Bio

Why this blog?  Because, I want to help.

We are connected to one another.  The Dalai Lama calls it ‘Interdependence’.

I have been thinking a lot about H.H. the Dalai Lama’s teachings on compassion and his goal to end suffering.  This prompted me to think about what I can do to help those around me.  Besides making donations and giving of my time, I want to contribute in a way that I am deeply passionate about, and that I believe will help now.

I am passionate about health and fitness.

Around me I see people struggling and suffering, not only with health issues but poor body image and low levels of physical fitness.  Lack of attention to one’s health has a snowball effect, which leads to further complications associated with ageing. I have to believe that my years of experience and personal experiments were not a selfish journey, but, rather, a way to make a difference. Humans are meant to be strong, agile, flexible and powerful.  What happened?  We’ve all got our own list of what happened.  For most it is a lack of time.

So, what can I do to help? I can show you how to take care of your body by doing what I call: a “4 minute morning”…

…everyday –

For the rest of your life.

Twenty-two years ago I started my journey into fitness as a profession:  Aerobic Instructor, fitness tester/consultant, Personal Trainer, amateur bodybuilder turned fitness competitor, Pilates & Gyrotonic Instructor/ Studio Owner and Yoga student.

My name is Kathryn Palumbo. Today (April 2011), I am 40 years old, a wife and mother of two school aged kids (8 and 6 years old). I sold my studio prior to the birth of our second child, to focus on my family.  Now that our kids are more independent and at school full time, I am able to devote time once again to what drives me.  I am back with a clear vision.

This past year I experimented with short duration High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabatas.  After a few weeks of this type of training I started seeing small changes.  But I waited ‘til after three months before I started talking about it.  In fact I was bursting at the seams with excitement and passion for this type of training. Sure it was intense, but it was also quick and it covered all the bases: functional strength, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, agility and power.

It was like opening “Pandora’s box,” for anyone who asked what kind of workout I was doing. I would forward the links to two websites, and offered some of my own advice.  But not everyone was ready to get started in the same way I was.  In fact, for most, it was quite overwhelming.

By nature I am a problem solver and needed to figure out why this approach to fitness didn’t grab everyone. I spent some time casually interviewing people about their ideas on health and fitness.  In this blog, I will share what I’ve learned.

As a starting point, my hope is to encourage everyone to get moving for a minimum of 4 minutes each day, upon waking, using one’s own bodyweight as resistance, regardless of any other physical activities or sports are planned for the day.  These 4 minutes are just to get your body going for the day.  Like a reminder for body and brain how to move.  (Similar to how the firefighters do their morning maintenance check).

It is your daily duty as the owner of the Living Machine you call yourself.

I believe that we will do ourselves a service if we focus less on the aesthetic and more on our body’s function.

In short, as we age, its not the dumbells we will need to pick up, it’s ourselves.

Form always follows function.

You As A Machine is dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of the body’s functional strength.

My hope is that you find something in this blog that resonates such as to initiate the spark for change.

LET’S GET STARTED!

“Each one of us is responsible for all of humankind, and for the environment in which we live. . . . We must seek to lessen the suffering of others. Rather than working solely to acquire wealth, we need to do something meaningful, something seriously directed toward the welfare of humanity as a whole. To do this, you need to recognize that the whole world is part of you.”
—Dalai Lama, from How to Be Compassionate

Tibet's Dalai Lama in 1940photo: Tibet’s Dalai Lama in 1940

10 comments

  1. Our body is a machine & we are all connected! I hope we all introspect & make that one simple change to make this “whole unit” function harmoniously. Very informative site.

  2. You have some good ideas here. I have some similar ones on my blog. You are a little more direct than I, but I think we get to the same place. Good luck!

  3. Dear, Dear You as a Machine,

    Thank you so much for your blog!! I’ve been lurking for quite a while, wanting to comment on the various things that I’ve absorbed from your site and that I’ve actually incorporated into my life: Alignment, Overtraining, 4-Minute Mornings, OVERTRAINING…
    Your quote from Mark Cavendish is something I clung to the past couple of days as I actually *rested* from exercise…(I cannot believe how hard it was!). The term “overtraining” had been ringing in my ears since last October but my life was such that my workouts were the one bright spot–BodyRocker since June 2011, holla–I just couldn’t face life without them. This meant that the overtraining-induced depression, anxiety, insomnia, short temper, lead-and-tar body and fog brain did NOT give me a good platform to face the difficult circumstances of my life (duh!)(but my story is textbook. Skip to: I rested, I will now do things differently!). I’d been coming across info about overtraining from numerous other sources (whenever a them pops up in multiple areas – including a random radio ad! – I suddenly realize I’m receiving a ‘message’), but it was your blog and that specific quote that finally got through to my heart. You may have saved me months of recovery and untold injuries. Thank you.
    Thanks to your post “What if…is making my butt *bigger*”, I’ve gone “whole hog” into absorbing everything about alignment and awareness. The book that the library had for me first was a student of Feldenkrais (Steven Shafarman) and I’m already incorporating it into every part of my day-to-day movements. I’ve devoured the sites of http://alignmentmonkey.nurturance.net/ and http://www.alignedandwell.com/ and though I feel like my body hurts less in its usual spots (also because of your 4-Minute Mornings presumably, but I’ll get to that!), I’ve located an alignment practitioner in my area that I may meet with just to make sure I understand my own specific body and its quirks.
    4-Minute Mornings!! Wow! I’ve been doing weeks 1 and 2 for over 5 weeks…I just like that amount and it makes me feel like I’m ready for my workout, or at least I feel better for those 30 minutes doing my routine activities before my workout. I didn’t realize how “old” I was letting myself become, hobbling and creaking to brush my teeth, change into workout gear, get the dog’s water, prepare my pre-workout drink…being loose and mobile just for that little period of time between wake-up and workout sets up the day in an entirely different tempo. Revolutionary.
    Today I finally clicked on the “Eat Right for Your Type” link, and again I am lighting up from head to toe, recognizing that this could be the next frontier in my diet (and hopefully fitness goals)! Reading the characteristics of my blood type was almost creepy in its accuracy of every category of life that was addressed. Ironically, I already avoid *almost* everything on my avoid list…I simply don’t like–or really hate–those foods (go figure!), but there were a few surprises and several things that I should ADD that may change something somewhere for me, and I’m beyond excited to find out.
    I’m sorry to take up so much space with my blithering, but it’s high time you knew what an immense and wonderful influence you have had on me. I have already passed on several shades of your philosophies and balanced viewpoints onto others (while preaching to myself!), and I am thankful that you’ve shared your various wisdoms publicly.
    Thank you for living your life with balance from such a wealth of collected wisdom and thank you for sharing it!
    (I’ll try to make future comments shorter and more frequent ;-)!)

    1. Dear Skippie,

      THANK YOU for such an uplifting and exciting comment. I welcome the length and detail…anytime! Please don’t feel the need to keep your comments short on my account. I’m sure others will benefit from reading your experience.

      Thanks again for taking the time leave this wonderful comment!

  4. This is totally amazing. I remember when you were telling me about body rock and their work out, and I went to the site, but it just felt too extreme to me. I LOVE the approach you are taking here. It is PURE GENIUS. Keep it up!

    Love
    Leslie

  5. Your site was recommended to me by a family member and I enjoyed reading your bio/blog and the steps for the 4-minute daily exercise. Your passion for fitness/health comes across clearly with your message. Yes it sounds simple, however simple is what we often need to just get started. Dedication is another thing we all need to focus on the steps to improve our “living machine” for a better life worth living towards living/maintaining a long and health life. Looking forward to “getting started” by doing the exercises and then continuing to check-in on your blog for more tips/information and exercises. Thank you for connecting with us and sharing your experience/expertise. Lorraine

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