FREE Workout Wednesday! Total Body in 10

1 move (ok, 3 but who’s counting?!?!) to get your whole body. Planks rock! Keep telling yourself that ;)

Whoo, it’s also a throw back. I was softer around the middle…and blonde. See what happens with consistency?


Product Review: KUSHYFOOT

Super awesome footwear for yoga, Pilates and Barre (or if you’re just hanging around and want to look like you do those things).

Check out KUSHYFOOT at the link HERE

You will NOT be disappointed in style, function or price ;)

FREE Workout Wednesday!

BOOM! A freebie exercise ball workout for you today :)

Grab a ball (steal only if necessary) and get busy!

Welcome to a NEW Beginning….The Launch of the Fitness Haus

Oh it is a joyous day in the house today!

Not only do my kids get back from camp, but the launch of the Fitness Haus is here!

I have spent the past several weeks dropping hints about this truly magnificent program, but today I get to give you the details :)

Why did I launch an online coaching program?

It is proven as THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to reach YOUR GOALS! If it’s the most effective, then we want in on it right?

The premise behind the Fitness Haus is a program that is build on nutrition science and the science of behavior modification. Now, don’t let that scare you!

We’ll be driving through the minefield of weight loss, health and nutrition together, month by month. You will be gifted with ALL of the tools you need to meet your goals and change your health for the better each and every month.

You’ll be given weekly meal plans, recipes, detailed print-and-go grocery lists, workouts recommendations and FREEBIE workouts, along with encouragement, education and so much more!

Need a sneak peak?

Michelle Carlson’s Fitness Haus Coaching Program

Busy Women and Overloaded Moms alike are frustrated by the exact same problem today: 


  • BUT, every new (and old) diet fails you.
  • BUT, you’re tired of big promises with unsustainable results.
  • BUT, you’re tired of meal plans where you eat the same thing over and over again.
  • BUT, you don’t want to listen to health experts that can’t relate to you.
  • BUT, getting fit is expensive and you’re already busy.
  • BUT, you’re tired of feeling hungry and grouchy all the time.

Here’s the thing: Those problems have always existed. Diets aren’t a permanent fix, a one-size-fits-all meal plan rarely works, anyone can call themselves a health expert, coaches always cost money and depriving yourself can bring out the worst in you…

So what’s really keeping you from getting fit?

Well-Intentioned Health Experts Have Convinced the World That Getting Fit Is Either Totally Impossible… Or Quick ‘n’ Easy

It’s not your fault that the idea of becoming more healthy is scary…

The world has taught us to fear food and set unrealistic expectations. It’s taught us to base our self-confidence on our body image…

No surprise that overworked women and busy moms are totally intimidated by the notion of getting fit for life…

But if intimidation is holding you back… or making you think of giving up once again… or crippling your confidence, then something’s gotta give…

You need to master your own health. When? Now. How? Well, that’s where I can help you…

I’m Michelle Carlson. I am a nationally certified trainer, holding specialities in nutrition, endurance, and sports nutrition, training and recovery and the founder of Fitness Haus. I’m the author of The Little Fit Book and Your Guide to Lasting Weight Loss, both available at Nike Foundation named me a Safe Spaces Ambassador and I travel the globe to help fight and end human trafficking and modern day slavery. Oh, and I am a success story in and of myself, going from frumpy, tired housewife to fit, energetic and a whole lot more fun.

I Will Teach You to Lose Weight, Get Healthy & Stay Fit for Life As you Discover More Energy and Become More Joyful

But to do that, we need to get real. There’s no magic pill you can take to feel better in your own skin. But there ARE systems, processes, tactics and practices that WILL help you reach and keep your ideal body weight. How do I know that? Because I’ve not only done it for myself… but I’ve also coached hundreds of others, with killer results!

The very first 2 weeks are on us as well :) and here’s what you can look forward to:

MODULE 1A (your first 14 days): Fitness Foundations

  • Take Inventory and Throw Out the Junk
  • Tear Down Your Bad Habits
  • How to Make Effective Goals that Work FOR You
  • Why Water is the Long Lost Secret to Healthy Living
  • How to Workout 3 Times Per Week
MODULE 1B (your second 14 days): Easy Meal Prep In Your Haus
  • Step-by-Step Meal Preparation for Fitness Success
  • Kitchen Skills You Wish Your Mom Told You
  • How to Pack Your Meals
  • Surprising Ways to Increase Your Veggies

That’s just in the first 2 weeks. So, whatever obstacles you may be facing, you’re not expected to walk away from life to achieve your health and fitness goals. We’ve done the work for you and put together a program that is easy to follow, without deprivation and the scary hunger monster. PLUS, you’ll be changing habits for life without even realizing it.

Check it out and join up today!



Kick in the Pants Monday: A Softer Approach

Welcome to THAT DAY…..yes, Monday is upon us :) All you have to do to change your perspective is to change your mind. I think Monday’s have a bad rep because most people set the start date for things they dread on Mondays….food for thought.

Today’s post will cover a myriad of different subjects that can stand in the way of progress, but first…..

profile rolling

Let me take a selfie….

I got that out of my system and we can move on now :)

Normally Monday would be reserved for kicking your butt into gear and getting you (and me) refocused on the goal that may be close at hand, but today I want to start just a little different.

The question: Why am I so passionate?

I’m going to share something very private with you right now: I think about quitting 20+ times a day. I mean, sometimes it get really bad. Why am I so passionate about trying to get the word out about health? Why am I so rocked about YOU realizing your own potential? Why do I bury myself in research and what others may consider boring just so I can condense and share the information with you when it would be far easier to just keep it to myself and smile politely when people tell me they cannot reach their goals? WHY, oh why, do I consider it a privilege to share that diets truly do not work in any capacity? Well, I may just be crazy :) OR….it could be because when I was on my journey to lose over 100 pounds NOBODY ever came along beside me to help point the way, ever. I was like a blind woman trying to navigate the mine field of metabolism-destroying diets without so much as a guide dog to show me the way. And maybe, just maybe, I don’t want that for anybody who comes across this blog….Or the crazy thing, we may never know.

So, this is why I continue on, even when pushed against. People may not like what I have to say because they think what they are doing WILL work…this time (although if they’re still running to it, it has failed…cough, cough, Atkins), BUT I will press on because I believe LIVES can be spared with this information. And that, my friend, is why you should stick around.

What’s on the menu today?

  • A SERIOUS TIME WASTER that keeps you from reaching your goals.
  • Backing off to get further.

The #1 thing you need to stop RIGHT NOW in order to reach your goals:

Get. Off. FACEBOOK. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I’m not saying you have to delete your account, but put a limit on how often you check it. If it’s on your phone, consider taking it off. I lost you there didn’t I? COME BACK! Here’s the real deal with good old FB: it serves no real purpose and if somebody is having an emergency I would hope that they call 911 instead of posting to your wall. So, in the reality of that, checking FB to see who comments on what is sorta…..narcissistic of us. And if you’re just checking up on friends, that’s called stalking and it’s weird. For the minutes that turn to hours on FB during the course of a day, we actually could be working toward our goal. I had to realize this after taking a business course offered by the beautiful Chalene Johnson. She doesn’t hang out on FB and she’s a multi-millionaire……yeah, I’ll have what she’s having. So, I deleted it off my phone this weekend and felt quite free.

Social media such as Facebook and Instagram can also wreak havoc on our psyche. I know I can start comparing my garage lit selfie workout pics to those of super ripped physiques and immediately want to hit up Ben and Jerry’s. There are even medical diagnosis that revolve around the psychological disorders associated with FB (called Facebook depression). Some people are just better at making life look grand. Plus, both of these are great time suckers, even for those who use them as platforms (like me). We can all get lost on pretty pictures or social drama simply because it takes our minds off of what we are dealing with at the time. If I’m struggling with weight loss, I don’t feel so bad after reading about the current circumstances of others (flat tires, misbehaving kids, etc.). That alone is not healthy.

My personal goal is to check FB (oh Instagram… will be next) only once every 24-48 hours. Those whom I love know how to reach me :) AND I have a full website and email that is open 24/7. There is no need to make a HUGE FB announcement (I hate those) as you needn’t cause more drama on the net…it has plenty. My challenge to you: try to go 12 hours without a single check, even when you’re bored. Turn the notifications to your phone OFF. Let your closest loved ones know where they can reach you in case of emergency ;)

“I think I have metabolic damage!” No you don’t.

Now, you may or may not know what metabolic damage is (my guess is you don’t know because it has NOT been accepted as a diagnosis) so I’ll give you the shorthand. Metabolic damage is the term given to those who have literally dieted themselves out of a metabolism. The few people who have actually suffered from this are extreme fitness competitors (who rely on various crash diets and crazy dry outs to be stage ready) and extreme athletes. Metabolic damage DOES involve a complete stall in fat loss, but there is more to it. It encompasses a myriad of psychological, physical, and emotional issues as well. The stall in fat loss is usually accompanied by severe depression, trouble recovering from workouts, and possibly prolonged inflammation or even inflammatory diseases. I say all this to say this: if you aren’t losing fat and you aren’t an avid competitive athlete or competitor…you don’t have metabolic syndrome. You have the I-don’t-track-my-food-and-I-overestimate-my-calorie-burn-and-underestimate- my-caloric-intake-itis…it’s totally real and 95% of exercisers suffer from it. I might even work to start a support group.

I know what you’re thinking: “SMARTY pants…”, but then you’re totally wondering how to recovery from this dreaded disease and reach your goals! I can help with just a few steps.

  • Keep a BITE IT AND WRITE IT journal. If it goes in your mouth, WRITE IT DOWN.
  • Weight and measure your foods. Don’t guess. 1/4 cup of rice gets REALLY big when we’re not measuring.
  • EAT REAL FOODS. Omit processed foods for at least a week. Sometimes fat loss will stall due to the fact that we’re eating processed foods (even health foods can be processed).
  • Change up your workouts. If you’ve been going to the same gym class long enough to attend the instructors wedding AND baby shower…..then it’s time for a change.

The most counterintuitive thing for some: Backing off to go further.

My one-on-one clients are sometimes shocked at the way I do things. I’m NOT a television trainer. I’m a trainer that wants you to SUCCEED in all areas of life…not just in my gym. So, there are many times when we have to back off some training to get further. Overtraining (if you look that up, you’ll probably see my face) can destroy fat loss as well as your body in the long run. So, if you’re starting to hate your workouts (or moving at all), sleeping very restless, lacking in appetite, turning to comfort foods more and more, craving sweets even though you’re not hungry, sore all the time, etc. you may be experiencing overtraining.

NOTE: You must actually be working out to experience overtraining….just sayin.

If you find yourself in this category there are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Check your nutrition and make sure your body is getting what it needs, i.e. whole foods
  • Make sure you’re allowing time for recovery. I’ve been a 2-a-day girl for YEARS and it has torn my body up.
  • Change your regimen. If you’re lifting weights all the time, try swimming, yoga, Pilates, etc. for a week to give the body an active rest.
  • If you’re a cardio junky or avid runner, take a little time off (and enlist some help) to figure out a good cross training regimen for YOU. Remember, cross training should ALWAYS make your chosen sport BETTER, not worse.
  • Take a little more time off if needed. You can take a month off and not gain a ton of weight…so long as you’re not crying to Ben and Jerry all the time.
  • Book a massage.
  • See a chiro about an adjustment.
  • Don’t neglect yearly physicals!
  • Foam roll: it fixes EVERYTHING :)

After a little time to heal, your body will reward you by performing better and busting through those plateaus.

Till next time,



Don’t forget!!!! Your ticket to freedom from diets and deprivation is coming! Check out the Fitness Haus and make sure you’re on the email list to get first shot at signing up for 2 free weeks.


The Struggle

Hey folks!

Welcome to near the end of the week (for most of us at least). Today I have one thing that I am truly trying to accomplish: BE REAL.

It has come to my attention that there truly isn’t enough real in the world today, especially the world of fitness. I’m attempting to change that and in the spirit of Ghandi….I’ll be the change I wish to see in the world :)

As many of you may know, I have a BRAND NEW project launching in just DAYS! Stress is becoming a daily part of my life and if I’m being real then you must be told that I don’t deal well with stress. This is real life people.

commercial prep

In the midst of filming for the launch of the new membership site (full deets next week…and it’s SUPER awesome), getting all the content done and trying to keep up with training clients, I had a few other things on my plate as well.

I am the mother of a 15-year-old driver. He is an excellent driver, but if I were to tell you that my heart doesn’t skip a beat thinking about all that is to come, I wouldn’t be very real. I celebrated my 16 year anniversary with the best gift God ever gave me, my sweet and supportive husband. School ended for my kids, which any mom can tell you means that the activities have only just begun. There was also a mission trip and ongoing missions in between all of that. Compiled with all of that, I began having major health issues that rendered me bed-ridden and about 15 pounds heavier than I was in May.

sick days

Why do you need to know any of this? Well, I think we can ALL fall into the false lie that people actually have it all together. I spent a lot of my sick time scrolling through Instagram (as Facebook just tends to upset me) and comparing my couch potato existence to the active lives of seemingly perfect and awesome people. One incredibly important note here is that I have overworked my body into a state of chronic inflammation (which I talk about often) and stress compiled through my overwhelming thoughts and feelings simply makes it worse.

So, what has been happening that has me down? I’ve been listening intently to the wrong voices in my head. I sat yesterday to create a cool little promo video for the new site and I automatically regretted that decision. I looked up pictures of myself just a few months ago and almost felt shame that I wasn’t “as good” as I was then. It’s a slippery slope to get caught up in, and I dove in like a cool pool of water on a hot Summer’s day! By now you would think I know better. I mean, I work in health and have counseled many people off the edge, but I still have very little patience with myself. I keep thinking my body should just comply….is that just too much to ask?

I started to lose who I was, as I think many of us do. I began to think “IF ONLY”. You know the thoughts I’m talking about:

  • If only I had more control over my body.
  • If only I could just get over it.
  • If only I could bring myself to work harder.
  • If only I could go back to where I was then.

The list can go on and on, but you get the point. It’s a pity party without any favors. While the inflammation makes its happy home in the nooks and crannies of my 36-year-old body, I feel swollen, fatigued, and flat-out washed out. So, I decided to take a break…. Now, I have taken breaks before, sometimes up to 3 days! Shocking. You see, I fall into the same assumptions many of you can be prey to as well. I think I have to do it all…or suffer the dire consequences. I have vowed that this break will be different. For starters, it will last MUCH longer. I’m kind of thinking all Summer long really. I want to drop all overbearing expectations of my body (I mean, I’m not competing and my 15-year-old son would be MORTIFIED if I wore a bikini anyways, so no time like the present!) and focus more on the ENJOYMENT factor of life. Who cares if I don’t have cellulite if I’m still NOT happy with what I do have people?????

So, what will this break look like?

  1. YOGA. Yep, every single day. Sometimes it will bust a sweat, sometimes I’ll just put my legs up a wall and breathe….either way, it works.
  2. Taking the time to thank my body for WHAT it does, not HOW it looks.
  3. Nourishing my body: no potions, powders or pills for the next few months…just whole foods and plenty of water.
  4. Weekly date nights. We can stay in our room or go out on the town, just so long as I reconnect him weekly away from work and future plans.
  5. New fitness adventures (but staying pretty safe). I want to face some fears (my bestie wants me to try roller derby…I’m thinking there is no time like the present!) and try some things I’ve put off (HOT YOGA) due to my social issues.
  6. Daily journaling. I still have quiet time everyday, but I want to take the time to journal and get some thoughts OUT of my head before they can take root and cause problems.
  7. PLAY. Whether it be in the kitchen with my kids or on the rink with my bestie, I need to bring an element of play back into my life.

date night

One great thing of being couch ridden is that you can take the needed to evaluate what it is you truly WANT to do (I fully encourage you to do this same thing, sans the sickness) and it has led to some changes for me. I have 2 things I not only love to do, but also fully and completely believe in: FOOD and YOGA. These 2 things can change a life. So, I’m going to be doing more of them during this off time.

What’s my challenge to you then?

  • Take a little time to re-evaluate your own life. Yes, it can be scary to think about, but it can also be very rewarding in the end.
  • Instead of adding more to your plate to try to make life better, try taking some away.
  • Sit in silence with just yourself for a little while and imagine the life you want to live and leave behind.
  • Try breathing deeply for 3-5 FULL minutes.
  • Let go of expectation and live in the now.
  • PLAY.

Life only comes around once. Some get a second chance through life altering circumstances such as illness or even the death of a loved one…the good news is you need not wait for a grand life-altering occasion; you can change your life for the better starting today.

Until next week,


yoga glow


Kick in the Pants Monday: June 23, 2014

QOTD: Do you REALLY want help?


Fun Friday is BACK!


Real Confessions of a Fitness PRO

Hello Lovelies!

I sit here in my makeshift office fighting the urge to feel super sorry for myself since I seem to have been doomed to bed rest due to a little cyst….I feel like Emily when she gets hit by the car and is painfully explaining to Andi that she doesn’t deserve to go to Paris because she “eats carbs”. Watch The Devil Wears Prada if you’re confused….


BUT I have decided to make the most of this downtime. I haven’t picked up a weight in 2 weeks and cardio is off limits right now as well. I can still fidget and I can still write! I can also read and boy oh boy am I excited! I’m reading up on bioneurological studies on eating, weight gain over the years and the effect of dopamine….OK, it may sound boring but I find it fascinating and I’ll be able to use it to help YOU. But for now…..

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like for a fitness pro? I mean REALLY…. Fit Pros are all smiles, strutting around in spandex most of our days, full of energy and vitality. But do we really show the real side of fitness and health? I decided to look back at my decade plus as a fitness pro and give you a little insight into this world. Let me give you a bit of a background first though.

As many of you know, I started out teaching aerobics a bit overweight (196 pounds to be exact). I had actually been teaching yoga at over 200 pounds, then I got suckered into other classes :) Anyways, I was able to obtain a bird’s eye view of the fitness industry because I really didn’t belong anywhere….

The majority of the other fitness instructors where thin by either nature or lifestyle. This meaning that most of the girls (and one odd guy) that I worked with had been living a fit lifestyle all their lives. Some had children and some were single. The one weird guy? He taught a spin class and thought of himself as God’s gift to the cycling seat… What most had in common was that they enjoyed being in front of people. Me? I liked recruiting those who didn’t really dig the spotlight. Why? Well, they work harder FOR the people taking the class. The golden rule of being an awesome instructor is this: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. Unfortunately, not many fitness instructors feel that way as they consider themselves the shining star at the end of your crazy and hectic day.

That said, working in a group environment isn’t easy. As an instructor, you do have to be ON. Your personality must shine like a beacon of hope to the lost…even if your dog died earlier. Paint on a smile and use the choreography you can do in your sleep! This job requires somebody who doesn’t mind having stalkers and people who hang their own self-worth on the instructor. If you happen to be one of those people, honey, you’re fine without the 8-count seller I promise :)

When I went to work for a popular, national chain, they quickly noticed I could pack a class. It was this fact that made them repeatedly try to talk me into becoming a personal trainer. Eventually, I did give in and honestly, I’m glad. Training suits me now that I’m private. Again though, my coworkers didn’t feel the need to encourage those who were struggling with weight as most of my coworkers came from active backgrounds. I began to feel as though gym trainers and instructors were raised on a farm somewhere and I had somehow managed to sneak in…..

At any rate, the former fat gal (that’s me) had a wait list from just a few weeks into training. Although I think my weight battle had something to do with it, there were other things that helped a lot:

  • I actually count reps, not just say “2 more” when clients ask…
  • I stay on my clients level. Meaning, if I have a client on the floor I don’t stand over them, peering down judgementally.
  • I understand weight loss is more mental and emotional then just physical
  • I do not always assume my client is simply lying about food intake
  • I try not to allow my clients to compare themselves to me. It’s my JOB to be fit….that really does make it easier for me to make time for exercise

These same traits are constant even now, when I am a bit picky about clients and who gets my time. This is a luxury I appreciate greatly! So, there are a few things that can help you navigate the gym system to get the most out of your membership. Check it out:

  1. If you LOVE an instructor, tell them why. Maybe it’s the fact that they treat everybody like people.
  2. If you LOATH an instructor, say something. I once had an instructor work for me who spoke down to the class all the time, but people were scared to say anything! Group instructing is a service job.
  3. Just because a trainer has a few letter behind their name, it doesn’t mean they know everything. Ask your prospective trainer how they plan to help you reach YOUR goals. If they are putting everybody through the exact same workout, as why. Ask them what the study for CE’s and how many CE’s they strive for each year. All of this information will help you to make a good choice when it comes to the person whom you have placed the most valuable asset you own: you health.
  4. Ask for references.
  5. Try something new. Never traveled to the hot yoga part of the gym (Lifetime Fitness has these and they are fab!)? Give it a try. Try out a barre class at a local studio OR check out a trainer for free. Most gyms will offer a free training session a few times a year to bring in more clientel, so take advantage.

Remember, your health is not a luxury. Health is an investment.

Want me to help you reach your goals? Keep an eye out for an amazing new program designed to do just that:

See you soon!



Kick in the Pants Monday

This video series will be replacing Tough Love Tuesday.

THIS is one you will want to hear, especially if you’re struggling with reaching goals….