Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Take Control Now (8)

The Take Control Now program isn't about hitting a number. It's about finding out who you are and what you want. When you take the time to work on yourself, the answers to those questions fall into place and, as a result, you'll love the way you look and feel. 

For your last assignment, I've included an article that lists the 10 ways successful people spend their time after work. Read it and take note on which ones really resonate with you. Then journal all the ways you spend your free time and for each one ask yourself, "Is this a productive way to spend my time?" If not, write down a better way you plan to spend your time. 

Create the best version of you. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you. Recognize when you're falling into old patterns by being self-aware and honest with yourself. Use your journal to understand where you're at and determine where you want to go. Map out exactly how you're going to get there, allowing for obstacles along the way. 

Every day brings a new opportunity to create the person you ultimately want to be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Take Control Now (7)

The gym can and should be a place to release stress and build muscle and confidence. 
A personal trainer can be a great teacher and resource if you want to reach your goals faster and without injury.

Ideally a new member should come into a gym and, if they have any doubts on how to work the equipment, have a personal trainer provided to them for one orientation session where they can have all of their questions answered. They should leave that session with a basic understanding of how equipment for major muscle groups work and, if they ask, should have the information such as sets, reps and weight for each machine used, written down for them. That is where an orientation begins and ends. If a trainer is ignoring your request to learn the machines you ask about, make very clear that you will end the session and you will ask the PT manager for another trainer to do the orientation because your needs were not met during this one. On the other hand, if you feel confident about your knowledge of machines and would like to spend your free hour with your trainer learning new things, let them know this during your phone conversation and most trainers are happy to oblige.

The first few minutes with your personal trainer you should expect to be asked a series of questions, sometimes personal. Keep in mind that this is for your safety. See if your trainer is using this information to make you feel bad about yourself in order to pressure you to purchase training sessions or if they are writing down your replies and asking more questions in response to your answer. An effective trainer will listen to you and address your questions and concerns with patience, as well as instruct you throughout your hour together.  Your trainer should not get defensive when you ask why you are doing a particular exercise. He/she should have no problem explaining what areas the exercise is working and why he/she chose it for you. 

I often hear that the trainer assigned to their orientation did not listen to them. They tell them they want to learn machines so they can work out independently with confidence yet the trainer insists on turning their free hour into a training session with him/her hoping to sell them a training package at the end of it. I am always baffled by this. Why would someone hire a trainer that doesn't listen to them? Now, from a trainer's point of view, I will tell you that it is frustrating putting new clients on machines for an hour when you know you can be doing so much more with them. That is why when I did orientations, I listened, put people on the machines for the major muscle groups, wrote the information down, and, towards the end, would show them some of the equipment and areas of the gym I use with clients who buy training time with me. A sales pitch at the end of the hour should be expected. What should not be expected or tolerated is refusal to help you learn machines in the gym. That is what the orientation is for. 

If your orientation went well and you are comfortable with your trainer, you may decide to continue with him/her. Train with them as often as you feel you need to or as much as your budget allows, even if that's once a week or even once a month. You should still be coming to the gym on your own outside of training sessions. You can practice the exercises your trainer taught you, try a class, or try out different cardio machines. If you have questions regarding machines or exercises you've never tried before, ask your trainer before attempting them and make sure you fully understand them before trying them on your own. Not doing so could lead to injury. 

I've included an article from Prevention magazine which lists five things to discuss with your new personal trainer. It is important to remember that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you during that first meeting. You should feel comfortable with your trainer, not intimidated. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Take Control Now (6)

Everyone hits a point where we lose our motivation. When it happens in fitness, it has the potential to undo the results of all the hard work you've put in for so long. That's why it's important to understand why we no longer feel enthusiastic about working out and find a way to get motivated again

You will need to reference your daily journal and look for patterns you are unknowingly getting caught up in. These could be days, weeks, or months long. Try to get a grasp on why this is happening before attempting to figure out how to solve it. You will need to be honest with yourself to identify the problem

The article I included lists 10 types of demotivation and the strategies that will help you get motivated again. I found this to be a very interesting read which can be applied to all areas of life. 

Read through it carefully and completely and see how many types you relate to.
Journal why they resonated with you. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Take Control Now (5)

I hope you had fun this past week trying new and fun ways to stay fit. 
And I hope you journaled all of your feelings about it too. We will be referencing all of your journal posts later. 

Now it is time to get out of your comfort zone! 

The article I've included today includes 5 strategies to help you leave your exercise comfort zone. 

Why leave a comfort zone? Because staying where you're comfortable will eventually lead to boredom, decreased motivation and a plateau. So challenge yourself and journal your feelings.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Take Control Now (4)

Now that you have gotten to know yourself better and learned how to make the most of the time available to you, it's time to discover what you love to do
The article I've included today entitled, "Find Your Fitness Passion" includes five guiding questions and a downloadable flowchart which will help you discover what your true fitness passions might be.
For this assignment, I want you to clear your mind of traditional exercise: treadmills, ellipticals, steppers or any other machine found at a gym, if you are not a fan of classes get that out of your mind too. 
I want you to think of ways you like to be active. Here are a few you may find interesting: dancing, swimming, karate, climbing (outside or indoors at a rock gym), boxing, tennis, ice skating, roller skating, inline skating, trampolines. You can also join a team sport like soccer, softball, or get a few friends together once a week and enjoy a fun game of kickball. There is so much to choose from.
Of course, if you enjoy your time at the gym, stay there and do what you love most. Maybe you love resistance bands or BOSU or exercises on the stability ball. Maybe there's a class you love you just haven't found the time to do it. 
This week make it a point to go and do the things you love and miss doing. The exercises that made you feel strong and confident. 

For now, I want you to stay where you're comfortable, doing the things you enjoy.

Afterwards, write in your journal what you did and how it made you feel. It's important to assess how you feel because sometimes what brought you joy in the past doesn't anymore. If it brings you the same joy, then write that down too. Was it more challenging than you remember? Are you looking forward to doing it again? 
As always, be honest with yourself. It's ok to move on to new things. And it's ok to stay where you feel comfortable. Everyone's fitness passion is different. Some change, some stay the same. Where do you fit in?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Take Control Now (3)

Today's post is all about how to manage your time effectively so that you are more productive throughout the day.
By now we may have had a day or two where we were not able to fit in our "me time" and keep up with our daily journal. Even though we have it scheduled in our calendar, there are days when we just can't fit it in. 
Why does this happen? 
What is eating up all of our time? 
I love this article but dislike the title because I am not fond of the word "lazy." I prefer to say this article will help you be more productive with the time you have.
Check out the five expert tips and apply them to your daily and weekly schedules. 

*The assignments after this one will only be successful if you have the time to put into them and are honest with yourself about how you feel after completing them. This is why the first three assignments are so important*


Friday, March 4, 2016

Take Control Now (2)

For your second assignment, you're going to dig a little deeper with your journal entries and delve into the feelings you write about. What situations or people are causing you to feel anger, sadness, or happiness? It's time to explore the source of your emotions and understand why you feel the way you do. 
Take your time and be honest with yourself. 

Once you feel you have a good grasp on the causes of these feelings, it's time to work on controlling them. 

Attached to this post is an article entitled "5 Ways to Get Your Unwanted Emotions Under Control." Scroll down to the bottom of the article and read the 5 steps to help you regulate your emotions
"This 5-step approach is one that you can readily adapt to the most characteristic situations that cause you trouble. Knowing your emotional triggers can help you avoid the problems in the first place. Being able to alter your thoughts and reactions will build your confidence in your own ability to cope. With practice, you’ll be able to turn negatives into positives, and, each time, gain emotional fulfillment." 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Take Control Now (1)

March is here. Year after year working as a personal trainer, this month has always been my busiest. I've met so many motivated people anxious to get started on a training program to get them to where they want to be both physically and mentally. It's a great time of year to get started. The weather is warming up, people are venturing outside of their homes and becoming more social, and it's great to feel the sun shining on us again. These feelings inspire us to be more active, try new things, and that results in us feeling even more excited. This excitement is a wonderful emotion but it doesn't last forever. When the feeling isn't new and fun anymore, a lot of the activities that were a result of that emotion tend to fall away.
What I've been trying to get a handle on for some time now is why some people quit activities that used to bring them so much joy. Or why they quit searching for activities to bring them joy. What happens? 

I believe I've found the answer and I'm going to apply it in the Take Control Now program. Here I will teach you how to listen to yourself and by doing so it will allow you to figure out exactly what you need to keep yourself motivated and inspired in all facets of life, not just fitness. 
You will be given assignments and these assignments will all work together to make you more in touch with who you are and what you truly want. 

Your first assignment is to start a private journal. It can be online or in a notebook using pencil and paper. At the end of the day, write how you felt throughout the day. You can go into as much or as little detail as you want. Afterwards, just breathe. In the nose and out of the mouth. 
This time is a gift to yourself. To make sure you give yourself this gift at the end of each day, I want you to write or type into your personal calendar "journal," "breathe," "me time," whatever words will most inspire you to take this time for yourself. You schedule time for everyone else's needs. Now it's time to schedule time for yours. 

For most of us, our daily lives are so busy that we have become slaves to our to-do list. So when our to-do list says we should "workout" or "start diet," we don't know where to begin. A hot trend or what a friend suggests is working for him or her is usually what we try first. We have lost touch with what activities bring us joy or excitement. We are so busy listening to external voices that we have forgotten to listen to our own. By acknowledging and working through our feelings every day, we are now beginning to listen to ourselves again and this will bring about true and lasting change.

I have included a TED Talk featuring Shonda Rhimes, television writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. It's about 15 minutes and I encourage you to listen to the whole thing. You'll see that even "titans" have moments of doubt, break their stride and feel defeated. But more importantly you'll learn what she does to get back what she's lost. And it's so simple.

A quick note about this program before I wrap up this post. Take Control Now was created to help you understand yourself better. As you begin to understand why you are doing the things you do, you will have more control over your decisions, your time, and your emotions. These are all very important components to living a happy and fulfilled life. This is going to take time. This is not a quick fix. However, if you are currently doing a 21 day fix or other such diet or exercise program, you can do this too. While I'm not a fan of quick fixes, I understand that they are helpful in some situations. Do you whatever you feel is best for you.

If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them on this blog and I will get back to you as soon as I can. If you don't wish to leave your name, you have the option to leave them anonymously.

I wish you strength and courage to move forward and create the best version of yourself.