about the way he looked. All the extra weight was doing a number on his bones and joints. There was a study last week about how many obese moms and kids underestimate their weight. When I read this article it reminded me of this client and how I ate junk these past few weeks and I kept telling myself until I eventually believed it that I maintained my weight and still looked good. What the hell was I thinking? And what are these obese people thinking? With 2/3 of Americans being overweight and 1/3 being obese, many are falling into a delusional state of how they view their weight as normal. Read full article here.

With Day 90 upon us, I will not reach my goal of 8 pack abs. Am I closer to where I started? Absolutely! Did I try my best? The majority of the time, yes, but not towards the end. Am I done for now? No.

I am proud of where I am and feel more motivated because although I did not reach my goal within these first 90 days, I am still turned and faced in the direction of it and will see that I get it done. When I get there, y’all will be the first to know and to see it first hand right here on this blog.

Day 86: Get to your goal weight and maintain…

(I fell off the wagon with my blogging again. Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Because I’m several days behind and been really busy, Days 80-86 will exclude nutrition partly because I never bothered to record any of it down. I am living out of a suitcase at a friends place until the new condo is ready, so cooking nutritious meals and storing them for later consumption has not been ideal. Although it is possible, it’s difficult to eat healthy under these circumstances. There is never a good excuse for getting off track so let me update you as to where I am on Monday March 28 – Day 87 with a photo and measurements to see where I currently stand.)

Mood: Feeling yucky and ready for the new week.

Alright, let’s be honest. This last week has been hectic and I am only half-way moved into the new condo and still living out of a suitcase at my friends place. (The hardwood floors need to be installed still and we’ve run into a few snags that is keeping it from being installed) Anyway, part of the reason why I never bothered to write any of my meals down recently was because I was extremely busy, ate out more than normal and used this transition into new living quarters as a reason to lax on my diet. Would I say I fell back into my old ways? Slightly. Was I better about practicing moderation even if the food choices were poor? Definitely. Do I regret any of it? Hell no! (Remember: if you are going to eat something that isn’t good for you, make sure you enjoy every single bite and crumb and not eat it for any other reason; make sure it’s worth it as to satisfy yourself and get back on track.)

Reflecting back at this overwhelming week, I consumed: a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries, 3 cupcakes, Panda Express Chinese Food, California Chicken Cafe Combo Wrap twice, several alcoholic drinks, late night popcorn, soft serve frozen yogurt twice, brown rice with a few of my dinners and thin crust pizza along with the regular foods I’ve eaten so far during the lifetime of this blog. (I did make sure to perform 5 days of cardio and 5 intense resistance training sessions this past week too)

Despite all of this horrible eating, I’ve maintained my weight (as far as I know), my waist is still the same (I just measured) and I can still see my top 4 abs. I’m definitely not telling you to go out and sabotage your efforts by splurging on the foods you’ve missed these past 86 days. I will take measurements and a photo tomorrow (assuming I’ve my camera and cords handy to download them to the website) to see where I am at.

What I am implying is, (if I did indeed maintain my weight and muscle mass), that once you get your bodyfat down and build more muscle, it is a bit easier to maintain the progress you’ve made. Why am I telling you this? When you’ve made it to your goal and have rewarded yourself with a one week cruise to Tahiti :), it should comfort you knowing that you can enjoy yourself on your trip and still maintain that awesome physique that you worked so hard for. Make sure to still use common sense, not overdo it, practice moderation, exercise and still get your vitamins, fruits and vegetables and large amounts of water daily to make it easy for your body to maintain itself.

Day 85: That’s what friends are for…

(I fell off the wagon with my blogging again. Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Because I’m several days behind and been really busy, Days 80-86 will exclude nutrition partly because I never bothered to record any of it down. I am living out of a suitcase at a friends place until the new condo is ready, so cooking nutritious meals and storing them for later consumption has not been ideal. Although it is possible, it’s difficult to eat healthy under these circumstances. There is never a good excuse for getting off track so let me update you as to where I am on Monday March 28 – Day 87 with a photo and measurements to see where I currently stand.)

Mood: Love having supportive friends around me.

Today I was feeling desperately hungry while at the grocery store. DON’T EVER GO TO THE GROCERY STORE HUNGRY because you’ll end up taking things home that are unnecessary and items you wouldn’t have bought had you eaten before taking that trip.

I wanted to splurge and have a bag of Dorito Cool Ranch tortilla chips so I asked my friend if he’d share it with me. He said no. I resented him for a second for not wanting any but I quickly got over it and moved on. Having friends with similar goals is really helpful during times like these. Research has proved that when one person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight too. See article from the New York Times here.

Be sure to tell your friends and loved ones around you of your goals and ask them for their support. If they are true friends they will see to it that you are successful in reaching your goals…now that’s what friends are for.

Day 84: The day pole dancing became unsexy

(I fell off the wagon with my blogging again. Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Because I’m several days behind and been really busy, Days 80-86 will exclude nutrition partly because I never bothered to record any of it down. I am living out of a suitcase at a friends place until the new condo is ready, so cooking nutritious meals and storing them for later consumption has not been ideal. Although it is possible, it’s difficult to eat healthy under these circumstances. There is never a good excuse for getting off track so let me update you as to where I am on Monday March 28 – Day 87 with a photo and measurements to see where I currently stand.)

Mood: Definitely don’t feel like pole dancing.

I came across this news clip featuring a Christian woman who has implemented pole dancing in her quest of worshipping Jesus. I won’t go into detail of what I think of this, but I am all about exercise and staying active although I’m still unclear of how the two relate. Hey if it works for you, then go at it!

Be somewhat intelligent as to what types of exercise programs you choose to perform. If a product or supplement “guarantees” results without having to change your current eating or promises you flat abs in only 8 minutes a day, then use common sense and find something else that includes calorie reduction, cardio exercise and resistance training in order to get the body you want. The amazing results you seek won’t come easy.

Day 83: Why trash bins excite me…

(I fell off the wagon with my blogging again. Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Because I’m several days behind and been really busy, Days 80-86 will exclude nutrition partly because I never bothered to record any of it down. I am living out of a suitcase at a friends place until the new condo is ready, so cooking nutritious meals and storing them for later consumption has not been ideal. Although it is possible, it’s difficult to eat healthy under these circumstances. There is never a good excuse for getting off track so let me update you as to where I am on Monday March 28 – Day 87 with a photo and measurements to see where I currently stand.)

Mood: Looking forward to the weekend.

I love Thursdays because those are the days the gardeners come out to clean the yard, cut the grass and take the trash out. There are weeks where time has flown by so fast that I forget which day it is. You don’t know how excited I get when I see the trash bins on the street because it reminds me that I’ve one more day till the weekend. Yes, it’s the little things such as this that energize me.

If we could only use little milestones in our lives to help us stay on track with every one of our goals. Instead of looking forward to those days the trash bins are out, look forward to when you no longer fit in your jeans cause they’re too loose and reward yourself with a stylish new pair. Look forward to your triple chin transforming into a double chin and reward yourself by going out to eat at Chin Chin restaurant. Lol. I’m kidding! 🙂 Set little goals that you can look forward to and when you have a breakthrough treat yourself to something special (preferably something that isn’t food related). Do this and this weight loss journey you are on will feel more attainable and before you know it, that day will come when you reach your fitness goal and you won’t know what hit you.


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