Total Lifestyle Transformation

Change Your Thinking – Change Your Habits – Change Your Life!

3 Convincing Reasons to get in Shape: Part 2

Last week I started a series of posts entitled “3 Convincing Reasons to get in Shape”. The first reason we discussed last post was your grandchildren. We need to keep in mind that how we treat our bodies now will determine how our bodies treat us later.
ID-10047005Today, I want to discuss another reason. We all have responsibilities that we must perform every day.  Sadly, most people drudge through life lacking the energy , vitality and focus they need to be efficient and productive in their daily tasks at work and at home.
Many people also suffer from a variety of physical conditions such as back pain, knee pain, muscle imbalances and joint stiffness due to a lack of physical activity.


Due to the declining physical conditions of most Americans, more and more people are injuring themselves doing everyday tasks like lift, bending and twisting. Participating in some sort of fitness program can of course help to alleviate some of the conditions associated with being inactive.


For most people though,  knowing the physical benefits of living a healthy lifestyle is not enough.  Those benefits must be translated into meaningful advantages in everyday life in order to become effective motivators. Think about what these improvements can mean for your family, your job and even your hobbies. What could you do better if you were more physically fit? What activities and hobbies could you do that you can’t do now? How would your spouse, children or grandchildren benefit if you were more fit? How would you feel about yourself?

The average person is probably only functioning at a fraction of their full potential. Regular exercise and proper nutrition are not only beneficial for your waistline, but can also increase productivity and efficiency in your daily tasks.  It can also help you to maintain mental clarity and focus during the work day allowing you to get more high quality work done without feeling drained at the end of the day.

It is extremely important to answer these questions and really consider what a fit healthy life would mean for you in order to identify the things that will keep you motivated to stay in shape.
Your fitness program is not just for looking good in your swimsuit, it’s the difference between have a life filled with aches, pains and low energy levels and having the productive, fit and healthy life you want.


3 Convincing Reasons to Get in Shape: Part 1

I have been a personal trainer for about 12 years now, and I figured out a long time ago that people already know that exercise and proper nutrition are beneficial for them.  They know that in order to get to the point where they are happy with what they see in the mirror they are going to have to exercise regularly and stay away from foods that, though they taste good, are holding you at a place of dissatisfaction and frustration with how you look and feel.

Even though we know the benefits of diet and exercise we have not been convinced yet that making these changes can significantly change our lives.  My job through Transformation Fitness is to give you a clear vision of your best self. To paint a picture of the fit, healthy and active you that is so clear to you that it yanks you out of the place of dissatisfaction and frustration and into transformation first by changing the way you think about fitness  and then by changing your habits one change at a time.

Before I go on, let me explain something.  Until you make up your mind once and for all that you want to be fit, active and healthy, you will continue to make half-hearted, short-lived attempts at healthy living.  Let me encourage you.  Short-lived attempts at healthy living are better than no attempts at all, but let’s begin to think about the future and where you will be 1, 5, 10 or 20 years from now if you decide today that you really want to be in the best shape of your life or if you decide today to continue on the path you are currently on.

In this series of posts, I am going to lay out for you 3 convincing reasons why you must get in shape.

Reason #1:  Your grandchildren

ID-10044390You may or may not have children or grandchildren, but no matter what stage of life you are currently in, your future is coming.  You may be young now, but someday you will not be.  You may feel as though you have time to focus on the future later, but let me remind you that change becomes more and more difficult the older you get.  Not necessarily due to our age, but due to the fact that the unhealthy behaviors have become engrained into our psyche.  They have become a part of us. Trust me, working out won’t be any easier or any more convenient when you’re older than if you start today.  So often, we forget that the decisions we make today are what will largely shape our future.  The way you treat your body today will determine how your body will treat you later.

I used to teach an aerobics class for senior citizens.  It was amazing to see how some of the seniors were flexible, agile and strong while others could barely keep their balance and had to use chairs to steady themselves.  I can remember one client in particular who was 81 years old.  She never missed a class and she knew all the moves, she was strong, fit and sharp.  What do you think was the difference between her and the other clients?  I remember speaking to her on several occasions and her telling me her current fitness regimen.  She attended several fitness classes faithfully each week and she had been doing so for decades!  For her, fitness was a lifestyle.

Financial planners teach us that the earlier we start saving for retirement, the more financial security we will enjoy once we retire.  Well, I’m your physical planner.  Let’s make the decision to make fitness a lifestyle that we live for years to come, so that we can be healthy and vibrant even in our old age.  Let’s plan to be around to enjoy our grandchildren!




Six Healthy Convenience Store Snacks

popcornYears ago, the habit of snacking was frowned upon. When we thought of snacks we typically thought of things like chips, cookies and candy bars. Now, we know that snacking can be a part of a healthy balanced diet, however we have to be careful to choose the right type of snacks. Your snack selection can make or break your meal plan.
The right type of snacking can actually be beneficial for you. Having a mid-morning snack or mid-afternoon snack helps to regulate blood sugar, increase energy levels, provide essential nutrients and prevent extreme hunger which usually leads to overeating at lunch or dinner.
In addition to being healthy, snacks must also be convenient. Half the battle of snacking is having healthy foods available when they are needed without having to do too much preparation. Unfortunately, many of today’s “convenience” foods that are readily available in vending machines, convenience stores and fast food restaurants are filled with fat, sugar, salt and other additives.
The best way to avoid making poor snack choices is to plan ahead. Packing your own healthy snacks is a great habit to develop in order to avoid extra calories that over time add up to extra pounds. For those times when here are planning is not possible, here are six simple snack options that you can find at just about any convenience store or gas station.
Nuts and Nut Butters: Almost any type of nut is good. Nuts provide protein as well as unsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids which lower bad cholesterol and improve heart health. Make sure to opt for nuts with no added salt or sugar.
Fruits and Vegetablesstarchy vegetables and fruits that you can just grab and go such as asparagus, sugar snap peas, celery sticks or a small spinach salad. Use light Italian dressing or oil and vinegar along with your favorite spices to add flavor. Dipping fruits in cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt or your favorite nut butter will give you a nice balanced snack.
Cottage cheese or Greek Yogurt:  :  If you don’t have an intolerance to dairy products cottage cheese or Greek yogurt are excellent snack option.  They are both good sources of protein and calcium.  Yogurt also contains healthy bacteria called probiotics which means “for life”.  These live cultures assist with immune function and aid in digestion. As with most foods, beware of added sugars. Add protein powder or fresh fruit to add some flavor.
Hard Boiled Eggs: Boiled eggs can be purchased already cooked and are easy to transport.  They are a great source of protein and are filling. They also contain a nutrient called choline which may reduce your risk of cancer.  Add a dash of pepper and you’re ready to enjoy your snack.
Popcorn: Made from a whole grain, popcorn is a good source of fiber and absent from added fat and sugar is low in calories.  Popcorn also has vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins B, A, E, and K.  Air popped is best, however if you have to select a microwave variety, be sure to select an all-natural one that is low in fat and does not contain artificial butter flavoring.
Green Smoothie: Green smoothies are packed with fruits and veggies and some even have protein. This is an excellent way to boost your vegetable intake for a day. Smoothies also tend to be filling and are great when you’re on the go.


Need more healthy meal ideas?  Check out 197 Healthy and Delicious Recipes!


Tight and Toned Arms in 12 Minutes

 I enjoy working out and I also enjoy the results I get from my workouts, however, I am a very task-oriented person. I like to get as much done in a day as I possibly can and I don’t like spending more time on a task than is absolutely necessary. With that being said, I do not like to spend hours working out everyday. I figure that 30 minutes is all you need to get a great workout and see amazing results.

For most of my workouts I do a split routine. I work one or two muscle groups at a time. Most of the time I select assisting muscle groups like chest, shoulders and triceps. For all chest exercises you work your shoulders as well. For most shoulder exercises you work your triceps as well. This causes the muscle to fatigue faster allowing you to sufficiently work each muscle group in a shorter amount of time.

Because the workouts are shorter in duration, that means the intensity will be higher. So you will “feel the burn” and you will probably be sore for a few days afterwards.

These workouts are great for any fitness level. If you’re just starting out select a lighter weight. For women 1-5 lb. dumbbells should do it. For men who are just starting out 5-10lbs should work. Beginners may want to start with 1-2 rounds and increase to 3-4 rounds over the course of the next few weeks. Complete this workout 2-3 times per week for tight tones arms in 4-6 weeks.


Try this Healthy Meal for $2!

Grocery shopping, planning meals and cooking is one of my favorite things to do. I typically do my grocery shopping every other week. Once I get home, I take time to separate my chicken breasts, ground turkey or whatever other meats I purchase into single serving portions before I freeze. I do my best to have my foods prepared and ready-to-cook so that once my week gets started, I can cut down on my food preparation time.

Well, for the last 6 weeks, I have been up in Chicago, so of course I am not able to follow my normal grocery shopping and food prep routine. I must say that the first week I was here, it was easy to make poor food choices mainly because I didn’t have a plan. I had to come up with a plan and I had to do it quickly!

Check out this video to see a quick healthy meal I discovered for less than your typical “Dollar Menu” Lunch!