Got Engaged?

engagement-ringsDid you or anyone you know get engaged over the holidays?  If you are a new bride to be Victory Fitness Online Personal Training offers 6-week “Buff Bridal Party” training packages for you and your maids of honor!

Buff Bridal Party

  • 2 Hour Sessions/Week
  • 6 – Week Program
  • Up to four people/session
  • $ 480
  • $ 10/person/session (if four people are signed up)mark_anabel_054

Victory Fitness Loves Brides and Brides Love Us!

Chronicles of Rehab – “Fun Police -the Sequel”

Unknown“For my entire life, I have been a “pusher.” Someone who puts my head down, shoulder into things and doubles my efforts when obstacles arise.  But I reached the point where I physically broke from this way of life.  And now I am discovering as Deepak Chopra says, “The Law of Least Effort.”  If I am more still, gentle and calm with myself I can discover better my true strengths and my own inner voice.  That does not mean that I am not strong.  As an athlete, I look forward to my body being able to be agile and powerful again.  But I don’t have to make up for anything I feel insecure about in this present moment.”

That was a paragraph I wrote while beginning my physical therapy to learn to walk again following a complete tear of my hamstring muscle off the bone.  I’m closing in on the first anniversary of my surgery and with the exception of some minor, stubborn, remnant bruising in my lower calf I am 100% recovered.  And like many, now that I am healthy again, I am tempted to fall right back in to my old habits of driving my body beyond reasonable limits.

View from the sofa

View from the sofa

After having the best New Year’s Eve of my life, I came down January 3rd with the flu, that turned into bronchitis.  So two weeks later, as the penned up squirrels in my brain are starting to gnaw and bite at the confines of bed rest I hear myself say to someone, “Sure I can teach four combo Spin/TRX classes Monday.”  I hang up the phone and then proceed to cough for a full 5 minutes.  The wise grey squirrel who is the voice of my inner buddha gets the others voices to settle down.  And I think, “Did I go through that whole process last winter, only to ignore the lessons I learned?  Do I want to repeat this grade?”  As much as I want to go outside and play, my denial disappears and my over-eager confidence has a reality check.  Wheezing as I walk up the stairs, I envision trying to motivate twenty people over blaring music, the hum of exercise equipment without a microphone.  Honestly, how inspiring is it to be on a bike while your coach is hacking up a lung?  So in the best interest of the paying customers and in acknowledgement of what is truly best for myself, I pass on teaching the classes.

In the past I would have felt disappointed in myself that I didn’t just suck it up and muscle 8648876146_3df3e20120_nthrough.  I would have put pressure on myself and felt guilty about not being able to lead the exercising troops, like I had missed out on my duty and on having fun.  But the lessons of last year stuck; I feel no reluctance to care properly for myself.  Instead, I feel joy that I passed this test with flying colors.

So what this has re-taught me is to find my “victory” today.  If you’ve just worked a 60 hour work week and stayed up late with a sick child, and every minute of your day has been scheduled, why are you taking a kickboxing class?!  Take 1 minute out of each day and really check in with yourself and see HOW AM I?  And make better choices for yourself off of that answer.  Be your own Fun Police and feel blessed in every minute of your day, even in the face of challenge!cropped-vflogo-wing.jpg

“Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”

“Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.” That’s what my coach used to say to me.  And it’s true when working out in the gym.  Yes, we all feel tired; it’s been a long day, the daylight is short, we’re burned out after the holidays.  And easily we can think, getting to the gym and sleepwalking through the workout is better than not working at all, right?


Well, I would like to suggest an alternative. Be deliberate in your movements.  Yes, it’s easy to imagine not moving from your couch and it is vitally important to get the foot in the door to workout.  But a conscious twenty minute workout is far more effective than being a Scooby-Doo-like zombie sliding from machine to machine.

Even if you’re not tired you’re mind might be racing to the grocery list, the preparation of a post-workout meal and that work call you have to return before the day is out.  Or maybe, you’re having a completely out of body experience and are mentally sitting in the audience of The X Factor, while glazing at the tv screen in front of your treadmill.  All of these scenarios involve “mindless” working out and that is not only far less effective, it’s actually dangerous.  If you’re doing a lunge and you’re mind is on autopilot your knee is likely to drunkenly swagger and you’re foot will go it’s own route from the rest of you and the next thing you know you’re sitting in your orthopedist’s office hearing the words “scope, repair, miniscus tear.”

When I teach my clients how to do a fencer’s lunge I like to use this example.  “Ok, you’re one of the three musketeers and you’re about to challenge someone to a duel. If you sloppily and lethargically lunge at your opponent, you’re gonna just knick them and that’s probably gonna just piss them off and then they’re gonna kick your ass.  If you start something you better mean it.  If you perform a lunge every line in your body should be clean and activated.”

My point: if you’re working out, make it count.  Move with deliberate control and the unison of your mind and body. It’s ok if you workout is short, but make it a perfect practice.

Flash Sale – Victory Fitness

SantaBootCampOk, Elves! Christmas is one week away!!! Time to throw it into high gear!

Sign a loved one or yourself up today for Victory Fitness Online Personal Training and get an extra session on Santa’s tab!

Merry Christmas from Victory Fitness!

New Year’s Resolutions

Unknown-1 After the flurry of Christmas, Kwanza and “Festivus for the Restofus” related activities drifts down and as you sit in front of your fire and breathe properly for the first time in weeks, you will naturally turn introspective as 2013 draws to a close. I know, I know, it’s not even Christmas yet and I’m already talking about the New Year but I have an excellent reason for doing so.

Instead of putting all your faith on one big push on the first day of the year, you should realize that most life changes and behavior modifications require six weeks to change an old habit and another six weeks until the new habit becomes permanent.  To translate that means if you have a physical, body-related goal in mind for 2014 you should be thinking now about the steps that will help you get there.  Most people jumpstart the first week of January and have already given up before 30 days have finished.  When I worked for a large corporate facility, the dawn of January first would see all the trainers forced to wear cheesy t-shirts with a slogan of “You Can Do It!” We would joke that we should get another set made for the three week mark that said, “There’s Always Next Year, Bitches!”Unknown-2

Chuck the non-motivating, stereotypical slogans and clarify for yourself a couple of things:

1) What are your goals: short-term is where you would like to be in six months and long-term is where you want to be in a year.  Recognize that lasting changes don’t occur in two weeks, even if you’re consuming protein shakes and taking a Spin class everyday.

2) Identify where your true challenges or obstacles may be.  Let me give you an example: a friend of mine and fellow trainer had a baby and in addition to working was going back to school.  She gained a few pounds eating cookies and wanted to get back to a body place that she was more comfortable.  Time was the first challenge.  So she dedicated a specific 30 minute window every weekday that she could commit to at least doing some cardio.  Here’s where the challenges can get a bit more subtle.  She realized that when she went to the locker room to change her shirt, friendly women would start conversations with her and she would use up 10 or 15 minutes of her window.  Disappointed with herself, she would just bag the workout.  The victory was that she came up with a solution.  She now wears her workout shirt under her uniform.  The second she goes on break, she pulls off the top layer and heads for the treadmill.  In several weeks, she was back to her lean self.  Real change is possible! But it may require more than a thought to fulfill.cropped-vflogo-shdw-final.jpg

A personal trainer can help you set goals, identify obstacles and create ways to aid you over the hurdles.  Even using a trainer once a week for the first six weeks of the year can keep you on track until the habit sets in.  Victory Fitness offers you flexible ways to help you achieve your resolutions!  So ask yourself now before 2013 comes to its end, “What is your Victory Today?”

Holidays, Stress and Food

Unknown-1Raise your hand if you have ever been guilty of saying to yourself, “Oh screw it! I’m just going to eat whatever I want and worry about my diet after the new year, when all the parties and stress of the holidays are over!”  If you could see me – both of my hands would be raised along with yours.

We have all had days where family, events, work and general life crises make us feel like sitting on the couch all day and stuffing our faces with only cookies!  And I would argue that we are all entitled to the occasional day of “Anti-Stress Protest Eating.”

BUT here’s the part that I want you to consider: EATING BEAUTIFULLY COMBATS IMG_0001STRESS FROM THE INSIDE OUT! As my friend, Simon, (owner of The Fit Kitchen) is fond of saying, “Food is Fuel; Make Good Choices.”  Food can heal us from the inside out.  Nutrient dense foods combat illness.  Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are supposed to be experienced in short doses, like you’re running from a Saber-Toothed tiger.  But in our modern world our stress hormones often run around the clock for days on end.  And under those circumstances the immune system takes a beating.

In addition to weakening your immune function, cortisol increases fat tissue storage, especially in sites around the tummy.  Maintaining nutrient rich, good portion sizes will not only help you feel more satiated it will also curb bing eating at holiday gatherings.  That way if you’re having a cookie…or two, or a drink…or two, you’re adding it to a balanced diet rather than using it as a nutrient source.

images-3Lastly, many people experience mood swings and depression over the holidays, whether it’s from loneliness, exhaustion or family arguments maintaining great eating habits will aid against seasonal blues. First, a colorful, nutrient rich plate visually stimulates happy mood-enhancing hormones in the brain.  Second, steady intake (3-4 appropriately portioned meals/day) help keep insulin and glucose digestion in even streams.  Therefore, you avoid blood sugar spikes and valleys, which are known for wrecking havoc on emotions – especially anger and sadness!

Again, I like to use the simile of “your body is like a sports-car” because it makes simple sense.  If you have an Audi or BMW – note I did not say Porsche/Lamborghini; we’re not pro-athletes – and you fill the gas tank with maple syrup…let’s just say you will wreak havoc on the insides of your lovely car and it’s definitely NOT going to run well!

images-4So if you need a snow day’s indulgence in front of the TV with a pint of ice cream…so be it.  But let’s keep it to a day.  Let’s revolutionize your thinking: NUTRIENT RICH FOODS ARE YOUR ALLY AGAINST STRESS.  FOOD IS YOUR FRIEND!

Happy Holidays From Victory Fitness

Christmas Gift Ideas

images-1Still shopping?  Let’s face it, when shopping for loved ones year after year the situation can be daunting to try to find something they will really enjoy and isn’t a pair of socks or a tie.

Maybe you have parents who are retired but whose knees ache when playing with grandchildren?  Maybe you and your hubby keep talking about getting in better shape but never do?  Maybe you have a friend that needs some extra support to make needed lifestyle changes?  Maybe you’re done shopping and it’s time to get a goody for yourself?!images-2

Victory Fitness Online Personal Training is the gift that keeps on giving!  It’s affordable and if you get two people to train at the same time it’s half the price!  No membership, no hidden costs – just a great personal trainer wherever you need them to be!

Christmas_socks_in_stock_Christmas_sock_stocklotsHappy Holidays Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving

UnknownMy uncle thinks Thanksgiving Day is the best day of the year and I am inclined to agree.  And although it’s a day often spent bustling in a kitchen or preparing for Black Friday, the principle of the day is not materialistic.  There are no presents or money exchanged.  You can spend it with family, or friends or strangers and still it’s a fantastic day built on sharing.

As an American living in Ireland, I do miss some things.  For example, I can’t find a can of pumpkin anywhere.  The grocery stores don’t even have it listed on their inventory ordering systems!  And where I live, there are not enough ex-Pats to get a holiday dinner going.  Nonetheless, I will spend the day FaceTime-ing and Skype-ing my relatives and friends.

And most importantly, I will spend the day reflecting on all the blessings I have had in the last year and the blessings of today and the gifts that tomorrow will bring.  Gratitude and love come in many forms!  And for this I am grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all from VICTORY FITNESS! images-1

Party Pounds Got You Down?


Party Season has arrived! No need to feel guilty! Try Victory Fitness Online Training TODAY! – Eat, Drink and Be Fit!