A Real Warrior, A Real Struggle

059CC901-9235-468F-8AEB-4BE572940B90
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

Motivation Monday — THE ROCK

IMG_7481Over the next several weeks,  I am going to share some of my favorite sources of inspiration.  This week, I am giving a shout out to The Rock! If you haven’t checked out Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for a little comic relief and a whole lot of motivation, you’re missing out on one of my favorites sources of inspiration.  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Instagram Page.

I admire The Rock for so many reasons but especially his drive and commitment to his grind.  He is up at all hours of the night and day, working out and working on his career.  His relentless pursuit of success and development is not solely focused on his professional growth.  project-rock-rock-clock-3-600-92902He is also committed to help others achieve their goals and make their dreams come true by his charitable works and special projects.  His “Project Rock”  offers personal motivation for individuals “to help many people get after their goals as possible.”  Wake up and Grind with “The Rock Clock!”

The list of charities to which The Rock and his businesses donate includes Make-a-Wish and several charities supporting terminally-ill children, including his own The Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, he founded in 2006 which works with at-risk and terminally ill children.  Dwayne-JohnsonHe is also known to be an avid supporter of our troops and is involved with Boot Campaign, a charity focused on military appreciation.  Follow The Rock on Twitter!

On days when you don’t want to get out of bed or push through the pain, hit up The Rock for a quick injection of motivation.  He is pushes himself despite of his long list of past injuries, to keep his body healthy.   Check out this warm up, which includes the long list of injuries and surgeries he pushes through daily! His work ethic just FUELS my FIRE! BAM!!!   Dwayne-Johnson-Motivational-Quotes-03

 

 

 

 

 

11 Reasons to LOVE The ROCK!

BAM! Motivation Monday

Monday-MotivationDo you dread Mondays?  Do you sit at work on Mondays struggling to get in to the groove of a new work week?  For some, just getting out of bed on Monday is a struggle.  After a leisure weekend, working out before work, prepping your meals for the day, and making it to work on time, can make any Monday feel overwhelming.  I found this quick read, from the HuffPost, on why you should NEVER miss your Monday workout.

IMG_9105I also checked in with some of Coach Rob J’s Real Warriors to see how they maintain motivation and asked for some of their favorite resources to kickstart their drive, when they are feeling a little sluggish.  Chef B-rizzle, Bryan, isn’t one for social media or inspiring quotes; his motivation is fueled by results!  He said, “results become an addiction.”  From fitting into smaller sized clothing, the number on his scale decreasing, and consistently noticing improvements in his health, Chef B-rizzle is his own motivation.  I can personally attest that Bryan reigns himself back in and seeks guidance and motivation when he needs to refocus.  Check out his story – Chef B-Rizzle Gets Fit

IMG_6650

Steph, aka #TeamKilla, has several resources of encouragement, and much like B-Rizzle, her own results fuel her fire.  Having transformed her body from a size 14 to a size 2 in just over a year, she gets a much needed boost from her before and after photos, inspirational quotes, Pinterest, Tumblr, and she follows a few male and female weightlifters and athletes on Instagram.  Check out some of the accounts #teamkilla shares: Gymaholic, HealthyFitMantras on IG, and Bossbabe.inc.  But between you and me, I think she gets her biggest boost of motivation when she shows up in new workout digs!  Check out how her transformation started, Team Killa.

Deb, aka #teamSunshine, gleans inspiration from all over, but says, “My BIGGEST motivations are Coach Rob’s page at 4:30am, #TeamKIlla and #FresnoFitChef’s instagram feeds, they are 2 crazy inspiring, positive women, and watching the successes of so many others on the web.”  Some of the accounts that she follows on Instagram are The Good Quote, GlennonDoyleMelton (author of “Love Warrior”), Better Things in Life, Kate.Cash.Fitness, and LvnFit.  IMG_5599In my opinion, Deb isn’t motivated by a number on the scale.  When she came to me, she said that she didn’t care what she weighed as long as I  could help her get to a healthier version of her old self.  Baby steps Sunshine, back to baby steps.  Check out when #teamSunshine started her baby steps.

As I have discussed before, motivation and maintaining motivation are key components to any successful lifestyle change.  Starting next Monday September 4th, my Monday posts will be dedicated to sharing the people, quotes, and sites that I turn to for my own MOTIVATION!   Just in case you missed it, check out one of my blogs on Motivation, “The M in B.A.M. Logic!!!”

Motivation is what

 

 

 

Easy Access to Eating Healthy

Changing your eating habits is a process, it is not something that happens overnight. In the age of the Internet and apps like Pinterest, Instagram, and the Food Network, there is no reason why you can’t find healthy recipes that fit your tastes and dietary needs.

Food Journal VeggieAs a trainer, I recommend that you begin a new eating regimen by first understanding what types of foods you are currently consuming by creating a food journal, even if it just for a week or two.  This article from Redbook Magazine offers a list of the best food journaling apps on the market 18 Best Food Tracker Apps of 2017

  • What are you eating?
  • Why are you eating?
  • When are you eating?
  • How much water are you drinking?
  • How many of your calories are from drinks other than water? Coffee? Soda?
  • How many calories are you consuming?

water-1When you have a handle on what you are consuming, educate yourself on what you should be consuming.  You can consult with a nutritionist, a healthcare professional, or a personal trainer like myself that is educated in the types of nutrition necessary to achieve your health and fitness goals.

  • What should you be eating? Carbs? Proteins?
  • When should you be consuming your calories?
  • How much water should you be drinking?
  • How many calories are you burning?
  • How many calories should you be consuming?

When you have a better idea of what you should be doing, start by making a few changes every week and ease yourself into a new lifestyle.  BuzzFeed has a GREAT list of tricks to help you baby step your way into new eating habits.   Remember, changing your eating habits is not about self-deprivation, it is about living healthier.

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

IMG_5309
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

 

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! 

The MILLION Dollar Word

IMG_5107Motivation is a 10 letter word that is worth a million dollars! No goal can be achieved without maintaining motivation and staying on track.

The motivation to take care of yourself quickly falls by the wayside when a child needs something, work is pulls you in several directions, or let’s face it, you’re just too tired to put forth the effort.  I stress the importance of motivation and just showing up to all my clients.  Some days you may feel like you are only able to do 20 minutes on the treadmill when you normally do 50, but every minute counts and showing up helps you maintain the motivation and consistency.  An integral part of staying motivated, is to find a source of inspiration that speaks to YOU and to remain positive!  Maintaining motivation is tough for most of the world, so I have laid out a few tips to help you find your motivation.

To maintain motivation, encourage yourself like you would encourage your best friend, child, or co-worker.  Far too many times, we are inclined to think negatively about ourselves and the areas where we need improvement.  We would never sit silently by if a friend or child was constantly putting themselves down, so why treat yourself this way?  Men and women alike, would benefit from changing their inner dialogue to positive thoughts, especially in regard to health and fitness.  Instead of telling yourself you need to workout because you are “fat,” “out of shape, ” or  have “let myself go,” say one of the following affirmations: Dwayne-Johnson-The-Rock-Motivation-Quote-about-Success “I am working on being healthier.”   “I am investing in myself and my health.”  “I am working on being the best version of me.”

To maintain motivation, surround yourself with support.  A supportive environment will serve as a safety net when you are struggling to maintain your motivation or need a pep talk.  Reach out to people who live a healthy lifestyle and ask for tips, advice, and use them to hold yourself accountable.  Accountability partners can motivate you in a number or ways; they can remind you of why you’re on this journey, encourage you to make it to the gym, and be your biggest cheerleader when you have successes.
To maintain motivation, find resources that speak to you!  
There is not a single motivator that works for everyone; like eating plans and workout regimens, try as many as you need to try until you find the right fit.  The internet provides infinite resources that are available 24/7.  As you are surfing the web, note your reaction to fitness pages, health blogs, or transformation photos and add the most inspiring to your “favorites” for continued motivation.

IMG_5099There is no universal answer for maintaining motivation. All of my real warriors, are motivated by different things. I have some that are motivated by health issues, some are motivated by wanting the ideal body, and some are motivated by wanting a better quality of life. One thing they all have in common is that they have found the key to keep motivated and work consistently and persistently on themselves.

 

Can Exercise Really Defeat Depression?

How to find out if it can work for you.

By Camille DePutter

Some say exercise can defeat depression. Sure, it’s worth a try — in theory. But when you’re depressed, it can be hard to muster the motivation. Here are some gentle incentives and strategies for giving it a go.

Ever dealt with depression? Then you’ve probably been told to find a physical outlet for your feelings.

Maybe a well-meaning friend told you to “just get outside and go for a jog.”

Or a doctor “prescribed” fitness to counter your symptoms.

Perhaps you read the book about dancing as a depression cure, or well-trafficked Reddit threads about the mental benefits of everything from gentle gardening to brutal obstacle courses.

Just get out there, folks say. It’ll take your mind off your problems.

But if you’ve ever lived under the scratchy, smothering gray blanket of this illness, you know:

It’s not that easy.

Depression can make your body feel dull. Heavy. Wooden. Listless.

When you’re depressed, the mere idea of picking up one foot and dragging it in front of the other can seem laughable. (If you can dig up a chuckle, that is.)

I know, because I’ve been there.

One day, while in the throes of a good old-fashioned dark-rain-cloud depression, I woke up and felt stuck. I’d been glued to my flat emotional landscape like a little moth on flypaper.

I knew I needed to do something different.

Without thinking, I got down on the floor. Started doing push-ups. Grabbed a couple of dusty old dumbbells. Did a few lifts. A few rows. A few squats.

At first, it was just a gaspy, desperate rush to experience something — anything— other than what I’d been feeling.

But once I was done, I wanted more.

I needed an emotional outlet. Moving my body felt good. (And to be honest, I wanted to hit things.) So I decided to take a boxing class. Ordinarily I might have talked myself out of it. But at that point, I felt I had nothing to lose.

Lucky for me, it was love at first punch.

Looking back, I wonder about the role exercise played in healing my depression.

Was it powerful medicine? Or just a placebo? Could movement have kept my depression away in the first place?

And if exercise does help with depression… how the heck do you find the energy for it when, you know, you’re depressed.

precision nutrition defeat depression exercise Can exercise really defeat depression? How to find out if it can work for you.

Lifestyle and mental health go hand-in-hand

Much like nutrition’s role in mental health, decades of research show a link between exercise — resistance training, aerobics, yoga… everything — and better mood.

And the relationship is solid: A 2014 meta-analysis of 24 studies, including hundreds of thousands of patients, confirmed: The more we sit, the sadder we are.

For example, one classic study from Columbia University found that sedentary people are depressed twice as often as active people.

But does an inactive lifestyle cause depression, or vice versa?

A recent study looking at adults over the course of three decades concluded that the relationship is bidirectional. In other words, maybe sitting around makes you depressed, and maybe that reduces your urge to move. And round and round we go.

OK, so moving your body might help you avoid becoming depressed in the first place. But could it also stop depression in its tracks?

Maybe.

For some people, exercise is as good as antidepressant medications. Or even better. And it seems that in general, the more people exercise, the better they feel.

How exercise makes us happier

Physical activity could improve your state of mind by:

  • curbing stress chemicals: A 2014 study demonstrated that PGC-1alpha — an enzyme produced in muscles during exercise — has the ability to break down kynurenine, a substance that accumulates in the bloodstream after stress and has been linked to depression.
  • supporting neurotransmitters: Exercise may boost the production of serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and some cognitive function, and that may be low in depressed people. Physical activity may also stimulate neurogenesis, the growth of new neurons. That could improve cognition, and, in turn, your mental health.
  • boosting endorphins: Exercise can give you a short-term burst of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that block pain and produce a natural “high.”
  • reducing inflammation: Many types of exercise can lower inflammation, a potential cause of depression.
  • decreasing stress: There’s a reason that some athletes refer to their time at the gym as “therapy.” Exercise can be a great antidote to stress, which research has linked to depression, perhaps owing to the body’s inflammatory stress response.
  • encouraging happier thoughts and feelings: In 2009, one study explored depressed women’s use of long-distance running as a coping mechanism. Exercise can distract us from negative thoughts and feelings, while making us feel joyful and purposeful. It can also provide a sense of identity, which depression often steals from us.

I can imagine a lot of reasons why boxing helped me feel better

Boxing gave me an outlet — a way to express pent-up emotions, and a break from being “in my head.”

When I felt helpless, boxing empowered me. When I felt alone, boxing gave me a coach and a community.

When I felt frustrated, angry, or simply like beating the crap out of a heavy bag, well… boxing is just what the depression doctor ordered.

I left each class high on endorphins and a sense of satisfied accomplishment.

What to do next

I know it’s not easy to do stuff when you’re depressed. Just getting out of bed is a victory some days.

But here are some things you can try, if you’re ready.

If you can do any of these, even just a little bit, congratulate yourself. Each one is an accomplishment.

#1: Take it step by step

You almost can’t start too small. If a 30 minute jog feels impossible, try a walk around the block. If that feels too far, shrink the distance even further to whatever feels manageable. Walk from the couch to the bathroom a few times.

I got a lot out of an illustration called “The Truth About Motivation” from the workbook Exercise for Mood and Anxiety Disorders.

precision nutrition truth about motivation Can exercise really defeat depression? How to find out if it can work for you.

#2: Try something that used to bring you joy

Depression can bleach the colors out of your rainbow and strip the fun from things you used to love.

Give it a go anyway. Do whatever you love (or used to love), whether it’s taking the dog for a walk or playing touch football with friends.

You might not feel the magic. That’s OK. Just try whatever you can manage.

Because the opposite — living completely without your favorite activities — sucks worse.

#3: Try something new

As Janis Joplin famously sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”

Depression can disintegrate you. But then, you don’t have any more rules to play by.

Sometimes, the benefit of feeling lost is that you can wander into new territory. I walked into a boxing gym when I felt so low I was willing to try anything.

If you can open yourself up to new experiences, you may find pleasure in things you never even considered before.

#4: Get support

Whether it’s therapists, doctors, family or friends, ask for help from the people around you. Tell them you want to try exercise.

They may be able to help you, inspire you, or even join you. If you can, seek out a community-focused gym or athletic group, an online support system, and/or a personal trainer. Assemble the “team” that works best for you.

#5: Get outside

Nature is powerful. Sunshine, fresh air, green space… even the friendly bacteria in soil may make you feel better.

Soak up as much nature as you can. If you live in the city, go to a park or spend time in a local garden. If leaving the house feels too daunting, start by opening a window and bringing some plants into your home. Try to work your way up to spending time outside.

#6: Mix it up

One you’re on a bit of a roll, consider mixing aerobic exercise (such as walking, cycling, running, or swimming), with anaerobic sets. While most studies on depression focus on aerobic activity, there’s a place for strength-based work, too — such as high intensity interval training (HIIT) — which can get those endorphins kicking.

#7: Be consistent

Whatever you can move, move it. The more you move, the better it works.

You might feel better right away after a single exercise session. Or it might take a little while. Either way, keep moving as often as you can, in any way you can.

Meanwhile, observe your symptoms. Consider logging your feelings in a journal, so you can look for benefits. If you’re not getting any better after a test period, consult your doctor.

#8: Be gentle and patient

Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a workout. This isn’t about achieving perfection or becoming a superstar athlete. It’s about doing something good for yourself.

On the flip side, don’t overdo it. Intense training can boost your endorphins, but it can also raise your cortisol, a stress hormone, tax the central nervous system, and cause inflammation — none of which will help depression.

How do you put this all together? Think about designing your own personal prescription.

Therapy, medication, nutrition, social support, and any other creative methods of your choosing may all work together to help you get better, over time. Pick what works best for you.

Everyone experiences depression differently. You might find that exercise doesn’t do much.

But it might just become the best depression-fighter you’ll ever find.