The Changeling

Blog # 21 ~The Jane Experiment

Oh how the wind changes. How we change, how goals change, plans change, expectations and dreams change.

Reality sets in, or we learn new things or something shifts in priority.

I used to always curse myself when I changed my mind about my goals, making myself ‘lazy’ or ‘bad.’ But now I see things just change with time and experience.

Yes, I’m getting all philosophical… This past week I had a chance to touch base with Chad after completing his Goals Questionnaire. It had been over 3 months since the last time I’d touched base with that and it was really cool to see how things had changed for me during this Experiment.

My goals when I started included lose weight, feel confident about food choices, and feel confident in a swim suit. Those things I actually did accomplish, which feels amazing. Other things such as be a certain weight, and buy a new pair of jeans; those didn’t happen. They didn’t happen because things changed. I figured out that I might not be the same weight or have the same body as Kate Moss, but that that’s actually ok. Yes I want to be fit and healthy and thin for sure, but I now know what I’m comfortable with maintaining and how I actually want to treat myself.

It’s a much smoother course, less yo-yo. Of course there are days I eat chocolate and workouts I miss. But after my exercise and challenge of planking everyday I have come to learn that even checking in with how I feel physically everyday is a major step in staying on course.

How do your goals change? Are there different things you focus on, health wise, the more you learn? It feels like that for me, But I suppose only time will tell.

Have a great weekend! Try reviewing some goals, let me know how things change for you!

Jane
xoxo

 

Video Blog #3 – Missed workouts

So apparently it’s not Monday anymore… Which is when I did this video. But it’s been one of those weeks where suddenly it’s Thursday!

The irony is that it’s fairly fitting with the topic of; What happens when you miss a workout? Please comment and let us know your strategies!

What’s your plan?

Ever heard the term “Planning is the key to success” or “Failing to plan is planning to fail”? I have. Probably a million times too! But do I always do it? Not always. Life’s too busy right?!?

In my experience, the sayings are true and planning can play a big role in your success. One thing I often recommend to my clients is that they plan out their meals in advance. Especially when it comes to whatever meal is the hardest for them to make. Mine is dinner.

Last week, my wife put together this little plan:

We’ve been eating out a lot so it’s time to get back on the horse. A big step for eating better is to make your own meals.

For me, I could eat meat and a vegetable as my meal and I’m good to go. For my wife however, she likes more than two ingredients in a meal and has a desire for things to actually taste good. (weird right) So, along came the plan.

From the plan, we went and did a grocery shop to make sure we had everything we needed. Since then, it’s been as easy as: look at the plan, grab the ingredients, cook them, and eat them. Simple, easy, and actually fun.

We’ve been making dinner together, eating at home and feeling way better. We’ve had to modify our plan a few times, but it was just a matter of switching out the days and re-arranging. In 1 week, our plan has proven extremely successful and it has made dinner a much more enjoyable meal.

Do you plan your meals? If so, how has it changed your life? If not, how would it change your life if you did? 🙂

Please share you your plan on my Facebook page. You can find the one I posted above right here.

Announcing AnthroPhysique’s Weekly Activity Plan

AnthroPhysique’s specialty service is creating custom workout programs for individuals to follow on their own. I like to focus on helping people develop a lifestyle of activity that doesn’t always have to be a “workout” you’d do at the gym, but can include running, hiking, swimming or cycling. The key is to stay active on a consistent basis. Today I’m very excited to announce a new service I am offering.

Not everyone needs or wants a custom program and not everyone is interested in a personal coach. Many just want a little guidance of what to do. Some people do a similar workout all the time, so it’s nice to change it up and put a little spice into the routine. For this reason, AnthroPhysique is announcing the official launch of our Weekly Activity Plan.

The Weekly Activity Plan is exactly that. It’s a schedule of activities and workouts that will be release each week. The activities will range from gym workouts, to home workouts, to playful activities outdoors. The focus will be directed towards the average 30 – 50 year old professional person that is already consistent with some form of activity. Weekly plans will consist of 3 – 5 workouts depending on their intensity and focus and can be done on any day.

The distribution of the Weekly Activity Plan will be through this Shared Evernote Notebook. For simplicity, you can subscribe to this notebook through its RSS Feed and get the weekly updates in an RSS feed reader like Google Reader or Feedler RSS Pro for iOS.

 

For those of you that take on this challenge, and start to incorporate some or all of these workouts into your lifestyle, I highly encourage you to track your results in Evernote and Share your notebook with me. You can share it privately with me to coach[at]anthrophysique[dot]com, or you can share it publicly with a free account. Either way, I’d love to see how you’re doing with the activities as it will help me improve the program as you grow.

The plan has already started, so check out the notebook and send us your results! If you have questions or suggestions about the workouts, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

Evernote Workout Journal

One of the main things I do with Evernote is logging mine and my clients workouts. The best part of using Evernote for remembering your workout logs is the search capability.

I used to use paper journals to keep track of workouts. I’d even get specially formatted workout journals from online or local book stores. They were great for logging specifics of workouts each day, as well as having ‘benchmarks’ in the back of the book. However, even with good formatting and organization, the problem was always in searching for workouts.

The reason I log workouts is so I can compare my results. If I was going to do a workout with squats for example, I’d want know what my results were from the last time I did them. This was always a major pain in paper journals. It meant flipping through hundreds of pages or even multiple journals, if I had them near by. This was particularly so if I wanted a results from a few previous workouts.

Using Evernote has simplified this entire process. First, it is very easy to log my workouts. Second, all my workouts now stay in ONE journal that I can access from anywhere. Third, searching for the last time I did a certain workout or exercise couldn’t be easier.

Here is how I set up a Workout Journal in Evernote.

Step 1: Create a new synchronized notebook called “Workout Journal”

Step 2: Create a new note for each workout.

Step 3: Naming the note.

This is a key component, especially for when searching through workouts at a later date. I use 2 elements in my naming scheme. #1 – Details of the main component of the workout. This could be something like “Circuit”, “5K run” or “Back Squat x3”. #2 – The date. My notes are ordered by date created, but I like to have the Month and Day in the title for quick reference when comparing two workouts and the time I took between them.

Step 4: Logging consistent details and results.

Over the years I’ve come up with a very consistent way of writing out my workouts and how I log results. This too can become key when searching and comparing workouts later. For example: writing “situps” in one workout and “sit ups” in another will not allow me to compare those two workouts in a search. Create consistency with your naming scheme.

Step 5: Search and compare; this is where the magic happens! Once you have logged a bunch of workouts, being able to search through them and compare your results lets you track your progress over time. Below are some screen shot examples of comparing running workouts with a search of “Run” and “800m Run” more specifically.

“Run”
 

“800m Run”

These types of searches will also work if I want to find a workout I did back in “January” or compare specific strength workouts like “Back Squat x5”

If you want to track progress, you need to compare. Searching specific words and filtering your results is the key. This is why I love Evernote!

Do you have a workout journal already? Are you using Evernote? Send us your shared notebook link, pictures or feedback in the comments section.

Wanted.

Blog #11 ~ The Jane Experiment

Sometimes I really wonder if I actually want to be thinner. Or fitter, or faster or healthier. I mean, if I really, truly wanted it, wouldn’t I do everything in my power to get it?

Funny, how that is not always so. How in fact, sometimes we push away from what we want. Or hide, or ‘change our minds.’

Not quite sure who or what the culprit could be here, but I have a sneaky suspicion it could be fear.

All my life I’ve been on a roller coaster with my health. Which I assumed I would one day just hop off of. But as time goes by, I have come to see that it actually has just become more of a temperate roller coaster. And slowly, but surely I’m learning to navigate the ups and downs and take some control over my trolly.

In the past two months or so that I have been an Experiment I have not fixed all my problems, or changed all my ways, but I have become increasingly knowledgeable about myself and my patterns. In doing so, I am much more capable of making the healthy choices I want to make.

Whenever I feel like quitting on myself, or eating ice cream, or just fearful, I now really know how to weigh the options for myself; with my own wants and values in mind.

As we move into the season of Fall, I feel myself caring less about a ‘hot bikini body’ and more about a healthy immune system so I don’t get sick. This is also a part of an evolution in me, caring really for me, not just about how I look. That was a major goal when I started working with Chad. It’s amazing how I have become truly loving towards myself, more energized and more aware.

This past week, I was on set filming again and Chad was out of town for an Evernote Ambassador conference so we didn’t get a chance to have our regular check-in pow wow. At first I thought nothing of it, oh well, we’re busy, blah blah. But a few days into the week, I realized how encouraging it is to have someone who wants your goals for you too. Who cheers you on, and holds you accountable. It’s invaluable how helpful a little chat can be to spur you on, or remind you what you want. That is what is great about a personal trainer, and also what’s great about this blog!

I encourage anyone who is planning on, or thinking of going through some personal or health related transitions, to really look at where you start, where you want to go and all the little steps and tumbles you take along the way. Journal, blog, or just check in with a friend or measurement notes. Trust me, it really builds a sense of accomplishment in Self.

Have an amazing long weekend!

xoxo
Jane

 

 

My Evernote Story

Two weeks ago, Evernote blogged a video of me telling my story of how I use the App. I was excited to see it go live since it had been filmed a few months before. I really enjoy using the program and being an Ambassador for others to get value from it as well. Here is the video:

It’s seen over 3000 views already which is pretty exciting! Let me know what you think in the comments below or if you have any questions about how I use Evernote.

The Value of Water

While about leave my apartment the other day, I went to fill my bottle up with water. Sure enough, the Brita jug was nearly empty. Then came the slew of thoughts:

Do I have time to wait for the filter or do I just go straight for the tap water?

When was the last time I actually changed that filter?

Is it supposed to be changed every 3 months or 6?

Will there be a difference in my water quality after 3 months vs. 6?

How much are the filters anyway?

I bet it’s cheaper than bottled water!

Crap water is expensive!

Why?

Since then I’ve been thinking about the value of water. On one side, it’s the second most valuable thing in the world. As in, only air is more immediately needed than water to survive. Without either, we’d die pretty quickly. But, why don’t we pay for air then… It’s polluted too… Will there be a Brita Air filter? How much with that be? Uh oh, here we go again…

In north america, we pay more for bottled water than we do gas in our cars! Is it really that valuable? I mean, I know we’d literally die without it, but is the quality we’re buying truly worth that much? Is the quality we think we’re buying actually the quality we’re getting? Does that quality really matter?

I know plenty of people that mainly drink filtered water. I know plenty that mainly drink tap water. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of people that don’t even have tap water. Can we measure our health differences between bottled vs. tap? To what degree does the filtered water win out over regular tap water?

Crap. So many questions!

As you can see, I have many questions around this subject and I wanted to put them out there to stimulate some though and discussion. What is your view on the value of water? What do you choose to drink and why do you make that choice? Is it because it’s available and marketed to us or are there health benefits you can measure? Please post your thoughts in the comments and see if you can do it ‘un-googled’.

 

What’s the best…

As a professional fitness mentor, one of the most popular questions I ever hear is: “What’s the best… (fill in the blank)”. The top of this list includes things like:  What’s the best exercise for abs, legs, cardio, toning, or what’s the best thing to eat for breakfast, snack, lunch, etc. Everyone seems to want to know what’s the best thing they can do for their health.

Although I think it can be a great question, I feel like I’m usually asked from a short-cut mentality. As in, if it’s the best, then I’ll just do that one thing and get all the results I want right?!? Ummmmmm, not so much. Sorry.

In the pursuit of health, I personally don’t think anything can be titled “the best”. There’s definitely a scale of better and worse, but even that will depend on multiple factors. Things like: your goals, your timeframe, where you’re starting from, your age, gender, etc. The thought of claiming anything as the best in a one-size-fits-all approach scares me.

The funny part however, is that so much of the fitness industry is based on this concept. There’s a million Ab-Rollers (see video), ellipticals, suspension systems, DVD workouts, iPhone Apps and specialty fitness classes out there that claim to be the best. I’d easily argue that most, if not all, will be able to get you some pretty sweet results too. However, in the long run it’s not going to remain effective. It’s not going to continue being the best.

One of my usual responses to “the best” question is to give a food example. Let’s say for a moment that brocoli is THE BEST FOOD IN THE WORLD. Even if it were true, do you think you’d do well if that was the only food you ever ate? Not a chance. Your body is more complex than that.

Even though there may not a best exercise or best food, I do still encourage you to aim for one “best” in particular. I encourage you to strive for being in the best shape of your life. As far as we know, we only get one life, and your body is the one thing that will be with you throughout the entire thing. Why not make it awesome?

What are some of the top things you’ve found to help you get success? What’s near “the best” on your lists?

The Challenge: a coach’s view

If you haven’t already seen it, last week Jane posted her first article on this blog. It will be a weekly chronicle of her experience of working with me and persuing her fitness goals. We originally got together to discuss an exchange of her helping me with my social media and me helping her with her fitness goals. During the meeting, I challenged her to an idea, if she was willing, to have her share her experience with the world!

From my standpoint of being an ‘Online Fitness Mentor’ it’s really tough at times to explain how my process works to prospective clients. It’s a pretty new concept to most people and one that many haven’t yet experienced. I figure this experiment will give some people the opportunity to experience online coaching vicariously through Jane.

Full disclosure: Yes, Jane is working for me and helping me with social media and reaching out to the world. I found that I just didn’t have time to be consistent with it, and needed to hire someone for help. However, for this challenge, she has been given full freedom to write whatever she wants in her posts. It will not be edited in any way because I want people to see the entire process through her eyes.

Is it going to be tough for her? Definitely. Is she going to want to quit? Most likely. Will she have good days and bad days? Days with huge progress and days with minor set backs? I can guarantee it. Will she also get support through the whole thing? 100%

My job as her coach is to see when she’s struggling and help her through that. Being online, I will help her find her own strength, and not just pull her along for the ride. I’ll try and expand my view of ‘dragging services’ in a later post.

I’m very excited for this process. I’m confident that jane will be able to express an honesty that not everyone can. I know that I’m looking forward to her post each week and really hope you are too!

2nd Evernote Fitness Challenge

On Monday, Evernote announced our 2nd Fitness Challenge. These challenges are a 30 day effort to focus on a Fitness and or Nutritional Challenge. It is meant to be fairly basic so that the majority of people can participate. The basic details are:

For this challenge, you’ll have the option of choosing one or both of the challenges below:

Get outside for at least 15 minutes per day. You have to spend these 15+ minutes doing something active — smoke breaks and sun bathing at the beach don’t count. You have lots of options: walk, jog, ride your bike, play a pickup game with friends at the park.
Eat only vegetables for carbs. To get that leaner body, you’ll want to reduce your carb calories. For the next 30 days, you’ll cut out processed grains and fruits. Got questions? Find Chad on the Facebook event page, our Lifestyle forum, and on Twitter.

Check out the Evernote Blog for even more fun details and join us in this challenge! Also, join us at the end of the 30 days for our Twitter party. Let everyone know you’ll be participating by tweeting:

I’m participating in the @anthrophysique + @evernotelife Fitness Challenge and Twitter party on Tues, July 24th. Join us! #evernotelife

Working with Physio

I’ve been training people for many years now and I’ve dealt with a lot of injury rehabilitation. Working in partnership with Physiotherapists is common when it comes to injuries and the two together can be very beneficial. I currently have a client in this boat trying to fix an old injury. She is doing her training with me but also seeing a physiotherapist a couple of days a month.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, it’s important to make sure your trainer and physio communicate so they can work together. In a very general sense, trainers will work on the bigger muscles and larger movement patterns while physio’s will work on the smaller muscles and movements. Yes, it’s all in the same body, but if you don’t get the two working together, they can actually cause more harm than good.

Constantly working larger movement patterns without concern for the finner ones can lead to further problems and compensation. Instead of fixing the issue, you end up just working around it or building over it. It’s the short cut way to dealing with injuries and never works out in the end. Communication between the physiotherapist and trainer is the key to a successful recovery.

Working together allows everyone to be on the same page and have the sessions compliment rather than oppose each other. It also allows you to fix the problem and build up new strength at the same time. Bottom line, if you’re in a rehabilitation phase, make sure your trainer is working with your Physio to optimize your success.

How do you log results?

Measurement and logging is sometimes a tricky thing with my clients. The first question is always “What do I measure?”. This is followed by others: How do I measure it, How often do I measure, and How do I actually log it?

This last question is what I want to look at today. How do you log your measurements and/or what tools do you use? Some people like spreadsheets and make charts, others have piles and piles of tiny scraps of paper, and some create journals. You can get journals from book stores, creating your own or order custom ones like Sports Journals.

Being an online company, I like to stay digital and paperless as often as possible. I utilize Evernote to share programs with my clients and they can log their results right in the shared note. It keeps everything in one place and can be easily referenced through the search feature.

However, I’m always looking for new tools and options. I wanted to send it out to the world and see what types of tools you use to log your activity and workouts. Are you paper or paperless? Is it computer based on mobile based? What is the main reason you use what you do? I’d love to hear your feedback so please share in the comments.

Fitbit trial update

In my original post about my Fitbit trial I had intended to have an update well before this time. As I often say to my clients, sometimes “life just happens” and a couple weeks turns into a couple months. It seems easy at times to get off track and distracted by other things but real success comes from getting back on track as soon as you can. Here I am!

The good news about 3 months of data is that I have a bigger picture view of my use of the Fitbit. In the first few weeks I started off strong and had the Fitbit with me everywhere I went. It came to work, play and sleep and logged everything along the way. I synced it to the web interface and enjoyed checking the results. I even linked my account with some friends and got to see their progress compared to mine. It peaked a desire to compete with them and made it pretty fun. Other motivation came from the emails announcing my achievements!

However, I did experience a downturn in that motivation. I forgot it in my jeans a couple times, missed some sleep logs and had a couple freak outs thinking I had washed it. Thankfully I didn’t, but missing some of the data allowed me to lose a little interest. That might just be my behaviour, but a couple friends reported similar findings. The initial excitement also wore down for them a little but they still continued to use the Fitbit fairly regularily.

The main downside for me was in relation to my goals. I personally wanted to gain 10 pounds and it seemed like the Fitbit had a challenge figuring that out. When I would update my weight every other day or so, it couldn’t compute how far I was from my goal. It just kept updating my starting weight and leaving 100% to my goal. I’m not sure if that actually de-motivated me or if it was just annoying for me.

The positive towards my goal was that I didn’t want to take too many steps per day. I am a very active person and 10,000+ steps per day is very easy for me to achieve. It’s also what keeps my metabolism high and difficult for me to gain weight. By knowing how far I was going each day, I used that information to be more efficient in my work and actually decrease steps per day. I didn’t just start sitting on the couch all day, I just re-assessed how I move all day. The weight I want to gain is lean muscle mass, not just body weight. If that were the case I could just sit around all day and eat more junk. Sorry, not going to happen!

My overall view is that I actually quite like this little device. It’s size makes it easily portable because you forget it’s with you. (It also creates scares of washing machine deaths though). It logs a good amount of data for activity and the online program also allows you to track food and calories. It can also log your sleep activity which is definitely my favorite feature. For the average person, I think it can be a great tool to keep you aware of your activity and remind you to be ative when you’re not.

I’d love to hear what you’ve experience if you have a Fitbit or similar device. Please post feedback in comments.