Instant Results

I saw this meme the other day on my Facebook feed and I thought how true it is and has been for many of us.

instant-results

We’re just entering our second week of 2017 and, as most people do, many of us have also made New Year’s Resolutions.  (Have you?  Tell me about them.)

I almost never make resolutions for the new year because I know I’m more than likely setting myself up for failure.  (Stop swearing.  Yeah right!)

Instead, this time I have have made the decision and commitment to work harder on my strength training this year.  For Christmas I had received a free-standing boxing bag, something I have wanted for a long time.  I was ecstatic Christmas morning.  And I have been utilizing it this past week like crazy.

In addition to the boxing, I am going to continue to my strength training in the gym (and at home) with lifting weights and, hopefully, continuously increasing the weight.  Of course, this part will depend on how my back fares.  I wretched it again just this morning while shoveling snow.  Sometimes I feel like it’s never going to heal.  But, that being said, I will work on my strength while doing my best not to injure myself any further.

work-for-it

My Whole 30 60 (I am aiming big this time) also starts tomorrow morning and I have been so excited to get going.  Don’t get me wrong, I am going to miss chocolate and those dreamy peppermint mochas, but I know how wonderful I feel when doing a Whole and committing myself to completely clean eating for 60 days has me on edge in all the good ways.

But see – this is the point of this post.  Instant results would be fabulous!  But it’s just not realistic.  Oprah said years ago on her show that if there were a pill out there to make her lose weight she would be on it!  But, unfortunately, there is no magic pill. You have to work for it.  You have to.  The only instant result you get is making the choice to change your life.

That’s right, in one instant you can change your life.  You can commit yourself to a better lifestyle – to eating cleaner, to sleeping more, to getting enough water to drink, and to exercising.

30-minutes

Even 20 minutes a day can change your life!

Many years ago, when I was overweight and at my heaviest, I made that commitment. And, as you know, I haven’t looked back.  I have changed my life.

At first, I had a hard time getting through my workouts.  I was panting and huffing and puffing.  I could barely get through three minutes.  But I kept at it and I worked my way up to 10, 20, 30, 60, 120 minutes.  I have often said that 20 minutes a day can change your life  and I stick by that.  You do not need to spend hours upon hours in the gym.  But you do have to do something.  Start off with a goal of even 5 minutes a day.  Work your way up to 10 or 20 minutes over the weeks.  See how different you feel, how easier it is to breathe, how harder you can go.  Feel the difference in your body and how your clothes fit.  Commit yourself to one month.  Give yourself 30 days of eating better and working out even 3 times a week.  I challenge you* to do that. Thirty days is not a long time.  But those thirty days can change your life.

You have to work for it.

~Fit Bitch

*Anyone accepting my challenge, please feel free to comment or email me and let me know you’ve accepted the challenge, or if you want fitness tips, instructions, workout ideas, or nutritional advice/healthy eating coaching.

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Online Bootcamp

A while ago I thought about running an online bootcamp. And then I side-tracked the idea.  But recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about this venture and I have decided I will be offering an online beginner’s bootcamp in the near future.

Online-Bootcamp

I still have kinks to work out, but basically anyone wanting to participate will have to register and commit to the session (6 or 8 weeks with a minimum of 3 workouts a week).  I will also offer nutritional info and advice.

The workouts can be done in the privacy of your own home (or at the gym, or outside; wherever you choose). You will have to be accountable for your workouts each week and submit your finished weekly workout to me.

Likely, I’ll have demonstrations of the exercises and make myself available to participants online – by email or chat (and possibly, if appropriate, by video chat – but this idea is still up in the air as chats would have to work outside of my regular schedule, and I know many of you are subject to time differences).  I’m hoping to create a Facebook group that only participants will have access to.  Which means, in addition to chatting me with, you’ll have the support of other bootcampers.

Please let me know if you’re interested in this new venture as I continue to work it out.  Email me at nsfitnessqueen@yahoo.ca or simply leave a comment here to let me know if you’d be interesting in registering (later), with any questions, and with contact info (for privacy reasons, emailing me is probably the best).

Cheers!

~Fit Bitch

New Cert

I am pleased to announce that, as of lunchtime today, I am now a CanFitPro certified Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist!!

NWL

I am so excited to be adding this venture my Health and Fitness resume.  And I am soooo happy that the weight and stress of having to study for write an exam is over!

This certification complements the personal training certification.  And, although I really wanted to take this course to educate myself, I knew it would be a bonus to some of my PT and boot camp clients.

To all of you (online and in real life) who’ve supported me through all of this – thank you so much!  You are all rock stars!

And just a note, I am always excited to receive mail, so don’t forget to check out my “contact me” page above if you have any questions or looking for advice or even just want an “attaboy” with your health and fitness goals.

~Fit Bitch

 

Dream a New Dream (Day 4)

Never too old to dream

I wish I had fallen in love with fitness the way I have when I was younger.  I came to this party late.  But in a short time I transformed by body and my mind and my life!

I look back at myself when I was 20 and I never would have dreamed that I would have become a fitness professional.  In fact, I would never have imagined myself as a dedicated runner (although I dabbled for a long time) or as a boot camp instructor or as a personal trainer.

But here I am today.  I had a dream, I set a goal, and even though I got started in this industry a little late, I am here now!  And that’s something.

~Fit Bitch

Boot Camp Fitness

When I advertise for my classes I get a lot of “what is boot camp?” questions.  I didn’t realize that many people are unaware of this type of training (but I suppose, once upon a time I asked “what is boot camp?”) and so I’ve decided to use this forum to explain to you what exactly my boot camp classes are like.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

The purpose of fitness boot camp – aside from whipping your butt into shape – is to build strength and endurance.  My classes are jam-packed with cardio (cray-zee cardio) and strength.  And because my classes are based on body weight training I don’t require any equipment (save for a yoga mat so you don’t have to be/sit/lay on the ground or floor).

When most people hear the term “boot camp” they instantly think of the military.  New recruits go off to basic training and boot camp and go through some pretty intense training in order to get their bodies in tip-top shape.  Boot camp is pretty hard core – and so are my classes.

..this ain't no princess-in-training camp.

..this ain’t no princess-in-training camp.

As I said above, my classes are a combo of cardio and strength.  I start with a warm up, we work our asses off for the majority of the hour, and I finish with a cool down/stretching.

I am always coming up with new exercises so that the classes don’t get boring – and I also have some old tried and trusted faves.  I will make you squat.  I will make you burpee.  I will definitely make you sweat!

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

Your abs will be sore and you’ll have difficulty getting up those stairs the next few days.  But it will get easier.  No, scratch that!  YOU WILL GET STRONGER.  You will build up your cardio and your endurance.  You will need to take less breaks to catch your breath.  And you’ll be able to push up through the entire interval without having to take a knee.

You’ll leave class with your head held higher (I applaud you just for coming) and you’ll walk with a little swagger.  And so you should.

Via Yahoo

Via Yahoo

Here are a few things to remember when taking my class:

Gear. Come to class prepared, man.  You need sneakers, a mat, and water (and maybe a sweat towel).  You CANNOT do my class without proper footwear.  It’s dangerous and it’s reckless (for you as a participant and for me as a trainer). You need proper footwear in order to prevent injury.  I want your ass to be sore; I don’t want to kill you.
Water.  Hydration is key to good, everyday health.  But it’s really important to stay hydrated during an intense class – or if you’re an extensive sweater.  Boot camps are designed to get your heart rate up and make you break – and keep – a sweat, so replenishing those electrolytes is important.  Even more important when taking class in the summer.  Which just about kills even me.  Blah.
Disclose of any medical information, etc.  Good Lord people! I can’t even stress how important this is.  Please be sure  to disclose any medical or health issues to any fitness professional you’ll be working with.  I have my clients fill out a lengthy health history form as well as a liability waiver.  And I’m well aware that people lie.  But seriously, this is something that could save your life.  I am the first one to tell my clients that I have a heart condition (I mean, really, how often do you hear that your trainer has a heart condition) so please be truthful with me.
Carb up.  Yep.  You heard it.  Carbohydrate is what fuels your body and without it I expect you’ll be laying in a puddle on the floor in a corner.  I tell my clients to eat something carby (an apple, whole grain toast) at least an hour before my class.  (If you eat too close to class time you’re likely to puke).
Throwing up is okay.  Seriously.  You’re not the first.  You won’t be the last.
Boot camp classes are intense.  I’m not gonna lie.  Be prepared to work your butt off and to do things you didn’t think you were capable of.  Your body will hate you, you’ll hate me.  But you’ll be fine.
Don’t insult the instructor.  Don’t be a dick.  I had a dude come to my class recently.  He’d spent some time in the military and during a conversation after class he said to me “It was a good class.  It’s not boot camp though.”  No, it’s not (military) boot camp.  I’m not wielding a rifle and screaming profanities all whilst preparing you for battle.  It’s a fitness class.  He signed up for a fitness class – he got a fitness class.  He was an ass.  And really – if you’re going to participate just to be an ass, please stay home.
Don’t be afraid to dig deeper (or go lighter).  I tell my clients before and during their workouts “your body will tell you what you’re capable of.”  Don’t be afraid to push your limits (or at least try).  And certainly don’t be ashamed to modify if you need to.  Your body is your temple.  Do what’s best for it.
Don’t forget to pay the lady.  Unless you have made arrangements with me – or if I’ve stated otherwise – come to class prepared to pay.  It irks me to no end when people come to my class and don’t pay.  The same ass from above came to my class and said “I don’t have any money for you tonight.”  WTF??  I specifically told this person – as I’ve told everyone – what the cost is and my methods of payment.  This is a grown ass man!!   And it happens way too often.  It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to the rest of the participants who’ve paid for the classes.  I mean, when you go to the grocery store do you tell the cashier “I’m taking the milk but I don’t have any money for you”???
I happily offer free classes on occasion.  Unfortunately this is not something I can offer constantly as I have rental fees, insurance, education, dues, and travel expenses to cover during the session runs.  To show up for a class AND participate without intention to pay is disrespectful and, as far as I’m concerned, the same as stealing.  Asshat from above made me so angry that I’ve decided that I will no longer be offering people the benefit of the doubt and will be turning people away at the door.  “Sorry you traveled all this way but if you don’t pay you don’t play.”  It may be bad for business, but that’s exactly what it is…a business.  I’m offering you a service.  It’s not free.  Please keep this in mind when you are intending on attending any type of class.  {End rant.}
Have Fun!  Remember, this is a fitness class.  It’s not military basic training.  It’s supposed to be fun. Try it out.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Laugh at me.  Laugh at yourself.  As long as you’re working it at the same time.  Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore.  There is a lot of camaraderie among the participants.  We have fun.  Come with the right attitude and you will too.
~Fit Bitch

Start Again

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

The last couple of weeks I have been absolutely loving my workout routines.  I am fortunate enough to work with the owner of a local yoga studio, as well as with a few fellow yogis. So, some friends and I have been going several times per week during our lunch breaks (and some evenings) to the different classes.  I’m loving it so much!  There are a dozen or so different instructors so each class can be different.  Last week I went to a class every day and this week I was able to reach goals with my practice that I really didn’t think was possible.  They may have been small goals but they were milestones for me just the same.

I’ve also been going a little cray-cray with my boot campers but I think we’re all loving it.  Although, I still think I’m the only one who’s smiling through 5 minutes of squats.

And tonight, I shaved a few more minutes off of my run time (a 5k post-yoga, pre-Zumba run).  I’m feeling fantastic!

Last year I was struggling so much with the pain of my tarsal tunnel that I didn’t think I’d be running too much, nor did I imagine that I would get so much better.  But I stayed with it.  Like the caption above says: I took a deep breath and started again…and again and again.  Did I mention I feel fantastic??  I really, really do.

And you will too!  I know there are days you want to give up.  Days that you don’t think the struggle is worth it.  But it is because you’re worth it.  Your health and your self-love is worth it.  So stick with it.  Keep taking those deep breaths and keep starting again.

~Fit Bitch

Preventing Knee Injury When Exercising

I have mentioned many times over the course of my posts that I have very weak ankles.  I’ve had problems with my ankles for as long as I can remember – since I was a toddler, I believe.  They’ve both been sprained, strained, twisted, torn, rolled, and broken (yes, both of them).  Because of my ankle weaknesses I am always super diligent in doing my best to prevent (further) ankle injury.  So much so that I sometimes need to remind myself that other parts of my body need to be looked after.
Like the knees.
via Yahoo

via Yahoo

Because I’m so active, and because there is a history of osteoporosis in my family, I have made a conscious effort to be kind to my knees – and I’m going to let you in on these efforts:
First of all, be aware.  That’s pretty easy, right?  Our knees carry us and they take a lot of crap throughout each day.  So, if we are aware of the possible injuries we could endure – and what our lives might be like with a knee injury – we can ensure better care and safer performances.  We want to avoid a bigger situation, such as getting a knee replacement and having ongoing problems after that.  (The Zimmer Persona Knee Replacement is just one example of this.  Coincidentally, a few months ago I posted MOM-spiration and told the story of my mom being injured in a hit-and-run accident and has suffered her whole life with bad knees as a result. She is potentially facing knee replacement surgeries but is doing her best to avoid that option.  She’s been coming on-and-off to my boot camp classes (go mom!!) and has joined a walking group.  Knee replacement surgery is clearly something we all want to do our best to avoid.)
And of course having proper footwear is a key factor in preventing many types of injuries – knees and ankles included.  Making sure you have the right type of sneaker for your particular exercise is necessary, even if it will cost you a few extra bucks, it’s worth it in the long run.  Since I run and do a lot of plyo exercises I find it necessary to have a high end pair of sneakers or two with excellent shock absorption and tread, to start with.  And wearing proper and well-fitting gym shoes will help maintain leg alignment and balance (something I often need help with due to my weak ankles).
Having an exercise routine that includes a warm up and a cool down!!  THIS IS KEY.  I REPEAT <<– THIS IS RIDICULOUSLY IMPORTANT!!!   I make sure my clients, my fitness groups, and myself are all properly warmed up prior to exercising.  I can’t tell you how often I see people at my gym jump right into a workout without warming up.  That right there is one of the biggest factors causing injury.  If the body isn’t warmed up properly we’re not respecting it and we put it at risk.  Warming up before a workout will reduce the chance of soft tissue injuries and will lubricate your joints for easier movement. Cooling down and stretching after a workout is just as important as the warm up.  Our muscles tighten during exercise, so stretching post-workout will help loosen our muscles and joints, getting them back to proper mobility.  Although, we must be cautious of overstretching as this can further ail us by softening the ligaments under the kneecap or pulling tendons and muscles further than they should be pulled (stretched).  The Runner’s Stretch is guilty of this.
Having a strength-training routine is great for me for supporting my ankles and knees.  Strengthening my leg muscles will help me in the long run to reduce further injury, stabilize my muscles and joints, and keep me better balanced.
Knowing how to treat a knee injury is very important.  If it’s an injury due to over-training or over-use then there are several rules to follow.  I had an over-training injury to the side of knee that lasted for months this past winter and spring.  It was a terrible joint injury that caused me more pain than I had bargained for.  Here’s the routine I followed for a very.long.time: Ice and elevation, for starters.  I would come home from the gym, or from work, or from a class and elevate my knee over some pillows and then put the ice packs to it.  I was also very big on Epsom salts baths (Epsom salts are brilliant.  The sulfates play an important role in the formation of joint proteins and easing muscle pain.  Also, the magnesium helps with nutrient absorption, which can help with osteoporosis).  I would soak my knee for a good 20 minutes nearly every night for weeks on end.  I found a lot of comfort in doing this. I also made sure that I did some light stretching while my knee was warmed and soaking.  Compression wraps are something I had to deal with.  It would look big and bulky underneath my gym pants or whatever I was wearing but it had to be done to reduce the swelling.  Anti-inflammatories* became my best friend.  Well, not really, but when the pain and/or swelling got too bad I had to pop an Advil** here and there to reduce both.  (* and **  I am not promoting this, nor do I have any affiliation with Advil.  Please either see your doctor or your pharmacist or other health professional before taking any medication, and follow the instructions and/or recommended dosage of any medication.)  I also spoke to a professional to determine that my injury was indeed an over-use injury.  Because my pain was in a weird place I wanted to ensure it wasn’t anything more worrisome.
Following a yoga practice definitely helped – and continues to help me.  Yoga has helped me: increase my flexibility, enhance my performance, reduce stress, and stretch my muscles.  After all the exercising I do, incorporating a regular yoga practice is probably one of the smartest things I’ve done to help my body recover after my workouts and from the daily wear and tear I put it through.  My body (and mind and soul) continually thanks me for introducing it to yoga.
And lastly, but certainly not less important, knowing my limits and exercising properly is just as important as every other factor.  And this goes for everything I do.  Thankfully, my over-training injury healed up several months ago and I’ve been fortunate enough to not have another flare of it (I’m knocking on wood as I type).  If we are educated properly about exercises – whether it be by a trainer, an instructor, a doctor, or a teacher, then we can prevent almost any type of injury. For instance, we know that when doing a basic lunge the knee is not supposed to come out further than the ankle.  Just like we know that in a plank or push up our lower back should not sink in.  Anytime either of these happens we are putting our body at risk.  But there.  I’ve just told you the most important rules of a basic lunge and of a plank or push up.  Educating ourselves on correct form and exercise basics (what to do and what not to do) and how to avoid injuries is a great start to any fitness routine and respecting our body.
{FYI: I work with a man who has ongoing knee problems stemming from an old injury and ever since I found out about his issue (somedays, when flare ups occur and he’s visibly in pain) I will send him tons of info on preventing knee injury, strengthening his knees, and taking care of himself to prevent further injury/flare ups.  I think, perhaps deep down, he appreciates my scolding and sticking-my-nose-in.}
~Fit Bitch

Commitment

COMMITMENT

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I take my fitness regime seriously.  But, as I continue to work at getting beyond my workout addiction (yes, that’s a thing), and struggle with a few health issues, I’ve weened myself off of my every-single-day workout habit. There are days that I am still at the gym much longer than I need to be, and there are days when I still exercise because I feel like I “have to”, but for the most part, I am very happy with where I am today compared to where I was a year ago.

That being said, I have certain days that I commit myself to working out, and as I’ve mentioned in a recent post or two, I’ve committed myself to running at the gym) several times a week (once I’m running outside it won’t be a commitment, but a pleasure) so I’ve had to dedicate myself to this schedule and staying on track.

That means I’m at the gym whether I want to be or not. That means that Friday nights I’m at the gym.  That means that Saturday afternoons or Sunday mornings I’m a the gym.  That means that aside from teaching boot camp and participating in other classes, I’m at the gym.  I’m running and I’m lifting and I’m sweating and I’m loving it.

InstallingMuscles.

I still feel that exhilaration when I’m working out.  I feel accomplished when I’m completed my fitness task for the day.  A long time ago I committed myself to a better life.  I made the commitment to get fit and be healthy and stay active.  Sometimes that means sacrifices.  There are still a good many days that I want to come home after work and schlump on the couch or Friday nights when I want to just get the freakin’ weekend started.  But, like I said, I committed myself to these goals and really, what’s another hour or two?  Friday night will still be there when my run is complete.  Sunday coffee dates will wait until I’ve finished in the weight room.  There is room in my life for sacrifice.

~Fit Bitch

CERTIFIED!!

I am now OFFICIALLY a CanFitPro certified Personal Training Specialist!!  FINALLY!!

via canfitpro

via canfitpro

It has been a long 6 months and I’ve spent more than my fair share of time studying and practicing and I am thankful that this process is over with (because it’s been very stressful) and I’m proud to be a certified member of the fitness community!

My cousin Eliza sent me this lovely little e-card a few days ago:

I am so proud of you. You have reached for the stars and finally, your dream is within grasp. You are going to do so well on your final exam. I have complete faith in you. You are someone I look up to and you make me want to be better than I am. You inspire me to workout harder and become a healthier person. I wish you all the best luck for your final piece in your puzzle of life. Lots of love and prayers from me to you.

Unfortunately, because I haven’t done anything but work and study for the last two weeks I really didn’t look at the card the other day…..so, upon opening it just a little while ago and really reading it, it’s touched my heart and I am thankful to her for such lovely and kind words.

When I decided to pursue my fitness certification it really was just for me….the idea that I’ve inspired someone along the way is still a little weird to me but at the same time I find inspiration in that.

I really am looking forward to seeing where this will take me.  And I truly am proud to be part of this community – which includes all of you!!  Thank you for your support in this journey.

Cheers!

~Fit Bitch

Rain or Shine

I have news:  I started teaching outdoors boot camp this summer. Yay me!  There’s more to it (my news, I mean) but very quickly I’m going to leave you with this:

This summer has been crazy hot.  I mean, sizzling hot. And sticky. And gross. But my boot camp troops have hung in there and worked out with me in 32 degree heat. (Water people, drink lots and lots and lots of water!!)

AND

We’re worked out in the piss-pouring rain, too.  Nothing has stopped us.  We’ve found shelter when we needed it and we’ve trudged through.  And we’ve had a B.L.A.S.T.!!!  

Bad Weather

 

Lose the excuses.  When you’re willing to put in the time and effort (without making excuses), you’ll be ready to change your life.

🙂

~Fit Bitch