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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.***

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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

 

 

Let’s Get Oily! Essential Oils Review

Want to WIN? Check it out:

doTERRA_IntroKit_giveaway

FIRST, follow Jesseny (I totally messed that up the second time in the vid, whoops) on INSTAGRAM: @theempoweredmomma

Tag 2 friends in a pic AND make sure you do between NOW and October 9th for your chance to win!

How else can you find her?

Blog: The Empowered Momma

Twitter: jesseny_rojas

Facebook: TheEmpowered Momma

Pinterest: JessenyRojas

YouTube: JessenyRojas: The Empowered Momma

Newsletter: EmpoweredMommaNotes

 

Want to train with me? New services offered.

You’ll see a lot more happening around the site in the next few weeks. I’m opening up some new services I have been working on so that YOU can reach your personal and physical goals.

Check out what’s coming SOON:

ONLINE PERSONAL TRAINING

This is designed for those who either can’t get to me, can’t get a spot, OR find themselves ready to prod their own hiney out of bed and get it done! If you’re in that last category, then we have something in common: awesomeness :)

What does it include?

  • Macronutrient calculation and meal planning help individual to YOU and your goals
  • Macro adjustments as needed
  • Strength training plans adjusted to suit your goals AND your current abilities and facilities (no gym, no prob)
  • Cardio/conditioning programs for body fat loss
  • Tips and tricks

Who is it for?

  • Competitors (novice and experienced) looking for an edge and fresh concepts
  • Athletes needing conditioning, strength and nutrition for their sport
  • Youth athletes seeking and edge to a scholarship
  • Athletes who have struggled with injury and need help getting back on top of their game

Need more info? Email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

Cost varies based on the length of training.

 

SPECIALTY DIETS

Feeling low on energy ALL THE TIME?

Having trouble focusing?

Do you feel the need for a nap right after you eat?

Struggling with achy joints?

Did you know that even a small food intolerance OR yeast buildup can cause these symptoms and many more?

I can help guide you through getting to know what could be plaguing you in a safe and effective way.

Each case is handles individually and I do also work with doctors. Email for info: michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

QUICK DROP

What is it?

This program is designed for a guaranteed weight drop, as fast as SAFELY possible. I utilize the highest of safety standards and stay in contact with each individual to make sure it is done correctly.

Who is it for?

Those in need of cutting weight quickly for a sports or insurance related issue (known as making weight). Nothing over 20 pounds on this one :)

Those who need a plan laid out and easy to follow. The QUICK DROP plan comes with easy to follow meal plans and effective workout plans to increase results.

Need more info? Shoot me an email michelle@michellecfitness.com

Cost is $250 for 4 weeks

 

21 DAYS TO HOPE

Are you truly desperate to lose weight?

Do you just not know where to even start?

Do you think, or have you been told, that surgery is your ONLY option?

All you need is 21 days to start changing the habits that put the weight on! You can do this, because others have.

In just 21 days, here’s what you’ll see:

  • Increased energy
  • Lower body fat
  • Water weight loss
  • Less bloating
  • Fewer gastrointestinal issues (acid reflux, gerd, IBS, etc.)
  • You’ll learn how to ditch the negative thoughts
  • You’ll find hope

Why wait? Get started by sending me an email and let’s talk about your goals! michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

Skype Sessions

These sessions are an hour in length and can cover any area where you feel you need a little more guidance such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Proper exercise sequencing
  • Proper recovery
  • Supplementation
  • Nutrition
  • How to hush the negative thoughts that hold you back
  • How to embrace your changing body
  • How to get your family on board
  • How to handle haters
  • Special subjects for trainers as well

BRAND NEW 30 DAY GROUPS!

Want to get a trainer, but money is a little tight?

I am now offering 30 day challenge groups for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain (2 separate groups) that make your goals affordable and within reach.

Email now to get on the wait list michelle@michellecfitness.com

New groups start October 20th.

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NOW is the time to take it to the next level!

Michelle

 

 

 

 

Gym Chat: Safety Tips to get the MOST from Your Membership

So, you’ve laid out the cash for a gym membership right? Did you know that statistically over 70% of people with gym memberships do NOT visit the gym regularly?!?!?!? That’s wasted cash people!

I think the main reason people become disenchanted with the gym itself has more to do with our lack of self-confidence within the environment and less to do with the environment itself. So, I’ve developed a blog series to help YOU get the most from your gym membership :)

Read on for the first installment so you can boost your self-confidence and results. Not to mention, you won’t be spending $10-$60/month on this…..

treadmill Don’t be that person….

OK, so gym safety starts and ends with you. Let’s cover the bases on how you can provide a safe environment for yourself to reach goals.

  1. KNOW THYSELF. Do NOT (I repeat, NOT) simply follow somebody else’s gym routine or attempt to lift what they lift right out of the gate. All too often I witness people hopping from one machine to another simply mimicking what they saw somebody else do earlier. This can lead to injury AND your goals may not be the same as theirs.
  2. Check your weight. Ok, not “your” weight, but the weight that is either racked on the bar or already on the machine. I saw a guy nearly crushed by the bench press last weekend because he simply sauntered up and decided to press what was already on it. NOBODY at that gym is comparing weights with you….at least nobody that matters. Err on the side of caution. Many times I start light and will simply add some weight if I feel the need. Form and safety are always first. The only person keeping track of the weight is YOU.
  3. Have a plan. If you want the most out of your membership, walk in with a plan. Don’t walk in for social hour, unless that’s the purpose to your monthly dues….in which case, sad :( . I see many people wandering the gym floor waiting for inspiration to strike. This can end up hurting you as 9 out of 10 times you’ll end up back at #1.
  4. If you’re planning to lift SUPER heavy (challenging lifts for you) either have a spotter who will accompany you and work out with you OR go when you know there are a few more bodies in the gym to help. Example: the young man on the bench press mentioned in #2: M-Th at 5 a.m. the gym is packed with available spotters (guys and gals that KNOW what they are doing and can dig you out of a jam then give you a high five for effort) and even a couple of trainers. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are notorious dead days. When this poor guy got stuck there were only 3 other people on the floor and no floor staff. Lifting heavy is cool, but make sure you have somebody to watch your back.
  5. Don’t let your friend run your workout. Having a workout buddy ROCKS…when your at the same level and have similar goals. My favorite workout buddy has a BIG goal of booty building, as do I :) So, I always loved putting together challenging butt-building workouts and KILLING the gym floor. That reminds me, I should schedule another…Anyways, if your gym buddy has NO need/desire to lose weight and that’s ALL you got your membership for, don’t let them run your workout. You can still meet up for accountability, but make sure you are working towards your personal goals. TIP: peruse the blog for tips on goal setting :)

Now that your safer and feeling a little more confident, let’s REALLY kick it up a notch!

Are you just not sure what to do when you set foot on the gym floor? Let me help walk you through this:

  1. If you’re like me and you bring a bag, lock it up….oh, make sure you have what you need first. Don’t be like me and have to unlock your locker 5 times.
  2. Know your plan OR carry it with you in a workout journal (I use one from bodybuilding.com)
  3. WARM UP! Here’s where people get fuzzy. A warm-up is not 30 minutes on the treadmill to hit the weights for 20 minutes…..that confuses me, but we’ll get to it later. If you’re working total body (which you should if your overall goal is weight loss), then a cardio machine for 5-10 minutes will do. If you’re having an upper body day, you can warm up with some dynamic movements to get blood flow to the joints FIRST, then perform 1-3 warm-up sets of a compound movement at about 20-30% of your working weight.
  4. Stay focused and avoid the super-long-check-in-on-Facebook-between-sets-rests. Seriously, stop that.
  5. Try to stretch when you’re done, but if you don’t have time simply make sure you stretch and foam roll THAT DAY.
  6. On your way out, sip on your post-workout shake so that recovery can start right away.

Final thoughts. Let’s talk about why you may not be seeing the results you want.

  1. You gym routine is on point, your diet is all over the place. A solid nutrition plan makes ALL the difference. There is NO way around it. Unclear what you should be eating? I can help with that. Shoot me an email HERE: michelle@michellecfitness.com  and I can have you a plan for weight loss, muscle building, and even general health and disease prevention.
  2. You work out SO hard you need 3-4 days to recover. Really? Consistency is key and getting to the gym CONSISTENTLY will pay off far more than killing yourself inconsistently.
  3. Your cardio is longer than your weight workouts. Stop that. Shorten cardio time to 20-30 minutes a day (especially if you want some muscle), 3-5 times per week. Focus your strength on building the body you want, not tearing it down.
  4. Pre and post workout nutrition is all over the place. Again, I can help with that :)
  5. You don’t really have a plan. Magazines make working out look so cool, but if you are hopping from one big thing to the next all consistency is lost. If you cannot figure out what works best for you, consider hiring a coach to help you get started. The beauty of the internet is that your coach is just a click away.

These can be just a few things that are stopping progress. Check in on them and get the help you need to see the results you want.

Keep living fit!

Michelle

Encouragement of the Day: Creating HABIT

My Fivesse Bag Review

Ladies! I have a treat for you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

with things that make you smile.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shine on, ladies!

You’re ready to see it now right?

fivesse_NYjan'14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I promised awesome news, so read on:

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

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

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

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

To your health,

Michelle

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What’s Sabotaging Your Weightloss?

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

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

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

spandex

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

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

2. We think it’s muscle….

fat vs muscle

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

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

3. We are fudging on our foods.

food log

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

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

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

fatman-eating

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

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

5. We translate a hard workout into calories burned.

p90x

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

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

6. We blame somebody else.

cookie monster

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

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

 

Till next time,

Michelle

Today’s Workout: THE PUSHUP!

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