Warning: Sprinting causes orgasms...
This is the first time I heard this from a client but not the last. Exercise releases endorphins—runners high. A natural, on top of the world climax during & after the exercise is over.
When I was on my 80lb weight loss journey, I would be so amorous after training sessions my husband began to wonder what the hell I was doing with my trainer in those sessions.
Watch this quick video to see the post sprinting climax this client experienced:
I remember when I stepped on the scale after three months with my trainer and saw I had lost thirty pounds. I was ecstatic & flying high. I walked outta that gym feeling taller, prouder than I had in years.
I had lost THIRTY fucking pounds in three months after going years without seeing the scale budge.
I went to a dinner that night & my beloved bread basket came. I thought, ‘I just lost thirty pounds, I can have a piece.’ Then the waitress asked if I wanted anything to drink.
I thought for a second, then ordered a wine, I mean after all, deserved to treat myself, right? I went on to have more bread, more wine leading to more poor decisions that weren’t in line with my goal of still having fifty more pounds to lose.
My trainer was smart; he had me keep a food journal that he checked every time we met. This way we could prevent me from going on a bender & waiting until the scale goes up to find out.
His only rule was honesty. So I was fucked & not in a good way. I was going to have to write all this crap I just ingested in that damn food journal.
I saw him two days later & his eyes got huge. Then he looked at my 10-year-old-daughter, who was with me at that session & said “Hide your mother’s scale”. He announced from that point forward, I was not allowed to weigh myself, & when he weighed me he would not tell me the number.
He told me I was cocky, resting on the laurels of losing 30lbs, and couldn’t be all loosey goosey with my eating. I wouldn’t be allowed to use the scale as a partner in my indulgent crimes.
I now employ this with my clients who also rest on their laurels and use the scale as an excuse to go off the eating wagon. I tell them “If you are cocky about all the weight you’ve lost, then I’m going to hide that damn scale, and only I will know if you’ve lost anything!”
Click on this video to hear my client who was caught resting on her laurels...
I came to NYC to work for a production company three years ago. The limo picked me up & took me through the Lincoln Tunnel.
Little did I know that was yet another metaphor for my life. Going through the tunnel would lead me to a life I never imagined. Or maybe I did imagine it, i just never never imagined I’d act on it.
I remember feeling nervous excitement during that ride through the tunnel. I soaked it up knowing that as soon as I hit the end of the tunnel my life would never be the same.
I recently went through that same tunnel. All the feelings of my first time through came flooding back. The only difference is this time at the end of the tunnel was my home.
I found my way through the darkness & not only found the light, but also found my home. I realized the light waiting for me at the end of the tunnel was coming from inside me, not anything or anyone outside of me.
I am the light.
My true self has been waiting for me at the end of every dark tunnel I’ve ever been through.
The light always comes. This I promise you. The tunnel won’t last forever. Some are longer, some are shorter, but there’s always a light at the end. You are the light.
Run to your high beam brilliance.
Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Some of my best moments come from stepping out of my comfort zone.
This one in particular was uncomfortable for many reasons. I had to learn the art of spinning, get comfortable with cardio, find my rhythm & wow the Soul Cycle judges in a 60 second window.
Oh & did I mention practicing for this while sorting through & packing up my 3,000 sq foot house to move to a 1,000 sq ft NYC apartment?
But none of that was as uncomfortable as having to move one week before my husband & daughter so that I could be there for the Soul Cycle audition.
I missed out on saying good bye with my daughter to the house she’d grown up in the last 15 years.
Missed out on walking through the empty house remembering the princess birthday parties, the the Thanksgiving dinners, the leisurely pancake breakfasts with Elliana playing guitar in the background, and making s’mores in the backyard.
Missed out on watching the house get smaller in the rear view mirror as the Penske truck pulled away from the only life she’d ever known.
So why did I choose the Soul Cycle audition over all that? Because my daughter said “Mom, if you don’t go you will always wonder, what if??!!”.
Every morning since we moved to NYC from Arizona feels like I’m Nicolas Cage in the movie “Family Man”. Nothing is familiar even after 10 months of living here.
I wake up in a queen size bed, horns & sirens blaring outside that my noisy window a/c unit can’t even drown out.
I wait for my teen daughter to be done in our one bathroom before I can even pee. I go out to our dining room/living room/office to my hubby talking loud on a biz call and cook in a hot kitchen with no a/c toppling everything over in the cramped space.
My dog has to go outside which means I have to put on a bra, shoes & actual clothes since I train clients in my building who I run Into. I wait forever for her to pee since she still isn’t used to relieving herself publicly on the sidewalk.
No one is familiar even after 10 months. I see clients & think “You are very nice but where are all my Az BAMs?” I facetime my Az clients & hate the barrier of the phone between us wishing I could walk thru my Apple iPhone portal to give them a hug.
I somehow got myself elected as PA President of Beacon High school. I run board meetings hearing all the demands & think “Who are you people & what do you want from me?”
The one familiar person I knew here who actually wanted me to come here has declared “I am dead” to him. He’s correct: the Az Lis is dead.
NYC Lis has been resurrected in her place. Even though that friendship turned out to be toxic I still miss him. He was the only familiar person besides my family here.
There are times I feel so homesick for my former life, my tribe, that it physically hurts. I long for our small tight knit catholic school community who prayed for us & openly talked about God. I don’t hear the “G” word mentioned much & get the feeling it’s a taboo subject here.
I get into my via carpool service enduring smells & conversations I do not wish to have. I endure the subway & all its cattle car qualities complete with a myriad of distinct odors
I lug my laundry down to the basement hoping there is an open washer & dryer. There are times when I just break down & sob telling my family let’s go back home. Everything in NYC is harder, takes longer, is a fight.
Yet...I have no regrets.
As difficult as it is here, it would be much more difficult sittting in my 3,000 sq ft house with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, letting my dog out to relieve herself in her spacious backyard complete with a pool, my central a/c, a kitchen the size of my entire nyc apt, driving my car around enjoying the solitude & lovely fresh new car scent, doing laundry in my own washing machine, waking up in my king size bed & lingering in my private jacuzzi tub.
The trade off of seeing all my familiar, loving people and keeping all the comforts of my former life would have been the nagging question that we would have been asking every day: “What would have happened if we had said yes to Beacon High school & moved to NYC?”
I’d be disappointed in myself that I chose to stay comfortable, that I chose convenience over challenge, that I chose to not grow.
So yes it’s fucking hard since I moved here but not nearly as hard as the regrets I’d have if we hadn’t moved.
“But it’s so hard to get up early & workout”
”But it’s so hard to pass up the wine”
”But it’s so hard to make time to exercise”
”But it’s so hard to____”
I could go on & on. But I’d rather ask you this “Is whatever you say is hard about getting fit & healthy harder than waking up everyday hating the way you look in pictures? Harder than having no energy? Harder than the way you feel inside? Harder than none of your clothes fitting? Harder than avoiding social events because of the way you look? Harder than being the heaviest person in the room? Harder than having sex with the lights on or at all? Harder than having your life shortened by high blood pressure, diabetes & heart disease?
For me exercising is hard. Eating healthy is hard. But not as hard as when I hated myself for weighing 226lbs.
Time to stop hating. Time to get the outside your inside always wanted. Time to love yourself. You are worth it.
I used to hate running. I wasn’t good at it.
It scared me. Feeling out of breath like my lungs might collapse wasn’t my idea of fun.
So I hired a running coach, Andrea Atkins, who taught me form, breathing & more importantly to believe in myself embracing this new running journey I was on.
I trained with my sister-in-law, Misty, a seasoned runner who I assumed loved every minute of running. One hot Tucson summer morning I was almost in tears saying ‘I hate this, I hate this.’ Misty, said “So do I”.
I thought I heard her wrong. I said “YOU” hate running??? She said “Yes, sometimes, many times; but I like the way I feel after.”
Then she said “Look ahead. See that cactus way up there? That’s what we are running towards.”
Then I did a half marathon. When I saw the finish line a half mile away I sprinted as fast as I could towards it.
Running is now my therapy. Moments of clarity come to me when I run.
This happens to be one of them:
Everybody has a chapter they don’t read out loud.
My chapter was my weight.
When I weighed 226lbs only God & my doctor knew. Then my trainer. But not one other soul.
I was ashamed. I felt weak. I felt powerless. I felt out of control on the inside and it showed on the outside. I wasn’t fooling anybody least of all myself.
I wouldn’t go to the pool or beach since I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bathing suit. I avoided reunions or any event that involved people I hadn’t seen in a long time.
I stopped being in pictures or would hide in the picture. My daughter was a great shield to hide behind. I avoided going to the doctor since I didn’t want to be weighed.
I stopped living my life. It shows in my scrapbooks. My daughter asked why I stopped scrapbooking after her 5th birthday.
I stopped because my life stopped when I got fat. I didn’t want to memorialize that time in my life.
You are only as sick as your secrets. I was very sick when I weighed 226lbs. I had diabetes, high blood pressure, my triglycerides were 700 & I was on Prozac for PMDD (PMS that makes everyone around you hide).
The layers of fat weren’t the worst part. I was trapped in my own mind, A prisoner in solitary confinement.
Then one day I told my story. And not just to one person but hundreds of people in a talk at my gym when I first became a trainer. Even worse they had a giant picture of my fatness displayed behind me for everyone to see.
It was freeing to tell my story, my secret. I shook, I cried & I blushed from embarrassment as I felt each shackle release.
Afterwards I was bombarded by women who were holding on to their secrets. They were crying and thanking me for being so brave, so real.
That was the start of a new life-giving career for me.
Reading that chapter out loud healed my mind, heart & soul. I had already lost 80lbs but the 226lb Lisa was still inside me.
I closed that chapter after reading it out loud. I finally let 226lb Lisa go. I thanked her for what she taught me, but asked her to never come back again.
I became a difference maker.
My first half marathon at age 47.
I’m still amazed I did it. My goals were get to the starting line, not stop & get to the finish line. Oh and not die.
I’m proud I did it but have no desire to do it again.
My 226lb self never would have been able to do this.
I ran for her.
Today I got hit. Hard. Smacked upside my head. With a fifteen pound weight. Accidently in a boxing class.
I’m the type of person that looks for the meaning to understand the lesson life is trying to teach me in every situation.
So I kept asking, “Why is life hitting me?” Then I remembered all I learned from my insightful f-bomb dropping British boxing instructor.
Life was not hitting me. I put myself in the position to be hit.
I need to constantly change my position, keep my gloves up to protect myself, duck, reset & make sure the fight is even worth getting in the ring for.
Watch the video to see how I trained Vanessa to face her fear head on & knock it down. All this was to prepare her for the Mud Run she was planning on doing.
All that hard work paid off. Vanessa earned that Mud Run medal. She broke down that wall. She said it was really hard but not nearly as hard as not doing it.
She said her “I ams” got her through the race. “I am focused”, “I am doing this”, “I am ready”, “I am breaking down the wall”. Vanessa learned that her mind is stronger than her body.
Her mind broke down that wall.
I always thought Matt, my trainer told me, “Do exactly what I tell you & this will work”. I was shocked when I read this & it was me saying to Matt, “Tell me what to do & I will do it”.
He always told me it was me all along, that I did this & therefore all the credit goes to me, not him. So this is me finally owning my power—only took 5 years.
Thank you Matt & my Alive Family. I miss you all but carry you in my heart forever.
My Alive Family
Matt in the middle : )
Matt teaching my daugher how to bench press
Matt giving me a lift
The gym class loser now turned Fitness Director