DeAnna Dimmitt Mind Body Fitness


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What Are You Doing?

Consider this: In any group of people, the person who dictates the response of others exerts the most influence and therefore becomes the leader.

Stick that in the back of your pocket for a second.

During my Saturday morning Dynamic Body Sculpt class at Snap Fitness ABQ Tramway, there was an interesting exchange between myself and one of my students.  We were doing an exercise called Surrenders.  It’s quite a challenging move as it requires holding the weights overhead with arms that are already fatigued whilst kneeling down and standing back up about 10 times.  I mean really, what’s not to love about that?  Anyway, Surrenders are a killer move and it takes a certain mindset to get through them.  It’s not uncommon to see people become paralyzed with tension and stop altogether.

I said to my class, “The reason these are called Surrenders is not because you give up. It’s because you don’t resist.  Relax, breathe, and complete the task at hand.  Think about that, if you can’t stay calm in here, how will you ever stay calm out there? And I’m not even the hard part of your life, I’m just a nice person who’s trying to help you.”

At this point one of my regular students piped up and said, half to me and half to everyone, “Don’t be fooled by that “nice person”, there’s a fierce warrior in there.” And the rest of the class immediately voiced their agreement.  Admittedly, I got a little warm fuzzy from that but I’m not repeating the story to complement myself.  I’m repeating the story because it takes one to know one.  I can only assume that if someone recognizes the warrior in me, it is because the warrior in them has sat up to take notice.

Segue 

Yesterday, there was a stabbing at St. Jude Thaddeus church here in Albuquerque. Rather, there were several stabbings and four people were sent to the hospital.  The aggressor, 24 year old Lawrence Capener is in police custody.

Right now, before you have a reaction to this, or anything else that you hear on the news, I want you to go back and re-read the first sentence.  Yes, the one I said to stick in the back of your pocket.

On what will you base your response? Will you take your cues from the evening news? Will you stand with the sheep and allow yourself to be provoked into an outrage and to feel afraid? Surely you’ll want someone or something to blame?

Before you thump your chest and say “Hellz to the yeah!”, answer me this:  Will you become paralyzed with tension and render yourself impotent?

Rhetorical as this may sound, the human condition only mirrors the human condition.  What you feel, you spread like a contagion, be it good or bad.

So while it may seem righteous to feel outraged and afraid and to look for somewhere to place blame, I ask you to consider what motivates someone to commit a crime like a public stabbing, shooting, or bombing? Why in the world would anyone do something like that unless they themselves were outraged and afraid and looking for someone to blame?

The Law Of Attraction says like attracts like.  I don’t need to illustrate the truth of this statement.

Maybe it’s time to question if what’s wrong out there is not actually what’s wrong in here.

It takes a certain mindset to make it through the Surrenders and it takes the same mindset to wake up and see what you are doing.

What are you doing?

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Relax. Breathe. DO IT!

I want to tell you guys a little story in a largely uncensored way. So, for those of you that don’t know me, or have overly delicate sensibilities, consider yourself warned.

Last night I was having a conversation with a personal trainer friend of mine who was expressing the frustration he feels when people placate his message. I understood completely what he was saying and have experienced the same thing many times myself. What I’m talking about is when someone comes to us for help but then won’t help themselves. They tell us things like “I can’t drink water because it doesn’t taste like soda. I won’t eat vegetables because they don’t taste like Mac N Cheese. I won’t dig deep for the workout because I don’t like to be sweaty and out of breath.” Basically, it is impossible to help someone who is not willing to change their behavior.

I understood him very well, not just from a personal trainer point of view, but also because I, just like everyone else, have stumbling blocks and challenges and issues that persist because I just don’t feel like putting in the effort to change them and/or because I see them as bigger and badder than they really are.

This story has a few parts, by the way.

This morning, during a particularly challenging round of Dynamic Body Sculpt, I could see people starting to run out of gas so, to fire up what was left of their motivation, I said in my most fiery voice, “Successful people do what other people will not do. So relax and breathe and DO IT!”

After class, I was standing outside the gym talking with one of my students. She’s been with me a long time and we’ve developed a good friendship. She was telling me about about how she’s going to spend the afternoon visiting her friend who is barely 36 years old and in the hospital dying of cancer. As she started to relay the various horrors of the situation (and, trust me, there are many), I was taken back to when I woke up this morning. I woke up feeling heavy, thinking that the (comparatively minor) troubles and obstacles in my own life were very big and very complicated and probably the center of the whole entire universe and, you know, boo-hoo and stuff.

Every now and then, I believe that the universe taps me on the shoulder (or just straight up kicks me in the ass) and tells me something important. Often times, after toning it down a little, I share these things here on my blog.

So, my friend is telling me this story when I feel a little tap on my shoulder and the universe hands me a proverbial telegram that says, “quit your fucking whining and get your shit together.”

Whoa there, Nellie, that’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

Well guys, I never said this was diplomatic. And while I would never suggest that anyone engage in negative self talk, I am suggesting in the plainest way I know how that if you are lucky enough to be both, A. alive and, B. not suffering with a terminal illness, that you get serious about rooting out and identifying any and everything that is in your way. If something is preventing you from reaching your full potential, it’s gotta go. Shine a light on it, give it a name, take it apart, tear it down.

Start today.

Relax.

Breathe.

DO IT!


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Before and After: A 12 year progression

The picture on the left is the day I moved back to Albuquerque from Las Vegas, NV.  I was weak and tired, had little spaghetti arms to boot and was also about 15 pounds lighter. 15 pounds of muscle goes a long ways towards a new outlook on life and a new attitude.

I teach a lot of stuff that appears on the surface appears to be exercise, but the only thing I’m actually trying to teach is that you, yes you, should be confident in your own abilities.

DeAnnaDimmitt_BeforeAfter

You have the tools.

I can show you how to use them.


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Self Efficacy

Self-efficacy –  the measure of one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.

This is a tale about self-efficacy as it pertains to exercise.

So one day about 10 years ago, Rick ordered some fitness DVD’s from an infomercial on TV. We were staying in a cheap hotel in Carlsbad, NM and the TV in our room only got one channel. It showed the same infomercial for the entire duration of our stay.

There on the screen behind the 1-800 number and the Beach Body logo was Tony Horton explaining how to completely transform your body in 90 days using his system, Power 90. Now you probably thought I was going to say P90X, right? This was before P90X.

Tony appealed to Rick more than he did to me. At that time, I had no interest in fitness but Rick was enamored with the success stories.  I assumed Tony was a meat-head plus I was skinny and therefore saw no need for what I referred to as “unnecessary physical exertion”.

A couple weeks later, the dvd’s arrived and found themselves a comfy home on the shelf next to (not in) the dvd player and there they sat.

Eventually I got curious and decided to try one of the workouts. One morning, being absolutely naïve about the non-existent status of my fitness level (because I thought skinny equaled fit), I put on some shorts and sneakers and fired up Sweat Level 1-2. I didn’t eat or hydrate first (why would I need to do that?!?!) and I certainly didn’t listen to Tony while he repeatedly said “go at your own pace” and “listen to your body”.  I had no idea what those things meant, I just assumed he was talking to the other (out of shape) people and I thought, “I’m gonna match Tony!”

It didn’t go very well. Less than half way through the 30 minute routine I was dizzy and lightheaded, staggered out of the room and collapsed on my bed where I spent the next half hour or so begging god to “just take me now.” I felt like crap the rest of the day. And for a lot of people, myself included, this might have been the end of the story.

I tried.

I failed.

Game over.

I could’ve spent the remainder of the time between then and now, explaining to people how I’m just not strong enough to exercise, how I get dizzy when I exert myself too hard, how working out literally makes me sick. I could’ve created a convincing tale, which would include my stellar example of how exercise isn’t for me. I probably would’ve made you believe it too , because I certainly believed it. I would’ve wrapped the whole thing up in a tidy little bow by finishing with “…and besides, I don’t need to work out because I’m skinny and Tony Horton can suck it!” We would’ve laughed at this and patted each other on the back for being righteously sedentary.

To be honest, I don’t know why that didn’t happen.

What happened instead was exactly the opposite. Yep, I was embarrassed by my pathetic performance in the living room and, nope, I didn’t find that particular exercise experience to be enjoyable at all. What I did have was a hard core reality check. But instead of quitting, as was my plan, the next morning I awoke full of unexpected fire and determination. “I will not be defeated by an entry level fitness video!” No paraphrase, that is exactly what I said to myself.

Days and weeks and months went by. I collapsed more times. I got back up. I did the Sculpt Level 1-2 video with 3 lb weights, I tried hard to power out 3 or 4 little push ups from my knees, I had to press pause during the lunge squats. During the Sweat video, I willed (begged) my little stick legs to not break off during cross hops and during the power yoga warm up, I landed on my face during every single chaturanga. We won’t even get into the hilarity that ensued when I embarked on my first real yoga experiences with Rodney Yee.

By all accounts, I sucked at fitness. My only redeeming quality was this, I refused to be defeated and I kept coming back so Tony, Bob, Rodney, Jillian, Chalene, and Bryan could kick my butt, again.

Why am I telling you this? Because I didn’t just hatch out of some spontaneously magical fitness egg.  You can’t embark on a road to fitness expecting to already be fit and you can’t use not being fit as an excuse to stay home.  I’ve worked long and hard to achieve my current fitness level but I’ve not done anything that you can’t do.  No journey starts from the destination and, in truth, there is no destination, only a series of ever evolving goals.  You meet your goals, you set new goals. This is how life works.

Time goes by regardless if you get off the couch or not.  So why not make a push to better yourself?

Did you try a workout that exposed some truths you didn’t like? That’s ok, but I won’t indulge your story of “can’t”.

Get up.

Get dressed.

Try again.


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Name Your Elephant

ganesh

It’s been said that to carve an elephant from a block of wood, all one needs to do is cut away everything that does not look like an elephant.

It would not do to lament the corners of the block or the shavings of wood that are cut away. They are not elephant shaped after all, so why would you even want them?

To hold on to things that do not serve begs the same question: why would you even want them?

If your elephant is health, why would you hold on to junk food and smoking?

If your elephant is fitness, why would you hold on to the couch and the television?

If your elephant is perfect employment, why do you trudge off to the job that you hate only to return home and cling to the couch, watching the television while stuffing your face with junk food and doing nothing to pursue a better career?

You know what I’m talking about.

If your elephant is better relationships, why do you pursue people who are less than worthy of your attention?

If your elephant is enlightenment, why do you stay asleep?

I write these posts as letters to myself, knowing that they will resonate with some of you, because we’re all in this together.

If you want your energy to flow a certain way, the only solution is to turn and face that direction, and that means being willing to let go of what does not serve you. Find clarity, name your goals, and go confidently where the path leads. The safe and the familiar may get broken or left behind along the way but I promise you this; you didn’t actually need any of it. When you find the courage to get up and run towards what you really want and what is right for yourself, take a look around, there will be others running with you.