How To Find Motivation When There Is No Finish Line

grumpy cat motivation

Eyes on the prize.

You wanted the extra TWO days of vacation more than you wanted the double fudge brownie. You needed to win the office Biggest Loser challenge more than you needed to go to happy hour with the girls. You baked extra chicken breasts on the weekend, walked on the treadmill while you caught up on Scandal and said no to your husband’s offer for dinner out on Valentine’s Day because SOMEONE (grrr) decided the office weigh-in should be February 15.

You persevered and you did it! You won!

With that extra time banked for a much need family camping trip this summer, you breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy a salted caramel truffle from the heart shaped box your husband surprised you with. (He’s not very good at following instructions.)

Tuesday arrives and you drive right past the gym on the way home. You know you should keep up with your routine but you need to catch up on the laundry. When you get home the last of the chicken is gone, everyone is hungry and no one wants to cook. How about pizza?

The slippery post challenge slop has begun…

The thrill of a big goal is often a POWERFUL motivator but even the most determined competitor takes time off. How do you stay true to your healthy habits when the pressure is off and there isn’t a prize on the line?

Motivation is overrated. It’s all about staying COMMITTED.

That’s the real secret to a healthy and happy fit life.  Challenges, competitions and races can be a part of what keeps you committed as long as you go about it with three very important things in mind.

Connect to your big picture goal.

Whatever kind of competition you choose to participate in you have to connect it with something that lasts longer than 30 days (or however long the program lasts). Take a step back and figure out what the ultimate goal is. Create your Fitness Vision – a picture of your ideal self in five years. Paint a vivid picture of your life, what you’re doing and how you feel. Then make it concrete by writing it down, creating a vision board or drawing a picture.  Use your fitness vision as a guide to create healthier habits that you can sustain as well as help you hit the mark for the short-term goals you’ve set. If you see yourself running a marathon you need to make sure your training plan not only builds your base but also helps keep you running injury free long term.  Starving yourself to win a pot of money in a four-week weight loss challenge won’t help you keep muscle you might want to hike the Inca Trail.

It’s not always about winning.

 Entering a contest or challenge doesn’t always have to be about the big prize. It can be about getting inspired by a group of other women pursuing a common goal. If new workouts and meal plans or coaching support is being provided take it and learn all you can! Use these tools to examine what you’ve been doing and figure out what “healthy habits” might actually be holding you back.  For example, fruit is great but you can overeat anything.  A new plan might make you shift to more vegetables with less fruit. It’s a simple and sustainable change but one that can reap positive benefits on your physique and health numbers.

Don’t swing to far one way or the other.

If you are super competitive and the WIN is what gets you going, be careful not to set yourself up for future failure by going to the extreme. The boomerang effect is a powerful one. You may want to skip the wine after dinner a few weeks before the big finale but cutting out EVERYTHING that makes you happy will only make you crave it more. Pick one thing you love and have a bit of it without guilt. You can find many ways to get your chocolate/salt/pasta craving without going overboard. I love a good protein mug cake to get my chocolate fix without a sugar crash and burn. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally have piece of dark chocolate with my tea too. I don’t have it every night but I also have never made it completely off limits, even when I am trying to lean out for a photo shoot.

If these tips aren’t enough to help you stay committed, maybe you need a full time coach. Better yet, maybe you need the tools to help you become your own coach. I invite you to take a look at my new book, Motivation Is Made Not Found, to find more tips like these to help you make your own motivation whenever you need it. It’s a collection of my best essays on motivation and a blue print to help create your motivation daily and stay committed. It’s on sale till February 29 so don’t wait till the next office wellness challenge to check it out!

If you are ready for the next competition or challenge, I am pretty sure Michelle has an idea or two. ;)

MotivationIsMade720

 

About Pamela:

Pamela and I met at Idea World many moons ago and connected view our shared introvert habits. She has been a blessing and joy to my life, adding value every time we speak. She keeps a wonderful blog: www.thrivepersonalfitness.com filled with up to the minute tips about real health and fitness. She has a passion to help other women realize their true potential and love their bodies by harnessing the power of fitness and nutrition.

You can find Pamela on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest  and  YouTube

 

 

 

 

Monday Motivation: Guest post from Sarah Vance that will redefine how you see yourself

Do you ever think that once you get your ideal body that you will finally be content in your own skin?

That once you fit in your desired jeans size- you will never have problems picking out clothes again- because you will love EVERYTHING you put on your body?

 Or maybe you think that once you hit a goal weight- your life will magically change and you will never wake up in disgust with what is looking at you back in the mirror?

I thought these things to- and it wasn’t until years later that I discovered I had it completely backwards.

Hi! My name is Sarah Vance. I am a former bikini competitor, fitness model, and chronic dieter. I spent years searching for the perfect meal plan that would lead me to the ideal body that I had instilled in my head. I spent copious amounts of time ‘fixing’ my body…and when I finally looked like the ideal body that was in my head… I was actually at my lowest point and least confident in my own skin. My fitness regimen and eating habits ruled my life.

Sarah_before

I don’t think my story is uncommon with women- and as a matter of fact it is becoming more common with young girls. We as women feel extreme pressure to look a certain way from society’s unrealistic standards.

I would say the majority of women start a fitness regimen to ‘fix’ their body. Their body becomes their project. The majority of women start their first diet in hopes to mold their body into what they envision in their head.

All this time we are searching to become MORE. More confident, healthier, radiant, happier with our bodies, and sometimes we are looking for more LOVE from ourselves or others.

It wasn’t until I challenged all my ideals, gave a middle finger to society’s idea of beauty, and created happiness in my life that I had all of these things.

I went from tearing myself down, to building myself up in more ways than one. I quit dieting cold turkey (and have never looked back) I stopped worrying about exercising, and focused on moving in a way that is a celebration of my body and what it can do(hello powerlifting).  I started to take charge of my life and spent all the time I spent on obsessing over how many calories were in a piece of pizza or how many calories I burned from a run and put into areas that needed work: My relationship, my job, my internal self, my relationship with food, and my health.

You see: what we all desire is achievable in any body we have, however we go about achieving it in a backwards state of mind.

You see: You cannot hate your body into loving it. It simply doesn’t work that way. Take it from me- I tried that route, and I guarantee that you will not end up in a body that you love.

After I made a huge mind shift something magical happened: Everything I desired that my goal body promised started coming to me….

…confidence.

…love.

…health.

….freedom.

….happiness.

…empowerment.

…trust and faith in myself.

Sarah_after

Am I there? No. I don’t think there is ever a true ‘there’. I think it is human nature to have days where we want to go into an all out war with our body- but with this new found mindset and perspective I can come back to a place of love and respect for my body, and work through what is actually behind those feelings- because when we wake up saying: I am so <fat, gross, lumpy>, and I hate <my butt, cellulite, stretch marks, flabby arms> it usually isn’t about the body itself. Something is behind it, and only you can figure that out.

A question I want you to ask yourself is this: What does ‘there’ look like? What does this woman do, think, feel, act? How does she live her life?

Take a moment and reflect on that- then….see all those things. Now Go Do Them. Fearlessly. 

If you think your body is prohibiting you—sit with that and really break that mind barrier down.  I bet you that your body isn’t holding you back from anything, it is your mindset.

Do you really want to spend more time tearing yourself down when you can start building yourself up? Probably not, and how that has worked out for you this far. It probably hasn’t.

Why not try a new way of thinking and being? You never know- you may see the magic happen like I did, but you won’t know until you try.

Sarah_Vance

Sarah is a body positive fitness coach, nurse, lip gloss lover, barbell slinging, diet-ditching quirky chick. She specializes in helping radiant women learn to cultivate self love, nourishment, strength.  She is a former bikini champion and knows all to well the extremes of the fitness world. She is an ICU nurse who values health and living life to its fullest. Her favorite foods include a juicy burger, sushi, and a great steak. Her favorite hobbies include fishing, reading, watching good movies, and laughing until her stomach hurts.

Be sure to sign up for her FREE guide on how to start loving your body with five simple steps HERE. She will also send you ways to create a positive mindset, how to eat food effortlessly, love your fitness lifestyle, and own your body with confidence.

You can also follow Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

Trainer Tip Tuesday

Hello!

I am beyond thrilled to kick off a brand new series called Trainer Tip Tuesday. This series of posts will address personal trainers, coaches and even those who are thinking of joining this wonderful profession.

The goal is to embed knowledge and wisdom while helping trainers and coaches make the most of their education and passion.

Today’s pots is from my dear friend and fellow trainer, Pamela Hernandez, who owns Thrive Personal Fitness.

Read on as she tackles some questions that new and old trainers may not have thought about before signing the bottom line :)

cookie monster

What They Don’t Teach You about Being a Personal Trainer:

 

Congratulations! You’ve passed your personal trainer exam! You’re excited and anxious to get started. Maybe a gym has offered you a place to work or perhaps you’re striking out on your own. Either way, you can’t wait to get your first client.

The problem is they forgot to tell you how to set your prices, find your niche and market yourself. Unfortunately that’s not all your certification program left out.

Your certification leaves you woefully unprepared for the real world of personal training. I compare getting your certification to kindergarten. In kindergarten you learn your letters and some basic vocabulary. You learn to count. But putting together a proper sentence or multiplication is still out of reach.

During your certification program you get your basics of anatomy, physiology and movement. You learn to count reps. You learn about what exercises work what muscles, but no one really shows you how to translate a workout to a program to meet you clients goals. No one prepares you for the unhealthy bodies you will encounter and the behavioral coaching they are going to need. Preparation for the BUSINESS of personal training is completely absent.

Here is the hard reality. If you want to make personal training your full time job, only 20-25% of your time will be spent in the gym with clients. The rest of the time is spent prepping programs, taking continuing education classes, marketing yourself, balancing the books and all the other things it takes to run a successful business.  Your education has only just begun. Here are the important lessons about the business of personal training you need to start with.

  •  Whether you know it or not you have started a small business

You need to set up a separate account for business expenses, set a budget and a separate mailing address. Keep your business finances separate from your personal ones, including credit. While your chances for audit are small, only about 1% according to WalletHub, audits for small businesses are UP 17% since 2009. Keep detailed and organized records and you will be prepared, plus it will help you in the event you decide to seek an SBA loan or other financing.  Also find an accountant you trust. A good accountant is not just someone who puts your numbers into a piece of software to do your taxes. A good accountant will advise you on how to maximize your income while avoiding unpleasant surprises at tax time.

  • Know your value

When I first started training I was told by a gym manager no one would pay my personal training rates. I firmly stood my ground because I had done my research. I compared rates for other trainers in my local area with similar services and priced accordingly. I also knew the personal service I provide ranked higher than the cookie cutter programs at big box gyms. It’s for this reason I also don’t offer discounts. I value what I do and I want my clients to do the same. If I discount my services, I have also discounted myself. For this and many other reasons, stay away from Groupon, Living Social and other discount programs. You might get a short-term burst of clients but they rarely stick around.

  • Find a mentor

My ACSM CPT certification gave me a basic vocabulary. I learned program design and about the business of personal training from other trainers. A good mentor can provide you with the missing pieces of your personal trainer education. They can offer you hands on experience and a sympathetic ear when you have a difficult client or situation. This can be a formal arrangement via an internship or an informal friendship. Online mentor programs, continuing education programs and fitness conferences can offer huge opportunities to learn from experts in your field and expand your professional network.

  •  Read books outside of your field

I used to try to read every new diet book on the market but I couldn’t keep up. I stopped trying when I realized they are all virtually saying the same thing. A better use of my time is reading books on business, marketing, behavior change and nutrition. If you haven’t read Switch by Chip and Dan Heath or The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck do so NOW.

  • Rest

I started training part time while I worked a full time desk job. I offered myself for training appointments 6 days a week at any time the client could meet. On Sundays I prepped workouts for the week and wrote for my blog. The consequences verged on exhaustion and what I believe was the beginning of adrenal fatigue. I had to slow down or else. I implemented a set schedule for training and started taking Sundays off – including taking a Social Media Sabbath. It made a huge difference! I got my health and my sanity back. I also could give every client the energetic training session she deserves. It’s important to set boundaries and make time for OUR workouts, to rest and recharge. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

If you are serious about your personal training career then you have to be smart and passionate both in and out of the gym. If you want to be in this business for the long haul always remember it is a business and never stop learning.

 

Pamela Hernandez is a fitness maven, author and motivational speaker. Her goal is to empower women with fitness and to help women take control of their health and their lives! She has been on her own fitness journey since 1999 and she started her entrepreneurial journey in 2009 when she founded her personal training company, Thrive Personal Fitness. As a former fat girl and natural introvert, her goal is to take her personal lessons learned, from building her own fitness and building a successful small business, and use them to help other women live their dreams.

Pamela Headshot 2014

Special Guest Post: The Art of Eating In

 

the art of eating in
Eating out is practically synonymous with the weekend.  It’s among the best ways to relax, enjoy some company and eat deliciously!  Unfortunately, the majority of restaurants aren’t concerned about using low-calorie cooking methods or ingredients, and those few meals out may stick with you even after the weekend is over.  Oh, thanks for the souvenir…on my hips.

Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight is mostly about what we put in our bodies.  Bummer!  I wish it were something else, like how much I laughed every day.  I’m a serious laugher.

Cooking at home allows you 100% control over what goes into your meal, giving you opportunities to eat your favorite items, but with a much lower calorie count.

I am not discouraging eating out, or asking you to give it up.  If I didn’t eat out once a week, I would either be wallowing in self pity or be so annoyed I’d stress-eat my way through a whole box of cereal.   I just need to eat someone else’s food, in a place that isn’t my table, counter, or desk….or bed.

But, during the week, I enjoy EATING IN just as much as eating out because I’ve learned how to keep food healthy, light, and delicious.

Eating fresh, natural food gives me plenty of energy, and it balances out a weekend indulgence or two.  I don’t feel deprived; I feel balanced and happy.  For me, it’s leading the delicious life!

Realities Of Restaurant Food.  Warning: This may get ugly. sizzle pie

Restaurants need to keep costs down in order to make any money.  I completely understand, and I don’t expect them to do otherwise.  The restaurant business is tough!  They also need to ensure customers LOVE their food, so they typically load it with fat, salt and sugar.  In order to accomplish these two, they will:

  • Cook with plenty of oil and butter
  • Use full-fat ingredients (tastier) and/or processed ingredients (cheaper)
  • Fill the majority of the meal with carbohydrates: bread, chips, some form of  potatoes. Carbs are cheap, bulk up your portion, and make you stuffed full so you feel you got your money’s worth.
  • skimp on the healthier ingredients like fresh produce and lean meats because they’re the most expensive.

breakfast and blogging

Practicing the Art of Eating In

  • Old-fashioned oats, cooked in vanilla almond milk with ribbons of almond butter, a few raspberries and a tablespoon of flaxseed
  • Over-easy      eggs (1 whole, 2 whites), garden-picked tomatoes, sprinkled with Parmesan, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream
  • Decaf chai tea with almond milk
  • Ice water infused with fresh mint

This Meal Eating Out Vs. Eating In

At a restaurant, this meal would be at least $10.  It cost me less than $1.  The meal at the restaurant would have skimped on the tomato, the sour cream would have been full fat, the oatmeal would have been loaded with cream, and I would have had to ask for 1 egg and 2 eggs whites, annoying the waitress and chef. Almond milk, my favorite, would likely not have been an option.

My oats were creamy because of the way I cook them, not because I added a 1/4 cup of half and half.  I used a whole handful of cherry tomatoes, not a little garnish on the top.  The eggs weren’t cooked in a chunk of butter, but a spray of heart-healthy canola oil.
I saved money, calories, and time.  I boosted the nutrition.  And, it was all very simple to cook.

You may be thinking,
“But Jessica Joy, I don’t like cooking, like you do.” Well, I assumed I also hated cooking until I got a decent knife.

a decent knife
A good knife improves your entire cooking experience!  I found this life-changing tool for $25.  Your cooking does not need to be elaborate or time-consuming, but it is worth investing some time and money in for your health’s sake.

Easy ways to save calories when cooking at home

  • Use  canola spray, olive oil spray or a little coconut oil.  These are both heart-healthy and in a small portions.
  • Fill half  your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Feature one or two carbs per meal.  For me, I love popcorn, so often I forego rice or potatoes to have some popcorn afterwards.  Or, I might have an open face  sandwich to create a little wiggle room for a treat.
  • Eat  protein, preferably lean protein, with every meal to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you fuller longer

 

Eating in is a delicious art.  Enjoy healthy food, keep the cooking simple, and reap life-boosting benefits.  You won’t leave the table with a “food-brick” in your belly, and you can stay in your pajamas….if you like. 

Want more from Jessica Joy? You know you do! Check out her blog here:  http://www.thefitswitch.org/ and read her bio below!

never give up lorna jane blog profile

Hi,
I’m Jessica Joy, writer, group fitness instructor, mom of 2, doggy mom of 2,
and married to Chadly. During my baby weight de-poofing, I
discovered that living healthier is living happier, and staying
fit is like flipping life’s AWESOME switch.  Thus, my third child,
TheFitSwitch.org was born.  This baby is all about motivating you to
flip YOUR fit switch, and gives you the know-how to do it.  Your
awesome life awaits.  Let’s do this!

5 simple daily rituals to melt fat for good

Sometimes weight loss can seem to be a daunting task, with all the mixed messages out there and the contradicting thought points and the emerging plethora of new diets around. There is however a simple yet extremely effective routine that I personally use to keep in shape and for people who are starting out to drop some pounds, look good and regain their vitality. Now these steps aren’t new or are they incredibly complex. They are 6 daily rituals which at their essence are the most basic knowledge that literally everyone can do and perform everyday to some degree.

I’d like to tell you that there is a magic weight loss pill or some cutting edge diet that dissolves fat and changes your entire physique in 3 days – but I would be lying to you. There is no quick fix, no fancy pill or a new fancy weight loss diet. It’s a way of life, a few lifestyle changes that over the long-term will get fantastic results much better than getting on the new diet bandwagon and falling off it to regain not only the weight you have lost, and then some.

               1.       Goal Setting and Visualization

Goal Setting

Goal setting is so critical to useful endeavour. Without a goal it’s like steering a ship without a rudder. This is a critical first step whereby everyone should have written down a goal to achieve their desired weight loss. Here’s a simple way to set a goal in 5 minutes. Make the goal S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. There are hundreds of variations to SMART goals however they are all essentially the same.

If you are looking to lose weight here’s what a goal may look like:

I want to lose 10 pounds by Dec 31st 2014 at 5pm.

See how I have even inserted the time to the exact hour? This is so that you give your subconscious mind a time to work towards (more below).

Below this you would want to write out the steps you are going to take to achieve this goal. This could be:

-          Go for a 30 minute walk every morning

-          Eat vegetables with each meal (3 times a day)

-          Reduce the amount of processed food I eat by half

-          Drink 8 glasses of water a day

-          Do yoga 2 times a week

-          Lift weight 3 times a week

As you can see I have made each of the steps that accompany the goal with exact numbers this makes it far more specific and measurable, so that it allows you to track and measure your results.

If you are starting out PLEASE don’t try everything all at once. For example if you want to lose weight, start with one form of exercise first and set out to do this 3-4 times a week for half an hour. Try this for 2 weeks and when you feel comfortable, take another step forward and incorporate perhaps eating more greens into your list. Don’t try to take on everything at once, try one or two things at a time and test the waters until you are almost certain you can incorporate another step into your plan.

This is critical that you write down your goal before anything else you attempt, it will keep you motivated throughout the entire process. By setting a realistic goal, you are bound to hit it – no matter what!

Visualization

Now this may seem like a new idea or a bit woo woo, however there have been studies conducted on visualization and these studies have shown that when people hold their goals and aspirations in their mind’s eye for an extended period of time they start to ingrain the image into their subconscious. The subconscious mind has a difficult time in differentiating what’s real and not real and often accepts these images to be real and starts the process of changing thought processes to make your goals happen.

Here’s what to do:

Find an image of what you would love to look like or an image of what you used to look like, and hold it in front of you. Stare at this image for 30 seconds and then begin to alter your focus as if you were looking straight through the image. Do this every day so that this image sinks into your sub-conscious mind. Before you know it your sub-conscious mind will start to work on your goals and desires and you (without much notice) will start making the changes you need to get yourself closer to your goal!

        2.  Walking

Now this is so basic! Cardiovascular exercise is so important, it burns calories and most of all keeps your heart healthy. There is a huge array of different cardiovascular exercises out there including High Intensity Interval Training, however these types of exercises may not appeal to you and you are looking for something manageable without the risk of injury then walking is for you. Try walking in the morning just as soon as the sun is up – this way you are getting much needed vitamin D and also burning calories.

         3.       Yoga

Here’s a fantastic weight loss tool. Yoga may not seem that it burns calories, but it really does. Studies have shown that yoga with its many postures and positions engages a large number of muscles simultaneously. By contracting and holding muscles for short periods of time generates much of the same calorie burning mechanisms as cardiovascular exercises by increasing your bodies metabolic rate. Yoga is great for another reason: flexibility. Flexibility is often overlooked when it comes to overall wellness. Being flexible allows you to guard yourself from injury, lessening the effects of previous injuries while allowing greater flexibility throughout the body.

If you are time bound try starting with a 5-10 minute Yoga routine, do as much as you can with the limited time you have. You can easily access hundreds of different Yoga videos on YouTube. Check out Tara Stiles. Tara has a fantastic range of 10 minute easy to learn Yoga routines.

          4.       Detoxification and Hydration

Detoxification has become popular as of recent years. Detoxification is the process of expelling the build up of toxins from the body that has been accumulated through what you eat, drink and breathe. These toxins are often detrimental to vital organs and have a huge role to play in inflammation. Inflammation from eating say processed foods are caused by a whole host of bad oils, sugars, and chemical additives that leave organs such as the liver clogged up and working inefficiently. Inflammation in the gut leads to many side effects one of the most common is weight gain.

Here’s a simple but effective drink to increase metabolism and flush out toxins – drink more water! Chances are that you aren’t getting enough water in your day. The recommended daily intake of H2o is roughly 6 to 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Yes! 6-8. Water is so vital for our bodies and we just aren’t getting enough of the good stuff. The easiest way I found to keep me hydrated is to have a glass bottle or a mason jar filled with water sitting next to me no matter what! When I am at work I have a bottle sitting on my desk the same while I am at home. Fill up a mason jar and leave it on your bed side table before going to bed so if you do wake up thirsty you have quick and easy hydration. First thing in the morning you may want to consider drinking a litre of filtered water with some fresh lemon juice, this helps flush out nasty toxins that have built up in your body over night.

Another fantastic detoxification option is to drink a green juice or green smoothie in the morning. Juicing or blending allows you to get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals into your body first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Juices and smoothies contain a huge about of nutrients which help assist in healing your gut, flushing toxins out of your liver, repairing damaged cells and giving you sustained energy throughout the day without having the peaks and crashes like coffee!

           5.       Remove refined and processed foods

These include any form of so called “food” that comes in a can, box, preserved or in a plastic bag. You know which food you are eating is absolute garbage, get rid of them! They are doing absolutely no good for you. These foods are making people fat, sick and nearly dead for the past 50 years and are continuing to do so at an even more rapid speed. This category also consists of refined oils such as canola, cotton seed and vegetable oils. Other foods would include any sort of refined white sugar, soft drinks, white breads, potato chips, deep fried foods of any kind, takeaway food from all of the major fast food “restaurants”, microwaveable foods and all forms pastry. Basically anything that you know has added chemicals or is made in a factory somewhere.

 

This all may seem like a monumental task, and you would be right. However, please don’t expect to start with every single tip on this list at the same time. Focus on one thing at a time and eventually add steps to move even closer to your goals.

I hope this information helps you in some way shape or form! If you would like more great insights, tips and guides please visit eatlivelife.com.

To your health and wellness!

BIO:

Merwin is the founder of Eat Live Life – a site where he draws on his experience in overcoming adversities with his own health. Eat Live Life aims to create a healthier and happier world. Merwin is a dedicated nutrition researcher, wellness advocate, writer, student, meditation practitioner and wannabe Yogi.

Website: http://www.eatlivelife.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eatlivelife?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eatlivelifeblog

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/eatlivelife/

Merwin Davies Portrait (2)

Merwin runs the Eat Live Life site and I was fortunate enough to meet him and exchange posts a few weeks ago. Check out the post I did on his site HERE.

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

 

Is Lasik Worth the Investment?

Is Lasik Worth the Investment?

The answer to whether Lasik is a worth-while investment is really up to the individual. It depends on the risk and their financial status. Generally, those that get Lasik surgery benefit from 20/20 vision for the rest of their lives, but there are exceptions. Knowing the risks and possible gains involved are the only way to ensure that you are making a great investment for you and your future.

Pros of Lasik Surgery: 

No one would ever undergo an elective surgery if they didn’t expect to gain something from it. Lasik is no exception.

No Need for Glasses

With Lasik, there is no waiting to pick up your glasses to be able to see details on the screen in front of your or identify something in a distance. Your eyes automatically can see the item from where ever you stand.

Confidence and Self Esteem Boost

Not having to wear glasses or even deal with contacts boosts confidence and self-esteem, young or old.

One Time Sum vs Smaller Sum over Multiple Years

Lasik surgery is a single sum of roughly $2,000 per eye. Contacts and/or glasses easily cost $200 per year over the life of the individual. Most individuals needing contacts or eye glasses learn about their less than 20/20 vision during their childhood and easily spend between $8,000 and $12,000 dollars on eye care for the next 40 years. More expensive contacts can double that sum with ease.

Cons of Lasik Surgery:

Every surgery has negative aspects that  a patient must handle.  Some negatives are temporary, while other complications may continue through the rest of his or her life. 

Large Sum Upfront

Lasik surgery is a large lump sum out-of-pocket. On average, Lasik costs $2,000 per eye. That’s a large sum to handle for most individuals.

No Insurance Assistance

Most, if not all insurances consider Lasik an elective surgery. Thus, it’s rarely covered by insurance providers.

Short Term Side Effects

Like most surgeries, Lasik is not without risk of side effects. For example, sub conjunctival hemorrhages are part of the aftereffects. These bright red spots can be small or cover a large portion of your eye. They are essentially bruises from the operation and may last up to month following the surgery.

Long term Effects

Dry eyes are usually a long term effect of Lasik, but many individuals dealt with similar symptoms if they used contacts previously. Along term side effect of great concern  is the possible damage to night vision. The effect is often seen when driving. Oncoming lights and street lamps seem to expand into great big orbs or halos, which obscures your night vision. For some, this side effect is temporary, but others will deal with this the rest of their lives.

Ultimately, choosing whether Lasik is worth the investment is up to you. Does perfect vision and foregoing the need for glasses  for years to come sound great to you? If the minimal risk and the financial upfront cost doesn’t deter you, then you know that Lasik is worth the investment to you. And ultimately, that determines whether you schedule to have the surgery performed.

“LASIK Eye Surgery” WebMD.com. Retrieved From http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/lasik-laser-eye-surgery?page=2

Young, Matt. (2008) “Research Shows LASIK Could Improve Psychological Functioning” ASCRS Eye World. Retrieved from http://www.eyeworld.org/article.php?sid=1957&strict=&morphologic=&query=lasik

Laser Eye Surgery Cost vs. Contacts and Eye Glasses Cost” Lasik.com. Retrieved From http://www.lasik.com/articles/laser-eye-surgery-cost

Guest Posting for Tosca Reno TODAY!

Hello Fit PEOPLE!!!!

Today is a very exciting day. First and foremost, I want to give a HUGE shout out to MY DAD: today is his birthday :) If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t have me, so wish the man a HAPPY BIRTHDAY people :)

Appropriately, I am also a featured blogger on Tosca Reno’s personal page today! If you don’t know who she is, what’s wrong with you?!?!?! JOKING! Let me tell you:

Tosca Reno is an esteemed author of several best sellers, including The Eat Clean Diet and Eat Clean Diet Cookbooks.

clean

It is through her expert guidance and easy approach to nutrition that I was able to turn my life around. Once I was in the statistic range for developing diseases such as high blood pressure and even cancer, but thanks to her I am in the minority and helping others! Tosca is also the head of Robert Kennedy Publishing and the mastermind behind Clean Eating Magazine and the Eat Clean Diet Community. To say that I am honored is an understatement :)

My post for Tosca runs through my transformation, but it also comes with a challenge: what will you do with your fitness?

I am endeavoring to raise $50,000 to build a wellness center for victims of sex trafficking and human exploitation in Chisinau, Moldova. Fitness has a way of changing things. A regular fitness program has been shown to increase self-esteem , enhance self-discipline and decrease levels of depression. I can certainly attest to what fitness and eating clean have done in my life!

Check out the post HERE and at the VERY LEAST, share it :)

Want to be a part of an AMAZING change? you can donate to the wellness center HERE. I will be keeping you updated on the whole process AND you will even have an opportunity to visit Chisinau and check out what you’re a part of! Grab this chance to make a change in the world. The one sure-fire way to reach your goals is to look at the bigger picture: who can you help today?

LIVE LOUDER TODAY!

xoxo,

Michelle

Workout Wednesday: An Invitation to Color in Motion!

Today I have a guest post from my good friend Morgan, from Color in Motion 5K. This fun run is coming to Houston February 2nd and benefits the Girls on the Run Foundation. My kids and I are planning on getting our run on and I would LOVE to see you there as well. Color in Motion is giving my readers a 10% discount on registration if you use the codde # MICHELLECFITNESS when you sign up. Let me know when you get all signed up and I’ll look for you at the run!

COLOR IN MOTION 5K RUN TO BENEFIT GIRLS ON THE RUN

Hey guys! This is Morgan from Color in Motion 5k. I am so excited to be blogging to tell you about one of the most fun events of the year, the Color in Motion 5k race, which will also help you get in shape. I also want to offer Michelle’s readers an awesome deal for the Color in Motion 5k fun run on February 2 in Houston at Reliant Park. This race also benefits the local Houston charity, Girls on the Run.

**Use the discount code- MICHELLECFITNESS to register and get 10% off race registration at colorinmotion5k.com/event/Houston.**

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So what is Color in Motion 5k? Let me tell you, Color in Motion 5k is the most fun 5k race you will ever participate in. This is is not a timed race so run, walk, jog, whatever your prefer. If you are trying to find a motivation to get in better shape or complete your first 5k, this is an awesome opportunity to do so, as it is not as much about being competitive but more about just having fun.

If you are not familiar with Color in Motion 5k, here’s how it works.

Come in white clothes and start moving. Whatever your pace is fine as long as you are moving.

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At every kilometer of the race there is a color pit where our wonderful volunteers throw color on you as you go by, helping make the experience more fun and turning your white clothes into a pallette of color. Like these Color Chasers-

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What also makes Color in Motion 5k different than your average 5k race is the after party. Afterwards there is a big party with music, dancing, vendors and a color throw.

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Doesn’t that look fun? I would not want to miss out on that if I were you.

So what do you have to do to join in on this fun? Go to colorinmotion5k.com/event/Houston and sign up using MICHELLECFITNESS to get 10% off, bring your friends and get ready to have a great time and support a great cause while doing it. Hope to see you covered in color on February 2!

Morgan

FUN FRIDAY! Guest POST, Beverly Weeks

I have the special honor and great pleasure of having Beverly post again for us!

So, get ready for a good belly laugh and some GREAT encouragement :)

                                                  “ Ain’t Nothin Like True Blue Cellulite Friends”

 

“Girlfriend, I am saving you from the anguish! Don’t you even attempt to wear those white pants. It’s the end of September. Hang ‘em up your cellulite and pink underwear are showing. You don’t even need to go there!”

Whew, thank goodness I have several “true blue cellulite friends.” Never heard it quite expressed my way? Honey, everyone needs a couple of these confidants in your lives. You know, the kind of friend that will let you know the hamburger is stuck in your front teeth and the chocolate ice cream residue is smeared on your mouth BEFORE  you walk before a crowd to give a speech on self-esteem & eating healthy. Better yet, I love to take my friend Phyllis bathing suit shopping. She kills me with her candid responses, BUT she has saved me a lifetime of embarrassment! “Bev you just might want to try a bathing suit with how should I say this politely…. a little skirt on the bottom? “   Honestly, I love it. She has got to be one of the greatest shopping buddies. “Hmmm those are slimming but those are not, don’t you think you’re a little old for the JUNIOR department?”

I have friends that are experts in the fake tanning department, “Bev you are looking rather ORANGE today, you trying a new spray?” Then there is the accessories, most of the time you will find my jewelry & shoes will match. They can’t help but coordinate. Half the “accessory police “department lives in my neighborhood. No kidding sometimes, I cannot even get out of my driveway without someone issuing me a citation! I’m on probation now by just for wearing scuffed up boots and “out of style ear bobs.” We will not even go there with the looks my friends have given me in Zumba class! I just shout back, “Don’t say a word can’t you see my plants are SPLIT, I’m fallen and I can’t get up!”

Oh, but there is just something special about that spiritual accountability that dear friends can hold you to. Everyone needs a peer or mentor that they can trust to hold them responsible in their relationship with Christ, with their spouse, & in areas that we are known to stumble. That accountability is simply just a check and balance system that protects us from harming others and ourselves. My friend Sherry and I have such a bond. We confide, pray, listen, cry, laugh and encourage each other. There have been touchy times in my marriage, finances, with my job and even with my health when I did not need someone to necessarily solve the problem…. I just needed someone to listen. At the same time she would say, “Bev let’s take a look and see what the Bible says about this.”

My first accountability is to my God. The dearest most precious friend I have. Yet that accountability to another friend is simply being responsible for my actions. Do you have a confidant to whom you can go? Will that person truly hold you accountable in your spiritual walk, or simply share the words you want to hear? If not pray and begin to ask God to send someone in your life to encourage and empower you. You will find that when your world is turned upside down and you just don’t know how you are going to make it, there is nothing more precious than a godly friend. On occasion, I have to remind myself of how essential it is that I am being that kind of friend to others. Which kind of friend are you?

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16 NIV

 

Beverly Weeks is an energized Christian speaker who is devoted to encouraging couples with God’s inspired Word.  She has written numerous online devotions, blogs & articles to exemplify powerful, practical biblical truths to couples standing for their marriage and family. Candidly & transparently, Beverly shares the grace, hope & redemption that Christ offers to all and their marriage relationships.

Beverly speaks from personal experience, a confident faith and a zealous passion, proclaiming encouraging messages of hope. She engages women’s groups, churches and conferences with topics such as Battling Low Self Esteem to Healing in Your Marriage.

Beverly presently serves with Intentionally Yours, a marriage focused ministry, facilitates Art of Marriage conferences and is a Homebuilder Catalyst for Family Life Ministries.

Hey wait a second, who wrote this? Don’t forget I love dark chocolate, peanut butter & bananas, alfredo sauce, shopping, consignment shops & did I say I LOVE dark chocolate?

To find out more about Beverly visit:  www.intentionallyyours.org

 

AND make sure you join her Facebook page for more encouragement daily! http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/273063556130828/

 

Be fit, be healthy, and LIVE!

Michelle

 

 

FUN FRIDAY! Special Guest Post: Beverly Weeks

Happy Fun Friday to ya’ll!

Today’s guest post comes from my beautiful friend Beverly Weeks. Here and I met through the She Speaks/Proverbs 31 track and have enjoyed a blossoming friendship. I really love her fresh voice and fun perspective on life. I hope you enjoy her down to Earth attitude about reaching her goals AND honoring God :)

A Personal Trainer, Are You Kidding?

ME workout with a personal trainer? Are you kidding? Warning: if you use your imagination, the contents in this devotion may cause you to laugh so hard you may wet your pants…well never mind. His name was D-Rock and can I be candid? He looked just like something off of a butter commercial. Young,  dark eyes, tan, and yes he had a six pack. You could see it right through his t-shirt along with the muscles on his arms, legs, and even around his ankles!  I was well over 40 and it was obvious that my body had been drooping in places I never knew it could possibly droop! And then there was Spanx, ughhh never worked for me, that just squishes it all out!! Determined to slow down the aging process I relentlessly called him up and scheduled an appt. That first night he worked out muscles I never even knew existed, all the while I was trying to act refined by sucking in my stomach tightly and holding everything as upright and in place as I could. I thanked him and headed straight for the bathroom. PROBLEM, I couldn’t squat!! Frustrated , I got in the car & headed home.

An hour later I found myself lying on an ER table with my husband and my friend Phyllis by my side. To save me embarrassment, the doctor gave it a fancy diagnosis. I knew what he was thinking, the same thing I was.  Are you crazy? What are you trying to prove? Your whipped , and not to mention you feel like your about to die!! D-Rock had done a great job, I had just failed to tell him I hadn’t eaten all day. I was so engrossed with trying to make myself look better on the outside that I had failed to fuel up and take care of the inside. Just being candid, I have tried it all! Atkins, cracker diets, no starch, no meats, no sweets and the lists goes on.  You know, I was concentrating all my efforts on trying to be beautiful and improve my outward appearance, yet I was a failure on the inside. A crumbling marriage, success & goal driven, priorities out of line , always caring about what others think, using disrespectful words to my spouse….. trying to impress so many people, but not the two  people I should have been seeking two impress, my God and my husband.

I was doing it all wrong!  The deepest beauty does not come from cosmetics, jewelry, working out, or basking in the sun, but the deepest beauty by far is the beauty of the soul. Don’t misunderstand me it is not wrong to desire outside beauty. Hey I still get my nails done, and my hairdresser Jamie knows I am going to be there every Friday at 8:30, and you will always see me with jeans and high heels.  At the end of the day everyone wants to look better BUT looking better from God’s point of view begins on the inside and not the outside.  Sometimes I have to see my flaws and recognize that I am a sinner and seek for God to change whatever is wrong from within.  Mirror Mirror on my wall, my GOD finds me beautiful, even when I fall.  That my friend is what matters most of all.      

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Samuel 16:7

 

 

Beverly Weeks is an energized Christian speaker who is devoted to encouraging couples with God’s inspired Word.  She has written numerous online devotions, blogs & articles to exemplify powerful, practical biblical truths to couples standing for their marriage and family. Candidly & transparently, Beverly shares the grace, hope & redemption that Christ offers to all and their marriage relationships.

Beverly speaks from personal experience, a confident faith and a zealous passion, proclaiming encouraging messages of hope. She engages women’s groups, churches and conferences with topics such as Battling Low Self Esteem to Healing in Your Marriage.

Beverly presently serves with Intentionally Yours, a marriage focused ministry, facilitates Art of Marriage conferences and is a Homebuilder Catalyst for Family Life Ministries.

Hey wait a second, who wrote this? Don’t forget I love dark chocolate, peanut butter & bananas, alfredo sauce, shopping, consignment shops & did I say I LOVE dark chocolate?

To find out more about Beverly visit:  www.intentionallyyours.org