Archive for June, 2009

A huge congratulations to all of our clients who participated in the Summer Solstice 6 mile run/walk

June 29, 2009

Our Summer Solstice event was a huge hit! Check out the video clip above. I hope it inspires you to join us next year! It’s pretty amazing how awesome you feel when you cross the finish line!

Cut and paste the link below into your browser for an event recap.

You still have time to sign up for our Girlfriends & Dudes Triathlon on July 19th. YES, YOU CAN!!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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Don’t set the goal as weight-loss. Try this approach instead!

June 23, 2009

Many people take this approach – ‘As soon as I get fit and lose weight, then I’ll start doing the things I’ve always wanted to do.” We suggest you take the opposite approach.

Set the goal and in the process of training for the event or activity you’ve always wanted to do, then you will get in great shape! It puts purpose to your workouts. And it’s such a positive, motivating focus.

For example, let’s say you set a goal of finishing a 10km fun run. Setting this kind of goal, because it has a deadline, provides a compelling reason to stick to the program and not miss workouts. In contrast, if the goal is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months, if you get off track, you can negotiate with yourself and say, “Well, I guess I can wait an additional week or two to achieve my goals.” But if you get off track with your training program while preparing for an event, you can’t call the event organizer and ask them to postpone the event because you aren’t going to be ready. Every workout or skipped workout will either positively or negatively affect your performance and your ability to achieve your goal. In addition, once you cross the finish line, that’s something no one can ever take away from you. You will always have your medal, t-shirt, and photos crossing the finish line. Whereas, with weight loss, you could lose the weight and then gain it all back next month and feel like a failure. Plus there is a lot of status associated with conquering a tough challenge or finishing a event, so your self esteem receives a huge boost providing you with the belief that you can achieve the next goal. We have also found when someone succeeds at a goal such as this, they then inherently look towards the next goal – it’s just human nature. So after you finish the 10km, then often you’ll decide to attempt a half marathon, full marathon, a challenging hike, a triathlon, etc. It’s a positive spiral. Whereas, with weight loss, it’s often a negative spiral. You may lose the 10 pounds but may still not be happy. Some people who have the most ‘perfect’ bodies are those that struggle with their body image the most!

For all these reasons, we suggest you keep the focus away from Body Image and instead focus on behaviors, events and actions. The end result is that you actually will start to lose weight, tone up and get in the best shape of your life en route to the finish line!

So grab a piece of paper and write down all the fitness goals you would like to achieve. This is your personal fitness wish list. Write down anything you have ever thought of achieving with regards to your own individual health and fitness. Which goal, if you achieved it, would make this year unbelievable? Have you ever wanted to hike the Grand Canyon, complete a marathon or triathlon, cycle through Italy, learn to Scuba Dive or inline skate or rock-climb, cycle the Oregon coast, or would you just be happy with working out 4x/week consistently? What are you health and fitness wishes? The only rule with this wish list is that none of your goals can be related to your body size, shape or weight. Stay away from listing a goal such as losing 10 pounds or 4 inches off your hips. Let’s keep this list positive, action-oriented, and focused away from body image. Then circle one item on this list, that you will focus on completing in the next 3 months. YES YOU CAN!

Yours in health and fitness,


ps. On that note, if you’re not doing anything this weekend, join us for our annual 6mile Run/Walk, Live Concert and community fundraiser for the Kearney Breast Center.

pps. Or perhaps you’d like to try our Girlfriends & Dudes Triathlon on July 19th. It’s a short distance so you can do it. And if you’re not feeling up for the whole thing, inspire a few friends and form a relay team!

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You’ve got to watch this video – it may be life changing…

June 14, 2009

Father’s Day is one week from today. Before you decide what to do for that special guy – dad, hubby, brother, son – watch this inspirational video first. It is one of the most incredible stories of all times! It’s 6 minutes long but trust me, absolutely, totally worth it. I’ve watched it at least 20 times and I am still in awe! I have competed in triathlons with this father-son team and it is one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences ever! So click on the link, sit back, relax and be inspired…

Your dad will probably never remember the tie you bought him. Your husband will probably never recall the backyard BBQ kit you got for him. Your brother will probably never remember the gift-card.

But they will forever remember the hike you took them on, the bike ride with a lunch stop, the golf game, or perhaps an event you enrolled each other in. The best gifts are those that involve time being spent together doing something you both love and/or doing something that offers a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

So you’ve got one week to plan an active, fun day with that special guy in your life. Create a memory that will last a lifetime!

Yours in health and fitness,


ps. On Saturday June 20th, we are offering a Dad’s Bootcamp at both our Vancouver and Portland studios from 8:00-10:00am. That could be the start of a very special weekend. Call 360.574.7292 or 503.287.0655 to register.

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No Excuse for Excuses…

June 12, 2009

If you’re a consistent exerciser and never struggle with sticking to it, you can skip today’s blog. But if you’re like most people, and let work, the kids and other responsibilities get in the way, read for some tips on how to overcome these obstacles so you have the energy for work, kids and other responsibilities…

Not enough time: If you have trouble finding time to exercise, you’re not alone. A perceived lack of time is one of the most common excuses for not starting or for quitting an exercise program. But it really doesn’t wash. We have clients who manage large businesses, clients with 6-8 children and clients who seem to do it all. How do they do it? They make health and fitness a priority in their life. When life gets rough, exercise is usually the first thing to go when, in fact, it should be the last. Exercise is the glue to mental sanity when life becomes chaotic. Somehow, when others need you, your needs tend to end up on the back burner. Someone at work asks you to complete a project, your spouse needs your attention, the kids need some quality time, your friends are asking you why you haven’t called, and you’ve got a to-do list that extends well into the next 6 months. You can see how easy it is to convince yourself that the morning workout can wait until lunch and then until after dinner. Or maybe tomorrow and finally, “I’ll get back on track next month!” Commitments, responsibilities, and the demands of work, family and social life are always going to be there. When you allow yourself to put your own needs second to everything and everyone else, you’ll end up the loser. Research, in fact, shows that exercisers are more productive at whatever they’re doing. Translation: You’ll be able to do more when you’re in good shape. As for believing exercise is a huge time commitment, even 10-30 minutes a day, if done consistently, can result in health benefits. Here’s some tips to help you fit exercise in your day:

• Make an appointment with yourself, just as you would for your doctor or dentist or a meeting with your boss. That way, when someone asks if you can meet at 5, you can honestly say, “Sorry, I’ve got an appointment. How about at 4:00?”
• Stop putting it off! “I’ll start exercising right after New Year’s…in the spring…right after I’m finished with this huge project…once the kids get older…once the kids leave home…after I’ve retired…” Stop making excuses. Now’s the time to start because there will always be things competing for your time. You can choose to make exercise a priority in your life now or wait until you’re forced to make it a priority. We take our health for granted until we get sick. People who swear they don’t have a minute to exercise, then find themselves hospitalized for bypass surgery and out of commission for weeks, soon recognize that the extra time taken to exercise would haven been well worth it! The message is clear. Unless you take care of yourself now, one day you may find yourself unable to take care of your business, family or any of your other interests.

No energy: Those who exercise regularly know from experience that exercise actually leaves you with more energy!

Too old too exercise: No, you’re too old NOT to exercise! Every decade a 30 year old sedentary individual will suffer from a 10 percent decrease in muscle mass and aerobic capacity and a reduction in flexibility. Bone density deteriorates starting at age 35. By the time you’re 68, you’ll have experienced an 80 percent decrease in strength. By age 80, an individual will have lost half of their muscle mass. The good news is that if you exercise, these stats will improve dramatically. Even people as old as 90 have experienced the positive benefits of exercise, so it’s never too late to get started.

Hate exercise: In the beginning, exercise may feel like a chore but eventually it’ll become a need for both physical and mental health. It’s important to find activities you enjoy doing so that you’ll participate regularly, see the results and get hooked. Use music, try hiking or walking and add variety to your program to make it more fun. Exercise with friends. Studies show you tend to achieve better results that way because it’ll become more difficult to skip workouts plus you won’t get lonely during your workouts. There’s also no evidence to suggest that exercise needs to be painful. If it hurts that much, you may be doing too much, too soon.

Too out of shape to exercise:
One survey found the top reason why people choose not to join a gym is because they want to get into better shape or lose weight first. This backwards approach may never get you to your goals. Find a gym that’s not intimidating and where members seem comfortable going at their own pace and wearing whatever they want.

Gym scene isn’t your thing:
Sorry this won’t wash. There are literally hundreds of things you can do at home to get in shape. Your local book store will have books on designing your own program. Rent a fitness video. Hire a personal trainer to come to your house and design a program for you.

Health Woes: The health benefits of exercise always outweigh the risks. Certain conditions may make exercise more difficult but you can work around most problems. Consult with a professional who can design a program that addresses your specific concerns.

No or slow results:
One of the biggest hurdles new exercisers face is that the effort often doesn’t match the result. They’ve been exercising religiously for five weeks and jump up on the scale. Ugh, no change! They feel the program must not be working and give up. Unrealistic expectations can be a real downer. Instead of measuring your success by the scale, measure it by your energy levels. Monitor how many more repetitions you can do of a particular exercise. Keep track of how many more minutes you can do of a given activity. You may be making more progress than you think.

Yours in health and fitness,


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Learn how to stay motivated from someone who exercises everyday and has been consistent for over 30 years!

June 8, 2009

Happy Monday.

I wanted to wait and send this out a little later in the afternoon so you could assess whether you’ve started the week off on the right foot or not. By now, you should have a plan for the week – Which workouts will you do when? Leaving it up to how you’re feeling on any given day doesn’t tend to work very well and can easily lead to an inconsistent effort.

Instead of me preaching my message, I thought I’d introduce you to one of our members who has been a consistent, everyday exerciser for 30 years. She has obviously figured out what she needs to do to stick to her workout program. She’s got some great tips that I believe will help you if you have a hard time keeping the commitment to yourself. Click on the link and enjoy.

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What’s the #1 thing you need to do to stick to your exercise program?

June 2, 2009

You’ve got to make the experience fun and enjoyable!

The biggest problem I face as a fitness trainer is that I’m offering a product that most people hate. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not like to exercise! So it’s my job to make the exercise experience as enjoyable as we possibly can.

Here’s some ideas:

• Participate in a program that you enjoy. Check out this 2 minute clip above of my Outdoor Bootcamp program. You’ll notice I’m giving my clients a great workout but also notice how they are laughing and joking around while I’m kicking their butts! If you like what you see, you can get more details and sign up at the following link. If this is not for you – figure out what is. Maybe it’s dancing or cycling or beach volleyball. Whatever it is, it’s got to be something you enjoy enough to want to do regularly enough to achieve great results.

• Participate in fun active events so you develop strong relationships which will ultimately create an awesome working out environment. It’s always easier to stay consistent when you’re doing something you love with other really fun and cool people!

Check out this photo of me and my clients participating in a 5km Fun Run and finishing second in the costume division this past weekend. We enjoyed a fabulous workout and had a TON of fun! Can you believe we ran 3 miles in this thing!

Keep it fun people and you’ll want to stay consistent!

Yours in health & fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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