Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fitness is a Journey: In Which Stage Are You?

                                          Fitness is a Journey:  In Which Stage Are You?

In the 1996 Movie Jerry McGuire, Jerry works tirelessly through the night on a position paper regarding his thoughts on his current career in the sports industry. He is so passionate about the paper that he brings it to work and shares it with all of his colleagues. I have had such a moment recently when it comes to my profession of fitness. It awoke me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep and I decided to write my thoughts…

Fitness is a journey. There is no one goal. There are many peaks, valleys, straight ,flat roads, hills, obstacles, streams to cross, success points, mountain tops,  pitfalls and plateaus.  You may feel as if you are on top of the world and at times at the bottom of the ocean….

 In the world of fitness women fall into three categories. Unmotivated/Non-exercising,   Exercising, and Exercise Extremist.   At some point most of us have fallen into either one of these categories or have overlapped in one or two of them simultaneously.  We all have our personal relationship with fitness, diet and training. Some of us are completely unmotivated right now, but at ONE  point we were elite athletes. Some of us are trying to get to the gym four days a week , only making it three and just had a baby. Some  are juggling a family, social life and a full time job.  Some of us  are (or were)  extreme fitness buffs who train 7 days a week like its our job. The reality of all of these situations is  that not all of these can be maintained for long periods of time.   Life is a crazy series of events!  The stages of life,  youth, adult, middle age and senior citizen pose many challenges and restrictions.  It is impossible to be in tip top shape for every period of your life and completely unhealthy to be sedentary  and careless with our diet without incurring some sort of malady or illness….

So, where are you? Are you a formerly fit woman who just can’t get motivated to get back into training? Are you someone that just hates to exercise and is living on junk food because you’ve decided its easier to throw in the towel than adopt a healthier lifestyle? Or are you training hard, to the point of exhaustion and perfection seeking, something that can be attained for a short period of time but not realistically or healthfully for life.

In my experience you probably fall into one of these three categories or are a combination of some of them. I was an athlete throughout my teenage years and by the time I got to college I was so burned out I never wanted to look at the gym again. When I graduated I slowly started getting back into working out and eventually became a professional fitness athlete and maintained a perfect physique for a few years after completely burning out and gaining fifty pounds and not working out for six months. I have since risen back to a level of fitness where I have found my balance and happiness by realizing perfection is not maintainable for a long period of time with my genetics but with wisdom I know that I have to work out and eat a balanced diet if I want to look and feel young and beautiful.

Where are you in your journey? In my next entry I will go into each stage of fitness and discuss ways you can find focus your journey in a more positive route. It is important to be realistic with where you are in order to progress in your journey. This means accepting where you are right now and being OK. One of the biggest problems I see with my clients is that “all or nothing” attitude. If you are completely out of shape, its not time to run head first into an extreme fitness program and diet. That is probably exactly why you  are where you are right now. By taking a more realistic approach and seeing the big picture of health and lifestyle you will have more success over the long haul. I will go more into this in my next entry. Take some time to really look at your fitness timeline. Where are you on your journey?


  1. After 4 kids I always maintained my weight but lacked muscle tone. After age 40, I'm struggling with both. My husband and I find it hard in our journey to balance our diets & 3 growing boys who are athletes & want Beefed up and 1 daughter, a gymnast who wants to stay petite. We would appreciate any healthy advice as possible.

  2. My answer isnt a fix all but a suggestion. You are not in an easy situation to eat healthfully and workout whenever you want. My first thought is get on a routine with meal planning. If you can make sure breakfast and dinner are healthful and clean you are more than halfway there. What kids do at school is always unpredictable although you may be packing their food. Next get junk out of the house. One night a week go out to dinner for "bad food" but during the week keep food clean. Place apples oranges and bananas in a basket on the kitchen table and get rid of packaged snacks. Send kids with snacks like nuts, cheese and fruit. One night a week have one of your kids cook a healthy dinner for the family ( clean pizza, chicken tacos, mixed salads). As far as the boys wanting to get beefed up, you can eat the same food in smaller portions and stay lean. The boys dont need to eat junk to beef up. Here are the foods i recommend they eat more of and they are foods that can help you, your hubby and daughter stay lean:
    Grilled chicken, salmon, turkey, feta and mozerella cheese, avocados, olive oil, lean steak (sirloin and flank) brown rice, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, all vegetables, yogurt, natural nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew) whole grain pasta and breads, nuts, lots of fruits and veggies Once again eaten in Large amounts your boys should easily gain lean mass also supplementing with whey protein. Oh, and I almost forgot eggggs! Whites for you! And oatmeal!!!