Encouragement of the Day: Creating HABIT

My Fivesse Bag Review

Ladies! I have a treat for you!

As many of you know, I attended the first annual Blogfest this August. Well, being one of the lightning round speaker, the sweet girls at Fit Approach hooked us up with some goodies. One of my favorite goodies was a beyond fabulous gym bag from Fivesse.

You may not have heard of Fivesse, so let me get you in the loop :) You’ll thank me.

Fivesse is a female owned biz (I’m not against the men, but HOORAY!) and caters to women with gym bags that are fashionable and functional for all that extra stuff we all carry. Let me introduce you to the masterminds behind this wonderful brand (and stay tuned to the bottom for some exciting news!).

Susan & Nancy are sisters who have a passion for pretty things, gorgeous fabrics, and fine

handbags. They love to workout and show their style in everything they do. They believe that

life is better when you feel organized, and also that you should always surround yourself

with things that make you smile.

Both working moms and avid exercisers, they found there was a need for a fitness bag that

not only shows a sense of style, but that also has a sense of organization and functionality.

Their idea was to create the “anti-tote” gym bag. First, they wanted a bag that did not look

like a typical gym bag, but more like a designer handbag with a beautiful shape, in cheery

patterns and colors. Second, they wanted a bag that was more organized and personalized

in size and shape to an individual’s fitness routine.

So came the idea for Fivesse. Organized and smart on the inside, good looking on the outside.

They truly hope that their custom patterns and on-trend colors will make you smile,

while their bags’ organization and ergonomics will help you feel organized and confident.

Shine on, ladies!

You’re ready to see it now right?

fivesse_NYjan'14

Fivesse offers a variety of bags to meet any need you fit ladies may have:

Introducing Fivesse gym bags, a revolutionary fitness accessory made by women for women. Nancy Apatov and Susan Johnson believe life runs better when you feel organized and smart on the inside and good looking on the outside. They saw a need in the marketplace when they couldn’t find a bag that could keep their items organized throughout the day, and had a look that projects their personal style.

The first collection of bags consists of the Home-Gym-Work bag, which is available in four patterns, an attachable garment bag, and the Home-Gym-Home bag, also available in four patterns. All bags feature individually labeled pockets to keep each item in its place, an ear bud wrap to keep cords tangle-free, a hidden valuables pocket to keep items safe, and a separate laundry bag for sweaty clothes post workout.

The larger of the two bags, The Home-Gym-Work bag, is perfect for the career woman on the go as it will hold all the essentials needed for a busy day ahead. This bag retails for $124. The garment bag attaches to the back of the Home-Gym-Work bag and retails for $64.

The Home-Gym-Home bag is a smaller version featuring back straps to easily attach a yoga mat, and it retails for $99.

The name, Fivesse, is inspired by the Japanese philosophy “5S” – when everything is organized and in its proper place, life just runs better.

Sort, Store, Systemize, Sustain, so you can Shine.

For more information on Fivesse bags, including retail information, please visit www.fivesse.com.

I actually got a gym membership just so I could tote mine around…true story. And I’m loving it! It’s easy to store things (even though my contents aren’t all that girly) and it keeps shoes, soggy sweat towels, water bottles and car keys separate. It’s a no-brainer organizational tool for the girl on the go…who also wants a six-pack and a nice butt. I found that the straps are just the right length to carry comfortably, as opposed to regular long gym bag straps that cause your bag to hit you on the backside every other step and make you limp like Forrest Gump after getting shot in the buttocks….who wants all that awkwardness?

I promised awesome news, so read on:

Breast Cancer Awareness Blog Posts – Pink bags giving back 5% of October sales to Breast Cancer Research

Fivesse, the fitness bag concept that combines functionality and fashion for the woman on the go will be donating 5% of sales during the month of October to breast cancer research. The fun and feminine bags were developed based on the Japanese philosophy of operations and organization…providing women with a stylish bag they can be proud to carry while also keeping each element of their day organized which in turn leads to a happier day.

  1. Anything that you may want in a fitness bag has its specific place and holder, including a secret pocket for valuables and a place for dirty clothes.
  2. The Fivesse garment bag is available to attach to the back of the Home Gym Work bag to avoid wrinkling your work clothes.
  3. For the yogi out there, the Home Gym Home bag contains straps on the bag for all yoga mats.
  4. Each pocket and area of the bag is labeled so nothing gets misplaced.
  5. The bags are designed with a feminine touch to combine fashion with fitness and with function.

That totally qualifies as shopping for a cause! So get to clicking, browse through and purchase a Christmas present that will spur healthy new habits AND maybe just save a life.

To your health,

Michelle

HGW_VertStripe_accessories-5       HGW_VertStripe_accessories-8              GarmentBag_details_2

 

What’s Sabotaging Your Weightloss?

Weight loss is getting a bad rep as being a tricky thing. Between hormones, over-training myths and dieting dilemmas, we are quite confused about weight loss all together.

So, let’s break down what could be the very reason YOU aren’t seeing results.

1. You wear spandex or some form of stretchy clothing ALL THE TIME….

spandex

I can be VERY Guilty of this one, I admit. Spandex has give and can give the illusion we may be smaller or not gaining any weight. If our spandex does start to tighten up, we claim it’s muscle (stay tuned for that one). People who spend their hours on workout clothing run a serious risk of regular clothing not fitting when you need….like on the weekends :)

Pro Tip: Wear your jeans 3 days per week while running errands or working around the house.

2. We think it’s muscle….

fat vs muscle

While muscle gain may show on the scale, it’s not really showing in your clothing. The average female is LUCKY to gain 3-5 pounds of muscle in a year. If your jeans fit yesterday, but they’re tight today, it’s probably water retention.

Pro Tip: First, make sure you have a variety of styles (especially in jeans) and be honest about what it takes to gain muscle.

3. We are fudging on our foods.

food log

Whether we aren’t keeping an accurate record OR we aren’t weighing and measuring, most humans can underestimate the amount of foods they consume by 20%. That’s a large margin for error….

Pro Tip: Plan meals ahead of time and LOG IT ALL, even what you cook with

4. We binge eat and drink….we just call it a “cheat’, “treat” or “reefed”.

fatman-eating

You can tie any kind of ribbon around it that you want, but weight loss requires a sacrifice. While treats aren’t off the menu completely, many people will indulge in a treat once per day OR over indulge in a treat meal (that often extends into the day or weekend) and that will all add up to stored fat. Then, you’re back at it on Monday.

Pro Tip: Limit treats to 1 meal, once a week MAX in the beginning. If you’re weight isn’t dropping, try once every 2 weeks. If you’re struggling with weight fluctuations AND indulging in drinks….skip the alcohol altogether for 6 weeks and see what happens.

5. We translate a hard workout into calories burned.

p90x

On average, we overestimate the amount of calories we burn by about 30%. If we perceive a workout to be tough, we will consume extra calories to “make up for it”, but the body will only store those calories.

Pro Tip: Don’t think in terms of calories. Know how many macronutrients you need (a good macro calculator is at bodybuilding.com) and stay in that framework NO matter the workout.

6. We blame somebody else.

cookie monster

I get this time and time again and I cannot stress this enough: weight loss depends solely on the one carrying the weight. A trainer and/or nutritionist can give you a guideline to help speed things up and help you over the bumps in the road, but the changes necessary for weight loss to occur are yours to make. You spend every waking minute with yourself….nobody can change you but you.

Pro Tip: Suck it up. Check your foods, portions and workout effort to increase your own results.

 

Till next time,

Michelle

Today’s Workout: THE PUSHUP!

Do one or do them all. Push ups work your whole upper body, including your core…so get to it!

Run 10 Feed 10: Presented by Women’s Health Magazine

OK, so I’m going to post about running…..don’t get scared!

The annual Run 10 Feed 10 is coming up faster than Kara Goucher, and we need to get prepared.

Women’s Health Magazine has been kind enough to send me ALL the info we need to get involved AND a coupon code so we can get involved on the cheap :) Keep in mind, the coupon is for Houston, BUT the Run 10 Feed 10 campaign will be taking place all around the nation…even virtually.

Run with us and you can help feed hungry people in your area.

run 10 feed 10

WHO: Join Women’s Health Magazine, FEED, and thousands of men and women runners in the fight against hunger.

What:  This fall, Women’s Health magazine will once again host its signature RUN10 FEED10 event with a mission and is heading to Houston, TX. Women’s Health and FEED, the organization founded by philanthropist and social entrepreneur Lauren Bush Lauren, partner for this race series to motivate consumers nationwide to help fight domestic hunger. The concept is simple: run a 10k, feed 10 people. Last year, RUN10, FEED10 raised 1.5 million meals, and the magazine hopes to provide even more in 2014. The money from the registration and fundraising efforts will go to support food banks in the nearest Houston metropolitan areas.  Also included in the registration fee are a 2014 limited-edition FEED bag and a FEED bracelet as a special finisher prize. The day will include:

·      An unforgettable experience running at 10K for those in need

·      Pre and post race activities

·      Tons of freebies, experiences and giveaways

·      Special guests and more…

Where:

FINISH STRONG SPORTS

6426 Washington Avenue

Houston, TX 77007

 

REGISTRATION:

$35 for early registration.  Sign up for Run10 FEED 10 at www.run10feed10.com. Use code R10F10PR for a $5 discount! That’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks :)

run 10

 

FUNDRAISE OR DONATE!

If you fundraise for RUN 10 FEED 10, there’s no minimum fundraising goal. Raise $5, $10, $100 or more — whatever you can do! All money raised will help those in need. Team up with other participants to fundraise for RUN 10 FEED 10. Join a team or create your own so that we can make sure the funds are distributed to your community! Every dollar amount counts.

For those who don’t consider themselves runners….

To donate, visit the RUN 10 FEED 10 Crowdrise site and click on the red box that says “DONATE” on the right side of the page: https://www.crowdrise.com/womenshealthrun10feed10

BONUS!!!!!!

SHOP WITH A PURPOSE!

SHOP with Women’s Health and PlanG and earn giving dollars with your favorite retailers. Donations earned with each purchase will go directly to The FEED Foundation on behalf of RUN 10 FEED 10. You’ll transform your everyday shopping into feats of purpose! Here’s how it works:

1.    Install the PlanG shopping app for your web browser, and run through the one-time setup in seconds.

2.   Customize your settings with a few simple clicks.

3.   Shop at your favorite brands to collect your extra giving dollars.

4.   It’s totally free! The FEED Foundation gets 95% of your donations. PlanG only receives 5% (to help pay the rent).

5.    Download the app and start shopping!

 

 

ABOUT RUN10FEED10: Women’s Health and FEED are partnering for the 3rd annual RUN10 FEED10 10K race series to motivate consumers nationwide to help fight domestic hunger. RUN10 FEED10 has raised over 2.5 million meals to support the cause, and in 2014 the bar is set even higher. The concept behind RUN10FEED10 is simple: run a 10K and feed 10 hungry people in your community. Timed 10K races will take place in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Those living in Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C. can participate in one of the Women’s Health “Fun Runs,” and if runners don’t live in one of the RUN10 FEED 11 host cities, they can still participate by registering at RUN10FEED10.com to run a 10K in their hometown. Kicking off the event series in New York City on September 21, 2014, thousands of participants will run down the West Side Highway for the timed race ending at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park. A post-race wellness festival will feature yoga sessions, nutrition, beauty consultations and great giveaways from sponsors.   The RUN10 FEED10 races in Chicago and San Francisco, and also feature a robust wellness festivals post-race. Women’s Health is excited to partner with “Good Morning America,” the Emmy Award winning morning show, to bring RUN10 FEED10 to households nationwide and inspire viewers to run for the cause. Chief Meteorologist, Ginger Zee, will host the New York City flagship event, running alongside the participants.www.run10feed10.com

Check out more from Women’s Health Magazine HERE

 

NEW SEGMENT: Gym Chat

SOOOOOO…..the biggest announcement you’ve heard all day: I. Joined. A. Gym.

No kidding.

Why is it big? Well, I’ve worked at just about every single gym and know all the dirty little secrets and behind the scenes happenings. Once you know things you can’t erase them. Hmmmm, I should write a book about that….but I digress.

A few years ago I left the gym scene entirely and converted my garage into my own happy little man cave. Side note: last year I noticed my clientel was all women for the first time ever…so I bought potpourri cause women dig that stuff ;)

The physique I have now has been built in my garage, like an old car. That’s not a bad thing as many businesses were started in garages and thrive today, but Microsoft didn’t stay in a garage people! So, since I have outgrown my weights and am still looking for the next transformation, I signed up for a local chain gym (no names unless I’m paid people, LOL) and I now have a whole slew of blog post ideas to tickle your ribs. Shall we begin the journey? I thought you’d never ask!

THINGS I’VE NOTICED NOW THAT I DON’T WORK AT A GYM:

  • Girls really do LOVE cardio….sort of

I do cardio at my house…mostly because I don’t do a ton of cardio. Is it important? Yes, to an extent. You have to train for your GOALS. If your goal is to be a smaller version of what you already have, then enjoy your cardio. IF you want t tighter body where things DO NOT jiggle, pass by the dreadmills (we’ll talk more about those in a minute) and hit some heavy weights. Which brings us to point #2…

  • There is a lack of testosterone in near the weight rack, which is a funny observation as weight lifting increases your testosterone :) MOVING ON!

There are literally a handful of girls near the heavy weights most days. Where are they? On the cardio equipment. Why? To get smaller…cause smaller is better, or so we’re told. Again, refer to your real goal here. It did get me to thinking and the fact that the heavy stuff can be intimidating is a real thing. Ladies, those scary looking machines we load the plates onto? WE NEED THOSE! Most of us don’t have the grip to squat with 100+ pound dumbbells, but can probably squat over 100+ easily on the leg press. So why are the girls so shy? I have some theories:

  1. We’re afraid the boys will stare at us. TRUTH: they will, but they mean no harm. Men are visual creatures and look at ladies, but most will leave you alone if you leave them alone….just like in the wild. NOW, if you dress inappropriately and expect them not to look, that’s all on you princess. Cover up…you don’t want your skin sliding all over where other skin has already slid. Immunity, mastered.
  2. We feel as though we’ll do something wrong. So long as you don’t throw a weight clear into somebody’s head or break your own back, you’ll be OK. Stick with basic movements if your unsure your first few times out (no worries, I’m filming some just for you).
  3. What if we don’t know what we’re doing? I have great news for you: MOST PEOPLE DON’T. The average gym goer sticks to a pretty basic routine and feels lost if their machine is taken. Have a plan for your day and be flexible.
  4. We’re worried we are taking somebody else’s spot. OK, I need you to think like a guy here: if they aren’t on it when you need it, USE IT! You can’t call squatters on gym equipment, so use what you need.

gym sitting

  • Guys do this, even at 4:30 in the morning….but it’s usually a cell phone. One of the BEST things about workout out at the gym is the efficiency. You see, I can do the SAME workout I would do in my gym, but I get done in half the time. It creates a greater space for change and that makes me happy. PSA: Don’t be that person. Come in to work and everybody will respect that.
  • There are some awesome characters in the gym. One guy wears his sunglasses the whole time he’s working out…in the back of the gym…at 4:30 in the morning. Salute to you for doing your thing and being incognito sir!

I have a few self-imposed rules at the gym, just to ensure my goals are met: first, I don’t go there to scrutinize others form (though it’s hard cause I’m a form-Nazi!), I am there strictly to work on myself. Second, I don’t hoard weights or equipment. Nobody like  hoarders. Third, I am free with speaking to anybody who wants to talk it out…after my set. There are really only 2 things that drive me crazy, and I actually saw them more when I worked there as a trainer:

OBVIOUS confusion:

bis in the squat rack

If you have a question, ask somebody. You can always find those of us who are there for a solid goal and I promise ANY bodybuilder would be thrilled to show you what you need to know…after the set bro.

People putting down those just starting out or just starting back:

gym truth Sorry if the pic offends, super nerdy Sir Patrick fan :)
Here’s the reality: We ALL belong there and we all have goals that are special to us. Don’t judge others based on physical appearance when you have no idea what they are fighting through right then. Some of the thinnest people in the gym may have battled disease and those with a little extra weight may have just had triplets! Step off the high stairmill and cheer them on to their goal. The gym should be an environment to get re-inspired to reach your goals, period.

Your freebie: THE DREADMILL

I’ve noticed something quite disturbing I want to address with the girls here…

There have been many ladies (and a couple of guys) walking on the treadmill with it jacked up to Denver altitude, hanging on to the top and trudging through like a snow dog carrying life saving supplies. I have one thing to say: PLEASE STOP! I think I get that there is false info that if the treadmill is jacked up then it works your butt right? Wrong. Biomechanically, WRONG. You’re wasting energy. Weights work your butt with any myriad of movements, but not the treadmill. NOW, if you just dig walking at an incline cause you live in flat land and want to experience hiking, then jack that puppy up! BUT…release your hands. You’ll use more legs and core and keep the stress out of your neck and shoulders. And you’re welcome :)

If you happen to see me at your gym, feel free to say HI…after my set ;)

popeye workout

Michelle

 

Ever wanted to be a Supermom? Check out the SuperMom Summit!

Supermom Summit 2

 

Hey Wonder Women (and men)!

 

I am really excited and I have to share this with you.

 

I was recently interviewed for the SuperMom Summit where parent experts share their wisdom for losing weight, keeping your whole family healthy and feeling confident again.

 

As a parent myself, I know that it takes Superhero Skills to get through the day.  Between back to school shopping, classes, soccer practice, homework, cooking, laundry and you name it what else, you need superhero skills and a magic wand to do it.

 

Click Here to Learn Superhero Skills

Supermom Summit 3

I really liked that Vera, who is the host of the summit, interviewed real parent experts so I know they have all walked a mile in our shoes. Vera also has an amazing transformation story for losing 70 pounds after her first pregnancy and has kept it off for 2 years even after baby #2! She could easily relate to the struggles of a busy mom who is always on the go but needs to make time for herself.

 

I get it. Sometimes you are so focused on caring for others, you stop taking time to care for yourself. You put everyone’s needs in the household before yours and one day it hits you that  you might have let yourself go. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can have your rocking body again, you can feel confident and your family deserves you feeling your best. That is exactly what the summit is about, being a great parent and feeling great about yourself.

 

Join me during the Supermom Summit

Supermom Summit 4

Vera and I are not talking about weight loss for event next week. We are talking about achieving lasting results and creating a foundation for confident you and a healthy family.

BONUS!!!!! One lucky winner will receive a FREE Skype consult with me valued at $135! So jump on this RIGHT NOW!

 

Supermom summit will help you learn:

 

How to lose weight

How to gain confidence

Hot to find the balance between being a woman and a mother

How to create a healthy environment for your family

How to eat healthier without spending hours in the kitchen

How to connect with your identity

How to empower yourself

How to say no to sugar

And much much more!

 

Best part about being a part of Supermom Summit? It’s free because every mother deserves to feel healthy, happy and confident.

See you there!

Michelle

Supermom Summit 1

AMRAP Nutrition Bar Review AND a Giveaway!!!!

Are you in? You should be. If you’re in, you could totally be doing this very soon….

AMRAP Handstand

In all honesty, I have no clue if you will….BUT you could be enjoying some post-butt-kicking-workout treats very soon (12 whole bars actually).

***IMPORTANT CHANGE*** I will now be able to pick 3 winners of 8 bars a piece (HEY! It’s still more than zero!) so enter NOW through October first by following below.

What you need to know:

First, you need to follow AMRAP Nutrition EVERYWHERE…like a crazy cyber stalker. Click below to follow:

TWITTER

Instagram: @AMRAPUSA

PINTEREST

AND check out the blog: https://www.amrapnutrition.com/blog/

Done? YOU ROCK, virtual high five….

NOW, let ME know the workout YOU plan to do for your bars….

That’s it, you’re entered! Contest will last until October first, but don’t wait too long!

#raisethebar

AMRAP Standing w Kettlebell BOOM

Work It Wednesday! CORE with Debbie :)

This was a few years ago :) but still relevant today!

Safety Tips for Your Kids….especially if they walk to school

I know, school has probably already started and you are ALMOST used to your schedule….read anyways.

As I walked my daughter to school this morning, I noticed a few key things about some of our fellow walkers (most of which I past on my way back). Not to get you all scared, but children are most at risk when walking to school…especially if they do so alone. The following tips will help your child feel safer AND they’re great for fending off bullies as well :)

  1. LOOK UP. OK, I know it took weeks to convince your mom to drop that major change on those pumped up kicks, but that’s no reason to stare at them all day. Walking with your head down sends one clear message to bullies and attackers: EASY TARGET.
  2. If you need to talk, make the call. If your kid has a phone, they should have their nose buried in it while walking. If they need to talk to Mom, tell them to call (who DOES that?!?!?!) instead of text. Not only does it send the message of an easy target, but now you have an easy target with a phone…SCORE!
  3. Make eye contact. You don’t have to feel like you have to smile ALL THE TIME, but do let people know you see them. As in “I can totally pick you out of a line up if needed”. In studies (who studies this stuff? The POLICE), attackers were found less likely to follow through on an attack if they thought they could be identified.
  4. If you can find some responsible buddies to walk to school with you, then do it.
  5. Go over alternate routes with your kids. They should have at least one other way of walking to school should the need arise.

Just a few quick tips to keep your kiddos safe. I know we don’t all have the luxury of holding their hand on walks to school (hey, some don’t want us to), but an effort in keeping them safe on the walk and in the halls will show that you care about them and boost their confidence.

Have a safe and healthy day,

Michelle

And yes, my kids have been taught all of this and more. You don’t travel to regions where trafficking is high without knowing how to protect yourself…

My Daughter and Me: Showing the Guns! :)

My Daughter and Me: Showing the Guns! :)