Me? Melodramatic? No way…!

I love when people get to know me well enough that they feel comfortable using certain adjectives to describe me. Whether it be a friend, acquaintance or even a client. Family members don’t count – that’s completely unfair… however, the title of this post definitely came from a family member – my husband. I’m pretty sure he thinks I should head to Hollywood some days. Besides melodramatic… most of the descriptors make me chuckle… a few – may be a little shocking. One thing is for sure I am definitely an extrovert to my core – which shouldn’t surprise too many as one probably should be very comfortable around people when you have your ass backed up to a room of them instructing on exercise to corny top 40, 128 beat per minute re-mixes of Taylor Swift and One Direction or is that 1D…?

I had a bit of an “incident” this past week and it got me questioning my “self” again. When the wheels start turning, everything spirals from there. I started to think about my reaction to things and how I deal with them and how my clients react to certain things and how I want them to deal with them and how they actually do. Sometimes I see myself as being hypocritical for sure… I expect something different from those I work with – mostly – more rational thinking! (was that a run-on sentence…?). lol!

I usually think that I’m very “in-tune” with my body and often wonder if most people are that in-tune… my guess would be no. I say this based on my experience working with people and the type of questions I ask and the answers I receive. I feel fortunate and blessed to have been brought up with alternative beliefs about self-care and I also just have a keen interest on reading and researching about the mind, body and spirit as I know that they are so completely connected that if one is out of balance, everything is out of balance.

My “incident” involved hurting my back. Not just a tweak but something that made me wince in pain every time I twisted or pulled or moved. It had been bothering me for a couple weeks but because I was so busy with clients and my kids, I figured I would ignore it and it would fix itself. Well, that was until I attempted a seated shoulder press. One push and I think I saw stars! Crap… this one is a bad one.

So… I called in the reinforcements – a trip to the chiropractor. I don’t think I had evechiror had such a painful adjustment. I got up the next day after a horrible sleep and knew I wouldn’t be able to workout that day. THE WORLD HAS COME TO AN END! Oh my god… what if I can NEVER workout again??? What if I’ve impaired my back so bad that I can never move again? I’m going to be fat BY TOMORROW! This may be where my husband gets the melodramatic part as this was not a series of thoughts in my head – it was a full-blown meltdown in front of him and my two girls. Of course, they know me well, so they just sat there rolling their eyes while I proclaimed the end of my life.

No… this isn’t it – my fitness and my career IN fitness cannot be over! I must do EVERYTHING I can in order to fix myself… patience not being an option of course.

My beautiful friend Danielle just happens to poke needles in people for a living. She has superpowers. She can feel energy flow in the body, she can feel where pain is coming from and going to and she also has all sorts of amazing remedies. I have seen her for my immune system, for pain, for sleeplessness, for my adrenal glands and I even sent my husband to her for his snoring… apparently her super powers aren’t strong there. So, as it accupuncturewould be she graciously took time out of her weekend not once but TWICE to poke me full of needles – oh and I also laid on her rollerbed while our other friend Kristi came over and we had coffee and I whined about my life being over to them… she also rubbed some lovely Chinese lineament on me… heavenly.  Kristi just happens to be married to a Chiropractor who is Mr. Crossfit himself – so he knows the toll that fitness can take on the body. He also knows how I quite frequently ignore my pain until I’m in the state I am in. So he came over too and had coffee and a cinnamon bun with us and then he crunched and cracked me around. My massage therapist also happens to be married to Danielle (and works at Kootenay Health Centre – where I will also see Dr. Mark when I have a massage) – but he was out of commission himself due to his insane schedule andcoffee coaching the girls volleyball team – what was that about ignoring our bodies and stress and injury?? Thank GOD its not just me!?!? So… I couldn’t get a massage unfortunately with my coffee, needle poking, spinal crunching, roller bed, counselling session. Maybe next time!?

So by now, I was on day three of no workouts. I was miserable and my family was at the brunt of it. Dr. Kevin says, “move, the body is designed to move”. So I went to the gym and I walked on a steep incline for a half hour and then did some body weight walking lunges and that was it. It was definitely a very light workout for me but what it did was get my blood circulating through my body and it elevated my endorphins  , which I feel are paramount to a positive mind and healing the body.

By the evening, I definitely could feel some relief but again, I’m not the most patient person and I was thinking back on what I could have possibly have done to have ended up this way in the first place. The curse of an inquisitive, over-analytic mind… I need to know WHY! I knew there was a piece of the puzzle missing – and where to find it… as luck would have it Mr. Geoff Dakin was in town and he had ONE opening (just for me – lol!). Geoff is very unique as he is a RMT (registered massage therapist) but he specializes in postural imbalances and using self-corrective exercises to restore function (and a lot more cool stuff that you can read about here).

I happen to have a fairly significant anterior pelvic tilt (my back arches)… part of this is just my make-up – part of this is my lazy muscles not supporting my pelvis properly. When I first saw Geoff almost a year ago – my pelvis was seriously out of whack. Geoff gave me some exercises and stretches to correct and strengthen my posture. I was diligent with these… for a while… then I slacked off – then things showed up again… then I started using them again… and then it was January and WHAM! I hadn’t done my exercises or stretches in WEEKS! I was almost back to square one when he saw me again. So what happens is when my pelvis is not aligned properly – everything else is essentially over-compensating to stay aligned and then you do a shoulder press when you’re misaligned and the body snaps back. After my treatment with Geoff and doing my exercises and stretches only ONE time… I’m feeling significantly better.

So to get back to where we started… knowing your personality and your body is a key element to the mind, body, spirit connection. Knowing your thresholds, your shortcomings, what makes you tick… you need to learn that about yourself so that when you feel like sitting on the couch when you should be working out – you can talk yourself into it. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum – if you’re hurt or unwell and need to take some time off – you need to know how to talk yourself out of your irrational thoughts (I think I gave Kristi the visual of me in a wheelchair at 600 pounds whale watching in Mexico) – lucky that I have friends who can tell me to get over myself…

However, I also believe that you can’t “give-in” to every little ache and pain you get. There is usually always a work-around – I had to walk instead of do sprints – I couldn’t use weights but I was moving – lower body with no compression. You can’t let every little sniffle and sore muscle hold you back. But you need to learn your limits and shortcomings – as there is a fine line in deed!

AND – I cannot strongly enough recommend having an arsenal of alternative therapies for times when your body, mind and spirit are out of balance. Whether its meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturo-pathic counselling – there are some amazing people with amazing education and techniques to help keep you balanced and healthy. We are so hard on our “selves” in so many ways… do a self “check-in” – where are you at? Are you balanced? If not… take some time to re-evaluate!

 

 

Journey of lessons…

 

 

 

 

February already! Although, January was fast and slow all at the same time for me! I’m so blessed to have such a busy clientele at Fitness Inc. and I continue to learn so much from each and every one of them. I often think to myself how I wish I would have come into this profession many years ago… However, one path leads to another and what matters is I am where I am meant to be in this moment. I am on a continuing path of learning through working with so many different people. Each and every person has taught me through experience and has challenged me to learn a lot about myself!

We are one month in to our 2015 Body Challenge! My clients have lost a total of 98.5 pounds and 142 inches in four weeks! Isn’t that incredible? I’m so excited to see where we are all at by the end of April. They have all come so far, but it hasn’t been without many challenges and we all know there are more to come.

My own challenge has been learning how to approach each client individually and learning what will help them be most successful. I used to watch Biggest Loser for years and I still watch Extreme Weight Loss with Chris and Heidi Powell. I always got so freakin’ annoyed at the emotional parts – all the crying and feeling sorry for yourself, wha wha wha…

But then… I found myself WITH these people and I could SEE the emotion in them as soon as I sat down with them to chat. I knew that I would have to slowly gain their trust so that they would know that their time with me was their time and completely confidential. It didn’t take long for each of them to open up to me. I’ve shared lots of laughs, tears, hugs, conversations, frustrations and celebration.

After one short month, I was trying to think of the top few reasons that hold people back from success. I’ve come up with what I think are the six biggest factors:

Knowledge: My mistake was assuming that everyone is as obsessed with fitness and nutrition as I am! Every book I download,knowledge every article I read, every book I buy – fitness and nutrition. How presumptuous to think that everyone else also pays subscriptions to weekly fitness and nutrition research articles, stays up reading fitness blogs late and night, etc. etc. etc. Apparently not everybody wants to spend their free time that way. So my job is to give as much knowledge as I can to each and every one of them – as it pertains to THEIR life! Its my job to find out what my clients know, or do not know – and help them understand the what and why’s! When I relate it to their life their interest grows and they devour it and use it!

Fear: There are many fears involved when embarking on any new journey – especially one involving bettering ones health and fitness. Again, so many assumptions were made on my part! One of my clients actually shared this on her first blog here. Basically, I trotted her into the centre of the gym floor on her first session with me and started instructing her to move in all sorts of weird and new

fearways that she had never done before. For not ONE second, did it ever enter my mind, that she might be feeling a little nervous about being in the middle of a bunch of iron-pumping regulars! I realized that what I did to her was no different than pushing someone off of a cliff who is afraid of heights! This was a huge learning experience for me. People have fear – a lot of it. They have insecurities and don’t want to be judged. Anything new can be intimidating and we can feel very vulnerable. My job is to help you get over that fear – but as I learned – maybe with a not-so-all or nothing approach!

The second part to fear is a little more difficult to explain. I will call it a fear of feeling “uncomfortable”. I think this applies to anyone who has been fairly sedentary for a long amount of time or someone who perhaps starting back again. Perhaps, maybe this is just who this kind of person is! Once, again, I can’t assume that everyone likes to push their bodies to the limit each and every workout. However, there are people out there, who literally HATE the feeling of sweat. Of course, safe and appropriate activity applies first and foremost but if you aren’t willing to feel even a wee bit uncomfortable your body just won’t be challenged and you won’t see improvement. I have to help clients realize that their mind is holding them back more than their body and that they have the power over that. This is something that takes time for sure. I’ve seen my Challenge clients overcome some incredible fear in these first four weeks. Its absolutely incredible and I get so excited and the best reward of all is after they’ve finished a workout that they told me they didn’t think they could finish. They are beaming from ear to ear and so happy with THEMSELVES – I can’t even describe how proud they make me!

Obstacles: This one is forever and applies to all of us – trainers and fitness experts included! There are some obstaclethings you can’t predict. One Challenger got sick her very first week and felt as though she was a week behind. Another pulled a muscle doing a sport she loves and was worried to tears about a setback. The thing that I am trying to teach is that life is FULL of obstacles. We get sick, injured, work keeps us late, a trip is planned – the list goes on. There will always be obstacles. What we need to learn is how to work around them. You can’t just use it as an excuse to quit – there is always a way to adapt and continue. As their trainer and coach, at first, I brainstorm with them on ways to help them get their workouts in or to just encourage them to rest and not fret. After a while, I simply ask them to give me ideas for ways in which they can adapt to whatever the situation is. My hope is that each of them learns that they have the power to adapt and overcome obstacles all on their own.

Planning: This one relates to obstacles as well. Fitness and nutrition take planning. I’m not a huge fan of food prep and I’m certainly not a master at it. But I definitely have an arsenal of tools that I’ve learned to use so that I can get through my days successfully. This is something that takes some practice. Buying good foods that fit with whatever your day brings. For myself, I find that sometimes I’m training clients back to back with maybe a class thrown in the middle and although I add a time buffer to each of my appointments – sometimes things happen and I often don’t have time to sit to eat a meal at all! So I prepare a lot of foods that I can gplanningrab super quick and that will keep me going for the entire day. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work and what I need to buy at the store each week so that I have everything on hand.

In terms of exercise – again – I have to build that into my schedule! One client asked me if I ever got a chance to exercise! Sometimes I will even split my workouts in half – but I have the benefit of being at the gym all day – it might not be optimal but I make sure it gets done and that its efficient and effective. One of my clients is busy planning her wedding! However, she had one week when she didn’t make it to the gym because she was trying to accomplish a bunch of to-do’s. I explained to her the importance of making time for HERSELF. One thing I can say without a stitch of doubt is that from here on in, things just get more complicated women are the worst for putting themselves last and feeling a whole lot of guilt for making time for themselves. I’ve taught my clients that in order to maintain fitness it has to be something that can fit into their lives. Can they picture themselves with this routine a year from now? If not, we need to change it and make it work. You don’t need to spend hours at any activity to be fit – it just needs to be those two things – effective and efficient. If need be – you have to physically put it into your calendar just like any other appointment. Its your health and its just as important as that doctors appointment.

Honesty: I need my clients to be honest with me and with themselves. I’ve learned in a fairly short period ofhonesty time what works and what doesn’t work. I also know through my own experience that you have to be honest with yourself. Are you ready to be committed and dedicated to bettering your health and fitness? If you put in the work – and its definitely work – you’ll be successful. If you don’t, then you won’t get results. There is always exceptions of course, perhaps a medical issue – I wrote an entire post on that here.

 

Patience: This is perhaps the biggest one of all. People are always looking for a quick fix or an easier way. Forpatience long term success, people need to stop looking at weight-loss and fitness as a short term fix or a diet. If you are ready to commit and be dedicated, then it becomes your life forever. It shouldn’t be a form of punishment seen as a means to an end. You need to develop new habits that fit with your lifestyle and that are going to be something you can maintain from this point forward. There is no end date. As soon as you say to yourself, “well, I only have to stick to this diet for a few months and then I will be free”, you are on a diet and not a journey – you can’t maintain a diet – but you can continue to practice, make small changes, learn what works and what doesn’t work for you when you make it a journey.

With things so busy at the start of this amazing 2015 I haven’t made posting a big enough priority. So once again, this has been a pretty long post. I am grateful for all of you who take the time to read them and who give me your continued support. I will end off by saying once again – thank-you universe for the BEST job ever!

xo~Olivia