Body Image, Misc, Motivation

Judge, Favorably

“THE JEWS”…and WHAT’S Really GOING ON WITH ANOTHER PERSON.

This week was super-duper busy. November, (pre-pandemic) used to be one of my busiest months. This week even exceeded my busiest pre-pandmic months. It amazes and pleases me that people are back to valuing themselves, experiences, and their health. I’m grateful to all of you who took a class or booked a session for keeping my schedule full and keeping me growing professionally and able to be of service.

Being a trainer means the people I meet often confide in me about their health. Meeting many people means many more stories come out. This past week, one such story came full circle. I lost an acquaintance who never became my client but did become a friend and it taught me an important lesson about judging others favorably.

Nazi, my neighbor, was 52; just two years older than me, so it hit me harder than expected to learn of her sudden passing. She was Persian, and a Mom of 3. She’s probably still on this email list. To be honest,  I really didn’t like Nazi all that much when I first met her. She parked in my driveway, and sometimes also parked her car in the middle of the whole darned street. (We had a chat about that and fortunately she did change and find a proper parking spot). I didn’t understand how someone could be so rude and inconsiderate. She also talked to me about wanting to start training etc. but never actually booked a session.

One day, she recognized me in the locker room at Equinox. She told me she meant to start training with me, but in the meantime at Equinox signed up with one of my colleagues- and didn’t know I worked there too [I left in Aug]. Her trainer (a tall Black man who resembled a super-hero) I assured her, was a fabulous professional and she was in good hands. I wasn’t hurt and I was happy for her that if she found he was a good match to stick it out and she would get good results. We talked about other things- her love for her children etc and I started to feel compassion and warmth for her. 

Many weeks later she confided that she was battling lung Cancer and her weight had gone up and down and she was feeling hopeless. I tried to assure her that I knew many people who had beaten different forms of Cancer and that we know exercise has an affect on the body even if we don’t always see a result on the scale and that there are many studies which show exercise during treatment -if done at a proper intensity even if its a low intensity can be beneficial both for mood and metabolically. In fact, an ultrasound technician explained to me once that when you exercise, your body makes extra capillaries in the legs and these extra pathways for blood can help sustain a person in the event of a cardiac event because it offers alternative pathways.. so she should be assured that good changes are happening even if the clothes fit the same. I offered to pray for her.

Moments later, one of my own clients approached me and made disparaging comments about how Nazi’s weight fluctuated. Meanwhile, this client wasn’t consistent in her own workout routine. Though her own weight may have been consistent, it wasn’t clear if that was due to healthy or unhealthy eating choices or whether her response to stress (which she also had her fair share of) was loss of appetite. I tried to explain that you don’t always know from the outside what’s going on with someone on the inside. There can be many reasons someone gains or loses weight aside from a lack of discipline.

What I didn’t know was that Nazi was battling cancer for 4 years already and the doctors had given her 1 year. This past week, Nazi passed away. I called her trainer to let him know the sad news and encourage him to attend the shiva or memorial. He was heartbroken and as incredulous as I that she was here one moment and she’s not here anymore and it just doesn’t seem real. He asked me, “Kayla, since you are Jewish, what do I wear or what should I expect at the memorial service”. Um, I explained that even though I’m an Orthodox Jew, I have actually never been to a Persian memorial service. In fact, this isn’t an Ashkenazi custom and although we’re both Jewish, this is a custom with which I’m unfamiliar but I would ask a few friends. 

So during the week where sports stars and comedians were all saying things about what you are and aren’t allowed to say about “The Jews” (as if we’re all the same), I found out about a Jewish custom for the first time after living my whole life as a Jew. I learned that sometimes following a Persian memorial they serve a lavish dinner, whereas communal eating wasn’t allowed during the week I sat shiva for my Father…THAT different. Attending her memorial helped me find closure and gave me perspective about my own perceptions of right practice in Judaism.  [I think her trainer and I were simultaneously the lightest and darkest skinned folks in the room too and despite my own insecurity about that, nobody seemed particularly bothered by it.] 

Reflecting back, I had assumed years ago that Nazi was rude and self-centered by parking in my driveway or in the middle of the street. Now I wonder if she was just exhausted from Cancer or its treatment, and needed to park there but didn’t want to tell me all about her woes. I hope my client understands Nazi maybe wasn’t lacking self-discipline in her weight loss. Maybe she was also battling stresses and fears like of dying, or years of a slower metabolism from yoyo dieting? What if the client who was being so disparaging of Nazi really was projecting outside to someone else, her own self-criticism and insecurities? 

This was sort of the theme of the week… assumptions and learning to be kind. One of my new clients trains in her own home. She apologized to me for what she saw as her messy home. She assumed my home was neater. In fact, I had two sink loads of dishes piled way higher than hers when I left to go train her. Another client complained about how difficult it was for her to follow left hand from right hand. Yet another looked pregnant and was not, and another did not look pregnant and was. One woman talked of how her sister recently divorced and as close as they were, she never knew the problems she was having. Another friend told of how she could live with a certain thing and someone else said they could not. One woman appeared to have it all- kids, wealth etc.. and she confided that her husband may not be as religiously committed as it appears.

Bottom line is – be kind. People are more than they appear. Many times they are doing inner battles we know nothing about. We all have insecurities. The creator didn’t make any of us perfect. If we saw the things truly someone else is dealing with, with the skills and flaws they have with which to cope with those things, we might not be able to do it any better. Do the things..the best things you know how, in the best way you can. Even if it seems like it may not be making a big difference on the outside, you may be still making micro changes inside which will ultimately be worthwhile. Its normal to judge- ourselves and others. ..and I’m trying to take this weeks’ experiences as a reminder to try and judge favorably.

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Exercise, Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Let’s Get Moving: 5 Tips for Getting Back into Fitness

Help, I’ve Fallen off the Exercise Wagon

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How to Ease Back Into Fitness

If you just spent the last month like I did: (a) With a piece of honey cake in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, (b) Doing an exercise routine exclusively made up of balancing hot dishes on one arm while walking laps in and out of the house, (c) where regeneration activity included multiple hours seated in meaningful contemplation or reading, or… (d) All of the above, plus sullen concerns about your lack of energy and expanding waistline…Then you will want to read on about how to bounce back into working out.

First: Let’s get real about expectations. You will want to pick up where you left off. This generally means you will want to return to the couch (Remember a body at rest tends to stay at rest from physics class in High School?!?) or, You will want to become the quintessential weekend warrior and jump headlong into intense cardio and double sessions in the gym. I want to take this moment to help you pause and do neither of those instinctive but completely unproductive impulses.

Instead, follow my

5 tips for getting back into exercise and fitness in a sustainable way:

1. Prepare for success. Lay your workout clothes and sneakers out before you go to bed. Schedule the workout in your planner and block out interruptions. Do that workout before you have time to think about it…because thinking during the next two weeks (your break back in period) will only get in your way. We want this on auto-pilot because deciding to work out and actually getting there is the hardest part. Short-circuiting the decision part is key. So stack that workout habit on top of some other firmly established habit (like waking up in the morning) and do it in a way that keeps it front of mind- i.e. having the sneakers in your visual space or the phone appointment alarm.

2. Begin the way you mean to go on. Plan on ONE thing you can stick with consistently FOREVER. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk three times a week. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk plus 20 situps and 10 modified pushups and a stretch. Pick that one thing you could reasonably, easily stick with for the rest of your life… and do it consistently for the next two weeks.

Resist the urge to give 110% these first two weeks. You want to work out to a point where you notice there was something happening but not so sore you can’t move (and sometimes you can’t tell because soreness doesn’t kick in until 24-48 hours after, so it’s ok to do a little less than you think you can that first time.) This is NOT the time to push your limits. You do not want to miss a workout these first two weeks. Consistency IS success. Soreness is not the indicator of success. I’m fairly certain you didn’t plan to go on needing to hold onto the walls easing yourself onto the toilet because …leg day.

3.Figure out your WHY and write that down. Why do you want to get fit? Want to not die so soon? Write it down. Want to look awesome for your niece’s wedding. Write it down. Need to get up the stairs without passing out? Whatever that “WHY” is, figure it out now, and write it down. Read what you wrote down often. Put it in your phone. Make a collage about it. When you have a meaningful reason, you can withstand the discomfort of making space in your life to commit to it.

4. Have Fun. The more fun you have while doing the workout the more you will stick with it. Maybe you fell off the wagon because you were bored. Then try something new- a new class, a new sport, something which used to make you smile but you gave up years ago like dancing in your bedroom like Madonna to show tunes.

5. Get support. Need a sports bra, get it. New sneakers? Need to dial a friend, a counselor, a coach, a trainer? You can’t do this alone. You need support so plan that out. Register for a class or take that walk Wednesday with a friend. Call a trainer or a sports med doc or a physical therapist if needed, so you can move better.

Periods of time off can break a plateau and even help reinvigorate your excitement and desire to exercise. Observing the Jewish holidays practically enforces a degree of moderation, and even regeneration (a key component of fitness), so don’t sweat it. It’s an overall sedentary lifestyle that becomes detrimental for our wellbeing but following these tips will allow you to ease back into sustainable exercise.

—–

Another version of this article appeared in LA Jewish Home October 20, 2022 (a newspaper serving the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community)

Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

End of Summer thoughts

The end of summer/beginning of the school year brings such mixed emotions. 

This time happens to be the Jewish month of Ellul/the pre-High Holiday preparation time. We start to reflect on all of the things we have done and all we wish to accomplish in the coming year. We sometimes create grand goals like this year I will be able to fit into my (spectacularly smaller) outfit. This year I will become more fit (amorphous goal). Or this year I’ll eat healthy (whatever that’s supposed to mean..and often its overly restrictive and not sustainable long-term and will later boomerang back on your body and diminish your self-worth).

There’s a reason we’re not already there in that best bod ever right now. There are habits and skills that need to be established that maybe never have been or the pandemic blew to pieces as we simply coped. I am writing to caution you that as tempting as it is to do an accounting and draft big expectations with the thought maybe you will fall short of those huge goals but still progress will be achieved, you’re likely to be more successful with a different approach.

Let me challenge you to think first about which habits and skills need to be up to snuff in order to accomplish those grand goals and instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the process- on becoming that version of you who does and thinks and eats like the person who has the outcome you desire.

Consider what baby step could be taken this week that is so small that its barely noticeable but takes you in the direction you want to go. Can you do that just for this month to show the universe this is who you are so the universe (insert your higher power here) can then assist? Would incorporating one vegetable into lunch or drinking a glass of water or simply slowing down to notice the taste of your food (but not all 3) be that thing? Would walking for 5 minutes be that thing? What 1 thing could you do right now and stick with forever? Think small and start..now! Need help? Go to the tab above that says contact me and we’ll make a workable plan.

Fitness Goals, Motivation

the War of Art

Book Review

I read an amazing book which I’m certain will help you overcome inner resistance- when it comes not only to your health and physique goals, but in nearly any endeavor that comes from our higher nature.

Activities which commonly elicit resistance include:

1. Creative endeavors and callings in the fine arts, writing, music

2. A program of spiritual advancement

3. Education of every kind

4. An act of political moral or ethical courage

5. Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals, a diet or health regimen or a course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.

In other words, any act that involves the delay of gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity is likely to be met with resistance.

According to Steven Pressfield, author of the book the War of Art, resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. “It will purjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully cajole.” However, the rule of thumb is the more important a call of action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will face pursuing it. Resistance aims to kill our genius; our unique and priceless gift we were put on the earth to give and when we fight it, we’re in a war.

Sometimes resistance takes the form of drugs, shopping, sex, tv, gossip, alcohol, or all products containing fat, sugar, salt or chocolate.

Fear and the degree of fear we have about an endeavor equates to the strength of resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no fear and no resistance. Yet its the fear that tells us this is what we have to do. This is where our growth is and our potential. Resistance feeds on fear. That is the battle.

Part of overcoming resistance it seems is to acknowledge that its there and prepare for the battle by going pro.. Enlisting help, and also by keeping on the daily task.

Sure we fear failure..but sometimes even more, we fear success. What will we lose on the way to success? It will change our identity. Perhaps success will change our friends. We may become estranged from all we know. Will we end up alone, unmoored? What happens actually is that we do change and we find friends in places we never knew to look, and we become more than we could have imagined.

My takeaway is that this book is about finding and becoming your true authentic self ..and in a city most known for celebrating what’s fake, its something ironically we probably crave the most.

If you are looking for help overcoming resistance and finally achieving the body of your dreams, learning a new fitness skill, or simply enjoying movement, contact me to book a session today.

Body Image, Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Unlimited

Even if right now you are living with pain, obesity, gut disorders, sleep issues, low energy, or simply not feeling strong confident and energized much of the time, that doesn’t have to be how you feel forever. Everyone deserves to feel good in their body.

However, sometimes its FEAR that is holding us back. That F.E.A.R. serves a purpose …that is, until it no longer serves us. F.E.A.R. is an acronym which stands for false evidence appearing real. I’ve also seen it listed as F.A.T. False info Appearing True… What are some of these false beliefs?

  • Aches and pains are a normal part of aging.
  • I can’t afford the time or money to work out regularly
  • I’ve tried EVERYTHING when it comes to exercise but nothing works for me
  • I don’t have good genes for working out so I’ll never be good at it
  • I’m likely to get hurt if I work out and I don’t like feeling pain

Just look at some of these… are they real or have other DECISIONS been made which makes these appear like facts when in reality they are temporary.

For instance, can you really not afford the time or money it takes for an enjoyable workout? Or do you plan and save for other things and not prioritize your health? Could you reframe and exercise in 5-10 minute segments while baby is sleeping if you can’t get in a whole hour at once? Is midlife spread inevitable or a result of unwitting choices made from a lack of information about metabolism in midlife? Have you tried everything? Do you think that genes are destiny or that you can make choices which influence the expression of those genes-choices which can be mirrored by the next generation and become their inheritance?

In what way do beliefs such as these actually serve you? What are your F.E.A.R.S protecting you from? How do they constrain your potential? Do they do both?

I don’t think all limitations or limiting beliefs are necessarily detrimental! Sometimes they protect us from having to face deeper emotions we don’t necessarily want to feel or they allow for comfort. They serve us until they don’t serve us.

Consider unlocking your potential by trying this 7 day Unlimited Challenge. Its 7 days of access to unlimited on-demand classes.

https://me.onpodio.com/GetFitwithKayla/packages
Diet, Exercise, General Health, Motivation, Q&A

Q & A: Can people who exercise “get away” with poor food choices?

My short answer is Yes and No…

In a small study of  two groups of 7 participants, one group exercised for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity or higher at least 3 times a week. The other group worked out less often and less intense than the first group. 

All 14 participants were fed the same high fat 960 calorie breakfast meal. (2220 mg sodium, 48 g of fat, including 16 g saturated fat and 4.5 g trans fat..280mg. cholesterol)

After the high fat meal, they measured obstruction of blood flow in the brachial artery (-the one just above your elbow crease on your arm)..The less active group showed a greater obstruction of blood flow through the artery- it was narrowed,  while the more active exercisers had no change.

Both groups experienced an increase in triglycerides (triglycerides are an ester of glycerol and 3 fatty acid groups. High levels of triglycerides indicate an increased risk of stroke.) The more highly active group’s triglycerides rose by 47% but the less active group increased triglycerides by a whopping 184%

While exercise is protective against disease, and people who exercise may be more able to get away with poor food choices, but not on a regular basis. 

Johnson, B.D. et al. “Vascular consequences of a High-Fat Meal in physically active and Inactive adults.’  Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism, 36, no3. (2011) 368-375

Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Decide, Commit, Succeed

If you just think about something, if you merely try, it doesn’t usually happen. However, when you decide and commit and have a plan of action, that’s when you succeed.

It is when you don’t leave room for doubt that you’re most likely to succeed. 


Once you DECIDE, cement it as a priority in your daily, weekly and long-term goals so you can visualize it and realistically achieve it. 

Work BACKWARDS

The Fantasy: If anything were possible, what would that look like?

The Long-Term: In 5 years what would that outcome look like?

In A Year: What would the achievement look like a year from now?

Weekly: What is a realistic goal for this week

Daily: What can I do right now to get me toward my weekly goal.

Once you make that commitment, whatever it is; to create a happier life, to work out more, to take the weight off, to invest in clothes that are more flattering, to surround myself with emotionally healthy people…Put It In Writing.

So often, potential clients have their priorities out of whack. They are waiting for motivation to work out yet they want results NOW. I tell them, perspiration before inspiration.

Nothing is more motivating than success!

Think about this.. the Psychiatrist who sends her client to the gym before prescribing antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication doesn’t wait until her patient feels Motivated to work out. She sends them to me, a trainer, or to the gym FIRST.  The prescription to work out comes FIRST and then the motivation will follow.  (There are many studies that show exercise is sometimes more effective than medication….and still sometimes medication is necessary so speak with your own doc).

Think about it, in starting a new habbit, we understand intellectually what changes we want to make and why but if we wait until we’re inspired every single time we will likely never change. It is taking that step that causes the next one to be easier and more rewarding.

Another thing a lot of clients miss is to focus simply on the outcome on that fantasy goal and forget the daily and weekly goal that will get them there.. and a lot of the time, the focus is on an unrealistic outcome. Sometimes this is influenced by influencers on social media who are using filters on their photos and really painting an unrealistic picture that they themselves aren’t even living up to. 

Once you have mede a intellectual decision, a mental commitment, you will need to protect that sacred space by drawing a fence and a gate and a protective wall around it so you can nurture it to fruition. Want to know my BIGGEST tip last week to my 1:1 clients who are starting to see some doubts creep in?


To Get out of your own way. 
Cleanse and purge
 …your social media!!!

Surround yourself with supportive people and if you don’t have people in your life to support you, nurture yourself with podcasts, books, classes, and images which do support you – things that make you feel valued, energized, happy, supported…and be very wary of the FB and instagram algorithm. If you have not yet heard, the social media giant is purposely manipulating what you see in ways that are sabotaging your mental and physical health and that of your daughters. An inside whistleblower showed that if you’re already feeling crappy about yourself and look there for inspiration you’re likely to be fed more that makes you feel worse.. (see this article among others if you need proof) so guard your health and your heart please and stay the course -focus on the small daily goals and prune your social media accordingly.  

If you would like to be on my email list to receive all the latest updates on classes, training and fitness news, you can signup or change your preferences HERE

Body Image, Diet, Exercise, General Health, Motivation

How to Hack Your Hormones for a Better Mood

This year it seems World Mental Health Day got a lot more press in America. That’s a good thing because its really time to lower the stigma and thereby encourage everyone to get the help they need to to feel good.

So many of us have been affected by lifestyle changes brought about by Covid and I’ve seen many tip lists and articles about how to lower anxiety and increase happiness but some of it is dense and hard to remember so I created this handy dandy chart compiled from some of them. See if you notice what I did:
OK.  Technology wasn’t on the list.  
Did you see how often EXERCISE was on the list?!?

Exercise has multiple physical health benefits. AND it can have a positive impact on emotional well-being.Regular physical activity can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels, making it a great option to boost your happy hormones. In addition, you’ve probably already heard of the ‘high” that many feel from endorphin release intense exercise triggers. 

According to one article focused on using food to boost mood, here’s how to  Maximize the Mood Boosting Power of your workout:

To see even more benefits from exercise:

Include a few friends. A small 2009 study (of men) found evidence to suggest group exercise offers more benefits than solo exercise.

Get some sun. Move your workout outdoors to maximize your serotonin boost.

Time it. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at a time. Any amount of physical activity has health benefits, but research associates endorphin release with continued exercise rather than short bursts of activity.
Exercise, Motivation

We’re Doin’ It Again

A body in motion tends to stay in motion! So much fun you won’t want to stop. This is THE challenge to finally turn you from couch potato to joyful regular exerciser. 18 workouts, each only 18 minutes long + accountability + group support only $36. BUY NOW

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The February 2021 Challenge has an OPTIONAL companion E-journal (purchased separately for $5) with motivational quotes, tips, space for logging nutrition and exercise, and journal prompts for reflection.

BUY CHALLENGE NOW

CHALLENGER FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

DO I GET TO KEEP THE RECORDINGS?

Video vault access begins on Feb 3 and concludes feb 23rd at midnight PST.

IF I’M DOING ONLY THE RECORDINGS, WHAT DO I DO ON DAY 1? 

The video vault comes pre-loaded with at least 18 recordings available 24/7! 

CAN YOU USE ONLY JEWISH MUSIC?

NO. There’s a plethora of licensing issues related to music usage in the virtual space. I pay for rights to the specially licensed music I use because that’s required or YouTube will silence it, block me, or force me to take it down. Jewish music is not designed on the 32 count phrase (which helps u follow and helps me teach) and I can’t buy it by beats per minute (technical aspects of teaching- I need 128 bpm for strength, 140ish for kickin’abs etc). Also “Jewish” music isn’t preferred by the majority in this challenge. We are a mixed group-not all local and not all Jewish. You can hear the instrumental music that comprises most of what’s used in the challenger workouts in the video sample before you purchase the challenge. Some recordings (maybe 4) do contain lyrics.

CAN I DO MULTIPLE WORKOUTS IN A DAY.

You can do as many as you like. Recreational activities such as hiking, biking outside of the challenge class offerings can also count toward your daily accountability. Each participant is allowed Only one check-in per day , regardless of how many more minutes of exercise you performed. The purpose of this challenge is to build consistency, not duration or intensity.

IS THERE A SPECIFIC ORDER I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE WORKOUTS IN?

A good formula for healthy lifestyle of optimal fitness generally is 2-4 days of cardio + 2-3 of resistance training + 1 mind-body/ stretch day. The live schedule has a mix but you don’t have to follow it, nor do you need to do the workouts in a particular order. The goal of the challenge is consistent habit forming joyful movement just about every day (hopefully 18x). In fact you can do all yoga (or whatever format(s) you like the most) the whole challenge!

I DON’T WANT TO BE RECORDED OR HAVE OTHERS SEE ME WORKING OUT. HOW CAN I TAKE THIS CHALLENGE?

The Double Chai Fitness Challenge Class Instruction takes place over live ZOOM which is recorded. Speaker view is used so the instructor is the focus and each video is edited before posting. However, your image may be seen/recorded during the live session. The these recordings will be available on a private You tube or similar for this challenge or for future programming and retained by Kayla/Get Fit with Kayla. You could choose to leave your camera off. You could choose to use only the recordings.  You are also able to opt-out of having your image used for marketing.

WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT?

My site is integrated with PayPal processing whereby you can use a credit card, or your PayPal balance.BUY NOW

IS THERE A FAMILY RATE?

Registration fee is per person. (These classes come out to less than $2 each!) All minors will need an adult to register them for the challenge. You do not need to pay for a minor who takes an occasional class, but you should pay for and register any minor who is partaking of the challenge classes regularly. 

CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I DON’T USE WHAT’S APP?

Yes! You will miss out on the group support of seeing and contributing to the check-in process and my cheerleader messages, though. The science of behavior change has proven that visual tracking helps assist in becoming a regular exerciser. You can duplicate some of the effect for yourself by placing marbles in a jar and moving them to another jar for every workout completed or marking workouts completed on a calendar and celebrating the achievement. Purchasing the optional companion e-journal is highly recommended for everyone but even more so if you are not doing the what’s app accountability group.

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