Pink n Powerful

Sue-5202A year and half ago, I started working with Sue McConnaha training one on one three times a week.  When she started working with me she was 60 years old weighed 195 lb with 49.3 % body fat.  Sue soon became every trainers dream.  She had the determination and the dedication to reach her goal.  She had many set back throughout our time working together but she did not let these life events set her off track.  Now I am happy to report Sue is now 61 years old and feels ten years younger weighing 125 lbs with  21.1 % body fat.

It wasn’t always fun and games.  It was a struggle at first for Sue.  For someone one who has not exercised on a regular basis since ever. Sue learned the art of  struggling well.  Every kind if exercise program there is going to be a struggle.  This struggle I like to describe a processes of shedding the old self in hopes for a new. This “new” can be a new strength, a new weight lost, a new body.

Through her struggle of continuous exercising, she rediscover her  new body as a magnificent machine.  She now loves to dead lift (PR 95 lbs) and kettlebell swing.  She now finds joy through movement and exercise.  Instead of working one on one, Sue has been able to join a Kettlebell class and do partner training improving her technique of working with the kettlebell.

As a her trainer, it has been amazing to watch her transformation. This transformation didn’t just happen through her body but her mind.  One of the reasons why she has been able to keep the weight of is simply her mind set.  She has told me “I know that this time, the weight loss is for life.  Making this mental decision, her action will follow.  Having this mind set is the game changer.

Sue’s story has been such an inspiration to so many. Her life testimony of health reaches many more people than those with weight lost goals. Knowing she had to overcome many challenges, she inspires me to maintain my health as I recover from my foot surgery.  I understand how easy it is to give up when facing challenges, let Sue’s story be an inspiration to not give up and chase your fitness goals.  Below is an interview I had with Sue discussing her story about her transformation.

 

What is your history with trying different diet and exercise routine been?
I started out as a chubby kid….there in lies the problem!
My first diet success was when I was in high school…lost 30 lbs the
summer before my senior year. What a difference that made for me that
last year. So good memory of what the hard work and focus yielded…I
always remembered that.
Got married right out of high school and pregnant…gaining 50 lbs.
The next 40 years has been taking the weight off and gaining it back.
Have done Weight Watcher, LA weight loss, Bellevue weight loss clinic
using a diet pill and their specific liquids. Have been on 7 day a
week 75 minute work outs. Gave up red meat…then did the Atkins heavy
protein….brown rice diet, grapefruit diet…body flushes…I could
go on and on. Any and all of these were not sustainable for me because
it was so far from normal for me.

What made this program so different?
This program has been able to figure out a plan in the current
lifestyle that I have.

Was you mind set different from the rest attempts?
I honestly didn’t think I could or wanted to do it again. But I always
remember how good it would feel when I would be loosing and feeling
better about myself.

How much weight total did you lose? Start weight? Goal weight? Current Weight
I started last April 22nd at 193lbs with a goal of 150lb. That is
about the same start and goal I have had on all of my various diets.
Sometimes I got there and other times not. Seemed like the decision
point was when I would be close to the 200lbs on the scale..
I am happy to say I surpassed my goal and I weigh 120lbs and have been
at that weight for the last 3 months. I haven’t weigh’d 120 since I
was in the 6th grade.

What were some challenges?
Challenges were not as evident this go around because the formula was
working. My husband and I go out often so menu items were a struggle
at first. Then I figured out any restaurant would prepare it how ever I
would ask. I just wish there was a diet wine…as that is one of my
vices.

Can you describe you job responsibilities and how this was a challenge?
So I am in charge of Bakery and Food Courts….all food related. WeSMcConnaha3
have cuttings all the time…it is not that appealing when I am trying
to spit out the sample in front of 12 people….but they are used to
it now. Even have 2 or 3 of them doing the same thing!

What about your work travel schedule?
Travel is always interesting….nothing nutritional offered on
commercial flights so I just get a salad to go before I get on and
don’t use the dressing. When on the company plane there is plenty to
pick from I am so lucky.

Was there anything hard to give up like certain foods, habits, etc
Limiting/eliminating wine big challenge?

I still think about it and work at it.SMcConnaha2

Since you have reached your goal weight what keeps you motivated now?
My motivation has been that  it keeps working…that never happened
with any diet because it wasn’t sustainable.

What motivated to lose so much weight?

The attention from the quality people at the pro club….You, Julie,
Ali, Dr Upton…the people at the desk’s…everyone. My husband has played a huge support role as he does most of the cooking .Also everyone’s
comments are very motivating puts a smile on my face every time.

Explain the need for back surgery during the program and how it could have created a set back, but you did not allow for it.  How did you not fall back into your past unhealthy routines?
When I found out that I had to surgery I thought this would be a
stopping point not knowing how it would set me back. Well it didn’t!I
It took about a week to get back to a soft routine and that was it. I
stayed the course with the nutritional part recording
everything….sometimes over estimation the amounts to keep in check.

What advice do you have for other who struggle with weight loss?
You have to keep trying…it took me until 60 years old to find the
program that fits my lifestyle.
I believe I have discovered the formula that works good for me.
Everything I do I feel is sustainable.

What advice do you have for people your age being active and exercising?
You must get up and move…5 minutes then 10 minutes…and more. Never
push yourself to make it hurt just feel good. If it hurts you won’t
want to continue.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
The most satisfying thing to me is setting a good example with my
family, friends and people at work. I have explained my process to so
many people that it keeps me even more motivated.
My grandson is constantly inspecting what I have on my plate and
comparing to his…now he always orders a salad instead of french
fries…how can you beat that.

 

Off Season Training Begins

This past weekend I was able to compete in my fist tactical strength competition.  It consisted of max dead lift, max pull ups and the 5 min snatch test.  Those who are not familiar with the snatch text, it is completing as many kettle snatches you can within the 5 mins.  I accomplished a 205 lb dead lift, 14 pull ups and 105 snatches.  However, I could not have completed any of this without the amazing encouragement that was surrounding me from all the other competitors.

The best part of the day was seeing how strength brought strangers to friends, friends to encourages and  encourages to competitors within minutes.  The atmosphere was filled with motivation and inspiration, like a forest set on fire the motivation and inspiration started burning inside each of us in hopes to do our best.  As a result, many people had personal record  PR (in water skiing we call this personal best PB).  It was amazing to see and be a part of the determination, the strength and the encouragement from everyone wanting to improve their physical abilities.

As any competitor, we want a t-shirt to wear for bragging rights.  This was the shirt rewarded to all the competitors.

tshirtTSCfall13

I love the quote on the back of the shirt.  As a personal trainer, I believe strength does have a greater meaning.  For some, strength is losing weight, others may be a fight against cancer,  or it might be like my case a back injury and being able to walk pain free is strength. For me,  strength is a tool, a hope to use as inspiration for others.  Many of you know my story (and if you don’t you can read previous post about my back injury) and from this story of healing I hope I am able to inspire others to never give up on their dreams.  It is people and their stories that motivate me to continue to strive for my best, yet there is still a greater meaning to strength for me.

Snatch Test 105

As a competitor I am constantly reminded where my strength comes from:

  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go ~Joshua 1:9

He is my strength and power.

Strong First

God First

Learning from the Pros

This past week has been a week of learning new skills and putting them to use.  It first started with a weekend workshop for Functional Movement Screen (FMS).  With learning more about my past injuries and the reason behind them, it has made me as a profession understand the importance of movement patterns and if these movement patterns are not functioning correctly it could cause injuries.  The FMS is a serious of seven different movement patterns evaluating the quality of the movement. As a personal trainer, part of my job is to help people move efficiently and correctly. I have already started applied this to some of my clients and myself and already starting to see improvements. FMS is a great certification for those in the health profession and highly recommend it.

After the three day weekend of learning my brain was already on information overload. Yet I was stoked  to continue to learn for the following Monday Wade Cox was coming to our lake!!!  I was beyond thrilled to ski with Wade. There were many things I learned from Wade to take my skiing to the next level. The best part of skiing with him was he remembered me from two summers ago when I was able to ski with him right before Nationals. Knowing my areas of weakness, I know I will be able to master these weakness into my strengths through hard work and dedication. Part of learning is having a better understanding on where the areas that need improvements.

There is always areas to learn or improve in through my career and my sport.  Another certification I am training for is the Level 1 Strong First Kettlebell certification (SFG)  in November in Vancouver BC. Part of this certification is to be able to do 100 snatched with a 16kg in 5 min.  My co-worker CJ Erickson, who is training for his level 2 SFG and who has coached me through my kettlebell training, video me doing a mock snatch test on July 4th (crazy way to celebrate the 4th of July). If you click to enlarge the pictures you will find the URL of the video.  I completed the test in 5:22.  I was hoping for my first time to do it under 5 min.  However, I now know what to expect and how to train better for it.  I will be doing another mock test in September, but till then I will be either ripping it up on the water or hitting it hard in the gym.