Get Real

I know what it is to be busy – this is my first post since June. With the New Year already 8 days in, you’re probably still going strong on your New Year’s resolution to get fit or lose weight. The initial rush of finally succeeding at a goal you’ve been wanting to achieve for so long keeps you at the gym day after day, chugging away like a donkey plodding through the desert drooling over a dangling carrot. It’s so close yet so far and all you have to do is work out. You’ve made resolutions before, but this time it’s different. You just know it is. You can do it. You can set your mind to it. You can work out 5 times a week for an hour at a time. All you have to do is keep it up and you’ll finally be able to say that you stuck with your New Year’s resolution and succeeded!

Until you realize you can’t (um, won’t). That upbeat attitude won’t last. And here’s why…

The number one excuse I hear from people about why they don’t exercise regularly is, “I don’t have time and can’t fit it in”.

That’s a load of garbage. You’ve got to lose your excuses. The only reason you’re not seeing the results you want is because you don’t take responsibility for your actions. I know it’s harsh and it may be hard to swallow that the only thing holding you back is you, but you have time, you just don’t have your priorities straight. I get it, you probably work 10 hour days minimum, which leaves little time to get chores done, and leaves you exhausted and feeling entitled to that manicure, happy hour, shopping, a movie, lazing on the couch, and dinner out with friends.

That’s the problem.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely think you are entitled to those things and have earned it with all your hard work, but if you want to succeed you have to delay that immediate gratification of rewarding yourself until after you work out. And, I absolutely think that a healthy dose of loafing around is necessary and allowed, but you have to earn it.

I’m busy too. Actually, can I clarify that? I am BUSY with a capital B-U-S-Y! I have an almost 1 year old baby who requires lots of attention and often leaves me exhausted by the time I get to my workout, a sick family member, a business to run, clients to train, a house to keep clean, laundry to do, meals to cook, a running group to train for a race, a husband to spend time with, dogs that need to be walked, friends and family that need to be seen, an endless to-do list… Basically, life.

Yes, we are all busier than busy and barely have a moment to ourselves, but still, if you want what you want then you have to do what needs to be done to get it. And that doesn’t mean just working out. You need to learn some time management.

Here’s what I do and recommend you do too:

Take a look at your schedule for the upcoming week and pencil in the days and times you’re going to work out ahead of time. You have to think about working out like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. You wouldn’t skip those, so don’t skip a workout unless you’re sick or injured. And that excuse of not having any time? Throw that out the window. You don’t have to work out in a gym to consider it successful. There are so many fitness DVD’s on the market that you can get through Netflix, HULU, and cable OnDemand channels (channel 1023 in Brooklyn) that you don’t even have to put on clothes to do it (although I highly recommend at least a sports bra!). When my baby was 3 weeks old and I was given the go ahead to resume working out I did it in spurts between her cries (working out 10 minutes here and there 3 times a day is just as effective for your bottom [line] as it is doing it for 30 minutes total), in my living room, in my pajamas if I didn’t even have time to change. I let the vaccuming go undone, I let laundry pile up, and decided what I could let go of for a bit and just let it go. I couldn’t let actual work and some other important “must be done” things go, so I decided that my house doesn’t have to look immaculate all the time, that I don’t have to cook dinner every night, and that I can wake up an hour earlier if it’s the only way I can fit a workout in that day. The only reason this works though is because I’ve decided that working out is a part of life for me and MUST be done. It keeps me sane, makes me a better mother, improves my clients’ sessions, and makes me feel good. When I feel good everything else is good.

So, lose your excuses and keep to your word this year.

To make it even easier and save you time, here are links to the essentials:

– <a href=””>Resistance Bands</a>
– <a href=” “>20 Pound Dumbbell Set</a>
– <a href=” “>32 Pound Dumbbell Set</a>
– <a href=” “>Chris Freitag’s work out DVD (I love this one!)</a>
– <a href=” “>Cardio Kickboxing DVD</a>
– <a href=” “>YogaWorks For Everybody: Slim Down DVD</a>


Hating Your Post-Baby Body Is Not An Option

Hating Your Post-Baby Body Is Not An Option
WED, JUNE 27, 2012 5:01 PM
Do you cringe when you see photos of celebrities’ post-baby bodies? Do you love your post-baby belly or do you only see your flaws? Well, a group of blogging moms over at the CT Blogging Moms Group decided to bare their bellies to protest perfection. It all started when one of the moms saw a link to a photo of a post-pregnant Beyonce and was too frightened to click on it because she knew Beyonce would look perfect, like all celebrities do 2 minutes after giving birth. This sparked a conversation in the group and they all decided to do a photo shoot in order to embrace what their bellies and show people what real women without trainers, chefs, and photoshop look like after having a baby. These are their inspiring photos…

They have an amazing challenge that I want you to embrace. Whether you’ve had a baby or not, get a group of friends together and hold your own photo shoot. Embrace what you look like and stop wishing you were perfect. Your body is capable of amazing things and just because you don’t have the perfect stomach, thighs, or boobs, it is still amazing.

My Baby, My Body, My Craziness

I recently read an article called the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying and must tell you that not one regret had to do with looks or weight. I read this article a week before I went to the doctor for my 6 week postpartum check up, which was also a week before I stepped on the scale post-baby. If you know me or have read anything I’ve written while I was pregnant you will know that I never felt as good in my life as I did during my pregnancy. I never was so confident and radiant about my body. Pregnancy did something to me that made me feel beautiful and amazing – big belly, weight gain, and all. It did occur to me however, that once I gave birth to my baby, and then had no excuse for the weight gain or belly, that I might revert back to my old habits and start judging my body and the way it looks harshly. (Seriously, sometimes we can be harsher than a Russian Olympic’s coach!)

So, fast forward to my checkup where I had to step on the scale… I told myself before I even walked into the office that no matter what the scale said I need to be ok with it. I need to remember how good I was feeling during my pregnancy and that I now have an amazing baby that is so much more important than how thin I am. It’s just a number.

And so, I stepped on the scale and must have fallen into a deep amnesia, because I immediately looked over to the nurse’s chart to see what weight I was before I was pregnant. I knew that not only would looking not make me feel better if it wasn’t the number I was hoping for, but there was nothing I could do about it right then and there. Still though, I was compelled to look.

Of course you want to know what it said, right? I’m ashamed to tell you the number, because I know so many of you are going to roll your eyes and say, “is she crazy?!”, but if you struggle with your body image than you need to understand that it’s not the number that indicates a problem, but your reaction to it that does.

5 pounds. Yup, you heard that right, 6 weeks after I gave birth to my baby I am 5 pounds over what I was before I got pregnant. I’m even more ashamed to admit that no matter how hard I tried not to bring it up to the doctor, I couldn’t contain myself, and in a bit of a panic, which I tried so hard to make her think wasn’t there, I caved. If all the fluid was gone and my uterus shrunk down to its original size, and I gave birth to a 6.8lb baby, then what could possibly be the explanation for this extra weight!

My doctor reassured me that it can take up take up to a year for my body to return back to its prepregnancy state (of course I knew this), and that breastfeeding means that I’m carrying around milk, which weighs quite a bit (I definitely knew this, because my boobs are damn heavy at the moment!), and that nursing also means that my body needs to keep some fat reserves to maintain milk production (I knew this too). None of that made me feel better. I knew it wouldn’t even before I asked, because I know that what I’m feeling is insane.

And that’s what pisses me off more than anything? That I care so much. It’s not the 5 pounds that are the problem it’s that I care. You know what it is though? We are so ingrained to size up people and compare ourselves, and all throughout my pregnancy the first thing people would say when they saw me was how good I looked. And now when they see me, they say how great it is that I don’t look like I even had a baby. (You’re probably rolling your eyes again saying, “what is she complaining about? She’s really annoying!”)

The thing is though, when you’re trying not to let the way you think you look effect you, but everyone around you keeps commenting on the way you look, it’s kind of hard not to think about it. It makes you feel like you have to live up to the standard you’ve set. It becomes pretty powerful. And no matter whether it’s 5 pounds or 50 pounds the way you feel is different then the reality when you have body image issues.

So, here’s what I’m doing to fight the little monster in my head:

1. Remind myself that Lily is so much more important than anything else in this world.
2. Remind myself that I never want Lily to go through this, so I need to do everything I can to not let feelings like these get to me.
3. I don’t look in the mirror if I need affirmation, because that is a losing battle. I only look in the mirror when I know I am not going to judge myself or if I need to check how I look for practical reasons.
4. Remind myself that 5lbs is ok not just because it’s only 5lbs, but because in the big scheme of things my weight isn’t important.

Remember, you are not going to leave this world wishing you were thinner or prettier. It’s just not that important.

Products I’m Obsessed With: Dumbbell Alarm Clock

I hear this all the time… I don’t have time to work out. Well, the dirty truth is that if the president of the United States of America has time to work out then so do you. You just have to make the time. And sometimes that means waking up an hour earlier to fit it in. So, here’s something that will not only remind you to work out, but will help you get out of bed to actually do it!

Before going to bed, set the time that you would like to wake up. In the morning, this little baby won’t turn off until you do 30 bicep curls. That’s 15 for the right and 15 for the left. Aha! You’ve already started to fit in your workout AND you’re awake. It’s that easy!

Amazon had the cheapest price and you can get it by clicking here.

Now that I’ve solved that issue, is there anything else I can help you with?

Happy New Year and happy working out.

Welcome tABLE Health!

I’m so very please to announce Very Personal Training’s new partnership with tABLE Health, a small, energetic business that was founded on the premise that fresh, local ingredients are the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. They offer environmentally sustainable, nutritionally focused cooking classes and individual and group consulting.

Run by registered dietician, Rachael Saks, and a super business savvy, Ora Warmflash, they are trying to change the way people eat from the inside out. They are to food what I am for fitness – helping you not just have a quick fix, but to really change your behavior and habits.

Check out their menu of services for an idea of what they can offer you. All sessions take place in your very own home, so there’s no need to go anywhere!

In addition, they also have a cooking event coming up on January 12th where you can learn to cook healthier (but still yummy) versions of comfort foods, such as Mac n’ Cheese, Baked-Fried Chicken, and Raspberry and Peanut Butter Bread Pudding. YUMMMMM!

This is a great addition to Very Personal Training and is something I am very excited about. One of the things I highly recommend to anyone trying to get over emotional eating or under-eating issues is the Menu Planning session. It may just be the bridge you need to help you relearn how to eat without having to make so many daunting choices.

Their services are available for purchase on my website, by clicking here and signing in. And as always, if you are having trouble, please feel free to contact me to let me know and I will help you.

Pregnancy and Body Image

A client of mine asked me today how I was feeling. Aside from the mellowness from the gloomy weather I’m feeling pretty good. She said, “yeah, but are you ready to have the baby out?” I must get this question countless times a week and my answer is always no. Why? I love being pregnant! This also seems to garner many shocked reactions of people who either know of other women or themselves felt miserable during pregnancy. I don’t know if it’s due to being in good shape and keeping it up during these past 8 1/2 months or if I”m just one of the lucky ones who haven’t suffered any major reactions to pregnancy, but I absolutely love it. Here’s the main reason why…

I’m out of control.

Yes, that seems crazy to a lot of people. Most people with body image issues crave control and order, so you would think that not being in control of the way my body is changing would be a major catalyst for a body image breakdown, but surprisingly it’s not. The only choice I have is to surrender to what’s going on inside of me and let go of the control that I’ve sought my whole life. I need to let my body to what it’s going to do. And you know what? This is the best I’ve ever felt about myself.

Plus, this little girl growing inside of me is more important than any perfection that I can strive for.

Think about that – my body is doing what it’s supposed to do without me having to give it any instruction. It’s managed to turn one cell into a bunch of cells, into a human. And I didn’t control one bit of that. In fact, I’m pretty sure that had I tried to control it I couldn’t have done as good of a job.

Now you can take that to the opposite extreme and ask, why care at all – eat whatever you want and sit on the couch all day since there’s nothing you can do to control the situation – take the free ride, but it’s not about that either. The idea is to be balanced. You don’t have to “eat for 2”, but you don’t have to diet either. Listen to what your body is telling you. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re satisfied, and move a bit every day. Your body will tell you when it’s had enough or when it needs to rest, you just have to listen.

Not caring has given me a tremendous sense of freedom and it only drives home the lesson that I try to teach everyone, that you need to surrender and put yourself in uncomfortable situations to prove to yourself that the things you make a big deal about are actually not as big as you make them out to be. And what’s even more is that they may even turn out better than you had ever imagined.


I’m thinking about the past two weeks and just have to give a big congratulations to a few people…

Jen Z., Melissa, Erin, and Reina: You’ve taken huge leaps and you’ve made me so proud. I’m ecstatic with your success and growth and want you to know that you are exemplifying what Very Personal Training is all about – facing your fears and pushing yourself past the point of comfort. Keep it up and you will see that change happens, because you keep proving to yourself that you are capable of so much more than you thought possible.

Also, a huge welcome to Sarah and Jen C. (because lord knows I need more Jen’s to keep track of!). I’m so excited to see what the future brings us.

Remember This…

Ever hear of Newton’s Law of Inertia? You may not know the proper name for it, but you’ve definitely heard the phrase “an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion”, right? Well, Newton it seems wasn’t just a genius scientist, he was a genius coach, because this principle doesn’t just apply to physics, it applies to your mind and your body as well.

It’s like when you decide to wipe a spot on the table. It’s just a little spot. But then, once you clean that spot you notice another and another until you’ve not only cleaned the entire table, but your bookshelf too, because it’s right next to the table and you have a wet rag in your hand anyway, and if you sit down now you know it’s never going to get done later, so what the hell, you’ll clean the bookshelf too. Oh, and the mirror next to the bookshelf. And did you see that dust bunny roll behind the lamp? Once you start you can’t stop.

So many times when working with clients I’ve seen them quit at the last 3 reps. They say it’s because it’s “too hard”, “they’re muscles are on fire”, or they’re “out of breath”. As a trainer though you learn to spot the signs when someone is truly at their limit or if they’re just giving up because it’s difficult. It’s one thing if you’re at true failure (in fitness failure is a spectacular thing – think about that!), then I can understand not being able to lift any more, but if you’re giving out because it’s hard, I have news for you, it is always physically hard. If it isn’t then you’re not growing. That doesn’t mean you need to be in pain, but you need to challenge yourself. That never ever changes and never goes away. If you always stop at the last three then you’ll always stop at the last three, because you give yourself permission to do so. Without fail, every time I need to work out there is still this thought in the back of my mind, “really? Maybe I’ll just stay home. I’m really not in the mood.” And that’s after 10 years! The difference though, is that I go anyway, because put simply, that is what I do. I am an object in motion staying in motion.

Finding a healthy balance in your life (food, exercise, sleep, work, play, family, etc.) isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s something that takes careful honing and work. If you really want to change your habits, it is deliberate, and takes a shift in attitude. Over time though, it gets easier, not because there are no obstacles, but because it becomes second nature. Giving into your excuses and not challenging them only leads to you sitting on the couch watching yet another episode of How I Met Your Mother. You settling for a bit of immediate gratification keeps you from moving forward, and all that serves to do is keep you on that couch. You have to expect some discomfort and know that you can overcome it, because if you stay on that couch you’ll remain on that couch, but if you decide to just shut the excuses up and move you’ll be more likely to move the day after and the day after that – discomfort and all.

Will Spin For A Stripper

So, the media isn’t all bad…

Truthfulness = Balance

In Yoga, there is a principal called satya, the practice of truthfulness. Now,
from what I know from many of my clients, yoga sometimes gets a bad rap for being slow, boring, and “not as good of a workout as lifting weights”. And I’ll admit, I thought that way too for a while.

But then I got pregnant. And I discovered yoga for what it really is. And believe me, it has nothing to do with long lean muscles (although that is a nice possible side-effect).

During the first three months of this little girl growing inside of me, she managed to make me nauseous and unavoidably exhausted every waking minute of the day, which as you can imagine (or have experienced) doesn’t leave you with much energy to brush your hair, much less lift weights.

I tried a few yoga classes in the past and never really took to them the way I did to Spinning, running, or lifting weights. It didn’t leave me utterly drained the way those things do, which made me believe that I was wasting my time. This time around though, because I
really couldn’t keep up with my old workout routines, I tried a few yoga DVDs on my own and loved the way it made me feel. On days I had barely any energy I did just some light stretching, but on days when I could muster it, and especially now, I do a more vigorous and flowing yoga that leaves me feeling energized, taller, and in a lightened mood (and actually out of breath). Not to mention, more open and flexible.

But the real power of yoga didn’t come to me until a few weeks ago.

In one of the DVDs, I heard this phrase: “there’s no ego in yoga”.

Think about that. We’re always comparing ourselves to others and basing our feelings of adequacy on what other people look like or can do. In a yoga class, where you’re so close to everyone, you might find yourself comparing your ability to hold a pose or do it perfectly based on how the instructor or your mat-mate is doing it. But it’s not about that.

And this is where satya comes in.

The principal of satya gives you the chance to experience an amazing quality of yoga. It allows you to experience your own truth, and essentially, not be perfect based on someone else, but to be your own kind of perfect. To do this, you need to honor your truth, which means you might not be able to contort yourself the way someone else can, or even simply open your hip as much as your yoga mat neighbor. That’s ok. Be honest about your own limits and adjust accordingly. If you can’t balance on one foot, balance on one toe. Do what you can. Eventually you will get there.
This will help you practice calmly, which will allow you to find balance not just in your poses, but in your life.

Even if yoga really isn’t your thing, think about practicing being truthful at work, on the subway, with your friends, and in the dressing room. Find your own place in this fast world. Be honest about yourself and you will find balance.