Tom and I are thrilled to introduce our FIT readers to our newest FIT-family member, Lev! Lev means “heart” in Hebrew and he has certainly stolen ours…


Lev announcement

Lev did not come into this world the way I was expecting him to and it got me thinking about managing expectations.

The fact is, people love to offer advice to pregnant women. Whether it be about the level of activity that is advisable (I got a lot of grief about working too hard/exercising too much…I was not doing either), what you should or shouldn’t be eating (as is true for non-pregnancy, healthy whole foods are advisable whether you are pregnant or not), how you should be prepping for your new arrival, how much weight you should be gaining, and, of course, the BIRTH PLAN. So many people asked me about my “birth plan” and I always answered the same way. “My plan is to get the baby out in the safest way possible for both the baby and for me”.

Thank goodness that was my mentality throughout the pregnancy because whatever ideal birth plan I had in the back of my mind certainly went out the window.

I ended up having to have a pretty drama-free C-section because my baby’s heart rate dropped every time I would contract. He was never in danger. He was being monitored the whole time. But after several hours of watching this trend, my OBGYN advised us to consider a C-section. He would have let me labor longer, but said the trend was consistent and in his medical opinion, I could labor longer and we would either be in an emergency C-section situation if the baby’s heart rate dropped and didn’t recover, or that I would labor for so long and exhaust myself so much that they would recommend a C-section anyways (just 24 hours of labor and no sleep later…) We trusted him and we were right to. The cord was wrapped so when I would have those small contractions, I was strangling him for a second. Instead of putting my son in danger, he came out perfect and healthy.

Here were some things I heard about why C-sections were the worst: Your child won’t latch. They are less healthy. They don’t bond because you can’t do skin to skin contact immediately. The recovery from a C-section is awful.

My son latched immediately. My husband got to hold him right after he was born so he got plenty of loving asap. His apgar score was a 9 – which I have since learned is rare and about as high as a kid can get. And yes – this recovery is unpleasant and I am frustratingly immobile, but I don’t think there is a great way to get these babies out. All roads lead to recovery. Basically, he was healthy and I was healthy. Exactly the outcome I was looking for, right? Just not in the form I was expecting.

What does this have to do with you (unless you are pregnant)? Kind of everything…

Managing expectations is HUGELY important to your health journey. When I start with a new client and they have set unrealistic goals, I always try to re-frame the conversation. Instead of “I need to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks” (which is very unlikely, and basically impossible unless you go to unhealthy and extreme measures to achieve it), we try to talk about feeling stronger, what healthy and sustainable weight loss looks like, and what they can expect to see within 4-6 weeks if they put in the work (like monitoring eating habits, switching to all whole foods, removing as many sugars as possible, moving EVERY DAY and exerting yourself at least 4-5 times per week, etc). If they start with a trainer, or join a gym and expect to see massive changes within a short period of time, they are going to give up when they don’t see those changes. But 6 months down the line, if you have achieved the ultimate goal, do you really care if it took 3 months or 4 months to get there? Particularly when you have maintained that goal weight, or are pushing yourself much harder in your workouts 6 months later? No – because you got what you were looking for.

I could have fought the Dr. on the C-section and tried to labor. I could have been upset after the inevitable C-section was upon me. Or I could focus on the healthy baby.

As I start this journey into motherhood, I am hoping to continue to manage my expectations because creating a world of unrealistic expectations for not only Lev, but my recovery, will just lead to frustration. I hope you will try to stay present, and take every day as it comes with me. It is a much healthier place to be in – mentally and physically.


Light Weights, High Reps…and a long absence!

It has been a LONG, LONG time FIT friends. Apologies for our absence. But we have good excuses…FitTrition trainers have been busy!!

Here are a few exciting updates for you:

  1. Maggie Donnelly has joined the team! A professional actress in the DC Area, Maggie’s introduction to the fitness stage was by accident. Her 10+ years of ballet experience led her to help out a barre teacher who needed a last-minute sub. This quick decision turned out to be a total game changer as Maggie was instantly hooked on the rewarding experience of getting a group of strangers to laugh, scream and work on changing their bodies together. She has since added Pilates, Yoga and BOSU to the mix. She is an awesome addition to the FitTrition team and we are lucky to have her! Schedule a session with her TODAY. You won’t regret it…Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 2.05.17 PM
  2. And…if you are a current client, you may have already met her, because she is taking over for FITintheCITY while she is on maternity leave!IMG_1332

As you can see, the FitTrition “team” is growing!

But we are back and committed to providing you all with the best in nutrition and exercise news, great healthy recipes, and tips for success when it comes to you and your health and wellness!

There was a recent article in The New York Times that seemed like a perfect place to re-start the blog: validation of what we have been telling you about how to exercise all these years. Light weights, high reps!

According to the article entitled “Lifting Lighter Weights Can Be Just as Effective as Heavy Ones” By Gretchen Reynolds, “Upending conventions about how best to strength train, a new study finds that people who lift relatively light weights can build just as much strength and muscle size as those who grunt through sessions using much heftier weights — if they plan their workouts correctly.” Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who has long studied muscles and exercise, started researching the effects of using lighter weights. He and his team of researchers found that as long as you were lifting to fatigue, the results were similar to a traditional strength program of lifting the heaviest thing possible very few times.

The study took 49 men and divided them into two groups. “One group was assigned to follow the standard regimen, in which weights were set at between 75 and 90 percent of the man’s one-repetition maximum and the volunteer lifted until he could not lift again, usually after about 10 repetitions. The other volunteers began the lighter routine. Their weights were set at between 30 and 50 percent of each man’s one-repetition maximum, and he lifted them as many as 25 times, until the muscles were exhausted. All of the volunteers performed three sets of their various lifts four times per week for 12 weeks. Then they returned to the lab to have muscle strength, size and health reassessed and their hormone levels re-measured. The results were unequivocal. There were no significant differences between the two groups. All of the men had gained muscle strength and size, and these gains were almost identical, whether they had lifted heavy or light weights.

This is great news of non-gym rats who find the idea of lifting heavy weights daunting and potentially dangerous (both of which can be true…). So pick up those 5 lbs. weights and lift away. Just make sure you are lifting to fatigue!

Check out this FIT-approved video that utilizes just this technique. (And watch for FITintheCITY to put this video to the test SOON!)

Let us know what you missed in our absence! Videos? Recipes? Life anecdotes? We are ready for suggestions!!


Exercise and Cancer

If you have been dragging your feet about starting an exercise program, here is a little inspiration: Exercise may lower your cancer risk.

According to an article in The New York Times, “Exercise is strongly associated with lowered risks for many types of cancer. In epidemiological studies, people who regularly exercise generally prove to be much less likely to develop or die from the disease than people who do not…a new study (published this month in Cell Metabolism) in mice…suggests that exercise may change how the immune system deals with cancer by boosting adrenaline, certain immune cells and other chemicals that, together, can reduce the severity of cancer or fight it off altogether.”

The study is pretty fascinating so we suggest checking the article out…but basically:

Exercise = Good

Sedentary = Bad

Check out the video links we have provided on the blog, join your local gym, get out for a walk (when it is not pouring…), sign up for a class and commit, start training for a small race, or call the FitTrition team today and get started on a customized workout program. There is no time like the present!