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! :)

September Challenge: Give Sugar a Swift KICK!

Hello Lovelies!

I know, you’re probably tires of everybody doggin on sugar like it’s the founding member of the apocalypse. I get it. BUT, I do have to point out a few key things that we may KNOW but don’t really let sink in. Come along for the rise and I’ll make kicking sugar a bit easier for you. Here are a few things sugar does to your health, mind and body:

  • Sugar IS a main culprit in processed foods and we all know we should be staying away from those.
  • Excessive sugar intake causes chronic fatigue
  • Sugar causes WRINKLES! Hello?!?!?! Step away right now…..
  • Sugar can worsen inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis or any itis really
  • Sugar is highly addictive (duh)
  • Sugar gives a quick high, followed by a crash…this is an instability in your blood sugar. Blood sugar directly affects hormones and hormones affect EVERYTHING
  • Sugar can cause weight gain or instability in weight which can lead to diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers
  • Cancer cells FEED on sugar…..yeah, sugar is the preferred nutrient of cancer cells and we all have cancer cells. Do you really want to give them unlimited amounts of nutrients?

So, am I just supposed to go completely sugar-free?!?!?!?!

Well, there’s a catch here. If you depend on products that are labeled “sugar-free” then you are inviting all kinds of other nasty chemicals into your body. Nature has some natural sweets that you can incorporate to keep your sweet tooth under control, and I’ll get to those in a bit. FIRST, 3 simple ways to tell if you have a sugar problem:

  1. You crave something sweet following dinner (or lunch, breakfast or snacks)
  2. You reach for your favorite sweet when having a bad day.
  3. You stuff salty foods down the hole like there’s no tomorrow. Believe it or not, salty foods do trigger the same response and many have a higher sugar count than you think.

Natural Sweeteners:

  • Fruits
  • Dates (these will make a GREAT sweetener for recipes)
  • Starchy veggies (hello sweet potatoes!)
  • raw honey (moderation is key here)
  • coconut sugar
  • rapidura (a natural form of sugar)
  • Stevia (if you dig the after taste)

Are you ready for the great CHALLENGE? Here’s what you need to know…

Studies show that we reach goals faster if we have an accountability group (who here LOVES Weight Watchers? That’s why.), so we’re going to create a LARGE group to kick sugar in the butt and out of our gut. You can come to this blog once  a week in September for weekly recaps and fun recipes. I admit, sugar has crept back into my diet and this is really just my selfish way of getting it out again :) So, here is what you do:

  1. Follow me on Instagram as that is where the majority of the posts will be. Don’t have an INsta? Neither do my kids. You can follow along on Twitter OR FB, but if you’re reading this then you probably already do.
  2. Take pics (I don’t care if they’re pretty!) of your sugar-free inventions, foods you’ve been shocked to find contain sugar, kids giving you scowling looks because you’re taking their sugar away, whatever! Tag me in your pics: @michellecfitness for insta @michellecfit for Twitter and HASHTAG #sweetenough #downwithsugar
  3. Commit to this for the WHOLE month of September! I promise you will feel so much better and have loads of extra energy.
  4. Don’t be stingy. If you find or come up with a great recipe, share it with us! You may even find yourself featured on the blog :)

It’s pretty easy right? We’re all involved in social media, so let’s use it to create a healthy wave! Commit to change and kick sugar! Who’s with me?

SHOUT IT OUT HERE!

Michelle

bears will kill you It’s not a bear….you can do this ;)

Sunday Share: Proud Momma

As I sit here this afternoon (I’ve been out ALL weekend due to sickness….not cool), I wanted to share a little story with you. Be warned, this story may seem like it doesn’t directly relate to fitness…but commit to the end and you’ll see.

THIS is my daughter Debbie:

Mom and Deb

Pretty cute kid right? We’ve been hanging out together for over 13 years now, the past 2 we’ve almost been inseparable. You see, at the tender age of 12 (ALMOST 13) Debbie has a story. She, like my son, attended public school for most of her formative years. In the 3rd grade, things began to shift towards a darker side. She would come home all moody and upset, not wanting to talk about her day. A couple of months into the 4th grade, this bright child had become shrouded in darkness. As many can guess, it was the ever-present bullying that was haunting my once shining star. When I finally got her to open up about it, it was more heartbreak than a mother can stand.

Physical bullying can be stopped. I taught both of my children how to land a well-timed punch that would send enough fluid to the eyes their attacker wouldn’t be able to see them across a room without their eyes watering. Verbal abuse, thoughtfully articulated so as to inflict the most amount of pain to the emotional and mental center, doesn’t respond so quickly. Pile onto it that the main abuser had once called herself “BFF” and you have a foundation for LASTING mental anguish. Trust me, I suffered through junior high and could pick them out of a line up to this day. Words leave deeper scars than any other weapon.

The abuse was going on because Debbie didn’t conform to the crowd. One girl stopped being her friend because she wanted to be friends with another girl who didn’t like Deb. Moms, isn’t it funny how the world truly has not changed? She was made fun of because of her body: called skinny and such (ok, that part has changed…) and her energy. Kids told her she was weird, too happy, retarded, stupid, dumb, ugly, and would basically never have a hope of being nearly as successful as her 4th grade counterparts already assumed themselves to be. Talks with the teachers simply lead to heartless apologies followed by even greater assaults once the teacher left the room….them denial when she came back. I started having lunch with Debbie during the week JUST so she would have somebody to sit with in the cafeteria. I would be lying if I told you the thought of pummeling underage children and their parents didn’t cross my mind every single time I sat down to eat…

Debbie knew that I homeschooled through high school and opened a conversation about the possibility to do so herself. After prayer and more prayer, we decided to give it a go. And that has made us completely inseparable for 2 years. She has gone to work meetings and boot camps, and she even got to travel overseas on a mission trip. She has played photographer, stylist and therapist from one time to another :)

mom and deb plane

We entered the home school decision always knowing she could choose to return at any point. She chose to return this year: 7th Grade.

Her reasoning was that she felt more sure of herself and that she could handle what came her way. She was covered in prayers and backed by my ever-present promise to be at the school within 5 minutes should anybody need to talk directly to me :)

The first day of school came and my bright child felt as though she might vomit. I couldn’t get her to pinpoint what was actually bothering her most until we were walking to the school. Her response was that she had just realized those very same children who had made it their job to cut her down would indeed be at this school. My advice? Hold your head high. You have changed and perhaps they have as well…..I mean, you never know right?

Well, the first day was pretty much the first day. The ones who did recognize her met her with the astute response of “What the **** are you doing here?” A junior higher’s propensity to curse still astonishes me. She would respond with “Going to school” and move on. A real breakthrough came with her first reading assignment. They were given a reverse poem and told to write one as well. She worked hard to come up with a poem that had to do with faith, since she believes faith is what has truly brought her through all the hard stuff. The teacher said she (and some others) had done the assignment wrong and they were just supposed to reword it. She came home down, but not defeated. She felt her point of view MUST be stated. After a late night of hard work, this is what she came up with:

 

Godless Generation

I am part of a Godless generation

And I refuse to believe that

I can change the world

This may come as a shock to you but

“God is real”

Is a lie, and

“Money will make me happy”

So in 30 years I will let God know that

He is not the most important thing in my life

My teacher will know that

I have my priorities straight because

School

Is more important than

Jesus

I tell you this

Once upon a time

God was real

But this will not be true in my era

This is an unholy society

Experts tell me

20 years from now, I will be sinning without consequence

I do not concede that

I will live in a country full of the Holy Spirit

In the future

An empty church will be the norm

No longer can it be said that

My peers and I care about Jesus

It will be evident that

My generation is unbelieving and unsaved

It is foolish to presume that

We believe

 

Unless we reverse it.

 

 

Which generation are you living in?

 

 

So, how can I possibly tie a fitness bow around this? My daughter does not workout with me. She has no desire to lift anything heavier than her cat. She doesn’t strive to be stronger than everybody else. She does enjoy hitting things though :)

It’s not the act of making my daughter move that creates unshakeable confidence in her…it’s the EXAMPLE I set before her. I am a very imperfect person, but I strive to live a life that shows discipline and dedication, not to fitness….but to my family and the values we hold. I strive to create an environment where I am honest with my children AND where they can feel comfortable being honest with me. I hope they will push their generation to hold one another up instead of tear one another down. Maybe this can be the generation that changes everything….but only if we realize they are watching us…

wonder woman

Work IT Wednesday: Shoulder Sculpts

SHAME! I am a day late, but your shoulders can probably still use a little workout right? :)

BTW, that’s my oldest adopted son Donovan :) We love him!

 

AFTER Your warm up (jump rope for 5 minutes and you’re good)

Upright row: 3 sets, 12-15 reps

Single Arm Clean and Press: 3 sets, 10-12 each arm

Lateral Raise: 3 sets, 12-15 reps

Rear Delt Raise: 3 sets, 12-15 reps

Overhead Press: 3 sets, 12-15

FINISHERS

Forward/back, circle front, circle back: 30 seconds each on one arm then the other