Why is there CORN in my apple sauce?

826 0702 300x168 Why is there CORN in my apple sauce????


We usually look at labels before we buy something but sometimes something sneaks in.  This is one of those times.  The logic of it doesn't even make sense.  Who would want to buy apple sauce with corn in it?  Why would you ever put corn in apple sauce?


High Fructose Corn Syrup AND Corn Syrup BOTH made it into this apple sauce. 

826 0703 e1406210000569 Why is there CORN in my apple sauce?

Just a quick reminder to read the labels and most importantly the ingredients list.  Sarah makes apple sauce in the fall (so we can enjoy untampered fruit in the winter).  This year we already ate through it.  (the additional apple sauce guzzling monster known as Anna Grace has hit our supply hard).  We bought this while out and I'm too cheap not to finish it, but we'll be avoiding this brand in the future. 

Things to watchout for on a label:

  • Partially Hydrogenated Oil = trans fat
  • Mono, Di, or Triglycerides = trans fat
  • Fructose, Sucrose, Dextrose, or other …ose = Sugar and not as healthy as even standard sugar
  • Corn Syrup – not a good idea – another sugar – very not cool high fructose corn syrup
  • Sucralose, Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame – Artificial sweeteners
  • Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate – preservatives (cancer?)
  • Artificial Colorings or Artificial Flavoring – They don’t even have to list the details of what these are on the label.  Best to avoid them as much as possible.  Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 3, if it’s a color and a number RUN!
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • If the label has more than 5 ingredients and many that you cannot pronounce, avoid it as much as possible. 

You aren't going to be able to avoid these things 100% without being a crazy food nazi.  You CAN cut these out of your "daily" intake.  (I have to admit to eating a "dirty" food now and again).  Our bodies are designed to be able to clean out a minimal level of toxins.  When you are getting it all the time there can be trouble. 

Final Point:

If you are going to eat "APPLE" Sauce, make sure the only ingredient is apple (they are sweet enough!)

If you agree or have a story of a food that tricked you, please share in the comments below!

Posted in Featured, Recipes by talltrainer | No Comments

More Than a Number on the Scale

A post from Sarah (tall trainer's wife)

One of the hardest obstacles of boot camp for me was the SCALE.  I was (and some days still am) a person whose day was ruled by the number on the scale.


My back-story:

Sarah at 190 More Than a Number on the Scale

I was a “solid” kid who was much larger than the other girls in my class.  In the 3rd grade I became very aware of my body being bigger.  My “dieting” began that year.  But I was clueless and I also loved sugar.  I steadily gained weight and THEN came high school! 


My freshman year in gym class, we all had to stand in a line to get weighed.  I had an old hag of a gym teacher who said the numbers out loud as she weighed us.  To me she might as well have been announcing this over the loud speaker.  As she said the number there were a few that heard it.  One boy said “she weighs more than me”.   I clearly remember my body trembling, my stomach hitting the floor and literally wanting to DIE!  I now LOATHED the scale and it determined my value as a person. 


So LONG story still LONG, I attempted to eat healthy starting the summer after my freshman year.   By the time gym class rolled around at the start of the school year I was much smaller.   I could hear my teacher say the weights of my 5 foot nothing classmates and it was still less than me.  So I thought I had more work to do.  I couldn’t think clearly enough to say, “Sarah, you are 7 inches taller than these girls, you should weigh more”.  My value was strongly tied to the number on the scale.  I had so many other emotional issues going on (another LONG story) that losing weight became my distraction.  


By the end of the school year I was 87 pounds and near death. I was still on a mission to lose more. 


There was always “5 more” pounds to go.


At this point my parents and Dr. intervened.  I had to start going to a nutrition clinic where I was weighed and my body fat measured weekly.  I was a “good patient” if I had gained weight, but I then hated myself.   This did not help my loathing of the scale.  After a suicide attempt I decided to gain the weight they wanted for me to be “cured”.  I remember being released from the nutrition clinic as well enough to be on my own.  At this point I was a full fledge bulimic and they had NO idea.


Then come the college years.  I had great shame in being bulimic and was wishing to be anorexic again.  But after 3 years of starving nearly to death I couldn’t stop eating. 


HOLY CRAVINGS batman!!!!! Let me tell you I ATE and ATE and ATE! 


Weight started to creep (or not so creep) back to that high school number that told me “I was bigger than the boys”.  So I started running, taking diet pills, and laxatives.  These methods helped me to stop the bulimia..oye!  What a hot mess I was.  At the end of my sophomore year I felt nothing but disgust towards myself.  I remember crying in my dorm room and I called out to God.  I clearly heard in my soul:


“Sarah, there are two paths in life and you are NOT on the right one”. 


It was so moving to me.  This was the start of true healing for me.  I opened my bible and everything I read gave me hope and encouragement.  At this point I was at a large state school in Texas and I knew I needed a fresh start.  That night I applied to a Christian university and changed my major to health and wellness (was criminal justice).  I was determined to learn as much as I could to be healthy and help others.


By the time I graduated college I had stopped the bulimia, diet pills and laxatives but my weight was climbing.  I went to the Dr. for a physical and I was nearly 190 pounds.  She started to talk to me a little about weight loss.  Now how is that for full circle?  In high school the Dr’s were demanding I gain weight and now I was being told how to lose weight. This moment on the scale was also life changing for me. There was much shame and embarrassment in this number because I had just graduated with a BS in health and wellness. I knew I had to get this in check or I was going to be even another 100 pounds heavier.   


Weight loss was very scary for me. 


I had fought so hard to overcome severely disordered behaviors and I didn’t want to “slip” into old habits.  I was determined to do it slow and steady.  I didn’t follow a diet but really tried to listen to my hunger and fullness signals.   I became active again doing fun things like roller blading, hiking and riding my bike.  This awakened something in me.  I enjoyed exercise.  It wasn’t punishment for something I had eaten but a gift to gain strength and confidence.   I ran for fun, not to see how many calories I could burn.  I wanted strong arms, not ones that look like a pencil.  I only weighed myself weekly to see where I was.  My pants not fitting told me I was going in the right direction.

Over the course of a couple years I was down to a healthy weight and was really finding who I was.


So then life was perfect.  I was at my goal weight.  Each day was like walking through a field of wildflowers, hearing the birds chirp with the sun beaming on my face.  All my troubles and worries were gone.   




I started weighing myself several times a day in fear that I would wake up one morning and be 190 pounds again.  The scale became an obsession.  God only knows how many times a day I stepped on that thing.  If I was down a pound it was a great day and I would wear cuter clothes.  If I were up a couple I would feel like crap and throw on a hat and sweat pants.  That day I would vow to be perfect, only eat vegetables and add miles to my run.  The next day I was starving and would eat every carb in sight.  This usually led to several days of overeating because I was not perfect and felt like garbage about myself.   


This was the cycle I followed for YEARS! I remarkably maintained my weight within 5 pounds.  Maintained is not the correct word.  I BATTLED my weight within 5 pounds.  It was miserable and exhausting.   


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Then I married the Tall Trainer and wanted to participate in this super amazing thing called boot camp.  One problem, He weighed people daily.   This was a big NO.  I pleaded my case and wasn’t weighed.    As time went on I saw how helpful it could be.  As the staff and participants grew, I as a trainer wanted to be an example and follow the program to the fullest.  I did what I never dreamed I would do.  Step on the scale daily in front of my husband and it be recorded where other staff could see the number.  THIS WAS GYM CLASS TO ME!   I was still pretty heavy in riding the emotional roller coaster with the ups and downs of the scale.  This made me face the scale head on and conquer my fear of that number!   


The biggest change I made was STOPPING the need to be PERFECT!  I stepped off that roller coaster of the number on the scale.  The extreme measures stopped.  Trying to eat perfect until I could no longer eat perfect and then eat way too many treats because my body was SO hungry.  This boomerang whipped me around for too many years.  Once I stepped off this pattern, I actually easily lost 5 pounds!



Here is how I manage weighing daily-


Maintaining weight means within a 5-pound range to me.  Being one pound up could mean the next day being 2 pounds down.  Just relax and go about the day being healthy.  I stopped panicking with an up shift.  There are so many physiological things that cause an up that have nothing to do with true weight gain.  When my weight is up I automatically check the ring on my finger. Usually it is tight and I know I am retaining a little fluid.   Even when trying to lose weight an up shift doesn’t mean a fat gain. 


Look at the trend of the week or month, not just ONE day.  If I continue to shift in an upward manner then I use it as an opportunity to check in with myself.  What is going on in my day that may be causing me to gain weight?   I don’t beat myself up and think I am a TOTAL FAILURE.  Take the time to figure out what is going on and gently correct yourself.   Drastic measures can lead to a starve then binge cycle. This pretty much guarantees weight gain in the long run.   So many people get frustrated and give up when the next day they could have a HUGE drop!


 I talk reason with myself.  It takes 3,500 EXTRA calories to gain ONE pound of fat. That means that I would have had to eaten over 6,000 calories that day.  Now that is a lot of apple fritters!  There is a good chance that did not happen.   This helps keep me sane instead of going into a weeklong trend of overeating.


If the scale is up for a couple days in a row I focus on water intake.  For me, weight gain 90% of the time, is because I am not hydrated well and start to retain fluid.  Our bodies are designed remarkably well to compensate when we aren’t taking care of them.  Once I get my water intake in check I can almost guarantee my weight goes back down within the next couple days.  Sometimes I think I am drinking enough but when I really measure it I laugh at myself!


A huge thing for me is negative self-talk.  Anna has taught me so much about life in her short amount of time so far.  If I step on the scale and start be-rating myself I stop and think, would I talk to my daughter that way?   A close friend that way? ANYONE ELSE THAT WAY?!?!  The answer is NO!  My heart would break if someday my little girl steps on a scale and feels disgust for herself.  


sarah and anna More Than a Number on the Scale


Well, I was once a little girl too and WE ALL DESERVE better than that!


I am far from perfect.  Lets use this past Christmas as and example.  My sister-in-law makes amazing treats and there is food upon food upon food.  In America’s standards I didn’t go crazy but I did gain around 6 pounds.  Ops! The average person gains seven pounds on this 2-week binger of a holiday so I was one pound ahead of the game!  This would have normally sent me in a tail-spin to lose those 6 pounds in 2 days and only eat spinach.  Well, my head did go there for a short moment and I may have eaten extra spinach after those weeks because I was actually sick of sugar.   When I stepped on the scale and saw that number I OWNED IT!  I had made a decision to eat extra treats and my weight did go up.  This was not anyone else’s fault but my OWN.  Because I don’t feel the need to be perfect I could forgive myself.  I then made a decision to change that number to going in the right direction instead of further up.  Over the course of the next month I was back to my happy place and it wasn’t painful and exhausting.   

Photo Jul 11 2 13 22 PM More Than a Number on the Scale

My thinking has shifted on what the scale is.  I am actually thankful for it!  It is now one of the many tools I use to keep me staying in the right direction.  It is not a place of shame or determines my worth as a person.  The scale is an opportunity to see where I am.   I am a HUGE(or not so huge anymore) emotional eater.   When my mental health starts to waver it shows on the scale within a few days.  When my weight is going up it is just an opportunity to take the time and investigate how I am doing emotionally. 


For me weighing in daily, ONCE A DAY, is such a blessing.  I can see when I am up a few instead of waiting for my pants to not fit and be up 10 pounds before I face what is going on inside of me.   





SO there are MY thoughts.  I often say I am not a wordy person, but this makes me think otherwise!


Hope this was helpful to some! 

Posted in Featured, Fitness, Life Without Walls by talltrainer | No Comments


It’s tough to find the truly biggest fear since I don’t spend much of my time trying to figure out everything I’m afraid of.  I know this is WAY up there on the fear scale.  It’s not snakes, public speaking, or cancer though all three can be very scary.


This fear came to mind as we (Tall Trainer Fitness) were selected for an award.


Screenshot 2014 05 22 05.45.29 198x300 My BIGGEST FEAR...

We won best service business in Canandaigua for 2014!  It is quite an honor considering all the great businesses that are in Canandaigua and the previous winners of this award!  I am humbled and thankful.  My initial reaction was one of gratitude and thankful that the work we do is noticed in the community.  I often feel like there is so much more we could do.  I have to hold back a little so I don’t give myself a nervous breakdown trying to do all the good I can imagine doing.  That’s when I had the thought, “Gee, if we win a service award I want to have better service!  I want to live up to the title of that award!”


I thought about a book I read by Robert Cialdini called “Influence” and he talked about a principle called Commitment and Consistency.  This is where they ask people to do something and because they say yes they are more likely to do it!  Did you know that being asked if you are going to vote in the upcoming election and you say yes actually makes you more likely to vote?  Especially if you make the commitment in front of more people!  Well I found myself behaving that way.  If I accept an award for service I had better have great service!  I began thinking of all the things I want to do better.  How we could help our clients more.  How we could help the community more.  How we could help other businesses more.  I was getting excited and overwhelmed.


That’s when my BIGGEST FEAR hit me.


I’ve made a bigger commitment!  Not only do I want to run a good business for our customers and community, but I have dedicated my work to God and his plans (the team has as well).  We have even done that fairly publicly by putting it up on our walls.


Screenshot 2014 05 22 06.17.50 My BIGGEST FEAR...

There it is right behind me in this picture.  Our mission statement: “Restoring Bodies and Lives for the glory of GOD.”  No pressure there!  I tell our teammates (employees) that no one works for ME, no one would want to work for me!  You have to be working for something better than that and bigger than that.  I realize that by putting our mission statement up on the wall I am inviting a lot of judgment when I don’t perform to that level.  When I thought of this public display it made me want to apologize. I haven’t done this perfect nor will I do everything perfect in the future.  I want you to know I want to do it better than good, but I am still a work in progress and have probably let some people down at different points.  We try to serve our clients as best we can, but I still see tons of opportunities to be better.  So there it is, my fear of not living up to my calling and mission.


This is not a fear that paralyzes, it is a fear that keeps me on high alert.  When I used to tell people I pole-vaulted they often ask, “aren’t you afraid of heights?”  My answer is usually, “No, but I sure do respect them!  I’m not a fool…flying 16’ in the air is dangerous you need to have a healthy respect for the risks or else you are much more certain to get hurt.“


I respect the risks of making non-Christians angry or annoyed (you don’t have to be Christian to come we won’t beat your with Christianity), the risks of falling short of such a lofty goal, and the risk of looking like “perfect Christian man!”  I’m willing to face it because the benefits to myself, our team, our clients, and the community are worth it.


Do you have fear that stops you from taking the risk for something big?  Is it time you turned it into respect for the risks and throw in a dash of boldness to “do it anyway?!”  If you have one I hope you’ll share it in the comments below like I did.


I’ll be back soon with a little less DEEP talk :o)

Posted in Featured, Life Without Walls by talltrainer | No Comments

On the other side of “NO” there is Joy!

Fighting Temptations – Psychologically

pre rapture party On the other side of NO there is Joy!

“On the other side of No is JOY!” – Pastor Bill Bambach


Our temptations whether they be food, sex, alcohol, gambling, work, and other good things used wrong all lie to us.  They tell us do _______________ because it will make you happy.  It’s exciting.  Tasty.  Fulfilling.  And for a few brief moments they are.  We indulge in our temptation and get our fill/fix.  Then what?….


Well if you are like me then a feeling of regret takes the place of the all too brief enjoyment.   I’ve had this happen to me simply watching television.  It promised me a break from my stressed and busy mind.  “I’ll just watch a little.”  Is what I tell myself.  “I’ve worked hard I DESERVE a mental break.”  Hours later when I finally muster the willpower to shut it off, what am I left with?  All the stressors I had before I watched TV AND now I have less time so I am even more stressed.   If food is a temptation for you think back to your last emotional eating encounter.  The food promised to be yummy and take the stress or sadness away.  When you finished eating and came back out of your eating bliss, did you have less stress or perhaps more because your weight is one of your stressors?


“Eat what makes you happy!”


I overheard a couple ladies at a restaurant.  That was the advice being dolled out.  I agree and disagree.  The statement is too vague.  Eat what makes you happy right now?  Eat what makes you happy when you try on clothes?  Eat what makes you happy at the doctors office?   I want you happy.   Not for minutes or hours and then you feel worse.  I want you happy for a lifetime.  There is a word you use to help bring in that long term happiness.  We don’t say it enough.  It can bring unspeakable joy into your life.


That word is “NO!”   When we say no to a temptation (food or other) we might feel a little sad at first that we missed a big time high.  After the quick sadness there is a feeling of control, power, and a little pride in yourself.  One of my favorite moments happens often at the scale when we weigh someone in before a workout.  Someone begins describing this amazing dessert that everyone around them was eating.  They look at me like they just hit a home run to win the world series and say, “And I didn’t have any!”  They were not sad.  They had just lost weight, gotten healthier, AND boosted their confidence into the stratosphere (that’s like WAY up there).  The twinkle in their eye, smile on their face, and spring in their step most definitely said On the other side of No there is JOY!


Trainers Note:  I’m not against all desserts as you will read about in other areas BUT, if you are struggling with your will power and weight and belief in yourself you are probably going to have to say no for awhile so you can improve those areas and get some of that REAL joy back in life.

Posted in Featured, Train your Brain by talltrainer | No Comments

The Sarah and Jeremy Story

God has blessed me with an amazing woman.  She stretches me to be better.  I love her like crazy!

We have now been married 4 years though both Sarah and I both agree it feels like 10!  But in a good way.  I cannot imagine life with out her and it feels like we are old friends, like I’ve known her when I was a kid.

Here is a quick story of our adventures up to this point:

How we met -

Actually online.  I had joined match.com and put a profile together because I was so busy working I was never in a social situation to meet someone.  I was planning on going on several dates just to see what was out there.  I went on one before Sarah and we had very little in common, and the whole dating thing didn’t seem so fun then.  Sarah saw a commercial and was curious that she went on “just to look”.  She saw a few people she knew that were definitely NOT the type of guy she wants.  She got to my profile and thought I was interesting.  She saw my business name on there and looked it up and then friend requested me on facebook.  She was going to undo that in the morning but I already accepted because I get up so early.  First picture I saw of her. (doesn’t Stella’s tounge look extra long as first glance?)

1933 1080772172412 4721 n The Sarah and Jeremy Story

We met for a date in naples – supposed to be bob n ruths but they were closed for the season still.  (march 21, 2009).  We ate at luigi’s and went for a walk.  Going into the date I wasn’t too excited because she lived so far away.  Once I met her I had to go on another date, and then another.

We numbered our dates as we went.

This video is from date #4  – quick version skip the videos the pictures below are better

I never thought I’d be able to marry someone until YEARS of knowing them.  I asked Sarah to marry me on our 23rd date (about 2.5 months from our first date)  (6/5/2009)

Here is a video as I picked up the ring.


So she said yes and we got married 2.5 months later!  (5 months to the day from our first date!)

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Then Sarah ran a marathon.  (she was training for it before we even met!)  I of course dressed like an idiot so she could see me from far away.

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We moved into an apartment on park ave.  Stayed there for 5-months.  Heat bill was crazy (old house) and didn’t feel like our space. So Sarah talked me into using our wedding money to buy a 1984 single wide trailer.

Screen Shot 2013 08 20 at 7.34.15 PM 1024x586 The Sarah and Jeremy Story

We lived in that trailer for about a year and a half before we moved to start trying for a baby.  (we paid off a TON of student loan debt in that trailer).  We agreed to start looking in September, Sarah just wanted to check out the market in May.  So we bought a house and closed in June.

253565 2038297189939 2928054 n 300x225 The Sarah and Jeremy Story250145 1983767266725 6459367 n 225x300 The Sarah and Jeremy Story(can u see sarah?)

Tall Trainer Wise, I married Sarah when all we had was one AM class (5:30 am) and one PM class (5:30 mon/wed, 6:00 tues/thurs).  Sarah has been a HUGE part of tall trainer’s success.  We would not be here without her support but more importantly her hours and hours of work, and MOST important her crazy insight that I can only guess comes from God because it’s CRAZY how good she is when she has a “FEELING” or Idea.

219464 1809943021819 8250258 o 779x1024 The Sarah and Jeremy Story

We’ve had some fun.  (making fun of the end of the world predictions)

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We got a couple trips in before we were ready for the baby.  (colorado – honeymoon, maine, mexico, myrtle beach)  Below is a picture of mexico trip, we don’t even do the beach well, had to climb something)

305795 2348591187095 1818201521 n 300x225 The Sarah and Jeremy Story

Sarah has managed to get sick on nearly every vacation.  In mexico it was day one food poisoning from the lunch buffet, yep, we got to go to a mexican hospital she dehydrated so bad.  She’s way tougher than me and in a day and a half she was bored of the beach and ready to climb something.

We announced to the boot camp classes that we wanted to pay off our student loans before we had a baby….which means we only have 6 more months!!!

Sarah onsie copy 300x225 The Sarah and Jeremy Story

That was fun to see the reaction slowly work it’s way through the room.  You guys are like family to us, so it was so great to be able to share the excitement with you.

We did manage to pay the last student loan off and become debt free except our house a few months before Anna Grace was born.

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Then Anna Grace showed up.  (tough birth story here)

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And boy oh boy what an adventure this year has been.  My favorite thing on the planet is being redeemed by Jesus Christ and having a relationship (that I stink at) with God, Second is being a husband to Sarah (still needs improvement), and third to be the daddy of this CUTE little girl!!!!!!!!!  (way out of my league)

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That brings me to this very moment…

Screen Shot 2013 08 20 at 8.13.53 PM The Sarah and Jeremy Story


(ok so the story is a LOT longer and has a LOT more details, If you want the full version you’ll have to invite Sarah, Anna, and I over for dinner :o)


I am a very blessed trainer.  I thank God often for my wife Sarah.  Without her my life is a pretty sad little thing.  With her I am living the dream.  Sarah, these 4 years have been the best years of my life by FAR!!!  Every year I become more and more amazed with you.  Wait, that isn’t true. every Day, hour, minute, and second I become more and more amazed with you.  Your physical strength (are you stronger than me now?).  Your Strength of WILL (50 hours of labor to bring Anna into the world).  Your wisdom (proven time and time again, and not in an I told you so way).  Your Patience (let’s face it, I’m not easy to be around for one hour in boot camp and you have me for hours and hours!).  Your decorating style (I live in a better house (and trailer) than I could have ever imagined).  Your CRAZY hard work (you inspire me to get my butt going).  Your ability to sacrifice for me and for Anna (thousands of ways). Your tasty food (you cook awesome!).  Your thriftiness that allowed us to pay off $98,000 in debt in 3.5 years.  Your Everything (too much more to say, I’ll just say it in person).


Happy Anniversary to my Best Friend, Girl friend, Fiance, Wife, and baby momma.  I love you!!!!


If 4 years feels like 10 then I can’t wait to spend another 200+ years with you!!!!  If you think my wife is awesome too, tell her in the comments!!!!

Posted in Featured, Life Without Walls by talltrainer | 4 Comments

My heart is broken and I’m speechless… (WAS)

Photo on 8 1 13 at 1.44 PM 300x200 My heart is broken and Im speechless... (WAS)(I’m choosing not to be any more)

There was a testimonial on a different local fitness business website.  It was from a VERY close friend and while it didn’t say anything bad about us it did bother me because of how close this person was and the way they said what they said.


I have decided that I am happy for them.  I am thankful for the good times we had.  I’m glad they found something more in line with what they wanted.  Because of comments from boot campers I have decided to pull my previous post off.  I feel wonderful that there are so many smart people I get to know.  Your comments are wise and I am going to take the advice.


Let it go!




Moving on!  There is so much awesome stuff going on.  New studio space.  Doubling our size!  I’m still a good ways through the book I’m writing.  I might take a break to get this move done.  I am excited about that.  We have some surprises for people in our classes.  We will be upping our level of service (if that’s even possible).  We even have a new mission statement.


Restoring Bodies and Lives for the glory of God.


That is why I got into this business in the first place.  I just never had a way to say it before.  We want to restore people physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually so they can get to the business God has put them on this planet for!!!

This is really exciting to me.


Anna Grace had a cardiologist appointment yesterday and the hole in her heart has closed up!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  Praise God!!  “there’s a hole in my hear that can only be filled by you!”  – been in my head for about 9 or 10 months.  Now it’s been filled!


We have the greatest people to work with (clients and teammates).  I appreciate you all.




I was on the news today talking about the fat burning zone!



Thank you all for the pep talks and private messages.  I can’t wait to get to the studio tomorrow for another GREAT DAY!!!  This reminds me of the sound of music.  “When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad.  I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feeeeeeeel, so baaaaaad!!!”  Thank you for the fast pick me up!


You guys ROCK!!

Posted in Life Without Walls by talltrainer | 16 Comments

Knees Hurt?…My advice

Knees Hurt?…My Quick Advice


knee pain 300x204 Knees Hurt?...My advice

You aren’t alone according to a CDC (center for disease control survey) 18% of adults over 18 years old reported to have experienced knee pain in the previous 30 days.  We deal with an older group than that so we see people with knee pain all the time.


Of course this advice would need to be tailored to you specifically and we can do that in a one-on-one session, but this is my quick advice to you.  These are things I look at and encourage for our clients.




This is #1 – There are some instances of knee pain that you can get to go away almost instantly with a good stretch and some that take weeks of stretching to go away.  If you are having knee pain you might try stretching.  (if you just blew out your knee going to a doctor is a WAY better idea than stretching).


Here is a video of a little known technique we use with our clients and it helps a little for some people and a TON for others.





The sitting position is not a great position for our knees to be in (lot’s of stress on the patella “knee cap”) and the more time you spend sitting the tighter your muscles get.




This is crazy but most people are chronically dehydrated.  Our joints have liquid inside called synovial fluid.  If we are dehydrated it will affect this fluid.  Have you ever seen a rubber band that’s been out in the sun too long?  Can you say SNAP!  That’s an extreme example of what’s happening in our body when we are dehydrated.  I recommend a ½ ounce per pound of body weight.  150 pounds?  Drink at least 75 ounces of water each day.  (the extra trips to the bathroom will even out as your body get’s used to the more reliable water intake, plus you’ll probably lose some weight!)




But do it right.  We have people come in all the time listing all the things they CAN’T do.  Often it’s just a matter of teaching proper posture and movement and they can STOP their pain.  Just the other day we had someone in our group class say their knees hurt.  We adjusted their position and problem solved.  Don’t PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN.  Figure out why it’s there and fix the cause!  If you’re lost that’s what we are here for!


When in doubt REST and see a professional.  Don’t make a small problem into a big problem by trying to ignore it or work through it. 


Have questions?  Ask me below!  I promise to comment back!

Posted in Featured, Fitness by talltrainer | 7 Comments

The Arlen I Knew

I heard about Arlen’s passing this morning from Sarah over the phone. I felt sick to my stomach and like I was in some kind of surreal dream. After hanging up the phone, I sat in my car and cried for some time until I felt exhausted and drained of tears. I just couldn’t believe I wouldn’t talk to him again.


I had just talked with Arlen on Thursday and he had told me all about the inspirational quote (see Jeremy’s blog) about the pianist that missed practices. At the start of boot camp, I asked some nutrition question and no one really answered. Someone in class shouted, “Hey Arlen! How come you didn’t answer? You’re a doctor aren’t you?” I piped in, “Arlen’s just trying to be humble and give someone else a chance to answer because he always knows the answer.” We all laughed together (including Arlen) and he just smiled and winked at me. During the workout, I remember correcting Arlen’s form on a particular exercise (I think it was tricep extensions) and he just smiled and said. “Yeah, I always have trouble with this one because of my old shoulder injury.”

 Arlen Grass Skirt The Arlen I Knew

After the workout was over, Arlen jumped right in and started cleaning up. He noticed an old outlet fixture on the wall and said, “I’ll get those fixed up for you; I have a whole bunch of those plate covers at home.” I said, “Oh that’s okay, Arlen, you don’t have to do that.” He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “I know I don’t have to…I want to.” He smiled and began visiting with one of the other boot campers.


I always looked forward to seeing Arlen each day. Everyone in boot camp did too. He was an inspiration to us all. Arlen would often share a personal story or motivational tidbit at the start of class. One day he told us about his basketball playing days and the importance of living an active life. One day we each shared something we were thankful for and Arlen told us about his grand children, homemade bread, and being grateful he could be so active at his age.


Arlen even brought Tanya and I a homemade loaf of bread he’d made that was absolutely DELICIOUS! That was the Arlen I knew—the man who was always GIVING—the man who was always SMILING—the man who was always WORKING—and the man who was always MAKING US SMILE.


The first time I met Arlen was at crosswinds when Jeremy and I led a boot camp together. Arlen seemed serious and all business when I first met him. I thought, boy he must be a real uptight kind of guy. Was I wrong! Arlen surprised me on several occasions by how much of a comedian and entertainer he could be. One day he joked about being the only guy in a whole class of girls. He said it’s kind of like being in a Harem. We all laughed so hard. He said to all the girls, “You can all just call me Arlene…I’m just another one of the girls.” We were all in stitches picturing Arlen as a girl. A few weeks later (just a couple of weeks ago) Arlen entertained us again when he put on a grass skirt in class and began dancing around waving his arms and hips. Everyone in class was laughing so hard that some of us had tears.




Arlen was anything but uptight! He was just the opposite. He was always smiling; always sharing, always giving; always open to suggestion despite his tremendous knowledge, always positive and upbeat. He loved his family, his life, his friends, and we…I…loved him too!

530 pm Boot Camp The Arlen I Knew


I miss you horribly, Arlen, but I know you are with Jesus now and I can’t wait to see you again someday in FOREVER. Thank you for being such an example to me of the true nature of Christ and for being my friend.



Arlen The Arlen I Knew

Posted in Fitness, Life Without Walls by Trainer Bo | 3 Comments

I can’t believe he’s dead…

I can’t believe he’s dead.


Am I allowed to say dead?  I don’t know the right thing to say.  Passed, deceased, at rest, no longer with us.  All I know is he is one of those.  And that news hit me like a punch to the stomach.  I’m still reeling from it at it’s been almost 12 hours.


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Arlen (Dr.) Snyder

A dear friend and boot camp member is dead.  Arlen Snyder (of our 5:30 pm class), husband of Debbie Snyder (of our 6:30 am class).


He died over the weekend.


I found out when I was just checking in on Debbie as I knew she was out of town.  >


On Apr 15, 2013, at 7:50 AM, <jeremy@talltrainer.com> wrote:
>> Hey Debbie,
>> When do we get you back? How was your training? When does this new job start? So many questions! Hope you are doing well. I look forward to seeing you back in here!
>> The Tall Trainer,
>> Jeremy Biernat


I wasn’t expecting anything major.  I was just checking in.  Then I got a response back that I had to stare at for minutes to try to understand what it clearly said.


>> On my way home now. I took the red eye last night. Chad found Arlen dead at our home. Will be in touch, please pray for us. Love and miss you all. Debbie
> >Sent from my iPhone


What I am going to ask (if you are the praying type) to please pray for them.  They are both such amazing people.  Again, I’m still not REALLY believing this.


As I spend more time thinking about him my first reaction was…


“this SUCKS!!”


“this really really SUCKS!!”


Arlen was an awesome man and at only 76 I imagined 20 more years left in him.  Poor Debbie was out of town.  So not fair to her.  She had to get this news all the way in Arizona so far from home so far from him.


In this flurry of unfair and suckiness one thought pushed it’s way in.  I fought it because I wasn’t ready to think it yet.


I know exactly where this man is right now.  He’s not with us, he is with his Heavenly Father.


(If you aren’t a Christian I am sorry you may not enjoy/understand this)


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Arlen being significantly UN-fuddy dud at our hawaii spring break workout a couple weeks ago.

Arlen would want you to know about God.  He loved God.  And in all my interactions with him he showed it wonderfully.  When I first met him I thought he might be a fuddy dud.  But, oh man was he fun!  And caring!  And generous!


Him and Debbie both are.


They are the ones who let us borrow their big SUV thing for our conference in Washington, DC.  They even insisted under much protest from us to pay the gas.  We didn’t use all the money they gave us so I tried to sneak it back to them by putting it in the glove box.  A couple hours later Arlen drove back to the studio to give us the money again.  I of course protested again saying we used all we needed but he wouldn’t have any of it and I could tell I was not going to win this.


He loved giving and taking care of people.


Bo was reflecting today about all the fun, energy, and encouragement he had for the 5:30 pm boot camp.


Bo shared some of the last words he had with Arlen.


He told Bo a story the he read online or in a newspaper Bo didn’t know which.  It was a story about a world famous pianist.  They were interviewing him and he told the reporter, if I miss one day of practice I can tell.  If I miss two days of practice the critics can tell.  If I miss three days of practice the whole world can tell.


Arlen said, “you should use that in boot camp!”


He was always finding new things to help inspire people.  He’s right.  It can apply to boot camp.  If you miss one day of exercise, you can tell.  If you miss two days, your spouse can probably tell.  If you miss too many days the whole world will be able to tell.


If you didn’t know Arlen I am sorry for you.  He was a great guy to know.  If you did know Arlen well I guess I’m sorry for us too since now we know what we are missing.


In a moment like this it gives me perspective.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the flow of life that I don’t realize life is going by.

We aren’t guaranteed a single moment.


And I cannot guarantee that exercise will help you live longer.  (and since Arlen has been active his whole life I don’t know what extra time it may have given him)


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Arlen and the 5:30 class

What I can guarantee is that exercise and good nutrition can help you live better, happier, healthier.  Arlen enjoyed the benefits of exercise.  He LOVED working out with his group.  And when we had to tell them today it was clear they LOVED working out with him.


If I could some how wrap this up it would be with 3 statements that I think Arlen would want you do know.


  • Love God
  • Love His people
  • Make sure you enjoy life WHILE it’s happening.


If you can get to a phone, call a loved one.  If they are in the house with you, step away from the computer and give them a hug.  Spend some quality time with them.  You don’t know when your next or last opportunity will be.  Turn off the forgettable TV.  Pray for Debbie and their family (pray for those in Boston while you’re at it).  Spend some time talking, playing, and really living.


I have no idea if I just said something terrible by writing this or not, but it was on my heart and I suppose is a version of therapy for me.


If you have any encouragement for Debbie or great Arlen stories.  OR just a reaction please share it in a comment so we can all benefit.


I care about you all so much.


God Bless,

Jeremy Biernat




P.S.  This still sucks.



Posted in Life Without Walls by talltrainer | 14 Comments

Out-Train the Trainer Part 3

Bo 1 for 3 Out Train the Trainer Part 3


It’s close
to the end of our second month of our
our new stats and photos are in!

Scorch Out Train the Trainer Part 3

The results speak for themselves!


We have one month left to go and it will be our most challenging and difficult month yet. It’s crunch time and now is not the time to slack off! Cue “Eye of the Tiger” sound track.

Floyd rockie Out Train the Trainer Part 3arrow Out Train the Trainer Part 3

adrian Out Train the Trainer Part 3

Yo’ Adrian!! We did it!!

For the month of February, we will be taking our diet and exercise to the next level. We will gradually begin to increase our cardio outside of boot camp for some extra fat burning. Getting more physical activity outside of our normally scheduled one hour a day workout can really help propel fat loss. Just take a look at how much time the contestants on Biggest Loser are working out! If you really want more rapid fat loss, getting extra activity outside of boot camp may be just the ticket. Walking, jogging, cycling, etc. are all great low-intensity activities you could do on a regular basis. Save the high-intensity workouts and resistance training for the class. If you ever get a chance to read the book, “Where Did All the Fat Go?” by Dr. Huizenga (Doctor of Biggest Loser), you’ll see the rationale behind getting more physical activity. Dr. Huizenga actually set up a weight loss program for the individuals that had attempted to make it on the show, but were not selected. They followed a two-hour a day workout (6 days a week) for the length of the Biggest Loser TV challenge. Many of them had even more weight loss than some of the contestants on the show! You’ll have to read it for yourself to get more of the specifics.

Along with our extra cardio will come the most important element of all—OUR DIET!!! Yes, DIET ALWAYS TRUMPS EXERCISE!!

 You need both, but diet is CRUCIAL for fat loss.

To really enhance fat loss for this last month, we will be following a protocol called “carb-cycling.” It is essentially three days of lower/slower carb intake followed by a one day high carb day. We will repeat the cycle continually throughout the month. **It
is NOT a “low carb” diet (I HATE LOW-CARB DIETS and think they are awful for our health), but a “lower” and “slower” carb diet. We will be eating tons of low-glycemic veggies along with modest intakes of fat and protein.

 It is not in the scope of this article to go into the finer details of carb cycling, but watch
the blog for a detailed account to be coming soon.



Here are our current updated photos and stats as of January 18, 2013:

Results Out Train the Trainer Part 3

Posted in Fat Loss Strategies, Fitness by Trainer Bo | No Comments