Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Plan Ahead to Prepare Your Meals!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor


What do you eat for breakfast and lunch?  Are you eating on the fly or feel you have no time for lunch?  I’m a firm believer, and I do this myself, in preparing meals for breakfast and lunch on one particular day during the week.  This way, I have everything in the fridge ready for me to grab to take to work.  I’ve fallen victim to the “I didn’t have time to eat” or “I have to eat whatever is fast” excuses.  I am now prepared and even if I only have 10 minutes to eat, I have healthy food instead of take-out.  I found this article that has really good tips to help you get focused and prepared.

“You wouldn’t start your day, go on vacation, or show up to a job interview without a plan, right? So think of meal prep and packing your cooler as your plan for a healthy body.  Your biggest obstacle is going to be managing your time so that getting fit and healthy doesn’t compete with the rest of your commitments.  Prioritizing and planning ahead will actually make life easier and help facilitate your success in the long term.  While it may seem trivial and even stressful at times, preparedness is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle.  Having everything packed and ready to go will be less stressful than leaving your meal choices up to chance and heading to whatever take-out joint is nearby at mealtime.

Try these tips:

1.       Schedule some prep time: A lot of people (including myself) use Sundays as our shop and prep day.  Pick a day when you have a few free hours to buy and prepare your food for the week.

2.       Pack Cook-Free Snacks: Toss these items into your bag for effortless re energizing:

Raw almonds

Protein Powder

Low-fat String Cheese

Chopped Veggies

Fruit

Ezekiel Bread

Hummus

3.       Get yourself a cooler: Invest in a good, manageable-sized cooler (12-can size or larger) for storing your meals and snacks.  Pack it the night before and store in the fridge so you can grab it and go.

4.       Don’t forget your Gym Bag: Being prepared doesn’t stop with meals.  Pack your gym clothes and sneakers the night before, not as you’re flying out the door.”

-Oxygen Magazine

Engrave this word into your brain:  PREPARE

If you need more tips on what foods to prepare and/or pack, ask your trainer!

 

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5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Fat Loss

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Fall is fast approaching.  If you’ve had a little too much enjoyment in terms of BBQ and beverages this summer you may need a kick start for the fall.  Here are a few tips to get you back on track.  Set some goals and burn some of that unwanted and unhealthy fat!!

1. Count your steps

Not literally, of course, but by using a pedometer and recording how many steps you take each day. According to The Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, 10,000 steps a day will get you started on the path to fat loss and cardiovascular health. Some good ways to add to your count? Take the stairs; ditch the email and walk over to the person sitting down the hall instead; or walk with a buddy at lunch.

2. Eat more

You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: plan to eat six small meals throughout your day to control your caloric intake. You’ll give your body more fuel to tackle those 10,000 steps!

3. Sleep more

Ok, cut out on the late night talk-show circuit tonight and hit the sack! Studies reveal that two hormones are responsible for your need to feed: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your body it’s hungry, while leptin tells your body it’s full. When you don’t sleep, ghrelin thrives and so will your appetite, so tonight be sure to get your vitamin “zzzz.”

4. Lift weights

The healthier your muscles are the more they will aid in your showdown against fat. Weight training boosts your metabolism and that, in turn, will melt fat and keep your body incinerating all day.

5. Fiber + protein = fat loss

This twosome helps cut cravings by keeping you satisfied longer by breaking down food at a slower rate in your body. Before the day is through, whip up a protein shake, steam some leafy green veggies or pack dried fruit for your afternoon snack. Whatever it is, just make a point of doing it!

 Article from Oxygenmag.com

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Weather Getting You Down? WORK IT OUT!

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Joseph Ash – NASM CPT
Manager CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

Let’s face it, after a couple months of looking outside and seeing nothing but snow and grey clouds, it starts to affect us. You can become less motivated to do anything including getting your workout in. However, the last thing you can see yourself doing, a workout, could be the one thing you need to get over that depression.  Please take a second to read Leonard Holmes’ article below on how exercise can improve mental health.

How Does Exercise Improve Mental Health?
From Leonard Holmes, former About.com Guide

We know that exercise has positive effects on the brain. Researchers at Duke University demonstrated several years ago that exercise has antidepressant properties. Other research has shown that exercise can improve the brain functioning of the elderly and may even protect against dementia. How does exercise improve mental health?

One theory for some of the benefits of exercise include the fact that exercise triggers the production of endorphins. These natural opiates are chemically similar to morphine. They may be produced as natural pain relievers in response to the shock that the body receives during exercise. However, researchers are beginning to question whether endorphins improve mood. Studies are showing that the body’s metabolism of endorphins is complex, and there are likely additional mechanisms involved in the mental health effects of exercise.

Some studies have found that exercise boosts activity in the brain’s frontal lobes and the hippocampus. We don’t really know how or why this occurs. Animal studies have found that exercise increases levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters have been associated with elevated mood, and it is thought that antidepressant medications also work by boosting these chemicals.

Exercise has also been found to increase levels of “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). This substance is thought to improve mood, and it may play a role in the beneficial effects of exercise. BDNF’s primary role seems to be to help brain cells survive longer, so this may also explain some of the beneficial effects of exercise on dementia.

The bottom line is that most of us feel good after exercise. Physical exercise is good for our mental health and for our brains. Someday we will understand it all better — but we can start exercising today.

Sources:John Briley. “Feel Good After a Workout? Well, Good for You.” The Washington Post, Tuesday, April 25, 2006.
James A. Blumenthal, et al. “Effects of Exercise Training on Older Patients With Major Depression.” Archives of Internal Medicine, October 25, 1999.
Michael Babyak, et al. “Exercise Treatment for Major Depression: Maintenance of Therapeutic Benefit at 10 Months.” Psychosomatic Medicine, September/October 2000

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Shrimp Pesto Pasta

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

This week I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you.  Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

 4 oz Barilla Plus penne pasta

12–14 medium-size precooked, peeled shrimp

 3 c chopped baby spinach

1 tomato, chopped

3 Tbsp ready-made pesto OR  pesto dry mix and add water and oil.

3 Tbsp crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

2 Tbsp diced walnuts

How to Make it:

1.  Boil the pasta according to the package directions. 

2.  If you’re using frozen shrimp, defrost them by running warm water over them.

3.  Drain the pasta.

4.  Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring well to help wilt the spinach and mix in the pesto. Makes 2 servings

 

EXTRA CREDIT

Eat with mixed greens and two or three slices of raw tomato, sprinkled lightly with salt and drizzled with some balsamic vinaigrette.

 

Per Serving (Including salad):  490 calories, 27 grams (g) protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 22 g fat (6 g saturated), 8 g fiber, 515 milligrams sodium

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PEP TALK

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

 

This month a few of my clients have been experiencing negativity with exercise, their progress, outside comments, eating etc…. We all go through it!  Yes, even me.  I thought this week we could all use a little pep talk about how to get through these negative times. 

Negative self-talk is a destructive habit and part of an essential defense mechanism that we often develop to protect ourselves. Many people end up talking themselves out of actions that may be scary or uncomfortable. ‘I can’t do this’ is really just a way of saying ‘I don’t want to deal with the experience of doing this.’ We are all strongly influenced by our feelings, often determining how and what action we ultimately take. If the feeling is uncomfortable, negative self-talk results; then we often decide not to take any action at all.

Many people assume that if a past experience produced a certain result, there is nothing they can do to change that experience in order to produce a different result. ‘I’ve tried every diet there is. I know what I should do; I just can’t do it.’

Please understand that you make the choice not to repeat old patterns of eating, non-exercise, and negative thinking. You have the ability to choose the emotions you have. If you don’t like feeling guilty, frustrated, or doubtful, you can choose not to. You, and no one else, must decide what is comfortable for you. In order to become successful at making healthy choices, you must avoid negative self­ talk and start practicing positive thinking. Positive or negative self-talk plays a big part in your decisions. Be on the look-out for negative self-talk and notice how it influences your choices; notice how it can negatively affect your efforts to change. For example, perhaps you’ve just returned from a week’s vacation where you took a break from exercise and low-fat eating. You tell yourself, ‘I feel so fat. I’m back where I started.’ You feel guilty and frustrated. ‘I don’t have enough will-power to start all over again. Maybe I’m just meant to be overweight.’ Feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, you give up.

First, reflect on the feelings you had before you decided to give up. You basically told yourself that the healthy habits you learned before your vacation were all for nothing and that you have to start over. Ask yourself if these feelings are reasonable. Are you really back to ground zero? Of course not. You accepted change and developed a new way of living; these skills are yours forever. The vacation might even have done you some good: everyone needs a break sometimes. Otherwise, you might have felt deprived and not really enjoyed yourself. It’s time now to tell yourself: ‘It felt good eating whatever I wanted and taking a break from exercising; I had a great time. But now I’m going to focus back on the low-fat, active lifestyle I was enjoying before vacation. There is no reason to beat myself up; I’ll just take it one day at a time.’ Now you can rethink your previous decision and take action that will move you forward towards more positive change.

As you begin to understand your reasons for negative self­ talk, you’ll find yourself recognizing it more and more quickly after it occurs. Eventually, as you practice, you’ll be able to recognize and stop negative self-talk before it interferes with your decisions.

It is very important to practice positive thinking and to remind yourself that you’re a worthwhile person whatever you do. Try to consistently acknowledge that you are making positive changes to improve your health. You should be proud of yourself. Visualize yourself as capable, happy, and confident. These positive feelings will help the process of change. Remember, there are bound to be times when you’re feeling frustrated or depressed. Positive thinkers know that these feelings are valid, and they don’t try to ignore them. Positive thinkers acknowledge and try to understand them, but they don’t blame themselves for the conditions that lead to these feelings. Good luck, stay positive, and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a healthy lifestyle!

article from www.bodybuilding-workouts.org

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Full-Service Gyms Feel a Bit Flabby

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Is the gym passé?
It used to feel worthwhile to commit to an annual membership at an everything-and-the-kitchen sink gym featuring high-spirited classes, top-of-the-line cardio machines, weights — and perhaps a shot at striking up a conversation with Ms. Lithe sipping a post-workout smoothie.
But these days, the idea of a full-service gym is as stale as yesterday’s sweat-soaked towel. Up to 45 percent of fitness-club members quit going in any given year, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.
For all their ads promising to stir motivation, gyms have failed to do so. “Up until the last six years, it’s been relatively easy to sell memberships, and to replace people going out the back door with people coming through the front door,” said Michael Scott Scudder, a consultant who advises health clubs and conducts up to 15 industry surveys annually. “Not so anymore. We’ve come to a point that we can’t sell enough membership in the industry to cover the attrition rate.”
Blame the gym’s now-ubiquitous flat-screen TVs and the fact that iPods are de rigueur, said Jonathan Fields, a marketing consultant in Manhattan who has helped found personal-training gyms and yoga studios. “Now everybody’s plugged in,” Mr. Fields said. “In the 70s, they came for community. Now they come in and disassociate themselves from everyone in the club. It’s killing the health club.”
Kitchen-sink gyms also face pressure from operations like Planet Fitness, a chain founded in 1992 that offers Cybex treadmills and weight machines, but which does not have Zumba classes or perks like towels — and charges $10 a month.
Today’s consumers wonder why they should pay more for a so-called big-box gym when they can get the laissez-faire approach for less. Michael Grondahl, the chief executive of Planet Fitness, who recently eliminated personal training at his 406 franchises, does not believe that he is in the motivation business. A staff trainer still offers 30-minute sessions for groups of five, but Mr. Grondahl said he does nothing to keep members coming. “I can’t keep you motivated to do something you don’t want to,” he said.
Rich Boggs, a creator of the original step and the chief executive of Body Training Systems, which licenses group fitness classes to 700 clubs nationwide, said this hands-off model won’t work for people who aren’t self-starters (which is to say: most of us). “You can’t get the cheapest and the best at the same time, unless you know precisely what you want to do, you’re Equipment Guy and you don’t need any help,” he said.
But that is a fair description of Chanie Raykoff, a special educator who works out at Blink Fitness, a low-price spinoff of the cushy Equinox. “I like to get in and out,” said Ms. Raykoff, at the NoHo branch on a recent Tuesday evening. “I do weights and cardio. I am not social.” Indeed, conversation was sparse during an hourlong visit to the gym’s sleek workout floor.
Socializing, however, is key to long-term exercise success, said Terry Blachek, the president of International Consulting, which helps clubs improve member retention. “We know you’ve got to engage the client,” Mr. Blachek said. “It’s got to be a challenge for them. And we know you’ve got to connect the client in a meaningful way to others.”
Mr. Blachek has some experience in this: He was the executive vice president at the once-chic fitness chain Crunch in the 1990s, when its novelty group workouts, like the Firefighter and Cycle Karaoke, were the rage. “Those classes were the claim to fame for Crunch,” he said. “They connected clients to their peers.”
These days, “loyalty has dropped dramatically,” said Casey Conrad, a consultant with 25 years in the fitness industry. One reason: A decade ago, full-service gyms didn’t offer today’s “unbundled” memberships that let consumers choose what perks to pay for. Some fitness seekers have been trying an à la carte approach, taking specialized pay-as-you-go classes like those offered by the stationary-cycling competitorsFlywheel Sports and SoulCycle, or Core Fusion at the Exhale Spa, rather than committing to a gym membership.
“You can do whatever suits your fancy when it does,” said Jessica Underhill, a personal trainer who writes the blog Fit Chick in the City, referring to the pay-per-class approach. She tried so many studio classes in 2010 that she thought she had “exercise A.D.D.,” but came to favor the Bar Method, a body-sculpting class held at studios from Manhattan to Marina del Rey, Calif., because, she said, instructors rattle off names as they offer corrections and make her feel as if she is a part of something.
“They acknowledge that you are a consumer, and are friendly at the same time,” Ms. Underhill said. “It doesn’t feel stale or super crisp and clean. It’s about connection.”
And no one is going to turn into a lifer akin to Jack LaLanne, the fitness pioneer who died this week, without a reason to work past the aches and drudgery of exercise. “There’s no question that the social element is a huge, huge piece to getting participation,” Ms. Conrad said. “I travel a lot, and when I miss yoga class, they are like, ‘Casey, where have you been?’ ”
Nancy Pusateri, 40, a small-business owner from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has attended small-group training offered by a company called OrangeTheory for about a year, said she finds paying per class more motivating than a monthly membership. “I go because I want to go, not because I’ve paid for it or feel obligated,” she said, adding, “I love that I’m only competing against myself.”
An hourlong session of OrangeTheory, which has three franchises and is planning national expansion, includes treadmill speed work, indoor rowing, weights and core-strengthening suspension straps. Ellen Latham, a founder and an exercise physiologist, said the ever-evolving workout, which costs $14 to $20 a session, is designed for gym dropouts frustrated by lackluster results. “After six weeks of doing the same workout, your body has plateaued,” Ms. Latham said. “People keep coming back because they aren’t plateauing.”
Many, even go-getters, see their results leveling off at the gym. Theodora Blanchfield, 27, a social-media specialist for magazines, used to go to New York Sports Club four times a week. “I knew how to go to the gym, but not how to work out hard enough to lose 50 pounds,” she said.
Ms. Blanchfield eventually hired a personal trainer at $80 a session for a year, and learned the transformative effect of progressively harder weight lifting. She no longer sees the trainer, but consistently mixes up her workouts between outdoor running, 30/60/90 interval-training classes at Equinox, and a marathon boot camp with Pace4Success. “I want to make sure to stay interested,” said Ms. Blanchfield, who chronicled how she shed 50 pounds on her blog.
Historically, “People who take personal training and do group fitness classes are more likely to stick with a gym,” said Tony Santomauro, a fitness consultant with 35 years of industry experience.
But too often health clubs don’t understand they “should be a support system for people,” said Mr. Scudder, the health club adviser. “It’s merely four walls to come in, work out and leave.”
Only a fifth of gym members take part in group fitness on average industrywide, said Ms. Conrad, adding that these days instead of packing in more cardio machines, “good quality health clubs are returning to emphasizing group exercise.”
Mr. Scudder said that a sixth of health-club members participate in group fitness, and marveled that clubs often fail to guide newcomers to classes that might appeal. (By contrast, YogaWorks, the national chain of studios, employs yoga advisers for newbies.)
Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, with three branches in Fort Collins, Colo., is trying, offering an eight-week learn-to-exercise course for $179. And some low-price gyms give a nod to social connection: Blink Fitnesshas a so-called “front porch” at its gyms designed by the architect David Rockwell, “where people could congregate and create a sense of community,” said Dos Condon, the vice president of Blink.
“I don’t see that working,” Mr. Scudder said, implying that design elements are incidental.
Dori Manela, 27, who does social-media work for a real estate company, doesn’t believe that gorgeous design helped her get fit. She quit the luxury gym at the Sports Club/LA on the Upper East Side, which she lives a door away from, after Core Fusion classes at Exhale Spa gave her muscles she’d long coveted (and the first two months free). “I was paying a lot for a pretty space,” said Ms. Manela, who found it hard to trudge next door to spin at the Sports Club, and yet now rides the subway to do Core Fusion four times a week. (She blogs and even posts messages on Twitter about keeping her “exercise mojo” alive.)
Despite such defections, Mr. Boggs of Body Training Systems thinks the classic gym has a chance at survival. “The consumer can, and will, change it by the way they spend their money,” he said. “You need to say: ‘I need help. I am going to make you prove you’ll give it to me.’ ” Ask for a month of membership free, he suggested, or for fitness evaluations to track progress. Mr. Scudder suggested asking what the club does to retain members in the crucial first 30 days. New-member meet-up, anyone? He said if they don’t have a satisfactory answer, leave.
Only 15 percent of the American population belongs to gyms, Mr. Boggs said. “When you’ve got 85 percent saying ‘I don’t think so,’ we’ve got to recalibrate what we’re doing.”

By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS- NYTIMES

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Love Your Fit Life in 2011

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Is sticking to your New Year’s fitness resolution a challenge for you?  If so, it’s probably time for a new approach.  Though that “January high” can be a great tool for kick starting your motivation, committing fulltime to a healthy lifestyle is the only way to a lean, fit body with lasting power.  More than 80 percent of people who lose weight eventually gain it back, according to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles, and that means you need a no-quit plan that will keep you inspired for life. 

The cycle of gaining and losing weight has been linked to hypertension (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) in a study in the International Journal of Obesity.  So to keep the pounds off for good and boost your health too, follow these few tips.  They’ll make your weight training, cardio and clean eating fun, so that you’ll never slack, give up or regain.

Go Outside the Box

  • 1. Take a new fitness class.

Changing the skills you work on will improve the way your brain processes all the movements, researchers report in a recent issue of the journal Neuroscience.

  • 2. Experiment with a new vegetable every week.
  • 3. Try mornings.

Set a fit tone for your whole day by performing a light cardio warm-up and just 15 minutes of body-weight exercise in your bedroom before getting on with the rest of the items on your “to do” list.

Make It Social

  • 1. With your coworker.

Hit the treadmill together on your lunch break.  Cover your display screens, set the timer for 30 minutes and see who burns more calories.

  • 2. With your foodie friend.

Swap your favorite recipes and brainstorm ways to make them healthier (like ditching the white spaghetti pasta for zucchini strips the next time you have an Italian night- use your carrot peeler)!

Shake Up Your Routine

  • 1. Beat boredom.

Instead of relying on machines, add in a combination of dumbbell, resistance band and body weight moves to hit your muscles from multiple angles, using different modalities.

  • 2. Start your workout with a different exercise than usual.

Simply switching around the order of your regular routine can stimulate both your muscles and your mind, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Create a Fit Environment

  • 1. Choose a route home from work that passes by a gym.

Seeing others coming in and out in their fitness gear will get you pumped to join in.

  • 2. Find motivating quotes in magazines, books and on the internet.

Post them in places you’re most likely to see, such as above your desk at work or on the bathroom mirror.

  • 3. Write down a new fitness or nutrition goal each week.

Post your goal on the fridge.  Keep it simple, such as spending an extra 10 minutes in the gym each day or topping off your meal with an extra heaping cup of veggies.

Treat Yourself

  • 1. Buy a new pair of shoes.

Splurge on a new pair of running or performance shoes.  It will motivate you for your next workout.

  • 2. Download a new song.

It’s amazing what a catchy tune can do for your spirits.

Add more fun to your fit routine.  You’ll drop fat, improve your health and keep the pounds off- for good!

Article by Kasia Kurek and Sarah Tuff

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Ann Arbor Featured Client for Sept 2010

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Post by: Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Trainer

Manager of Ann Arbor CMF

I want to take more time to give proper recognition to those clients, here in Ann Arbor, who have met or are on their way to meeting their goals.  One in particular, David Fry, shared his story with me this month.  David is the perfect example of how dedication and the proper mind set will allow anyone to reach his/her goals.  Be inspired by his story, as I was. 

BEFORE:

I grew up in Pennsylvania in a family of overweight people. There was no appreciation for eating right or getting regular exercise. But even among my loved ones I stood out. I was an obese child who became a morbidly obese teenager, carrying 350 pounds on my 5′ 7″ frame by the time I entered college. My weight defined my life.

After my freshman year I put myself on a starvation diet of my own design. By eating less than 500 calories a day I lost more than 150 pounds in six months. This was an extremely stupid thing to do and some of my internal organs turned against me. But I was young and ultimately regained my health. I was thrilled with my new body and I lived the life I had always been denied. I was physically active throughout my 20s and kept my weight off with no particular effort.

In the mid 1990s I moved to Ann Arbor with my wife and started a new business. I resumed my bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle as I focused on my work, and I started regaining my weight rapidly. But I kept telling myself, “It’s okay, I’ve lost weight before. I can lose it again when I need to.” Somehow I just never got around to it. Ten years later I finally had to deal with the consequences when a bout of severe dizziness and confusion led me to a local hospital. I weighed over 400 pounds and had extremely high blood pressure, with a host of other medical problems around the corner.

That scared me enough that I finally started to address my problem. Over the next few years I slowly lost 60 pounds by eating a little better and getting more physical activity. I didn’t really make progress, though, until my wife and I joined Coach Me Fit and began working out with Ann Marie Furlong. Even when I was young and active I never had done any structured weight training, so Ann Marie’s workouts were a new experience for me. I remember being so exhausted in the first few months that several times I drove home and fell asleep in the car in my garage before going inside the house. Ann Marie was the perfect coach for me. She challenged me to push harder each time, but she didn’t come on strong with a “drill sergeant” attitude. Some people respond well to that but it probably would have been counterproductive with me. I think a good personality match with your trainer is very important.

Over the next two years my physical fitness and stamina improved greatly but I only lost about 20 pounds because I still wasn’t watching my calorie intake. I used to joke that if they had an Olympics for people with a BMI over 50, I would do very well! Good health truly is about “fitness” and not just “weight loss,” but I still had face the facts about my diet. Late last year I signed up for a service called BistroMD that delivers frozen, pre-packaged meals to my home once a week. Starting right before Thanksgiving (great timing, right?) I began eating 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day while continuing my regular Coach Me Fit workouts. I also started using an iPhone app called “Tap N Track” to measure all the calories I ate or burned up through exercise each day.

The results were immediate. I lost 25 pounds through the holiday season, which encouraged me to stick to my diet. And the weight loss made it easier for me to workout so I was able to increase my physical activity throughout the winter. Ann Marie started giving me more challenging workouts at Coach Me Fit, and in the spring I rediscovered my old love of long distance road cycling, something I hadn’t done in more than 15 years.

Today I’m happy to report I’ve lost 100 pounds since November 2009. I’ve dropped eight clothing sizes, I’m no longer taking blood pressure medicine, and my cholesterol level is now well within the healthy range. But more than that, I can barely describe how much better I feel every day, whether I’m rushing through a crowded airport with heavy luggage, riding my bike to Brighton and back, or simply trying to fit into a seat at the movie theater. Obesity means making compromises with yourself every day, and I finally decided I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I know my struggle isn’t over. I still want to lose another 40 pounds or so but, even after that, good health is a lifelong commitment to smart food choices and regular physical activity. Coach Me Fit will continue to be a part of that for me.

I have two pieces of advice for anyone who’s facing similar challenges: First, don’t wait to get started on a healthy lifestyle.   As I learned, time is not your friend. Each week it just gets harder and harder to change bad habits, and you just find yourself farther and farther away from where you need to be. As they say, “when you find yourself stuck in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

Second, you don’t have to solve all your problems at once. Do you what you can, when you can. Each step forward is progress. You can see in my history that I rapidly lost a huge amount of weight when I was young, but I did it in an unhealthy way that didn’t really include a conscious change to my lifestyle. And so my weight rapidly returned. My current weight loss adventure has actually been multi-phased, lasting over five years. The people around me have noticed the big physical change in the last 10 months, but my brain started making the necessary adjustments several years ago.

If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re a Coach Me Fit client or thinking about becoming one. So then “Congratulations” on a great first step towards a healthier life!

AFTER:

Thank you for sharing your story, David.  Congratulations on all your progress.  I’m excited to see you reach more goals as you continue on this healthy living journey!!

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Couples Therapy.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Paul and Renae are clients of ours here at CoachMeFit in East Grand Rapids, and as often as possible, they train together. They also run and bike several times a week, together. Paul and Renae view this recreation together as an important aspect of what makes their marriage and relationship work.

Paul and Renae are also a terrific example of what it means for your health to have an accountability partner. When thier workouts are hard and exhausting, they are yelling and encouraging one another. When they complete difficult exercises, they give each other high fives. I truly believe that together, they are are achieving greater success than they would individually.

Can you relate to Paul and Renae? Have you found that on your own there are way to many excuses to not work out or to not really push yourself? When you have no one to hold you accountable to workout times and to push you to a new level of intensity, are you more likely to not show up or to slack off?

I would encourage everyone to set up your own system of accountability. Do you need a personal trainer to guide you, encourage you, and push you? Call a CoachMeFit trainer! Do you have friends that workout? Plan ahead and set up a schedule and hold each other to it. Maybe you and your spouse need to completely change your lifestyle and start working out and eating better. Set goals, encourage each other, and make it happen.

Whatever accountability means to you, I encourage you to set your goals, and find someone who will challenge you to meet them. You will find greater motivation and drive, and you will undoubtedly have a greater chance at success.

Have a healthy and successful day!

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1 more rep?

Friday, July 17th, 2009

 

I don’t want to seem like I am ripping on my own profession here, but why do most people only experience benefits from working out when they work with a personal trainer? Why do I personally get better results when I work out with a partner? Why is it that when we are responsible for challenging ourselves, we usually will stop when things get really hard?

I think it is an innate human trait that we have a perceived level of exertion or pain that we think we are capable of being able to handle. This leads me to ask, what is fatigue? Where does it come from? Is fatigue something that is actually physiologically happening making us unable to lift one more rep, or not run that little bit faster? Or is fatigue a psychological stopping point that most of us impose on ourselves?

As I wrestle with this question and it’s implications to not only my training, but my life, I have instituted a new philosophy with my weight training, that I am trying to find news ways in my everyday life to apply it to. When I do a set of 10 reps and my legs are shot and burned out, I try to flip the mental switch and do 11 reps. When I am mentally tired and think I need to relax on the couch and bills or mowing the yard can wait, I realize it, flip the switch, and go to work.

It’s been a long standing philosophy of mine that most people, myself included, have absolutely no idea what we are capable of. Physically, Mentally, Financially, Spiritually. What areas of your life can you do 1 more rep with? Are you placing self imposed limitations on what you are truly capable of? Try it in your training, often the mind will learn things through the body. Make it a habit next week to push one rep past what you thought you could do. And let me know if situations arise in your everyday life where you flipped the switch and decided to ignore the voice telling you to stop, and you did another rep.

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