fitness coach demonstrating

What is your WHY?

If you have done any amount of searching for the right program or diet for you, I am sure you have been asked this question: “Why do you want to do this program?”. If you haven’t been asked that question before starting a program, that should be a red flag. When starting something that will require commitment and change, we should always ask ourselves, “what is my reason?”

Usually, when I ask the question, what is your “why”, the most common answers I hear are: “I just want to feel better”, “I want to have a six-pack”, “I want to be toned” – you get the idea. These are not bad answers, they are not wrong – there is no right or wrong answer, really. But the problem is, these kinds of answers aren’t personal enough. When things become difficult or challenging (which they will because that is reality), these kinds of reasons won’t keep you focused, and they won’t cause you to pause before you fall back into old habits.

When a client knows their “why”, it is easier to predict the direction their journey will take. When a client answers “what is your why” with passion, or even pain, or sometimes excitement, I can tell they are ready to do the work. Though they may have roadblocks and challenges, they will fight through them, because their WHY is bigger than their excuse.

For example, here are some pretty strong reasons that evoke a lot of emotion and determination.

  • “I never want to buy another pair of pants from the plus size ever again.”
  • “I don’t want to be the only member in my family that can’t do things because I am too heavy, or too unfit.”
  • “I never want to be asked if I am pregnant again.”
  • “I don’t want to have to wait for my wife to come home so she can lift or move something for me because I can’t do it.”
  • “I want to run a 5km without walking, because my sister has asked me for years but I always back out because I never train enough and when the race comes close, I back out. I want to finish what I start.”

These are real feelings we all have had. Maybe yours are not the same as those listed, but we all have had something personal that we never want to experience again. Or, perhaps a feeling we want to feel again. Like the feeling of hiking a difficult hike, or completing a race you never thought you could complete. That feeling is your ‘why’.

These are real, deep emotional reasons that keep people pressing forward when things get tough. Getting to this point and admitting this out loud, perhaps is one of the most difficult aspects of transforming our health and body composition. When we avoid this process, we spin our wheels, we make a little progress, only to fall back into old habits.

Then we push forward, only to fall back again. Each time we fall back, it gets harder and harder to push forward again. However, when you know your ‘why’, you may fall back occasionally, but you don’t stay there long, and you don’t fall far. Your ‘why’ is your anchor – it keeps you from drifting too far.

What is Your ‘Why’?

I like to use the 5 “why” method. When you complete it and strip back the layers, you will discover what is at the root of your ‘why’.

For example:

Why do you want to start this program? “I want to lose weight.”

Why do you want this? “I want to lose weight because I will fit in my clothes better.”

Why do you want this? “I want to fit in my clothes better because I hate how the button feels on my stomach.”

Why do you want this? “I want to be able to put on my pants and feel confident and comfortable, and sit down without sucking my stomach in.”

Why do you want this? “If I can feel more confident in my own skin, I will begin to feel more confident in other aspects of my life.”

Once you break your ‘why’ down to the core reason you want to start a new journey, the more successful you will be at sticking with it. You will do the work required to get the result you really want.

Try the 5 ‘why’ technique and see what you come up with. Share it with someone you trust. Once you say it out loud, it gives power to your choice to move forward and go after what you really want.

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SGB Fitbodies Blog

Establishing a routine is the key to success

Without a consistent routine, getting results from your exercise, no matter what type you choose, will feel like being a hamster on a wheel.

You will put forth a lot of effort for not much result. If you want to see results, a routine with structure needs to come first. It doesn’t need to be five or six days a week to get a result. Your routine can consist simply of two days a week of a structured program to start, and you will get a result.

My philosophy has always been to start small and build on it. Create a routine you know you can stick to instead of overreaching and feeling like you failed when you can not sustain it. We underestimate what two days a week can do when it is consistent and focused.

How to achieve sustainability

If we lengthen the timeline we set for achieving results from a few weeks to a few months or even a year, and give ourselves more time to establish the routine into our normal lifestyles, the more sustainable it will be.

Once it feels like a natural part of your lifestyle, then it’s time to consider adding another day or even two. Its all about consistency.

Its unfortunate in this industry that we hear the message ‘more is better’ and the faster you can do that the quicker you will get the result you want.

The message is only about the result, not about the journey to get there. There are many ways to get a result that doesn’t mean it will be healthy or sustainable. It is important to recognize that.

The truth is, if you take your time and make the habit and routine stick, it will become a natural part of your daily life. And when you get to that point, it no longer feels overwhelming – it feels right and a priority.

Our health is important. It should take priority over so many things we place above it. I think part of the reason we put it to the bottom of the list is that we feel like becoming healthy is unattainable or too much work.

I believe we need to slow things down and allow ourselves time to let things set in and take root. Establish a system then add layers. A systematic approach is a sustainable approach.

Give yourself time. Give yourself the gift of sustainability.

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SGB Fitbodies Classes

What to expect as fitness facilities begin to open.

What to Expect as Fitness Facilities Begin to Open

We’re all excited. Finally, we get to return to normal and begin our fitness routines once again……or do we?

Understanding and navigating the new phase

There are a few things to know and understand as we begin this new phase. Gym owners and fitness professionals want you back as much as you want to be back. We care deeply about our clients and participants. We ache to get back to doing what we love and were meant to do–it’s in our bones.

But, we as fitness professionals have a huge responsibility to get everyone back safely, and to protect and secure our businesses and families at the same time. It is going to take time to implement the structure and procedures before we open our doors. It will be a slow process for many of us, so please be patient and trust that slower re-entry is better.

Things will not be normal. The gym or studio environment will be new and different. It will take time for all of us to adjust to these changes. If you choose to look at the positives, it might make moving forward a bit easier. For example, you will have more space while you’re working out – no more crowded weight rooms or fitness classes. Equipment will be squeaky clean, and no more clutter. Smaller groups means trainers can focus on individuals more effectively. Find the silver lining – it will help.

Yes, I understand there are going to be inconveniences. You will be asked to do strange and mundane things, like wash your hands constantly, and thoroughly wipe down every surface you touch. What might frustrate you likely frustrates us as well, but we have to follow the government regulations for everyone’s benefit and protection. Remember to be kind and encouraging, even when your fitness professional, centre, or facility can’t give you the answer you want.

Supporting one another through the transition back

Be sensitive to the fitness business-owner. They likely still have all the same expenses, but not the same income they had pre-shutdown, due to capacity restrictions. While it may be an inconvenience to you, it could mean the end of some of your favourite fitness centres. For most of us in the fitness industry, we’re in it because it’s our passion and purpose. To even imagine it compromised, and possibly lost, is devastating. Just because we are able to open doesn’t mean we are out of the woods. We have a lot of work ahead of us. And we need support and understanding.

SGB Fitbodies Gym Equipment

Also consider – many fitness business-owners may have found it necessary to reduce staff support, and some have none at all. They may need to do all the cleaning themselves. This means valuable time they would like to be putting toward you, the client, is now gone into daily arduous cleaning in order to keep the business open and running and, most importantly, to keep you, the participant, safe.

There will very likely be a waitlist and wait times. The new capacity restrictions and area required to maintain recommended distancing will drastically reduce how many participants we can have in our facilities at one time. Please be patient with this process. We are all creating systems to alleviate the effects of the capacity restrictions.

One of my biggest fears as a trainer is turning someone away because there is no space or time. I know what it takes to get up the courage to finally decide to take care of yourself and make that big scary step, only to be told, “No, you can’t come here”, or, “Sorry, expect a long wait for a spot”. Please understand NO trainer wants to say those words. It makes us cringe. We do what we do because we want to help as many people as we can, and provide you as many opportunities to improve your health and fitness as we can. We are being as creative and as diligent as we can be to find ways to get you back into your fitness routine. Remember, when you are not getting the answers you want, we are not turning you away. We are only telling you we can’t accommodate you at this time. Please remember: we do care, and you do matter.

Bridging the gap with virtual classes and programs

All is not lost. There are things you can do while you wait. It may mean trying something new, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. The fitness industry and especially those of us right here in Pincher Creek have worked at creating virtual classes and online programs that will fill the gaps. I know this is not everyone’s first choice, but what is the alternative? These types of programs are more than simply doing a workout. It’s a connection – it’s accountability. Is doing nothing a better choice?

Outdoor programs will become commonplace as well. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for some it’s the best alternative. Regardless, we can see it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Give it a try and see if perhaps you discover it is something you enjoy.

We, as fitness professionals, are here for you. We are doing our best to provide as many options as possible to meet you in the middle. If we work together and help one another, we can create a new, improved, and effective fitness industry, with so many options.

Specific to Pincher Creek, you have more opportunities and support than most small communities. There are some incredible professionals available to you right here, locally. Karla Breeze with Shanti Hollow, Alecia Williams with WildR, Paula Szaroz with Consistent Fitness, Jenifer Meuler and Byron Jackson with Total Balance Fitness, Joe’s Gym, and many independent fitness professionals. And myself, Sheryl Baker, owner of SGB Fitbodies. We’ve been cheering each other on and supporting one another so we can better support you.

That’s what it’s all about – supporting one another. We’re here for you.

This article is the opinion and perspective of Sheryl Baker. It speaks in general terms and is not specific to any one person. Others may have a different perspective.

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Sheryl Baker MP Coach

My Body is stuck at this weight–it will never change!

This is one of the most commonly-used phrases I hear as a body transformation coach.

I understand, the weight loss game is daunting and frustrating. It’s filled with ups and downs like a roller coaster. The belief tends to be that as soon as you begin a diet or program you should be seeing a deficit on the scale daily, or at the very least, weekly. And in a set amount of weeks you should be at your target weight. This method, or message, has been put out there for so many years it has been ingrained in each of us. I am sorry to tell you it’s not the truth.

Change your mindset – change your body.

But, there is hope. You can change your body, it’s not a lost cause, but it will require a shift in your perception of how quickly the weight should come off. And, it will require an understanding that habits and mind sets are getting in your way of change.

For example, when you have tried to change your body in the past, did it require you to become restrictive of calories, count your macros, or begin arduous hours of exercise in order to see that quick change you desired? Those should become red flags to you. Changing your body doesn’t require extremes, but it does require time. Putting a set time on your body transformation and comparing your timeline to everyone else is like saying every snowflake is exactly the same.

Our metabolisms are a complex system of chemical reactions. Think of all the years and diets you have tried that have interfered and damaged that very intricate system. Unfortunately, it is going to take longer than a few days or weeks to repair that. All the habits and mind sets you have adopted over the years have been getting in your way of sustainable body transformation. We try so hard to speed up the process by trying to be perfect and 100% compliant, and when we don’t get the results we want, we give up and get upset. We just haven’t given it enough time for the fuel shift to take place.

You don’t need to be 100% compliant to get great results. You need to be consistent and prepared to do the daily mundane things that get amazing results.

Social media only ever shows you the trendy, cute things that get your attention. It does not show you behind the scenes without the filters. It doesn’t show you that perfect “fitness model” having a melt down because she/he is so hungry, or is sick for the hundredth time, or doesn’t like how her/his body looks in the 500th selfie. It’s not as glamorous as you may think.

They very strategically paint a picture that changing your body is so simple and easy. But don’t get caught up in comparing your behind-the-scenes to their highlight reel. You can choose to have a quick-fix approach and have the consequences they don’t show you up front. Or, you can take your time, retrain your metabolism, and your mind.

Most diets require a substantial amount of restriction or change, and promise a very quick result. The fact is, they work. You will get rapid change in the majority of those diets or programs. You will lose weight on the scale rapidly. But the questions we tend to ignore and push to the side are:

  1. Can you sustain this diet as prescribed forever?
  2. What will happen to your body and your results when you stop this diet?
  3. Is it improving your health?
  4. Do you notice that when you perform restrictive diets you tend to get sick every 2 to 3 weeks?
  5. Do you start off with tons of energy then gradually feel exhausted all the time?
  6. Does the weight on the scale show you an accurate picture? Are you losing very important muscle mass?

Change is a journey.

The truth is you can change your body. It will take months and more likely years, but nobody tells you that, because it’s not flashy, trendy, or appealing. It’s not an easy sell. It’s hard to package focus and hard work. You cannot change with a magical supplement or a few weeks of restricting your calories.

To truly reset your metabolism, it will require a system that will become sustainable and support your health. It’s a journey worth taking on.

My Body is stuck at this weight–it will never change! Read More »

preparing nutritional food

Why Isn’t My Body Changing!

I workout 5 days a week, eat clean, and hardly ever cheat – WHY ISN’T MY BODY CHANGING!”

Have you asked yourself this question? Are you working hard every day but you just can’t seem to get any changes? Maybe you did change in the beginning but now, it seems like you are getting nowhere. Maybe you’re even gaining weight even though you started eating less.

I hear you, and understand where you are. I was there for a long time, and can find myself getting pulled back in that direction every once in a while. Habits beat good intentions when you aren’t paying attention.

Are You Getting the Right Information?

The messages put out in regards to losing weight or changing our bodies tend to lead us to believe the only way to accomplish this result is to do loads of cardio and restrict our calories. The problem with this recommendation is, a sudden increase of cardio, such as running or high impact activities, and a reduction in appropriate calories, will break the muscles down quickly, leaving our bodies vulnerable to injuries.

Our bodies need proper nutrition to recover and help us stay strong and pain-free. When we break-down muscle tissue we leave ourselves vulnerable to immune issues and we lower our metabolism, which makes it impossible to change our bodies. This is the exact opposite of what we want to accomplish.

The truth is, the cliché, “Less is more”, is true. The more we exercise and the less we fuel our body, the less of a result we will get. Our bodies don’t function quite as simply as calories-in and calories-out. Our bodies are a beautifully complicated system. You can count macros and calories all day long, but if you are not matching your exercise to how you fuel your body, you will forever be fighting a losing battle.

It’s All About the Right Balance

As crazy as it might sound, eating more of carefully selected choices, reducing your exercise hours, and making those workouts planned and structured, you will discover your body will begin to respond. We need to learn how to respect our bodies and fuel them so they can change, improve, and repair. If we starve our bodies of vital nutrients it can not make necessary changes. If we beat up on our bodies they can’t repair, they can’t change, and you will push yourself into a chronic state of injury and fatigue.

Losing weight, changing your body composition, getting leaner, whichever you want to call it, and whatever your focus, the rules are the same. If you want to change you must give your body the fuel it needs, the right amount of exercise, and the right type.

I would love to tell you there is a quick simple fix, like–just do XYZ and you will magically get the result you want. But I can’t. I would be lying. Everybody’s body is different because our metabolisms are all in a different state. Our metabolism is a complicated arrangement of chemical reactions affected by several factors: exercise, eating, body temperature, and most importantly, our muscle mass. This system is complex–permanent changes may take months or even years. I know that sounds depressing. But there is a silver lining. The silver lining is that you can learn how to eat more, and workout less to get a better result. And you can learn how to sustain your new positive habits and maintain the changes you have without going through a yo-yo process your whole life.

Establish Your Balance and Get Results

It requires educating yourself, learning how to prepare amazing, yummy meals in minutes, and structuring your workouts so they are efficient and effective and take up only 3% of your week. That’s about 3 hours a week to get a great result. The process itself can be simple–the work required doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The hard part is reprogramming ourselves to understand this process of change is not quick, habits are hard to change, and mind sets are even harder.

This is why we need to give ourselves longer to achieve the goals we want to achieve. You need support and encouragement along the way, and solid strategies that work. Results come in the mundane, everyday, consistent strategies that are not flashy or sexy. They won’t get millions of likes on Facebook or Instagram.

Our Functional Fat Loss Program encompasses everything I’ve mentioned. It is the complete package. If you are ready to commit time and effort into yourself, go to our website

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