Posts Tagged ‘change’

Norba Nationals, Mammoth Lakes, CA - Jul 2001

Norba Nationals, Mammoth Lakes, CA – Jul 2001

I am an exuberant animal, dancing my way through life exploring every nook and cranny that is presented to me on this journey. My year round interest is ice hockey. I don’t play that much any more, so when I say ice hockey, I’m referring to the players that I develop, both on and off the ice. During the summer in my free time I’m in the mountain hiking with my dog and during the winter I’m snowshoeing with him. On the slopes during the summer I’m mountain biking, and during the winter I’m skiing. My current projects are developing an elite strength and conditioning program for Washington Ice Skating Association (Seattle Juniors Hockey Association and Seattle Skating Club). Also providing functional fitness and correction exercise services at an integrative medical clinic (Masa Integrative Clinic) in Seattle, Washington.

From as early as I can remember, my life has revolved around physical activity. Skiing, mountain biking, and hiking have all been the staples of physical activity throughout my life. When I was 9 I discovered ice hockey in the movie “The Cutting Edge”. From that day, I have been obsessed with the sport. I’ve always been passionate about fitness. The most recent catalyst for change came when I was living in Los Angeles in 2012. I had moved from Kirkland, Washington back to Los Angeles, California to be reunited with my closest friends since I moved to Washington to attend Bastyr University. When I moved back, I was my heaviest at 195 pounds. I had never been that heavy. As time went on, I continued gaining weight and hit 210 pounds in late 2012. I realized something needed to change! A better way to say that is transform! I wrote down all the tools that I used with clients to improve their lives and applied them to myself! I can now say “Wow this stuff really works”. I haven’t looked back since. I’m now 178-180 pounds. I want to add a caveat that weight is not an important number to look at overall, but for me it had meaning. And that is the key, find what inspires you to transform your life.

Without fitness I would not be where I am physically, mentally, or spiritually. Fitness has given my life purpose, and a community that has a universal language. I don’t care what type of physical activity someone participates in it’s fitness. The fitness world as a whole has given me the opportunity to touch lives, that I would not have been able to touch without my knowledge of fitness.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to continue to inspire others, while continuing to participate in the physical activities that keep me inspired.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to continue to inspire others, while continuing to participate in the physical activities that keep me inspired.

My driving force is leading by example. Being able to demonstrate what I’m expecting from my athletes and clients is very important. Also being able to participate in all of the sports and activities that I’m passionate about. In the long run, I take care of myself in the hopes of having a long healthy life. I’m the only child of two amazing parents that have not had the easiest of lives and I have the most amazing stories to tell because of that. My parents have been the most encouraging and supportive part of my life. In whatever I chose to pursue, they were always there to ensure I had a plan in place, to ensure that I was making progress. They offered this support for my desire to race BMX as a kid to the 20 plus years of ice hockey, and attending Bastyr University. Outside of my family, I’ve always had the most amazing mentors and coaches. For example I’ve had the same skating coach since I was 9 years old! My psychology mentor I’ve had since I was 14. Of course that relationship started with me being a patient. But hey, he’s a mentor now. More recently a former professor of mine from Bastyr has become a great inspiration and mentor. The honesty was not always easy to hear, but without the unrelenting support and encouragement of these people, I would not have been able to confidently pursue my passion for athletic performance, fitness, and wellness.

The most difficult thing to face thus far has been the numerous head injuries I’ve sustained over the years. I believe I am up to 12 concussions and 1 brain contusion. The concussions are not the obstacle. The contusion however changed the course of my life. Don’t get me wrong, the course of my life has lead me to this moment, which I’m honored to have. As an 18 year old being told that I could never play hockey, race downhill mountain bikes, go skiing/snowboarding, or four-wheeling ever again, broke my heart. That realization sent me into a place that I never wish on any of my athletes or clients.  Following my contusion diagnosis; there was a 5-year span of my life that was incredibly scary for my parents. But with the support of so many, I over came that barrier to become the coach I am today. Speaking of this time, I am inspired to do a presentation on the importance of sensitive communication when dealing with athletes who are recovering from an injury.

It's very important for me as a Coach to lead by example ~ Coach Daniel

It’s very important for me as a Coach to lead by example ~ Coach Daniel

I don’t have a set routine but I always have fun and try to stay injury free. My favorite tools though include TRX suspension, Rip Kettle bells, Barbells, Dumbbells, and of course bodyweight. Every workout does include the following:

Dynamic warm-up

Power Component

Strength Component

Agility Component

Aerobic Component

Flexibility & Mobility Components

When it comes to supplements, I stick to the items that have been shown to maintain brain health because of the severity of the brain injuries I’ve sustained, most of these products come from Metagenics. I take a high potency DHA, Co-Q10, and Multiple Vitamin Mineral. Sometimes I’ll add protein powder to my yogurt or make a smoothie. To manage my pain, I take a product called Inflavanoid Intensive Care, which is a combination of anti-inflammatory herbs.

The following are examples of how I usually eat; as with my workouts, my meals vary as well. I do my best to ensure that I’m getting a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. For my own personal health; I am gluten free and take supplements specific to my health needs.

Breakfast – Greek Yogurt with peanut butter, dark chocolate chunks, and blue berries Snack – Coffee with soy milk
Lunch – Sandwich (gluten free bread) with lots of spinach, onions, and an animal based protein.

Snack – protein bar or drink
. Dinner – Vegetables and an animal protein.

I want to maintain my current fitness level and remain injury free. It’s that simple. I’m always preparing to participate in an event. Currently I’m contemplating getting back into racing down hill mountain bikes.

Am I an exuberant animal ~ Daniel Heller

Am I an exuberant animal ~ Daniel Heller

Are you lacking motivation?

If that phrase comes up, sit with it. What does it mean to you, the reader? If it’s not sitting right, try another phrase, “I’m not motivated to go to the gym.” That’s totally fine, what are you motivated to do? What does that motivation feel like? Use that motivation to create a goal. If you’re uncertain how to accomplish that goal, remember there is someone out there who has had the goal and accomplished it; who is also willing to guide you. You’re not alone! Fitness is an open-heart community full of people willing and wanting to support each other.

Personal Note: I would like to talk about the importance of community. What Socially Fit has created by bringing people together to share their fitness journey in a social way is incredibly powerful to those who need community support to accomplish their goals. Thank you for this opportunity to share my journey, inspirations, and future with your audience. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey of athletic performance with you. I hope that my journey inspires others to take charge of their own lives and to seek out the community that can offer the support they need to continue with their journey to fitness, health & wellness!

Daniel Heller, BSc, CSCS, FMSC
Email: daniel@ironwood-fitness.com
Website: http://www.IronwoodFitness.com
Twitter: @CoachDCSCS

Meet Elite Trainer – Will Hough

Ever wonder how the pros keep themselves in shape? Here you’ll find out what one particular individual is doing to stay at the top of his game. I’m often amazed by the sheer dedication and passion of the personal trainers, coaches and mentors that I see in gyms, out in the field and in the media. I wonder what their secrets are, what motivates them to get up every day and work hard to help other people achieve their fitness goals, shape and mold athletes, or coach a team to victory. My mission with this blog is to take a closer look at the world of personal trainers, coaches and mentors. What makes them sweat? What makes them smile? And what can we learn from their personal stories?

Believe it or not I met Will Hough through Twitter! He has quickly become a friend, a trusted peer, someone I can bounce ideas off of, and above all, someone I truly respect and admire. I am honored to feature Will Hough as the first trainer interviewed for “How the Trainers Train Themselves.”

Will Hough
Owner: WillFit in New York City
Certifications: USA Triathlon, IHP, Certified Coach, Strength Training for the Triathlete,
Swim Faster Using Less Energy, Triathlon Training Program Design, ACSM, CPR & AED

Professional Trainer Instruction in: Running, Weight Training, Flexibility, Endurance, Strength & Conditioning, Triathlon & Biathlon Coaching and Nutrition

How the Trainers Train Themselves: How did you become interested in fitness?
Will Hough: When I first got into training I was new at working out after coming from a background with the Marines. I had trained with the Navy Seals and Special Ops teams in areas like super chemical warfare, snipers, unconventional warfare training, heavy artillery and as a heavy equipment operator. I was a Marine from 1979 to 1985.

HTT: That’s some pretty intense training! How did you get into the business?
WH: Yeah, I knew about being conditioned but I didn’t really know about the art of training. I met a women in Seattle, Nita Gunthrie, back in 1982. One day at the gym I was trying to bench press 185 lbs and the bar fell on top of me because I didn’t have the correct form, and this woman comes over to me, she’s about 4’ 11”– and pulled the bar off me and said, “let me show you how to workout the right way.” That’s how it all started, that day in the gym. She took me under her wing and became my mentor. She guided me through training and reconditioning and helped me gain 30 lbs of muscle mass over two years. I went from 235 to 185 and started competing in triathlons and biathlons and became an adventure racer, a power lifter.
HTT: So that was a pivotal moment in your life, the beginning of a new career path, when this tiny strong woman came to your aid?
WH: Yeah! At that point in Seattle I was out of the Marines and just an ordinary guy trying to see what life was like on the outside. Within a year (1983) I became certified and started training.
HTT: What were your personal fitness goals back then?
WH: I wanted to learn to develop my body. Instead of being lean and small, I wanted to learn how to become more muscular, I was always intrigued about being strong and lifting a lot of weight.
HTT: And where did this new body and career as a trainer take you?
WH: I was working for myself as a trainer in Seattle for a bit, and I became a competitive bodybuilder in 1982, until 1989. I eventually made my way back to New York and started my own training business in 1993—WILLFIT/HOUGH LLC.

My business is based on training, conditioning athletes, the everyday person looking for a change from basic training. I’m more into taking a person beyond their limits.
HTT: What’s your favorite/least favorite type of client?
WH: Favorite type of client! One that’s truly motivated, passionate, driven, limitless and eager to rise above and beyond.
Least favorite client!?! One that’s wasting my time!
HTT: I hear that! What makes your training style unique? What is your specialty?

WH: My training style is very different, I try to see, learn, what makes you, YOU! Develop your weakness, make you stronger from within and then there’s no limit on where we can go from there!
HTT: If you had to sum up your style in a few words?
WH: Intense, driven, mind and body together as one!
HTT: What are your hobbies?
WH: My hobbies are vast, I have an African Art collection, Asian Art, sports memorabilia, a coin collection, car collection, Ducatis! I’m into almost anything that fuels my passion! My cars and bikes! Any chance I have to ride and drive it’s on!

HTT: Favorite food?
WH: Anything except red meat, sushi…
HTT: Favorite sport?
WH: Formula 1, then football.
HTT: What’s one of your “guilty” pleasures?
WH: Baking cakes!
HTT: Your favorite book?
WH: I haven’t had a chance to read any! I’m more into audio books now. But “The Feathermen” is a must!
HTT: Favorite movie?
WH: Gladiator! Anything action or Sci Fi.
HTT: What do you do to keep yourself in shape?
WH: I challenge myself each workout–cycling, high reps, moderate weight total body 3x week with cardio 30, 45, one hour sessions.
HTT: What do you do for fun? Leisure?
WH: Spend time with my son, my family and friends and my hobbies.

HTT: Where do you see the future of fitness heading?
WH: Future of Fitness! That’s a good question! I think the market is over saturated with unproven trainers, fly by night certifications and many haven’t paid their dues. While trainers like you and I have laid down the ground work for them!
HTT: Thank you, Will! I so appreciate your honesty, integrity and humor. It’s great getting to know more about you, like, who would have pictured you baking cakes? Formula One, yeah, that I can picture, but cakes? Sweet and Strong, an inspiration!

Follow/Contact Will:  https://twitter.com/#!/willtrainer008

Written by Laura McDonald 2012 and reblogged today as per Will Hough

“I couldn’t roll just living in the shadows” not anymore.

Be the best that you can be then be better ~ Morne Gabriels

I couldn’t roll just living in the shadows, not anymore. ~ Morne Gabriels

I am the proud father of four boys. Their age ranges from five through to thirteen.  I currently work from home as a software developer and have been doing that for thirteen years. I enjoy reading when I have the time, but my absolute focus at the moment is on singing, song writing and performing. I have also developed a passion for working out and running, running, running.

The only fitness activity I remember being involved in as a child was playing with friends and riding our bicycles everywhere.  However, exercise and fitness were not emphasized that much as I recall. I indulged in comfort eating; mainly because my parents were going through a messy divorce.  I remember eating 6 or 7 chocolate bars at a time, loads of bread, cheese, etc, etc.  In my mind, I’ve always been overweight.

Hitting puberty somehow helped and I grew into a more proportionate version of myself.  I remember my friend’s sister (who I had a little crush on) telling me that I looked so different (which was a boost) and then her immediately saying and laughing, “you used to be so fat” (which just somehow destroyed my confidence).

I remember as a twelve or thirteen year old, starting to run and running long distances.  I’d say eventually I was running 5kms, two or three times a week.   I had two bricks in my room, which I used as dumbbells.  So mainly did curls until I couldn’t hold the bricks any longer.  I did lots of calf raises, which I did until I couldn’t walk. Yet, that all fell by the wayside when there was any stressful situation in my life, I would return to comfort eating.

I had a certain amount of passion of fitness but never realized my fitness potential, growing up.   Through high school I never took part in any sporting events because I was never fast enough,  strong enough or confident enough.   My main form of exercise in high school was walking to school and back, which was about 10k each way.   I actually loved walking, thinking about it.  It was a great stress reliever during my teens.   However again whenever stressful situations or events occurred in my life, I needed to eat food that made me feel good.So this was my pattern for life until about the age of 32.  Exercise, stressful event, comfort eat, depression, exercise, stressful event, comfort eat and repeat.  The word “Yo-Yo” springs to mind.

The main catalyst for change was the day I stepped onto the scale and it displayed a nice, round number of 120kgs (about 265 pounds).  That, for some reason, did not make me depressed but determined to change.   I initially went about it in the wrong way; starving myself which again led to Yo-yoing but eventually learning that there is a balance to it all.  Exercise, eating right and rest.  When I finally got it right I noticed that the more physically fit I became the more confidence, joy and peace came to my life. I started thinking more positively about my kids and giving them a positive example.  Music; I started writing more songs and performing; it’s a really big passion of mine right now.  Being positive in my thinking and actions makes a world of difference. I am more adventurous now and willing to trying new things, meet new people.  I’m no longer in the background.  A line from a Foo Fighters song always gets me, “I couldn’t roll just living in the shadows” not anymore.

Apart from the obvious health benefits, it is truly a lifestyle for me now.  “Sweat everyday” is a poster I’ve seen on the Socially Fit Facebook page and it’s something I am living by. But the feeling of lightness, strength, confidence and peace is so intoxicating.  I want to feel that every day.  My support system is amazing. Though my immediate family resides overseas, my “in-laws” as well as my kids are always encouraging me.  Family and friends have all given me very positive remarks and comments, which spurs me on to keep going. My hope is that I am an inspiration to people.  If I can do it anyone can!! Furreal!!

The hardest thing for me to date has been maintaining the proper diet. Being consistent. I’ve learned to deal with stress in a more positive way and that has had a positive effect on my relationship with food; not being a slave to it. I’ve said goodbye to comfort eating.  I’m really proud to say that 5 years ago I was 120kgs (265 pounds) and today I am currently 86.5kgs (191 pounds).  No more Yo-yoing.  At my heaviest I wore 44inch waist trousers,  I now comfortably fit into 34inch waist trousers. I can honestly say that on average I run 80 to 100km per week! These are my accomplishments and I am humbled by them.

My workout routine is simple. I run an average of 7kms a day.  On alternative days I work individual body parts with weights i.e. biceps, shoulders, chest and triceps using 16.5kg dumbbell. I’m not taking any supplements at the moment.  My meal plan for the last four months has been eating one hearty meal in the evening including anything I wanted but would gravitate around green vegetables, chicken, fish or beef, rice or potatoes.  Also having the occasional junk foods like pizza, fries, fried chicken, etc.  But for the most part stayed away from white bread and hard cheeses. 4 to 5 cups of green tea, 1 to 2 cups of coffee and about 7 pints of water a day. In the last few weeks however  I’ve had 3 to 4 small meals a day; Morning oats, with cranberries and cashews.  Lunch: Tuna or chicken with green leafy salads.  Evenings: Chicken or beef, vegetables, rice. Snacking on fruit and nuts during the day. This appears to be working for me right now.

I plan to enter a few races to keep me focused and pushing forward.  I’ll start with 5k runs and work my way up. I’d like to increase my lean muscle and most importantly get that flat stomach.   I’d like to add swimming to my exercise regime, meaning getting swimming lessons.  Then possibly giving triathlons a go. Baby steps. If you would like to get started I find reading positive messages on pages like Socially Fit’s Facebook page or motivational groups really does help keep me in a positive frame of mind and thus positive about my reaching my goals. Make daily affirmations:

Hard work pays

Sweat everyday

I can do it – I will do it

It’s not how good you are – it’s about how good you want to be

Be your own hero

Find your focus, find that determination deep within yourself that’s been lying dormant all this time.

Pain is temporary.

Get it done.  Get it done.  GET IT DONE!!

I remember when I started my recent journey to a successful me it was the middle of winter, here in the UK.  I was up at 5 o’clock in the morning, enduring the cold and sometimes snow to go running.  And I started with 5km most days. In the back of my mind I was thinking though, 5km will become your maintenance run.  And it did.  Then it became 7km a day.  Don’t be afraid to speak to yourself, positively.  I wake up in the morning saying “Today’s going to be a good day” even when I feel the opposite.   I remember things that I am grateful for and it changes my mindset.  Be positive to and about others as well ‘cause it will come back to you. I tell/ask my kids the following before they leave for school, “Be the best you can be and then?”  And they answer “BE BETTER”.  That can be used in any part of your life but in this case fitness.

When I first start running, I could only run for 10 minutes before I started feeling my ankles and knees.  120kgs will do that.   But I didn’t stop.  I would run for a minute and then walk for 30 seconds.  Repeating that.  Slowly I became better, stronger, faster.   IF I CAN DO IT – YOU CAN. It all starts up here (points to head). Start thinking right and positive. Visualize your goals; the body you want, the health you want.  Think about it, see it and feel it; then BE IT.

The only limits in life are the ones that you imagine!

https://www.facebook.com/morne.gabriels
https://www.facebook.com/groups/38546773592 – my music related page.
https://twitter.com/DukeSeven7

The Way of Kaizen

Kaizen

The Japanese culture is based on respect, honor, and innovation. They focus on being better and getting better all of the time. You may have seen the Japanese word “Kaizen” frequently used in the business world.

According to Wikipedia, Kaizen is:

“Japanese for ‘improvement’, or ‘change for the better’ refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management.”

Notice the word ‘improvement’ … it describes my journey to become Strong By Choice.

The Beginning

Growing up in Ohio, I certainly wasn’t the biggest or strongest kid. My body type is an ectomorph. Small wrists. Broad shoulders. Lanky legs. I remember how I used to look at those who played sports at our high school particularly one named “Larry” who was built like WWE Ryback at the young age of 16!

I knew that I wanted to look the same so I begged the football coach to train me to look like Larry. He chuckled and brushed me off. His dismissal hurt and only fueled my fire more. So I did what any skinny boy in America would do, I asked my parents for a weight set! After enough pleading with my parents, they finally decided to give in and shell out money for me to buy a Sears weight-lifting set complete with grey plastic sand weights and black steel bar. I would now show the coach and Larry what’s up!

Wrong.

After a few months, the weights became home to spider webs and boredom. Larry went on to muscle bound glory I’m sure while I stayed trapped in my thin frame.

Fast forward to my time in the military in the 1990’s through 2000’s. If one is not able to get in shape in the military, then there is no hope for them! Totally by God’s grace, I passed boot camp and military school to be assigned at a horrible place of blue waters, good weather, and clean air: Hawaii.

Since I would go on deployments, we have nothing better to do than to get in shape. So we would work out in scouring hot weather using the facility’s rusted equipment while downing the latest supplements in hopes of creating the Atlas physique. In fact, I think I could have been a shareholder for GNC’s supplement store because of all the money I was spending on potions, powders and promises (e.g. Bill Phillips & Body For Life, EAS supplements, Cybergenics).

During my time with the military, I was able to make some gains by ballooning to 170 lbs of muscle  and fat by eating Burger King and McDonald’s to put on size. My dress uniform pants for the military would scream every time I plunged my girth into them. Eventually I got out of the military and went into the Reserves. My access to the gym now meant I had to buy my membership and so I did. My wife and I joined the local gym in the neighborhood where some of the customers would walk barefooted while lifting heavy weights (no joke). That’s not all. The facility didn’t have a sanitation bottle to spray the benches. After a few weeks, we decided to cancel our membership and my training fizzled to nothing. We moved to Ohio and later moved to Kentucky. After years of inactivity, there was a spark that started an inferno of activity. The spark was a co-worker of mine named Jeremy Corder.

The Spark

In 2011, Jeremy had various health problems including Fibromyalgia. I recall one time when Jeremy showed me how many bottles of mediation he had to take for his ailments. I remember clearly that he pulled out so many bottles of meds that he shook his head in disbelief.

Over the months following, I was able to work from home for the company that we worked for. Since I was in Kentucky, I could instant message those at work to keep in touch. One day I was chatting with Jeremy and he shared with me how he had changed his life. He stated that he was off his meds, found natural solutions and was getting in shape! He shared with me that he was even starting to get buff. I could hardly believe what I was reading. To be frank, I was jealous because he took control of his life while I was stuck in my own mediocrity.

So one day, I was looking in the mirror and I knew that I had to change. Then a spark of inspiration touched me. I could see…wait a minute…I could see small definitions in my abs. I had eaten traditional foods and organic foods for a while and there must have been some fat burning on some level. I was determined to find the workout program that would work for me. The spark had been lit. I knew I had to change.

The Inferno

With new determination, I went to the local library. There had to be some program I could do that was time friendly since my #1 excuse was the #1 excuse of everyone else – Lack of time.

Enter Sean Foy – the author of the book “The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough.”

In the book, Sean proposes an exercise program that can be done in 10 minutes yet offer the same benefits of a traditional 1-2 hour program.

Skeptical yet? Good.

Why?

Because I don’t want you to believe what I say yet to encourage you to check out the book yourself.

I can say that with this program, I had successfully worked out consistently. Every time I try to weasel out of doing the workouts, I reminded myself, “It’s only 10 minutes. Anyone can do ten minutes.”

I do the workout and boom. . .done.

Through eating real food and working out for 10 minutes (M,W,F), I began to slowly see changes in my body. Yes, the spark had ignited into a flame.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have -  @strongbychoice

Find what works for you and stick to it ~ @strongbychoice

The Future

From that point I had moved from body-weight exercises to being able to afford a gym membership and getting in the best shape of my life in 2011-2012. I started the Twitter handle @StrongByChoice because being strong is always a choice.

In early 2013, I dead-lifted 205 lbs and 210 lbs at 165 lbs which you can view here: bit.ly/19wh055 it’s my personal best to date.

My twitter account remains active and my core supporters are a group of committed individuals called #TheStrongNation. For the time being I’ve cancelled my gym membership in order to save money and focus on new ventures. My training is at a stand still however I realize that fitness is a journey and the choice to be strong is indeed a daily choice. Eventually, I’ll get back on track. My training is all about Kaizen.

Besides, 10 minutes is a good place to start again, right?

Christian, husband, daddy and the assassin of average. Creator of ™  @StrongByChoice

 I’m living the GoodLife!

Aspire to be a better version of yourself always ~ Amanda Gray

Aspire to be a better version of yourself always ~ Amanda Gray

I’m currently a certified personal trainer and fitness manager at GoodLife Fitness!

I just recently made the transition into corporate and commercial training. When I began my journey as a manager I worked at Variety Village, a Charity and fitness community centre for all abilities. I had the opportunity to work with all kinds of great people looking to better their lives both physically and mentally through fitness and wellbeing. Fitness is my passion. I’m also currently hooked on Zumba and running. Outside of the fitness realm, I’m learning to speak Spanish.

I remember being 4 years old when my parents decided it was a good idea to enroll me in T-Ball for summer; needless to say I hated it! I told my mother I would never play again. 3 years later I thought I would give T-ball another chance. My older brother played baseball and hockey. I idolized him and figured I would follow in his footsteps.  So at age seven I began playing ice hockey and baseball. I ended up playing these two sports competitively. As I grew into my teenage years I began to focus mainly on fast pitch. I represented my city and province for many years. As an athlete it was easy to get into fitness to help me focus on being a better athlete and it helped me to perform at a high standard.

Even though I was an athlete, I was never a runner.

I played sports that didn’t require long distance running. Baseball and Hockey are both anaerobic dominant sports. As a child I was also asthmatic and over exerting my cardiovascular system was a not a good idea. I had to be careful. After I graduated from college, knowing I had grown out of my asthma, I decided I was going to challenge myself and take up running. My body always felt better when I was moving it. My college life, although an exciting time of parties and socializing, I had neglected my physicality and my body. So I began to run. Oh man, I was horrible. My stamina was pretty much non-existent. I started off with intervals of running and walking.  I wanted to give up but then I started seeing changes. I could run longer intervals. It was working. 3 years later I have completed my first half marathon! When I began running I never thought I would be able to complete a 5k let alone a half marathon. Aside from the obvious physical changes in my body, being active is an outlet for me. It’s the time in my life where I can just take a moment to really think things through clearly and fairly. We all have that self-doubt but fitness has allowed me to empower myself and be the best friend to myself that I can be. I keep my negative thinking limited, when I get into that negativity zone I remind myself how far I have come and how strong I really am.

My parents have been amazing source of inspiration and support. My mom recently had a rough time health wise and family wise. She lost her mother and went through a bout of depression, in addition to menopause. She let herself go and in the past 6 months decided it was time for change. She said that seeing me as a personal trainer and what I do to keep myself healthy inspired her to lose 64lbs in 6 months! She came to me for my knowledge and advice but she did all the work to get there and I am so proud! It’s nice to have a partner in fitness! We go to the gym and shop for organic food together!

Getting injured is part of being a competitive baseball player, yet you’re never really prepared when it happens. At 21 I tore my rotator cuff and labrum in my shoulder, throwing a ball from second to first base. My surgeon couldn’t understand how I could still throw a ball with all the scar tissue in my shoulder from years of overuse and not listening to my body. He suggested surgery but that was NOT an option for me. So I opted out and I began rehab instead. The rehabilitation was brutal, excruciating and exhausting but it was worth every sweat and tear. Over time I had strengthened my shoulder and got back into baseball with no shoulder pain, issues or surgery! It’s been about seven years since then but I’m still doing the things I love the most.

To date I have lost a total of 15 lbs on my 5’2 frame. Before I started running I was 132 lbs, I now weigh 117 lbs. My body fat percentage was 28%, it is now 19%! I feel great! I ran my first half marathon, without stopping to walk. I’m the happiest with myself I have ever been all my life. For me this was a huge accomplishment. Ever since I can remember I was always unhappy about something, somewhere on my body and I thought that I would never be good enough for me. That has all changed. I currently do interval cardio training 4 times a week and one endurance cardio training a week. I complete a resistance training program 4 times a week, including all muscle groups.  The supplements I take are CLA, Raspberry Ketone for fat burning, multi-vitamin, vitamin B12 sub-lingual, for a healthy body and Chromium Picolinate for blood sugar regulation as diabetes runs in my family. My brother was diagnosed Type 1 diabetic on his 28th birthday and my 28th birthday is just around the corner!

What a day of eating looks like for me:

Breakfast – One cup of wholy tea, one boiled egg and one piece of whole grain toast. One piece of fruit. I really enjoy watermelon and take advantage of it in the summer.

Lunch – Mixed greens salad. Tuna.

Dinner – Skinless boneless chicken, half a baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli and asparagus, one cup of wholy tea.

I drink lots of water daily. I also enjoy the odd cookie. I live life by the 80/20 rule. I’m currently on a 1200 cal/day diet. 80% of those calories are healthy whole foods. 20% of those calories are my treat. Right now I’m in my cutting phase. I’m looking to lose 5 lbs and 2% body fat. I am also training for a full marathon.

If you’re looking to start your own fitness journey start today- not tomorrow, or next Monday. TODAY. You are worth it, and why not feel good about yourself and comfortable in your own skin? Feeling good about yourself reflects in every aspect of your life. Fitness does so much more than just make you sweat. It gives you the strength and the confidence you need to be the best version of yourself.

I can be reached on twitter @GraytBody and by email graytbodyfitness@gmail.com

Mutant

For those people who don’t know my background and how I got to where I am today, I started my journey  two years ago at 267 lbs and completely out of shape. Three short months later I had dropped 6 inches off my waist and lost 90 lbs.

Since going through such an incredible transformation I’ve dedicated my life to training. The way you feel when you are in a gym lifting weights is like nothing else. Only people who are passionate about training know how it feels when you get a crazy pump going!

So many people who take working out seriously are always looking to supplements to help them achieve better definition and bigger, fuller muscles. I’m the exact same way. Obviously the harder you train, the better your results. The more you eat, the more size you will put on. Whether it be a pre or post workout supplement, protein powder or even amino acid drink, if you’re working hard enough,  supplementation can undeniably help you get to your goal faster.

When I first started lifting I was clueless as to which supplement product I needed to gain size. I used all the big name brand products when I started out. Gaspari,  MuslePharm, MuscleTech, BSN, SixStar and even the GNC brand. I was training hard but not happy with the results I was seeing. I was trying brand after brand and still not finding one that was doing exactly what I felt it should be doing and to be honest, I was wasting a lot of money on products that tasted awful. I was using pre workouts, recovery drinks, protein powders and creatine. Nothing seemed to be getting me the results I was looking for.

Last year at the Toronto Pro Super Show I was walking around the expo when I passed a booth that had the largest men I had ever seen! I stopped to check it out, it was the Mutant booth. These guys looked massive, so I wanted to check out their products. They had a massive 15 lb bag of mass gainer. I talked to the guys and they explained to me exactly how the product worked and what kind of results I could expect to see from using it. I had already tried everything else so I gave this Mutant Mass a shot. I went home and worked out and made a shake immediately after and was actually surprised how awesome it tasted and how thick it was.  I trained hard for about 6 weeks and kept taking my mass gainer and one day after a workout I looked in the mirror and actually noticed my body changing for the first time. Even the people I see everyday started noticing that I was getting bigger and stronger. I was hooked!! I went to their website and ordered more Mutant Mass as well as a pre workout drink and a whey protein powder. The next few months of training I kept noticing more and more muscle gain. When you’re training that’s all you really want to see. You want to see all your hard work and sacrifice paying off. Since that first bag of Mutant Mass over a year ago, I have not used any other brand and I have been more than impressed with the results.

#MutantNation - Go heavy or go home! Finally feeling the pump!

#MutantNation – Go heavy or go home! Finally feeling the pump!

My training has gotten a lot more serious this past year and I’m currently taking several Mutant products. I take Mutant Test in the morning which is a testosterone booster it has definitely increased my strength over the past few months. I have Mutant Whey mixed in my oats, as well as a shake with lunch. Before I workout I combine Mutant Mayhem and Mutant Pump. The Mayhem is a pre workout drink that really increases my focus and energy during my workout and the Pump makes me extremely vascular and makes my muscles rock hard while I’m training them. Now I feel like an animal during my workouts! I also have 2 scoops of Mutant Whey (44 grams of protein) with the Mutant CreaKong which is their creatine supplement. During my workout I drink the Mutant BCAA 9.7 which is a blend of critical amino acids that help increase protein synthesis leading to increased muscle gains. After each workout I use the Mutant Rehab because its perfect for aiding in recovery after a crazy workout. It has the carbs, protein, glutamine and amino’s that help you recover after destroying your muscle fibres during a super intense lifting session. Finally I will have one more Mutant Whey shake to help me reach my protein required intake for maximum growth.

Everywhere I go whether its a family function or a new job site, it feels great when people tell me how big I’m getting. I know for a fact that my eating and hard work in the gym is responsible for a lot of this size I’m gaining. However I know that  it’s no coincidence that my gains increased after using the Mutant brand products. I’m not here trying to tell you that you need to use these products. I’m just sharing how they have affected my body and aided in my transformation since I began using them.

No matter which supplement or brand you choose to go with, remember that it only enhances the hard work that you do at the gym.

Written by Michael Green for Socially Fit #TeamMutant #MutantNation @Mutant_Freak_

Size Healthy

Nataisha Ramirez - Size Healthy LLC

Nataisha Ramirez

“October 25, 2005 I made a decision to live a healthier life physically but I did not know that it would be a mental journey from the inside out.”

I traveled the world as a child because of my military father. I came into this world a “big girl” weighing 9lbs.at birth and I started to gain from there. It started slowly at first but it got out of hand as I got older. Weighing over 100lbs. in the 6th grade was a normal weight for me. I had the obesity gene from both sides of my family. My mother was a big girl at a young age however she lost her weight and my father’s side of the family also has a strong obesity gene.

Throughout high school I was still overweight, weighing 230lbs. for my 5’9 frame. I was an active teenager but it seemed like I just could not get the weight off. Did I suffer from a slow metabolism?  Perhaps. No one knows because back then parents didn’t take you to the Doctor for being overweight they just withheld food from you and placed you on a diet. Conversations and facts around obesity wasn’t high in the 80’s and 90’s either.

No one ever said anything about my weight. I was always told “you’re tall, you carry your weight well”. Carrying your weight well doesn’t help you get healthy; it keeps you stagnant because you think it’s okay to be that size. My weight got out of hand when I got married. I was borderline 300lbs. and when I became pregnant, it crept up to 330lbs. I lost the 30lbs. pregnancy weight dieting, but it quickly came back. I was trying “this and that” with little exercise involved. Another pregnancy came and once again I was up there and with this pregnancy I gained more because I was eating and not exercising or exercising very little. I don’t know how and when but I hit an all time high of 408lbs. and that’s when I said enough was enough. October 25, 2009 I had the gastric bypass surgery and it has been a journey!

No one told me being healthy was a mental process. They just said I had to lose it physically. Well do you know I couldn’t do it physically without thinking about it mentally? It took 7 years for me to lose half of my weight. Diet, pills and even surgeries are not the best remedies. None of them last without a committed lifestyle change. It took me 4 years to lose 120lbs, which still makes me overweight and borderline obese. I had to change my lifestyle and I am not on a diet. I exercise 6 days a week.  My routine is to give to God first thing in the morning with prayer and then I train my 5 am crew and myself and then I give to the world.

My exercise routine is split up with cardio and strength training but at this juncture in fitness I do more weight lifting and use cardio as my post workout.  My current fitness goal is to build up the muscle in my legs to match my iron diva arms.  I am currently using a Jim Stoppani workout training plan to reach my fitness goal. I have developed a pescatarian lifestyle and have been doing this for 3 years. I am not a junk food eater and have no desire to partake in those things. My go to food when I need something sweet is black bean brownies or a slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.  I don’t believe in restricting my body from nutrients but I do believe in making alternative choices and eating in modification.

One day I had an epiphany that I wanted to help other women lose weight but from the inside out. I personally dealt with a lot of jealousy and insecurity; other women had bodies that looked better than mine. It caused me to have low self esteem; no confidence in myself and always thinking that I am not good enough to be who God says I am. If I was going through this then surely other women were too. I began to pursue and obtained my certifications as a personal trainer through the AFAA and started to help those struggling as I was; with weight-loss. 

As women we are all trying to fit into this one "society says" box, but truthfully God made us all different.

As women we are all trying to fit into this one “society says” box, but truthfully God made us all different.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 NIV)

So, if we are fearfully and wonderfully made why are we gauging our health by a number. Why not gauge it by how we think , how we look and how we feel? You can’t put a number on emotions. Heal-thy is healing of self not the scale, a number or what others say about you. The concept for Size Healthy was created from the thought that we are all a YOUnique Design. On Feb 4, 2012 I launched Size Healthy LLC as a faith based fitness business. I began working with women across the globe by motivating, encouraging and supporting them to attain their desires in weight-loss; giving them the support to become disciplined in their efforts and remain committed to their goals. Size Healthy improves your quality of life through education, physical fitness and building healthy habits. It’s a lifestyle change. We have a support group where we educate YOUnique women on the importance of dealing with the issues of the heart, eating healthy and exercising. We implemented walk to run clinics to help those that desire to run learn how to start. Boot camps are our signature class and we run that in 6 week increments 3 times a week. Individual personal training is provided to women who need that one on one assistance to reach their personal goals. We also provide workout classes at churches.

I speak at churches, empowerment retreats for women, motivate children to be active and encourage women of all ages to get healthy, stay fit and feel sexy. Your health matters and it’s your choice to do something about it.

On October 25, 2012 I reached my goal. I lost half of my weight! I went from 408lbs. to 200lbs. and the process has helped me to gain my confidence back. Gain my life back. It’s never too late to take your health back. If it doesn’t challenge you, it will not change you.

Take things one day at a time. Shift your focus from your weight to simply being healthy and you’ll win every time!  You can visit us at www.sizehealthylifestyle.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/sizehealthylifestyle

 
Nataisha Ramirez
Founder Size Healthy LLC
YOUnique Design