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I’m Getting Real Here…A Vulnerable Post

I try my best to be as real as possible!

But I have a hard time opening up at times.

But there are things I struggle with.

I am trying to be very real here. So bear with me. I usually never share things this personal.

Here’s the biggest one-

-My weight-

I often feel like my weight disqualifies me as personal trainer, fitness and yoga instructor. Now, I know that, I know my stuff! Lord, I have enough certifications to prove that!

But I often feel like a failure due to my weight.

I know that I am in great health, I’m strong and fit. I workout 5 days a week, doing weights and cardio as well as yoga 2-3 times a week. This is on top of the classes I teach during the week! I eat very healthy and limit junk food to one reward meal a week.

I do have some issues physically! I struggle with hypothyroidism. It makes losing weight tough and seemingly next to impossible. I also struggle with metabolic damage/burnout- from years of over exercising and under eating(I am working on this currently to repair my metabolism and it sucks. But I have to be patient). I also struggle with fibromyalgia from time to time. Eating healthy, using essential oils and taking my doTERRA Life Long Vitality vitamins help to keep it under control most of the time!

My Other Struggle-

I am trying to be very real here. So bear with me. I usually never share things this personal.

Negative Self Talk

I really struggle with this. I hate it.

I am trying to accept myself for how I look currently but loath myself because I don’t look like I did at my lowest weight.

I really struggle with beating myself up over this.

I try to remind myself that I am loved by God most of all and all the wonderful people I have in my life.

But that ugly voice often yells louder than the sensible voice that says all that is not true!

That ugly voice tells me I am a fraud and not qualified because I weigh more than the average personal trainer.

It’s a struggle.

The Truth-

Whenever I struggle with this I try to feed myself God’s Word, the Truth.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We capture their rebellious thought and teach them to obey Christ”. I try to capture my thoughts and think rationally.

Psalm 139:14, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. I have to remind myself God makes not mistakes.

Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in His own image” We are made in God’s image and He is awesome!

Galatians 3:26, “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus”. I am a daughter of a King!!!

Please Don’t Judge-

We all have our warts.

We all have struggles.

These just happen to be some of mine.

I am a work in progress.

And NO I do not hear actual voices. It’s just my negative self confidence(and I think the enemy also feeds us those ugly thoughts as well).


What about you?

Do you have struggles like mine?

Do you fight with a negative voice that tells you are less than?

I’d love to hear what you think!

Comment below!

XOXO-

Amy

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…..October!!

Here we are!!

Back to my Favorite Things post for October!!

I do love to share my favorite products with my friends, clients and family!

Last month I did my new favorite protein drink and my new favorite workout undies!!

This month I’m sharing some of my favorites that I’ve had for a while!

They are just too good NOT to share!!

PS-I do not get any kickbacks form these products and companies!! I just love them!!

My Favorite Makeup!

I have been wearing Aloette make up for about a year now!

It has become my absolute favorite! It is easy to apply and doesn’t clog your pores! It also doesn’t leave that horrible line on your chin!!

They also have great eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks and a full skin care line!!

Definitely check them out!! I also have a great representative-Shauna that I would love to introduce you to!!

aloette.com

My Favorite Muscle Work Tool!

I can not live with out my Ashley Black Fascia Blaster!!! I own two of them a larger one and a smaller one!!

It has many uses- such as cosmetic and physical! I use it mainly for muscle and joint work. I am currently dealing with a shoulder issue and this really helps!

There is a technique to it though and it is important to study and do as the company suggests! There are great informational videos on YouTube and groups on Facebook you can join!

If you suffer with muscle and joint issues you should check them out! They always have sales at different times of the year!

ashleyblackguru.com

My Local Chiropractor!!

Ok, so if you are not local-I am sorry! but do check out if you have a local chiropractor like mine!!!

My chiropractor is Dr. Jessica Fay, Oak City Chiropractic, located in Raleigh, NC.

She does all the regular chiropractic practices but she also does ART-Active Relieve Technique! It works the ligaments, tendons and muscles! It hurts like the dickens while you have it done but you get relief the next day! My whole family has seen her for years and we wouldn’t go to anyone else! She also added another Chiropractor (who also practices ART!)to the practice so you can always be seen!

If you are not local to Raleigh, then look for an ART practicing Chiropractor in your area!!

oakcitychiro.com or 919-213-0881

Until Next Time-

Let me know what you think of these favorite things of mine!!

I would love to hear your experiences and what you like about them!

Also, if you’d like more info let me know!! I’ll be glad to share with you!!

Talk to you all soon!

XOXO-

Amy

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How to Incorporate Your Faith into Your Exercise!

In my last post we looked at how exercise is a godly practice.

Today we’re going to look at how to incorporate your faith into your exercise!

It’s not hard it just takes a little preparation!

Set An Intention-

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

What do I mean by intention? Well,my definition here is what you set your mind on and being focused on Christ!

If you want to be more Christ focused in your fitness, you will start where your intention is!

You may set an intention by choosing a Bible verse that inspires you or maybe it’s part of a memory verse that you’re working on.

You then determine to repeat it several times during your workout!

You may also just be prayerful during your workout! So your intention with this would be to be focused on prayer during your workouts!

The whole premise is to decide where you want your focus to go while you are exercising!

Incorporate Your Favorite Christian Music-

A lot of times when you need to get focused to do a Bible study or a time of prayer it’s important to set the tone for that time! Many people do this by listening to their favorite Christian music! For me I like praise music and Contemporary Christian music! It helps me to be uplifted and excited.

There really is no wrong form of Christian music it’s just whatever makes you happy!

Did you know that they even make Christian fitness class music?

I’ve used it many times for my Boot Camp classes that I teach at a church and my Christian yoga classes that I teach currently!

It’s by Spirit Fit Music! They also make running and walking music as well! (I get no kickbacks from this either!) it’s really good music!

Now my only caution is make sure that if you’re going to listen to music while you exercise and you wear headphones, make sure that it is safe for you to do so! Please do not wear headphones if you’re out walking where there is traffic! I know that seems like common sense but I see it all the time and it’s just not safe!

So again I find playing Christian music while I’m walking, running, teaching classes and doing yoga really help me to focus in on my walk with Christ!

Listen to Scripture-

One other thing I want to share with you is on many of your Bible apps that you have on your phone have scripture that can be read to you!

I use the You Version Bible app and many of the passages can be read to you!

Close to where I live we have a great walking track that I often will wear headphones when I walk or run! I often will listen to scripture that I’m trying to memorize or that I just need to hear while I’m walking! I am an auditory and visual learner so listening often helps me to learn better! Download an app today and see if it has scripture that you can listen to!

Listen to Sermons-

With youtube, websites and social media, we can listen to sermons anytime of the day or week! It’s no longer limited to Sunday morning and evening! Listening to sermons while you’re doing your fitness routine- whether that be walking, the treadmill, elliptical or even lifting weights is an awesome way to incorporate your faith and fitness!

Keep It in Front of You-

If you happen to have an exercise room or area in your house it is often helpful to put up Christian posters or even just hand write scripture and post on the walls! Hang pretty pictures that have Bible verses on them!

It really is just about what your mind focuses on!!

Your Want To-

It really goes back to the idea that if there is a will there is away! Or your “want to”!! If you really want to focus yourself and want to grow as a Christian you can incorporate your faith in every aspect of your life! 

Even your fitness!


What do you think?

Do you do any of these things?

Which would you like to try the most?

Feel free to comment below!! I’d love to hear from you!!

XOXO-

Amy


Christian Walk

Training Your Temple

Is Exercising a godly Practice?

I am going to do a series of blog posts on exercise and the Christian faith. We will be digging in the Bible to see if exercise is a godly practice, can exercise be a practice of worship and how can you incorporate your faith with your exercise!

I take my Christian faith very seriously. It is the center of who I am, its what I base my life on and how I live. Even my exercise is based on my Christian faith, because of this I want to share why I feel exercise is a godly practice! But, I want you to know, I sin and struggle just like everyone, but I am forgiven by Jesus’ death on the cross! This gives me a freedom and a purpose!

Good Stewards-

We are called to be good stewards of our bodies! In Genesis 1:27, “God created mankind in His own image”, that alone should encourage us to take care of our bodies. We are also called to be good stewards to all we are given and this includes the earth and our bodies. In the Bible verse 1 Timothy 6:20, we can see that we are instructed to, “guard what has been entrusted to your care”. Eating healthy, exercising and getting proper rest are just a couple of ways we can take care of our bodies in a godly way.

A Temple-

The Bible also says we are a Temple of God’s Spirit, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16. We also see in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that it says, ” Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought with at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies,”. So, we can see we house God’s Spirit within us, when we ask Him to be the Savior of our lives! Isn’t that awesome!!?

We have a big responsibility to be a good caretaker of this, “temple” that God has given us! Especially since He dwells within us!

‭‭Hands and Feet-

God has given us this body to not only house His Spirit but also to be His hands and feet to those here on earth! In order to do that, we need to be healthy and strong to get done what needs doing! Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”. See!!! In order to do what He commanded us-go all over, near and far, to tell about Him-we need to be healthy, strong and in shape!

It’s Biblical-

We can now see that exercising and eating healthy are not only to look good but to enable us to do the work we are called to do!

It’s biblical!!

Get out there, exercise and make healthy food choices, be in the best shape you can be.

Then keep your eyes open for the work God has for you!


This is just my opinion!

What do you think?

Is exercise and healthy eating a biblical practice?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

XOXO-

Amy

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Walk this Way…5 Reasons to Walk!

Ok, so I am not talking about the Aerosmith song!!!

But I am talking about walking for exercise!

Walking happens to be one of my favorite exercises!

It has so many benefits but I want to share my 5 top reasons you should walk most every day!

Our Local Walking Trail In Zebulon, NC

5 Reasons You Should Walk

1. It’s Free-

You do not have to pay for a gym membership(unless you love the atmosphere or live in extremely cold regions) and it really can be most anywhere! You can also check out your local community centers and parks and rec departments to check out about walking areas. The Zebulon Community Center where I work has free walking Monday through Friday. It’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Also it is staffed and a safe environment. So check about your local community centers! Check out your local town or city parks! Many have designated walking areas! No excuses!

2. It’s Good for Your Mind-

I find I do my best thinking and reasoning while I am walking! I also like to pray while I am walking. It seems that walking helps me to reason and focus on problems better. It is rhythmical and very calming to the heart rate and breathing. Walking can be very meditative! I will often do what I jokingly call contemplative walking! I walk, breathe and think! But I am so relaxed and so energized at the same time afterwards!

Beautiful Trees on the Trail!

3. It’s Good for Your Body-

Walking is a weight bearing exercise! Studies show women heading into perimenopause and menopause need to do weight bearing exercise 3-5 times a week and weight bearing exercise can help with your bone density! It also can help strengthen your muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons! It is also much gentler on the body than running. Not only is it good for your bones, muscles and etc, but also it is fabulous for your cardiovascular health! Your lungs and heart get a great workout! Walking also can help you lose weight and reduce your stress level which in turn reduces your cortisol levels! Cortisol can help you gain that fluff in the middle!

4. It’s a Workout Most Any One Can Do-

You don’t have to be in great shape and you don’t have to gradually build up to it, like running! Just get out there and start walking! All you really need is a good pair of shoes, comfy clothes and a safe place to walk! It really is the one size fits all exercise!

Off the Beaten Path!

5.It’s a great Way to Bond with Family, Friends and Your Furry Pals-

Walking gives you time to talk with those you enjoy spending time with! My pups and I have great conversations when we walk! When I walk with the hubs, it gives us time to catch up on conversations we just don’t have time for! It’s the same when I walk with my friends! Walking is just a great way to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company! So grab a friend and go for that walk!

My Puppers! The Best Walking Partners!

How About You?

Do you walk on a regular basis?

How many times a week do you walk?

How long do you walk each session?

Who do you like to walk with?

Where is your favorite place to walk?

Let me know your answers! I’d love to hear from you!

XOXO-

Amy

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Abs are Made in the Kitchen!

Abs are Made in the Kitchen. We all have heard this, right?

Ok, so maybe not just abs but, also health in general!

We have also heard in our lifetime somewhere, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”.

So what we eat is really important!

I’ve heard it said that weightloss is 80% Diet and 20% Exercise.

In my own experience this is 100% true. You can’t out exercise a bad diet! Believe me, I have tried and failed! It might balance out for a short period of time, but eventually you will stop having results!

A Healthy Balanced Diet-

I am not going to get into all the diets that are circulating out there. There are some I think are quite healthy and some that are well, edging on the side of dangerous!

Today, though I want to focus on diet being what our overall food intake consists of.

I will be loosely using the choosemyplate.gov or what we had back in the day the food pyramid!

A healthy and vibrant diet should consist of:

-5-7 servings of veggies(non starchy) and fruit

-3-5 servings of whole grain cereal and bread, potatoes, pasta and rice

-3 servings of milk, yogurt and cheese


Ok so I am splitting this off here because this is where I differ from the food pyramid and myplate! More on this in a second!

-2 servings of meat, poultry, fish and eggs

-Sparingly–fats, spreads and oils

And of course:

-rarely–foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt(this I agree with!)

This diet is based on the average daily consumption of 2000 calories.

You can see that is is well balanced, lots of veggies, fruit and carbohydrates. Not bad for the average person!

This is a great place for someone looking to clean up the way they eat and move towards a healthier lifestyle!

Where I Disagree-

As a fitness professional and longtime weightlifter, I know from experience that a couple of the above recommendations just will not cut it!

Here’s a little lesson about how to gain muscle mass(which is active and burns calories!!):

First, you have to lift weights of some type(body weight, bands, weights).

Second, You have to fuel those muscles! That first starts with eating some carbs after you lift with some good quality protein. That could look like a whey protein shake and a bowl of prepared oats. Or a whole grain bread with lean turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwich. There are tons of ways to get this!

Third, you have to eat protein and often. It’s been shown that 0.5-1.0 grams per body weight of protein if you are exercising and lifting on a regular basis! I personally shoot for 0.8xBW of protein a day!

Fourth, you do not need that much carbohydrates. Meaning bread, rice, grains and etc. Probably 3-4 serving are more than plenty! They should also be carefully placed in your day as well! Always eat a carb with a protein. It will balance out your blood sugar and keep you full of energy!

Fifth, Eat. Eat enough. I find that most people especially women tend to under eat when working out. It seems we have a mentality that food is evil(BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT more times than I can count). That can be detrimental to not only your weight loss/maintenance but also your health in general.

My Recommendations-

Now, please note, I am NOT a doctor and I can not tell you what you should or should not be eating!

This is just from my experience. I also took a course in Sports Nutrition earlier this year and gleaned a lot from it!

*Eat the Rainbow- meaning eat lots of colorful fruits, veggies and even starchy carbs(like sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, beets, squash and etc). These will provide you will necessary vitamins and antioxidants!

*Don’t be afraid of Fats- Healthy fats are vital to your health! Olive oil, Coconut oil, avocado oil and yes butter! Your body knows what to do with these fats! Unlike hydrogenated fats(I call them frankin fats), the body isn’t quite sure how to use them and stores them as visceral fat.

*Eat protein-beef, chicken, turkey, lean pork and fish! I personally am not a fan of tofu(soy products are not good for you if you have thyroid issues). But some of you may enjoy them-so have at it! Choose skinless and lean cuts of meat most of the time. I’m sorry but I do love a good marblized steak every now and again!

*Have a Cheat Meal-Yes, go off plan every once in a while. It does your mind and your body good! It can be once a week or once a month-just not every day! Allow yourself to eat the pizza or the fattier steak and have some dessert! For real!! When you are on your deathbed one day you won’t say, “Boy, I wish I’d eaten more cauliflower!”

Let Me Hear from You-

I would love to hear your thoughts on popular diets and what you specifically are following!!!

Do you struggle with keeping your diet healthy?

Do you struggle to get enough healthy fruit and veggies in?

Do you have a specific diet you follow?

If so, why? As well as what do you like best about it?

Please leave some comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Until new time!

XOXO-

Amy

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Online Personal Training-Is It for You?

I am currently gearing up to launch the Essential Fitness Online Personal Training program and I am SO excited! I have used online training for many years(before I became a personal trainer) and I loved it!

Online personal training can be a great option for some women. It is usually more affordable. It also can be done around your schedule and you will not have to schedule a session that is convenient for you and the trainer! Most of time an online program can be done at home or in the gym!

But, it’s not for everyone….

There are some things that make you a candidate for Online Personal Training.

Qualifications:

There really are some traits that make you successful with an online program!

1. Are you Self Motivated? In most programs you do have a checkin(or at least my program will require it) with your PT or Coach, either by email or by Skype or Zoom. So, knowing that you have to report to them can make you more motivated. But you still have to be the one to schedule the time and do the work!

2. How Committed are you? Your success is determined by your commitment. You have to be committed to do the workouts, to eat the diet suggested and do the cardio. Your online personal trainer is there to guide, direct and help you but they cannot make you do the work!

3. Can you make yourself a Priority? You will need make yourself the priority for at least an hour, 3-5 times a week. I know from experience that making the time to workout doesn’t hurt your kids, your hubby, your job or the laundry. In fact, you will have more energy to care for them and be setting a great example for your kids. All of my adult kids workout and i really think its because they watched me do it when they were young. I also included them in exercise often!

4. Do you have Patience? This is a matter whether you do online or in person training. We didn’t get out of shape overnight and we won’t get in shape overnight! Give yourself some grace and time! The body needs time to adjust to exercise and weightloss. Don’t get frustrated with slow progress. When you gain muscle slowly or lose weight slowly the results are more likely to stick! Be Patient!

Are You Ready?

Ask yourself these questions:

Am I ready to change?

Am I self motivated?

Am I ready to make a commitment?

Am I ready to make myself a priority?

Am I ready to do what it takes to get healthy?

Am I ready to change my mindset and negative self talk?

Am I ready to do the work?

Do I need a program that I can fit into my schedule and around my family and commitments?

Am I ready to be successful?(sometimes success is scary!)

If you can answer yes to most of these, then you should look into online personal training! Whether its mine or someone else’s!

For More Information-

You can look on my website amyskaggs.com under personal training or you can contact me at fithoppy@yahoo.com or by cell or text 919-457-2312.

I will be happy to help you figure out if my Essential Fitness Online Personal Training is for you!

If I realize I am not a good fit for you I will be happy to refer you to a couple online programs I trust!

I look forward to helping you!

XOXO-

Amy

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My Top 15 Gym Etiquette Rules!

So, in life there are many “unwritten” rules for various places, right?

Here are a few-

*don’t go to the dentist after you’ve just eaten garlic or onion(ewwww).

*don’t pick your nose, or blow your nose at the table.

*if you live in the south its expected to say, “yes ma’m, yes, sir, Please and thank you”


But, did you know there are unwritten gym etiquette rules?

Yep, indeed there are!

It doesn’t matter how big or small the gym is, some things are, well, taboo!

Here are a Few of My Favorites:

1.Wipe down the equipment you use! Yes, that bench and the weights!

2.Put your equipment back! That’s handles, attachments, bars, clips-whatever!

3.Remember there are bubbles-give others some space! Don’t get right on top of people!

4.Don’t block someone’s view of the mirror or walk right in front of them(their line of sight)while they are lifting!

5.Don’t drop or slam weights-free weights or machines.

6.Be polite and ask if someone is using a piece of equipment(like a bench or weights), if someone is near.

7.Don’t give random, unsolicited advice- which is especially hard when you are a trainer. Strike up a conversation instead and ask about what they are doing.

8.Grunting, puffing and say certain words-a little is well, ok. But hollering, yelling and putting on a show-save that for the meathead gym!

9.Wear deodorant……..PLEASE!

10. Ladies, bend over before you walk out of the house-are your pants sheer? Do your boobs hang out of your shirt? Please, just please.

11.Don’t hold a phone conversation while working out. A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G!!

12. Wear the right shoes, none of those sort of sandals, sort of tennis shoes.

13. Please don’t sing and just know your boogying, may make a YouTube video! (LOL).

14. Please don’t congregate-you know the 3-4 people that talk, take selfies and hover around. There’s a lobby for that!

15. If you are practice karate, Kung foo, whatever, I will stop and stare at you-there are places to do that-not the gym floor!

The Main Points-

Be Courteous!

Do to others as you would hope they would do to you!

Don’t slam weights-Please!!

Return your equipment!

If you do something nuts-well-you might end up on YouTube!

Wear Deodorant!!

What Would You Add?

What are your non-negotiables at the gym?

What would you add?

It’s amazing to me what people do out in public!

Aren’t people funny?

I’m off so go see what shenanigans are going on at my gym!

I can’t wait!

XOXO-

Amy

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These are a Few of My Favorite Things!!(Cue the Music!!)

Ok, Ok-I know that was corny!!

Actually though, “The Sound of Music” is one of my favorite movies!

As, I was thinking about what to write today, I decided to do a monthly “Favorite Thingsblog post!

I often share with my personal training clients and class participants products, food and clothing I discover, really like and find helpful!

I will try to add links to the items I list, so you can look into them as well! **But, I do not get any kick backs from these companies!!**

A New Favorite-

I often will grab a protein drink either at the grocery store or out local Walgreens. I love the connivence of a premixed protein drink. The only bad thing is, well, sometimes that taste is less than desirable and you have to hold your nose to get it down!

But I recently found a brand of protein drink that I really like!! And the biggest pluses are they taste fabulous and have a good amount of protein!

Its Fair Life Core Power High Protein Milkshake!! They are AWESOME!! A great amount of protein, low carbs and moderate fat!

You can find them at https://fairlife.com/core-power/.

You can also find them at your local Walgreens and buy them in bulk on Amazon!

A Different Favorite-

So….this one is a bit different and a bit of a private issue!!! But this is a necessary one though!

Avia Underwear(Panties)!!

They fit nicely under your exercise clothes, don’t leave panty lines, they are breathable and MOST importantly they don’t ride up in areas you don’t want!! They have Boy Shorts, High Leg Briefs and Thongs! I chose the briefs and found them to be very comfortable!!

You can purchase these at your local Walmart, avia.com or https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&query=Avia+panties

Be On the Look Out-

Every month I will be adding to my favorites list around the first of the month! So, be on the look out!!

It is fun to try new products and food!

Give these two a try and let me know what you think!!

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think!!

XOXO

Amy