Exercise Motivation: 20 Reasons To Start Exercising (Part 1)

Motivation to Get Off The Couch The goal of this blog post is to motivate you to take action. Our lives are busy, and exercise motivation can be a real sticking point when you feel your plate is already too full.

I’ll be blunt, though, and tell you that even if you’re busy, it would be a good idea to re-prioritize a few areas in your life to make time for exercise.  If you don’t, you’re eventually going to be sidelined by issues related to poor health and a sedentary lifestyle.

In order to get you motivated to make a lifestyle change, 

I’ve got a list of 20 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise.

I’ll go over the first 10 rewards here, and follow up with another 10 rewards next week.

Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day.

When you need motivation or encouragement, simply read over this list and take action. 

Remember that action alleviates anxiety.

10 Reasons  to Start Exercising

1. You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.

2. Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better, but to look nicer.

3. You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life—it’s time for a break ;-). A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.

4. You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it with the most powerful tool available: exercise.

5. You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.You get strong when you exercise

6. You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part to an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone which has an appetite-taming effect.

7. You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Rage war against stored fat with calorie-blasting workouts.

8. You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch your confidence sky-rocket.

9. You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.

>>>>(side note:  If you’re not currently having FUN when you work out, puuuullleeeaaasse contact me about a free trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose!!)

10. You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.

I think the hardest part about regular exercise is simply getting started.

Hopefully these first 10 reasons have motivated you to get your workout gear on.

I’ll be back with another 10 reasons next week!


Committed to your success,




Image credits:

Couch Potato

Strong Women

Shedding Holiday Weight

How to Shed Holiday Weight GainThe holiday season has come and gone. Many San Jose residents have “Shedding Holiday Weight” as a top priority on their to-do lists now.  It’s time to work on losing those extra pounds gained from all the parties, holiday treats and family gatherings. With the abundance of rich foods at holiday time, it is no wonder that so many people suffer from holiday weight gain (yep, even your friendly San Jose boot camp coach can fall victim to holiday treats!).

The extra pounds you may have packed on during the holidays can make the prospect of losing weight seem like an overwhelming task. The good news is that by taking the time to plan out a post-holiday strategy that will work for you, shedding holiday weight won’t be as difficult as you think.

Post Holiday Weight Loss Tips

  1. Set a goal. What would you like to achieve in the next 6 weeks?  Is is attainable?  Measurable?  Get your goals down on paper and post them where you’ll see them every day.
  2. Put together a routine.  Get yourself back into the habit of regular exercise.  Write out a schedule of when you’ll exercise and stick to it.  Grab a workout buddy if you need more accountability.
  3. Eat breakfast!  Having a good breakfast with protein and produce (think scrambled eggs and spinach) is important in order to set yourself up to feel full and energized for your day.  Ditch the sugary cereals and flour-based bread products.  Stick with protein and produce as your first meal of the day.
  4. Eat often.  Make your meals a little smaller, and eat 4-6 times per day.  This will keep you energized and feeling full, and it will also keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
  5. Limit alcohol and other calorie filled, non-nutritive beverages.  Now, don’t shoot the messenger, and please note that I didn’t say eliminate.  Simply limit them ;-).
  6. Get outside!  We’re fortunate to live in an area with wonderful weather pretty much year-round.  On the weekends, soak up a little sun and vitamin D with a walk, a hike or sprints around your local high school track.  A little sunshine and fresh air will do your mood good.

If you’d like our professional fitness boot camp coaches to be your accountability partner, please give us a call at 408-265-1540 or click below to request a one-week free trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose Campbell or Los Gatos:

I want a free one-week trial at lifeSport Fitness bootcamp!


Going Vegan: San Jose Boot Camp Coach Chronicles her Month as a Vegan

Vegan DietNever in a million years did I think I would try a vegan diet.  About 15 years ago, I tried to switch to a vegetarian diet (which allows eggs and dairy) and I lasted 4 days! I joked that I ran out of stuff to cook for dinner, as my husband doesn’ t like nuts or cheese.  SO many of the recipes in the cook books I bought called for nuts and cheese.

So, why go vegan?  Because somebody asked me to.  Sort of.

Here’s the story:  I received an email from the Marketing Team leader at Whole Foods Market on Blossom Hill Road.  She asked if I would be interested in partnering with Whole Foods to lead a  class in their store on approaching a healthier lifestyle through diet and fitness. The classes would follow a book that has a 28-day eating plan in it (The Engine 2 Diet Plan).  I wasn’t that familiar with the Engine 2 book at that point, but I thought, “Sure!  I’d like to help people eat healthier!”  So, I told her I was in.  Then I bought the book.  Uh oh.  The book follows a “plant strong” approach.  In other words……….it’s vegan.  Not only NO animal flesh, but no eggs, no cow’s milk, no cow’s milk yogurt.  OMG…….what had I said “Yes” to???Engine 2 Diet

I considered emailing her back and telling her I couldn’t lead a class on a vegan diet because I’m not a vegan, and I’m not really sure I could do it myself.   Then I began reading the book a little more and I read about some amazing changes in blood chemistry by some people who had followed the diet. I have high cholesterol levels (yes, a fitness professional who exercises and eats pretty well has high cholesterol.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  My form of high cholesterol is genetic, according to my doctor).  I decided that if I had recipes to follow  and the accountability of being the dang leader of this group—-I could do it!  I told my husband I’d precook all the “meatage” he’d need for the month, but that I was going vegan for 28 days in February.  After he stopped laughing, he told me he’d support me by eating (or attempting to eat) whatever  I cooked for dinner, and he’d be “off the plan” for breakfast and lunch so he could do his own thing.  So, off we went on our 28-day adventure.

We got our fasting cholesterol tested the day we started the diet plan and again today.

Here are some take aways from my 28-day Vegan experience:

-I thought we ate a lot of vegetables, but we ate WAY more veggies last month. Example:  I went through 2 bags of onions and probably one dozen sweet peppers.  Normally in a months time, I’d use about 3 or 4 of each for the two of us.  The recipes we tried PACKED in a lot of vegetables.  This is a good thing.

-I spent less money on food last month.  Vegan staples like bulk whole grains, fruits, veggies and whole grain pasta products are inexpensive.

-My food processor got some SERIOUS use and stayed on my kitchen counter (normally it lives under the kitchen counter).  I used it almost every day for chopping veggies.

-We decided the “fake” meat we tried is kind of gross.  Vegan hot dogs had a weird texture.  Veggie meat crumbles were disgusting (or they had gone bad.  Not sure which.  But we won’t be trying them again).

-Beans give you gas. Lots of beans give you lots of gas 😆 .  I understand that over time, your body adjusts and you’re better able to digest the oligosaccharides (starches) in the beans.  That hadn’t happened yet by day 28.  I like the addition of some bean dishes to our diet, though, so they’ll be staying in.  We just won’t have any guests over on those nights ;-).

-Many of the recipes lacked a lot of flavor, in our opinion.  I think that over time, our palates adapt, though, so we’d get used to it.  I need to give a shout out to one of my clients, Cristin B ., who is a vegetarian.  She warned me that I might need to add more spices and seasonings to recipes.  She was right.  My instinct was to reach for the salt shaker, but I think we need to experiment with sodium free alternatives like Mrs. Dash seasonings, garlic powder, herbs/herb blends, etc.

-I really like a little cup of yogurt as an afternoon snack.  I knew I needed to find a vegan substitute for this.  I found that coconut milk yogurt tastes pretty good (Soy yogurt did the same thing to me that beans did ).  I don’t think coconut milk yogurt is any healthier  than cow’s milk yogurt, though.

-I didn’t miss beef or chicken.  A couple of times I felt like I was missing seafood (maybe it was those Red Lobster “Lobster Fest” commercials that started popping up in mid-February!).

-The thing I missed most?  Drinking milk with lunch or dinner.  I didn’t realize how much I did that, and I found that plain water with a meal was getting a bit boring.  I switched to carbonated water (Calistoga with a hint of lemon) and that helped with the “plain water boredom”.  I used Almond milk in my cereal, in smoothies and in my oatmeal.  Just never wanted to drink a cup of it as a beverage for some reason.

– I learned that “going Vegan” wasn’t as hard and restricting as I thought.

– I learned I love to eat salads, but I don’t like making them.  Thank goodness for “salad in a bag”.

-Wine is vegan, I believe.  Didn’t give it up.

-And while we’re at it……dark chocolate is also vegan.  Yeah, I ate some.

-To my surprise, my husband ended up sticking to the Vegan diet for breakfast and lunch.  He completely amazed me.  Never would have guessed he’d do that.  He’s a huge meat eater, and I’m very proud of him for hanging in there with me and going above and beyond what he originally pledged.

-My husband lost 11 pounds in the 28-day program.  Towards the end of the month, the members of my Almaden boot camp were begging me to “feed the poor guy”.  He works out with us in the Almaden camp, and I think our members thought he was wasting away.  Oh, and if you’re wondering about me?  Yours truly lost 1 pound.  Yep, a whole 16 ounces.

-We had our cholesterol tested today.  My husband’s total cholesterol dropped 35 points.  Mine?  It dropped only 6 points.  My triglycerides went up by 13 points. My husband’s triglycerides dropped by about 20 points.  Why the variations?  I am not a physician or a registered dietician, but as a fitness expert who knows a few things about nutrition, I would attribute it to individual variations in body/blood chemistry, digestion and genetics.

-Aside from a HUGE thanks to my husband for hanging in there with me on this program, I have two shout outs for a few people who were on this journey with me as well:

  • MAJOR props to boot camp member Lisa N.  Lisa lost 6 pounds on the program and inches off her waist and hips.
  • Big thanks to challenge participant Debra H., who attended all of the weekly meetings at Whole Foods.  As a practicing vegan, she helped me field some questions from participants I couldn’t answer, and she was a great sounding board at all our Engine 2 weekly meetings.


Our 28-day Vegan experience has come to an end. What now?  We’ll go back to eating animal products-but I suspect less of them (okay maybe just me.  Not sure the hubby is on board with this).

My husband’s birthday is on Monday, but I’m taking him and his mom out for his birthday dinner tonight.

Care to guess where he has asked to go?  Outback Steakhouse  :-D.







Weight Loss After The Holidays

The first time you jump on the scale after the holidays, it might be a particularly traumatizing experience. Weight has a way of creeping up on you at this time of the year. You might even be one of those who is afraid to look at the number on the scale. Yes, I know, it’s time for a killer weight loss strategy!

As you may know from reading my blog, I’m NOT a quick weight loss advocate.  I believe in the slow and steady lifestyle approach.  However, I know those holiday pounds on your hips or in your belly don’t feel good.  So let’s talk about a few quick and easy strategies to get the weight loss effort moving in the right direction.


For a start, consider limiting or cutting out alcohol until you get back down to your desired weight. Alcohol is just empty calories (and a lot of them) and I’d rather have you concentrate on EATING calories instead DRINKING them. If you really can’t do without your beloved alcohol, consider pouring less of it and having it less often.

After the holidays, it’s common to feel incredibly bloated. Often times this is due to a higher refined carbohydrate intake and/or water retention.  The fix for this? Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and cut back on refined and processed grain products (like bread, cookies, cakes, pies, etc). This will help you drop excess water weight, and you can replace the non-nutritious flour-based products with vegetables and fruits.

One of the reasons for weight gain over holidays is many of us over-indulge on rich treats and we eat larger portions. Now that the holiday is over, it’s time to push the rich treats to the back burner as occasional treats, and go back to normal portions.  Truth be told, I believe that most of us who are struggling with weight issues have probably fallen victim to PORTION issues :-).  If you’re looking for weight loss after the holidays—look to put smaller portions on your plate. Plain and simple!!

Aside from portion control, one of my best weight loss solutions for you is to write down your food intake each day.  Yep.  I know.  It’s tedious.  However, IT WORKS!  You’d be amazed at all the little things that go into your mouth that you forget about when you mentally recall your daily food intake.  When you WRITE DOWN your daily intake—it’s easier to keep track of what goes in your mouth!

Finally, in your effort to get on the weight loss wagon after the holidays, I’d suggest  you start making an appointment with yourself for regular exercise.  I like interval training to spur on faster weight loss, but if you’re  new to exercise, just getting out for a brisk walk, a hike, or some time on cardio machine at your health club is certainly a start.

Weight loss after the holidays doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, if you only gained a few pounds over the holidays, and you employ just one of the strategies I’ve told you and return to your  normal, non-holiday eating patterns, you should be back to normal weight within a couple of weeks.

Get out the the “indulgent” calories, be aware of what you’re eating and your portions, and schedule exercise.  That’s it.  There’s your post-holiday weight loss plan!

For more articles go to http://lifesportfitness.lifestyleezine.com

Common Boot Camp Misconceptions Part 2

Dog Tags in BootAs 2013 kicks in, I’ll list here in Part 2 the remaining 5 common misconceptions I often hear when people tell me why they don’t think they can participate in a boot camp workout. I carefully plan our boot camp workouts so that they are “do-able” for just about everyone, yet challenging for our veterans. So if you see your excuse below, you might want to give lifeSport Fitness San Jose boot camps another look.  We’ll take good care of you……..I promise ;-).

5. I Have an Old Injury

The best way to prevent re-injuring an area is to build up the surrounding muscles for support. Once the area has healed (e.g., from surgery, a cast, or other medical treatment), you need to use it or lose it. You actually run the risk of re-injuring the area by NOT working out. In my boot camps I know how to modify exercises so they help — not hurt — your road to recovery.

NIAMS (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease) recommends not being a “weekend warrior.” They suggest stretching and building up your exercise level gradually — activities that are typically incorporated into a boot camp workout.

4. I’m Too Heavy

Boot camp workouts are the perfect way to lose weight. Studies have shown that adding consistent exercise to a healthy eating regime has a more dramatic impact on losing inches. This misconception most likely stems from self consciousness or self confidence. Finding the right boot camp, one where the instructor is supportive, is an important factor for your success. You may even find a boot camp that fits your weight loss needs. Plus you may be pleasantly surprised at the level of support you’ll receive from other boot camp participants. There is a definite sense of camaraderie at boot camps;  each camper is working on their own health goals.

3. I Need to Be in Better Shape First

This is the flip side of number 4. Sometimes participants are afraid they can’t keep up with a boot camp workout. The point of working out is improve your overall fitness over time. Our workouts are designed for varying fitness levels. A qualified fitness trainer is able to adapt the workout to meet you at your current level, modifying exercises so they present a reasonable challenge. Yes, you’ll experience soreness as that’s an indication muscles and strength are building. When you exercise consistently, soreness diminishes.

2. I’ll Get Yelled At

Fitness boot camps are not military training. When considering a boot camp workout, interview the instructor beforehand. You’ll get a sense if they are a wanna-be drill sergeant or if they are committed to helping you get a well-rounded and healthy workout. As with any profession, there are different approaches and personalities. Find one that fits your needs.  Keep in mind that a great instructor will encourage and motivate you.

1. I’ll Be Pushed Beyond My Limits

Over the years I’ve heard horror stories about boot campers being pushed to the point of throwing up or serious injury. Again, a fitness boot camp is not military training. You won’t be doing exercises like climbing a rope or scaling a 10-foot wall. At least that’s not we do in our camps. You will be doing a variety of exercises that build stamina and strength to both the upper and lower body. My philosophy is that you don’t have to do embarrassing or overly-grueling workouts to get into shape. Yes, we work you hard, but we honor your current fitness level and use positive motivational techniques to help you improve.


I hope after reading my top ten “myths and misconceptions” about fitness boot camp workouts, you’ve realized that just about anyone can benefit from a well-coached and well planned out boot camp workout.

If you want to get leaner, healthier and stronger in 2013, I encourage you to treat yourself to a one-week FREE trial at a lifeSport Fitness boot camp.

You can request a free trial week at the lifeSport Fitness website here:  Yes! I want a free one-week trial at a boot camp in San Jose!


It would be our pleasure to make 2013 your best year ever!


Happy New Year!!!


Committed to your success,


Common Boot Camp Misconceptions Part 1

Jack La Lanne's Glamour StretcherIn my 25 years of helping individuals get into shape, I hear a lot of misgivings, myths and misconceptions about signing up for a fitness bootcamp.  In David Letterman style, here’s my top ten list:

 10. I’m Too Old

Actually the oldest boot camper I have trained was well into her 70s.  I’ve also had the privilege of training an 94-year old in personal 1:1 sessions. So, the adage of “you’re never too old” is absolutely true when it comes to exercising. According to Health Magazine, experts believe exercise can be the real fountain of youth. Boosting your metabolism and building healthy muscle can help you feel better and be fit at any age. Plus, there are the side effects: strength training to keep bone density and weight loss to reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. Hey, Jack La Lanne worked out until his death at 96. At lifeSport Fitness, we even have a Fit & Fab Boot Camp designed just for women over 40.

9. I’m Too Young

Creating healthy habits when you’re young is a good thing! Adding a boot camp into your exercise routine can add variety to typical gym workouts. Even young athletes involved in team sports (such as soccer, volleyball or basketball) may not get a full, well-rounded workout.  Boot camp exercises work the legs as well as upper body, so no one area is over-trained.

8. I Can’t Get Up in the Morning

Yes, it’s true most boot camp programs start early in the morning. Once you get into the routine of rising early for a workout, you’ll find it gets easier. Many clients report that they are more alert and energized throughout the day. When they do sleep, it’s more restful… making it easier to get up in the morning. According to SleepFoundation.org experts, you shouldn’t exercise three hours before bedtime. But if you’re really not a morning person no matter what you’ve tried, there are evening boot camps that may be a better match for your schedule.

7. I Can’t Afford It

Many boot camps are actually less expensive than a gym membership. If you add in the personalized training you receive at a boot camp, the savings is even more dramatic. Frequently eating out or ordering a specialty Starbucks coffee can really add up. Where could you trim an expense or two? Investing in your health is always a good idea. It may even lead to more fiscally friendly habits like packing healthy lunches or snacks rather than drive-thru fare.

6. I’ll Get Hurt

The truth is a qualified trainer knows how to modify exercises to tailor to various fitness levels. Working out in a boot camp is a great way to determine where you’re at and how to improve… under the watchful eye of a certified and knowledgeable instructor.

I’ll be back next week with my remaining 5 Common Boot Camp Misconceptions.

If I’ve already overcome your fear about fitness boot camps, and you’re interested in test driving a lifeSport Fitness boot camp, click here to request a free one-week trial!  I want a FREE week at lifeSport Fitness boot camp in San Jose!!!

Healthy Eating Recipes: Summer Zucchini Recipes

Healthy_zucchini_recipesLate summer brings boatloads of zucchini to those of us who are home gardeners (or friends/neighbors of home gardeners).

If you’ve got zucchini coming out of your ears right now, the healthy recipes I have for you here may be something you can use right about now!  I mean, there’s only so much steamed zucchini you can eat, right?

The first recipe here is one I adapted from a recipe in Prevention magazine.  It’s on my menu plan tonight.  I’ll serve this crispy baked zucchini with barbequed salmon and some roasted asparagus.  I have the good fortune of having  clients who fish for salmon near their Canadian vacation home (thanks KT and Brooks!), so this is going to be one fresh, wholesome dinner!  Can’t wait :-D.

Oven-Baked Zucchini

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/3 c shredded parmesan cheese

2 egg whites

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Three medium sized zucchini


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1). Line a baking sheet with foil. Place egg whites in a shallow dish and stir slightly to blend. In another shallow dish, add panko, parmesan cheese and seasonings to taste and stir.

2). Slice zucchini into approximately 3” lengths. Then cut the 3” segments in half lengthwise. Slice the zucchini halves one more time lengthwise into quarters. Dip zucchini strips in egg white mixture and then roll in panko mixture to coat.

3). Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining zucchini strips. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until zucchini are lightly browned.

Fun taste treat: Dip baked zucchini strips in low fat ranch dip, marinara sauce or salsa.



The second zucchini  recipe I have for you I borrowed (with permission) from the blog of my friend and fitness colleague, Justin Yule.  Justin runs a top notch fitness program in Chanhassen, Minnesota.  If you want to read about a goofy holiday revolving around the dreaded onslaught of waaaaay too many zucchinis growing in your garden all at once, check out his funny blog post about what do do with all that zucchini at the end of the summer.

This recipe is terrific if you find a HUGE foot-long zucchini in your garden (I swear, some of these things grow 5 inches overnight!).

Grilled Zucchini Pizza with Goat Cheese

zucchini pizza bites Chanhassen Weight Loss Celebrate Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors Porch Day!


1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup pizza sauce

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


1. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.

2. Brush one side of each zucchini round with olive oil; brush the opposite side with pizza sauce. Evenly divide red onion, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic, and Italian seasoning over each zucchini round.

3. Grill zucchini pizzas over preheated grill until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes.


In our boot camp and personal training programs in San Jose, we’re always trying to show you new ways to eat fresher and healthier.  These two recipes plus our fresh tomato sauce recipe from last week should help.


Here’s to eating and enjoying all that our home gardens have to offer!


If you’ve got a favorite zucchini recipe, feel free to share it here in the comments section.



Fat Loss Made Easy–Tips from lifeSport Fitness Boot Camp in San Jose

Tips for getting greater fat loss results in the next 12 weeks

Body fat measurement at San Jose boot campI recently held a free assessment day for members of our lifeSport Fitness boot camps in San Jose, Campbell and Los Gatos.  Because the scale doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s important to track other measurements such as body fat and girth to really get a clear picture of what’s happening once you start to do boot camp workouts.  So, we offer free measurements for our members to keep them focused and on track.

At lifeSport Fitness, we work hard to make every boot camp workout extremely effective for fat loss:  We do LOTS of strength training. We do interval training to increase the calorie burn of the workout.  We make sure to train the whole body in a functional manner in every workout.

That said, my coaches and I can’t out-train a client’s poor diet 🙂.

If you don’t eat enough, you don’t fuel your workouts well and you might lose muscle over time.  If you eat too many calories, you won’t shed body fat.  And, if you eat about the right amount of food, but it’s nutritionally unbalanced or down right non-nutritious food–well– you’re probably not going to feel very good AND you probably won’t shed fat.

Bottom line, nutrition accounts for a LARGE margin of your results. You need to eat often and eat nutritiously to fuel an active body.  You also need to be aware of portions and quantity.

I gave a “tips” sheet to our members at our assessment day to give them ideas for getting to the next level of fat loss at their next assessment, and I’d like to share it with you.

If you want to be leaner in the next 8-12 weeks, you should:


LOG your food intakeJournaling your food helps your weight loss plan

If you (or I) don’t really know what you’re eating, you don’t know what needs to be changed, and I don’t know how to coach you on changes you should make.

Start a free account at www.myfitnesspal.com.  Your journal is only as “honest” as you are, but you’ll see your calories, protein, fat, etc all listed there. This particular website is “smart phone friendly”.  You can scan food packaging and it will automatically upload the food item to your journal.

Increase your vegetable intake by AT LEAST 50%

This will fill up your plate, decrease your calorie consumption and increase your overall nutrition by a HUGE margin!  The greater variety of colors on your plate, the better!


If you're trying to lose weight, don't drink your calories!Pay attention to the calories you drink

These are very often “forgotten” calories—but they may be the ones that are ending up on your waistline.  Big culprits here:  Blended coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages, juices and other sweetened drinks.



If you eat out more than 3 times a week, work on decreasing that number

Restaurant food is chock full of calories, fat and salt.  It’s really hard to lose fat if you’re eating large fatty, salty or sugary commercial meals on a regular basis.


Plan and schedule your workouts outside of camp

If you’re actively trying to shed fat, I suggest doing some form of cardio exercise (longer, lower intensity workouts, as well as shorter High Intensity Interval Training cardio workouts) 5 times a week.  Strength training should be done 2-3 times a week.  When pressed for time, do your strength/cardio together circuit style.


DON’T diet

This fails every single time.  Diets are temporary.  Your lifeSport Fitness boot camp coaches and I want  to teach you how to lose fat and keep it off by changing your food habits and your lifestyleIf you start on some sort of fat loss plan you can’t live with—you’re doomed to fail.  Deprivation just doesn’t work long term.


Make small changes over time. Focus on what TO eat, not what NOT to eat.  Have indulgences now and then.  THAT’s real life. Yes, the fat will come off more slowly this way, but it’s more likely that you’ll stick with the new habits.


Committed to your success,




Image credits:

Pen and journal

Blended coffee drink

Workout Motivation – Tips to Getting Back on Track

*Colorful_tenniesWorkout motivation can change over time. It’s been four months since the holidays wrapped up with New Year’s Resolutions. In January many of my San Jose boot camp clients began their exercise program energized and super motivated. They woke up early to join fellow boot campers for a rigorous and fun workout. They also started a healthy eating program, increasing the number of fiber-rich foods like fruits and veggies into their diet. They were vigilant in drinking water and getting enough rest.

Now… fast forward a couple of months. They lost several pounds and/or inches by working out regularly. They feel better because they have more energy. Their clothes fit better. But after a while they hit a weight loss plateau. Or, they feel deprived of some of their favorite foods.  Or, sleeping in is getting more tempting each morning.  Or their work schedule has changed. Or……you get the point: They lose focus.

Here are 5 Tips to reclaim your Workout Motivation:

Plan For Exercise

Before your work week starts, make sure you schedule exercise throughout the week. Sunday is a good day to do some pre-planning: meal menus and strategies that allow for working out during meeting-packed days. By being purposeful about your workouts and committing to specific times, you’ll see long-term success.

Revisit Your Goal Sheet

When I begin working with a new client, I have them complete a goal sheet. Typical questions include: what’s a short-term goal and accompanying time frame? What actions will you put in place to achieve your goal? What kind of challenges do you need to overcome in order to reach your goal? If you haven’t already, fill out a goal sheet. If you have one, great! Now it’s time to revisit it… even prominently placing it somewhere where you can see it at home or work. By reviewing your goal sheet often will help keep you focused.

What’s Your Why?

There’s a fundamental reason that initially provide your workout motivation. Why did you decide to embark on this journey? Remind yourself why you want to exercise and keep positive.  Journal about your motivation so you can look back on it from time to time. Another powerful tool is visualization. Think ahead to what your life would be like once you achieve your goal(s). How do you feel? What’s different? Visualization is a technique that many Olympic athletes use to train and maintain focus.

Let’s Make Deal

Sometimes it’s about having fun. Play a game by giving yourself a specific weekly challenge. When you follow-through on that challenge, give yourself a treat. Have some fun in your approach to making exercise an ever-changing adventure by giving yourself personal challenges.

Exercise Buddiesworkout_buddies

Find a workout buddy to whom you are accountable. Knowing someone is waiting for you at the gym or local track can be reason enough to get out of bed and follow-through for early morning workouts. For those competitive A-Type personalities, this can really ignite your workout motivation where you can exchange progress reports.

So how do YOU keep your workout motivation in tune? Please share your tips that have kept you on track in the comments section!



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Choosing a Personal Trainer: 6 Must Ask Questions

Running at San Jose boot campFinding a personal trainer that’s right for you can be a daunting task. Unlike many health care professions (like physical therapy and nursing), there is currently no state licensing or educational requirement for personal trainers. An individual calling themselves a personal trainer could have just passed a weekend or online course. Or, they could hold an advanced degree from a University program. Consumers must do their due diligence when looking for a personal trainer that best matches their fitness and health goals. When interviewing individuals, here are 6 questions to ask before signing on the dotted line:

1. What’s your experience?

Nothing makes for a better personal trainer than experience. Lots of it. As I look back over my 25+ year career, I’m a much better personal trainer now than I was when I first earned my Master’s Degree in kinesiology.  Ask your trainer candidate how long they’ve been training and elaborate on the types of clients they’ve helped.  Listen carefully to determine if their real-life training experience applies specifically to your fitness goal(s).  For example, teaching group classes like yoga or boot camps is very different than hands-on personalized fitness training. Don’t be shy. Delve into your candidate’s background to see if their “in the trenches” experience will benefit you.

Personal_Trainer_Certification2. What kind of education or certifications do you have?

There’s a significant difference between personal trainers who hold a bachelor’s degree or master’ s degree in an exercise science (exercise physiology, kinesiology, etc). That said, some trainers can become very skilled through a combination of self study and achieving various certifications that test their knowledge. Which is best depends upon your needs, like wanting to lose stubborn belly fat with high intensity workouts or train for an upcoming marathon.

3. What’s your specialty? Why did you choose it?

Personal training specialties can vary depending upon fitness goals and special needs. Do you have low back pain? Diabetes? Ask your trainer candidate if he/she has worked with people like you before. You’ll want specifics on their approach and the results they’ve achieved for their clients. This is also an opportune time to consult a physician before beginning a new workout program if you have serious health concerns. In this Mayo Clinic article there are several conditions where caution may be warranted.

4. How would you describe your training approach or personality?

The personal training relationship is just that—personal. It’s important that you feel synergy with your trainer and can get comfortable with them. Some people prefer a nurturing personality while others want a no-nonsense drill sergeant. Be clear about what would motivate you (or not) as you’ll be spending several hours a week with this person.


5. What kind of results can I expect from working with you? Do you have references?

Most likely you’ve done some research before meeting with your personal trainer candidate. Ask if they have testimonials from happy clients and if you can contact them. If you don’t see testimonials in their marketing materials, that’s a red flag.

6. What’s your process in getting started?

Personal training is a business, and asking how they manage their business is a indicator of how they work with clients. Do they provide assessments? How do they measure results? Be sure to ask about their billing and cancellation policies and read the fine print to avoid any misunderstandings. Agreements up front will make it easier to keep focused on your fitness goals.

Have you ever looked for a personal trainer before?  Leave a comment below listing the attributes that are important to you in a personal trainer!

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