Know your Limits

My post today comes from seeing an old Facebook Post in my history which I think is so important to learning how to live a balanced life. Its the picture that is the Featured Image.

I think this might be useful to many people, as it seems it is a common problem.

Have you ever found yourself being approached by different co-workers, friends, family etc. to help them out or asking if you want to go out to a special event or any endless list of requests? I am thinking as its just the nature of humans most of us would answer YES to my question.

How do you answer when approached? Do you say yes to them every single time? Do you find as a result that your own projects, hobbies, or “me” time have been put on the back burner? How does this make you feel?

Sometimes saying yes can be exciting, and very positive to our growth, but not always.

If there are any negative thoughts, resentment, or stress associated with the extra you just put onto your own plate and timetable it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Stop and try to recognize when it is realistic to add something else into your life that has been requested from someone else. Know your limits and know when its time to start answering no.

For a long time I had to cut back on many things. I slowly started adding my own interests back into my life. Now that I have developed a flow to everything I do, I am feeling a sense of balance.  When approached I can say, this could be a possibility, but not at a high frequency per month (for example).

But I do feel that because I am opening up my mind to new possibilities and directions for my passions and interests, there will be a time again where I will have to cut things off again and say no to anything else new while I try to contribute my best to the projects at hand.

More is not always better. Sometimes it is best to stick to a small number of things and do your best at them. As the saying goes – Quality over Quantity!

What is your experience with this?

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Fitness through Dance and Fitness to Support Dance

I have been studying different forms of dance since the age of 5 yrs old. Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Salsa, Hip Hop, Belly Dance and Flamenco. In the latter part of my dance training it has mostly been Belly Dance and Flamenco.

There was a time where I could do it and nothing phased me. Later I ever so slightly felt it draining me a little more than usual. I never really had injuries from dancing.  As I got older I realized running/jogging and dancing was not going to be what would help me to lose weight anymore. I started to train in the gym seriously with a trainer and then became a trainer.

Once I lost 15-20lbs I noticed differences in my dancing.  Not only was i lighter, but I had developed more muscle in my body. As a result, in bellydance, there were moves like undulations for example that I could execute with little effort, where I know I used to have to use more energy to create certain movements. They became more easy and fluid. With Flamenco, I noticed footwork became easier because i was lighter and also it was stronger because of the amount of muscle being put into it.

Now, what I am finding, and it has been brought to my attention by a friend in my flamenco world that dancers from about 35 yrs+ in age may be in need of more than just dance. There are dancers that lack a strong core, or good muscle development to support the impact created through footwork. Some surprisingly do not have a lot of body awareness and so are not aware of how to get the energy out from their core to their extremities to create energy into the arms, and hands. Because of this they can not create a full package. Because of certain muscle imbalances, injuries either related to dance or outside dance develop and then cause a dancer to have to take time off. (For a dancer to spend any time not dancing is never a good feeling!)

My Flamenco Dance Teacher also recognized there may be a need for some type of fitness class offered for flamenco dancers to increase their strength. Whether its a class or one on one training this is a specialized niche that seems to need some help.

Yes dance of any kind can have great fitness benefits, but sometimes the body requires more to support further improvements to advance to higher levels of proficiency. Or if someone wants to continue dancing for recreation, proper strengthening of the body can further allow a dancer to dance well into their later years.

If you are a dancer and are interested in learning more stay tuned. I will share more!

Alternatively, you can also contact me.

Self Awareness = Self Control

How aware are you of whether you are full at a meal or not?

How aware are you of whether you really want that dessert, need that dessert, crave that dessert or just need something to do?

Having been in the fitness industry acting as a role model for other people and having been through my own transformation in the past I have a very good handle on this now.

One of the most interesting things to me was my latest vacation to Cuba for the New Year.

In the past I would go to all inclusive resorts and eat more than one plate of food at every meal and go crazy on dessert….If you think about it, All inclusive is kind of like going to an all you can eat buffet …..except now, its all the alcohol you can drink, all the food you can eat. One can take it to the extreme…haha.

This time around, I think because i was in a much more relaxed state (I only used my phone to text maybe 2 days out of 8, and the rest of the time I took pictures), I slowed everything down.

I literally sauntered everywhere. I sat and didn’t rush my meals. I slowed down how often my fork touched my mouth. I slowed down to talk, I slowed down to say hello to the resident cats. Then when my plate was empty I drank my coffee/juice and waited. Sometimes I got up for a little extra, sometimes I didn’t. It was a choice made solely on if I was really still hungry or if I was satisfied or not. I didn’t just blindly get up to get another plate because its already paid for in my all inclusive.

Only 2 out of 7 nights I ate dessert. All the other days I didn’t really care to have anything. One of the desserts was at the a la carte meal, the other was a night when the desserts looked especially special. Otherwise I was able to look at them, by pass them and move on.

I think the main thing is, here at home, we are always going, sometimes on high speed. If your lifestyle is high speed, it would make it very hard to be self aware and demonstrate self control. Take some time to slow down even if its not a vacation. Take some “me” time and start to tune in and see what you can learn about yourself, and see if that helps you to make some lifestyle changes for the better.

Believe it or not, YES it can happen!

Take home message…..be optimistic! If you don’t know how to change something you don’t like, never give up and think it’s not achievable. Someone out there will know how to make it happen. Ask for help and everything CAN change.

One day I was talking to one of my dance teachers. The topic of how some people seem to always have a physical feature their entire life came up. A lot of people think if they have always had a certain shape that its impossible to change that shape.

I will say, we definitely do have part of our shape that was genetic..but when it comes to fat and muscle….you don’t ever have to think you will always be stuck looking the same way.

I have a client who I have been working with for close to 5 years now. She was one who had a wider type of hip shape. She and her friends said she has always had those hips. One of her friends who now also trains with me came to me because after my client got pregnant, I got her back into shape. She lost all her baby fat and went beyond where she was before getting pregnant. Nothing about her hips is the same! She is slender all the way down her entire body and has muscle she continues to build. Her friend said she wanted results like that especially in her legs. I told her, I can definitely make that happen!

Interestingly enough, after a few months of training the next client, she too got pregnant. Because she continued to train with me after finding out, she continues to maintain a strong body, and nothing from the back view looks like she is pregnant. You only see it from the side profile. Imagine being pregnant and fit!! From what I understand, its a pretty amazing feeling. This client said this pregnancy is very different from her first one.

I have another client who is in her 70s. I have managed to get 20lbs off of her and she has maintained that over the last 2 years. She gave me a testimonial, and one of many things she said is, since she was a kid, she always had thighs that rubbed together since she can remember. She never thought it was possible to change that…..low and behold…one day while training with me, she stated that out of the blue one day she realized her legs were no longer rubbing! She was super excited! ,

Take home message…..be optimistic! If you don’t know how to change something you don’t like, never give up and think it’s not achievable. Someone out there will know how to make it happen. Ask for help and everything CAN change.

 

Did you Make New Years Resolutions or did you start setting Goals for 2017 in 2016???

I have chosen to write about this topic because for years I would make New Years Resolutions, nothing was happening and I never fulfilled these resolutions. So many people get stuck in this pattern and then a year later they wonder why they are still making the same Resolutions and why they haven’t made progress life.

I have chosen to write about this topic because for years I would make New Years Resolutions, nothing was happening and I never fulfilled these resolutions. So many people get stuck in this pattern and then a year later they wonder why they are still making the same Resolutions and why they haven’t made progress life.

Since becoming a personal trainer, and since getting some life coaching for a year for myself when I was in a major rut, I have become really sharp at helping people with Goal Setting. Now every year in December I start thinking about my goals for 2017 and then start planning.

Lets take a look at the definitions of Resolutions Vs. Goals!

Resolution can be defined as:

  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something or
  2. the act of solving a problem or contentious matter

Goal can be defined as:

  1. the object of a persons ambition or effort; an aim or desired result

Can you see the difference? To me a resolution is now just the beginning. You can decide that you want to do something or stop doing something, but without putting in the proper steps the desired result will not be achieved. Resolutions also tend to be very general. Goal Setting if done properly should have Goals that are SMART.

Specific

Measurable

Achievable, Attainable, Action-oriented

Realistic, Relevant, Results-oriented

Time-based, Timely, Tangible, Trackable

An example of each would be as follows:

Resolution: lose weight

SMART Goal: A bride may write  – I want to work with a trainer in order to lose 25lbs by May 29, 2017 so that I look and feel amazing in my wedding dress and look great for my pictures

  • this is very specific
  • this is measurable both with a scale and body measurements and
  • requires the action of hiring a trainer to ensure success and is absolutely achievable
  • it is realistic if the clients follows everything the trainer says to do for 5 months
  • definitely time based, and trackable

Can you see how much more success someone will have making goals in this fashion than making a resolution for weight loss?

Sometimes I come across people who know what they should be doing, and have all the right intentions.  Sometimes certain life circumstances out of that persons control serve as obstacles and things that can slow down progress when that person would probably be fine if life wasn’t so stressful.  When this is the case, I dig far deeper into the initial SMART GOALS, and work on a lot of mindset work after people have dug deep into their inner being and figure out the where, why, what, how of everything. On a deeper level this is to ensure those Resolutions and Goals get met. Is this you ?

I invite people to respond. If you already know how to set goals that is great and I wish you all the best for 2017. If you still need help after reading this, or you are in a deeper rut, I invite you to ask more questions. I am happy to help

Happy 2017 to everyone 🙂