When Did We Stop Listening To Our Bodies

In this world of instant everything and quick fixes we have stopped listening to our bodies?  We have all the latest and greatest apps, fit gadgets, diet pills, diet plans, yada yada yada.  We have effectively made a giant mountain out of a what is really a mole hill.

Over the last three months I have spent so much time trying to learn myself and what kind of program I can stick too for my over all health and well being.  The fact is that I like food and I can eat a lot, and in some cases I over do it, so the last three months have been trial and error as to what is going to work for me and what I can stick with as a lifestyle.  I started with the counting calories, but I don’t want to have to do that for the rest of my life or feel like I am restricted.  I tried sticking to a  diet and nutritional plan but that again is not anything that I can stick to for the long term.  Then it hit me, eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied.  This over the last two weeks has been a very simple rule for me to live by to which I can carry out for a very long time.  It’s not something that is exhausting and time consuming like counting calories or sticking to a rigid diet.  That’s when it occurred to me that we have gotten to the point where we don’t trust our bodies to tell us what it needs.  We don’t trust our bodies that have been through thousands of years of evolution instead we put our trust into a Fitbit or an iPhone app.  I think its time we get back to basics and start listening to what our bodies are telling us.

Waiting On Results

ResultsIf there were a product out there that I could sell you that would make you lose weight instantly and as quickly as you like then I would not be sitting here writing this, my @$$ would be sitting on a beach in Maui sipping a margarita watching my bank account grow. However that is not the case, I am resigned to the fact that losing weight and creating the body you have always dreamed of takes work and consistent effort. The thing is in this very instant world we live in we some how believe our bodies work like a Fios WIFI connection and should react as soon as we hit the gym and start eating healthy. Fact of the matter is that our bodies are designed from thousands of years of evolution and trial and error, and expecting instant results from our thousand year old selves just isn’t going to happen.

We put a high level of expectation on our bodies and our habits that when we fail it’s such a disappointment and we blame our bodies for not meeting that expectation. This is so unfair, skipping a couple of opportunities to eat your favorite chips or drinking a beer is not going to issue you the results you want. However working on completely changing the habit will get you the results you are looking for. Also taking the time to discover how your own body works is vital, not everyone’s is the same. Some people have to work extra hard to lose one pound while others drop 10 pounds without doing much, or sometimes we are working so hard and then hit a plateau and get completely frustrated that our body is not doing what we expect.

So when you are hitting the gym and starting that clean eating diet, give it some time, don’t expect instant results instead work on lasting results. BE PATIENT, respect your body and its process, there is no magic pill for results and anyone who sells you a magic pill or process is full of it!!!

10 Reasons Why Fitness Werqs is the Best Gym

 

 

Just like parents to their children every business owner thinks their business is the best, however we KNOW Fitness Werqs is the BEST GYM and here is why:
FWdoor

  1. We have the only award winning water fountain in America. You read that right; we have won an award for our water fountain (even if dubbed by one of our members), even still resoundingly everyone at Fitness Werqs says what good water comes out of it’s little spout.
  2. Our garage door.   In the warmer months we can open up the garage door giving the FW a Venice Beach of Pennsylvania kind of feel, you never have to worry about missing out on a summer day because you have to go to the gym. I personally think this is one of the coolest features of the Gym, there are very few gyms in Pittsburgh that are cool enough to have an industrial modern feel and a garage door. #Winning
  3. Unique equipment. We have some really cool pieces of equipment, like our shoulder machine which can accommodate 4 different exercise, our chest press machine that has a movable bench to allow for an incline, flat and decline press, our squat press machine which is an great range of motion and great for booty building, our 150 lb., 450 lb. and 3000 lb. tires we have outside, and our dumbbells that go up to 150lbs. FW has a great set up for any kind of workout!
  4. Sherlock and Scarlett, otherwise knows as the Greeting Committee. They take this job very seriously and are sure to give wet sloppy mouth kisses to all of those that will allow it. They will both be two years old this year, full breed German Shepherds, Sherlock is 100 lbs. while Scarlett is our little girl at 70 lbs., they love playing down in the gym with everyone there, treats and naps, and all though they are big the are even bigger babies.
  5. You could eat off of our floors… Well kinda. We keep FW Spick and Span with a lot of bleach, Pine-Sole, and Lysol wipes. When it comes to our appearance and our cleanliness we DO NOT mess around! Hands down Fitness Werqs is one of the cleanest gyms in America.
  6. Our Fitness Werqs Family brunches and monthly night outs. We love this gym, our members and clients so much that we spend time with them outside of the gym. What other gym do you know that does that?! For instance this month we went to family brunch at a local diner and this Saturday we are going bowling at a local bowling alley.   We are all about having fun!
  7. Heckling is free with the membership. Don’t get me wrong coming to the gym is about results and improving yourself but at Fitness Werqs there is a lot of busting of chops and people getting ribbed, but all in good fun. We work very hard to create an environment were everyone is friends and everyone knows everyone else’s name. This by far is one of the coolest gyms I have been too and not just because its mine, but because its fun, drama free, and non judgmental to the fullest degree. Everyone in Fitness Werqs could careless about your past or who you are as long as you’re nice to them and can take a little joking around.
  8. The best trainers in Pittsburgh. Luke and I have so much practical experience and knowledge its almost disgusting. We both started practicing and training for our sports at four years old so between us we have 60 years experience. Since Luke never touts his accomplishments I am going to do it for him, like a proud wife would. He started boxing when he was four years old and by the time he was 15 years old he was one of 15 athletes invited to come and train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO for the 2000 Olympics. He also was Division I scholarship recruit for football and basketball.   I on the other hand spent all of my time swimming, quite in high school because I was burned out, but then walked onto Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s swim team until I officially retired. After swimming I competed in figure shows and was a national figure athlete in the NPC. I haven’t retired from competing but just have other things that are priorities right now and will get back up on the stage.
  9. Our members and clients. What can I say; we are the land of misfit toys.   All of our members and clients are so funny and have some of the best senses of humor I have ever come across. They all have hearts as big as the sky and are always willing to lend a helping hand without expecting anything in return. Luke and I can’t see us anywhere else but right here with our 170+ members and our 40+ clients. Gyms don’t get any luckier than this.
  10. We are just the best, end of story!

A Personal Trainers Transformation: Part 4

SugarSo a little recap on how all of this got started, in August last year I decided I would give up caffeine because I was taking in over 1000 mg’s a day (which is a lot) not to mention all the aspartame from all the Diet Pepsi’s I was drinking. I decided to change because my habits were already getting in my way of success. I started with something that was “easy” and by easy I mean that caffeine wasn’t something I was so ingrained into my habits that it would be something that I could walk away from with little impact on my daily life. All in all it took me about six weeks to completely get over caffeine.

Before I get into my next habit let me explain how I move into my habits. The thing about habit changes is that it’s all mental so I give myself at least two weeks to consider my change. This helps me to be prepared to be ready to make the change and for inevitable temptation.

The step I just mentioned about getting ready to make a habit change was really important for the change that I made in the beginning of the year, which is giving up sugar. You see sugar for me, is a major food group, so giving it up was going to take a lot of extra preparation on my part so I decided to give myself a whole month, which also coincidentally was the biggest junk food month of the year, December.  This means I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted with the knowing that I would be giving it all up December 26th.

When it came time to give up sugar it was actually easier than I expected, right now I am three and half weeks clean and couldn’t feel better about it. The thing that was the hardest was finding things to eat because I was so used to just eating anything I wanted, not only because of the month before but because I was so used to eating anything I wanted with or without sugar. The first two weeks was really tough but after that I figured it all out and was able to make food decisions more easily but strangely the temptation to eat sugary foods wasn’t awful it was actually pretty easy to say “NO” to sugar.

Now what I will say about how I am making changes is that it is painstakingly slow. Some… Scratch that, most of the time I have to remind myself of the end goal and if I move too quickly I am going to go down in a ball of flames like I have before, many times. I want these changes to be life long, I don’t want to have to keep working at them and continue to keep letting these habits hold me back so reminding myself that slow progress is lasting progress is probably the biggest lesson I have learned so far.

Combating Holiday Weight Gain

holiday1The holiday season is upon us with also means for many of us the scale becomes even more of an enemy and even as fitness professionals my husband Luke and I struggle with the same thing; we have parties to go to, members and clients bring us in amazing homemade treats and family dinners on top of all the other day to day to do’s and getting ready for the holidays. During this part of the year there is even less time to get workouts in let alone spend more time working out to try to maintain a reasonable pant waist.  To be honest this whole weight loss and maintenance thing is one giant mental game it all comes down to how you prepare for the parties and treats, so in preparation for those events and moments here are some tips to help you prepare.

1) ALWAYS MAKE YOUR WORKOUT A PRIORITY!  This is a huge one, it’s all to easy to get busy and miss a workout or five. So no matter how busy you get always make sure to find the time to hit the gym, your mind and body will thank you whenever January rolls around.

2) When going to parties either take something healthy or give yourself a boundary.  I always take a veggie tray so I know I always have a healthy option, not that i don’t eat other food but I try to make that my main nibble source.  Give yourself a time limit at the food, for me I know once i start eating I won’t stop so I plan to go to a party for three hours and won’t touch a bit of food for at least an hour and a half after I get there.  It’s so much easier for me to not start to eat than it is to stop eating.  This goes for work parties too or break rooms that always have treats if you don’t start eating them you won’t chow down and then five donuts and three bagels later regretting your decision and lack of self control.

3) Prep yourself ahead of time, I honestly will spend the week up to the event reminding myself of what I am going to do and how much I am going to eat.  For instance thanksgiving is in less than 48 hours and I can guarantee you that I won’t eat anymore than a plate of food and maybe nibble on the desserts because that’s what I have been envisioning doing for the past couple of days and to be honest I am very comfortable with that.  Even when I go out to eat I always do recon on the restaurant menu or know whats going to be available to eat so that I can mentally prepare for what I am and am not going to stuff my face with.  As I have told you in my last blog post I get VERY emotional around food to the point that it makes me really anxious, but with this little trick it takes the wild card out of my deck and I show up to the party more prepared to maintain composure around the buffet.

4) Cookies and treats from other people.  This is a tough one because you don’t want to be rude but you don’t want you that $hit in your house either because there is a 150% chance you’ll eat it.  In this case THROW IT OUT!!!!  Accept the nice gift but then don’t let that nonsense in your house!!! Oh and please don’t give me the bull shit excuse that “my kids like it” or “my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/bff/whatever wants to eat it” because they don’t need to be eating it either so again, THROW IT OUT!  You’ll be glad you did tomorrow morning.

5) Cool it on the booze.  Now I do love a glass of wine or champaign and if I am so inclined I could easily finish off a bottle.  However, this is a place where I show a lot of discipline, alcohol is the worst for your body when trying to lose or maintain weight.  It’s a depressant, it not only depresses your mental capacity but it also depresses your body’s systems including your digestive system and ALLLLLL of that alcohol is sugar which is then broken down and then stored by the body as fat instead of burning it off at its usual speed.  Alcohol also has an uncanny way of making us eat more than what we should and make some really bad judgement calls.  So all the way around alcohol is just bad news bears, so just stay away from it or limit yourself to a glass.

Holiday weight gain is tough and I’m not saying these tips are going to make it easy because it’s not, but at least you can have a fighting chance to get to the end of the holiday season without the average 15 lb. gain.  Good luck and enjoy your holidays.  It’s a great time of the year with family and friends so be merry and enjoy some nibbles without the holiday 15.

Love and peace,
Kristin B.

A Personal Trainers Transformation: Part 1

Social media can be very deceiving, it seems like everyone is doing perfectly and everything in their world is always without waves that rock their boat.   I know a lot of you reading this probably follow a lot of people that have seemingly perfect lives and perfect habits, never miss the gym, only eat chicken and broccoli, and everything always seems to fall right into place for them, but for the rest of us mortals it can leave us feeling less inspired and more like a loser. Well I am here to tell you it’s not all perfect and even we as fitness professionals have bad days, bad habits, and aren’t as perfect as we seem.   It does take a lot of hard work and consistency to maintain a healthy balanced life and sometimes we as professionals lose our way and need to learn how to make it back to being balanced and healthy. Admittedly I have a lot of really bad habits I have picked up along the way that I want to change but have been unsuccessful at changing, for me its mainly because I have tried to change to many things at one time instead of following my own advice to my clients “it’s a marathon not a sprint.” So for all of you out there reading this trying to make a change and have been unsuccessful I am going to show you my transformation as it happens to becoming a strong, healthier and more balanced person and professional. This a very uncomfortable place for me because I am a very private and a very strong person so showing you a side of me that is an extremely vulnerable side is well out of my comfort zone and as a professional I have an image to uphold of nothing but healthy habits, workout everyday all day, and wearing clothes that never fit to tight. But like I said I want people to understand the ups and downs of trying to change themselves for the better instead of having a false impression how people got to where they are.

 

There are a lot things that have happened to me that have left me feeling very unconfident and a lot of ways that I have let myself down (I’ll give you back stories as we go). You see I get in my way a lot, I second guess myself on almost everything and for me to become the person I know I am capable of being I have to start making changes and be willing to be uncomfortable. But the kind of transformation I am wanting, and most of us want, does not happen over night and it takes a lot of time and patience to make it happen.

 

I am going to update you as my progress goes along and the difficulties I have faced and the wins I have accomplished as I go along on my journey. I also want to encourage you to create your own transformation or gather up the courage to start to make small changes because at the end of the day small changes lead to a really big transformation after some time.

 

This all started sometime last year [2014] that I decided I wanted to change and wasn’t happy with how I was living my life. I have tried for three years to make changes and have failed every time so FINALLY I had decided to take a different approach but wasn’t sure how to do it. So in July [2015] when I decided to star small and give up Diet Pepsi but then furthered that and decided to give up caffeine all together because at the point I was probably consuming over 1000mg’s (which is a lot) a day, which then also lead me to start journaling my progress.   I can’t say that giving up caffeine has been easy because after two months I still have times that I want it and want to rely on it but the habit of not needing/wanting on it gets stronger as the days goes on, so that’s a big win.

 

The second set of habits I began was to start working out constantly again. Being a new business owner there are a lot of things that can crop up over the course of a day pushing my workouts to the very back burner because if I am not making money then I really can’t workout. However, it got to the point that I would go weeks without even considering a work, which isn’t good for me personally or professionally. So I decided to make hitting the weights and cardio a part of my daily routine again and commit to making it happen so I gave myself a minimum that I need to complete (5 exercises, 3 sets of 20 reps, 20 minutes cardio with no intensity requirements), the only thing I want to happen is the completion of the workout.   There are times that I defiantly don’t feel like doing it or have so many other things to do that I want to skip it but I made the commitment to stop the excuses and so far in almost five weeks I haven’t skipped a single workout and seriously that is a huge win given my record of not following through on my promises to myself, but its only because I am focusing on one goal and that is to get my work out in every day.

 

The third habit I am working on right now is eating a good healthy breakfast; every morning I have 3 egg whites, a handful of spinach, a pinch of cheese, microwaved into a little omelet kind of thing and then I have Greek Yogurt with blueberries. So far I haven’t missed a single breakfast and I’m about two weeks into this new habit, it’s safe to say it’s going well and is going to be another win for me.

 

We all have our stuff we are going through and battles we are trying to win so no matter what you’re going through you can make the change, you just have to decide that you are worth the effort. Stay tuned because there will be more on my progress and transformation.

7 P’s To Success

IMG_9118I was talking with a client yesterday about eating right and staying on track then she said this saying “The 7 p’s to success are Proper and Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.”  After going home and having time to sit with that saying and let it resonate, the recipe to success is exactly what this saying is.  You wouldn’t start driving from PA to CA without a plan, it’s the exact same thing for life, having a plan to follow will make all the difference in your success.  Success is about planning, it’s where opportunity and perpetration meet (the definition of luck, according to Webster’s), it’s about staying on course when things go awry.

Think about it, when you’re trying to lose weight do you just sort of hope that you are going to lose weight or do you do some research on workouts and diets that have worked for other people or maybe hire a personal trainer who will help you create a plan and then execute it?  Either way you go there is a plan involved.  Even if the plan is as simple as cutting out Pepsi and Coke from your diet it’s still a plan and will result in progress and a healthier you.

When it comes to anything in your life whether it’s weight loss or your career, Plan for it to avoid Piss Poor Performance, the best things come to those that Plan!

 

Where do you buy your protein powder (multi vitamin, protein bars, etc.)?

I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about how to shop for supplements. I am on a budget like everyone else. The first step in shopping for supplements is to do your research. Not just price shopping but to understand if the supplement even makes sense for your goals or if it really delivers on its promise. If you eat fish and other omega-3 rich foods you may not need to take fish oil. If you don’t need it, then you are wasting your money. You many need a multi vitamin but not one that you take four times a day. If you can’t remember to take one, then you are wasting your money trying to take four.

The next step is to try before you buy. Nothing is worse than buying a huge container of protein powder to find out you hate it. Places like the Vitamin Shoppe offer single servings of protein powders so you can give them a test run before committing to a larger purchase. Vitamin Shoppe often has Wellness Fairs in their stores so you can try different supplements before you buy and leave with some things to try at home as well.

The sample box trend also offers you a chance to try selected samples on a monthly basis. I recently signed up for Bulu Box to see what kind of samples they would send based on my selected criteria. My first box included a multi vitamin sample as well as a sleep aid I had been meaning to try. It’s a fun way to get introduced to new brands you might not be familiar with.  You can earn points by reviewing the products you tried and use these points for discounts on purchases of full sized products.

You might be surprised what supplements you can find at your local discount store. Target carries Designer Whey Protein Powders and an Up & UP version of EmergenC. You can often find name brands of protein powder, like Muscle Milk, at Cosco. My secret place for protein bars? Big Lots. You never know what you might find but I often find Designer Whey, Luna and LaraBar ALT bars and EAS protein shakes. Dry roasted edamame is not a supplement but I also stock up on it while I am there.

My favorite place to buy my supplements is online. All Star Health has the best prices I have ever found on my multivitamin, Vitamin D and calcium supplement. Amazon has the best prices on Ovega and Beverly International. Compare prices between these sites (and others) and don’t forget to factor shipping into the equation.

Living healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. Most of your nutrition should come from real food. Supplements can add to your nutrition and cover gaps. Being a savvy supplement shopper can help keep you feeling good and on budget!

 

 

What to Eat Before and After Your Workout

When working out/training you have to fuel your body.  There is a definite science behind all of it that will and does effect your results.  However depending on your goal this is what I suggest to do:

  1. If you’re trying to lose weight, do your workout first thing in the morning when your fasted and haven’t eaten anything and then when you’re done eat something small with a protein and a carb, like a protein shake with one scoop of protein and half of a banana or 3 egg whites and 1/2 a cup of oatmeal.  Keep your portions small and a PS, please don’t go carb or fat free your body needs those nutrients to stay healthy.  The side of the oatmeal container says. right on the front, oatmeal helps with heart health.  Diet wisely!
  2. If you’re a skinny little kid trying to put on muscle…  Well this is going to depend on your stomach.  Personally I can’t eat within 2 hours of going to the gym, I get super nauseous.  However if that doesn’t bother you, you can eat right before you go lift. Eat something with carbs and fats if you like.  What you are trying to do here is give your body something else to burn so that your muscles can build.  If you put a little something into your stomach your body will start to digest the food in your stomach and let your body reap more of the benefits from your work out.  After your done lifting have a protein shake, with fruit juice or a piece of fruit and maybe even add a tsp of olive oil.  Protein, fats, and carbs all work together to help optimize your bodies absorption and eat within 30-45 minutes after working out.
  3. If you are training for a running race such like a 5k or a marathon.  For a 5k I wouldn’t necessarily be concerned about eating before hand because it’s such a short race.  I would make that decision based off of how I was feeling that morning.  Now a marathon is a different story, you have to eat!  For most it’ll be a 4+ hour race, so eat lightly before your race, simple carbs would be best, bananas, bagels, things like that.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Lift

Lifting weights not only creates a stronger, healthier, and more resistant body but it also gives a confidence and pride within yourself.  So lets just cut to the chase as to why you should lift:

  1. Increased metabolism.  It takes more calories to maintain a pound of muscle than it does to maintain a pound of fat.  Not that you have to become muscle bound but changing your body composition to put on a pound of muscle you will burn about 50 more calories a day.  Quick math 50 x 365 = 18,250/3500 = 5.2 pounds burned in a year that you didn’t have to “work” to lose.  More quick math if you put on 5 pounds of muscle you will burn of 26 pounds of fat with in a year… Everything else staying the same.  Sign me up for that!!!
  2. Increased bone density.  To the women reading this, this point is SUPER important for you because of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.  When we lift the muscle will tug on the bone which will force the bone to have to become stronger to support the muscle.  So wah-la stronger muscles equals stronger bones which equals a better quality of life.
  3. Stronger body in general.  This is sort of stating the obvious but when you workout your body becomes stronger and more resistant to injury and sickness.  It’s not proven but I honestly believe that I almost never get even a common cold because I workout. I keep my body working at a high efficiency level to the point that I don’t get sick and if/when I do I am back to feeling better in less than three days.
  4. Great looking body.  Lets face it when you step out on the beach with your tinny weeny yellow polka dot bikini people will notice that you go to the gym and that you have put in countless hours working on your look.  There is no better confidence booster than that!

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