Flu Shots and Danishes

This really is a true story, and for that I’m shocked. (I just couldn’t use real names.)

I have a friend who works in health care, at a relatively high profile hospital. He emailed me the other day to tell me that he HAD to get a flu shot for work. I was surprised by his emphasis on HAD, so I called him up to verify. As it turns out his high profile employer was mandating that all employees with face-to-face interaction with patients HAD to get a flu shot within a certain period of time or their employment would be terminated.

Is that even legal? I couldn’t believe it.

Then…

I get another email from the same friend. He’s at an all day meeting with his employer. Within the email is a photo of danishes, bagels, and muffins being served for breakfast during the meeting. No fruit to be seen, no protein anywhere, just sugar and flour. Later I get the lunch update, mayo based salads served as sandwiches, chips, and cookies. Not even an apple or a simple vegetable tray.

Seriously?

I think message is twisted. Mandate flu shots but serve crap for meals. This employer, and I’m sure many more, have a lot of evaluating to do.

Let’s at least try a little bit of this the next time you host an employee meeting (which like the flu shot is also mandatory!)

Your Fitness Story

We all have our stories, and they’re all really different. At some point we’ve all had a big road block, where we’ve had to dig really deep to get to the next step.

I’d love to hear yours…

I’ll share mine with you as well.

As a kid, we played outside. Never were we allowed to sit a watch TV for hours on end. We also had chores that needed to be done. From about 11 to 17 I played sports. My favorite sport was swimming, I would swim lap after lap after lap until I had to get out of the pool. I was awesome at the backstroke, then one meet didn’t go so well, I counted the flags wrong I crashed head first into the wall, practically knocked myself out in the water, and well mentally couldn’t get over it, and never swam quite so well again.

I also played soccer, but we didn’t always have a girls team, a group of us got to play on the boys team for a year, but in terms of degrading us, they made a special period for us (that didn’t really count toward the game) That didn’t go over too well, and didn’t last more than a season. We finally got a girls team my senior year, we weren’t great but we were good enough for a first year team. That was a memorable experience, a charter member. After college I was a bartender for a bit, it was always strange mixing up a drink for my high school soccer coach.

Lastly, I was on the track and field team all through high school. I threw discus and ran 110 hurdles, that’s a combination of two events for sure. I wasn’t awesome but I was good enough.

When I got to college, swimming was always on my mind, but I never went after it, looking back I probably should have. Instead, I got a little lazy, and the most exercise I ever did was the 3 whole classes I had to take to fulfill my PE requirements. Reassuring I know, coming from someone who wants every woman to feel confident and empowered by their fitness capabilities.

After college, I battled with myself for about a year over some minor eating disorders, and my new addiction to running (perhaps this is why I dislike it so much now.) At my 5’10” frame I was a whopping 155, anorexic and almost frail. I encountered some other problems along the way, but slowly and thankfully shifted out of that mindset and into a much healthier lifestyle. There were a lot of ups and downs to overcome and conquer, but once I realized the importance I knew I had to stick with it, that and I wanted to.

Enter real strength training for the first time in my life. (Because all the strength training I did in high school was bogus at best, with no program to follow and no goals in mind, I wasn’t educated at the time.)

I love this stuff, I would give up strength training for anything at this point in my life. When I finally started training the right way, I saw amazing transformations. I was strong, I was lean, I was realizing what it was really like to be fit as an adult. It wasn’t about crazy fad diets and long cardio.

Combination full body movements, paired with other combination full body movements, for effective and quick workouts that not only make me stronger and leaner, but also allow me to skip traditional cardio workouts. Have I mentioned that I love this stuff! (You will too if you don’t already, I promise.)

I didn’t get in to every detail but I will as time moves along, you’ll hear about all of my mistakes, what my workouts are like now, they crazy fad diets I’ve tried, the success of well balanced nutrition, the confidence that strength training brings to you, and so much more.

Tell me what your fitness story has been like.

What do you struggle with?

What has been the key to your current success?

Where do you want to improve?

Together, we’ll get there and stay there.

What Motivates You?

I’ve previously talked a lot about motivation. All the way from wanting to be the best that you can be, to being competitive, to just doing it because you can.

There comes a time in all training programs where you might start to doubt what you’re doing, whether you’ll actually reach you’re end goal, or if all the sacrifice is really worth it.

Are you kidding me? So my new friend and awesome Coach, Dos, grouped me into a group of Hot Fit Chicks Today. When you say it outloud, it sounds funny. When you think about it, we’re lifting heavy shit, we’re really fit, we’re still feminine, and it’s awesome!

If that isn’t motivation to keep at it, make point, and help to change the mentality of women’s strength training, well then I don’t know what it is.

I do know, that I spoke in great detail with Rachel Cosgrove a few weeks ago, in fact I’m doing a whole skinny jeans transformation challenge over at Urban Athlete because of it. I talk with Holly Rigsby, the Fit Yummy Mummy, on a regular basis. And I get emails and messages on a daily basis from women and men, telling me how great my strength is.

Part of me has wondered…

Then the other quickly stepped in. I’ve trained really hard (as have my friends and colleagues) this is not joke. It’s time for women to step up to the plate, to recognize their potential, to believe in themselves, to know that everything they do with their strength and conditioning program will directly effect their everyday life in a positive way.

I could speak about it, until I’m blue in the face. That’s not going to do it. You have to try this. You have to get out there, and you have to challenge yourself. You have to want to be able to get through every day just a little bit easier. You have know that it’s all within your potential.

I have my mentors, I have my role models, I have my coaches, yet each day the people that motivate me the most, are the people that I help to realize all this, the people I help to become stronger and notice their potential. Talk about motivation!

Realize your potential.

Be strong.

Put forth the effort.

Recognize the benefits.

Become who you are.

Be motivated to get the job done, challenge yourself to do it, and if you need a little nudge, you know just where to find it.

The Dreaded Factor

All nutrition, exercise, fat loss, strength training programs require compliance. It’s really quite simple, most things will work if you follow and stick to the plan. There are some options that are far greater than others, but that’s not what this post is about.

This one is about Compliance and Sabotage.

I think it’s safe to say that we’re all in agreement that in order to see results you need to follow the plan.

The part we often overlook is the sabotage part. There are two sides to this one too, which makes it even more dreaded.

The first is yourself. For whatever reason, things are going really well, then all of a sudden you fall of the wagon, start slipping on your nutrition, skip a day at the gym. These are things you can fix. Hold yourself accountable.

The second is those around you. It sounds crazy, but I’m sure you’ve all been out with friends and they give you crap for ordering a salad when everyone else is ordering a burger, or that you chose water over beer. Worse is when you get a mouthful for wanting to hit up the gym before meeting up. These are people who for whatever reason aren’t wanting you to succeed. Perhaps it’s because they don’t think they can do it themselves. While you’re on this mission you might need to limit your interaction.

All of the programs I listed above require a supportive environment. It’s tough to do that when those around you give you crap for wanting to make a healthy change in your life.

Stay compliant and you will see results.

Avoid sabotage and you’ll see those results faster.