Month: July 2014

Can’t Hold Me Down

In April I said, “It’s time to lose my last 5lbs of baby weight”.  In May I said, “No, seriously, it’s time”.  In June I’m saying, “Only 2 or 3 more pounds…”.  Well here I am, half way through June still trying to lose the last bit that back in April I was envisioning being gone by now.  What’s holding me back?  A few things, and I’ll put them out there right now to be honest with myself.  One, not devoting enough time to me.  It’s the same old sob story, two kids, a job (if you can call working 4 hours a day a job), a husband, a house, etc. etc.  But I’ll be darned if the weekends come and I don’t trade a 20 minute hill running workout for family bed time and yard work during nap time.  So, every weekend comes along and I tell myself, just 20 minutes for me and I somehow manage to find other things to do with my “free time”.  Second, Plantain Chips, those dirty dirty plantain chips.  I love them, my 2 year old loves them, it’s my one and only “treat”.  It has to stop, no one should eat Plantain Chips or any kind of chips every day or every other day.  I must break the habit!  Lastly, obsessing.  It’s a real killer and as a woman it’s just what we do.  I obsess over how my stomach looks, how much sleep I’m not getting, about raising happy healthy kids, about cleaning up the house, about actually cooking a meal, about what we are going to do this weekend, about getting anywhere on time, about sending out birthday cards before said birthdays actually occur, about remembering to pay that medical bill, about getting groceries, about doing the laundry, about the workouts I’m doing (or not doing).  If I give myself too much time I’ll obsess, stress, and get anxiety over just about anything.  It’s like I always tell my husband, “Once you become a Mom you just can’t turn Mom off… ever.”  It’s my job to worry, plan, care for, and put forth my best effort on all fronts for my family.  But that also means I lose much of myself in being things for others.  It’s about balance and I should probably find mine!

Any who, those are just my excuses.  I’m sure I could come up with many more but those are the ones that are the big cripplers, not just in losing my last 3lbs but in just relaxing and living my life.  Let it go, live in the now, just be.  If only I could listen to myself.

So what holds you back?  What holds you back from achieving your goals (fitness or otherwise)?  What holds you back from feeling successful?  What holds you back from being happy with yourself?  What holds you back from feeling content?

Here is my advice on getting past it all one step at a time.  Although, I’m obviously still working on it all myself so perhaps I’m not the guru you should totally invest in : )


1.  Outline your goals.

2.  Don’t make goals just to make goals, make goals that mean something to you.

3.  Don’t let yourself off the hook, be accountable, failure is not failure if you try.

4.  Be honest.  Be honest with yourself, be honest with your family, be honest with your friends.  If you really care about your goals the only way to get there is to be honest.  NO MORE EXCUSES  5.  Understand what it is holding you back and how to either cope with those things or come up with healthy ways to move past the road blocks.

6.  Look on the bright side.  We are always looking at the negatives but maybe instead of saying, “I didn’t run 20 miles every week like I planned, I’m a loser”  you can say, “Well I didn’t quite get 20 miles but I got 15 and that is pretty good.  Next week is a new week.”

It’s not easy to feel like you are losing the battle, like you’ve failed, like you are never going to accomplish something.  But not trying, being complacent and living in a way that does not make you happy is much worse than the possibility of failing.


So while I stare at the scale (I’m not even a scale person for crying out loud) and think, “I’m so far away from losing these last few pounds, I’m never going to be able to do it” I instead will tell myself, “Good job, good effort, I traded my normal looking stomach for two beautiful children and that was the best trade ever!”.  I’ll remember the positive and continue to work at my goals.  Perhaps I’ll stop obsessing about my wobbly bits and start obsessing about something a little more healthy and worth my time.  I’m open to suggestions here!

In the end, life is too short to obsess over stupid things.  Life is too short to hold yourself back.  It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines.  It’s time to join the game, you don’t have to be the best player just getting on the field is a great start!  So get out of your comfort zone, try something new, break the cycle, form a new habit (a good one please), you can do it, don’t hold yourself back!


New Ways to Shop Healthy at Costco

There are definitely some challenges shopping at Costco when you’re trying to eat healthier but there are some great items worth navigating the aisles for. I was just there and wanted to pass on some of the newer healthier items that caught my eye.

Cooked Beets – Four Individually wrapped and refrigerated packages of beets called “Love Beets” can be easily cut up and tossed in salads. You can also make a yummy beet salad by adding some red onion and toss with an olive oil and raspberry vinaigrette.

Quinoa and Kale Frozen Blend – The oversize bag contains five individually portioned servings that can easily be microwave for lunch or dinner. It comes already seasoned and ready to pack your meal with more protein and fiber.

Orgain Chocolate Protein Powder – What makes this protein powder unique is that it’s hypo-allergenic. This product uses pea, rice and hemp protein instead of soy or dairy. Two scoops contain 150 calories and 21g of protein.

Organic Hard-Boiled Eggs – These come in bundles of two so they’re easy on the go options for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Studies suggest that when we eat eggs for breakfast we tend to eat fewer calories the rest of the day.

Pure Organic Bars – Many of us have enjoyed various fruit and nut bars available at Costco. They continue to sell the popular variety Larabar. Pure Organic bars are a nice change and contain 160 calories and 5g of protein. The protein source comes from seeds of amaranth and hemp seed which add a nice textural crunch.

Chicken Salad Cups – With tangy plain greek yogurt and craisins in the mix, these refrigerated individual serving cups are the perfect addition to your lunch box. Serve with crackers in a tortilla or sandwich or just by itself with some cut up veggies.

Of course, all whole foods at Costco are always a good bet. We don’t tend to over eat whole foods so buying them in a large quantity usually isn’t a trigger to eat too much. Beware of the snacky, carby, processed foods though. You may think you’re out ahead with more for your money but in reality the larger the bag of something processed the more difficult it is to be mindful of portions.

If you’d like more ideas for shopping healthy at Costco (or any other store) you’re welcome to set up a meal planning session by emailing our Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed, at

Mythbuster #3: Pilates and yoga are the same.

Joseph Pilates had a diverse background in physical activity. Being  sick as a child motivated him as an adult to become an accomplished boxer, diver, and skier who also studied ancient Greek and Roman exercise regimens.  He developed his own system of exercise by culling from a variety of sources, including fencing, acrobatics, and yoga, etc.


It is clear that he was influenced by the goals of yogic practice, bringing the mind and body together for holistic health. He called his method “Contrology,” the study of control, because he believed that connecting the mind to the work of the body would bring strength and fortitude to everyday life. Yoga comes from the mindset of a spiritual practice, however, and the idea of “yolking” with ultimate reality. Pilates was very much reacting to the industrialization of the early 1900’s. He saw that the burgeoning technology of mass production was causing people to move mindlessly and sought to bring mindfulness into the mechanical precision of the new age.


There are two components to Pilates: matwork and apparatus work.  The matwork is the most similar to a yoga class. Both are performed on a mat while your teacher leads you through a specific order of exercises that use gravity as resistance. In Pilates matwork your main focus will be moving from your center, called the “powerhouse,” to execute movements that focus on control and precision, while in yoga you will use your breath to place your body into alignment.


The pace of the class can be a major difference, as well. In Pilates matwork there is a seamless and rhythmic flow between exercises, so that you are always moving and never still. This is a way of stretching your body dynamically—making you limber while maintaining and improving explosive muscle power. Yoga generally employs a different kind of stretching that is muscularly active but much more static, holding poses for a certain length of time in order to deepen into poses. The use of eccentric contraction in Pilates matwork, (actively contracting the muscle while it’s on the stretch) is what gives Pilates practitioners the “long, lean” look.


The apparatus invented by Joseph Pilates include the Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Electric Chair, and Ladder Barrel. They are incredibly versatile pieces that use spring resistance to develop the powerhouse, articulate the spine, and increase strength, flexibility, and balance in the body. You will always use apparatus with the guidance of a Pilates instructor who can modify your workout and the exercises to either assist or challenge you in your workout goals. The genius of Pilates’ designs is that there are almost limitless variations of exercises that allow your instructor to cater directly to you, whether you are an elite athlete, just beginning a workout regimen, or recovering from injury.

Pilates Ex of Month: ROCKING


To strengthen the back and hip extensors; to improve hip flexor flexibility and to stretch the chest.


1.  Lie on your stomach.  Inhale, bend the knees and reach back with the arms, taking hold of the ankles and lifting the trunk and legs into an arch.


2.  Exhale rock forward.


3.  Inhale and rock backward, lifting your chest and pulling back from your ankles.  Keep your navel pressed into your spine.


4.  Rock back and forth 5 times.


5.  End by releasing your ankles and sitting back to your heels, with your arms stretched long in front of you.  Place forehead on the mat. This position is similar to child’s pose in Yoga.  Comfort is key.



Imagine yourself as a rocking horse. Another image is that of a boat rocking forward and backward as it sails through the waves.



Keep the head still and in line with the spine.

Maintain scapular stability throughout; keep arms straight.

Create a comfortable rhythm of breath and motion as you rock.

Do not toss head forward and backward to initiate the rocking movements.



This is an advance Pilates exercise.  If you’ve had a knee, shoulder or rotator cuff injury, we suggest a Certified Pilates Instructor guide you through the movement or omit the exercise from your routine.


Inspirational Member of The Month: Lynne Varey

photoLynne Varey is by far a true inspirational member here at the Club. For those that don’t know Lynne, she has been a member here for over 25 years and can normally be found in either the spin or Pilates studio around lunch time. She shows up to the club every day with a smile on her face and a positive attitude that can put a smile on anyone’s face no matter how bad the day may be going.


This says a lot about Lynne. For the last 23 years now, she has had rheumatoid arthritis that affects every joint in her body except her hips and elbows. With RA, Lynne knows that she has to stay active otherwise she will experience increased pain, stiffness and fatigue. Let us tell you, she is here every day accomplishing her goal with a smile on her face, even on her worst days.


According to Lynne’s Pilates instructor, Christin Call, “She’s very hard working and thoughtfully applies herself towards recovery, improvement, and well-being. She’s very kind and always friendly. I find it a pleasure to teach her, and she’s very committed to her physical routine.”

Being an inspiration to others is not always about what competition you won, what PR you set or even your personal gains. Being an inspiration is about encouraging someone, showing them the good in something, and making someone’s day just a little bit better. This is what makes Lynne an inspirational member. Thank you Lynne for being an inspiration to all of us here at the club.

Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat

The sunshine is here! Most individuals prefer exercising outdoors once that sunshine comes out and it is a great idea, especially during the summer. There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing so. Below are some tips for you when you decide to head outside for a run on an 80 degree summer day. I have also included some examples for you to refer too.

Clothing: wearing lighter colors will help reflect the heat from your clothing and skin. Looser and lighter clothing will help with the evaporation of sweat and make your workout more comfortable. (Example: NIKE Dri-Fit)

Stay hydrated: drink water before, during, and after exercise to keep your body hydrated when out in the heat. If you do not have enough fluid in your system, it could result in fatigue, nausea, and even heat exhaustion. (Example: ZICO coconut water)

Sunscreen: check the weather before leaving and if it is sunny or even overcast outside, wear sunscreen so you do not risk getting burnt. (Example: NEUTROGENA spf 30 sunscreen)

Time of day: the hottest part of the day is normally between 11am and 4pm, so if you have a chance to workout before 11 or after 4 if it is going to be outdoors, I recommend doing so. (Example: At 9am after eating 2 scrambled eggs and peanut butter toast)

Acclimation: if your body is not used to exercising in warmer climates, it takes about 10-14 days for your body to get used to it. Your workouts should be short and slow paced at first so that you get used to the climate before adding intensity. (Example: Monday-15 minutes at low intensity; Tuesday- 25 minutes at low/medium intensity; Wednesday -35 minutes at medium intensity; and so on)

Performance: don’t be surprised if you do not get your best times or maximum amount of reps when working out in the heat. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your working muscles and therefore you might not perform as well as if you were indoors or in cooler weather. (Example: Indoors- 15 box jumps in 10 seconds; outdoors/heat- 15 box jumps in 16 seconds)

Listen to your body: You know your body best, so listen to it. If you start to feel dizzy, confused or light headed during your outdoor workout, I would recommend stopping. (Example: I am running and start to feel a headache coming on, therefore I am going to head to the shade and drink some water before starting again)

Stay close to the water: some of the best summer activities are on the water where you can be cooled very easily if in the heat. (Examples: Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Swimming, Rowing, Pool volleyball, etc.)

If you have any further questions about exercising in the heat or exercise in general, please contact any of our fitness staff.

SAC Got Their Inner Rock ‘n’ Roll On!

A team of members from the Seattle Athletic Club downtown location participated in the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon race on Saturday June 21st. The half marathon race which started and finished at the Seattle Center included 13.1 miles through various neighborhoods while runners where entertained by several musical bands along the course.


The majority of members participated in the Half Marathon Training Program coached by myself (run coach and personal trainer Kendra Kainz) over the past 12 weeks in preparation for the event.  The training group consisted of both new and experienced runners, of various goals, some who’ve raced before and 3 individuals participating in their first half marathon!


Race morning brought lots of fun and excitement. Racers met early for pre-race support, advice and team camaraderie before heading to their corrals. Coach Kendra along with volunteers cheered and supported the team along the course. My big thanks to member volunteers; Annie Chae, Kiri Jones and Von Perkins for all the help and assistance on race day!


Race day proved that training does pay off! I am so pleased to announce that our team did extremely well! The camaraderie and dedication of these individuals was a pleasure to coach and work with. I could not be happier for everyone and their individual success.


Congratulations to members; Crystal Ahmadi-Perkins, Jessica Langmaid and Phil Logsden on completing your first half marathon race with amazing times! Congratulations also to; Eyal Blum, Jennifer Gallagher, Yesh Ganta, Linda Perkins,

Tony Shafer and Suzy Thomas on your personal record times! Congratulations Team SAC! Celebrate your success!


For information on half or full run training programs or SAC Run Club, please contact run coach and trainer Kendra Kainz.

Women’s Health Facts

The CDC states that a women’s involvement in various modes of physical activity can help improve day to day function, especially women with heart disease or arthritis.  Here are some tips on how to start to become involved in more physical activity:

Start to fit health and wellness it into you busy schedule

    • If you can’t set aside one block of time, do short activities throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks.


    • Create opportunities for activity. Try parking your car farther away from where you are headed. If you ride the bus or train, get off one or two stops early and walk.


    • Walk or bike to work or to the store.


    • Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.


    • Take breaks at work to stretch or take quick walks, or do something active with coworkers at lunch.


    • Walk while you talk, if you’re using a cell phone or cordless phone.


    • Doing yard work or household chores counts as physical activity. Turn on some upbeat music to help you do chores faster and speed up your heart rate.


Make health and wellness fun

    • Choose activities that you enjoy.


    • Vary your activities, so you don’t get bored. For instance, use different jogging, walking, or biking paths. Or bike one day, and jog the next.


    • Reward yourself when you achieve your weekly goals. For instance, reward yourself by going to a movie.


    • If you have children, make time to play with them outside. Set a good example!


    • Plan active vacations that will keep you moving, such as taking tours and sightseeing on foot.


Make health and wellness social

    • Join a hiking or running club.


    • Go dancing with your partner or friends.


    • Turn activities into social occasions — for example, go to a movie after you and a friend work out.


Overcome challenges

    • Don’t let cold weather keep you on the couch. You can find activities to do in the winter, such as indoor fitness classes or exercising to a workout video.


  • If you live in a neighborhood where it is unsafe to be active outdoors, contact your local recreational center or church to see if they have indoor activity programs that you can join. You can also find ways to be active at home. For instance, you can do push-ups or lift hand weights. If you don’t have hand weights, you can use canned foods or bottles filled with water or sand.

Know your numbers
High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease. People at any age can take steps to keep cholesterol levels normal, like eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.  (

Desirable Cholesterol Levels:

    • Total cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL


    • LDL (“bad” cholesterol) Less than 100 mg/dL


    • HDL (“good” cholesterol)40 mg/dL or higher


  • Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dL

Get screened regularly
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. If you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram. (

Every year in the United States, about 12,000 women get cervical cancer and almost 4,000 women die from it. But it is the most preventable female cancer with regular screening tests and early treatment. (

By Fitness Intern Kathleen Reno

Wellness Corner with Behaviorist: Brandyn Roark

Do you ever wonder why, when we are given positive feedback, we either don’t hear it, don’t believe it, or only hear the negative? There is power in positive feedback. In addition, there is power in negative feedback; it’s just in the HOW and WHY we deliver it. Negative feedback, which can arise from conflict, when delivered appropriately and effectively, has many pro-social functions. Dr. Gottman, from the University of Washington, states it well; “A relationship without conflict would not be able to move forward.” Conflict and negativity allow us to identify patterns in relationships which don’t work or lack appropriate function. Research also suggest that the difference between successful and unsuccessful relationships is in the balance of positive and negative feedback.

So why is it we seem to focus on or hear the negative more than the positive? Why do we tend to give the customer service rep from NetFlix an earful when they mess up our movie cue, yet forget to mention to the flight attendant that they provided the most friendly and accommodating service you’ve ever had on an airline? How is it that we correct children several times in an hour with: “don’t touch that”,” stop yelling”,or” that’s not nice” and we forget to praise them for what they are doing right, “great effort on your math” “way to sit quietly for 20 minutes!”, “great job using kind and gentle words”.

By building positive supports into our relationships; at work, school, home, and in our communities, we can make significant changes in our lives, and the lives of many around us. It takes effort though both intentional and deliberate effort.

Here are some potential strategies to help build a more positive foundation in our relationships:

    • Rapport Building:
      Don’t like someone but need to get along with them anyway? Feel disconnected from your partner or child? Try creating a list of 3 things you know and like about the person. Yes, you can try. We ALL have positive attributes, and if you can’t seem to find any about someone, maybe spend more time getting to know them. Dig deeper. Use this knowledge you gain to build an authentic rapport and engage in conversation on a new level with your co-worker, child, partner, mother-in-law, etc.


    • The 5:1 Rule: Give Praise 5 Times More Often Than Correction. Think about how you feel when someone gives you a pat on the back, Praises you for a job well done, or recognizes you in front of your peers. Now, juxtapose this to the feelings you have when someone tells you what you have done wrong, how you failed, or how you don’t do anything right. When you notice someone doing something right or above the bar, tell them. Point out their strengths before letting them know their limiters. Think of it this way: give them a compliment sandwich. Start the conversation with a few of their strengths and reflect on what they did right. Then, give them constructive feedback. Then, end with another compliment. You may be surprised at how much more receptive people are when they hear the good, with the constructive. It’s the 5:1 rule: for every one negative thing we hear about ourselves, it takes us 5 positives to balance the effects.


  • Use Solution Focused Directions and Feedback:
    Ever get frustrated when someone tells you what you have done wrong but they don’t tell you what to do or give you solutions? Ever feel like meetings at work are a waste of time because,  instead of being productive and proactive, they end up being cyclical sessions of complaints and criticisms? Instead of just stating the problem, present a solution as well. This does not mean it has to be the perfect, only, or right solution; just make the effort. Get the ball rolling in the right direction. Tell people what to DO instead of what not to do. (By the way, for those of you with children, this is called a replacement behavior and it works like magic!)

It is also important to understand that all of these skills do not come easy. We all have different patterns and rhythms in our lives that have been shaped from our past and current experiences. Some of us are more resilient than others. Some of us see the glass half full and some see the glass half empty. Some of us don’t see the purpose of having a glass at all. The point is, we need all of us. What a boring world it would be if we were all alike. So, when you are hoping someone will change their behavior, the most effective thing you can do is change YOUR behavior. This takes practice, just like anything else. So, while you work out your body this month, your challenge is to also work out your mind. Your mental challenge of the month: apply these three principles to a frustrating situation in your life and see if someone reacts or treats you differently. See if the outcome shifts.