Your Diet Success List

January 17, 2013

Hello! I hope you are doing well!

There are many “lists” out there – we have the “to do” list, the “wish” list, the “grocery” list, the infamous “honey do” list..but what about a “diet” list?  What does your “diet and exercise list” consist of?  Or, do you even have one?  Well, either way, I have something here that I will ensure your success!  A friend of mine sent it to me and I would like to share it with you. Why?  Because I want the best for you! I added and updated some things on the list, but the list is still good stuff!

#1  One Day at a Time.

Are you starting each day by focusing on breakfast? Make sure the first meal you eat is a healthy one. Unfortunately, many diets have met their untimely end due to a poor breakfast, which turned into a poor lunch, which turned into a poor dinner, which turned into a poor week…(sigh..) You probably get the picture.  No worries though..If you did have a day that included some slip-ups, breakfast is the perfect time to get back on track. Just start over with a healthy meal. Don’t think about the cookie you had at lunch yesterday or even the office party you have to go to tomorrow. Concentrate on today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow…..(I’m not going to sing)

#2 Two People to Support You.

Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself.  No, don’t do that…you are not on this journey alone. Do you have two people who can be supportive and help you make sound decisions? If you are on a program (Weight Watchers, etc) is there a representative out there wondering why he/she hasn’t received an email from you? Be accountable and use the resources you have to tell what you might think are the simplest, but best, of stories: How you passed up some potato chips during lunch, that you had a perfect meal plan day, or that you weighed in and lost two pounds.

#3 Three Goals and Three Rewards

Create a goal system for yourself and write it down (if you haven’t already). Short Term Goal – Figure out where you want to be in two weeks and write down a non-edible reward (a new CD, a movie, whatever…)   WHEN, not IF, you reach your goal, make sure to give yourself the reward!  Ok, just in case you don’t reach your goal, and it may happen, look at the progress you made and set another goal.

Medium range – Decide where you want to be in 2 months and make the reward just a bit larger. (New walking shoes, a day at the salon, a new pair of pants, get your nails done)

Long term – Figure out what your goal weight is and when you think you can reach it. Set up a vacation for that date or find another way to celebrate your achievement. Give yourself a little leeway here. Don’t cancel a trip if you are 3 pounds off. The point is to look forward to something in the future.

#4 Four Pieces of Fruit.

Have you been skipping that banana at breakfast and just eating the two muffins, or just having cereal and milk? The fruits will help fill you up and reduce your cravings. Fruits are especially important when just starting out.

#5 Five (or more) Servings of Vegetables.

I realize that eating all your vegetables can be especially challenging for some people. Vegetables can be harder to get all of your servings than fruit. Generally speaking, they take more time to prepare, and we only think of them as dinner foods. One of the best ways to ensure you get all your vegetable servings is to plan ahead. Stock up on frozen and canned veggies, in case you forget to buy fresh ones. When preparing your meal, fix the vegetables first. That way there will be no temptation to just eat your entrée and leave the veggies in the fridge.

#6 Eat Six Times A Day

Oddly enough, one of the keys to losing weight is eating often – you have to eat to lose. You should be eating six times a day. That’s three small meals and a snack in between each meal; every 2-3 hours. The faster you can get into this eating habit the better. This will keep you from becoming hungry late at night, when you may be tired and not have as much will power.

#7 Seven Days of Exercise

If you haven’t been exercising this may sound difficult and daunting.  I bet  you visualize endless jogging and hours spent in the gym. Sigh..who has time for that!!!?  My suggestion is to start slow and start with what is right for you. Walking every day is a simple way to begin. Even if it is just for 10 minutes, get yourself in the habit of getting up and moving. Walk during your lunch hour or visit a co-worker instead of calling. If you can, adding a couple days of free weights will help you build muscle and ultimately keep your metabolism running at a higher level.

#8 Eight Glasses of Water a Day

It is hard to believe this can actually help you lose weight. It makes sense that eating well should help, but how does adding water help. Your body needs lots and lots of water. Your body is primarily water. More than most people give it. Water keeps the body in balance. Besides, sometimes we can mistake thirst for hunger, leading to a snack instead of trusty old water!

#9 Nine Different Activities in Your Workout

Don’t let yourself get bored doing the same exercises repeatedly. Half an hour worth of sit-ups or walking the same route every day can be boring, even for the most motivated exerciser. I have some really good suggestions at Body By Sid for different exercises you can build into your program. By trying different things, you will actually be working your muscles in a more productive manner. Our bodies become accustomed to exercises we do all the time and start becoming more efficient and burning fewer calories while performing them.

#10 Ten Minutes of Journal Time a Day

Take time to reflect and write down some of the frustrations you may be having. Being aware of how you feel emotionally and mentally can help you feel better physically. Your journal doesn’t have to just be what you ate and how far you walked. How is dieting making you feel? Frustrated, confident, grumpy, or proud. write it down.  All of these may cross your mind at one point or another. Writing them down may be a good way to cross them out of your mind.

Ok, there you have it! I hope this list will be helpful to you! Leave me a comment and let me know  your thoughts!

Committed to Your Fitness Success!


My First Mud Ninja Experience…For Real…

July 30, 2012

Hello, Everyone!
Hope all is well with you today! It is 4:12am, Sunday, July 29..and I just got out of bed because I had to write about my Mud Ninja experience! I tried to wait until later in the day, but nope, couldn’t do it! I am sure I will add additional detail in the next day or so.

I generally don’t do  long posts, but in order to tell my experience, this one may be a bit lengthy!

If you are considering doing a challenging obstacle course run (Warrior Dash, Mud Ninja, etc) or if you just want a good laugh, or maybe you just want to visualize what my crazy friends and I experienced on this journey, then keep reading!  Yeah, we are some crazy folks – we said that to each other while running down the hill over rocks, mud and weeds.

Training tip: When I train, or train others, it’s always good to remember to do pushing and pulling movements, or a push/pull routine. When you do a “push”, do a “pull”. You will mention this during the post.

When my wife and I arrive at the event we were amazed that the event was less than 25 minutes from where we live – Chillicothe, Ohio!  We thought, is this still in Ross County??  We were to meet 2 friends of ours also participating in this event.  There were people from all over there – Atlanta, Baltimore, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, just to name a few, all to come participate or to just experience this event.

This was my FIRST Mud Ninja event (my friends Todd and Dawns, too) so  I thought, ok, how rough can it be – I’ve done the Warrior Dash before.  Lord Jeeezuz help. Was I in for a rude awakening.

In order to prepare for this event, I started running hills and trails early part of June..I knew there would be hills.  I am soo glad that I did!

After we got registered, it was time for us to start… we go..!

As soon as we take off, 100 yards into it, no lackadaisical stuff here, the course goes directly into a steep, steep STEEP decline full of large rocks, so you really had to watch your footing and maintain your balance. Not a problem so far…but we knew the further we ran the winding trail down, we would have to come back up at some point.  People were walking already so we went around them.

We get to what we thought was the bottom, and we have to wade thru a pond – a smelly pond with grey water and green stuff floating on top – but hey, it’s the Mud Ninja right? So, we’re up for any obstacle! After getting out of the pond we said “we are some crazy people” ain’t we ! We laughed and then crazy me said you don’t see many black people doin this type of stuff! (although there were some there. Another post on that coming soon!)…sure don’t! But I am a fan of doing different stuff!

Well, we continued to descend even further..then here it comes..we start to go up..we far so good (walking lunges and hill runs really helped with this).  By now the trail is muddy, so people were slipping and falling on some parts. we get to the top and the next obstacle was a water slide – back down again we go.  It was about 100 ft slide. You slide down into water…..oh yeah, and some mud. Fun.  Then we go down hill some more and run into the next obstacle – a very tight zig-zag maze of thin rope you had to go over while long rags hung in your face (like a jungle)..once out, it was more downhill from there. Seriously?   More downhill? You needed good core strength for this part – the trail was muddy and slick and you had to maintain your balance.  We get to the bottom and we had to cross two creeks..and what lies ahead, the first obstacle that required pulling.

It was a vertical, yes, VERTICAL climb up the muddy side of the embankment. You had to grab rope and pull yourself up…slippery, wet and muddy!  I loved it! Some people were struggling with this one. I thought I was Bruce Willis or somebody saving someone hanging from the side of a building! Just like you see in the movies, I grabbed onto the top of the rope and stretched my hand out.  I yelled to one lady just hanging there..”c’mon honey, take my hand! ” She didn’t at first-she was afraid to let go.  Then people said “take the big mans hand take the big mans hand’! I finally got her up, then I  had to crouch and make my way thru the thicket. Off running again – more down hill.  What the???  Still going DOWN?? Really??

Ok, FINALLY…here it comes..steep hill..I saw how far up we had to go. Let’s do this. I ran it – pushing myself and telling myself “do it!” “come on..come on”..WOW. My legs on fire now-but I work thru it.  Finally, it levels off as the course starts winding in another direction….SCREECH!! tall grass hid THIS from me  around the corner.  A TUNNEL. A dark, gloomy tunnel. Lord, jeezus help.  UUUGH! I run to it..and stopped again…ok, I love the Lord and all..and sometimes we slip…well I thought I THOUGHT a few cuss words..but uhm..but before I knew it, they actually slipped out!  *$*&@#N@(#N and *(#$#^&)N)@*#N@@)(*&!@  ….then the words started coming out like a machine gun – *&#$(#* (*#(@N@#….*$(#N…&^^%…(#&#!…*##*#)!*…..forgive me, Lord!

I am claustrophobic and I had forgotten all about this tunnel on the course! I jogged in place…looked around..then I jogged in a circle…trying to sike myself up.  OK, I can do this…I proceed to the small opening..peep in…I come right back out! OK, let me try it again…got in a little further this time..but nope, I backed that thang right back up!  By now, Todd and Dawn have made it thru. They knew I had a fear of this..they were encouraging me from the other side and they waited.

On the fourth attempt, the attendant said, you can go around..well, I started to just go around, then I said “no”.

So I tried again. I yelled back at the attendant “don’tyouletnobodycomebehindme!” If someone came behind me it would not be pretty! I was already in a state of panic and I needed this tunnel all to myself. Yes, I did.  Ok, here goes… My heart racing 5x it’s normal speed, I get down, and I crawled and screamed the entire way thru..I did not look back..I get to the middle and I can see shimmers of light about and ahead..I crawled faster..sho’ did. I see the light! Crawl, Sidney! Faster, I see the light!  Shoot, I tried to get out so fast I bumped my head on a beam – ouch! But I did it! I faced my fear and got thru it.  I had to crawl about 75 yards in the mud and water.  The animal exercises, spider man pushups and the crawling moves helped with this.

Once out, immediately there was an ascent – this was steep, too! Really??  The tunnel took a lot out of me and I couldn’t get my heart rate down fast enough from the trauma – but I continued to run. We get to the top of the hill…finally a water break..uh oh..I get a bit sick on the stomach ..What??!! Me? I never get sick on the stomach due to exercise…well; I took a swig of water, swallowed a bit and spit it out, cleaned mud of our hands and headed directly to the next obstacle.  No time for nausea to stop me.

The next obstacle was a wall of about 20ft high I guess. The wall was wet, and there was nothing to help you get over it. No rope, no pegs, nothing. You had to have upper body strength and use team work – Or make a human ladder as I called it. We hoisted and pulled several people up.

Uhm, but why did I have the guy in fatigues who I’m sure weighed 50lbs more than scrawny ol’ me, waiting to be hoisted up?? And he had on a weighted back pack!!  He was on the ground, I was on top of the wall already, and here I am trying to lift him! Well, after several grunts we did it! Todd and I said, ok, time to go.   Lets get down and keep moving.  The pulling motion was mostly used here – the rows and lat pulldowns helped with this.

Skipping a few obstacles ahead, we are now on the other side of the property.

Low crawling thru water and mud, under barbed wire was next. You had to stay low for this one..then up an down mounds. Upper and lower body strength needed for these. At times you had to slide down into the pit and crawl your way back out.

Uh oh..repel time! Hanging upside down while dripping wet and muddy hands! Awesome! You had to pull yourself across a very thin rope to the other side. Otherwise, if you let go, you fall into a deep pit of water.  I’ve never done that before that I can remember – even as a kid. We all had success on this one! That pulling motion is required again – upper body strength needed for this one.


A gorge, a valley, a canyon or whatever you want to name it, was now before us.  Is this really in Ross County??? Well, we ran down and down and down and down what seemed like 100 miles. (Sigh..) now my wet shorts started to fall down from around my waist due to the constant pounding of running down hill.  I could feel them getting lower and lower. So I had to try and pull them up while running. I did the the RT – you know, the “run and tie”. That’s when you run and tie at the same time.

Well, as we continued to run, we knew we would have to save our strength – we could see far off in the distance thru the trees people scaling up the side of a mountain. Lord jeezuz help….They looked so little. How much further we got to do how much further!!? We’ve already been on this dag on course for what seemed like 6 miles!  People just walkin like they out for an afternoon stroll. I know how they feel!

We finally get to that vertical incline we saw in the distance. There was a huge wet, slippery log blocking our way that you had to pull yourself up and over. We did it…now time to climb – vertically. Without any rope.  Laaawwd jeeezuz help. You could solely use your legs, but here is where I tried to balance using upper and lower body strength.  Bear crawls really helped with this obstacle.  By the time I reached the top (seemed like forever), I could feel my glutes burning. Did I need a quick breather.  Yes! But, ummph we didn’t take one!  We pressed forward!

It started to level out, but we weren’t out of the woods just yet! We had to run more hills. Were did all of these hills and crevices come from???!

Ok, about 3-5 mins into the run, I had to walk a bit here. But the last portion of the hill I ran. At the top of the hill – water break. I needed it. I think I only took about a few sips..poured one cup over my head.

Next was balance and strength again. The Log Scoot.  Upper body strength required.  Men, be careful on these logs..uhm, yeah, be careful scootin’ on the logs and you know whyyyy. (little did we know there would be more of that coming!)

Next we had jumping over ditches – they were about 4ft deep and about 5feet apart with mounds of dirt you had to maneuver over, in between each ditch. There were about 7 total. One thing I do know – I can jump forever! So this one was easy for us.  Plyometrics, squat/box jumps, squats etc, helped with this one.

More running and another pond. This pond looked like a scene from a military movie where the soldiers were wading thru the swamp with cattails all around.  Yes, there were cattails in this pond.

Next, monkey bars.  Yeaaah! Another test of strength!  But these were not just your everyday type monkey bars. There was a deep pit of water and mud below, so don’t fall off!  The “bars” were pieces of wood. Slippery. Did I do it – yes!   Much upper body strength required.  Pull-ups and “hand walking” across an overhead bar, feet off the floor, helped me with this one.

Before the finish line we encountered one obstacle that you had to pull a 30lb bucket of concrete up 30ft and hit a bell. Different. The pulling motion, hand over hand; seated rows helped with this one.

Time to run some more…and oooh boy! What do we see ahead!

Back to back to back mud pits!! High walls of dirt/mud..slippery slides…awesome! This will be challenging.  I love it!

First we had to plank walk the tight rope. If you were short – good luck! I’m sure there was another one that could be used, though. Those planks and plank walks we do sure did come in handy for this one!

Here comes the muddy mounds and muddy pits. Wow! Excitement and mayhem to the tenth level! But no up and over by yourself – no sir’ree bob…not possible! Team work is needed here. At any position you are on these mounds, you are constantly pulling and pushing yourself and someone else up.

To conquer these mounds, you  have to form a “step” with your hands. One person steps into your hands so they can get onto the mound, then they grab a rope, or dig their hand into the dirt, then you have to push them up and they pull! They crawl to the top. At one point helping, I told the man and woman I ain’t getting fresh, but shoot, I had to push them from their butts!  I needed to get up and over too, one man returned the favor by pulling me up. Todd was a master at this-he would help as many people as he could get up/over.  Team work, baby!

You also had to strategize on some of the mud pits on how you would get out of it. There was more log scoots..people would slide down the mound and watch out! Or you would get knocked off! This happened to Dawn….bam!  They both fell into the water!  The man was nice enough to help her back up.  Sheer determination along with upper body/core strength needed here in the mud pits/mounds.

Well, we finally made it out of the pits.  We were surprised that we were finished! We crossed the finish line together in victory!

We thought this was a 3.5 mile course..but we are sure it was more like 5 miles..!

One thing is for sure they sure did map this course well!

You will need to be somewhat cardiovascularly fit, and have upper, lower body and core strength.

Here are some of the exercises that I did that I am sure helped me completed this Mud Ninja Extreme course:

  • Pull-ups
  • Pushups (all variations)
  • Lat pulldowns and Rows
  • Planks (walking planks)
  • Climbing
  • Hill/trail runs (for distance and endurance)
  • Bear crawls, Alligator walks and Tiger crawl
  • Squats and Squat/box jumps
  • Plyometrics
  • Lunges and Deadlifts

Well, I hope you enjoyed my commentary of my first Mud Ninja experience! I LOVE this challenging stuff..the mud, the camaraderie, etc.   Was it extreme – Yes. Will I do it again? Definitely!  Also, this challenge gave me the opportunity to face my fear (going thru the tunnel) and conquer it, thru a physical fitness event.  Will I go thru another tunnel at another event…hmmmm..can’t answer that at the moment!

It was good to participate in this event with friends, Todd and Dawn as well – they are beasts when it comes to fitness! And I appreciate them for supporting & encouraging me to get thru the tunnel. They could have ran ahead, but they waited. One thing that is sure sportsmanship is that we did not do this event for “time” we did it for fun and to say that we FINISHED. That’s what it’s all about- finishing.  Sure we could have saved alot of time by not helping others, but that’s not what we (I) do! We all finish.

In my age group I came in 3rd…WOW!  Overall I was finished 98th out of about 2000 people! Dawn finished first 1st in her age group and Todd finished 5th..but we all crossed the finish line together so I’m confused about  the times….oh well, no worries!  Overall, we had a great, great, great! time!

Funny thing..but we felt good that we were able to either do as well or better than most of the young’ens!  One lady shouted to me “well, look at you! Awesome” as I ran passed her up the last hill. I guess the gray in my goatee gave my age away?

I will be back hittin’ the trails again this week.  I wonder if the people who own the farm land would let me do some running out there?’s a thought.

Plans are in the works to do the Tough Mudder in Pittsburgh, Pa..August 2013!  Yeah, that’s on my bucket list!

If you would like to view all of the pics my wife, Joy, took of the event, you can view them here:

Oh! please click “like” on my fan page, too, and join!

Please leave me a comment!

(video post) Interview with Kenny – aka “The Singing Mailman”

July 24, 2012

Hello, Everybody!

I hope you are doing well today! Check out the video of one of my personal training clients, Kenny, and see (hear) what he has to share with you regarding his personal training experience with me.

Please leave Kenny and me a comment! Thanks for watching!

Follow me on Facebook and click “like” for my new FAN page:

Another Cost of Weight Loss

July 5, 2012

Hello!  I hope all is well with you today.

When you think as the title suggest; the cost of weight loss, one would automatically think I am referring to the monetary cost involved with your weight loss: gym/personal trainer fees, purchase of healthier food options, new clothes and other fees that I do not list here.

Aside from any monetary cost, there are other costs associated with ones fitness journey – and especially when they begin to shed the pounds.

If you have been overweight and have shed the pounds, have you noticed  that close, or what you thought were close friends start to drop off just like the weight, too?  The cost of weight loss that I”m referring to is the cost of friendships.

Unfortunately, everyone is not happy with someone’s weight loss success and/or their desire to  exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.

For those of you who have had success or are now experiencing success, you may have friends who try to sabotage or talk you into joining them in eating something you do not eat anymore, or questioning why you are going to work out again.  Friends who question why you spend money on getting healthy.  Friends who no longer give you compliments when they used to.  Does any of this sound familiar?

The cost of friendships. Is your healthy lifestyle really worth this?

Could it be that these friends are overweight, too, and have yet to take the initial step of leading a healthy lifestyle?  Could it be that they are admiring your from afar and can not give you a compliment on your success in progress?

It’s true that when a person is overweight, their confidence is boosted, their self-esteem is raised and they feel good about their accomplishment on striving to live a healthy lifestyle.  No, I take that back – they feel GREAT!  The person who has lost the weight is still the same person just with a brighter outlook on life!

I know for sure that those of you who have lost weight have a great support system, and friends that  DO encourage you along the way.

If you have experienced  the cost of friendship by becoming healthy and fit, and fat loss, I would really like to hear from you and how this has affected you  or if I am way off base.  Is it more women than men who experience this? hmmmmm

I can’t leave out anyone who has transformed from a very thin person and has gained muscles- I’d like to hear from you, too!

Is the cost of a friendship worth your healthy living?  Please leave me a comment!

Follow me on Facebook and click “like” for my new FAN page:

Committed to Your Fitness Success!


(video blog) Interview with Laveta

May 11, 2012

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are well today. Do you think you’re too old to exercise – or what if you have never exercised? Check out the video and hear what Laveta has to say!


We’d love to hear from you. Please leave me ( and Vickie) a comment!

Sidney L. West

Your exercise vs. spiritual walk

April 13, 2012

Hello, everyone! I hope you are felling awesome today!

When you think of exercise the first thing that may have come to your mind is hard work, sweat, getting fit, muscles or losing weight.  All of that is true, but did you think anything spiritually-related to exercise? Maybe, maybe not.

There is a connection between your exercise and your spiritual walk.  Even if you consider yourself “not spiritual”, you still are connecting your exercise walk with the spiritual side of things.

On Saturday, April 7, I, along with the lovely Daphne Bell, was given the wonderful opportunity to be one of the guest presenters for the Delta Sigma Theta (Columbus, Ohio Chapter) Spiritual Health and Awareness Fair. Dahpne Bell gave a wonderful presentation!

The event was very good if i must say so myself. I had prepared my lecture..had notes and everything, got up to the podium and low and behold the spirit took me in another direction. Whaatt!? There was a change in plans. But is was all good…

This blog post is a follow up from that event.

I call myself the Fitness Evangelist not because I am skilled in the word of God, but because I am skilled in the area of fitness. I heard that word “evangelist” coined at a Hewlett-Packard technology conference I was attending a few years back – they call their technicians evangelist because they are skilled in the technical area.  I liked what I heard so I use it, too!  And by using the word “evangelist” in my title I give honor back to God for granting me with the gift.  Ok, let’s me move on…

We are both physical and spiritual beings. While the spiritual aspect of our being is, biblically speaking, more important, we are not to neglect neither the spiritual or physical aspects of our health.

The bible has several references of exercise and Paul, for instance, not only compares himself to an athlete, but also gives analogies as it relates to exercise. Paul viewed exercise in a positive manner.

With that being said, I must say there is a direct correlation with your exercise and your spiritual life.  Let me know if you agree or not!

This is what comes to mind when I think of exercise and our spiritual walk:

It’s  a daily struggle to live “right”-no one is perfect. If you exercise, it is a struggle to exercise and eat right on a daily basis.

Both of these are not easy tasks… not by any means.  Can you live sin-free?  Can you live exercise-free/unhealthy eating?

The answer to both of those questions should be “no”.

I was joking around with some friends in my studio one day after class and called my studio “church”. After a second or so, we both paused and realized that yes, the studio is pretty much the same as “the church”!  What I do is a ministry, and I minister at my studio…people come to the studio to get ministered to thru exercise and yes, even wanting to just talk sometimes. It’s a gathering place of sorts which led me to the similarities described in the table below: Church vs. Exercise

Here is a table of how, in my opinion, the worship experience and exercise experience parallel. Not in any particular order, but I just wanted to describe some of the similarities:



Praise and worship…setting the, movement. Group of people. The warmup..setting the atmosphere…music, movement. Group of people.
The preacher prepares and studies their weekly lessons/messages for the congregation.    The fitness instructor prepares and studies their daily workout routine for their participants. 
Pastors have a subject or title for their Sunday morning message.    The fitness instructor has a theme or a title for each workout.
Meat of the service/preaching -physical activity begins…victory lap, yelling feedback to the preacher, dancing/shouting, clapping of hands, crying, laughing. Some churches are more energetic than others, but the same concept applies.  Doing the routine  – physical activity begins..running, jumping, arms waving, etc, you will also hear feedback from the participants..screams, yells..sighs..”lord, Jesus!” “goodness!” clapping..crying and laughing. Not all classes are the same. Some are lower impact but still have the same impact.
Closing of the message..announcements  Warmdown/cool down..yeah, there are even announcements in the gym community! or sharing of information 🙂
Benediction/prayer. Fellowship afterwards and talk about the message or talk with friends  End of workout/prayer.  Fellowship after and discuss the workout and talk with friends.
You don’t leave the same way you came in. You leave feeling revived, refreshed! You come back during the week or the following Sunday for more.  You don’t leave the same way you came in. You leave feeling revived, refreshed! Yeah, you may be wore out, but you come back for more

Do you see the similarities? When I shared this with my “bestest” friend :),  my bff, my brother, Jerry, he put it this way:There is a significant parallel and benefit to serving God for eternal life…the benefit of exercise is extending, or for longevity of life…If you miss out on either one of them, well…you’re pretty much in bad shape if you think about it!” While we were laughing and joking, this really is true!

Even when not with the fitness instructor or pastor, or not in the actual church or gym setting, you still remain in constant contact and communication with either of them.  They are only a phone call or email away providing advice, encouragement or any other type of support you may need.

After reading this, do you agree or disagree that there is a connection between your exercise and your spiritual walk? I like reading your feedback  so please leave me a comment of what you think and add any other similarities, too!

Sidney L. West


…Are you helping others?

January 16, 2012

Today, Monday, January 19, 2015, we celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.   If we can embrace what Martin Luther King stood for, and spoke about, this holiday can also be a day that is considered a day of service.  Although we are familiar with Dr. Kings infamous speech “I Have a Dream“, Dr. King also has made many quotes which are considered to be some of the most famous quotations of all time.  One quotation from Dr. King that brought one of my goals into perspective is this one:  “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ 

What are you doing for others….. and…what am I doing for others?

Training and helping others with exercise and diet to get healthy is my passion; my God-given talent.  That is what I purpose to do to help others; and do more of it.

You’ve may read on my website or one of my other publications where I say that we are in the season of wellness; and I want to make this year the  best year for fitness ever!

I say the season of wellness because:

  • more and more individuals have recognized the benefits of exercise and sensible eating
  • more and more individuals have taken a self-analysis of themselves and have come to the conclusion that they, too, need to do better as it relates to their health and wellness.
  • more and more individuals have visited their doctor, and at the end of the appointment, the doctor recommended exercise and a change of diet
  • more and more individuals have been diagnosed with sickness and diseases (HBP, CVD, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc)  later in life; which may have been prevented if they had taken precautions in the early years
  • more and more individuals are experiencing aches and pains in their joints due to limited or no physical activity (atrophy) and now wish to start improving the quality of life with physical activity
  • obesity is an epidemic not only in adults, but children, too
  • our children are now getting adult diseases!



We all know of someone who falls into one or all of the categories – friends, family or co-workers – we all know someone.

I know that my gift is not for me, but to share, and sharing the gift is my ultimate goal.  I had help to get me to where I am today. So being a certified fitness professional is my way of paying it  forward and being of service.   My assignment is “HOPE” = Helping Other People Exercise.

You can be of service to someone else, too, and help them or inform them about the benefits of being healthy!  You can do this by contacting your churches, schools, corporations, friends and family members and start helping each other lead a healthier life! These are the  people we love and care about so  let’s start changing the statistics of poor health.


Oh the joy of feeling good!

Even if it isn’t today,  what will your day of service be (helping others)?

2012 Fitness trends…check this out…

December 27, 2011

The Scar…..

November 16, 2011

Recently while on vacation in October of this year, I was on the beach.

Out of the blue a man, a total stranger, said to me “great scar, dude”.  Seriously?  I was shocked. He was referring to the scar going diagonally across my stomach. Was he giving me a compliment on a scar?  I didn’t know whether to be offended or to say thank you. I guess the reason for my surprise is that I have never been asked about my scar. After he saw the surprised and puzzled look on my face, he added “scars tell a story”. I certainly hope he didn’t think I got the scar from being in a gang (stabbing) or some other thug-related activity!

But the man was right.  Scars do tell a story.  There are physical and emotional scars. My scar is the physical scar as a result from a surgery. That is where the story of the scar began.

Part of my colon was removed, which left a long ugly scar. The scar actually looks like a line graph. It starts from my lower right side just above my hip and travels at an upward angle, past the middle of my stomach.  Not pretty.

Why did this man say this to me???  Ironically, I go to the gym everyday and no one at the gym has ever inquired about my scar.  Odd.

But again, the man was right.  My scar does tell a story and because of that scar:

  • I now eat better
  • I exercise more
  • I encourage people, like you reading this blog, to exercise and eat healthy
  • I am reminded of how great life is; and where I could have possibly ended up had I not had the surgery
  • I am a fitness coach, trainer (and I think I’m pretty good at it, too)
  • I have become a diabetes lifestyle coach
  • I continually learn about the body and how it functions
  • I thank God everyday

I look at my scar every single day.  Granted, it is an ugly scar, but it is but it is a beautiful reminder of life.  I also realize that all surgery causes some scar tissue; it’s part of the healing process. That’s where the story of the scar ends. Healed.

The man, I’m sure, didn’t mean any harm by asking me about my scar. At the time I was not sure how to respond or react. But I guess I answered my own question. So no, I am not offended since it made me think about the circumstances and the outcome.

The objective of this blog is to help you avoid the physical scar if you can.  Whether it be complications from diabetes, other disease or surgery, avoid the scar. Sometimes we can’t avoid the scar, but please don’t get to the point where you have to enter into the hospital because of something that could have been prevented.  Eat right. Exercise. Follow your doctor’s advice.   

Do you have a scar story?  Let me know what you think..leave me a comment!

Committed to Your Fitness Success!

Yikes! There is a WRONG way to exercise!

September 12, 2011

That’s right – there’s a wrong way to exercise. And I notice this “wrong” way time and time again when I am in the gym training a client or just looking around; which prompted me to write this post! But don’t worry! Once you know how to exercise the right way, you’ll be ready for some great tips that will help you maintain good form and make the most of your work out.  I underlined form because those who know me know I’m a stickler for form and one’s safety is top priority.

Ok, onto the good stuff.  If you’re like most people, you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, so why do exercises that won’t help you be healthier and happier? So I’ve listed a few exercises of what I’ve seen or you might be doing wrong and how you can enhance your form (there’s that word again) and reap the intended benefits of exercise.

No-No #1

This is a cringer. The lateral or lat pull down behind the head.  I know you’ve seen people do it. This exercise is less effective and is done by pulling a weighted bar down behind your head and neck. Unless you have very mobile shoulder joints, you could be damaging the alignment of your spine when you pull the bar down or you could be putting undue strain on your shoulders, which can easily lead to injury.  

Safe Alternative: Instead of pulling the bar down behind your head, try leaning back a few degrees and pulling the bar down to your breastbone by pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Contract your abdominal muscles to control your movements.

No-No #2

Raising a weight to your chin with your arm using a very close grip can be dangerous, as this movement can quite easily compress the nerves in your shoulder.

Safe Alternative: Perform this same type of exercise, but lift the weights to the side or front of the body. Better yet, try this exercise while bending forward at the hips and holding the weight below your shoulder and then lifting it to the side of your body. This movement still targets all the muscles of your upper back, while getting the biceps involved as well.

No-No #3

When using a weighted machine to perform leg presses while lying down, it’s easy to bend your knees too deeply as you move the weight. This exercise is designed to work your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. But if you bend too much with your knees, your pelvis can tilt and force the lower back to bear some of the weight, which can lead to serious back troubles if the exercise is repeated regularly.

Safe Alternative: Try doing a seated leg press or, instead of using a machine, try using the resistance of your own body. Squats and lunges can work the same muscle groups with far greater safety.

No-No 4

This was a discussion in one of my diabetes prevention classes. Even if you are doing everything else correctly, did you know that wearing the wrong shoes can counteract everything. Improper footwear can increase the pounding on your joints and lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.

Safe Alternative: The key is to choose a shoe that fits the exercise you are doing. Shop at a reputable athletic shoe stores so you can talk to knowledgeable salespeople who can help you find the right type of shoe for your activities and foot.

No-No #5

I think too many people these days are using weight belts. Unless you have a medical reason to wear one, you can probably ditch the belt down. Using a weight belt reduces your core muscles’ ability to recruit stabilizer muscles to work and become stronger.

Safe Alternative: Unless you are a bodybuilder, skip the weight belt and concentrate on utilizing your core muscles to build up your strength.

Ok, there are my five no-no’s of exercise.  There are more, but this is good start to get you thinking about how you will execute the movement the next time you work out.

The Trainer

If you’ve worked with a personal trainer before, you can probably skip this section, but if your an exercise novice, a personal trainer may help your exercise program get off on the right start. Since I am one J,  personal trainers are great at keeping you pumped up about exercise and they are also there to ensure that you maintain the proper form and a good variety of activities while working out. And we keep you accountable.

Personal trainers also provide other benefits that you may find motivational, including:

  • Fitness evaluations, which can measure where you are when you first start exercising and continue measuring your progress as you become more fit.
  • Personalized exercise programs are a great benefit of having a personal trainer. Because your trainer knows you, he or she can develop a plan that is tailored to your needs so you can reap the greatest benefit from your exercise.
  • Supervised exercise sessions are also a big plus when you have a personal trainer. It can be hard to know if you’re doing something right – or wrong – unless someone tells you.

I hope this blog post will prove helpful to you! Let me know ether way! I love feedback so please leave me a comment!