Category Archives: Uncategorized

Avoid physical pain at all costs!

Physical pain is a terrible thing to have to experience. I would not wish physical pain on anyone. I am writing my blog from a prone position. A position I am typically in during sleep. Except now…..

If you know me well, you might know I have scoliosis, a rotation in my spine resulting in a short leg and 2 bulging discs. If you didn’t know that about me, you probably would not know it from looking at me and watching my workout videos. You see, I try my hardest to keep that knowledge where it belongs, to me. After all, what good does it do to wear it like a crown for all to see? Anyway, I could start another blog on that subject, but this one is about pain, physical pain, and what we could do to lessen the bouts.

Today I want to ask you, “What do you do to prevent reoccurring personal physical pain or injury?” I do all I can to avoid anything that could cause my back to spasm. Mostly I have found over the years the fastest way to aggravate my particular issue is performing anything unilaterally. That would be one arm or one leg anything, especially with one weight on one side of my body. The trick is to know what to do when, and what my limitations are. After a few months pain free, I have a limitless mind, so to speak. After all if I don’t try something how would I ever know if I can do it? So there comes the tricky situation of trying things, finding out that they don’t bother me for several years, then doing them again on a particular day and BAM! It sends me into severe back spasms which send me home and ultimately lying in this position writing this blog.

That’s what I was doing Friday. I used a workout I had done several times before in the past. I was following it to the letter then while performing a movement I do very often, it grabbed me. By the 3rd rep I was faking it, by 5th I was done. I tried to do some planks, foam rolling, stretching, all the tricks I know how to do to alleviate the issue but it kept getting tighter and tighter till eventually I was headed home. So here I lay, my limitless mind limited now by all one can do during this crazy painful time in my life.

Is there something you face on a routine basis? Is there something you can do to prevent the “down times”? I think back to all my friends who have had a back issue in the past, when we spoke I relay how much I felt their pain. Now it’s my turn. A lot of ice, moist heat, ibuprofen, bio- freeze, rolling around and lastly getting up to walk around the house so I don’t get stiff. So what do I do with this pain? I deal with it and know it is a part of me, None the less I do all I can year around to prevent it. I eat healthy, keep my weight down, my core strong and stay active. Do you do these things? My point is- all we can do is the best we can to prevent issues from manifesting themselves in our lives. With all I do to prevent the pain, it does come from time to time, I must deal with it the best I can. Preventative being the only way I can somewhat control it. Otherwise I have lost control to “it”. Whatever it is you face in your life on a regular basis, I hope that you find good healthy habits you can form in your life to be in control of it the best you can. Otherwise you will be a victim of the issue, always and seeming forever. That is not good. So control yourself and stay healthy, the best you can. Don’t rely on Doctors to give you the best medicine to hide the symptoms. They can help you figure out the root, which is the best you can do. Stay healthy or get healthy. Stay active or get active. After all we are ALL getting older! You will face those times but they will be few and far between and will not last as long as they would otherwise.

Let me know how you are doing with this task, for the rest of your life! Coach Wendy

Summer is here!!!

Well, for those of us who live in Florida, yes, summer is here. Others not so fast. You still have a few more weeks to get in shape before you bare the bod and get in that bikini or swimwear this summer. For me, not so good. Lots of changes in my life, and I am wondering how many have gone through the same. I am thinking it is called “Menopause”??/ My gosh what has happened to me??? I know my diet has not been perfect, but should it need to be? I know my workouts have been crazy, but not as intense. I also know the changes in my body are weird. Like out of a bad movie. I am really showing my age. That is hard on a female. Especially one who does what I do for a living.  I know that I need to “buckle down” and dial in my eating and workouts again and it may take some time to see abs again, but….. we’ll see. One day I will have to get used to and feel comfortable in my new body. whatever that may bring. For now I am going to continue to be brutally honest and say, I am not ready to do anything less that try my hardest to look good and feel good. To me that means different things than it does to each of you. but we all should have our limits. I know I do. I have reached the bad limits and now must get back to the good limits. Its summer after all. Anyone with me?

Coach Wendy

Testing the Forum

I am attempting to start a question/answer forum on this site. Please take a look on the left side of the home page and you will see the “FORUMS” added. Underneath it “Ask Coach Wendy”.  Click on it and ask me a question regarding diet. I will test this for a couple weeks and if it works well, I will use it and change the topic regularly. thanks for your questions. Coach Wendy

Getting in Shape VS. Staying in Shape

 

As a fitness professional, I am asked questions about diet, exercise, weight training, cardio vs. weights, and mostly, “What do I need to do to lose a few pounds?” My answer is usually simple, “Start by cutting calories (My Fitness Pal is a great tool) and get some exercise”. If the person asking signs up to train with me, they get more than that, but my simple answer is to those who just ask.

This is the interesting part, never am I asked the question, “How do I stay in shape once I am in shape?” That is the hardest thing to answer. That is what keeps fitness professionals in business; that is what seems to elude us all.

With all of the 12 week programs- get in shape and win a million dollars, it’s all about who looks the best in the end. The winner is the best at 12 weeks, but check up on them in 2 years…. One of my peers even made a program that didn’t focus on how you looked as much as how well you did, the trials and issues of life you went through yet managed to get in shape. In the end I believe it became more of a “how you look in the end” contest. But anyway, the point is there are countless articles and contests and “so called research” on getting in shape. The right way, wrong way, controversial way and any way in between. There are so many different ways to get in shape, and as someone who has seen so much in the fitness industry the past 30+ years, I have come to the conclusion that getting in shape is the easy part.  It is staying in shape that is hard. Real hard, and there is no magic potion that keeps you there once you are there. You can change your mind, your outlook on life, and say you have changed your life. You can change your habits , you can stay in shape longer than all your friends, but some day, one day, usually sooner than later, you will get back out of shape. Again and again, over and over throughout your life.

Staying in shape is hard work. Life gets in the way; there are days and times I could just give up. There are times when my mind attempts to play tricks on me, I hear things resounding in my head like, “you’re a woman not a man, you’re going through menopause. You’re fighting an uphill battle, bad genes, you are getting older, there is no time, boy could I use some time off to relax”….

Whatever you can come up with, it’s all excuses. What we think are reasons are typically excuses wrapped up and disguised as ultimately untruth’s or lies..

I have been working very hard to get a town house ready to move into. I actually have been working my tail off. Do I have time to exercise, eat right and make my food for the week?  No, the answer is no, but because I train people for a living, I have to stay in somewhat good shape. Ultimately I force myself daily, whether I like it or not, to workout- even for 20 minutes each day, sometimes even just going through the motions, it is something. The only tool I use right now is the scale. I weigh every single morning ( I never do that otherwise) if I find my weight is 3 lbs. higher than normal, I tighten the diet or be sure to work out with more enthusiasm the next few days. or if I stay on target I keep doing what I am doing. I feel less healthy than usual now but I remain the same size. Amazing but true.

Staying in shape is hard work.  Its hard for me, and its hard for you. It is hard no matter what. it is a constant fight, struggle, work, dedication, each and every day it is a decision.  And no fun while there are stresses and work to do and more stress piling up daily around me. But guess what? I do it, ultimately I do it. I stay in shape and lately I add “for now” because really I would love to just let go for a while, and rest! But I do not think that will ever happen.

So while I am living this hard lifestyle, when you ask me next time what to do to get in shape, I may come back and ask, “What will you do to stay in shape- forever- after the easy part has ended”?

What will you do?

Coach Wendy

 

 

Free Will

 

This is an awesome month for me. I am leaving the Country for a vacation. I have had lots of changes in my life and before the holidays start pouring in, I will take advantage of this time to get away and recharge my batteries. But while my batteries are recharging, I have a slew of clients who will be without my guidance for one month. That bothers me because I hold myself somewhat accountable for their fitness success. It also bothers me because I have heard , “what will I do without you?” several times from several people. I hope and pray they do well,” it’s only four weeks”, I say. I want to come back to a bunch of in shape clients, but somehow there is a little voice inside my head telling me if I vacation- so will my clients. I don’t want that to happen.

This brings me to the blog title-“Free will”…  We all have free will, and no matter who thinks they hold you accountable- ultimately it is you who makes the decisions for yourself. Yes you can have a trainer you love and respect, but ultimately you will only tell them the answers you think they want to hear. Otherwise if you let them down too many times, you may feel like a failure, leading you to basically do what you can to avoid contact with that trainer again. No matter how much you  loved them and what they did for you.

I understand this because over the years I have lost clients, not because I didn’t do a good job training them, but because they made choices that were opposite of working out and getting in shape and they hated the feelings they got facing me. It’s easier to avoid me. “Free Will”.  I am not the work- out or nutrition police, though some consider that my title. I guess it makes them feel good. I don’t know why, but it’s like they want someone to judge them when they make poor choices regarding nutrition and fitness. I don’t like that title, but it is a part that I usually succumb to because it is in demand from some ( not all) clients.

So I am saying to you, especially while I am gone, If you must think of me every time you are faced with a tempting  food product or the right to stay home instead of go to the gym, if that is what gets you going and making good decisions, then do it, I will understand, but really ultimately I want to help you and guide you to understand this exercise thing- although it sucks to have to do it when you really want to do other things , is good for you . Better  you know now. I have had clients get frustrated when they hit a plateau, and for one reason or another they stop training with me, thinking it is doing no good, but what they don’t know is in a year of not doing anything they will look and feel terrible and  regret that they ever stopped.

”Free will”

It’s all about your will. This month you are on your own.  I know you can do it, heck you have been seeing me long enough to have some good habits in place. I know a month seems like an eternity but I will return. I look forward to seeing you again, but I really need this time away. I know it will be good for me. Let’s make it good for you also. Make good choices and let’s see if anything I taught you has stuck with you, if not, I will still enjoy seeing you when I return.  And I will kick you butt!

Coach Wendy

For Females only…

This is a personal blog, although most on my blogs are somewhat personal, this one is about my health. Specifically, female health. So guys, this will not interest you, but LADIES read carefully.  This is about the health that we all sign waivers for while at our doctor’s office.

I have always lived a “healthy” lifestyle. I have been aware of what goes in my body for years and prior to my awareness, lived healthy because my family taught me to do so. This experience was a big shocker to me. I am currently being treated with a medication that I don’t want to take, for something I never thought I would have. Without exact details, I had a few tests that my Doctor thought suspect which led her to do an exploratory surgery. After the surgery, I knew she had been successful, but after the biopsies were sent out to the lab, I waited in fear of what I thought may be the worst. I am a Christian and I prayed and believed God would heal me, but I still felt unsettled in my mind when I would wonder about the results. Then the day happened when the Dr. Office called. They said they couldn’t give me the results over the phone; I would have to come in.

Of course it was a Thursday and the Dr. was out until the following week. So guess who had a pretty agonizing weekend? By the time I got to her office expecting the worst, I got ok news, but not total clearance (which I had expected prior to the call). Of all the things she removed, one had unusual cells.

I am praying and believing it will be much better next time, but let me tell you, although she didn’t say the “C” word, I know what crazy unusual overgrowing cells were indicative of.   Some of my closest friends have suggested I go ahead and have a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, I want all my parts and thanked God the Dr. did not want to do that yet. She put me on a medication that I must take every day for 3 months.  After that routine, assuming there are no complications, I will go through another minor surgery for biopsies and a clean bill of health.

On the bright side, I have been on the medication for almost one month. Although my Dr. said I will gain weight, I have lost 2 lbs.(thanks to my new accountability partner called “My Fitness Pal”)

I feel fine, somewhat tired at times, but mostly like my mind is in a cobweb, another way of saying I cannot think clearly. I have read that those are all classic symptoms of what this pill is doing with my hormones. This is not an article for guys, but for women who read this, just be mindful and recognize when your body has symptoms that are not “normal” for you. I realized this after 4 months of abnormal signs to my routine monthly issues. Lucky for me, I have a diligent Dr. who wanted to look inside up close and personal, which is aggressive yet conservative. She has my interests at heart. Feel comfortable with your female Dr. and beware of what you will go thorough when you start reaching that wonderful thing called menopause. One thing I cannot stress enough- no matter what all your friends say about their weird menopause symptoms- Yours are unique to YOU and you must know yourself well enough to know when something is “just not right

Clearly, I am not out of the woods yet. Late November, I go back under the knife.  Until then, I believe I am healed, I feel healed, and mostly I know I am on top of things, with a great physician standing next to me. With my healthy lifestyle, my God with me and my Dr. on my side, I believe I will be writing blogs about good things for many, many years to come. This is a message to those of you who want to live a long healthy life alongside me. Take care of yourselves and be diligent!

Coach Wendy

 

Gluttony

Wendy RussoGluttony: glut·ton·y

/[gluht-n-ee] noun

Excessive eating and drinking.

Habitual eating to excess.

Synonyms: gormandizing, intemperance, voracious

             Dictionary.com Unabridged

 Eating to excess: personified as one of the deadly sins

Proverbs 23:21– For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty and drowsiness (laziness) shall clothe a man with rags….

Wow, even in biblical times, eating to excess was an issue to be heeded. Unfortunately, we didn’t take heed for long.

Am I wrong to say that this country is in a state of overweight?  Maybe to get a grip on changing it, we should come to terms with the word- GLUTTONY.

I was on the phone with a close friend the other day. The subject of our conversation always seems to lead to what we are doing to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We both strive to live a healthy lifestyle. It is definitely a work in progress, all the time. We discussed a very sensitive subject and how it related to us personally.

That subject is: GLUTTONY.

I personally have been battling weight gain since Thanksgiving.  I went on a feast that apparently got out of control. This led me to gain extra body fat that I am not comfortable with. Each Holiday season I traditionally allow myself a few extra pounds but typically by February, it is gone and I am back to feeling great again. Not this time. I have been caught in what seems like an abyss of the downward spiral. Fully aware that if I continue, my little fat will become more, then before I know it; I could go over the edge. It is a serious and sensitive subject because after contemplation, discussion and study, I believe  that I must come to terms with gluttony.  As my friend put it, we are stuffing our faces with so much food until satisfaction and sometimes beyond, while there are others starving all over the world. Why??? Can every overweight person be accused of gluttony?  What is it that makes us so dependent on food, not for survival but for pleasure? Even while on a diet I must admit, I look so forward to each and every meal. I cannot imagine a life not eating. When I am tempted with sweet treats on a day I allow them, I become a glutton. I can’t stop.

I understand that gluttony has similarities to alcoholism (view the Bible verse above) Coming from a friend of mine who is sober now (once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic) every time he is faced with temptation to drink, he has to make a choice. When the choice is put in his face it’s usually tempting. Ultimately, he chooses no. With food, we allow ourselves to partake with little to no limits.  Why decline?  After all, it will not kill us, chances are we won’t overeat at a party and go out and cause an accident in our car because we ate too much junk food.  We allow gluttony. That is all it is, plain and simple, defined, eating to excess.

Think about it. When was the last time you ate to excess?  I have been using an app on my cell phone called “my Fitness pal”…. It is not yet my pal…. It is a tool to track every little thing I put in my mouth. The first few days I was involved in scanning and tracking. The next few days I spent noticing I have a problem with food. Unless I am on a specific “diet”, and sticking to it, I have a problem.

I like to graze or eat until I am full. Innocent enough, until I realized a little here, a little there, adds up. Thanks to my fitness pal , attempting to become my friend.

After 4 weeks of tracking I have not lost a pound of fat- or a pound of weight for that matter. What does that tell you? That I have gone over my allotment more times than I have gone under. Just hitting the number is a big celebration for me. Why is that? Sure I can lose water from one day to the next, but I know what fat is and I know what I need to lose. At the end of the day if I attained my goals, I am thrilled, but as I sit here this evening, with about two hours to go till bedtime, I am hungry. Guess what? My new fitness pal says I already made my goals today.  I refuse to go over. I think about my conversation the other day and about the starving people in this world who would be overjoyed to have one meal like I ate today. And I can’t imagine a life like that.

It is real easy to get caught up in gluttony.  Eating to excess. Why do we do it?

I am here to tell you that I am a happy, healthy person. I stay busy, I have all I need, my life is fulfilled, and yet I love to eat. Despite what you may think, I enjoy eating.

Have you noticed that there are more overweight people than underweight? (not including folks under 25 years old) How does one get overweight? Eating to excess.  Plain and simple. You cannot out exercise a bad diet, ever. So why do we do this? My peers and I could talk for days upon days and probably never come up with all the reasons, excuses or issues that we have heard.

Allow me, plain and simple: Gluttony- Eating to excess.

             I suck at math but this equation is simple:

                           Excess food = Excess weight

You cannot get around it. Neither can I. Yet I wonder and I think, but no matter the outcome of my pondering, studying, and long intellectual conversations, I realize I eat to excess. YOU think about that today. Reflect on that simple fact. Don’t think about the reasons.  And look where you are today with your self-regarding gluttony.

I know where I am, I know where I have to be. I must make a conscious decision each and every day of my life to keep my mouth shut when I have the chance to eat more than I should. I have to do what I know to do to make it work. I will not allow this to get me. Once my “Fitness pal” really becomes my friend, I am sure I will have succeeded.  How about you?

.

Starting Over 2014

We all go through trials in life. Just when we think everything is great, boom! It hits you out of nowhere. But it’s those who rebound quickly who can look at it knowing that this too will pass and mostly, we will come out stronger on the other side. That’s what keeps me going. One of my favorite Bible verses is James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy my brother’s when you face trails of every kind, for the testing of your faith produces patience and perseverance” ….

The year 2013 closed out well for me. But I had some issues going on for the last few years that were only getting worse. Topping it all off my cat of 12 years died after a long battle with cancer. That hit me very hard. But then I had some other issues to face. Possibly going through menopause (at 51 it seems inevitable), may have played a role in this. Men would equate it to the mid-life crisis. I didn’t have the desire to get a young guy and spend money on a convertible (although I love cars and would like to have a second car convertible) but I was in a marriage that was not going well. Without getting personal, maintaining privacy,  it was decision time. I had been mulling over this the past few years. Working on making it better, working on making me better, working on making us better. I was unsuccessful. In January I decided to make a change. I had to “do it now” or continue on another year or so, then do it later- which made no sense.  I made the decision to file for divorce. It was easy at first; I left home and began my mission to start all over again.

Four months later, the divorce was final on May 12th, 2014. The day was a whirlwind, but I pretty much fell apart through the emotions of at all, in private of course.

This blog is not about divorce. This blog is about starting over. I am starting a new year and a new life at 51 years old and counting….

Physically, I had maintained my fitness level but I felt tired way too much and had gained 5 lbs of pure fat right around my once beautiful abs. So I went to the Dr. for testing and found my cortisol levels were tanked through the floor, again after 5 years of being perfect. That made me feel better because I know exactly what to do to fix that. Immediately, I decided to take a “before “photo and start a 12 week transformation. I settled on a good meal plan- tighter and cleaner than it has been in months, and made a workout schedule I could stick to. I know it has only been a few days but I feel better already. Once this week is over, I will know I succeeded and it went well. I can say it took me about 6 months of being undisciplined to get to this point.  I am there and it feels like normal again.

I just want what all of you want- I want the results right here and now.  BUT, I know that won’t work, so I look forward to the 12th week when I can take some new photos and post them proudly.

Yes, I am proclaiming it right here and now. My health matters first because as I always say, “without my health, I am no good to anyone- especially myself” Good bye junk food, comfort foods and haphazard workouts. I am writing everything down and journaling my success. No matter how experienced we are at this- keeping a journal and staying accountable are always the 2 major things involved in a successful transformation. After all, without planning, we plan to fail. I will not fail. I have a new life to start, it will be hard but I know I have to look forward to the daily task of eating and working out and the transformation I will go though.  I have great friendships, relationships with friends and family and I love life. I love God and His grace, mercy and kindness. I love my ex-husband, and I will always love him.  I will continue to live, love and be loved every day I am breathing. I thank you all for listening and supporting me. After all- I must continue to be a light that shines in the world of darkness for anyone who wants to look to me as an example. I am doing it, so join me in this next 12 weeks in making positive and healthy changes in your life. We will do this!

Coach Wendy

A Safe Place

Coach Wendy,  Personal trainer and nutrition coach

We all know what a “safe place” means. Most people are pretty aware of some places that are not safe to go to. When we think of a safe place we usually think of some place that we are not in danger of being hurt. Rarely do we use “safe place” to describe a person. Recently I spent some time studying the importance for us to make ourselves a “safe place”.  When we are getting through hurts and issues in our own lives, sometimes we take things out on others. To those we lash out on or judge, we are not being a safe place. Through studying the Word of God and my own transformation, I recently had a clear revelation about people who are not a “safe place”. I already knew that I should stay away from people who are not a safe place, but there had to be more, right? I was able to come up with lots of things that define what makes a person unsafe, and then I thought, “ok, so what good is knowing without application?” I began to think of ways I can actually be a safe place. My intention is not to attack anyone for being unsafe. Doing so would make me unsafe. My intention is to encourage myself and even you, to ask the question, “Am I a safe place?” It is important to me that I have a desire for my face book page and website to be a safe place. Many people pour their hearts out to me, some for the first time in their lives. We are all in search of something better for our future, and when we approach someone we come fully clothed and protected from all the world’s hurts. As we feel comfortable, we slowly take off our layers of self-protection until we stand vulnerable sometimes on social media in front of people we do not even know. And that is where the healing can begin, or could end if someone brutally attacks us while we are standing in our vulnerability. When we pass judgment on someone out of the hurt and warped world we are coming from, we are not considered a “safe place”. It takes a clear consciousness to communicate with others when you are going through your own wounds. You must stop and think before you speak,” How can I be a safe place?” At some points in our life we will encounter a person who is not a safe place and before we realize what and how, they have said something to attack our character that could devastate us. This happened to me recently. Because (thank God) I am healed in many ways- I was able to stand back and realize this person is not a safe place. My knee jerk reaction was to attack back- that is when I realized I MUST be a safe place. I must love, forgive and pray for. After all, my full time job is to control my actions and reactions. I have no control over others actions. So by saying all this, I want to proclaim that I will pay attention to my motives and actions doing everything I can do to make me a “safe place”. Then I can provide a safe environment for others that are healing. If you know someone who is not a “safe place” it may be a good idea to let them know they are not being a safe place and then pray for them as they get through their healing. People act differently as they get through their hurts. You can be a safe place while you are healing your own. You just need awareness. Attacking others is not an acceptable way to get through your issues. My question for everyone to ask themselves today is, “Am I a safe place?” Focus on YOU!

Cleaning closets

Usually we wait for the Spring to clean out closets. Because I live in Florida we are over the little bit of cold weather.  I will start cleaning my closet this month. I believe it is like a New Years resolution. Start fresh at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately most of you have to wait till Spring because of the freezing cold weather and needing those heavy winter clothes.

 I use the one year rule- if I haven’t worn it in one year- it gets removed.

You now can ask, “How does this pertain to living a healthy lifestyle and working out coach?”

I have always strived to be a modest and humble person. Yet, I have had a great life. I have been on top of the world. I have gathered lots of material things in my life. I have had great jobs, great friends and great teachers. I lived in great houses, great neighborhoods, driven great cars and had great clothes. Although I got caught up in material things sometimes- ultimately, I never allowed these things to define my life.  I never want people to look at my stuff wishing they had what I had- ever.  And this is the reason- because real life is not the one going on around you, the one others see, or the one you think you have

*Real life is what’s going on inside you.*

Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you”, righteousness, peace and joy. The life that matters and defines us is the life inside us. What we need to go after is a relationship with God and a relationship with ourselves which leads to relationship with others. After all- how many people can you look at and think by seeing their money and success that they “have it all , but you have no idea what’s going on inside them. Sadly it can be really bad. (Michael Jackson is one example of that.)  No matter how great it looks on the outside.   Changing our minds(cleaning our closets) is so utterly important. People can say to me, “ I wish I had your body” but they don’t realize it’s what’s inside me that kept me going all these years to stay in shape. occasionally, someone will say to me, ” it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to look like that”. They get it.

If someone is not willing to change the inside, yes, the outside can still change, but only for a short time because soon the bad seed inside will grow again and destroy the outside.  I would like people to notice the inside- as well as the outside. And not so much to notice as to REALIZE and then want to do what it takes. I understand the importance of change and I am passionate about doing what I can to help change the world. I feel that passion inside me as I continue to work on what matters most- the inside.  Back to cleaning my closet. Do you see the correlation here?

You can start today by changing your mind, one thought at a time, to make healthy changes in your life. Clean your closet, you pantry the things that will help you feel better about yourself. then take a look at the inside. your personal “closet” so to speak. Then by this, you will start to see some healthy changes going on inside of you which will lead to good things all around you.

Enjoy your cleaning! Coach Wendy