Posted in Health, Wellness

Eyes on My Own Paper

I haven’t written a blog post in a long time. Like, a really long time. February, to be exact.

Even before that, my posts had become infrequent compared to when I first started. The reasons were actually positive. I had plenty of time to blog when I first started my business, because I didn’t have any clients.

Within a few months that changed. I picked up my first client, then another, then another… Gradually I found myself with a small but consistent little business.
Life got busy. I was seeing clients three days a week, and I still had my full-time job at Trader Joe’s to pay the bills and maintain health insurance. Suddenly my time was at a premium. A quality problem indeed!

I also found that sometimes I would put out a blog post and it didn’t get many views, so I increasingly focused my marketing efforts on social media. Facebook and Instagram provided a greater “bang for the buck” with a much lower time investment. A blog post required hours to complete; a well-received social media post took minutes.

But I missed the blog. There is something about long-form writing that soothes my soul, whether it finds a large audience or not. It’s cathartic.

Which finally brings me to why I’m breaking my almost six-month silence on the blog.
Because I have suddenly found myself with unforeseen time on my hands, and the need for a little soul-soothing.

What happened?

Easy. I got injured.

Continue reading “Eyes on My Own Paper”

Posted in Health, Wellness

Renewal

I recently turned 40. A momentous occasion (allegedly).

What did I do to commemorate this milestone birthday?

Well, for one thing, I renewed my driver’s license. I know how to party, right? 

Standing in line at the BMV hardly seems to warrant a blog post. Pretty boring stuff.

Sure, today standing in line at the BMV is just another mundane adult task that requires minimal effort.

But a few years ago? Different story…

The year was 2014. February 19, 2014, to be exact. At this point I had never heard of Ludus Magnus or Matt Wenning.

Continue reading “Renewal”

Posted in exercise, Health

Steps Back, Leaps Forward

When it comes to diet and exercise, we often expect our progress to look like this:

progress

Stay dedicated, try hard, and every workout will be a crescendo of ever-increasing gains, right?

We are having a really good day, and do something awesome at the gym. Maybe a new lifting PR, maybe hitting a certain amount of volume or speed on an exercise. And then, we “expect” to be able to hit or exceed that same level at each subsequent outing.

But the truth is, those great days are rare. Most days we don’t feel our best. What then? Continue reading “Steps Back, Leaps Forward”

Posted in Health, Wellness

Painful Assets (Part 2): Food for Thought

To recap where we left off last week in our stroll down memory lane… As a child, I had already fallen into a vicious cycle that only worsened as I grew older:

I had natural biomechanical mobility issues exacerbated by weight gain (and probably severe inflammation from a high sugar diet). Physical activity was uncomfortable and associated with ever-elusive weight loss. Trying to do something I wasn’t good at made me feel even worse about myself. So I avoided most physical activity, which further contributed to weak muscles, stiff joints, and continued weight gain. I ate to comfort myself but felt intense shame for doing so (and was often shamed by the adults in my life when caught with the foods I loved), leading to secretive binge eating.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how I wound up a morbidly obese, yo-yo dieting, exercise-hating adult so stiff and inflamed that I could not do one proper squat when I walked through the doors of Ludus Magnus.

20170924_162051 (1)
Me holding my best friend’s son in 2008. I weighed almost 300 pounds. I was thirty years old and felt like I was eighty.

I promise, I do have a point in sharing all this beyond self-obsessed navel gazing. I don’t think my experience is that unique; sadly, I think it is all-too common.

I felt like a prisoner to these early established patterns for decades. I couldn’t simply wish them away or extract myself from them overnight. It has been a long, slow process of action: changing one thing at a time, making it a habit and enjoying some success with it, and then changing the next thing.

Having found a way out that works for me, I want to share my experience so that hopefully I can help other adults struggling with these issues, as well as parents who have children exhibiting some of the same problems that I had. Continue reading “Painful Assets (Part 2): Food for Thought”

Posted in exercise, Health, Wellness

Spice Up Your Rack

Practice makes perfect, right?

Well, sort of. Turns out, it’s slightly more complicated than that.

There’s something called the Law of Specificity. When I first heard that term, I had no idea what it meant. It sounds fancy, but it’s quite simple.

If I want to be a better basketball player, I have to practice shooting, dribbling, and quick footwork. If I want to swim like Michael Phelps, I have to spend hours upon hours in the pool. If I want to get stronger, I have to lift weights. Practice makes perfect on the specific thing I want to do better.

“Well, duh,” you may be thinking. “Why do we even need a ‘Law’ for something so obvious?”

That’s what I thought, too. Stay with me… Continue reading “Spice Up Your Rack”

Posted in goals, Health, Weight Loss

Horizons of Possibility

I’ve been thinking about goals quite a bit lately.

Our society loves to talk about goals: setting goals, working towards goals, reaching goals. Short-term versus long-term goals. Define benchmark goals on the way to the larger goal. Plan the steps necessary to help reach the goal. Organize your life in a way that gets you closer to the goal. Once you reach the goal, set up the next goal.

(Did you notice how strange the word “goal” starts to sound when you say it that many times in that short a space? Or is it just me? Anyway…)

Weight loss and “getting in shape” are huge goals for millions of people, with a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to helping people reach that goal in a myriad of ways, from the reasonable to the ridiculous. Continue reading “Horizons of Possibility”

Posted in Strength Training, Wellness Coaching

Out of the Hole

To those who know me, it’s obvious that I have undergone a physical transformation.

Me at my niece's prom, May 2014. I always tried to stand to the side in pictures to avoid full-on body shots
Me and my niece, May 2014. I always tried to stand to the side in pictures to avoid full-on body shots.
before-may-2014-2
Me at my Nephew’s graduation, May 2014, just a few months before I came to Matt.
dsc_0473
October 2016, just over two years later

What isn’t as obvious is how I got here.

As these changes became more noticeable, I often encountered the same question from a variety of people, from passing acquaintances to close friends:

“Wow, you look great! What are you doing?”

While I truly appreciate the compliment, I find that there are a few assumptions underneath the question:

  1. Whatever I’ve been “doing,” I started “doing” it recently.
  2. I must be following a strict dietary program, like Weight Watchers, Atkins, Paleo, something.
  3. I must be going to the gym several days a week.

None of these are true for me. Continue reading “Out of the Hole”