Sunday, January 30, 2011

The BEST Job in the World :)

How many people get to say that their job/career gives them the privilege to literally save lives?  This is the main reason i LOVE my career.  I teach the Boot Camp Challenge (a fitness bootcamp).  BCC is a six-week program that meets 3x per week in the wee hours of the early morning.  It is for men and women of all fitness levels and the program encompasses fitness assessments, workouts and nutritional guidance.  Every 8 weeks or so I start a new camp, with several new people.  Though many of my new recruits are excited to finally get healthy, they are frightened out of their minds to embark on such a challenge.  Well, I'm in the third week of a new camp and there is one recruit that stands out. I'm going to call her Jane. Before camp started Jane frantically contacted me to tell me that she hasn't exercised in years, told me she was nervous and hoped that she could keep up.  I reassured her that she would be okay and that I would take good care of her and I was thrilled to see Jane show up on day one.  She was timid at first, held back, a little insecure about her form and her fitness level.  I do NOT work out with my clients during my class. My class is for them.  My job is to motivate them in a positive manner, make sure they are executing the exercises properly, making certain that their form is superb and most importantly, respecting their fitness limitations.  I have elite athletes in my camp and I have brand new exercisers.  The energy of the different levels creates an amazing, non-judmental, motivational environment.  I noticed on Saturday the transformation starting to happen with Jane.  She came in to class Saturday with her held held high, dabbling in the intermediate options (challenging herself), and challenging herself to see how far she can go within her own fitness level.  I love to see this.  Jane is starting to adopt exercise habits that will last a life time and increasing her self-confidence to a level that she probably has never reached.  Jane came up to me after class to tell me how much she loves BCC and asked how to sign up for the next session. Jane has no idea the effect that has on me as a Personal Trainer.  I was so excited to know that I was helping another client to take the path to a lifetime of healthy habits! My Boot Camp Challenge classes are so much more that 3 hours of exercise per week.  They literally can change the paths of people's lives, creating a quality of life, health and happiness that my recruits never thought they could experience from a simple exercise class.  I LOVE MY JOB!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A 5k a Day Keeps the FAT Away!

As I was talking with my crazy fitness guru friend Nancy the other day, she was telling me about her workout routine and how part of it is to run 3 miles every day.  Something clicked when she said that and I thought it was a great goal!  So, since the day that Nancy totally inspired me, I decided I would run a 5k a day (3.12 miles).  One day I week I spin at The Revolution (GREAT place to workout. I highly recommend it) and the other 4 days I have decided to run a 5K along with my normal routine of weight training and elliptical/stationary bike training.  I LOVE IT!  The key is to keep the TREADMILL from being looked at as the DREADMILL.  For me, a 5k a day is doable.  Any more miles than 3.12 on a treadmill will cause me to hallucinate and fall off. I have an insane amount of energy from meeting my goal and it's making my strength training sessions better and I find myself eating and sleeping better.  My goal is a 5k a day, but everyone's goal is going to be different.  30 minutes of walking a day can also keep the fat away!  just get out and MOVE!  Setting a goal, however, is the key to fitness success!  I would recommend setting your fitness goal on Sunday for the week.  Schedule your exercise sessions in for the week and actually write them in your calendar like you would an important Dr.appointment. Set your goal week to week ONLY.  At the end of the week, if you have completed your goal, treat yourself to something like a massage, pedicure, night out with the girls or guys.  You deserve it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Closet Eater

He lurks around the house, waiting for me to be distracted with work, household chores, etc...then he strikes...grabbing the peanut butter jar and a spoon and running into a secret corner to inhale as many spoonfuls as possible in 30 seconds.  Terrific grounds for choking...I am speaking about my 9 yr old son, Anthony.  He has been diagnosed (through me of course) as an official Peanut Butter Closet Eater.  The kid can't get enough!  It has gotten so out of control that he was going through about 2 jars per week and i was finding traces of PB everywhere including on my walls.  I had to put the smack down...One PB sandwich per day and ONE spoonful per day is now the limit.  My point here is moderation.  Peanut butter is an EXCELLENT source of good fat and protein and if anyone tells you that it's unhealthy and that you shouldn't eat it, then they are simply wrong. However, two jars per week of PB is not so good for you, but neither is 7 apples per day or too much of ANY good thing.  However, there are certain types you should look for.  I would recommend staying away from the kind that has swirls of jelly or chocolate mixed in with it or your brands with lots of ingredients. When shopping for PB go for the most NATURAL types.  Check the ingredients. There should be ONE  or TWO ingredients... usually ROASTED PEANUTS and SALT.  You can buy unsalted if you choose.  I have a jar of Teddie PB sitting in front of me right now.  I love that brand.  My favorite Dietician, Mariann over at Hannaford recommended this brand and I love it!  I have it every morning on a slice of whole wheat toast before my workout. Natural PB can be a pain to store because the oil separates easily, so Mariann recommend opening the new jar and mixing the oil and peanut butter really well.  Then store it upside down in your pantry and it will stay blended.  It works like a charm!  Feeding natural peanut butter to the kids can be a hard sell though.  My kids actually eat Skippy Natural.  I consider that a compromise between the processed PB and the truly natural PB.  Remember...the LESS NUMBER OF INGREDIENTS, THE BETTER AND HEALTHIER! We all need some healthy fat in our diet and though PB has about 16 grams of fat per serving, only 2 grams of that fat is saturated.  The rest of the fat is GOOD FAT!  So enjoy a serving (2 TBSP) on a slice of whole grain toast, on an apple or banana or top your frozen yogurt with it.  It will keep you energized and satiated!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Muffin Top?

I was in the dressing room at a local fancy schmancy dress shop and my dear 6-yr old son who LOVES to shop, was with me hauling dress after dress in and out of the dressing room.  My sister, the OTHER Matron of Honor in our little sis's wedding had a baby six weeks ago, so it was voted that I had to be the bridesmaid dress model.  Lucky me...My boy was with me, zipping me up and helping me in and out of the dresses.  As I was looking in the mirror facing the horror of being 37 and in a frilly bridesmaid dress, trying to convince myself that i looked just as good as the 17 yr old giggly girls in the dressing room next to me trying on prom dresses, my son....out of NOWHERE says...."Mom, does this dress make you have a muffin top?"  HE'S SIX YEARS OLD!  i asked him if he knew what a muffin top was and he said, "yes, it's when you have a little jiggly stuff over your jeans in your belly area".  Seriously?  He said he saw it on a commercial.  Needless to say....i walked out of my first bridesmaid shopping experience feeling a little deflated and defeated.  Then i set my fitness goal for 2011.  It's not going to be to run a marathon and it's not going to be to participate in some extraordinary athletic, competetive event.  This year, my goal is to get to the gym 5x per week.  I'm keeping it simple. I will take it day to day and week to week.  Honestly, my first two weeks of the New Year were a little touch and back was out the first week and my household was plagued with strep throat on week two, so i did not meet my goal.  However, I have made it 4x this week and tomorrow will be 5.  Hooray for me!  The key here is not to look back.  Only look forward.  Life will always get in the way.  We need to be flexible with that concept while not using it as an excuse to let our health and fitness go. It is so challenging to find the happy medium and balance, but with a ton of effort, we all have it in us. I realized after years of struggling with my fitness (exercise AND nutrition), that working out and eating right  is not a temporary endeavor.  Fitness is a way of life.  As soon as I realized I was in it for the long haul, I surrendered to it and it became much less overwhelming.  What are your fitness goals for 2011?  I'd love to hear...PS...I do NOT have a muffin top.  However, the batter is on the brink of baking over, so i will continue to go to they gym to prevent any spillage :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cabin Fever Food Finds

I love my children. They are the light of my life, but if they had another day off today, I may have pulled my hair out.  There is only so much Mario Kart and Wii Wheel of Fortune we could play.  I am taking a break from Just Dance 2 because I threw my back out a few weeks ago trying to beat my score on the "sweat meter" to "It's Raining Men".  With that said, there is something about a lazy, cozy snow day at home.  Sometimes, these cozy, lazy days at home can trigger that need for "comfort food".  I knew when my hubby finally made it home from work last night, he would be cold and hungry and in need for some comfort food. However, traditional comfort food can lead to traditional fat so I came up with a great, healthy comfort food, snow day meal.  He loved it, the kids loved and I have leftovers for 3 days now!  Wooo hooo!  Here is Make It Fit Mel's recipe for Chicken Chili: 

2-3 skinless, boneless chix breast (or ground chicken)
2 cans of crushed tomatoes 
1 can of white kidney beans (rinsed)
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
1-2 packet of low sodium chili seasoning or your own seasoning (depending on your taste.
Spray the bottom of a large saucepan with Pam.  Chop your onion and pepper and sautee until soft.  Add your crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and chicken.  I used leftover chicken from the night before.  I cooked up 6 huge chicken breasts and we ate half for dinner the night before and I chopped up the rest into cubes and threw it in my chili.  Once it simmers, add the chili seasoning.  Simmer for at least an hour to maximize flavor.
Serve alone or over ONE serving of brown rice.

Cals:  Brown rice:  150 cals/serving (1 cup cooked) PS…1 cup is a lot of rice!
Cals:  Chili:  about 250 cals/cup

This is a great source of lean protein from the chicken and the beans.  You are also getting a serving or two of veggies from the green pepper and crushed tomatoes.  The beans also provide “good” carbs.

Tune in during the next snow storm for a Cabin Fever Workout!


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Waterslide Wedding

It is really almost here.  Four months and three days until the infamous Wateslide Wedding.  My baby sister is finally getting married.  The LAST one out of five of us.  Why do we call it the "Waterslide Wedding"?  Because she is getting married at the Great Escape Lodge where there is a "mac-daddy" indoor waterpark.  Anyone with kids knows exactly what I am talking about.  So, not only am I going to be a 37 and 11 month old Matron of Honor, but I may very well have to get into a bathing suit to take waterslide pictures. However, this is NOT about me.  This is about my dear, wonderful little sister's HUGE day. Let's face it though, owning a Fitness Company and teaching Boot Camp Challenge puts a certain amount of pressure and standards on me and the fact that I am expected to have a perfect physique. I'm a pretty sharp girl and I am well aware that 90% of the time when I meet someone, and they hear what I do for a living, I instantly get the "full body scan".  The eyes plummet from my face to my stomach, hips and thighs.  Then when I turn around, I feel the gaze on my tush.  Hey, I can't blame them.  If they ever consider investing in my fitness services, I need to be a positive, healthy role model and walking billboard for my company, Make It Fit, LLC.  What everyone needs to realize though is that a "positive, healthy role model" does NOT necessarily mean being rail thin or flawless.  It certainly does NOT mean spending 3 hours per day in the gym, 7 days per week and consuming under 1000 calories per day.  Being a positive, healthy role model means BALANCE and enjoying life.  It means moderation.  Moderation of exercise and eating in moderation.  Welcome to my blog.  This is my first of many entries.  I will take you through my personal workouts, menus, challenges and dress fittings to get ready for the Waterslide Wedding and I will offer you REALISTIC fitness tips, food finds, recipes, help set you up for FITNESS SUCCESS!  I would also love to hear from my readers.  Let me know what you want to hear about.  I have years of personal and professional experience to share!