07/12/17

Am I too fat to workout at a gym?

Lately I’ve had people searching for some interesting things that have led them to my blog:

“Am I too fat to workout at a gym?”
“Too heavy for Orangetheory?”
“Weight limit for rower”
“How to overcome humiliation at a gym.”
“How much should I weigh before I buy a gym membership.”

Disheartening, right? Believe me, I’ve had my share of negative thoughts when it comes to doing any kind of physical activity; especially when it comes to working out with others who may be fitter and/or more muscular than I (based upon my own perception). Deciding to take the step and start moving is a choice you should make based on what’s right for your body, what’s going to improve your health, and make you feel good. Body image should not play a factor in deciding when to start a workout, but unfortunately, from my blog search terms, it seems as it’s more common than I thought.

I’m not saying that going to the gym isn’t be a scary ordeal, especially if you’re lacking body image confidence. All those muscles, fit bodies and flat stomachs can be enough of a deterrent to make you waste $$ on a monthly membership you don’t even use.

Unfortunately, many people who are new to a gym, or any fitness class for that matter, seem to gravitate towards those intimidatingly “perfect” bodies, completely looking past the fact that there ARE people of all shapes, abilities, levels, and body types working out in any gym on any given day. And remember, what we think is perfect, is solely based on our perception. those seemingly perfect individuals have their own struggles too, and they are there for the same reasons you are- to be the best, healthiest versions of themselves. If you step into a gym setting with the mindset of “we’re all in this together”, you will instantly reduce your nervousness. 

When I first started an exercise routine, I remember being completely terrified at being laughed at, doing something wrong on a machine, or having my flabby parts jiggle much more than my workout mates.  It took me some time to figure out that I was being ridiculous! I was not too out-of-shape, fat, jiggly, or any other descriptor I was calling myself, to work out in any gym facility. And neither are you! Here are a few tried-and-true ways to shift your mindset and get on that consistent path to those feel good post-workout endorphins! 

1) Choose a workout that you enjoy. First and foremost, you have GOT to explore your options and find something you are going to look forward to doing to help ease the anxiety you may be feeling about starting a workout routine. If you don’t like riding bikes, a spin class may not be your thing. Not a fan of running? Who says you have to? Try a few options and find something that you are not going to dread. It could be trying out a Barre class, or maybe some type of dance fitness (think Zumba!). Maybe you enjoy swimming, yoga, pilates, or boxing. Most gyms will offer a first class free, so this is a perfect opportunity to see what is going to spark your interest and get you motivated and excited to stick with it! 

2) Get friendly with the employees. Voice your concerns, ask to go on a tour of the gym to get familiar with the ins and outs ahead of time, and inquire about times when they’re least busy as a way to ease into your routine. Once you get to know the staff, a smile and being greeted by name from them will help to put you at ease as soon as you walk through the door. And don’t forget to smile back! We all know a simple smile can really boost our mood. 

3) Use the buddy system. Most gyms now offer free guest passes. Ask a friend to come along with you. I’ve found in times when I’m most nervous, having a familiar face (and someone to be silly with to alleviate the pressure of getting sweaty with strangers) can be just the thing to get you settled in.

4) Bring music or a book. Build a playlist of your favorite tunes, or a book on tape to keep you entertained and focused while you workout. Oh and while you’re at it, throw a few inspirational jams to help keep you motivated and energized. My go jam is always “My Body” by Young the Giant. **My body tells me no-o, but I won’t quit, ’cause I want mo-ore!**

5) Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. The last thing you want to have to deal with are wedgies, uncomfortable waistbands or chafing issues while getting your move on. Make sure your clothes fit well, your shoes are right for your foot (have you been to a shoe fitting at an athletic shoe store yet? If not go! go!), and leave the jewelry and accessories at home. Go for comfort! You’re not there to impress! And besides, your effort, sweat and dedication are much more attractive  and eye catching than than blinged out wrists!

6) Make eye contact. As nerve-wracking as that may sound for someone who already has gymxiety, making eye contact and passing along a smile to other gym members may be just the trick for breaking the ice. You’ll be surprised at how many will return the gesture and even a word of encouragement. Remember, we are all in this together!

I’d love to hear your tips! How do you stay calm and confident at the gym?

05/25/17

Stretching and Massage with DeepRecovery.com (#giveaway)

Disclaimer: I’m not a physical fitness expert, so please consult your doctor prior to starting any form of physical exercise or change to your diet and/or lifestyle. 

Stretching is NOT something I’m good at. 

Let me rephrase- I know how to stretch, but I don’t always dedicate the time and effort to stretch!

Why? Who knows. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I feel like it’s too time consuming. Sometimes I feel like it HURTS and so I avoid it (hello foam rolling and deep tissue massage!). But I NEED to make a better effort to work on flexibility and healing every day.  Continue reading

08/10/16

Starting from where you are

So often I hear people speaking of regrets. 
How if only they had done x, y or z, life might be a little different, a little better, etc. 
How they’ve waited too long to make a decision, and now it might be too late. 
How they’re too old, or too out of shape, or too <enter excuse here> to reach a goal, try something new or fix a problem they’re experiencing. 

And when they do consider moving past those regrets, they’re often stricken with a bad case of the “what if’s.”
What if I can’t do it? What if it won’t work? What if I give up? What if it turns out badly?  Continue reading

01/24/16

10 ways to get the most out of your #Orangetheory workout

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor am I a registered dietitian, nutritionist or personal trainer. I am sharing my own workout experience which is unique, and may not reflect the experiences of others. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for them. Before considering any workout routine or lifestyle change, please consult your physician.

It’s no secret that I love Orangetheory Fitness. I’ve been a member for 3 years and love the motivation, inspiration and strength that has entered my life since joining. 

Orangetheory is unlike any workout out there. It’s fun, challenging, builds confidence and is the perfect way to support a healthy lifestyle. Not only do I get an awesome heart-pumping, fat-burning and muscle-building workout with every session, but I also receive amazing support from the coaches, camaraderie from other members, nutritional support through multiple weight-loss challenges they host throughout the year, and the ability to meet (and smash!) personal goals during special event challenges such as Peak Performance, Hell Week and the OTF Marathon challenge. All of these characteristics make OTF is so much more than just “joining a gym.” And over the past 3 years I’ve learned some things that have helped me make the most out of each visit to OTF. If you’re a current member, or are thinking about joining, these tips will help you successfully continue or begin your journey!

1- Book your workouts at least a week in advanced. OTF allows you to schedule your sessions through the Web or from your phone using their app. Booking in advanced allows you to write down your scheduled sessions in your planner or save them to your phone’s calendar. This helps with accountability, especially when you treat your classes like important appointments that you wouldn’t miss. It also gives you a chance to build a routine through the consistency and commitment you create when you book in advanced. 

2- Dress comfortably. Wear proper fitting, breathable, comfortable clothing. If your pants are falling down, or riding up, you’re going to be distracted. Invest in some pieces that will ensure your time spent is working out, not adjusting. 

3- Arrive to classes on time. Set those reminder alarms and make sure you get to class on time- or even a bit early! This gives you a change to relax a bit, get your mind in ready for your workout, and hear important announcements from the coaches prior to the start of the class. 

4- Clear your mind. Leave all of life’s stresses, feelings of insecurity or embarrassment, and worries at the door. OTF is your safe place. It’s a time to escape all of that negativity and reset your day. Leave all of your problems and life’s distractions at the door and just focus on spending 60 minutes on yourself. Your mind is worth it! (That means locking your phone away in a locker in the waiting area too!). 

5-  Hydrate! Make sure that you have been keeping up with your water intake prior to working out. Nothing ruins a workout like dizziness or dehydration (been there!). Make sure to bring water to your session as well. If you forget your bottle, they have a water fountain in the workout room and they also sell bottles at the front desk, so you’re covered! 

6- Bring a friend (or make a friend in class)! One of the greatest things that has helped me stay motivated has been surrounding myself with like-minded people. I have friends that I work out with in person, virtual accountability partners and other people that I connect with through social media who are all amazing partners! Building a healthy tribe can truly help you make choices that will help you reach your goals. 

7- No comparisons. The comparison game is a destructive one. You may not be the “fittest” or “fastest” in the room, but it doesn’t matter. You’re there, your’e sweating, you’re moving and doing something good for your body, just like everyone else who’s in there with you. Remember that everyone is on their own journey. If you need a modification, ask your coach for one. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. This is your personal journey. Clear your mind, and focus on your goals and your progress! Be proud on what YOU are doing! 10522096_10152648660447474_4427446602469893934_n

8- Listen to and trust your coach. They are the experts and will help to make sure your workout is effective and safe. When they correct your form, make sure to follow their lead. When they provide you with feedback, listen to it. The encouragement, support and guidance the coaches at OTF give you will be the key to your success and safety.

9- Challenge yourself. With each workout, work towards being better and stronger than who you were in the past. Always believe that you can push yourself, even if it’s just a tiny bit more than the day before. Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits! Set small goals for yourself- like adding .1 to your push pace on the treadmill. Small goals lead to big changes over time! 

(From the Westchase OTF Facebook page)

(From the Westchase OTF Facebook page)

10- Back up your hard work in the kitchen. Eat as many clean, fresh, homemade ingredients as you can. Don’t reverse the hard work you put in at OTF by fueling your body with foods that will set you back. Healthy eating CAN be delicious!

What are YOUR tips for getting the most out of your #Orangetheory workout? Do share!

And If you live in the Tampa Bay Area and would like to try an OTF as my guest, let me know! It truly is the greatest investment you can spend on yourself and I would be happy to workout with you for your first time!

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09/12/15

Orange Theory Fitness Review

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor am I a registered dietitian, nutritionist or personal trainer. I am sharing my own workout and training experience which is unique, and may not reflect the experiences of others. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for them. Before considering any workout routine or lifestyle change, please consult your physician.

If you’ve been an Orangespoken reader for a while now, and follow me on the social media, you’ve probably heard me talk about Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) once or twice, or 1,000 times. It’s because I truly love the place. And that’s no lie. In fact, no one is compensating me for this post. I’m not “working” for Orangetheory (even though my blog title may say otherwise) 😉 I just really dig the workout. I’ve been there for over two years and each time I leave a 60 minute session, I walk out refreshed, energized; feeling strong, empowered and confident. Yes kids, it’s really that good. Continue reading

08/11/15

7 Ways to Boost your Athletic Confidence

I’ve had my share of negative thoughts when it comes to doing any kind of physical activity; especially when it comes to working out around others who may faster, more experienced or in “better” physical shape than I. Deciding to take the step and start an exercise routine is a choice you should make based on what’s right for your body, what’s going to improve your health and what’s going to make you feel good about yourself.  However there’s something that many who want to begin running, going to a gym, swimming or any other type of exercise often lack: CONFIDENCE. Continue reading

07/9/15

7 tips for working out in the morning

Breaking news: You don’t have to be insane to enjoy morning workouts!

I know right? I was shocked too. People ask me alllllll the time:
“How do you get up so early for workouts? I could NEVER do that!”
Guys, I’m telling you. Morning workouts are where it’s AT.  Continue reading

06/17/15

Fox Fitness update (and benefits of working out with a trainer!)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, today I wrapped up 3 weeks with Fox Fitness11407043_1103847322961941_7289741310017489761_n

We started our morning with mid-month measurements and a fitness assessment! Since my first workout session on May 27th I’ve lost inches on my hips, upper arms and thighs (<based on both gym & at home measurements)! And as I mentioned yesterday, my ankles and feet feel so much stronger from working out on the squishy martial arts mats without shoes. That’s a BIG plus for me because I’ve struggled with things like Plantar’s Fasciitis in the past and can use all the help I can get with strengthening my feet and ankles!  Continue reading

05/30/15

So you wanna do more than a 5k?

A few months back I wrote a post called “So you wanna do a 5k?”

I’ve had so many people ask me about how I started doing races and share their insecurities about starting their own running journeys with me. I always respond the same way: “Insecurities that may be floating around in your head should never come in between you and your goals!” Like I’ve stressed before, don’t wait until the “perfect” moment because that perfect moment is NOW! Continue reading