Monday, September 28, 2009

Week # 1: To Do List & Sample Test Results

Good morning!

Well as I talked about last time, I will be posting every Monday my To Do list of my study plan for my personal training materials. So let’s get to doing that.

Week #1: Sept 28th- Oct 4th : Introduction
• Take sample multiple choice test
• Manual – Pages xi-xv & 490-507 (Forward and Introduction)
• Workbook – Pages 3-5 & 153-157 (Introduction & Appendix A)
• Master the Manual – Page 125 (Appendix A)

Ok so I’m a little ahead of schedule because yesterday I took the sample test. I decided to do that since my partner G was at work so I was home alone and knew that would cut down on the distractions so I could focus. G is really being supportive about me taking this on and I’m really excited because she said she will help by reviewing the information with me. Maybe I’ll be able to convince her to let me practice some of the practical skills on her too…I think I’m going to have to try a bit to convince her on that one though.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that I scored a 67% on the sample test. So normally a 67% would make me disappointed but I am actually pretty happy with that considering I was expecting to completely bomb since I know a lot of the material I’m going to cover is stuff I have never had formal training in. When I went back and reviewed the questions I did miss I was happy to see that most of them were ones where I had debated between the correct answer and the one I had chosen. Considering you only need to get 500 out of 800 (63%) to pass the real test I was pretty excited to see that I scored a higher percentage than that before I even have studied. Now the real test has more questions and also includes 2 written scenarios compared to the sample test I took yesterday. I will do a sample written scenario during the review period of my studying but they suggest you don’t attempt it until you have completed studying.

Something I realized after taking the test is that I’m going to have to brush up on my basic math skills because there are some questions where I will need to use math. I’m not too worried about it because I was always very good in math. I got all of the questions that required math correct but those questions did slow me down a bit. It did not surprise me since I have been allowed to use a calculator since about 8th grade. So, I’m going to work on doing basic math without a calculator so I don’t waste time during the test. I had 72 minutes for the sample test, which I timed and I finished with about 10 mins left to review my answers. I would like more of a buffer for checking answers so I know reviewing my math skills are going to increase my available time. I think I’m going to start doing my “Brain Age” game on my DS since there are sections on the basic math to start and then see what other strategies I can use to increase my speed.

Alright, I need to get to my workout for the morning before I head into work. Have a great Monday everyone!

Quote of the Day:

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Special Delivery

Happy Saturday everyone!

So yesterday afternoon I got a special delivery. That’s right people, the training materials that I ordered for my Personal Training Certification arrived. Only took a few days to get here, which always makes me a happy camper cause I so hate waiting for things to get shipped to me. Guess that’s why I prefer shopping in a store instead of online. Oh wait, what does that say about me….instant gratification seeker? Yeah, likely true. Although, since starting my journey to better health I have learned that life just doesn’t work that way. Seems to me that the important things in life seem to require time and hard work.

Alright, so back to business. So I ripped into the box as soon as I got it home so I could see that everything that I ordered was in there. Which thankfully it all was. Let me give you the break down of what I got:

• Personal Trainer Manual
• Study Guide
• Master the Manual Workbook
• Audio CD that covers all the chapters
• Flashcards for all the chapters
• Anatomy textbook with CD
• Anatomy DVD
• 12 & 20 week study plans
• Product catalog & a couple brochures for Continuing Education materials
• Advertisement for a Conference they are holding in November

So my first impressions of the materials when I saw them was that they were professional looking and well organized. I flipped through the Manual and other books and I like how they have them organized and feel like that will help me learn the material.

I have made the choice to go with the 20 week study plan. First, because some of this is going to be completely new to me (ie. Anatomy). Second, because with all the other things I have going on with my life I want to be able to dedicate the time needed without totally getting myself overwhelmed. And third, my personal time line for my goal of getting certified is by the end of May. Which with the 20 week program I still will be far ahead of that time line.

So this morning after I got my normal morning routine done, ( breakfast, cardio & strength training, and some facebook addictions out of the way) I sat down and reviewed the 20 week study plan. I wrote out a To Do list for every week starting this Monday through week 19. Week 20 will be a review week. So if all goes according to plan I will be ready to take the test in mid-Feburary. There is only 2 weeks in the schedule I’m a little concerned about because the amount of material to be covered seems like a whole lot but I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to learn the material. Hell if I need to I’ll just extend those weeks if I need to. I’m really excited about the fact that I’m going to get to go at my own pace. I always struggled when I was in college in a classroom because you were forced to go the same pace everyone else did. I would get bored out of my mind cause I was normally ready to move forward sooner than the professor was. Probably the reason that I was normally the class clown cause I was always bored.

In addition to studying ,some time during these 20 weeks I’m going to have to get CPR/AED certified since it is required to be able to take the test. I already contacted our campus police officer who does training here about trying to get that set up, but I need to find a couple more staff members that want to do it with me before he can do the training. If, for some reason I can’t find others I do have the option of going off campus to get it done. My hope is to do it here on campus cause as a staff member I don’t have to pay for the training since it is viewed as professional development. Ah the benefits of working at a University!

Anyway, so as far as this blog is concerned I’m going to post every Monday my to-do list for the week and then through out the week I’ll post about how it is going. Likely, I’ll be also writing about other random health/fitness/weight management stuff as well as my own health journey progress as time permits.

Well I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Saturday. See you on Monday!

Quote of the day:
“You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction. ~ George Lorimer

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome to Certifiably Fit! An Introduction


Hello everyone! My name is Erica and I’m so glad you decided to visit Certifiably Fit. I’m in my early 30’s and currently live in Pennsylvania. I currently work for a University with student housing, which means I live on a college campus but I’m not a student…yeah kind of weird but honestly it’s a lot of fun most of the time.

I'm starting this blog for a couple of reasons. First, and for most, I have a dream of becoming a personal trainer and wanted to document my journey towards making that dream come true. Second, as I am approaching reaching the health goals I set for myself about 3 years ago, I am looking for strategies I can use in maintenance mode to keep myself accountable and felt a blog would be a helpful tool. The third reason is, hopefully, I can pay forward all that I was able to gain from reading other fitness/health/food blogs over the past few years.

Before I can go into my dream about being a personal trainer, I feel I need to give you some background when it comes to my health. I started to struggle with my weight towards the end of high school and by the time I had finished college I had added almost 80lbs to my frame. Over the next 6 years after college graduation, I kept adding weight and started to have some pretty debilitating health issues. Back in January 2007, I finally made the choice to break free from the body I had trapped myself in. At 5’4”, I weighed in at 248.5lbs which put me in the morbid obese category under BMI standards. I had a slew of health issues, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, severe heartburn, sleep apnea, etc. I had to push the shopping cart anytime I went to the store otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make it through the shopping trip. I couldn’t walk very far without extreme pain in my legs or becoming very out of breath. I had socially isolated myself and hated leaving my apartment, even for work. Emotionally motivated eating had become a way of life for me.

Fast forward to now, I’m currently 150lbs, which if you are good with math is very close to 100lbs lost. All the health problems I struggled with are gone. Long gone are the days of feeling trapped by my own physical body and the health issues I had before. I have found passion for cycling, strength training, and nutrition. I finally feel like I’m living the life I was missing out for so long on.

So how did I do it? Short answer is I taught myself how to eat healthy, how to overcome my emotional road blocks, and finally got off my butt and started incorporating exercise into my life. Simple right? Ha Ha no! As with all journeys there have been many twists and turns. If it was simple everyone would be healthy and no one would struggle with keeping their health in good standing. As you continue to read my blog, I will go into detail of what changes I made, what I have learned and continue to learn, and what things about my past I feel contributed to my weight gain. I will share this though; it did not include surgery, restrictive “diets”, diet pills, or “quick” fixes.

Ok so now onto my dream of being a personal trainer. As I have traveled on my journey to better health, I have seen how my transformation has been influencing others around me. There have been several people who have approached me to learn my “secret” (FYI: there is no secret). There isn’t a week that passes where someone doesn’t ask me some health/fitness/nutrition question. Maybe to some people this would be annoying, but strangely I love it! Upon discovering how much I love it, I realized that I could totally see myself doing it as my job. I made this realization around the time I had lost about 50lbs but made a deal with myself that I would wait until I was close to 145lbs (my original weight related goal) before I started to pursue it. I made that choice because I wanted to make sure that the changes in my lifestyle were more ingrained and pretty automatic. Once I hit 150lbs, I ordered the study materials and I am now currently studying to take the Personal Training Certification through the American Council of Exercise. My hope is that once I am certified I can begin working with others and hopefully get to the point that Personal Training is my full time career.

So there you have it people my purpose for being here and a condensed version of my journey to better health. Thanks for visiting! Feel free to comment or contact me if you have questions.

Quote of the Day:

"You will never win if you never begin." ~ Helen Rowland