Muay Thai Sparring: It’s okay not to want to get punched in the face

I still remember the first time I got hit really hard in the face. During a Muay Thai pad work session my coach hit me square in the nose with a Thai pad and I froze. As I felt the blood trickle down the back of my throat and tasted the salty liquid. It took me a minute to register that my coach was yelling at me, “Hit the fucking pads, Roxy! Keep your hands up.” I suddenly came to and returned fire with a jab cross kick and at that moment I had several realizations…

1. The guys must be going easy on me in sparring cause this was more pain than I had ever felt before

2. Getting hit sucks

3. I was angry about it

4. I really wanted to hit my coach at this point, but knew that was unacceptable

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How to Set Action Goals & Get Results!

 

How many times have you set a weight loss goal or made a resolution in your life and not been successful?

…Or been temporarily successful, only to put the weight back on or backslide later? Some of my clients come to me with a history of repeated failed attempts at weight loss. I know this can be disheartening at best and at worst can lead to a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and self-loathing. As an athlete in a weight class sport for ten years, I sympathize, the scale can feel like your worst enemy.

The scientific and nutritional reasons why diet and exercise often fail people is a topic for another blog. I’ll touch it briefly by saying that successful clients don’t focus on calorie restriction (especially low calorie, low fat and hi carb diets) and excessive exercise. Instead, they focus on real food choices, food quality, lifting weights & finding joy in sports (like Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, basketball, rock climbing or tennis).

Today I would like to focus on how to set a fitness, health or even a life goal, something that when done correctly can bring great happiness and fulfillment to our lives. I’ve written before about willpower and neuropsychology has lately been the research topic that is most interesting to me. Goals setting is just a part of the willpower and habit human experience. If you want to know more, see the end of this blog for recommended reading.

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Holiday Health & Fitness Survival Guide

The time of year is fast approaching when people deal with a lot of temptation that may derail them from their fitness goals. But you don’t have to feel helpless when it comes staying on course. January guilt and re-written New Year’s resolutions is not a fate carved in stone. Now is a great time to strategize a holiday fitness survival plan that keeps you moving, motivated, eating clean, indulging a little and most importantly feeling sexy and dashing at your Holiday parties!

But before I get started, let’s debunk the myth that the average person gains 5-10 pounds over the holiday season. This just isn’t true.  It’s estimated at 0.8, which isn’t a lot but can add up year after year and it’s not good that about 50% of the average yearly gain of 1.5 pounds is occurring over the Holidays. Realizing that you are not doomed to gain massive weight will alleviate unnecessary stress and help you think more clearly while strategizing a survival plan. A word of caution, though, overweight and obese test subjects (14%) gained an average of 5 lbs!  So there was some variance. That also means that a portion of the test subjects must not have gained any weight or just a small fraction.

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How to Find More Purpose & Increase Health

Finding Purpose

This is me, probably thinking about something to do with purpose 😉

When I have a consult with a new client I ask some unorthodox questions about their life. I want to know if they have long term and short term goals. I want to know if they enjoy their work. I want to know their priorities, passions and focus. Essentially what I am getting at, is do they feel they have a purpose? The average client usually looks to hire a personal trainer because they want to lose fat, feel good physically and look better naked. What I have discovered over the years is clients rarely succeed at this if they are stressed, unhappy and/or hate their life. I’m not a therapist, but find my job does include a good deal of life coaching, as well as fitness and nutrition tip; especially since what motivates people is so closely tied with their priorities and their general attitude.

Today I’d like to take a closer look at one area people usually think is unrelated to their health goals, but is incredibly important: Purpose. There are many aspects of wellness. As a culture we tend to think that if we just control what we eat and do enough exercise our bodies will magically be what we want them to be and we will automatically be free from disease and illness. This black and white thinking based solely on calories in, calories out leaves out a major component of wellness, the mind. If our minds are not healthy, we are not healthy.

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Healthy “Rules” for Grown Ups – aka the “School Nights” Principle

 

Even health and fitness professionals and professional athletes get in some bad habits now and then and have to make efforts to get back into the healthy swing of things. I seem to have been reminded of this quite a lot lately…

Usually, after a fight a give myself one week to do whatever I like (I call this my week of sloth) and then I get back to the grind of healthy eating and regular workouts. But… sometimes I get a little of track. These past few weeks I was sidelined with post-fight sloth (but that does not excuse me because my fight was over a month ago). I took a trip to Vegas (which is not an excuse either, just a mini vacation where I accepted the consequences of my destination) and then a massive head cold, which I blame on the Vegas smoke and a/c… Anyway, regardless of the cause, let’s just say I have been eating too much ice cream and chips & salsa and skipping too many workouts for my standards.

So to help me get back on track, I am asking that anyone who is interested join me in instating a set of healthy rules for grown ups.

I’m calling these the “SCHOOL NIGHTS RULES.” Remember when you were in school and your parents made up rules like “no staying up past 10 pm” on school nights, or “no TV” on school nights, or “no candy” on school nights. Regardless of how strict your parents where they probably had at least one rule for you on nights you had to be up the next day to focus on learning. Well, how is your work any different or less important now? If anything I would think you would want to be more even functional now when your focus at work determines the success of your career and feeding your family. Continue reading…