personal trainer chicago

Your top 3 New Year's Resolutions

Tis' the season to analyze your life!  Well, just a little bit-you don't want to go crazy.  This is your official top 3 New Year's Resolution List.  The list of all lists for the new year.  

Next year will be different because you'll choose to make it different and here is your start:

#3:  I will develop a routine.  The biggest contributor to successful weight loss for my personal training clients is routine.  Without it, life is chaos.  It provides the foundation for all of your behavior and gives you the consistency to reach a goal.  Whether it's eating, sleeping, or exercising, be sure to specifically determine your needs and lay out the groundwork for successful completion.

#2:  I will enjoy each day.  It's a shame when we need to remind ourselves to enjoy each day.  Over the last 10 years, I've learned from my personal training clients that people are, well, just not that happy.  I don't blame them.  With the overwhelming stresses of work, family, and Chicago sports, it is easy to be distracted from the fruits of life.  Although I wouldn't expect you to dismiss these stresses, I certainly encourage to change your perspective on them.  Life will throw challenges at you each day.  It's time to embrace them as learning experiences for growth and wisdom.  By doing this, you may look at these challenges in a more positive light and enjoy the process of living (not the achievement of results).

#1:  I will simplify my life.  Since there are many obstacles that you face daily, you want to simplify your life as much as possible.  After all, how can you find the solution when it's submerged under a mess of life.  Get rid of clothes, paperwork, and other random things in your closet/cabinets/trunk/yard/garage/basement that you haven't touched in 6 months.  Quit trying to multitask (are we really meant to multitask????).  Put things that you use daily in the same spot (i.e. keys, phone, etc.).  Consolidate bank accounts.  Save time by ordering what you need online.  Whatever you need to do, make sure it tightens up your life so that you don't overextend yourself any more.

Simplifying Your Life for Weight Loss

After a 10 night trip in Europe, I'm ready to start normal life of personal training in Chicago again!  On my first day back, though, I realize that my routine isn't as stress free as I thought.  This realization isn't a surprise.  Usually the greatest benefit of my extended holidays is my return from my mental break.  

As I step back into my normal life, I notice my tendencies to be overly aggressive while driving and the pressures I place on myself to squeeze days of work into a few hours.  You can only imagine the stress this contributes to my daily life and the bad habits that occur as a result.  I, no different from anyone else, also fall whim to poor food choices or less healthy behaviors.  

While my body type won't allow me to gain major weight, this lifestyle can lead to other health problems including high blood pressure and diabetes.  There's no way around this-everyone must pay attention to their unhealthy tendencies.  In order to do this, though, you may have to pull yourself from your reality for a mental awakening.  Once you return, you may realize the need to simplify your life.  This may help you with your weight loss goals while meeting with a Chicago personal trainer.

Personal Fitness and Weight Loss on Your Rome Vacation


Anyone traveling to Italy realizes the culinary spirit from the moment they step off the plane.  From pizza to veal chops, you're constantly enticed with arguably the world's best cuisine.

How do you indulge in your European vacation while heeding the sound weight loss advice of your Chicago personal trainer?  This is an example of balance and choice-especially while keeping your weight loss plan intact.

First, and most important, you must decide on your approach to the table.  Every Italian table starts with a bread basket-a fresh bread basket.  This is incredibly hard to resist and will leave you salivating while watching your neighbor's table if you resist.  If you can't shove away this carb delight, take 1 piece of bread and send back the rest (just because you're charged for it doesn't mean you have to eat it all).

Also, split everything.   I fully realize that part of the Italian experience is an "eating" one.  Instead of eating several solo courses as Italians do, split a non-dairy pasta and then choose a fish entree with veggies.  You'll still taste several dishes without over-stuffing yourself.  

Finally, split your dessert as well.  While you might steal a taste of the Italy's infamous gelato, stick to the fruit-based sorbet.  You'll save yourself the calories and the fat by kicking aside the diary and still indulge in a flavor-punch, frozen indulgence.

Second, with a sound approach to the Italian table, your activity will certainly outweigh the calories you eat (pun intended).  As with every European vacation, I became an urban hiker from day 1.  On each day, I choose 2 neighborhoods that I explore.  While on my 10 hour walking journey, I arm myself with a couple of Larabars and bottle waters in a small backpack and avoid public transportation unless absolutely necessary.

During this time, I plan at least 1 tourist site that involves stairs or hills.   You may want to add the top of the St. Peter's Bascillica (over 500 steps!) or the stairs and climbs of the Roman Forum onto your itinerary.

You can also sign up for a 4 hour bike tour too.  Considering that you're mostly on side streets, traffic safety isn't a problem.  This is a great way to burn calories for your Chicago personal trainer and see the most of the city (including Rome's off the beaten paths).

While a vacation should be an opportunity to treat yourself, there are still plenty of ways to achieve weight loss and still please your personal trainer in Chicago.  The tips above will help you with a guilt free trip!

3 Things Your Chicago Personal Trainer Should Do

Like real estate, it is very easy to enter the personal training industry.  With this being said, you never know what type of experience you'll get or what you should expect.  While I always hope people choose me as their personal trainer in Chicago, I am always thankful when people support my industry in one way or another. 

To ensure your have a positive experience, consider these points when considering a Chicago personal trainer.

1.)  Your Chicago personal trainer should train his or her clients one-on-one (at least most of the time).  Group instructors have different skillsets and focuses than Chicago personal trainers.  While classes are great and affordable, they aren't customized to your weight loss and physical needs.  Most importantly, you won't have the individual attention needed to identify weaknesses, imbalances, or an asymmetry of the body.  A Chicago personal trainer who meets personal training clients one-on-one regularly will have a trained eye for these things and won't be distracted by other clients.

2.)  Your personal trainer in Chicago should recommend whole nutrition-whole foods for your whole body.  Any Chicago personal trainer that sells or recommends nutritional supplements is a red flag.  Unless you've had medical testing to determine a deficiency in your body, you do not need any supplements (contrary to what anyone tells you).  Eating a food in its whole form is always the best approach.  Supplements are highly processed and strip the needed phytonutrients found in whole foods which help the body with absorption and digestion.  Don't let someone interested in commission sales tell you otherwise.

3.)  Your Chicago personal trainer should practice what he or she preaches.  Why trust someone if they're not doing it themselves?  Hire a weight loss trainer that believes in his or her philosophy and lives it by example.

What's the stress about?

My personal training clients in Chicago may give you a variety of answers when you ask them how they destress: run, meditate, walk the dog, meet with a personal trainer, eat endless plates of pasta at Olive Garden, etc.  No matter the method there tends to be a theme:  a reward system.  This can be especially useful and motivating when making yourself feel better after long hours behind a desk.  Who doesn't want to work for a reward (especially if it's for chocolate)?

Well, the problem is too many.  While being satisfied with the extrinsic rewards like a beer can be rewarding in the short term, you'll eventually feel unsatisfied and search for the next best thing.

Ideally, you want intrinsic rewards-feelings of purpose or accomplishment from your job.  Why is this important?  Because you're worried about distressing.  When doing this, you should consider the root of your stress first.  It will determine how you destress!