Do MORE than Survive this Holiday season

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Before you start clicking away, I GET IT!

We haven’t quite gotten through Thanksgiving and Christmas is already on our doorstep.

The once enthusiastic excitement has given way to overwhelming stress resulting from deadlines, expectations and all those fun family quirks that make each family unique.

Our world is moving at a MUCH faster pace than ever before. We value busyness instead of human contact. We are always on to the next thing. We can barely keep up with technology and those expectations? They keep getting bigger.

Trust me, I know…..

But there are a few ways to actually THRIVE and take back the meaning of the holidays.

Ready to feel BETTER when the New Year hits???

Then let’s get going :)

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1. Have a strategy.

Failure to plan is planning to fail after all. So it is a good idea to make a strategy for your Holidays. Know what you (as a mere mortal) can actually take and accomplish. Know your calendar and make sure you have your priorities straight. I think most people endure undo stress during the season because their priorities are not aligned with their values. For example: my number 1 priority is my family. My family needs time with me. Although my job prefers I work more hours and sell more training, I know that would simply break me down and make me inefficient….at work AND at home. So, I honor my priorities and we all win.

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2. Say NO more often.

Often times during this season we can over commit ourselves because we find it harder to say NO. Saying no to things you truly cannot do, truly HATe, or do not have the time to do, can be the change you need in your routine to eliminate most of your stress. Trust me, the world will NOT stop spinning when you say no. People may get a little upset, but that is because they had already assumed you would say yes, and you know what happens when you assume…:) So, exercise your NO muscles this season. Take a look at your priority list and if something isn’t aligning, knock it off your to-do list by saying the simple word NO.

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3. Make some time to workout during the Holidays.

I’m going to give a little advice with this one: be flexible when it comes to your workout routine. If you normally hit the gym in the evening, maybe try getting a workout in early morning or during lunch. The holiday season is usually jam-packed with parties and festivities and NOBODY like a bah-humbug who complains about missing a workout for a function. Plan ahead and be flexible. Consider shorter workouts OR even combine body parts and shorten your rest periods to speed it up a bit. If you’re struggling to get to the gym as is, don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting too much. Check out my FREE WORKOUTS  that you can do in a faction of the time at home (to be posted on the site in the New YEAR, but click the link to get them now). If all else fails, grab a walk or jog. OR you can join me in a little self challenge I am having for the Holidays: I am committing to a little yoga everyday AND a minimum of 200 kettle bell swings a day. You can break it up however you like. And if you’re unfamiliar with the SWING, click the link to learn more.

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4. Do something GOOD.

There’s a lot that can be said about that feeling during the Holidays that just makes you want to DO GOOD. You can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, adopt an elderly neighbor for the Holidays, collect toys for a toy drive, OR join a local church for plenty of opportunities to DO GOOD. Check your calendar and availability and then find the right fit for you.

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5. Finally, be GRATEFUL.

I know it can be a bit cliché, but digging deep for the things that make you grateful is a great practice in stress relief. Take a moment each day to find ONE thing you are grateful for. It can be family and friends, your job, material blessings, health, or even the fact that your latter didn’t burn your mouth this morning. Gratefulness comes in ALL shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box :)

In closing, I really do with you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. I hope your hearts get filled with joy this season and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

If this is your first time to the site, feel free to browse around. There are all kinds of recipes and free workouts here to get you through whatever you may be facing. AND stay in touch because there will be some exciting happenings around here in 2018 :)

xoxo,

Michelle

 

Move-meant: Part 2

Welcome back to Monday people!!!!!!!

Hope you had a great weekend :)

Today is your lucky day!!!!

Why?

We’re tackling rest day in the second post on recovery and mindful movement!

I can almost feel your excitement……

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Rest days tend to be the most under utilized and misunderstood days in you program. They are also some of the most important…..

You know what time it is??????

SCIENCE!!!!!

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Alright, don’t check out on me yet….this is good and I’ll be quick ;P

When you workout you are tearing up your muscle. That’s the only way that the muscle can release the ATP needed for energy AND it’s the only way the muscle can adapt to loads placed on it. This is true for both strength training and cardio, however strength training places a larger load on most muscles (don’t tell my calves that since they are more heavily loaded running). In order for the muscle to fuller adapt and be able to take on a heavier load the next training session, the muscle must be given adequate rest time to repair.

What does this translate to?

  • Don’t train the same body part repeatedly on consecutive days.
  • Give the muscle 24-48 hours to repair before hitting it again.
  • Utilize some of the recovery options in the previous post.
  • Pay attention to your body! If the muscle is still tender, let it rest and don’t weight so much next session.

Failure to recover will impede optimum muscle growth. That’s science.

Back to rest days….

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One of the most common misconceptions about rest days is that they are days of complete immobility. Not true.

Rest days should be days to help further recovery and mobility.

Here are some ways you can implement well thought out rest days:

  1. Sign up for a yoga class, BUT make sure it will stretch and flow….some yoga classes are another workout in and of themselves.
  2. Foam roll!
  3. Stretch it out while you Netflix.
  4. Take a slow walk. Change your music to some slower jams or go sans music and just look at the sites.
  5. Go for a nature walk or hike, especially if you don’t have leg day the next day.
  6. Remember, rest days are NOT cheat days.

How many rest days do I need?

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This is where paying attention to your body is the biggest payoff.

Most people just starting on a strength training program do well with a 2/1 working to rest split. Some people prefer to check in for workouts Monday through Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. Some advanced athletes prefer an 8 day split, with a rest day every 8 days. Personally, I lift for total body 3 days a week with a cardio/mobility day between and I always take Sundays as my rest day (and sometimes I am totally immobile).

There is no one magic formula for everybody, so check for signs of needing rest.

Do you look forward to workouts?

Are you dreading every single workout?

Are you tired all day long?

Do you have trouble sleeping?

Is your appetite/cravings totally out of control?

Are you progressing in your workouts (i.e. upping the weight, reps, or taking the harder variations)?

Chances are, if you feel physically stuck, you need a good recovery day. So, book it, enjoy it, come back stronger.

Always moving,

Michelle

 

Move-Meant: the importance of recovery and meaningful movement

Happy Monday Morning!!!!!!

In my neck of the woods, we woke up to much cooler temperatures….which meant a much stiffer hip during rehab this morning :) But it was completed none the less.

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Anyways…..

Today marks the first post in a short series about recovery. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT get recovery right every single time…but I DO know the importance of recovery and how many body systems are involved in true recovery. So, let’s dive right in.

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Let’s get the layout and ground rules for recovery set up first:

  1. RECOVERY refers to recovering from a certain aspect of your lifestyle, preferably an active one. In other words, if you’re still on the couch about working out, skip to a different post :)
  2. You can utilize many things in RECOVERY, including foam rollers, bands, balls, yoga (the right kind) and even diet (oh yes!).
  3. RECOVERY involves more than just lazing about….I know, I am as shocked as you on this one. Most of my “recovery days” have always involved Netlfix binges…who knew????

The act of recovery is utilizing meaningful movement to de-stress and decompress the joints and soft tissue of the body. That’s a pretty broad explanation of true recovery. I like to take it a step further and implement mindful movement AND anti-inflammatory diet practices to rid the body, mind, and gut of the excess stress that can keep us feeling tight and pent up in our own bodies. Today, I’ll be listing some great forms of recovery, giving a comprehensive recovery schedule, and making sure you leave with some good resources.

TYPES OF RECOVERY:

  • Foam Rolling. When done correctly, foam rolling helps to manipulate soft tissue (aka, muscles and fascia) and alleviate pain, plus it’s cheaper than a massage. If you’re new to the roll, I suggest purchasing a soft roller and working your way up to the big boys. Here are videos for foam rolling the Upper Body, Lower Body, and an all over foam roll for active individuals. Consider foam rolling before and after activities OR in the evening when you are watching your favorite show.
  • Stretching. Stretching can help to elongate the soft tissues, tendons and ligaments surrounding the joints. The key is to not overstretch. So, pay attention to your body and go for a stretch in the belly of the muscle. I have an easy full body stretch here.
  • Yoga. Yoga is more than stretching and is requires ZERO flexibility to get started. Yoga puts your joint through their full range of motion and helps the skeletal system to realign for more efficient movement. If you have NEVER done yoga, I recommend seeking a qualified teacher/class to get you started. If you have a little knowledge, Morgan Day Cecil is my fave yoga girl of the moment.
  • Massage Therapy. Manual manipulation of soft tissues helps to decrease tension AND helps to force stress induced toxin build up out of the body. In order to keep massage more budget friendly, I suggest seeking a massage school close to you. New therapist need  hours and are often very attentive to your needs.
  • Ice baths and Epsom salt baths. Both of these help ease soreness. If joints or inflammation are your main concern, go for an ice bath (exactly what it sounds like). If soreness is your gig, a 20 minute soak in some warm (not too hot) water with about 1/4 cup Epsom salts should do the trick.
  • Diet. If you suffer from chronic soreness or inflammation, I would suggest checking your diet. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, feel free to contact me in the form below and get started with a diet profile review. Often times, many issues in the soft tissue and joints can be a reflection of what if going on in the gut (more on this in week 3).
  • Active Rest. respect active rest days by scheduling out actual active rest. You can take a walk, go for a light swim, enjoy some time at the beach, attend a yoga class, etc. Even if you’re sore, move with a mindfulness and the soreness will dissipate over time. The human body CRAVES motion.

I know it can be a lot to soak in, but recovery can be the missing link to fast tracking your results ;)

Weekly Recovery Schedules:

  1. Foam roll 1-2x per day, around workout.
  2. Stretch post workout for 5- 10 minutes, more in the evening if you are sore.
  3. Schedule a massage once a month.
  4. Use Epsom salt and ice baths as needed.
  5. Implement an anti-inflammatory diet for at least 3 weeks.
  6. Schedule at least 1 active rest day into each week.

Happy Recovery Trails!!!! And keep me posted on how you do these next 3 weeks.

ALL New Stuff…..

Well….hello there….

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IF you have followed the blog at all, then you will notice my absence as of late. To be real, it was a myriad of different reasons.

First, I did have surgery and decided to actually take some downtime.

Second, I was truly questioning why I do what I do and if it matters at all in the grand scheme of things (jury is still out on that one).

Third, I was working to try and fill in the gaps of training, so to speak.

While first and second will be saved for another day, I’m going to share a little of the third with you now.

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I have been truly bogged down by the fact that a lot of people who come for help don’t get very far. Truth is, it felt as though there was a part missing…..let’s say, a spoke from a wheel wasn’t there. So, it made it very difficult for us to get anywhere. So I began to research other areas of expertise and talk with other trainers who have been successful at making their client, well, successful. The answer came again and again: an online training platform.

If you’re like me and you don’t dig technology all that much, then the thought of online training can seem daunting. The fact is, in today’s fast paced environment, you need something that will stay a step or two ahead so you can focus on life and not be overwhelmed by workouts. This online training platform can be held in the palm of your hand and is as easy as checking in on Facebook so everybody knows you’re handling your business ;)

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I have teamed up with TRAINERIZE to offer plans to help you reach any goal. Since my specialty is Corrective Exercise, this can be used in conjunction with your current training program. The app itself is extremely user friendly and you can track your progress in-app so you can see exactly where you’re headed, whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger, be quicker, or simply move through life with less pain. You can see it all and track it all here.

It’s also simple to set up and doesn’t keep you bound to JUST seeing your trainer on certain days/times.

Start by checking into Pricing and available Schedules (online only option is available). Then, you will receive a message from your trainer to confirm a time for training that week. You have the option to see your trainer face to face 1-2 times per week, depending on your goal and schedule. For example, Olympic lifters usually see me once per week to focus on mobility and flexibility. Fat loss clients usually opt for twice per week. Once established, you will also get training programs uploaded into your app. These program will be personalized for your goal and lifestyle. This way, you know exactly what to do and can keep track of your workouts in-app. Your trainer can keep track as well and is informed of workout consistency. This creates an accountability that will propel you forward DAILY.

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I’ve also added meal planning capabilities to the app (all plans are done by me, not generic) so you can choose to add that option OR simply opt to get your nutrition in line while staying with your current trainer or training program.

Important Notes:

  • ALL face to face sessions are semi-private.
  • Private training sessions ARE offered, but are priced differently and not available for purchase in-app.
  • Meal planning is priced separately and requires a brief Q&A with your trainer.
  • You are totally allowed to switch times during the week, but must let your trainer know.
  • All plans are month to month and must be cancelled NO LATER than 2 weeks prior to next billing cycle.
  • Specialty training, such as MMA and Sports Performance, are also offered in a group setting.

This allows you to finally have the tools you need to reach THAT goal and start setting new ones. So, check out the app today, pick your program, get in a group, and start seeing and feeling results within a week!

Why Pulling These Two C’s Will Get You Your Best RESULTS

the dream and the hustle

Happy Tuesday People!

I’ve been MIA for a while, and though I’d like you to think it’s because I was doing super cool stuff, I was actually having a rather in depth surgery on my plagued hip. As with anything life gives us, we can learn, we can grow, and we can most certainly write about it.

Prior to surgery I went to get my physical therapy sessions set up and meet my therapist (Kim, in Baytown….she’s the bomb). She explained how the following week would progress and what to expect in the first few sessions of therapist. My surgeon (Dr. Harris, in Houston…the bomb.com) repeatedly reminded me that I would lose muscle and that I needed to be OK with all that. The day I went into surgery I was ready to be resilient. The week that followed was worse than childbirth, but I’ll spare you.

Around week 3 of therapy, a young lady came in for her therapy. She was half heartedly doing her lunges and barely putting effort into the sled pull….I was on the stationary bike clocking a whopping 2 miles in 20 minutes. Recovery is a slow process. My therapist reminded me that recovery would take longer if I veered off the path. This could not be more true.

Present day, I am 6 weeks post surgery. I am one-crutching short distances, and I’m doing a few baby squats. Yesterday, Kim congratulated me and said as soon as I’m off the crutches we can move on to more challenging things. Admittedly, almost everything is challenging at this stage, but I digress.

How does this story help you?

In my years of training, coaching, and attempted to help people with nutrition, I have noticed that everybody seems to lack the 2 C’s that breed results when brought together.

CONSISTENCY and COMPLIANCE

Consistency.

I have to remind clients all the time that this is not a sprint. We do not start a new program working out 2 hours a day 7 days a week. “But, what if I need to lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks?!?!?!” You should have noticed that a few months ago….

Most new clients are put onto a walking protocol, walking 20-45 minutes a day, depending on their current fitness level and their personal goal. Why walking? Well, walking is actually the most underrated fat burning exercise AND it can be done practically anywhere. You can walk around your neighborhood, at local parks, in the mall, around the grocery store (I have had clients who walk in Walmart), downtown, the treadmill, in your local fitness center, and the list goes on and on.

Walking is also something most people find they can be consistent with as well. You see, I want to jump ahead to what I see as the fun stuff in therapy, but you have to crawl before you can walk. Taking on too much at the beginning of your program can cause injury, leave you feeling less than capable, and end your short-lived attempt at fitness. Changing behaviors (those pesky things that got you wherever you may be) takes time and consistency. Stick with it.

Compliance.

The #1 reason I have fired clients (yes, it happens) is due to non-compliance. Let me clear, compliance doesn’t mean that you don’t ask why you are doing certain things, it means that you trust the process and trust your guide. Programs work because they are designed to work. If you get a good trainer or coach, they take everything about you into consideration as they map out your program. If you take on the personality of a squirrel and dart after every new diet and fitness trend and fad, then you will NEVER actually see results. By the way, any trainer worth their salt should welcome questions! Any opportunity I have to further educate clients is one I will not pass up.

So, get to work cultivating your 2 C’s that will equal big results!

Pinpoint any issues that keep you away from these things.

  • Does your trainer not listen to you?
  • Do you feel your not getting a personalized program?
  • Are you uncomfortable in your environment?
  • Do you get distracted by fads because maybe you read too many magazines?
  • Are you allowing those who are not fitness or nutrition professionals lead you?
  • Have you found the behaviors you need to change?

Now, It’s your turn to take matters into your own hands. Consistency and Compliance are things only YOU can cultivate. So, what will it be today?

Workouts to get in TOP shape for summer

Hello there!

The warm breezes have already started and our air conditioner is getting zero breaks right now…..the countdown to SUMMER is here!

We have less than 6 weeks to summer and I am pumped!

I get excited at the prospect of a fun summer every year, but this summer will prove to be particularly memorable.

How about you? Are you entering into warmer weather ready to take on the season? OR do you perhaps feel as though you wish you had a few more weeks to prepare?

Have no fear!

Today I have some workouts for YOU to implement over the next 6 weeks that will help to tighten your muscle and shed excess fat. All you need is consistency and a bit of a tweaked nutrition plan (see more below).

ENJOY! Oh, and cut your body some slack……it’s been there for you all along. So learn to work WITH it, not against it.

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THE PLAN.

Here’s the deal; you HAVE to lift some weights in order to get that tight and “toned” look you say you want. So, that’s what you’ll be doing.

Three days a week, you’ll be hitting the iron. Monday and Friday will be lower body days, while Wednesday will etch in the upper body.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be cardio days, adapted to get the most results in the minimum effective dose.

The CARDIO.

Your cardio will be performed in a 2-1 ratio of work to rest. If you are not quite ready for this intensity, try a 1-1 ratio and build up. IF you stay consistent, you’ll feel better in no time.

The minimum effective dose is 20-40 minutes of this type of cardio. If you have a lot of fat to lose, opt for 40 minutes. If you’re just starting out, try 20 and move forward as you can.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Treadmill climb. Warm up for 5 minutes, then set the incline at a level 3 and speed between 3.5-4.5. Walk this for 1 minute. Lower the speed to 3.0-3.5 and take the incline between 12-15. Walk this for 2 minutes. Repeat for the duration of your workout, finishing with a cool down walk for 5 minutes.
  • Step mill. Start with a 3-5 minute easy warm up at a level 3. Take it to a level 6-8 for 1 minute and then a level 8-10 for 2 minutes. Repeat for the duration and end with a 5 minute cool down.
  • Tread Jog. Warm up 3-5 minutes. Take the speed to a fast paced walk for 1 minute, then jack it up to a jog for 2 minutes. Repeat for the duration and end with a cool down walk.

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THE WORKOUTS

Lower body days you will focus on ALL the muscles of your lower body PLUS a little bit of abdominal work. Warm up for 5-7 minutes beforehand.

SQUATS. 1 set of 20 reps to warm up, then 3 sets of 10-15 as heavy as you can.

LEG PRESS. 3 sets of 10-15 reps

DEADLIFTS (bar OR dumbbells). 2 sets of 10-12 reps

LEG EXTENSIONS. 3 sets of 10-15 reps

LEG CURLS (seated or lying) 3 sets of 10-15 reps

CALF RAISES. 2 sets of 15 reps

BACK EXTENSIONS. 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps (no weight added)

PLANK 60-90 second hold, 2-3 sets

Make sure you foam roll, stretch, and cool down before you leave.

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Upper Body Day will give you a well rounded physique and bring balance to your entire body. With tank top season right around the corner, this workout will build muscle and confidence.

Warm up for 5-7 minutes. I recommend foam rolling beforehand.

BENCH PRESS (or dumbbell chest press) 1 set of 15 reps, 3 sets of 10-12 reps

SEATED DB OVERHEAD PRESS 3 sets of 8-10 reps

DB ROW 3 sets of 10 reps

LAT PULLDOWN 3 sets of 10 reps

DB CURLS 2 sets of 10 reps

TRICEP PUSHDOWN (or seated dip) 3 sets of 10 reps

CAPTAIN’S CHAIR (or hanging) LEG RAISES 3 sets of 10-30 reps

Make sure to foam roll, stretch and cool down.

mc-7059 Need help with the weight? Check out THIS POST on how heavy you should go.

NUTRITION

All the workouts in the world will not help if you aren’t fueling properly.

Instead of focusing on taking away, try to focus on upgrading your nutrition. Make pre and post workout meals your top priority for the first week. Your macros surrounding your workouts should have higher carbs and fewer fibers and fats. My go-to of the moment is cream of rice mixed with a scoop of whey protein. I eat it cold pre and post workout and it tastes like pudding :) Other options include whey protein shakes (some, Like LABRADA offer the perfect ratio of carbs, fats and proteins ready to drink), raisins, rice cakes, toast, lean lunch meat, etc. A pre-workout should be taken in 30-45 minutes prior to hitting the workout. Post workout protein uptake usually happens within 30 minutes, BUT research has shown that the body is susceptible to greater protein uptake up to 2 hours post workout. In other words, don’t let that be a stressor.

Protein intake does NOT need to exceed your need. In order to create a lean physique you do need an adequate amount of protein. Try eating protein at every meal to ensure an adequate intake. Vary your protein for maximum satiety. You can try chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meats, game, whey, casein, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. Take the time to explore and see what works best for you.

Drink PLENTY of water throughout your fat loss phase. I suggest aiming for a gallon a day for most (your tea and coffee intake can count towards this), but start where you are and add daily.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember, the body needs TIME to change. You can expect GREAT improvement with this workout plan in just 6 weeks, but ONLY If you are vigilant and consistent. If you have a lot of fat to lose, know that these 6 weeks will give you a large jumpstart, so don’t get discouraged. Be kind to your body and it will return the favor.

See you soon!

Michelle

 

 

Your Complete Guide to Rest Days….and a peek into the importance of rest

REST.

I think that proper rest is one of the most misunderstood facets of a great health and fitness program.

Why do I think that?

Well, I myself struggle with rest :) which is why I decided to dig into the importance of rest when trying to reach your goals.

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Two of the most important things to know about rest deal with your metabolism. First, you repair and grow more lean muscle tissue during rest. Whenever you are working out, you are actually creating small tears in the muscle fiber which is translated as a trauma. During rest, your body springs into action and begins to repair those tears, preparing the body for another bout with the weights so as to make the muscles stronger and more efficient. The body truly is a wonderful creation!

Second, you utilize more stored fat during rest (the “fat burning zone” myth is for another day) than during workouts. This is because is it not metabolically efficient for your body to dig into stored fat for energy during exercise or stress. In fact, your body finds it far easier to burn through muscle once the carb fuel sources run out. So, rest becomes an important factor in fat loss.

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So, how much rest do you need AND what is the best way to go about rest?

If your NUTRITION is on point and your WORKOUTS are designed to expend maximum calories while building lean muscle, then you’re probably two-thirds of the way towards your goal. If you’ve noticed that your workouts are beginning to suffer and your cravings are beginning to conquer……you need to work in some scheduled rest. That may sound like a no-brainer, but simply taking 1 day a week to loaf around the house won’t bring you results…..it could actually be derailing your progress if it has become a habit. Here are a few quick tips about rest periods that help you reach your goals.

  1. Know your threshold. This applies to workouts as well as stress. When your body is under stress it really doesn’t differentiate between physical workouts and unattainable deadlines. Chemically, it’s all processed the same. So, make sure that the fitness you have chosen helps to lighten the stress load and not add to it.
  2. Know your limit with exercise. I made this mistake many months ago: after my last competition, I decided to build out my back a bit more. So, I added a second heavy back day and a heavy deadlift day. I still focused on HIGH volume workouts 6 days per week (side note: I would shriek if a client did this). My rest was minimal and over time I paid the price. My hormones were out of whack and I’m still struggling to get back to my previous state of fitness. The point? Too much is too much…..even of a good thing.
  3. Figure it out. Each type of workout needs a specific period of rest. Powerlifting usually requires more rest than bodybuilding, which requires more rest than circuit training or say yoga or Pilates. To make it easier; the heavier the lift, the more rest you need.
  4. Make your food work for you. I’m a fan of MACROS, but I always lean in more towards nutrients. Why on earth would I cause my body to work HARDER just to process some food? It can cause inflammation over time and even wreak havoc on the backside with cellulite. So, focus on 80% of your diet being whole foods (I’m not what I call a CLEAN eater because people get all confused with that) that either come straight from the ground or have a mamma. I make this happen by prepping ahead of time, knowing what I’m going eat, and keeping plenty of fruits and veggies on hand at all times.

Now, I’m working on healing my body with nutrition and rest. I still have off weeks (this being one of them) due mostly to non-workout related stress, but I’m finding my ground.

Keep in mind that this body is the only one you truly get, even if you have replacement parts. So treat it right, respect boundaries, rest up and workout to feel like the awesome rock star you are :)

Till next time,

Michelle

OH, and check out this GREAT post about NAPPING from my good friend Pamela.

Meal Planning and Prep Made SUPER Easy

Most busy moms lead the kind of life that makes us want to use the NO TIME excuse when it comes to the kitchen.

While I do support family involvement when it comes to meal planning and prepping, you can become the Wonder Woman of your domain AND reach your goals by learning a few simple tips.

Wonder Woman Approves

  1. Be prepared. For starters, if you haven’t planned and prepped before, don’t expect a fail-free start from the blocks. This is the kind of skill that can go on a resume!
  2. Have a list. I so have you covered on this one with a video shared with my Healthy Holidays challenge group HERE.
  3. Don’t go to the store starving. Seriously, I speak from experience and cleaning out all of the Valentine candy on 80% off.
  4. If possible, wash and chop veggies when you get home. You and I both know you don’t want to do that later! It’s a chore, so invest in good containers and wash and chop it all when you get home.
  5. If the weather is still a bit cool (or you’re weird like me) throw your anti-inflammatory soup on to cook. Then, put your chickens in the roaster with some onions, carrots, potatoes and various spices (set roaster for 375 degrees and cook 90 minutes for PERFECTLY roasted chickens). You can then turn your chickens into various meals throughout the week.
  6. If you are like me and pack your kids lunches, have them get involved by prepping and bagging the veggies (if they help, they are far more likely to eat it).
  7. If you’re just starting out, set a timer for yourself and please don’t turn the TV on! It will distract you and before you know it, the movie is over and you’re feeling spent. Set your timer for an hour and see how much you can accomplish.
  8. Remember the goal: it’s not to cook and package every single meal. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of reheated meals. The goal here is to prep as much as possible ahead of time. Most nights I can throw dinner together in 15-20 minutes with the food I have prepped. The entire meals I cook beforehand are usually spaghetti and chili since they get better with age :)
  9. Take a look at some of the BLOG POSTS I have about meal prep and the art of mastering your kitchen HERE.
  10. If you need more info on mastering NUTRITION, I have you covered HERE.

In good health,

Michelle

How To Find Motivation When There Is No Finish Line

grumpy cat motivation

Eyes on the prize.

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

You persevered and you did it! You won!

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

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

The slippery post challenge slop has begun…

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

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

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

Connect to your big picture goal.

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

It’s not always about winning.

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

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

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

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

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

MotivationIsMade720

 

About Pamela:

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

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

 

 

 

 

Post Superbowl (or any indulgence) Survival Guide

First off, CONGRATS to the Broncos for the win!

And second…….how are you feeling?

I’m not talking about whether or not your team won. I’m talking about some of the morning/day after indulgence issues that can creep up on you.

Maybe you stayed up late celebrating or lamenting last night. Perhaps you drank a little too much party punch, OR maybe you enjoyed a few too many of the delicious foods associated with Super Bowl.

Any way you slice it, we can sometimes have a bit of a rough time the day after.

So what do you do?

Here are a few short and sweet ways to get over it :) whatever IT may be.

still full snoopy

  1. Forgive and forget. Don’t berate yourself for poor food choices, excessive consumption, or lack of sleep. What’s done is done and making like a certain Disney character and letting it go will serve you far better than feeling poorly about yourself.
  2. Hydrate. While it is best to enter into temptation hydrated, most of us don’t make those preparations. Make sure you get a minimum of 1/2 your body weight in ounces of pure water today to combat dehydration. Remind yourself that signs of dehydration can include trouble focusing and headaches.
  3. Try mindful movement. Instead of beating yourself up on the elliptical or weights, consider putting those excess calories to good use through some mindful movement. What is that? Well, it’s anything that makes your body feel GOOD. For me, it was a nice session with my kettle bells. It can be a long walk, a dance break, a yoga class, a tennis game with a friend, or anything that gets your body moving and blood pumping (woohoo).
  4. Don’t practice deprivation. Drastically cutting calories or refusing to eat can have a backlash effect on your metabolism and result in lack of energy and even worse overall health.
  5. Focus on NUTRIENT density instead of calories. Turn your focus to real foods today and I promise your body will thank you in the end.

Five simple steps that can get you back on track and feeling more like yourself by tomorrow. Take it easy, stay hydrated, get some movement and celebrate a victory for everybody.

Stay healthy,

Michelle