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

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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.

 

Biggest Loser Boot Camp

The popular television show The Biggest Loser has claimed many rears to the couch on a weekly basis. We watch with anticipation and vocally call out for our favorite players on a game of weight verses will. Over the years the trainers have changed, methods have changed and the game itself has changed, but one thing remains: people watch it. Some people draw hope from it, claiming that by watching others go through the process they can feel their own fire ignite. Others, simply like the entertainment value of backstabbing and game playing. Whatever the reason, The Biggest Loser has certainly opened doors for weight loss, fitness, nutrition and overall health. Any time we can get those doors a little bigger, then I’m a happy girl :)

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So, how can you take the inspiration offered by a TV show and use it to your advantage? Well, start by looking at yourself in real light. What I mean is, you’re not a contestant on a show, but rather a marathoner in the journey of life. The goals you set need to be healthy and realistic. I’m not wanting you to aim low here. I just don’t want you to copy what somebody else is doing.

Second, stay with me here, is to NEVER GIVE UP. I’m dead serious here. This goal is going to take a while and you cannot unrealistically expect that the body you have allowed to slack off will suddenly LOVE 5 a.m. workouts or planking all the time. It will take time to set up habits and it will take time for these habits to sink in. So, suck it up and keep going forward.

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Third: get prepared. Prepare yourself to be a winner. This is going to take some time, effort and probably a little bit of money. Make sure you stock your kitchen with healthy foods. Invest in good footwear for your chosen workouts. Keep a water jug full to keep your hydration on track. Write down your food intake and exercise regimen. Purchase an easy to do home based fitness program for days when you can’t get to the gym or your favorite class. SIGN UP for a FREE membership where you can track any workout and get a coach to help you along the way. Consider investing in a device to read your calorie burn (Bodymedia, Jawbone, FitBit, etc.) but remember that writing your daily food intake and being really honest is almost as good.

Don’t discount the inspiration you glean from a show like The Biggest Loser. USE IT to your advantage. Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it to “happen to you”, get out and make it happen. Gain control, make changes and see your healthier self. You’ll be glad you did :)

Hopefully I’ll see some of you in boot camp tonight,

Michelle

Motivation Monday: Jillian Michaels Slim for Life Book Review

Hello all you GORGEOUS fit people!

here we are, February 18, 2013. Are your goals for the new year being tackled with the same enthusiasm and vigor as January 18th? What about those weight loss goals? You know, statistically over 60% of goal setting Resolutionists (New Year resolution makers) have already given up on their goals. Not you though…..YOU are not a statistic my friend.

So, in order to help you recommit and stay strong, I have been asked to review the one and only Jillian Michaels brand new book (release below). I know what you’re thinking: “ALL these books are the same.” Just settle in for a bit and bear with me. It’s worth the read and here is your why:

SLIM FOR LIFE

Jillian Michaels

Harmony Books, 2013

Let’s tackle some basics real quick. JM’s new book is 265 pages (give or take if you’re an e-reader). It’s FULL of all her secrets and quick-witted charm. She tackles her writing with a down-to-earth attitude and approach. She never places herself above her readers in any way, which makes this a very comfortable read. From the dedication at the beginning, you know exactly what this book is about: YOU.

Jillian has taken her years and experience in the field of training, as well as the field of “celebrity training”, and given you all you need to start making sustainable changes. She doesn’t sugar coat anything or promise and easy fix. Jillian keeps it real and helps you cut through all the opinions and jargon we have all been sold for far too long. On a personal note: I hate diet books. I mean, I literally despise their very existence. I believe “diet” books have gotten us into this mess. The good news? Jillian didn’t write a diet book…she wrote a lifestyle manual.

The User’s Guide is most helpful, as it explains the various ways one can choose to use this book. Among the many new and exciting things I saw here, the rating system was my absolute favorite. Basically, Jillian has rated each tip with a 1, 2, or 3. Three is the MOST important and one is more of the icing on the proverbial cake. This allows the reader to be picky about HOW much they change at any given time. If it feels a bit overwhelming, you simply focus on the 3′s then come back to the others as you gain more control. Truly genius, in my opinion.

All of the chapter colorfully and thoroughly cover subjects from eating and exercise, all the way down to a clean home, motivation and even some extras (like shopping and fashion!). The Eating and Exercise chapters are the longest on purpose…they get the most results. Jillian gives realistic expectations on what you will be able to change and what you can expect from each chapter. Fun add-ons are the EZ CALORIE CUTS, which help you make better food choices to save yourself a few calories. She also offers SLIM MYTHS throughout the book, which dispel those nasty diet myths we have come to believe.

Slim for Life has a chapter on home living, which includes how to shop your grocery store. Jillian gives you some fun and easy to remember pointers on shopping for a slimmer and healthier you. She also serves up her list of fit living secrets for partying, dining, office issues, traveling and even flying. I have dog-eared those pages as I found ALL of these tips most helpful.

For those who are always asking how I stay motivated, Jillian must have caught wind because there is an entire chapter on MOTIVATION! Yes, your prayers have been answered. Even better, she includes a delicious Ice Cream SLIMwich recipe I can’t wait to try. Throughout the final chapters, Jillian gives carefully thought out tips for pitfalls such as hunger, stress, budget, kids and everything in between. In order to not leave you hanging, she even includes a chapter on how to get the MOST out of the secrets in this book. This chapter is also full of all the secrets slim people don’t tell you, like how important fish is in your diet ;)

Overall, Slim for Life is one of my favorite health and fitness books on the market right now (or for a while). It offers straight forward advice, not lame promises. Slim for Life hit the shelves February 12th, so check it out and share this advice with your friends. I would even recommend it for a book club! It has some conversational topics as well as recipes everyone could try. Get with the program and get Slim for Life.

slim for life

OK, so that sounded cheesy, but I would NEVER recommend something unless I truly believed in it!

Live a little louder today!

Michelle

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Stop battling your weight and slim down for life with this no-nonsense insider’s plan from America’s premier weight-loss coach who has helped millions!

SLIM FOR LIFE

My insider secrets to simple, fast and lasting weight loss.

Every week, health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels energizes and motivates her millions of fans and followers —- via television, her New York Times bestselling books, and her website podcasts==== with her invaluable straight talk and tell-it-like-it-is guidance on losing weight and getting fit. Now she’s back with the book they have been begging for, SLIM FOR LIFE: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (Harmony Books, on sale February 12).

In Slim for Life, Jillian cuts through all the conflicting and complicated information about losing weight. Taking everything she’s learned, she has crafted an easier approach to helping you win your battle with weight so you can slim down for life. She shares her hard-earned secrets made simple- no gimmicks- all strategies and tips on eating, moving, shopping, and living that will transform your body.

Jillian has cracked the weight loss code, giving you everything you need to personalize the plan and achieve dramatic results. There are calorie-crunching movements that get your burn on, ideas to avoid self-sabotage and methods to supercharge your slim. Plus, she offers hundreds of simple ideas and answers to those challenges that might have thrown you off your game in the past. In SLim for Life, Jillian reveals her secrets on:

  • Optimizing your fat burning potential.
  • Handling hunger and cravings, as well as avoiding diet trends that damage your metabolism, making it harder for you to lose.
  • Cracking the exercise code, because the quality of your workout—more than the quantity—- holds the key to success.
  • Inspiration to change course, build support and cultivate lasting motivation.
  • Surefire ways to navigate pitfalls presented by those situations you come up against— from “it’s not in my budget” and time constraints to fitting in workouts with the kids.
  • Facts about fasting, and why it is never a good idea.
  • How to eat, move, work (yes, work) and live in manageable and enjoyable ways to facilitate a slim physique.
  • How to supplement strategically with easy and tasty slimming foods and substitutions.
  • Managing stress to help ignite your metabolism.
  • How to “green your routine” and remove toxins from your food and home to help you get and stay slim.
  • Plus, dressing to accentuate your slim, and the beauty products that support your health, not derail it.

With savvy tips and actionable advice, Jillian Michaels helps you build a personalized plan that will bring out your inner slim, forever. Her advice is doable, sustainable, fast and affordable. In SLIM FOR LIFE, Jillian is the advocate you’ve always wanted and the weight loss coach who helps you taste success by doing what’s manageable for your life, while giving you better results than you ever imagined possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jillian Michaels is one of the leading health and wellness experts in the country, helping to shape and inspire the lives of millions. She is the author of four New York Times bestseller, with more than 1.4 million copies of her books sold in the U.S., who can be seen weekly on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” Her website, www.jillianmichaels.com has had 31 million total views and 1.47 billion paid ad impressions since the beginning of 2012. Learn more by following Jillian on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Motivation Monday: Biggest Loser Recap

Well, it’s that time again…..time for millions of viewers to slide into our couches and watch a show about weight loss :) Seems a bit odd, right?

Last night marked the beginning of a brand new season for the long running show. Jillian Michaels made a triumphant comeback and was in rare form. Bob Harper is still holding tight to his long-playing role as the top trainer and Dolvett Quince came back to resume his role as well. The BL also added a twist to the show in that they are bringing in 3 kids to be ambassadors for fitness. This means they won’t be at the ranch full-time and they cannot be eliminated. Good move on their part for bringing awareness to the childhood obesity epidemic. Oh, and Alison Sweeney is hosting again and might I say she looked FABULOUS last night!

As I move on through the recap, I need to remind you that the Biggest Loser is first and foremost a REALITY TV SHOW. They cater to ratings. I’m not judging, but I feel that some people watch the show and get caught up in the alternate reality of it all. Take it with a grain of salt people…… First night was exciting for sure. I loved the way each of the trainers handled the kids. Children should be trained differently from adults. Both in training progressions as well as motivation. The adults were a bit of a different story. The first workout was par for the course and each trainer stuck to their respective roles. I have to say, Jillian makes excellent points about the way we treat and speak to ourselves. I love the line she said about “That is abuse. All of this in here is not.” I agree whole heartedly. Now, I may not kick people out of my gym when they get dizzy (I usually offer a G2 and tell them to rest as it’s usually due to poor fueling), but I agree with her tough approach. you have to want it badly enough to challenge what has become your normal.

Aside from people dropping like flies and feeling poorly about the state of their own health (or lack thereof), everything went fairly smooth for the opening evening. As I sat and watched (with the rest of America!) I was bombarded with a lot of thoughts about this entire approach to weight loss. I mean, ALL of the contestants chosen made comments about the fact that they were doing this for their health and/or to live for a certain loved one. So, here’s the thought that keeps banging away at my heart and mind…..Why on Earth do you have to wait to be on a reality show to do it?

Whoa! I know what you’re thinking, “Come on now, at least they’re trying”. I say, no, they haven’t even begun to really try. Here’s the place I’m coming from. I have lost 104 pounds. No trainer, no huge gym, no pre-planned meals, no TV show, no cameras. Some might rebut by saying I already knew how. You would be wrong. I started right where many of these contestants start. There is NO lack of knowledge available, there is a lack of discipline to go get it.

Real fitness is just that, a DISCIPLINE. It’s not about motivation, inspiration or TV ratings. It is developing a discipline within your life to commit to your health and the health of your family. The young man who goes by Bingo (isn’t he precious???) is the same age as my son. It has taken me taking responsibility and telling him “Just a small serving” or “Get up and go do something”. Goodness, most of the time I get up and do things with him! And I’m busy too people, so don’t even try….. Develop a discipline in life and you will succeed. Success is derived from discipline.

So, I promise I’m not hating on the show! I realize that it does get some people inspired and that is worth the watch itself. Here’s the rub though: years ago when I first started teaching aerobics I had a lady who came religiously to my classes, and she was losing weight steadily. Then, one day she stopped coming. A few weeks later, she met me up at the gym. She explained that the Biggest Loser was coming to Houston to hold auditions and since you have to be a certain amount overweight to participate, she stopped working out and was gorging to gain her weight back. Houston, we have a serious problem….

Why do we think that only a TV show can save us? We are enamored with the celebrity of it all. Ask any professional actor and they will tell you the celebrity part is the worst part of the whole thing. Yet, we pine for it. It’s as though we honestly believe that living in an alternate reality is the only way we can succeed. To that I say this: if you believe you can only succeed in an alternate reality, you have already given yourself to failure. There was a man chosen who stated he had waited 3 years for his chance to be on the show. THREE YEARS!!!!! Do you have any idea what he could have accomplished in 3 years?!? And yes, I get the fact that when you do it on your own there are no cash rewards, no accolades, no interviews……but honey, it is so worth it!

The dedicated discipline you earn from putting in your own work far exceeds anything a reality show can offer! You want to see a change in this world? Start a fire in you first! Be the one that begins to develop a change in your own family. Take personal responsibility for your health and fitness. Stop making excuses and playing the victim! You and I are no different from each other. We both hurt, we bleed, we struggle, and if you’re like me, we have a raging sweet tooth! But you know what? Fitness doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make a year, where you start, or how long it may take. Fitness is available to EVERYBODY. You don’t need a membership, you don’t need a certain color shirt and you sure don’t need to be picked from a crowd. Did you realize that as of right now over 66% of the United States is struggling with obesity? That’s the MAJORITY! You are no longer going to sit idle amongst the majority, waiting hopefully for your name to be called. You will stand from this day on. You will walk tall and know that YOU CAN DO THIS.

So, what’s it going to be? Are you in or are you out? Are you tired of waiting for your “chance”? Be the first to step out and make a real change…..no script required :)

LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

NEW DVD REVIEW! Biggest Loser Power XTrain

Hi guys!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve reviewed a new workout DVD, so I thought I’d hop into the new year with The Biggest Loser DVD series.

For those wondering, although Jillian is back on the show (which airs this Sunday evening) she’s not in the video.

This DVD follows the same circuit style fashion as the others. Why? Well, circuits are the BEST form of exercise when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s effective because it keeps the heart rate up and provides cardio as well as strength training. We ALL know that is essential to keep the skin pulling back to the muscle. Now, as a disclaimer we all know that we cannot expect Biggest Loser style results unless we’re already on the show…..and have a couple hundred pounds to lose :) These DVDs do appeal to those just jumping back into working out or trying it out for the first time.

The big question: Do they work? Yes they do, in my opinion. The problem with any DVD is that it is up to the individual to push play though. They can only film it for you, not do it for you :)

Power X Train takes your workouts to a different level. This DVD is more like actual training in that there isn’t a lot of pre-choreographed movements and everybody is on their own pace. All trainers featured do give awesome form tips, but ya’ll know Bob is the favorite! He states at one point “I focus on your FORM first, then reps” and I couldn’t agree more. Bob is in true form throughout his part, making sure even the home viewers know exactly what to look for in their form. This is of great importance as form is key to not only preventing injury but also expediting your results.

You need your own body weight and some handheld weights for this DVD and you will also need some space. They take you through your paces, but you are always encouraged to stay at the level that works best for you. As always, modifiers are front and center and you can choose the former Biggest Loser contestant you want to follow. As with anything else, consistency is key. If you’re in love with the Biggest Loser DVD series, this is a great one to add to your rotation.

Until I see you again, remember….LIVE OUT LOUD!

Michelle

P.S. Who’s planning on watching this season?

GOALS!

DVD REVIEW TIME! JM Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism

Am I totally late on this or what? I actually had and DID this DVD for a while until I outgrew it. This DVD is challenging enough for beginner to intermediate levels and offers loads of variety to make moves harder or more doable (I hate to say easier! The moves should never be easy). Jillian Michaels seems a little softer, personality wise, with these DVDs. That’s good news for those who complain about her hardcore approach. The DVD itself runs about 55 minutes, with the actual workout clocking in at about 48 minutes. Jillian uses her trademark circuits and the best news is there is NO equipment. You’re toning with your own body weight so there are a lot of body weight exercises that are extremely effective. Her brand of kickboxing is not really my cup of tea (it’s a little soft around the edges), but she does a great job of keeping the flow going and moving from upper to lower exercises quickly to increase calorie burn. You can find this DVD cheap at Collage Video.

I think this is a great workout for beginner/intermediates and if you find yourself looking for more of a fat burning challenge, I suggest my man Shaun T’s INSANITY. You know you want to get INSANE :) I’ll post a full review of that next week, but for now you can check it out here: http://beachbodycoach.com/MichelleCFIT

Head back tomorrow for Fun Friday! I have a real treat planned for you :)

Be healthy, Get happy!

Michelle