Monthly Archives: November 2012

Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 3

Kathleen takes on week 3 and several fears. Has fear every held you back from accomplishing or even attempting to accomplish your goals?

I’m just going to put this out there: I seriously kicked my own ass this week. I pushed myself harder than I ever have before. I tried new things, I stopped saying “at some point.” A pretty big part of it has to do with the fact that my secret is officially “out”; my blog is now live and I’ve opened up a hidden chapter that I allowed so few to read prior to this.

It was pretty scary, I’d actually go with petrifying, to put myself out there. But what came out of it? A response more overwhelming and supportive than I ever could have imagined. To be called “motivational” and “an inspiration” by not only my family and friends, but by complete strangers? It left me almost speechless. It brought me to tears. And it really put into perspective just how far I’ve come. This week, I feel like all of the kind words that people have said have been bottled up and put into my protein shake. And as a result, these things that I have been so afraid to try, suddenly, they’re not so scary anymore.

I’ve never once done a “real push up.” I remember being so relieved that in my consultation it was acceptable to do one on my knees. But these days, it’s just not acceptable to me anymore. For months I’ve been trying both mentally and physically to get there. Finally, one morning this week, I decided that I was ready to give it another try. While it wasn’t a perfect, “all-the-way-to-the-ground-and-back-up-again” pushup, I was so proud of my progress. It’s coming, I can feel it.

For some reason, it became a funny joke (funny to who, I’m beginning to wonder?) for me to do burpees for the entire length of a certain catchy pop song that is all over the radio. Want to know how many times that song has played this week?

Every. Single. Bootcamp.

Want to know how many times I’ve done 3 minutes of burpees?

Every. Single. Bootcamp.

The lesson I’ve learned from this? After consistently doing 3 minutes of burpees, the 1 minute I’m used to doesn’t seem so terrible anymore.

Or 38 (shout out to MJ!)

For months I’ve desperately wanted to join the AHB running group. And for months, I’ve come up with a reason as to why I can’t stay after bootcamp on Saturday mornings to join them. I know my running skills aren’t the same, and I was so scared of not being able to keep up. Want to know what I did this Saturday? I ran with the running group! I stopped making excuses and I realized that I was never going to get better unless I put in the extra effort. And, in case you’re wondering, I kept up.

In my great fear of trying new foods, seafood ranks #1, 2 AND 3. I know it’s good for me, I know people drool over it, but fish and I have just never really clicked. (The same goes for crustaceans, or anything from the ocean for that matter). But with this new found confidence I decided that I was willing to give it a try. I won’t say it was the BEST meal I’ve ever had, but I ate it. For the rest of this journey I have a goal to try a new food every week. I’m sure there will be things I’ll never want to eat again, but I also be there’s a lot out there that I’ve been missing. You’ll never know if you don’t try, right?

Do one thing every day that scares you? I’m all set with being scared. Scared of change, of pushing herself in uncomfortable situations, of trying to be the person she knew she could be? That girl, I’m happy to report, is long gone. But the one who’s ready to give it all she’s got? I’m pretty sure she’s here to stay 🙂

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: She’d say more than 1o, I say less. We’ll let you decide.
# of days I logged my meals: 3
# of times I ate chicken: 3 – great progress
# of “real” pushups: Do two halves equal a whole? Let’s go with yes!

Leave a comment: Have you ever had to overcome a fear to accomplish a goal?

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.



Filed under AHB Rockstars

Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 2

Kathleen takes on week 2 and realizes the importance of recognizing every small change as a victory…

I feel that like many people, my life revolves around waiting for big things to happen. In my mind, change can only be seen in very obvious ways. In weight loss, this usually equals dramatic drops on the scale, clothes falling off, you get the picture. So when these things aren’t happening, it’s pretty easy to get discouraged.

This week in my one on one session Alicia plopped down a set of weights for curls. WHile this isn’t anything out of the ordinary, I certainly gave them a second glance before picking them up. Twenty pound weights? (I’m pretty sure I just graduated from 12s?)
Surely this was a mistake. When the look on Alicia’s face told me that no, this was not a mistake I hesitantly lifted them. My arms burned, I was positive I was going to lose a limb in the process…but I did it. Not one round, but two. And after putting them down it hit me- I had in fact, just curled the total weight that I have lost. And it was AMAZING!

My point is that somewhere in this journey I got caught up in numbers and sizes. In expressing my frustration (one might call it complaining) to Alicia that I have no accurate way to measure my progress she said “Well, how do you feel?” The answer? I feel AMAZING. Better than I have in a long time. And in the end, that’s what is most important.

So this week I’m celebrating victories that, no matter how small they are, are just as important as the number on the scale. I resisted bags of Halloween candy. I made it through a round of warm ups without wanting to stop. I found a new breakfast that DOESN’T involve Mr. Thomas and his english muffins. A hurricane canceled my evening workout, so I got my butt out the door for bootcamp at 6:30 am. When dinner plans with friends involved a cheesy lasagna, I brought a kale salad as a side. I woke up on a Sunday morning EXCITED for a run.

This week – I win 🙂

# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: Alicia counted 9 in my one on one session, so I’m going to have to go with at least 12 for the week
# of days I logged my meals: 1. oops, serious fail.
# of times I ate chicken: only 2… hooray!
# of “real” pushups: 0.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.



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Be an AHB Rockstar: Kathleen Week 1

Kathleen has apparently survived week 1 because she sent me a write up! The outpouring of support after her initial post was inspiring and we can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.  

When I first agreed to do this, it seemed easy enough: train hard, eat well, write about it. But here I am, trying to document my first week and I realize this may be a little harder than I thought. It’s not like I am learning all of these concepts for the first time. I’ve done this, and pretty well if I do say so myself.

So in thinking about what’s brought me to this point, I came to this conclusion: This “thing” – working out, eating well, my “healthy balance”- it’s a full time committed relationship. (This would be the point where I apologize to my fiancee, but luckily I have a fantastic guy who’s openly accepted that there’s “someone else”). In the beginning, my healthy balance and I were pretty hot and heavy – we bonded over logging meals, it soothed me when I woke up unable to move the morning after a workout, and we celebrated together: 1 pound, 5 pounds, 25, 30. As with many relationships, we seemed perfect together.

But, as many relationships can witness, lately things have gotten…stale. Sometimes logging every single thing I eat seems absolutely tedious and annoying. After a night out that involves a few too many drinks and an unknown amount of snacking, we get into a hazy, late night fight- which we try to mend in the morning with a run. The pounds that we used to cheer about together disappear slower now.
This first week has been the start of a rekindling for my healthy balance and I. With the help of Maisie, one of the dietitians, we began to tackle the first part of our relationship. After giving her the rundown of my history, I told her that basically I’m bored. I am a Catch 22 when it comes to food: I hate trying new things, yet I get sick of repetitive foods at an obnoxious rate. You can only get excited about an English Muffin with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for so long. One meal at a time, we’re going to put some pizzazz back into eating. This week: breakfast. Part of my problem seems to be that sometimes I’m not eating enough in the morning which can have a snowball effect on the rest of my day. Maisie suggested switching hings up with oatmeal with nuts and fruit (genius, I know). The first morning I excitedly put together my oatmeal with diced apples and walnuts. Unfortunately, I didn’t add enough water and it ended up becoming a ball  of paste. THe second morning I tried honey and almonds. This time I put in too MUCH water and had a water logged mess.

PS – This is totally Alicia’s oatmeal fail, not Kathleen’s, but we thought it was fitting to include. Oatmeal can get the best of everyone 🙂

So much for eating a better breakfast. I ended up throwing most of it away. I guess this will take some time. I can only imagine what working on dinner will be like, when we try to move out of my comfort zone of chicken, chicken…and more chicken.
As far as the workouts go, it seemed to me for the most part that my healthy balance and I always saw eye to eye. We do burpees in the pouring rain, we often get up to run before the sun rises, and we faithfully make it to several bootcamps a week. But I’m now realizing that lately it’s been a lot of just going through the motions. While I love bootcamp, this new addition of one to one personal training is the breath of fresh air that my healthy balance and I needed. The last time that it was just me and Alicia, and some free weights, I was forty pounds heavier and dying after 15 seconds of an exercise. I’m excited to see what my body can do now, and as much as I roll my eyes and complain I know that Alicia is pushing me to do what she knows I’m capable of. When I started to get the familiar heavy feeling in my arms the afternoon after my session, I smiled to myself and thought “I’m back.” My healthy balance and I are ready to jump start this relationship.

I’ve decided to keep a chart of “successes.” While they might not be typical forms of measurement, they are things that I struggle with and hope to see some serious improvements in by the end of this adventure:
# of sarcastic eye rolls towards Alicia: 15-20? (I think that’s already an improvement!)
# of days I logged my meals: 3
# of times I ate chicken: 5? I need a chicken intervention.
# of “real” pushups: Zero. Sadface.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under AHB Rockstars, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

Be an AHB Rockstar: Meet Kathleen

Our next Rockstar has started on her journey and is excited to share it with you. Meet Kathleen. She has been working with us for awhile and has been a star student so we have selected her to be our next Rockstar and help her continue on her quest for health.

If my life was a movie, I’d have you start watching it here. I’m closing in on almost 40 pounds lost, and I just finished not my first, but my SECOND 5K. I spend the majority of my grocery trip hanging out in the produce section. I look forward to working out the way someone looks forward to going to a movie, or going on a shopping spree. I thrive off sweat-drenched gym clothes, and then the muscle burn the next morning that reminds me “you’ve got this.”
But my life was not always this way. Let’s rewind here, and go back 6 months. I was miserable inside my own skin. I looked at the mirror and thought “maybe it’s not that bad” only to have pictures confirm the truth that I was hiding. I drove by runners on the beach with extreme envy. I would tell myself “I’ll change things around tomorrow…Sunday…next month.” I’d go to the gym on a Monday, but not Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… you get the picture.

Summer 2011

And then, something major happened, in the form of a diamond ring. My boyfriend of four and a half years, the love of my life, finally proposed to me. And between the excitement and the happiness, panic set in. I knew that seeing myself in a wedding dress the way I looked at this very moment was not how I wanted to remember the happiest day of my life.
Since I had had such fantastic luck before (note the sense of sarcasm), I had no idea where to begin. Do I become a vegetarian? Join Weight Watchers or start the Atkins Diet? Even those commercials for Healthy Trim started sounding good.
And then, A Healthy Balance appeared to me, in the form of a Google search. I raced home that day to tell my fiancee, almost breathless with excitement. It almost sounded too good to be true. I’ll never forget my consultation with Alicia. Fun fact: I actually postponed it for a week because I was so nervous, using some lame work excuse (Sorry Alicia!). Little did I know that this would be the last excuse I would ever use. I confused everything I had been holding in, I told her my goals and dreams and her response was “Yup, you’re going to be an AHB lifer.” I left that cold night with a little more pep in my step and a brochure full of options.
I began the 12 week Be Healthy. Be Balanced. class the next week. I started with a “let’s get in and get out” mentality, only to quickly realize that you get out of it what you put into it. So I asked questions, I made friends, I learned. I began to look at food in a whole new light. I was always the student who strived to be the best in class- and this was no different. I finished my 12 weeks ahead of “schedule.” My clothes were suddenly loose and I felt like I was ABOVE THE CLOUDS.
At the same time, I started a few personal training sessions with Alicia. I went into the first one thinking “how bad could this be? It’s not like there’s a treadmill or anything in their studio.” When it was hard to stand up the next day I knew, it COULD be that bad. By the end of my third session I was starting to enjoy the pain, and I “graduated” to bootcamp. I nervously joined a group of women the first day at Coletta Field, checking to see who was watching me and judging me as the “chubby out of shape girl.” I quickly realized-they weren’t. I sweated through the summer, learning that fitness doesn’t have to mean punching in at a gym and feeling like a hamster on a treadmill. Eventually, the “morning after” pain went away (How sick am I that I get EXCITED on random occasions when it comes back?). I learned the strength of my own body, and confident Kathleen started making an appearance again. Then the little bug inside of me said “Hey, what about running?” I started spending Saturday mornings “running” up and down Wollaston Beach. And by running, I mean mostly walking, with some short bursts in between. I knew I looked foolish. I knew I wasn’t going to sign up for the marathon anytime soon, BUT IT WAS SOMETHING! I signed up for an all women’s 5K obstacle course in May…and completed it on September 8th. I know my wedding will top it, but for now I’m going to have to say…it was the best day of my life.


Reading this you’re probably thinking “Wow, now what?” Well let me say this, I am no where near done. I still have a lot of goals to accomplish, but they certainly seem a heck of a lot closer than they did 6 months ago. If I’ve learned anything in my short “running” career (again, sarcasm) it’s that you have to set a pace for yourself if you want to finish strong. Sprinting in the beginning only to have to walk at the end isn’t going to do it. So here I am, setting my pace, steadying my breathing, and keeping my eye on the finish line.

Alicia says: So as you can tell Kathleen is a pretty stellar individual and I am so excited that she has agreed to participate in this program for the next 12 weeks. Her dedication and hard work up until this point have been inspiring and I can’t wait to see how far she can go. And since she confessed earlier that she canceled our first appointment, I have a confession to make too… I think she is going to surprise even herself with what she is able to accomplish and I am honored to be a part of her journey.
Be sure to check back every week to read about Kathleen’s progress.

Be Healthy. Be Balanced.


Filed under AHB Rockstars