training

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!

I was 17, walking from the girls bathroom to my Geology class during passing period.  I had an extra spring in my step that day – I looked so cute!  I’ll never forget the grey shirt with black velvety stripes, the black pleated skirt ala Britney Spears coupled with my new patterned opaque tights and Mary Jane shoes.  I spotted a couple of girls at their lockers looking as cute as me; but my boobs were bigger and my waist smaller and I thought to myself, “I look way better!” No sooner was I seated at my lab table then the Swedish exchange student walked over to me and said, “Kala…” he didn't have to finish his sentence.  I knew immediately that I had walked down the hallway with my skirt tucked into the back of my tights and I was completely mortified!  As a teenager I cringed at the event, as an adult I realize the lesson I was being taught.  I wasn't better.

“Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” Galatians 5:26 (New Living Translation)

More and more employers have put an emphasis on teamwork in the workplace, leaving little room for those who do not play nice with others.  I recently transferred into and new job and replaced someone who was great.  While it’s easier to find the things that he did poorly and showcase MY strengths, the real challenge is focusing on his wins and reminding myself that I am building upon that.

My way, his way… neither is better or worse.  We lead differently plain and simple, we have a different approach to business, training and communication.  I'm certain that I will be able to take my job to another level, I am also certain that a great leader can step away to let another shine; and for that I'm grateful for this chance.

“Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for the talents you have given me.  Help me to recognize when I am being selfish and when I’m frustrated, show me the bigger picture so that I can move on.

A Fitness Plan that Works

One of the greatest challenges for busy women is to have CONSISTISTENCY with their exercise program. I frequently have women tell me, “I can’t stick with anything.”  If you can relate, have you ever given much thought as to WHY? I have discovered the reason is that most busy women have not found an exercise program that works for their schedule and the demands of their life?  Therefore when the demands of life happen, their workouts become hit or miss (inconsistent) or they quit all together. Think about it. When starting an exercise program, do you assess your schedule to see how much time you have and what plan is best for your lifeSTYLE and personal fitness goals?

 Take for example my client, Lisa. She was attempting to do one hour of cardio exercise Monday–Friday at her local gym. To increase her metabolism and muscle tone, she planned to add one strength training workout a week, but often struggled to get it done. She was unmotivated, bored and under the impression that she her strength training program would take her over an hour each week. She felt stuck and wondered how to make it work. With her work load and travel approximately three days a week, she found it challenging to stick with that program.

 By assessing her schedule, we were able to create a new work out that fit her lifestyle and met her fitness goals.

  • Because her time was limited Monday-Friday, we developed a cardiovascular work out that can be done in less than an hour with intensity that is challenging for her and can be done when traveling at most hotel gyms. Instead of giving up all together because her time is limited, she was able to see that she can still burn the same amount of calories in a shorter amount of time if working properly.

 

  • She is no longer bored and has overcome her misconception that weight training is slow and takes a long time. She now has a 30 minute strength training workout that she can do at her the gym at her office or at her hotel gym.  Her program motivates her because she is moving quickly, which eliminates boredom and with a new intensity, she is seeing results in her muscle tone.

 Lisa struggled to be consistent with her program of one hour of cardio exercise Monday-Friday and one day of strength training a week.  Her new program is 3-4 days a week of 30-45 minutes of cardio and one day of 30 minutes strength training work out. It is not only quick for her busy life, but at an intensity that allows her to meet her fitness goals.

 She now has a fitness program that fits her schedule and motivates her because she it is one that will give her CONSISTENCY.

 Lisa’s solution may not be your solution.  But that is the whole point of a personal fitness design.  We are all unique women with different challenges, busy lifestyles and goals.  There is not one program that fits all women. To be consistent, you need to find what works for your personal schedule. If you are stuck, unsure of what to do and feel like consistency is a challenge, I would love to help you with a free telephone consultation. Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com and place consultation in the subject line to set up a time.

 

No More New Year’s Resolutions

This may be time of the year when you are gearing up for a New Year’s resolutions to start your fitness program, lose weight or eat better.

 In my 20 yearsexperience in fitness as a certified personal training, weight loss instructor, licensed well coach and leader in the industry, I have learn that 50% of women drop out of most fitness programs within the first 6 months.  It is heartbreaking for me, as someone who is passionate about health and fitness, to see these women give up.  I have come to learn the reason why. 

 The truth is there is no one “diet” or exercise program that works for everyone. To be successful in weight management, women must find what works for them, personally.  Each year they are told something different. Give up carbs and their favorite foods; do P90X; walk 30 minutes a day or do the latest dance class craze. It can be confusing and overwhelming. The problem for most busy women is they are attempting new programs that are not conducive to their busy lifestyle or address the issues that lead to their inconsistency. When it does not work, it can quickly lead to feeling like a failure and giving up any hope that healthy eating and exercise are even possible.

 I know without a shadow of a doubt there is hope and they do not have to give up just because it is not working. For me, as a career mom with a desire to be healthy, I understand the challenges of multiple responsibilities with long to do lists for many women.

 If you are ready to be in control of your eating and have a consistent exercise program, even with your busy lifestyle, forget the New Year’s Resolutions.  You know they never work long term anyway.  Instead consider designing a personalized food and fitness plan that you know will work with your schedule and lifestyle.  Throw out what worked in the past (temporarily) or for some one else and discover how to be confident in your own program because you know you can do it consistently. 

 If you’re unsure how to do that and you’d like some help, a free consultation with me might be the best way to get started.  We will discuss strategies to overcome certain food triggers and inconsistencies in your exercise; the best exercise program and eating plan for your schedule; and what motivates you to exercise and eat healthy for a lifetime.  

 Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to get scheduled for this free session.

 

 

Next Level Fitness- Part 3

After strengthening your core and then balancing the amount of aerobic/anaerobic training, supporting your body nutritionally is the next best way to take your fitness to the next level. The first choice is to listen to your Mom, and eat at least 5 servings of veggies and fruit, (preferably organic) eat lean and clean protein, moderate complex carbohydrates and minimal sugar. The less processed, fried and fast foods, the better. Due to depleted soils, it’s a good idea to supplement. For performance, my top 3 recommendations are B complex, vitamin C, and Co Enzyme Q 10.  

B Complex- The B vitamins are extremely important in many, many reactions in the body. You need these for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism (and alcohol, too) as well as for energy production. Seriously, need I say more? The list is so long and I cannot over emphasize how important the B vits are. Make sure the label has all of these: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin and folate listed on the label.

 

Vitamin C: First of all, vitamin C is a great antioxidant. If you are an aerobic junkie or training for a marathon, then that is reason enough to take 1 gram of vitamin C per day. It gets even better, though! This lovely vitamin is important in enzyme activation, nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and tone…. Need I say more? Go eat an orange and buy a quality vitamin C product for daily love for your body.

 

Co Enzyme Q 10: Critical for energy production in our cells, this powerhouse molecule is another great addition for fitness training. Actually, the way that is works makes it great for health as well, providing protection for the heart with it’s energy producing capacity. Can you even believe that it’s a great anti-oxidant as well? True, very true.

 

It’s a great idea to ask your healthcare provider- MD, DC, pharmacist, or RD about the amounts just right for you. Getting a nutrition consult to assess your protein, calorie and nutrient needs for your fitness training is a great way to take your fitness to the next level. If you are in Austin, make an appointment with me, and I’ll be happy to go over these topics on a one on one basis. I could on with more recommendations, but this is a blog, so I’ll stop here… J

FREE Refreshing Orange Slice Creative Commons

Next Level Fitness Part 2

After adding core work to your daily routine, the next way you can take your fitness to the next level is to incorporate both types of cardio work: anaerobic and aerobic. Each one uses different metabolic pathways in our bodies, the first without oxygen and the second uses oxygen. I am going to explain why this is important and how to add each one to whatever kind of exercise you are currently doing.

Back in the 80’s the emphasis was on aerobic exercise only. Now, research is supporting a mixture of both aerobic and anaerobic. It actually leads to more favorable effects on our hormones, including cortisol, insulin, glucagons and human growth hormone (HGH). This affects our energy levels, immune system, inflammation, as well as the way our body processes and stores sugar, protein and fat. Balancing aerobic and anaerobic training will allow your body to have more efficient metabolism.

Another reason to balance these two forms of working out is to better manage the end products of the pathways. Everyone who has ever worked out really hard and had soreness experienced lactic acid. This is the end product of anaerobic training. On the other end of the spectrum is oxidative load from aerobic training. Our bodies are really amazing at cleaning up oxidative stressors in the body, and completely avoiding oxidative stress is impossible. The goal is to do what we can to not cause excessive oxidative load, and avoiding excessive aerobic exercise is a really good idea for overall health and wellness. I could write a lot more on the subject, but will refrain to give you the bottom line.

Let’s move on to “the How”. It’s easy to balance your current workout by changing your exertion level. Aerobic training is at ~ 65 – 75% exertion level and anaerobic is higher at ~ 85-90%. So if you walk for exercise, start with the lower exertion level for about 5 minutes, and then take it up a notch and walk briskly (until you can’t talk when you walk and/or are breathing heavily) for about 1 minute, then take it back down for 5 minutes and allow your body to catch up. Repeat 4-5 times, and you will have successfully incorporated both anaerobic and aerobic pathways to your work out. You can apply this principle to cycling, elliptical, and just about any type of workout that you do. Any type of class that says it uses “burst” training is probably using this balanced approach. The key is to not overdo either one. It’s always a good idea to run new exercise programs by your doctor.

Take your fitness to the next level by balancing your the internal pathways you use when you work out. It’s healthier, and more efficient. You can’t get any better than that!

Run to win! 5K/10K training tips

This past fall I rekindled my love of running. I ran a ton in high school and have put in a few miles and races since then but never REALLY got back into it...until 2010. The first few runs were really rough - my breathing was off, I got side cramps, and at least once a run had to tell my running partner to slow down. It really wasn't the glorious, effortless experience I was expecting. Looking back, I am SO glad I didn't give up when it was tough because after 2-3 weeks I got my flow, learning how to breathe and prevent side-cramps, my endurance and lungs got so much stronger. Now if I miss a run I really MISS a run. I feel like every-time I lace up my shoes and get out there it's a win. Here are some tips I'm learning along the way - hope they help you win too!

  • Gear up. Without the right gear running (especially during the winter!) can be a cold, painful, pitiful drag. Key pieces to invest in that will keep you on your feet: a good pair of running shoes, timing watch, running tights and turtleneck (dry-wick), socks with arch support (I love these!), dry-wick/fleece headband to keep your ears warm and the sweat out of your eyes, hat, fingerless gloves, and sunscreen. Layer up! You can always take off a jacket mid-run if you feel you're too toasty. If I'm running alone I like to use an ipod - if I'm running with my running partner we usually end up chatting the whole time...except for the uphills!
  • Proper Fuel. Lots of veggies, fruits, whole-grains like brown rice or oatmeal, lean proteins, raw nuts and seeds, and tons of H20. Limit your refined sugar intake to keep your immune system strong. Pre-morning runs I try to at least have a big glass of water and a piece of fruit. Granola bars or yogurt are also good options. My post-run routine is Emergen-c, green tea and oatmeal with almond butter and all-fruit spread or fresh berries(sooo good and filling!).
  • Consistency. Be consistent in your running days and times - mark running dates on the calendar (in pen!) and stick to them. I like to get mine done first thing in the morning before all of the distractions of life get me off track. It's a lot easier to come up with excuses about how busy I am at 6pm than at 6am.
  • Motivation. Honestly, when my alarm goes off at the crack of dawn while it's dark and freezing outside, my first thought is NOT, "this run is going to be so great for my cardiovascular fitness" or "I can't wait to get out there and build my endurance!". My thoughts are usually along the lines of, "if I don't get my booty in gear I'm going to be late to meet my running buddy!" or "if I miss this run it's going to be a lot harder the next time". I have to have my running gear laid out the night before and lunch packed so I don't even have to think about it when I wake up - I'm on autopilot for the first 10min.
  • Measurable Goals. Runner's World has a great, free running log that I love using. It's always a great feeling "adding miles" to the log and watching your progress grow! Signing up for a few races a year is another way to push yourself to run faster, longer, and stronger. Make it a group thing with your pals and be sure to grab brunch afterwards :).

Happy running!

Hairstyle vs. Lifestyle

Hair style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself.

Hubert de Givenchy

In the documentary Good Hair, Chris Rock investigates the marvel of African American women and their hair. He attempts to sell African American hair, only to hear vendors tell him it’s not Good Hair. He interviews women who pay $1000+ for hair pieces and sacrifice family necessities to have Good Hair.

In 1993, Dr. Jo Anne Cornwell, Associate Professor at San Diego State University launched Sisterlocks, a trademark company dedicated to empowering women to embrace their cultural roots by rejecting chemicals and processes that negate the natural state of their hair. Sisterlocks is a natural hair management system which allows women with tightly textured hair to take advantage of a wide range of today’s hair styles without having to alter the natural texture of their hair. Rather than processing the hair  to straighten it, Sisterlocks maximizes the natural characteristics of the hair.

Vivianne Pearson, Round Rock, Texas, noticed a co-worker's hair about two years ago. She was impressed with what looked like tiny braids in a uniformed pattern, only to find out they were not braids but Sisterlocks. She recently returned from Atlanta, Georgia where she attended a four-day training to become a Certified Sisterlocks Consultant. Not only is she enjoying a life free from chemicals, but celebrates the money she is saving. I love educating African American women about how to embrace their natural beauty.

Sisterlocks is not about a hairstyle, it's about a lifestyle.

-Sisterlocks

For information about Sisterlocks, contact Vivianne at lockcouture.com or 803-719-2632.

G.I. Jane

Last week my sister and I watched G.I. Jane with Demi Moore.  I had seen parts of the movie before, but had never really sat down and watched the entire thing.  The part of the movie that I liked the most was seeing her training.  She had to physically train more to be a Navy Seal in order to keep up with the men who were in training for the same thing.  The part of the movie that I didn’t like was that she wanted to be treated like a man.  She didn’t want any special treatment because she was a woman.  As a woman, I want special treatment: doors opened for me and being spoken to with kindness.  I don’t want to be overlooked for career opportunities that would better myself and those around me because I am a woman. This past weekend I was part of an amazing conference for youth and young adults, Elevate 10 at Shoreline Church.  I had the honor and opportunity to see lives transformed through worship, messages, and most importantly the presence of God.  My role was to direct the conference and lead the tworship (technical + worship = tworship) team, which included all men except me.  A woman leading men can work.  Why does it work?  We are all working toward the same vision: to create an environment to make the name of Jesus famous and to create an atmosphere where lives are transformed.  We have respect for one another’s roles, gifts, and talents.  We treat each other w/respect by the way we speak to one another.  Each of us own our roles and take responsibility for them.  We want everything to be done with excellence.  We have established relationships so we trust one another.  I had a blast and our team worked great together.

I had women all around me at the conference, most of them younger than me.  It was incredibly refreshing to see women praying for one another, encouraging one another, serving one another, leading one another, and being one another’s best cheerleaders.  It is a high value for me to be supported, believed in, encouraged, and given ownership of things.  From the lobby, to the café, to the breakout sessions, to the main sessions, I was able to see women in roles leading, serving, owning, and being believed in to make the conference happen.  You could see the joy on their faces as they were serving and knowing they were making a difference.

The “Single Ladies” breakout session with Heather Frierson and Tamra Cobbins gave great perspective on dating, singleness, and marriage.  The question every woman wants answered is, “Am I beautiful?”  When you truly believe that Jesus made you unique and beautiful, you have confidence and completeness in Him.  Then your heart is more open to what Jesus has for you and it’s easier to attract a complete man as well.  That’s a bonus.

Women are special.  They are servants.  They are leaders.  They are daughters of Jesus.  I am going to serve and lead, but most of all I am going to enjoy being the daughter of The King.

Stacy McVane

www.stacymcvane.com

Update on training…kind of :)

Ok, well it’s been over a week in my Capital 10K training program and I’ll confess…it’s been rough. Not the training itself – the fitting it into my life. Thankfully I HAVE run at least a few times and Monday is a fresh start to a new week.  Training Pt II to be continued…

Let the Training Begin

Ok…so after doing a little research about training for a 10K I’m realizing I’m more of a “beginner” runner than an actual full-fledge “runner” (which is what I liked to call myself). Reading things like “5 easy miles” or “35 minute 10k” makes me giggle a little. I don’t think I’ve run “5 easy miles” since high school!!! I did however find some really cool beginner’s 10K training schedules online. If you’re up for dropping a little money Runner’s World has a GREAT training log you can purchase online (click here to check it out). I decided to opt for a non-cost option and found a training schedule that looks possible at Cari-fit. There are only (6) weeks to go until the Capital 10K so this program is perfect! This Monday is day 1 so I’ll keep you posted…ps – I dare you to try it