Tough Love: A Lesson in Accountability

When people learn that I’m a personal trainer, they often start telling me about how they’re unhappy with their appearance or their level of fitness or their general overall health, and how they really need to start taking better care of themselves and working out. As a trainer, I get so excited to hear that they’re taking an interest in caring their for their bodies and I want to jump right in to “how can I help you achieve your goals?!” But I also know that before I (or anyone else) can help them, they need to be committed to helping themselves. They need to take responsibility for their current physical shape, and understand that, ultimately, only they have the power to change their lives and reach their goals.


Photo by Google images

Be brutally honest with yourself: what choices are you making today that are keeping  you from reaching your fitness goals? You know what they are. They may be hard to admit to, but admit them to yourself. What are you doing wrong?

  • Are you skipping workouts?
  • Have you been doing the same workouts for years with no variety?
  • Are you eating fake (a.k.a processed) foods?
  • Are you drinking too many of your calories?
  • Are you not sleeping enough?
  • Are you not drinking enough water?
  • Are you snacking late at night?
  • Are you eating too much fat and/or sugar?

This can be a painful realization; to acknowledge how the choices we make on a regular basis are sabotaging our fitness goals. It’s so much easier to blame someone else, our circumstances, our lack of time, our lack of energy. We feel helpless to do anything about it and wait for someone to fix it for us, to make the circumstances ideal, to make the timing perfect.

The truth is only you can make it better for yourself. Only you can achieve your goals by consistently making choices that align with what you want. Your trainer can’t do that for you, your spouse, your boss, your kids – no one else can put in the work for you. No one else can eat the right foods for you, or exercise your body for you, or define your state of mind and self worth for you. This is a harsh reality: you are 100% responsible for 100% of the choices you make.

But at the core of that responsibility is empowerment. You are the only one making your choices. So make them good ones. You know what you need to do reach your goals. The trick is holding yourself accountable to do those things consistently, and being honest with yourself when you don’t do them.It’s ok to not be perfect; it’s ok to allow yourself to indulge once in a while or go easy on yourself when you need to. But be honest with yourself that it’s a choice you’re making, and if you want different results, you need to make different choices.

This is something that everyone struggles with, myself included. But instead of drowning under the weight of that responsibility, let it empower you. You know what you need to do, you know what choices you should be making, and you have the power to make good choices for yourself! Everything you want is within reach. Only you can put in the time and effort it takes to achieve your goals, and in your heart of hearts, you know if you really are doing everything you can to get there. Your trainer and your support system can help guide you and encourage you along the way, but ultimately, it’s all you. So what are you waiting for? Get after it!

Breakfast Hacks for Anti-Morning People

Personal confession: I am not a morning person. Waking up is too hard and I 100% agree with Zooey Deschanel‘s thoughts on the subject:

Source: @ZooeyDeschanel on Twitter

Source: @ZooeyDeschanel on Twitter

But I have to admit, there is one good thing about mornings: breakfast! I mean, really, who doesn’t love breakfast food? No one, that’s who.

It’s a bit of a conundrum for us non-morning people though. On the one hand, breakfast is awesome: it’s the most important meal of the day, it gets your body off to a good start, and all breakfast food tastes amazing (bacon, anyone?). But on the other hand, making breakfast takes time. Time we’d rather spend savoring every last second of sweet, glorious sleep. So we have to choose: do we squeeze in a few more luxurious zzzz’s, or do we drag ourselves out of bed early to make a healthy breakfast? It’s a tough decision. And I don’t like making decisions in the morning!!!

Thankfully, I’ve discovered some breakfast hacks that offer the best of both worlds. With just a little prep on a Sunday evening or the night before an early start, I can make a healthy morning meal in seriously no time at all. Check out these two anti-morning-person-approved breakfast ideas: (more…)

Dreams Come True (When You Work For It)

On Instagram @aimeekinz

On Instagram @aimeekinz

When I first started this blog, I did it with the intention of  documenting my progress as I fulfilled one of my dreams to become a certified personal trainer. Three weeks ago, after nearly two years of juggling work and study, I finally did it!

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen my post on Instagram and Facebook:

For a long time I thought that I could never know enough, that this was a dream for someone else and it wasn’t worth pursuing. Then one day, with the support of so many wonderful people, I realized “why NOT me?”. After a lot of hard work, I am so proud and beyond excited that I achieved a dream today and can now officially call myself a Certified Personal Trainer! No matter how insignificant your dreams may seem, go after them! #motivation #nasm #lovemyfitlife


Our Bodies = Freaking Awesome

On my quest to become a certified personal trainer, I’m constantly amazed by some of the things I learn about how the human body functions. So many reactions occur in order to produce even the simplest movement and sustain our health and vitality. Our bodies do these things without our awareness or effort, and it’s simply awe-inspiring to learn about these amazing vessels that we command without even a thought. It’s impossible not to come away with an immeasurable sense of gratitude and appreciation for what our bodies are capable of, and a renewed desire to take care of them as best as possible. (more…)

The Post-Holiday Anti-Guilt Trip: Putting Health & Fitness Back into Your Routine

First day back to the grind after a two-week vacation for the holidays. Two amazing weeks full of holiday parties, festive dinners, fancy cocktails, sleeping in, and the obligatory Netflix binge (#FriendsOnNetflix, anyone?).

During the holiday break, I had one goal in mind: RELAX! Occasionally, amid the hazy blur of movies and naps and indulgent deliciousness, a voice in the back of my mind would creep up and tell me to “get up!” and “do something productive!” But I kept the goal in mind. Sometimes, a break from the constant routine and the standards of normal daily life is exactly what you need to recharge your batteries, satisfy your guilty pleasures, and refresh yourself to begin anew with a reaffirmed sense of motivation and purpose. So if you overdid it over the holidays, accomplished nothing, ate and drank way too much, and barely moved enough to register 1 progress dot on the brand new fitbit you got for Christmas, then good for you! I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it  and that it was everything you ever dreamed it would be. Don’t waste one minute feeling guilty for those two weeks. However you indulged was just what you needed. Think of it as two weeks of feeding your soul and rejuvenating your spirit. And now, your rejuvenated spirit is in tip-top shape, ready to look ahead and get back into it.


Fitting in Fitness – Making YOU a Priority

When I started blogging, I did it with the intention of posting at least once a week. It seemed a totally realistic goal. It’s only a few hours out of my week doing something that I enjoy.We all start with good intentions, but, as with so many other things in life, things often get in the way. Work stress, commitments to friends and family, chores and errands, sleep (remember sleep? That thing you’re supposed to spend 8 hours doing every night?). commuting, and everything else that makes up our days end up consuming so much of our time that we tend to push back other things that are important to us and make us happy. My blog has been my pushed-aside priority for the past few weeks. Raise your hand if fitness has been yours.

When we’re stressed out and busy, exercising and eating well is usually one of the first things on our list of priorities to fall by the wayside. Who has time to dedicate to fitness when you’ve running around all day, taking care of things at work, shuffling kids around, making dinner, returning phone calls, etc? Life has gotten so fast-paced, and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle. But how can you expect to give your very best to everything else in your life when you give yourself nothing? The best output requires good input, and the best input you can give yourself is health – eating well, working your body, and getting enough rest. (Remember, it’s easier than you might think).


Be Grateful for the Journey

Finally recovered from my mid-summer cold and have been pumped to be back in the gym! My first few days back, I experienced what most people who take some time off from working out discover when they try to get back into their normal routines – progress can be lost surprisingly quickly! When you’re mentally prepared to kick ass during your workout after being confined to your bed for a week, it can be so discouraging to reach failure with fewer reps and less weight than you’re used to, or have to stop halfway through a cardio routine that you normally breeze through. You think about how long it took you to get to that level of fitness before your workout hiatus, and worry that it will take just as long (or maybe even longer!) to get to that point again. That can be enough to make some people give up, take another week off, turn to comfort food or some other vice to soothe their disappointment and anxiety. Luckily, those who stick it out and focus on their exercise and nutrition come to find that you can actually gain it back pretty fast if you’re consistent, you push yourself, and you don’t give up!

Exercise is both a physical and mental activity. Quite often, your brain gives up long before your body does. When your body is recovering and rebuilding its strength, don’t let your brain psych you out. You may not be at the level you want to be yet, but every minute you spend working toward your goal is a minute well spent. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by what lies ahead or behind – instead pay attention to the moment you’re in. Focus on the task, the set, the road, the day in front of you, and do your very best in that moment. (more…)

Staying On Track When You Can’t Work Out

This week I got hit with a nasty summer cold (aren’t those the worst?!). Sitting around doing nothing while I’m laying sick in bed makes me incredibly restless. I can’t go to work, I can’t work out, I barely have enough energy to drag myself to the kitchen and make a cup of tea. During times like this when I’m out of commission, whether it’s due to an illness or an injury, it’s hard to stay in a good headspace about maintaining my fitness. I feel guilty that I haven’t been to the gym all week and when I’ve been able to eat, it hasn’t always been the complete, well-balanced meals that I’m used to. Other people I know have felt this way while they were recovering from an injury (knee injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries – they can keep you out of commission for several weeks!). So what can you do to stay on track when your body needs a break? Here are some suggestions: (more…)

The Power of a Workout Buddy

There are a few key factors that contribute to the success of any lifestyle change. One of them is MOTIVATION. In order to commit to and stick to a long term goal, you have to be properly motivated. That’s what will keep you going when the going gets tough. Another one is EDUCATION. You can have all the best intentions in the world, but if you don’t know what steps to take to make your goals a reality, you won’t get very far. Hopefully this blog can be a resource for you to continue expanding your knowledge of how to go about achieving your health & fitness goals. A third key factor, and the one that this post is going to focus on, is SUPPORT. Nothing great is ever achieved alone. Even though no one but you can do the work it takes to change your life, having a support system to cheer you on and hold you accountable can be a huge advantage. In my experience, when you’re trying to live a healthy & active lifestyle, the most authentic & powerful support comes from your workout buddy.

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