A public figure that I truly admire, is Tony Robbins. After growing up in a household run by an abusive alcoholic mother and being abandoned by his father, Tony decided to mold himself into the inspirational man he is, with no example in sight. He has transformed his life from that of an underprivileged child to that of a man focused on giving back to the world.
He is an incredibly well-round and intelligent man who has built his life on a firm foundation of education, hard work, and gratitude. His unique brand of life coaching has been sought after by celebrities like Leonardo di Caprio, sports figures, such as Serena Williams and MMA Champion Chuck Liddell, and even Presidents of the United States.
What I admire most about Tony is that he has created a platform truly designed to help people move forward, overcome personal obstacles, and learn to come from a place which is centered in GRATITUDE! He is making a huge impact. His relentless pursuit of personal development and contributing to make our world a better place, make him just the type of man I would like to sit down and have a beer with. Take 20 minutes to watch this Ted Talk by Tony, which has been viewed over 20 MILLION TIMES! He must be doing SOMETHING right! BAM!!!
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!
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! There 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!
Due 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!
Healthy 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.
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!
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 Twitterand #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!
I 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
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. In 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.
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.
As 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?
When 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.
ACCOUNTABILITY! 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.
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!
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.
I made too many exceptions on my nutrition plan.
I allowed my life to control my schedule instead of keeping my appointments with the elliptical at the gym.
I stopped sending texts and consulting to my accountability partners.
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!!!
What 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.
I 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!
To 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!