Get Real: How to Find Time To Exercise

I know what it is to be busy – this is my first post since June. With the New Year already 8 days in, you’re probably still going strong on your New Year’s resolution to get fit or lose weight. The initial rush of finally succeeding at a goal you’ve been wanting to achieve for so long keeps you at the gym day after day, chugging away like a donkey plodding through the desert drooling over a dangling carrot. It’s so close yet so far and all you have to do is work out. You’ve made resolutions before, but this time it’s different. You just know it is. You can do it. You can set your mind to it. You can work out 5 times a week for an hour at a time. All you have to do is keep it up and you’ll finally be able to say that you stuck with your New Year’s resolution and succeeded!

Until you realize you can’t (um, won’t). That upbeat attitude won’t last. And here’s why…

The number one excuse I hear from people about why they don’t exercise regularly is, “I don’t have time and can’t fit it in”.

That’s a load of garbage. You’ve got to lose your excuses. The only reason you’re not seeing the results you want is because you don’t take responsibility for your actions. I know it’s harsh and it may be hard to swallow that the only thing holding you back is you, but you have time, you just don’t have your priorities straight. I get it, you probably work 10 hour days minimum, which leaves little time to get chores done, and leaves you exhausted and feeling entitled to that manicure, happy hour, shopping, a movie, lazing on the couch, and dinner out with friends.

That’s the problem.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely think you are entitled to those things and have earned it with all your hard work, but if you want to succeed you have to delay that immediate gratification of rewarding yourself until after you work out. And, I absolutely think that a healthy dose of loafing around is necessary and allowed, but you have to earn it.

I’m busy too. Actually, can I clarify that? I am BUSY with a capital B-U-S-Y! I have an almost 1 year old baby who requires lots of attention and often leaves me exhausted by the time I get to my workout, a sick family member, a business to run, clients to train, a house to keep clean, laundry to do, meals to cook, a running group to train for a race, a husband to spend time with, dogs that need to be walked, friends and family that need to be seen, an endless to-do list… Basically, life.

Yes, we are all busier than busy and barely have a moment to ourselves, but still, if you want what you want then you have to do what needs to be done to get it. And that doesn’t mean just working out. You need to learn some time management.

Here’s what I do and recommend you do too:

Take a look at your schedule for the upcoming week and pencil in the days and times you’re going to work out ahead of time. You have to think about working out like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. You wouldn’t skip those, so don’t skip a workout unless you’re sick or injured. And that excuse of not having any time? Throw that out the window. You don’t have to work out in a gym to consider it successful. There are so many fitness DVD’s on the market that you can get through Netflix, HULU, and cable OnDemand channels (channel 1023 in Brooklyn) that you don’t even have to put on clothes to do it (although I highly recommend at least a sports bra!). When my baby was 3 weeks old and I was given the go ahead to resume working out I did it in spurts between her cries (working out 10 minutes here and there 3 times a day is just as effective for your bottom [line] as it is doing it for 30 minutes total), in my living room, in my pajamas if I didn’t even have time to change. I let the vaccuming go undone, I let laundry pile up, and decided what I could let go of for a bit and just let it go. I couldn’t let actual work and some other important “must be done” things go, so I decided that my house doesn’t have to look immaculate all the time, that I don’t have to cook dinner every night, and that I can wake up an hour earlier if it’s the only way I can fit a workout in that day. The only reason this works though is because I’ve decided that working out is a part of life for me and MUST be done. It keeps me sane, makes me a better mother, improves my clients’ sessions, and makes me feel good. When I feel good everything else is good.

So, lose your excuses and keep to your word this year.

To make it even easier and save you time, here are links to the essentials:

- Resistance Bands >

- 20 Pound Dumbbell Set >

- 32 Pound Dumbbell Set >

- Chris Freytag’s work out DVD (I love this one!) >

- Cardio Kickboxing DVD (For all levels. You can do just one 15 minute workout or select multiple workouts for a longer session.) >

- YogaWorks For Everybody: Slim Down DVD >

Remember This…

Ever hear of Newton’s Law of Inertia? You may not know the proper name for it, but you’ve definitely heard the phrase “an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion”, right? Well, Newton it seems wasn’t just a genius scientist, he was a genius coach, because this principle doesn’t just apply to physics, it applies to your mind and your body as well.

It’s like when you decide to wipe a spot on the table. It’s just a little spot. But then, once you clean that spot you notice another and another until you’ve not only cleaned the entire table, but your bookshelf too, because it’s right next to the table and you have a wet rag in your hand anyway, and if you sit down now you know it’s never going to get done later, so what the hell, you’ll clean the bookshelf too. Oh, and the mirror next to the bookshelf. And did you see that dust bunny roll behind the lamp? Once you start you can’t stop.

So many times when working with clients I’ve seen them quit at the last 3 reps. They say it’s because it’s “too hard”, “they’re muscles are on fire”, or they’re “out of breath”. As a trainer though you learn to spot the signs when someone is truly at their limit or if they’re just giving up because it’s difficult. It’s one thing if you’re at true failure (in fitness failure is a spectacular thing – think about that!), then I can understand not being able to lift any more, but if you’re giving out because it’s hard, I have news for you, it is always physically hard. If it isn’t then you’re not growing. That doesn’t mean you need to be in pain, but you need to challenge yourself. That never ever changes and never goes away. If you always stop at the last three then you’ll always stop at the last three, because you give yourself permission to do so. Without fail, every time I need to work out there is still this thought in the back of my mind, “really? Maybe I’ll just stay home. I’m really not in the mood.” And that’s after 10 years! The difference though, is that I go anyway, because put simply, that is what I do. I am an object in motion staying in motion.

Finding a healthy balance in your life (food, exercise, sleep, work, play, family, etc.) isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s something that takes careful honing and work. If you really want to change your habits, it is deliberate, and takes a shift in attitude. Over time though, it gets easier, not because there are no obstacles, but because it becomes second nature. Giving into your excuses and not challenging them only leads to you sitting on the couch watching yet another episode of How I Met Your Mother. You settling for a bit of immediate gratification keeps you from moving forward, and all that serves to do is keep you on that couch. You have to expect some discomfort and know that you can overcome it, because if you stay on that couch you’ll remain on that couch, but if you decide to just shut the excuses up and move you’ll be more likely to move the day after and the day after that – discomfort and all.

Products I’m Obsessed With – Fit Deck

What makes working out fun, less confusing, easy to follow, and super transportable? You guessed it, Fit Deck.

Fit Deck is a super portable deck of cards designed to take the confusion out of working out. Each deck of cards comes with easy to read and follow instructions for different exercises. And each deck comes with its own unique theme, such as bodyweight, stability ball, Yoga, resistance bands, plyometrics, dumbbells, prenatal, senior fitness, and even travel. Oh, and I forgot my favorite – Playground! I love the travel and bodyweight ones, because then there’s never an excuse to not exercise, and I don’t have to lug tons of equipment with me.

I own about ten different decks (they have over 25) and seriously don’t travel anywhere without it. If you’ve got your Fit Deck and your body then you’re ready to go and don’t have to have the excuse that you couldn’t find a gym or don’t have fitness equipment.

Each deck comes with its own set of exercises with options for beginner, intermediate, or advanced worker-outters, plus ideas for games that you can play with the cards. That’s right, you heard me, games! Who says working is boring and tedious?

Right now they’re offering 50% off their mobile app. You can check that and all the other decks out here.

Products I'm Obsessed With – Fit Deck

What makes working out fun, less confusing, easy to follow, and super transportable? You guessed it, Fit Deck.

Fit Deck is a super portable deck of cards designed to take the confusion out of working out. Each deck of cards comes with easy to read and follow instructions for different exercises. And each deck comes with its own unique theme, such as bodyweight, stability ball, Yoga, resistance bands, plyometrics, dumbbells, prenatal, senior fitness, and even travel. Oh, and I forgot my favorite – Playground! I love the travel and bodyweight ones, because then there’s never an excuse to not exercise, and I don’t have to lug tons of equipment with me.

I own about ten different decks (they have over 25) and seriously don’t travel anywhere without it. If you’ve got your Fit Deck and your body then you’re ready to go and don’t have to have the excuse that you couldn’t find a gym or don’t have fitness equipment.

Each deck comes with its own set of exercises with options for beginner, intermediate, or advanced worker-outters, plus ideas for games that you can play with the cards. That’s right, you heard me, games! Who says working is boring and tedious?

Right now they’re offering 50% off their mobile app. You can check that and all the other decks out here.

The Best Thing To Eat After A Workout

This tip is going to be short and to the point today. For all you inner kiddies out there you are going to love this. Eating after your workout is just as important as eating before your workout, because it helps your muscles repair and your metabolism stay revved throughout the day. Without proper nutrients after a workout your body will end up replacing the energy in your muscles that you burned during the workout by breaking down your muscle and stealing protein from them. And because your metabolism needs to slow down to compensate for the lack of fuel your weight loss efforts will be tossed out the window. Pretty counterproductive, huh. You’ll also feel pretty sluggish the rest of the day. So, within 15-60 minutes of a workout you want to make sure that you’re refueling your body with the right thing, which should consist of a carb and protein. And you know what the best thing is???? Chocolate milk!

Mmmmmmm good!

Not only does it have good for you carbs and protein, but it has Vitamin D, calcium, and potassium. If you’re watching your weight though, just make sure it’s the low-fat kind. Try Horizon Organic Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk after your next workout and let me know how it goes! They come in individual drink boxes, so you can be sure that you won’t have more than your fill, plus they’re shelf stable, so they wont go to waste! Now you’ll be working out just so you can have your chocolate fix!

Focus on The Negative

The next time you’re working out try focusing on the “eccentric” or lengthening phase of the lift, which has been shown to help increase metabolism. I’ll explain more below…

When lifting weights there are two things that are happening: There’s a shortening of the muscle as you lift the weight and a lengthening as you lower the weight back down. Want to feel it in action? Place your left hand on your right bicep and do a bicep curl. Feel the muscle scrunching up as you flex your elbow and then feel it get longer as you lower your arm back down.

What you want to do is focus on that lengthening by lifting the weight within a 1 second count and then lowering it back down in a 3-5 second count. You will feel the muscle fatigue a bit quicker this way, because you’re really working against gravity, but it will definitely change things up a bit in your routine and help boost metabolism by up to 9% after the workout!

Just as a heads up, you will feel pretty sore the next day and maybe up to 48 hours after, but repeating a workout like this about a week later will keep the soreness at a minimum in the future.

Try it out this week and let me know how it feels.

Week 11 – 12 Weeks To A Stronger, Sexier, More Confident You

I shouldn’t be saying this at week 11 of this program, but I really wish I would have named it something different. “12 Weeks To A Stronger, blah, blah, blah” is so generic. And I’m so not a generic. And neither is this program. If you’ve been following it for the entire 10 weeks up until now I’m sure that you’ll find that you feel stronger, sexier, and more confident, but that you also got past some major hurdles in keeping up with it. How did I let this happen? Oh well, there’s only 1 more week left.

Yup, 1 more week until you’re no longer a beginner at fitness! Can you believe how far you’ve come? Did you ever think you’d be able to stick with it? Pretty awesome! Ok, enough exclamation points (I hate them), on with the program…

The Workout:
Week 11

The Playlist:
- Warm-up
Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)
Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
Bust A Move (Young MC)
Party Up (DMX)

- Workout
Love Is A Battlefield (Pat Benatar)
The Seed (2.0) (The Roots)
He Got Game (Public Enemy)
‘ Till I Collapse (Eminem)
Sober (Pink)
Hung Up (Madonna)
Sorry (Madonna)
Wind It Up (Gwen Stefani)
Epic Last Song (Does it Offend You, Yeah?)

- Cardio
Day ‘n’ Nite (Chani)
American Idiot (Spike)
Satisfaction (C-Baby)
I’m Gonna Get Tribal (RP)
Vegas
Eclipse (Beltek)
You Will Find Me
En Route (Tariq)

- Cool Down
Precious (Depeche Mode)

Ok, there you have it – your workout and your playlist. If anyone knows how to create a playlist for purchase on iTunes (so that you don’t have to click on each song individually) please let me know. It would save you and me a ton of trouble. Thanks!

This Is For Any Woman Who Thinks She's Not Good Enough

I’ve been working on revamping my website lately. When I first started personal training I didn’t realize that I would find a specialty and want to focus on women who have self-esteem issues. I knew I wanted to work with women, but didn’t realize that I had a real purpose in life to focus on. So, when I put out my website it was simply aimed at women in general without any real insight into who I was and what my type of personal training was all about. Years later I’ve come to a point in my career where I’ve realized that I have a true calling and a need to help women who are suffering with feelings of imperfection, body image issues, and simply, but not really so simply, feeling like they’re not good enough.

Seems pretty clear, right? Well, not really, because every time I get to writing down my bio or what my philosophy about personal training is I become completely tongue-tied. I’ve written and rewritten so many drafts, but how do you really put into words something that’s so complex? How do I put my very long and complicated bio into something that doesn’t read like the Sunday edition of the New York Times? So, I rephrased my thoughts and asked myself, “how has fitness changed me and what do I want to teach others?” This is what I came up with…

I’ve dieted, starved, binged, and purged. You name it, I’ve done it. After years of abusing my body like this my metabolism came to such a screeching halt that no matter what I did I just kept getting rounder, softer, and more and more unhappy with myself. I spent an entire summer in my bedroom not wanting to leave, because I felt ugly, ashamed, and angry. I was angry at myself for getting to this place and I was ashamed and frustrated because now I couldn’t dig myself out of the hole I put myself in. I couldn’t believe that after losing so much weight I’d gained it all back again, but now couldn’t take it off. It became my world. I hated that I didn’t love myself. I was never good enough. I hated that I’d spent my senior year of high school obsessing about my weight, food, and how I looked. I didn’t know how to be happy anymore. I couldn’t remember it.

You know those “aha” moments people speak about? Those pivotal moments in their lives were everything just seems to make sense? Like they’ve figured out Newton’s theory of gravity or something? Well, I had one of those moments in my bedroom that summer. After spending the entire summer feeling tormented and my entire senior year (and most of my junior too) hating myself a thought popped into my head. “I would rather die than go on feeling this way.” After feeling so weak and defeated for so long something within me took over and I knew that I was going to work up the courage to take back control of my life.

A funny thing happens when you’re trying to be so in control of your emotions, actions, thoughts, and feeling. You become out of control. As hard as pushing yourself to overcome your fears and challenges is it’s not nearly as bad as living your life a prisoner in your own head.

At first, I’ll admit, I began exercising as yet another way to lose and control my weight, but then it became something so much more, and I had another “aha” moment. My trainer gave me a pretty difficult exercise – it was a single-handed pike on a stability ball. Face down, with only my legs on the ball and my hands supporting me, I was supposed to lift one hand up in the air and simultaneously use my feet to roll the ball and bring my body up into an inverted V-shape. – It was excruciatingly hard, but I didn’t give up. I kept trying and trying until I finally got it. Then he asked me, “how do you feel?” And I said “GREAT!” With a smirk on his face, he said that I’m the only client he has that would actually say that after something so difficult. And that’s when I realized that fitness became so much more to me than just losing weight. It was something that I could be good at, and I felt extremely empowered by being able to do things that I thought I’d never be able to do. Normally my perfectionism would cripple me, because I would just give up rather than fail, but instead I learned to push even harder. I relished the fact that people would stare at the short little girl walking down the street with 10 grocery bags all up and down her arms. I was actually quite strong and powerful on the inside.

This became a metaphor for my life. I could do whatever I thought was impossible. I could push past fear, failure, and pain, and become so much more than I ever thought possible. I could take control of my life. I realized that my body and the way it looked wasn’t the problem, my mind was. Our minds are our only limitations.

Very Personal Training is empowerment based fitness. It is for any woman who thinks she’s not good enough. Fitness is so much more than simply losing weight and toning your body so that you look like Jessica Biel. When you push yourself past pain and the seemingly impossible you realize that you are so much more than a dress size. You conquer yourself and you take that with you everywhere you go. Any time you face something that you think you can’t do, you remember, oh yes I can!

(And P.S., once I stopped obsessing about my weight it all came off.)

This Is For Any Woman Who Thinks She’s Not Good Enough

I’ve been working on revamping my website lately. When I first started personal training I didn’t realize that I would find a specialty and want to focus on women who have self-esteem issues. I knew I wanted to work with women, but didn’t realize that I had a real purpose in life to focus on. So, when I put out my website it was simply aimed at women in general without any real insight into who I was and what my type of personal training was all about. Years later I’ve come to a point in my career where I’ve realized that I have a true calling and a need to help women who are suffering with feelings of imperfection, body image issues, and simply, but not really so simply, feeling like they’re not good enough.

Seems pretty clear, right? Well, not really, because every time I get to writing down my bio or what my philosophy about personal training is I become completely tongue-tied. I’ve written and rewritten so many drafts, but how do you really put into words something that’s so complex? How do I put my very long and complicated bio into something that doesn’t read like the Sunday edition of the New York Times? So, I rephrased my thoughts and asked myself, “how has fitness changed me and what do I want to teach others?” This is what I came up with…

I’ve dieted, starved, binged, and purged. You name it, I’ve done it. After years of abusing my body like this my metabolism came to such a screeching halt that no matter what I did I just kept getting rounder, softer, and more and more unhappy with myself. I spent an entire summer in my bedroom not wanting to leave, because I felt ugly, ashamed, and angry. I was angry at myself for getting to this place and I was ashamed and frustrated because now I couldn’t dig myself out of the hole I put myself in. I couldn’t believe that after losing so much weight I’d gained it all back again, but now couldn’t take it off. It became my world. I hated that I didn’t love myself. I was never good enough. I hated that I’d spent my senior year of high school obsessing about my weight, food, and how I looked. I didn’t know how to be happy anymore. I couldn’t remember it.

You know those “aha” moments people speak about? Those pivotal moments in their lives were everything just seems to make sense? Like they’ve figured out Newton’s theory of gravity or something? Well, I had one of those moments in my bedroom that summer. After spending the entire summer feeling tormented and my entire senior year (and most of my junior too) hating myself a thought popped into my head. “I would rather die than go on feeling this way.” After feeling so weak and defeated for so long something within me took over and I knew that I was going to work up the courage to take back control of my life.

A funny thing happens when you’re trying to be so in control of your emotions, actions, thoughts, and feeling. You become out of control. As hard as pushing yourself to overcome your fears and challenges is it’s not nearly as bad as living your life a prisoner in your own head.

At first, I’ll admit, I began exercising as yet another way to lose and control my weight, but then it became something so much more, and I had another “aha” moment. My trainer gave me a pretty difficult exercise – it was a single-handed pike on a stability ball. Face down, with only my legs on the ball and my hands supporting me, I was supposed to lift one hand up in the air and simultaneously use my feet to roll the ball and bring my body up into an inverted V-shape. – It was excruciatingly hard, but I didn’t give up. I kept trying and trying until I finally got it. Then he asked me, “how do you feel?” And I said “GREAT!” With a smirk on his face, he said that I’m the only client he has that would actually say that after something so difficult. And that’s when I realized that fitness became so much more to me than just losing weight. It was something that I could be good at, and I felt extremely empowered by being able to do things that I thought I’d never be able to do. Normally my perfectionism would cripple me, because I would just give up rather than fail, but instead I learned to push even harder. I relished the fact that people would stare at the short little girl walking down the street with 10 grocery bags all up and down her arms. I was actually quite strong and powerful on the inside.

This became a metaphor for my life. I could do whatever I thought was impossible. I could push past fear, failure, and pain, and become so much more than I ever thought possible. I could take control of my life. I realized that my body and the way it looked wasn’t the problem, my mind was. Our minds are our only limitations.

Very Personal Training is empowerment based fitness. It is for any woman who thinks she’s not good enough. Fitness is so much more than simply losing weight and toning your body so that you look like Jessica Biel. When you push yourself past pain and the seemingly impossible you realize that you are so much more than a dress size. You conquer yourself and you take that with you everywhere you go. Any time you face something that you think you can’t do, you remember, oh yes I can!

(And P.S., once I stopped obsessing about my weight it all came off.)