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Original writings by Sarah E. Rippel
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The Power to Change

by Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT

1999-2000

 

There is nothing like making a positive change.

The power that comes from change is limitless. First, you must have the power to change!

Over the past six years, I have seen dramatic changes in my physique. I began my transformation at the age of 17, weighing 89 pounds.

I never thought, back then, that I would be where I am today...but, the power within me to change was so strong that I beat anorexia and have transformed my body.

It has taken tons of hard work, desire, persistence, and sacrifice, but I can most definately tell you it has been worth every second.

I have come such a long way, yet I still vividly remember how I felt about myself back then. The irony of anorexia lies in the fact that the anorexic feels they are in control, but the reality is the disease has control over them. I had become literally a living shadow of my former self. Towards the end of my struggle I felt weak and powerless.  There didn't seem to be a way out...

Not anymore!

I am sharing part of my story in the hopes that I might encourage you to overcome a personal obstacle. My experience ties in with working out and how it helped me gain confidence, inner strength, and the courage to overcome my eating disorder.

I believe that we go through personal struggles so that we might find something wonderful on the other side. If you can learn from the worst situations, that is what matters. From my struggle, I found not only my life, but my passion for fitness, which I have been fortunate enough to make a living from. I know for a fact that exercising really does make a difference in a person's life. Through becoming stronger physically, you become stronger as a person. Use the strength that is within you and beat the odds!
 
 

ENERGY!!!

By Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT

1999-2000

 

"Hey Sarah, you know one way to tell if you're getting into better shape? When you walk up a set of stairs, no, you glide up them, and your legs don't even feel like they've been used...."

With extra energy, you may find "climbing the walls" to be something positive!

This comment was made to me recently by one of my clients. I had asked him if he'd noticed an improvement in his energy levels since he began regular workouts, and I got the answer I wanted from what he said! It is the often-overlooked effects such as this that need to be given more attention. Sure, we all wouldn't mind looking better and being a little more "buff", but it's also great that we are improving our daily lives. Everyone can benefit from an improvement in energy!

An improvement in energy levels is beneficial in the workplace, at home, and in the gym. Increased energy means better productivity and concentration. More energy leads to the ability to spend more time working towards your personal goals!

It does seem a little confusing, that expending energy through working out could actually give us more energy. It's the truth, though. If you haven't found this out yet, pay extra attention to how you feel during your next workout. Pay attention to how you feel once you've completed that workout. Exercise induces a healthy, natural "high" that everyone can experience!

Personally, i'm at my best after a good workout - my mind is clear, i'm relaxed, and i've challenged myself a little more. It feels great to know i've accomplished something positive! For me, sitting in front of the TV is, first of all, BORING, and secondly, it makes me TIRED! Rest time is just as important as regular exercise, don't get me wrong. Make sure you are getting the sleep that you need each night.

Are you tired of feeling sluggish? Exercise is my solution. Be a get-up-and-go person! Create as much energy as you can and get all you want out of life!

 

 
"FALL INTO FITNESS"

Here's a question...
When you look into the mirror, are you pleased with what you see?  
Most of us aren't...that's the reality.  In a society that places so much emphasis on appearances, it's no wonder that many struggle with body image issues and low self esteem.  
What can you do about it, you might ask?  
Well, one of the best ways to improve your sense of self-efficacy and boost your esteem is, you got it, through regular exercise!  Not only will an exercise program improve your health, but it will also help you feel better about yourself. As you notice changes in your appearance, you can't help to feel good about what you are doing, knowing that you have taken positive steps in bettering your life!
I know that I most likely overemphasize the value of physical activity, and I repeat myself...but what can I say?  It's the truth!  No one should be denied the opportunity to begin a fitness program.  When it comes down to it, health is the most important thing we each have.  
So you have a Ferrari...big deal!  You make more money than most people can dream about...so what?  You've traveled to every exotic location on the face of the earth...who cares?  None of these things matter if you aren't healthy enough to enjoy them!
Too often, I have encountered situations in which a person has every excuse in the book for not exercising, or not eating a better diet.  Quite honestly, I find it very hard to take a person seriously if they are not willing to take control of their life and stop making excuses!  Unless a person is ready to make a change, they simply will not go through with committing to an exercise program.  Only you can make this decision, and only you can take control of your health!
"Falling into fitness" just doesn't happen...you must make the commitment and stick with it!

Till next time, keep working towards your fitness goals, and have a great month!
Yours in Fitness,
Sarah
 

Changing Negatives into Positives
March.9 2000
by Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT


 

Ask yourself this question: "Am I happy with how my body looks"? If your answer is "yes", that's great! Most likely you have a healthy attitude and perspective when it comes to body image. If you answered "no", it's nothing to worry about. It is possible to change negatives attitudes into positives.  The best way to start is by replacing self-talk such as "my legs are fat" and "i'll never lose weight" with positive thoughts. To simplify my point, think of self-talk as being a cassette tape playing in your head. Usually, if a person's self-talk is predominantly negative, the tape just continues to voice those negative thoughts over and over, further instilling them in your mind, and making it very difficult to attain the body you're working towards.


On the other side of the coin, when the tape being played is full of positive, affirming messages, you have no choice but to believe them! Your chances of reaching your goals are 99.9% guaranteed!


Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a client. We were
discussing body image, a topic which I tend to be very passionate about, for
it affects each and every one of us in some manner. I shared with this client a technique I have personally used to turn negative self-talk into a positive attitude. This technique is used by top athletes and fitness competitors, and it takes only a few seconds to perform. I promise that if you give it a try, you will notice changes in how you see yourself!  Take a piece of paper and write down five positive statements about yourself. The messages can be about anything pertaining to you., for example, my last list contained the messages: "I am strong," "I am successful," and "I am in great shape and continue to improve." I taped my list up on my bathroom mirror, so that it was visible. I also made it eye-catching, with big letters and bright colors. Through reading the statements often, I had no choice but to believe them, and I noticed a big improvement in my confidence level! There is nothing that can stop me when my attitude is on track! When you read and reread your list, you will find the messages sinking in, and those nasty, negative thoughts will be a thing of the past! You will find a new passion for your workouts, and a newfound confidence in yourself!


Which would you rather have: a negative, self-defeating attitude which stands in the way of your goals and dreams, or a positive, winning outlook which proves that the possibilities are endless? You decide.  It is truly amazing how much power is contained within a person's self-talk. The difference between winners and losers is that winners believe they can win. Winners face their fears and don't hold back, while losers expect to be defeated and live in fear. Do not fall victim to negativity - your attitude will make or break your success!

May you be successful in all that you do!

 

What Motivates You?

by Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT

11/19/03

 

            Youre working out on a regular basis.  Youre eating better and seeing resultsbut what is your motivation?  What is the driving force behind your healthier way of life?

            Stop and think about this for a moment.  It is very important for you to be motivated, with no doubt, and it is even more vital to your success that your motivation comes from within.

            If you feel pressured to improve your physique because of the expectations of others, it is a very good idea for you to take a look at your priorities.  You should be exercising and eating healthy because these are your choicesbecause doing so makes you feel great about yourselfbecause you know you are taking positive steps in bettering your health and well-being.

            Most likely, if you are striving to meet the expectations of others, you will not be gaining the level of satisfaction and empowerment that you would attain from doing this for yourself.  You are more likely to lose interest, dread your routine, and have uncertainties as to your fitness goals.

            So what is the answer?  First and foremost you must give yourself a pat on the back for making the effort to be consistent with your routine.  If you find you are losing motivation, set a goal for yourself.  Everyone should make goal-setting a habit, for without a clearly-defined goal it can be very difficult to stay on track.  Working towards a specific outcome will give you that extra push (or shove J) you need to stick it out when opportunities to slack-off arise! 

 

Set a goal...it is yours...own it...stick with it...see it through

you will get results!

 

Accountability

By Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT

11/17/03

 

            One of the biggest reasons people continue to work with a Personal Trainer after they have been set up on an individualized program is accountability.  They know that because they have set an appointment and are paying for a trainers guidance, support, and knowledge, they are more likely to stick with their program.  They will see better results and most likely work harder during their workouts under a fitness professionals supervision.

            Although, as a Personal Trainer, I am only with my clients for roughly and hour each during the day, I emphasize to them the importance of living the other 23 hours healthfully as well.  It helps many to keep an ongoing food journal that I am able to assess on a regular basis.  In keeping track of their daily nutrition, my clients are more aware of what they eat, and they also know I may ask to see how they have been doing with their program.

            So, if the accountability factor is missing from your workout routine, I suggest that you work with a Personal Trainer over the course of at least a few weeks.  Grab a friend to join you in your training sessions - it can be more affordable for both of you and you may have more fun!

 

Excuse Me?

by Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT

11/17/03

 

            Why do we make excuses?  Many of us do not even realize we make excuses, for they have become prevalent in our lives.  Most often, they hold one who makes excuses on a regular basis back, whether or not they are aware of it.  Excuses can stand in the way of your goals and dreams, serving as roadblocks to your success, but they can only act as such if you allow them.

            Learning to combat these reasons we come up with for why we should or should not follow through with a goal can seem a daunting task, but, like any challenge, with enough work it can be overcome.  We must be cognizant and put forth effort in order to stop making those excuses which do not play a positive role in our lives.

            The reasons behind the excuses we make are varied and are unique to each individual.  Many people are afraid of failing.  They make excuses so that they do not have to work towards a goal they so badly cherish, or they have reasons for why they did not do their best.  Some people try to place the blame on others.  I am not implying that this never occurs, for we all know how important supportive friends and family are to our well-being.  I am, however, stating that when it comes down to it, we are solely responsible for our actions.

            Many people are afraid of success.  Success brings with it much pressure for some, and the expectations can be overwhelming.  They fear they will not be able to uphold their previous level of performance and will let themselves and others down.

            My main point is that no matter who you are, you are only human.  No one is perfect, nor should anyone strive to be as such.  Life is meant to be full of experiences and lessons.  We are meant to try our best and at many times, fail in our efforts, but walk away having learned from our experience.  How are you to know what works best if you do not try?  How are you to know what works best if you do not go through a few failed attempts?

            If you are prone to making excuses, please do yourself a favor and practice becoming more aware of your actions.  When you find that you are telling yourself false reasons for why you cannot eat better, for why you cannot make it to the gym regularly, for why you cannot lose that 20 pounds...stop yourself, backtrack a little, and replace that excuse with theres no reason why.  Understand that life is hectic and at many times you may have to set aside your health and fitness goals for a day or twowhat matters is that you allow yourself the opportunities to improve, and you also realize you are not meant to be perfect.  Enjoy life, keep your priorities clear in your mind, and never stop improving!

 

"Just a thought..."

How do you feel about yourself?  Is it positive or negative?  When you make a mistake, do you berate or forgive yourself?  Do you have trouble letting go of your mistakes?  Holding onto negative feelings about yourself is draining.  It detracts from your day to day life.  It is important that you make an effort to change your self-perception if you feel it is a little out of whack. 

Your mindset contributes greatly to your success in attaining your health and fitness goals!  If you believe from day one that you will not succeed, most likely that outcome will be the truth.  Why set yourself up to fail?  When you begin with a positive attitude, nothing is impossible.  Allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them.  Every situation we go through in our lives is a chance to learn something about ourselves.  Dont beat yourself up for messing up or not doing your best.  Pick yourself back up and make an extra effort to do better the next time.  Figure out what caused you to not succeed and change it.  If you dont try, you'll never know...

-Sarah E. Rippel