Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Miss Reading My Posts? Find Me On My New Blog

Do you miss reading my posts? Well you don't have to anymore because I am still blogging, I just now am self hosting at my new site. Start following me over there at:
Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Announcement! Launching of CertifiablyFit: The Healthy Lifestyle Approach

Good morning everyone! So here is the big announcement that I have been talking about for a while now. For those of you who have mentioned that you would be interested in training with me this will be extra exciting because now I am offering both in person and online personal training.After months of preparing and getting everything set up I am proud to announce:

The Official Launch of CertifiablyFit: The Healthy Lifestyle Approach 

You can visit the site by clicking below

No worries you won't be missing out on my blog posts you just now will find them here. Please update your bookmarks, feeds, and if you follow on Google Friend Connect just click on the follow button on the right on the new blog. 

Look forward to seeing you on the new blog. Feel free to invite all of your friends. 

Quote of the Day: “You will never win if you never begin.” ~ Helen Rowland

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Big Things Are Happening

Good morning everyone!

So I haven't been posting too much lately but there is a very good reason for this. I'm working on a new project which involves me banking some of the posts I have been writing lately. Soon I'll be back in full blogging swing again as soon as my new project is launched. I'll give you a hint, it has to do with my dream of having my own personal training business. Once everything is in place I'll announce my return to blogging as well as introduce you to my new project. I'm thinking that by the end of June / early July that everything will be up and running. Would be sooner but I'm getting married and going on vacation in about a week and will be out of town for two weeks. Just wanted to give you a heads up that I'm not becoming one of those disappearing bloggers :) I will be back and I promise that great things are in the works!

See you in a few weeks!

Quote of the Day: "Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them." ~ Henry Ford

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reflections from the Graveyard

When I ride my bike outside part of my route includes riding through a graveyard. People always look at me weird when I share this information. For me it’s not creepy at all and I look at it as visiting all the graves that have no visitors. Part of the reason I started to ride through was because the lack of traffic makes it the perfect place for me to do speed work.

So yesterday, while I was out for my early morning ride, my mind started wandering. I was looking at the dates on the tombstones and saw a wide range between those who lived long lives and those who didn’t and it got wondering what the difference in lifestyles was between them. How many of them died early because they didn’t take care of their health? How many of them lived full, productive, and happy lives because they did take care of themselves?

I really believe that my journey to better health has added more years between now and the time I will be only a memory in the lives of those who know me.  My hope is that I will be one of ones who lived a full, productive, and happy life because I took good care of myself.

I think from this point forward every time I ride through the graveyard I will give myself a pat on the back because every ride I take is one more step I have taken to live a healthier life.

Quote of the Day: “Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.” ~ Goethe

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Call for Healthy Journey Success Stories

Good afternoon everyone!

Are you a Healthy Journey Success Story? I'm looking to interview those of you who have changed your health status for the better. So whether you have met your goal weight, changed your fitness level, met a physical fitness challenge, or even conquered an emotional battle I want to hear from you! I'm looking to start a post series here on CertifiablyFit that features success stories of those who have embraced healthy living. So this post is a call for submissions for that series. Send me an email at certifiablyfit@gmail.com if you are interested in being interviewed and having your story featured.

Look forward to hearing everyone's story!

Quote of the Day: "There is no delight in owning anything unshared." ~ Seneca

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Business Trips – Healthy Style

Well I am finally home after having to be away for a couple days for work. I’ll be honest traveling for work always throws a couple challenges at me when it comes to staying on track with my healthy lifestyle. They throw food at you like you haven’t eaten in months and there are many hours spent sitting in a chair participating to back to back training sessions. Also, there is not much free time in the evening hours to fit in any physical activity or time to just distress from the day. Networking with colleagues is strongly pushed after training hours, which can lead to late nights as well.  
Healthy Business Travel is About Finding Balance

When I first began on my journey to better health I felt prey to these challenges and found myself off track for those couple days I was away. I ate with little regard to how much or the nutritional content (or lack of nutritional content) of food. I didn’t worry about getting workouts in either. Honestly, I just let the trip be an excuse to revert to old habits of poor eating, no physical activity, and threw my stress management plan out the window. The result was spending those days feeling pretty crappy. Oh and the guilt it would create when I returned would eat at me for weeks following.

It only took a couple of experiences like this before I recognized that I had to find a better way to manage these situations. If I could create a plan to manage my everyday life, there had to be a way to create a plan for business trips that would keep me on track.  So that is exactly what I set out to do. After a couple of trips I was able to create a plan that works pretty well for me. Now when I have to travel for work, I am able to stay on track fairly easy.

Since I know I’m not the only one that has health goals and is required to travel for work, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my tips for staying on track.

Business Travel – Healthy Style Tips

Scope out the Hotel Accommodations
I don’t normally get to pick the hotel I stay at because normally it is arranged by either my boss or by those who are hosting the training I’m attending, but I do get ample notice to which hotel I will be staying at. One of the first things I do is to check out the hotel’s website to see what I’m likely working with. Information I gather: Is there a fitness center?, Is there an in room micro-fridge?, Is there a pool?, Is the area surrounding walking/running friendly?, Are there restaurants near that I can eat healthy at nearby for meals that are not provided?   
Personalize Your Schedule
Another thing I get ahead of time is the schedule of what my schedule is for the days I’m in training. I take the schedule and use it as the base of a personalized schedule I create for the trip. I schedule in my workout times, sleep times, relaxation time, networking time, etc. into my personalized schedule. Once I have it all typed out I print it and make sure it is in my business notebook. Doing this ahead of time sets me up to be ready to use my time wisely and not waste opportunities to take care of myself.    
Healthify Your Packing List
Before I pack for the trip I actually write down a packing list so I make sure I don’t forget anything. I start with all the basics first like clothing, toiletries, computer, and business notebook/planner. Then I look at the accommodation information I collected earlier and determine what I need to bring with me to workout, relax, and stay on track nutritionally. This list normally includes things like workout clothing and shoes, workout DVD’s, resistance bands, healthy snacks, my heart rate monitor, a book, and my Ipod. Sure it makes me look like I’m packing to be away much longer than I will be, but I can’t complain that I don’t have what I need.
My Fitness/Healthy Snack Stash from my Latest Trip

Be Sensible with Food Choices
If your trip is anything like mine, normally are you are pretty much surrounded by massive quantities of catered foods throughout the time you are away. A majority of times these food choices are pretty unhealthy with a very limited selection of healthy options. For me, I follow the healthiest option approach. Meaning I try to select what I’m eating by trying to determine the healthiest option available. I keep an eye on my portions as well. Sure it might turn out to be a choice I won’t always make when I was at home, but my goal here is to do the best I can. When it comes to pre-scheduled snack times I evaluate if I’m hungry or not first. Just because they are providing snack time doesn’t mean you have to eat if you don’t need to. If I am hungry and the snack choices are pretty unhealthy then I dip into my personal snack stash.     
Stand Out From the Crowd
This one means being prepared to handle some peer pressure when it comes to certain things that you choose to do to stay on track. Some of the common things I deal with are pressure to indulge in poor food choices and to go out afterward to have drinks. You already are normally dealing with some of these issues when you are not traveling, don’t let the fact you aren’t in familiar environments derail you. Just use the same skills you use when you are on your home turf to deal with this. Keep in mind a lot of times when you are getting pressured about things like this it typically is because the person is trying to feel better about their poor choices.

Resources for Health Business Travel
Healthy Travel Network
Don't let business travel derail your fitness goals
Staying Healthy On The Road
Workout Tips for Business Travel

Quote of the Day: “Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” ~ Julie Andrews

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Winner to the ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ Giveaway

And the Winner to the ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ Giveaway is….

GINA from THE CANDID RD  who left the following comment:
“Very cool!!! I didn't know about this, thanks for the info. I liked the DON'T DRINK JUNK ad :) I will certainly post about it on my next post. I will try to remember to e-mail you!!”

Gina, please send me your shipping address through email at certifiablyfit@gmail.com and I’ll have the company send you your prize!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Coming up this week will be a post about staying on track with your health goals when traveling on business.  I’ll be traveling for work for a couple days early next week so I figured it would be fitting to post my tips. So stay tuned!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Quote of the day:  "The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become." ~ Jim Rohn

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with The Biggest Loser

Yes I watch this show. And yes, I have watched every single season and probably will watch it until they take it off the air. Sometimes people are surprised to learn that about me because I am the poster girl for focusing on a holistic approach to health and I am constantly putting out the message that focusing on just weight loss is like thinking the puzzle is complete with huge pieces missing.

So why the heck have I never missed an episode of a show that is a weight loss competition that is notorious for such a huge focus on pulling big weight loss numbers each week to stay in the competition?  Main reason is that I have learned a lot from watching it. Not only things that have been important for my own journey, but I feel like by watching it I’m learning things I can use when I start training people as a Personal Trainer. Don’t worry I don’t plan on yelling obscenities like a crazy person like Bob & Jillian do! I believe you can be assertive without having to resort to this kind of behavior.  

When BL first aired I was heavier than most of the females that were on the show.  I sat and watched the first couple seasons dreaming about what it would be like to drop all the excess weight I was carrying, yet I was on a yo-yo roller-coaster during most of that time. Even though I found the show to be inspiring at times, I also found it intimidating because when ever I would attempt to work on my weight I never would come close to loosing those big numbers you see on the show. This is one of the negative influences I think that this show has because it creates pretty unrealistic expectations for it’s viewers about weight loss. Just took me a while to realize that what you see on the show is pretty hard to replicate in real life unless you plan on putting life on hold and do nothing but workout for hours a day. I know that, as I start training clients, that there are going to be some who are fans of the show who are going to have these unrealistic expectations about working with a trainer. I plan on talking about having realistic expectations right up front to try and avoid having them fall into the trap of feeling like failures if they aren’t seeing “Biggest Loser” results.

Once I got on my own path to better health I continued to watch and found it inspiring but not because of the numbers on the scale that I saw the contestants pulling. I found inspiration through watching them complete the physical challenges, workout like machines, and watching them make emotional breakthroughs. The emotional breakthroughs where very interesting and very important to my own understanding that there are big emotional components to why I put on excess weight. As I watched each season, I found myself relating to the contestants because I was making some very similar breakthroughs myself. I watched how the trainers would push the contestants to confront their emotional demons and help them over the hurdles that came with opening up. My dream about wanting to be a Personal Trainer started to grow because of watching these moments. Let me just put it out there that I question some of the training tactics I have seen and in no way want to be just like Bob or Jillian. They both have some good qualities as trainers but there are just some things I personally don’t agree with.

Now that I’m in the weight maintenance portion of my health journey I really find myself getting more emotional when the seasons come down to the last couple of episodes. For example, the episode from this week the contestants each sat down and watched a video that was of clips of their journey so far, including a message each one of them taped for themselves when they first started out. I’ll be honest I cried through most of that. Why? Because, just like them, it is pretty overwhelming to recognize just how much hard work you have to put into changing your life like that. I get very reflective on my own journey watching those moments and I cry not because I’m sad but because I am so proud of myself that the emotions just flood out of my body as tears.    

As my fitness has improved over the years I have also used the show to steal some of the workout exercises that you see contestants using. Now granted I research them before trying them so I learn what the proper form is so I didn’t injure myself.  Mostly, things you see them doing with free weights and little equipment since I don’t use a gym to work out in.  I also have a couple of the workout DVD’s that have the Biggest Loser title on them as well as a number of Jillian Michaels' titles.

There are plenty of things I hate about the show as well. Here is a list of some of them.
  • The concept of the game where the faster you loose the more you are rewarded by getting to stay on the show. Yeah I do realize it is the main focus on the show, doesn’t mean I have to like it. I think it almost encourages doing some really questionable things to drop weight fast both with contestants and to the at home viewer. 
  • The whole game play drama that occurs between contestants.
  • The way they cut to commercials to try and create short cliff hanger drama. Thank you DVR for helping me just skip this!
  • Product placements
  • The temptations where eating crap could potentially earn you a reward
  • The way that the trainers yell obscenities in an effort to be assertive
  • Lack of coverage on the nutrition plans that the contestants are following
  • Not addressing how they are training these individuals without causing over-training syndrome. I suspect that many of them suffer from over-training problems and we aren’t informed about it. There are signs though because I think back to some who have suffered from injuries over the years.
Questions for You
Do you watch BL? If so what are your thoughts on it?
If you don’t watch it are you not watching it because of some of the reasons I hate it?

Oh and before I let you go don’t forget about my ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ Giveaway. You have until tomorrow @ 11:59pm to enter.

Quote of the Day: “All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?” ~ Nicholas Johnson

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Have You Ever Considered Personalizing Your Plan?

So there has been something on my mind lately as I read the many blogs that outline the personal weight loss/health journeys. I see those who seem to be struggling the most seem to be trying to follow some pre-fabricated plan that they found somewhere strictly to the way it was written. They may have had some initial success in moving towards their goals but then all of a sudden they stall out and feel like they are failing. Oh I have been there and boy did I struggle as I tried to follow a plan perfectly. It took me a long time to recognize that the big reason that most plans out there weren’t working for me was because they weren’t designed personally for me. 

When I began this journey to better health I approached trying to change my eating by following a fairly popular diet book’s eating plan. I even followed it for quiet a while and had some success on it, but as my health status changed, the food plan wasn’t meeting the needs of the person I was becoming. Did it give me the structure and some basic nutritional information I was in need of when I was 248lbs, non-active, and suffering from a plethora of health issues? Sure did, but as I changed my needs changed and the program wasn’t fitting anymore. I think this is where a lot of people get stuck, frustrated, and ultimately go back to the habits that got them to where they were before they started the plan. 

So what did I do to avoid this crash and burn that I had fallen pray to many times in the past? I started personalizing my eating plan to fit my new needs and as I kept making progress I kept making changes. Even though I’m in weight maintenance now, I still modify my nutrition from time to time because my body is still changing in terms of fitness and, even though I would love to stop it, I am getting older which means changes to my body as well. I recognize that as my body is changing my nutritional needs are constantly changing. I learned if you don’t change your nutrition to match the needs of your body you are going to stall out on moving towards better health. Psst....guess what? This works for workout plans and other plans you might be following to reach health goals too!

My Motto for the health plan I follow

Basic Steps for Personalizing Your Plan

Take Some Baseline Measurements
Before you go making a bunch of changes to your plan it is important to have a way to measure your progress. Examples of measurements you might want to take are: weight, body fat percentage, body part measurements, standard blood tests, blood pressure, resting heart rate, etc. If you are personalizing your workout plan, you probably want to include some fitness tests as well.
Take a Look at Your Current Plan
Sit down and list what parts of your current plan are working and which ones aren’t. Good rule of thumb I follow is that if there is a part that I struggle consistently with it likely needs to be modified in some way so I put it in the not working list. Also, if it something I hate doing, even though I don’t struggle with completing it I put it in the not working list.
Translate the Not Working List
So you have this list but does that mean you just eliminate those parts? It’s not that easy. You need to remember that those things were likely part of the original plan for a reason. They normally are tools to get your body to respond in a certain way. Now it is time for you to sit down and try to figure out what those responses are. If you get stuck with figuring out the reason you can do a little research to figure it out. If you are following a plan in a book re-read it, you can likely figure it out. You also can gather the information by consulting professionals such as a Registered Dietitian in the case of a nutrition based plan or a Personal Trainer if it is a fitness plan.  The internet is also another good source to try and research this, but make sure you are consulting credible sources.
Research Alternatives
So you figured out why those parts that were not working for you were part of the original plan. Now it is time to research alternative ways to get the body responses that those tasks were addressing. Yes, this can be time consuming but I’m telling you it’s important to the process. Find a couple of different alternatives because, if after you try one out and it doesn’t seem to work for you, then you have some new ones to fall back on without having to go through the research process again. When researching, consulting with a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, or other professional can be very helpful. 
Make Changes Slowly
As much as you might be tempted to want to jump in head first and change everything that isn’t working overnight DON’T! When you make too many changes at once you are more than likely going to overwhelm your body and it’s going to revolt. Also, you aren’t going to be able to really assess which changes are working effectively and which ones aren’t.  When I am at this stage I concentrate on one change at a time. Once the new change seems to be working and is becoming routine I move on to the next one. Be open to experimenting!
Track & Evaluate Progress
For me this means keeping track of changes in the baseline measurements. I check some of them every 6-8 weeks to see if their have been positive changes in them. For blood tests I have them checked when recommended by my doctor. If I’m not seeing any changes or I see things sliding in a direction I’m not comfortable with I go back and start the process again.  Some people find a daily food and exercise journal works for them for tracking. They then conduct an evaluation of the results every week. Personally, I can’t do that because it makes me get too obsessed with the whole process, so I stick to longer periods in between recording and the evaluation of information. Remember that the whole point of this process is to find a plan that is personally tailored to you so you need to find what works best for you.

Resources for Personalizing Your Plan
How to Design Your Own Diet
How to Personalize Your Fitness Program
The American Dietetic Association
Find an ACE-certified Personal Trainer

Oh and if you missed my  ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ Giveaway post on Saturday check it out. You have until this Friday @ 11:59pm to enter.

Quote of the Day: “A fool is a man who never tried an experiment in his life.” ~ Erasmus Darwin

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hi My Name is Erica and I’m a Recovering Food Addict.

This morning I went out on a walk because I had a bit on my mind and walks always provide me the perfect opportunity to reflect. I spend my 45 minute walk thinking about something that I experienced yesterday when I was working on my post about my mom’s eating disorder. A couple of paragraphs in I had to stop because it was starting to bring up some pretty strong emotions that I wasn’t prepared to work through at that moment. This flood of emotions started to trigger me to want to just shove crap in my mouth. Did I give into those desires to eat a bunch of crap.....Nope! Yay for me! One more trigging moment overcome out of the many I have in the past few years. Do I always overcome the moment and avoid the damaging behavior of my food addiction? No, but I have way more moments I do now then I did in the past.

See during my journey to better health I recognized pretty early that I had a huge problem with using food as my way of handling emotions. I used food to not only manage negative emotions, but also to manage the positive ones too. Much like an alcoholic or a drug addict uses alcohol or drugs to numb themselves from their realities, I used food to check out from life. The most challenging part of dealing with my addiction is that I can’t just give up my drug of choice like traditional addicts can. I have to eat to live, so food has to be part of my life. 

I can’t really pinpoint the exact moment when I stepped over from normal behavior eating to destructive eating behaviors, but I can see that it developed when I was fairly young. I can remember my food binging behavior really started to pick up when I started to earn a decent amount of allowance and my parents allowed me to use it to buy snack foods when ever we were out. This increase in binging behavior also coincided with the emotional turmoil that is part of adolescence. There were many nights I spent in the privacy of my bedroom over stuffing myself with massive amounts of crap as a teen.

When I went off to college this private binging behavior continued and my eating patterns and nutrition of my food changed pretty drastically. When I was growing up my parents did a pretty good job about providing fairly healthy meals for our main meals. I always ate breakfast, I took a packed lunch that was pretty balanced, and dinner was balanced and was always eaten as a family at the table. One thing that I feel was missing was that I was never really taught anything about nutrition. My parents did a good job of providing healthy meals, but they never explained why we were eating what we were. Once I was out on my own making my own food choices in college I went a bit crazy with food. I also became much less active because I no longer was participating in the physical activities I did when I was in High School. I started putting on weight at an alarming rate in college. I had started college out around 150lbs and graduated from college weighing in at about 220lbs.

Post college, things didn’t get much better for my eating habits. I continued to binge eat my way through my transition into the working world, through several jobs, through several moves around the country, and through some pretty unhealthy relationships. I really felt sometimes that food was my only friend, the only one who was there consistently for me through it all. Little did I know that my unhealthy relationship with food was really slowly killing me and robbing me of my ability to live the life I really wanted.    

I would love to tell you that once I realized all of this that I just woke up one day and just stopped using food as my emotional crutch.  I would love to tell you that once I got to a healthy weight that I was cured. Truth is that I wake up everyday knowing that I’m going to have to fight against this demon that lives inside me, the one that tries to convince me that food is my only friend. Don’t let that truth make you feel hopeless if you struggle with the same demon though. The whole reason I made the choice to write about my struggle with this is to show that it can be managed and there is hope of gaining some control over it. Each day I successfully manage it the easier it becomes for me to stay healthy.

Below are some of the strategies I use to keep my addiction under control.  Keep in mind that these are things that work for me, meaning if you try them they may or may not work for you. My suggestion for anyone that feels they are battling with a food addiction or other disordered eating issues is to seek medical assistance from a qualified health professional.  

Permission to Feel
This might seem like a strange permission to have to give to yourself, but for someone like me it is critical to my ability to manage this. For some unknown reason I learned to automatically shut off my emotions, both positive and negative ones, by burying them down inside. Food was my way of being able to take an emotion and to shove it away. I now tell myself when I feel an emotion coming on that it is ok to actually feel it and experience it. For example, I used to think that crying would make me a weak person, so I wouldn’t because I would distract myself from the urge by eating. Once I started to allow myself to cry when I felt it I started to see that it takes much more strength to allow myself to cry and to experience the feelings.
Staying in Touch With My Emotional State
Staying in the moment and taking the time to assess how I’m feeling has been extremely helpful in being prepared to deal with a trigger to destructive eating. Knowing my emotional state helps me recognize when I’m more susceptible to being triggered and knowing that helps me avoid situations that may be just too challenging for me to cope with at that time.
Make Taking Care of Myself a Priority
This means getting proper sleep, getting my workouts in, eating healthy & consistently, and managing my stress levels. I know when I start slipping with taking care of myself I’m just opening myself to vulnerability to slipping into destructive eating patterns.
Forgive, Assess, & Learn from Slips
Like I said in the very beginning of this post, there are times I still slip up and give into destructive eating. So, when this happens I make the choice to forgive myself because not doing so just means carrying guilt that will just fuel the continuation of the destructive behavior. Once I forgive, I assess what triggered the behavior, what I ate, how I felt, and other components of the event. I make it a goal for myself to learn what I can from each slip to help strengthen my ability to deal with future triggering moments.  Not going to lie, the forgive part of this is the hardest part but the most important.
When Triggered Reach Out
Reaching out to my support system during moments where I recognize I am feeling triggered is also very helpful. Just talking to someone about the emotions that I’m feeling about the event that triggers the desire to eat crap helps. I don’t even normally talk about the fact it is making me feel like eating crap, I just talk about the event. For example, let’s say something at work goes wrong, I will then talk to my partner about what is going wrong and how it is making me feel emotionally. Once I talk about it I no longer feel like I need to shove down the feelings so the urge to eat crap disappears.

Wow this turned out to be a pretty lengthy post! If you read this far I’m pretty impressed. My post on my mom will be coming but I have a feeling its going to take me some time to get through writing it. I'm going to take my time on it, but I promise it will get posted once I'm done.

Anyway, if you want more information about food addictions and binge eating disorder check out the following links:

Binge-eating disorder
Binge Eating Disorder - Frequently Asked Questions
Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous
Mental Health and Food Addiction

Oh and if you missed my ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ Giveaway post on Saturday check it out. You have until this Friday @ 11:59pm to enter.

Quote of the day: “You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living until the escape becomes the habit.” ~ David Ryan

Saturday, May 8, 2010

‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ Giveaway

Hello my loyal readers! I have a pretty exciting giveaway to announce. I have been approached by Engelman & Co. out of NYC to help promote their ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ campaign. It's been created to encourage people - especially kids - to avoid sugar and sodas and to drink their first functional bottled water called Wat-ahh.

Considering that making the switch from drinking sugar filled beverages to water was one of the first changes I made on my health journey and I feel it plays a huge role in my ability to be successful on my journey, I was more than willing to take a look at the ‘Don't Drink ___, Drink WAT-AAH!’ campaign. Honestly, anything that is promoting a healthy change like this to kids is awesome in my book.

So here are the details of the giveaway. I’m going to randomly pick one lucky entry (US residents only) and announce the winner on Saturday, May 15th to receive a free mixed case filled with WAT-AAH! + WAT-AAH! goodies (stickers, tattoos, pencils etc...)

To enter to win you need to:
  • Go to the Wat-ahh website and take a look around and leave a comment on this post about which of the Wat-ahh Ads do you like best and why.
For additional entries (1 extra entry for each one)
  • Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect (check the left hand column for the follow button). Then leave a comment letting me know you are following.
  • Post about this giveaway and link back here on your blog. Email me at certifiablyfit@gmail.com once your post is up.
  • Follow me on Twitter and then start following Wat-ahh.  Then tweet about this giveaway with tag #certifiablyfit.
  • Friend me on Facebook and then “Like” Wat-haa . Send me a message on facebook once you have.
Deadline for all entries is Friday, May 14th @ 11:59pm. Good Luck!
(Dear FTC: I received no compensation to promote this product or to write this post)

Quote of the Day: Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water. ~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Thursday, May 6, 2010

In the News & Personal Diet Pill Story

Have you seen this article yet? Health Guru Says He Was Almost Killed by His Own Diet Product

Just another reminder that you need to be careful out there on your quest to better health. I think it is human nature to want to find short cuts to things.  When it comes to health, short cuts seem to carry a lot more risk than benefits in my opinion. This article highlights that even so claimed "Health Gurus" try some really crazy things in their quest for better health.


I have a pretty scary memory from my younger years that has done a good job of keeping me from slipping back into the "short cut" trap. I was about 15 when I went on a diet at the urging of my mother. Let me point out that at the time I was actually in the healthy weight range back then, but my mom was worried I was getting too big. (I'm going to do a post one of these days on the topic of my mom because she has battled with an eating disorder since she was a teen and continues to struggle with it and that has had a pretty big impact on my own relationship with food and body image.)

Anyway, during this diet I snuck into my mom's cabinet where she kept all kinds of diet pills and took a bottle. She had so many different ones in there that I knew she wouldn't even notice a bottle missing. I took them for a couple days the way the bottle prescribed and felt like they were working, so I made the genius choice to take double one morning. BIG MISTAKE!    

I felt pretty weird so I claimed that I was sick and my parents let me stay home from school. I didn't tell them that I had taken the pills because I didn't want to get in trouble for taking them in the first place. They went off to work and I was home alone. I seriously thought that I was going to die. I laid on the floor and felt like my heart was going to burst every time I moved. Luckily, in a few hours I felt normal again. That situation made me swear off diet pills or another other weird concoctions my mom used for weight loss.  

Questions for You:
  • What are your thoughts on the article?
  • Do you have any scary short cut stories?
Quote of the Day: "There is no substitute for hard work." ~ Thomas Alva Edison

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Yes, I Am One of Those Annoying Morning People....But I Wasn’t Always One.

Ready to think I’m crazy? Maybe you already think I am, if that is the case this will just help confirm it. LOL! Well if crazy is what it takes to support my healthy lifestyle then I say crazy is a title I am proud to wear.

Anyway, I get out of bed 4 hours before I have to be in at work in the morning. And on weekends I’m out of bed at the same exact time I am during the week. Here is the kicker....I normally wake up before the alarm is set for 5am, refreshed and ready to start the day. 

This was not always the case for me. I was known for staying up late and struggling to get out of bed in the morning. Back then I was thankful my “commute” to work was all of 30 seconds. I would peel myself out of bed with about 40 minutes to eat, shower, dress, and stumble over to my office. Some mornings it was closer to 20 minutes if I played the snooze button game with myself.  I would always feel rushed and be still half asleep for a good part of the morning. Thank goodness college students are notorious for being late sleepers, because if I had to have one of those meaningful conversations with them about their behavior I would have made no sense.

As I was progressing with my journey towards better health, I realized that there had to be a better way to structure my life so I didn’t feel so rushed in the morning. I didn’t know it at the time, but making the choice to change my sleep patterns so I could get up early would bring many benefits to my life.

Some of the Benefits I Experience from Getting Up Early

  • I have time to cook and eat a nice healthy breakfast.
  • I also have time to pack a mid-morning snack to take with me to work.
  • I get my workout for the day finished before I have a chance to get distracted by other time commitments.
  • I get a chance to watch the news in the morning, which means I’m much more in tune with what is happening in the world around me.
  • I walk into work feeling relaxed and ready to actually work.
  • I finally am taking time for myself every day.
  • I don’t feel like I’m sleeping all my weekend hours away.
  • I am accomplishing so much more in my personal life than I ever did before. 

So Just What The Heck Am I Doing In Those 4 Hours Before Work?
  • Cooking and eating breakfast – I’m a hot breakfast girl so that means cooking is involved
  • Studying for an hour for my Lifestyle & Weight Management Certification
  • Getting in an hour workout
  • Checking email, Facebook, blogs, etc.
  • Watching the local morning news & some of the Today Show
  • Showering and getting ready for work
  • Packing my mid-morning snack (I get to take lunch at home so I don’t have to worry about packing that)
How I Get the Sleep I Need and I Am Still Be Able To Get Up Early
Below are some rules I try to follow. Sure there are some times that the rules get broken, but just like my other healthy choices it is about being as consistent as possible. If I had to guess I’m at about a 90% compliance rate but it took time to work up to that. It takes real discipline to fight that urge to have sleep patterns like most Americans do but it is totally worth it in my opinion. I added the rules over a period of months because I found that trying to change too much at once lead to me making no real progress.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every day (days off included)
  • I don’t sleep more than 8 hours. Any more than that and I end up feeling more tired.
  • I make sure I get at least 7 hours. Less than that and I end up cranky.
  • I don’t use the snooze button on my alarm. I set it for the time I want to get up and I just do it.
  • If I choose to take a nap in the afternoon I limit the time to no more than 30 minutes.
  • I don’t watch TV, read, or use my computer in bed.

Resources on Sleep Health
Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think
The Better Sleep Council 
10 tips for better sleep

Questions for You:
  • Are you an early riser or a night owl?
  • If you want to be an early riser what is keeping you from doing so?
  • If you made the transition what tips do you have for someone who is looking to be an early riser?

Quote of the Day: “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” ~ Thomas Dekker

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My First Interview on Another Blog

Hey everyone! I have some exciting news to share with you all. I was approached last week to do an interview about my health journey. The interview was just posted on the blog Slim Shoppin' as part of the Weight Loss Superstar features that they have over there. So if you are interested in knowing more about my personal journey to better health click here.

Exercise Keeps Me From Killing People and Other Stress Management Strategies I Find Useful.


 Nice title huh? Ha Ha!

Recently my stress level has sky rocketed because of some things occurring at work. Some of it is just the normal increase because the semester is about to be over, but there are a couple of other things happening that are adding to it. I wish I could vent on here about it all, but for the sake of professionalism and for the fact I want to stay employed I’ll just have to keep it to myself. Check out the quote of the day and it might give you a clue as to the core issue I am in an uproar over right now.

A few years ago, when I wasn’t so healthy, this level of stress probably would have had me head right into a huge eating binge that would last for weeks and I would have gone on a stress fueled rage rampage that would have left people crying in its wake. Yeah I tended to be quite a force to be reckoned with when I was not managing my stress well.  Now that I’m on a healthy path, stress management has become one of the many things I focus on. Good thing because making people cry and abusing myself with food were not doing anything for my image. Ha Ha!

So what strategies do I find helpful in managing stress? 

Like the title mentioned working out is one that I use quite frequently to manage stress. Not only is this one that helps me by preventing the effects of everyday stress, but it is a HUGE help when my stress levels rise drastically. Seriously, there is nothing better then getting a good sweat on when I feel like punching people. (I swear I’m not violent at all, but seriously there are times that my mind tries to convince me that punching people would solve the problem LOL!) I’m not the only one that has found that exercise helps with stress. Check out the links below for more references to exercise helping stress.

Exercise: Rev up your routine to reduce stress
Managing Stress With Regular Exercise
Phys Ed: Why Exercise Makes You Less Anxious

Talking it Out
Pre-healthy journey I was one of those people who held everything in. I never wanted to talk about how I felt or wanted to reach out to other people. No wonder I would go on rage rampages! Now I open up a lot more and talk things out. I reach out to my partner, close friends, and sometimes family when I’m feeling stressed out. Sometimes just having someone listening can take the stress level down several levels. When it is work related, I open up to my supervisor and talk to him about how I’m feeling about the situation. Luckily, I have a supervisor who is very open to hearing me out. Even if he doesn’t have the power to change the situation, just knowing he is willing to listen is helpful.

Eating Healthy
Even though when my stress levels rise I want to say hell with healthy eating, I know that doing so is just going to add additional stress on my body. Prior to this journey, I never really had any idea of just how much food can affect my mood. I have become much more in tune with this and keep it in mind when I am feeling stressed out. Sure, I want to reach for a bunch of junk but now I reach for healthy foods knowing it won’t make me feel worse.  Check out the sites below if you are interested in learning more about nutrition and its connection to mood and stress reduction.

Good Nutrition: How to Combat Stress with Good Nutrition
Nutrition and Stress
Stress Nutrition

Get Out and Play
This one is pretty important for me when my work stress is pretty high. I have the unique situation where I live where I work. Although there are a lot of benefits to that, when work is stressing me out it can feel like I live in a prison. To help feeling like that I make it a point to get away and go out and something fun. Even if it is only for a couple hours, getting out of my apartment and participating in an event helps take my mind off of what is stressing me. For example, this weekend I went to a local festival and enjoyed doing some fun activities. 

At the festival getting my fortune: " Misfortune does not daunt you."
How fitting? 

And how can you be stressed when everyone is dressed like this?

Questions for You:
What things do you do when you are stressed to help manage it?
What is your favorite workout to do when stressed out?
What fun activities do you like to do when you just need a break?

Quote of the Day: "The golden rule for every business man is this: 'Put yourself in your customer's place.' "~Orison Swett Marden

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Weight Loss Expectations Study

Happy Hump Day everyone!

Look at me posting 3 days in a row. I am enjoying getting back into the swing of things with blogging again. I have a few new followers (hi everyone!) and have been getting more comments which is nice to see.

Yesterday was a good day for me. Like I posted yesterday I got in a bike ride. Even though it was on my trainer, it was nice to ride again. I ended up doing 30 mins of high intensity intervals instead of the 45 min stead ride. I was feeling strong so that’s why I went with the intervals. Looks like it might be warm enough to get a ride in on Friday so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Did you guys catch the article I tweeted about yesterday afternoon? Check out the article here .If you missed my tweet because you don’t follow me yet click here to follow.  I thought I would share with you my thoughts and what my experience has been like.

I first thought after I finished reading was this is exactly why I focused on bettering my health as a whole instead of just focusing weight loss. Sure, I lost 100lbs in the last couple of years, but was a result of some of the changes I made to better my health. Health to me is physical, mental, and emotional, basically every aspect of your life that affects how you live. If my journey was just focused on weight loss then I wouldn’t still be making changes. If this was just about weight loss then essentially my journey ended back in October when I started to work on weight maintenance. My journey will continue for everyday for the rest of my life and I am dedicated to working through any of the challenges that come my way long the way.

When I embarked on my journey back in January of 2007, I didn’t have these big expectations that weight loss would instantly make everything in my life better. Sure, in the past I had those expectations, and each time I did, I ultimately failed to make lasting changes.  All I was looking to do was to change my health status from high risk to one where I was healthy and I could stop worrying that I was going to drop dead at any moment. I knew if I wanted to be happy with my life I had to look at all aspects of my life not just what my body looked like. I have a strong belief that my weight problem was a symptom of something emotional and realized that once I was able to address that and learn new ways to cope with what ever it was that the weight issue would resolve itself. Never did I imagine I would get to where I am now, but I am so thankful for the fact I saved my own life. As my dad says to me all the time “You did yourself the biggest favor”.

Something I noticed in the article was that the study focused on those who had weight loss surgery. I have some really strong feelings about this method of weight loss, and maybe someday I’ll share them. But anyway, they said that they felt the study findings could also be applied to those who lost weight through diet and exercise as well. I would be interested to see what the real results would be if they conducted the study on those who lost in through diet and exercise, especially from individuals who focused on overall health changes. I know my results are different from what they found, but I think my difference is that my weight loss portion of my journey was slow and not my main focus and I also took the opportunity to address some important emotional components of my life during that time.

Questions for you:
  • What are your thoughts on the article?
  • If you have reached your goal weight, do you feel your expectations match your current reality?
  • If you are on your journey, what expectations do you have?

Quote of the Day: 
“What is destructive is impatience, haste, expecting too much too fast.” ~ May Sarton

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dreaming about Biking...What does that Mean?

Happy Tuesday everyone!

So last night I had a dream that is what inspired me to write this post today. In this dream, I was riding my bike for a large majority of it. What was so important for me was how I felt when I woke up.  I woke up so full of happiness and felt very energized.  Ok so why is that blog worthy? Keep reading I swear I have a point…ha ha ha.


Let me give some background information about biking and it’s relation to my health journey. About a year into my journey I was in search of a workout that I would love. Up until that point I was doing a lot of walking and doing a couple of beginner workout DVD’s. That was fun but I wasn’t feeling as challenged by it anymore and honestly was getting a little bored with it. It was mid-February and I was in a sporting goods store looking at treadmills and stationary bikes.   I realized that I really did not have any room for this type of equipment in my apartment.  The section with bike equipment was right next to the section where all this equipment was. That is when I got the idea of getting an indoor trainer to attach to the bike I already owned.  I was storing my bike outside, and the poor thing had hardly seen any riding action in the 4 years I had it. The plan was that I would bring in the bike when I wanted to use it and then put it back out when I was done, that way I wasn’t taking up a bunch of room in my apartment.  Funny thing once biking became more incorporated into my workout routine the bike found a permanent place in my living room.  Buying that trainer changed my life. I spent the first couple months using it, while I was waiting for the weather to get warmer.  Once summer arrived I was going out on rides everyday.  I found my passion for biking and loved every minute I was out on it. It made me feel more in touch with the world around me, and took me back to the days of my childhood when I would ride my bike.  My trainer now serves as my winter conditioning tool so I can maintain what I gain in the summer months.

Me on My Trainer

Three weeks ago I made the decision to take a break from riding on the trainer because I was getting a little bored with it. Riding on the trainer just isn’t as much fun to me as being outside.  I got a couple of outside rides already this spring, but then the weather got a little cooler again so I was forced back onto the trainer.  I workout in the morning and honestly when it is only in the low 40’s riding outside is just too unbearable because I can’t feel my hands or my face after a few minutes. So I told myself that I would take a break from biking until I can start riding outside consistently. I switched my workouts to using my Wii Active games, and broke out some new DVD’s I got at Christmas. I have been enjoying the new workouts because they are different and challenging me in different ways.

Anyway, so I had the dream last night and it made me realize that I am missing biking A LOT. With that being said I know it is time I get back to it. Plan will be to work it in when I miss it until the weather changes. Once the weather changes and I can ride outside I know that I’ll be out riding 6 days a week again.

Point of the whole story: Your body has many ways of telling you what it needs or wants. It is up to you to recognize what it is saying and then to listen to it. See I told you I had a point!

Well it’s time for me to get to my workout for the day. On the agenda: 45 min trainer ride!

Quote of the Day: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, April 26, 2010

Are you Setting SMART Goals?


Setting goals is a great tool you can use when you are on a journey to better health. Not only can they help you focus your efforts but they can also help you track your progress. That is if they are SMART goals.

What are SMART goals?
They are goals that are structured to be:

  • Specific 
    • A goal that is specific has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you should answer the six "W" questions: 
      • Who: Who is involved in the goal? 
      • What: What do you want to accomplish? 
      • Where: Location. 
      • When: What is the time frame? 
      • Which: Requirements and constraints. 
      • Why: What are the reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
  • Measurable  
    • A goal should be able to be measured. How else are you going to know if you accomplished it?
    • To determine if your goal is measurable, ask the following:
      • How much? 
      • How many? 
      • How will I know when it is accomplished?
  • Achievable  
    • Goals need to be reasonable and achievable. Don't set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are out of reach.  It is good to set goals that are realistic with some challenge but not so far out of reach that they are impossible to achieve. Set goals that are unrealistic and you are just setting yourself up for failure. 
  • Realistic 
    • Goals need to be realistic. It's important to honestly evaluate yourself. Do you have the ability and commitment to reach the goal? Or does it need a little adjustment? 
  • Time Framed  
    • Goals need to have a time frame. Having a set amount of time will give your goals structure. A goal without an end date has no sense of urgency, no reason to take any action today. Having a specific time frame gives you the motivation to get started. It also helps you monitor the progress you are making.
More Resources on SMART Goal Setting.
Free SMART Goal Planner Template
Bob Harper - How to Set Health Goals You'll Achieve
How to Set SMART Goals for Your Exercise Program
Health Goals

Questions for You
  1. What SMART goals you are currently working on?
  2. Do you have any goals that need reworking to be SMART?

Quote of the Day: “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ~ Albert Einstein

Friday, April 23, 2010

Before & After Pictures Added

Good afternoon everyone! Just a really quick post to let you know that I added a before and an after photo to the blog. Feel free to check it out by clicking here. to access the About the Author page of the site.

Hope you all are having a great Friday!

Quote of the Day:  "Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded." ~ Goethe

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some Days I Still Struggle – Tips for Getting Through the Tough Days


Yup it’s true there are days I still struggle when it comes to staying on track with my healthy lifestyle.  There are days, where I wake up and don’t want to workout so I skip it because I’m tired and there are days where I indulge in some not so healthy food choices. The good thing is that days like that don’t occur too often, but they do happen, and I know they will continue to happen.  Below are some tips for getting through the tough days so that you can continue on your path to better health.

Drop the Restart Mentality
This one is so familiar to most people. The Restart Mentality aka the “Well I blew it for the day so I will forget about making healthy choices and I will restart tomorrow, next Monday, next week.”  Before you know it every day is a “I blew it” day and you never get back to restarting. Ok so you ate a cookie, a big meal, or skipped your workout. This should not mean that the next choice you make for the day shouldn’t be healthy.

Take a Break from the High Intensity Workout
Feeling like skipping that workout because you are feeling really tired and unmotivated? Assess what your workout schedule has been like lately. If it has been super full and you have been really pushing yourself lately feeling tired and unmotivated might be a clue that you need to take a rest day.  A rest day can still include activity, just tone down the intensity. For me, this translates into going for a walk instead of the high intensity intervals on my bike.

Assess Your Emotions
I have a huge connection between wanting to eat unhealthy and my emotional state. Taking the time to stop and assess what really is going on with my emotional health helps a lot. Once I figure out what is bothering me and come up with a plan to manage it those pesky “I want to eat crap” cravings disappear.

Reach Out For Support
When I’m having a particularly challenging day with staying on track reaching out for support is extremely helpful. I talk to my partner, a friend, of even hit up online message boards. Just the act of sharing I’m struggling can be very therapeutic.

Evaluate Your Goals
Are your goals realistic? Are you pushing yourself to make too many changes all at once? I know for me, when I set the bar too high or put unrealistic time limits on goals, I start to rebel and that leads to struggle. So when I am struggling, I make sure I check over the goals I have set and adjust them so they stop causing the rebellion. Sometimes that means putting a goal or two on the back burner until I have accomplished some of the other ones.

Quote of the Day: “There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.” ~ Michael F. Staley

Monday, April 19, 2010

Celebrating Accomplishments

Happy Monday everyone!

So I woke up to a nice, bright, sunny, but slightly chilly morning....ok that is a lie since I get up before the sun rises....but anyway, when I headed out on my morning walk it was a beautiful morning. Since the weather is getting nicer, I have been taking a lot more walks lately first thing in the morning, which has been providing me the perfect opportunity for self-reflection.  Topic on my mind this morning was what drives my motivation to stay on track with my healthy lifestyle. One theme became clear as I thought more about this as I logged the miles this morning.

Celebrating Accomplishments
Throughout this journey I actually have taken the time to celebrate my accomplishments. Not just the ones that relate directly to my health but those in all aspects of my life. This has helped with my motivation because, when I am struggling, normally all it takes is me doing a mental run down of some of the things I have accomplished lately to get to a better mental place.

I used to be a huge perfectionist and in my mind nothing really was good enough, that I always felt I could do better than what I was doing. I never really took the time to sit back and be proud of what I was doing.  Now, the process to change didn’t happen overnight. It took much practice and a lot of support from those who care about me. I started working on this by taking a few moments at the end of the day to reflect on all the things I had accomplished. I also worked on stopping the habit of always dismissing complements I got from others.

So in the spirit of celebrating accomplishments, I thought I would take a few moments to share some of my recent ones in hopes it helps you create your own list to help you with your own motivation.

My List of Accomplishments

  • On my stress test a few months ago I was told that I have the cardiovascular function of a fit 20 year old (that’s a little over ten years younger than I really am).
  • I passed my Personal Trainer Certification with an 87% and only needed a 62% to pass.
  • This is the first winter I was consistent with my exercise averaging 5 days a week.
  • I have successfully designed my own strength training program that I actually am consistent with and am seeing the results I want.
  • I used my SAD light everyday from Nov-late March which translated into the best management of my SAD symptoms ever!
  • I have been successfully maintaining my weight since early Oct.
  • I have started studying for my Lifestyle & Weight Management Consulting Certificate.
  • I secured a summer internship with a fitness company so I can get practical experience with personal training.
  • I got my contract at my current job extended 2 more years. (they have a 4 year limit but I convinced them keeping me for longer was in their best interest).
  • I created a new training program for my prospective student staff that was very effective and was very well received.

Ok so I could list a bunch more but I think you get the idea. So get out there and start creating your own accomplishment list!

Quote of the day: “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Friday, April 16, 2010

Walking: One of Your Body's Most Natural Forms of Exercise


One of the most common questions I get when it comes to improving fitness is “What would be good for me to start out with?” Because most of the individuals that ask me haven’t been active in a very long time or are fairly overweight my answer normally is “A walking program”.

Why I Recommend a Walking Program.  

1. It is easy to do anywhere.
Long gone are the excuses of you couldn’t workout because the gym hours don’t fit your needs or that you were traveling for business or on vacation.

2. Low cost because there is no special equipment is needed.
Other than a good pair of shoes (which you likely already own) you don’t need to purchase anything to get started and get moving.

3. Risk of injury is very low.
Out of all of the different modes (running, cycling, swimming, etc) walking has the     lowest injury rates. Less injuries means less workout time lost due to them.

4. Has a slew of health benefits
  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes 
  • Manage your weight
  • Helps maintain and build bone mass
  • Improve your mood
  • Stay strong and fit

5.  You can do it with a partner
For those who are social being able to engage in activities with a partner, a group, or even your dog can provide a great source of motivation.

My Personal Experience with Walking
Another reason I recommend it is because I had great success with a walking program at the start of my journey. I started out with only about 20 mins, 3 days a week and worked up to an hour, 5 days a week before I switched over to cycling. During the months I was using walking as my main mode of cardiovascular exercise, I lost the first 70lbs of the 100lbs I ultimately have lost. I also improved my blood work drastically and felt amazing. I still use walking to cross train with and make it my main form of exercise with I travel. I’m even known to throw some running into a walk if I’m looking to up the intensity for the session. My favorite activity to do with my partner is to take an after-dinner walk. Not only are we being active together, but it provides a great opportunity for us to just talk about our day without the interruptions that can happen when we are just sitting around the house.

Resources to Get Started

Questions for You
  • Have you had any success with a walking program as part of your exercise routine?
  • If you do walk, do you have any tips to share with someone starting out?
  • If you don’t walk, what are you doing to be active?

Quote of the Day:  “Walking is man's best medicine.” ~ Hippocrates

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lots of Updates -Getting My Ducks In A Row

Wow I sure have been away for a while from blogging!  I took a much longer break than I was planning on but now I'm ready to get back to writing. You will start to see more regular posts from me starting in the next few days. But before I start with fitness related posts, there have been a lot of exciting things that have been going on so let me fill you all in.

To start off I'm back to studying again. I'm already on the third chapter of my materials for the Lifestyle & Weight Management Consulting Certification. I took the sample test before starting and I already scored an 87% so I have a feeling I will pass the real thing pretty easily. I mapped out my To Do Lists for this just like I did for the Personal Trainer materials and I am shooting to take the test sometime in late September or early October. When I actually take the test will depend on how the summer/early fall goes.

I have a lot on my plate for the summer / early fall. The short list includes: my wedding/honeymoon, packing to move to the new residence hall that we are opening this fall, doing an internship (more details about this below), starting back to work in Aug, and moving just days before my staff training starts. This will be the most jam packed summer I have had in a long time. Normally summer is my down time since I am off work and I spend those two months just relaxing, biking miles and miles, and just enjoying the quiet campus. I have to say though all of things happening this summer are going to be positive so I'm looking forward to it all.

Ok, so let me fill you in on how figuring out the personal trainer career thing has been going for me. Well last week I went to two interviews for training positions. One with a fitness company that is local to the area and one with a nationwide gym. Through the process of interviewing I came to a couple of conclusions.
  • I do not have interest in working for one of the commercial, big name, gyms. Too much focus on sales and not enough on actually helping people.
  • Even though they both were interested in hiring me I felt like I need some actual practical experience training before I took a job.
  • This summer is so not the time for me to try to transition to a whole new career. Finaicailly this won't work right now cause it would involve moving from my "free" apartment which I just don't have the money to do with my wedding coming up. 
  • I have a pretty good talent for writing persuasive emails that resulted in me securing an internship.
So let me fill you in on the internship I got secured for the summer. I really liked the local fitness company. What they are offering their clients is exactly what I have interest in doing and after I got to meet with the owner I really thought that it would be a good fit. Well the owner had invited me to check out one of the boot camps he was running last week to give me a taste of what the job would include. It was held outdoors and was pretty good. The group he had was pretty motivated and were up for the challenges he put them through. After a couple of days he contacted me to set up a sit down interview at his office location. He knew that I had no practical experience other than designing my own workouts over the last few years. So what did I do? I declined the offer but I countered with an offer to do an unpaid internship. I sent this decline along with my explanation about feeling like I needed practical experience so that I could best serve clients and then proposed the idea of the internship. He was very impressed with my desire to get experience and said yes. I'm really excited because I'll get to shadow some of the trainers for about two months as well as assist with any other tasks around the office that will give me experience. So this June and July (other than the two weeks I'm on my honeymoon) I'll be spending a couple of hours a week interning. I can't even tell you how excited I am about this!

My thought is that after the internship I can look at either starting to train with the company part time for even more experience or look at starting my own training business. I have the ultimate goal of starting my own PT business and training people from their homes. After all, my own fitness journey wasn't done in a gym but from working out from home. I would love to teach others how to get fit without having to rely on driving to a gym to workout.

Well I think I have caught you all up. I look forward to getting back into blogging again. I have missed posting and the blogging community as well.  See you soon!

Quote of the Day: "Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life." ~ Les Brown

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm a Certified Personal Trainer!!!

Just an update for you all.

I passed my Personal Trainer Certification test this morning!!!! I only need a score of 500 and I got a 689.  Yeah that's an 87% and I only needed a 62%. Looks like my study plan was a huge success and I am so proud that I reached this goal I set for myself.

So what is next?

Well, I plan on working on getting my Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant Certification through ACE, but I will be taking a few weeks off before I begin studying for that. I also will be looking into options such as part time work in a gym and also starting my own personal training business. I'm more interested in doing my own thing but I think it might be a good idea to work for someone else to gain experience first.

I also am looking to getting back to blogging here at Certifiably Fit. I'm going to focus on tips on fitness, weight loss & weight management, and managing all the emotional stuff that comes with making changes for better health. I"m hoping to post more frequently than I have in the past. I'm hoping this blog can become a good resource for everyone out there who is looking to start or is already on their journey to better health. I'm hoping to get started soon so keep checking back!

Anyway I'm off to celebrate! Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Direction for CertifiablyFit

Yikes it's already Wednesday!

Anyway, no worries I'm still staying on track with reviewing for my test. I have only a couple more weeks until my test date. The goal is to pass the test on March 13th.

I'm in the process of contemplating where I want to take this blog once I become certified. I have several ideas but until I have a more concrete idea I'm going to go on a little hiatus from posting. This will give me more time to really put thought into the focus I want this blog to have, as well as look at doing some minor layout changes to reflect this new direction of CertifiablyFit.

In the mean time, if you have suggestions on what you might want to see here please feel free to either leave a comment or email me at certifiablyfit@gmail.com. 

See you in a couple weeks!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Review Week #1: Chapters 1-4 & Anatomy Book/DVD

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a love filled weekend with V-Day on Sunday. 

Well like I mentioned last week, I finished up all of the new materials to study for my Personal Trainer Certification Test.  So here I am with a little less than a month before I take my test, and I’m super pumped because I know my goal is so close in sight!  Anyway to help me review this month I broke up all of the materials to review everything, which means I made To Do Lists for each week leading up to my test. So let’s get to this weeks list!

Review Week #1: Chapters 1-4 & Anatomy Book/DVD
•    Manual: Pages 1-144
•    Workbook: Pages 9-56
•    Master the Manual: Review vocabulary (Ch 1-4) & pages 1-32
•    Anatomy Book: Pages 9-180
•    DVD: Watch again
•    Flashcards: Chapters 1-4
•    Audio: Chapters 1-4

Seems like a ton of work huh? Well I’m not too concerned because I have reviewed these chapters a few times already. Whenever I finished up materials early in other weeks I would go back and review what I had already covered.  I already reviewed all of the chapter 1 materials this morning so I already have a good start for the week.

Ok so let’s switch gears for a minute and I’ll update you on my health issues. Last week I met with the cardiologist. We went over my 24hr heart rate monitor results. That came back normal, which was good. He also went over in more detail of what my blood test results from the ER where, again normal. He is pretty sure that my symptoms are not caused by my heart but to be safe I am scheduled to have a stress test and an echocardiogram. I have the stress test next Monday and the echo is scheduled for the first week in March. I’m glad to hear it is not likely my heart that is causing the problem, but it is also frustrating that I still don’t know what the problem is. If my stress test and my echo come back normal they are going to send me back to my primary doctor and likely have other tests done to try and figure this out.  As far as how I’m feeling, the past few days haven’t been too bad, but last week I felt like crap most days.  I was able to get a couple of workouts in last week at a much lower intensity, but today I was able to get in a full intensity workout and felt fine afterwards.  So for now I’m trying to just go about my normal routine when I feel fine and rest when I don’t. Hopefully in the coming weeks I will find out what is going on and what I can do to improve how I feel.

Well it’s time for some relaxing before I have my staff meeting tonight. Have a great week!

Quote of the Day: "You don't have to take life the way it comes to you. You can design your life to come to you the way you want it." ~Dan Zadra

Monday, February 8, 2010

Week 19 – Legal & Professional Responsibilities

Hey everyone! I’m going to keep this short because honestly today is one of those days where I’m not feeling so great. I have my good days and my bad ones lately. I can’t wait for my  appointment with the cardiologist on Thursday. Hopefully we can figure out what the heck is making me feel so off lately.

Anyway, as tradition it’s Monday so it is To Do List time.

Week 19 – Legal & Professional Responsibilities
• Manual: pages 465-488
• Workbook: pages 147-151
• Master the Manual: pages 119-124
• Flashcards: Chapter 18
• Audio: Chapter 18
• Online Review: Chapter 18

Well here is some exciting news. This week is the final week of new material in my studying. I’m pretty proud of the fact I made it through and stayed motivated the entire time. After this week I will have 4 weeks to my test. I sat down last week and outlined how I’m going to break up my review of everything into weekly to do lists. Yeah, I really like the “to do list” thing and it seems to have really helped me stay focused so I figured I would structure my review weeks the same way. You will see in the upcoming weeks how I broke everything up.

Well it’s time for me to rest. As soon as I get some details about what is going on with me I’ll make sure to update everyone. Have a great week!

Quote of the day: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” ~ Robert H. Schuller

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week #18 Injuries & Emergencies & Personal Health Issue

Well happy Monday everyone! So before I get into some personal health issues I’m going to get my To Do List out of the way.

Week # 18: Injuries & Emergencies
•    Manual: Pages 427-460
•    Workbook: Pages 133-143
•    Master the Manual: 105-119
•    Audio: Chapters 16 & 17
•    Flashcards: Chapters 16 & 17
•    Online Review Quiz: Chapters 16-17

So this week has two chapters which means there is a bit more work to be done. Should be no sweat since that last few weeks I am normally done the new work for the week by Thursday.  I have quite a bit on my plate with work this week so I’m going to be a busy girl fitting my studying in, especially since I will be working on Saturday again for half a day.  Going to just have to stick to my schedule and realize I don’t have as much wiggle room as I normally do.

Last week I was a little disappointed cause I only got an 82% on my review quiz. I missed 3 questions and all of them are ones that I debated between the right answer and the one I picked. I need to figure out a strategy on how to pick the best answers because it seems all of the ones I miss are ones that I debate like this. If you have any ideas please let me know.  This week I have a review quiz again and my goal is the same as it has been so I’ll be shooting for a 90% or better. Wish me luck!

Ok so now to my personal health issue….
So for the past few weeks I started to notice my heart was skipping around a bit. I didn’t really pay too much attention to it at first but last week I got scared when I got some chest pain when I was working out.  I also had a couple of other things going on that were concerning too, like when I stand up from sitting or laying down I almost pass out or get dizzy, and my feet get super cold and then really hot a few hours later.

Anyway, even though I hate going to the doctors, I made an appointment. They ran an EKG and saw I have a sinus arrhythmia, and a low resting heart rate. I also had low blood pressure. Doctor told me since I basically train like a competitive athlete, that it was likely the cause and that it wasn’t anything to worry about.  He told me that I likely was feeling the chest pain out of anxiety because I had become aware of my heart was beating irregular sometimes. We talked about my nutrition and he thought maybe I should replace some of the water I drink with electrolyte drinks because of my level of activity. He thought that might help bring my blood pressure up slightly since it would add a bit more salt to my diet.  He also told me to try to make sure I get up slowly to avoid feeling dizzy. Anyway, he told me to come back in two weeks if I was still feeling the chest pain. So off I went and picked up some Gatorade (the low sugar kind, which I have to say is quite tasty), and headed home.  End of problem right….um nope it gets more complicated here in a minute.

So the next day I felt a little better.  I was drinking the Gatorade, and getting up slowly. I worked out with no chest pains. I had a little pain throughout the day, but realized that when I felt it was when I was noticing my heart was jumping around.  So I thought that everything was fine.

The next day was Friday and this is where things started to happen that made me realize that may not be the case.  I was good until about 10am and then all of a sudden I had a bunch of weird things happening. I started to get really breathless anytime I was talking, I have several times where I would be in the middle of a conversation and I would completely forget what I was talking about, I got really fatigued, I would get dizzy every time I stood even though I was doing it slowly, and my appetite totally disappeared.  So after lunch, I called the doctor’s office and described what was going on. They relayed the message to the doctor and he had the nurse call me back and tell me to go to the Emergency Room because he thought I might be having blood clots traveling to my lungs.

So I go to the ER. I’m going to leave out my rant about them making my partner leave while the doctor was with me because I’m sure none of you want to read that LOL! Anyway, they run some tests and determine that there are no clots going to my lungs.  They had me hooked up to a heart rate monitor while we waited for the blood tests and my chest x-ray to come back. The doctor was sure I wasn’t in any immediate danger so he released me but was putting a call into a cardiologist to get me an appointment to be put on a Holter monitor and to get an echocardiogram.  He said I could continue to workout if I felt like it but to stop if I had any chest pain while doing it.  He told me that I should expect a call on Monday and he sent me on my way.

 Saturday was a total wash for me as far as being productive. I felt just like I did Friday and since I was off I spent a lot of time just resting and not feeling like doing anything. Then on Sunday I wake up and feel fine again.  What the heck right? This morning I got up and felt ok too.  Then around lunch time I started to feel weird again and had a lot of the symptoms I had on Friday and Saturday. When I came home from work I had to lie down and take a nap because I was so tired. After my nap I got up and made myself eat, and then I felt fine again. I still have to be careful about getting up and my feet are freezing again but other than that I feel normal.

As far as working out I’m a bit scared too do anything too intense until I know what is going on. So I have stopped my bike training for now. I’m sticking to a walking program, some yoga, and light weight training but only when I don’t feel totally wiped out.  I know when I feel alright it would drive me nuts to be totally inactive. The walking thing is kind of a nice change of pace and even though it is freezing out it was nice to see the sun rise this morning.

I have the appointment to get the Holter monitor on tomorrow and then next week I have my follow up visit. So hopefully by then they can figure out what the heck is wrong with me.  I’ll keep you updated as I find out more.

Anyway I need to get off here and get some study time in before I have my staff meeting tonight at 9:15pm. Hope you all have a great week!

Quote of the Day: "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." ~ Greg Anderson