A Few Random Thoughts on Nutirition, Fitness & Trainers

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One of the most (if not the most) common question I get from clients/friends/family is, “How can I get rid of the fat on my {insert troublesome body part here}.”  Or, “What exercises can I do to get rid of my belly/butt/thighs/back fat?”

Well here’s the deal….you can’t spot reduce fat on your body.  You can work any area of your body and build muscle, but your approach to nutrition is what is responsible for the fat gain/loss that you have.  You can do 1000 crunches a day and build some core muscle, but if you do 1000 crunches a day and eat half a box of doughnuts for breakfast every morning you will just have some nice core muscles going on underneath that layer of fat around your middle.

There are all kinds of factors that come into play when determining whether or not you hang onto or shed fat.  If you’re eating clean most of the time (I have come to hate that term, by the way – it means different things to different people at different times in their fitness journey, but I digress) but are STRESSING YOURSELF OUT over trying to constantly stay in line with a rigid diet or if you “cheat” (another term I hate) and then proceed to sink into a pit of guilt and despair, then it is highly likely that your body is churning out some serious Cortisol (the stress hormone) and let me assure you, from experience, THAT kind of lifestyle WILL wreak havoc on your health/fitness no matter how “perfectly” you are eating.  If you can’t enjoy your food, whether it be healthy or the occasional splurge, then you are laying the groundwork for a very unhealthy relationship with food, and that will lead to frustration, depression, anxiety and sadly ZERO results for your efforts.

Let’s say your version of “eating clean” consists of eating eggs, lean meats, healthy fats and carbs, grains & beans.  To you, this is clean.  To someone else who has completely sworn off grains, this  could be looked at as not clean or acceptable.  If you normally eat a lot of processed foods including, but not limited to, fast food, doughnuts, ice cream, frozen pizza and chicken nuggets but in your quest for a healthier life start replacing some of those foods with vegetables, fruits, rice or quinoa, lean cuts of meat, whole grains, etc….still to some this won’t be acceptable as “truly clean” but in comparison to your norm, it is a HUGE improvement.  You’d be surprised at the number of people who take part in food shaming.  I myself have been guilty of it in the past.

I cannot say this enough…I HATE FOOD SHAMING.  And there’s a lot of it going on today.  You should never assume that your way is the only way.  NEVER.  If whatever you are doing works for you, wonderful!  I love that.  But if you believe that everyone who does something different is doing it wrong, then you have a problem.  I see a lot of trainers today that offer these cookie cutter programs.  If you are a professional in this industry and do not take the time to actually get to know your client before taking their money and pushing the same plan you offer to everyone on them, then shame on you.

People are unique.  It stands to reason that what will work best for one is not going to be the same as everyone else.  When I first started working with clients, I was seriously surprised at how many “certified” people out there were acting so irresponsibly.  I’m sure I’m naive, but I kind of assumed that you are trying to help people if you are doing this as a profession.  Yes, we all want to be paid for our job, but if you don’t take the time to truly learn what it is that your client will respond best to, then aren’t you also hurting your own chances at success in the process?  No one wants a trainer who just throws a plan at you and then dumps you.

If you are just starting your fitness journey and aren’t sure what to do, please be wary of anyone who operates with a “my way or the highway” mentality.  It’s just plain wrong.  That’s all there is to it.  In my last challenge group, there was  a woman who loves Zumba.  I have never had any desire to try Zumba.  But I know lots of people who love it.  If it gets you off the couch and moving, then why in the world would anyone discredit it?  But yet, I have witnessed many fitness enthusiasts bashing and making fun of it.  WHY???  Why would you ever want to put down a person for trying to be healthier?  It’s the same way with food.  If I had a dime for every fitness account I’ve had to unfollow on Instagram because they think it’s funny to make fun of a person’s chosen path towards a healthier life, I’d be a rich woman.  And we wonder why there is an obesity problem?  It’s intimidating enough to just begin, throwing food shame & making fun of a person’s chosen exercise method on top of it?  It will completely turn people away from it for good.

I wish we could live in a world where anyone’s efforts towards a healthier lifestyle, whether they be baby steps or giant leaps, whether they mirror our own efforts or take them in a different direction, were cause for celebration and encouragement instead of judgement and ridicule.

Saying Goodbye to George

I’ve been putting this post off for a little while, though I know that I really do want to write it.

If you’ve been following my blog over the years, then you’re familiar with my friend & neighbor, George, and how my little Hannah brought us together.

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We have had some fun times over the years.  Every Friday for several years I could always count on him to make me laugh.

And though I heard the same stories over and over again many times, I never got tired of hearing about his world travels.  He really was a fascinating guy.

He fell this past winter and laid on the floor in his home for several hours before he could reach the phone.  He was taken to the hospital and was no longer allowed to live on his own.  He had no family here in Indiana, so his niece flew in from Colorado and took him back to her house.  He passed away not long after that.  He was old and his body was weak, so while I wasn’t really surprised at the news, I was still heartbroken.  And I’m so thankful that I was able to say goodbye to him before he left.  I even got a hug & kiss on the cheek from him, which I will always be grateful for.

He was quirky and sometimes cranky.  But he was also witty and charming.  I am so thankful that God put us together, even if it was for a few short years.  He was my friend and I loved him.

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How I Finally Learned to Stop Hating this Old House

This house….boy, where do I begin?  This house….well, before I start with this house, let’s go way back to 1997.  In 1997 we were living in a new house on an acre out in the country.  I loved that house.  I mean LOVED it!  It was new.  It had 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.  It had a GINORMOUS kitchen.  I had a big garden.  We had horses behind us that Katie loved to sit out back and watch every day.

So why in the world did we move, you ask?  Well, it turns out that that beautiful new house had a very hefty house payment.  We were making it, but not comfortably and little did we know, but big financial changes were just on the horizon for us.  We didn’t know that, but we did know that we weren’t comfortable with scraping by.  The other negative was that the house sat on a road that is a very heavily traveled road that links our small town to the nearby bigger town.  There was a lot of traffic and nobody was obeying the speed limit.  The girls were 5 & 3 and I was scared to death that at some point they would get out of my sight for a minute and out to that busy road.

We listed our house and were completely unprepared for it to sell in only a month’s time.  Worse than that was that the people needed to be in right away.  We had nowhere to go!!  I was looking to move into our cute little town.  I had grown up there and I missed it.  I wanted to be close to the school, park & library.  The problem with a small town is that there isn’t always a lot of real estate to choose from.  And the other problem with this particular small town is that the houses are O-L-D.  So odds are pretty likely that if you are buying a house here, you’re going to have lots of fixing up to do.

It just so happened that my parents had just purchased a big farm house out in the country and their realtor had bought a house in town to flip.  I remembered them telling us about it and about all of the work it needed.  So when our house sold and I saw that there was absolutely nothing for sale here, I thought of my mom’s realtor.  A few phone calls later and a walk-through and we’d made an offer that was accepted!

Prior to this house, all of the houses that Brian & I had lived in (with the exception of our very first rental house) were modern and nice.  So, when you go from that to an old, crooked, drafty house it can be quite an ordeal.  Not to mention that our girls were actually frightened of their new home.  Yes, for real.  Frightened.

Everything in the house needed attention.  There’s no other way to put it.  The roof…oh my the roof!  Old, single-pane windows and several of them were broken.  The old original wide-plank wood floors with huge gaps.  And everything was crooked.  The floors, the stairs, the walls.  No wonder the kids were scared!

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The previous owners had done some of the work themselves.  Siding, furnace, air conditioning….but there was (and still is) A LOT left to do.  But, the beauty of it was this:  we had bought this house cheap and we could afford to fix it up.  Maybe not all at once, but we could do it.

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This is what she looked like when the previous owners bought her! Can you imagine???

 

However, life had other plans and not long after we’d been here…maybe a year?  The economy tanked and Brian was laid off from his job.  Talk about scary times.  What a blessing in disguise this ugly old house was.  Because of it, we were able to scrape through that time.  And the remodeling has been sloooow going ever since because #1) we used a lot of our remodel money to live on during those lean times and #2) we are now so busy that it has just taken a back seat.  And finally #3) we are NOT do-it-yourselfers, a fact we quickly learned once we moved in and started projects.

My hair was so short!!

My hair was so short!!

But we have managed to do some things over the years…windows, floors, roof, a new deck, paint (most of the rooms).  The kitchen cabinets are still ugly.  The ceilings are still hideous and my bedroom still hasn’t been touched, but it’s home.  The girls are 13 and 10 now and we are crazy busy with life now.

I’m ashamed to say that I have sometimes been embarrassed to have people over.  You know, it’s all so hip and cool to have an old house in the middle of remodeling because there’s proof all around that it will one day be updated and nice.  But when you’re just living in an old house & the renovating is nonexistent?  Not cool.  Not cool at all, my friend.

We are no longer kidding ourselves.  The remodeling is not happening anytime soon.  We can’t afford it now.  We don’t have time for it now.  We don’t even have time to paint for Pete’s sake!  And even when we do have time, we don’t want to.  We just want to sit.  And play board games or go to the movies.  Or some other fun thing because seriously, life is flying by us every day.  Perhaps the day will come when I live to remodel.  But that day is not today.

And so, I’ve learned to stop being embarrassed by my unfinished home.  And quite frankly, the people who visit us here could care less about what our house looks like.  And maybe there is a lesson somewhere here for my girls that says something like, your true friends will love you for you.  Not for your house.  Not for you possessions.  A house is a home when love lives there, crooked floors and all.  <3

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I’m Going Dark…well, sort of…

I’m on the verge of deleting my Facebook.  I’m shocked that I’m saying this because FB is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed, but I’m getting kind of sick of it, to be honest.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been a great marketing tool for my business.  And I truly enjoy being able to keep up with my friends and family on there.  But, know what I don’t like?  I don’t like when I feel obligated to accept a friend request from an “acquaintance” or a “friend of a friend that I kinda sorta know”.

I also feel like I get sucked in to my news feed and quite honestly, I’m tired of scrolling through tons of crap just to get to something that I’m interested in seeing.

I’m also tired of coming across something funny and then feeling the instant need to “share” it.  I’m tired of feeling like I need to post pictures of everything we do.  And that’s all of my own doing – I’m not blaming that on anyone but me.  But that’s the way it feels and I’m just kinda over it.

I miss blogging and the sense that I can post anything I want and only a select few will be reading it.  I know I have the power to unfriend or not accept friend requests on FB, but there’s a whole other side to all of that.  The whole deal where someone will see that you are friends with so and so, so why aren’t you friends with me?  I don’t know…just sick of all that noise.  I’ve been spending more time with the blog lately and going back and reading my old posts from years ago and I’ve been filled with so much joy at all of the memories.  I just can’t get that with FB and I want to preserve these precious memories for my girls.

I will probably keep my Instagram because I like how it’s not so involved.  Plus, there are a lot of fitness accounts on there that I follow and actually want to see what they post daily.

Like I said, I’m on the verge…I haven’t actually taken the plunge yet, but it’s on my to-do list this week for sure.  And it feels really good to say that.  :)

The Yard Work Supervisor

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Cherishing These Moments

Yesterday was gorgeous.  The sun was shining and though it was a little windy & cool, it made for the perfect day to spend outside at the ballpark with Bug.  We (she & I) are big IU fans (B & Hannah are UK fans, but we’ll leave that disgusting topic for another day ;)) and this was our second game in two weeks.

A fantastic day that will be one of my favorite memories with my daughter.

A fantastic day that will be one of my favorite memories with my daughter.1

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A grand slam by #77!

After the game, Katie was able to participate in a skills camp hosted by the coaches and players.  It was awesome seeing her out there with her favorite player.  She’s been to IU a few different times now for games and camps.  We will definitely be back for more.

Making fun of her sunglasses :)

Making fun of her sunglasses :)

This is Rachel O’Malley.  She’s the short stop for IU and Katie’s favorite player.  For my girl, who lets very little emotion show ever, I can tell you that the smile on her face here is pure joy.  She’s one of the most even-keeled kids I know.  Whether she’s extremely happy or extremely mad/frustrated during a game, the look on her face is usually the same. Seeing her with this big grin on her face was awesome to me.

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We were able to spend time with old friends today too, which was such a blessing.  It may sound cliche, but softball sisters are sisters for life.  I know this because I still feel that way today about all of the girls I played with from the time I was 6 years old until well into my 30’s.  I know it will be the same for my girls.  I love this sport so much, not only are my girls learning valuable life lessons that they will use later on in their adult lives, but because it’s one of the most drama-free sports out there for girls.  Most of the girls we are spending the majority of our time with are serious athletes, there is no time or desire for teenage drama and it SO refreshing.

We <3 our Summers' girls!

We <3 our Summers’ girls!

Mini Vacation

We took a little overnight trip to the Newport Aquarium.  I’m not sure how we’ll ever survive a typical 7 day vacation.  I’m completely exhausted after just that.

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We walked around the aquarium for a few hours, which was really neat.  Then we stopped at Dick’s Last Resort to eat because it really was our last resort.  We walked around for 30 minutes trying to decide where to eat and it was the last place we came to and we just went in out of frustration.  Let me just tell you that it is NOT the place to eat after you’ve exhausted yourself.  Actually, it’s not the place for me to eat EVER.  I get the whole “rude waiter” attraction for some people, the novelty of it, but I just found it all completely annoying and the food was terrible.  So…lesson learned.

We had a nice hotel to stay in and it had a hot tub, which is just the thing for me & B.  We sat in that while the girls swam in the pool.  Then we went to the DQ which was right next door for some ice cream.

We were home by noon and they talked me into heading to the outlet mall for some shopping.  I hate shopping, but it was beautiful outside, so I didn’t mind walking around outside from shop to shop.

It was a nice & much needed getaway but again, I don’t see how people do multiple, lengthy vacations every year.  We know several people who do this 2 or 3 times a year.  Maybe it’s because we do a lot of weekend hotel stays with the girls’ ball schedules, but I much prefer my own bed.

Klutzy Mama

One hard workin' dad, an accident-prone mama, and two crazy kids!

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