ITS IMPORTANT TO BE OPEN AND HONEST

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing three insecurities that they’ve dealt with – whether it be physical, mental or experiences we have faced.

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I think its important to be open and honest about our personal insecurities. In an industry that is filled with images of “perfection” its important that we as trainers and REAL PEOPLE show the imperfections that make us human just like everyone else. Although most would never know, at a young age I was bullied pretty bad. I hated middle school with a passion. I wasn’t the popular girl and I didn’t come from a family with money. I wore clothes from goodwill, wore my hair up in a bun practically everyday, and wore the same neutral colors in order to not stand out. I was embarrassed to have friends over because I didn’t have a nice home or nice things. In 8th grade, I was told by a boy that I was so ugly I should kill myself. I had a lot of insecurities from this time in my life that stayed with me for YEARS. I still hate to wear my hair up because I was made fun of so much at such a young age. Its crazy how childhood experiences can shape us into adulthood. Along with this, I was an athlete from a very young age. I played every sport I possibly could and was a tomboy. Being so athletic at such a young age and developing muscle tissue so quickly in my legs led me to develop stretch marks on my hips and legs. I absolutely HATED that I had stretch marks in middle school and high school. I wasn’t overweight by any means but refused to get into a bikini because I never wanted anyone to see them or wonder why I had them. I thought I was ugly and my body was ugly. Even with my stage photos from past competitions in the last few years, I have felt embarrassed to see the stretch marks on my hips and have hated some of the professional photos due to my eyes going there first. Along with this, I remember growing up and hating my freckles. I even asked my mom to buy me some super expensive spot remover cream for my face because I didn’t want freckles any longer and thought I could get rid of them. It probably didn’t help that my oldest brother used to tell me it looked like “Someone threw shit at me through a screen door”. Skipping to more recent years of my life I have been through situations that have created insecurities through pure embarrassment. To be publicly humiliated and cheated on by me ex fiancé was one period of my life I will never forget. Not to mention having to hide physical abuse and a scar on my face from the situation. I felt embarrassed for a long time about the circumstance and felt weak for having it happen to me. And although I do know it wasn’t my fault, its still something that has been hard to talk about or accept that it actually happened to me. The point is I was a VERY insecure little girl and had many experiences along the way that created anxieties into adulthood. Meeting my husband and having him love me for all of me has helped dramatically. But from time to time I do still feel insecure about many of these things even at 30 years old. We all have a story and we all have insecurities. Today you may see a “fitness model”, someone who seems to have a “perfect life” or someone who is “so confident” on the social media screen, but behind the photos is still a girl who was broken many times but refused to let her past define her or her beauty.

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ALTERING YOUR PLAN AROUND HORMONES

When you want all the chocolate and none of the fitness! Let’s talk about getting your monthly hormonal cycles to work for your goal, and not against them.

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There are some women who are incredibly sensitive to their hormonal fluctuations and PMS is an all-out nightmare. But then there are some who can just breeze through the month with hardly a blip on the radar. But every healthy woman in her reproductive years should be having a regular monthly (if not near monthly) cycle. And it’s more than just having your body be ready to conceive a child. Your entire system is altered by the changes these waves of estrogen and progesterone each month. And some of these changes directly impact your energy levels, metabolism, and your likelihood of injury.

So we’ll use a month for basic understanding, even though some cycles are more like 18 days and some are more like 40. The week prior and the week of your period is when most women feel their worst in the month. Your progesterone is coming off a big high and your serotonin is low. This is when your body is actually primed to burn more body fat and use it for fuel, primarily in the PMS week. And your body really wants to counter that by causing an increase in sugar cravings. But hold out and stick to your metaphorical macro-guns! Yes, that drop in progesterone that happens right before you start PMSing is what’s causing you to hold on to more water and electrolytes, so the scale shoots up 3-5lbs and you just feel like skipping the gym entirely. Understand that’s just your body being low on serotonin that’s making you feel extra crummy. So get in a great workout and you’ll feel better.

Many women say that the week prior and the earlier part of menses is when they feel the weakest in the gym. If you’re among that crowd, I advise you to make your workouts a little more cardio-based by dropping rest times lower and aiming for a really great burn in your muscles. Once that time passes, strength levels return and potentially in a big way!

Now, the two weeks or so after your finish your period, your body starts ramping back up again and this is the time you’re primed to kill it in the gym! Your body makes a huge surge of estrogen right before the halfway mark in your month as it prepares for ovulation. Estrogen has been shown to actually boost endurance and performance. And you get two of these hormonal bumps. Right before day 14 of your cycle and a smaller bump right around day 21. So, as much as your body is set on beast mode, one thing to consider is that joint laxity is negatively affected by estrogen, you’re actually at a higher likelihood of injury. So make sure you spend extra time priming your joints with proper warm up exercises and sets before going hard on your plyos and lifts.

And lastly, our body is more sensitive to these hormonal fluctuations when we are less consistent with exercise and when we are carrying more body fat. But to be so over-trained and/or lean that you don’t have a cycle isn’t good either. Balance is key for a healthy hormonal system.

~ ADO

Sources:
The Female Body Breakthrough by Rachel Cosgrove

The Underground Guide To Planning Your Exercise Around Your Menstruation Cycle.

Running Around The Menstrual Cycle

Female Phase Training: Training with the menstrual cycle

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PERFECTION IS BORING

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing three insecurities that they’ve dealt with – whether it be physical, mental or experiences we have faced. Coach Trista shares her story.

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One of my most prominent insecurities I have is a scar on my forehead. I got hit in the head with a rock while I was camping about 6 years ago. I ended up getting stitches and the way it healed it is very noticeable and all I focus on when I look in the mirror. I actually feel stupid as I am writing this expressing that I am so concerned with a scar- but it’s my honest feelings and something I can’t control. For the longest time I would edit it out of my pictures any chance I got! But just recently I decided to stop doing that because everyone has something that makes them unique and REAL. Perfection is boring, vague, and un-relatable. Scars show you have lived and you have a story. It makes me feel really sad at times and wish it hadn’t happened but I take every experience as a sign and a guide for what I am supposed to learn in life. Another insecurity would be by distention of course. I have spoke about this many times but aside from the frustration it brings, there are times when I feel I have to wear loose fitting clothing to hide my stomach. In my mind – I picture someone looking at me thinking “oh that girl is so fit but she has a belly?!” 😂 it can really take a toll on my body image. I feel really grateful for @_star_fox in that he never makes me feel un pretty or undesirable from my condition, it doesn’t bother him and I can be completely comfortable (with my appearance) when my symptoms are bad. But for the others who may see this and not understand, it can look really odd. So yes, even though I spend hours in the gym, eat well, and take care of myself I STILL struggle with feeling like I have to cover myself up at times.
And lastly, the biggest one I would say is more of a personality trait that sometimes can be a weakness or insecurity of mine. I am a HIGHLY sensitive person. I am a Cancer, and my moods change from hour to hour as my day flows. I feel everything. I’m very sensitive to energies and things that go on in this world especially with animals. I can see or hear something disturbing with animals and it will affect my mood for the rest of the day. With people, I am easily drained and often need time in isolation to regain my energy and clear my thoughts. (Introvert) I am an over-thinker to the max and make things complex when they don’t need to be, I am always looking for meaning in anything. I really struggle with this but I am aware of it, so awareness enables me to stay rational. Being a soft soul creates hesitation or an insecure feeling with living in such a rigid, faced paced world, at times I wish I was more “fierce” and unaffected by things but we have to have all types to keep our world balanced 🌎

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LUPUS SUCKS

This week ADOFitness trainers will be addressing their biggest weakness both physically and mentally and how they over came it. Coach Tara shares her story!

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As most of you might already know about 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Raynauds Phenomenon. This is by far my biggest weakness both physically and mentally. Lupus or SLE is an autoimmune disorder where your own immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues in many different body parts. Some people have Lupus that only affect their skin known as discoid lupus and some have SLE. Unfortunately for me, I have both. As of now it has affected a lot of areas of my body including some internal organs. If I go in the sun without sun screen I end up with a terrible rash which also causes a flare in my body that can lead to kidney failure, also causing my hair to fall out. It affects my eyes, inside of my mouth, causes terribly itchy skin getting out of a hot shower, kidney damage, rapid heart rate up to 160 BPM at rest, ulcers on my toes and fingers from lack of circulation from the Raynauds, joint paint, muscle twitching, extreme tiredness, nausea, and migraines to name a few. I see a Rheumatologist, a neurologist, a nephrologist, a urologist, a cardiologist, a dermatologist, and of course a primary care doctor. I currently take 9 different medications (was 10 but I just got off of one woo hooo) which is 20 pills a day and get my blood taken at least once a month. Needless to say here I am today trucking away and most people have no idea what I go through on a daily basis.. but the reason for that is, I don’t really care to share my story unless it’s for the sole purpose of motivating or inspiring someone else battling issues of their own.
When I first got sick Im not going to lie and tell you that I was tough and totally ok.. people around me might have thought that I was, but I spent countless days laying in bed feeling terrible, feeling depressed, not understanding why God would do this to me, and fighting the fact I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. This went on for months until one day I was sick and tired of it.. I told my parents to stop asking me how I was feeling because even on days I felt fine I would second guess myself and think that maybe I was missing something and honestly got caught up in the fear of “what could happen to me” instead of focusing on all the good that was happening in my life and the fact I was alive! I mean at that point I might have just as well been dead since I was not “living” at all.. I was stuck inside my own head, feeling helpless and sorry for things I couldn’t control instead of focusing on what I could control and helping myself!
How I overcome this feeling on a daily basis is practicing gratitude and living with a “half glass full attitude”. At first it was pretty hard. I remember telling myself to think positive and the only thing I could think of at the time was “Well at least I’m not dead?” I guess that’s kind of positive… but it wasn’t really doing the trick. I mean it’s really freaking hard to be positive when you feel like dirt everyday haha Then I remembered this quote a coach told me one time “The body achieves what the mind believes.”.. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give that a shot.. So everyday I wake up and pretend I don’t have lupus..now that doesn’t mean I don’t take all necessary precautions when it comes to my health, it just means I don’t focus on the negative things and just deal with them when they arise. Instead of looking for symptoms or diagnosing myself on web MD thinking I all of a sudden have a brain tumor when really its a head ache haha I just wake up, tell myself I’m full of energy (even when I’m not) and go through the day. When you only focus on the negatives your life will be full of unhappy thoughts and disaster after disaster will happen… But when you focus on the positives, big problems seem minute and little problems don’t exist..Instead of fixating my thoughts on how many workouts I missed last week I focus on how many awesome workouts I had last week..and if they weren’t that great I focus on the fact I was able to workout period!
Now don’t get me wrong.. I still get caught up on the negatives sometimes as I am FAR from perfect.. but I know I have people in my corner that will pull me through even the toughest of days and remind me of how strong I am.. I could NOT have done this without the support of my family, boyfriend, and amazing friends.
It is soooo hard to be grateful for things in your life when everything seems to be going wrong…but maybe things seem to be going wrong because that is what you are focused on instead of all the wonderful things right at your finger tips. Start today by writing down 5 positive things in your life and feeling truly grateful for them, you won’t regret it!

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SNAP OUT OF IT

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing three insecurities that they’ve dealt with whether it be physical or experiences that they faced. Coach Joey shares her story.

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I have spoken before about being my mothers legal guardian since I was 21. Now this might seem like an odd insecurity. But my insecurity is I am constantly feeling I am not “good enough” to be her legal guardian. What i mean by this is I have no control over her happiness and to get her to snap out of wanting to commit suicide or hating herself. This has been an ongoing issue for years. Mental health is a tremendous challenge in the health care field. It isn’t taken seriously and almost frowned upon in society. Along with not being able to control the situation that always gives me some form of anxiety it scares me to think that this mental condition is in my genes and I could one day become depressed, suicidal and/or bipolar. I know this is a heavy subject, but this is the truth and how I feel daily. I am reminded from loved ones that this is not my fault and I know that but its still very hard when you have someone that just won’t “snap out of it”. I have gotten better over the years with talking openly about this and making sure that others that are in my situation know that they are not alone. The more I open up about it I find that it is actually very common and I’m not alone either.

Another insecurity that I have is with school. This might sound silly but its something that does bother me. I worry all of the time that I won’t be good enough to pass a test or graduate next year. I know many people have these doubts as well. I know it is normal but it does seriously scare me. I am in my 3rd year to complete my MSN to obtain my Family Nurse Practitioner degree and let me tell you graduate school is NO joke! Anyone that has or is currently in a masters program knows exactly what I mean by this. Their are plenty of times I just want to throw the towel in and say “Screw this, I don’t want to study.” or “Do I really care about passing that next exam?” Well obviously I do care or it wouldn’t be something that worries me. Being in graduate school, working full time, going to clinical and having a social life ( which doesn’t really happen when you’re in school) is not easy and it can really wear on you. When my boyfriend, friends and or family want to do something I have to decline quite often because I can’t miss reading or doing a paper. I am lucky majority of people in my life understand but that doesn’t stop me from feeling guilty. Also I keep reminding myself that it’s almost over. If I have gone this long I can do another 6 months.

Lastly my third insecurity would have to be my body image. Again, anyone that has competed knows what I mean by this. You feel like you constantly have to withhold that stage leanness year round and look the best you possibly can. This is a lifestyle for me, so yes it does come easier for me then someone just starting to change their lifestyle. But that does not mean it isn’t hard to deal with. I would say the hardest thing is when you’re at the gym or out wherever and people will comment “Oh you are on your offseason.” You look like you have put some weight back on..” So first of all, who likes to be told that they have put some weight on?? No one! Trust me I know that I’m not fat and I know that I actually am in the best shape currently especially with my reverse diet BUT it still is not something you want to hear. Along with that, I have a job that I feel I need to stay in good shape for. I want my clients to look up to me and be motivated by me. I want to look my best for them as well, not just myself. I also want my boss Amber to think I am “fitting” the role of my job and be proud of me as one of her employee.

I know everyone deals with insecurities and whatever they may be know that you aren’t alone and that we all have them. I don’t care who you are or how much money you make everyone has issues that bother them. Know that it is OK to have them and in the long run it will only make you stronger!!

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PAIN IN THE HIP

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing three insecurities that they’ve dealt with whether it be physical or experiences that they faced. Coach Jennifer shares her story.

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I’ve posted before about my hip injury and that it’s been one of my biggest insecurities. The fact that part of my body is weaker than the rest has always made me feel less then my best. When I go to the gym I’m in full beast mode, I always challenge myself and go until failure. There were times that I couldn’t even lunge on the right side because I was so weak performing that movement. It’s been frustrating to say the least, I’ve broken down quite a few times in tears mentally drained from being stressed about it. Because I set very high standards, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well which makes it hard to accept that things can be physically challenging. Around a year ago I was doing single leg presses, and I could do 70 pounds heavier on my left leg than on my right. That is a significant difference in strength. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at that moment thinking what can I do to make my right leg as strong? One thing that always kept me going was remembering that I had overcome those feelings of sadness before and chose to not give up. I needed to remind myself that nothing happens overnight and that every workout I would make it that much stronger. When I started to look at it from a positive perspective, it became exciting to see it get stronger week after week👌🏼💪🏻

Another insecurity that I’ve dealt with is my past experiences and poor choices I made years ago. I wasn’t always a big health enthusiast and actually partied quite a bit. I was really into drinking and even dabbled with drugs. Definitely not proud moments of my life. I remember thinking what a failure I was and why was I wasting time of my life doing absolutely nothing to better myself or my future. I was lost in the moment and didn’t think of the consequences until later on. Sometimes I catch myself thinking what my life would be like if I made better choices years ago. And you know what? What happened in the past is in the past that’s not who I am. Who I am is a strong motivated woman and it’s because of those past experiences and the things that I dealt with that made me who I am today. I think sometimes I forget I’m just human and humans make bad decisions every now and then. What you learn from your past and how you shape your future is what matters. Those past choices turned out to make me wiser, gave me strength, and helped me get to where I am today.

Lastly I’ll address my insecurity of my off-season body. Anyone who’s competed or even dealt with weight gain can relate. Not loving what you see in the mirror really sucks it’s hard to see cellulite and things that jiggle on your body. For the most part I was OK with my body and embraced the weight gain and then summer came and I tried all my summer clothes on. 😭 I pretty much had a mini meltdown and cried because nothing fit everything was so tight. Bras didn’t even fit and I felt really embarrassed & disgusted with myself. It didn’t help that most of my friends were completely shredded all summer either. Let’s be honest next to them I felt huge. I had cellulite on the tops of my legs and on my butt, and it just made me feel really ugly. I held it together pretty well only the people that are really close to me saw how I really felt, and of course Jordan got to hear it all😂😂 poor guy 🤓 All my friends and Jordan were very sympathetic and would try to make me feel better ❤️Then a beautiful thing happened. I stopped feeling bad and started to remember my goals. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to feel bad about my body anymore. Sometimes all you need is encouragement from others and to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. I focused on the bigger picture rather than a short amount of time. I needed to gain that weight so I could have a good off-season and make improvements. I was happy, healthy, and I got to eat a lot of pizza😂🍕🍕🍕 It taught me that I will never reverse diet poorly again.

Everyone has insecurities but if you look at the positive side of those insecurities it will make you stronger. Not saying it will be easy because I still struggle with things every day but it will teach you if you pay attention.

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EAT WHEN YOUR HUNGRY

This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing their biggest weakness both physically and mentally and how they overcame it.

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After 6 years of dieting on and off its easy to pinpoint mentally what my struggle has been. As someone who grew up without the word or term “diet” in my vocabulary I believe I was pre-disposed to resist against dieting. My mentality prior to competing was “eat what you want and what you feel like eating when you are hungry” which I think is fairly common with many as children and young adults. Thankfully I came from a background of genetically fit parents and could get away with much of that. However, when I threw myself into competition prep and started learning about nutrition of course this all changed. I started viewing food differently. Started learning what I should and shouldnt eat. I have said this before but I do believe I would have been 100x worse off if my first prep would have been overly restrictive. But thankfully my brother Aaron Orton coached me and he never gave me a meal plan ( I would have failed miserably at eating the same things everyday anyways because I had always been into variety). He simply told me what to eat more of and what to eat less of.
He knew I would respond fairly easy with those simple terms and I did. Unfortunately when things went very south were when I started prepping with someone else who enforced meal plans, “good and bad” food mentalities, and overly restrictive prep methods. I believe this changed me for years and I am still overcoming the mental battle of this. I have been very open about dealing with BED ( Binge eating disorder) and have no shame in being honest about that. In 2012 I believe it was at its peak. My relationship with food was completely disordered. I would hide food in the bathroom so I could eat away from my ex-fiance who was also my coach. I would eat in my car. I would think about food all day long. Read menus before going to restaurants day dreaming about what I wanted to eat. I was fascinated with food, it was my every thought every waking day. I remember eating an entire box of life cereal and almond milk in my car ( yes I took a spoon and a tuppawear bowl in my car on a mission to do this and ate bowl after bowl). Completely pre-meditated. I ate two boxed of samosa girl scout cookies in my car back to back and then disposed of the boxes so no one would know. This is not normal. How I was living was extremely unhealthy and I most definitely had very disordered eating patterns. Over the last 3 years I have come a long ways from these thoughts, actions, and feelings around food but this has hands down been my biggest mental struggle.

Physically my biggest struggle has been the ups and downs of weight gain from BED and restrictive preps. I used to rebound to the point of gaining 20 lbs within weeks post show. I hated my body and was embarrassed to even look at myself in the mirror. I remember covering myself with a towel after showering even while being alone because I didnt want to know what I looked like or see myself for that matter. These yo-yo cycles were very hard on me physically and mentally. I am so glad I found a better way and this is also why I have been so adamant about teaching healthier philosophies with my trainers and business model at ADOFitness

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