Trainer Blog

a tentative step back towards creating some content for you all

Hello all,

It’s been over two months since I’ve posted here, and that has been largely intentional. Outside of continuing with some clients virtually through video calls (personal training workouts and health coaching sessions) and written workout programs, I’ve been trying my best to take space to sit with the discomfort I have with being unproductive. Some days have been busy and productive still when I’ve felt motivated and wanted that, some days have been mostly just fun being at home with my partner and dog more than we would ever get to in normal life before, and some days have been a lot of discomfort with trying to let go of shame and guilt surrounding doing nothing. I would like to think I’ve made progress in allowing a lack of productivity when it feels like I need rest, but a lot of the time it doesn’t feel like it. And maybe my attachment to feeling progress, even with this, shows an area I still have more work to do.

Regardless of if this time has been a time for you to dedicate to cultivating hobbies life normally doesn’t have time for, a time for rest and recovery, or a time when life has mostly gone on as normal while not even feeling remotely normal, I wanted to make a tentative step towards making more space on some days (while still trying to honor space for doing nothing on others) for spending some time on some small things that life sometimes feels too busy or overwhelming for for myself.

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Taking Time to Breathe

I wanted to take this quiet Friday afternoon after a busy week and morning with clients and before Pam’s and my next Intuitive Movement workshop tomorrow morning to get some work done on some upcoming blog posts about weight set-point theory, about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, and about sleep/stress/metabolism. Alas, life does not always work out as planned, and sometimes the message you think you’re supposed to be giving in a certain moment, ends up being something completely different.

So instead, I would like to share something I posted in my Instagram stories today about taking time for rest and breaks to avoid burnout in the hopes that this message I am personally feeling right now might resonate with you:

can enjoy and have fun being in their bodies, that I would share some of my Instagram posts from over the last couple weeks from some chilly hikes. Hiking is something I have grown up with as a part of my life in one capacity or another, whether it was long walks on the farm I grew up on, running 5ks through the woods when I did cross country in high school, or hitting the trails in Shenandoah or along the Parkway as often as I can recently. Currently, I’m working towards letting go of that voice in my head that says a hike has to be ~intense~ to “count” as cardio and learning to appreciate that I absolutely loveee walking in any and every capacity, whether it’s a strenuous all-day hike with lots of elevation change, wandering around to explore the streets in a new city for the day, or my 5-30 minutes at the beginning of every workout where I stroll on the treadmill (usually at a fairly casual pace and with minimal incline) and clear out all the notifications on my phone and then listen to music or a podcast to clear my head for the task ahead.

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The Breadth of Intuitive Eating, the Holidays, Referrals, and Specialties

Sometimes eating is -sacred- you savor every bite, pay attention to the eating experience, and are grateful for your food.

Sometimes eating is -utilitarian- you shovel down whatever is available to satiate hunger now or overdue hunger/skipped meals due to busyness OR to prepare for hunger and a lack of availability of food in the future; it doesn’t matter if you’re multitasking or calling 3 different kinds of chips a meal; the goal is simply to get some fuel in your body to keep going because eating is the last thing on your mind in your busy life at this moment.

And sometimes eating is -fun- maybe there isn’t even hunger or responsibility involved, but you just want to eat a lot or a little of something fun and carefree just because.

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Upcoming Events & Resources

I wanted to make you aware of a handful of things!

  1. First, my fellow personal trainer, health coach, and co-leader of our Intuitive Eating and Intuitive Movement workshops, Pam Finney has started a blog including her own personal experiences with intuitively diving into her health and her journey over the years. I highly recommend you read and follow along, as her story is a fantastic one. You can find her first blog post here.
  2. Second, we just finished up the October session of our Intuitive Eating workshop over the weekend, the second of our IE workshops, and it went amazingly! We are excited to keep building and introducing more information, as well as building a solid foundation for those new to our workshops and these concepts at our upcoming workshop events. Here are the upcoming dates, so please shoot myself or Pam an email if you would like to join our community of other awesome participants!
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Intuitive Movement and Intuitive Eating Workshop Series

Pam and I are incredibly excited for this series of workshops we will be offering over the coming months, as we feel they are the most true and accessible version of the message we both want everyone to have about eating and exercise, which is that: All bodies are good. No foods are bad foods. And we all need to find ways to make movement and eating about nurturing and listening to our bodies instead of punishing them with rules and restrictions. (At least this is the very short version of what we believe and teach; there is both a longer version of this as well as a long journey as an individual to get to this place in your health journey, and we would like to help be a part of getting you on your way!)

Below is the link to the days and times for our next three workshops, the next of which is on Intuitive Movement, this coming Saturday the 28th from 9am-12 noon in the acac Albemarle Square conference room.

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Intuitive Eating Workshop & Now Offering Online Exercise Programming

I’m very excited to announce a new one-day workshop I have coming up with Pam Finney on Intuitive Eating, next Saturday, August 17th. This is the continuation of where we have been putting our energy into BeYOUtiful You and Live Your BeYOUtiful. See all the info below for more details, and feel free to shoot me an email if you have questions or would like to sign up to attend!

I’m also excited to announce a new way you can work with me through Personal Training and Health Coaching: online exercise programming. Meet with me initially to talk about your goals and physical limitations, and then together we can determine what’s the best plan moving forward. I will program a weekly schedule of workouts fine-tuned to your needs, injury history, and preferences (because the best workout plan is one you enjoy and can therefore stick to), and we can even add in a monthly online or in person meeting to discuss nutrition or other lifestyle habits that may be holding you back from reaching your goals and being your healthiest. Shoot me an email if you’re interested.

And finally, here is a bit of wisdom about meditation for your enjoyment if you’ve stuck with this post so far!

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Workout Challenges

Just popping in with some workout challenge moves from my workouts and sessions with clients over the last couple weeks.

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Posterior & Anterior Chain Focused Complexes & Other Updates

Just here to do a round-up post to give you some new workout ideas and hopefully some inspiration (building off of my last post including my recent IGTV videos about my fitness bucket list) for setting goals that really matter, are sustainable, and bring joy.

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What movement brings you joy? What are you really working out FOR?

While this video is very focused on me/my goals, the point of it is to inspire you to get thinking about what really motivates you to move more and eat to fuel your body on a day-to-day basis other than just overall better lifelong health and quality of life as you age

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Revisiting Expansion vs. Contraction & Some Workout Resources

On the same lines as my last post, this will also be an amalgamation of resources (except this time my own resources), as I’ve been trying to post more workout content on my Instagram page as well as start using Instagram TV more often again to put out video explanations of concepts and such for people that learn better in that format.

Here is the IGTV video I created and posted this morning revisiting the concepts of Expansion vs. Contraction as well as some resources of past times I’ve discussed these same concepts in different formats. Choose whatever strikes your fancy!

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Preventing Injury: Shoulder Stretches for Lots of Time at a Desk

Try out these three moves to help prevent shoulder injury and stretch out the chest from tightness caused by lots of time at a desk, on a computer, driving, or on your phone!

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Live Your BeYOUtiful: Round 2, Starting April 22nd

Join us for an 8-week program of health coaching and training for women. The group is designed to foster a supportive community environment of like-minded ladies to help motivate you towards your goals. We will work together towards achieving health goals found to be unsuccessful in the past by delving into fear, vulnerability, mindset, language, and accountability in the coaching sessions. The physical activity training sessions will put these discussions into action in fun team workouts.

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My Favorite Core Exercise: Core Vacuum for the Transversus Abdominis

Here is a video I posted to Instagram explaining verbally and visually how to properly do the core vacuum exercise to engage the transversus abdominis, the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles. Strengthening this muscle and learning to engage it while breathing, sitting up, standing, moving, and talking allows you to be stronger at engaging it during other core exercises and lifts, allowing your core to be functionally stronger, faster.

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Is the way you sit everyday leading to muscular imbalances?

Cross your legs. Now uncross and re-cross your legs.

Now if you’re sitting in a chair, sit on the floor and cross your legs. Or if you’re sitting on the floor, sit in a chair and cross your legs.

I bet that each time, without even thinking, you crossed your legs the exact same way. Try (both in a chair and on the floor) crossing your legs the opposite of the way you normally do. It feels weird, doesn’t it?

So rather than me trying to tell you to change your entire day from start to finish by brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, driving with the other hand, writing with the other hand, etc., I want you to focus on one simple habit that can make a big difference in imbalances in hip flexibility that can move down the chain into knee and ankle problems or up the chain into back and shoulder pain, imbalances, and tightness.

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Live Your BeYOUtiful

I’m super excited to announce the group I will be starting with Pam Finney in January!!

This group is essentially the intensive version of the free BeYOUtiful You group we have been running every month for 2 years now. We will discuss health, fitness, and wellness from a MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY perspective and work on a physical activity goal as a community. This group will meet every other week for 90 minutes over a three month period; each week the discussion and exercise portion will build on the last. We will cover topics like self love, body image, and self care. We want to make you fitter on the outside starting with the inside —mindset.

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life is too short to hate your body

What it comes down to is:
Life is too short to hate your body. Life is also too short to not enjoy foods you love.

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About Ellen

Every body is a good body, and my goal is to help you feel your best!