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Achieving Personal Life and Fitness Goals Is Special for Everyone

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Aloha,

I am writing this special post that is sure to fill you with inspiration and cause you to reflect and pause, for you are  about  to read about a lovely person and client named Lisa Thompson. Lisa, who has so bravely and willingly allowed me to  share with you her personal life challenges; begins with a special and unique triumph unlike any that I’ve encountered in my 13 years as a personal trainer. So thank you very much Lisa.

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Often my job as a personal trainer and healthy lifestyle specialist is to help people define their goals and get very, very specific. That’s part of the journey for many and a time of self discovery. Most people I train would like to shed a little weight, maybe train for a SUP race, or marathon or simply reenter fitness after years of a stressful job, or they’ve just had a baby and need help losing those last 10 pounds.  Some want to feel energized and simply improve their overall life and body strength.

This story is different and has so much more meaning. Not to say those goals mentioned above aren’t life changing. But Lisa came to me for a different purpose and goal; one of several that I thought was so extra special. I’d like to refer to them really as “life” goals, because if you can clarify your life goals your body goals will simply follow.  One of those special goals was she wanted to slim down enough to fit into her mother’s vintage dress. But as I’ve learned it really goes far and above beyond that.

Like many of us in our lives losing a loved one is a devastating event.  Lisa has recently experienced the loss of a loved one, her companion and boyfriend of 8 years. In addition to that she had a terrible case of viral meningitis which can be fatal and had very painful, debilitating symptoms that can last for some time. This you can imagine was a real blow to her body and spirit.

So now that you have a peek into the life of Lisa, I will now share with you her own words that I’m sure will have you cheering and smiling, but also maybe cause you to reflect on what is important in your life, right now. That is her desire for you.

Lisa writes, “Fitting into my mom’s dress was really sparked because of the loss of Ed and my bout with viral meningitis and the realization that you never know when your last day on earth might be.  I’ve been wanting for years to slim down to get into this dress but what good would it be if I couldn’t share it with my mom.  She is 82. I’m of the mindset now that you can’t put things off for a better day.  That better day may never come and if you want to do something there is not time like the present.  I’ve spent a lot of life either living in the past or in the future and the key I think to happiness is just being present in your today.”

Lisa Again, thank you Lisa for opening your heart and sharing your deepest truths.

The minute I met Lisa I knew that she had an inner drive and a certain level of determination that once she wrote down a goal ( which I always suggest ), she’s the kind of person who would absolutely do it.  To say she is a perfectionist I think she wouldn’t mind, but to say that she raises her own bar very high, I think she would agree. I love that.

I was also very keen to observe it would not take long for her to achieve her goals because I could tell with her professional background being of one that is incredibly demanding with no room for error; that would serve the mental part of our training program, and allow her for a built in level of discipline which is the hardest part for most.

Lisa began her training with me July 8, 2013 and in just a short 9 weeks she accomplished her goal! I was so impressed and thrilled for her that I begged her for a photo of her in her mother’s dress.  And here we are. She was never afraid to be uncomfortable while we were training.  As a matter of fact, I needed to encourage her to have just a little more fun and not be too serious during our sessions so she could enjoy the journey.

Her program was directed at a higher level of cardio more often during her work week. I designed a program to include weight training with many different variables so that we could get the desired “cut” and “lean out” results we wanted.  She was not needing to shed much weight at all, in fact her weight did not change much, but what DID change was her measurements and very noticeably.

Continue reading Achieving Personal Life and Fitness Goals Is Special for Everyone

Eat This Simple and Stay Sexy

Eat This Simple and Stay Sexy

photo by Simone All Rights Reserved

It’s hard to make food sexy, but it’s easy when I know first hand this keeps me in my bikini all year round. On Maui, we live in our bathing suits and as a fitness trainer, athlete and model I need to eat lean, eat for energy so I can look good and perform.

This is what I reach for before any serious long distance paddling, or before a big workout. I need low calorie, low fat energy food that will not make me bloated or feel sluggish. I love that in one cup with the combination of quality Greek yogurt, such  Fage 0%  One cup of this yogurt has zero fat, 130 calories, 9g of carbs and 23 grams of quality protein! Then I combine  this with a 1/2- 1 cup of GO Lean Crunch this gives me an additional source of more protein, fiber, potassium and a touch of honey to make it a little sweet. The additional 80 calories I can afford and need.

What a winning combination that sustains and fills me. I never feel hungry and I won’t crash when I enjoy this for a meal or pick me up. You can also add a bit a fruit too.

Remember to keep food and nutrition simple. Calories, fat content and sugar in your foods does matter.  I also suggest to my clients who want help with counting their calories for shedding weight or maintaining weight, the highly rated, easy and fun to use, food diary smart phone application, called My FitnessPal. It’s free! click here to learn more: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/
Thanks for stopping by. Please feel free to share or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

Mahalo, Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC

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Suze’s Photo by Simone Reddingius: Check out her work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/by-simone/

References:  Fage 0% http://www.fageusa.com/products/fage-total-0-percent/

GO Lean: http://www.kashi.com/products/golean_crunch

 

Ten Tips To Help You Start Shedding Weight for Good

Aloha and welcome to the Suzie Trains Maui Blog

The topic of shedding or losing weight is nothing new. So why then does everyone search for the quick fix or the one diet, magic shake , new trend, or little pill to solve this to do this for them ? That alone is a huge case study on the psychology of human behavior.

People assume that if you’re fit and healthy that it’s easy as I hear a barrage of reasons of why someone can’t lose weight. It’s simple, the bottom line, deep deep truth is, they’re not ready or don’t want to. I realize I’m putting myself out on a limb when I make a statement like this, but you’re still reading and you might be thinking, wow, how awful of me to say this.

I’ve heard it all, about the “why’s”  the “yeah buts” and “if onlys” to last me a life time. Just like I’m probably shocking you with my direct writing of my opinion here, as I normally am quite conservative in my blog entries. Now I am a compassionate and caring fitness professional and I do know first hand from my own experiences with illness and medical conditions, that sometimes medications or other real health matters offer a true layer of challenge that needs to be treated and approached in a different manner.

My daily dose of health! My reminder that my health is golden. View from my lanai on Maui

There is a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow and the pot of gold is your health. But the clients I help and train are truly successful and will do anything and everything I suggest 100%, not half way, because they know I’ve been there. I walk the talk and I know what it’s like to be down and not as fit as I’m supposed to be.

If you didn’t know this about me, I’m the trainer who broke her legs in April of 2009 only to be in a wheelchair for three months, completely atrophied from the waist down, and still train from my wheelchair. My body changed, turned to mush, but the inside of my heart and brain did not. I did not give up and I was committed to myself and my clients more than ever. I had the fire.

What is your fire?

We often need a jolt to really shock us out of unhealthy habits or help us make that mind shift. What can sometimes happen is an unexpected health event, such as a heart attack, or blood clot or maybe a diabetic episode, or like me a stumble that ends up badly.

Your health matters and so do you as a person. I’m not saying this will happen to you, and I’m not saying you should wait until something of this nature happens. Please avoid these health events. There is a lot of life to live so please start right now!

Take the reigns, and take charge of your life. Think of the possibilities of how your life would look and feel in so many ways when you decide to do just that. Notice I didn’t use the word “if.” ?  Toss the Kleenex and wipe your tears of frustration and keep reading.

Shedding weight is more than just dieting, one has to be really ready so the results can be real and for life.  And by the way, dieting doesn’t work. It’s a word that causes us to fail.  So starting today, please take the word “diet” out of your vocabulary and replace it with simply “better food choices.”

Support in your corner is usually your own team of health professionals, loving friends and family; there to cheer you on and hold you up when you hit a bump in the road or feel you can’t go on.  No one expects you to do it alone, so reach out and ask for help. So here are my tips to help you get started:

Ten Tips To Help You Start Shedding Weight for Good

1. Make the decision – Just do it and commit.

Continue reading Ten Tips To Help You Start Shedding Weight for Good

Listen Here on How to Have a Guilt Free Thanksgiving Holiday


November 20, 2012
Maui, HI. 

These are my quick tips I’ve shared today on my weekly health and fitness and all about SUP radio show, on how to enjoy this holiday’s feast and not have a guilty conscious. I was thinking of something different to offer the public, and maybe create a pre-thanksgiving help line, but not for how to cook a turkey but to help counsel those who are already stressing about gaining weight. I think I could be on to something!

According to online surveys the average person will eat over 4,000 and 229 grams of fat, the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Yikes.  Not to mention the additional increase in sodium intake may leave you feeling bloated and miserable. Do you know how hard  you’ll have to work to burn that off?  Very!

Continue reading Listen Here on How to Have a Guilt Free Thanksgiving Holiday

My Own Personal Fitness Challenge:100 Squats Everyday for October 2012

Suzie Cooney, CPT

UPDATE: Nov 2, 2012:   Thank you everyone for helping me reach my goal of 3100 squats with 20lbs. I am continuing on with new found strength and am wondering why I took so long to do this. See, even trainers need a little help now and than. My legs are super strong AND my butt and legs got more toned!

 I am writing this blog entry today, October 9th, 2012 with 900 squats completed in my own training log. Today was proof, with a high surf advisory here on the N. shore of Maui, my legs held me up and helped me stick 2 head high waves at Kanaha. It was closing out all the way across and at first, I simply could not get out, then finally a small lull.  I felt confident and strong. YES!

Why in the world you may ask am I challenging myself to perform 100 squats a day with 10lb (20 total) dumbbells? Did you know that this is my LEAST favorite exercise to do?  I absolutely with my heart and soul detest doing squats. You’d never bet that would you?

Well guess what, I need to be motivated and challenged too. As a trainer I tell my clients that if you make a commitment and goal to yourself, then tell someone publicly; your trainer, spouse, friend or whatever, you will more likely make that goal.  Write it down, post it, let the world know.  You don’t want to let them down do you?

Have you heard of the 21day rule? If you do something for 21 days in a row it becomes habit. I will admit I think things are not only taking shape but it’s shaping my thought and my brain.

So, the main reason for me sharing this on Facebook the month of October 2012, is that I need your help.  You see, after busting my legs in April of 2009 (Maui Weekly Story) that 3 month wheelchair stint did a number on me. I mean, my legs turned to mush in two weeks.  My lower half atrophied in ways I’ve never ever experienced and even with all the training they are not quite the same legs they used to be and yes, I do run like a girl!-

That freak accident changed my life in so many amazing ways and here I am professing and confessing to you my weakest link!  Three years later I’m still trying. My left ankle is bigger than the left but you won’t notice at first, my strength is ( to me ) about 75% and I really want to be extra strong for surfing, stand up paddling, and long distance crossings.

I still have to wear a compression stalking on the left leg once in a while and it still swells up once in a while.  It feels great and maybe I’ll start a new trend!

Now I am accountable to you. I don’t want to let you down and simply by posting this blog, I have assigned accountability.  That is one of the many reasons people hire me is to hold them accountable and help them reach their goals. I get it. But did you know that even trainers come to me to get motivated, get a jump start and ask me to hold them accountable?  It is true.

I know that some of you are doing it with me and I really appreciate that. It helps more than you can know.  I will occasionally jump in here or on FB to keep you updated and please feel free to do the same.

I want to thank straight away Tracy Lynn Penny and son from Sunset Beach,  Hawaii , sales person for freesurfmagazine. Way to go Tracy! Also to Jennifer Gladwin, Jacqueline Tan-Barclay, Amie Engerbreston, Jenny Ryan, Suzi Tucker, Joel Edwards, Brian Coppedge, John Smalley, Carlita T., Marty Melum, Salma Ansari,  Elder SUP, Brianna Castillo, Mary Lynn Hershey, Nick De Meyer, Kimberly Sutton, Casey Gotcher, Blen Hinton, Jeffrey Zerkle, and many more.

Precautions/Important Notes:

Continue reading My Own Personal Fitness Challenge:100 Squats Everyday for October 2012

Weight Loss Success Story: Dano Sayles of Maui Hawaii Lean Strong and Healthy

Weight Loss Success Story: Dano Sayles of Maui Hawaii Lean, Strong and Healthy

I’d like to introduce you to my client and friend, Dano Sayles of Maui, Hawaii. Dano, husband, and father, is a successful realtor and business entrepreneur who has recently accomplished a tremendous, goal.

Dano shed 40 pounds in two months. His body fat dropped from 33% to 26% and lost an impressive 7 inches from his waistline!  ( SEE PHOTOS BELOW ) He is 54 and is living proof that anyone can do it, you just need the support and tools.

We all know the challenge of losing weight and keeping it off can be frustrating and defeating. But when you have a plan and surround yourself with a team to support and guide you reaching your goals is awesome!

The world looks different. Your clothes fit different, you move differently with a profound inner and outer strength, and the world sees you differently.  People want what you have and that is pure and simple, health and vitality.

Dano transformed his life and has kindly allowed me to share his story on how he did it. There is no secret formula, no magic pill or wave of a wand. So, how did he do it? Well, he was first motivated by a contest called the 6 pack challenge.  People from all over the country would post their weight loss goals and history on FaceBook and by a certain date, there would be a winner with the most weight lost.  Dano is competitive.

He discovered the popular movie,  Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, a Joe Cross Film.  This film is real, raw and really incredible and shows the emotional connection to food, unhealthy habits and the debilitating physical results a poor diet.

Inspired by the movie and the amazing results the people in the film were having, Dano came to me fully ready to commit.   It was time to shed the weight for good and start a new, healthy and energized life. Little did he know just how much it would change his life in every way. We had some very big goals ahead of us.

I had been coaching and training with Dano in the past and often travel or the demands of his business would pull him off course.  We’d reach some decent goals and then we’d have to start over also sometimes due to injuries.

Like the movie illustrated, I mentioned to him that I had tried juicing myself and knew of well known chef on Maui named Craig King. He offered a service of preparing daily fresh juices as a way to cleanse and jump start many people who needed help in cleaning out the body and starting anew.  I also knew they would get along very well and have a supportive relationship, which is critical during this transition from food to no food.

Continue reading Weight Loss Success Story: Dano Sayles of Maui Hawaii Lean Strong and Healthy

Suzie Cooney Shares Ten Survival Tips For Holiday Parties: Listen Now Radio Health & Fitness Segment

by Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui

Maui, HI. December 20, 2011 : Listen & Learn About Ten Survival Tips For Holiday Parties on Suzie Cooney’s Radio Health & Fitness Segment with the Maui Breakfast Club, every Tuesday on Maui’s KNUI 900AM @ 7:30am

 

On air Suzie Cooney shares her 10 Survival Tips for the Holidays!

 CLICK HERE and  listen and learn how to manage those fabulous holiday parties. Save your waistline and those extra calories that may sneak up on you at the buffet line, pastry cart or holiday dinner.

It’s not easy to pass up a delicious dessert, or that yummy, oh so fat filled glass of eggnog. Don’t fret, make a plan and practice talking more and scan the buffet table or bar and make a plan NOT to lose it, but enjoy in moderation without regret or extra time on the treadmill.

Today, on this special holiday show I’ve listed 10 helpful tips to keep you smiling and not sweating too much at the gym. Enjoy your holidays and friends and just learning a few of these tips will see you through to the next party without gaining an ounce, well maybe a few.



My top suggestion is to eat something prior to the party that combines protein and fiber to fill you up before you charge to front of the buffet line. Drink lots of water and leave the elastic pants or skirt at home!

Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trans Maui is a weekly guest on the Maui Breakfast Club with Tom Blackburn Rodriguez and Kellie Pali and shares every week, her healthy tips from how to train for big surf, to how to avoid weight gain at big buffets. For over 12 years she has helped hundreds of people get in the shape of their lives and live the life Maui offers. People come from all over to train and learn from her.

Tune in every week, Tuesday on Maui’s KNUI 900AM  at 7:30am or click here to catch the daily, live broadcast from anywhere in the world.

Tom, Suzie and Kellie photo by Simone Reddingious

 

Feel free to share your comments and tell us your  tips to help our audience enjoy the holidays without sabotaging one’s hard work to get in and stay in shape.

 

If you’d like to join my confidential mailing list and keep  up to date with Suzie Trains Maui and other health related news, go here:

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Belly Fat and the Dangers of Visceral Fat Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui

Belly Fat and the Dangers of Visceral Fat Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

of Suzie Trains Maui

August 23, 2011Taken from the Maui Breakfast Club: Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui, Health & Fitness Segment every Tuesday morning at 7:38 am on KNUI 900 AM.  LISTEN HERE

 

Just the word visceral sounds bad and that it is. It’s not pretty and it’s deadly.  Also referred to as abdominal obesity or the “middle-age spread”.  The definition of visceral fat is basically subcutaneous fat that settles deep within the cavity walls of the abdominal area and also covers the abdominal organs. This condition can lead to many health concerns such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol,  hormone imbalances and even cancer.

An excerpt taken from the Harvard Medical School states this:

“One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance means that your body’s muscle and liver cells don’t respond adequately to normal levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that carries glucose into the body’s cells. Glucose levels in the blood rise, heightening the risk for diabetes.”

 

How does your waist measure up? Typical guidelines for men’s waistline: if  over 40 inches in diameter and for women over 35 inches are indicators that you may be dealing with this condition. Pinching more than an inch can be a concern.

Besides the role of over eating and a poor diet and lack of exercise  that plays in the main contributing factor leading to the accumulation of visceral fat, there may also be hereditary factors that also play a hand. Knowing this may help.

The good news  is there’s so much you can do to help avoid this condition. Getting your weight under control will help. Portion control and a healthy diet is first. Avoid all sugars and alcohol. ( See my article: Suzie’s Foods to Avoid ) Strength training or resistance training will aid in the elimination of visceral fat but most of all it will take some high-intensity cardio to assist in the breakdown of the visceral fat.

Start out with 30 minutes at a moderate intensity than work your way up to a much higher intensity of exercise. ( Always check with your physician first before embarking on a heavier work out regimen.) Remember, spot reducing does not work, this is a total body approach.

I hope you enjoyed the radio segment. A special thanks to the Maui Breakfast Club and to you for spreading the word and being healthy.  It does a body good.

Aloha,

Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui and Mental Health Advocate

Previous Radio Show: August 16th: Mental Wellness: Why We Need to Have “Hope” for Our Body’s Health and Our Mind’s Health Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

Follow Suzie on Face book for up to the minute updates: http://www.facebook.com/suzietrainsmaui

References:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Abdominal-fat-and-what-to-do-about-it.shtml

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/waist-size-linked-with-longevity/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/how-does-your-waist-measure-up/

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-visceral-fat.htm

Suzie’s Foods To Avoid and She’s Serious

Ah food, glorious food! You’ve heard of the jingle, and you’ve also heard of the book by now, “Eat This Not That” by David Zinczenko. He’s a great guy and it’s a good read but I want to give you a quick serving of what you may know, should know or simply choose to ignore. Yes, I’m pretty fed up with how unhealthy food is still king, drive-throughs are killing us,  and that we simply choose not to choose the right food. Okay, I’m breathing and I’ll calm down here, but please for your own health or someone else you know, pass this along. I want you healthy, I want your family healthy and I even the dog and cat. Like the Jerry McGuire movie and Cuba Gooding Jr., “help me help you.”

You can enjoy food but food is for feeding your organs, skin muscles and everything else to function at high levels. Eating for pleasure is okay, but tone it down a bit and think of my 90/10 rule.  Eat 90% for staying alive and 10% for pleasure. I may sound a bit sarcastic in this portion of information I’m sharing , but I’m very serious and very concerned about our nation’s health. Frankly, I’m embarrassed. I train people from all over the world and I constantly hear about how we ( Americans ) eat too much and eat terribly.  I wish I was from Australia, or New Zealand or even Iceland,  then I’d be too cold to eat, or to busy chasing kangaroos.

Soft Drinks

OMG or Oh my gosh. Help us all! I’m surprised anyone still has any teeth left and everyone is not one big, walking pimple. Sorry to be so graphic, but hello, is this America or what? Adult acne is a real problem caused by sugar. I’m happy to see more reaching for other drinks, but still be careful, soda is one of the leading sources of empty calories in America. Instead, have plain or flavored water, herbal iced tea or skim milk. If you crave a sweet drink, limit yourself to one glass of fruit juice a day—better yet, cut it with seltzer water. If you feel diet sodas help you lose weight, drink them—but try to get down to one a day or you’ll never lose your taste for super-sweet foods.  Heck the chemicals alone in diet soda should scare you to death and the sodium content alone causes bloating and water retention. People drink more because of the “0″ calorie factor, but keep in mind the sodium from the carbonated water will cause fluid retention and bloating which is very attractive. Chemicals alone don’t cause the harm, it’s the behaviors behind those who drink the “diet” sodas.

Alcohol

If I could show you all my abs right now I would. You want to see your abs again, put a cork in it. Want to lean out now? I suggest  change your party friends, change your scene and lifestyle and if you must, maybe once in a while, but drink less. I challenge my clients to stop cold turkey for 2-3 weeks and watch what happens. They come running in and lift up their shirts and say, “Suzie, you were right!”  Maybe it’s only a 4 pack for now but the 12 pack is coming! What a difference.

More people are drinking to soothe and comfort some of our most challenging days in this new world. Besides adding to depression, and being a depressant to slow down your metabolism, alcohol and weight loss don’t mix. It’s hard to make good eating habits  when the fog or buzz starts making decisions for you.

There’s lots of sugar in a chardonnay say vs a red cabernet. And that delicious margarita, look out and say adios. My point is obviously, alcohol can add a lot of extra calories to your diet, and it’s more caloric than other foods. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram (carbohydrates and fat contain only 4 calories per gram; fat contains 9 calories per gram). But there are reasons besides the calories to skip sipping.

Hop on the wagon and hold your wheels tight. Do your best and recognize how great you’ll feel.

Continue reading Suzie’s Foods To Avoid and She’s Serious

Is Who You Eat With Making you Fat? See this clip from The Today Show

Aloha,The Today Show recently aired this segment and I have worked with this before with my clients.  It’s quite and eye opener and reveals some of the truths of our eating behaviors and how certain social groups/friends and family in our life can influence how much we really eat.  Take a few minutes and see for yourself. For example, women who eat with other women tend to eat more and are less self conscious vs if say you were on a hot date!

I’ve often suggested to people that if really can’t say no, to maybe change friends just for awhile until you can manage your eating habits so you won’t pack on the extra “social” pounds.  Don’t be afraid to say “no thank you, I’m full”. Or “you know I’m sure it’s delicious but I’m good for now, you enjoy.”  Also, if consuming more cocktails or other alcoholic beverages, you may become less uninhibited and could invite unwelcome additional calories.  Tip: Before you bite, take a drink of water, bite, water! Slow down and take your time. Chopsticks Or use chop sticks!

I hope you found this information helpful.  Call me if I can help you get your eating habits in shape!

Your fan,

Suzie Cooney, CPT  

Suzie Trains Maui,  808-283-2121