I Love Martial Arts Georgia

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kick Stress's Butt!

Kick Stress’s BUTT!

Alright y’all. Here we go. A lot of you may not know this but I’m a mental health therapist
for my day job. While many of my clients have serious mental health illness, environmental
factors often worsen their symptoms. Stress levels and people’s abilities to manage their
stress not only impacts their mental health but is also of great importance for their physical

When the body is exposed to a stressor, a series of hormones are secreted. Initially this
gives you extra energy (think fight or flight) which is super helpful if you’re being chased by
a tiger or someone tries to attack you in a dark ally. The hormones are then supposed to
help your body return to normal. Typically this means eating to replenish the energy and
calories you burned by kicking your attacker’s ass and delivering a sequence of perfectly
performed kickboxing skills to the attacking tiger.

Unfortunately, you don’t always have the opportunity to use your highly refined and effective
cross, hook, uppercut, side kick combination when faced with stressors. Today’s world is
hectic and, yes, stressful. You have the kids’ HapKiDo (or ballet if you have a little princess
like me), school/work, cooking delicious yet healthy meals for your family, making sure your
pets are cared for, the leaky toilet, and hundreds of other little things to occupy your mind
each day. It’s no wonder we’re all stressed.

While your stress response hormone system works really well for physical dangers, most
modern day stressors don’t just last for a few minutes and the hormones that are supposed
to help out body return to normal stayed elevated. Here’s something that you may not have
known - chronic stress leads to increased appetite. As many of us know too well, that often
leads to weight gain – I know if did for me.

When stressed, the body’s natural inclination is to move. Many of us, however, don’t have
the ability to drop everything and run around for a while to expel the excess energy. The
movement in which we do engage? Yes, you guessed it, eating… Yet another factor
contributing to weight gain due to stress.

Here’s the good news. The most effective method for stress reduction is exercise. Not only
will you be moving your body in a way that will effectively utilize the extra energy you have
from stress, but exercise also produces biochemicals which can counter some of the
negatives about high stress levels.

What’s even better? Kickboxing as exercise! Almost everyone we ask about their favorite
part of class is getting to hit the bags. I wonder why that is? It’s so cathartic. Troubles at
work? Take it out on the bag. Jerk cut you off on the way home? JAB! CROSS! HOOK!
Whether you think about someone or something (those pesky love handles) it can help
motivate and fuel you to work harder and burn more calories. The way I see it, kickboxing
kills 2 birds with 1 stone - you get to reduce your stress levels AND burn calories all while
having fun and making new friends. Sounds like winning all around to me.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weight Loss Success Formula

Weight Loss Success Formula

Working out, healthy eating, and dedication; the most efficient formula to weight loss success!  This is always a lot easier said than done, but it’s about breaking old habits and creating new ones.  These new habits become the building blocks of an exciting new way of life.

The working out part only takes an hour of my whole day and half of working out is just showing up.  The benefits of working out include relieving stress, improving self-confidence, boosting your energy level and of course Weight Loss!  My kickboxing program is the fast and fun way to meet these goals.

This brings us to the second part of the formula, healthy eating.  You don’t have to completely give up eating the foods you love to lose weight, just watch the portion sizes of those high calorie items.  Substitute side items for healthier alternatives, such as green beans instead of fries.  Stop “dieting” and consider making these small permanent changes as part of your healthy new lifestyle! 
Everything comes with time and hard work, so the more dedicated you are to making your lifestyle change, the faster your weight loss results will come.  Set goals and always keep pushing yourself, and think about how much better you feel after working out and making healthy eating choices!
Lyndsay Smolarsky
ILKB Instructor
Grayson GA

Monday, October 7, 2013

The infamous Baby Weight

      I began my weight loss journey only a few short months ago in June 2013. Let me start from the beginning, I had my first daughter in 2008 and gained a whopping 75 pounds. On February 17, 2008 I gave birth to Alyssa Marie and weighed in at 193 lbs. Within the first month I dropped down to 177 and remained there until I got pregnant with my second daughter in 2011.

      I always planned on loosing more weight before I got pregnant again, but I never could keep it off. I really watched what I ate for the majority of my second pregnancy, determined to not gain as much as I did the first time. On June 21, 2012 I gave birth to Ava Madison and weighed 210 lbs.  That was more than I ever wanted to weigh. Being over 200 lbs was scary for me. I needed to do something about it fast.

   Having two kids helped me to keep moving, but I have always struggled to eat as healthy as I should. I think that has a lot to do with why I am still holding on to my baby weight.  I have tried many different eating plans and diets, none of them stuck. I am a pretty picky eater to begin with, so the prepackaged meals were not my thing.  I love sweets and carbs, but who doesn’t? I am learning to have smaller portions of the things I love, instead of cutting out completely.

   I have never been big into exercising, only doing a little here and there. I own an elliptical, treadmill and Pilate's machine. They live in my garage, out of sight out of mind. I go through spurts where I will work out hard for a few days. Then I get burned out and stop. This is how I have been exercising my entire life. I was not making any progress in my weight loss and I was becoming depressed.

   A few weeks before Ava turned one, I weighed in at 190 lbs. My mother-in-law, who also struggles with weight loss, bought us a Groupon for 5 classes at ILoveKickboxing.com/Choe’s HapKiDo Grayson. She had done kickboxing years ago and loved it.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it out. So, I called and scheduled our first class… I knew it would be intense, but holy cow I have never worked out so hard in my life. After the first class we signed up for one year, knowing that it was going to lock us in and force us to stick with it for at least the duration of our contract.

    I have continued to attend kickboxing classes 2-4 times a week, along with a slight change in my diet. I eat a salad almost every day for lunch and have cut back on my snacking at night. It has been around 4 months since I started and I now weight 170 lbs. and have dropped 3 pants sizes. I don’t weigh myself on a weekly basis,  it’s more like once a month. I actually don’t own a scale. My main goals are dropping dress sizes, becoming stronger and living healthier life style for myself and my family.
Malia Drake

Friday, September 6, 2013

Exercise and Happiness

Exercise and happiness

Have you ever looked at everyone at the end of a high energy fitness class? Most people look like they can barely move another muscle, their body is tired, and sometimes they can barely stand up…. But almost everyone seems to have a bright and happy smile on their face! Why is this?


I am a Martial Arts and Fitness Kickboxing Instructor and I have taught and taken many types of fitness classes, and it seems that there are a lot of happy people that are involved in fitness activities. One big part of this is that when you exercise it releases endorphins and chemicals in your body like dopamine. These chemicals stimulate receptors in your brain and nervous system, making you feel good!

Also most fitness classes are goal oriented! Most people don’t just “go work out”…. There is a reason. Mostly for toning, health, and weight loss. People that are actively pursuing their goals and seeing results as they move closer to them, have a great feeling of confidence. A person that is not improving or making progress in any part of their life, may not have much reason to be happy. But someone who goes to the gym and is meeting small goals towards improving their health or weights loss has huge reason to be happy. Not only will this happiness follow into other areas of a person’s life, so will the effort. If you feel better you make more goals, and try harder in every aspect of your life. It’s kind of a snowball effect

Another main reason why people involve in these programs are so happy, is because they meet a lot of really cool people that share the same goal as them! In Martial Arts we say that a family is a group of people united by a common goal! So when you come to class, feel like you’re in a family atmosphere, and make great friend, you are bound to be happy. The friends that you make also help to hold you more accountable, so you are more likely to reach your goals that you set, and make it to class more, which means the snowball is still getting bigger

If you are interested in finding out more of the benefits of being healthy and active, please follow the links below, and if we can’t help you personally reach your fitness goals, then we would be happy to help you find someone who will!