Thursday, January 8, 2009

turning resolutions into realities

i recently gave a talk at a MOPS group about turning New Year's resolutions into realities. last year i came and talked about toddler nutrition and how to "sneak" fruits and veggies into meals, and though i bet they expected me to lecture on what to eat, what not to eat - i much prefer this topic, especially at the start of a new year. behavior change theory fascinates me (what i did my master's in, essentially) and this was chock full of that.

anyways...i asked the group to name some resolutions and give me the reasons WHY they even wanted to achieve them. the point was to get them to name some sustainable motivations...reasons that wouldn't fade in 2 weeks and ones that truly get them excited at the possibility of achieving the goal. all of these written down are what a popular cognitive behavioral therapist (Dr. Judith Beck) calls an advantages list. again, it's a motivator...when you keep it with you it is a tool to remind you why you want what you want and why you don't want the alternative (i.e. losing weight vs. the cheesecake at lunch). then we moved onto some problem solving with regards to how to best prepare their home, calendar, pantry, office, etc. to contribute to, not detract from, their success. lastly, i gave some basic tips on how to get the ball rolling and stay accountable.

accountability, now that's a fun topic, isn't it?! one of the ways we can set up ourselves up for success is to make our goals public by sharing them with a friend, spouse, group of people, etc. it's a lot harder to abandon a goal when you know people know about it.with all this talk about goals, sustainable motivations, advantages lists, and accountability I got to feeling like I should make one of my New Years resolutions public. truly, it's a decision that makes you think twice - once it's out, it's out! after thinking about it the last couple days, i've decided it's worth it and something i want accountability for!

my resolution (among others, of course) is to get certified as a personal trainer/fitness instructor. it's something i've wanted to do since college, but have always been chicken to go after. you see, when i was in jr. high/high school i was a band kid. i tried out for volleyball and basketball, but seriously...who was i kidding. i had never taken any kind of clinic for either and all i knew was what i watched on tv. i wasn't terrible, but i wasn't very good either. swimming, on the other hand, a non-team (so to speak) sport, was just my thing. i didn't have tons of pressure to perform for others, i just tried to do my "personal best" each time. i loved it. no one to let down. this, for me, translated into me thinking that i was just cut out for individual exercise and things that were somewhat behind the scenes. and of course, artistic stuff like music.

then i got to college and started working out a lot more. i took kickboxing and step aerobics 2-3 times per week and loved it. anything with fun music was better than running a track, so i took advantage of all the free classes at the rec (oh, how i miss it!). my sophomore year, i think, i heard the rec was hosting trainings for those who wanted to get certified to teach fitness classes. i mulled it over for days, but in the end i totally chickened out. i had totally pigeon-holed myself as a "non-fitness" person...even though i was good at the classes, had rhthym, good form, loved it, etc. and of course, there was the stupid thought of "i'm not skinny enough to teach aerobics" despite the fact that my instructor in college was totally normal looking - nothing extreme at all. oh how the dumb the lies we tell ourselves, ladies!

so, i blew it off and considered it "not for me". years later, it's still something i want to do, and i've been blessed to have two sweet friends (with whom I work) tell me that i should go for it. they've watched me take their classes and they both were sweet enough to encourage me with the statement "why are you not an instructor?!" so...with 5 months before baby arrives, i'm going after it.

i've decided to get certified through ACSM because they are very credible AND i can get a beaucoup of continuing education hours for my RD if I get certified through them. i'm ordering the study materials tonight, and I plan to study for 3 months before I take the exam. sometimes i wonder if i'm insane - as if i'm not busy enough - but i'll have even more opporuntunities for excuses if i wait until after i have the baby.i'm working on my advantages list...i'll post at another time. this blog is already too long!


  1. You go Girl! Thanks for sharing, and I can't wait to hear all the updates and the victory you experience in becoming an instructor; keep us posted!

    You inspire me... I wanted to become certified when I was leading my First Place group back in Milton, Florida (2003/2004)... the timing wasn't right for me, but I was totally blessed with a great group (men and women) and I had a blast with the First Place studies during that season of my life. I'm in Texas now and miss my Florida "First Place" friends.

    Have a great week. Everyday with Jesus~ keeping Him First Place!


  2. Erin, you can do it! Thanks for sharing your goal with us. And, you're right. Now, is the time to go for it, before baby comes! I pray that God will bless your efforts as you seek His leading in this new adventure!

    Kristen Feola
    Springfield, MO

  3. Erin,here is a resolution that turned into a reality for me, keep going on yours!!
    Yesterday, I achieved a personal best. I walked in the Rodeo Run/Walk with two of my fellow class members; Melinda and Marissa. It was a 5K --3.1 miles. One of my session goals is to walk 3 miles by the end of March. I wasn 't sure I would make it but together we did. Not only did I make it; I pushed my self to go faster. I was afraid it would hurt my knees because of an injury. But I am fine. Now when I say I, it was much more than that. I achieved my personal best because of the balance process in FP4H. Spiritually, I have spent time with God and His encouragement and strength are a part of me; Mentally, God's word has taught me that I am His temple and He wants His temple fit and I can do all things through Him; Emotionally, I am connected to my sisters in Christ and they have encouraged me gently to get this done for the last two years! Thank you Ladies. Physically, I realize now I can do it and it has been a step by step process involving the three other areas of balance. All working together now, I believe I will roll along much easier. A part of me still wonders if I will quit because I always do. But another part of me realizes I am more connected than ever; and that connection is God-focused; His way. His word is falling on good soil now and will take root and result in more fruit than I ever imagined. It is all for Him to show His love and power in my life and it is not just for me, it is for anyone who seeks Him First!

  4. You need to go for certification!!!

    I use to be obese. I lost my weight on my own, but have gained some of it back due to two really bad car accidents (rear ended in school zones...TWICE in four months!). The accidents left me unable to exercise for a good while. I also had memory lapses and black outs. I'd eat and an hour later forget that I'd eaten and eat again (I started writing it down when I ate so I'd not eat again). I'm getting it off slowly now. But that's okay, it's coming off.

    When I lost weight the first time I did a lot of heavy work outs (3-5 miles running a day, a martial arts class where I was the ONLY woman). I also did Yoga. By the time I reached my goal, I was helping the Yoga instructor and she would have me lead when she was ill.

    Since I'm still recovering from my accidents, I can't do the hard work outs anymore, so Yoga is very important! I've turned it into a Christian moving meditation and prayer time. I'm really hoping that somewhere along the way I'll be given the oppurtunity to lead a Christian based Yoga class.

    I just presented your program to our minister for our church to consider. He is familiar with it. I'm hoping to start one when our church starts our new semester.

  5. I too have wanted to become a certified fitness instructor since college. I love doing exercise to music, it makes it fun. I never looked into it much because I thought people would laugh because I'm an RN, so why would I want to be a fitness instructor, but I continue to think about it. I now have 2 children, with baby number three due in August, and most days I think "I'll never be able to become an instructor, when would I have the time" but with your encouragement maybe there is no better time than now. I'll look into it. Keep us informed as to how it is going.

  6. what wonderful comments! thank you everyone and go for what it is you're dreaming of...what better time is this?


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