Aliyo 1 : McDonalds 0

Source: http://www.empowernetwork.com/easyliving/files/2013/01/Believe-In-Yourself-2.jpg

Dear McDonalds,

Today I was working on an assignment, and it was taking much longer than it should’ve been. You know when you’re in a time crunch and spending way too much time on something that doesn’t deserve that proportion of your functionality? And you know that you should be speeding up the efficiency, but that actually just slows you down? Yeah, that happened to me today, and I was getting frustrated with myself and just wanted to enter your haven and get a McChicken with an Oreo McFlurry (with a side of those fries which will never rot and instead slow down the passage through my intestines).

But guess what – I won this time. Yeah honey, beat that, I controlled myself, ha!

Instead I…

  • listened to some empowering songs such as my favourite song since my childhood – Des’ree: You Gotta Be, and my favourite song to jam to as I imagine how long my locs will be in 5 years – Willow Smith: Whip My Hair
  • danced in front of my mirror like I was a musical sensation performing a sold out tour…it’s Aliyo b***h
  • taught a Zumba routine I used to teach as I visualized the memories of my participants who enjoyed themselves so much
  • My body felt awesome as I moved to the music, and felt the rhythms and every beat of these amazing fusions of creativity. It felt so good to stop looking at that computer screen for awhile and get my molecules of living jiving!

And after all of that activity, I decided to whip up up a snack – cucumbers,  grape tomatoes, green peppers, and dip. It was so refreshing, not just because of the water, vitamins and minerals they supplied me with, but also because I know the roughage will regulate my bowel movements, rather than give me diarrhea or painful constipation!

As I ate my Christmas-coloured snack, I wondered why I even wanted to jump into your arms and shove you in my mouth. Turns out, you and I have a long history, so it’s hard for me to resist you when you creep up on me.  In my childhood (back when your toys were actually good), “treat night” meant you, and I would get excited for your delicious treat 1-2x a week. Then, when I moved to the city where I lived for 13 years and grew up in, you always  had a location within walking distance. Your first one was literally across from my complex, but then got burned down. However, shortly after a  revamped one popped up in the exact same plaza.

And when I was working multiple jobs and cared more about saving my money than my health (lack of sleep included), you were faithfully nearby, sometimes in the building I worked in, so that I’d never have to worry about starving (well, at least psychologically, because you didn’t provide me with nutrition, that’s for sure..thanks for that by the way). And now, you’re less than a 10 minute walk from where I’m studying to become a Naturopathic Doctor. And you have to be all up in my space, situating yourself right outside of my gym, tempting me as I walk to the subway, knowing that I’m not too excited to eat that homemade meal in my fridge that I’ve already eaten 3 days in a row.

But guess what: today, I chose myself, I chose to preserve my health. And I’m very well aware you beat me over a hundred times in the past (and may catch a few in the future), but all it takes is one day to begin a change. Get that ball rolling down the mountain. And believe me, once my ball gains momentum, you will miss receiving all of the hard-earned money you lured from me, and you will be devastated when I finally get rid of your toxicity laying deep in my fat deposits which refuse to leave (grrr). And worst of all, you’ll be heart-broken from the mental hold you’ll cease to have upon me.

Retiring From Fitness

Source:  http://pirate32.edublogs.org/files/2012/05/goodbye-1srtm3y.gi

This summer I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting about my teaching and fitness interests. I’ve had days where I would be incredibly inspired and grateful for the teaching opportunities I’ve had thus far with an appreciation for what I’ve begun to build. Other times I’d question if I really want to do this. As of late, my disinterest in teaching has outweighed my interest in teaching and becoming a better instructor. There are many reasons for thais, and things which have opened my eyes:

Source:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/93970453/printable-
wall-art-kick-ass-take-names-i 

Bootcamp:

I’m teaching bootcamp twice-weekly my current job. My first class was taught in February; I had my own teaching style and choices of exercises, but felt the participants weren’t enjoying it. A few weeks ago, one of my co -workers was awesome and stayed after her shift to give me lots of advice in terms of class structure ideas and exercise choices. I was rejuvenated again, and the participants commented on how much they loved the class – I was so satifisfied inside! However, after 2 weeks, my stress and anxiousness before each class returned. I then realized I was doing the class completely for them – to gain their approval, not because I love doing it.

I felt inadequate because the other staff I work with, who used to teach the classes, whom of which the participants are used to, are kinesiologists.  I feel that my even though I have multiple certifications (Group Fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Wellness, Zumba, Yoga), I get nervous when people ask me questions. Do I embody this knowledge? No. Is this knowledge an intrinsic part of me? No.

Source:  http://jennthrift.blogspot.ca/2012/05/insanity.html 

Insanity:

In May, a few co-workers kept discussing the benefits of the Insanity program. I was so caught up in the hype that I purchased it. After attempting 4 times to get through the first week, I gave up. Even though I was inspired from all of the before pictures I took and the possibilities of who I’d emerge as in 60 days, I still gave up.

The program was tough, and painful, so I justified my quitting by rationalizing the program as being too intense, as I enjoy exercise that isn’t torturous.If I really want to lose weight and tone up, I’ll do it in a way I enjoy even if it takes longer than 60 days. (It also didn’t hurt that a personal trainer I look up to mentioned that it’s not a program for the general public, and he almost threw up while progressing through the program).

Yet, my brother started Insanity after I had given up, and he finished his last day yesterday! There were times he would be really exhausted, but after an hour of making excuses, would trooper on through. Even though I worried that he wasn’t taking his exhaustion seriously enough, I was so proud of him. My brother caused me to reflect upon myself to ask why did I spend all of that money and not follow through?

Source:  http://www.dogcentral.info/yoga-dogs/

Yoga:

As of this post, I’ve been in email contact with YMCA to find out the process of teaching at their facilities. I would need to complete 6 weeks of training to learn about the YMCA’s philosophy, a police reference check, and an interview to possibly substitute. Have been trying begin this process, but doing so legitimately overlaps with my shifts at work (and saving for school is my #1 priority at the moment). With that, my motivation is wearing…I don’t even know if I want to complete those 8 hours anymore – or at least during what is remaining of this summer.

Originally, this summer would’ve been the best time, but I am still not ready. I’m kind of laughing at myself because I haven’t even finished reading the instructor’s manual, nor have I watched the DVD received at the training.

Fitness goals:

Although I didn’t post them here, in June I had a goal of losing 10 lbs by the last week of August (giving myself room to do it in a healthy way, and leaving room to still accomplish my goal if I slipped up). My main motivator was a nutritionist I’ve had since January – she is awesome, passionate, and lives what she teaches. I had 10 weekly sessions with her, and had more downs than ups. I continually made excuses for falling off the wagon – school was stressful, work was stressful, my life was stressful. The stress was responsible for my poor meal planning, poor sleeping schedule. Between January and April, even though I was exercising, I gained weight (and trust me, it was not muscle).

I saved my last session with her for August, as I want to prove to her that I do have willpower and discipline – I want her to be proud of me. Yet, between  May and August, I can only recall 4 steady weeks of consistent workouts and healthy eating. I shall prepare to get scrutinized at my appointment this week…

A sign?

The final situation which propelled me in my decision to take a hiatus from teaching is that the facility I have taught at since 2010 posted the fall schedule without asking about my availability. I substituted a few times during the summer, and each time my supervisor mentioned her excitement for me to return in the fall. I also expressed, each time, that I really do enjoy teaching my regularly scheduled class. Yet, without taking a moment to ask me, my supervisor assumed I would like to stay as a substitute instructor due to the program I will be starting in September.

I thought I was upset because it was rude to assume (you don’t want to make an ass out of u and me!), and not clear up the assumption by sending an email, like was sent to all of the other instructors. But maybe the honest reason I was upset was because it felt like even though I enjoyed teaching my class, she was just playing along and knew my real intentions. It’s a blessing in disguise and I feel lighter when I think of the situation from that angle.

Consolation from other fitness instructors:

The fitness instructors at my gym are awesome because they are so personable. I’ve spoken to several of them and asked them about how they knew they wanted to pursue a fitness careers. They teach multiple classes a day, and left other careers such as nursing and real estate. Some even use this as a side job and teach a couple classes a week (which was my original intention when I became an instructor).

I found (and more times than I’d like to admit, find) classes to be stressful. Before every class I teach, I get nervous, and really only wanted validation from participants. I don’t derive much self-pleasure from teaching – I might be desperate for compliments.

This is not a career for me. Looking back I wish I looked more into the time and financial commitments of being an instructor. Before becoming certified, I didn’t educate myself about the annual fees or continuing education requirements – I just thought to myself, I’m passionate about fitness and want to help others be the same. Never did I think I’d feel threatened in my classes, or feel pressured to look a certain way, or to teach a certain way. It’s gotten to the point where my passion for my own fitness is gone because I’m too worried about impressing everyone else.

While reflecting about two instructors who retired/stopped practicing real estate and nursing, I’ve chosen to stop practicing my fitness certifications for my own personal reasons. I plan to keep my certifications current by paying the membership fee and fulfilling my continuing education credits – and who knows, I may want to return to teaching later, or a dream opportunity may come up in the future.

For now, with the pressure to become a better fitness instructor turned off, I’d like to rediscover my passion for my personal fitness by focusing on myself.