Hi, my name is Sue, and I'm an exercise junkie. I use exercise to reduce my depression and anxiety. (Mic drop).
End of statement. I'm one of the millions of people who probably (I hope) looks fine on the outside, but struggles on the inside.
That's why I exercise and that's why I eat "clean". I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I believe in medication, therapy, meditation, and journaling- anything that can help you get out of bed and function.
For me, toughest aspect is being able to stick with behaviors that help reduce depression. I know- this sounds so silly. If it helps, do it, right? Well, the problem with depression is that you constantly feel like you can't- there are a lot of days where it takes all your energy just to get out of bed.
My mom has never had depression. She wakes up everyday, popping out of bed at 80 years old, makes the coffee, does the dishes, reads the paper, and simply just starts doing her day. She...
On average, Americans gained 1.5 pounds a month over the pandemic, which translates to almost 30 pounds in 18 months. Parents and essential workers gained 36 to 38 pounds over the pandemic, while 48% of millennials reported gaining-on average-over 40 lbs. More women gained weight compared to me, but women gained only 22 lbs to the mens' 39 pound average.
As a health and fitness coach, I totally get it. I was like everyone else. I didn't have a job to go to everyday, my kid didn't have school to go to. It felt like Spring Break...that never ended. I was acting like a Hobbit, heading into the kitchen for elevenses, then lunch, then tea, then dinner, then supper- you get the idea. If I had kept that up I would be writing a very different article right now.
The pandemic and lockdown left many of us without any structure. Our regular, normal, mundane, boring lives of taking the kids to school and going to work were turned completely upside down. Self-care blogs on how to...
Start with the "why" in mind. This is how great leaders inspire us. But what does that even mean? Start with the "why" in mind?
Simon Sinek describes his Golden Circle like this; we know our "what" (what I'm doing) and we know our "how" (how do I do it), but often times we don't know our "why" (why am I doing this?)
When it comes to fitness I would say most of us exercise because Dr. Oz said to be healthier, we should exercise. Or maybe our doctor recommended that we exercise to lower our blood pressure or blood sugar or cholesterol - all excellent reasons- but is that enough to truly inspire us to do something we don't actually want to do?
For most of us, the answer is no- it's not.
I have a close friend who just got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. To say she was bummed is an understatement. Now my friend has never been a big fan of exercise- especially cardio. She fights it tooth and nail! But as she was researching effective methods for managing...
"Do what you LOVE, and LOVE what you DO!" ~everyone
I am always so amazed by people who can put all their time and effort into reaching a goal. The focus and drive that it takes to pursue something that may or not pan out- scary! That is probably the scariest thing that I can think of- doing your best, working really hard, putting the time and effort into something with no guarantee that you'll be successful- yuck! No thank you.
However, I did that all the time as a kid. When I was a teenager I did a ton of theater- that was my thing. I was really good at it, so I got quite a bit of ego-stroking back in the day. The accolades were great, but I didn't need much encouragement. I loved every minute from auditions to rehearsal to show time.
I especially LOVED showtime. My heart race with anticipation, feeling like it would burst with excitement. Being in a show felt like you were riding a rollercoaster every night. But at some point the ride had to end; time to get off...
What? No way! You mean I can get ALL the awesome cool benefits from exercise in only 10 minutes?
You mean I can exercise for only 10 minutes and still raise my metabolism? Lose body fat? Increase energy?
Is this a trap? Like the good old bait and switch? "You only have to exercise for 10 minutes today, but tomorrow it'll need to be 2 hours!"
Nope, this isn't a trick or a trap. There's real hard science proving that 10 minutes of exercise is just as effective as 30 minutes. So ditch that "all or nothing" attitude and let's look at the benefits of 10 minute workouts, or as I like to call them- Fitbreaks!
1. Boost your Mood and Brainpower
Have you noticed that at the beginning of a task, you’re focused and productive, but after a while, your attention starts to drift? Well sure- everyone's does- that's why you go to the kitchen looking for a snack! Instead of searching in the pantry for something to get your head back into that project, do a 10 minute...
“Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage” ~Ananis Nin
I don’t think of myself as courageous. Other people think I am because it’s so easy for me to get up in front of people, but for me, that’s not me being courageous. That’s me having the best time ever!
To me, courage is speaking from our hearts and staying true to ourselves. In order to be courageous, we must know ourselves, accept ourselves, and be courageous enough to live our lives in a way that honors who we are and what we stand for.
Now this might be kind of a heavy subject coming from a Health and Fitness Coach, but I think it takes a special kind courage to take care of ourselves.
Many of us know we should be doing a better job of taking care of ourselves. More exercise- less Netflix, more veggies-less pizza, more water-less wine, more sleep- less caffeine, we get it! I’m sorry, but my idea of a good time on a Friday night IS Netflix, pizza, and a...
"If you want to win the Lottery, You Have to Buy a Ticket"~Sue Spencer, adapted from Elizabeth Gilbert
I watched the first few minutes of Eat, Pray, Love last night and was reminded of this quick little parable:
“There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, "Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery." This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated statue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, "My son-please, please, please...buy a ticket."
If You Want to Win the Healthy Lifestyle Lottery, You Have to Buy a Ticket
We want to be as healthy as possible. We want to have the energy to do the things we love to do. We want to feel rested from a good night’s sleep. We want to enjoy our lives. Well my friends, you’ve got to buy the ticket.
I wish I could wave my magic fitness fairy wand and...
But I can adjust my sails to reach my destination" ~ Jimmy Dean.
One of the toughest things to do is change. We know this. We don’t like change. Change takes us into the unknown, into uncertainty. This creates anxiety and worry. YUCK! Who wants that?
When the wind changes, we have a choice. We can stay exactly the same, fighting to keep moving towards our destination, battling the wind, hoping and praying that the wind will change back. Or, we can work with our new circumstances, change the sails so to speak, and work with our new circumstances to our advantage.
I’m a health and fitness coach. My job is to help people through the process of creating positive healthy behaviors. Most of the time my job is to just help bring awareness to a situation- basically help you become aware that the wind has changed and how to work with your new circumstances so you can reach your destination more easily instead of constantly “fighting the wind”.
The Fitness Industry’s Dirty Little Secret: Part Two
In Part One I discussed what the Fitness Industry’s Dirty Little Secret Is:
We train YOU like we train ourselves. "Do what I do and you shall be healthy and happy like me".
The Nike campaign of “Just Do It” highlighted one of the main truths about a successful fitness program; you exercise simply because that’s what a healthy, active person does. Everyday. Rain or shine. You’ve just got to do it. If you want to look like (insert ideal body image here), then this fitness program (that was designed by an athlete-a trainer- a group exercise instructor) is what you must do.
100% accurate, true, this IS what works. For exercise to be effective you must exercise Frequently (30 minutes minimum), Consistently (5 days a week), and at an Intensity that is Challenging (break a sweat). That’s the truth. If you want results, that’s how it needs to be done.
The Fitness Industry has a Dirty Little Secret that they DON’T want you to know. Want to know what it is?
As I’m scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, I often wonder, “who’s coming up with these workouts?” Well, me. I’m one of those “fitness people” who make up the fitness industry. I’m a trainer and Group Exercise instructor, so I am definitely “one of THOSE people”. I keep telling you if you just move for 10 minutes, it will change your life!
Back to my point- who’s making up this stuff? Who’s the mastermind behind HIIT training and Tabatas? Olympic lifts and marathons? Hot Yoga and Zumba? It’s people who LIKE to move. Actually, it’s people who LOVE to move. People who love to exercise. People who are motivated by competitions, people who keep striving to lift more, run farther, bend deeper. We can’t imagine our lives without exercise....