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Fitness and the Future: Looking Forward to 2017

   

Fitness and the FutureWith the end of 2016 fast approaching I’ve been thinking a lot about my fitness and the future.  This year has been a busy one for me and in the midst of all the “stuff” my fitness took a total nose-dive.  With lots of recovery time needed from two surgeries I don’t feel bad about giving myself a break though.  The real challenge is deciding what to do and where to go from this place.

       

I sort of hate new year’s resolutions.  I used to think of them as empowering or a great way to get back on track, but I just don’t feel that way anymore.  Most resolutions are overly grand, overly hopeful and not based in the reality of what is actually possible.  That’s not to say that goals in general are like this, it just seems like new year-related resolutions are often overly grandiose.  I’m not making any resolutions, but I am making some changes.

So what will 2017 have in store?   January 1 will be the start of my 7th Whole30.  I am repeating round 7 because I bailed on my previous attempt in November (the holidays proved a huge challenge to completing the round).  Whole30 is my favorite way to stop eating so much junk and get back to eating what makes me feel best.  It’s overly rigid and the rules can be pretty annoying, but you know what?  It works for me and that’s what’s important.

I’ve set another goal in RunKeeper for 500 walking miles.  I didn’t make it in 2016, but that’s okay, shit happens.  I hope to make it in 2017 and chances are much better this time with no surgery forecasted.

I’m going to expand my gardening even more to help me and my hubby eat better and get outside more.  I love how rewarding manual labor in the garden can be and the prize is tasty, healthy food – total win!

The most major thing I have learned and come to accept about diet and fitness is that there is no one right way.  If you thrive doing Whole30 good for you.  If you think Whole30 is stupid good for you too.  If you think new year’s resolutions are awesome I hope you make them and they help you reach your goals.  If you are like me and don’t find them useful that’s okay too.  What worked last time or last year or whenever may not work this time either.  I truly believe the only way someone will have long-term success with diet and fitness is to find their own groove.

You absolutely cannot put people in boxes or use a template-type approach and expect everyone will succeed.  This can be a hard pill to swallow as a fitness professional.  Your training basically teaches you if you do X, Y, and Z with your clients then everyone should have good results.  If they eat less, work more, do progressive exercises, etc., etc. everything should move in the right direction.  This isn’t always the case and it’s something you learn as you go.  This lesson has been something I’ve applied to myself too.  What works for me may not work for someone else and vice versa.  I think the key is to keep trying and when something doesn’t work you change your approach and keep going.

In 2017 I hope to continue learning and sharing what I’ve learned, sharing my own diet and fitness journey and inspiring other’s to find their own groove.  Here’s to fitness and the future! 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Don’t Let Other People’s Experiences get in Your Head

   
Other People's Experiences
Pixabay

Before I had my hysterectomy this spring I talked with lots of other women who had experience with similar procedures. As with anything else there was tons of advice and information shared. Some of it was good and some of it was crap. The most important thing I learned was not to let other people’s experiences get in my head. That sounds kind of negative but hear me out.

       

The women who had bad or difficult experiences were often the most vocal. One person told me having a hysterectomy will lead to organ prolapse and all my bits would fall out. This would be a very specific issue due to a variety of physical factors and not particularly likely. One women told me I would have terrible hot flashes and I should prepare to be miserable. This would typically only happen if you had both ovaries removed which doesn’t happen in all cases. One women told me I should prepare to gain weight due to hormone issues. Admittedly, this was the one that really got me. I researched and researched and what I found were a lot of websites with a lot of info on “female hormone imbalance” spouting a lot of home remedy type bullshit. What I did not find were credible, trustworthy sources that cited specific research and information indicating that this was really true. Crisis averted.

This bad info caused me a bit of anxiety. Were people trying to make me worry needlessly? No, they were trying to help, but their help was shaped by their experience, preconceived notions and education or lack thereof.

Fitness and diet are areas where this situation applies too. How many people have you met that wanted to project their experiences onto you? Your co-worker did Atkins or 21 Day Fix or some other program so surely that must be the right way to lose weight. Your sister eschewed a specific diet but was all about CrossFit or CIZE or whatever so that has to be the right way to get fit. Someone has a food or exercise horror story or triumph to share so that experience must be the way things are, right?

In reality it’s not that cut and dry. I’ve learned over a lot of years there is no one right approach to food or fitness. It’s great to gain insight and knowledge from other people but you can’t let other people’s experiences get in your head. What is true for one person may absolutely not be true for you. And what is true for you today may not be later down the road. As with a lot of things it pays to seek professional advice, do your own research and treat what you hear with a touch of healthy skepticism until you can draw your own conclusions.

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. This does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Is Everything in Moderation a Lie?

   

Is Everything in Moderation a Lie

       

The idea of eating in moderation has been getting a lot of flak in the media lately.  Much of the recent news has been based on a paper written by researcher Michelle R. van Dellen, et al.  at the University of Georgia concluding that “moderation messages are unlikely to be effective messages for helping people maintain or lose weight.”  You can read the abstract of the study here to get more on the gist of the paper.  I was immediately irritated when I started to read the news given that I had just recently declared how content I was with using moderation as way of life for my own weight loss and fitness journey.

Is the idea of everything in moderation a lie?  I don’t think so, but I can see the validity of some points presented in the study.  Basically it all boils down to the fact that moderation is a fluid term that is wildly subject to interpretation.  What I consider moderation may be laughable to you and vice versa.  Advocating for moderation doesn’t really provide any guidance and that can be a negative if your perception of moderation really isn’t very moderate at all.

Since the everything in moderation approach doesn’t provide any structured direction for eating or exercise it may leave people confused about what to do.  For me, moderation means not stressing out about heavy exercise activity, opting for lighter, less stressful workouts and eating less junk, while still allowing for a balance of treats if I am in the mood.   I can do this because I have a good idea after a lot of years of trial and error what works best for me.  For you, moderation may look totally different and include more or less activity and more or less restrictions on your eating.  If you don’t have a good sense of what works for you the idea of everything in moderation may totally steer you in the wrong direction.

Why is this a big deal?  Every week (actually more like every day) the media latches onto some type of study relating to nutrition, fitness or wellness and spins it into a catchy, controversial or attention grabbing story.  This in itself is no surprise, but what is bad is the myriad of mixed messages it sends to people who are in desperate need of clear, informative and truthful information and guidance instead of sensational bullshit.  If sticking to the idea of eating in moderation keeps you from eating a box of donuts then moderation is working for you in some way.  If you read a news story that says eating in moderation doesn’t work and then get confused about what you should be doing you haven’t really been helped at all.

Everything in moderation may not be the best advice for your particular situation so if you’re struggling to make progress seek help.  Whether it’s your doctor, a personal trainer or a registered dietitian, find a professional who can sit down and discuss what’s going on with you.  There is no one right approach to weight loss and nutrition so getting guidance from a professional is a great first step to getting on the right path to finding what works for you.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Slowly Getting Back to Normal and an Anniversary

   

Slowly Getting Back to Normal Things are slowly getting back to normal after having surgery. The pain is fading, the incisions are mending, the tiredness is being replaced by more energy. Now that things are moving in a positive direction I am looking to get back into the swing of my normal routine.

       

This healing process has given me a lot of insight into the amazing capabilities of my body. At first I was worried that I would devolve into a gooey mass during recovery, but I definitely did not. Once I gave myself permission to chill out, not stress about activity, not stress about food and just take care of myself by resting a big weight was lifted off me. While some people extol the virtues of getting right back into their regular exercise and eating patterns as soon as possible after a something like this, I just wasn’t feeling that at all.

After having experienced the recovery process for myself I have an even deeper appreciation of how different everyone’s bodies are. Maybe some people feel like they can pop into the gym for some heavy lifting a couple weeks after surgery (definitely not recommended at all), but for others it may take weeks and weeks to feel good enough for any activity. And you know what, that’s totally okay! I will definitely be able to use this experience when working with clients who are going through similar situations.

Getting back to normal for me means getting back on track with my 500 mile goal for 2016. I really put that goal on the back burner with everything going on and I feel like it’s time to step up and make it happen. Meal prepping also fell by the wayside and getting back in the kitchen will definitely be a good way to help me transition back to eating a bit more healthy.

In other news, today marks the five year anniversary of Former Fitness Flunky! When I created Former Fitness Flunky I set out on a mission to share my own story and educate and inspire others. It’s been an interesting endeavor. The internet continues to expand daily as a great weight loss resource for help, advice, support and really bad information too. I didn’t realize until well into becoming a personal trainer just how difficult it could be to fight against the unhelpful and even potentially dangerous information and ideas that persist regarding fitness, exercise and diets – stuff that proliferates like wildfire. Over these years I’ve found my own niche that I’d label as “moderation”. No crazy dieting, no crazy fitness routines, just a focus on sustainable changes that positively impact weight and overall fitness. I’ve tried to share this idea of moderation as much as possible over the past five years as I truly believe it’s the key to lasting success. My ideas, style and approach may change with time, research, new discoveries and my own experiences, but for now I am going to stick with what I see working. I’m going to keep on sharing what I know in hopes that it inspires someone (or many someones!) to make positive changes.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

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This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.

Quick Workouts for Busy Women

   

Quick workouts are important when you are busy.  You want to work up a sweat, but you don’t have all day to get it done.  I’ve rounded up one of my favorite series of routines to share today.  These fast and easy workouts take just 10 minutes each and cover the legs, arms, core, butt and chest/back.  You can focus on a single area or combine the routines to enhance your workout.

       

Quick Workouts

Quick workout for your legs
Quick Workouts - Work Your Legs

Quick workout for your butt
Quick Workouts - Work Your Butt

Quick workout for your core
Quick Workouts - Work Your Core

Quick workout for your arms
Quick Workouts - Work Your Arms

Quick workout for your chest/back
Quick Workouts - Work Your Chest

A quick warm up and cool down is recommended before doing these routines. Follow the links if you need instruction on performing any of the included exercises. You’ll find more detailed information there.

If you want to turn these any of these quick workouts into a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session you can increase your intensity/pace of each exercise and add a short period of rest between each exercise. Experts suggest that HIIT sessions can help you burn calories long after you’ve completed your routine.

You should always check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

Sign up for the Newsletter

This post may contain affiliate or sponsored links. Any link which leads to items/services for purchase outside this website may result in a commission or flat rate payment to Former Fitness Flunky, LLC or it’s owner. Please be advised that this does not impact the price you pay. Please read the Affiliate Disclosure for additional information.