Sunday, May 31, 2015

Daily Thoughts - What Are You Feeding?

"Whatever your feeding, will be the thing that survives." This is one of the things I got from Pastor Scott Burmeister's sermon today. It was a great reminder that whatever we continue to feed, hate, fear, anger, courage, love, hope, faith, happiness, etc., that is what we will live in.

This isn't to say we won't ever have negative emotions, but a reminder that if we continue to feed those negative emotions they will continue to override the positive emotions.

So, do you want to live in fear, anger, hurt, guilt, regret; or do you want to live in hope, love, faith, courage, happiness? Feed the positive emotions so you can control the negative emotions.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekend Workout Challenge

One of things I want to be able to do is educate those who may not be familiar with some of the workout language I use when tossing out these workout challenges. I mean, hell, before I started working out regularly and really learning I didn't even know what a deadlift was! So, I'll do my best to not assume every reader will understand what I mean when I say things like HIIT, Tabata, or AMRAP.

Last weekend we did a HIIT workout, this weekend I'm throwing an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) challenge out at ya! An AMRAP is basically taking a list of exercises that have a specific number of reps and repeating all the exercises for "As Many Rounds As Possible" (AMRAP) for a specific amount of time. Sometimes I'll do three mini AMRAPS where each circuit is only 10 minutes, or I've done one before (not sure what the hell I was thinking) where I had 8 exercises and did as many rounds in 45 minutes.

Well, don't worry, for the weekend workout challenge I'm just wanting to encourage people to get some additional activity in and not using the excuse that it's the weekend, gym is closed, or any other reason someone could have to not at least do something. So, for this specific challenge it's a 20 minute AMRAP.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and then complete the following reps/exercises and repeat for As Many Rounds As Possible until your timer goes off. I encourage you to note how far you got and then do the exact same workout in a month or so and see if you can improve and do more.

  • 80 jump ropes (or jumping jacks)
  • 40 body weight squats
  • 20 bicycle crunches (20 per side)
  • 10 push ups
  • 5 burpees

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Let Go Of The Bullshit

We've all at some point been given the advice when we become upset, angry, or stressed to take a moment and take deep breaths before reacting to a situation. One of the things I'm working on, and have really improved on the last few weeks, is that when something happens that typically would stress me out or upset me I'm not immediately reacting to that anger or stress. But, instead I'm taking a moment, mentally running through my positive focus (What happened? Why is it positive? and Lesson learned?), and reacting in away that I'm able to have more control over the situation and also avoiding any unnecessary stress or anger. I mean, lets be honest, 90% of the time when things happen it's nothing we were able to control. So, why get upset? Instead when things happen that are out of my control, I'm moving forward with the attitude "It is what it is." By doing this, not only am I not allowing the situation to control me, but I'm able to be more effective and productive in dealing with the situation.

The past couple weeks I've really been able to do well at not stressing or getting upset. Not only has it allowed me to stay present and focused at work, in my workouts, my meditation and journaling, and with my friends and family, but letting go of the stress has paid off on the scale. In the past week and a half I've lost 7.4 pounds! I have a 90 day goal to lose 25 pounds, and my 30 day benchmark of 10 pounds is already almost met.

So, what's the lesson learned over the past few weeks? Life is just better when you keep the positive and let go of the other words as the quote says...."INHALE THE GOOD SHIT, EXHALE THE BULLSHIT"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Live For Yourself

At lunch today I took an hour and went for a walk around downtown Tulsa, which ended up allowing me to have some meditation time and clear my mind. I have very few people in my life (my parents, Michael, my pastor, and my boss are the main ones) that I respect their opinions. These are people that when they give me their advice or opinion, I listen and consider it when I’m making decisions. Sometimes, and I’ve been guilty of this in the past, we are so concerned about making everyone else happy we don’t always make the decisions that are best for us. You can respect someone’s opinion without actually agreeing with them. And regardless if it’s a major decision (like I did and dropped out of college) that will affect your life, or something minor to missing a workout to go out with friends or family, it’s okay to do what’s best for you. Yes, there are things I wish I would have done differently in life. But I can’t move forward with regrets or ponder on the should’ve, could’ve, would’ve scenarios. Besides, those decisions made me who I am today, and I’m proud of the person I’ve become. And when it comes to our family and close friends, we want to always be there for them, but in the process we can’t leave ourselves behind. Care about others, but live for yourself!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

24-day Advocare Challenge

Who is up for a 24-day Advocare challenge and be lake ready for the 4th of July? I personally will be starting this challenge on Wednesday June 10th allowing me to complete the challenge by Friday July 3rd. I've done this challenge a few times before, know others who have also, and get great results. I would like to start doing the challenge every six months because it is a good challenge to do from time to time, especially if you're trying to break through a plateau.

Here's what the 24-day Advocare Challenge consists of and what all you'll get.
  • The challenge is two phases: Days 1-10 cleansing phase - Days 11-24 max phase
  • The products you'll get: 2 boxes of Spark energy drink mixes, herbal cleansing system, meal replacement shake, bottle of OmegaPlex, box of MNS supplements
  • Daily guide: which includes water and food portion recommendations, daily checklists, food suggestions, and even a guide to what to eat for your meals and snacks. It will tell you exactly when to take your supplements, drink your fiber drinks, etc. 
Michael Watkins, owner of Fitness Together where I train, is also a distributor for Advocare. Regardless if you're local or out of state, you can order from his page and the product will come directly to your house within a few days. It doesn't take long to receive the product, and when you order, it will tell you the date expected to arrive. I normally have my order within 2 to 3 business days. Below are two links, one you can check out the 24-day challenge and get more information on it and the second will be a link directly to Michael's page where you can place your order. I would say order by Friday June 5th to ensure you have it in time to start by Wednesday June 10th! If you have any questions shoot me a message on FB or feel free to email me at If you have a question I'm not sure of the answer, I'll get the answer for you from Michael or you can actually send him a message from the Advocare site by clicking "Contact Distributor".

Learn more about the 24-day Advocare challenge by clicking HERE

Ready to take the challenge? Order everything you'll need by clicking HERE and make sure you see this name and picture to ensure you're ordering from Michael Watkins!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekend Workout Challenge


Hope you all have a safe and fun holiday weekend! Here's this weekend's challenge! This is a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) circuit.

Complete 6 rounds of the following exercises. You'll do 40 seconds work and 20 seconds rest between each exercise. Take a 60 second rest between each round.

  • High Knees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Burpees

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Staying Focused

I'm going to build off yesterdays post about "Be Present & Do The Work". I have a couple examples from today where, being present, staying focused, and doing the work I was able to get more out of my workouts and was down 1.8 lbs since Saturday.

Example 1: This morning I went in to do cardio on my own. I wrote the following workout.
  • Rope Slams x100
  • KB Swings x80
  • Body Weight Squats x60
  • Ball Slams x40
  • Knee Grab Sit-ups x20
Going through one round of this workout would equal 300 reps. My first thought was, it would be awesome to be able to get 4 rounds in, which would mean I would have done 1200 reps by the time I was done. But, knowing I only had about 45 minutes before I would have to stop to get ready for work, I thought I'll be happy with finishing 3 rounds completing 900 reps. But, what happened? I didn't settle for what I would be happy with, I checked my shit at the door, was mentally present, stayed focused, did the damn work, and was able to finish 5 rounds! THAT'S 1500 REPS!!!!!

Example 2: I went back around lunch time for my private session with Michael. He had a workout that involved 5 rounds of exercises and he said lets time it. My first thought was, really hope I can finish the whole thing before my time is up. So, I started my first round and when I was almost done with the 4th round Michael mentioned where I was at on time and made the comment "Do you think you can finish in less than 30 minutes?" And as I kept going, just shrugged my shoulders and replied I don't know. I'm not sure if he thought I was being negative as if I thought I didn't think I could, or what, because he asked what I meant by "I didn't know." But, it wasn't that I didn't think I couldn't finish, in fact it was the exact opposite. I was actually thinking to myself, "Yeah I can finish this under 30 minutes." I just kept moving and finished in just a little over 27 minutes. But, because I stayed present in the workout, focused, and kept doing the work instead of getting sidetracked with the conversation around me, I was able to finish the workout. And then even had a little extra time to "play" as Michael put it. So, since we had time to play, he wanted me to see if I could do a clean and press with the 53lb Kettlebell. I did two rounds of 5 reps on each side with the lower weights, and then he brought the 53lb beast out and said just get one rep on each side. I successfully was able to do the one rep on each side, but then proceeded to do 5 reps on each side with the 53lb and got to ring the PR bell!

What has being present, staying focused, and doing the work done for me? I've gotten more accomplished in my workouts, I'm hitting new PRs, and I was down 1.8 lbs in four days! So, there you have it people! Never give up, stay focused, stay positive, and stay strong! Like I said yesterday in my post, SHOW UP, LEAVE YOUR SHIT AT THE DOOR, BE PRESENT, GIVE 100%, AND DO THE DAMN WORK!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Be Present & Do The Work

In the beginning of my private session today we did clean and press x5 reps for 5 rounds, adding weight each round. I ended up getting up to 115# which was a new PR for me. But, then Michael added more weight and said lets do a one rep max. I wasn’t sure how much was on the bar, but knew it looked very heavy and he said focus on the clean and don’t worry about the press. So, I walked up to the bar and failed at the first attempt. He said walk away from the bar and we’ll try it again. So I took a moment away from the bar, refocused, and was able to successfully pull the clean. I wasn’t able to press it over head, but I was happy with the clean. Found out it was 135#, so another PR!

Then we moved on to the next part of the workout where I realized at one point I was just going through the motions of the workout. Michael has talked before about being present during your workouts, don’t show up and just go through the motions. I had 5 box jumps, 15 ball slams, and then 10 ab rollouts. As I was on the third round of this circuit, I’m in the middle of ball slams and I hear Michael say “Slam it harder”. I realized I was just going through the motions of those ball slams, and to be honest when he made that comment I was at rep number 10 and thought I don’t even remember doing those 10 reps. I had lost focus, no effort, and was no longer present in my workout. I quickly refocused and started to give 100% again.

But, it got me thinking, how many times would I have just been going through the motions if I didn’t have Michael or the other trainers there encouraging me and pushing me to go harder. Probably more often than I would want to admit. Are we really getting any type of benefit from the workout if we just show up and go through the motions? The best way to get the most out of your workout is to, SHOW UP, LEAVE YOUR SHIT AT THE DOOR, BE PRESENT, GIVE 100% and DO THE DAMN WORK!!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Daily Thoughts - What's Your Why?

Danny Cahill (Season 8 Biggest Loser winner), and Michael Watkins (owner Fitness Together) are always asking, "What's your why?" As we go through our journey, if we remember our "why", we will push through those moments we become discouraged or feel we can't do something. When Michael is pushing me to go harder, faster, or not to set the bar down and all I want to do is stop, that's when it's important that I remember my "why". Why did I start? Why am I still here? Why is this important to me?

We all have our various "whys". Some it might be their spouse or their kids, some it might be wanting to be able to play with their grandkids, or it could be they want to feel or look better. Sometimes you have to put yourself first, such as creating that time and space for working out, meditating, planning/prepping your meals and that's okay. Because regardless of what or who your "why" is, when it comes down to it, you have to be the number one "why" and say....I'M DOING THIS FOR ME!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Talking vs. Doing

Another short and to the point post. Nothing irritates me more than for someone to constantly bitch about being unhealthy and overweight, and then when I see them eating fast food junk, cookies, donuts, pop, candy bars, etc. they look at me and say, "I know I shouldn't be eating this." To be honest, you can eat whatever you want. You're an adult and you make your own decisions. But, if you're going to constantly eat crap, don't workout like you should, and then bitch to me about being overweight or unhealthy then don't be surprised if I keep it real with you and just ask, "Well, you talk about wanting to lose weight and be healthy, but what are you doing about it?" Stop talking about what you want and need to do and start doing it. The only way to get the results you want, and I'll quote Michael, is to "DO THE WORK!"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekend Workout Challenge

Can't make it to the gym this weekend?

Did you make it to the gym but just want to challenge yourself to get more activity in?

Fridays I will start posting a Weekend Workout Challenge and I encourage you to accept it!

Complete 5 rounds of the following exercises for time.

50 Jumping Jacks
40 Mountain Climbers (per leg)
30 Body Weight Squats
20 Push-ups
10 Burpees

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Meeting Your Goals

It's 10:00 PM and just getting home, so today's post will be short, sweet, and to the point.

Regardless what my goals are, one of the best ways for me to be successful is to ask myself, "Is this going to get me closer to my goal; or further away?" And then make sure I'm doing what will get me closer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Keep Moving Forward

I had something else I was going to post for today, but after seeing a post from one of my FT sisters I decided to hold off on that one and go with "Keep Moving Forward".

One of the things we always try to do is focus on the positive of any situation, so that's what she did. She mentioned she wiped out during the workout as she was doing KB burpees. She said the positive was, and I'll quote her, "I didn't slow down, didn't cry, didn't back off. Let out a little scream & just kept kick'n ass". She mentioned had this happened a month ago she would have backed off and cried, but today she's confident to realize "Sometimes you fall down. Dust yourself off & keep going."

I'm not saying if you've truly injured yourself to keep going and pushing through the pain and injury, but what I am saying is don't allow it to destroy your confidence in knowing what you are capable of doing. There are so many exercises, some are simple to grasp and some have some techniques that don't come easily. And in the process you might fall or fail at the attempts, but as long as you stand back up and keep moving forward you'll always be successful.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Healthy Competition

When working out with a group or a friend, it’s natural to want to be better or do more than the person next to you, and there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. I mean, when we have team workouts, I always partner up with Casey if he's there, because he’s the one person I know will always push me harder because I want to at least keep up with him. He’s actually one of the most athletic in our group at lunch, and definitely takes a lot to keep up with him. Now, I never expect to do more than him or beat him, I mean he’s a freaking wrestler! He’s super fast in obstacle courses and when we team up it forces me to push hard to TRY to beat him, even though I know that won't actually happen (at least for now). My main goal is to at least keep up.

But, where competition becomes unhealthy, is if you allow it to define who you are or what you’re capable of doing. If someone gets in more rounds than you in an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible in a specific time frame), and you become discouraged or feel like you didn’t do well, then that’s a problem. The other day I had someone ask me what round I was on, and when I told them, their comment was “Oh, well I don’t feel so bad then.” I'm not sure exact round we were on, but they weren't that far behind me. My first thought was, does it matter? And why would you feel bad even if I was on round 8 and you were on round 4? If you are giving 100% in those 4 rounds, then that’s all that matters. I’m not saying you shouldn’t push yourself to do more if you’re wanting to keep up with someone or do more rounds, but don’t be so concerned about what everyone else is doing just to try to be better than them.

Another thing I would like to point out, as the quote in the picture states “Don’t compare your beginnings to someone else’s middle.” So many times I hear other clients comparing themselves to what I can do, how many times I work out a day, how strong I am, etc. And don’t get me wrong, I love I’m motivating and inspiring others to be better and push harder to do more, but I also want them to remember I’ve been doing this for over four years. Some of these people have only been there a couple years, and some less than a year. I wasn’t doing all this when I first started. I gradually worked my way up to working out this much, and it took time and hard work to get where I’m at today being able to deadlift 315lbs. I want others to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, do more than they think they can, even if it’s because they want to do more than me; but what I don’t want is for them to feel discouraged or that they aren’t doing well just because they fall short. Hell, as long as Casey’s around I’m always going to fall short from being first to finish or get the most rounds in. But, as long as I continue to do my best and give 100%, then I'm proud of what I've done.

There’s another quote, “The only person you need to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.” So, ask yourself this next time. Am I better than I was last time? Am I doing more than I did last time? If the answer is yes, then you’ve just beat the most important competition…..YOU!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Daily Thoughts - You'll Never Know

Regardless of what you're wanting to change or improve in your life, your health and fitness, education, career, relationships, or anything in your life that's important to you...whatever it is, if you just sit back and wonder "What if this happens?" or "Will I be able to do this?".....YOU'LL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON'T TRY!!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Don't Worry, Be Happy

I personally tend to worry about crap that is out of my control, and 99% of the time it's also minor things. I end up making these minor issues bigger than they really are just because I sit and overthink things. Michael is always telling me worrying about something isn't getting me anywhere, nor is it changing the situation. And as this quote states, it steals my joy and everyone else is left to put up with my sulking and whining.

Today is Mother's Day and I slept until almost 1:00 in the afternoon. That is not normal for me, but I woke up not feeling well. Obviously I didn't go to church, and I asked my Mom if her and I could just do something next weekend for Mother's Day. And of course the understanding Mom she is, she said of course. A part of me was grateful, but a part of me felt guilty, especially after I found out my brother didn't make any plans either. So, I started to worry about if I was being selfish and maybe I should have just sucked it up and took her out for lunch or dinner. I mean, all our lives she never put off anything important to us just because she didn't feel well. She was Mom and nothing stopped her from doing what she needed to do for my brother and I. I did at least cook dinner for her and my dad so she wouldn't have to worry about it. And after a couple hours of beating myself up feeling guilty, my aunt called her and I overheard their conversation and my Mom made the comment, "I'm having a great day. Stayed home and didn't have to go anywhere." And I thought, maybe just staying home, resting, and not having to cook was just fine with her and I'm over here worried about myself and how I feel. I'm still taking her out next Sunday after church for lunch and movie, but after realizing worrying about it was just bringing me down and it wasn't changing the situation any.

So, as I'm realizing I'm over here worrying about stupid crap once again, I couldn't help but have a flashback of that song "Don't Worry Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. So, I went out to YouTube, and not only did watching the video make me smile, but I had totally forgotten that it also had Robin Williams in it! I've inserted the video below so you can check it out! You can't help but be happy once you hear the song and see this video.

Why do we allow ourselves to worry about things instead of just being happy? Well, mainly it's because we are human. That's just our natural reaction to things we can't control. I'm not saying we won't have things happen that we won't be concerned about, but changing the way we approach things and react, we can quit wasting our time worrying and be happy. We can enjoy our life, loved ones, and focus on what we can control.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Daily Thoughts - "Unbeatable Mind" Introduction

"Unbeatable Mind" by Mark Divine was loaned to me and I started reading it today. Normally when I read it's for enjoyment. I still plan on incorporating some books to read just for fun, like Stephen King's "Under The Dome", that I bought about 6 months ago and have yet to even open it. But, one of my goals is to start reading daily something that will help me improve myself. As I read these self-improvement books, part of the process is journaling what I get out of them. I plan on sharing my thoughts as I go through each chapter.

Today I completed the introduction, and just in that alone I can already tell this book is going to be a good guide. As I have recently posted about physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health; in this book Divine will talk about how to use your mind to rise yourself to what he calls the "fifth plateau consciousness". He states you do this by integrating your five key lines of human development, which he calls the "five mountains". Those five mountains are your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and intuitional intelligences. I want to end this post by sharing some of the things I got just out of the introduction that really made me take note and think.

"Your passion is to be a leader, a warrior, and to find a grand adventure. Your principles are being compromised by chasing money, and your purpose is bigger than just being in business for the sake of a career." - This was something his inner voice told him as he went through Zen and warrior training.
 "If we can control stress and fear, we can focus and lead much better." - What he learned in SEAL training and in business.
"I encourage you to enjoy the journey rather than focus on the destination. For every mountain you climb and plateau you rest at, there will be another and more interesting view ahead." - This is just great advice, and a great reminder we need to enjoy life as we live it. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Being Emotionally Healthy

As I mentioned before, being healthy is not just about working out and eating right, but being physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally healthy. I've discussed in prior posts this week the first three, and now I'm ending the week with what it means to be emotionally healthy. I saved this one for last because I believe the others all tie into your emotional state and health.
So, what do I mean when I say emotional health? I’m talking about how you react to certain situations or events. Do you get angry, sad, happy, excited? We will have days when we have things come up that we don’t plan or even don’t like. But, how we react to those situations plays a big part in our physical, mental, and spiritual health. If our reaction is anger or frustration, and we allow that emotion to control us, and we allow that emotion to control us it will carry over into our day and other parts of our lives. I’ll share one of my personal examples. I get to work, and something out of my control, happens that upsets me. If I allow that anger and frustration to control me, which I do tend to allow to happen, it carries over into my day and how I approach work, my workouts, my family when I get home, and just how I react to people in general. By allowing that emotion to control me, I get stressed and tend to become short with people who actually have nothing to do with the original situation. And the stupid thing is, it's typically over something I have no control over. Now, these past few weeks I've been doing a lot better about controlling my reactions. Yes, I still have things happen that frustrate or upset me, but I'm not letting that emotion control me. I'm doing my positive focuses and approaching the situation with a "Okay, what do I need to do to move forward?" I look at my other options and focus on the things I can control. More importantly I don't dwell on it and am able to, not only handle that situation more effectively, but I'm approaching the rest of my day more positive and in the right mind set.
The quote I found above I thought was a perfect way to view what it means to be emotionally healthy. I believe when we can recognize those situations that trigger those negative emotions, we can adapt better to how we respond and we are able to move on to a better and happier emotional place.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Being Spiritually Healthy

I started to write about what it means to be emotionally healthy, but decided to save that one for last because I think your physical, mental, and spiritual health all tie in together and affects your emotional health. So, today I’m going to discuss what it means to be spiritually healthy. I’m not talking about your religious beliefs, although most people find some type of peace and comfort within their beliefs of scriptures, readings, etc. But, despite if you’re a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, Atheist, or any other religion; we all have that desire to have that feeling of comfort and peace in our lives. And my personal opinion, from my own personal experience, is religion actually can complicate your spiritual health.
Long story short, I was raised in a Lutheran church. I left the church about three years ago after many struggles and was content as an atheist. About a year ago, was losing that peace and comfort I had and even felt like I did when I went through depression. I talked with a close friend and mentor and then decided to go back to the church and talk to the new pastor they had brought in after I had left. I still don’t have all the answers, I still have doubts and questions; but, what has changed is I’m no longer focused on “religion”, or what it means to be a Lutheran, or even what is right or wrong when it comes to what to believe. I’m focusing on my spiritual journey, and that journey includes my own personal relationship with God (not anyone else’s) and that also includes finding that peace and comfort.
That doesn’t mean I turn to the Bible or scriptures to work on my spiritual health every time, because as I said, it’s not about religion. Meditation is something I’ve started doing to help my spiritual health. It might be I close my office door at work for about 15 minutes and just read something positive. One time I showed up to FT early and feeling kind of blah, and Michael said go in the other room, shut the lights out and lay down. I might go to my room and read part of a book. I go for what I call “me time” walks where I put my music on and go walk for about 3 miles. For me there’s nothing better than just me, my music, and my thoughts.
For me being spiritually healthy means finding that inner peace within you, and finding things that help ease the stress and make you happy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daily Thought - Your Trainer Knows Best

Wednesdays are my official weigh in day, and I was up almost 4 pounds from last week. Now, these past few days I've been feeling off and also feeling like I've had some water retention going on with just the normal female hormones we have to deal with. And just by how I felt, I wasn't surprised that I gained, but my shock was at how much. Michael started asking me questions about the core4 process he's been working with me on, and as I'm answering his questions I see the look on his face turning into this "Hmm...I told you so!" grin. In some of our past conversations, he's mentioned how he does all his core 4 first thing because it allows you to kick the day off with power and in control. But this past week, I had mentioned not getting my green smoothies in like I should and also I've been doing a lot of my core4 at night before bed. So, basically his comment was, so you were losing and having good weeks when you were doing it; but when you stopped you gained. And as he has said, "It's so simple, it's stupid!" So once again I'm in that awkward situation where I'm telling him I don't know why I gained, but yet telling him all the things I'm doing or not doing despite his advice. And basically the lesson to pass on here, if you're not seeing results, try doing what your trainer said to do in the first place!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Being Mentally Healthy

Today I'm going to talk about what it means to me to be mentally healthy. Now, we all have our own personal issues or things in our lives that cause us anxiety, stress, discomfort, and even sometimes depression. But, it's important to recognize the situations and events that cause these reactions.

For me personally, I've experienced all four of these, including major depression from the childhood sexual abuse I went through. Over the past 10 plus years though, I've had proper counseling and have learned how to cope with it when something triggers a memory. I still have flashbacks, bad dreams, and memories from time to time, but thanks to the counseling I received I've learned how to not get anxious or depressed. And there are other things in my life that cause anxiety, stress, and discomfort; but being able to control it is what will help me be mentally healthy.

Being mentally healthy doesn't mean you're going to have a stress free life, or have things go exactly the way you want them to; but it means not letting your reactions to these events and situations to control you in a negative way. It means not stressing about things you can't control and focusing on what you can control. For example, one of the things I've been working on for me, is when things don't go as I expect them to I tend to stress. But, my problem is I allowed that stress to control my attitude towards others and carried it through the day and sometimes even the next day. And 99% of the time, the things that happened were out of my control. So, what I'm learning, is if I can't control it I have the attitude "It is what it is." and then I focus on what I can do to move forward the best way and also focus on the positive.

The picture I inserted is something I found that I think is a good guide to help someone be mentally healthy. All 10 listed are awesome, but the big ones for me personally are....think positive, learn from your mistakes (don't dwell on them), exercise daily, do not complicate your life unnecessarily, and DON'T GIVE UP!

To be mentally healthy it's important to recognize those things that cause those negative reactions, but also finding what works for you to help prevent or lessen the anxiety, stress, discomfort, and depression. For me, with the help and advice Michael has given me the last few weeks, meditation and journaling is helping me keep my mind clear. So, ask yourself, what is it in your life that causes you stress, anxiety, discomfort, or depression. And then ask, what can you control and what can you do to cope with these things so you are mentally healthier.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Daily Thoughts - Being Physically Healthy

I mentioned yesterday that it was important to not only be physically healthy, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy; and I said I would talk about what exactly that means to me. Today I’m going to focus on what it means to be physically healthy. For me, being physically healthy is making sure my fitness and nutrition are on track.
When it comes to fitness, there are a lot of us who just don’t know what to do. Typically what I see when someone decides they are going to start exercising, is they want to get a treadmill or elliptical, or they might even start a walking/running program. But, as most of us do when we just don’t know what to really do, we get bored and stop exercising. We eventually go back to our old habits and end up gaining anything we’ve lost; and in most cases even more. For me personally, I was tired of starting over! So after a couple months of trying to exercise on my own, I knew I couldn’t just stop but just didn’t know what else to do. I knew the only way to be successful was to get help. That’s when I researched and found Michael and Fitness Together. I knew I needed professional help, and this is what I found to be the best option for me. And what have I learned over the past four plus years? Is that being physically healthy isn’t about getting out there and doing a bunch of cardio, but getting that balance of cardio (fat burning) and strength training (muscle gain) in order to lose the fat I need to lose along with becoming stronger. Noticed I didn’t say lose weight, but lose fat. The reason I say that is because, even though the scale is a good guide, it can’t be the only thing you use to track your results. I’ll use myself as an example. I had just started my second year at FT, lost my first 100 pounds, and it seemed the scale hadn’t moved much and I was getting discouraged. At one of my assessments, it had been three months since the last one, I learned the importance of not focusing on the scale. In that three months I only lost five pounds per the scale. But, what the scale didn’t show was the inches lost, fat loss, or lean mass gain (muscle). What I learned, is my body weight was only down five pounds, but I actually lost 18 pounds of fat mass and gained 13 pounds of lean mass. That lean mass is where I’m getting results from the strength training, which also means I lost inches in that time as well. And that brings me to another point I want to make, strength training and using weights WILL NOT make you bulky or huge! In fact, when I was at a point where I could do the strength training and it was incorporated more that’s when I started to actually get leaner. I can deadlift 315 lbs, and in the process of getting there, I didn’t “bulk” up as some might fear will happen. When I hear someone say they don’t want to lift heavy or don’t want to use weights because they don’t want bulky muscles, they just want to tone, I have to really bite my tongue not to start in on how stupid that sounds. I have to remember, I’ve learned so much over the years, and so when people say those things it’s truly a lack of knowledge on their part. Anyway, I kind of digressed on that topic. So, basically when it comes to fitness, it’s important just like anything else, plan it out. Ask yourself, how many times will you work out this week? How many will be cardio based? How many will be strength based? And then the key is to show up and do the work!

Now the nutrition part of it! This can be just as difficult because so many times we want the quick easy fixes. We tend to turn to the diet pills or the fad diets. Now, I will say, me personally because I hate taking meds, I never did do the diet pills but I went for those fad diets every time! Except the cabbage soup diet, that just didn’t seem worth it. But, most of us have been there, especially when there’s that guarantee of quick results. But, when it comes to any of those fad diets or diet pills, those are typically temporary solutions. They aren’t teaching you what nutrition truly is. Hell, most of those will advertise “And you don’t even have to change how you eat.” Well, again, after four years of learning about nutrition, I call bullshit on all that! You have to change what you’re putting in your body. It’s okay to have, what we call a reward meal, from time to time, but you don’t want those meals as part of your daily meals. I limit one reward meal a week, and sometimes I don’t even have that. It’s important you learn portion control, what’s a protein, what’s a complex carb vs. simple carb, what’s a healthy fat. And then learn how to combine these for healthy meals so your body is getting the most out of the nutrition. Because if you’re nutrition is healthy, then you’ll be able to perform better with your fitness. We can get overwhelmed with all the information out there on nutrition and get sucked into those fad diets, so once again that’s where having my trainer I’m able to get properly educated on all this. Now, you can’t just stop there. I can have all the knowledge and all the best intentions of eating healthy. I can even have it planned out for the week, but what I’ve found the past couple years is that it’s vital to not only plan out your meals for the week but prep them. I started planning my meals a couple years ago, but didn’t prep them ahead of time. And I would have days where I was so tired, that I would get home and not feel like cooking so I would eat something else. Not necessarily something unhealthy, but just not on the meal plan. This also leaves me more apt to indulge or overeat on something that wasn’t even in the plan. So, now I plan everything out for the week and prep everything on Sundays so I have no excuses for not following my meal plan. For me the key is education on what nutrition is (fats, carbs, proteins, reading labels, etc.), plan out your meals, and then execute that plan by prepping your meals for the week.
Being physically healthy is setting fitness goals and planning a healthy meal plan, and more importantly DOING IT! If you’re at a loss of what to do or how to do it, reach out to someone who can help you. If that’s finding a professional, then I would suggest you look into that. If you’re here in the local Tulsa area you can contact Michael Watkins (owner) or Keith Jacobs (manager) with Fitness Together Downtown or Fitness Together Jenks to see how they can help you. Look what they’ve done for me in just a little over four years. My physical health has never been better. Not local? Go to the corporate Fitness Together site and find a local FT to check out. Only you know what you need, and only you can make the decision to change, but there’s always someone who can help!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Daily Thoughts

Yes, it's been way too long since I've been on here. No excuses, just not making the time to get on here like I should. But, in the time I've been away from blogging, I have been working on myself with the help from one of my biggest mentors, Michael Watkins. If you're new to my blog or journey, Michael is the owner of Fitness Together and also my main trainer. I've been there for a little over four years and he's not only helped me with my fitness and nutrition, but here recently he's been helping me with my mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well. He's helping me learn how to keep all these balanced on a daily basis. One of the things is creating that time daily for yourself to meditate and journal. I've noticed the last few weeks that I've really been making all of this a priority, and on a daily basis, I'm feeling better overall. I'm more positive, I'm not stressing over things I normally would stress about, and more importantly I'm learning how to apply all these things to my health/fitness, my job, my family/friends, and myself. So, I figured getting back to blogging as part of my daily meditation and journaling, I'm killing two birds with one stone. I figured each day I'm learning something, or having that aha moment, and why not share it with those who might benefit from it as well.

Today what I learned is it's not how long, or even what you do, that really matters to those people in your lives; but the fact you make the effort and take the time to spend with them. I don't spend a lot of time with my nephew Talon, because I feel I need to have a whole day or be able to do something big with him so I put it off until I can take a full day or have the extra money to spend. But, part of the balance is working on those relationships with your family and friends. And what I learned today is he was happy with two things and it took very little time and money. He wanted to go ride bikes, so we went and rode for about 15 minutes and then after that we went and had ice cream at Braums. Total time spent hanging with him was about 90 minutes and cost less than $10.00 and he was happy.

One of my goals is to make sure I journal daily, and I want to make my blog part of that process, even if it's simply getting on here and saying "Hey, life is great!". So, as I end this so I can go prepare my meals for the week, remember being healthy isn't just about eating the right things and working out; but it's also making sure you are well balanced and are healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I'll expand on each of those this week on what exactly that means to me. Until tomorrow, stay focused, stay positive, and do the work!