At 16 years old, after a surgery-gone-bad to help correct her scoliosis, Monica was told that she would never walk again.
Yet every week, Monica walks through our doors at Hybrid with a contagious smile on her face, and she does what she was told would be impossible.
In fact, just yesterday she did a whole lot more than just walk! Laterally walking, stepping over things, stepping up on to platforms… AND stepping backwards off of that same step!
We take for granted the awareness we have of where our feet are. When she was stepping backwards off of that step, she really don’t know where her feet were going. She just had to trust herself!
When we first started working together, we had to try and figure out parking arrangements. In our main entrance, there are only steps… so that made it difficult.
On our back entrance, however, there is a ramp that leads up to the sidewalk where the door is… but the ramp is on the OTHER side of the block.
From there she made it a goal to be able to walk the whole distance of the block… and shes already done that over and over.
When we were walking the block yesterday, we got stopped by a few tourists, and they decided they wanted to have a full blown conversation! They were really nice people…But standing still for Monica is exhausting. So as we spoke, in the corner of my eye I could see her gritting her teeth trying to stand straight up.
We decided from now on it would be a good addition to her workout routine to find random strangers on the sidewalk and talk to them.
I can’t express how inspired by her and how far she has come. But even beyond that… she just has the biggest heart and is so courageous. Even if she didn’t make any progress at all, she is an amazing person that we can all learn from.
Every time she comes in… even if I’m having a crappy day, my day immediately takes a turn for the better.
Thank you Monica for being you, being so strong, and not letting anything get in your way!
Monica hasn’t let her injury stop her in any other areas of her life either!
She is married and has a beautiful baby boy, and is a guidance counselor at a local school!
Summer cookouts can make it difficult to eat for your goals… but the reality is…it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Here are three quick tips that will help you navigate summer cookouts and get togethers!1. Portions > “Healthy Food”
If you are looking to lose weight, yes, it’s important to eat nutritious food, but at the end of the day, portion size is what is most important.
Very often, people tell me they eat “healthy, non-processed foods” most of time, and don’t know why they aren’t losing weight. It’s because the portions of those healthy foods are too large. Here is a guideline you can use to see if your portions are right at a cookout!
General daily portion guidelines for Women+Men
Women: 3-4 meals per day with:
1 cupped hand carbs/fruit (1/2cup)
1 fist veggies (1 cup)
1 palm protein (3-4oz of meat / ~20-25g protein)
1 thumb of fat (1/8th cup or 1 tbsp)
Men: 3-4 meals per day with:
2 cupped hand carbs/fruit (1 cup)
2 fist veggies (2 cups)
2 palms protein (6-8oz of meat / ~40-50g protein)
2 thumbs of fat (1/4 cup or 2 tbsp)
Knowing this, take into consideration what you’ve already eaten in the day, and how much more you plan on eating around your social events.
Then, break down your foods into hand portions.
One of my favorite go-to’s at summer carnivals is hand-cut fries. A little vinegar on these puppies and I am in heaven! Here is an example of 3 cupped hands of carbs. It would almost appear as 2 cupped hands of carbs, but the picture doesn’t show how deep this bowl of fries is!
When I eat this, I know how many total handfuls of carbs I have for the day, and just tally off those carbs from my remaining carbs. It’s that simple!
2. Don’t Restrict Yourself from the Good Stuff!
If there is an awesome desert you look forward to having, have it! If you don’t, you’re going to crave it now and binge on it later anyways!
Just follow the hand portion guide above, and you’ll be fine 🙂
Remember, portions is more important than quality when it comes to weight loss (or weight gain)!
3. Limit Alcohol
Alcohol is the one thing I believe you really should try to limit. It normally packs a ton of carbs (think of one drink as one handful of carbs)… so you can hit your carb limit pretty quickly. Also, when we drink we also tend to want to eat more food 🙂
Just drink some water! If you aren’t a plain water person, pre-pack some flavored sparkling water and poor it into your wine glass or solo cup at the party!
Hopefully these three tips give you some more clarity on how to navigate cookouts! Its not always easy, but you feel really great after… and the more you practice these habits, the easier it becomes!
I know some of you are currently using weight watchers, or are atleast thinking about using it to reach your fitness goals!
That’s why I just put this quick video together for you on the TOP 3 Tips you need to know to be successful with the new point system.
These tips will show you how to feel empowered at the end of the day with left over points vs feeling defeated and Hungry.
Don’t be HANGRY anymore with weight watchers and check out these 3 tips!
In one of this weeks youtube videos, I share with you a story about persistence that proves that if you just keeping working on your goals… no matter how many times you get hit with adversity, you will reach them eventually
Top 3 Strength Training Weight Loss Exercises | For Women Over 50
If you’re looking to Burn some Calories and Tone Your Muscle, I’ve got 3 Unique exercises for you that will Accelerate your Weight Loss Goals.
These 3 Exercises are:
Scalable (for all fitness levels)
Compound or Combo Movements (uses your entire body)
Easy to Do at Home
I’m a huge believer in joint-friendly exercise whether 20 or 60 old – The less wear and tear we can put on your joints the better! These exercises will help you stay pain free while being preventative in the development of joint issues.
We’ll also give you various options to make these movements easier or harder so YOU can chose which one is the best for your fitness level.
All of the exercises are either compound or combo movements. This will allow you to activate the most muscle and burn the most calories!
Finally, these require minimal equipment (at most dumbbells) and can easily be done in the comfort of your own home!
The first movement is a Neutral Grip Dumbbell Thruster.
This movement combines a squatting motion with a shoulder press at the top, while keeping the weights perpendicular to your body.
First, hold your dumbbells in a shoulder rack position with feet at shoulder width apart.
Sit back into your heels as if you were sitting into a chair. Once your legs reach 90 degrees (or your thighs become parallel with the ground, drive through your heels to return back to the standing position and press the dumbbells in line with your ears over your head.
It’s extremely important that throughout the squatting motion that your knees stay in line with your toes. In the pressing movement, it’s essential that you maintain a straight spine. If you are unable to maintain a straight spine throughout the movement, exaggerate squeezing your butt and tightening your core.
If this still doesn’t fix your form, drop the weight with your dumbbells.
Modifications: If you have trouble squatting to 90 degrees or your knees continue to cave in, I suggest squatting into a chair or onto a box as shown in the picture and video accompanied with this post.
The second movement is the AlternatingReverse Lunge with Lateral Raise.
To begin the movement, hold the dumbbells in your hands and step back creating a 90 Degree in your leg. Make sure your torso remains vertical. As you step back up to the standing position, raise your arms laterally until they are level with your shoulders. Then, step back with the opposite foot, and repeat the motion.
Modifications: To modify this movement, you can change the weights or eliminate them completely until you have mastered the form. If you’re knees bother you in this exercise, reduce the ROM (range of motion) of the movement in your leg so that you don’t create a 90 degree angle. Just go to the point where it doesn’t irritate your joints.
The third movement is the Alternating Step-up with Double Bicep Curl.
To start with this movement, hold the dumbbells to your sides, and step up onto a staircase, box, or bench. The goal is to create a 90 degree angle with your leg. Next, stand up onto the box with the other leg and simultaneously curl the dumbbells while keeping the elbows tucked in to your side. Carefully step back down while lowering the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat the exercise on the opposing leg.
Modifications: To modify this movement, find a lower platform to steup up on. This will place less stress on the knee joint while still working out your leg muscles.
Sample Workout: For 3 Rounds, perform each of these exercises for 30s in the following order:
DB Thrusters x 30s
DB Step Ups with Bicep Curl x 30s
DB Reverse Lunge with Lateral Raise x 30s
Remember the key points throughout this article when performing the sample workout! Make sure you’re able to keep proper form throughout each movement, and if not, use the modifications we lay out for you!
If you do the workout and would like to make it more challenging or switch it up, simply change the time of the movements or the number of sets!
For example, instead of performing 3 rounds of 30s on each exercise, you could do 2 rounds of 45s OR 4 Rounds of 30s!
When your heart is full of gratitude, there’s room for little else. On Sunday I sat down with a giant piece of paper and some giant colored pencils to make a gratitude wheel. I went around and around writing many things for which I am grateful. I thought if I did this everyday for the week, how could I even have room to think about anything else, and wouldn’t that be a great way to walk into the Thanksgiving holiday?
One can’t help but see the plate parallel as it relates to Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever you choose to fill your plate with, will leave room for little else. I know you all will manage those choices in the way that best supports your goals, so this post is about more than veggies and stuffing. This is really an invitation to fill your own grateful plateful. I have about 100 different headings on mine so far, one of which is community. One of my local communities is Hybrid Fitness, and I’ll share the little side plate here.
When I think about Hybrid Fitness I have a lot of gratitude. I’m grateful for Hunter and the team of trainers who introduced me to barbells and kettlebells and showed me how strong I am and how to move my body in new ways. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made and all the support that we give each other. I’m grateful for all the lovely comments and messages you all send me after you read my posts or after a great workout together. I’m grateful for learning how to be accountable to my friends and helping them be accountable to others so ultimately we can all be accountable to ourselves. I’m grateful to have found Hybrid Fitness at a time on my journey that was really critical to creating a path to a healthier me.
This is my grateful plateful. May your plate also be so full of all the things for which you are grateful that there is room for little else. Happy Thanksgiving.