Category Archives: Fitness Tips

Are you a successful loser? 5 reasons you may be.

Wow, the weight really creeps up – I know it did for me. When I was little I knew I wanted to be a big girl, but never a big girl! Are you ready to lose your weight? My clients who have the most success have these qualities. How about you?

1)      They acknowledge they are getting bigger. You know how you put your jeans on and think “oh, it’s just ‘that time’—they’ll fit on Monday.” Several Mondays come and go and soon you can’t even zip the waist band over your thigh. When your thigh looks like a T-Rex drumstick it’s too late. Better to nip the weight-gain in the bud—get on the darn scale and accept what it tells you— then drop some chow and up the exercise.

2)      They don’t blame their weight-gain on an unseen force. Damn I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard “I’m not eating that much” wedged between tiny bites of layer cake and handfuls of Mister Salties. Of course hormones and age play into it all of it, but so does drinking a bottle of Pinot Grigio. The devil is in the details and you are not possessed by Mario Bartolli’s evil munching doppelganger. The best losers know they are in control and take charge.

3)      They know they can’t buy themselves thin. I do advocate hiring a personal trainer because you can really get hurt overtraining (and because I’m a personal trainer).  But, you do have to be careful – if you lose weight, the snake-oil salesmen trying to sell you bars, supplements and shakes lose dough. There are a lot of people making money trying to “help” you. If you follow a well-crafted weight-loss plan you can work independently and you’ll save money over time. It’s simple; eat less, cook for yourself more and save money!

4)      They don’t make excuses. If I heard a single person tell me, “wow, I eat and drink too much and haven’t been paying attention to what I’m eating – this is completely my fault,” I would faint in my tracks. As a note to anyone that may actually say this in an attempt to neutralize me: I’ve got my eye on you! The successful loser takes stock, changes those habits and moves on!

5)      They take the advice of the professionals. There are lots of weight loss and exercise plans “out there”, but there is only one you. Mixing and matching food choices, exercises and swapping out bits and pieces of weight loss systems to suit your needs never works. The human body is a complex set of systems. If you stray too far on your own, there can be serious consequences besides not reaching your goals.

Would you like to be my next loser? Chime in and let me know what you think.

About the Editor

Paulette Delcourt is the original Guru Girl having quit her job as a management consultant to raise a family and pursue her dream of helping people. With thousands of hours of fitness training, teaching and hands-on experience with hundreds of clients, Paulette continues to stretch and grow in her personal wellness practice. Paulette earns her clients support and trust with her knack for solving problems with truth, a joyful heart and sense of humor. 

Paulette’s areas of expertise include Vinyasa Flow Yoga (Ashtanga), Thai Massage, Reiki, Pilates (PIA), Personal Training (NASM), and the emerging field of Fitness and Wellness Coaching (Wellcoaches, Inc.).  Paulette conducts workshops, teaches classes and conducts private classes in Western Springs and surrounding suburbs.

5 Qualities of A Great Personal Trainer

What top trainers do!

So Dolph Lundgren asked you prepay 12 weeks of personal training sessions with him. Is it a good idea? Heck yeah! But even if Dolph may be your fantasy trainer, most fitness pros you’ll meet you won’t know anything about. Working with a trainer is a safe way to get fit and avoid injury.  With so many choices out there, how do you choose?  Here are some qualities of good trainers:

A good listener – A trainer should ask you what your goals are, what you’re doing to meet them, and how you think your training relationship will enhance these efforts.  A good trainer may nod and agree, but a great trainer will echo your words and design a program to meet those needs. If you’re not being heard, your investment will be wasted: pop Jane Fonda in the VCR and work out in your leg warmers instead.

Has the right experience – Even new trainers should have some relevant experience specific to your needs. Ask how their experience with clients like you (considering your injuries, age, skill level) will help you meet your goals.  A twenty- something ex-football player may not specialize in pre-natal fitness. That’s just a guess, make sure you ask. 

Puts you first – Your trainer should have your best interest at heart and suggest what’s best for you, not their wallet. Some people like gadgets, some love protein shakes and vitamins. Trainers often have to supplement their incomes through product sales. Don’t be seduced by purchases you don’t need. If the trainer tries to “hard sell” you on a heart-rate monitor that syncs to the international space station , it’s time to move on.

Is trustworthy – Make sure your trainer maintains a professional demeanor, follows-through on promises, and never divulges your personal information like your weight, or how David Haselhoff is your favorite recording artist.

Finally, ask yourself if you can spend time with this person –  Will they set a good example for you? Are you intellectually compatible? Is the trainer patient and kind? If so, you may have the start of a great working relationship!

Keep in mind a trainer can’t “fix” you! Getting the best out of your relationship is up to you too.  Follow your trainer’s advice, drop the milkshake, show up, work hard, and you’ll be as fit as you desire. Leg warmers are optional.

What is fitness? Key markers for a healthy lifestyle.

Fitness is when your jeans fit?  Maybe, but there may be a better definition: physical fitness is a state of well-being with low risk of premature health problems and energy to participate in a variety of physical activities.

Fitness can be broken down further into either health related fitness (wellness) or performance fitness (sports and competition). Here, we’ll address health related fitness as broken down into 5 markers:  body composition, strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.

You’re one vowel away from being either fit, or fat.
BODY COMPOSITION relates to the relative amounts of muscle, fat, bone and other vital parts of the body. When fitness professionals work with clients to change body composition, the primary focus is on increasing lean body mass. In other words, melting that muffin top for good!

If you had to, could you run from a swarm of killer bees?CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS relates to ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen during sustained physical activity.  Cardio exercise also depletes excess fat stores by using them for fuel.  Move it and lose it!

Your toes. Maybe you can see them, but can you touch them?
FLEXIBILITY relates to the range of motion available at a joint. Ideally, movement within your range of motion will be pain free. If you experience discomfort or limited range of motion during exercise or in daily activity, you would benefit from flexibility training.

Can you make it to the corner, or run to Tibet and back?
ENDURANCE relates to the muscle’s ability to continue to perform without fatigue. Endurance is important when we need to perform a task over a period of time. Even walking through an amusement park can be taxing if we have trouble with our endurance. Hopefully, your goal is the tilt-a-whirl and not the funnel cake.

Drop and gimme 10! OK, how about just ONE! 
STRENGTH relates to the ability of the muscle to exert force. One great benefit of strength training is a muscular body burns more calories.

As you can see, fitness isn’t just for athletes. These five aspects of fitness bring a body into balance, help us to feel better, look better and live happier lives.  And, unless that funnel cake is on the end of a dumbell, walk right past it.

Sources: Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Corbin and Lindsey, 1994 and Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, USDHHS, 1996 as adapted from Wilmore and Costill, 1994.

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