Tag Archives | Los Angeles personal trainer

Sense Memory

By Susan Howard

One of my clients, who at times struggles to maintain a healthy weight, was “off the wagon” as they say. She got a new demanding job and bought her first home so her stress level was a solid ten. During this time her workouts declined and in turn her eating went south as well. Months later coming back to her training sessions with me she had put on an extra twenty pounds on the hiatus.

Getting her back on track we looked at, in addition to strength training with me, some spinning classes she might sign up for. In the past, spinning was a strong foot hold in her weight loss habits. She enjoyed the music, competition and and energy in the room.

At her first class back, she had to leave the room halfway through the class because she thought she was going to throw up. She was used to maxing out her ride each time she went, but ..read more

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A closer look at what some people claim is a healthy diet and how to improve it.

Are You Healthy?

By Susan Howard

So… are you?  “Of course, I am healthy,” you retort.  I had wheat toast with almond butter for breakfast, a salad for lunch, Cliff bar for a snack, and a bean and cheese burrito for dinner.  To you, I say, “Yes, those are all fairly healthy choices especially if you are working out 4 to 5 days a week.”

I hate thinking of food as the gate keeper and myself as a prisoner in my own dietary life.  If, however, you are not getting the results you desire, you must look more carefully at the choices you make.

Back to that eating day, let’s look and assess…

Although the day’s calories contain a salad, the intake is a bit light on vegetables and has no fruit at all.  On top of that, there are hidden calorie bombs.  Almond butter, although good for you, can be over-served jacking up your calorie and fat count.  A thin layer of something creamy and delicious ..read more

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Find out if using a scale is the right move for you.

The Scale: To Use or Not to Use?

By Susan Howard

Riddle:  What tells you things you don’t want to hear without speaking a word?

Answer: The scale.

Okay, I just made that one up.

Some of my clients that have had a large weight loss and in the wake of this massive success have taken to weighing themselves on a daily or at least weekly basis.  For this category of person, I say good on ya.  It keeps you honest and keeps the pounds from secretly creeping back on.  You are fighting the 50 plus pounds you lost last year.

For the rest of us, let’s decide what is the best fit.

Answer these questions:

How do you feel after getting off the scale?:

Freaked out?

Hopeless?

Inspired?

Depressed?

Motivated?

For some of you the scale can mean many things.  It could be used as a reward or a punishment.  If it sends you into a fit of over or under eating then it’s not for you.  If, on the other hand, it keeps you in check and focused on your ..read more

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You have a choice in your food addiction. Choose well.

User

By Susan Howard

From the second half of 2017 and up until now, I have been strict about my use of sugar.

One of my clients lamented, “Susan, is it really that horrible to have a cupcake every once in a while?”

“No, it’s not a big deal at all, you can easily metabolize those 300 to 400 calories on a 3 mile jaunt.  For me though, it sends me into a whirlwind of desire for more and more and more,” I replied.

Most everybody has their “thing.” I could drink a half a glass of red wine, or 3 glasses or skip booze for a month and not notice.  I will never have a drinking issue. Someone else could smell beer at a baseball game and become triggered into an all night bender. Other people crave fast food, french fries, cheesy creamy things. On and on it goes.

I was given my sugar addiction as a gift from my mom.  I will never forget ..read more

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Susan Howard shares her favorite health minded podcasts and why they're great tools to help you stay fitness motivated.

Dirty Fingers

By Susan Howard

As a trainer, and yes, fitness guru, I am constantly reading and learning about everything health-related.  I love to know things so I can be better at my job. In the past, I would just hang out in the health section of a Borders and read through the aisle.  As times have changed and bookstores are more scarce, I have added podcasts as a source of information.  There is a bunch of cool ones out there, many of which have been recommended to me by clients trying to make a lifestyle change.

Podcasts are great because in Los Angeles we are trapped in our cars with a lot of useless time on our hands so it’s a perfect distraction. There are some great ones that feature some amazing speakers from ultra marathoners, to neurosurgeons, and even the founder of Whole Foods.

In order to make a change you must have your game face on at all times.  Let motivational thoughts sink ..read more

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Working out is a great confidence booster.

Check Me Out

By Susan Howard

Today at my local gym, I got totally checked out.  The gawker was a tall broad type of guy, blond hair pulled back into a ponytail and muscular. Let’s just say he was the kind of hot that you’d see in an ad for a sports watch or men’s cologne.

I know, I shouldn’t want to be “objectified,” and I don’t even like guys, and, hell, I have a wife, but it’s nice to know I still got it.

Maybe he was checking me out because I was lifting heavy and he was in awe of my brute strength, roar!  Maybe when you workout you emit an extra glow that says I am alive and in the zone.

I just turned 48 and got a head turn from a 20-something Greek god.

Working out works.  You look better, you feel better, and people check you out.

Now get to it.

Stay Ready.

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Tradition

By Susan Howard

I often write about habits and being a fitness professional. The pinnacle quandary to address is, “What are our habits and how can we change them to create a healthier lifestyle?”

I am going to shock you.  Ready?

Some of your habits, you will want to keep.  Yep, even the “bad” ones.

I have a tradition — when I get my car washed I go to a little bakery, grab a coffee and a cookie, and do some work.  It’s got AC, free water, and Top 40 radio pumping.  It also allows me to maximize my free time of which I have little.

I have been off sugar for the last 5 months, so going to the coffee shop was a bit of a challenge.  But it makes sense for me and I love the hang.

So having worked out for over an hour, I knew that I needed to get something besides my earl grey tea.

I paced back and forth, and landed on ..read more

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There's only one thing you need to do to be healthy and lose weight -- be consistent in your workouts.

Rewind It Back

By Susan Howard

There is ONE thing I want you to know — only ONE.

I give you the big secret here….

To have the body of your dreams and to be fit and healthy there is ONE thing you must do…

Be consistent.

Workout every week 3 to 5 times each week.  Each and every one.  3 to 5 times.

It feels so good.

You get to stave off illness, disease, obesity, and yes, death.

Plus you gain energy and feel hot in your jeans.

So there.

Stay Ready.

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Susan Howard provides some tips to tricking your body to lose weight.

Going, Going, Gone

By Susan Howard

Set weight, it’s a real thing.  There is a number with which your body prefers to be, and try as you may, it feels impossible to get off that number.  Our bodies calibrate and especially after a big weight loss, we biologically like to stick at what feels most right.  So based on, height, size, and current metabolic rate, your body adjusts.

“That’s not the weight I want to settle on,” you complain, “I want to be 5 to 10 plus pounds less.”

This is a tough one because you are already looking good, but greedy. The better we look, the better we want to look.  What to do?  How can we trick our bodies into responding a new way?  By doing something different.

If your focus has been cardio, switch to strength.  If you’ve been doing endurance, switch to interval sprints, or heck, pick up a jump rope.  If you have been training for power, few reps and heavy lifting, ..read more

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Susan Howard explains that being too strict on your health and wellness journey can be a drawback in the end.

Black or White

By Susan Howard

If your goal is weight loss, muscle building, or somewhere in-between, chances are you are being mindful about what you eat, how much you workout, the amount of sleep you get — the whole lot. Cruising along on My Fitness Pal (an app I love by the way), tracking your every move, you are getting some success and feeling great.

Then the BOMB hits.

You go on a trip, get off your routine, have a cheat day, and the whole plan goes to pot.  Something as simple as a cheat meal can derail a well meaning fitness seeker.

“Well, this is my cheat meal so I might as well have a third glass of wine, a troth of pasta, and a huge piece of cheesecake.”

Remember it’s not a competition.  You should be pretty healthy MOST of the time.  The more deprived you feel, the more likely you are to go off the rails. Try and find shades of gray. (Not that ..read more

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