Posts Tagged ‘personal trainer’

Husband and Wife Blogging Team

Looking back at last year’s summer, I found that I blogged through the spring, took a significant break over the summer, and resumed blogging in the fall.

I’ve heard many Expert Bloggers say that you should have a brand. If you want your blog to be big, you need a niche.

Meh.

I have no delusions that my blog will ever be big. I don’t blog consistently enough. I’m completely okay with just occupying my tiny corner of the internet and spewing forth my ramblings.

Last week as we were driving to Tina’s midwife appointment (baby could come literally at any day now), I made the comment that I wished I blogged more. Tina made the same comment, as she has a blog that is even more neglected than mine.

And with that, we had our great idea.

We’re going to blog together. I’m sure there are other husband/wife blogger teams out there, and we are joining their ranks.

So, do we have a niche? Do we have a brand?

Nah, not really.

So, if you don’t know my wife and didn’t know she had a blog, then know that she is into fitness (and is also in training to become a personal trainer, post-baby), healthy eating, splurge-y eating, photography, and crafts. Oh Lord, is she ever into crafts.

I continue to be into geeky things.

And we’re both interested in documenting just the various things about our lives. I’m sure you’ll probably see more posts about our baby than anyone but us will be interested in.

I’m going to slowly merge some of her posts here. Since I had a slightly larger readership than she did, we’re going to keep Stellar Path as our blog name and address.

Once she’s had the baby and is ready to lose the baby weight, we’re going to weigh in together, too. My weight is still dropping; I lost twenty(ish) pounds this summer, and I am thrilled! I’m not going to post my weight again until we’re blogging together, and our first weigh-in together will probably be late October or early November.

I hope you’ll stick with us. Stellar Path is primarily going to be focused on our lives, as we try to become as healthy a family together as we can.

This is Tina, 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant…

And a similar silhouette picture of me, unpregnant but shrinking (so it’s good to have a baseline photo)… And dang, I look bald in side profile.

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2012 Resolutions

I like New Years’ Resolutions. I always have liked them. Granted, the ones I’ve stuck to have been rare, but it’s a tradition. Every year, I make some, and I try to follow through on as many as I can.

Last year, I had a plan (which petered out in April) to follow up on my resolutions every month. I’m going to try that again this year. One difference between my 2011 and 2012 resolutions, however, is that I am going to try and make this year’s resolutions less number specific.

1. I am going to weigh less each month.

Last year, I gave a specific number I wanted to lose. Well, guess what. It didn’t work, and I finished the year weighing more than I did in January. I’m certainly not blaming that on the resolution. It was all my fault. My weight loss, for a variety of reasons, did not take priority in 2011.

I know that I will not reach goal weight in 2012. I have too much weight to lose. However, I want to make a dent in in it. Each month, I pledge to weigh less than I did the month before.

2. I am going to continue to eat clean.

My wife and I have been following our own version of “eating clean.” We are basically following an 90% clean / 10% not-clean approach, primarily because buying food that is 100% chemical, white flour, and white sugar-free is prohibitively expensive. Yes, eating healthy can be pricey, but we’ve found that lightening up JUST A BIT makes it affordable for us.

I’ll post about this in more detail in early January, but we’ve been doing it for a week, and the results have already been amazing. We’ve seen our weight drop (I’ve already lost what I gained in Vegas), we have tons of energy, and my physical cravings for junk food has been reduced to the lowest level I can EVER remember it being.

3. I am going to significantly increase my fitness without a gym membership.

As Tina and I are still paying off credit card debt, student loan debt, car payments, and a mortgage, we try to save money where we can. We’re not crazy savers. We don’t do extreme couponing (for the simple fact that you can’t buy healthy food with coupons) and we don’t deprive ourselves (we did just get back from Vegas, paid for by smartly saving money and finding amazing travel deals), but we do want to save money. We want to get out of the neighborhood we currently live in, sell this house, and buy a nicer, bigger house with land out in the country. Our goal is to do that in the next two years.

As a result, we realized we’ve been paying a healthy chunk of money toward gym memberships, and frankly, I honestly no longer believe it is necessary. I only have to look at people like Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness who maintained a very high level of fitness while climbing. I look at the military, who certainly don’t work out in gyms (at least in Basic), and I don’t think anybody would deny that they are crazy fit. It can be done without a gym, and we are going to do it.

Yes, I am aware that saying I am going to significantly increase my fitness is purposefully vague. However, here is my list of the things I plan to be able to do when I am writing up my 2013 resolutions in a year.

I want to be able to do 100 regular push –ups (no knees, in other words) without stopping.
I want to be able to do 200 squats without stopping.
I want to be able to do an all-day hike at Mammoth Cave National Park this fall.

I desperately want to include a running goal, but my body has shown me that I MUST be lighter before I can begin running or even jogging. However, I can hike. Mammoth Cave National Park (less than thirty minutes away) has many all-day hiking trails. I don’t know which one I’ll do. I’m thinking Sal Hollow, which is eleven miles. It’s designated as advanced terrain, but I’ve known people who have done it who said that it is designated as advanced because you have to cross a few creeks. I grew up on a farm with a creek that runs through it. Creeks are no problem.

4. On my food blog, I am going to create a different pizza each week for my 52 Weeks of Pizza Project.

I don’t talk about it much here because I don’t post there as often as I’d like (although now that Tina and I are eating clean and cooking much more, I expect to post more often), but I also have a new food blog called Stellar Eats.

We LOVE pizza, and fortunately, it is a very versatile food that can be eaten clean. While in Las Vegas, we were at a shop that had a cookbook all about pizzas. I didn’t get it, but it did make me decide to do this. For the next year, we are going to cook a different pizza every week. Each pizza will be chemical and preservative free and 100% real food. I’ll post the links to the pizzas here on my main blog, too, but I’m really excited about this one. We love pizza and we love cooking. Win win.

5. I am going to obtain my ACE Personal Fitness Certification this year.

Last year, I failed by seven points. I have until August to retake the examination for a reduce fee. Even though I am completing the coursework for my second Master’s Degree, I am also going to take time each week to study for this exam, too. By fall, I will be a certified Personal Trainer.

6. I am going to write at least 10,000 words of fiction per month.

I love to write, but I seldom take the time to do it. I’ve got a young adult novel I am working on, and I want to finish it this year. I don’t know if I’ll look for an agent or self-publish or just enjoy it because it’s done, but regardless, I want to finish this year.

That’s it. A very short list for 2012. I’m certainly going to accomplish other things, but this is what I want to make happen.

Did you make resolutions?

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A Seven Points Weigh-In

Weigh-in info is below, but first… the story of my personal trainer test!

After I announced my plans to take the ACE Personal Trainer test, I suddenly became much more nervous.

My initial fear was that I would be the only fat guy in the room.

FYI - searching for "only fat guy in the room" on Google Images with SafeSearch to No brings up a surprising amount of porn

I can only say, I received so much support and well wishes from so many of you, I truly feel blessed.

So I kept going through my course materials. I studied muscles and insertion points, nutrition guidelines, professional roles and responsibilities of personal trainers, and so much more.

I took two practice tests on Friday, and I failed the first and barely passed the second. They also showed me something very important. Regardless of passing or failing, I had a LOT more studying to do before I felt comfortable presenting myself as a personal trainer.

On Saturday morning, Tina dropped me off at the testing site. I was the only fat guy in the room. I was also the only guy in the room. There were TWO people testing, me and a young lady who looked fit enough to have been a personal trainer. However, this was a testing center for any proctored test. She may have been taking the ACE PT test or the GRE or any other number of things. So my biggest fear was completely pointless.

How often is that the case? How often do we end up afraid of things that aren’t even real fears?

So, I took the test. I’m a fast tester; I always have been. I’m also one of the lucky people who does not suffer from test anxiety. No matter what the test is, the day of, I’m usually calm as a cucumber. Same thing here.

How did I do?

I failed by seven points.

I’m truly not upset. I’ll be honest – as I was taking the test, I really felt pretty good about it. I expected to see a score in the low 500s, barely passing. BUt oh well. Even if I had passed, I would have felt the need to study more to truly feel like I knew the material well enough to fully train someone.

Is it sour grapes?

Maybe a little. But I’m actually quite pleased to know that the ACE PT test is this tough. Honestly, it was one of the toughest tests I have ever taken. My game plan is to continue studying, and I’m going to take it next year.

Next year, I’ll be thinner. No wish crap. I will be. Period.

This week, therefore, is a Seven Points Weigh-In.

No, not a Seven Pounds weigh-in.

Most depressing movie ever...

August 15, 2011
367.7
Change from Last Week = -2.1 pounds
Change from Highest = -35.1 pounds

Yay! I lost two pounds! Woo hoo!

The semester starts two weeks from today, and I can’t wait! I spent the day at a New Faculty Orientation. The highlight of my day was when Big Red (WKU’s mascot) took the mike. (If you aren’t from WKU, you should know that Big Red never talks. Ever.) It was funnier if you were there.

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January Resolutions Update

2011 is shaping up to be a good year. I made some big resolutions, and rather than make them and just hope they were accomplished by December 31, 2011, I decided to break them up into small, manageable goals. Every month, I plan to report on how I’ve done and set goals for the next month.

So how have I done? The bold is my resolution and below it is what I wanted to accomplish in January.

One quick note – a lot of bloggers (present company included) make a big deal about labeling everything as a failure or a success. I’m not going to curse myself with the word Fail for those goals I did not accomplish as I had planned. I will therefore have successes and Not Yets.

Lose 120 pounds.
January’s Goal: To get below 350
The verdict: Not yet. I’m not going to beat myself up, though. I weigh 358 right now. I weighed 364.2 when the year started. That is six pounds. Is it amazing? Nah, it’s okay. But what is amazing is that even if my weight loss doesn’t increase, I will still weigh 72 pounds less on January 1, 2012, and THAT is amazing.
February’s Goal: To get below 352

Bench press 180 pounds.
January’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.
The verdict: Not yet. When I got my eye infection, I got grounded from the gym, and I didn’t put the time in on my bench press early in the month like I should have. I am still benching 135.
February’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat 52 new vegetarian dishes over the course of the year.
January’s Goal: Report on all four January dishes and plan out all four of February’s.
The verdict: Success! I ate Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, Savory Sweet Potato Chips, Spicy Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Asparagus. I have my vegetarians dishes planned for February as well.
February’s Goal: Report on all four February dishes and plan out all four of March’s.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
January’s Goal: Study through Chapter Four of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.
The verdict: Not yet. When I made this goal, I’ll admit to having only skimmed the book. I suspected this textbook (a good thick textbook, too) would have twenty or so chapters. Nope, only five. Five chapters of about 100 pages each it seems. But I did do some work, albeit not as much as I planned. I have to get cracking, though. My testing certificate expires in August!
February’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.

Complete (and edit) that young adult novel that keeps popping up in my brain.
January’s Goal: Write at least 12,000 words on the tentatively titled Athena Institute.
The verdict: Not yet. However, I made some headway, and I’m grateful for that. I may have not written 12,000 words, but I did write 3,648.
February’s Goal: Write 8,000 more words on my young adult novel.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
January’s Goal: Come up with theme for series and paint at least seven paintings in said series.
The verdict: Not yet. But wow, that was ambitious. I have decided on my theme, which is going to be Fitness and Weight Loss. I have not yet painted a single painting, however.
February’s Goal: Paint at least two paintings in my series.

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
January’s Goal: Open store.
The verdict: Not yet. I picked out some photographs to sell, and I’ve rounded up some wine bottles, and I’ve even started the process of making my store, but I haven’t actually put anything into it yet.
February’s Goal: Open store.

Build my first ever snowman.
January’s Goal: If there is a snow in January (and there better be), build a snowman. Complete with scarf and carrot nose.
The verdict: Not yet. We had a few tiny snows, but nothing more than two inches or so.
February’s Goal: Make a snowman, even if it is a tiny snowman.

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
January’s Goal: Send out eight letters.
The verdict: Not yet. I mailed out one letter.
February’s Goal: Mail out fifteen letters, eight for February and seven that I missed in January.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
January’s Goal: Put aside $100 to help pay for trip.
The verdict: Back burnered, at least for a while. Tina and I have quite a bit of credit card debt. Far more than I am comfortable having. We will have paid off one credit card entirely here in the next few weeks, but we still have one to go. I can’t in good conscience go on a vacation when I have bad debt. I still hope to take Tina to Vegas before the year is over (maybe over Christmas break this year), but I have to take care of our bad debt first.
February’s Goal: Put this one on the back burner until May 2011 when I re-evaluate our finances.

Visit at least one more National Park.

January’s Goal: See above, in saving up for Vegas trip.
The verdict: Ditto. Not yet.
February’s Goal: Reference the Vegas trip.

Begin work on my doctorate.
January’s Goal: Successful start classes this Spring semester, which begins January 24th.
The verdict: Not yet. The online class I had hoped to take ended up not happening through the fault of no one. It just didn’t make. It looks like any post-graduate work will have to wait until summer at the soonest.
February’s Goal: Back burnered until May 2011.

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An Always in Training Weigh-in

On Sunday, I wrote about how I had just had a major breakthrough. It was mental, not physical.

I didn’t discover the magic wand for weight loss.

I didn’t discover the warp zone to skinny.

But I did find something FOR ME that makes everything click into place.

I truly believe that’s part of a healthy weight loss journey. It isn’t about losing weight. We all know how to do that, even if we all have slightly different theories. Some people say that a calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from carrots or chocolate. I don’t agree. Some people say that you can never splurge. I don’t agree. I subscribe to a middle-ground approach, where you SHOULD eat as healthy as you possibly can but the occasional treat is acceptable.

It isn’t even about exercise, although that certainly plays a big role. It’s pretty much proven that losing weight is 90% diet and 10% exercise. I’m exercising to make me healthier, much for the same reason I try to eat at least 80% of my food as healthy choices.. I know I can lose weight without exercising, but I don’t want to deal with the excess “excess skin” that will come without lifting weights and doing cardio.

So, if it isn’t about diet and it isn’t about exercise, what on Earth have I found that is a crucial element of every weight loss success story?

The mental aspect. The breakthrough. The trigger. The event.

Whatever it is, I have it. Some people have it when they have a child and realize they have more to live for than themselves. (Please note: we are NOT having a baby yet.)

Some people have it when they come to terms with abuse from their childhood or they finally combat self-defeating behaviors.

I had an excellent childhood. I wasn’t abused. I’ve certainly been self-destructive, though, and a few years ago, I came to terms with that.

So why am I still fat?

In the words of Dr. Phil, being fat was working for me.

If I am fat, I cannot fail because I’m not even going to try.

No more.

I’ve come to realize that the event isn’t just ONE event. For me, at least, it has to always be something. I have to have something concrete to plan for, to look forward to, to train for…

Before I met Tina, I wanted to lose weight so I could find a great girl to spend my life with.

While I was engaged, I wanted to lose weight so I’d look good at my wedding.

Now what? I want to be healthy and thin so I can be a good dad, obviously, but that’s easily several years off.

But I need to be training for something. So that’s how I’m viewing this journey now.

I am ALWAYS IN TRAINING.

Always. Every day. Every workout, I am in training. I’m in training to save the world, so I better get stronger at each bench press I do. I’m in training to become a great dad, so I better push a little harder on the elliptical. I’m in training to become a personal trainer, so I better try a little harder at my food choices.

Always in training.

The mental aspect of it is a great deal of fun. Whenever I’m lifting weights, I just pick something random that I’m in training for. I’m in training to be the next Power Ranger, and if I can complete this weight workout with my heart rate dropping out of a good fat burning zone, too, then I will definitely be picked to wear the blue armor next.

I’m in training to be a personal trainer, so if I want to make a little extra income by helping others lose weight, then I had better put that cookie down and pick up an apple instead.

It’s honestly fun, and for me and my varied mental mind games I play with myself all day long, it’s a big help.

And therefore, this is an Always in Training Weigh-in.

As I said on Sunday, I’m switching to Friday. Friday weigh-ins are what I did last year, and I just enjoy them more.

January 21, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 360.7
Today’s Weight: 359.0
Change from All-Time High: -43.8 pounds
Change from Last Week: -1.7 pounds

Goodbye, 360s. I won’t miss you. I may not break 350 by February 1st like I had planned (although I have really stepped up my weight workouts this past week in a BIG way), but I’m still losing no matter what.

What are you in training for?

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)