Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3...2...1....Activate Body Potential! Part 5

I gotta say again, I am so lucky to have found my trainer Ben. And thank god he doesnt charge extra for therapy. Working out and getting in shape is a lot harder than people think. And no I dont just mean the actual workouts, or even finding the time (which seems to be a thing I struggle with in general). But there are alot of emotional issues that I know I have that make it tough for me to be as successful as I want to be. For one, I put tremendous pressure on myself to do things as quick as possible. And everyone knows that losing weight superfast isnt the way to do it. And thankfully Ben is there to remind me of that. But then I get mad at myself when I eat something I know I shouldnt or when I miss a workout or when my numbers havent dropped as much as I want. In past situations I have just quit. I tell myself its not worth it and that its better to just focus on something I have more control over. But its different this time. Ben takes the time to listen to me and what I am struggling with, and he adjusts the program as needed. Im not saying he makes it less work or too easy. Like the other day when I was doing pull downs and was on #8 and thought I was going to die, he sure as hell made sure I made it to #12...and then #13 just to prove a point. And you know what? I was glad. I was proud I made it through. He always says "I'm not going to ask you to do anything i'm not absolutely sure you can do." And while sometimes I hate it, and desperately try to even hate him for making me do it (although I cant because he's too damn nice!), I always make it through. So what is slowing me down? Food. DAMNIT! You cursed beast! You cruel lover! You backstabbing friend! Its so unfair that something I love so much can make me feel so bad. Since I started my weight loss/get fit program, I have adjusted my food plan several times. The first time i committed to something I didnt want to admit to myself would never work for me. The next time, still being way to ambitious, I failed again. Now, I am trying to take things one day at a time. The trouble is, when I think about my food in advance, it makes me just think about food all day! So I try not to think about it and then I either dont eat or I eat wrong. This was the topic of me and Ben's conversation Monday. I feel like such a failure that I cant nail down this food problem. But thankfully Ben is there to remind me that I am not failing anything. And that I have made a lot of progress from where I first started. I told him "i just want to eat big bowls of cereal! But I know its not a good choice! I want it even more than I want a cheeseburger." To which Ben said basically to give in to the cereal craving instead of the cheeseburger. Seems so simple right? So now my homework for this week is to drink my muscle milk shake every morning, without fail. And yes, I know that is something I can do. And to make sure I am eating lunch and dinner. 
Here is the big struggle though. I need to try to find more time in my schedule for me personally. To either cook for myself, or to workout at home, or to even go food shopping. And I think we all know thats gonna be a tough one for me. I have already left one project I had picked up, but still no time has opened up. And I love working. I do. I just need to find a balance. And honestly if it werent for Bens encouragement, and for the fact that I am seeing results, I would be sunk.
So I keep trying. I will break this cycle of food addiction at some point. I just have to believe in much as Ben believes in me. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finding Time......

First I would like to start off with a letter to myself......

Dear Me,
I suck at blogging. I am not making the time I should, or want to. I need to stop letting things get in the way of it and just freaking do it.
But I still love you...I mean me.

Okay, so yeah I have been far from reliable with my blogs so far. And it makes me so mad at myself. But as I warned in my first post, I wasnt good at writing in my diary when I was younger either. I hear that the new iPad actually lets you just talk and it types for you. I need that. Then I can really multi-task. Plus I find that my best ideas come to me when I am talking to myself.
Why do I always let things get in the way? How is it that even in my 30's I cant determine what needs to be a priority? How do I still suck so bad at time management? Well one thing is I need a desk. Yes, I know that sounds lame and materialistic, but its true. As a writer I need a zone that allows me to feel right for writing. And right now since my bulb is blown in my living room tv (and I cant possibly do anything without tv....and I mean anything), I am forced to work in my bedroom. And thanks to my ginormous bed in my small bedroom the only furniture in there is the bed and the tv. And trying to write in bed isnt as psexy as it sounds. It kind of sucks actually. Its not "where the magic happens" when it comes to writing, thats for sure. So I need a desk. Somewhere that when I sit I think "this is where I write." I found one on that I like so when I have some moolah I will probably get it, if I dont spend that money on drinks for me and my friends first. Sadly for my bank account, generosity seems to flow freely from me no matter where I am sitting! But I cant complain, I have awesome friends and I love making sure everyone is having fun. Its worth it.
So, as I am writing this (in the internet cafe of my apartment building, in case you wondered) I am thinking, what the hell am I writing about again? Oh yeah, finding time.
My September column in Bmag (which hopefully you read) was about me not finding time to workout. I am doing pretty good with that I must say. And I am seeing results, which is amazing because I still eat like crap more days a week than I should. Thats the magic of my trainer though! Seriously if I followed what he said 100% of the time, I would be in kickass shape in no time. But discipline with myself is something I am still working on. You know, eating right, working out, not making out with losers, the usual stuff people are trying to change about their lives.

But as someone who considers herself somewhat ambitious, when do I think that time is actually going to arrive? Time for yourself doesnt just happen. I have realized I need to make it happen. Plan time for me like I would any other appointment. I cant tell you how great i feel when I start my day with my trainer Ben. I feel like "yes! I did at least ONE good thing for me today! Something that will pay off!" Is it easier to sleep in? Sure, but then I will still be shaped like a snowman! And I dont recall Mrs. Frosty doing any covers of Maxim.
I want to be a well-rounded person. (Not in the snowman way, in the work vs play way) But no one can do that FOR me. I have to do it myself. And if I dont start now, I will end up one of those women that looks back on her youth and says "i wish I'd taken better care of myself."
So, its September 6. One month from now I am going to revisit this topic and see what I have changed. If you have the same kind of problem of not making time for yourself, I encourage you to do the same. Take one month at a time. What can we change in the next 30 days? Keep me posted on your plans and I will cheer you on.
We can't buy back time from the past, but we can stop planning on wasting the present and future.

Monday, August 8, 2011

3..2...1...Activate Body Potential.....update

So for those who have been following my progress with my trainer Ben at Activate Body Potential, here is an update.
I will be honest, when I attempted to start this program back in June, I was being stupid. Not because the program wasnt absolutely feasible. But because I should have known with my hectic schedule being twice as nuts as usual, due to moving and vacations and taking on new clients, the timing was bad. The ability would have been there, but I can say truthfully my commitment wasnt what I needed it to be.
Though Ben was totally encouraging throughout and gave me great advice, it was like any other habit that needed to be broken. I needed to WANT it more. 

So recently after getting a bit down on myself about how I felt I was failing the program (though Ben told me I was not), I found additional inspiration in a weird place. VH1's Celebrity Rehab.
One night when I couldnt sleep because my dumb ass ate Wendy's and it made me sick, I got caught up in an episode from this season. Now, though I do drink I have fortunately never been an alcoholic. And I have never used drugs. But upon watching it I realized I had another addiction I needed to battle. A food addiction! 
I ended up watching all this season's episodes that night because I was relating so much to the people on there. There is always something in your life that causes an addiction and powers it. For me I know that stress, both work and family, were powering my food addiction. Dont get me wrong, I am not a binge eater or anything. I just have a love for food that has been stronger than my love for being in shape. I need to conquer that addiction in order to ever reach my fitness goals. 
Well once I targeted the main issue, I told Ben. He was of course so encouraging and ready to help me adjust my plan to be more suitable to my life. I cant quit the foods I love cold turkey and I was overpromising myself how much I could workout each week. I wanted quick results (as we all do) and so I wanted a high intensity plan. But i realized that by taking the intense plan but not being able to do it, I was getting less results than if I had taken the less intense plan that I could actually stick to! 
Ben has crafted a new plan for me that involves 4 workouts a week at Activate Body. We have also adjusted my eating plan to work on one goal a week. First week was eat protein every day before noon. Second was pick lunch selections from the places I eat when I am working at the museum, and stick to them. Third was drinking more water. 
And you know what? ITS WORKING! I lost about 3% body fat and the pounds I lost are all fat! 
I feel so great each day knowing that I am doing a plan I can stick to, and that its working! 
I am so thankful to have Ben as my trainer. I really suggest that if you are looking for someone to help change this part of your life, you go see him. 
Its time to Activate YOUR Body Potential!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I just found the SWEETest new makeup!

I really lucked out. I have been using Jane Iredale makeup for over 5 years now. I discovered it back when I was working at a day spa. It was my first introduction to mineral makeup and I was a big fan. But it was getting harder and harder to find Jane anywhere and it was pretty pricey. 
As luck would have it, I discovered a brand new mineral makeup line called Sweet Minerals! Created by some local ladies with a background in makeup and eyes for style, as soon as I heard about Sweet Minerals I was stoked to check it out. 
Via Twitter (thank god for Twitter!) I got in touch with Sweet Minerals and let them know I was eager to try their stuff!
I was invited by them to attend a Ladies Day Out Event at La Palapa recently where Sweet Minerals was demonstrating their products. Heather, one of the creators and a makeup artist, gave me a full face makeup application using Sweet Minerals. I loved how the makeup felt on my face, pretty much like I wasnt wearing any at all. And the color palette was stunning! So many fun and festive colors to choose from with names like Blue Hawaiian and Bubble Gum you will find your mouth watering! But dont eat them! LOL. 
Seriously I just got my own collection of Sweet Minerals, and I tried applying it myself. The shadows go on so easy and have such a nice hue to them. And the bronzer makes me feel like I just came from a weekend at the beach! Plus this makeup is totally dummy proof if you ask me. I love makeup and always have, but you can apply this even if you are a novice at "face painting". 
Sweet Minerals is only available in select places right now, so follow them on Twitter and Like their Facebook page for more info and to find out how to get yours. I promise you that you will LOVE it! 
Oh and for those who know about mineral makeup, it doesnt contain Bismuth either (the ingredient in many mineral makeups that alot of people are allergic to), and yet it still provides great coverage. 
I will DEFINITELY be having the Sweet Minerals ladies at one of my upcoming events. But dont waste any time! Order a starter kit from them! 
As you all know I dont endorse anything I dont love. And I LOVE Sweet Minerals.
Special thanks to Chrissy and Heather at Sweet Minerals for introducing me to this awesome makeup line!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Which is worse to wonder? (an excerpt from my upcoming book)

When looking back on decisions we have made, there are two types that we can possibly wish we had handled differently. Taking a chance, or not taking it. But which leaves us with a bigger sense of regret?
Its easy to say that we shouldnt regret any decision we have made if we learn from it. Or to say that you wouldnt change anything from your past because every decision you made brought you where you are today. And that changing even a fraction of the past could have you in a worse place today. That stupid butterfly thing. But since none of us can actually change the past anyway (except Marty McFly of course) it does us no harm to examine this question.
Think back on times in your life where you have held back from going after something. Maybe a job you wanted, maybe a trip you wanted to take, maybe a person you were interested in. There was something inside you that really wanted this, and wanted to go after it. But because you werent sure what the outcome would be, or potentially faced failure or rejection, you opted to let the moment pass. How do you feel now looking back? Do you feel it was the best choice? Or do you wish you had taken that chance? Even if you had known it wouldnt work out, but at least to say that you went after it, do you wish you had? I know for a fact there have been times in my past that I have looked back on and said "why didnt I just go for it? What was I so scared of?" I know it seems odd, based on my philosophies of life, that I could be scared or timid about anything. But hey, I am human, I have a desire to protect myself same as anyone. But I also believe that fear isnt a seatbelt that saves us, it's more of a straightjacket. Now true, straightjackets are usually for crazy or out of control people. So maybe that analogy sucks. Lets try another one. Maybe its like the difference between dieting and starving yourself. Starving yourself is letting fear take over and keep you from something you want. Dieting would be thinking rationally and knowing that its all about moderation. The question to ask yourself when you feel the fear to take a chance is...WHAT is it I am afraid of? (and that we address in the next chapter)
So you didnt take the chance. You held back and "starved" yourself of an opportunity for something. Possibly something amazing. But also possibly something that wouldnt have worked out. Which is a worse outcome to you? 
Well, lets take the other road. Think back to a time you took a chance, or leapt without looking, or dove into something headfirst. And that something didnt work out. Again, maybe you quit your old job to try a new one, or you went on a wild excursion, or you put your heart on the line for someone you wanted. But the new job was a bust, or the trip made you sick, or the person didnt feel the same. Now what? Do you look back and say "I shouldnt have done that" or "I wish I could go back and erase that"? Maybe you do. But think hard about what that would mean. Undoing that decision isnt really about avoiding the outcome. It says alot more about you as a person. It says to me that you only feel things are worth trying if you can dictate the outcome. Am I wrong? Now granted, getting sick on a trip is no fun, but is that really all you got out of the trip? Did you not see a new part of the world? And perhaps the new job sucked, but would you have quit the old one if you were happy there? And yes, it absolutely sucks when you like/love someone and you put all your cards on the table only to have them say "go fish". But, wouldnt it have been worse to never try and always wonder.
As with anything, these are simply my opinions and views on life. But for as many times as I have looked back on a step I took, and yes thought for a moment (or 100) that I wish I hadnt done that, I wouldnt take it back. Because while doing it differently may have ended differently, and yes perhaps maybe even better, at what cost did that come? Being someone I am not. Because the move I made was based on me, my heart, my mind, my instincts. Doing it any other way would just seem calculated and phony. You have to be true to yourself. Because those things in your life you are bringing close to you, especially in the category of love, need to know the real you. Good, bad, crazy, indifferent. Because you can only pretend to be someone else for so long. And you owe it to yourself to realize that you are exactly what someone else wants...just as you already are. 
Hell, you could make me the most decadent and gourmet chocolate cake, but guess what...I dont like chocolate. Now that doesnt mean you should change your recipe. Because there are tons of people out there who will love it just as it is.

(To be continued in "If Life is a Box of Chocolates, Making Out is a Piece of Cake" by Gina Geppi)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3...2...1....Activate Body Potential! Part 4

As part of my Activate Body Potential program, Ben took the information and designed a complete workout and eating plan specifically for me. Based on my needs, my abilities, my desired results, and my schedule. 
At our second one-on-one training session, Ben reviewed the program with me. First is my layout of working out during the week. As requested my "day off" from working out is Sunday. However there is one thing that I still need to do on Sundays. I still need to follow my eating plan and I still need to do my morning circuit. Each morning (as soon as I wake up, even before I pee or brush my teeth!) I need to do my Neural Activation Circuit. This circuit has several benefits. Not only is it jumpstarting my body for the day into fat burning mode by boosting my metabolic rate, but I find that starting the day this way helps put me on a path to make better decisions the rest of the day. A series of 7 exercises, it takes less than 10 minutes each morning to do. Come on, we can ALL do at least that much, right? Ben walked me through the circuit to make sure I understand each activity. And let me tell you (especially since my muscles were still sore from Wednesdays Boot Camp) that little bit of time really got my blood pumping! 
So Sundays, are stay on my food plan and do my Morning Neural Activation Circuit. (To save my fingers we will call that the MNAC from now on) Now on Mondays I still start the day with MNAC and follow my eating plan, but I also have my one-on-one session at Activate Body Potential (ABP) with Ben. A great way to start the week!
Tuesdays, again start with MNAC, but I have a program to follow on my own for working out. Designed by Ben of course, on Tuesdays I do my Bodyweight Circuit. This is a series of 8 different exercises, with varying reps for each, that I must do back to back with no breaks. From squats to pushups to lunges to dead lifts, all using my own bodyweight as the resistance. So no equipment needed! Ben again walked me through this entire circuit. We found one exercise was a bit straining on my neck (i had 2 discs replaced in 2006) so we subbed in another exercise instead. Again, Ben is always accommodating and about making the plan work right for me! The key to this circuit is the no breaks in between exercises part. Its an ass kicker! Now you dont have to set a hard pace for each exercise, you can do slower jumping jacks if you like for example. But trust me when I say, you want to get it done as fast as you can! Especially the damn mountain climbers! I wanted to die through those! But of course I clearly didnt die, because here I am writing about it. LOL. Oh and one more thing, the Bodyweight Circuit gets done FIVE TIMES! FIVE! So after you do the full circuit, you can rest at then end, but then you have to do it four more times! The good news is Ben said I can break it up and do 2 in the morning and 3 at night if I want. But again, I suggest banging the whole circuit out at once. Then after its done, go for a 30 minute walk. A walk never felt so good. :)
Wednesdays, are MNAC, eating on the plan, and Cardio Boot Camp Class (see Part 3 of this Blog for more info on that).
Thursdays, are just like Tuesdays. MNAC, eating on the plan, and the Bodyweight Circuit. 
Fridays, say goodbye to the term TGIF! Time for the Variable Intensity Cardio Workout. Anyone who knows me knows I run from the word cardio like I run from the term "fat-free". Its never something I look forward to. I like moving, but I prefer my cardio be something fun like dancing or....walking around the mall. But the plan Ben has for me is far more doable than any other system I have tried. (i hate treadmills and ellipticals because I get bored!) The VICW is a 23 minute workout where each minute I am varying my energy level. The activity of choice is walking/running. So for minute 1, I exert about a 3 on an energy scale of 1-10. A 3 is like a nice walking pace. But by minute 4 I am up to a 4, then minute 6 a level 6, and by minute 7 a level 8! Climbing in energy level as I go, it goes up and down through the 23 minutes. It may seem confusing but its actually great for me because its like I can walk then pick up the pace then slow down a little then back up then cool down. Keeps it interesting and keeps me from dying. 
Saturdays are MNAC, food plan and Cardio Boxing Class (stay tuned for the blog on that one coming up soon).
The eating plan for the first month is somewhat strict, but doable. A low calorie, high protein diet consisting of chicken, protein powder, cottage cheese, berries, greek yogurt, egg whites, and green or black tea. These foods are consumed everyday, and in specific proportions. However I have a list of vegetables that I can add to those foods and in unlimited quantities. Like spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, peppers and more. I also can use spices to flavor up my dishes. I can prepare the dishes different ways each meal, as long as I eat all the foods I need to each day. No cutting out! I will tell you thus far its been a little tough because it can get boring. But I also think thats a mind issue because we always want what we cant have, and I usually eat these foods each day anyway! Plus if I want something, I actually can have it! How? 
What I didnt tell you in my weekly layout is that I am allowed to have one day that I can eat what I want. I have opted to choose what day this is based on my weekly plans. So it will vary from week to week. Only rule, it cant be the SAME day I dont work out. So on my "day off" from working out, I still have to eat well. And on the day I indulge on food, I have to still workout. Makes sense when you think about it. Most people take a day off from everything, and that just makes that day that much more of a backstep in your progress!
So looking at my custom plan I am excited. Its based on me and what I need and what I can do. And Ben is there for constant support. I am sure eventually he will be sorry he told me that because I will be texting him one day at a movie theater because I am craving buttery popcorn on a day thats not my day off!
But I cant stress enough that I am a believer that this program will work for me. I am not being paid to advertise this, nor have I ever met or known anyone at ABP prior to starting this program. I encourage anyone who is looking for a way to get in shape and take control of their body to try this out. Just meet with Ben and see what you think. Thats what I did! And at this end of all this I will not only be ready to share my current fitness stats, I will even share what they were when I started!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

3...2...1....Activate Body Potential! Part 3

When Ben first told me that I was going to be attending a "Cardio Boot Camp" class each Wednesday, I was nervous. When I hear the term "Boot Camp" I immediately picture some totally intimidating instructor who will yell at me if I dont work hard enough and will keep telling me to drop and give him 20. Not to mention I envisioned I would want to die after the class.
So when Wednesday came, I was having a really busy day and had some personal drama that had put me in a mood that I could have easily said "skip boot camp, I am going for margaritas." But based on the experience so far I was having with Activate Body, I decided to push myself and go to the class. 
The class was only 6 of us plus one instructor (Ben had told me they keep their classes to only a handful of people). A mix of women of different ages and one man. The instructor was also a man. And at first glance he didnt look too scary so I knew I had made the right choice in coming.
We started with some floor exercises like plank to warm up and strengthen our core. Then a few footwork drills.
Then it was on to the first circuit. With 6 people in the class there were 6 stations set up that we would each go to for 45 seconds. I know what you are thinking....45 seconds???? But thats another thing I love about Activate Body Potential. Ben told me something on day one that I will never forget. You ever notice that marathon runners arent always really thin? But sprinters always are. Thats because runners put out 70-80% energy/effort for a long stretch of time. Whereas sprinters exert 100% energy for a short period of time. They are actually burning fat more efficiently and breaking the body's desire to store fat for survival. Genius!
So, throughout the class we did each station for 45 seconds but at full effort. Then we would rest and move to the next. And let me tell you, something that may seem as simple as doing lunges for 45 seconds, can really kick your ass if you just came off doing 5 other stations. We did the full circuit twice.
Then we started a new circuit. Same concept, 45 seconds at each then move to the next one. Each of us at a different station. (And what I love is everyone was feeling the burn the same way!! Even though it was my first class I didnt feel behind the game!) The second of course seemed way harder, especially the lateral plank walks across the rope ladder on the floor. I wanted to die! 45 seconds never seemed so long! But after 2 rounds, I made it! I was dripping with sweat, and my body was sore, but I made it! It was the best feeling!!!
Then to cool down we paired up and did a circuit of 3 more exercises. Simple and calm and again for only 45 seconds.
Then we moved to mats to complete the class with some stretches. It was the perfect way to end. The hour literally flew by!
I will tell you something, especially the ladies out there. Its easy to complain about our bodies and even make excuses why we dont have time to get in shape. But at the end of a day like my boot camp day, all that mattered was that I had pushed myself. I pushed myself to go, I pushed myself to make it through, and I pushed myself to finish. The time you take for yourself isnt about being selfish. Its about how that time can make you a better person for everyone else in your life. So the next time you have a bad day, try sweating the misery out with a good fitness class. Namely, Cardio Boot Camp! Its Wednesday nights at 6:30 at Activate Body Potential. First 3 classes are free! Come kick your own ass with me! LOL
Stay tuned for more...........