The pros and cons of a home gym vs. a big daddy gym

Good morning and welcome to a new week!

This is back to school week for us, but I realize some of you have already gotten into the school flow.

Did you know that back-to-school season is the second busiest season of the year? It’s second to the new year as back-to-school comes with a new schedule and new challenges as well as fresh goals (or refreshing the old ones).

So, today we are tackling a question that I am asked very often: Should I get a gym membership or can I get fit at home?

The answer can be a bit complicated since it really lies in your personal goals and what you have available to you to propel you toward that physical goal.

I have personally been working out at home since I was a teenager and first learned all about what working out can do for your body, mind and spirit. Here is MY take on the pros and cons of both home gyms and big gyms…….I like to make you laugh, so lighten up and enjoy.

morpheus-home gym

Pros and cons of a home gym.

Now, just as a disclosure I feel I need to tell you that I have an actual gym at home. We renovated the garage into a gym and I have quite a bit of space to move around. Over the years I have gathered weights, bars, suspension trainers, ropes, trampolines, kettle bells, etc. so I’m not hurting for equipment. Keep in mind, you really can get fit in a small space with limited equipment (even just your body) if you have the right guidance :) Click HERE for necessary guidance (shameless plug).

  1. You don’t have to have fancy gym clothes. You don’t have to match. Heck, you can work out naked if you want, but I wouldn’t advise that cause eeeewwwww. With a home gym you can literally workout in your pajamas. Some people may say this is a con……but we all know it’s a total pro!
  2. You don’t have to wear shoes. I was having a bunch of foot problems a few months ago and then I started lifting barefoot (you pay closer attention and use good form!) which enables the body to distribute weight more evenly in the feet instead of our fancy shoes overcompensating for imbalances.
  3. You can get stuff done in sweaty workout clothes…….OK, this falls into both the pro and con. As I type I have JUST finished a sweet back workout and I haven’t showered. I did change though! The con of sweaty gym clothes is that’s gross.
  4. Working out at home increases compliance. Most people find excuses to skip the gym. Who wants to throw on tights when they are super bloated? Who wants to dead lift when they have gas? Who wants to drive to the gym at 4 in the morning?!?!?!!? Being able to walk from kitchen to gym without running into anybody looking at your bloated belly is a big pro and increases compliance to any workout program :)
  5. I tend to work harder at home. I can feel free to yell, grunt, spit, cry…whatever it takes. I don’t have to reel in my inner beast lady to make others feel comfortable. Extra bonus: I don’t catch glimpses of my awful facial expressions :/
  6. You don’t have to wait for equipment. Seriously dude, if you need to return a text or brag about your warm up set on Facebook, do it by the water fountain! Working out at home eliminates the stress other gym goers may cause.
  7. If something breaks you can either fix it or replace it (or pretend you never had it) instead of having to tell the front desk, who tells maintenance, who has to wait for the OK, and then it’s fixed 2 years after you cancel your gym membership.
  8. Your gym stays open in just about any weather….BONUS: you don’t have to drive in nasty weather to get there.
  9. Your dog is totally welcome…..that may just be me.
  10. Perhaps most important: you have your pick of post-workout food just steps away :)

Now, a few cons:

  1. You may need specialized equipment that your family is unwilling to give up precious living room space to hold (focus on the cause people!).
  2. You still need to schedule your workouts. Simply having a gym within walking distance is not enough to get your booty there.
  3. If you’re a social butterfly (or feel you need to be seen in order for your workouts to count), home gyms won’t work for you.

gym creep

Big daddy gyms….and boxes, warehouse gyms, etc.

First, boxes and warehouse gyms have actually gained in popularity because they offer a better “feel” than big chain gyms. The premise is almost the same though, you pay for some type of membership to use space and equipment.

  1. Con: creepers. These are the people who just watch you workout. They have no other goal than to watch others. Not all creepers are nasty, some are just watchers. Either way, creeping is not cool.
  2. These places do have equipment in a space and your family doesn’t complain that they can’t see the TV around your squat rack.
  3. These places also have trainers and floor staff. Now, some (a rare few) are good. MOST are untrained or brand spanking new and want to tell you how to workout without knowing your current level of fitness or your goal.  They also can’t answer questions like, “How do I adjust the leg press?”…..these people should be avoided.
  4. You’re on show whether you want to be or not. You can give the speech that your crew is too cool to watch others, but we’re all human…..you’re being watched and ultimately compared by others. So, embrace that.
  5. If you dig working out around others then  gym is a safe bet to get results. If you like a “team” feel, a box would be better suited to your needs. If you’re a hermit…..stay home cause you won’t like either.
  6. Biggest con: it’s a hot bed of bad form. One person performing a move with bad form and confidence will result in many more doing the same thing (see #4). So, get the right guidance and you’ll be golden.

No matter how you choose to get fit, your biggest limitation may just be the voice between your own 2 ears. Figure out your goals, set up a plan of attack…..and make like Nike and just do it!

Stay safe and healthy,

Michelle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah_before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…confidence.

…love.

…health.

….freedom.

….happiness.

…empowerment.

…trust and faith in myself.

Sarah_after

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah_Vance

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

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

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

 

Finding my voice in Fitness

I had a major turning point this past week…..I remembered something I had forgotten: my voice.

Oddly enough, I was inspired by fellow blondie, Elle Woods :)

Have you ever had an instance where you forgot your voice?

I have been working and blogging in the fitness industry for over a dozen years, and when you are here for a while you can start to get a muddled voice. You forget what you know and sometimes your beliefs can take a back seat to current trends or stronger personalities.

Sharing your unique voice is what helps others most in the journey of life. I took some time to figure out what my voice truly says and I found out some pretty interesting things along the way…..

Srtong Camp 32 Photo taken at Strong Camp Houston by Paul Buceta

  1. A tight physique isn’t everything. It is my belief that working out for the sake of aesthetics won’t keep you motivated or get you very far. Since trying my hand at competing, this personal belief began to take a back burner. The more I focused on my looks, the worse I felt about myself. I went to the beach for almost a week and never donned a bikini……because I didn’t think I could.
  2. Listening to your body helps….to an extent. I have admittedly become a happy couch potato this summer. We love to watch movies and I have indulged with my family more than I ever have. But you know what? It’s OK. I’m not suffering from heart issues because a small season involved more rest than usual. Do I feel tight and lean? Not in the least…..but I have spent countless hours sitting with my kids talking, movie watching, playing and even planning for the future. I can get abs again, but talking freely with 2 teenagers is a rare treat.
  3. Sometimes, more is just more. I was working out nearly 3 hours a day when summer started. Half of that was heavy-duty lifts, the other half was cardio and yoga. Now, I still do yoga several times per week (at this stage in my life it is a must) but my workouts are home based and a bit shorter. I can get just as much done in a much shorter time frame. Why? Because metabolic conditioning is where I excel…..I just forgot that over this past year because I though I HAD to follow the rules. My workouts now are 25-45 minutes in the gym and consist mostly of kettlebells. The swelling has gone way down in my arms and legs and I’m starting to see definition I thought was lost until I decided to do another competition. This is my voice.
  4. True fitness can fit into any lifestyle. I really don’t believe you have to quit living just to be fit. I still eat chocolate and drink wine. I workout with my daughter by doing NTC workouts OR playing on the Kinect. True fitness isn’t all or nothing, it’s balance.

So, not that I have rediscovered my voice I plan on doing things with it. I plan to help others find their voices and find a fitness program that works with life, not against it.

So, what is your voice? You have something powerful to offer the world……you’re just hiding it :)

Until next time,

Michelle

P.S. Be sure to sign up for the email list ——–>>>>>>>>>>> to get exclusive workouts and recipes, plus check out our store for new offerings.

 

Funny Thing Happened Today…..

Good morning!

Let’s all get caught up real quick, shall we?

I just started back at the iron yesterday after a 3+ week break (it was forced) due to some health issues (not caused by lifting).

So….I’ve had a few mixed emotions.

First, I am excited to get back to the gym….however, that feeling is followed by the quick second of not wanting to leave home made harder by being home bound for so long. Any introverts feeling me?

Getting up the last 2 mornings has been a mixture of those 2 emotions in some way….going to bed is the same as I seem to talk myself out of going by the time I close my eyes.

THEN, I remember how I FEEL when I go regularly***(see note at bottom)

Funny-memes-how-I-feel-after-the-gym Something like that :)

This morning was my first leg day in what felt like forever, and after yesterday’s eh back workout, I wasn’t too pumped. So, I put on my fave Converse (the BEST for leg days) and set out to train these sticks that have taken me through life so wonderfully.

The workout itself wasn’t epic at all (I don’t favor epic as I try to aim for consistent), but it felt great. I trained legs unilaterally (one at a time) to address the many imbalances in my lower half AND the weight pushed wasn’t too shabby for such a break.

Two very rewarding things happened because of my consistency:

  1. A guy came into the sauna and asked how long I had been lifting. This is sauna guy’s favorite question….and mine too :) . See, these past few weeks I’ve felt small and not in a good way (why do women always strive for small anyways????). My midsection felt fluffy and my arms look like little noodles, lacking the curves they had not too long ago. So this question came as a great source of motivation for me. You see, I’ve been working out for 10 years (12+ years of yoga) and lifting consistently for 4 years. The body goes through an ebb and flow, but my soul mate workout is still there when I’m ready to pick it back up. My muscles start to remember the grip of the bar and the press of standing. I train for something far bigger than a show…..I truly train for the flow of life itself. Other than my marriage, this lifestyle has been my biggest commitment.
  2. A lady in the locker room (who had a cute workout top on) asked, “Didn’t ya’ll have some kind of show this past weekend?” It took me a while to realize that the “ya’ll” meant competitors. I had been added to an elite group. Even if you competed once (or 20 times) and no longer do, it is still an elite group. The group isn’t about who came in the leanest…..it’s about being a finisher. Did you know that under 5% of people actually have what it takes to finish out the goal of competing???? True story. It’s strength of mind and character that gets us there and it’s that same strength that keeps us going when life gets tough. She ended the conversation with wishing me luck on this weekend’s comp. In my eye, I am nowhere near competition shape, but she sees me in a different light.

bursting pipes gym meme

That begs the question of why can’t we see ourselves in that light?

When I go to the gym I wear long tights and baggy tops (although sleeveless cause YEAH!) so it wasn’t my six-pack (which is in there somewhere) or my lines that made her think I was ready for comp…it’s my passion lived out in the gym.

I’m grateful for the passion that I have. The passion in the gym is a gift! I start every morning with quiet time and a thankful prayer. I dedicate my workouts to those who cannot move, even though they desperately want to. I think about what I could be doing each day to inspire women to become the best version of themselves….the version outside of the aesthetic. That’s the one thing I think of and strive to do whether health permits the gym or not. That is my calling and I work out to ensure I am fit for my calling….not my jeans.

Now it’s your turn.

What light do you see yourself in? Does it match the light others see? Are you practicing a life of passion?

I’d love to hear, and I am listening! Let me know how I can inspire you :)

And by the way, thanks for inspiring me….

Michelle

***NOTE: heavy-duty weights is MY soul mate workout and the one I love the most…..you find the freedom to try things and figure out yours. There is no one way.

Strong Camp 14 Photo by Paul Buceta taken at Strong Camp Houston 2014

 

What if we were just OK? AND some Instagram inspiration

Oh, my, goodness….2 posts in 1 week?!?!?!? You gotta pinch yourself right?

I digress a bit…..

After you get over the shock of the posts, let’s get down to business. Specifically, let’s get down to the business of being YOU, just as you are and totally rockin it.

Sound good?

believe-in-yourself

We use the above image and saying for a lot of different things ranging from weight lifting to test taking to running, etc. You get the point right? But what if we used it in the sense that right at this moment, we really are OK?

In other words, do you feel like you are enough? Do you feel like you have what it takes, no matter your swimsuit size (those darn swimsuits!), no matter your thigh size and no matter the invisibility of your 6 pack?

I have a truth bomb for you from the ultimate TRUTH:

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. -Hebrews 13:20-21

So, this says nothing about God equipping us with a 6 pack so more people will listen to us……or perky glutes to get the job done. Everything we need, we will find ourselves equipped*.

*Side note as always: I’m not advocating sitting around eating ice cream and Cheetos and not moving, but I really don’t think that’s what most people do. I do think most of us worry about our waistlines in the WRONG way though….

I want you to think about that for just a bit….what would life look like if you were OK with where you are? I know this is foreign to most because the American Dream tells us to always strive for more, but what if we could accept where we are especially in terms of our physical state? Better yet, what could we accomplish if we didn’t worry about our body fat?

This past month has been quite the eye opener for me. I noticed post-comp that I struggled with excessive mirror syndrome….as in, I kept looking in the mirror. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting to see, but the lack of a 6 pack (which I NEVER have unless my body fat is super low) was disappointing. It was so disappointing that it began to take up mental space that would have better been used for other things. In fact, I am convinced that we could find the cure for many diseases if we didn’t focus on certain body parts we wanted to change. I ended up getting sick and long story short I got grounded and have been doing ONLY body weight, low impact stuff for about 10 days. It has admittedly been a struggle, but the mind needs more growth than the muscles at this point.

I can say that I am almost “THERE”…the place where I am OK with the cellulite on my thighs and the extra fluff over my proverbially absent 6 pack. I’m OK wearing a swimsuit and things actually moving. The body was designed this way people! Stuff moves. Some body fat is actually GOOD. I garnered the inspiration I needed from some Instagram accounts that are REAL and HONEST….I also deleted accounts that had boobies, excessive 6-packs, and way too shorty shorts :) I suggest you do the same as scientists have actually found those images to strike closer to porn and further from inspiration.

That said, here are my top accounts to follow:

Busy Mom Gets Fit

GORGO Magazine

Sarah Vance

Fit PB Queen

Amber Dodzweit

 

Top Blogs I’m Digging Right NOW

Even though I am a blogger (and still finding my blogging path), I still enjoy blogs of other professionals to keep things fresh.

Point: our own perspective is not always the best :)

So, today I am sharing the top blogs I’m reading this summer.

Blog Concept

1. Thrive Personal Fitness. Pamela is a personal friend of mine (and has even blessed us with a contribution HERE) and I really love her fresh, real-life take on fitness. Check her out and sign up for updates.

2. Nutrition Stripped. I JUST came across this via good old Instagram. With the fresh recipes and easy to follow guides, it’s a win for any thoughtful foodie.

3. Do You Yoga. This is a go-to for all things yoga in life, and they manage to keep it upbeat, current and inspirational.

4. One Degree Ministries. I met Tracy through a writers/speaker conference and have loved watching her blog grow and take shape. A great blog for every need in life.

5. Shameless plug. OK, so this is technically my blog :) but it is also the beginnings of a movement to empower women to step into who they were created to be and leave all fear behind. Join us :)

Those should keep you busy for a bit.

Read them on your laptop outside for extra credit and stay tuned for some big changes!

 

When you just can’t even…….

So, as discussed in the past, I have issues :-)

The first step is admitting it you know……

It used to be that I had a severe issue with the word “can’t”. I thought of it as an excuse, a cop out, the grown up version of the dog eating your homework, etc. I am since coming to realize that if we don’t respect our bodies we actually CAN get to a point where we just can’t even….(insert Starbuck’s toting basic white girl here).

***NOTE*** This post is not saying you can get away with not believing in yourself, so don’ t go there.

that-awkward-moment-when-you-are-wearing-nike-and-just-can-t-do-it-genvieve-nnaji-quote-instagram-SOSnation_com_

Recently, I got sick. And by sick I mean multiple trips to the doctor and bed rest sick. I discovered a few key factors to myself that those closest know all too well, however I denied them for too long.

  1. I have a severely obsessive personality. For example: often when I immerse myself in yoga CE courses I will find myself veering towards becoming a yoga hippy on the run from modern society. In contrast, when preparing for my show I became OBSESSED with macros, food logging and rep counting.
  2. The above mentioned personality trait creates an environment for imbalance, thus making me feel off balanced every day.
  3. This lack of balance in life translates to lack of balance in health.

Last night I was talking to Alan (the man who should get an award for putting up with my particular brand of crazy) and told him that after brainstorming what I wanted life to look like one of my biggest physical goals was to just be HEALTHY. That is my main goal right now: radiant health.

It seems odd because to look at me you would think I am healthy right? Wrong. When the mind and body are in a chronic unbalanced state, something will give. In my case, my current ill-health seems to be a direct result of an unbalanced life.

So, what can you do to avoid this?

Honestly, we are never 100% in balance at any time, BUT we can walk towards balance in a few key steps:

  1. Brainstorm your GOALS. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and take TIME to think about what you want your life to look like. This is the starting point to creating a life with purpose….you need a roadmap.
  2. Take your eyes off the physical for a bit. For me personally, this means doing more low-impact work at home and allowing my body to heal.
  3. Decide what health means to you. Is it a great physical? Is it feeling good in your own skin? Is it waking with energy?
  4. Determine the steps needed to reach your goal. Once you find even 1 goal worth the effort, determine the necessary steps. If you really NEED to lose weight, then you will need to set aside the time to workout each day and become more educated in nutrition. If your goal is to have a healthier digestive system (a great goal for anybody), commit to keeping a record of your food and maybe even hiring a nutritionist to help. Whatever the goal, there are daily steps that will help you reach it.

Staying balanced shouldn’t be something that will upheave your whole life. It should actually make it better. Think about one word that will help you stay focused. My word of the moment is SIMPLIFY. I want to live a simpler, less complicated lifestyle. This means workout routines that are easily accomplished in my home, fewer supplements, a bit more yoga and a streamlined diet that focuses on nutrients.

Now it’s your turn. What changes will you make to achieve balance?

I’m listening :)

Michelle

I’m so jealous…….

Do you suffer from jealousy? You can admit it, this is a safe place :)

Seriously, do you ever look at somebody else (their body, their life, their kids that always seem to get along, their immaculate house) and feel a twinge of jealousy?

 

Today I am raising my hands high and saying “YES! I am jealous.” Mostly I am jealous of Giada de Laurentiis.

Ok, wait….what?!?!?!?!
Let me back this train of thought up for to better facilitate understanding (see kids, college English does come in handy).

The other day I took my daughter to the local library to grab some summer reading. That’s our idea of a fun day. While there I always do 2 things:

  1. I browse the DIET section to see what I am up against as a nutritionist :)
  2. I head to the cook books because summer is one of the best times to try new recipes….provided they don’t take all day.

So, I happily skip to the cook book section and begin to browse all the books available that provide mouth watering eats and treats for myself and the fam. I ran across Giada’s book Giada at Home. Now, I have checked this book out before and I have even used some of the easy and yummy recipes, but today something hit me like an uppercut to the gut. As I held the book I had a complex thought process that involved the vision of a perfect life: a clean house, kids who are ALWAYS happy, Italian food for every meal (my version of Heaven), and the basics of seemingly having it all together. To put it simply: I was jealous.

You see, I just came off contest prep a few weeks ago and have slowly been trying to acclimate to a “normal” life. School has also ended and my visions of my teenagers uttering compliments to each other as they clean the house spotless have come to a grinding halt (because my expectations obviously exceed reality) and I have started a new job which is a monumental undertaking of physical, emotional and mental energy. Not to mention the fact that I have begun to stress about workouts and nutrition, probably because those are the 2 things I feel are totally under my control. Are you tired just reading that? Don’t we all have similar lives? Don’t leave me hanging here….

Now you can see why my feeling towards Ms. De Laurentiis were lit on fire……but can you also see where I am letting my crazy show a little?

yourcrazyisshowing At least I can admit it :)

You see, I know NOTHING about the life Giada leads, other than what is portrayed in books and on TV. That may not even be her kids! OK, maybe it is, but will they be on the show as teenagers? Highly doubtful…..

The real source of jealousy came over my own life choices and my current inability to be OK with them. It’s summer and I still wake up at the butt crack of dawn to workout. My life choices have led here. The funny thing is I could stop, but like a drug addict I won’t. Why? Because this is, quite literally, who I am. I don’t workout to get skinny (have you seen me?) I workout to be SANE. The other option isn’t pretty. So, even though I LOVE what I do and I realize not many will give up sleeping in late on the weekends to hit the local track, I can still experience those twinges of jealousy that can derail my whole day….not to mention the fact that it keeps me bogged down and ineffective.

So what’s a gal (or guy) to do when jealousy rears its ugly rear? Well, we have control over our choices and our actions, so here are my personal action steps to getting it back together:

  1. Ask yourself what this person has OR portrays that is making you feel this way.
  2. Make a mental or physical list of your lifestyle/appearance/house life/etc. that you LOVE (even if it’s love/hate because it’s a part of WHO you are).
  3. Ask yourself what you are willing to give up to get what this person has.
  4. Ask yourself WHY (this is a key step here.)
  5. Finally, is what is portrayed really REAL?

In today’s media age we can portray the life we WANT to live rather than the life we do live. Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • My house is always a wreck and I DO take pics with a messy background (it totally makes me relatable), BUT before I got cool with the fact that the house looks like people actually live here, I would box up stuff and throw it to the side so my house appeared to be spotless. It’s all an illusion. And don’t play like you don’t do that, that why all your kids pics are either in the same part of the house or on the front porch. Be OK with who you are ;) mess and all.
  • My ABS are only visible first thing in the morning or right after a killer tabata or HIIT workout. SO….that’s when you get ab shots (that’s pretty much across the board). I have yet to be so comfortable that I will post a shot post Buca di Beppo plate of spaghetti and meatballs…with pizza…and dessert. I show you the best, not the 2 trimester :)
  • This one’s free: I post pics of my kids NORMALLY one on one with me. They look content cause they totally think their mom rocks (cause she does!), and it looks like a cool little fam. I don not typically post the pics of my teenagers picking fights with each other over every little thing and my husband and I rolling our eyes and trying to referee……but just ending up making them pick up dog poop as punishment.

See? We can choose to filter life to the outside eye. It’s not because I try to be anything I’m not, it’s because you don’t want to let people into every nook and cranny of your life AND you don’t really want to heap the negative stuff out there.

Another important part is asking yourself what you’re willing to give up in order to get with others seemingly have.

A good example is physical: I have loads of people tell me it must be nice to have all the time I have to workout…..yet they don’t want to hit the gym at 4:30 a.m. like I so often do. Giving up time is an issue for all of us, but anything worth having will cost us something. When I was getting ready for my competition the one thing I kept being told is that competition prep is so hard only an estimated 5% of people actually complete it. I wanted to be included in that minority and that is what allowed me to give up some things in order to succeed.

So, maybe we all deal with the green eyed monster in some form. It can actually push us out of our comfort zones and to the next level, which is a great thing…..just don’t allow it to make you ineffective in your own life.

Keep living fit,

Michelle

MOTIVATION 101: How to get it and what to do when you lose it

Ever feel like you’ve just lost your motivation to continue towards your goal?

I can help with that ;)

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.