A Real Warrior, A Real Struggle

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Late 2011 vs Mid 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I walked into Synergy at 5:30am to Rob’s “Good morning Sunshine” and instead of my normal response, I plopped down in his office and just started crying.  Poor Rob – Coach, Trainer, Therapist, “One of my girls,” and a true friend – He sees it ALL.  I was in pain and couldn’t understand what happened to the progress I’d made over the last 15 months.  I was feeling pretty defeated and like no one could possibly understand how both physically and emotionally painful this set back is for me.  In typical Coach Rob fashion, he gave me some sage advice and asked me to write a blog about my set backs because, “It’s real life.”  

From 2011 to mid 2013, I had gotten much healthier and was in great shape, so I was devastated when my car accident restricted my ability to work out for almost a year.  I gained at least 40 pounds and felt like I was back at SQUARE 1.  Let’s BE CLEAR, I am NOT one of those girls that can work out 3x a week and eat healthy and stay in shape.  It takes work.  At any size, I have been very active, able to do yoga, and run around in stilettos; after my accident, I could do NONE of these.  For me, this was unacceptable! IMG_4459

When Rob and I started working out, I took breaks between exercises within a set and often times, I would have to sit on the floor and stretch before I could continue.  But I WOULD NOT QUIT – I persevered!  IMG_7948There were days I would work out 3 times a day, once with Rob, once in the pool, and then cardio.  I was on a mission.  From the end of April 2016, only 3 months out of surgery, to December of last year, I made huge strides.  I dropped weight, was able to regain some of my balance, and could workout without taking breaks! I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!  

During my recovery period, I have been plagued with a lot of emotional life changes.  I am going through a divorce, I lost my career, because of the extended leave of absence, and I was/am (2 years later) in a horrific lawsuit with my car insurance company.  So, I threw myself into looking for a new career and working out.  After several months of looking, another of Coach Rob J’s Real Warriors, Steph, helped me find a new career I LOVE!  Her team at Hire Ups is AWESOME!    I was finally feeling like I had gotten my life back!  Within 3 days of being back in an office environment and sitting, I was in excruciating pain and absolutely ready to give up.  You know that saying, “a body in motion, stays in motion?”  Ummm that’s TRUTH right there!

IMG_1040Due to the pain, I went to my surgeon and received less than stellar news about the future of “my back health.”  My last few sessions with Rob had been emotionally taxing, because I had lost a lot of my agility, balance, and stamina.  The biggest deterrent for me, the pain.  I was/am scared of the pain that is waiting for me with every workout.  I told Rob through tears, “I just can’t do it (I have never said this phrase to him until that day!), I am just so frustrated.”  He let me cry and rant and curse a little about the uninsured driver that changed my life and then he leaned across his desk and said, “I’m sorry Sunshine, but you can do this.  We just need to go back to what we know works.  Baby steps.”  So here we go, BACK to the beginning…For the record, I HATE BABY STEPS!           

 

Take Action!

There’s an action step right before you, TAKE IT!

Coach Rob, BAM

#nextstep #nextsteps #takeaction #fitness #fitfam #fitlife #goals #eatclean #healthy #lifestyle #gymaholic #hardwork #bam #bamlogic #workoutmotivation #fitnessmotivation #fitnessinspiration #fitnesscoach #coachrobj #procoach #motivation #gymlife #getfit

“Set Your Bar Ridiculously High”

Don’t sell yourself short!!

#aimhigh #mindset #growth #takeaction #fitness #life #neversettle #fitfam #fitlife #goals #eatclean #healthy #lifestyle #gymaholic #hardwork #bam #bamlogic #workoutmotivation #fitnessmotivation #fitnessinspiration #fitnesscoach #coachrobj #procoach #motivation #gymlife #getfit

Real Warrior and Boot-Camper, LK!

IMG_7435I admit it, I am one of those gym-goers that walks around a little unsure of where I should start and in what order I should work out my muscle groups.  I have always been athletic, but I wouldn’t have considered myself strong.  I would walk in to the gym and feel like I was not maximizing my time spent in there.  Well, that is the person I USED to be. 

As a single mom, I was teaching at a charter school, always pressed for time, and looking to change up my fitness routine.  I bought 2 Groupons to try some new workout ideas.  The first Groupon was for Synergy Personal Training; they offered 2 weeks of unlimited bootcamp sessions and the second was for another bootcamp, which I also tried.  IMG_6611

Ready to try something different, I met Coach Rob for a consultation and decided to try different boot camps.  I tried both the 5:30am bootcamp and Rob’s 6:15am bootcamp; 2 1/2 years later, I am still going to his bootcamp 5 days a week.

I admit that I bounced around and tried everything from the complex to the simplest of programs and my favorite, by far, is Coach Rob’s bootcamp.  His focus on keeping his classes relevant, fresh, and concentrated on proper form, leave me exhausted in just 30 minutes.  Rob is constantly pushing us boot-campers to our limits with positive reinforcement and makes us feel like we are in a private sessions with him.  In the 2 1/2 years I have been at Synergy, there has not been one injury in our bootcamp.  I think our coach’s education and ability to lead a great workout is a key reason we have such a strong core group of bootcamp attendees.

IMG_7434Thank goodness I have never been one to watch the scale because I weigh 10 pounds more now than I did when I started.  By the BMI chart at my doctor’s office, I am considered over weight!  HA! I have only increased my endurance, feel that I can protect myself if necessary, and I am stronger than I have ever been!  The benefits of starting my weekdays in a positive and productive environment, with my fellow boot-campers pours over into every aspect of my life.  I am living and loving sharing my life with like-minded people!

 

Happy, Healthy BBQ Side Dishes

 

bbq-healthyHealthy eating is an integral part of any weight loss or healthy lifestyle plan, but we also know, you shouldn’t deprive yourself.   With this weekend being filled with barbecues for Labor Day and the Fresno State Bulldogs tailgating season kicking off in full swing, I decided to share something healthy BBQ side options.  Let’s just assume we are all going to indulge in something tasty off the grill but this does not mean your entire meal has to be “an unhealthy indulgence.”

As I discussed on my blog last week, access to healthy eating has never been easier.  Easy Access to Eating Healthy   The central California is especially lucky to have fresh produce on every street corner, farmer’s market, and even in some of our own backyards.

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CLOVIS Farmer’s Market Friday nights and Saturday mornings!

Heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, and fresh stone fruit are all in season and can add a new twist to your normal barbecue side dish selection.  Change up those high fat sides of macaroni and cheese, chili, and potatoes salad with some healthy alternatives using fresh produce which is rich in natural flavor and can be locally sourced!

 

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Cooking Light Magazine’s Easy Barbecue Side Dishes!

I googled “healthy barbecue side dishes” and within .66 seconds, I had 5.31 MILLION webpages, all loaded with recipes and photos at my finger tips!  Here are some great resources to help you contribute healthier sides to any BBQ or tailgate.

If you get adventurous this weekend and make a new healthy side dish, post a picture on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and #CoachRobJCooks or you can SNAPCHAT me at coach_robj and I will feature some of the photos next week! Have a Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday weekend! Go Dogs!

Fitness Magazine has a great healthier “Mac and Cheese” made with cauliflower.

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Team KILLA’s Set #3 – The Fam-BAM!!!

IMG_5585How did my workouts and diet change my family life? 

I started my fitness journey a little later in life and started a family a lot earlier, so my life is a bit different than the lives of some women.  I live with my husband of 23 years and our adult son, so my time is more flexible than some wive’s and mother’s.  My schedule allows me to leave before work to train with Rob, and go for round two at the gym right after work.  This has actually encouraged my husband and son to increase the number of their workouts during the week. My husband and I work out at least twice a week together at the gym.  We kill some cardio and workout in the free weights section too!  The greatest thing has been that I am able to show him new workouts that he has never tried, like the TRX! I also really love it when my son asks for fitness or nutrition tips too!

IMG_6649My guys are pretty easy going  when it comes to meals.  My husband and son have very similar tastes in food, which are basically the complete opposite of mine.  I recently adapted to a mostly plant based diet.  I may be making tacos with soy crumbles and whole wheat tortillas while they are eating beef and regular flour tortillas, but we still cook and eat together as a family.  They are both very supportive of my fitness and nutrition goals and even help me find “vegan” options while we are at the store.

Since I started this fitness journey a year ago, my entire family has become more conscience of our health and nutrition choices.  We have all lost weight and increased our physical activity.  IMG_3450It’s wonderful to see how what started as a personal step has actually benefited my entire family.  We are all together on this journey and we are ALL IN! BAM!!! 

 

 

Fresno Fit Chef is Back for Set #2 — Sacrifice and Passion

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Fresno Fit Chef showing off her guns!

My first blog covered most of my backstory and why I chose to get a personal trainer. The more time that I work on myself and work with Coach Rob, the more I realize that I have truly found my passion in physical fitness.

After years of being toxic to myself by making poor nutrition and health decisions, I live the daily challenge to be the best and healthiest version of myself.  In the last three years, Rob has guided me from a depressed 324 pound woman to an athlete.  One of the things that has helped me commit to transforming my life and my body is my competitive nature and the need to be the best.

I spend so much time in the gym now that it is like a second job!  I am constantly trying to improve my fitness game so that I can meet my next goal. My next goal is a lofty one; but it is something that I know I will achieve with my own perseverance, dedication, and commitment to improving and working with my Coach!

MY GOAL:  By the time that I am 45, I will compete in fitness competitions! IMG_6599

My transformation is a conversation starter.  When I talk with people about the investment I have made in myself by paying for personal trainer and I suggest that they do the same, I am frequently met with opposition.  The normal argument is that they can’t afford it!  I think that is total crap! 

Everyone has financial struggles, bills to pay, unexpected expenses, and excuses for why we are content with living in a space that is unhealthy.  I never thought I would be able to afford a personal trainer!  IMG_6597When I first started with Robert three years ago, I was not in the position where I could take on this financial responsibility, but I also was not in the position where I could go even one more day ignoring my unhealthy body and aches and pains.  By sacrificing the little luxuries in my life, that I had convinced myself were necessities, I was able to scrape together enough to see Rob on a weekly basis.  Now, I have streamlined my frivolous spending and workout with Coach Rob several hours a week and we are hard charging toward my goal of competition!  IMG_6596

 

Food, Fitness, & the F-Word Set #2 — Accountability!

IMG_5599ACCOUNTABILITY!  WOW! Of course I get this question, when I have gained 9 pounds in the last 5-6 weeks!  “How do you hold yourself accountable? Do you have accountability partners?”

Accountability plays a huge role in the implementation of any plan.  It seems anywhere you turn, there are support groups, fitness trackers, and friends who can help to keep you focused on the temptation-filled path to success.  Lately, my path has been filled with  the temptations of Ampersand Ice Cream, inactivity, poor time management, and comfort food.  SO, I clearly needed to answer this question because I have not been holding myself accountable for a few weeks now.

The last few months have been crazy for me!  Job hunting, juggling some stressful things in my personal life, and insomnia have completely thrown me in to survival mode.  Let’s be REAL here.  I could have worked out my stress and frustration at the gym, but instead, I soothed my frustrations with the crutches to which I have always turned!

My accountability comes from the scale, my friends, or the Greatest Of All Time Trainer (GOATT) Coach Rob J.  I know I am not supposed to, but I weigh myself daily and it helps me to continue to making good decisions, or so I thought… As long as the number on the scale stays the same or goes down, I am happy.  AND since I just admitted I have gained a few pounds, I am not very happy with myself.  I learned decades ago to not obsess about what I weigh but — Let’s face it, the scale doesn’t lie.  IMG_5013

I am blessed to have amazing family and friends who are a great sources of motivation, mentorship, and accountability.  I spend time with friends who are active and open to meeting for coffee and a walk on a Saturday morning, meeting up at the gym, or available to talk me off a ledge when I really want to take a flying leap off of the healthy wagon.  The problem is, I have not been reaching out!

One thing about Coach Rob is that he gives me all of the tools to be successful and make our plan work.  Having him as a motivator and coach has proven to be invaluable, but he can’t workout for me, or keep me from making poor choices.  I clearly need to refocus!

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Example Text I sent COACH from VEGAS!

To be honest, in the beginning, there were more days I wanted to quit than I care to admit.  Due to my spine surgery and weight gain, I was in constant pain and could not keep my balance through even 10 lunges.  I started to hold myself accountable by sending Coach Rob text messages of my cardio and workouts, no matter where I was! I need to get back to this!!!

As of last week, I have gained 9 pounds and I can tell you exactly what I have been doing wrong.

  1. I made too many exceptions on my nutrition plan.
  2. I allowed my life to control my schedule instead of keeping my appointments with the elliptical at the gym.
  3. I stopped sending texts and consulting to my accountability partners.
  4. I started drinking a lot less water! 

SO NOW, I have to refocus and get back on my mission.  9 pounds can easily turn into 19 if I allow myself to settle in to a comfort zone.  Time to hit it again.  Stay tuned for my progress report!!!

 

 

Maintain Motivation Monday!

BAM Logic!!!

Maintain Motivation Monday

Maintaining motivation is tough for most of the world.  An integral part of staying motivated, is to find a source of inspiration that speaks to YOU and to remain positive!

Monday

Chef B-Rizzle Set #2 – Why a Trainer?

IMG_9105What made you decide to hire a personal trainer?
Since I have struggled with my weight most of my life, I have never been comfortable working out at public gyms.  Besides being self-conscious about working out in public,  I thought the personal attention of a trainer would help me to learn what I needed to change to be successful and build a healthier lifestyle.  The positive motivation, exercises, and nutrition coaching with Coach Rob are personally adapted for me.  Having a personal trainer has helped me to sustain long term progress, commitment to our plan, and it definitely helps knowing that I have an accountability partner!

At my heaviest my doctor told me I was over 100 pounds overweight and it clearly had a severe negative impact on my health. I had high blood pressure, vertigo, sleep apnea, and terrible migraine headaches.  Any one of these ailments would leave me debilitated anywhere from a few hours to several days. After trying multiple treatment plans, doctors, specialists, a briefcase full of medications, and seeking care at Stanford Medical Center, I realized I needed to invest in my health and completely overhaul my lifestyle. 

IMG_2543I was referred to Rob and after our first meeting, I knew he was a perfect fit! His calm, positive demeanor, and his ability to understand my apprehension about working out due to my health issues was key.  Approximately 5 years before I met Rob, I was successful in losing and maintaining a 90 pound weight loss, but as many of us do, I lost the weight the wrong way. Coach Rob took the time to explain a plan that would generate slow and steady progress.   The right way! 

IMG_5133To say my first day working out with Rob was a out of my comfort zone, is a total and complete understatement.   I was comfortable in the gym because I was the only one working out, but it had been so long since I worked out that I threw up at the end of my work out. Somehow, Rob put a positive spin on me puking my guts out and I have been showing up ever since!