Summertime woes: A realistic look at swimsuit season

It’s June 16th here and if you live anywhere in southeast Texas, then you are probably hunkered down with your bottled water awaiting the ominous sounding Tropical Storm BILL….just the name inflicts fear. ;)

More fearful than any tropical storm is swimsuit season. I think I can speak for us all here right? There are just so many things that can go wrong…

I had my very own little run in with swimsuits a couple of weeks ago. You see, I can’t swim….I’m more of a sink or float kinda gal. Meaning when in a pool of water I usually end up close to the wall canoodling with my hubby :) totally acceptable behavior.

Anyways, I decided that this summer I should branch out. I mean, I just got onstage in the world’s tiniest bikini and was judged for goodness sake! I think I can learn to swim a few laps for sport. So, on we went to Academy to get a slightly larger and much more supportive suit….

Into the lion’s den:

It started off rather innocent enough. I walked in feeling full of confidence and eager to get this party started. I grabbed several suits in several sizes (cause you just don’t know with those things) and catwalked my way to the unisex dressing rooms…because we girls can have secrets no longer. I got the first suit on with a great struggle and looked in the mirror. Not good. Like, really not good. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that I had just competed. I then promptly wondered what the heck I had been eating. It seemed like whatever wasn’t firmly encapsulated in the suit spilled elsewhere in the most unflattering fashion imaginable…..sort of like sausage which was busting out of its casing. With much effort, I removed the suit, though I did worry I might have to call in assistance. I picked up a larger size in bright red…side note: that’s a LOT of red no matter what your actual size. Though this one was a little easier to put on and the spillage seemed slightly more contained, I still began to question my training and nutrition. I didn’t bother with the third suit and I marched out to put those demons back in the cavern from whence they come, otherwise known as the swimsuit rack. I then perused the bikinis only to decide my fragile ego couldn’t handle that right now.

For the next couple of weeks (weeks, people) I struggled. It felt like my workout pants were tighter (um, they’re spandex). I got sick and had to go to the doctor where the nurse weighed me and I didn’t appreciate the number she wrote down (you’d think we gals could help each other out). I then had to go through old videos where all I could think about was how thin I was and that all my clothes fit then….

Here’s the catch: I work to empower women to forget the scale. I strive to have more women comfortable in their own skin. I love the variety of bodies on the beach and want others to focus on progress, not perfection. So what the heck????

There are many things that can go wrong while swimsuit shopping. Do any of these bring back horrid memories of yesteryear?

  • Swimsuit sizing if really weird! I think if I wear a medium in workout tights then I should wear a medium in swim bottoms. Is this too much to ask??!?!?!? When going through sizes, I always feel as though I have stumbled into the toddlers department and nobody was kind enough to point me to the correct place.
  • Lighting: really people? It seems as though the ONLY lighting available in these places is the large spotlight used for interrogations…..”Did you really log ALL of your food this week?” “Yes, I swear! I’m not guilty!!!!!” The higher end stores splurge on slightly softer lighting which makes me spend more money. I await a swimsuit dressing room lit in carefully placed tea lights and playing smooth jazz to mellow my fear.
  • You have to keep your underwear on while you try on swimsuits. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great rule, BUT it also added like 10 inches of fabric to my hips (OK< maybe not, but it feels like it).
  • Cellulite LOVES swimsuit shopping. You may not even see it in your shorts that morning, but by the time you pull on the plastic lined bottoms you can rest assured it will rear it’s dimpled head.
  • There seems to only be 2 (maybe 3) options when shopping: barely there skimpy OR old lady afraid of sunburn. The possible 3rd is the “fat displacing” ones that really do nothing other than squeeze body fat into even weirder places.

It’s a wonder any of us get out of the dressing room! The attendant smiles sweetly and asks “Did everything work out?” while I stand there with 23 different suits and tears in my eyes….I muster enough courage to smile back and say “Yes.” Like, duh, I like to keep at least 10 different sizes on hand!

To make matters worse, women are held to different standards than men. The men in my life don’t fret over whether or not their abs are flat in their long trunks….they really just want to make sure the trunks are big enough to allow movement and eating. Who eats in a swimsuit?!?!?!? If I ever get in it I certainly don’t want people to see me eating. That might make me relax my abs, which is one of the unforgivable sins. Guys swimwear sends a totally different message! It says “You’re cool man. Captain America trunks make the ladies believe that under that beer gut you actually look like Captain America”. Meanwhile, we slather on firming creams and practice rolling in and out of chairs so visible stomach flab won’t show :/

How do we make it better? Well, first off, we MUST adhere to the truth that we are all a work in progress. Progress denotes change….we are therefore, ever-changing. There is no such thing as the perfect body and I believe variety is a good thing. The second thing to remember is that body fat is normal and to be expected. Now, how much depends on lifestyle choices. There are a lot of lean people, but the only ones who are fat-free suffer from serious medical issues. So be thankful for your health.

I will be embarking upon a swimsuit shopping extravaganza soon and I have a plan that I think may just work. First, I am enlisting my besties to go with me. This sort of thing is better enjoyed in a group. Second, a good lunch with a couple of glasses of wine will be enjoyed beforehand as swimsuit shopping sober should be reserved for the youngsters who have yet to mature into their cellulite. Third, as women we must realize that we are far harder on ourselves than is necessary. We are defined by our character, not by any number.

So, I encourage you to go forth and shop heartily sisters! Show your daughters that we are comfortable with the changes and challenges of life. Be the best example to others of grace while in the dressing room…..and I pray every dressing room door will remain on its hinge during your adventure.

Be bold because you’re already beautiful,

Michelle

mc-7059 Photo by Kendra Harwell Photography

 

Summertime News and all things healthy :)

Good Morning!

I hope this post finds you feeling healthier and if not, drink some water……chances are you are dehydrated :)
So, I get that blog posts have been sporadic and that is due to contest prep. I am now 11 days out from my FIGURE debut at the Musclemania Lone Star in Galveston, TX on May 16th. If you want to read up on contest prep and check out photos, go HERE.

 

Posts will resume more normalcy once the competition is wrapped and my new goals settle in for the long haul. Since this is the final post pre-contest, I wanted to use it to address a few things and let you in on some of my upcoming news.

GYM RULES (watch out for these things if you want to reach your goals):

I’m going to be overly blunt here, but I’m tired of everybody wandering around totally lost….so here we go.

  1. KNOW YOUR GOALS!!!!! If you do not have specific you-centered goals written down then you are flying blind…..and everybody knows it.
  2. Be careful what “advice” you take. Over the past 6 months I have heard more bad advice escape the mouths of gym goers than I could read off the internet in a lifetime. I hear it on the gym floor, in the locker room and ALWAYS in the sauna. My personal favorite is the group exercise instructor who told a group of older ladies they should ALWAYS do their cardio fasted…..because obviously group X instructors have a PhD in exercise and nutrition science and just teach for the heck of it (I can say that, I was one). Do you realize that training fasted has never been scientifically proven for greater fat loss? More so, do you think a spin instructor knows that if there is a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure (which is rampant) training fasted can actually be a terrible thing? Food for thought…..by picky about whose advice you take. It doesn’t matter if you think they look fitter than you. Do they have more education then Google University?
  3. Don’t camp out on the machinery. Those fancy machines were designed for a purpose: bodybuilders who could no longer utilize heavier loads without risking injury. The machines stabilize you and make it possible to lift heavier and tear down more muscle fibers to produce muscular gains. Get it right with free weight and body weight FIRST, then move on.
  4. Don’t just sit there. Many people think they are taking an appropriate rest between sets, but 2 minutes is far too long. If you need more than 90 seconds of rest, lighten your load a bit.
  5. Mind your mouth…or at least what you put in it. Post workout nutrition is key to a sleek physique. Your muscles need energy or they can’t recover and perform.

Whew! Those are really my top 5 tips for YOU to get where you want to be. It’s not always about the size, scale or mirror…..it’s about goals.

Strong Camp 04 Photo by Paul Buceta @Strongcamp

What’s new?

LOADS of new things are coming and I am experiencing a refresher this Summer. Out with the old and in with the new :) I dig change….in fact, I crave it. Due to that, we are doing a total overhaul. Here are a few things you can expect:

  • Weekly real-time training videos. These will be termed Tabata Tuesday and will cover awesome workouts in minimal time with minimal equipment. You can do these workouts ANYWHERE, even on vacation (I’m even shooting some on vacation).
  • Nutrition programs. You requested it and I am hard at work on beginner, intermediate and advanced nutrition programs you will be able to download based on current goals.
  • Goal setting webinars. You know I’m a stickler for goals and I’m setting up FREE webinars so people can get a handle on how to set goals so they can actually reach them.
  • Monthly recipes in the newsletter.
  • Form videos on some of the most popular strength training moves.
  • A whole lot more including hang outs, Q & A’s, guest trainers, success stories, pretty pictures, and maybe even some fit getaways.

So stick with me as I finish this goal and head on to the next!

In health and fitness,

Michelle

Supp Thursday! Product Review, News, Views and anything else I can think of :)

Happy Thursday!

Hope ya’ll are feeling fine today.  I’m on very first ISACleanse (is that a thing? That’s what I’ll call it) which I will detail you on BELOW. For now, let’s get to some reviews and tips shall we?

HEADS UP! I’m doing a fat burner review

So, I’m not a HUGE fat burner fan (except for the ones I have sculpted into fat burning furnaces…..AKA, muscles), but it is a question I get asked ALL THE TIME. So let’s tackle it.

Good to know: fat burners were originally created to help competitors and avid body builders garner more energy for workouts while living a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. The body digs carbs for energy and when you eliminate them to shred the body, it can retaliate with LOW energy and even rebel at the gym. SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!! But it is. While the original intent of fat burners and stimulants was to give a boost to the fit masses, studies now show that more and more average Joe’s (don’t roll your eyes, unless you’re cranking away HOURS in the gym per day then you fall here. Accept it and be proud!) are turning to so-called fat burners for weight loss. Weight loss was not the original intent of fat burners and ANY product that promises HUGE results with little effort should be approached with caution.

So, is there a fat burner I CAN use?

There is one stack (I dig stacks since no ONE supplement works awesome all on its own) I have been trying and totally dig for many reasons. It is the BLISS Weight Loss Stack from 1st Phorm.

Even though I am in the fat loss phase of competition, I still only take 1 pill a day.

What’s so special?

Well, they don’t try to make you believe this is a miracle drug. In this pack you get 3 products:

  1. Thyro-Drive which utilizes a mixture of amino acids and herbs to increase thyroid production. BE CAREFUL HERE: anytime you mess with hormones (like….when you eat) you can set yourself up for success or failure.
  2. Bliss which is a highly functioning thermogenic (what you think of when you think about fat burners) that uses all the heavy hitter in lower doses to decrease the risk of the jitters.
  3. Downtime PM is my FAVORITE since rest and recovery is where I struggle the MOST. With this product you get your melatonin and also your valerian root and black cherry (for soreness), PLUS digestive enzymes and even MACA root (for sexual health). It is magic! I kid….no such thing. It does help to promote more restful and deeper sleep though.

You can check out the links above and read up on the info (they provide EVERYTHING you need) if you’re interested. Men, they have you covered with the Commander pack.

One thing I HAVE to address is the customer service of this company. I have heard from the founders (after entering the athlete search) and after my purchase of the above product I received an email from Kit Kitson just checking up on me and seeing how I liked it. They didn’t know I was a blogger or trainer and were not trying to butter me up (mmmm, butter), but they even offered help with training and meal planning if I needed it :) . That’s a pretty awesome thing to witness…..a company that goes above and beyond.

1st phorm

 

THE CLEANSE!

So, my awesome contest prep coach (Busy Mom Gets Fit) suggested I give Isagenix a try during prep. If you know me then you know I’m a research junkie so I spent the past 4 weeks pulling up everything I could behind the company and ingredients. Most of what I found was super awesome, so here I am on my cleanse day :)

What is it?

It’s a very simple nutritional cleanse backed up with research on intermittent fasting. I am also a huge fan of intermittent fasting and have seen great results. The Isagenix cleanse takes it a step further by taking your fasting day and replenishing the body with nutrients. Fasting itself is highly beneficial and now you can fast and do a great rewire to your entire system.

Since I’m just starting I’ll be giving YOU updates on progress (including some pics you WON’T see on my INstagram) and keeping you up to date on what it’s all about. If you’ve already been doing research and want to cheer me on by completing a cleanse yourself, then jump on it HERE….or you can just get more info.

I mean, if Lori Harder does it, why don’t we ALL do it? LOL

Lori Harder

 

For now, I’m taking my fasted self downstairs to fix a cup of tea :) So far, so good.

Rock on with your day and I’ll see you back here next week!

Michelle

 

It’s Review DAY!!!!!!!

I have been promising product reviews FOREVER! Sorry, real life gets busy sometimes :)

Today I have a LOT of products on hand to review, all of which will fit easily into your fit-friendly lifestyle AND many of which may even make it better.

Let’s start with FOOD!

Come Ready Bars

Come Ready Nutrition

OK, I found these bars just about a week ago and have been so excited I bought lots of boxes and started acting like Santa. These things are the BOMB. Come Ready Nutrition does one thing: BARS. They don’t dabble in lots of other things and spread themselves too thin. They seem to commit to making the BEST tasting bars with the least amount of junk on the market. Taste-wise, I will give a quote from my son who said “I like them way better than Quest bars”. I know I’ll get shot for that one. They really are superior in taste AND texture. I have really well-defined jaw muscles and don’t need a super chewy bar to work them out AFTER my workout. At 190 calories, these bars are great as snacks, pre and post workout nutrition, or an on-the-go breakfast option.

Where can you grab some?

They are just beginning to pop up in your local Costco, where you can get them for cheaper than $1/bar (now you see why I’ve been giving them away). Of course, if your Costco doesn’t have them, check out Bodybuilding.com

Lean Body Whey

Lean Body for Her Whey Protein

Everybody loves some Jamie Eason! She’s super cute, very encouraging, AND a Houston gal at that! She has teamed up with Labrada Nutrition (a Houston based company) to create a line of products specifically for us gals. The whey protein (in chocolate and vanilla) is high quality whey without the HUGE overhead and expense. It blends well with just about anything, including hot coffee. The taste is very clean, with no nasty after taste. I use it post workout, and sometimes pre-workout on very busy days. The Peanut Protein has really been blowing me away and is better taste, texture and mixability than PB2. If you are on a high protein diet (says the figure girl) OR you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, check it out. No filler, no artificial sweeteners (which can cause bloat) and made with all natural ingredients.

Where do I get some?

Check out Bodybuilding.com for the best deals on this exclusive product.

Labrada Anti Bloat

Lean Body for Her Anti-Bloat

This product was created to take the bloat away for those of us who can suffer with water retention or not-so-smooth gastrointestinal functions. Is that an ok way to put that? :) While the ingredients are good for combatting bloat, it should be noted that this is NOT a probiotic and should only be used on occasion. Also, if you have a big function coming up and need to drop weight FAST…..you should have started a while back. Don’t rely on any pill or potion for quick results. The Anit-Bloat system is created to be gentle on the body, however it should be noted that some of the ingredients (as in MANY anti-bloating products) have been known to cause anal leakage in some individuals. Always test your tolerance.

Where do I get it?

Bodybuilding.com

Theatrim

Purus Labs Theatrim

Let me preface by stating that I do not condone the use of “fat burners” to aid in weight loss. I do, however, know that fat burners are used and have a place in certain stages of contest prep and/or fat loss. I also know that people LOVE fat burners, so I may as well let you know when a decent one hits the market. Please note: NO pill will get you to your goal, that’s all you baby.

Theatrim is created on the base of Theacrine,a compound that has been shown to decrease appetite and increase overall body fat loss. Purus Labs (a Dallas based company) is committed to the research and testing behind each and every product. Persoanlly, I found that this product did help with focus without giving me the fat burner jitters. My appetite seems the same (always on) but who know? Perhaps I could have eaten more…..LOL

Where can I get some?

The Trainers Edge has the BEST prices….and some pretty awesome athletes ;)

LAST THING!!!!!

Better Bodies Tights

Better Bodies Tights

OK, I have been skeptical of Better Bodies clothing since day one (so sorry). I bought my first pair of tights a few weeks ago and I am HOOKED! These are the BEST tights I have ever owned. It feels as though you are wearing nothing, but not in a creepy way. It just feels as though they are a second skin. They move with you during your workout and NEVER go where they are uninvited. I don’t have to pull and tug on them during my workouts and I can always count on them making me feel and look just a little tighter. It may be in my head, but it works! I highly recommend any fitness enthusiast to have a few pair of these tights in their wardrobe. Just so you get a size idea, I wear a Medium and the waist band is a bit loose. I will probably grab some smalls as my prep goes on.

Where can I get them?

Elite 1 has the BEST prices on tights! I got mine on sale for $49 and they are worth every single penny.

I hope you get something out of these reviews!

If you have a product you want me to review, let me know in the comments or my emailing michelle@michellecfitness.com

Keep living fit!

Michelle

Run 10 Feed 10: Presented by Women’s Health Magazine

OK, so I’m going to post about running…..don’t get scared!

The annual Run 10 Feed 10 is coming up faster than Kara Goucher, and we need to get prepared.

Women’s Health Magazine has been kind enough to send me ALL the info we need to get involved AND a coupon code so we can get involved on the cheap :) Keep in mind, the coupon is for Houston, BUT the Run 10 Feed 10 campaign will be taking place all around the nation…even virtually.

Run with us and you can help feed hungry people in your area.

run 10 feed 10

WHO: Join Women’s Health Magazine, FEED, and thousands of men and women runners in the fight against hunger.

What:  This fall, Women’s Health magazine will once again host its signature RUN10 FEED10 event with a mission and is heading to Houston, TX. Women’s Health and FEED, the organization founded by philanthropist and social entrepreneur Lauren Bush Lauren, partner for this race series to motivate consumers nationwide to help fight domestic hunger. The concept is simple: run a 10k, feed 10 people. Last year, RUN10, FEED10 raised 1.5 million meals, and the magazine hopes to provide even more in 2014. The money from the registration and fundraising efforts will go to support food banks in the nearest Houston metropolitan areas.  Also included in the registration fee are a 2014 limited-edition FEED bag and a FEED bracelet as a special finisher prize. The day will include:

·      An unforgettable experience running at 10K for those in need

·      Pre and post race activities

·      Tons of freebies, experiences and giveaways

·      Special guests and more…

Where:

FINISH STRONG SPORTS

6426 Washington Avenue

Houston, TX 77007

 

REGISTRATION:

$35 for early registration.  Sign up for Run10 FEED 10 at www.run10feed10.com. Use code R10F10PR for a $5 discount! That’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks :)

run 10

 

FUNDRAISE OR DONATE!

If you fundraise for RUN 10 FEED 10, there’s no minimum fundraising goal. Raise $5, $10, $100 or more — whatever you can do! All money raised will help those in need. Team up with other participants to fundraise for RUN 10 FEED 10. Join a team or create your own so that we can make sure the funds are distributed to your community! Every dollar amount counts.

For those who don’t consider themselves runners….

To donate, visit the RUN 10 FEED 10 Crowdrise site and click on the red box that says “DONATE” on the right side of the page: https://www.crowdrise.com/womenshealthrun10feed10

BONUS!!!!!!

SHOP WITH A PURPOSE!

SHOP with Women’s Health and PlanG and earn giving dollars with your favorite retailers. Donations earned with each purchase will go directly to The FEED Foundation on behalf of RUN 10 FEED 10. You’ll transform your everyday shopping into feats of purpose! Here’s how it works:

1.    Install the PlanG shopping app for your web browser, and run through the one-time setup in seconds.

2.   Customize your settings with a few simple clicks.

3.   Shop at your favorite brands to collect your extra giving dollars.

4.   It’s totally free! The FEED Foundation gets 95% of your donations. PlanG only receives 5% (to help pay the rent).

5.    Download the app and start shopping!

 

 

ABOUT RUN10FEED10: Women’s Health and FEED are partnering for the 3rd annual RUN10 FEED10 10K race series to motivate consumers nationwide to help fight domestic hunger. RUN10 FEED10 has raised over 2.5 million meals to support the cause, and in 2014 the bar is set even higher. The concept behind RUN10FEED10 is simple: run a 10K and feed 10 hungry people in your community. Timed 10K races will take place in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Those living in Boston, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C. can participate in one of the Women’s Health “Fun Runs,” and if runners don’t live in one of the RUN10 FEED 11 host cities, they can still participate by registering at RUN10FEED10.com to run a 10K in their hometown. Kicking off the event series in New York City on September 21, 2014, thousands of participants will run down the West Side Highway for the timed race ending at Pier 84 at Hudson River Park. A post-race wellness festival will feature yoga sessions, nutrition, beauty consultations and great giveaways from sponsors.   The RUN10 FEED10 races in Chicago and San Francisco, and also feature a robust wellness festivals post-race. Women’s Health is excited to partner with “Good Morning America,” the Emmy Award winning morning show, to bring RUN10 FEED10 to households nationwide and inspire viewers to run for the cause. Chief Meteorologist, Ginger Zee, will host the New York City flagship event, running alongside the participants.www.run10feed10.com

Check out more from Women’s Health Magazine HERE

 

Ever wanted to be a Supermom? Check out the SuperMom Summit!

Supermom Summit 2

 

Hey Wonder Women (and men)!

 

I am really excited and I have to share this with you.

 

I was recently interviewed for the SuperMom Summit where parent experts share their wisdom for losing weight, keeping your whole family healthy and feeling confident again.

 

As a parent myself, I know that it takes Superhero Skills to get through the day.  Between back to school shopping, classes, soccer practice, homework, cooking, laundry and you name it what else, you need superhero skills and a magic wand to do it.

 

Click Here to Learn Superhero Skills

Supermom Summit 3

I really liked that Vera, who is the host of the summit, interviewed real parent experts so I know they have all walked a mile in our shoes. Vera also has an amazing transformation story for losing 70 pounds after her first pregnancy and has kept it off for 2 years even after baby #2! She could easily relate to the struggles of a busy mom who is always on the go but needs to make time for herself.

 

I get it. Sometimes you are so focused on caring for others, you stop taking time to care for yourself. You put everyone’s needs in the household before yours and one day it hits you that  you might have let yourself go. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can have your rocking body again, you can feel confident and your family deserves you feeling your best. That is exactly what the summit is about, being a great parent and feeling great about yourself.

 

Join me during the Supermom Summit

Supermom Summit 4

Vera and I are not talking about weight loss for event next week. We are talking about achieving lasting results and creating a foundation for confident you and a healthy family.

BONUS!!!!! One lucky winner will receive a FREE Skype consult with me valued at $135! So jump on this RIGHT NOW!

 

Supermom summit will help you learn:

 

How to lose weight

How to gain confidence

Hot to find the balance between being a woman and a mother

How to create a healthy environment for your family

How to eat healthier without spending hours in the kitchen

How to connect with your identity

How to empower yourself

How to say no to sugar

And much much more!

 

Best part about being a part of Supermom Summit? It’s free because every mother deserves to feel healthy, happy and confident.

See you there!

Michelle

Supermom Summit 1

Kick in the Pants Monday: A Softer Approach

Welcome to THAT DAY…..yes, Monday is upon us :) All you have to do to change your perspective is to change your mind. I think Monday’s have a bad rep because most people set the start date for things they dread on Mondays….food for thought.

Today’s post will cover a myriad of different subjects that can stand in the way of progress, but first…..

profile rolling

Let me take a selfie….

I got that out of my system and we can move on now :)

Normally Monday would be reserved for kicking your butt into gear and getting you (and me) refocused on the goal that may be close at hand, but today I want to start just a little different.

The question: Why am I so passionate?

I’m going to share something very private with you right now: I think about quitting 20+ times a day. I mean, sometimes it get really bad. Why am I so passionate about trying to get the word out about health? Why am I so rocked about YOU realizing your own potential? Why do I bury myself in research and what others may consider boring just so I can condense and share the information with you when it would be far easier to just keep it to myself and smile politely when people tell me they cannot reach their goals? WHY, oh why, do I consider it a privilege to share that diets truly do not work in any capacity? Well, I may just be crazy :) OR….it could be because when I was on my journey to lose over 100 pounds NOBODY ever came along beside me to help point the way, ever. I was like a blind woman trying to navigate the mine field of metabolism-destroying diets without so much as a guide dog to show me the way. And maybe, just maybe, I don’t want that for anybody who comes across this blog….Or the crazy thing, we may never know.

So, this is why I continue on, even when pushed against. People may not like what I have to say because they think what they are doing WILL work…this time (although if they’re still running to it, it has failed…cough, cough, Atkins), BUT I will press on because I believe LIVES can be spared with this information. And that, my friend, is why you should stick around.

What’s on the menu today?

  • A SERIOUS TIME WASTER that keeps you from reaching your goals.
  • IS IT METABOLIC DAMAGE? Um, no.
  • Backing off to get further.

The #1 thing you need to stop RIGHT NOW in order to reach your goals:

Get. Off. FACEBOOK. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I’m not saying you have to delete your account, but put a limit on how often you check it. If it’s on your phone, consider taking it off. I lost you there didn’t I? COME BACK! Here’s the real deal with good old FB: it serves no real purpose and if somebody is having an emergency I would hope that they call 911 instead of posting to your wall. So, in the reality of that, checking FB to see who comments on what is sorta…..narcissistic of us. And if you’re just checking up on friends, that’s called stalking and it’s weird. For the minutes that turn to hours on FB during the course of a day, we actually could be working toward our goal. I had to realize this after taking a business course offered by the beautiful Chalene Johnson. She doesn’t hang out on FB and she’s a multi-millionaire……yeah, I’ll have what she’s having. So, I deleted it off my phone this weekend and felt quite free.

Social media such as Facebook and Instagram can also wreak havoc on our psyche. I know I can start comparing my garage lit selfie workout pics to those of super ripped physiques and immediately want to hit up Ben and Jerry’s. There are even medical diagnosis that revolve around the psychological disorders associated with FB (called Facebook depression). Some people are just better at making life look grand. Plus, both of these are great time suckers, even for those who use them as platforms (like me). We can all get lost on pretty pictures or social drama simply because it takes our minds off of what we are dealing with at the time. If I’m struggling with weight loss, I don’t feel so bad after reading about the current circumstances of others (flat tires, misbehaving kids, etc.). That alone is not healthy.

My personal goal is to check FB (oh Instagram…..you will be next) only once every 24-48 hours. Those whom I love know how to reach me :) AND I have a full website and email that is open 24/7. There is no need to make a HUGE FB announcement (I hate those) as you needn’t cause more drama on the net…it has plenty. My challenge to you: try to go 12 hours without a single check, even when you’re bored. Turn the notifications to your phone OFF. Let your closest loved ones know where they can reach you in case of emergency ;)

“I think I have metabolic damage!” No you don’t.

Now, you may or may not know what metabolic damage is (my guess is you don’t know because it has NOT been accepted as a diagnosis) so I’ll give you the shorthand. Metabolic damage is the term given to those who have literally dieted themselves out of a metabolism. The few people who have actually suffered from this are extreme fitness competitors (who rely on various crash diets and crazy dry outs to be stage ready) and extreme athletes. Metabolic damage DOES involve a complete stall in fat loss, but there is more to it. It encompasses a myriad of psychological, physical, and emotional issues as well. The stall in fat loss is usually accompanied by severe depression, trouble recovering from workouts, and possibly prolonged inflammation or even inflammatory diseases. I say all this to say this: if you aren’t losing fat and you aren’t an avid competitive athlete or competitor…you don’t have metabolic syndrome. You have the I-don’t-track-my-food-and-I-overestimate-my-calorie-burn-and-underestimate- my-caloric-intake-itis…it’s totally real and 95% of exercisers suffer from it. I might even work to start a support group.

I know what you’re thinking: “SMARTY pants…”, but then you’re totally wondering how to recovery from this dreaded disease and reach your goals! I can help with just a few steps.

  • Keep a BITE IT AND WRITE IT journal. If it goes in your mouth, WRITE IT DOWN.
  • Weight and measure your foods. Don’t guess. 1/4 cup of rice gets REALLY big when we’re not measuring.
  • EAT REAL FOODS. Omit processed foods for at least a week. Sometimes fat loss will stall due to the fact that we’re eating processed foods (even health foods can be processed).
  • Change up your workouts. If you’ve been going to the same gym class long enough to attend the instructors wedding AND baby shower…..then it’s time for a change.

The most counterintuitive thing for some: Backing off to go further.

My one-on-one clients are sometimes shocked at the way I do things. I’m NOT a television trainer. I’m a trainer that wants you to SUCCEED in all areas of life…not just in my gym. So, there are many times when we have to back off some training to get further. Overtraining (if you look that up, you’ll probably see my face) can destroy fat loss as well as your body in the long run. So, if you’re starting to hate your workouts (or moving at all), sleeping very restless, lacking in appetite, turning to comfort foods more and more, craving sweets even though you’re not hungry, sore all the time, etc. you may be experiencing overtraining.

NOTE: You must actually be working out to experience overtraining….just sayin.

If you find yourself in this category there are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Check your nutrition and make sure your body is getting what it needs, i.e. whole foods
  • Make sure you’re allowing time for recovery. I’ve been a 2-a-day girl for YEARS and it has torn my body up.
  • Change your regimen. If you’re lifting weights all the time, try swimming, yoga, Pilates, etc. for a week to give the body an active rest.
  • If you’re a cardio junky or avid runner, take a little time off (and enlist some help) to figure out a good cross training regimen for YOU. Remember, cross training should ALWAYS make your chosen sport BETTER, not worse.
  • Take a little more time off if needed. You can take a month off and not gain a ton of weight…so long as you’re not crying to Ben and Jerry all the time.
  • Book a massage.
  • See a chiro about an adjustment.
  • Don’t neglect yearly physicals!
  • Foam roll: it fixes EVERYTHING :)

After a little time to heal, your body will reward you by performing better and busting through those plateaus.

Till next time,

Michelle

Logo1

Don’t forget!!!! Your ticket to freedom from diets and deprivation is coming! Check out the Fitness Haus and make sure you’re on the email list to get first shot at signing up for 2 free weeks.

 

The Struggle

Hey folks!

Welcome to near the end of the week (for most of us at least). Today I have one thing that I am truly trying to accomplish: BE REAL.

It has come to my attention that there truly isn’t enough real in the world today, especially the world of fitness. I’m attempting to change that and in the spirit of Ghandi….I’ll be the change I wish to see in the world :)

As many of you may know, I have a BRAND NEW project launching in just DAYS! Stress is becoming a daily part of my life and if I’m being real then you must be told that I don’t deal well with stress. This is real life people.

commercial prep

In the midst of filming for the launch of the new membership site (full deets next week…and it’s SUPER awesome), getting all the content done and trying to keep up with training clients, I had a few other things on my plate as well.

I am the mother of a 15-year-old driver. He is an excellent driver, but if I were to tell you that my heart doesn’t skip a beat thinking about all that is to come, I wouldn’t be very real. I celebrated my 16 year anniversary with the best gift God ever gave me, my sweet and supportive husband. School ended for my kids, which any mom can tell you means that the activities have only just begun. There was also a mission trip and ongoing missions in between all of that. Compiled with all of that, I began having major health issues that rendered me bed-ridden and about 15 pounds heavier than I was in May.

sick days

Why do you need to know any of this? Well, I think we can ALL fall into the false lie that people actually have it all together. I spent a lot of my sick time scrolling through Instagram (as Facebook just tends to upset me) and comparing my couch potato existence to the active lives of seemingly perfect and awesome people. One incredibly important note here is that I have overworked my body into a state of chronic inflammation (which I talk about often) and stress compiled through my overwhelming thoughts and feelings simply makes it worse.

So, what has been happening that has me down? I’ve been listening intently to the wrong voices in my head. I sat yesterday to create a cool little promo video for the new site and I automatically regretted that decision. I looked up pictures of myself just a few months ago and almost felt shame that I wasn’t “as good” as I was then. It’s a slippery slope to get caught up in, and I dove in like a cool pool of water on a hot Summer’s day! By now you would think I know better. I mean, I work in health and have counseled many people off the edge, but I still have very little patience with myself. I keep thinking my body should just comply….is that just too much to ask?

I started to lose who I was, as I think many of us do. I began to think “IF ONLY”. You know the thoughts I’m talking about:

  • If only I had more control over my body.
  • If only I could just get over it.
  • If only I could bring myself to work harder.
  • If only I could go back to where I was then.

The list can go on and on, but you get the point. It’s a pity party without any favors. While the inflammation makes its happy home in the nooks and crannies of my 36-year-old body, I feel swollen, fatigued, and flat-out washed out. So, I decided to take a break…. Now, I have taken breaks before, sometimes up to 3 days! Shocking. You see, I fall into the same assumptions many of you can be prey to as well. I think I have to do it all…or suffer the dire consequences. I have vowed that this break will be different. For starters, it will last MUCH longer. I’m kind of thinking all Summer long really. I want to drop all overbearing expectations of my body (I mean, I’m not competing and my 15-year-old son would be MORTIFIED if I wore a bikini anyways, so no time like the present!) and focus more on the ENJOYMENT factor of life. Who cares if I don’t have cellulite if I’m still NOT happy with what I do have people?????

So, what will this break look like?

  1. YOGA. Yep, every single day. Sometimes it will bust a sweat, sometimes I’ll just put my legs up a wall and breathe….either way, it works.
  2. Taking the time to thank my body for WHAT it does, not HOW it looks.
  3. Nourishing my body: no potions, powders or pills for the next few months…just whole foods and plenty of water.
  4. Weekly date nights. We can stay in our room or go out on the town, just so long as I reconnect him weekly away from work and future plans.
  5. New fitness adventures (but staying pretty safe). I want to face some fears (my bestie wants me to try roller derby…I’m thinking there is no time like the present!) and try some things I’ve put off (HOT YOGA) due to my social issues.
  6. Daily journaling. I still have quiet time everyday, but I want to take the time to journal and get some thoughts OUT of my head before they can take root and cause problems.
  7. PLAY. Whether it be in the kitchen with my kids or on the rink with my bestie, I need to bring an element of play back into my life.

date night

One great thing of being couch ridden is that you can take the needed to evaluate what it is you truly WANT to do (I fully encourage you to do this same thing, sans the sickness) and it has led to some changes for me. I have 2 things I not only love to do, but also fully and completely believe in: FOOD and YOGA. These 2 things can change a life. So, I’m going to be doing more of them during this off time.

What’s my challenge to you then?

  • Take a little time to re-evaluate your own life. Yes, it can be scary to think about, but it can also be very rewarding in the end.
  • Instead of adding more to your plate to try to make life better, try taking some away.
  • Sit in silence with just yourself for a little while and imagine the life you want to live and leave behind.
  • Try breathing deeply for 3-5 FULL minutes.
  • Let go of expectation and live in the now.
  • PLAY.

Life only comes around once. Some get a second chance through life altering circumstances such as illness or even the death of a loved one…the good news is you need not wait for a grand life-altering occasion; you can change your life for the better starting today.

Until next week,

Michelle

yoga glow

 

Let’s get real about weight loss

OK, so there is this thing that has been bothering me. It’s the entire reason why so many of us feel like failures when it comes to weight loss and I have even peddled along with it. But NO MORE! There is a reality to weight loss, but we aren’t really let in on that reality are we?

  1. You cannot deprive the body into losing weight. At least, you can’t deprive it into losing weight for good. Every time you embark on a deprivation diet of ANY kind, your metabolism, NOT YOUR BODY FAT, goes down. It is better to invest some time building your metabolism up instead of falling for quick weight loss fads.
  2. There is a definite science to weight loss…and most trainers don’t even know it. Basic CPT training courses do NOT teach the science of actual weight loss. They teach trainers how to take assessments and protocol for training programs. All of this is very important, but now the market is flooded with trainers that spit out meal plans like a weight loss ATM. Then, when the meal plan fails the client…the trainer blames the client.
  3. NUTRIENTS are far more important than calories. Nutrient help insure health, bone density, longevity and quality of life. If you focus on cutting calories, you inadvertently cut nutrients, leading to more fat gain and inflammation issues as you age.
  4. WOMEN: wrap your pretty head around the fact that you need to train like a man. Start thinking like men (grunting and throwing weights optional). You don’t see too many men starving themselves to fit into a certain size or see a certain number on the scale. Build your muscle, feed your muscle. And as for the flat-out lie that you’ll get BULKY…in the infamous Disney voice, LET IT GO.
  5. Get smart. Choose your trainer wisely. This person is not just responsible for helping you shed a couple of pounds….they are responsible for your HEALTH and wellbeing. Don’t take that lightly and don’t allow them to take it lightly either. If you see them training other clients exactly like they train you, run for the door. You deserve a personalized approach to your own health. Put it on the list as IMPORTANT.

Here’s one final thing that bugs me in the “weight loss” industry (aside from the fact that it should be the health industry…but that doesn’t sell as much):

MANY people fall for fancy marketing. I have blog posts about home workouts on this very blog. I also used to peddle them, but I have since seen a few issues come to light, especially since I started counseling:

  • You ONLY see the success. Let’s take Beach Body for example (please note, they are not the only ones): they KNOW infomercials. They have a specialized team that knows exactly what to do, right down to the lighting, colors and time placement. When Beach Body develops a new program, the program gets sent to beta testing. There is a controlled group of people who sign several documents stating that they will not breathe a word. In return, they get to work with celebrity trainer, get a meal plan and hopefully, a brand new body. Here’s the question: do you see the people that didn’t succeed? You know, the ones that did it for 2 weeks and got bored, injured or just didn’t mesh with the program? UM, NO! They’ve signed contracts that disable them from saying it failed for them, therefore we only see the success. Since we only see success, when we do not finish we feel like a failure….
  • Home based training is not bad, but over promising is. When I take online clients in, they are told up front that my methods aren’t super fast…they’re built to last. Trainers and fitness companies need to step away from the flash of fast and move towards better health and wellness overall. Maintainable fitness and nutrition is what keep you fit, healthy and happy with life.

Now that my soap box can be folded up :) Here’s an eye opener for you:

Januray 13 2014   rockin abs

I know I’ve posted these before, but stay with me here! These are no filter, no fancy lighting pics, just the real deal.

Pic on the left: I was down to 1400 calories, about 80 grams of carbs (that’s low people), no breads, pastas, rice, etc. and I was working out 2-3x per day.

On the right: my calories were worked up slowly to 1700 (I’m now up to 1800 and holding steady), carbs at 150 grams, zero steady state cardio, four 25 minute sessions per week and two hour long sessions to focus on building.

I have more energy throughout the day (carbs!) and I’m leaner than when I was following a plan.

The point? Learn the facts, learn your body and stop depending on people who don’t even know what they are doing! You’re health is worth the time and investment.

Want to learn more about nutrition? Join the next Nutrition Boot Camp that starts in June.

See you soon!

Michelle

5 Moves to a Better Butt

Everyone wants a better butt, no buts about it! These five exercises will help you build a pro-level posterior.


    by
Chady Dunmore

 
Dec 10, 2013                                                    


Let’s get one thing clear: It’s all about the bum. Sure, built biceps fill out a shirt and six-pack abs are the prize of every beachgoer, but the back is where it’s at. A bodacious booty is essential to a good physique and not just for stage-bound fitness contestants. Everyone seems to want a great bum. Photos of posteriors flood the Internet and are often the most viewed and “liked” body part on social media. There’s just something magical about a beautiful butt!

“How do you get your butt like that?” is the fitness question I hear the most. And before you say it, yes, genetics play a part. Just like a pretty smile or clear skin, there are people born with a genetic booty advantage, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to improve your glutes. Women often turn to cardio to “get a butt,” but the clear path to a better booty doesn’t go through the treadmill or the elliptical. Instead, start with weights.