Melanie Sobocinski FITNESS

Melanie Sobocinski FITNESS

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How I overcame my lower back pain

How I overcame my terrible back pain.

About 11 years ago I started with severe back pain. I don’t even know what caused it or where it came from. I hadn’t injured myself or anything like that. I’m sure carrying around my 2 year old son didn’t help the situation much either.  Everything hurt my back, sitting, standing, driving, walking for long periods of time laying down and even working out would cause me pain. I kept trying to ignore it until one day I bent over and pretty much could NOT get back up. It took all I had in me to stand back up. That’s when I decided it was time to do something.  Now, back pain is quite common in my family. I can remember my dad having back issues when I was younger and he went to a chiropractor to help with his pain. So, of course, I had to try this out. I had already gone through the over the counter pain meds and not much had helped.

I started out seeing the chiropractor and at first I thought “Oh this is causing me more pain than I started with.” I of course asked about that and she did tell me that I would feel more pain at first until everything was adjusted and then my pain would ease. The drive alone was killing my back.  After having X-rays done we realized that my spine was a bit crooked and I had uneven hips. Who knew? So right away she started treatment and had me fitted for orthotics for my shoes to help with the hip issue. (I contribute the hip issue to carrying my son on my left hip. That hip is higher than my right but nothing has been confirmed, it’s just my assumption cuz he was a rather large little boy.)  Let me tell you, those also hurt my feet when I first started using them. I of course asked about that and was told I would adjust. So I wore my orthotics and continued treatment of my spine.

It seemed as though my back got better but there was still pain that was hindering me from my daily activities. Not that I don’t mind not having to clean BUT I seriously would have to lay flat for a few days after I would clean my house. NOT FUN!  At that point the chiropractor examined things further and sent me for an MRI, which showed I had 3 herniated discs in my lower lumbar. L 4, 5 and 6 ( I think) and a little something going on with S1. So our next step was Physical Therapy.

I learned quite a few things when I started therapy. First and foremost, I had a WEAK core. I was amazed and how terribly weak it was. I also learned what exercises to do to help strengthen my core; sit ups are not the key here.  Through Therapy I was able to regain my core strength and this is where my working out comes back into the picture. I started working out and really focusing on my core. I worked on a lot of balance issues, took yoga, worked on the machines in the gym, took classes, and even started running a bit. I could not believe how much better I felt. It was amazing.

From this point on I had decided that I never wanted to feel that pain again and was going to do whatever it took to stay pain free. I continued to work out and go to the chiropractor. I even became a personal trainer and fitness instructor. Well, when I started teaching classes things even felt better. I focused a lot of my training and classes around core strength. Planks are my favorite!! I then started teaching a boot camp class. Well, you know that has to be brought to a different level and I sure brought it. I brought it alright, right into another back issue. If you could have seen me walk out of that classroom that day. I swear it took me 15 minutes just to walk to my car. I thought for sure I had ruptured a disc. I was crushed, not to mention the pain I was in.

Ironically, I had a chiropractor appointment that next day. So I hobbled into the office and said to them “You’re going to kill me!” They knew by the way I was walking that something was NOT right. I remember filling out the paper and when it asks how high your level of pain is on a scale of 1 to 10 and I put 12!! I thought I was dying. She sent me for another MRI and thankfully there were no ruptured discs. WHEW!! So we continued with treatments 3 times a week and a bit more therapy. It helped but I was still not completely out of pain. At that point my chiropractor mentioned that we may need to look into pain management. I remember thinking I have been coming here for 9 years and you have NEVER even mentioned pain management. She is not one who will push meds on you unless it is absolutely necessary. At this point she thought it was. So yes, I did end up going in for a cortisone shot. So the shot, therapy and continued chiropractic treatment helped me tremendously. We also discussed my diet and since then I pretty much eat an anti-inflammatory diet. This means I limit the carbs and sugar in my diet. YEP, they are inflammatory. Trust me, I feel it when I eat too much of these foods.

How am I today? Well, I have learned that I can still add intensity to my workouts but the level MUST be safe for my back. I am pretty much able to do all exercises; I just listen to my body. I believe the exercising had helped me tremendously along with the continued treatment at the chiropractor. Had I not been working on my core strength all this time, my little boot camp mishap could have been a LOT worse. I still stay away from sugars and carbs most of the time. I have minimal pain because of all this.

 I am thankful that I was open to learn more about my back and why it was causing me so much pain. I didn’t want to use the pain as an excuse for everything. I wanted to live a painless life and was not going to let it define me. It has been 11 years since I first started treatment on my back and I am so glad I continue to this day. My pain is not 100% gone, and it probably never will be but I am able to do my daily activities without any issues now.


Click on the picture to see lower back stretches


With all that I have learned I have decided to share it with you. I have a few videos on core strengthening exercises and lower back stretches. I hope you find them as beneficial as I do.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Veggetti Experience

So I would like to share a little recipe, along with my experience with using the VEGGETTI for the first time ever. I don't usually cook pasta anymore in this house but I am a girl who used to be in love with her lasagna and spaghetti. So I had to find me a way to still get my fix. I put out a post on my Facebook page last week asking about a vegetable sprializer "thingy" and the results came back with a great response to this little veggetti spiralizer. So I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond with my 20% off coupon and bought me one. And now here is my review, along with my recipe for "spaghetti"

YEP, JUST a twist!!

So first let me start out by saying I posted that I would like to find a TOOL to make these noodles that was dishwasher safe, easy to use and would NOT cause me to cuss it out. Well, it had to go through the dishwasher TWICE, it was easy to use, for the most part BUT I did cuss at it. I will definitely use it again and hopefully it will get better each time. The meal itself turned out great so I can't say it was a wasted investment. On a scale of 1 to 10 , with 10 being the highest, I would give the VEGGETTI an 8.
I had a FEW extra "pieces" left over after spiralizing my zucchini so I just cut them up and put them in a container for future use.

NOW, on to my wicked easy recipe.
 I used organic marinara sauce with a can of crushed organic tomatoes. I added some minced garlic and of course some cooked ground beef.

 Once I had my "noodles" I put them in a pot with some olive oil and about a tsp. of minced garlic and sautéed them for about 20 minutes or so. Pretty easy right?

Now, I know this was not a "real" recipe per say BUT I basically wanted to share my review on the VEGGETTI with all of you. One thing I just can't figure out just yet is how to pronounce it. I was talking to someone about it and said the name and I got a funny look. Go ahead, give it a try and see how it sounds. Not sure which syllable to emphasize all I know is, it made us a pretty good meal that is a great alternative to eating noodles. I'm a happy camper I must say.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How many calories do you burn during your workout?

How many calories do I burn during my workout?

I have been getting asked this question a lot so I figured I’d elaborate on it a little more.

People are always asking me how many calories do I think they burn during a specific workout. The answer is, there really is no set answer. You see, calories burned during exercise is influenced by body weight, workout intensity, conditioning level and metabolism.

Your metabolism also depends on many different factors. Your age, how much fat verses muscle you have or whether or not you have any metabolic disorders.

I think it is so hard to really tell how much one person is actually burning during any specific workout. Of course there are charts that may give you a ball park figure of what you are burning. I am sure that there is also a difference in the workouts you do. Is it strength training or is it cardio? That could also be a factor in the caloric burn. Each workout is different and you are using different muscle groups. Are you using your larger muscle groups or the smaller ones? The larger muscle groups (lower/legs) will give you a bigger calorie burn.

Some people use heart rate monitors, which I have used in the past. I have used two different ones and I have gotten completely different results which varied about 200 calories with each device. I’m not saying they are bad, I’m just saying they could give different results. The HRM basically measures calories burned during a cardio workout not so much during a strength training workout. While a heart rate monitor (HRM) can be used to calculate calories burned during aerobic workouts, the relationship between heart rate and calorie expenditure is not the same during a strength training workout, so whatever your heart rate monitor may tell you is likely inflated because it thinks you're doing cardio (not strength training). That's a short explanation for why a HRM isn't a good predictor of calories burned during strength training.

So with that being said all I can suggest is that you stay active and be sure you are fueling your body correctly. This is will get you the best results in your health and fitness goals. Being active is an important part of any weight-loss or weight-maintenance program. When you're active, your body uses more energy (calories). And when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight.
This chart may give you a ball park figure of what you are burning during  the specific workouts.


Always be sure that you are fueling yourself before AND after your workouts. I say fueling because we are like cars and if not fueled properly we do not run properly, plain and simple. I cannot say that enough. If you do this along with your daily workout routines the rest will fall into place, I promise. For a pre workout, I suggest eating a mix of complex and simple carbs so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine. Post workout I suggest eating some lean protein while your body is in recovery.

That all being said, I believe  you shouldn’t worry too much about what you are burning during your workout. I feel as long as you get a good workout in AND you are properly fueling your body, you shouldn’t worry so much about the calorie burn, just know that you are burning more than if you were sitting on the couch and you are doing your body good. If you are not seeing results you would like to see I would definitely revisit how much of what foods you are eating and not so much what you burn during a workout. No matter how much you burn during a workout, you will never be able to out workout a bad diet.




Sunday, October 5, 2014



This is a little healthier of an option when it comes to making your apple crisp. I went a little paleo here with this one. I hope you enjoy. My family sure did. It was gone before it even cooled off.
Ingredients: 2c almond flour
                                       1 tsp. cinnamon
                   1/2 tsp. nutmeg
                   1/2 c. coconut oil or melted butter
                   1/4 c. agave nectar
                   1 tbsp. vanilla extract
                   5 medium apples peeled and chopped
                   8 x 8 baking dish
Pre heat oven to 350
In a large bowl mix flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl mix oil or butter with agave and vanilla.
Stir wet ingredients in with dry ingredients. Place chopped apples in pan and then pour the crumble mixture over top. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Secret!

I'm sure there are some people that are intimidated by me and what I do for a living. I'm sure there are people who feel they can't relate to me. I know there have been people who are scared to work with me or even take my classes. WELL, I'm going to let you all in on a little secret that many people, not even my family, even know about me.
     When I was in High School, I didn't feel very comfortable around my friends. I always thought they looked better than me at dances in their dresses and whenever we went out. I always had some sort of issue with my body. I can't say I was really ever overweight, but believe it or not, there WAS a time when I thought I had to lose weight so I drank SLIM FAST. I hid it in my bedroom closet so no one would know. I'm not sure why I felt the need to drink it.
      At 18 years old I had my daughter and that's where my thyroid issues came in. I was overactive at first and after going through treatments it has since gone underactive. I am on daily meds to control it. About 2 years after my daughter was born, I began putting on weight and not feeling good about myself. I have no pictures of this because I pretty much hid from them. I do remember 1 picture though, I looked at it and was NOT happy with what I saw so I tore it up and threw it in the garbage. I was very unhappy with my body and felt quite insecure about myself. I knew I HAD to do something. But what? I was VERY intimidated by the gym and the thought of working out in front of other people. Who would know now right? I do that every day now. I eventually joined a Women's Workout World. Even there, with all females, I still felt out of place. WHY? Because I didn't look like some of them and I though I could never look like any of them. I still went but I never saw any real results. I honestly just wanted a quick fix. I remember one time I blacked out taking a class because I was at the point where I was not eating much. YEP, working out without eating enough does NOT work! At that point, I basically gave up, I had been derailed. I was disappointed in myself.

     I remember I would stay up late eating while sitting on the couch watching TV. ...THEN... I got engaged. Well, that changed things for me. I wanted to look nice in my dress. I knew I had to make some changes so I started small, I gave up drinking pop. One night while I was up LATE watching TV and flipping through the channels, I watched an infomercial for TAEBO. Oh, this was something I knew I could do. So of course, I was not worried about the cost, I wanted the results, I was getting married. I was beyond ready to make a change. I absolutely  LOVED the workouts AND I saw results that I had never seen from any other workout I had ever done before. THIS started my addiction to infomercials. I became an infomercial junkie looking for more workout programs. At that time, my sister had started a little program called Power 90. She kept saying how much she liked it sooooo, of course, I bought that one too. I LOVED it AND again, I saw results. From that point on I had been on and off with the workouts and things were going well for me. THEN... I got pregnant again. I was able to keep myself up after the baby. No joke, 6 weeks to the day I was back working out even after having a C section delivery. It wasn't so easy the second time around but I was still ok with how I looked and felt about myself for a while. Then, the weight began creeping back in places I was NOT happy with. Of course I went back to looking for a quick fix. I believe at one point I began taking diuretics to help with the "water weight". Not much relief there. No changes! I still worked out here and there but again, I wasn't seeing much change. THEN...I got pregnant again. Let me tell you, it REALLY gets harder after the third one. Once again, there I was, looking to lose the baby weight. YEP, 6 weeks to the day... I was back at it. Crazy huh? Again, I wasn't seeing much change and was getting discouraged. Then, one night, of course while flipping through the channels.. I see another infomercial for a program called TURBO JAM. Guess what? I bought it, loved it,  made some meal changes, saw some results and kept going. A little on down the line, I hear of a program, with this same trainer, called TURBO FIRE. This I heard of from a facebook post from a friend. You guessed it..I bought it, loved it AND saw more results. I thought, hmm, this Beach Body thing has got something going here. SOOOOO, I decided to become a coach, basically for the simple fact of getting a discount on my infomercial addiction. In the process of this I also became a Certified Personal Trainer and a Group Fitness Instructor. I  would not change any of these choices for the world. They have all changed my life for the better. BUT..I still have more of my secret to tell.

     I STILL have insecurities with my body, I STLL hate seeing myself in pictures. You know how they say you are you own worst critic? YEP, that's me. I STILL battle the night time binge eating. I have eaten whatever was left in the bag of cookies, just so it wouldn't be there to tempt me the next night. I STILL battle the roller coaster of a few extra pounds here and there that make me hate the way I feel in my clothes. I am a work in progress and I am far from perfect. I have dealt with depression, I am human and I STILL get derailed from time to time.
     I cry when other people tell me these same things about themselves. Ya know why? Because I have felt that way too. I'm sure not many people believe that because they see me in a different way. I want you to know, your stories keep me going. It's all of you that make me not want to give up. It's seeing your results AND your setbacks ( we all have them) that lets me know that we are all similar and we CAN do this. I'm not putting this out there to get attention. I'm putting this out there to let others know that if you're feeling this way, you're not the only one. I don't ever want to make anyone feel intimidated by who I am, or who you think I am, or by what I do for a living. I want to inspire people and help people achieve THEIR goals and enjoy THEIR version of a healthy fulfilling life. I want you to NEVER GIVE UP!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Slow Cooker, lowcarb STUFFED PEPPERS

With a son in football, a daughter at work, a husband who coaches another football team and another daughter just hanging around along with working part time, I need to have some quick dinners that don't necessarily have to be reheated but will be there for everyone to eat when they have the time. I could just buy some cardboard pizzas but that isn't quite my style.
SOOOO, I made this for tonight's dinner.
It is basically stuffed, unstuffed peppers. I choose to keep it low carb these days so this fits the category quite will.
2 green peppers chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 can of organic crushed tomatoes
cooked ground beef
garlic powder ( a few shakes)
salt and pepper to taste
That's pretty much it peeps! Throw it in the crockpot on low for about 6 hours or so and there you have it!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I have replaced my mashed potatoes!!! LOW CARB OPTION RIGHT HERE!

1 large head of cauliflower
4oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
5 slices of uncured, nitrate free bacon
1 c. shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Cook bacon in pan until crisp, set aside.  Cut out stem and core of cauliflower and cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain and return to pan and mash with a potato masher. There will still be some small chunks don't worry. Mix in cream cheese and sour cream. Pour mixture into a glass dish. Sprinkle with cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until hot and bubbly...ENJOY

Saturday, January 25, 2014

FOODIE FRIDAY..Banana pancakes


Easy, healthy and super yummy!!
I am not a big fan of bananas but let me tell you, these are super good. They are very easy and I LOVED them, and the kids approve too!!

Ingredients: 1 banana, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon,1 tsp. coconut oil, 1 tsp chocolate almond butter.

Take the banana and cut it into pieces and mash it in a bowl. Once it is pretty mashed up, add the eggs and vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well. Heat pan add coconut oil. Once oil is melted and coats the pan pour pancake mix in the size you want the pancake. I like mine like mini pancakes so I got about 6 or so out of the mix. Once they are done I put a little chocolate almond butter on about every other pancake.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Two days ago it said "Change Oil Soon". I guess my car is telling me something. It now says REQUIRED!! It's TIME for an oil change.

It's funny how fast we are to get our cars serviced. If your body told you "better food required" would you take the time to find out what you needed? I think most people take better care of their vehicles than they do themselves. Funny though, a vehicle can be replaced, however, YOU can NOT be replaced. 
I always hear things like, I don't have the time, healthy food is too expensive, and my favorite one SOME DAY!!! If you did that with your car what would happen? Well I'm here to tell you that you should take a bit of time and find out what you should be doing to be sure you are "serviced" properly, because guess what?? SOME DAY is too late. Well, ya know what? Medical bills and medications are EXPENSIVE too. What if you could avoid some just by making a few changes to your daily life? Would you do it?
It may sound harsh but it is so true. I have seen FIRST HAND what  diabetes and heart disease can do to someone. When you don't take care of your health and wellness it wears on you after time. It scares me knowing that those genes are running through me, my husband and my children. So today, not someday, I am doing the best I can with what I know to be sure I am "servicing" our health and wellness to try to avoid these problems in the future. I urge you to do the same. Please take better care of yourselves than you do of your vehicles...