Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Killed It In 2013, Now Ready To Dominate 2014

This year I had several ups and downs in my fitness journey. And as I end 2013 on a positive note, I can't help but be excited about starting off 2014 strong and looking forward to meeting several new health and fitness goals! I wanted to share a couple things with you in hopes it will inspire you to start or continue your own personal health and fitness journey. I also hope anything I post throughout the year continues to be encouraging and motivating so this time next year we can all be even healthier.

The first thing I wanted to share is my most recent PR (personal record) for a deadlift. I couldn't have been more excited to end 2013 with a new PR of lifting 255 pounds (3rd pic below)! Michael and his team of trainers will always try to get pictures of these special moments, and each time I look at the most recent picture, I still can't believe what all I've accomplished. It not only got me thinking about things over this past year, but over the 2 1/2 years I've been training at Fitness Together. First, just to put my most recent PR into perspective, I have the last three pictures (see captions for dates and weight lifted) Michael took of when I hit PRs on deadlifts. In less than three months I increased the weight on my deadlift by 25 pounds! And the fact when I first started back in 2011 I wasn't even attempting any type of intensive strength training like this and was struggling to do exercises with a 15 pound kettlebell, just shows how hard work and dedication can pay off.

October 15, 2013 deadlift 230 pounds

November 11, 2013 deadlift 240 pounds

December 31, 2013 deadlift 255 pounds

The second thing I wanted to share, is the importance of focusing on positive thoughts. We will all have our moments and struggles during our health and fitness journey, it's just part of it. And we will even have moments we may not handle them the best way. I know for me personally I become very emotional, which leads to lack of sleep and then stressing about the fact I'm struggling. But the most important thing, is that we don't allow these moments to completely derail us from our main purpose, and that's to be the healthiest we can be.

Someone posted an idea on Facebook that I'm tweaking to help me stay positive through my health and fitness journey. The original idea was to take a jar, and throughout the 2014 year write down anything positive that happened. Then at the end of the year you take the notes out and read them to remind you of all the good things that have happened to you the past year. What I've done is made a "Positive Thoughts" box, that has various quotes on there. In the picture below you can see the top and front, and then on the sides and back the following three quotes are listed: "Persist", "Nothing Is Impossible, The Word Itself Says I'm Possible", and "Never, Never, Never Give Up". The quotes are intended to help me stay positive as much as possible. And then anytime I have something positive happen with my health and fitness, such as loss on the scale, going down a size in clothes, hitting a new PR, I'll write it down and put it in this box. The great thing about this, is you don't have to wait to the end of the year to remind yourself of what all you've accomplished. When you have those moments you feel discouraged or you're not doing good enough, those reminders of everything you've accomplished will be just what you need to get refocused and back on track.

If you take anything out of this post, I want you to know that you deserve to be happy and healthy! And if you are willing to put in the hard work and are ready to make the changes, there's nothing that you can't accomplish! I hope I've been able to inspire and help others through my blog in 2013, and I'm looking forward to another great year in 2014 for us all! Here's to a healthier and stronger you!

January Challenge Starts Tomorrow!!!!

This is just a reminder that the January challenge begins tomorrow! I'm excited about getting 2014 kicked off right! I'll attach the workout and demonstration video to this post for your convenience! Hope you join me in this challenge!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cardio Monday 12/30

I've decided to start posting the cardio workouts I do each day so others can do the workout on their own if they choose. The workout I have planned for Monday, December 30th, is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. It will take approximately 30 minutes. If you have any questions regarding the workout or the exercises, please feel free to shoot me an e-mail or a message!

THE WORKOUT: Will consist of 4 complete rounds of each exercise, with a 2 minute rest between each round.

Round 1 - 30 sec of work/30 sec of rest of each exercise
Round 2 - 40 sec of work/20 sec of rest of each exercise
Round 3 - 50 sec of work/10 sec of rest of each exercise
Round 4 - 60 sec of work/0 sec of rest of each exercise

Jumping Jacks
KB or DB Swings (regular body squats if you don't have access to a kettlebell or dumbbell)
Wall Sit
Bicycle Crunch

Friday, December 27, 2013

Forgiveness - Do It For Yourself

I've mentioned before that being healthy isn't just about eating right and working out, but it's also being mentally healthy. One of the things that can cause a person to be mentally unhealthy is not being able to forgive another person for their hurtful actions or words. The problem with that, is not only is it unhealthy for the person who can't seem to let go, but it can cause relationships with other friends and family members to deteriorate rapidly. I know this from personal experience, because I too held on to a lot of hatred. I thought I could never forgive the person who hurt me, not realizing over the years I was only hurting myself and others who cared about me.

Today I was talking with a friend and I couldn't help but think back on my own experience in dealing with forgiveness and letting go. If you read my bio, you'll know that I was sexually abused between the ages of 12-16. From the time the abuse stopped, I went almost an additional 15 years being angry at this person. But, the worst part for me, is I kept it to myself and over the years it effected my overall health and relationships with friends/family in a negative way. After many years of staying angry and not letting go, I eventually ended up going through a major depression. Luckily for me, I had someone I ended up being able to talk to and trust that I confided in. I started seeing a counselor and ever since then I've been making decisions based on what's best for me. But, the major factor in me being able to overcome my depression and to be able to be where I'm at today, is that I learned that I needed to forgive this person and move on. And the thing is, I'm not forgiving the person for their benefit, but for mine. Forgiving someone doesn't necessarily you've accepted their actions or words, just you are letting go and moving on with your life.

I know we all have our own stories where we struggle with forgiving someone. And I'm not saying it'll be easy, but if you want to be healthy mentally and have healthy relationships with your friends and family, I encourage you to look at your own personal situation and do what you need to do for yourself to be able to forgive and move on. If you can become healthier mentally, your overall health and wellness will improve drastically.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

January 2014 - Monthly Challenge Video

After I posted the actual challenge for January, Michael suggested I make a video demonstrating each exercise. I've completed a short video that will show you how to do each exercise, but I've also included ways to modify them if needed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

January 2014 - Monthly Challenge

And here it is! The first monthly challenge for 2014! What better way to kick off the new year? This month's challenge is a "total body". I'm looking forward to conquering these challenges, and hope you join in the fun! If you have any questions regarding the exercises, or need help in modifications or an alternate exercise, please feel free to shoot me a message. If you click on the image, you'll be able to view it better, and if you save the image you'll be able to access it easier. Or, I have this in an Excel spreadsheet, so if you would prefer that format, let me know and I'll send it to you. Hope you accept the challenge!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little Something Is Better Than Nothing

Because of my work schedule this week I have to get to the fitness center bright and early so I can be at work by 7:00 am. I didn’t have a session, but wanted to get some cardio in this morning. At the downtown location, the elliptical and treadmill are actually located in another room, and typically I’m the only person in there. So, while I’m on the elliptical this morning (really hoping Michael or someone doesn't come to check on me because I’m just belting out my favorite songs that are playing on my phone), I’m also figuring out how long I can go before I need to start getting ready for work. When I do cardio, I typically like to get 45 minutes to an hour in, and sometimes will even do more than an hour. But, then I have times like today, where I am only able to get 30 minutes in. There have even been a few times where I only had enough time to work out for 20 minutes.

The weeks I work early, I have to leave my house between 4:45 and 5:00 in the morning to make sure I’m at the fitness center by 5:15 or no later than 5:30. Michael is typically there around 5:15ish or shortly after, but by the time I get inside and get situated where I’m ready to start working out sometimes I get to only workout for 20 or 30 minutes before I have to stop and get in the shower so I can make it to work on time. And as I’m pushing through some sprint intervals, I start asking myself, is it really worth getting up at 4:00 in the morning so I can get in only 20 or 30 minutes of cardio? I kept thinking, if I can’t at least get 45 minutes in, I’m probably wasting my time. Of course, I know these are the type of thoughts that become excuses, and so I had to refocus my thoughts in a positive way. And I remember coming across quotes before regarding these types of situations, and so I found one that really was appropriate and I couldn’t have found a better quote to put it in perspective.

Something I’ve learned over the past several months is about HITT workouts. These are High Intensity Interval Training workouts, and Michael has written some for me in the past. These types of workouts are typically done in 20 – 25 minutes, and can be more effective than walking an hour on the treadmill. HIIT workouts consist of high intensity during short work periods. Here’s an example of a HIIT cardio workout Michael wrote for me for the first time. I did 4 rounds total where I would do 30 seconds of hard intense work and 30 seconds of rest on each exercise, and then a 60 second rest between rounds, which means this work out would take approximately 24 minutes.

·         Kettlebell Swings
·         Push-ups
·         Sit-ups
·         Burpees
·         Plank
So, next time you try to convince yourself it’s not worth going in to work out for just a short period of time, just remember doing something for only 20 minutes is better than doing nothing at all. Don’t let thoughts like this become your excuses to not get the results you desire.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Focus On You

The past few days I've had some private conversations that started to really bring me down and upset me, but I know how important it is to remain positive and not let others actions or words effect my mood or behavior. I even sent Michael a message this evening after I got home from work telling him how good I was feeling (even though I think it's because I was finally back into my routine and was able to get in some great cardio and sessions today). But, despite that I was feeling great, I couldn't help but think of the past few days and started to feel sad. It reminded me of a time where I blogged about not letting others control you. And even though I really should be in bed, I knew I would be constantly thinking about this until I revisited and blogged about it again. 

I revisited that particular post and I encourage you to read it as well. You can click here to go directly to the post from September 10, 2013 titled "Don't Let Others Control You". I'm not going to be as successful as I want to be if I continue to worry about everyone else's opinions and what they are doing, and I definitely can't allow them to control how I feel by their comments. Something I've learned, is there will always be people who will want to bring me down and try to sabotage what I'm working so hard to obtain (even if it's not intentional). And what I have to do is make sure, that no matter how hard it may be, I ALWAYS have to do what's best for me! And, as I've mentioned before in another recent post, make sure to surround yourself with people who will lift you higher, and not bring you down. Because when it comes down to it, the only person you need to impress or be concerned about, is yourself.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fitness Together - More Than Just A Name

photo courtesy of Michael Watkins - owner/operator
Fitness Together Downtown Tulsa
Fitness Together Jenks/Riverside
Today I had a discussion with someone through private message that really started to bother me. I think the thing that bothers me the most is this is a person I felt I could always open up to and trust, but recently I can't help but feel the trust slowly dissolve. This conversation started to make me really think about "Fitness Together", and asking myself what does that mean to me? For me personally it means so much.

Fitness Together is a place that has changed my life and has guided me to be a healthier person. It's a place where I can go when I'm happy, sad, angry, or frustrated and use those emotions to push through my workouts. It's a place where I can go when I'm having a bad day and know I have someone that will listen and be there to make me feel better. It's a place where I can share my story and know I'm not being judged in a negative way. It's place where I can get all the support and encouragement which motivates me to reach my health and fitness goals. It's a place where, not only I can get inspiration, but where I can inspire others to stay motivated and become healthier as well. It's a place where it's name is exactly what you can expect to receive, "Fitness Together". I love my private one-on-one sessions with my trainer, and wouldn't give them up for anything; but, I also love being able to train in the small group setting where together we are pushing each other each day to be better and to keep going. But, regardless if I'm training with the group or my private session, I always receive the support and encouragement from all my FT family.

My prior post was about working together, and in that I talked about having monthly challenges for 2014 to keep us all motivated throughout the year so we can reach our individual goals we set for ourselves. Recently I was able to find challenges for each month, and within the next week I'll post the challenge for January so you can start preparing to kick off the new year, but I wanted to give you a brief summary of what to expect for the 2014 challenges.

  • January - Total Body
  • February - Planks
  • March - Squats
  • April - Cardio
  • May - Push-ups
  • June - Glutes
  • July - Total Body
  • August - Lunges
  • September - Ab/Core
  • October - 5K (walking/running)
  • November - BURPEES Happy Birthday to me! :)
  • December - Arms
Having challenges and goals keeps the journey fresh and exciting. If we don't have something to look forward to, it would be easy for us to get bored and just give up. But, being able to face these challenges and work on your goals with others, is a great way to have some accountability and also a great way to stay motivated. So, hope you join me next year and accept these challenges!

And after much thought of what "Fitness Together" means to me, I've determined it's more than just the name of the fitness center where I train, but something we do. One thing I've learned over the time I've been Michael's client, is I'm never alone. Together we can accomplish anything, and there's no other place I would rather get my motivation and support from than my Fitness Together family!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Working Together

I'm finding a lot of great monthly challenges to start posting for next year. And I started thinking about why I started my blog, and also why I made it public. I started my blog as an online tool to help me stay focused and motivated, but more importantly to help me push through the difficult times instead of giving up. But, I made a decision to make it public hoping it would reach others who could benefit from my experiences and story, and it makes me happy knowing my blog reaches people all over the world.

So, what has all this thinking made me realize? It's reminded me that this blog isn't just for me, but it's also to benefit others in their own health and fitness journey. That's why I would love your feedback on what you would like to see me post more for next year. Not only do I want us to start our 2014 off right, I want us to stay motivated and be successful the entire year. I already plan on posting monthly challenges, like the 30 day ab challenge some of us are doing this month. There are various ways to contact me, which ever is easiest for you. You are more than welcome to comment here on my blog, contact me via my Facebook blog page Becoming Healthier With Sherrie or my personal Facebook page Sherrie Bullock, or email me at and let me know what information you think might benefit you or others.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grateful For Friends & Family

I've not been feeling well for the past week, and the past couple days have become worse. The cough was starting to keep me up at night, and I avoided the doctor as long as I could. I did go in for my morning session with Michael yesterday, and he about killed me because all I wanted to do between sets was lay down. I think he mainly was hard on me because I was wearing my OSU shirt! But, I ended up going to the doctor yesterday and found out I have an upper respiratory infection, and took the rest of the day off from work and didn't go back to the fitness center. I woke up this morning and decided to take another complete day off from work and working out, and let me tell you that is hard for me. I tend to start worrying and stressing about not being in there, which really doesn't help me "rest and recover" like I should be doing.

But, because I have such amazing people at Fitness Together, I quickly became grateful for Michael and my FT Family. I've talked before about how the trainers and clients at Fitness Together, are not only friends but have become like family to me, and that when you sign up with FT you are really gaining another family. And today was a perfect example of the support and encouragement I, and another sick client, received from our FT family. Besides my private sessions I have with Michael, the past few months I've been working out with a small group during lunch three days a week, and this group of people have become very special to me. Michael, another trainer Jamie, and my "Lunch Bunch" peeps, really got me through a difficult day and kept my spirits up with all the encouraging and kind messages they sent me. It's people like this that make me grateful for being a part of the FT Family and I can't wait to get back in there!

This is also a great example of why you should surround yourself with people who will lift your spirits higher. You can choose who you surround yourself with, so choose those people who will bring out the best in you instead of those who are bringing you down. I'm grateful for the people I have chosen to be around, and happy to call those friends my family!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I Never Claimed To Be Normal

One thing I've never done was claim to be normal, and if you know me personally I'm pretty sure you're sitting there laughing as you shake your head in agreement. And that's okay, who wants to be normal anyway?

When I find something I love and am passionate about, I move forward with all I've got. And there's nothing I'm more passionate about than my health and fitness. Others might even say I'm obsessed considering how much I workout. But, when it comes to my health and fitness, despite all the support and encouragement I receive from all the wonderful people in my life, I'm still the only person who can control the outcome of my journey. That's why when I want to shut the alarm off and go back to sleep, I drag myself out of bed and get into the fitness center instead. I say yes to challenges that seem impossible. When my body says no you can't do this, my mind (with the help of my trainer pushing me) says yes you can and will do this!

When it comes to my health and fitness I might become intense and obsessed with what I'm doing, but I'm on my own personal quest to a better and healthier life. I just wish I would have found this passion for health and fitness a long time ago. So what if I'm not normal, because if I never stop, I'll always be able to say I'm better today than I was yesterday.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Having A Bad Day? Workout!!!!

It's been about a week since I've posted anything, but it's been a busy and crazy week at work. This week has also been slightly out of the norm for me, not only am I fighting what I believe is a sinus infection, but the weather here in Tulsa, Oklahoma effected my schedule at work and the fitness center and I didn't get all my workouts in like I typically do. But, that's no excuse to just not workout at all, and Michael made sure he provided something on Facebook for the clients to do while we were snowed in at home. Always thinking about his clients, what a guy! :)

Anyway, back to the purpose of today's post. Prior to the snow and ice hitting us, as I mentioned I'm trying to fight something off, lost my voice, and Thursday I wasn't having the best day. So, I sent Michael a text telling him I was having a bad day, wasn't up to being around a lot of people, and wasn't coming to the lunch workout because I didn't want to bum everyone else out. And then his reply was (as I kind of expected it would be), come workout, you need a break, and working out always makes you feel better. When it came time to leave for the lunch workout, I decided to go and get out of the office in hopes I would feel better, and as usual I was glad I went. Not only did getting the actual workout in make me feel better, but being around all the other clients who are always encouraging and supportive made a big difference. I couldn't talk well without my voice, but we all had the same thought about that workout, "Michael, we hate you right now!" But, that just means the workout was effective and we got something out of it.

Besides the small workouts I've done at home, Thursday was the last time I was at the fitness center due to the weather until this morning. And when I woke up, I was really wishing I could crawl back in bed where it was warm and go back to sleep. But, I knew I needed to get in there and not only get a workout in, but today was also my weigh-in day. So, once again, I went in and ended up feeling better when I was done. Okay, maybe I left feeling a lot better because I lost about a pound this week and I also got to see my favorite precious kiddos (Beckett and Marley...those adorable smiles make my day), but the workout Jamie put us through pushed me hard and it felt great when I finished it.

The hardest time getting in there and working out is when you're tired, not feeling 100%, or having a bad day. But, when you are feeling this way, these are the times it's important you get in there anyway and workout. For me, it never fails, that no matter how crappy my day is or how horrible I'm feeling, I always feel better after pushing myself hard and getting a good workout in!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Challenges Accepted!

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time of year most people tend to not worry about what or how much they are eating The typical person will gain weight over the holidays, and the average gain is 5-8 pounds. Many people justify this by telling themselves, "It's the holidays and I'll go on a "diet" first of the year." But, me personally, I've worked too hard all year to just gain weight over the holidays. I can still enjoy a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with my family, so there's no need to do anything different the other days.

But, just to make sure I stayed focused and on track over the holidays, I accepted three different challenges. The first challenge I accepted was a 24 day AdvoCare challenge that I will incorporate with my current carb cycling meal plan. And then I also am taking on a 30 day burpee challenge (and I really hate burpees) and a 30 day ab challenge, along with my normal cardio workouts and sessions with my trainer.

By accepting all three of these challenges, and continuing to give everything I can in my workouts, there's no doubt I'll lose weight over the holidays.