National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: An Infographic

Cause everybody digs infographics right?

BHG_BCA_month_optimized_v02 (1)

This information infographic was provided by Bankers Healthcare Group.

It’s yours for the taking :) Simply right click, save as and keep it in your records. Better yet, share with friends and stay educated.

 

 

Why Am I NOT Seeing Results? Probably the MOST Important Reason Yet

Welcome back to the blog!

Hopefully, the first in this series served you well. IF you haven’t seen it, you can check it out HERE.

Now, another reason you may not be seeing results lies in who you surround yourself with, especially when working out. Read on to see what I mean…

Strong Camp 50 Photo by Paul Buceta

Every day when I’m at the gym I have a hard time tuning out everybody around me. It’s just a part of who I am. I’m not nosy, but I do like to be aware of my surroundings (safety and a bi-product of my ministry job). So, I notice things. One thing I have noticed lately is an overwhelming amount of people getting help….from completely under-qualified people. I see the slightly pudgy guy following the slightly (only slightly) more muscular guy around the weight. I see gaggles of girlfriends teaming up on each machine. I see ladies blindly following the advice of husbands or boyfriends. You know what I don’t see? Any change since August…..

Am I saying that it’s bad to workout with your BFF or love of you life? Of course not. Many people enjoy the company and some can use the spotter (correct spotting technique is a whole other blog post though….). A workout BUDDY can provide motivation and that last push through a hard set. They can also take photos at just the right time (which is why I have locker room ninja selfies….#lonerforlife), but they should not always dictate your workout. So, let’s read what to look out for and how you can get educated and get he help you need on the cheap.

Strong Camp 21 Photo by Paul Buceta

Her are a few people to be warned about:

  • The meat head boyfriend who like watching you do squats while he slings weights around for 50 sets of biceps. This guy is usually big on muscle and testosterone but knows NOTHING of training the female body OR fat loss….I mean, most of the time you can tell he doesn’t believe in fat loss and that bulking is a 24/7 job.
  • The BFF who gets ALL of his/her info from magazines. Don’t get me wrong, I love fitness mags. They can be super inspiring; however, they shouldn’t be considered the Bible of fitness and not everybody really needs the latest celebrity workout.
  • The Know It All. These men/women are usually in slightly better shape than their friends (BTW, they like it that way) and maybe they even studied to be a trainer, worked as one through college, or maybe even competed. They think they know more than you about everything gym and nutrition related, but they really don’t have the education to back it up. That doesn’t matter because to your naked eye their physique means they know more. FALSE.

Now that you have spotted the trouble makers in your life, how do you make sure they have YOUR best interest when they offer to “train” you? Simple steps:

  1. If your friend puts you on a piece of equipment (they love to use equipment man) ASK them exactly what this is to be used for. In other words, “Why am I doing this?” should be a common question. To grow muscle or tone up is not an answer. The equipment in the gym has a purpose and YOU need to know what it is. Are you widening or thickening the muscle? Is this working on pure mass or power too? Knowing the WHY of each exercise helps you retain the exercise better, recruit the correct muscles, see results and maybe even help somebody else one day.
  2. If your friend is doing the lifting for you, call them out. I saw this the other day with a group of ladies. The “leader” put one lady on a lat pull down weight she could NOT pull down….so, the leader pushed it to her chest and “helped”. This helps no one people, but it does make your friend feel better about their own abilities. Always lift with weight that is challenging, but that you can maintain good form.
  3. Ask if you can have some input in the next workout. Does your buddy ALWAYS have you on chest and arms? Dude, you don’t want chicken legs! If they don’t let you have some input, drop that time with them. You would be better off on your own.

What if you just realized you are getting the short end? Have no fear! There are plenty of ways to get the help you really need without spending all of your hard-earned cash (cause you’ll need that for clothes, shoes and that spray tan).

Strong Camp 48 Photo by Paul Buceta

Check out online resources. Bodybuilding.com is a GREAT website for all the FREE info you can handle. There are even free trainers and printable workouts. You can pick something for your goal and your current fitness level. Check out my page HERE to follow my workouts and see which trainers I have enjoyed in my years as a member there.

Also, there are plenty of trainer (myself included) who offer training plans online that are tailored to your goals. And guess what? They’re pretty cheap! For about the cost of that gym membership you can get 3 workouts a week.

Personal training isn’t as expensive as you might think, especially if you get some buddies to split the cost. I have small groups that pay $20 a session for face to face time with me in my private gym (no looky-lous here). This also comes with nutritional guidance for most cause I’m cool like that :) Gyms like Lifetime Fitness have trainers who specialize in groups as well. Don’t think you can’t afford a great trainer based on gym trainer prices.

Hopefully, these tips will help you see results a bit faster. Remember, YOUR goals matter, so go get ‘em!

Michelle

P.S. If your BFF is a GREAT trainer, hold on tight to them and value their input :) They are a rare breed.

Let’s Get Oily! Essential Oils Review

Want to WIN? Check it out:

doTERRA_IntroKit_giveaway

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

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

How else can you find her?

Blog: The Empowered Momma

Twitter: jesseny_rojas

Facebook: TheEmpowered Momma

Pinterest: JessenyRojas

YouTube: JessenyRojas: The Empowered Momma

Newsletter: EmpoweredMommaNotes

 

NEW SEGMENT: Gym Chat

SOOOOOO…..the biggest announcement you’ve heard all day: I. Joined. A. Gym.

No kidding.

Why is it big? Well, I’ve worked at just about every single gym and know all the dirty little secrets and behind the scenes happenings. Once you know things you can’t erase them. Hmmmm, I should write a book about that….but I digress.

A few years ago I left the gym scene entirely and converted my garage into my own happy little man cave. Side note: last year I noticed my clientel was all women for the first time ever…so I bought potpourri cause women dig that stuff ;)

The physique I have now has been built in my garage, like an old car. That’s not a bad thing as many businesses were started in garages and thrive today, but Microsoft didn’t stay in a garage people! So, since I have outgrown my weights and am still looking for the next transformation, I signed up for a local chain gym (no names unless I’m paid people, LOL) and I now have a whole slew of blog post ideas to tickle your ribs. Shall we begin the journey? I thought you’d never ask!

THINGS I’VE NOTICED NOW THAT I DON’T WORK AT A GYM:

  • Girls really do LOVE cardio….sort of

I do cardio at my house…mostly because I don’t do a ton of cardio. Is it important? Yes, to an extent. You have to train for your GOALS. If your goal is to be a smaller version of what you already have, then enjoy your cardio. IF you want t tighter body where things DO NOT jiggle, pass by the dreadmills (we’ll talk more about those in a minute) and hit some heavy weights. Which brings us to point #2…

  • There is a lack of testosterone in near the weight rack, which is a funny observation as weight lifting increases your testosterone :) MOVING ON!

There are literally a handful of girls near the heavy weights most days. Where are they? On the cardio equipment. Why? To get smaller…cause smaller is better, or so we’re told. Again, refer to your real goal here. It did get me to thinking and the fact that the heavy stuff can be intimidating is a real thing. Ladies, those scary looking machines we load the plates onto? WE NEED THOSE! Most of us don’t have the grip to squat with 100+ pound dumbbells, but can probably squat over 100+ easily on the leg press. So why are the girls so shy? I have some theories:

  1. We’re afraid the boys will stare at us. TRUTH: they will, but they mean no harm. Men are visual creatures and look at ladies, but most will leave you alone if you leave them alone….just like in the wild. NOW, if you dress inappropriately and expect them not to look, that’s all on you princess. Cover up…you don’t want your skin sliding all over where other skin has already slid. Immunity, mastered.
  2. We feel as though we’ll do something wrong. So long as you don’t throw a weight clear into somebody’s head or break your own back, you’ll be OK. Stick with basic movements if your unsure your first few times out (no worries, I’m filming some just for you).
  3. What if we don’t know what we’re doing? I have great news for you: MOST PEOPLE DON’T. The average gym goer sticks to a pretty basic routine and feels lost if their machine is taken. Have a plan for your day and be flexible.
  4. We’re worried we are taking somebody else’s spot. OK, I need you to think like a guy here: if they aren’t on it when you need it, USE IT! You can’t call squatters on gym equipment, so use what you need.

gym sitting

  • Guys do this, even at 4:30 in the morning….but it’s usually a cell phone. One of the BEST things about workout out at the gym is the efficiency. You see, I can do the SAME workout I would do in my gym, but I get done in half the time. It creates a greater space for change and that makes me happy. PSA: Don’t be that person. Come in to work and everybody will respect that.
  • There are some awesome characters in the gym. One guy wears his sunglasses the whole time he’s working out…in the back of the gym…at 4:30 in the morning. Salute to you for doing your thing and being incognito sir!

I have a few self-imposed rules at the gym, just to ensure my goals are met: first, I don’t go there to scrutinize others form (though it’s hard cause I’m a form-Nazi!), I am there strictly to work on myself. Second, I don’t hoard weights or equipment. Nobody like  hoarders. Third, I am free with speaking to anybody who wants to talk it out…after my set. There are really only 2 things that drive me crazy, and I actually saw them more when I worked there as a trainer:

OBVIOUS confusion:

bis in the squat rack

If you have a question, ask somebody. You can always find those of us who are there for a solid goal and I promise ANY bodybuilder would be thrilled to show you what you need to know…after the set bro.

People putting down those just starting out or just starting back:

gym truth Sorry if the pic offends, super nerdy Sir Patrick fan :)
Here’s the reality: We ALL belong there and we all have goals that are special to us. Don’t judge others based on physical appearance when you have no idea what they are fighting through right then. Some of the thinnest people in the gym may have battled disease and those with a little extra weight may have just had triplets! Step off the high stairmill and cheer them on to their goal. The gym should be an environment to get re-inspired to reach your goals, period.

Your freebie: THE DREADMILL

I’ve noticed something quite disturbing I want to address with the girls here…

There have been many ladies (and a couple of guys) walking on the treadmill with it jacked up to Denver altitude, hanging on to the top and trudging through like a snow dog carrying life saving supplies. I have one thing to say: PLEASE STOP! I think I get that there is false info that if the treadmill is jacked up then it works your butt right? Wrong. Biomechanically, WRONG. You’re wasting energy. Weights work your butt with any myriad of movements, but not the treadmill. NOW, if you just dig walking at an incline cause you live in flat land and want to experience hiking, then jack that puppy up! BUT…release your hands. You’ll use more legs and core and keep the stress out of your neck and shoulders. And you’re welcome :)

If you happen to see me at your gym, feel free to say HI…after my set ;)

popeye workout

Michelle

 

AMRAP Nutrition Bar Review AND a Giveaway!!!!

Are you in? You should be. If you’re in, you could totally be doing this very soon….

AMRAP Handstand

In all honesty, I have no clue if you will….BUT you could be enjoying some post-butt-kicking-workout treats very soon (12 whole bars actually).

***IMPORTANT CHANGE*** I will now be able to pick 3 winners of 8 bars a piece (HEY! It’s still more than zero!) so enter NOW through October first by following below.

What you need to know:

First, you need to follow AMRAP Nutrition EVERYWHERE…like a crazy cyber stalker. Click below to follow:

TWITTER

Instagram: @AMRAPUSA

PINTEREST

AND check out the blog: https://www.amrapnutrition.com/blog/

Done? YOU ROCK, virtual high five….

NOW, let ME know the workout YOU plan to do for your bars….

That’s it, you’re entered! Contest will last until October first, but don’t wait too long!

#raisethebar

AMRAP Standing w Kettlebell BOOM

Sunday Share: Proud Momma

As I sit here this afternoon (I’ve been out ALL weekend due to sickness….not cool), I wanted to share a little story with you. Be warned, this story may seem like it doesn’t directly relate to fitness…but commit to the end and you’ll see.

THIS is my daughter Debbie:

Mom and Deb

Pretty cute kid right? We’ve been hanging out together for over 13 years now, the past 2 we’ve almost been inseparable. You see, at the tender age of 12 (ALMOST 13) Debbie has a story. She, like my son, attended public school for most of her formative years. In the 3rd grade, things began to shift towards a darker side. She would come home all moody and upset, not wanting to talk about her day. A couple of months into the 4th grade, this bright child had become shrouded in darkness. As many can guess, it was the ever-present bullying that was haunting my once shining star. When I finally got her to open up about it, it was more heartbreak than a mother can stand.

Physical bullying can be stopped. I taught both of my children how to land a well-timed punch that would send enough fluid to the eyes their attacker wouldn’t be able to see them across a room without their eyes watering. Verbal abuse, thoughtfully articulated so as to inflict the most amount of pain to the emotional and mental center, doesn’t respond so quickly. Pile onto it that the main abuser had once called herself “BFF” and you have a foundation for LASTING mental anguish. Trust me, I suffered through junior high and could pick them out of a line up to this day. Words leave deeper scars than any other weapon.

The abuse was going on because Debbie didn’t conform to the crowd. One girl stopped being her friend because she wanted to be friends with another girl who didn’t like Deb. Moms, isn’t it funny how the world truly has not changed? She was made fun of because of her body: called skinny and such (ok, that part has changed…) and her energy. Kids told her she was weird, too happy, retarded, stupid, dumb, ugly, and would basically never have a hope of being nearly as successful as her 4th grade counterparts already assumed themselves to be. Talks with the teachers simply lead to heartless apologies followed by even greater assaults once the teacher left the room….them denial when she came back. I started having lunch with Debbie during the week JUST so she would have somebody to sit with in the cafeteria. I would be lying if I told you the thought of pummeling underage children and their parents didn’t cross my mind every single time I sat down to eat…

Debbie knew that I homeschooled through high school and opened a conversation about the possibility to do so herself. After prayer and more prayer, we decided to give it a go. And that has made us completely inseparable for 2 years. She has gone to work meetings and boot camps, and she even got to travel overseas on a mission trip. She has played photographer, stylist and therapist from one time to another :)

mom and deb plane

We entered the home school decision always knowing she could choose to return at any point. She chose to return this year: 7th Grade.

Her reasoning was that she felt more sure of herself and that she could handle what came her way. She was covered in prayers and backed by my ever-present promise to be at the school within 5 minutes should anybody need to talk directly to me :)

The first day of school came and my bright child felt as though she might vomit. I couldn’t get her to pinpoint what was actually bothering her most until we were walking to the school. Her response was that she had just realized those very same children who had made it their job to cut her down would indeed be at this school. My advice? Hold your head high. You have changed and perhaps they have as well…..I mean, you never know right?

Well, the first day was pretty much the first day. The ones who did recognize her met her with the astute response of “What the **** are you doing here?” A junior higher’s propensity to curse still astonishes me. She would respond with “Going to school” and move on. A real breakthrough came with her first reading assignment. They were given a reverse poem and told to write one as well. She worked hard to come up with a poem that had to do with faith, since she believes faith is what has truly brought her through all the hard stuff. The teacher said she (and some others) had done the assignment wrong and they were just supposed to reword it. She came home down, but not defeated. She felt her point of view MUST be stated. After a late night of hard work, this is what she came up with:

 

Godless Generation

I am part of a Godless generation

And I refuse to believe that

I can change the world

This may come as a shock to you but

“God is real”

Is a lie, and

“Money will make me happy”

So in 30 years I will let God know that

He is not the most important thing in my life

My teacher will know that

I have my priorities straight because

School

Is more important than

Jesus

I tell you this

Once upon a time

God was real

But this will not be true in my era

This is an unholy society

Experts tell me

20 years from now, I will be sinning without consequence

I do not concede that

I will live in a country full of the Holy Spirit

In the future

An empty church will be the norm

No longer can it be said that

My peers and I care about Jesus

It will be evident that

My generation is unbelieving and unsaved

It is foolish to presume that

We believe

 

Unless we reverse it.

 

 

Which generation are you living in?

 

 

So, how can I possibly tie a fitness bow around this? My daughter does not workout with me. She has no desire to lift anything heavier than her cat. She doesn’t strive to be stronger than everybody else. She does enjoy hitting things though :)

It’s not the act of making my daughter move that creates unshakeable confidence in her…it’s the EXAMPLE I set before her. I am a very imperfect person, but I strive to live a life that shows discipline and dedication, not to fitness….but to my family and the values we hold. I strive to create an environment where I am honest with my children AND where they can feel comfortable being honest with me. I hope they will push their generation to hold one another up instead of tear one another down. Maybe this can be the generation that changes everything….but only if we realize they are watching us…

wonder woman

Product Review: KUSHYFOOT

Super awesome footwear for yoga, Pilates and Barre (or if you’re just hanging around and want to look like you do those things).

Check out KUSHYFOOT at the link HERE

You will NOT be disappointed in style, function or price ;)

Welcome to a NEW Beginning….The Launch of the Fitness Haus

Oh it is a joyous day in the house today!

Not only do my kids get back from camp, but the launch of the Fitness Haus is here!

I have spent the past several weeks dropping hints about this truly magnificent program, but today I get to give you the details :)

Why did I launch an online coaching program?

It is proven as THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to reach YOUR GOALS! If it’s the most effective, then we want in on it right?

The premise behind the Fitness Haus is a program that is build on nutrition science and the science of behavior modification. Now, don’t let that scare you!

We’ll be driving through the minefield of weight loss, health and nutrition together, month by month. You will be gifted with ALL of the tools you need to meet your goals and change your health for the better each and every month.

You’ll be given weekly meal plans, recipes, detailed print-and-go grocery lists, workouts recommendations and FREEBIE workouts, along with encouragement, education and so much more!

Need a sneak peak?

Michelle Carlson’s Fitness Haus Coaching Program

Busy Women and Overloaded Moms alike are frustrated by the exact same problem today: 

WE WANT TO BE FIT, BUT…

  • BUT, every new (and old) diet fails you.
  • BUT, you’re tired of big promises with unsustainable results.
  • BUT, you’re tired of meal plans where you eat the same thing over and over again.
  • BUT, you don’t want to listen to health experts that can’t relate to you.
  • BUT, getting fit is expensive and you’re already busy.
  • BUT, you’re tired of feeling hungry and grouchy all the time.

Here’s the thing: Those problems have always existed. Diets aren’t a permanent fix, a one-size-fits-all meal plan rarely works, anyone can call themselves a health expert, coaches always cost money and depriving yourself can bring out the worst in you…

So what’s really keeping you from getting fit?

Well-Intentioned Health Experts Have Convinced the World That Getting Fit Is Either Totally Impossible… Or Quick ‘n’ Easy

It’s not your fault that the idea of becoming more healthy is scary…

The world has taught us to fear food and set unrealistic expectations. It’s taught us to base our self-confidence on our body image…

No surprise that overworked women and busy moms are totally intimidated by the notion of getting fit for life…

But if intimidation is holding you back… or making you think of giving up once again… or crippling your confidence, then something’s gotta give…

You need to master your own health. When? Now. How? Well, that’s where I can help you…

I’m Michelle Carlson. I am a nationally certified trainer, holding specialities in nutrition, endurance, and sports nutrition, training and recovery and the founder of Fitness Haus. I’m the author of The Little Fit Book and Your Guide to Lasting Weight Loss, both available at Amazon.com. Nike Foundation named me a Safe Spaces Ambassador and I travel the globe to help fight and end human trafficking and modern day slavery. Oh, and I am a success story in and of myself, going from frumpy, tired housewife to fit, energetic and a whole lot more fun.

I Will Teach You to Lose Weight, Get Healthy & Stay Fit for Life As you Discover More Energy and Become More Joyful

But to do that, we need to get real. There’s no magic pill you can take to feel better in your own skin. But there ARE systems, processes, tactics and practices that WILL help you reach and keep your ideal body weight. How do I know that? Because I’ve not only done it for myself… but I’ve also coached hundreds of others, with killer results!

The very first 2 weeks are on us as well :) and here’s what you can look forward to:

MODULE 1A (your first 14 days): Fitness Foundations

  • Take Inventory and Throw Out the Junk
  • Tear Down Your Bad Habits
  • How to Make Effective Goals that Work FOR You
  • Why Water is the Long Lost Secret to Healthy Living
  • How to Workout 3 Times Per Week
MODULE 1B (your second 14 days): Easy Meal Prep In Your Haus
  • Step-by-Step Meal Preparation for Fitness Success
  • Kitchen Skills You Wish Your Mom Told You
  • How to Pack Your Meals
  • Surprising Ways to Increase Your Veggies

That’s just in the first 2 weeks. So, whatever obstacles you may be facing, you’re not expected to walk away from life to achieve your health and fitness goals. We’ve done the work for you and put together a program that is easy to follow, without deprivation and the scary hunger monster. PLUS, you’ll be changing habits for life without even realizing it.

Check it out and join up today!

Michelle

http://www.fitnesshaus.co

Logo1

Throw Back: Flat abs and sculpted arms with YOGA

 

 

#missionNOLA day 2

So….you’re getting a double post today because I didn’t keep up. My bad.

Day 2! We basically got a little bit rained out. Instead of clean up in the 9th ward, we drove the neighborhoods and prayed. Almost every kid in our van broke through fear and prayed aloud. I vividly remember those days when that was so scary I wanted to hide…
The 9th ward is still trying to restore. There are slabs where homes once stood, roofs are caved in and the devastation is real and palpable. We all took moments to simply try and imagine what that would even feel like for us. Most of the kids couldn’t even fathom that feeling, but it did stick with some of them…. Small, slow changes.