When my clients sign up with me, they are riding this “high of excitement” that they are ready to make the changes and take the steps in improving their overall self and self-image. Can I help them? Can I guide them? Absolutely. Will they follow through? That is 100% their choice to make. I allow that. I will NEVER make you do something and I will never make a decision FOR you. However, with that in mind, I WILL guide you to the best of my abilities, knowledge, and experience. I will always be here for you.

Your overall health and wellness journey is YOURS. Remember that. Your journey is different from my journey, your sister’s/brother’s journey, your husband’s/wife’s journey, your children’s journey. Different from everyone else’s journey in your life. YOU have to make the choice. I am a strong believer that you guide your life’s path, not someone else’s opinion, not an article, not a study, and especially not a diagnosis. YOU lead yourself. 

My profession supports eating healthy and proper exercise to lead a well-balanced life, but there is so much more to it than that. Are you getting enough sleep each night? Are you interacting with your family in a way that promotes growth in your life or theirs? Are you managing the stress in your life? There are so many aspects that govern your overall health and wellness. Eating habits and exercise are not enough. 

I challenge each and everyone of you to take inventory of your life. I will list 8 areas of your life to reflect on. How would you rate each area of your life on a scale of 1-10 (1 being “needs the most improvement” and 10 being “no issues here” for the following 8 factors?


  1. Physical Health

This is where staying active and working out comes into play. Are you walking most days? Are you working out and taking rest between high intensity bouts of activity? This aspect of your life includes all activity from specific workouts, to house chores, to playing with your kids or other loved ones.


  1. Mental Health

How do you handle your emotions, thoughts, and your mental state overall? Are you practicing things like meditation, journaling, hobbies, self-care/self-love? Do you promote yourself or speak of yourself in a demeaning manner?


  1. Stress Levels

Stress plays a role across the board. This aspect of your life can be altered by arguing with your loved ones, yelling at the person who cut you off in traffic, to someone making a comment that hits you on such a deep level that you just brush off at the time… but let it boil inside of you. Knowing yourself is crucial to managing your stress levels. You have to know what works for you. Is it music? Is it working out? Is it journaling? Is it spending time with your loved ones? Is it spending time by yourself? Managing stress levels looks like different things to all people. Stress can play a crucial role in every single one of the 8 aspects that I have listed.


  1. Eating Habits

Food is fuel for your life. Food can also bring comfort in hard times. There is nothing wrong with indulging your favorite comfort foods, however, we need to be cautious that food does not become our answer. I always say, “Everything in moderation.” If you can’t manage moderation, then I would recommend staying away from that source for the time being. We can turn to food to comfort us during trying and hard times in our lives. It’s a natural tendency, but it doesn’t have to be the “norm.” There are many other activities we can engage in to make it through trying times. Have you tried meditating? Have you tried exercise? Have you tried journaling? Have you tried listening to music or watching your favorite show? Have you tried reading a book?


  1. Sleep

Sleep. Oh, sleep. We ALL know how important you are, yet we trade you off for so many other things. Whether it’s to answer that last email for the day, answer that text, watch that one more YouTube video that turns into another after another, or watching your favorite tv show. Sleep is something we consistently trade in for more “time.” Although we may be “getting more done” we are jeopardizing our overall health. During deep sleep, aka REM sleep, we recover, we store information from the day, we replenish our energy stores. From a personal trainer’s standpoint, sleep is where we repair and grow our muscle tissue from the days work or workouts that we’ve done that day. Without sleep, there is no proper growth.


  1. Hydration

Drink more water! That’s as much as I have to say on this topic. Grab a pen and paper or a calculator and I want you to write down or type in your body weight in pounds. Now, divide that by 2. That number is how much water you should be drinking at minimum in ounces on a daily basis! On days with a lot of activity or exercise you require, much, much more! Compare that number to how much you drink now, where do you stand? (A cup is 8 ounces for reference)


  1. Inflammation Levels (stress can play a HUGE role here)

Inflammation is something your body will go through when there is an external stress placed on it. It can come from food, too much exercise, lack of sleep, high levels of stress, not enough water, mental health habits, and much more. Did you notice how each of the 8 aspects of your overall health play a role here? There are so many other things to list here, but I’ll keep it short until we can manage these 8 items.


  1. Limiting beliefs

Limiting beliefs are created when something happens to us or someone says something to us, mostly in a negative manner, that we tell ourselves is true. These beliefs hold us back from our true potential. Maybe you got a bad grade in a science class and thought, “science is not for me.” Ruling out all opportunities based around science. For example, I had the toughest time with chemistry in college. I said to myself, “you’re not good at this and you never will be.” I also thought to myself, “If I can’t do this, what makes you think I can excel in EXERCISE SCIENCE?” If I continued to believe this, I would not be where I am at today in the personal training or health and wellness realm. I did not let that one experience define me.

If you will, close your eyes and think back to a time in your life when something happened or someone said something to you that you, in your head, began believing about yourself. Go ahead and give it a shot. Now, open your eyes. Is this “thing” true? If not, reevaluate that scenario and ask yourself, “Why am I letting this fictitious thought rule my actions, my thoughts, and my life?” Think of how differently your life would be? Think how not holding yourself back could change your career, your mental health, the life of your loved ones, friends, community, and even your children. Powerful right?

Sure, I have other limiting beliefs in other areas of my life, and that is something I work on every day. Each limiting belief you conquer, the closer you get to reaching your true potential.

Reflect on these 8 areas of your life. Check your scores. Which is your lowest score(s)? Pick one to create a lasting change in. Check back in with yourself in a few days or a few weeks, what is your score now? Are you ready to move on to another factor of your life? Making these small changes over time will have a powerful effect on your life and the lives of those around you. I would love to hear how you rated yourself and what factor you’re ready to make a change in!


You can do anything you set your mind to. If you feel comfortable sending me your numbers, or if I can help in any way, please reach out to me at: ssarge@ampersandintegrative.com  


Stefano Sarge

Personal Fitness Trainer 


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