Get the Challenge Started!!!!!

Hello Fit Peeps!

Today has been a whirlwind of adventure AND I’m not sure it’s slowing down anytime soon :)

January seems to be THE time for fitness challenges, and why shouldn’t it be? The energy is fresh and vibrant, the coaches and resources are ready, and your own motivation is probably higher than it was when you were finishing off Christmas candy a few weeks ago.

Before I let you in on my personal challenges AND tips to conquering yours, just remember that all you really need is some self love and appreciation to reach your goals ;) Deal? So let’s get started.

I have TWO (count em) challenges I am participating in this season. You can follow my INSTA for inspiration and what not on keeping your sanity while trying these challenges.

The 2 I have chosen is the Bodybuilding.com Transformation Challenge and the Labrada Lean Body Challenge.

Now, the BB.com is closed for entry BUT you can still participate :) The Labrada challenge is open until January 25th and I highly recommend it.

I’m going to give you a very brief rundown of my plan and then highlight some pretty good plans you can find at Bodybuilding.com

Step 1 in reaching any goal: HAVE A PLAN.

plan

You MUST plan in order to succeed or else you’ll end up simply going in circles.

Here’s mine (your WILL vary……)

Nutrition: I am counting NOTHING!!!! I am practicing intuitive eating and listening to my body intently. I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satiated, not stuffed. I allow treats, BUT I am trying to limit the wine for this challenge ;)

My menu for this week includes:

  • Pablano/avocado pasta
  • Spaghetti squash and meat sauce
  • Black eyed peas and deer sausage
  • Breakfast tacos with game meat
  • Protein pancakes with various fillings (including dark chocolate!)
  • Roasted veggies and salads

Simple and mostly prepped on Sunday.

My workouts are ever changing due to injury and treatment. As of now it looks a little something like this:

Monday-total body strength training

Tuesday-cardio training (was kickboxing, but will change to boxing/mma training)

Wednesday-total body strength training focused on glute med and low back rehab

Thursday-YOGA baby!

Friday-total body strength training

Saturday-short cardio training

Sunday-OFF

I try to do yoga for 20-30 minutes every day AND I try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day if time allows. I don’t sweat it if that doesn’t happen.

Planning-like-a-boss-meme

PLANS FOR YOU!!!!

Below are a few BB.com plans I really am digging. For beginners, it’s best to pick one and follow it (that’s less than 3 years weight training proficiency) and advanced can pick and choose from a few if you like.

Dymatize Transformed

Live Fit Trainer

Lean Body Trainer

Clutch Life Trainer

Built by Science

Rewired

These will cover the basics from beginner to advanced. Remember, when starting a new challenge DON’T do the same old thing you’ve always done! Now is the time to try something new and give your system a little bit of room to adapt and grow with the challenge.

It’s not about winning……it’s about thriving.

See you soon,

Michelle

OH and you may want to get on the mailing list as I’ll be sending a special bonus out this week, just because :)

 

2015 Holiday Eating Challenge!!!!!!!! Sign up here

I’m so pumped about this particular challenge ya’ll!

We all know that no matter the health/fitness goal, nutrition is 80% of our results. So why aren’t we ALL seeing results when there is loads of nutrition info????

Because, eating.

Our viewpoint of food and eating in general is askew and I am here to help YOU get your eating mojo back. Fact: you CAN make food work for you instead of you always working for your food.

Check out the video to see BO ;) and some lady talking about the challenge….

 

OK, now that you’ve seen that, let’s recap.

Who needs this challenge?

Check out the following and if you answer YES to any, sign up pronto:

  • You jump on new diets all the time
  • You want to know what friends are eating (or not eating) to see results
  • You’ve tried diets before and always feel like you fail
  • You feel like you NEED somebody to tell you what to eat (or not eat)
  • You can stay focused for a while, but will binge eventually
  • You seriously feel as though you are always working out just to earn food or burn off food
  • You are always away from your goal
  • You consider yourself an emotional eater (eating when happy, sad, bored, depressed, anxious, etc.).
  • You have a “GOOD” foods and “BAD” foods list
  • You feel guilty when you eat an indulgent food
  • You eat differently based on who you are around OR the time of year…..or both
  • You feel as though you have NO clue when it comes to feeding your body and fueling your goals
  • You are a frequent dieter
  • You feel as though you have to take away food in order to see results
  • You sometimes binge eat and feel you cannot control yourself around certain foods
  • You struggle with cravings

Did I miss anybody? :)

I get it, because I’ve been there…….

before1

New mom to a baby and toddler. I was 23 and felt 80. I had recently taken on vegetarianism because the vegetarians I read about were skinny and all I wanted to do was SHRINK. I was sick all the time, tired all the time and severely depressed…….and I ate far less then than I do now.

100_0432

OK….so I get some of you may think this is OK, and so did I. But I’m going to get real. I fought EXTREMELY hard for this body. I would avoid eating out at all costs for fear of overeating and I would NEVER indulge in birthday cake or ice cream. I did a couple hours of cardio a day and tried to “tone” anything that looked off to me. I was weak and tired. I had a long list of foods I couldn’t eat and became upset if my family brought them into the house. I would often binge and then rely on laxatives and unhealthy hours of heavy duty cardio to “work it off”. I achieved getting smaller at a large price. My joints still suffer from the deprivation and impact, but more importantly it nearly destroyed my family.

Strong Camp 78

ABS checkin Disney

Musclemania 2015 Front Side Pose

mc-7059

These are the very beginning of eating to fuel and overcoming eating disorders and disordered and emotional eating, followed by the “meaty” part of contest prep (before we started to beat the fat off), to competition day and what is really more normal look (sans makeup though!).

This is strong. I eat when I am hungry and I eat what my body REQUIRES. I expect a lot from my body and deal with the injuries I inflicted by being a bit kinder in turn. I have birthday cake, chocolate, wine, ice cream and gummy bears (YAY!) in my diet and stay strong. I eat for goals, not for size (except muscle is a goal of mine).

The point is, I have been on both ends of the spectrum and I know not only what it’s like, but what it takes.

Make this Christmas the one you give your healthiest self to others. Unwrap the ties that bind and step up to a new food world where you are in control.

Remember! The limit to class is 10-12 MAX (no exceptions). This is due to the fact that I’m trying to keep it small enough to be personal.

Cost is $100 and covers everything you need to succeed.

Professional trainers welcome and encouraged as well :)

SIGN ME UP!

 

 

 

Slimmer Summer Q&A

The Slimmer Summer Challenge just opened!

mc-7005 WM

This challenge is now CLOSED, but stick around for more to come!

 

 

Let’s get right to the details shall we?

What is the Slimmer Summer Challenge?

It’s a great way to get and stay fit and healthy all Summer long. It includes exercise, nutrition and mental health cause you know that’s what you really need :)

Who can do it?

ANYBODY! I will be honest and say it will probably appeal more to the ladies, especially busy moms. Men are more than welcome to join though!

When are the dates for the challenge?

The challenge will start June 15 and run through August 15th.

Do I need a gym membership or special equipment?

NO.

Ready for the nitty-gritty details now?

#SlimmerSummerChallenge

This is a 2 month program designed to give you everything you need to either jump-start your fitness OR simply stay fit during the busiest travel months of the year.

It’s a great program for on-the-go, vacations, busy moms, and all those who don’t want to plan their day around the gym (like I do).

The exercise portion consists of circuit training to keep the workouts short and intense for maximum results. NOTE: this is NOT a muscle-building program.

3 month back progress

This is 3 months of SLIMMING using the same strategies I will teach you in this course!

What to expect with the fitness portion:

  • Weekly calendar of workouts
  • Choice of 4-6 workouts per week depending on your schedule
  • Short, doable workouts
  • Printable, go-anywhere workouts
  • Limited equipment
  • Core focused workouts for safety and efficiency

Nutrition Focus:

  • MACRO education so you actually learn the science behind eating for energy and leanness
  • Learn the difference between calories and macros
  • Learn how to calculate YOUR macros and how to personalize them
  • Learn how to eat for energy and not just because you need to eat
  • Quick nutrition fixes for things such as bloating and water retention (subjects also covered)
  • Weekly meal plans…..BUT you will also learn a whole new view of food
  • Nutrient timing
  • Supplementation!

3 month front progress

 

Additional Goodies:

  • Weekly check ins
  • Weekly Q&A videos
  • Private FB Group to help you increase accountability AND share great tips on staying focused, plus recipes and other goodies
  • Email access to your trainer :)

Study after study shows that having a COACH and an accountability GROUP help you reach your goals faster AND help you to achieve more than you thought possible.

So, do you want in? You can get in RIGHT NOW by clicking the button below:



 

If you’re ready to start supplements already OR looking for the EASY button of supplements and assured weight loss, take a look HERE and check them out, then ask me how you can get your entry fee waived.

Whatever has been holding you back from making the most of your health, I promise we will change your mind. You do have the time, you just need a little guidance. And guidance is what I do best :)

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.

September Challenge: Give Sugar a Swift KICK!

Hello Lovelies!

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Sweeteners:

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

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

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

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

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

SHOUT IT OUT HERE!

Michelle

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

How Can You Make a Challenge Work for You?

It’s January 10th and already people are talking about how empty the gyms are becoming. It’s been ten days!

This begs the question of WHY? Why do so many give up on goals so easily? I have a few answers to that question:

  1. The goals were not thought out well at all. Saying you want to lose 50 pounds while chugging your 3rd glass of Champaign on New Year’s Eve does not translate into actual pounds lost. Goals must be thought out thoroughly and this question must be answered: “What am I willing to give up to reach my goal?”
  2. The thought that actually planning, and not just showing up, is involved rarely crosses our minds. Simply signing up for the gym or re-igniting your commitment to push play will not happen unless planning is done.
  3. We underestimate the power of habit. That extra weight did not just show up one day. It packed on due to habits that had formed. That could be the popular habit of sitting to watch TV (GUILTY! Darn you, Big Bang Theory!), or the habit of piling a little more on your plate than 1 serving. Eating at fast food places is a HABIT. People don’t really think those greasy burgers taste better…it’s just easier to swing by because of habit. Good news: YOU can create healthy habits too :)
  4. We’re confused on our priorities. Take this example: if my #1 priority is spending time with my kids in the evening because I work all day, but I pony up for a gym membership and vow to go after work for a 1-2 hour workout 5 days per week…well, I end up conflicted and the gym membership, the workouts, and even my own kids become a serious source of stress.
  5. We lack a support system. You have to admit, it works better when somebody can be there to offer a shoulder to cry on, a hand to help you up, or a swift kick in the pants whenever you need it during this journey. We were created for community! People need each other in many aspects of life and reaching goals is a huge one!

lose weight

THIS is where group challenges can be extremely beneficial. Taking a nutrition and fitness challenge in a group of like-minded individuals has been shown to:

  • Increase success
  • Help you stick to the program
  • Keep you excited about the results to come
  • Develop new, healthy habits
  • You’ll lose more weight and inches
  • Make new fit friends
  • Help you stay motivated and inspired
  • Creates an opportunity for you to inspire others

There are more benefits to add, but these can be quite impressive when you’re seeking real change.

As the challenge season opens up (I’ll have some info on mine towards the bottom), here are my top tips for seeing GREAT results:

  • Stay engaged. Check with other challengers daily and mark your weekly progress so you can notice the changes even if you don’t see them right away.
  • Choose the right program. Not all programs are created equal. You may like certain trainers, be at a different fitness level, or have different goals, but make sure you think about the time you have to commit and what you really want to accomplish.
  • ASK QUESTIONS! I think far too many people fall off the goal wagon simply because they are unwilling to ask questions. I promise, whatever it is your coach has probably heard it before, so ask away!
  • Trust the process. We all want results yesterday, but your body doesn’t work like a drive through…you have to give it time and effort.
  • Keep track of your progress. Maybe you lost 2 pounds last week and none this week, BUT you did 5 extra push ups. It’s all progress! Strength gains, weight loss, cardiovascular efficiency…they all get better.

chalene

So, how do challenges work?

I’ve run a few and made my fair share of mistakes I admit. Through all of the previous challenges, I have learned some golden lessons that will help make this years challenge a guaranteed success! I believe in these challenges because home-based fitness is what sparked my love for health and transformed my body entirely. I was able to lose over 100 pounds while still being a mommy to my 2 young kids. Now, I’m able to share that with others in a far better way than I ever dreamed. Wait for it…I’ll be releasing a video about my experience with home-based fitness programs and nutrition next week. :)

Interested to see how this works?

  1. You get started for FREE by logging into a free account HERE.
  2. Then, you browse through the programs and blogs, do some research and line up your goals and priorities.
  3. EMAIL ME! Don’t skip this step. Email me and let’s dig through your goals, fitness level, commitments and everything that affects your success to find the PERFECT program for you.

Once all of that is accomplished, I set you up on my challengers page and we get going. So what are the highlights of THIS particular challenge? I’m so glad you asked :)

  • Daily motivation and check ins with your coach (ME) on the page.
  • Weekly emails to give you insider tips you don’t get in your programs. I’ve been doing this for a LONG time and can give you tips that will blow your mind.
  • Help with recovery.
  • Personalized nutrition advice as needed.
  • Monthly phone/Skype chats with the group to check in and stay motivated.
  • Access to videos and information designed specifically for challenges.

You can start getting set up anytime, but I’ll open the flood gates on January 15th. I take 20 people in first and once they’re established (usually 1 month) I take 20 more. Here’s the BIG change: you’ll have access to all of this for 1 full year! Plus, you’ll get to check out some other really cool things I’m working on. So, even if you finish a 90 day challenge, you can do it again and still have the support you need. What I’m looking to create here is an environment for CRAZY SUCCESS!

Now the question is…are you in it?

Michelle

Rockstar Training

 

TRUST is the Issue

I have to share some truth with you today: I too suffer from instant gratification want! This is especially bad when I’m looking into new programs or trying to change my body composition. There are many times when I feel as though my body should just comply since I’ve been doing this for so long! :) Sadly, that isn’t the way it works though…

As I sit here sharing this I am surrounded by reminders of my commitment. There is a cup of black coffee to my right and a food log to my left. This weekend I was forced to do some pretty hard studying into my own personal habits AND re-visit trusting the process. Here’s one of my best kept secrets: I am really good at maintaining. Change is difficult for me, but maintaining I can totally do. Well, a few weeks ago I decided to change things up. My body had become accustomed to my regular workouts and my food was clean, however the portions were out of control. Therefore, I maintained. I made the executive decision that I was no longer satisfied with maintaining and that I needed a new challenge to change some things. SO…I issued the flat abs challenge to you and changed my workouts. Here is pretty much how my week goes when these things happen:

  • MONDAY: feeling good with the new workouts and pumped about the challenge before me.
  • TUESDAY: sore is good (I actually do believe this) and I’m fueling for the fight.
  • WEDNESDAY: morning cardio is rockin….afternoon, not so much even though it’s a much shorter workout.
  • THURSDAY: feelin FINE! I feel slim, trim and strong. I’m slipping on clothes with NO problem…so, a few glasses of wine at Thanksgiving are cool
  • FRIDAY: Aside from dragging this morning, the workout was good and I’m ready for family time…this means several hours in a car and then a movie theater. More wine to commemorate the moment.
  • SATURDAY: Seriously?!? Tony Horton drives my crazy and I HATE this workout! It’s stupid and makes me feel uncoordinated. Who comes up with this stuff? Later….I hit a way too intense workout in the gym just to get it out of my system. BY NIGHTFALL: oh yeah, inflammation is setting in and my body thoroughly hates me….I blame Tony.
  • SUNDAY: yeah….jeans are too tight, shirt feels tight, I feel like a blob. Why? I lack in trust….

Can I get a witness from anybody who has been there? By the way, P90X2 is one of my workouts and it is EXTREMELY well sequenced, but it is challenging. So what are the problems here? Allow me to let you into my world.

  1. I’m fueling a lot, but not really correctly. I’ve been stressed out with work and eat as a means to avoid work or conquer boredom. Wow, it’s so freeing to say that :)
  2. I don’t trust that my workouts are working. This is stupidity really, and I find myself prone to it. Your workout will work, however it is the SMALLEST portion of your results and your day. Your food (and mine) is what makes the difference.

So, what’s my plan?

Pretty simple. I pulled out the old spiral, set alarms on my phone for meal times and adjusted some of my foods based on my goals. I am trying to drop about 10-12 pounds and basically fit into any pair of jeans in my closet. In order to do this, I have to take my calories down a notch since they are clean to begin with. I have also taken more notice in how foods make me feel. Salads give me loads of energy, bread strips my energy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these things out, you just have to be willing to see them. My beloved coffee creamer is out until Christmas (if I even want it then) and NO MORE WINE until then either. Hold me to that would you?

Small adjustments lead to big results. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time and TRUST THE PROCESS!

Michelle

P90X2

 

All I Want for Christmas is ABS

Bikini body abs should be a year round thing. Why? Because strong abs indicate killer dedication to your sport and if you work out regularly, guess what? You totally have a sport!

So, how do you GET killer abs and how do you maintain them?

Abs have always been my problem spot. I hold water and fat there like I’m in the middle of a plague. When I eat a few too many treat cals, they tend to party on top of my abs. If I miss workouts, the abs tell me. Now, perhaps they are my problem spot because I have always been most self-conscious about them, but we’ll move on none the less…

Since the holidays are upon us, it would be nice to have a helping hand in the ab department right? Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a clearly cut 6 pack over Christmas. What I am proposing is a holiday without bloating and crying over jeans that OBVIOUSLY shrunk in the dryer…duh. How does that sound? Pretty good right? I mean, how awesome would it feel to wear the same jeans you wore in July on Christmas day? Rock on.

What will it take from you? Easy. I’ll be doing the leg work. I’m going to be posting my workouts and meals via Twitter and Instagram. Now, since my insta feed goes directly to Twitter, you need only follow one and it’s RIGHT HERE. My workouts will consist of DVD’s I have reviewed on the blog. I’ll be totally honest with you up front: I’m doing a blend of Turbo Fire, Chalene Extreme, and P90X2. My diet is pretty basic with no crazy foods you have to travel across the globe to obtain. Don’t own the workouts? You can grab them HERE…OR you can leave a note in the comments with the DVD’s you do own and I’ll let you know a good rotation.

Why DVD’s? This time of year requires no brainer exercise. DVD’s make it possible for you to hit play, go to town, then finish up and get on with life. You can choose ABS, cardio, strength training, etc. based on the time you have available and the energy level you have (always on high right?). In a word, it’s EASY. That’s the key when sticking to a workout regimen, especially during the holidays. Think of it like a trainer in your living room.

The diet is the biggest factor when it comes to flat abs. Be prepared for the basics as I don’t do fancy stuff when flattening abs. I can tell you what I do though: I avoid dairy, wheat, and alcohol during this time. I know, that sounds crazy around the holidays, but it can be done. Moderation will save your life :)

Need an idea of what to expect?

weight training abs

This was earlier this year when I was on Turbo Fire and P90X2 along with my flat abs eating plan. THIS was taken a mere 14 days apart! We don’t starve as that leads to more bloating. You can expect a food pic every 2-3 hours and chances are you’ll have the food on hand. So, leave a note in the comments if you want to join up! We have one month until Christmas…who wants to get their abs going BEFORE the New Year?

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

#TBT: Throw Back Thursday

This particular hashtag seems to have become increasingly popular amongst social media picture users. You know who you are people! So I thought I would take full advantage, I mean the opportunity :) to shed a little light on how I went from being overweight, depressed and suicidal to a bikini competing world traveling missionary who truly kicks…butt. So, check it out.

100_1637I happen to be one of those truly blessed people who has fought with my weight ALL MY LIFE. My mom was a chronic dieter as was her mother before her and so on. The number on the scale was never good enough, the number on the pants tag was never good enough, therefore I was never good enough. By the time I was a teenager I had already been on Atkins, the Fat Free Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Slimfast, Weight Watchers, TOPS, nothing-but-salad diet, etc. You name it, I did it. While most young ladies are beginning to notice boys and wondering what they will be when they grow up, I was just hoping the seams of my stretchy pants wouldn’t give out. I begrudged food and everything it stood for and I believed the absolute LIE that it was in my genes. The truth was..it was in jeans.

100_1631 By the time I had my first child I had wrecked my metabolism. I was tired all of the time and walked the tight rope of starving myself and binge eating. I wore a lot of black too….though I still love black :) . I digress… The question most often asked is “How did you do it?” Well, slowly. I did it all wrong for years. I stopped eating meat altogether and existed on tofu and fake cheese for over a year. Why? Vegans were skinny, duh! I just wanted to be skinny. Every time I would fall into old patterns of starvation and binge eating, I would blame genetics (which, when you think of it is like blaming God, RIGHT?) and step back to the back of the diet line to be sold a bunch of bull that made no sense yet I NEEDED them to make me SKINNY. It’s a crazy world out there y’all, buckle up and be safe when looking for answers.

I found yoga after a few years and things began to unravel. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought about COMPETING when I’m in my mid-thirties, I would have laughed until cried…then I probably would have just cried. So, the steps have been many. Please to NOT discount what I said there: MANY! There is NO shortcut that will get the results that are worth the work. There are no drinks, powders, potions, pills, gels, creams, or even surgeries that can expedite HARD WON results. So, what does it take then?

along the way Step One: HONESTY. I hate to be the bearer of horrifying news BUT…the excess fat hanging around on your body was your decision. WAIT…what about my friend that eats whatever and is tiny? High five them and tell them God must not have thought they could handle the weight loss situation and that, my friends, is why we are all created differently. By the way, don’t think your thin friend has an easy life; they probably deal with things you could never imagine. That info was extra and free, you’re welcome :) OK, SO…be HONEST with yourself. If you’ve been relying on false measures for weight loss, it will backfire in the end. Sit down and look long and hard. In order to shed weight (the more weight, the more change) serious LIFESTYLE change has to occur. That crap about “You’ll lose all the weight you want and never feel deprived” is plain and utter BULL. The first step to cracking the weight loss code is taking an honest look at what you have to work with and what got you there. Basically, whatever got you there needs to be ditched and a new normal needs to take hold.

100_1638 Step two: TAKE ACTION. You know what happens when you talk about reaching your goals? NOTHING. You shouldn’t have to go around justifying your goals and re-explaining them just to keep yourself on board. Less talk, more action…literally. You HAVE to move MORE than you are comfortable with moving to make a change. Again, free advice :)

After2 Step Three: PATIENCE. You must become the Ghandi of weight loss patience. Do not rely on the stupid scale (I will blog in-depth about my scale conspiracy theory later!) and realize that your jeans may fit different from one day to the next. Why? Because your body is a living, breathing, ever-changing organism dude!!! Why on Earth do we think that it should just comply neatly without change or fuss. If I want a smaller butt, then my butt should shrink without anything else changing. WRONG! Your body is in a constant state of change and energy balancing. This is why your weight can fluctuate and why you can feel super tight one day and like a swollen piece of road kill the next. We are sometimes unaware of the salt content in foods and our water balance is hardly ever spot on, so be patient with yourself. It takes longer than 12 days, longer than 12 weeks, longer than 6 months! I think REAL lifestyle change does not truly sink in until after 1 full year honestly (SSSSHHHHHH: I cannot tell you about it right now, BUT something HUGE is coming!). Grow more patient as you reach each individual goal (check out Goal Setting on this blog to figure out how to do that effectively) and TRUST THE PROCESS.

After 1Step Four: Own it. You wanna know the COOLEST thing about reaching a goal that YOU worked for? You can sit back and take a moment to relish in the work you accomplished. You don’t have to give props to some drink or pill…you can say it was you. Well, in my own personal case, it was myself and God cause there was a lot of prayer involved! You can’t hate your way to your goal. Jealousy of others will not get you there. It is, quite literally, all you. I can give you meal plans, workouts, regimens…but at the end of the day you decide if you want to be the person who leaves a legacy or a whiny little life of “IF ONLY”.

Today is the day you decide. Don’t wait until after the holidays. DO it now! Make your plan, make a change, do it for yourself, your family and the rest of the world that is waiting for YOUR impact.

Peace, Love, and Lunges,

Michelle