Let's face it...time moves so fast these days, it feels like a workout just to keep up with everything you have to/try to fit into a day.
As much as staying active and optimal nutrition are important to your body and living a healthy lifestyle, often times the two other major components of self-care, mind and spirit, can easily get neglected. And perhaps these two are the most important because they are in direct relation to the support of a healthy body.
Self-care is different for everyone, whether it be a massage, meditation, yoga, reading a book, sitting in silence, journaling, going for a drive, listening to music, doing nothing and of course, let's not forget, blogging. But how many of us actually prioritize and schedule time each day just for ourselves? And if you're one of the many that don't practice this, ask yourself, why not? Do you feel guilty for taking time for yourself and if so, why??
Self-care is more than a necessity, it's a time to disconnect from the world, from the distractions, from the stress and focus on you and only you. You've heard the saying...you can't pour from an empty cup. If you don't take care of yourself first then how will you take care of everything and everyone else?
We use food to fuel our workouts so we perform better and accomplish more. Discover and implement self-care into your life and use it to fuel your mind and spirit for the same reasons. Remember, self-care is not selfish, it's a form of self-respect and self-love and one of the best ways to Take Care Of You!
What's your favorite type of self-care?
One of the most fulfilling aspects to being a personal trainer is witnessing clients accomplish something new, something hard, something they thought they couldn't do and then BAM...they do it!!! I call those WOO-HOO moments!!!
I witnessed one of those WOO-HOO moments this past Tuesday night. Aimee has been training with me for just under one year. It is not unusual for Aimee to utter the words, "I don't think I can do this" during her training sessions, in fact, it has gotten to the point that we both kinda laugh every time she says it and here's why--every time (and I do mean every single time) she says that my response is always, "Yes You Can", and guess what...she pushes herself, she digs deep and...SHE DOES IT!
We started a new stage on Tuesday night that involves a more intense lifting regimen and though she uttered those usual words of doubt more than once during her session, it was no surprise to me...Aimee nailed it every time! At the age of 54, this lady was putting up 15lb, 20lb and 25lb dumbbells (her heaviest thus far) like they were nothing. I was so proud of her but the best moment of the night was when she was finished and how happy and proud of herself she was! It was awesome!!!
We've all been where Aimee's been...we all have our doubts from time to time if we can do it. We find inspiration and motivation in different places and though she probably doesn't know this...to me, Aimee is truly my inspiration! When I find myself struggling during one of my own workout sessions, when I'm ready to give up because I don't think I can do it...I just kinda laugh to myself and I pull an "Aimee" and I DO IT!!!
Thank you Aimee...you are a great reminder to us all...that during our times of doubt and biggest struggles in workouts (and in life)...all we have to tell ourselves is...
YES YOU CAN!
On St. Patrick's Day, (while most people in the city of Chicago were watching the river dyed green and drinking green beer) two of my clients, Brett and Maureen, and myself participated in our very first GORUCK Light Challenge along with 25 others. For those that aren't familiar with what a ruck challenge is...the Light is a 4-5 hour, 7-10 mile challenge, led by a Special Forces Cadre, where you are required to wear a rucksack with a minimum of a 10lb - 20lb ruck plate the whole time while carrying heavy stuff and performing exercises focused on working together and team building.
This challenge requires it's participants to be physically fit and strong but the mental part was where I learned the most. It definitely required me to get out of my comfort zone and trust my teammates. Being a personal trainer, I'm usually the one in charge and directing others but having to follow the direction of others was an enlightening experience (now I know how my clients feel). Learning to work together, push through, help each other, motivate each other and be observant and alert at all times...but most importantly to trust your teammates when you have to be in Lake Michigan at 35 degrees for 15-20 minutes and submerge your entire body (aka "embracing the suck")...I truly took so much away from it all.
Even though we were freezing our butts off, our Cadre taught us to understand our bodies and keep warm, work together as a team and complete the challenge successfully. In the beginning, we really had no idea what type of journey we were embarking on as every challenge is different but in the end, we were so glad we did it. It was an accomplishment that we were all so proud of! Who knew being uncomfortable could be so much FUN! Until the next GORUCK challenge...(yup...I would do it again!!!).
Do you think you would you ever do this?
One of my clients asked me that very question today. It turns out I am a morning person, and it's not just because I'm a personal trainer although that certainly helps in my profession.
It started for me when I was 14 and worked my first summer job with my Dad. He always got up hours before he had to leave which meant he was always on time and never late. This also meant that I had to be on time and ready to go, otherwise risk going to work in my pajamas (you may laugh, but that's exactly what would have happened).
I love being a morning person. I never hit the snooze button (why prolong the inevitable??) and I rarely ever wake to an alarm (though I always set it just in case). Most importantly, I don't dread waking up and starting my day because I'm too grateful and appreciative to have that day before me, those opportunities to take advantage of and so much to look forward too. Every single day is a gift and I want to make the most of it.
But guess what? Not only is being a morning person linked partly to genetics, there are science backed reasons being a morning person gives you a slight edge including being happier, weighing less, keeping the weight off, better quality sleep, better mental health, lower risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high triglycerides and being more proactive.
So Thanks Dad...looks like I owe it all to you!
Being a successful personal trainer/fitness nutrition specialist means my schedule revolves around those of my clients and that means training sessions that can start as early as 4:30am and sometimes as late as 8pm...that's just part of this business.
How fortunate I am to not only love what I do for a living but also have the flexibility to be available for important life events. My mom is having a pacemaker put in this morning and I feel so fortunate and blessed because my career along with my kind and understanding clients allows me to be here at the hospital for her, which is exactly where I should be.
Life is about balance and although my work and my clients are very high on my priority list, family always has and always will come first. Prayers for a safe procedure for my beautiful mom.
My true passion is health and wellness and helping others achieve and maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle through strength training, cardio training and optimal nutritional choices. Everyone has what it takes to achieve their goals - all you need is the right motivation, guidance, and education to help get you there.