“I’ll start eating healthier after I get back from vacation next month.”
“I’ll start going to the gym after I’ve lost a few pounds.”
“I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping this week so I’ll eat better next week.”
Do any of these sound familiar? How many times have you had a good idea for how to get to the gym, eat better, live a healthier lifestyle but found reasons to stand in your way of taking that first step?
Tell you what: The best plan is the one you start, taking that very first step.
For context, I have been working writing down sales system for TruFit. This is something I watched my predecessor do over the course of four years; this is what I’ve been doing for almost two years myself. And yet, it took me THREE MONTHS to write down what I do and how I do it so that I can teach someone else to take over that task.
What am I waiting for? Why am I dragging my feet with this? What is standing in the way of me actually taking ONE HOUR to write down something I already know how to do? WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME? Well… These are strikingly similar questions we may have asked ourselves about getting through the gym doors. Right? Or eating that first healthy meal?
At the end of talking about my issue, my amazing coach Pearla Phillips said to me, "Do not let your planning stand in the way of you starting."
Those questions above: They're really judge-y. They don’t help me take that first (or second, third, etc) step forward. Those are not questions I would ask a friend or loved one if they were having trouble taking the first step. And why wouldn’t we talk to ourselves the same way we would talk to our best friend?
When faced with procrastination, what if we tried another tactic on for size? What if we focused on seeing what the future might look like if we took that first step -- no matter where we might be in the planning process -- instead of picking apart the present moment in which we feel stuck in the first place?
Let’s create a case study in which an individual wants to start eating healthier food at lunch. She’s been saying this for a while but hasn’t figured out when she can meal plan and prep.
Here are 5 questions I might ask if I was coaching this imaginary woman:
What if our “case study” asked herself these questions? It might go a little like this:
What, right now, is one small step you can take even if your plan isn’t polished or timing isn’t great?
Make myself a salad at the salad bar.
What is the worst thing that would happen if you started today or tomorrow?
My salad could suck and feel unsatisfying and then I’d go eat a brownie.
How would you take care of that worst thing if it did happen?
Move on, I guess. Try again at the next meal and make sure there's at least something small in my lunch that I look forward to.
What is the best thing that could happen?
The salad might taste pretty good and not be as hard to make as I thought it would be and I continue on for a long time!
So, now, when will you execute this first small step?
Boiled down, what does our procrastination usually come down to?
Fear of failure.
And how bad would it ACTUALLY be if we failed? In the grand scheme, not that bad! I might argue it would even be good. Because what can we learn from failing — or envisioning the worst thing that could happen? We'd figure out how to get up, learn from the falling down and move on, one small step at a time.
I was having a conversation with a client last week about her weight loss goal. This client -- let's call her Amy -- has lost 20 pounds over this last year and wants to lose those "last five pounds" in a month, just in time for a beach vacation.
First, I'd like to point out: Amy has CLEARLY demonstrated that she can put in the work, both with exercise and nutrition, to lose weight safely and I have no doubt she can reach her goal. Girl's got skills! So why not say, "More power to you, let's do this!"?
Here's Thing One: Like me, Amy enjoys yummy food and an occasional cocktail and summer in Chicago is full of those.
Here's Thing Two: Like I said, it's summer. We're out of hibernation, being more social and therefore presented with more opportunities to accept (or decline) the offer of the aforementioned food and cocktails. And after this LONG winter we had, I personally don't want to limit my frolicking time being out and about.
Here is Thing Three (and the most important): I want Amy to set herself up for success. Success being getting to her goal feeling happy and whole, NOT feeling deprived and frustrated. You know what happens when people's diet/lifestyle regimen leave them feeling deprived and frustrated? Weight gain boomerang/depression/feeling isolated and miserable. WHO WANTS THAT?
So my first question to her was: What are you willing to do to lose just over one pound a week for the next month?
As Gary John Bishop explains in his book, Unf*k Yourself (I highly recommend the audiobook), we often lament about what we don't have, who we aren't. One example he uses is "Why aren't I rich?" His answer, posed as a series of questions, went something like this:
"Are you willing to put in the work it takes to make it to become the next [insert name of a millionaire here]?"
"Are you willing to miss major holidays with loved ones to make the extra money?"
"Are you willing to put the most important relationships in your life aside to put work first?"
"Are you willing to never have a vacation without emails and phone calls for an extended period of your life?"
Obviously for some people the answer to those questions is "yes" and that's awesome! Just as awesome as it is for people to say "no" because then it is an active and informed choice.
When it comes to fitness and aesthetic goals, we are very good at stating what we want and lamenting what we aren't. We want to lose the last five pounds; we want six-pack abs; we want to run a marathon.
What we're not so great at is asking ourselves what we're willing to do to reach those goals.
Here are some questions I asked Amy regarding her goal of losing five pounds in a month:
"Are you willing to cut back on portion sizes during all of your meals?"
"Are you willing to feel hungry for 30-60 minutes before each meal?"
"Are you willing to cut out all snacks out for the next 4 weeks?"
"Are you willing to keep alcohol consumption to maybe 1 drink per week or 1 dessert per week?"
"Are you willing to put in 4-5 workouts per week, 2 with me and 2-3 on your own?"
Like I said before, this girl's got skills. I know she CAN do all of the above. But is she WILLING.
I don't know what her decision is yet and that's frankly neither here nor there as far as this story is concerned. The point is, we often set goals for ourselves that make us feel like losers when we don't reach them. And that's sad because it doesn't have to be that way.
I want to leave you with four ways to set a goal and reach it:
1. Write down your goal and by when you'd like to reach it.
2. Break the goal down into multiple actionable steps (ex. to lose 1 lb per week I need to cut out/burn 3500 calories; to do that I will need to do x, y, z and a, b, c).
3. Put the steps into a timeline.
4. Assess your timeline and actionable steps. Can you execute your plan while still feeling happy and whole? Yes? Great! No? Can you make the goal more realistic? (ex. lose the last 5 pounds in 2 months or lose 3 pounds in one month) Can you make the actionable steps more appealing and doable? (ex. I can happily limit my summer rosé intake to 3 glasses per week rather than 1 glass per week)
Friends: Rethinking your goals and what you're willing to do to reach them (also known as taking a good, hard look at your values) does NOT make you a failure. It makes you a rockstar who might be finally freed of the shoulds and coulds and the why-am-I-nots.
(Usually) we don't reach our goals because we don't do all that we should have done to get there in the timeline we gave ourselves.
(Usually) that happens because we don't know how to break down the goal and make a plan and timeline.
And we don't know what we don't know until we know it! So take the steps above and run with them! Set yourself up for the win! Be the rockstar you are ON YOUR TERMS.
Or, as Gary John Bishop bluntly says, unf*k yourself.
Have something to say? Please leave a comment below!
Want to chat about how IzzyFit can help? Shoot me an email at email@example.com or call 312-497-8999!
Beyonce Also Has 24 Hours In Her Day: Outsourcing Life Stuff for Your Fitness' Sake
I am a woman who loves (LOVES) structure and routine. Without them I feel untethered and out of control. For example, if I don’t have laundry done, work outfits picked out and set aside for the week, breakfasts and lunches prepped/cooked/boxed up by Sunday afternoon I have a terribly difficult time sleeping through the night on Sunday and getting through the week feeling like I’m on top of it.
But that kind of structure (and I have many other examples) can also leave me feeling tied down, mentally exhausted and unable to be spontaneous (like having an unplanned dinner with friends on a weeknight or feeling bad about choosing to nap instead of writing last week’s newsletter that never went out...).
You yourself likely have 1000+ things that need to be taken care of under the umbrellas of “family” and “work” and “home”. And then there are of course the “friends” and “pets” umbrellas that we love and want to pay more attention to. And then, hopefully not lastly (though for many cases this is the case), there is the umbrella of “me”. How often is it the case that we make sure all of the other umbrellas are taken care of before we get to “me”? SO often, right? And once you get to "me", do you have extra energy to work out on your own?
What if, in this evolving world of "push a button and it's done" services like Lyfts and Task Rabbit, we could learn to outsource things that “me” really doesn’t need to do so that “me” might be able to pay more attention to the big picture items that matter: Exercise; going to the doctor when we need to; sleeping 7-8 hours a night. You know, the things that actually need to happen in order for "me" to stay healthy to properly handle all of those other umbrellas long term.
Another way to think about this is, as a business coach said to me this year: What are the $15 tasks we’re doing that are preventing us from doing the $150 tasks? What can we outsource to make time for the things that we value the most? How can we declutter our time and our minds so we have more time to play with our kids, have a date with our partners, go to the gym, get to bed at a decent time?
Here are a few ideas to get you going:
1. Laundry and dry cleaning: The first time I learned you could get your laundry done for you was from friends in NYC. What CAN’T you have done for you in New York? You can get your dirty laundry picked up and dropped off all neatly folded and ready for you to put back in your drawers and closet the very next day? Well, luckily that sort of thing isn't just for mega cities like New York! Services like Rinse and Laundry Day in the Chicago area have apps so all you have to do is hit a few buttons and voilà! It’s like magic (and can cost less than $15/week, says Laundry Day).
2. Meal prep: I’m not talking about great services like Blue Apron where you still have to make the food. I’m talking about food that’s been lovingly cooked and packaged for you in advance! No, I don't mean mass-packaged Jenny Craig or Seattle Sutton either; I’m talking about local companies who use organic and whole ingredients sans preservatives. I’ve most recently tried Evanston (and female-owned) company Green Spoon Kitchen (and am again this coming week thanks to travel!). BTW, when you use the code Izzy25 you get $25 off your first order!
3. Dog walking: So, yeah, walking your doggie can TOTALLY count toward getting steps in the day which is great. Here’s why I’m suggesting that it’s sometimes more than fine to let someone else do it for you, though: If using a service like Wag can help you get to your yoga/strength training/Zumba/class instead of having to run home to let the dog out which would cause you to miss your sweat session which would help you reach your fitness goals: Get the dog walker!
4. Cleaning your house: We all have a different tolerance when it comes to home cleanliness and that is absolutely OK. The trick is knowing what that tolerance is and what the time cost is to achieve it. The good news is there are many ways of getting help in this arena. If you have the ability to hire someone on a more regular basis (every week/two weeks/month), I might suggest asking friends for a referral. It is a pretty personal, in-your-space service, after all. But if you're not in that boat and want someone to come quickly or less regularly, check out maidsapp.com for house cleaning on-demand.
5. Grocery shopping: Some of us can grocery shop like ninjas (I like to think I’m one of them, creating my shopping list in the order that I’ll find the items at the store…Oh, boy…). But there were times I was using services like Peapod and Instacart because my then-job was so demanding I felt like my time was best used working than wasting time at the store. I have zero regrets. Another plus to getting groceries delivered, beyond time being saved: Sticking to your list! As my friend Jen reminded me the other day, using a delivery service might actually SAVE you money (and calories) if you tend to wander away from your list.
6. Yard work: Some people LOVE pulling weeds, mowing the lawn and raking leaves but if you are not one of these people and you don’t want to commit to a regular landscaping service, you can use a company like Lawn Love. Just like so many new companies (some of which I’ve just mentioned above), you can download an app on your phone, get a quick quote and order a service to be rendered at a scheduled time. (Lawn Love also does snow removal and gutter cleaning, among other things.)
7. Your fitness: Nope, I'm not telling you to hire someone else to do the exercising FOR you but you can certainly outsource the programming! Ways to do this: Hire a trainer (hello!); join a group class facility (think Zumba, strength training, yoga; download the MindBody app to find classes near you); find an already-made program you can follow on your own at a gym; start a Couch to 5k program.
So, OK, we might still not at a Beyonce level of outsourcing but: Did this job the brain a bit about how to possibly take things off your plate that suck time and energy out of your life that could be spent doing things that actually make you healthier? I hope so.
And I want to know: What are some ways YOU'RE delegating life things? Leave a comment!
Holiday parties: I'm averaging 2 per weekend and that's only because I can't go to the 5 others happening the same day. I have a feeling many of you might be going to a whole lot, too. Thanks to my friend Brady's suggestion, I'm going to give you 5 easy ways you can go to those parties, have your cake, eat it and feel good about yourself in the morning, too.
1. Don't restrict your options*. If you walk into a party telling yourself that you will only eat vegetables and only drink water, you may be setting yourself up for failure. If you're a moderator at heart (like I am), don't restrict your OPTIONS; work on your PORTIONS instead. Decide: How many times will you fill your plate with food? How many glasses of wine will you have at this party? Give your portions pre-determined limits, not your options.
*Now, if you're an ABSTAINER at heart, I'm actually going to suggest you DO set pre-determined boundaries in terms of options if you know that can work for you. What do you know is going to be a trigger food? Or trigger drink? What will you be happy (or satisfied) eliminating from this party?
Not sure if you live in the moderator or abstainer camp? Read this nifty article my client Leslie shared with me.
2. "Let's do a lap before we commit to a location." Scan the room for places you can hang out and stand that isn't close to the bar or to the food. Every time I either host or attend a cocktail party where we gather around the food, I find myself picking at EVERYTHING whether I'm hungry or not. One easy way to take care of that little bit of busienss is to simply hang out away from the food and beverages!
3. Be more interested than interesting. What I mean by this is: Engage in conversation with those around you! Be present! If you're at a friend's party, GREAT! You'll likely already have things to talk about. If you're at someone else's work party or don't happen to know many people, that's great, too, because you get to ask them lots of questions rather than hiding behind that gigantic wine glass! If you're talking to someone, ask what they're doing for the holidays or for New Year's Eve. Ask if they took any good trips this past year. Ask about their favorite show or how they're connected to the host of the party. Let the conversations fly!
4. Work out before you go. Do you ever notice that when you give yourself a really good workout, you're don't feel like indulging quite as much? Great! Get your sweat on, feel like the king or queen of the world and look forward to party you get to attend. (And if you're looking for a quick circuit to do, TruFit just posted this doozy!)
5. Treat this night like it's any other night.** As we established at the beginning, you may be going to multiple shindigs this holiday season. Which means there isn't a shortage of events. Which means we don't have to treat it like the last party on earth. So why would we treat it any differently than another night at home (keep in mind I'm not talking about attire here, haha)? How many glasses of wine would you have at home? How many times would you make yourself another plate of food at home? Will this be the last time you ever eat a pig in a blanket?
**Now, if the event is particularly epic in some way (if it's being hosted in an amazing restaurant you wouldn't otherwise go to, for example) or you are only going to one holiday event, then I say do it up! Have fun! Don't be strict with yourself! Eat those pigs in blankets! You do you. It's when the "special" events actually become once/twice/three-times-a-week events that treating them like they're the last parties we ever go to can get us into a heap of trouble.
So, here's the bottom line: Put yourself in a position where you will have fun not just the night of the party but also in a position where you'll feel great the following day. Go at your own pace and do pace yourself. And, now, go get 'em, tiger!
The season of giving gifts is among us, friends! And if you’re like me, you’re starting to realize that said gifts should probably be gotten soon… Hmm… Need a few fitness-related ideas for some friends and family members in your life? I’ve got you covered! (And if YOU’RE the one hoping for a fitness-related gift, here’s a list to help you drop some hints!)
PSA: Getting someone the gift of personal training sessions or a gym membership can really only work if the receiver has communicated precisely that they’d like personal training sessions or a gym membership. Just like you never ask someone if they’re pregnant, you don’t assume someone wants the gift of fitness. That being said, sometimes friends mention they’d like to get BACK to the gym, or that they’d like to work out more often. I find that something as small as a new workout shirt or if Taylor Swift has come out with a new album, I suddenly have more energy to train!
So with that in mind, here are a few of my favorite “this gets me to the gym” items that are easy to give to your activity-craving loved one!
1. Fun shirts. My client Caroline is the QUEEN of fun training shirts. They can help you feel sassy, awake, fun and ready to take on the weights. A few great places to try: Chinup Apparel, LookHuman.com, Active Apparel.
2. Music. Lots of it. While, yes, I do love training to the new Taylor Swift album, I also love lifting to Rage Against the Machine. And sometimes I cool down to my favorite Nigel Kennedy violin playing. So someone like me who has eclectic tastes in music loves the fact that she can get almost any music on demand from my Apple Music subscription. Other similar programs for your music-loving friends who no longer buy CDs: Amazon Prime Music Unlimited, Spotify Premium. (Gifting a year’s subscription is possible with each)
3. Speaking of music, let’s talk about wireless headphones! Give the gift of the freedom to roam from your music player! Here are a few awesome options, all with different options: Beats3 Wireless Earphones (I have these, though I wish I’d gotten them in brick red!); SoundPEATS in-ear buds; Mpow bluetooth headphones.
4. Classes all over the world! For friends who are frequent travelers or for the friend who tells you they want to be more active but don’t know what they’d like to do, gift them a ClassPass membership! With ClassPass, your get to explore all kinds of different fitness classes, both in person and on-line. It takes the pressure off of having to pick one thing and getting stuck with it. Classes range from Barre to bootcamp, boxing to Pilates.
5. A ring holder from RingHero! My wonderful client Lynn gave me one of these and it’s so beyond helpful to keep your beautiful bling safe from getting destroyed or lost. Plus it’s a small woman-owned company which I think is pretty cool.
6. Post-exercise goodness! When you exercise hard you have to recover even harder! This can be in the form of sleep, hot baths, massages, water consumption, eating nutrient-dense foods. There are a few ideas right there! So if you’d like to go the pampering route with your gift, here are my super favs:
Silk eye mask!
Epsom bath salts!
A water bottle with a lot of personality!
Healthy meal kits!
I could go on and on but hopefully this gives you some ideas for what to get me your friend or family member (or yourself)!
(And, you know, if your loved one HAS expressed wanting personal training as a gift, I’d be happy to talk about some options!)
Well, Christmas commercials are playing on TV so I guess that means Holiday Season is upon us! Like clockwork this seems to become a time we tend to “forget” our health and wellness goals thanks to things like making sure we’ve bought all of the kids’ gifts, planned out the travel logistics, working overtime to make up for missed work, going to holiday party after holiday party, etc… Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, though, so I thought now would be a good time to talk about that pesky thing we say we need above all else while tossing it out the window in the same breath around this time of the year: Self Care.
“Holiday survival” is a huge buzz phrase, as if the holidays put us in grave danger, as if they put us in situations completely out of our control.
Assuming none of us actually ARE in life-or-death situations nearing the holidays, what if we turned the whole “holiday survival” thing on its head? What if we recognized we actually DO have control over our health during the holidays? What if there was something simple we could do to remind ourselves that — no matter how chaotic or stressful or fun or sad or enter-the-strong-emotion-here — we deserve to continue taking care of our personal health needs?
The exercise that I’m sharing with you today (which I’ve modified from The Beck Diet Solution) works to keep your goals top of mind to help you make the best decisions for you as the holidays march onward. This isn’t just about weight loss. Your goal could be to maintain your weight; it could be to not use food and alcohol as a coping mechanism; it could be to work out 2x/week for 8 out of the next 10 weeks; it could be to spend 10 minutes a day for You Time. They can be short-term goals or long-term. You get the picture :)
Ok. Here’s how this exercise works:
You can literally take out these notecards or your note app and read this list/manifesto one to a few times a day (when you’re brushing your teeth, when you leave work, when you’re tempted to have another snack or tempted to skip your workout, etc). There’s something about writing down ALL of the thoughts that have been running through your head and reading them that can make all of the difference.
By writing thoughts down, you’re declaring something.
By reading your declaration, you get to remember the big picture at a time when you might feel like you’re losing your mind ;)
The holidays aren’t something to be SURVIVED, friends! They’re something to be ENJOYED. So let’s start now!
[*I say rosé because it was SUCH a theme this summer, rosé was seemingly everywhere. But drinking might not be your thing. So treat “rosé” as a metaphor for whatever summer treat you may have chosen to thoroughly enjoy that you may, for whatever reason, want to step away from… Hope this helps!]
I am writing this ON Labor Day, at the Soho House rooftop, sipping on my almond milk late and water while 80% of the other people up here are drinking rosé like it’s going out of style (at 11:30AM). And I mean, good grief, rosé was all the rage this summer, it was everywhere! And now, everyone’s saying goodbye in ritualistic ways as the fall settles in.
So of course I’m using rosé as my one example but I could just as easily use ice cream or hot dogs or whatever other summer goodies we embrace when the warm weather finally comes. But as the leaves change color, in come the Pinot Noir and Pumpkin Spice Everything and Halloween candy. And when the trees go bare we get excited for Cabernet and potatoes and bread and pasta. We replace one thing with another.
If you follow or have worked with me before, you know I’m not an elimination girl. Total elimination of a food or drink usually completely backfires (obviously we’re not talking about addiction here)! That being said, though, we do need to be honest with ourselves: We often might *think* we’re only enjoying seasonal goodies here and there because they’re “special” and “unavailable” the rest of the year. But we completely lose sight that the “here-ing and there-ing” of treats year-round can actually add to the waistline over time.
If you’re ready to move forward with fall with a bit less of the “rosé”, here are 5 ways to start easing out the habit you’ve created:
The above tips are just a handful to get you started. There are so many other ways to start cutting back on those beverages and foods that are getting you further away from your health and fitness goals. Hopefully these 5 tips above help spark some ideas of your own! If you've successfully cut back/quit some bad habits, how did YOU do it? Feel free to share in the comments!
It's CleanSlate28 time again! If you've been feeling the need for some support with your nutrition habits, check out how CleanSlate28 can help you.
Please feel free to call or email me with any questions. Signups are happening now. The Fall edition kicks off September 25 and ends October 22. Sign up here!
Feeling a Little "Off" In These "Off" Times? Here's What To Do (or at least a start...)
A few months ago I wrote a piece about how to avoid stress-induced heart attack during election season. So I think it’s logical that I do a follow up this week and make a few tweaks to the tactics I listed.
I’ve been noticing that all around me things are a little “off”. People are snippy and agitated; tired and unable to focus. Drivers are driving like jerks. I know I live in a major city but people seem to be making even less eye contact with each other on the street. We’re in a collective fog.
It’s been a whirlwind week with nonstop STUFF from the inauguration to the Women’s March to newsfeeds we can't keep up with. No matter what side you’re on, you’re likely experiencing Breaking News-itis, an overdose of all sorts of media, a strain in some friend and family relationships if you’re talking about current events, and likely some kind of reaction over the unknown.
Now, obviously I’m not a mental health professional, I’m not a doctor (and if you’re really battling some stuff, you can find help here). But I do know that chronic stress and anxiety will not help your body feel good at all. So while we figure out a way to be good, productive members of society, let’s work on how to be good, productive AND healthy (because, let’s face it: If you’re not feeling good, how productive can you really be?).
Here are some ways we can combat the negative effects of What’s Happening RightNowAllTheTime:
1. Set your limits. How much time have you been spending in front of the news and your Facebook feed? How much do your friends, family members, coworkers talk about politics day to day? A lot? I thought so. Here are a few ways to combat your exposure:
6. Shut it down. If Facebook or Instagram are making you ultra stressed out these days, take a break. You can get your news elsewhere without all of the highly-charged editorials. Shut it down. If you can’t bear the thought of unplugging, here are a few things you can do:
As a girl who a few months ago knew nothing much about the Cubs except that I know where Wrigley Field is, I’ve been incredibly inspired by their modern story. The more I learn about the most “cursed” team in baseball, the more I realize that you can make direct parallels about how they went from the Lovable Losers to World Series contenders to how individuals can reach their fitness and weight loss goals. In both cases, they’re stories about seeking out advice, guidance and coaching; gradually collecting more and more wins between losses; and about believing in consistency and staying the course to ultimately reach the end goal and sustain it.
The Ricketts family bought the Cubs from the Tribune company in 2009. As soon as the Rickettses took over, the Cubs started losing more and more games over the years. But the family had crafted a solid, multi-year plan. They met with some of the smartest individuals in the baseball world to learn what steps they needed to take to build their dream team: Who were the best people to fill in their management and leadership positions? Who should they draft onto the team? Who should they trade and who needs to go? Eventually, the Ricketts family decided to create a super young team recruited from the farm system. They brought on Theo Epstein to be president of baseball operations and then, when he was available, Joe Maddon as manager. Eventually, to cap it all off, the Cubs brought on star pitcher Jon Lester. And from the Losable Losers they bought in 2009, the Cubs are currently in the World Series in 2016. These steps were not accidental. They were rigorously plotted out, a plan was set and all the players in the game knew what to do.
So what do the Cubs have to do with reaching our goals?
EVERYTHING. Here’s what I mean:
It may be a very long time until I talk about major league sports again. But I couldn’t let this go. The Cubs’ modern story seems so other-worldly but when you break it down, it could be any one of our own.
And with that, I will leave you with two words: GO CUBS!
I ***HATED*** PE throughout school. Instead of going to PE, I did my best to find a way to go to the nurse’s office because of a headache/cramps/hangnail/somemadeupreason (and once I actually DID fall down the stairs on my way to the nurse in high school — fell hard… Karma). I managed to miss every single swim class we had in high school because I wasn’t comfortable in a bathing suit and hate being under water; the mile test was the WORST day of the year because I ran about a 12-minute mile while the kids that smoked a pack of cigarettes a day could somehow run it in 6; rugby was the only sport I contributed any points to because, since you pass the ball back vs forwards, no one ever realized I had the ball.
But then, in 11th grade, a new world of PE classes became available to take for credit. I could choose from such classes as Rock Climbing, Adventure Learning, Lifeguard Training, Sea Kayaking, Fitness Training, Yoga and — my two personal favorites — Dance and Stretching & Relaxation. I took those two favorite classes junior year and then somehow I managed to talk my teacher into letting me co-teach those classes senior year. I didn’t know it then but that was my introduction to coaching (so thank you, Ms Simpkin, for that). And the great thing was: It taught me that I didn’t need to hate exercise.
Here the thing: In traditional PE classes, you don’t get much of a choice when it comes to what exercise is. We all kind of learn that the important things to know are how to run a mile and that the more sit-ups and pushups you can do in a minute the better, and that it really sucks being picked last on a team. (And it’s really embarrassing when you fall on top of your PE teacher during the tumbling class in front of everyone…)
Why do I bring this up? Because too often I hear people say, “I don’t like exercising but I know I need to.”
Sound familiar? If so, you might have experienced the dread I felt in PE classes. You might not have been in an environment that made you feel like you were a part of a community of peers made up of different fitness levels that could work together; you were probably not in a place where you believe you could excel and feel competent even if you weren’t “good” at first; or in a place that even gave you a choice to do certain sports over others.
So why on earth would we put ourselves in a position to relive the dread of high school PE in adulthood? When a potential client contacts me, I know that they might have been thinking about contacting someone for a long time. Taking the step to finally make that contact is brave, it takes guts, it puts them in a vulnerable position and I absolutely do not take that for granted because I know that client put herself/himself in that position because they need HELP.
If you’ve read this far, thank you because I’m finally getting to the point. You or someone you know, reading this now, might be in the “I hate working out but know I have to” position. What I want to ask you is:
Listen: It’s 2016 and almost anything is an exercise class now so I feel confident there’s something out there for you. It might be Zumba or Bollywood dancing; it might be martial arts, tap dancing or training for strong(wo)man competitions; it might be aerial arts or pole dancing (not at all kidding); it could be hoola-hooping (also not kidding) or tennis. It might even be strength training with me or any of my colleagues at TruFit, wink wink!
Here are a few ways to find options that might be right for you:
The MindBody App
Your local park district (if you have one)
Your local YMCA
Me! If you’re looking for something and can’t find it, email me! I’ll do my best to find what you’re looking for.
Here is the bottom line: There really is something for everyone. Disliking pushups or running a mile doesn’t make you suck (Usain Bolt has never run a mile; he doesn’t suck). You’re just on the verge of finding what might lead you to a more full, happy and healthy life! So get after it!
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