Serial Trainer

{June 1, 2012}   INSANITY Week One

Hello again, everyone!

I’m blogging so I guess this means I survived week one of INSANITY workout!

I have to tell you, it wasn’t easy by any means. This workout is as intense as it says on the infomercial. I wanted something to kick my butt back into status quo and believe me; it did. Quick, fast, and in a hurry. Since I had taken a month hiatus from working out, and my workouts were pretty mellow and easy going previous to me beginning, I’d like to share with you my experience with the first week. Many of you will be ordering this and haven’t worked out in years. That’s good and bad.

Here’s my advice: Stock up on Ibuprofen and ice packs.

I’m not by any means an athlete just because I train. If you’re not, liken this workout to the severity of Boot Camp. You will get a wake up call. The trick is this; do not stop trying every day and do not give up. It will be tempting to shut off the DVD, quietly stuff it back in its sleeve, then tuck it in a drawer so no one will know you started; but most importantly no one will know you couldn’t finish.

Tell someone. Yep. I said it. I challenge you to do it. Tell your friends and family you are doing it, and the day you started it. Hold yourself accountable. Trust me. I guarantee that if you do this it will be that much harder to give up because they will be curious as to a few things. Does it really work? Are you going to get results? Can you do it? If so, can they?

My first three days were the worst. Hands down. I’d like to take you through my second and third day, not to scare you, but to be realistic with you. Be forewarned it isn’t pretty.

Day One: Having the naivete of a doe timidly testing the new fallen snow, I opened up my DVD and placed the first disk inside. I was run over by a truck. I have no recollection of what happened after that.

Day Two: I woke up and had to do what every normal human being has to do at 7 AM. I had to use the restroom. I pop my head up, go to step out of bed and realize I’ve now turned into a newborn giraffe who has no idea where their footing is or how to balance on them. My calves have locked up and my hamstrings don’t want to fully extend. I’m now wide awake and stumbling to the bathroom before I soil myself. Note to self: Take ibuprofen.

Day Three: I thought I was past day two. Do I have Mad Cow disease? I can barely move my legs. Even after all that pain yesterday, I continued to do the workout AND STRETCH even more than required. Working out the muscles seemed to help and I felt the holocaust was over. I was wrong. Note to self: Stretch even more. Take more ibuprofen.

Day Four: I made it through the worst. I can now walk somewhat normal. If I walk slowly and don’t sit for too long and allow muscles to get stiff. Still clinging to ibuprofen bottle.

I hope that this sends a clear message to you. Be Prepared to work for the results you want. Be ready for blood, sweat and tears. But I promise you it is worth it.

I won’t add pics yet because I want to follow the regiment that was given. I will take them at the two week mark. However, I’ve lost 4lbs and my size 6 clothing is finally a little loose instead of snug. I’m VERY pleased with the visual results. I feel amazing and my glutes feel amazing 😉 I can already feel the lift and tightening! Today is going to be rough again. I begin the Cardio Power and Resistance Day.

I think I have a bedpan somewhere.


{December 22, 2010}   Ch’Arms…? Seriously!?

So..Ch’arms. I sat down one morning and heard Rod Ryan of the Buzz (94.5 in Houston) and he was ranting about these things. I couldn’t help but go and look into this. They are Spanx..for your arms. I’m *almost* speechless.


But that would be like asking me not to breathe..and well..that’s not gonna happen anytime soon!

If you have 29.99 to buy Ch’arms, you have dues for a health club membership or a payment on some kind of exercise equipment. It will certainly buy you a kettle ball or fitness ball. And guess what? Push ups are free, ladies.

Have we seriously entered into the realm of DENIAL? Stuffing yourself into spanx and ch’arms like a sausage is nearly ridiculous. Now, ladies, we’ve all bought “control top” pantyhose..what happens?  Everything gets held in there and ….drumroll….gets muffin topped elsewhere. Honestly, what is the point!? Body Spanx?


Accept that you’re beautiful. You’re real. You’re working on issues, don’t try to hide them in stretchy body trampolines. At least carry some scissors in case your blood stops flowing.

I stopped picking up a lot of the fitness magazines that I used to love. Let me tell you why:

My first reason is that they are cutting back on the quality of information and recycling it in future issues. I remember picking up a magazine that I won’t name (not so much into slander these days, sorry) and seeing beautiful depicted anatomy pictures. You have to know what you’re working on in order to know what you’re doing, folks. I don’t expect you to know all the “big names” of muscles but it’s nice to physically see how that anatomy works.

Is it just me or are people too trusting these days? Let me get on a little soap box about this before I continue ..

You go to a health club. You decide you need some ask for a personal trainer. You walk in for your first session and your personal trainer shows up and is maybe 19. Maybe. Male or female, they have a great body. Pause.

How many 19 year olds DON’T have a great body??  Ask them what THEY ate for lunch and it’ll probably be something like “Subway 6 inch sub with chips and a diet coke” or..even worse…”Pizza”. Now ..before panties get in a bunch, this is not the BIBLE of scenarios but this is typical. I’m 37 years old. If I eat a subway sandwhich with chips and a coke everyday for lunch, I’m gaining at least 5lbs by the end of the week.

Let’s also point out that they work in a health club. They train people all day. That’s moving around, demonstrating exercises and running back and forth between protein bars. It’s the same concept as The Biggest Loser. Those people spend their day being active in a controlled environment with cooked meals. It’s an amazing transformation and they work VERY hard, but the average person doesn’t achieve those kinds of results for a reason. Note that you shouldn’t be discouraged by this NOR should you use it as an excuse. It’s just a reality check.

Now back to my beef :

I understand that in order to stay in business, there has to be advertisers. But when I’m paying $4 for a magazine, I don’t want to have more than half of it be advertising …and most of all, for things that aren’t related to health! There has to be a better idea than posting 12 full page advertising ads in between “Building better abs” and “Gorgeous Glutes”.

I don’t care what the latest sexual stimulant is. I don’t care about Bat-dung based supplements. I want to see REAL people, in real fitness gear, in real life situations coming out on top. I’m tired of seeing celebrities who have money for the luxuries of 5 day a week personal trainers, on call chefs, swimming pools in their bedrooms and liposuction on “bad months” when they couldn’t do it themselves. I want to see real struggles. Fall on your face for us, but get the hell back up and show us we can too.

And for the love of all things holy, stop putting the “Increase Breast Size Cream” ads in your magazine!!

{August 10, 2008}   Protein: What’s It All About?

Protein Shakes, Protein Supplements, Protein Diets. We hear the word every day but do we really know anything about it?

What is Protein?
Protein is vital to life. That’s the first thing you need to know. Protein is found in your hair, your eyes, skin, muscles, blood, etc. It is second to water as being the most plentiful substance in your body.

Protein can be put together by our body, which I like to refer to as machines (yeah, I did watch a lot of Transformers as a child). Did you know there are about eight types of protein that we cannot produce? That means we must get them from the food we eat. It is harder to gain those essential amino acids from plant life and so the easiest and fastest way to getting them is through animal protein.

Before anyone starts finding out where I am and throwing buckets of blood on me — stop, breathe, and take the CARRIE DVD out of your player. I’m not encouraging anyone to eat meat, that’s a personal issue. I’m just stating the facts here. You can get protein from plants but it’s harder. It’s found more abundantly in animal protein and it is also a little harder to digest plant protein.

So how much protein do you need a day? Well that’s a great question! The answer is that it varies. Take into account a person’s sex and age and refer to the chart below.

[ the chart was borrowed, forgive me I lost my source! you can click on the image to enlarge it]

* Teenage boys and active men can get all the protein they need from three daily servingsfor a total of seven ounces.
* For children age 2 to 6, most women, and some older people, the government recommends two daily servings for a total of five ounces.
* For older children, teen girls, active women, and most men, the guidelines give the nod to two daily servings for a total of six ounces.

Studies have shown that we take in much more protein than we need, which leads to what? Say it with me! More calories.

Benefits of Protein:

* protein aids in the repair and recovery from workouts
* protein strengthens your immune system
* protein increases your lean muscle mass
* protein aids in satiety
* protein make antibodies and hemoglobin (delivers oxygen to blood cells)

Those of you that are participating in a high protein diet or thinking about it should know that there are serious side affects. Please do not attempt any diet unless you’ve consulted with your doctor. Diets high in protein produce rapid weight loss by stimulating the loss of fluids from the body. That sounds great to people desperate to lose weight but this can be extremely detrimental to your health.

People ask me all the time about diet fads. Those fads don’t necessarily have “names” attached to them. There’s always someone who will ask me about the diets they find on the internet like the “Lemonade Diet”. If you refer to my previous post about these diet fads, you’ll see that I point out that the one thing all diets have in common (and consequently it works, go figure). They all cut your calories. Check it out for yourself. I’ll wait…

Are you back with me? You can see that the calorie count is probably near the same. I can say that you should get a varied diet. Veggies, carbs, fats, proteins — all of them!  You can put as much healthy food into your food basket and if you’re not aware of how many calories you’re consuming, or how many you’re burning, you’re skating uphill.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this but here it goes again. It’s really not that hard. If you carry a small notepad around with you, you can sign online and enter all your food when you get home, or do it right after you finish eating (like I do).

What you’ll start seeing is that you remember how many calories something contains and you learn proper portions. While you’re learning that, your mind is actively aware and you’re not eating what I call “zombie calories”.

Zombie Calories are calories consumed while you zone out on the computer, watching television, chat on the phone, etc. You have no idea what you ate because you weren’t paying attention. Give yourself a quiet place to eat and pay attention to what you’re putting in your face.

I’m not one to sugar coat things, as many of you know. If you want to continue to eat the foods that have gotten you to where you are now, then eat them. Just don’t make excuses. Thyroid problems account for maybe 10-15lbs of weight, not 75 (in most cases, I won’t claim to be an expert). Donuts from Shipley’s accounts for a helluva lot more.

If you can’t devote your time to eating better or eating less, get off your butt and move. Take charge of your life, your mouth, your impulses, your health. A walk is not something that cannot be done every night by 90% of you. ALL of you have 15-30 min’s a day to give yourself..and if you don’t then make the time. Not tomorrow, not next week on Monday. Right now. Don’t wait until you’ve gained another five pounds. Don’t wait until you cannot fit into those favorite jeans. Do it now.

Get your life on track because if you don’t, you’re derailing yourself. You’re setting yourself up for failure. The lower you go, the harder it is for you to get back up. You owe it to yourself. Lift up your self-esteem a few notches and take your belt down a few. If it’s not weight you need to lose, do something to strengthen your heart. Tone up so you can carry more groceries or your kids around. Feel better every morning instead of waking up and feeling like you’re in the body of someone 20 years your senior.

I can only do so much from this webpage. The rest has to be you. Take tonight to sit down and write about what motivates you. Actively put sticky-notes around the house to remind you.

When I was taking my Intro to Health Sciences Class, I took the bus every day to the school. It was a two hour bus ride and the only thing that made it worth while was the second bus I took. The bus driver was this awesome guy who was very social and friendly and always talked to me until I got off the bus in front of the school.

So my bus driver, I’ll call him R, tells me that he used to be an accountant. One day he was listening to the radio and he heard a show talking about the two top professions that had the highest suicide rate. Accountants and Psychologists. He said it was shortly after that, that he had an picture of himself taken and he was pale and he had a gruff, overgrown beard and was growing around the waist.

That was enough for him. He shaved down the beard, bought himself a bike and even put a little note on it that said “Play with me” so that when he passed it, it reminded him of his goals. He started riding every day, miles and miles, eventually.

The best thing about this was that he looked great for being in his 30’s! He reminded me a lot of those wrestlers you see on TV. Flashy sunglasses, nice tan, groomed goatee. I nearly fell over when he told me he was 50..not 30.

But he’s a prime example of people taking the time to make small changes in their life which turn out to be monumental events before they even knew it. Whatever motivates you, find it. Exploit it until you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. It doesn’t take long to get into a positive routine rather than a bad habitual routine.

If you find yourself flipping through channels, Zombie-stare and drool in place, going through them over and over and still finding nothing to watch until that time slot is over and a new bunch of shows begin? Turn. Off. The. Television.

My all time favorite? If you’re sitting on the couch and are watching an exercise show? May your face get stuck in the ice cream carton. Get up and move!

{August 6, 2008}   The Truth About “Diets”

The purpose of this post is to address the question of “Diets”. A lot of people have their own preference in diets and so I don’t like to debunk things unless I find them very unhealthy. However, I am a busy mom and I don’t have a lot of time, usually. I’m also a very “straight to the point” kind of person. With that being said, I treat my clients, friends and family the same way. I give them a no-nonsense answer right away, no BS.

The common factor in all diets? Cutting calories. It just so happens to be that the common factor is also fail-proof. I want to point out one thing, though. Eating only just one kind of food or cutting out all carbs for a long period of time is not healthy. Short term diets of these kinds, with supervision and approval from your doctor beforehand is crucial. Underlying health affects can adversely react to how you eat.

So what’s the secret formula? Calorie in VS. Calorie out. It’s just that simple. Really!

Alright then that poses another question. Some of the healthier foods are higher in calories than the junk food. And if you can eat junk food and it’s less calories, wow! That’s awesome, right!?

For all of you squirming in your chair for the inevitable answer, here it is. The weight loss results would be the same — if you could maintain it. But the truth is, you would feel like crap if you ate all junk food and not the healthier options. It’s like putting low-grade gas in your brand new Mercedes or Bentley. Even with the gas prices being absurd you wouldn’t do that. Right?

The bottom line is that you really are what you eat. Processed foods, junk foods, etc. They are empty calories. They fill you up for 10 min’s and leave us feeling empty and hungry again. It’s like being in love and dumped all in the same day.

You want to plan meals that are going to keep your body satisfied and ready to face each day without feeling like you’re running on fumes and ready to crawl into bed by 10:30 AM. Let’s be real for a minute. You want regularity.

The basic truth lies in the fact that you cannot digest junk food all the time and not face health risks. Who cares if you look great in those jeans if you have 3 months to live. Or the quality of life is so poor because you have no energy for anything.

So when you’re sitting there today looking at a box of cereal that has those cute little cartoon characters on it. You know the one with the funny little jingle that talks about being part of a “complete” breakfast? Scoot down the isle to the healthier brands. Read the labels. I’ve seen everything from 220 calories per cup down to 110. The extra calories are worth it, you just have to adjust your meals for the rest of the day. And as momma always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”

Interesting read that I found browsing news about the hurricane. I live in Houston so we have to be more vigilant. I just find it amusing that they are just now posting this when it’s been going on for years but at the same time grateful that they continue do so for parents still in the dark.

WASHINGTON -Parents looking for healthy meal choices for their children are likely to find slim pickings on the menus of the nation’s top restaurant chains, according to a report released Monday by a nonprofit public health group.

Nearly every possible combination of the children’s meals at Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A are too high in calories, the report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest said.

The report looked into the nutritional quality of kids’ meals at 13 major restaurant chains. The center found 93 percent of 1,474 possible choices at the 13 chains exceed 430 calories _ an amount that is one-third of what the National Institute of Medicine recommends that children ages 4 through 8 should consume in a day. [ taken from AOL NEWS ]

Every day in America, new fast food and restaurant chains are being built to lure people in. People who are unaware of exactly how many calories they are putting into their body, but more than that, what those calories and chemicals do. Now, this is in no way a ploy or advocation of anyone to run out and sue them. You’re responsible for your own actions in this case. Why would you put something into your body that has public record of what it contains? There are online nutritional guides.
Pay attention to your body. How does it feel once you’ve shoved all that fat and grease into your veins? Sluggish? Tired? Aching? Sickly? That’s not a coincidence.
And did you know that the chemicals that are in those foods cause you to want more? To want to over-eat? You know that it’s very unhealthy and yet you continue to order the Super-Sized Menu options. Why not live another day? Add a day onto the end of your life and get a salad.
I want to show you what your veins look like when they are clogged with plague and cholesterol. Warning for the weak stomachs out there, it’s not pretty:
Am I high risk for getting PVDs?

There are things that increase your chances of getting PVDs that you may not be able to change. These are:

* Being on bedrest after an illness or injury.
* Having diabetes.
* Increasing age. As you get older, your blood vessels become less flexible.
* Long periods without activity, like sitting or standing for several hours without moving around.
* Pregnancy.
* Someone else in your family having heart or blood vessel disease.

[ taken from Salinas Valley Memorial Health Care System]

It’s time that you realized that it’s not just us, the parents/adults, suffering. It’s our children. And exposing them to this kind of health hazard is abuse in it’s own right. Again, I’m not talking about parents or adults that eat out once in a blue moon. I’m talking about the every other day visits. Once a week. Even once a month would be pushing it in my book but things come up. Being prepared for those things and having snacks on hand is a much better alternative.

{July 31, 2008}   Exercise for Overweight Women

This comes from Medscape, a site that I visit because I’ll be attending Med School and I want to keep up on what’s new in the Medical Field. I take no credit for this article.

July 30, 2008 — In addition to limiting energy intake, overweight and obese women may need to exercise 55 minutes a day, 5 days per week, to sustain a weight loss of 10% during 2 years, according to the results of a study reported in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“The importance of physical activity may be heightened in the maintenance of clinically significant weight loss,” write John M. Jakicic, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and colleagues. “The consensus on recommendations for physical activity is a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week, or 150 min/week. There is growing consensus that more exercise may be necessary to enhance long-term weight loss.”

Between December 1, 1999, and January 31, 2003, a total of 201 overweight and obese women with no contraindications to weight loss or physical activity were recruited from a hospital-based weight loss research center and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 behavioral weight loss intervention groups according to physical activity energy expenditure (1000 vs 2000 kcal/week) and intensity (moderate vs vigorous).

With a combination of in-person conversations and telephone calls during the 24-month study period, participants were also encouraged to reduce intake to 1200 to 1500 kcal/day. At baseline, body mass index was 27 to 40 kg/m2, and age range was 21 to 45 years.

The intervention groups did not differ significantly in weight loss at 6 months (8% – 10% of initial body weight) or 24 months (5% of initial body weight). Compared with individuals sustaining a weight loss of less than 10% of initial body weight, those sustaining a loss of 10% or more of initial body weight at 24 months reported performing more physical activity (1835 kcal/week or 275 minutes/week; P < .001), based on post hoc analysis.

“The addition of 275 minutes/week of physical activity, in combination with a reduction in energy intake, is important in allowing overweight women to sustain a weight loss of more than 10%,” the study authors write. “Interventions to facilitate this level of physical activity are needed.”

Limitations of this study include the amount of physical activity based on self-report and inability to examine the additive effect of different doses of physical activity above what could be achieved with diet alone.

In an accompanying commentary, Warren G. Thompson, MD, and James A. Levine, MD, PhD, from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, note that dieting is modestly effective for the short-term effect of obesity but that the long-term benefit is still unproven.

“Jakicic et al beautifully demonstrate that sustained weight loss requires the continued achievement of 2000 kcal/wk of physical activity,” Drs. Thompson and Levine write. “We believe that 2000 kcal/wk of physical activity can be achieved through a combination of strategies, including increased formal exercise, a modified work and school environment that allows for movement while working and learning, and a modified home environment with less television and more movement. Further research in sustainability of activity is urgently needed if we are to solve the obesity epidemic.”

The National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute supported this study. Dr Jakicic is on the Scientific Advisory Board for BodyMedia, Inc, and the Calorie Control Council. Three of the study authors have obtained funding.

Dr. Levine, designer of the Walkstation, earns a royalty from Steelcase, Inc.

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:1550-1559, 1559-1560.

{July 29, 2008}   Let’s Get Started!

Hello, everyone! For those of you that drop in, this would be my introductory post on what I hope is a very active and informative blog.

I’m 34 years old and I currently reside in Houston, Tx. I’m originally from Chicago, IL. What that means to you, is that I have lived in both a Southern Friendly environment with a love for their BBQ and Fried Foods and I’ve lived in the Midwest where people love their meat and potatoes.

I have worked in the fitness industry for more than ten years and have seen every fad imaginable. I have also worked in an all women’s club, which I found very rewarding, then expanded my horizons to work in a co-ed gym. Working with men as a female trainer is a lot harder than you may think.

I’m not a professional writer, I just have a love and passion for helping people. I was working with friends in Chicago via the interweb and decided after they had gained such positve results, that I could — and should — help people all over.

I will include my thoughts and helpful hints here. I endorse very few things but the things I do endorse I am not getting paid to do so (at least not at this time…hint, hint!). I can tell you that I would not endorse anything I felt I couldn’t/wouldn’t use myself or let my own family/friends use.

I’m also bi-polar, which means that I understand how much harder it is to get motivated everyday. I’m not a gung-ho, freak-on-supps, trainer. I’m a down to earth, mother of four boys with real issues and problems that people face everyday. My kids don’t even -like- vegetables!

So in this crazy world, I’m doing what I can to keep some chins up and inspiration at a tolerable level. I’m called the Serial Trainer because I’m also going to school full time to become a doctor with a minor in Psychology and I hope to focus in the area of forensics. It was a playful twist on the term, nothing macabre or malevolent, I assure you.

So! Pull up a smoothie and dig in. I’ll have a plethora of things for you to sift through.

et cetera