It’s A Throwback: Nutritional Cleansing :)

 

I’ll be doing another Shakeology Cleanse SOON! Want it? Hit me up. I’ll have special cleanse packages available if you’re just looking to shed some extra weight and get your nutrition in order. Mine will be at the very beginning of March to coincide with my mission trip…cause you know, I like to travel light :)

Shakeology Cleanse Basics:

Meal 1: Drink 1 scoop of your choice Shako in 8 oz water with 1/2 a banana if needed

Meal 2: Drink 1 scoop shako in 8 oz water

Meal 3: 2 cups mixed green salad with 5 oz grilled chicken breast

Meal 4 (optional): 1 scoop Shako in 8 oz water

If you are truly starving during the day, 1st make sure you’re getting enough water and 2nd feel free to have a piece of fruit.

Disclaimer: This cleanse is not to last more than 3 days. Check out the video to see how I modified it for my lifestyle. Feel free to comment on how great my hair looks ;)

Peace, Love and Lunges!

Michelle

 

A Day in the Life: How I Eat to Keep Skin Tight

Skin can be a major concern for many people, especially those seeking a tighter physique. The wear and tear of cardio and fad diets will leave the skin less than spectacular. Collagen in the skin is broken down and lost not only with age, but with every false step we take towards finding our inner skinny. This is why focusing on health and fitness is of the utmost importance. If you’re suffering from a little loose skin (or want to avoid it) take a peek at a normal daily meal plan for me*.

Upon waking: juice of 1 lemon in 6 oz hot water

Meal #1: A SHAKE (I have a slight obsessions with these shakes) :)

Meal #2: 1/3 cup oats cooked in 2/3 cup water, handful of berries and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein

Meal #3: 2 cups baby spinach, 5 oz tuna mixed with a spoon of relish some green onion and a little mustard (don’t knock it till you try it!)

Meal #4: 1 whole grain rice cake with 2 TBSP low-fat cottage cheese and a few raisins

Meal #5: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water, 1 fruit (post workout)

Meal #6: 4 oz chicken breast, 2 cups steamed or roasted veggies, 1/4 cup brown rice (optional)

Meal #7: 1 scoop casein protein blended with 6-8 oz almond milk (this is usually ONLY when I’m still hungry or on a heavy leg day)

All meals are manageable and small. You should be eating every few hours for energy as research has not conclusively found that it makes you burn more. I do still drink 1-2 cups of coffee (with cream!) a day and I cannot stress the water enough. Aim for a minimum of 1 gallon per day. Yeah, be that person.

A word of caution: I love sugar. I mean like real sugar, candy and all that. Sugar wreaks havoc on your skin though and will demolish collagen, so it’s best to treat with natural sweets (like fruits) and save the man-made sugary treats for every once in a while.

*As of this post, I am following a competition prep diet. This diet emphasizes a bit more protein and fewer carbs and will tighten skin as well. It is not, however, how I would eat all the time :)

Until next time, keep living fit!

Michelle

After 2

Re-igniting the Elite

Welcome to hump day! :) My favorite day…

As a general disclaimer: I am embarking on my first round of Figure Competitions this year and will be blogging about the journey once per week here. So, if competitions don’t intrigue you, feel free to check out some other blogs in the archives :)

One week into a light prep (being that my official PREP stage doesn’t hit full on until January 13th) and it’s been a roller coaster already. I have to be SUPER honest with you on this prep stuff because I believe it helps us all a lot more. Let’s start with the meal plan shall we? TUNA. That’s the majority of my meal plan. My hubby and I hit the grocery store ready to conquer prep like a couple of seasoned pros. We loaded the buggy with tuna cans, salmon fillets, chicken breasts and LOADS of veggies (that’s normal though). I got home and immediately wanted to rebel though…

It started innocently enough. I wanted to enjoy meals with my family since my training schedule would kick back in this week and I would be working during meal times. So, I started with “just a little” of what they were having. Mind you, we all eat healthy, but their meals were not on my plan. After that it was accepting the chocolate my kids would offer since refusing would be so rude. By the week’s end I can honestly say I stuck to my plan a good 2 days….SHEESH!

I have also grown very fond of movies over the holidays. Our family got all caught up on the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and Star Trek. We threw some cooler genres in there to even things out as well. Anyways, I really enjoyed being still and cuddling with my kids. I never skipped a workout, but then I would loaf around the rest of the day. This is the very behavior that I warn my clients about. So, when I went last week to get my check up AND hire my coach (unfortunately, not at the same place) I have to say I wasn’t totally shocked that I had gained about 15 pounds over several month. I wish I could ask my doctor if it was hormones, but I know it was me. So, I had a choice: I could feel sorry for myself and try to convince myself that my body was just acting out…OR I could get honest.

It has been my experience in the past that being TRULY honest with yourself is the ONLY way to make the necessary changes. SO, I started with the WHY…

I put on my tights and tank top (as opposed to sweats, which you can hide ANYTHING in!) and headed out to my gym so I could have an honest assessment. As I worked through a grueling conditioning routine for my legs (note: conditioning is a term we use for “WORK YOUR FAT OFF”), I was able to break through several mind and emotion issues that I was allowing to hold me back.

I had been looking through my progress photos over the past year and realized that I was MUCH leaner as the began. So I had to trace my steps backward to figure out what has happened. Wowza, did I discover some issues. So why do I share these faults? I think a lot of us hide behind them on a daily basis.

Let’s discuss where I live first. Baytown is far from the mecca of health and fitness. As a matter of fact, if people see somebody walking outside it is often assumed this person must be homeless or else they would be sitting in their car. The local gyms are used more as meet-ups and social gatherings, as evidenced by the people who go but never show a change in physique. Baytown has more places to eat than it needs and we still push for more establishments and faster service. When I am on my game, I stick out like a sore thumb. I’ll be honest in another respect: I don’t seek out company that challenges me. I don’t surround myself with those who seek to challenge my physical limits, therefore I always feel “good enough”.

Looking over the course of 2013, I was able to pinpoint when it started to get lazy for me. NOTE: where you live and the company you keep are not a viable excuse. They have no bearing on the outcome of your goals unless you allow them to. SO, around the time my son turned 14 I had already been to Moldova and was planning a trip to Ethiopia. The pictures that kept my resolve going slowly started coming off the walls and I slipped into “comfortable” gym workouts. Upon my return from Ethiopia I poured any extra energy into a new business and homeschooling my daughter. I detached myself from my goals and picked up a more socially acceptable laid back lifestyle. When my jeans started getting tight, I lied to myself and said it was muscle. This statement always takes my back to a famous Arnold quote, “If it jiggles, it’s not muscle…it’s fat”. Painfully true…

Now, is having some laid back time bad? Is family movie night bad? No, of course not. What had happened though was that I no longer held myself up to a higher standard. I was so worried about what others thought of my lifestyle that I started to alter it. This is craziness. For starters, we cannot control what others think or how the react to us. Second, why should we dim our light so others can operate on half batteries and still “feel” good? That’s me trying to anticipate others feelings again and that’s wrong on so many levels.

So what am I doing about it? I’m going to work work! I had a long face to face with myself and decided that there was once a time when I loved being part of the ELITE. Why? Because this particular lifestyle is available to everybody! You don’t have to be born special to get into this club and the endorphins are free :) . AND…everybody is in a good mood due to said endorphins. What do I identify as ELITE in my life?

  • I don’t skip workouts. I don’t take a month off for Christmas and then “get back in the game” . My health isn’t some game to be tampered with…it is my lifeline to seeing my kids get married and life full lives.
  • My kids don’t have their own food. We don’t have a “kids shelf” in the pantry. That’s plain stupid. If you don’t eat it, don’t feed it to your kids.
  • I live the example. I don’t expect my family or clients to do anything I haven’t already done.
  • I realize that self-discipline is the ONLY thing that will get me there. No pills, potions or motivational speeches will do it. Discipline…something this new generating lacks greatly.

So it is with this new resolve that I have changed the way I think about prep time. I take the hateful comments and use them as fuel. I set forth to create an example of discipline and perseverance. I try to be the very version of myself that God intended…not a copy of what I think people want to see. I will revel in the good and let the bad slip by. I will realize that I cannot and should not try to control how others perceive me. I will not dim my light to make others feel comfortable. AND…I will stay away from Facebook as it just upsets me :)

Until next week’s installment I encourage you to seek out YOUR very best self and burn bright!

Michelle

After 1

The Key to Success

Happy Monday!

Question: have you set up health and fitness goals for 2014? Are you totally ready to go all in and give all you have to reach these goals?

More than most likely you have answered YES! However, it’s only the first full week and statistically many health and fitness resolutions fail by Valentine’s Day….but you’re not going to be a statistic this year.

So, why do they fail? Lack of preparation can be one answer. Lack of planning or goals that are a bit too lofty can be answers as well. I think it goes deeper though. Many of us have already done the prep work. We’ve thrown out the Christmas candy, set up our workout space or purchased a gym membership, and even begun researching meal plans (which is probably what lead you here). Can I be honest though? All of that is the easy part. I can get clients to throw the junk out and start moving…the tricky thing is to keep junk from coming back and to keep moving.

So what’s the trick? HABIT.

I receive emails all the time from people who have the equipment. They have new shoes, a treadmill, P90X, weights, shakes, etc., but they don’t know how to stick with a program. That’s part of the bigger picture: stick with the program :)

In all honesty, even I have a hard time sticking to DVD programs, which is why I will often mix them (follow me on Twitter to get a better feel for my personal workouts). The biggest thing you can do to help yourself reach your goals is to figure out what works for you. We all have different motivators, which will help us develop habits. These motivators are wide in variety and change from person to person as well as different times in our lives. Take a look at just a few of the motivators that have played a role in my own success:

  1. Health. My mom died when I was young and I was well on my way down the same path at 22 years old. A kind-hearted but stern radiologist told me to change my lifestyle or face the consequences.
  2. Kids. I want to set an example for my children. Not only do I want them to see that taking care of your health is important, but fitness requires a commitment to change that many fail to exhibit now.
  3. My husband. I won’t lie on this, I want to look hot for my honey :) . I like when he’s proud of my hard work and when he wants to show me off. He is my biggest fan and supporter.
  4. To be a good steward. Just like the money I have been entrusted with, I have also been entrusted with this body. It is my right and honor to take care of it, grow it, challenge it and use it as it is to be used.
  5. To be my own hero. I enjoy not having to wait for people to help me with mundane tasks like moving a few pieces of furniture or grabbing a huge bag of dog food. I still believe in chivalry and enjoy the doors being open, but it feels good to also know I can kick it down if needed.

There are LOADS of other motivators that have come up in my fit life. Often times I will enter online contests or run challenges to keep me going. The fact is that you have to create a habit in order for it to stick as a lifestyle. You don’t create habits in 2 days or 2 weeks people! It takes a minimum of 40 days for something to become a habit.

Simply eradicating a poor choice (like too much sugar) but never replacing it with something healthier doesn’t work either. One of the most popular things I see happen this time of year is that people will “give up” sugar (including candy and sodas) for the month. The problem is that they usually only give it up for a month. Once February hits they are right back on the train, often times eating MORE in order to make up for the deprivation.

So how can you avoid the pain of goals-never-met? A few simple steps will get you started:

  • Set achievable goals and share them with somebody who can help you make sure they can be reached (I am available by email).
  • Set a time to reach them.
  • Set up healthy habits over the next 40 days. Don’t go clean slate and cold turkey here…set up 1 nutrition and one exercise habit to conquer over the next 40 days. Example: workout 3x per week and stay away from sugary foods and beverages.
  • Develop a program that works. Write your goals down and place them EVERYWHERE, set the timer on your phone for workouts, or enlist an accountability partner. Make these 2 things NON-NEGOTIABLE.
  • Stick to it. If you don’t see results in 3 days (you know who you are!) or you get tired or just don’t feel like it, SUCK IT UP! Do it. Don’t wait for somebody to come give you the half-time pep talk OK? Be your own motivator and find your own success.

Set your footing right with these tips and you WILL see results. Stay with it and fight for it. Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Michelle

Rockstar Training

 

Looking back to the past and forward to the future…

 

Happy Monday!

Today marks the FINAL Monday of 2013, and what a year it has been. :)

I have recently become OBSESSED with the Flipagram app and highly recommend it if you’re wanting to see your recent year in pictures. Upon my discovery of this app, I found myself becoming quite teary eyed over what had actually happened in 2013. I think we can all fall prey to thinking too much about the future and forget about what has been accomplished in the past 365 days. I would like to take a moment to encourage you to take a look back at your own 365 before we engage in the next round of adventures :)

MY 365:

Can I just take a moment to say WOWZA!?!?!? OK, so much has happened this year, but it must be shared in short hand.

In January I made my very first overseas trip to Chisinau, Moldova and managed to leave a part of my heart there. I was fortunate enough to let go of my need for control long enough to make some lifelong friendships and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. I am also looking forward to more trips there.

Moldova 4

February marked my 35th birthday, and may I be honest here? ALL the things you read about your body changing, holding on to fat, harder to lean out, etc.? Seemingly true for me :) However, a change in training can yield results.

In May, I celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary to the first and only guy I ever fell in love with…altogether now: AAAAAWWWWWE.

July saw another trip overseas. This time I was fortunate to be accompanied by my oldest and the trip was to the BEAUTIFUL and majestic Ethiopia. It was a trip I will never forget as I saw what true joy looks like, even in the midst of poverty. I met friends whom I will never forget and I was able to see my boy become a man.

Ethiopia with girl

I had a short hitch to my plans by October, but have learned that there are times when we may have the best laid plans, but there are far better times for these plans to come to fruition.

I have seen many days and many challenges in the gym here at home, and have set up my goals and desires for the coming of 2014. One thing I will change is instead of making “Goal Sheets” or “Vision Boards” I am going to make ADVENTURES. See, the thing about adventures is that they leave some wiggle room for life. Life is, after all, a series of adventures. Our lives can be a series of our own adventures OR it can be the planning, waiting and watching of others. I for one intent for 2014 to be FULL of great adventures!

Here’s a sneak peek into my adventures for 2014:

  1. MORE TRIPS! Yep, I hope to leave this country a couple of more times before the year is through and I plan to take more family with me.
  2. FIGURE COMPETITION. Yep, I’ve been toeing the line on competitions for  a couple of years now. Upon a little bit of self-reflection I have realized THIS is the year it’s happening! I need to get out of my comfort zone and be pushed to the max…or I fear I will regret it.
  3. HIRING A COACH. Due to the aforementioned competing, I will be hiring a figure coach. WHY? My specialties are weight loss, corrective exercise and MMA. I need somebody to hold me accountable to my goals and help with posing and all too :) My first interview with a potential figure coach is today!
  4. NEW BUSINESS! I know I’ve made mention of it, but I am starting a brand new business to introduce a new way of thinking that will help in weight loss for ALL levels. We had originally intended to launch this week, but I felt that the time wasn’t enough to put out quality information. So, we will be launching in March, just in time to recommit to a healthy way to reach your weight loss and fitness goals for 2014…cause by then you’ll be tired of starving;)
  5. I want to take a BIG family adventure by the end of the year. You know, one of those crazy cool family vacations you see people ? Yep, that will be us this year.

Those are my top 5 adventures for 2014.

What adventures do YOU have in store? And how will next year look different from this year?

Until 2014, PEACE, LOVE, and PLENTY of LUNGES!

Michelle C

*Disclaimer Note: Video made by Flipagram (FREE app, go get it). Song, CHAINSAW by Family Force 5. Download legally, don’t be a butthead.

 

 

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

 

BIG News for YOU and a FREE E-Book

So, how did you make out through the Thanksgiving Holiday? Even my international friends were wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving this week :)

In light of the holiday spirit, I wanted to share some extremely exciting news with you. I have been working tirelessly on developing a program to help you reach all of your health and fitness goals in 2014. That’s right, it’s a program that will walk you step by step through everything it takes to become fit, energetic and the envy of all your friends and loved ones! Joking, you seek to become the inspiration right? ;)

What’s the deal with this new program? For starters, it is unlike anything else that is available and we’ve done the research to make sure. This program will stay with you for an entire year to ensure you reach those goals and resolutions so by 2015 you are truly healthy, fit and ready to take on even bigger goals. What do you get? Here is just a taste:

  • WEEKLY meal plans, easy recipes and a print and go grocery list
  • WEEKLY motivation and encouragement
  • WEEKLY workouts designed to teach you how to make the most out of your time
  • MONTHLY downloadable e-books that will give you a leg up on reaching your goals for that month
  • Seasonal recipes to help you stay on track and healthy
  • Tips for eating out and parties
  • Tips for skin care to keep skin in top shape during weight loss and body transformations
  • Access to monthly Q&A sessions
  • Exclusive videos on exercise form, meal planning, meal preparation and more
  • MUCH MORE!

Who is this program for?

This program is designed for those who are sick and tired of falling for fads, standing at the back of the diet line every year and those seeking guidance to LEARN how to live a healthy life. There are no gimmicks, no secret formulas and no deprivation here, just honest work and knowledge to help you get where you want to be. If you’re looking for a magic pill or a silver bullet, this is not the program for you. I’m just trying to be honest about it because there are 3 things that it takes to reach AND maintain your health and fitness goals: Time, Practice and Patience. At the end of 2014, you will have mastered all three :)

How do you get in on it? That’s easy! Email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com with the subject line: SIGN ME UP. Once you do that, you’ll be placed on a FIRST TO KNOW LIST and you’ll receive my new E-book Five Steps to Surviving the Holidays. This book is full of recipes to keep you on track, workouts to burn extra calories and tips to reduce stress. It’s yours totally FREE just for signing up. Then, mark your calendars for December 29th for a  webinar that will answer all of your lingering questions and get YOU started towards a healthier life.

My question for you is this: are you totally happy with your level of health and fitness right now or are you already looking into the fads that are coming up for 2014? If you’re starting to look, I beg you to give this a little thought and a little time. Hey, you get a free book out of the deal anyway! ANYBODY can reach their goal in a year with the right tools. I have the tools ready for your use, you just have to show up :)

Peace, Love and Lunges

Michelle

Rockstar Training

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

 

Overtraining: The Signs You Need to Know, PLUS a free recipe

Hello fit people!

Some interesting things have been happening in my own workout life and I thought we could all glean a little wisdom from my mistakes :) I make plenty to go around!

Overtraining is fairly common among athletes and even more common amongst avid exercise fanatics. Professional athletes have an entire team of trained staff to look for signs of overtraining and correct the issues…you and I have each other. Now, before we get to the meat of the matter, I just want to state that DAILY exercise is an important habit to develop for physical fitness as well as mental and emotional well-being. Simply not enjoying your workout does not mean you’re overtraining, but nice try. Let’s look at the signs and symptoms together.

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SIGNS OF OVERTRAINING:

  1. You feel anger or anxiety when someone prevents you from working out.
  2. You exhibit a strong emotional reaction when you can’t workout?
  3. You skip out on important family or social obligations OR go to extremes to avoid social situations that may impede your workouts?
  4. Restlessness.
  5. Trouble sleeping or not sleeping through the night.
  6. Chronic fatigue, meaning you never feel rested.
  7. Pain in the muscles and/or joints even after a day off and preventative measures such as anti-inflammatories, soaking baths, hot/cold therapy or massage.

These signs and symptoms scan the range of physical and emotional well-being. I totally get how addictive exercise can be and for many of us it does help to keep us in a good mood; however, it is important to listen to your body. We are, after all, only human.

So, what if you are exhibiting some of the above symptoms (hint: the physical usually comes first)? Here are a few tried and true techniques to get you back on track:

  1. TAKE TIME OFF! What?!?! Say it ain’t so!!!! Yep, schedule time off from the gym/training/sport. Schedule it people! Plan to give yourself about -5 days depending on the severity of overtraining. If you have avoided the signs for a while, you may need  a little more time off.
  2. Give yourself permission to rest. You are NOT going to gain 20 pounds in a few days! Well, you may if you let yourself eat through 2 tubs of ice cream due to the fact that you feel like a slob taking a break (welcome to my head, ladies and gentlemen!). Give your brain as much of a break as your body and stop THINKING about workouts, weight gain, etc.
  3. Take a walk. Walking is a great way to get your blood pumping and improve your attitude, especially if you can walk in the sunshine for a few minutes. Remember to take it easy and listen to your body.
  4. Consider a restorative yoga session. These sessions should help restore balance to the body, not be a sweat session of hand stands and flows. CHILLAX!
  5. Keep drinking your water and stay clean with your diet. The idea here is to restore the body, not create more issues.
  6. If symptoms persist even after a few days off (especially joint and muscle pain), see your doctor.

So, this is where I am now personally, and I cringe at rest days. The truth is, none of us are indestructible and we have to pay attention and take the time to restore as needed.

Arm B&W

The best news? I have some free time to play around in the kitchen AND I made a candy bar yesterday that is the bomb for chocolate cravings and low energy. ENJOY!

MY SHAKO CANDY BAR

Ingredients:

1 cup minute oats (dry)

2 TBSP natural peanut butter

1 scoop chocolate Shakeology (you may be able to use a chocolate whey or casein, but the consistency will be different)

1-2 spoons of unsweetened applesauce (just enough to make the mixture pliable)

Mix together (you’ll get an awesome arm workout!) and shape into small bars. Place on plate or in container and store in freezer. Each bar is less than 40 cals and packed with nutritional goodies and loads of chocolate/peanut butter flavor.

Peace, Love and Lunges

Michelle

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