Happy Holidays! Healthy Gift Guide

Good morning Lovelies!

Today will start a much needed break from all things fitness related so I can focus on another passion: SHOPPING!

Seriously, I have been blessed to try out different products throughout the year that will make GREAT Christmas gifts for your fit minded loved ones.

Today, I have 3 choices for you and yours. So sit back, grab a cup of hot cocoa and let’s get started :)

Travel, Gym, Play, and Everyday:

6 PACK BAGS

Heads UP! This is a personal fave :)

6 Pack Bags offers a full line of versatile and stylish bags that totes your meals (NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE) as well as everyday items and gym fare. Many of the backpacks come with separate compartments for stinky shoes too. They offer a Women’s Line of elite bags, and they are the ONLY line of bags I would pay the money for honestly. Fashion meets function with these awesome bags. Perfect gift for the fit gal on the go in your life.

6 pack shoulder          6 pack purse        6 pack expidition

 

Pain Free Hair Removal with the Emjoi Epi Slim+

Maybe you don’t think hair removal is an awesome gift, BUT for those fit fans in your life hair removal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg could be the perfect gift! With the Emjoi Epi Slim+ you get practically pain-free hair removal in a sleek and slim design. With technical features like the patented 3 disc tweezers and eRase glide technology, you can erase hair from face, bikini line, underarms, anywhere you have unwanted hair. The 18 tweezer action discs remove hair from the root for up to 6 whole weeks AND its battery operated, so travel is easy. Grab one for yourself or a loved one today. Makes a great stocking stuffer :) (NOTE: I was sent one at no charge from the publicists for Emjoi Epi Slim).

emjoi      emjoi full

 

Performance Fuel Delivered to the Front Door: B-Elite Meals

I get it…this can seem a bit unconventional, but who cares?!?!?! If you or someone in your life struggles with nutrition or simply does NOT have the time to meal prep, then B-Elite is the answer. High quality, delicious taste and ZERO preservatives. PLUS, these meals are designed by folks who understand the struggle. Each and every meal is portioned with the proper nutrients you need to look and feel your best year-round. These can be stored in the freezer and grabbed when you need them most. It’s a winning gift all year long :)

b-elite fuel 1      b-elite fuel 2     b-elite fuel 3

 

That should get your Christmas shopping started! Come back next week for more fit-friendly gift ideas and be sure to have a healthy holiday and a Merry Christmas!

Michelle

 

 

 

PORTION CONTROL: Your best tool in surviving the Holidays

 

The Holidays are upon us and that usually causes 1 of 2 responses when it comes to fitness:

  1. Fear and dread thinking about trying to “control” everything and maintain our results.
  2. The generalized “CHUCK IT ALL!” feeling where you just give up and decide to start over, yet again, New Year’s day.

What if there really IS a better way?

Watching your portions can help you keep your waistline and your energy levels in check, whether you eat at home OR out and about. Pay attention to HOW MUCH you eat and you will have a harder time gaining weight this season.

Here are some more tips on monitoring your portions, but still enjoying this season:

  • As the video states, SLOW DOWN. Don’t be the first to get your food and don’t be the first to finish.
  • If your Thanksgiving meal is served buffet style, leave some white space on your plate. You can still enjoy the foods if they are in smaller portions AND the starving children in Africa are still starving when you overstuffed yourself…so stop that.
  • ALSO, make the commitment to yourself to be a ONE-TRIPPER. Get what you really like (avoid the stuff you hate) and only go around once.
  • If your meal is served at the table, don’t sit by a trigger food. If you’re placed there, pass it down and fill its spot with a less-likely-to-binge alternative.
  • Know ahead of time what you will splurge on.
  • Eat plenty of lean protein to keep your blood sugar stable.
  • Try to avoid alcohol. It will lower your inhibitions and before you know it, 3 pieces of pie don’t sound too bad at all.
  • Take a walk after dinner instead of plopping down on the couch.
  • Go outside and play with the kids (though a trampoline after a big meal would not be advised).
  • Get a workout in that morning as studies show we eat healthier when we workout.
  • Enjoy the conversation, don’t feel the need to eat just because others are eating.
  • Watch out for sugary drinks, opt for water instead.
  • Can’t decide which dessert? Serve yourself small portions (1-2 bites) of each on a smaller plate.
  • If you have people who point out your eating habits (OH, so you’re too good to eat…?) I have found 1 key phrase that gets them off my back: “If you feel the need to pick apart my eating habits, then I will be more than accommodating to pick apart yours….” Judge not, lest ye be judges people.
  • Do a little yoga before bed that evening to reset the system. Make sure it includes plenty of twists to detoxify the system.
  • Plan to workout the day after, even if it’s a light workout at home.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. I have NO intention of logging every morsel on Thanksgiving OR Christmas day. Enjoy the spirit of the season and don’t let food be a stressor.

Keep up with more Holiday tips with the newsletter ———>>>>>>>>

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Michelle

Talking about #demabs …and how to get them

A question posed more often than not is, “How do I tighten my abs?”. You can replace that with anything about a tight core, tight midsection, getting rid of the muffin top, etc. You get the point right?

The core is one of my FAVORITE body parts and also one of my most challenging. My core, or midsection, never stays as lean as my back, legs or arms. I do, however, know a thing or two about getting a strong and tight core. So…are you ready to get started?

rockin abs

NUTRITION.

What you eat will determine 100% whether or not people can see your abs. We all have them, but seeing them is a different matter entirely. If there are a lot of salty, sugary or processed foods (OH! and fake sugars) the abs will remain hidden…unless your a 15-year-old male athlete, then eat what you want and enjoy your youth :)

Balance is key when it comes to good core nutrition. You need proteins, carbohydrates and fats in balance to get the most from your core AND digestive system. Withholding nutrients can cause inflammation in the center where the majority of the body’s digestive system and energy are stored. Focus on whole foods first, then supplement as needed with your lifestyle. Pay attention to what you eat and how your body responds. Some of us can get gassy and bloated with certain foods, so make a note of it and try to eat those foods in moderation. The only time a food should be avoided completely is if you have been tested for an allergy OR eating that food causes great intestinal pain.

Veggie belly :)

Veggie belly is a term to explain the bloat that comes from a LARGE volume of veggies consumed in the diet. It is nothing to be concerned with and shouldn’t alter your consumption of veggies unless you’re about to bare all in a tiny swimsuit. Veggie belly will usually only last about 2-6 hours post meal. Regular workouts can help eliminate most of the bloat anyways.

After 1

ABDOMINAL MUSCULATURE

We ALL have abdominal muscles. There are a few key factors to drawing them inward and creating a sleeker looking physique. Women tend to want “FLAT” abs. This is achieved through Pilates like drawing inward and always encouraging the abs to draw in and up. If you’re wanting a 6-pack then you will need to BUILD those muscles out a bit. It’s important to realize that the core muscles are like any other muscle. They have similar functions and will grow when placed under pressure. That side bend with the weight you’re doing….unless you want your obliques (waistline) to grow OUTWARD, stop it. Your best bets for a sleek and strong midsection are plank variations, twisting movements such as bicycle crunches, wood chops, and twists with a medicine ball, as well as hanging leg raises and back extensions. If you want to create a fuller look to the abs try adding weighted crunches and cable crunches to your rotation.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WORK MY ABS?

Abs are like any other muscle, but if worked properly they do not need quite as much time to repair. I work my core 4 days per week, alternating between weighted and non-weighted days.

FINAL ADVICE:
Your abs SHOULD work during every single workout. If you are working legs at the gym, you better have a tight core. If you’re hitting back, make sure your abs are engaged before every single rep. It may take a bit of time to get used to, but if you make sure your abs contract before each movement then your workout will be safer and more effective overall.

Check out these ab workouts to get you started to a GREAT midsection:

 

The New Year is HERE!

I know it’s November, but you know it’s coming…

You can hear the footsteps of the New Year as clearly as the Christmas songs in the grocery stores.

The. New. Year.

The New Year can hold hope for some and dread for others. Many of us start the New Year with the exact same resolutions as last year….and possibly the year before.

Fear not, fitness seeker! There are loads of NEW options through MichelleCFitness.

Awesome FREEBIES:

Check out my INSTAGRAM feed to follow my journey to the stage. You’ll get to see my foods and some unaltered gym locker room selfies…woohoo!

My YOUTUBE channel is being infused with videos that break down form on popular exercises AND some free workouts as well.

Sign up for the NEWSLETTER over there ———->>>>>>>>>>>>>>> for FREE recipes to get you out of your food rut.

NEW ONLINE OFFERINGS:

Online coaching is available NOW and can keep you from gaining weight during the Holidays.

The best part? It’s totally affordable! Initial set up is $99 (what that covers is below) and monthly training cost is $50.

Online coaching covers:

  • Nutrition evaluation
  • Macro calculations
  • Fitness assessment
  • Goal setting
  • First month workouts, rotations, meal plans and/or macro plans
  • Access to your trainer via phone, text, or email
  • Bi-weekly evaluations

1 to 1 training sessions

The Slaughter House Gym is accepting clients on the list for sessions in the New Year. Sessions are sold in packages and range from $600-$1100. Packages include nutrition counseling and macro calculations.

Specialty Diets

Feeling a little lackluster after all the sugar and over indulging? I can hook you up!

  • Yeast free diet help
  • Elimination Diet
  • Allergen assessments
  • Special situations
  • Eating disorders

These are assesses on a case by case basis. Please email michelle@michellecfitness.com

Nutrition Boot Camp Sign Ups have STARTED!

It’s official, Nutrition Boot camp is back! The Holiday Edition is HERE.

Check out the video for info on the WHY and WHAT of NBC:

This boot camp will cover SO MUCH information, but I always narrow down the focus so YOU Can see results.

Is it possible to NOT gain weight during the holidays? You bet! It’s even possible to lose weight during the holidays if you are given the right guidance.

Check it out:

Januray 13 2014

This pic I was taking in under 1800 calories, about 80 grams of carbs, 160 grams of protein, and only about 20-30 grams of fat. My diet was MOSTLY veggies (not a bad thing really). I was having a hard time getting muscle definition to show and was all-around slowed down by stubborn fat and low energy.

prepweek4

I know the angles isn’t the same, but I don’t take a lot of photos in my bra :)

OK, so this one I am working my was up to roughly 2600 cals per day, 200 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat.

I’m eating WAY more and losing fat like CRAZY while I gain muscle. It’s a nutrition science miracle.

March 20 2014

As of TODAY, I am sitting at 2600 cals, 254 grams of carbs, 152 grams of protein and 60 grams of carbs.

If you think you can just eat the same and see results….I hate to disappoint BUT your nutrition is as unique as your fingerprint.

That’s why YOU need nutrition boot camp!

I figure your macros, yes, BUT I also teach you how to do it on your own so as things change you still see results! I make it easy for you.

PLUS you get recipes, meal plans for the BIG days (and the shopping days when time is scarce), workout plans to burn off major calories….not time, plus more.

Why wait until the New Year when you can start the New Year at your goal?!?!?!?

Sign up today!

Discipline: The Missing Link to Your Goals

Happy Monday!

Today is going to involve a little experiment. You may need to search the house or your phone to complete this though…so let’s get to goal hunting.

First, I need you to take out those spiral notebooks where you write ideas, goals and the occasional grocery list. If you’re anything like me, these notebooks litter your house to the point where you feel like you should probably be planting a few trees a year…

Now, go through them and take a look at the GOALS you wrote down over the past year or two. The BIG question is:

HAVE YOU MET YOUR GOALS?

I realize a lot of people on this blog are here because you accidentally stumbled upon it while Googling (thanks adwords!) ;) and you thought you would check it out for health and fitness advice right? Goals can pertain to a lot of other areas though. The most interesting thing is that people who are truly DISCIPLINED (pay attention to the word) are more successful overall. Thank you Brian Tracy. So read on to figure out how you can reap the benefits and be a goal-getter.

GOAL

DISCIPLINE is a word that has developed a negative connotation. People don’t want to discipline their children….so we swim in a culture of young adults who believe they don’t have to actually work for anything, but that’s a totally different blog post.

The discipline I am referring to is self-discipline. Let’s put this in the context of weight loss, as many people do have that goal. The question is why to some succeed where others continuously fail? DISCIPLINE.

Here is an eye-opening fact: willpower is futile and worthless. There really is no such thing. You cannot depend on the elusive willpower to help you lose weight. Willpower will free like a frightened weenie dog at the first upset of a schedule, and yet we blame lack of willpower for an inability to lose weight. Or worse, we claim others have the willpower gene…which is also non-existent, so feel free to pop that excuse bubble and move on now.

Motivation does little more than get you off the couch. I LOVE motivational videos and speakers. I can get all fired up to workout after a really good Nike commercial :)

You may even find me running after one of those…..but motivation won’t carry you that far.

See, we also like to BLAME motivation. I wake up at 3:50 a.m. 6 days a week to workout and I’m always told, “Wow, that takes some motivation.”. NO. It takes discipline. If it were motivation, those NOT willing to put in the time could simply blame a lack of motivation. How on earth do you fix a lack of motivation? Have you ever thought about that? Motivation is a positive reaction to something…..sometimes, we just don’t feel positive. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wake up and think what I do is STUPID…it’s not motivation.

So, what about inspiration? I view inspiration as what we give to others. It’s the light in each of us that we allow to shine into others lives so they feel like they really are worth something. That’s why I love speaking engagements and getting to meet people. Inspiration is a 2-way street, but it isn’t what helps you reach your goals.

So, are you doomed to continue filling spiral notebooks and watching fitness commercials until the end of your days with NOTHING to show for it?

Step 1: Ditch the excuses.

Got that?

Step 2: Develop self-discipline.

This is why we don’t like self-discipline:

  • It’s hard.
  • It’s not something that ANYBODY is born with.
  • It requires change in our habits.
  • It might make us uncomfortable.
  • It might make others uncomfortable (hint: it does if you’re doing it right)
  • We cannot blame ANYBODY else.
  • It requires us to take ownership.
  • It requires work and effort….and lots of it.

Successful people are disciplined people. If you have not found success, check your discipline! Do you want more, or are you content lying low in the background? Successful people have more to give and more is expected. Success is not the drive….discipline is the drive. Develop the discipline needed to reach ANY goal and you cannot fail! Fail to develop discipline and you are left with nothing other than wish lists in spiral notebooks….

Motivation vs. Discipline. It is determined in your attitude.

Michelle

Need help disciplining your dedication to a healthy lifestyle?

I have a Holiday Boot Camp coming soon! All interactive and goal based so you LEARN how to reach your goals. Available worldwide :)

Sign up to be the first to hear when spots are open below.

Fun Friday: weekend warrior circuit

Happy Friday fit peeps!

I have a treat for you today…..a quick, do anywhere circuit and some awesome travel foods. I know my weekend is jam-packed with activities, so it’s always best to be prepared :)

Weekend Warrior full body circuit

What you need: some space, a timer (I LOVE the TABATA pro app), dumbbells, water and towel

Start by warming up dynamically, putting the body through its full range of motion.

Light jog for 2 minutes to complete warm up.

NOTE: if any muscles seem overly tight, take a minute to stretch and/or foam roll them!

The Circuit: 10 moves, 40 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, 30 seconds to prepare, repeat a total of 3 times

  1. Squat
  2. Pushup
  3. Alternating back lunges
  4. Alternating side lunge, tapping opposite hand to the floor
  5. Imaginary (or real) jump rope
  6. Squat thrust with weights: squat to floor, put weights under shoulders and jump/step back, return back to squat and stand while squeezing glutes
  7. Sumo squat with a narrow bicep curl (elbows in front of rib cage, weights touching)
  8. Plank hold
  9. Stiff legged dead lift with wide (zotman) bicep curl
  10. Squat with overhead press

You’ll notice that we work MULTIPLE body parts in this workout and hit the legs quite a bit. The reason is because you want to BURN serious calories. Work hard during your 40 seconds and attack each move with intensity. The bonus? Awesome, cellulite-free thighs for you :)

100_0374 BOOM!

Travel Friendly Foods:

You’ll find me with any combination of these on the weekend.

  • sliced cucumber
  • low-sodium lunch meats
  • tuna packets (flavored is fine)
  • fruits
  • celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc.
  • baby foods in pouches (yes! they come in handy and you get your greens)
  • pre-grilled chicken, fish or steak
  • protein bars (Quest bars and the new MetRX bars are best)
  • Kind bars

Be prepared for hunger and crazy cravings while you’re out! Don’t depend on willpower when the Starbuck’s sweets case is staring you down :)

Hopefully, that helps you with your weekend!

Make sure you sign up for the newsletter to receive the recipe for this week ———–>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

In health,

Michelle

Abs on the ball

Your Life Still Counts Book Launch TODAY!

 

Tracie - God did not turn His back on me.  He was

A little over a year ago, I was fortunate enough to be working a booth at the She Speaks conference. I was approached by Tracie Miles that weekend and asked if I would consider sharing my story in her new book. Honestly, I thought nothing would come of it….but I was so wrong.

 

YLSC - quote O (1)

The part of my story that I was asked to share is one that always held great shame for me. I kept it hidden for years because it was the darkest of darkest secrets. I allowed myself to be rendered practically useless, existing from day-to-day rather than truly living. I was broken, beaten, bruised and in my eyes, worthless.

YLSC - quote Q

I am living, breathing proof that hurt can be used for glory and that beauty can come from the ashes. God found me in the deepest depths of my wallowing pit and raised me up as He had always intended me to be. You see, my failures did not come as a shock, nor did they derail His plan. He is ready, willing and able to work us over to be the lively and passionate people we were made to be at ANY time….so long as we accept Him.

YLSC - quote R

I kept this part of my story a secret from those dearest to me for over a decade. The amazing thing is that life itself began to open up the moment I did. My life is forever changed.

YLSC - quote 1

If my story can affect just one person, then it was worth the pain. You do matter! The voices that tell you otherwise are liars. Call them into the light, confront them with the truth and the TRUTH will set you free.

Tracie’s book, Your Life Still Counts, launches today. You can find information on loads of prizes and freebies HERE. Check it out, but a few copies for your friends, read through the stories of women JUST LIKE YOU, and become empowered in your life.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to Tracie for choosing my story, to my husband for ALWAYS being there for me, and to my dad for teaching me to be an adult :)

Michelle x0x0x0x0

WORKIT WEDNESDAY: Stability Ball Circuit…..plus a cookbook review

Got a stability ball?

Check.

Any idea how to use it? Aside from just sitting on it….

I got your back :)

We all know that results TRULY happen in the kitchen (please tell me you know that by now). My colleague and coach, Julie Lohre, has written an AWESOME cook book that will make time spent in the kitchen a breeze.

RecipeBook2_copy__51349_1411500283_1280_1280

You can grab a copy of this cookbook HERE for $9.95 (which is a steal!). Want it for free?!?!?! Sign up for my newsletter because I am sending out a code this Friday :)

What can you expect?

Easy to follow recipes that don’t bog you down with ingredients you have to travel across town to acquire. The cookbook is full of fun, family-friendly treats (Julie gets families!) that will leave you feeling satisfied all while helping you reach your goals.

Check it out for yourself and get to cooking :)

Stay healthy,

Michelle

Motivation Monday: A Peek into My Personal Training

 

***DISCLAIMER: this post is to give you an insight into what I am currently doing during this season to train for figure. It is meant to inspire and help others, but should not be taken as a replacement for training and/or medical advice.***

guns

So, normally I am just spouting off ideas of what you can do to reach your goals right? And that’s GREAT….but it may be nice for you to know that I am human (or so people keep telling me) and have goals as well. Today, I’m give you a tour of my training and nutrition plan as is at this moment. Ready to peek into my personal life? Let’s go!

THE GOAL:

I am competing in 2 figure competitions in 2015. The first will be March 28th and the second will be May 10th. If you’re unfamiliar with divisions in competitions, FIGURE are the gals who are lean with a nice amount of muscle definition. I can compete in the Bikini division now, but wanted to push the envelope even further for myself (that is NO disrespect to bikini competitors, ya’ll rock!). So, the goal of the moment is to put on muscle and lots of it. I have to be mindful of nutrition because I do NOT believe you have to put on FAT to put on muscle (call me crazy, but I call it science). I’ll be walking you through both AND give you a link to my workouts as well.

THE WORKOUTS:

Right now I wake up about 3:55 a.m. and START THE COFFEE :) I get dressed, grab my coffee and supps, and try to hit the gym by 4:30 a.m.

My weekly split looks like this:

Monday: BACK

Tuesday: SHOULDERS/ABS/Cardio (maybe 20 minutes)

Wednesday: LIGHT LEGS

Thursday: BACK

Friday: CHEST/ARMS/SHOULDERS

Saturday: HEAVY DUTY LEGS (I usually lift around 50K pounds this day)

Sunday: NOTHING….absolutely nothing. This is the Lord’s day and I use it to worship and rest….and work the church parking lot once a week :)

This split will probably change in a few weeks, but right now it works. I need to grow the width AND thickness of my back, so it gets worked heavy 2x per week. I’m also hitting shoulders 2x per week, but they are responding VERY quickly. Legs are hit twice, once for development and once for conditioning. I added some MMA work last week, but have to be careful with anything that will cause my back to lean out as I am already quite lean there.

Want to see my workouts? I track them ALL at Bodyspace. You can find them under my workouts. Just remember to adjust sets/reps/weights to your goals and current fitness level.

This particular week is an UNLOADING week. Basically, I’m taking the load of exercise down a notch to give my muscles the chance to adapt. I did it this week because I was starting to feel quite fatigued and having a little longer recovery periods. How I accomplish an unloading week is pretty simple: the VOLUME of exercise decreases. I don’t want to decrease the WEIGHT, just the volume. So, for example, I normally do 5 exercises 5 sets on back day. Today I cut the sets to 3. I don’t want to decrease weight, just the time under the load. This will amplify recovery and I’ll be ready for higher volume AND weight sets next week.

How do I know this?

education You know I LOVE certifications! My newest one :)

NUTRITION:

My nutrition stays very steady and I have found what works best for ME. Please note: following somebody else’s nutrition plan can be detrimental to your goals! You have to figure out what works best for you. Below is an example of my plan. I usually have a 50/30/20 split in macros.

Upon waking: 6 oz coffee mixed with 1 scoop protein powder (my fave drink of ALL time)

During morning training: 1 scoop SIZE ON with water

Meal 1: 1 serving gluten-free cream of rice cereal with 1 scoop chocolate protein powder and 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Meal 2: 5 oz chicken/steak OR 7 oz tilapia, 1/2 cup rice, 1 cup veggies

Meal 3: same as #2

Meal 4: 1 apple, 5 oz chicken, 1 cup veg

Meal 5: 7 oz tilapia OR 5 oz salmon, 1 cucumber

Meal 6: 1 scoop chocolate casein/whey mix, heated gently and mixed with 6 oz water and 4 ox unsweetened almond milk (basically protein hot cocoa)

I’ll get into the supplements later (drat!), but will be sharing what I have found to work WONDERS. I do take a multi-vitamin daily and recovery supps. No fat burners or anything excessive though.

As you can see, I eat a LOT! I can maintain my weight easily around 2500-2800 calories (I totally realize this is a BLESSING!) since I reversed myself out of chronic diets and beefed up my metabolism. This SHOULD make cutting a little easier when prep actually starts (around Christmas, cause I’m crazy). I do a reefed when needed, but right now that’s only every 3 weeks or so. I do not have cheat meals regularly as I have found that the more balanced my nutrition the less I crave anything. A treat for me may be some dark chocolate or even a piece of pizza (healthy pizza) and those fit easily into my macros.

Some other GREAT news is that I got my first sponsor (woohoo! Official ATHLETE!) and you can find my page and supps HERE. So check it out, cause the more the page hums the more my sponsors love me :)

That’s the basics. I will be keeping track of my prep on INSTAGRAM and YOUTUBE, with a few rare posts here. Thanks for your love and support!

Michelle