#WORKIT Wednesday! Free Workout for you: Tank Top Arms

Arm B&W

Ah, the arms…..the most naked part of the human body. Our arms carry groceries, babies, bags and purses. They push strollers, shopping carts and even buttons.

Arms are involved in just about every aspect of life, yet most women leave them untrained and complain about things such as Bat Wings, Chicken Wings (which are tiny BTW) and flappy things.

Have no fear! I have an arm toning workout that can be done in MINUTES and have you ripping the sleeves off your shirt in no time….OK, maybe not THAT, but you get the point.

What do you need?

Dumbbells that CHALLENGE you. That means your last rep better be a struggle. I usually use 15-25 pound DB’s, but I’ve been working on these things for a few years now.

A padded surface (you know what that means right?).

Some really great music. Never underestimate the power of the playlist.

A great attitude…..that WILL determine your results.

Got it? Let’s get it then!

TANK TOP ARMS:

This workout will be done in a circuit fashion, using a timer (I use a tabata timer on my phone, you feel free to use any timer. A lot of tabata timers are FREE online).

You will be WORKING for 40 seconds, then RESTING for 10 seconds. You will repeat the exercises 3x through (more if you have time to kill or just really don’t want to move tomorrow).

  1. THE PUSHUP! Oh yeah baby, get down and get dirty with them. Range of motion is critical, so if you can’t come all the way down (or 90 degrees at the elbows) drop to your knees and modify as you build strength.
  2. Alternating Biceps Curl. Weights will be in each hand and you will perform slow and controlled bicep curls, one arm, then the other.
  3. Alternating Shoulder Press. Weights up, elbows alongside the shoulders, press one DB to the ceiling, return to start and press the other….remember, slow and steady, no momentum.
  4. Long Arm Plank. Get in a pushup position, but resist the urge to do a pushup. HOLD IT! Contract the core, thighs and shoulders.
  5. Triceps Dip. You can use ANY surface really. Hands face forward, drop your butt directly down (not away, as that is shoulders) then squeeze your arms in and press up. Keep your neck neutral and perform as many as you can before you feel like you might drop yourself, then rest and do some more until your time is up. These can be tough, so aim to do more each time.

These 5 BASIC moves will start to make a BIG difference in your upper body physique. Aim to complete this workout 3 times per week, never on consecutive days. Next week, come back for a body weight leg workout that will have you strutting in shorty shorts (keep it appropriate people!) in no time!

Peace, Love and Lunges (and pushups)

Michelle

date night

 

NOW it’s YOUR turn!

Got a workout you want to see featured in #WORKIT Wednesdays?

Respond BELOW or shout it out on Twitter.

 

The 8-Week Transition Diet by Steve Edwards

Below is a DETAILED 8-week transition diet. This is NOT a quick weight loss, who cares what happens as long as I drop 10 pounds DIET! It’s about restoring health and ramping up your fitness levels.

Now, I don’t enjoy calling them “cheat” days, as I believe we are treating and we should be eating in ways that we don’t feel deprived (MUCH MORE on that in a later blog), but I do love the way Steve has laid this out.

Want more articles like this? Check out Teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog

 

The 8-Week Transition Diet

Author: Steve Edwards

woman eating a salad

Transition diets are one of the easiest ways to become a healthier eater.

I’ve been doing them since the ’80s and, in fact, one of the first articles I ever wrote for Beachbody, in January 2001, was a 6-week transition plan. They’re not only great for first-time dieters but are also great for any time you feel like cleaning out your system after a period of slacking off. That’s why I do a variation of this plan almost every year. Here’s my latest creation.

It’s often said that no one diet works for every individual. While this is true, you may have noticed that all Beachbody eating plans target a similar goal: Eat more natural, whole foods and less junk. That’s because there are no secrets to healthy eating. There are strategies that can lead to various performance benefits, but 99% of the goal of eating healthy is to minimize junk and get your diet to consist of real food (you know, the stuff nature makes). With this in mind, our Beachbody nutrition guides use various strategies, all designed to lead you to the same place.

While those nutrition guides tend to be detailed, the 8-Week Transition Diet is for those of you who want simple. Outside of a small list of what you can’t eat, you’re free to chow down on anything. How hard can that be? You should also find that by making your transition gradually, the road to healthy eating is pretty easy.

 

Week 1

No junk. Eliminate junk food from your diet. That’s it, just junk. Other than this, you can eat whatever and whenever you like. The definition of junk is obvious stuff, like potato chips, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. You may be stricter if you’d like, but for Week 1, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just stay out of the 7-Eleven. For many of you, this step alone will reap huge benefits.

Cheat Days: 2. Since no one’s perfect, you get two days to cheat. That’s right, two days where you can eat anything you want! A trick on cheat days is to listen to your body. At first, it’ll probably tell you it wants whatever you’ve been denying it. However, over time, it’ll start to crave nutrients you’re deficient in. Learn to read your body’s subtle signs. If you’re craving ice cream, you may be short on essential fatty acids. If you crave a hamburger, your diet may lack protein. By listening to your body and learning what it really needs in this way, you can make better food substitutions. It’s a way of getting in tune with yourself that will benefit you for your entire lifetime.

Weekly focus: Water. Not swimming in it, though that’s good, too, but staying hydrated with it. “They” say you should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, but I say you should drink more. Shoot for a gallon (though don’t worry if you fall short). Yeah, that probably seems crazy but almost all of us walk around dehydrated for most of our lives, which not only hurts the way we function but also makes us hungry when we’re actually thirsty. A glass of water when you feel hunger pangs both staves them off and helps you fill up faster when you do eat. As for other drinks, juices and sugary sodas also (obviously) fall into the junk category. And alcohol should be kept to a minimum. We tend to forget (purposely or not) that alcohol has calories. A lot of them: 7 calories per gram. Mixers can be even worse—not only can they add calories, but these sugary calories influence the way alcohol reacts with your body.

Week 2

Each week’s rules are cumulative, so the “no junk” rule from Week 1 will apply until the end, as will each subsequent week’s rule. Remember that this is a process. Treat it as though you’re in school and the subject is your own body.

Eat small, eat often. Eat every couple of hours while you’re awake and try not to eat anything for about three hours before you go to sleep. Following these rules will keep your blood sugar levels more static and your energy level will stay consistent. Try to keep each snack or meal balanced. Something like a 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 30% fat ratio, though you don’t need to worry too much about it. Just realize that you need a bit from each macronutrient group. Eat based on what you’ll be doing for the next few hours (if you’re working out, eat a little more; sitting at a desk, eat a little less). The three-hours-before-bed rule is important, especially for fats and carbohydrates. By allowing time for all the carbs you eat to get into your bloodstream, your body will sleep in fat-burning mode, rather than in calorie-storing mode. This is important because undigested carbs in your stomach at night are stored as adipose tissue (fat).

Cheat Days: 2

Weekly focus: Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs them, just like it needs proteins and fats. The trick is to choose the right carbs. As a society, we eat too much refined sugar. Complex carbs, like whole-grain breads, whole-grain rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes are outstanding foods. Even fruits, which have simple carbohydrates wrapped in fiber, are exceptionally healthy. While you don’t want a diet based on nothing but carbs, making the right carb choices will maximize your body’s potential. Try to avoid white rice and flours. Read labels, and try to avoid ones that use the word “enriched,” because this means these products have been stripped of their natural nutrients, overprocessed, and then fortified with a few random nutrients.

 

Week 3

Eat some colorful, low-density food at every meal. These are foods that take up a lot of space without a lot of calories. Veggies are the most obvious example. You can eat a salad bowl overflowing with lettuce and veggies and you most likely won’t exceed 100 calories. By eating low-density foods like veggies and fruits, you’ll keep your portions under control naturally, because they have very few calories for their size. Conversely, high-density foods, like chocolate and butter, are loaded with calories in even the smallest amounts. So beware of salad dressings and other things you add to salads and veggies. Only add enough for flavor; don’t fill up on them. When it comes to live foods, the richer the colors, the fresher the products tend to be. Try to eat a variety of colors in your diet. This simple-yet-random-feeling act will help ensure that you’re covering all your nutrient bases.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Protein at every meal. This becomes even more important as you eat more low-density food, because protein tends to be high-density. Many veggies have a lot of protein, but the quantity you must consume starts to become prohibitive. Try to get some protein—meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, or seeds each time you eat, especially when you’re working out hard, because you need to repair broken-down muscle tissue. Since your body can only utilize a certain amount of protein at once, do your best to eat small amounts often (starting to see a theme?) Reading labels is a simple way to learn how to estimate your protein intake. You’ll notice natural foods don’t have labels but once your diet is comprised mostly of these you’ll no longer need them. More on this later.

 

Week 4

Cook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which hopefully happened in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients (most will be savvy enough to make a point of how healthy their food is). As you may have seen in the news, restaurants tend to use alarming quantities of salt, among other things. This single step will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance). This can be hard for many of us because we now have to plan our meals and prepare ahead of time, but try to treat it like vocational school—you don’t learn a new “job” without a little retraining.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Remember that fat is a vital part of your diet, not just something that makes you fat. What is not vital is junk fat in processed foods. Healthy fats come from fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, etc.—natural sources. You need to be careful about that amount of fat you eat because it’s very dense. At 9 calories per gram, it contains more than double the calories of carbs and protein.

 

Week 5

Reduce starchy carbohydrates. Starches include rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and other legumes. While many of these are in no way bad foods, most of us eat too much of them. The goal here is to cut way down on them, if not totally out, and then add them back in when your body feels like it needs energy. This will teach you the relationship you have with carbs. They are vital for energy but eating too many of them leaves us lethargic (and eventually fat). Once you figure this out, your entire relationship with food will change.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout or during a long one. Your body doesn’t need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can’t avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the one-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you’ve used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and eating sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further.

 

Week 6

If man makes it, don’t eat it. This is likely to be the hardest week of your diet. You want to eat only whole foods and eliminate all processed foods, even good ones, for the week. This includes breads, most salad dressings, all cereal, luncheon meats, cheese, dried fruits, anything with preservatives, and alcoholic beverages. What you can eat are whole foods such as fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, meat (sans any type of sauce), natural whole-grain rice, poached eggs, etc. Since your eating habits have been slowly changing, this shouldn’t be that big a shock to your system, but it will still likely be hard. Try and get creative. There are now many raw and whole food “cook” books that can help keep you entertained.

Cheat Days: 1. The “cheat day” mentality is a good one. Decadent desserts, a night at the buffet, drinking with friends, etc., can be good for you as long as they are rewards and not habits. Studies proving this have been steadily appearing for about as long as we’ve been studying things. All work and no play does, indeed, make Jack a dull boy.

Weekly focus: Nuts and seeds make great snacks. A handful of raw almonds or cashews is a quick and easy snack that goes a long way. Don’t be put off by the high fat count of nuts, because this means it takes fewer of them to satiate you. Nuts and seeds are loaded with important phytonutrients, as well as good fats, proteins, and fiber.

Week 7

Be yourself. No rules—just try and eat as healthily as you can and do it by feel. Trusting yourself might seem like a lot of responsibility, but by now you’ll be up to it. Learning to eat by feeling what your body needs is an important step in your transformation. Consider the way you’ve been eating over the last six weeks, but don’t worry about what you should and shouldn’t do. Just fuel yourself. The point is to take a mental break. Relax and allow yourself to eat in a way that feels normal. You may be surprised to find yourself craving something healthy instead of a candy bar or soda. You’ll be better at listening to your body because it’ll tell you what it needs to eat, as opposed to what you’re used to eating. Your body should feel somewhat transformed.

“Reward for a Life Well Lived” Days: 1

Weekly focus: If you’re so hungry at night that you can’t sleep, try a protein shake. A recent study confirmed what’s been a focus of this diet for two decades; that protein before bed can raise amino acid activity for a full night of rest.

 

Week 8

Eat a perfect diet. Let’s get after it. No one is better able to tell you what you should eat than you. Our bodies are all different, and the key to your own perfect diet is learning about how your body reacts to different foods under different circumstances. Your journey over the last seven weeks should have brought you to a new understanding of how food affects your body, both for good and for bad. The time has come to test it. See how well you can eat for a week. In fact, see how well you can eat for the rest of your life. Live and enjoy.

Reward Days: 1, of course!

Weekly Focus: Don’t bonk. Bonking is a state when your body runs out of blood sugar and glycogen for energy. If you feel like your workouts are going backward instead of forward, this is a likely culprit. Use your energy level as your gauge. As soon as it starts to drop, start adding carbs back into your diet until you feel energized all day long. When you feel energized during your workouts and the rest of the day, you’ll know you’ve found the right balance between carbs and other nutrients. Also, remember that as your body puts on more muscle, you will need to eat more. Muscle weighs much more than fat, so as you gain muscle and lose fat, your body shrinks without losing weight. You will also require more calories in order to maintain your muscle. So, when you’re working out hard, don’t be afraid to eat more carbs than you do otherwise.

 

Need more help reaching your goals?

Check out www.fitnesshaus.co for meal plans, recipes, grocery lists and more!

New Feature: WORKOUT OF THE MONTH

A lot of visits here are for workout reviews. Why? Cause we want an honest opinion of what works!

In light of that fact, I am launching a brand new feature called WORKOUT OF THE MONTH.

This will feature a new workout each month, most home-based, that you can try out REAP the benefits and rewards.

So, for August (we’re close enough), HERE is my top pick:

PiYo DEFINE YOURSELF

With PiYo, you can carve an intensely defined physique without jumps, weights, or straining

your joints. Chalene Johnson’s innovative program is sure to bring you some exciting business

opportunities, so here are some key points to remember.

What is PiYo?

PiYo is a low-impact, high-intensity body-transformation program that uses the most

effective Pilates- and yoga-inspired moves to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.

Trainer Chalene Johnson uses fluid movements, keeping you in constant motion to give

you a dynamic cardio workout that typical Pilates or yoga workouts lack.

It’s low-impact so you won’t have to jump around or strain your joints.

It’s high-intensity so you get the fat-burning results of a more extreme program.

It’s designed to help you get an intensely defined, long and lean physique.

Who is it designed for?

Women and men who:

Want to lose weight and burn fat without the high-impact jumps or complex

choreography found in some cardio programs.

Want to build lean muscle but don’t want to lift heavy weights or bulk up.

Want to get the results of an extreme program without straining their joints.

Like the benefits of Pilates and yoga, but also want the calorie burn of a cardio workout.

Don’t have time to go from class to class to do separate cardio, strength, and

flexibility workouts.

Want a workout that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

Want to give their body a break from extreme programs but keep getting results and

improve their performance in other sports by restoring their flexibility and core strength.

What’s included?

8 workouts on 3 DVDs (25–45 minutes each)

1 bonus workout (25 minutes)

Quick Start Guide to help you start seeing results fast

Get Lean Eating Plan to make clean eating fit into your lifestyle

60-Day Workout Calendar shows you what workouts to do when

Tape measure to help track your progress

Exclusive! You will get a FREE bonus workout—Hardcore on the Floor (a

$19.95 USD value)—when they order through you

Why should you get Piyo?

To burn calories and fat and lose weight without high-impact cardio or complicated

choreography.

To build long, lean, intensely defined muscles without lifting heavy weights that can

cause added bulk.

To give joints a break from extreme programs but still maintain results.

• To improve core strength and flexibility and improve athletic performance.

To get the benefits of Pilates and yoga without the stillness of yoga and repetitive

nature of Pilates.

To get the benefits of a strength, cardio, and flexibility program all in each workout,

without having to find the time to go to different classes.

To enjoy a new program from their favorite trainer Chalene Johnson.

How does PiYo work?

PiYo isn’t like standard Pilates and yoga classes that make you hold long, intense poses, or

lead you through dozens of repetitive, microscopic core movements. PiYo speeds everything

up—including your results—by introducing you to dynamic, flowing Pilates- and yoga-inspired

sequences that can burn serious calories at the same time as they lengthen and tone your

muscles and increase your flexibility. As you progress from one fluid movement to the next

without rest, you’ll maintain an optimal heart rate to incinerate calories throughout the whole

workout!

With every action-packed PiYo session, you’ll burn excess fat and sculpt and define your whole

body, as you minimize the aches and pains that can come along with high-impact workouts.

The result? You get a low-impact, high-intensity, total-body workout, giving you a physique that’s

long, lean, and powerfully defined.

My results have been phenomenal! I feel stronger and it is making all of my other workouts more effective. I’ve also lessened injuries and have begun to heal from old ones. The workouts are short enough for busy schedules OR for weirdos like me that like to work out like all day :)

Grab your PiYo HERE today!

Define yourself,

Michelle

FREE Workout Wednesday: Total body workout, slim hips and thighs

I’ve been SWAMPED lately, but all good things are coming to MCF!

Enjoy this workout while you wait :)

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: 

WE WANT TO BE FIT, BUT…

  • 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 Amazon.com. 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!

Michelle

http://www.fitnesshaus.co

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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.
  • IS IT METABOLIC DAMAGE? Um, no.
  • 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…..you 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,

Michelle

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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,

Michelle

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