Sunday, January 30, 2011

Discipline and scheduling time

It's Pam again!

After my personal training session with Andrew Duffy, it was clear to me that I need to commit to a concrete schedule to stay on task with the training he is recommending if I want to make progress. It is really important to me in life and in my line of work to be physically fit, and I have learned over time that if I take care of my body, my mind and emotions are healthier as well. This is the critical foundation I need in order to move forward. I got one workout in this weekend and have scheduled two more next week.  I notice how some exercises are easier and fun, but some I hate (push-ups). I just try to push through my resistance.

On Friday, I met with Cynthia Fassler who is also generously donating her services as a job counselor, and I came away with the same message. I MUST schedule daily time for my job search. She recommended committing to a two hour time slot daily in which I focus completely on finding employment. And I can't just sit around in my sweats, I need to get dressed as if I were going out to network, put on lipstick, look the part. Maybe hit the library, network by calling and meeting with other professionals. I like her mix it up approach. We'll start by honing a resume that works, move on to a solid cover letter and start getting it out there with direct mail, cold calls and in-person drop-offs. She encouraged me to commit to this approach for 90 days. It is my priority to get a full-time position as an associate chiropractor in a clinic in the Bay Area.

It really helps to have the some outside encouragement and validation for change.  After being a "stay-at-home mom" for all these years, I have some deeply in-grained habits that boil down to taking care of everyone else's needs before my own. Now that I need to get back into the paid work force, it's time to break these habits and feel okay about putting my priorities for employment first. Even though the impending transformation to working mom is for the greater good of the family, there's definitely some resistance in all of us to changing the status quo. It's a challenge, but having back-up makes all the difference. Thanks for the support "dream team"!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pam, Success, and Priorities

Hi everyone, this is Andrew Duffy, personal trainer.

I met with Pam yesterday at the BODYwork SF studio, and we had another great, productive session that shed some light on a few road bumps.

Coming in to the session, she had been able to perform the exercises less often than we had discussed. But, to her credit, she some great questions about the exercises that make up her home routine.  Although I gave her just six exercises, they are complex, and each exercise has several elements.  After a half-hour of sweat and elevated heart rate, Pam felt more comfortable with the exercises.

Here's one of the tough ones that Pam is performing at home:

This is a GREAT exercise, working major muscles in the legs, arms, core and shoulders.  The lateral/side lunge recruits muscles that are often overlooked in most exercises, and the balance component at the peak of the exercise challenges her stability as well.  Finally, notice how she's working out bare-foot: this allows for her feet to bend and stretch and for her foot muscles to do some work while the rest of her body works hard.

This is an intermediate level exercise that requires good proprioception, balance, and foundational strength.  It is also a testament to Pam's continuing devotion to yoga.


After reviewing the exercises, we sat down and discussed my concern of her time management.  We had talked about her performing the exercises on a regular basis, and I know she cares.  I know that her health is a priority for her.  But devoting time to improving it is a little difficult for her.  For a woman as level-headed as she is, I had to ask her about it, and what she told me was very helpful.   

Pam, like Eva and Marilyn, is so used to dedicating time, love, and resources to her children and her life obstacles that focusing on developing herself in any aspect is hard for her to do. 

So, Pam and I worked together on listing her priorities and setting up a plan for taking care of each priority.  For me and for my successful clients, this is the single most important element for successfully improving health, especially through diet and fitness.  As Pam learned, scheduling time for each component of a priorty (a "to-do list") is a great way to make sure that she effectively uses her time to accomplish what she needs to in every aspect of her life.  And that includes taking time for herself.

She's a full-time mother of four who is going through a divorce among many other things, and she has to find a job.  Staying healthy is hard, but it's doable and it's important for her well-being and happiness.  She knows that, and she's determined.  Pam's got spunk!

The prognosis for Pam remains very positive, and I am confident that our discussion about priority and planning helps her with more than just fitness.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My first 3 weeks as a ORC contest winner

Hi!  My name is Pamela, and I have had the good fortune to be selected for a relaunch career make-over! My sister Wendy nominated me without my knowledge, so you can imagine the shock! But now I must say I am more in awe! Everyone I have meet through this project has been so supportive and generous. Good people with good intentions.

We are already three weeks into this process, and a lot has happened!

The press conference at the Huntington Hotel was very exciting. I'll never forget the three of us, Eva, Marilyn and I, standing on that chilly Nob Hill street corner, happy and hopeful, having our "before" pictures taken.

I have met with Andrew Duffy, the personal trainer, three times. His professionalism and knowledge base have truly impressed me.  He has targeted the areas where I need to build strength, and has quickly developed a program for me to follow at home. All I needed to get was a 55 cm. exercise ball and a few free weights, which is so doable... now I just have to do it, which I admit is easier with Andrew's encouragement.

I am also making some overdo changes to my diet (more fruits and veggies, less refined carbohydrates), and encouraging my kids to do the same. We joke, "What would Andrew say about eating that.."  This is my first experience working with a trainer, and I can really see the benefit of working closely with a professional who motivates you and keeps you on task. As a trainer, I find Andrew to be very holistic (which I appreciate), discussing not only strategies for diet/nutrition, but also setting priorities in life and time management.

My two visits to the Carmichael Salon have been really successful, first for cut and then for color. Tania Aragon has been a joy to work with!  She really listened and gave me exactly what I wanted. I chose to keep my hair shoulder length and layered, but I must be feeling more confident already because I'm wondering if I should go even shorter.

The second appointment for color was so incredible. I felt totally spoiled with color, highlights, and glazing. And she did a really nice flat iron styling; it lasted for days, which amazed me! I love how healthy my hair looks now. Russel, Mick, Tania and all the people I have met at the Carmichael Salon exude such warmth and kindness! Can't wait to go back.

So tomorrow, I meet with Cynthia Fassler, the job counselor,  to discuss my future.

 To be continued...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meeting with Eva, Week 3

Eva has put in the work on her diet yet again, losing another two pounds. 
One of our focuses this week is to maximize her time spent working out.  She is used to walking for about an hour to get some exercise, and today we discussed that she can effectively do the same amount or more work in a half hour of interval training, mixing in some jogging with walking.  This way, she'll have more time to work on flexibility and strength for a more comprehensive workout...all within an hour. 

We also added some core stability exercises that will compliment her stretches to improve her posture and better represent her building confidence.  Why?  Because when communicating with other people, whether it's during an interview or hanging out with friends, posture really does say a lot about how a person maintains and carries themself. 

Keep it up, Eva!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My first two weeks as a winner of ORC

Hello, my name is Eva Shinn, and I was selected as one of the three winners of the Operation Relaunch Career contest.  I have to say that the past two weeks have been amazing.

I started my journey by meeting with the Carmichael Salon and working with their amazing staff.  I have received a haircut by Tania to reshape my "out of control" hair and bring it back to life!  Tania also showed me different ways to manage and work my own magic on my hair.   This week I will receive some hair color enhancements and I can't wait to see the final outcome.  Compliments are already coming my way!!!  And some confidence too!

I have also worked with Andrew Duffy, our personal trainer who again has been absolutely wonderful.  It's amazing what a bit of discipline, support and motivation in your life will do for you.  He has worked with me to get me on the right path with eating habits and exercise and I have to say . . . . I FEEL GREAT! 

A four pound loss in the first week and I'm very excited, motivated and ready to loose more!  I'm eating better, feeling better and can't wait for "weigh" in this week!  But most importantly, I am already starting to feel so much better; less stress, more energy and the confidence level is building.

Along with meeting with the Salon and Andrew, I have also had the opportunity to meet with job counselor, Cynthia Fassler, who has given me some direction with my resume and provided me with some tools to make life less stressful looking for a job; helping me to manage my days to lessen the overwhelming pressures and stress of looking for a job. 

Many thanks to all of you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The First Two Weeks of Personal Training With the Winners

Our three contest winners, Marilyn, Pam, and Eva have such different stories, and I've found that they need my help in different ways.  But here's how I've helped these inspiring women lose over six pounds in one week:
Physically, Marilyn has gone through a lot in the last few years, including chemotherapy, a mastectomy, a surgery in an ankle to repair broken bones, and a broken arm.  That's a lot for the body to go through in a short period of time. But in two hours I've worked with her, she's shown me that she won't let those obstacles take her down.  She's a survivor, she's a warrior. 
Last week, during our consultation, she and I discussed the importance of adding vegetables and protein in her diet, and she has willingly obliged.  In one week, Marilyn has already lost two and a half pounds, thanks to dedication and follow through.  She admitted that hasn't been perfect, and that's ok.
In terms of exercise, we've added some cardiovascular work to not only help her her body feel better but also to help her psychologically feel better.  She has a lot on her plate, and I think that the last thing we need to do is overcomplicate her to-do list.  So, we've added a few effective stretches to help her regain her posture after her injuries along with some complimentary exercises that she is able to at home with little equipment. 
I have a good feeling that Marilyn will reach her goal of losing twenty-five pounds by the end of March.
When we first met for the initial assessment, Eva knew that she had to make some changes for her health, emphasizing that she needs to lose weight.  She said that she wants to feel confident in her body again.  Confidence is a MAJOR key in how we present ourselves, especially during job interviews, which is where this makoever project is focused.  So, we got down to brass tacs and agreed on a weight goal and plan to help her get there by the end of March.  Well, she is on a great pace to reach her weight loss goal of 20 pounds - has lost four pounds in one week after applying just a few diet tips in addition to walking daily.
Like most mothers, Eva has put her family before herself, and diet is one of the areas that she felt she's lost focus with.  So, we talked about better eating habits, including fresh vegetables and fruit every day, and eating smaller meals throughout the day.   

And, like Marilyn, she wasn't perfect with her diet.  I called Eva on Friday to wish her a happy birthday (we share a birthday, January 14th), and she was honest, telling me she had some cake and unhealthy foods.  But she applied some important concepts we had discussed: she controlled her portions, she made sure she had the healthy options at other meals during the week, and she made clear progress.  After all, she lost four pounds! 
Her walking frequency and length has also increased, and this week we added some stretches to help her relax.  Eva breaths with her shoulders (also known as "stress breathing", or using muscles that increase tension in the shoulders, chest an neck), a habit typical of anyone with high levels of stress.  So, we worked on relaxing her shoulders, breathing with the diaphram, and easing into stretches designed to release stress in her shoulders and neck.  We'll see how helpful the stretches and breathing tips are next week!
Pam is bit different than Eva and Marilyn.  During the movements assessments, she was impressive.  She has a very healthy bodyfat percentage and lean body that many of my clients try to achieve.  Her flexibility and core strength are excellent.  But she doesn't do any formal strength training or cardiovascular activity.  So, Pam needs to improve upon the exercise she is currently doing with new activity.
As a woman over fifty, lack of strength training and cardiovascular stimulus put Pam at risk for osteoporosis and diseased related to the blood, circulatory system, and lungs.  But Pam has really a solid foundation to work with.  So, we are focusing on developing for her a strength routine that includes complex and integrated exercises that pack both strength AND cardio training into one exercises, giving a real punch in a short amount of time.  After her second session, we've been able to build a challenging routine.
Pam also knows that her diet can improve with more fruits and veggies in place of processed foods.  (After talking with Eva, Marilyn, and Pam, I think it's fair to that mothers as a general rule eat less fruits and vegetables because their children don't like them.)
She comes off as very centered and able to manage any type of situation well.  As a yoga teacher and chiropractor, she knows a lot about the body and how to move. She is a great listener, and I know that she will be stronger and healthier in three months.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winners Start Their Make Over

I first want to thank all that attended our winners party at the Huntington Hotel.  The venue was lovely and the staff at the Huntinton couldn't have been more accommodating.  The winners Eva Shinn, Pamela Mulvey and Marilyn Chelini were lovely and so gracious in sharing their experiences.  I think by putting this out in the press and the world we may inspire more men and women to step forward and ask for help. 

We also hope that more business professionals will contribute their time to the unemployed to help put them in a better position to be hired.
Eva and Pamela came in this week to start the hair part of their make over.  We consulted with them and came up with a long term plan for their hair.

Eva -  We reshaped her hair a little and are letting it grow in certain areas so that the overall look will be more flattering to her face shape.  We make a future appointment for her to have color.  We will be doing a light stain around her face to blend the grey hairs and adding highlights at eye level, in the fringe and jaw area.  These will be stategically placed to soften the strongness of her jaw and bring attention to her beautiful brown eyes.

Pamela - We brought of the length of her hair and did some invisible layers to give more volume to the shape to accomadate her long thin face and bring out her best features.  She left with a haircolor appointment....more to be revealed....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Great Beginning to a Healthy New Year

Hi everyone!

This is Andrew Duffy PES, and I will be working with the three winning contestants on their fitness and diet for the next twelve weeks.  I am excited to be apart of Operation Relaunch Career (ORC), and I am AMPED to help our winners grow healthier and happier.  You can bet that there will be some great positive change in the next twelve weeks!

I hope to see everyone on Thursday at the Central Pacific Room at the Big 4/Huntington Hotel on Thursday 1/6 at noon. 

In health,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Winners announced.

Winners of Operation Relaunch Career to be announced at our press party on January 6th.  The party will be at the Huntington Hotel atop Nob Hill in San Francisco.  Come for lunch  between 12:00 and 1:00 and meet the winners.