Friday, December 27, 2013

Giving it Up in 2014

by Kris Pitcher

There are a few things you should consider completely giving up in 2014. I want to run them by you while you are in the process of developing your resolutions. Please consider adding these...I mean, subtracting these this, coming year:

  1. Beast-Mode: All year everyone, I mean EVERYONE, has been in beast-mode about everything. It's time to admit, this is silly. Everyone can't be a total beast. Let this one go. Give your shirt away.
  2. Killing It!: This should be obvious. You can't be killing everything either. Killing your bis! Really? Just do your workout. We know you've killed it. Tough girl...
  3. MY Way: Stop getting mad if someone isn't doing it your way. There's more than one way. This isn't a cookie-cutter deal. Stop hating on the way someone else does cardio. Don't be mad.
  4. Gangsta: I know you are not in fact a gangster. Please let being "gangsta" go. Just take your hoodie down and grow up.
  5. Bad Ass: I know, this is hard for me too. I even have socks to declare my status as such. But do we really have to stomp around and act like one? Feeling like one on the inside is fine. This gig is over.
If we can just let go of some of these tough exterior, self-driven, labels...we might just have a kinder, gentler 2014. Check yourself and decide if these things are really "age appropriate". Are you really making friends projecting yourself this way?

Put down your attitude and you might just make some new friends. You might just begin to surround yourself with people who have similar interests, who are on the same path as you...who aren't laughing at you.

I'm not exactly sure what the new year will bring, but I'm pretty sure these things are tired. 2013 used them all up and it's time to seriously consider giving them up yourself. Expand who you are and how you define yourself. Give it up this year :)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Season Unwrapped

by Kris Pitcher

Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas to all those around the world who celebrate those holidays this time of year. And a Happy Non-denominational Winter Season to those who celebrate in other ways! Regardless, it's a season full of tradition and reflection.

It's a good time to reflect on the year behind us, and to look forward to the season ahead. You know me, I'm not big on resolutions. But I am big on getting your head straight about what is important to you.

As you spend time today with family and friends, loved ones, get straight on what it is you value. What is important to you in this coming year? What will mark success? What will you work toward? And in the end, how will you measure it?

Will you measure it by the biggest pile of wrapping paper and ribbons? Will it be measured by who got the biggest, most expensive gift? Or by the most decadent meal? Will it be measured by how you spent an extravagant amount on surprising someone special? Will it be having all the latest electronics?

Maybe it will be some of those things. Part of feeling success is providing such that those in our lives don't "want" for things. But maybe success will be in health, in happiness, in moving your goals forward. Maybe it will be in traditions unspoken, whispers of who you are as a family, or as friends.

Maybe reflection will bring pride in accomplishments, or hunger for more. This is a good time to slow down and think about your success to goals in the year past, and how you'll meet your own expectations this year to come. What do you want for yourself? What will build on the year behind us?

Once you clear the piles, and piles, of wrapping paper from the living room floor, take note of your own season unwrapped. As you enjoy the festivities, whatever they may be, take joy in those quiet moments to wrap your head around what you want for the upcoming season.

'Tis the season, to make it all yours. Happy Holidays from Fitness Bliss!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Attraction, It's the Law

by Kris Pitcher

You know those positive people, always seeing their cup half full? They just have all the luck, right? I mean, everything just falls right into place for them.

Or does it? I believe very strongly you attract things into your life. The energy you put out into the universe, comes back to you. This is the law of attraction and it can work for, or against you. It's up to you.

What kind of energy are you putting out? What kind of messages are you sending, to yourself? Are you focused on what you can't do, or what you are capable of? Your perspective determines what comes into your life.

If you want success in life, any aspect of life, you must attract it to yourself. That begins with clarity on what it is you want, and what it is you don't want. What will you accept in your life, and what are you unwilling to tolerate?

Big questions. But attracting energy, success, into your life begins with you understanding what it is you want. Once you define exactly what that is, you begin to do the things necessary to achieve it. If you're the least bit unclear of your goals, you'll attract chaos.

So get clear. Write it out, cut out a picture, put up a calendar...what ever it takes to literally put it in front of yourself. Do it. I have a calendar on our refrigerator that has a contest picture of me from last season. It has contest dates, and I can SEE my path every single day.

Everything I choose begins to attract my goals into my life. I am manifesting them. I am surrounding myself with the right people, I'm centering my thoughts around them, I'm literally keeping them in front of me, and I'm making decisions which will draw me to them, and them to me.

It's a conscious process, a thoughtful and deliberate process. The law of attraction is not based on hope, or prayer. It's based on work, on focus, and on clarity. As the new year dawns, we have the perfect opportunity to find clarity about what it is we want to focus on.

We have the chance to make a fresh start, to turn the page on the new calendar, and to see our path forward. Put yours right in front of you. Look at it. Make choices around it. Draw it to you. Attraction, it's the law.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Weight Loss Goals, Just Go!

by Kris Pitcher

Our town built an epic new round-about. Watching its engineering was both frustrating and exciting. Not quite sure how it was going to turn out, when the (slightly overdone) traffic revision was completed...I was excited.

Now, a round-about works when everyone just moves into it, yielding as directed, going with the flow. I'm still waiting for the snow to really fly so I can practice my drift turns around this beauty.

There's always the driver who stops, literally stops, and signals their direction of travel. When I was behind said person the other day it made me think of all the people who will soon take on challenges for the New Year.

Many of those will be weight loss goals, or goals around eating differently. Let me give you some advice. You don't need to stop and "signal" your direction of travel to everyone. Just start moving in the only direction there is to go.

See, I've found the most excited people, who shout the loudest (signal) often are the quickest to lose direction. You want to make changes? Great! Just begin to move into traffic and make them. You've tried lots of things before, and frankly, people expect you to fail.

Don't tell them. Keep your indicator off. You don't need to signal. Just move - they'll figure it out. My point is, it's unnecessary to indicate all the changes you want to make to people who only sort of care. It's really just important to you and maybe your closest confidant.

Telling the person behind you in line, or your co-workers, or everyone on your social media friends list isn't necessary. You don't need to signal. Just go.

Signaling just puts the pressure on you. You don't need that. You need support from your closest people and that's it. Signalling puts some huge end-all out there. Simply begin. Just go.

You'll be more successful with less pressure, less fanfare, and fewer people around you watching for you to fail. Don't hesitate as you move into the round-about of what you want to change. Simply go forward and do it without signalling. Just. Go!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Take it Back

by Kris Pitcher

Life gets busy. Even my life full of balance and blah, blah, blah. When it does, I don't always find time for writing. Heck, I don't always find time to move the folded laundry off the coffee table. But then, who has a problem with getting dressed in the living room?

The thing is, writing centers me. Sure, I do it for you...but mostly it's for me. It helps me find my balance, express my creativity, gives me a platform to share what I think, and keeps things going in my brain where I store my "stuff".

It also helps me create a community of like people who are all trying to do similar things...or are at least struggling in similar ways. Which we all are. And what I was thinking most recently, is - where has my time gone?

It's a busy season full of too many pot-lucks, too many social obligations, and far too many errands buying gifts for people. We were out on one such trip and I simply told my husband if the gift didn't work, the recipient could take it back.

"Giving a gift that someone has to take back is giving them the gift of work." he said. I laughed at the simple truth to that. No one wants to return a gift. In a time when most of us have too much stuff, what we don't seem to have too much of is time.

Managing our time is an important factor in determining our success. So, while I'm getting my meals prepped, waking to the alarm at 4:30 am to do my cardio, and conserving most of my precious evenings to get my lifts in...somehow on the weekends I'm not finding time to write.

And I'm missing it. So, get ready for (and this is by no means a resolution), get ready for thought provoking blogs. Be ready to feel slightly uncomfortable. Smile when I tell you we need to sit down for a chat. Know I will tell it like it is. And finally, let's not ever have to make time to take anything back in life.

Friday, December 13, 2013

She Bangs

by Kris Pitcher

I may not exactly have thought this out real well. In fact last year I missed it all together. As the year is drawing to a close I looked back on my calendar realizing it was time to schedule my mammogram.

When I called to make the appointment, the very efficient scheduler told me my last one was in 2011. How did I miss a year? Everyone with boobs, which is everyone...will eventually get her, or his, day under the "paddle" for their pictures.

"No deodorants, lotions, or powders." she reminded me on the phone. Dreading the morning of my appointment, not for being squished between plastic, and having pressure applied to my girls...I was dreading no deodorant.

This is not a good situation for me. But comply I did. Now, what I did not plan very well in conjunction with this very important annual exam, was it was also my first day with bangs.

Silence? Well, the last time I had bangs was approximately 1980, which was a long time ago. There wasn't a lot riding on them at that time. Today however...was different. Dripping with sweat from my morning cardio, there was no way I could salvage the darling bangs my stylist had so beautifully created the night before.

I had to wash my hair. Once I got my product in, I decided to dry the new bangs first. They seemed to have a life of their own, and images of 1980 came rushing into my head. No deodorant. I envisioned the bangs heading straight up toward the sky. Not a good combination. I could feel the perspiration begin to bead under my arms.

After diffusing the rest of my hair I dislodged that piece from the end of my dryer, turned the air on low and began to do my finish work. I might have said a prayer. Pulling and finger curling my new bangs they sort of began to look like they belonged.

Not enough. I needed more tools. From under my cabinet I pulled the worlds smallest flattening iron (thank you Shelly) and plugged it in. Thinking I would use the iron to both flatten and curl the bangs into the side of my hair - you could say I had a vision. A vision of how things should go.

There came a point where any more work might render the project a "do over". I stopped, put down my tools, and opened the other side of my cabinet. Finishing product. And my prayers were answered.

A glop of smoothing cream, some tugs here, and wax there, all followed by a spritz of hair spray...I think I did it! Patting my armpits dry, I looked in the mirror pretty happy with my result. Day one down. She bangs! I can't wait to do it tomorrow with my deodorant on. Now? Does that count as second cardio?... 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Athlete Sponsorships

by Kris Pitcher

It seems to be every one's dream to be a sponsored athlete. Sure, it's nice to have someone else pay the bills. But is there really money to be made?

In a multi-billion dollar industry it's pretty important to keep in mind the company has the most to gain. Recently, a company put out a call on social media for entries to be considered for their 2014 sponsorships. I couldn't help but look at their application.

Heck, who doesn't want free product? Well, the requirements actually were not only time consuming, but also costly for the athlete. Certainly the obligations to the athlete were more than the free product being offered as sponsorship.

Who wins here? Maybe the athlete if they need exposure, are looking for modeling, or expo opportunities. But be careful of the time commitment you may be signing up for with your "free" sponsorship.

How much selling of their product on your social media accounts will they expect from you? It's all in the fine print. You did read the fine print didn't you? How many in-store sampling sessions will they want you to do on Saturdays?

There are some great opportunities out there, don't get me wrong. Just don't sell your soul for a 5lb tub of protein. Keep in mind you are a reputable athlete who people follow, trust, and look to for advice. Do you want that to be bought by your sponsor? How valuable is YOUR time, your reputation, and what are you willing to put your name on?

Truly, it depends on what your goals in this industry are. If you are looking to get some competition expenses covered, there's that. Are you looking to increase your visibility as a model? Are you an elite level competitor truly a few steps away from becoming a pro? Or are you just looking to get your nails done for free for your next show?

Sponsorship can mean a lot of different things. You can look for it within the industry, or from businesses and companies outside the fitness industry. It's all about relationship building, sharing what you can do for them, what they can do for you, and making all of that work in your best interest.

Corporations have something to gain, and as an athlete you have something to gain. You shouldn't be signing up for a second job for some free product. Make sure you know what you're getting into as a sponsored athlete. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Managing the Holiday Frenzy

by Kris Pitcher

Tis the season for over commitment. It's a good time to reflect and remember you are in control of your calendar. As the holiday season gains momentum more of your time will be filled by mounting priorities.

It's important however to be clear in your own mind what you really need to do. What do you really need to spend, to buy, to do? How much decorating, baking, hosting is really necessary? What traditions are really crucial to you?

There are traditions we really want to maintain, and there are others no one seems to care about. Maybe those can go. The reality is we only have so much time, and maintaining our health and fitness goals over the holiday season is also important.

Controlling our stress levels is important, and that begins with managing our time. How many holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and office events do we need to go to. Some of them we have to be at, others not so much. There are only so many weekends in the month, and they are filling fast.

Looking at what is most important to you before the craze happens helps to control the frenzy of the season. Spend time with the people you really want to spend time with. Talk with people about spending money on gifts they don't need with money you don't have. Lots of times, that conversation is a relief to everyone.

But most importantly, take care of yourself over the holidays, don't let your own wellness slip by the wayside at the expense of everything you "have" to do this season. Make sure you get the nutrients you need, the sleep you require and are managing the stress in your life.

It's ok to do less, to say no, and to consume less. It's ok to continue to value your workouts, to eat your nutrition, and to drink less. No one will judge you (well, they might) at a holiday party if you're not drinking. Who cares if they do?! Take care of you this season.

Don't let it be a hectic one, let it be a peaceful one. Let it be a joyous one filled with the people you love and the things most important to you.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turn the Corner, It's Time to Prep!

by Kris Pitcher

It's time to turn the corner. You've "sort of" been loosely doing your plan. Mostly you went off the rails after your contest even though you had a plan. Sometimes that just happens regardless of the best intentions. Regardless of the best laid plans. Now, we turn the corner.

Where do you start? You decide to decide. It's really that simple. You are one decision away from being right back on track. You must decide to decide. It's empowering really. And it's all within you. I can't do it for you. Your coach can't do it for you...

You have it within you. Decide. That's it. You don't need encouragement. You don't need anything long term. You need a plan, and a decision. Just one. One decision.

Decide to decide. Today, I'll decide to get up and do my cardio. I'll decide to pack my meals for the day. I'll decide to eat each of those meals on time. Look at me? I'm on track! It really is that simple.

Sure, you'll be letting go of some of the extra stuff you've been cramming down your pie hole. The sugar. It's gone. The gluten, probably gone too. Dairy. Might not fit either. The late night snacks. Not for you. But guess what?

You've got a plan. The plan is yours. You've chosen it. You have limited time to make gains, to better your physique. Do that now. There is no later. I'll guarantee your competition, she's doing it now. The guy who will stand next to you? He's dialing in his off season plan now. There is no time to wait.

Holidays? Why waste time? Get on your plan now. Decide. Turning the corner is all about making decisions. One at a time. You decide to prep your food. You decide to go to the gym. You decide to stay on plan. You decide. Turn the corner and put down the fork.

Turn the corner and work your plan. Get your actions back in alignment with your goals and values. Feeling stressed? Feeling down? Guess what? It's because you aren't acting in accordance with your values. The things you have said are important to you, you aren't doing. Do them.

No one will do this for you. Each week you put off your prep now, or your growth time, is a week lost to your competition. That too is a decision. Let's get our plan together. Let's turn the corner. Let's decide.

When you embrace your "cycle" of prep as more than dieting down for a show and that's the end, you'll "get it". Finally. Use your off season to grow in a lean state, plan your prep to get you to the stage in the shape you want. Then make your plans to make the progress you need to make to do better. There is no beginning and there is no end. You decide that.

So let's get our head in the right place and turn that corner. Get it together one good decision at a time. You've got your plan. Decide to do it. You're going to feel great! I'll see you around the corner!