About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well here we are at the end of 2010, and Christmas is just a few days away.  Are you ready to make your New Years resolution yet?  Most of us make them, and then break them shortly after the new year.  Why not make a New Year resolution to keep your New Year resolution? 

Many people make plans to eat better, exercise, and take better care of themselves, but it is usually short lived before they are back to their old habits of eating poorly and not getting their exercise in.  Make 2011 a new start by committing to your promise to of being a healthier you.

I love this time of year when Christmas decorations are all around and people are busy with holiday fare, but I always look forward to the new year.  It feels as if we are getting a new start, another chance to do things better and achieve new goals.  2011 can be that year for you, if you only commit to it with discipline and focus. 

2011 can be the year that you practice your meditation every day, and are conscious of eating a healthy diet.  2011 can be the year that you get into the best shape of your life by exercising everyday with cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises.  2011 can be the year that you practice "mindfulness" and be in control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.  2011 can be your year to empower yourself with all the components of being a "whole" healthy self.

Why not take this opportunity to make a new years resolution to be the best that you can be.  Make the commitment to excellence for yourself.  Leave the past behind you, and move into this new decade with passion to create the "You" that you really want to be.  

It is all up to you to make it happen.  Having access to this blog will give you all of the information that you need to get healthy of body, mind, and spirit.  You will feel better, look better, and achieve more as you travel the journey of getting "whole" healthy.  Your rewards for all of your hard work will be unmeasurable.  You will have self empowerment, self respect, and so much more if you can stay committed to the work.

So make a new start, and enjoy the ride.  It is your choice if you are willing to do the work.  Stop wanting to be in shape, and start doing the work to get there.  Stop wanting to feel better, and start doing the work to get there.  Stop wanting a better life, and start doing the work to get there.

I hope you decide to make 2011 your year for healthy change.  I am here to support you, and will be giving you more tips and advice to help you along that path.  Have a wonderful Holiday, and a Happy New Year.  I will be signing off until Monday January 3rd.  

Best Wishes for 2011
Till Monday January 3rd,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Does it Take to be Lean and Healthy?

What does it take to be lean and healthy?  If you have been reading my blog, you should know the answer to this, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people do not know the answer to this question.
If your arms are looking fat to you, doing toning exercise for your arms will not get rid of the fat.  The fat is there most likely because you are eating unhealthy foods, or too much food, and or, not doing your cardiovascular training on a regular bases to keep your body fat in check.

As I have said before, you can not do "spot reducing" exercises to rid yourself of fat.  If your stomach has too much fat on it, doing crunches will not get rid of it.  You will be strengthening your abdominal muscle, but it will still be covered with a layer of fat unless you choose to eat healthy, choose healthy portions, and do regular cardiovascular exercise.

Eating healthy is the biggest part of being lean and in shape.  There are people who seem to be able to eat anything and never get fat, but that does not mean that they are healthy just because they are not fat looking.  I have body fat tested people that did not look fat, but they tested out at 30% body fat, which is considered clinically obese.  You can be fat on the inside, as well as the outside, especially if you have little muscle on your body.

Some people have a faster metabolism that enables them to eat a lot more food, and even seem to get away with eating a lot of junk food.  Sooner or later this kind of diet will prove to be unhealthy for these individuals due to the lack of nutrients and over abundance of simple carbs in their diet.   We tend to always judge skinny people as being healthy, but that is not always true.  Skinny people can be nutrient deficient just as fat people can be.

So let me say this one more time!  In order to have a healthy, lean, toned, body, you need to eat a healthy diet of predominantly natures food, do cardiovascular exercise five to seven days a week, strength train a minimum of three days a week, stretch daily, and include a meditation somewhere during your day.

That is the recipe for a healthy body, mind, and spirit.  If you practiced this for ninety days, you would see such a difference in how you look, and more importantly, how you feel.  Feeling good is really the motivator for doing this work, and the side effect is that you will look great too.

So if you are doing bicep curls to get the fat off your arms, but still eating junk, think again.  If you are doing abdominal exercises to get the fat off your stomach, but are still eating donuts, think again.  You must incorporate all of the components of being healthy to truly become a whole healthy self.  Once you make it a lifestyle, you will never go back to your old ways again.  Feeling good will help remind you of that!

Till Monday,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Keeping Track of Your Calories During the Holidays

During the holidays we are bombarded with festive and fun foods where ever we go.  Whether it is at a holiday party, or just visiting a friend, there are holiday treats to tempt us just about everywhere.  It is easy to add on those unwanted pounds if we are not careful and conscious of what we are eating.

I have written a blog about keeping a food diary during regular times so that you are really aware of what it is you are eating.  Many times we don't count the snacks, or nibbles here and there that we partake in.  If you have not kept a food diary in the past, now is a good time to do it.

You will be surprised at how many extra calories you take in during the holidays.  Writing them down allows you to really see what you are putting into your body.  When you keep a food diary, it is important to judge the quantity of the food you are eating.  For instance, if you are eating a serving of mashed potatoes, estimate if you are eating a half of a cup, whole cup, or as close as you can get to the amount of potatoes you have.  This will help you when you are looking up the calorie count of what ever it is that you ate.

There are several web sites that can give you the calorie count of the foods that you eat.  Calorie King is a good one.  They can give you the calorie count of pretty much any kind of food, including fast food chains, restaurant chains, and food that you buy in grocery stores.  You do need to know the amount for most items.

When keeping a food diary, you need to be as honest as possible with anything you put into your mouth to ingest.  If you have a piece of candy, write it down.  If you take a bite off someone's plate, write it down.  If you take seconds, write it down.  Write down you beverages as well.  You may be surprised at how many hidden calories are in your drinks like, lemonade, soda's, fruit juice's, alcohol, and such.  Write down everything that you eat or drink.

Keeping a food diary can help you to see exactly why you are not losing the weigh that you want to, and doing this during the holidays may keep you from adding on any unwanted pounds.  When you see what you are eating on paper, you get a whole new understanding of why you have gained weight, or are not losing any.

Let's talk about a few holiday treats and how many calories they have.

Fudge has approximately 160 calories for 1 ounce.  (that is a small square)

An ounce of cheddar cheese and five crackers has approximately 200 calories.

One half ounce chocolate chip cookie has approximately 55 calories, but who eats just one?

A five ounce piece of apple pie, (that is a small piece by the way) has average 450 calories in it without whip cream or ice cream.  If you add that add another 250 to 300 calories to it.

Your average holiday meal has approximately 3,000 calories in it, as I have previously stated in past blogs.  This includes your turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetable dish, bread role, and desert. 

So you can see how the calories can add up quickly if you are not being aware of what you are eating.  Keeping a food diary will help you to be more aware and in control of over indulging through these holiday times, and on into you future.

I hope you give it a try if you are concerned about keeping your weight down and losing some body fat.  It does keep you accountable to yourself, and gives you a visual of what you are eating.  Give it a try, and let me know how it worked for you.  Can't wait to hear!

Till Thursday,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas is Coming....Are You Stressing?

Christmas is just around the corner, and most of us are in shock that it is here already.  As I have said many times before, time seems to have sped up to warp speed and is leaving us all wondering how on earth the holidays came so fast.

This time of the year can be stressful in the best of times, but during our current economic situation, stress levels are higher than I can remember.  Whether it is about buying gifts, going to holiday party's, traveling, being with family, or wondering how you can pay for it all, stress can put a damper on your holiday cheer.

We are coming out of several decades of over consuming, over spending, and too much commercialism during our holiday season.  Giving gifts has become stressful for most of us, when it should be a pleasure and give us joy.  I know many people who hate the holidays because they feel obligated to buy for the fifty or more people on their gift list.  They find no joy in the process, but feel it necessary to send off a gift to nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends and their children, and so on and so on.

We all run around like crazy people buying for this person and that person.  The gifts we buy may or may not be appreciated, just like the gifts we receive.  I have received many gifts in the past that ended up in a drawer or closet where they were never used and many times forgotten.  I am sure that I have given gifts that others felt the same about.  It seems rather silly when you think about it, buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts.

Of course there are those in our lives that we buy for where we put extra care and thought into what we are giving, but even those gifts can stress you out, particularly if you do not have the money to shop.  When we do not have the finances to support our holiday shopping, we feel bad and may choose to go into debt so that we can give those gifts that others really don't need and sometimes don't want.  That really seems unnecessary.

I think it would be lovely to go back to a time where our gifts came from things we made, like holiday baked goods, or something we made ourselves like art or a craft of some sort.  I love when I receive gifts that came from someones creative self.  I also like to share a dinner with a friend and call that our Christmas gift.  That way we get to spend time with each other and enjoy a great meal.

Another way to give at Christmas, is to give of your time.  If you have no money for gift buying, offer to do a service for someone, like give them a head and neck massage, or wash their car, or even make them lunch.  Make coupons to give as their claim check for your service.  That way you can put it in a card for their gift.    These things are much more personal, and I am sure much more appreciated by the person who receives it.

Taking someone on a day of fun is a good idea too.  For instance you could pack a picnic lunch and take a friend on a hike, enjoy your lunch together and spend quality time.  I would love that as a Christmas gift.  Or maybe offer to babysit for a friends child for an afternoon, or take someone to the movies, although that will cost a bit.

There are many ways to give during the holidays without stressing yourself out with spending money and buying things.  Get back to the old fashioned ways of giving.  It is less stressful, and easier on your bank account.  We all need a little less commercialism in our lives, even though it lessons the profits of the retail owners.  Until this economy changes for the better, it is best to find ways that are less stressful, especially during the holidays. 

Make your holiday gift giving special by giving something of yourself.  You will make your friends and family very happy!

Till Monday,

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is Your Identity?

Have you ever thought about your identity?  So much of the time, people form their opinion of someones identity by what they are wearing, driving, and how they live materially.  Identity's are also thought of by what a person does for work, or a career.

The truth is, your identity has nothing to do with those things, but has all to do with your essence as a person, your character, your personality, and how you believe and feel.  Yet in our world we focus so much on what a person has materially, rather than who a person is inside.  That is your true identity.

Do you form opinions about people by what they have or own?  Do you think someone has more value if they drive a luxury car, or wear expensive clothes?  Do you think someone is better because they live in a beautiful large home?  If you have said yes to any of these questions, you need to think again about what a persons "real" identity is....and also what it is you think about your own identity.

I have worked with many extremely wealthy people during my career as a fitness professional.  I can tell you from my own experience that money and wealth have nothing to do with a persons character or personal identity.  Some of the people I have met and worked with who have been very accomplished financially, have been wonderful, caring, giving, individuals.  Some of the people with wealth that I have worked with were not of kind character, giving, or caring of others.  It is their essence that gave them their identity, not their wealth.

Nice clothes, luxury cars, and expensive homes, are not what makes someone a great person.  There are many lovely people in this world full of compassion, kindness, and other wonderful traits, that don't have any money, or material things.  These things do not define who we are.

When we see people driving an expensive car, we tend to make a judgement about them that puts them in a better category than others.  If we see someone wearing expensive brand clothing, we see them as a higher class than most.  This is so untrue.  Things do not define anyone, but they can create an illusion of identity in others.

If you have parents that are wealthy, than you probably have had nice things.  Does this make you better because your parents were able to give you a better material life?  Is a woman married to a wealthy man better because she has an expensive lifestyle and lives in a mansion?  No...neither of these things are true.  If you are given a lifestyle because of someone else's efforts, it has nothing to do with your identity or character.  It just makes you lucky to have parents or a husband that can afford you nice things.

Your identity is about who you are.  How you think, believe, and feel about things.  Are you compassionate towards others?  Are you kind, loving, helpful, hard working, honest, disciplined, or curious?  Or are you selfish, rude, mean, self centered, or lazy?  Most of us have a many different character and personality traits in us,some good, some bad, but these are the things that define you, not what you have or own.

When you leave this world, you will not be remembered for the car you drove, or the house you lived in.  You will be remembered for who you were, how you lived, and who you touched while you were alive.  We need to focus more on being a better person, and focus less on what we and others have.  Having nice clothes, cars, and houses, is not a bad thing....it is only bad when it becomes your identity, and that is all there is.  If your identity is in what you have...choose again....think about who you really are inside...that is your essence.

Don't be so quick to judge others by what they own...and don't judge yourself by that either.  Be the person you want to be, and let the material things enhance that.  We could use more people in this world that care more about people and less about what they have.  I believe that if you are a good and caring being, you can create whatever material life you want.  Have your identity be about who you are, not what you have. 

Till Thursday,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are Your Actions Matching Your Desires?

I have talked about this before, but feel the need to reiterated it once again.  Are your actions matching your desires?  What I mean by this is if you are saying that you want to get into shape and lose some weight, are your actions supporting the outcome of what you desire?

I find that the majority of people do not "act" in support of what they want.  They talk incessantly about what they want, but never put the right actions towards getting it.  They may want to buy a new car, but never save any money to put towards it.  They may want to go to a great college, but do not put the study hours in to get good grades to be able to qualify for a good college.

The thing that I see most of all though, is people who want to be lean and in shape, but do not want to do what it takes to get there.  For most of my career in fitness, I have experienced the lack of commitment and discipline in people to reach their fitness goals.  I hear "I want, I want, I want", but I see them do little to nothing to get what they want.

If you want to lose body fat and get into shape you must be disciplined and committed to doing the work to get there.  You need to exercise five to seven days a week, doing both cardiovascular exercise, and strength training.  Exercising one or two days a week will not suffice for getting into shape.  It is better than doing nothing, but not enough to get you where you want to be.

If you are complaining or unhappy about the fat on your body; eating french fry's, candy, donuts, sugar cereals, fast food, and drinking soda's, will not help you lose the fat.  Yet I see people constantly engaging in this kind of behavior, wanting something, but doing actions that are opposite of what they desire.

Getting into shape, being lean, and staying healthy, requires you to do the things that will get you there.  It fascinates me that  people are in such denial about that.  I have seen clients of mine who have been very unhappy with their weight, to the point of depression, but they continue to eat very unhealthy foods and drink lots of alcohol.  You can not be lean and healthy with a diet full of processed, fried, fatty, sugary, foods.  You can not get fit if you do not exercise on a regular bases.

Unfortunately, there will never be a magic pill, or machine that will take the place of eating healthy, and regular exercise.  Every time someone comes up with something that is going to be the easy way to get lean or fit, it has turned out to be a health hazard.  Discipline and commitment are the tools that you need to have the body and health that you desire.

Our society has gotten so lazy about taking care of themselves.  It is just too much effort to cook a good meal.  It is to hard to exercise, after all it feels better just sitting around on our butts, instead of working out.  This is what has caused our country to be the fattest, most unhealthy of all industrialized countries in the world.  We are the fattest, most nutrient deficient, group of people, yet we are the most affluent.  That makes zero sense to me.

So if you want to be lean, healthy, fit, and feel great, you must do the work to get there.  Don't complain about the state of your body, if you are eating poorly and not exercising.  It takes time, discipline, effort, and focus to get into shape and stay there.  And by the way....it is a life long commitment, not a six month stint.  Make it part of your daily life to take care of yourself.

No one can do this for you, you have to make the choice to eat well, and exercise, even when you don't feel like it.  People think that I always love to eat right and exercise.  Not True!  There are many days I do not want to exercise, but I do because I know it is good for me, and I always feel better for it.  I would love to eat cheese all day long, but I don't because I know it is not good for me.  I use my discipline and common sense, that is how I stay in good health, not always because I want to.

So make your choices in how you want to live your life.  Do you want to be fit and healthy, or fat and unhealthy.  It is all up to you....no one else....just you.  You can not blame anyone else if you eat bad and don't exercise.  You have the power to be and do what ever you want.  How will you "choose" to live your life?  

Till Monday,