Tuesday, September 20, 2011
It's Time To Take Charge of Your Life (Or, Rants of a Frustrated Trainer)
First let me state that this blog is the product of a frustrating day, so if it offends, I apologize in advance. That is not its purpose.
For just over a year now, I have been back in the fitness business full-time. I did it once before, but gave it up because I needed health insurance and the ability to pay my bills. This time around I am blessed to have the support of my wonderful husband--and his good job. Believe me, without both, I would not be able to pursue this career. And perhaps you're asking why I do this--I have a master's degree in journalism for goodness sakes--and plenty of work experience. I could be making quite a bit more money if I just took another public relations job. I do it because it's the one career thus far in my life that I feel passion for. Some people become doctors or firemen or police officers so that they can help people. I want to help people live healthier lives. And, I want to save my own sanity by having a job where I'm active every day. Each time I go back to a desk job, I feel I'm slowly killing myself--mentally, emotionally, and physically.
But helping is where the frustration lies, because you can't help people who do not want to be helped.
I'm an Ohioan born and raised; however, I spent over ten years living in the Washington, D.C. area and two years living in California (about 65 miles north of L.A.). Maybe it's regional angst I'm dealing with right now (and I welcome your comments and opinions on this). Because Ohio is the first place I've lived where one seems to be condemned for trying to live a healthy life...where I am actually insulted--probably on a weekly basis--for living a healthy, holistic vegetarian (plus fish) lifestyle. Yet I hear it constantly--and most often from those who claim to love me. It's beyond comprehension to me--how people actually encourage you to be unhealthy here. Restaurant billboards proudly boast that this week's special is "Deep Fried Battered Bacon," and that they specialize in "down home country cooking".
Okay, I understand tradition. I understand that people like to eat food that tastes good. What frustrates me is that these same people complain (to me, on Facebook, to their friends) that they are overweight, in bad health, fatigued, on too many meds....the list goes on. On one night they post about their delicious dinner of fried chicken, mayonnaise-laden salad, cake and beer. The next day they post about their lack of weight loss or cholesterol problems. Or they post about how they lack the time to workout or get to the gym, and then later update us on their favorite T.V. show.
People, it is time to take control of your lives! If you are not happy with the way you feel or look, do something about it. I'm not talking about drastic changes. Start small. Eat red meat one less time a week. Eat vegetarian or fish one more time a week. Cut out some processed foods. Bake instead of fry. Cut out a soda a day. Cut out a cigarette a day (it's a start!). Schedule fifteen minutes a day of exercise (it's better than no exercise). Use that fifteen minutes and walk around the block. Take the kids! Please don't tell me you don't have fifteen spare minutes in your day (if you do, I'll bet you I can find that fifteen minutes for you).
Today I offered (through a local rec. center) a very reasonably priced bootcamp at 6am (much cheaper than the ones you see in the big cities). The early time is meant to offer people an exercise option before heading to work--before the day gets busy. Not one single person attended.
At lunchtime I provided a wellness seminar to a local corporation. While I was paid for providing it, it was offered free of charge to employees. Again, not one person showed up. I have given away personal training as door prizes, offered free sessions to introduce myself to a new gym, and held drawings so people can win free sessions--and people have not taken advantage of any of these things. I can't seem to give away fitness for free! Again, it seems to be regional because I never had this experience in D.C. or California. When you offered free sessions at the gym, they were snatched up within seconds. Being vegetarian in either place was commonplace. Recently, when we visited Asheville, NC (one of my favorite places) we ate at a different vegetarian restaurant each night.
Ohio, this is a call to action to you. In 2010 you were named the 13th most obese state in the U.S. Change your mindset. Don't condemn a healthy lifestyle, embrace it. Retrain your mind about what food tastes good. You might be surprised at how much you like pure, unprocessed, fresh food that's not fried. Make time to exercise--even if it's only fifteen minutes to start. Once you start feeling better, you'll make more time for it. Involve your children in a healthy lifestyle now. Don't let them repeat the unhealthy habits you grew up with. Now is the time.
This is not a blog about vanity...about losing weight so you look good. It's a blog about saving your life. It's a blog about feeling healthy, energetic and strong. You are the only one who has the power to make the changes. If you don't care about yourself, then care about the people who love you and want you alive--your partner, your children, your friends--your pets!
It's natural to wallow in pity a bit when you feel bad, but there comes a point when you need to suck it up, get up and make some changes.
- J.J. Kunkle
- I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.
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