BEGREATGUYS #5 — My exam story (Try Again)

I have learned many things, some of which made a difference in my life. One of which, is learning to “try again”, which for some is easy enough but for others like myself, “trying again” is scary and makes us overwhelmed, makes us anxious and gives us stress. Stress we don’t need nor want. I can tell you of many incidences where I wanted to try again but didn’t due to fear and not knowing, due to low self esteem and negative thinking and due to lack of courage. I grew up on “trying” and giving it my best; my mom always told me and my siblings this growing up — and even then it was easier said than done. Almost like now. Where trying something for a second or third time seems like a waste of time, especially when you don’t know how it will end. 

I learned REAL soon, that trying again can be the door that opens opportunity — All it takes is a positive mindset, belief in yourself and capabilities & your “why”  (in other words the reason that you NEED to try again, why is this important to you) because without a why, you lose focus and give up. This almost happened to me within this year. 

Just recently I got certified in Personal Training by ACSM (one of the hardest personal training exams right next to CSCS) and holds the “Gold standard” for the fitness industry because it was the FIRST certification and very few people pass this exam the first time let alone the second time. I graduated college May 2016 and took the exam for the first time December of 2016 and FAILED. Mind you it cost me 300 dollars to take it, and I didn’t have whole lot of financial stability at the time, so I knew it would take some saving up before I could afford it while also having to afford bills. I was very discouraged this first time (you can take it after 15 days with a discounted price) but at the time I could not afford to retake it, so I went a whole other year before re-taking it again. The first time I cried and got very upset. The second time, I had something new weighing on me, they were changing the cirriculum for this exam after this test date, so if I failed it this time, it meant having to buy new books & taking time to study the new material (expenses and time) so I retook the test Dec. 2017 and FAILED, again. Now I was very pissed off, I had cried at the gym when telling my boss/owner and sharing the news with a couple of gym members, it was like the world was falling on top of me and I couldn’t breath and didn’t know what to do, I started to think that maybe I was too dumb for this test — people gave me other names of personal training certs I could do: ACE, NASM, ISSA, etc but I didn’t want to do those, I wanted ACSM, it appealed to me because of the recognition it receives and how few people have passed. I wanted to pass it. 

In the meantime while my self esteem was low, I started looking into other cert options in case I wanted to give up on ACSM (and do know I did want to give up) because I even got ahold of NASM and talked with a rep about being interested in taking their exam and pricing and same with ACE. I even researched ISSA to see what it was about. When it was all said and done, I decided I would give ACSM a try ONCE more, because the material was new, I figured I’d rather study this new stuff then to spend more money with a whole other company/cert. Once again I was praying I could afford the new books/study aids — thankfully Amazon had it for decent price and because of using the trial period of Prime, I was able to have them shipped quickly to my house. I got my books and dug in, I decided to once again make note cards, but beforehand, read both textbooks while taking notes in a notebook then used the notes on the notecards and made over 100+ note cards to study from and used the ACSM pocket prep app. I was focused, UNTIL I wasn’t, I had set the date to February to retake the test but realized I wasn’t ready yet, so changed it to March but because I was too busy having fun on my birthday — I changed the date to April to give me more time to study (which I didn’t use my time to study very well) I got distracted by friends and wanting to hang out that I put my studies in second place & the times I could study I would have rather been able to go to bed early. I work two jobs so sleep is important to me. It wasn’t until a week before that I really dug into my notes and focused. I was overwhelmed but made it a priority to study because I didn’t want to keep rescheduling my exam. Long story short, I studies until midnight the night before and woke up bright and very, very early to eat breakfast, study and calm my nerves so I could come prepared with clarity. 

Walking into the testing center made me anxious but I was confident in myself and didn’t allow the nerves to take over my mind or fill me with negative thoughts. The test was 150 questions and I had to score 550 in order to pass. The test was HARD, very difficult but I could confidently say that I knew about 20 of the questions without pondering but the rest depended on memory, being able to answer practical questions and hoping that I can do a good job of guessing if I didn’t know the answer. Unlike the previous test, I went through all the flagged questions I had issues with and made sure I answered them to the best of my ability and even left 20 minutes on the clock before finishing the test because I took my time with this test, I wanted to do my best and give my best answers. 

I PASSED. I passed the test with a 557 score. I cried with a smile on my face and walked out that testing center not believing what just happened. I texted the first 5 people I wanted to share the news with and posted on Facebook the news. Everything was starting to make sense to me after this day, I didn’t give up. I could have very well not tried again but because I took the dive and TRIED AGAIN, I found out I could do it. I passed the exam and I am ever so blessed and happy with the results. Moral of the story, TRY AGAIN. 

“When you try something for the first time, you might find you aren’t the best at it, but doesn’t mean you can’t get better” – Shay-lon Moss

Shay-lon 

Check out my Instagram with the posted good news: ACSM cert

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Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is getting to be that time of year where people typically get more gloomy because of the weather, and the seasons changing. Not only do people tend to get allergies or aches/pains, their personalities or moods can change. I have to thank a friend of mine for bringing this disorder to my attention because we were talking about how the weather makes us both kind of “blah” because of the lack of sunshine and it becoming more and more cold outside. Neither one of us has been diagnosed with “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and I don’t believe I have it and neither does she, but it brought up a good point because this isn’t a disorder that I hear much about until it gets to be about this time of year – even then, I don’t think a whole lot of people think twice about it. I decided to do some research and learn something new about a disorder and hopefully share what I have learned with all of you, BUT I always appreciate it more when it comes from someone who has the experience because it is more realistic and more personal – so if you have something to add to this, please do in the comment section 🙂

 

First things first, what is seasonal affective disorder? In simple terms, it is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Most often occurs in the early fall/winter and usually ends sometime around spring/summer. Clearly not everyone loves the cold weather but it doesn’t mean you have seasonal affective disorder. With this being said, I have some fun information below:

 

Word of caution: This disorder is not considered as a separate disorder. In order for someone to be diagnosed with SAD, they have to meet the full criteria or major depression coinciding with specific seasons for ATLEAST 2 years. This means it needs to be more frequent compared to other depressions. So having said this, there are reasons for why someone would be diagnosed with this, this isn’t just somebody who doesn’t like winter or cold weather – more goes into a diagnosis. 

 

Signs/symptoms:

Winter Pattern:

 
  • Low energy 
  • hypersomnia
  • overeating
  • weight gain
  • craving for carbohydrates
  • social withdrawal 

Summer SAD:

  • poor appetite /weight loss
  • insomnia 
  • agitation
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • episodes of violent behavior

Then also consider some of the major depression signs/symptoms along with these. 

 

Risk Factors Associated with SAD

  • Females are diagnosed more often than men with this disorder (lucky us ladies!, lol)
  • Living further from the equator
  • Family history of depression
  • Younger age

Treatment options:

  • Medication
  • light therapy
  • psychotherapy 
  • Vitamin D

With this being said, Vitamin D supplements haven’t been 100 percent proven to treat seasonal affective disorder, but having more time in the sunlight seems to help and taking the supplements is neither here or there in research.. depending on the individual. Now there may be new treatments available or perhaps more treatments I have not listed, and so share them if you will. If you have your own way of dealing with SAD, please share it for my readers and so I can also learn something as well. Thank you for reading, please feel free to share, like, reblog, and follow!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon

 
 

Tip #6

Come to the Gym with a Plan in Hand

I am a huge advocate with coming to the gym with a “plan in hand”. Now for some of you, you already do this and for others of you, you don’t like having all the extra papers lying around or don’t like bringing your electronics to the gym with you BUT I am telling you, as tedious as it might seem, it is always better to come to the gym with exercises you already have planned out vs coming to the gym and having to pace around or stay on the treadmill until you decide what to do next. 

My course of action is written the night before or the morning of the workout as soon as I wake up, because typically I already have an idea of what muscle groups needs to be worked on or have a program I am following and so having it written down will allow me to stay accountable and also allow me to keep track of everything. I have two whole notebooks full of workouts and tons of random sheets of papers with all my workouts since day one of keeping track of my workouts – I am able to look back on everything I have done (but I also have another purpose intended for why I do this).

 

Sometimes in order to get results you have to do trial and error and keeping up with your workouts will be helpful to you in doing so. I even have to track my eating habits come Monday, so I have an app for that and I am debating on having a notebook for it but that might be a little redundant (but helpful if I lose my phone, etc) anyways, the point is, when you come to the gym prepared it lessens the time having to think about what to do and puts more emphasis on the actual workout time, it might help take away some anxiety, it allows you to remain accountable, it will increase your likelihood of sticking with a program, tracks your plateaus, allows you to make new goals for yourself, and in the long run might serve as an reward for all the hard work you put in! 

 

Do you track your workouts? how do you track them – paper or electronically?

 

Fitness WonderWoman

Shay-lon

I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

I will be first in line to admit that I have social anxiety (I believe I have mentioned this many times before) and while many people are in shock when I tell them this, because I come off outgoing and very talkative – this doesn’t mean anything, just means I mask it fairly well – not to mention, if you don’t understand social anxiety and what it means, you might not know what to look for when I am put in situations where I react. Now with this being said, this post will be both informative and yet, I will speak from my own experience as well, so hopefully you enjoy stories and perspective. I will start with the basics, what does it mean to have “social anxiety”?

 

Social anxiety is fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people BUT,  it stems from having a fear or anxiety of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. —- I have dealt with this fear ALL MY LIFE and it sucks because I wanted to be more like the ones who “don’t care what others think” but even when I try, I know deep down I still care (even when I play if off like I don’t) now with this being said, yes, there have been times where I literally do not give a shit about what others think of me, or how they perceive me, and that usually is when I am at the gym or grocery store because I just feel like I have built confidence in those scenarios/environments. Although if you put me inside a new gym or a grocery store in a different town or area, my social anxiety will kick in because it is a new surrounding with new faces and I don’t know how to handle it.. so I just freak out in my mind. For some people they avoid situations like so, but I have learned to force myself to step outside my comfort level and make myself intentionally uncomfortable in order to fight my anxiety. 

 

Now let’s discuss some of the symptoms & I’ll share which ones i have, if any:

 
  • Rapid heart beat- this is another one I experience
  • blushing or sweating- sweating is one for me
  • feeling of mind going blank – I have this one
  • makes little to no eye contact 
  • speaks with overly soft voice
  • self conscious in front of others, feeling of embarrassed or awkward – This one I have
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them – this one I have
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

Now, as you can see, I have quite a few signs/symptoms and some people have more or less, and not every situation do all these sign/symptoms display themselves. I personally know another sign/symptom that people I have dated have noticed and even people I have talked to, I tend to ramble when I speak in a conversation with someone, especially if I am interested in someone, or if I don’t know how to end a conversation, or if my nerves are all over the place. I know my ex used to mention that I ramble a lot on and off the phone and she would make jokes about it and I knew that sometimes it was awkward but since that relationship, I have been trying to get better at catching myself ramble and doing it less often. I guess for me, it is really tough to not ramble, because it is my way of comforting my anxiety or “hiding” it, but when people notice and make light of it, it makes me feel a little discouraged at times or feel insecure or puts me in an awkward position where I don’t know what to do or how to handle it – and that just means I went from social anxiety to now I am upset with myself and feeling really embarrassed by my actions. None of my friends or family have ever made comments on my rambling and that might be because I don’t ramble with them .. it’s weird, but also I am comfortable with them. I never notice other’s with social anxiety, it goes over my head if someone does and they are talking to me, because I am so focused on my own response and reactions & trying to come off less awkward that if anything I just assume you are shy and nothing more. 

 

Another thing I have noticed is, depending on the person and type of compliment they give me, I tend to get weird and say quick thank yous without even looking in your direction or I am pleasant and want to connect with you and my thank you comes off more friendly. I handle compliments better coming from females vs males as well. For some reason, I have yet to ever be awkward with a female who compliments me, but when it comes to males, it happens often unless I am comfortable with the male figure. Growing up, it wasn’t always like this but as I got older, it started to make sense as to why (& we won’t get into that at this point) but regardless I love compliments but handle them differently depending the nature of them, the sex and how comfortable I am with that person. I have known both, people who are flattered by compliments and others who get really tense and don’t like them.   

 

Causes:

There is NO one cause of it, but many factors that can lead to one possibly having social anxiety – but doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it just because you happen to have these issues but the chances could be greater. 

My mom has social anxiety and her’s is worse than mine, I would say, but she reacts to it differently than I do, on the other hand both of my younger siblings don’t seem to have it from the outside looking in, but I am not a professional so I wouldn’t actually know if they did unless they told me – so families can carry this trait. 

Misreading people’s behaviors toward you can be another cause of social anxiety- and I think I am decent at reading people, but I do tend to over analyze at times.

Underdeveloped social skills – this is a possible cause for myself. Growing up, I had friends but I was always the awkward duck, I didn’t know how to properly interact with others and not feel like an outcast and I think because I lacked some self confidence at times, I was always doing weird shit or saying weird random shit that in my mind was my way of trying to fit in but in reality was probably causing people to think I was weird or pushing people away. I developed a more comical personality in order to handle social situations and instead would always be the class clown and make people laugh and that is how I combated my own issues. 

 

As far as treatment goes, I never saw a professional for it, never had therapy or medication for it, and I refuse to go that far for myself because I think I have more of a handle on it now than I did in the past and I don’t feel like mine is very severe compared to other cases. I have learned to mask some of it, in order to push through and I have learned that if I force myself to confront my anxiety by stepping outside my comfort zone, it helps to build my confidence and encourages me to find ways to manage it better. For example, last year and previous years, I would go to Columbus here in Ohio for a weekend and stay in a hotel by myself and explore the city – downtown area, just walk and explore the stores, bars, etc all alone and  by doing that, I met people, I learned to find my own way and to handle situations that would make me uncomfortable and I loved doing that. This year, I went to a bar in my town alone, and the first time it went well, but the second time it went horribly and so I haven’t done it since then but I might consider doing it again at a different point in my life. My new goals to battle my social anxiety is to attend a movie alone and to eat at a restaurant alone because I am so used to doing them both with friends or family, so I want to step outside my comfort zone and do them by myself – also, I would like to attend a concert by myself and would love to drive out of town by myself again and explore another area .. so those are all goals to help me. 

 

I would love to hear from all of you with social anxiety, speak on what helps you, or try one of these ways of coping and let me know if it worked. If you enjoyed this post, like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 
 

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Mental health awarenesss

Welcome back bloggers to another mental health Thursday post! I hope all of you have been enjoying my mental health Thursday post, raising awareness on mental health and making it less of an omen & giving understanding. I am not sure if any of you have heard of PTSD, but if you have, you probably have commonly heard war veterans speak on it — but it isn’t exclusively happening to just war veterans but also the general population as well. I know someone personally who has PTSD, hell, I probably know more than a couple of people and each of them handle it differently and have different reasons as to why they have it. I won’t discuss their stories because that is private information but if anyone wants to leave in the comments or email me their own experience, that is fine, otherwise I don’t expect people to be as open about their experiences because it becomes really personal. 

 

Now keep in mind, all my information about PTSD does NOT mean that it is the same for everyone, everyone is an individual case so treat my answers as such. If you know someone who has PTSD, I am either hoping this will help give you insight, possible understanding and perhaps help you have a better handle on things because I dated someone who allegedly had PTSD (wasn’t brought to my attention until the break up) and the way they explained it, they couldn’t but I could tell something wasn’t right at the time with this person and while they never did get a diagnosis; they figured they did enough research to narrow it down to PTSD — I wish I could have known sooner because maybe it wouldn’t have been too late to look into handling a relationship with someone with possible PTSD but with that being said, many spouses who live with someone with this condition, it can sometimes be stressful and very exhausting if you don’t understand or if you are feeling abandoned, it is never easy to put your foot into someone else’s shoes if you have never experienced what they have experienced and while we sympathize with them, it doesn’t mean we have a hold on the issue at hand – because sometimes we don’t, sometimes we find ourselves thinking we ‘got it’ just to find out we we’re way wrong, and that’s okay because we are only human. 

 

What is PTSD?

 
  • Failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event 

Not everyone with PTSD has gone through a painful event – losing a loved one can also cause this to happen. 

Symptoms

  • Flashbacks/reliving the event (nightmares, etc)
  • scary thoughts
  • Avoiding places, or situations that remind you of the event
  • Might have more negative beliefs or feelings
  • hyperarousal
  • feelings of hopelessness, shame or dispair
  • possible drinking or drug issues
  • employment issues may occur
  • relationship issues may occur
  • depression 
  • anxiety
  • many of the symptoms depending on the severity could lead to suicide.. 

Children with PTSD

  • Might experience bed wetting habits
  • Forgetting how to or being unable to talk
  • Acting out the event during playtime
  • Could be unusually clingy to a parent or other adult
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Act out the event through drawings 
  • Could become more irritable or aggressive
  • Might have problems with friends, or school work
  • might try to avoid going to school
  • depression as they get older
  • anxiety
  • withdrawal or possible reckless behavior as they get older

Risk Factors

PTSD can happen at any age! 

  • war veterans
  • sexual abuse
  • physical abuse
  • loss of a loved one
  • witnessing a dangerous event happen to a loved one
  • childhood trauma
  • having a history of mental illness
  • having little to no social support after the event
  • Stress after the event can make PTSD more likely

With this being said, PTSD can occur soon after the event or take months to years before it triggers & it can come and go. Again, everyone is different. 

 

Treatment:

  • Psychotherapy for PTSD
  • Medications

The ONE thing is for sure, we always want to push people to ask for help, but sometimes that person doesn’t always realize they have an actual issue and some people live in denial. You can offer help, but doesn’t mean they will take it. I once told somebody: “getting help seems easy to do coming from people from the outside looking in, but for me, it is letting go of my pride, being vulnerable and accepting it and that’s just not easy to do” so take that how you will, but in knowing my own situation, my anxiety and how it hinders me sometimes – that’s how I feel about things, hints why I have never sought out help BUT don’t do as I do, do what works best for you, and your circumstances because help is important in order to better handle things sometimes. I will mention, my anxiety is A LOT better than where it used to be but it probably would have saved me a whole hell of lot more to seek help back when. It’s never too late to ask for help or seek a professional, so don’t give up on yourself. 

 

P.S I will always be honest with my readers about how I handled my own mental health issues and break downs, etc and I will be the FIRST person to say, I don’t seek professional help for things I go through, because I just deal with it & sometimes I pay a hell of a lot of consequences and sometimes I come out okay, but regardless, my pride and stubbornness gets the best of me,  and that’s why I am a bad example , lol 

 

Hope all of you have enjoyed this post, be sure to like, comment,share and follow!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 

Multiple Personality (Mental Health Awareness)

Thursday is mental health awareness on my blog.

I make it known to you the different kinds of mental health conditions and illnesses that may be overlooked, looked down upon & hope it gives you some insight – if not insight, then some interest in wanting to do your own research. I have always said and will continue to say, I am all for keeping a mental balance, one that is just as important as your physical attributes if not more important. Today’s topic of choice is “Multiple personality”, many of you may have studied this, or perhaps deal with this condition, and myself, has worked with individuals first hand who have this condition and many others. I might not understand 100 percent everything that comes with this, but having learned from watching, from textbooks and online research, I have learned quite a bit. My hope is that my viewers (you) will come forth and share what you know with me and my readers because I always appreciate more information that is current or will help people to understand. 

 

What is ‘Multiple Personality”

Another word for this is “Dissociative Identity Disorder” –

When two or more identities, or personality states are present in and alternatively taking control of an individual. 

 
  • Some individuals can have two and others can have 30.. it all ranges. 

Characterized by a fragmentation, or splintering, of identity rather than by proliferation, or growth of separate identities” PsychologyToday

  • “Certain circumstances can cause or stressors can cause a particular identity to emerge, and the various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or in conflict with one another” psychologytoday

Symptoms:

  • memory loss of specific times, people and events
  • possible out of body experiences
  • depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide
  • detachment from your emotions
  • lack of sense of self identity

Causes:

  • No definite answer but said to have come from trauma (sexual or physical abuse) – developing a way to deal with the trauma
  • combat and natural disasters can cause DID as well

Treatment:

  • Psychotherapies 
  • medications – none of which treat the disorder but can help treat the mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, etc) 

With proper treatment of this disorder, it is said that many can improve their ability to function in their occupation and personal lives. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

I Did a GUEST POST: College & Fitness

https://designandscheme.com/2017/08/08/college-fitness/

Alright everyone, 

for those of you who didn’t know, I was asked to do a guest blog for a friend about college and fitness – preparing high school seniors for college and freshmen college students for what is to come. I share some nifty tips and advice and give you some real world examples of what temptations will lie in the way and share some personal experiences as well. I hope that not only will you support this blog post and share it among your peers, but that you will take the time to check out her blog as a whole because it is also speaks on time management skills. Thank you for your support! leave feedback in the comments!

Fitness Wonder Woman

Shay-lon xo