Dr. Anna-Lisa Ciccocioppo

Calgary personal training Anna C

I’m a 39-year-old single professional and a proud new auntie to my baby nephew! I had been a happy One On One client in the past. Last June I realized that I needed to get things back track. I had let weight creep up over the past couple of years and particularly over the winter months last year. I either needed to buy a new (larger) summer wardrobe or else invest in my health and fitness. I chose the latter!

I try to incorporate various activities into my exercise regimen. I work out once a week with Jay Bakir at One on One, and I hit the gym two to three times a week to do cardio and weights and a spin class when possible. During the winter, I also participate in racquet sports such as squash and indoor tennis, volleyball, and yoga. In the summer, I play a lot of tennis and try and get outside as often as I can. I would like to get back into running this spring.

As I get older and about to turn 40, I have been more focused on my health. While I have always been healthy while overweight, I realize that this is not something I can continue to take for granted. I think when I was younger, I saw it as an optional thing to do, and these days I treat it like a necessity.

make sure I have a lot of variety in my physical activity to keep it interesting and to keep motivated to fit it in. I also make sure that several times a week, my exercise involves meeting up with others so that I am committed—my tennis friends wouldn’t appreciate me not showing up, and I love it so much that I wouldn’t ever miss it. My sessions with Jay are motivating and he pushes me to the next level with my strength training.

I make time for fitness because I value my health. It is a great proactive strategy for managing stress and sleeping well. I find that my stress level has dropped since I have been taking better care of myself with fitness and better nutrition. In my work as a psychologist, I am constantly talking to clients about the importance of exercise to help manage stress and anxiety and regulate sleep and eating. I definitely want to “ walk the talk. ”

There have been many rewarding aspects of fitness for me. I find that the social aspect of being active has been great. Surrounding myself with people who enjoy the activities I do and who also strive for a healthy lifestyle has been very helpful. After losing fifty-something pounds, shopping has become a necessity (an enjoyable one), and there are so many more options when you fit into regular sizes. I feel proud of myself, and my friends, family, and coworkers have been very supportive and proud as well.

“You only live once.
I want to have my one life be a healthy one!”

The biggest challenge has been planning, both for successful eating throughout the week at work and at home, and for sticking to my exercise regime, as well as planning to avoid obstacles to my success. I used to be quite spontaneous and impulsive with my eating and activity, and that obviously wasn’t working for me.

I now surround myself with people who value healthy living and who play sports activities with me, so they are definitely on board. Occasionally, well-intentioned people will say something like “You only live once” when I decline their offer of treats. But, that’s the exact reason why I want to make healthier choices – I want to have my one life be a healthy one. I have made a lot of changes to what I eat, how much I eat, and how often I eat. When I made these changes, my blood sugar really evened out, and I did not feel desperately hungry midmorning and mid-afternoon, as I used to do.

My portion sizes were out of control before, and I was constantly taking in far too many calories. Now I find that eating every three hours or less is crucial to prevent overeating and giving into impulsive cravings. I try and incorporate protein throughout the day and a lot of vegetables at lunch and dinner. I pack my lunch every day. I work above a food court, so having my own food at my fingertips is essential to help keep me on track.

When I fall off track, I remind myself of my goals and the progress I want to see that week, both on the scale and with how I feel when I am active. Having support and encouragement from the people who care about me has also helped me to regroup and refocus on my goals.

My short-term goal is to lose another ten to fifteen pounds, while continuing to reduce my body-fat percentage. My long-term goal is to continue to be consistent with my physical activity and my healthy eating so that I can maintain my weight loss and healthy lifestyle. If you’re struggling with your fitness and nutrition, you don’t have to do this alone. Having supportive workout buddies, working out with a trainer, and seeking nutritional advice and support have all been essential to my success.

If you are reading this and contemplating whether or not you can live a healthier lifestyle, you can. With the right mindset and supports, you will amaze yourself with what you are able to accomplish

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