Why I let my boys play at the gym 

I work at a private gym facility. My boys have become use to coming to my work and playing while I workout or clean or do random things. My 6 year old loves the bosu ball and my baby likes to sit on the leg of the elliptical. I stay close but don’t tell them no. If my kids puts his hands near the treadmill belt or is in a dangerous situation that’s a different story. 

He loves to sit on the rowing machine. 

I hope even if they aren’t doing things right by bringing them with me I am encouraging them to love fitness. Even if they are climbing on a machine that is meant for a different thing there will be a day I show them and they are excited to try it. I notice sometimes they will mimic the moves I do for class or a workout and I know I am doing the right thing. My 6 year old tells me often he likes to exercise and that makes me happy. I want to raise them to have a healthy relationship with movement. 

I would not let me kids climb around at a big gym with other people using equipment and understand not everyone has access to a private facility, but think outside the box on how you can let your children see the healthy habits you have. Maybe make a fun obstacle course you can do together at your home. Use water bottles as weights and let them try. Have races and and skipping, jumping and other fun things kids enjoy doing. 

Your children are watching help encourage them to participate. 

My son doing yoga at the park. We use kids cosmic yoga off YouTube at home and he loves it. Check out her free channel to enjoy with your kids. 

Now when I leave to teach or for a client my kids are upset when they can’t come play. I feel sad but also happy that they want to be active. I hope these habits will stay with them all through their lives. 

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The importance of your fitness family

When I first came to the gym I was so intimated. I had on my sweats and tight t-shirt and was ready to lurk in the back of class. I didn’t want anyone to see me gasping for air during my workout or see my belly dance from the weird jiggling that came from the workout. I truly wanted to workout and go. I would feel accomplished when I left but it was always overwhelming in the beginning. I started coming to the same class and I am a creature of habit so always stayed in the same spot. I would set up my mat or step and be ready. The weird that happened though instead of people staring in disgust with me struggling through my workout and being dull of sweat, they would be encouraging. The same lady next to me each class started to talk to me and share her story as I shared mine. I started meeting more people and becoming friends with them. I was pretty committed but if I missed they would ask if everything was OK. I felt that I not only wanted to be there but I had people who looked forward to me being there and it helped keep me accountable.

I can not say every gym or class will have this outcome but I want to encourage you to build a fitness family. Say hello to the others around you in class or bring your friends. If we feel alone there is no one there to know when we give up to give us a hand to keep going. We build support systems because we need them.

We naturally look for those with the same interest and struggles to relate to and look for support and encouragement. Trying to get healthy can be one of the most intimidating and personal experiences so we need support to help us stay encouraged.

Remember that person next to you in class also has a story and reason for being there.

Finding friends that are working on health can not only encourage you to keep going but can also help you try new classes together and find new experiences to share.

You will have others to talk to if your having a hard day. The last thing you want to do is give up or feel alone in a situation. Find others to talk to to help lift you up or share their experience with your struggle.

Enjoy your new friendships! Please comment and share your stories of your fitness support system and how they have helped you along your journey.

In a world full of experts, who do we listen to? 

Being a personal training is a hard job with world wide Internet and information. I feel there are so many people with workout and nutritional questions and so many more people with advice and products to sell them. How can you know who to listen to, what meal plan or what accountability group and shake to get. Well I am not going to knock anyone in this post but I do want to help those out there looking for advice and information. You should be able to make a good decision and feel that you are being guided without being pushed to buy a product. I just wanted to list some red flags along with questions to ask when you hire someone or buy products from them. I hope this helps you make a more informed decision and helps you make steps forward towards a healthy lifestyle you are looking for. 

What should I look for when looking for a trainer, coach or meal plan? 

  • Look for someone who has pursued an education in the field they are giving advice in. Most will either have a certification from a reputable company or a degree in their field. This not only shows they are committed to growing and learning but these people have taken the time to learn, grow and pass a test showing they are an expert in their field. Most programs require continuing education so you know they will also be continuing to have the up to date knowledge to help you. 
  • Make sure they are familiar with the health conditions and ailments you have. Some programs do not go into detail on certain health ailments or aspects so fitness professionals will continue their education in a special field or with a certain skill. As with a doctor you find many focus on one area to work with patients. This can help them be able to help you with that specific need much more and now they have the knowledge to make safe decisions. Trainers can specialize in anything from youth to senior and orthopedic specialities so make sure to ask. 
  • Make sure to see a nutritionist or dietitian for meal plans. You may go online to find a meal plan that looks good to you but be cautious of this. These do not take into account any health issues you may have such as high blood pressure or diabetes. These two conditions alone can mean you will need adjustments to you eating others may not. Dietitians have to go through many many years of school just to being to understand how to make adjustments to your diet for your specific conditions. 
  • Ask questions! There is nothing wrong with being cautious when hiring someone or purchasing from them. You’re not buying a shirt you’re trusting someone with your health and well-being. Some bad advice can have very unfortunate consequences no matter how best intended they are. 
  • Be careful of someone telling you to cut out certain things in your diet or cut calories without knowing your medical history or conditions you may have. Big red flag and not safe. Make your health and safety your priority not dropping weight quickly. If you follow the guidelines of a professional you will see positive changes. 
  • Be leary of products being pushed right away. Make sure if you are buying products from someone you consult a physical first or nutritionist as they will know what is right for you with any conditions you may have. 
  • As I started working out at home and most people do be careful of Bootcamp style home workouts to start. Also accountability groups are amazing to help us but make sure you follow up with a professional trainer before starting an at home workout program if you don’t now all the moves. We can be quick to jump into a program but there can be risk of injuries if we don’t modify properly or do a move incorrectly. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to work with someone. If you didn’t get a good vibe from the trainer or coach you met with move on. This is someone you will share intimate details about your struggles and insecurities you want to feel comfortable that they understand and will guide you the right way. 
  • Look for someone who has cpr/first aid training. You find a group of ladies that work out every Tuesday. One has taken charge making fun workouts for everyone but someone is injuried. You need to make sure you have someone who is prepared for these situations! How many people do you know that have hurt themselves working out…. Go ahead take a Facebook poll. You want to make sure you have someone there that can know what to do in this situation. 
  • Is your professional insured or working at an insured facility? Again what if you get hurt? Who will cover this and will they be able to have you covered if anything happens.  
  • Ask if they have programs for each client specific to their needs. A cookie cutter program will not work the same for a young athlete as someone coming in from knee surgery. 
  • Again if you question the advice it is probably best to get a second opinion. Our friends and family all have the best intentions when telling us what workout to do, what products to buy or what to eat, but we are all different. Some things will work for your friend but may not for you or may even be dangerous for you. 

Always look for someone who is a professional in their field. Your safety matters. If you have any questions you would like me to discuss on my blog please email me at getfitrockford@gmail.com

My name is Krystal and I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with an Orthopedic Speciality. I am licensed to teach Zumba and love to help clients move better and feel they can enjoy everyday activities. I live in Rockford, IL with my husband and 3 sons. 

You are enough

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I would like to share with you hoping some of you will be going through the same thing and need encouragement or understand. I have horrible anxiety since having my third son. I had some postpartum depression and didn’t even want to leave the house the first couple months he was born. When I came back to work I felt a lot of guilt but knew I needed to get back to clients and classes. I had an injury during my pregnancy and my body hasn’t been the same. My son is now 14 months old and I still haven’t lost more than 10lbs from pregnancy. I am a personal trainer and fitness instructor so with this professional and as a women I feel many eyes are on me and my image and it isn’t where I want it to be. I work out usually 5 to 6 days a week and eat a plant based diet for the most part but I don’t feel I look the part sometimes. I see photos and don’t like what I see and do certain workout moves and don’t like the way it feels due to weight. I have skipped events, stayed home instead of going out and workout alone because of these things. So to get to the point I constantly have to remind myself there isn’t a “perfect body” and I believe health and wellness are much more than our body image. I feel like I feel this way because there is an image out there I don’t want to strive for but I do because it is ingrained in my brain. My isn’t her body and may never be. I want to be a support system to those working hard towards wellness and help lift them up. Please say this with me today so we can work towards positive actions towards wellness. I am enough, I am beautiful, I am strong. The more we celebrate our success in the things we do and what we are not we will be happier. This has been my goal and I have been working more and more on celebrating what I can do and not focusing what I am not.

I did it I became one of them 

A couple months ago I fell back into eating a bit off track. Stopping for food a little to much and forgetting my veggies at my meals. As a trainer fitness instructor I noticed and knew I needed to do something to get back on track. I believe that healthy eating really is a reward for our bodies and we shouldn’t see it as a punishment. When I get off track it is usually because I need to prep better and figure out what is happening in my life to make me make bad choices. Have you ever felt that there was a way for you to keep focused that just seemed to fit for you and your lifestyle? I have been on and off vegetarian since I was 10 and always had an excuse to go back to eating meat. I have never been a big meat eater even would take half off while eating a meal. I did realize however while the more meat I consumed the more bad choices I made. Sometimes if I stopped for take out it seemed completely acceptable to get a sandwich and make that my meal. I knew that this just wasn’t working for me to stay healthy. 

I needed to reset. Make a plan and why it was important for me and why it was healthy for me and fit for me. I almost felt this was my reason to go back to a vegetarian diet. I never felt limited but more adventurous trying to find new ways to eat my vegetables and fruit. I seem to make better choices when meat isn’t the centerfold. As I am not 10 anymore I have learned a lot of things since my first go around of vegetarianism. Before it was all about the animals I even participated in some protest in my teens. This time it was for my health. Not that I didn’t still love animals I do but it was for the reason that I know that a diet surrounding vegetables, beans,fruits and grains just works well for me. This time though I really knew that the vegetarian I was sometimes wasn’t  the healthiest either. I decided to take the leap I never did before, I decided to go vegan. So one day eating chicken to the next going vegan. Again I don’t even eat a lot of cheese cut it out before due to fat and calories so this wasn’t as hard as I thought. I joined some groups online for support and wow I forget how passionate people get about this choice. I blindly jumped in again for my health. I have had some slip ups but for the most part it has been good. To add to my diet Change I have watched some documentaries on how animals are treated for the means of fashion and our food and it made me feel like a passionate teen again trying to share the cause. My goal was to start eating better but I feel a sense of relief also by changing my habits and remembering why I became a vegetarian in the first place. I feel it called me back and this is the step I needed to take. My goal is to share good food and friendly conversation with friends. I hope by sharing in love I can help others also. I will keep you updated on my journey in veganism. It has been about a month strong without any slip ups.  I am excited about sharing recipes and updates. Have a great night.

Secondhand curves con 

​​This weekend I was invited to be a vendor a secondhand curves convention. Started by a friend of mine Rachel Cadie who wants to help women feel beautiful and confident. She owns a plus size consignment shop and sells fashionable clothing and accessories. I often see her post selfies with different outfits to share her fashion and she always looks amazing. Never do I see her post negative post but always uplifting to help women feel beautiful and confident. This convention hit me more than I thought it  would.

I was ready to be a vendor and hoping to talk to people about my classes and products. I left with a ton of happiness from all the women enjoying being them. The keynote speaker practically making me snort with her jokes. A woman reading a chapter from her book I think so many women could relate to. Women walking in a fashion show with so much confidence and amazing outfits. I have never actually been to a fashion show so that was exciting. Women coming up and telling me their stories. 

What made this so special to be part of? It had nothing to do with being a plus size convention or even about fashion. It was real people being lifted up by those around them. Other women telling them your beautiful, your amazing and you have something special. Every speaker every model and vendor had it on their faces.

Rachel you are leading a movement and don’t stop because this is a game changer. In a world of judgment and shaming you are bringing a light for women. We need more people like you and more uplifting of each other instead of tearing down. If you haven’t checked out her store make sure to. She is located in Rockford IL and many people travel from different cities to visit her shop. 

Great job in leading a movement and I am so glad I was able to experience it. 

Photos taken by Kristin Simpson