Category Archives: Fitness

Falling off the wagon.

It’s happened to somet-rex of us, especially around 8 weeks into a diet program. We promise “this time will be different”, “I can exercise every day” or “I will make this the year I make it happen” For some it is the year and you do exercise daily but for many, we slip up and fall off the wagon.

Finding out why we allow a slip to derail us is key to any goal we set out to achieve. Whether your goal is weight loss, fitness or any other lifestyle change, slip ups will happen. But how we react, adapt and take action is what sets the people that achieve their goals and the people that don’t.

Any lifestyle change is hard, hard work and stumbles and slip up should be looked at as a good thing not as a deal breaker. We are humans and not machines, mistake will happen, a lot. Learning from the mistake and avoiding them in the future is what the journey is all about.

If you fall off the wagon, don’t panic. One piece of cake should not be the undoing of days, weeks or months of hard work. Acknowledge the mistake, ask yourself was it worth it? Most of the time it’s not and eating when we are emotional, bored or mindless takes huge effort on our part to overcome.  But also be honest with yourself and allow yourself to indulge every now and again.

Once the mistake has been made, move on. Dwelling on the incident does nothing productive and in some cases can allow you to stay in a rut. Be done with it, kick it to the curb, walk away, I think you get the idea.

If you continue to struggle and if you are off the wagon more than you are on, consider a food journal. Writing down when you eat, your emotional state at the time, what you eat may show a pattern that you were not aware of and may prevent future mistakes. If you have a problem with talking yourself out of working out consider making a big workout calendar and post it on the fridge or bathroom mirror as a gentle reminder. If you do skip a workout, write out the reason on the calendar and be honest with the reason.

Finally, remember your goal. This weight loss wagon is taking you on a journey to a happier, healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Enjoy the ride!

Be Well,



Resolutions Revisited

peaceful winter

New Year’s resolutions come and go and for the cynics and skeptics they are a waste of time. According to Aristotle “the unexamined life is not worth living”. If Aristotle is right the time we spend on contemplating, strategizing and taking action to improve ourselves and our lives may be what makes it worth living altogether. Then why do so many of our resolutions go unresolved? Simple answer maybe that we spent so much time thinking about what we want or how we want to be and not enough time thinking about our real why. What is your real motivation? For you and me it may be several layers deeper than what we really think. Let’ take for example the all too common weight loss goal. Do you truly want to lose weight? Maybe, Maybe not.  If so, why? What does the number on the scale represent to you? Failure? Loss? Scorn? Judgment? Or perhaps as far back as you can remember you weren’t good enough to someone for some reason.

A second reason why this resolution may not be realized is that you are likely trying to fit a new goal into an old dysfunctional way of living. Often without letting go of what already occupied that space. Sort of like trying to put the square peg in the round hole. Looking at it another way it is our way of attempting to put more stuff into a bag that is already full or overfilling our bathtub. Use whichever analogy you like. So if you really want this what else needs to change? You won’t change your reality until you change your way of thinking about it.

Whatever your goal is, it’s important for us to connect with your real reason for why you want it. Get down to the real truth. Peel back the layers of the onion. What really strikes that nerve for you to want this change? And what is going to strike that nerve for you to place this at the highest priority in your life? If you can’t reach that nerve perhaps this goal isn’t ready yet. In which case it is either destined to fail or it should be responsibly put to the side until we are ready to get to its roots and deal with it.

Please chime in on this blog. Is your goal already been abandoned this year? Are you willing to look deeper at it? What is your goal? What is your why? Be brave. Let’s engage in this conversation.

By Garrett Stangel, MA, HFS, CPT

Balance Fitness

Tabata Training


Have you Tabata’d?

Today, my trainer, Super Karen, had me do Tabata Training for the first time. I actually liked it! It was fun, challenging and the hour went super fast. Besides light weight dumbbells, no other equipment is required which makes it perfect for working out at home and while traveling. It was so basic my 3 year old even did all the intervals with us!

What is Tabata training?

Developed in Japan by Izumi Tabata, “Tabata” is a type of workout program that utilizes high intensity interval training. Izumi and his fellow scientists decided to conduct a study to compare moderate intensity training with high intensity training.

He conducted the tests on 2 groups of athletes; 1 of the groups used the moderate intensity interval training and the other using high intensity interval training.

In group one; the athletes were training in moderate intensity workouts (70% intensity) for five days a week for a total of six weeks with each training session lasting an hour.

Group two trained with high intensity workouts for 4 days a week for a total of 6 weeks with each session lasting 4 minutes, at 20 seconds of intense training (170% intensity) and 10 seconds of rest.

The results of the tests?

Group 1 had a significant increase in the aerobic system (cardiovascular system). However, the anaerobic system (muscles) gained little or no results at all.

Group 2 showed much improvement in all their athletes. Their aerobic systems increased much more than group ones, and their anaerobic systems increased by 28%.

So what does this mean…?

Basically, high intensity interval training have more of an impact on the aerobic systems; it had an impact on the anaerobic systems as well. Therefore, Anaerobic exercise combined with aerobic workouts create a longer post-workout calorie burn than other types of workouts, making them an even better way to burn calories.

Sounds great right? Well…there is a lot of info out there claiming that the “4 minute” Tabata sessions is all that’s required. Come on people, there is no 4 minute workout miracle for optimum health and fitness. The truth is, that may provide some benefit but extending the workout into 30 to 45 minute sessions will give you a more complete workout with quicker results. Honestly, the 45 minutes went by really quickly.

Here are examples of a session:


For more info and videos check out

In good health,
~ Sarah

As always, consult your physician or healthcare provider before beginning any exercise or weight-loss program. Tabata is not for people with high blood pressure or for those at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

DDPyoga….not your mama’s yoga

Recently on Facebook, I ran across a You Tube that many of us have seen. The video recounts how Arthur Boorman, who was severely overweight and unable to walk without assistance, turned his health around using only the DDP Yoga system. Wait, haven’t we been told that yoga alone isn’t enough exercise to affect weight loss? Even more curious, I had to find out more about the yoga program that helped Boorman so much.

DDP stands for Diamond Dallas Page, a former pro-wrestler turned fitness guru. Page’s interest in yoga began when he injured his back in the ring and went looking for ways to rehabilitate himself. He tried yoga at his wife’ suggestion and was amazed at how quickly he began to see improved flexibility and strength. He began to combine the yoga he was learning with therapeutic exercises for his back and, as his condition improved, added in slow-motion workout moves like crunches and push-ups. Page told me that he used to wear a heart-rate monitor while doing his cardio on the Stairmaster before moving to the mat for yoga. When he kept the monitor on during yoga, he noticed that when he strongly engaged his muscles, he could make his heart rate go up significantly. This was the origin of the technique that really sets DDP Yoga apart.

Not Your Mama’s Yoga

The thing that makes DDP Yoga different from “your mama’s yoga,” or anyone else’s yoga for that matter, is the use of a technique Page calls Dynamic Resistance. Resistance training refers to exercise, such as weight-lifting, where you use a heavy object, like a barbell, to create resistance for your body to work against. Dynamic Resistance is a kind of self-resistance. You preform the same actions you would when lifting weights, but without the barbells. Page often describes it as moving through clay, slowly and with a lot of control and effort. A simple poses can be transformed into a workout by engaging and using your muscles so much that you can break a sweat just standing there. Adding Dynamic Resistance allows your heart rate to climb higher than it would normally when doing yoga. DDP Yoga requires that you use a heart-rate monitor to track your own heart rate and keep it in the “fat-burning zone” for optimum results. Despite the obvious differences, there are some important aspects of your mama’s yoga that do make it into the DDP system, including a focus deep breathing and the encouragement to modify poses whenever necessary. Page repeatedly exhorts us to customize and “make it your own,” a sentiment that could only make your mama proud.

I have been using DDPyoga for 5 weeks now and the results have been spectacular. I’ve lost 15 pounds, my flexibility has increased 10 fold, and my insomnia is a thing of the past.   I could really go on for a while but I can’t say enough about how great this program is and how many people it’s helping. For people that want to lose some weight, increase flexibility or just improve your overall health it’s a great program. I’m extremely glad I started the program, wish I had known about it sooner.

If you are interested in looking into DDPyoga further please visit