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I would be lying to you if I didn’t say the phrase “New Year New Me” or “This is MY Year” in years past.

When you get older, you start to realize how ridiculous that “New Year New Me” saying really is. How selfish and immature it has become. You can’t be this new person. You are who you are. Love yourself. You are not perfect. You might not have your dream job. You certainly don’t have the amount of money you want. You may not be in Hollywood love or even find someone good enough to date. You wish you could travel more. You wish your life was as exciting as everyone else’s on social media. You over think, over spend, over drink, and do it all over again the next weekend.

So this is YOUR YEAR! You will save more, do more, love more, compare less, care less, and be young, wild & free!

No…. in fact that’s what you did in 2014. and 2013, 2012, and all the way back to your 3 am pizza
57561-New-Year-New-Me days in college. Let’s get rid of this “New Me” mentality.

It is more important to share experiences with family and friends  than to share your stories to them.  Creating time for people is easier than finding time for them. Your family won’t live forever. Cherish the time spent with them because regardless of how many “New Me” characters you create, you are still that same son, daughter, brother or sister to someone.

Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are. Surround yourself with positivity, with energy, with optimism, passion, and love. You won’t need to create this new you. That energy will help shape a better version of you.

I can tell you now. Looking into my crystal ball that 2015 will bring you less time to travel. It will bring you more bills to pay, some disappointments and heartaches. It will leave you with decisions and crossroads. Face it, that is LIFE! Nobody, not even this “New You” can stop or hide from the struggles of life. All we can do is enjoy it. My crystal ball shows me that 2015 will have 365 days. I wish I could tell you that you will get to experience all 365 of them, but life isn’t guaranteed. Seize every day you can.

The next time you decided to create this new you. Take a look at everything you have accomplished, experienced, and lived through. Take a look at some of the challenges you will face. Ask yourself. Do you trust this “New You” to carry you through 2015? Or did your 2014 self do a pretty decent job getting you through the good times and bad. Build off of 2014. Look forward to the future, but most importantly enjoy the present.

Life is too short to keep creating a “New Me.”

Have a wonderful New Year Classmates! May 2015 bring you the best health, wealth, and luck one deserves.

-Professor Stern

Last night the Oakland Raiders won their first game in 368 days. While commentators make jokes, and non-fans laugh at the Raider Nation for celebrating, I looked at it differently.

A lot of us are on the Oakland Raiders. We are looking for that one big break. That one moment. That job, raise, or even love  life that we can celebrate. The difference between us and the Raiders? (Besides the 200 pounds of muscle and wild outfits) is PERSISTENCE.

They worked out every day for over a year. They went to practice day in and day out. They got beat up every Sunday, but they image KEPT SHOWING UP. Ignore the fact that it is their job, but see their struggle as a testament to passion. If you go back and look at their games, they didn’t just go through the motions and plays. They didn’t complain. They didn’t quit.

So many of us point fingers at our bosses, families, or society in general for our failure to win a game. We make excuses for why things aren’t going our way. The only way the Raiders won was by giving themselves a chance to win. By preparing themselves everyday. By showing up every Sunday WANTING to win.

We have to wake up everyday and want to WIN. We have to prepare for success. Today might be your day! Today might be the big break you have been waiting for, but breaks don’t just come from good plays on paper. They come from putting the plays into action.

Some of us have been waiting more than 368 days for that break, but you will be waiting a lot longer if you are trying to
win from the sidelines. This weekend, set your play into action. Look at your offense, not your defense. Be aggressive. & most of all… Play The Game! You didn’t buy a ticket to watch the game. You were put on this earth for a reason. Stop making excuses, and create a new play. If you are doing the same thing day in & day out and it is just not working, draw up a new one! You never know when that big play will happen, but it will only happen if you Go For It!!

It’s the 4th Quarter and the ball is in your hands… What Are You Going To Do?

-Professor Stern

 

 

Top 7 things I hate about Fitness. Now I use the term “hate” lightly here. I don’t hate anything. I just strongly dislike the following 7 things.

1) “there’s a new study…” There is ALWAYS a new study about some magic food or exercise to “burn fat.” A new study showed if you eat 100 apples a day, you will live to be 100 years old. Try it. Eat the CORE too!

2) Infomercials: This may come as a surprise, but I hate the stories on infomercials. Most of them are so exaggerated. You didn’t lose 90 pounds in 60 days. You lost 90 pounds in 3 sets of 60 days. I’m proud of you, but don’t deceive people.

3) “Crossfit” now don’t get all mad & defensive. What I mean is I hate the “oh my workout is better than yours.” The only reason crossfit is taking the heat here is because numerous crossfitters have tried to tell me “I don’t workout.”  Fact is you can dispute crossfit, HITT, Zumba, yoga as number one. It is a matter of opinion. Your workout is suppose to be about what you enjoy and what works for you.

4) Gyms. I love em’ & I hate em’. The gym has becomeBroken-lift more of a social setting & a fashion runway. Trying to pick up a chick at the  squat bar is worse than the Applebee’s bar. No offense Applebee’s, I still love ya! Speaking of squat bar..

5) Instagram fitness “models.” Fact is, you are in yoga pants doing squats in the gym & recording yourself. Looking for likes or looking to give a professional fitness tip? I get it “sex sells,” but the incredible amount of female IG ‘celebrities’ is ridiculous. The caption will either be “I woke up like this” or she will inspire you with some motivation. She KNEW she looked good in skin tight spandex (add a great filter), but since she is spreading a positive message, it is socially acceptable.

6) The “healthy chocolate cake” By the time you read the ingredients and make it, you could have had a normal piece and burnt off the caloscreen-shot-2014-01-03-at-10-13-26-amries. All these healthy substitutes are ridiculous. You want a piece of cake? Enjoy a piece. You can’t tell me a “healthy” chocolate cake keeps that “healthy” label after you eat 5 pieces.

7) Day after Leg Day complaints. Great your sore. You should have stretched. Can’t walk? You worked out wrong because now yesterday’s workout hinders today’s

Why 7? Well to be honest, I was a fan of Miley’s 7 Things I Hate About You song back in the day. So if you don’t like the list, blame Miley.

Special shout out to our Veteran’s on this special day!

-Professor Stern

Today’s Lesson is about the dreaded word “Diet.” I am finally revealing my “Money Diet” to you!

I’ve been on the money diet for about two years now. Finally a diet that really works!
So what is it? No carbs after 8? All protein? Drink 47 kale shakes a day? NO
The money diet is simple. Put a dollar sign next to everything you eat. Is that dollar sign Red or Green? Is this meal, drink, snack, helping or hurting your goals?
Green = good!
Red = bad!

Let’s say you make $100 a week. You work Monday – Friday. During the week, you are eating right & exercising. Friday at 5pm comes and you got that $100 deposited into your account. You worked HARD so let’s reward ourselves. Saturday night you go out with friends. Few beers, blue cheese burger, maybe even a shot. Let’s say this night out cost you $25. You can afford that. You made $100 during the week. So what…it’s only $25!

This is also just assuming you are “splurging” once a week. If you are guilty of that nightly scoop of ice cream ($ ) or cookies before bed  ($), your $100 is disappearing even faster. The little expenses are adding up, and we don’t realize that we can save so much time and money if we get rid of those small red expenses. So many of us suffer from this “I can afford it” mentality. The salt, the calories, the fat adds up. You can workout, but you can’t out work a bad diet.

I don’t allow myself to think “I can afford” it because my goals are expensive. Every time I eat $, my goal gets further away. When I eat $, I am closer to my goal ! 

If you want a six pack stomach, you can’t expect it to happen over night. Just like you can’t expect to save $1,000 if you never put any money away. The money diet changes your mentality that you are eating your money. The little things add up!!!

So next time you reach for those potato chips or the 2nd scoop of ice cream, can you really afford it?? Is it a green dollar sign or a red one?? Will this moment of satisfaction help me reach my ultimate goal?
A penny saved is a penny earned!

 

-Professor Stern

Danielle, Staten Island Half Marathon

Danielle, Staten Island Half Marathon

Today’s Lesson of the Day comes from a Classmate who has a story about passion, dedication, and the ability to realize that when one door closes, a road opens. A road that is 26.2 miles long!

Dear (My) High School Soccer Coach,

How have you been? It has been about 10 years now since we last spoke on the high school soccer field after classes let out. I was the girl with the black soccer shorts, pink cleats, curly hair in a bun, about 110 pounds and 5 ft. 3 inches in the summer of 2005. Ring a bell? What if I tell you my name? Nope that probably won’t work either.

The reason being is that to you, I was just another grammar school soccer star that had a dream to make the high school team but you see that’s what makes this story so special. You and me we never saw eye to eye — I thought I was good enough to play in high school and you thought the exact opposite. How do I know? You never gave me the chance to show you, because I didn’t make the team.

I remember waiting by the phone after the tryouts for your call. The call never came. Maybe I wasn’t the star I thought I was and maybe I just wasn’t good enough. The one phrase in my whole life that I would never settle for, but after 10 years and no phone call, I am writing to say you were right.

I cried for days. My parents felt terrible, but I remember my dad looking at me and saying, “You have to put yourself back out there and join another sport. You have the athletic ability, find something to stay fit and then give tryouts a go next year.” What could I do? Soccer was the only sport I had ever known and loved. I saw a flyer up for the cross-country team but running was the one thing I hated most about soccer. Running was our punishment, not our pleasure.

I decided to give it a try. I went to my first day of practice in those same black soccer shorts. I ran for 10 minutes and I felt like I was on top of the world. Runners high? Maybe, but then again maybe I was too young to understand what any kind of high really was.

That day I laced up my first pair of not even real running shoes. It was probably the day that set the rest of my life in motion. I fell in love with the sport, the girls, the sweat, the tears, the pain; it became a part of me. I was average I wasn’t the star but that was okay because I was a part of something. It was so much more than I ever could have imagined.

I ran cross-country, indoor and outdoor track all four years of high school. This gave me some of my best friends to this day and some of the best years of my life. Coach, I never went back to your soccer tryouts during my sophomore year, instead I circled the track in my fancy new running sneakers and I watched you coach your girls on the field, and knew that was then and this is now.Displaying Image.jpg

I went on to college, and although I decided to not run at a Division I level to focus on my studies, I trained myself for my first half marathon soon followed by my first NYC Marathon. The girl who used to score goals and walk back to center field, completed all 26.2 miles of the NYC Marathon and sometimes I still don’t even believe it. It happened and it was one of the biggest accomplishments in my life to date. Completing the marathon lead me to writing my college thesis on “The Empowerment of Women through Distance Running” which lead me to my marketing position at New York Road Runners, the biggest running organization in the world, who organize the NYC Marathon, helping to inspire and empower people through running everyday, truly a dream job.

This afternoon, I went running on my old high school trails, and I came to realize that most of my success is owed to you, Coach. We often go through life thanking the people who believe in us. We thank the people who give us countless opportunities, but we rarely stop and thank the people who never gave us a shot.

When you really think about it the people that didn’t believe in you are the whole reason you are where you are today. A decade later, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for not thinking I was good enough to play on your team. You were right, I had so much more to offer the world than scoring just one goal.

Sincerely,

A very happy runner girl

Danielle, New York

Growing up I was the kid in class who saved his homework passes for the end of the school year. Year after year I would earn these passes and save them for when it got warm out or for a special time, but year after year the passes went to waste. Simply because no assignment was worth “wasting” a pass on. I would just save them for the next time. I never learned my lesson until it was too late. Now I have homework passes that I have saved my whole life. 

You see most of us can learn from the homework pass because much like myself, I waited and waited for the perfect opportunity. I held on to my golden tickets just eager to cash them in at the right time. The right time never came. The perfect opportunity doesn’t knock either. We live life like this. We wait and wait and wait. We put off things till tomorrow. We make excuses or hold off on making a change. We say it is not the right time or we are too busy. Sorry to break the news but as busy as you are today, life will only get more complicated and tomorrow will have a to do list that is longer. If we look at life, not by years or months, but by weeks we will get a better understanding as to why it will never be a perfect time.

Monday comes and we complain  about Monday. The start of the week. Friday rolls around and we embrace the weekend. Sunday hits and we say we cant believe it is the end of the weekend. REPEAT. A week is gone, it turns into a month and into a year. We have weekly routines.

We have obligations and responsibilities to do on a daily basis, but when will you cash in that homework pass? When will you make a small change for yourself? When will you give yourself something different? No matter what the change is in your life, you have to make it. The opportunity is everyday. Quit making excuses. Quit saying tomorrow. Quit saving the homework pass because eventually the assignments will run out. Eventually the days will pass and you’ll be looking back reflecting and say to yourself. What was I waiting for? Just remember, when it is all said & done, you can’t say “I have a pass that gives me extra time.”
Today is the perfect day to ___________________. Go out and do it!

-Professor Stern

It was August 16th, 2014 around 10:00am and we were halfway done with the bottle of vodka, but this was not your average Saturday. It was wedding day at my house, but the conversation wasn’t about the ceremony. It was about Bodybuilding.com’s “Back to the Grind” 6-week transformation challenge. I knew I wanted to be a part of this, so when my cousin Frank turned to me and said, “I Do,” (no, he wasn’t the groom to be) I just figured it was the Grey Goose talking.

The party ended & Summer was coming to a close. Frank insisted we take the challenge. This 26-year old was motivated to get the body he always wanted. The plan was simple -wake up, kick ass, eat right, repeat. Now with him working a full time job & my daily schedule being hectic and irregular, we had the issue of finding a common time routine. Some days were at 5:30am while others were at 9:30pm. That clock didn’t matter. The calendar did. 42 days to get in the best possible shape!

Frank is not obese. He is not fat by any means. He is your average sized guy. Just under 6 foot & weighs 176 pounds. He suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which resulted in years of knee operations. So first and foremost, we crossed “cardio” off the todo list.

Day 1. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Frank rode his bike over for his first mission. 20 tire smashes, 10 medicine ball push ups, :30 combat rope… Results? Throwing Up!

I’ll be honest, after throwing up just from about 5-minutes of a workout, I thought this was over and we would give up. Frank didn’t give up. He showed up the next day and the next and now we are here today, day 42.photo (1)

To say Frank motivated me would be an understatement. He helped me realize why I got into this industry. He reminded me that every workout I teach, no matter how tired, sore or unmotivated I am, that I have to give my students my best effort. That’s all I ever asked of Frank. I didn’t care that he threw up. I didn’t care that he couldn’t do a single pull up. I cared that he kept showing up. I cared that he asked questions, pitched ideas, never made excuses, and most all of – gave it his best effort every time.

As the contest wraps up and we wait for the decision, I hope his story and transformation gets the credit he deserves. His commitment and honest work ethic is a testament to what fitness really is about. It is not about a cleanse or a miracle product. It is not about a specific diet or pill. It is about hard work and the desire to change. While this contest has come to an end, Frank’s transformation story has just begun. He proved to me that you can make changes in 42 days, but more importantly… imagine what can happen on day 43.
Just Keep Going!

-Professor Stern

Flipping tires has become an increasingly popular exercise. This functional fitness move is great for the whole body, but this isn’t about to Goodyear tire on the floor. This is about the tire that is deep inside you. The tire that is weighing you down. The tire that seems so heavy that you can’t seem to move it. An obstacle in your path that you can’t seem to flip. A challenge that you can’t seem to overcome.

Today’s Lesson is about your own tire. It is about finding the strength to get past it. To put the tire in the rear view. If there is something in your life that is holding you back. Something in your life that is weighing you down or stopping you from achieving your goals, today is the day you face that tire. You might not move the whole thing today, but you will start. You NYNJ_August2014-109get your hands underneath, bend the knees, take a deep breath, and mentally prepare yourself for the challenge. The HARDEST part is starting. The struggle to get that tire off the ground. Once the momentum starts to shift and your arms are burning, legs are shaking, sweat is dripping and heart is pounding, you push right through the pain.

We all face daily obstacle in our life. These obstacle do not define us. We have not failed because the obstacle is there, we fail because we let the obstacle stay there. We fail because we lose the confidence and hope to flip it, to get past it, to move forward. Find your tire. Find your motivation. No matter how big or heavy that tire is, you my friend are STRONGER!

 

-Professor Stern

You get out what you put in. A simple mentality that can apply to almost anything. SO when it comes to college, and we put in on average 4 years of life and tens of thousands of dollars, how come we don’t get out what we really need??

I have spoken to thousands of students, past and present. No matter where they went to school or what their major was, there seemed to be one common complaint. College does not prepare you for the real life issues. Sure there are classes that touch on topics, but what really is a 401-k? What are property taxes? How do you even file your taxes? What is a deductible when it comes to insurance? How about out of network or in-network? What about a mortgage? Did you leave college confidently knowing about tax, title, and due at signing for your new car? How about shopping around for a credit card – which one is the best one for you? I won’t even mention the daily tasks like washing clothes, cooking, or cleaning. To think, “I have a bachelors degree that cost me $100,000, but I know hardly anything about those above topics.” is scary!

The point I am making is not to bash the education system, but I just want to raise a point. Maybe two semesters spent learning about western civilization or an entire semester on Beowulf could be left in the High School curriculum. Maybe a semester on theater, calculus, and one semester of a world language should really be reconsidered. There should be more of an emphasis on basic living. College was established to give us a higher education and prepare us for the real world. So why do all of these students, past and present, feel under-prepared?

I can say that EVERY college student has once experienced a class where they purchased a textbook, but never opened it. I used to blame the professor for wasting my money, but now I blame myself for wasting my money and my time. I should have opened that textbook and learned the material myself. I should have studied it and asked questions, but studying the course material is far different than not being educated about the real world. That textbook would have made me more of an expert about that particular class, but it would have not taught me about the heating or cooling in a new house, about 0% apr, or simply how EXPENSIVE being an adult really is.

 

-Professor Stern

Finish the Summer STRONG! Here are 10 helpful tips to enjoy the rest of Summer 2013 !

1.      Practice long, slow eating

In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2011, researchers in New Zealand looked at the relationship 2,500 women had between their self-reported speeds of eating and their body mass indexes. For each step up in speed (on a five-step scale from very slow to very fast), BMI increased by 2.8 percent. By slowing down, you give your mind a chance to process that your body is full.

2.      Go all DIYPhoto Credit: thehotbodybootcamp.com

Throwing something together for yourself at home is almost always going to involve fewer calories than dining out because you can control the ingredients and the portion sizes.”

3.      Plan Ahead

“Know when you’re going to eat and what you’re going to eat,” says Suzanne Girard Eberle, M.S., R.D., author of Endurance Sports Nutrition.

4.      Eat Often

Aim for three healthy meals and two small snacks a day, which means you’re eating something around every three hours.

5.      Repeat Yourself

The National Weight Control Registry is a compendium of more than 10,000 people who have maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for at least one year. These successful losers “limit their exposure to temptations,” says J. Graham Thomas, Ph.D., a co-investigator on the study, “and have a repertoire of healthy foods they pull from regularly.”

6.      Don’t Drink Sugar

Unsurprisingly, those who drank the most sugary beverages, like soda, had a higher risk of obesity and a lower intake of fiber. When you celebrate, opt for wine, beer, or a drink mixed with club soda. “Margarita mix, orange juice, and Coke often have more calories than the alcohol,” Dimmick says.

7.      Veg and Fruit Up

Aim to have fruits and vegetables make up half of each meal.

8.      What’s your intake?

Count your calories. It’s the only way to actually see what and how much you are having to eat each day.

9.      Take it easy on Nut Butter

Athletes love peanut and almond butters, and for good reason: They offer protein, healthy fats, and fiber in a convenient package. But a serving size is two level tablespoons. “People often end up eating three tablespoons,” says Dimmick. “That’s an awful lot of calories.”

10.  Make fiber your friend

Fiber passes through your system undigested, so your body has to work harder and longer to move it out, which helps rev your metabolism and give you a feeling of fullness. Aim to eat at least 25 grams of fiber a day: beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

 

 

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/20-habits-thatll-fit-summer-144700467.html