Weight Loss Specialist

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I just finished and passed my WLS exam, and am now a Certified Weight Loss Specialist through the N.A.S.M. This helps me deal with physiological and psychological issues that clients may experience, and are associated with weight loss.
A major part of keeping my certification current as a Certified Personal Trainer is continuing education. Personal trainers do NOT have to be certified in all states, and Ohio is one of them. I would not let just anyone teach me proper self defense, exercise, investing, or any number of skills simply because they can. My life, money, time, and body are valuable.

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In fitness, Bob

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Planks, or, How Long Can You Hold This?

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I want to share with you a story of mental strength over physical fitness. Most of you have heard that you have to overcome your physical barriers with the proper mindset. Whether or not you call this determination, willpower, dedication, perseverance, or just mind over matter is up to you. The result is the same.

This story involves something I never gave a lot of thought to, and an eight year old boy that never spends time in his thoughts of physical willpower because, well, he is eight years old and doesn’t really have too.

My wife had entered her third 5k run and asked if I could pick up her number and shirt for her. I told her no problem, since it would give me a chance to network the fitness exhibits at the Columbus Convention Center, downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The Cap City Marathon was sponsored in part by Ohio Health. They had a booth set up as did many other vendors. I had just finished listening to a speech by author and fitness advocate, Julie Wilkes. When she wrapped up she announced that there would be a planking competition. I wanted to watch that but got caught up chatting.

Just as I got to the Ohio Health booth, they were announcing the winner of the plank challenge. It had barely lasted three and a half minutes, with three contestants. I thought to myself, “I can do better than that”, but I missed out. I turned to the guy next to me and he was wearing a ‘Trainer’ shirt from a local gym. I told him I was surprised he wasn’t in it. He replied, “Yeah I should’ve, I can hold a four and a half minute plank”.

Now it gets a little interesting, I’ll get to the eight year old in a minute. One of the Ohio Health people asked if we would like to do a head to head, and I said I was in. Well, they ended up recruiting nine participants for the challenge. The best time by the way was from the day before at six minutes, fifty seconds.

We all got into position on our forearms and toes and when the time keeper counted us down to zero we were up in a horizontal plank position. (For those of you not familiar with a plank, it is an a show of core, or abdominal strength. You tighten your muscles so that you are straight as a board. Most people would be happy with a three minute hold. No sagging or butt in the air.) And for the record, the world record is four hours, twenty six minutes, set by a Chinese Swat policeman from Beijing.

We were counted off at each fifteen second interval and it wasn’t long before participants started dropping . Every muscle in your body begins to tighten up, you start to shake uncontrollably, and you succumb. Most of the plankers dropped before the six minute mark, and it wasn’t long before it was just myself and a young lady next to me. I cheered her up when I said the trainer on the end had dropped.

As we approached eight minutes, she said she couldn’t keep up, I told to make it to nine. Honestly, I couldn’t believe we were both still in this thing. At nine minutes, she dropped. I had won the challenge and beaten the best time from the day before. I had found a renewed strength.

I could hear the time keeper saying I had won and could stop, but I wasn’t done. This was now a test of my mind telling my body what it would do. I was beginning to tire and could feel my legs trembling. I concentrated on my breathing to make sure my muscles had some oxygen. As the time keeper hit twelve minutes, I dropped. I was finished. This is where the best part is though, read on.

As I was given a tee shirt for my effort, this boy in the audience was telling his mom that one of the plankers was on her knees and should’ve been out. His mom told him to do it better. So this kid challenges his mom. We start cheering them on and they begin.

The time keeper started counting them through and at about a minute and a half, mom drops. At that point I got down on the floor to cheer the boy on. The same boy that had cheered me on. I told him he could do it. I said “You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to.” I told him I knew what his body felt like at that moment, that he wanted to quit but that he wanted to beat the earlier record of almost seven minutes. As he hit six minutes, the count was every ten seconds, at six and a half minutes he looked at me and asked how much more. I told him only twenty seconds, to push through and fight it. He passed the six minute, fifty second mark and stopped at seven minutes.

IMG_20150502_190112     The pride in that boys eyes meant more to me than any accomplishment I did. He performed a feat of mental strength that he didn’t even have the muscular endurance for. When he finished, his mom wanted a picture of us together. I gladly obliged and asked for one myself.

Don’t ever let yourself succumb to the self talk of being denied an opportunity to at least attempt to overcome whatever your obstacle is. The mind is very powerful, harness it and use it.

In fitness, Bob

My First 5k Goal: Mission Accomplished

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This is a true testimonial of perseverance. A story from someone not unlike you or I, and probably similar to someone you know. A friend, relative, or even a coworker, just an ordinary person that is not a celebrity to have their successes blasted all over the media to gain attention.
For some to look back and think, three miles was nothing, to a beginner on a long journey, this is truly phenomenal.
I always embrace hearing stories of successes, because to that individual it is greater than the universe. To feel their excitement, struggle, achievement, pain and accomplishment it very uplifting.
This is my wife’s story of running her first 5k. Overcoming morbid obesity and the challenges that came with it, are being left, piece by piece with every step to success.
I hope you enjoy her story and remember the struggles that you have overcome to be the person that you are today.
In fitness, Bob

Success in Failure

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Winston Churchill is quoted as saying; Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

I failed. I failed to live up to my own expectations. I know that I am not the first, nor will I be the last. We have all hit our wall or a point that we knew we could do better. It is at this point that we must choose to succeed by trying again, becoming who we want to be, or creating what it is that we expect our finished product to be.

Have you ever tried to accomplish a task, only to reach an obstacle? Did you write your attempt off as something you would never try again, or did you take your failure as a challenge to improve?

Most of us are perfectionists to some level. We want to better ourselves in some way. We want to be good at what we do, to feel good about who we are, and be proud of ourselves and our accomplishments.

Back to my failure. It was nothing that affected anyone other than myself. I recently tested for my red belt in my self defense class. At this level, it was a physically demanding test. (Not that others haven’t been.) I had let my cardio training slide after recovering from some minor injuries, and I paid the price. I was out of breath and embarrassed at my performance. The price I paid was a dent in my ego, because I knew better. I had done well in previous tests and even performed well in assisting my Master Instructor in his 5th Degree test. I knew at some level that I would do okay, but okay was not good enough.

I completed my test for my red belt, passed to the next level, but I also relearned a valuable lesson. I must continue to sharpen my skills. In order for me to succeed at the level I hold myself to, I must use my failure as a lesson and move on. Some of you may say that this is not a big deal, or that it is not all that important, but to me it is. It is that desire and drive to better ourselves, that keeps us from falling backwards.

Don’t let your struggles in life set you back. Be a warrior, stand out from the crowd and find that desire that makes you proud of who it is you want to be or what you want to do.

I am also a foodie. What does this have to do with failure? Many times it is in the creation of a recipe that the finished product is the result of, “What can I do to fix this”? Sometimes it is through these failures that we realize our mistakes and make the necessary changes to succeed in the desired outcome.

Whatever your test (failure), in life may be, do not give up.

Do not become a victim of failure.

Succeed by trying again.

Every bit of forward progress makes you better, stronger, and more prepared to obtain your success through failure.

In fitness, Bob

Good food

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IMG_20140710_083331_603 (1) I started my morning off with 2 farm fresh eggs, (not store bought), 4 ozs. white chicken, 2 Tbsp. green chiles, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. I also had a pink grapefruit and a protein shake. This is not my daily a.m. meal however.

I was reading a post from fellow blogger Kelly Toups about living close to Whole Foods and thought I would share a similar story. Living in the “Cowtown” of Columbus, Ohio, I am fortunate to be able to drive ten minutes to the country. Fresh produce, fruit, eggs and other offerings are an easy find for me.

IMG_20140925_092024_015 My wife and I enjoy going to farmers markets, and scouting out bargains. Last weekend we scored on seconds, (blemished), of Honey Crisp apples, sweet corn, cabbage, and tomatoes. The apples don’t last the way I go through them but we can, vacuum pack and freeze, or dry whatever we possibly can. IMG_20140925_092907_855 It is interesting and sad to hear negative comments about blemished food that is perfectly good, nutritious and marked down significantly. Some people are turned off to think corn may have a worm or fruit might be bruised. I don’t know about you, but I carry a couple of my own battle scars. We however have no problem enjoying the bounty that fall has to offer. I came upon a miss-sized mushroom order once at a produce outlet and my wife and I learned how to can mushrooms. Not only did we save a bunch of money but we learned something.

I hope you have an opportunity to visit a road side stand or farmers market and pick up your own choices of fresh food. The flavor is accentuated when you become more involved in the process and accomplishment of designing your meal around your purchase.

In fitness, Bob

Motivation and Inspiration: My First Ride

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IMG_20140712_073559_320-1IMG_20140713_163634 I have to share the experience that I participated in yesterday. An experience of sharing, victory, joy, triumph, camaraderie, motivation and inspiration.  I recently took up road biking as an addition to my workout routine. It gives me a chance to relive a childhood of bicycling and some excellent exercise as well. Last month on my 50th birthday, I decided to ride a mile for each year of my life. What an accomplishment I felt I had achieved. Little did I know where it would lead me. My wife brought home a flyer for a fund raising ride to battle Multiple Sclerosis. (MS). It gave an option of a 30, 50, or 95 mile ride. I thought the chance to raise funds to help others would be a great opportunity for me to give as well. The Central Ohio Challenge had a $150 dollar fund raising minimum and a participation fee. I raised $240 from friends and family and was thrilled to ride in the event. I paid my registration fee and signed up for the 50 mile ride thinking it was something I could achieve without a problem. The day of the ride came early, waking at 4:45 to prepare for a 6 am registration. I had loaded up on carbohydrates the night before and made sure that I stretched and was hydrated before the ride began. Riders were to be on the course no later than 8 am. My wife was to fly back into Columbus at about the same time as I would cross the finish line. Both of us upset that I could not pick her up, or her see me finish my first ride. About twenty minutes into the ride, I pedaled up alongside a young woman who was enjoying the ride as I was. I noticed her rear tire was pretty low and mentioned that I had a pump. At about that time her father had circled back to check on her progress. They had both lost a loved one to MS. While I was airing up her tire, dad was expressing his concern towards his daughters mileage goal in the ride. She told him that it didn’t matter when she finished, only that she did. I asked her how far she was riding and she said that she was going for the 95 miles. I told her  I had planned on riding the 50 but would ride the full 95 with her. We stuck by each other throughout the day as it grew warmer and the hills grew larger. There were a few times that my new friend had to push her bike up the steep climbs. I stayed by her side and could tell she was struggling. As we hit the 50 mile point, a support van came by and asked how we were doing. My friend admitted that she could not continue and apologized to me for quitting. I told her how proud I was that she made the 50 miles and gave it her all. I told her to go on up to the next stop, as her dad would probably be waiting for her. He was waiting and happy to see her. Her father and I were now the last riders to continue the race. He and I would now cross the finish line together, and his daughter would wait for us there. At this point, my wife would be able to watch me finish as well. This was a brutal ride, with the increasing heat, headwinds, and hills. My new partner was considering a van ride in as well. He and I left our last pit stop, fed, hydrated, and somewhat rested enough to continue. Thankfully, the last leg of the journey got easier and we kept pedaling. We had caught up to three other riders and I believe it gave us both an extra boost of determination. We stuck it out and approached the finish. We had done it. His family greeting him, and my wife greeting me, as we crossed the finish line. What a memorable day. The inspiration and motivation to drive on to achieve whatever our own goals are in life. Seeing riders that suffered from the effects of MS, support of the riders, and the friendships that developed. Sometimes our goals come to us at a moments notice, at other times we prepare for them. Whatever your goal, pursue it to your utmost. Continue to achieve what you want to pursue. Don’t let negativity deter you. Beginning your ride, journey, or task at hand begins with you. Push yourself as my two new friends and I pushed ourselves. It doesn’t have to be a bike ride, it is whatever your goals in life are. What would you do today if you knew you could not fail?

photo 1This is dedicated to my new friends from Hilliard and Cincinnati who gave it their all and accomplished their own milestones right beside me.    In fitness, Bob