Monday, December 31, 2012

Magic moments.....

I resolve to not make unrealistic promises to myself this year.....
I've always been big into starting over. In fact I've made it into my life's work.
At Goals in Motion we're all about starting over. Men and women walk through the door, unhappy with their body (and sometimes their lives) and want help "fixing" it.
The problem is that we really can't be fixed. We can be helped, but only if we've reached that moment in life where we're open to change. Sometimes that means you've reached a place where the only light is at the end of a really long tunnel of hard work and sacrifice.
Please, don't get me wrong....I'm in favor of setting goals and I'm in favor of making promises to ourselves, but you often have to reach that magic moment when you're really ready.

I haven't been sleeping well for the last few weeks and I've been trying to figure out what I'm doing to aggrevate the situation. I've changed my eating and drinking patterns. I've exercised at night and during the day. I've abandoned the computer at night in favor of time with the guys and even added a little TV time. Nothing helps, except I eventually reach a point of complete sleep deprevation and my mind allows little cat naps in the chair while stupid tv shows keep my family entertained.
Around 2:25 this morning, my internal alarm went off. My brain kicked into gear and my day began, again.... But today I decided to lay there in the darkness and think about my year. People all around my are talking about changes and starting over.
"I'm going to lose weight!"
"I'm going to get a promotion!"
"I'm going to meet the person of my dreams!"
 We're even putting a new year long maintenance challenge in place at Goals for those who want to make 2013 THEIR YEAR. People love a fresh start!
So why can't I get excited? What's wrong with me (besides the fact that I'm living on less than 4 hours of sleep a night?).
After about 30 minutes of forced calm/guided thinking, it hit..... I'm not finished with this year. I didn't accomplish what I set out to do in 2012. I had big goals for myself, my family and my business in 2012 and honestly, very few of them came to fruition.
I'm a disorganized person and I need help. (There! I've said it! Those of you who spend any length of time with me already know this but you obviously know by now that YOU knowing it is not going to "fix" ME!!). I have a hundred projects in the works and a million more ideas running through my head and it has always been my intention to accomplish all of them alone. I have never allowed myself to consider that I am not Wonder Woman, but the lack of progress this year has really sort of slapped me in the face. So...... I've made the initial contacts and asked for help. I'm not going to start another project without help or at least an accountability partner!
So..... this year, I resolve to not make unrealistic promises to myself.....
One month at a time...
January is for finishing what I've started..... my house and my office will be put in order- everything in it's place. I've even established a plan with an organizational guru (you know who you are-xoxo) to get me started
February is for purging.... this is going to mean some serious tossing. If any of you are dumpster divers and can brave the cold, there might be some sweet deals to be had!
March is for establishing systems.....  if it can't be maintained without me, it's really not going to work in my life. Systems for EVERYTHING.
April is for adding in...some of those things that I've wanted but not had time for. An hour a day to read or meditate or study.... 2 yoga classes each week~ Yoga sculpt at Goals and one hot class away from the studio to focus on myself...also a lazy day one Sunday.
May is for adjustment.... a time to tweak the last 4 months. All systems go before the school year ends.
June is for family..... we haven't escaped Ames as a family for a long time and have never really established a vacation habit.  During the early years, Jeff's work consumed him and now mine seems to do the same. Zach's entering a new phase in his life with work and commitment and Sam has just two years left at home. It's time to create a family tradition of reconnecting once a year. This year we're heading to the quiet waters of Minnesota for days of fishing, reading and sun and nights of food and gin rummy.

And so, that's where I'm going to end my goal/resolution setting for today. My hope is that as my organizational life falls into place, all of the other good things I've been waiting for will find a home in my head and my heart. I'll be sharing along the way~ I hope to see you soon.

May you find joy, peace and a smidge of what you've been searching for in 2013.....
Happy New Year

Saturday, December 8, 2012

having the best....

...job in the world is pretty awesome.

Public views of personal trainers and coaches is very glamorous. It must be amazing to work a job that makes people feel better about themselves! But it's not all about pretty people and six-pack abs. And it's certainly not all about the scale.
Most of the people who come in to Goals in Motion want to lose weight or tone. But what I've witnessed over the last few years is that as the pounds drop off and the muscle starts to appear they gain so much more....
Just this week, when I was teaching class, I noticed a couple of people who are suddenly so much more fit  and strong~ they stood out amongst a sea of hardworking bodies the other day in class...

C, V and A have broken down the barriers of negativity and self-doubt. They've lost enough weight and toned enough to be able to look in a mirror and feel beautiful again. As a coach, it's easy to see the moment they cross over... they walk in wearing fitted work clothes and they trade in baggy t-shirts for athletic wear. They pick up heavier weights and they have a focused look as they watch themselves execute lifts properly in the mirror. Off the floor, they smile freely and share ideas and encouragement with the other ladies around them.

P, M and W are men who have "caught the bug". They have a determined look as sweat flows freely down their faces and puddles beneath them as they plank. They are men who have not only changed the shape of their bodies but their way of thinking. They are active outside of Goals and as fathers they work hard to set a healthy example for their kiddos every day. Each one of them has a sparkle in their eyes that I don't remember being their on day 1.

But after we help them push back the ghosts of shame and self-loathing, many of my clients are still faced with the demons of age and disease. Many of them have to lose weight for reasons that are so much more critical than a new dress or a smaller belt....

My friends J joined Goals with his wife. I still remember the day they walked in to ask about the program. He quizzed me about supplements and powders. He didn't want to be pushed to buy anything extra. His wife was quiet and let him do the talking. It was apparent to me that he needed to convince himself he could get through the 9 weeks but it was equally apparent that he was ready to change. What I didn't know at our initial meeting was that he was a Type II diabetic. J and his wife joined the 9 week challenge and both work hard. They responded to their coaches and focused on food as much as exercise.
Below is a snippet of a couple of emails he's sent over the last 6 months...
In July.....
"My results on 3/26/12 my average daily glucose was 252 and my A1C score was 9.3. The standard A1C is 4.8-6.0
 My results on 7/16/12 my average daily glucose was 114 and my A1C score was 5.6. This is lower than it has ever been."
and just this week....
 "Hey Team - Just met with my doctor. My last med is a combo drug with 2 different active ingredients - so we are dropping one of the meds and meeting again in March. Only one left to get rid of and I will be med free."
Or there is D. She joined way back in 2010. I thought it was to just lose some of those young mom pounds (you know the ones, the "I don't have time for anything but my family and my job pounds")!! 
The following is a part of an email I received from her at the end of her challenge....

"I also found out some great news at the dr on Tues and had to share it with you. I've been a patient... for about 15 years now -- I had inappropriate tachycardia which meant that my heart often started racing without any real physical exertion or reason. I was diagnosed when I was just out of college and at the time I started medication my resting (RESTING) heart rate was 125. Its a condition that people typically outgrow by 30, but for some reason I never did. I was able to workout throughout those 15 years but always had to do so on the medication. I got better over the years and got my resting heart rate down to 105 but never much lower than that (without meds).

Well, I went for my checkup on Tuesday. She had allowed me to take the challenge without medication and see how it went. If it got to be a problem I would just start taking it again -- no big deal. (Working out on medication that suppresses your heartrate was always difficult for me and often left me light headed- and I hated it) The first week or so was hard, but I made it -- without meds. When I had my EKG on Tues, my resting heartrate was 80 without medication!! She was AMAZED and even shouted in the hallway....."
Pretty awesome stuff, huh??
These people are just a small representation of who I get to work with every day....
Are you jealous??
Lol!! You should be!! There's nothing better in the world than being reminded that what we do everyday makes a difference.

Thanks to everyone who helps me by coaching or instructing or supporting Goals. There's not any part of it I could do myself and I love you all.....

I'm very thankful that I'm able to have the best job in the world!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

a little bit of this.....

...and a little bit of that.
That's the key to surviving the next 25 days for me.

I work with people every day who feel bad when they cheat on their meal plan. During the holiday season, it's important to follow your regular routine as much as possible, but to allow yourself some occasional indulgences. We work out too hard and eat too right to always say no.....

My calendar is filled with special days and events all the way through December 31, so I thought if I put some guidelines in writing, one of you might see me out and about and keep me honest!!. If it looks like I'm not following the rules, feel free to give me "that look". Of course, I'll do the same for you!!

 Maintaining over the Holidays
1. Eat on your regular schedule all day, until you reach party time. Never save your calories- you'll arrive hungry and have a much harder time resisting unhealthy foods and drinks.
2. If you LOVE it, have some, but just a serving. Grandma's Custard Pie is my once a year downfall. I love it and I'm going to eat it, but a serving is 1/12 of the pie.
3. If you LIKE it, have some, but just a taste. Party potatoes... you know the ones- with the crispy cornflake topping? Yeah, 1 bite.
4. If you don't ever crave it, walk away. Chip dip, scalloped corn, green bean casserole... not my thing the other 11 months of the year, so why eat them now??
5. If you're contributing an appetizer or side dish, take 2~ Take one of your favorite "naughty" recipes and one new healthy recipe. You'll get to enjoy your favorite foods without facing the leftovers in the fridge AND you'll have something good to eat. I'll be taking spinach-artichoke dip with warm pita bread and a huge green salad with pomegranate seeds, clementines, celery and green onions with homemade vinaigrette on the side.
6. Have a drink, then a glass of water. Consume at "enjoy it pace" not "get it over with pace". Cabernet Sauvignon is my drink of choice when the weather is cool. I like it A LOT.  This year I am trying to switch things up. I'll be drinking Absolut Citron with Sparkling water and a splash of cranberry. It's good, but not my favorite so I'm guaranteed to not drink more that one or two. Always water with lemon and a half hour break before my second drink.
7. Offer to be the Designated Driver. When I'm not drinking, I'll have sparkling water with fresh lemon slices and a splash of cranberry. Tastes the same as above and 'tis the season.... enjoy the lights on the trees, not in your rear view mirror.
8. Don't beat yourself up. It's easy to mess up when faced with tables full of food and drinks flowing like water. If you have a bad night, don't toss the whole month down the drain. Get up bright and early, get your workout in and try to do better next time.

Here's to great friends, good times and healthy holidays!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


...change over time don't they? Both the daydreams we create in our minds and also the ones that creep into our subconscious as we drift off to sleep. It seems the outside world has more to do with them than we might think.

When I was younger and an athlete, all I could dream about was being the best. It's all I worked for and all I thought about. I surrounded myself with people who could make it happen and every night competition seemed to seep into my sleep.

I don't recall having many sleeping dreams as a teenager.... I worked too much and played too hard- once my head hit the pillow, my brain must have needed to shut down and take a break from me!!
I did however have daydreams about my future and how certain people would play a part in my life.

Once I became a young mother, all of my dreams, sleeping and otherwise, were focused on the health and well being of the boys. I remember watching them play and wondering who they would become.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night, from vivid dreams of the boys, in panic....why haven't they woken up?  why are they awake?  why didn't I hear them come home?

Eventually, I reached the dangerous "all about me stage of my life". I'm sure many of you can relate...
it's that time when you decide, I'm tired of being fat and tired and responsible for everyone and everything in my life. My daydreams turned to making myself healthy and beautiful (and sometimes to finding someone to kidnap me and take me to a magic kingdom where I wouldn't have to work or think if I didn't want to!!). My night dreams disappeared again, because I was running at 100 mph and trying to get in all the life I had missed for so many years.

So that brings me to now... I've been worried over the last few months about Goals. Don't misunderstand, everything is fine at the studio, but I always worry about being enough in an saturated industry. I've met with some of my coaches and instructors to brainstorm ways to be even better than we already are.... my daydreams are filled with possibilities and my sleep is filled with "what ifs"

Yesterday, however,  was a great day. I woke up early and felt well rested. I taught a kickboxing class the night before, in my dreams (scary huh?) and one of the sets stuck in my head- it worked like a charm. My 4:55am class was awesome. The room was full and they stepped up and worked out hard like they always do! I came home after class to eat and get some work done. When I was on Facebook posting some pictures from our Holiday 5K a friend, who is a Goals member, popped into my chat with a link about a young girl who had lost an incredible amount of weight. The story was amazing and reinforced my belief that we need more programs for kids and families who struggle with exercise and healthy eating. Suddenly my brain darted off in a different direction. My day was filled with ideas and planning. I got to workout with a new member- a fit teenager, who ROCKED the bag!! As I showed her each new punch, I thought about how awesome it would be to have more teens and families with smaller kiddos at Goals. Dinner prep involved dreams of GIM family potlucks and my sleep involved an indoor game of Hoover Ball in the kickboxing studio.

Today will be incredibly busy. I have several meetings to attend. I get to tour the new high school with my fellow school board members and the builders and I get to teach a couple of classes. I'll wrap up the night meeting with State Legislators about educational priorities before they go into session.
If you see me today and I look distracted, don't worry... in the midst of my busy day,  it's just the dream wheels turning

Monday, December 3, 2012

Out the window.....

I woke up bright and early this morning and sat down to write. Midway through my post, I started to feel crummy, so I got some tea. Didn't work the way I planned.... By 8:00 I was pretty green.
I taught at 8:45 but it wasn't anything amazing- thankfully I had a room full of experts and another instructor there working out, who offered to wrap things up when I finally threw in the towel.
I had to go back at noon, but I'd had a bit of a nap by then and felt a little better.
Another nap, and some toast, and I'm doing ok.
So my meal plan wasn't anything worth posting today and my exercise was minimal, but I got some good sleep!
I also got to watch a little afternoon TV. I try hard to avoid the television, because it's either a brain drain that sucks away precious time or it's negative and scary. Today, it was both. One of my friends, who is a long time member, texted mid-afternoon to see if I was watching a popular talk show.  They were talking about food. I clicked on only to listen to the next greatest thing in the diet world- another," __________ is killing us" diet! I couldn't even watch until commercial. "One size fits all, take something out of your diet" diets make me crazy!!!
I believe that highly processed foods are bad for everyone. I think that artificial sugars are bad for everyone. I agree that fresh fruits and vegetables and clean grains, healthy fats and lean proteins are good for everyone. I believe that food can heal you in many circumstances and I also believe that certain foods make some people sick. But each one of us is unique- each one of us has to figure out what works for us.
I've recently pulled dairy out of my diet because I've had some poor reactions. I thought I'd test the waters for a week or two without any yogurt, milk or cottage cheese. I am eating good sources of calcium and soaking up some Vitamin D in the great outdoors to make up for it until I re-introduce. I'm not ready to walk away from some great protein sources until I know for sure that they are the problem and honestly I love it soooooo much I'm hoping my hypothesis is wrong!
I know people who have trouble with eggs and others who have trouble with wheat. At Goals, we find ways to work around food intolerance so members can still get the nutrients they need to build muscle and burn fat. No cookie cutter plans around here!!
Ultimately we need to sleep well, move often, drink plenty of water and eat the foods that allow us to thrive.
Try something new, enjoy it if it supplements your life and be willing to throw it out the window if it doesn't work for you.
Let's get back at it tomorrow........... sleep tight.

Old habits....

...die hard, don't they?
Over the last 7 weeks I've struggled to establish some habits in my life.
Habits I hoped to make a permanent part of my day (in no particular order of importance)...
~ Sleep in
~ Exercise Daily
~ Drink more water
~ Organize my home and office
~ Journal Daily
~ Read
~ Establish a regular bedtime
Great goals, right? The progress report follows.....
~  I still wake up at 4:09am EVERY day.
~ If you count teaching class, then yes.
~ YES! I've learned that I can avoid my coffee cravings by drinking warm water throughout the day. I'm actually enjoying this (but I still have a daily glass of wine)
~ Fail.... I've rearranged my schedule so I have office hours and still struggle to keep up with paperwork. I find it's created time for cleaning and MORE meetings, but has had little impact on my organization.
~ Blogging was my tool initially and I thought it was going well. But then I allowed myself to worry about being "good enough" to publish it daily. I missed one day, then 2 and then another and it seemed that the late night "mind-writing" disappeared. I tried to keep a journal at home where I could get things down on paper first..... that lasted about 3 minutes until I fell asleep with a pen in my hand
~ Occasionally. I'm a power reader. If I open the book today, I'll finish by tomorrow, which doesn't lend itself to sleep or enjoyment most of the time.
~ Bedtime is better, but as with everything else, if something better comes along, my schedule doesn't matter.

So as I laid in bed, wide awake at 4:09 this morning, contemplating life, I was thinking about the habits I have successfully walked away from.....

I quit smoking in March, 2007. I started smoking when I was young. STUPID! I quit a couple dozen times over the 20 years that I smoked, twice for over 2 years (once for each baby). But, it wasn't until I was faced with a 9 hour plane ride with 20 of my son's classmates, that I decided I was done for good. Commit lozenges, a good case of jet lag and fear of discovery was all it took for me to give it up for good.

I've quit eating processed foods. My shopping cart used to be full of "just add water and a half a stick of butter" products. Creamy, tasty and easy, right? Fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, right? Good for my family, right? Even after I started down my weight loss path, I'd buy an occasional box or bag to make dinner easier. Not any more...if it gets sauced or spiced in my house, it comes from the fridge or corner spice rack. And convenient means reheating something that was cooked the day before.

I have successfully broken habits that are bad for me, so why can't I permanently create habits that are good for me? Obviously it falls into the all or nothing category. I have discovered that when it comes to permanent change I have to do more than just want it and plan it, I have to DO IT (Like the water thing).
So, instead of trying to revamp my entire life and reaching this point of re-evaluation every 9 weeks, I'm going to focus on the most important ones today and tomorrow and the next day until they become who I am again......
~ Exercise. I will move every day, in some way, starting today. 10,000 steps is the minimum but certainly not the ideal and sweat is required for it to be called exercise!!
~ Journal. When I take the time to write down my food and my thoughts, I am infinitely more successful. I will be writing here every day for a while. You'll get my food, my exercise and my thoughts all in the same place. Accountability, right?

As soon as these two fit into my life, I'll go back and get some more.....