Happy Valentine’s Day

Well, it’s Friday people! It’s also Valentine’s Day and for some that causes great excitement while others seem to fight not to crawl back into bed and sleep through it :) No matter which end of the spectrum you fall into, this post is sure to brighten your Friday and get you ready for a great weekend.

As I sit here in my sick bed (yes, even those who try to be super human get sick), I can’t help but chuckle at the limited Valentine’s celebration in our home. I mean, my poor hubby is a little limited as far as gifts go: I’m allergic to flowers, I try not to keep candy in the house, and I truly do not appreciate extravagant gifts…I feel that money could be made far more useful in missions :) . So, he woke me this morning to see how I was feeling (not a sexy sight) and placed a small bag of chocolate covered goji berries at my bedside. I’m a lucky girl :)

These past few sick days have blessed me with time to think about the things that can hinder us from reaching our goals, be they in life or weight loss. So, as you move through your day consider these healthy habits of success driven people:

  1. It’s the overall picture. Don’t be too harsh on yourself for one misstep. Maybe you overindulged in the office candy jar, or perhaps you called in fake sick just to get a little respite from the office drama…Consider the 80/20 rule: stay on course 80% of the time and you will reach your goal. The other 20% is to compensate for the fact that we are all human.
  2. Don’t let your “feelings” dictate your actions. Much of life is based on our reaction to life. So, if we react based on feelings, which can change due to lack of sleep or feeling like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck, then we will find ourselves in a constant state of overreacting. Take a breath and count to 10 (or 100) before sending that harshly worded email, letting that biting remark slip, or even calling it quits on your workout.
  3. Celebrate the small things. Far too many of us think that we have nothing to celebrate until we’ve completely met every single goal we have set for ourselves. The big goals are great, but what about the small accomplishments along the way? Take a moment now to think about the small accomplishments you’ve had throughout this week. Maybe you made 3 workouts, or perhaps you stayed organized all week. Maybe you were able to eliminate some clutter in your life or resist a temptation you’ve been struggling with. We all have small accomplishments each week, so take a moment to be thankful for yours.

Well, I’m off to heal a little more (LOTS of green juice!) and I hope that you too will find healing in your Valentine’s Day.

With much love and many lunges,

Michelle

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Welcome 2014

 

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Hello Fit PEEPS! Welcome to 2014!

This is it right? This is the year that it will happen. What adventures have you planned? And are you ready for them? I’m going to take you on my very own adventure once a week. Each week you’ll be able to follow my journey to the big stage in Figure Competition and I’ll be giving you an unfiltered view of the prep work. So, let’s get started :)

Last night I met with my Figure Coach, the gorgeous Brandi from Metroflex in Houston (I recommend them if you’re in Houston or Plano!). Before I move on, I know the question of “Um, you’re a trainer why did you hire somebody?” might be on your mind. The answer is pretty simple: I wanted somebody with this particular specialty AND hiring somebody with the industry know-how to make some changes in my body. Sometimes, even the smallest of changes in your training and nutrition will yield BIG results.

OK, so I was thrilled to discover that my body type will work well for Figure :) with a few adjustments. I have about 18 weeks before my show in May and we laid out the game plan. I ordered my meal plan since we all know by now that the food is EVERYTHING! I’ll be eating 6-7 meals per day and ingesting 2 gallons of water as well. My meal plan will actually be tailored to my blood type (research shows this to be a great way to lean out safely), and it will be gluten-free. Why gluten-free? Again, it boils down to research. Gluten can promote inflammation and since I struggle with that already and I am a woman, it will be beneficial for me to give it up. I also plan to drop ALL sugar, even the healthy alternatives of Stevia and Xylitol. Why? RESEARCH! Do you see a trend here? By dropping all sugar my body will eventually stop craving it which will make prep a little easier.

Training wise I will be focusing on building my shoulders and back while conditioning the rest of my body (especially legs). This means my workout split will change as I will have 2 heavy shoulder days per week and 1 heavy back day (these can change as we progress) along with fasted cardio and conditioning for the whole body. May sound like a lot, BUT I am in a position to take the slow and steady route and make sure I stay safe and injury free :) .

So, prep has already begun! I woke up this morning and did some fasted cardio + conditioning in the form of kickboxing (MY FAVE: Turbo 55), have refueled and am planning a great family day. My journal is already inked with supplements, workout, and food intake. I plan on earning every step and coming home with some bling to display :) My first NPC seminar is THIS weekend in Plano, TX. We’re picking up a new dog, so it all works out. AND my Musclemania seminar is the 25th of this month at Metroflex (seriously, check them out!).

Wish me luck and stay healthy in 2014 y’all! Train hard!

Michelle

Tight Skin Thursday: The TSD Principles

As many probably know, the questions I get asked the most when it comes to weight loss is about keeping the skin tight. Let me rephrase that: it’s about getting skin tight post-weightloss. So, today I’m focusing on my speciality….keeping it TIGHT!

TSD PRINCIPLES:

  1. First and foremost, it’s important to lose weight the right way….like the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race and has more skin elasticity (that was left out of your beloved children’s tale). Fad diets, quick weight loss promises and surgeries (though I DO believe they have their place) can lead to loose skin and lacklustre complexions. Know that it will take time, but you will also come out the victor. It took me over 6 years….you can put the time in to reap the rewards.
  2. Resistance training is key. Whether you prefer to lift super heavy (me! me!) or lighter with heavier sets and reps, make sure you are getting 4-5 resistance training sessions per week. Yep, you need more the more you have to lose. Resistance training helps to stimulate collagen production as well as testosterone, which keep the skin tight.
  3. WATER! I know I keep beating this dead horse, but water is really important for your skin. Drink upwards of 100 ounces per day, and remember that vegetables, fruits and herbal teas can contribute to that number as well.
  4. Green is good. Up your vegetables, seriously. Add them to smoothies, make a glowing green smoothie and drink it every morning, opt for salads at lunch and dinner….whatever it takes, get them in your body.
  5. Lean protein is important. Choose chicken, turkey, lean game meats, lean beef, LOTS OF FISH (seriously, I can’t stress that enough), protein powders, etc. Lean protein is the building block for the lean muscle you need to burn more calories, drop fat and keep skin tight.
  6. Ditch the breads, but keep some carbs. Carbohydrates are important for healthy, glowing skin. Over processed breads and pastas can pack on pounds and stress out your gut though….so ditch them. Whole grains like oats, rice, quinoa, etc. are better bets.
  7. Limit alcohol and sweets. Both can break down collagen if overused. You don’t have to avoid them like the plague, just utilize them as treats which are earned.
  8. Break a good sweat every day. Learn to dig the sweat people. Sweating helps clear the pores and it helps to tighten the skin through detoxification….so sweat on.
  9. Love the life you live NOW. Happy people reach goals faster because they aren’t always looking back at past failures. Know your goals, make a plan of attack and live each day to the fullest.
  10. Have SEX…a lot of it. Sex increases testosterone which helps build lean muscle AND it’s good for your skin, so there you have it! Headache be darned, do it. And for you husbands seeking validation, simply tell your wife that you are really just contributing to her goals :)

 

So, there you have the principles that will get and keep you fit and healthy.

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

Fun Friday: The Pinterest Workout

Happy Friday!

OK, so I was totally not getting the big deal about Pinterest when it first made the online circuit, but I get it now! It truly is a legal addiction….. I mean, you get to mindlessly sift through pictures of pretty little things, what could be better?!?! As women are very visual creatures, we have all fallen into the Pinterest black hole at one time or another. Then, our workout time magically disappears :) I know you’re really concerned with getting your workout in (well, at least if you really WANT to feel and look better!) so I’m here to help with a fun little workout.

The Pinterest Workout

Every time you pin an item of clothing: 50 jumping jacks

Every time you pin shoes: 20 walking lunges

Every time you pin a crafty home improvement project: 10 burpees

Every time you pin a hairstyle: high knee runs for 1 minute

Every time you “LIKE” a pin (cause you can’t commit to re-pinning!): 30 walk outs

Every comment: 10 push ups

Every single time you pin a workout you know you will not do (ahem): 20 butt kicks, 20 sumo squats, 20 jump squats, 10 push ups, 10 triceps dips, 50 mountain climbers. Learn from your mistakes…

Every time you pin running shoes: Run for 5 minutes

Every time you get lost looking at celebrity pictures: Plank until your arms cannot utilize your phone or computer

Everytime you think “I should really go workout”: 20 jump lunges

Give this workout a try while you’re looking at pretty pictures and within a week, I bet your schedule will magically clear up for other workouts ;)

As always, MAKE it a Fun Friday and LIVE OUT LOUD!!!!!

Michelle (yes, I am addicted as well!)

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www.pinterest.com

How to put the SHUSH on negative thoughts

This may seem like an odd post coming from somebody who has made a living in the body alteration field. That’s kind of a fancy word for trainer :)

I feel that this post could not be more timely. As I wander into Summer, I am enlightened to the way people behave. My mom was a serious people watcher, so I guess it just trickled down. Anyways, what I have noticed is that we women have developed carefully strategized habits of degradation that have been part of our make up for generations. My goal is to put a stop to the madness. Seriously…

Now, buckle up because this is going to take more than one post, I assure you. So, why am I so impassioned about breaking the cycle? I was raised by a beautiful woman who never knew her worth and believed the lies of society. I am now raising a young woman of my own and I want this to end with her generation. As of right now, there are scores of women not living up to their full life purpose because they believe a lie. It’s time to step into our own and be the women this up and coming generation can really look up to.

Body image is attacked daily. Although America is not the only place, I believe it is most rampant here (though I may be biased!). We constantly look at pencil thin models (no fault to those who are naturally thin! God made you that way, so love it), supremely etched athletes and glowing movie stars with bodacious booties. There is nothing wrong with these images in and of themselves now, it’s the emotion they can tend to prod. As women, we make a few body image mistakes that must first be realized and then corrected. Please, do it for you and our future…

  1. We compare. There, I said it! Women compare ourselves to other women and often we compare other women with other women. We can quickly size somebody up or down, depending on our mood. We not only compare our bodies, but also our hair, nails, facial structure, mothering, homes, cleaning, husbands, careers, children, cars, etc. Do you get the point here? And all the men say “I KNEW IT!”. Duh! That’s how we know when you’re looking at another women (even by accident). It’s because we already sized her up.
  2. We decide that we are not as good as… You may fill in the blank here. I have found that no matter how much a woman has, or if she seemingly can juggle it all, we all face insecurities and allow them to whittle away at who we are.
  3. We degrade ourselves…in public. Oh, I am a guilty party, but I must admit I am getting better. One thing I always try to teach my life coaching clients is how to take a compliment. That is by far the hardest lesson! We usually end up with this scenario: “What a lovely dress”. “This old thing? I just threw it on and it’s all wrinkled because I haven’t had time to do the laundry much less get my hair done or get a good night’s sleep. Do you see the bags under my eyes?!?!?” Have you been there? Rather it’s that we really feel so poorly about ourselves or that we don’t wish to hurt another (um, they paid the compliment), we deny our beauty.
  4. We are convinced that we must live up to a standard of perfection that DOES NOT EXIST. There are no perfect bodies. There are no perfect lives. There are those that strive for perfection, sure. And there are those can fake perfect pretty good (give me some spray tanner and glitter oil and I’ll show you abs! LOL), but perfect does not exist in this world. Heaven is the only place where perfection truly resides, and the last time I checked I wasn’t there yet :) .
  5. We hold on too tight. Just as we can hold grudges (oh, you know you do) we can also hold on to the way we think we should be/act/look with a vengeance. We have a hard time letting go of a certain number on the scale (because life was perfect when I was THAT weight), or a number on our jeans. We have unrelenting commitment to being “there” again.

Now, I’m not suggesting we all put our flannel pj’s on, stop shaving (eewww, no) and watch I Love Lucy reruns while eating oreos all day. Healthy is good. Obsession and self degradation is bad.

One thing to realize is that when we say we hate our bodies or certain parts of our bodies, our children burn that into their psyche. Our negative self-image becomes their genetic makeup. Scary thought? It is to me! A study was done years ago that followed young ladies from their tween years to adulthood, studying family dynamics. While the study meant to focus on family meal times and involvement linked to self-esteem, they stumbled upon even more eye-opening discoveries. The young ladies whose mother’s had poor body image grew up with eating disorders. These were normal, working class families. As it turns out, the girls where either scared of getting their moms thighs (or gut, or butt, you choose), OR they already felt as though their body was sub-par. Your words count!

So, what do we do now? There is hope. There is hope for each of us, no matter the age. The first thing to realize is that there is no perfect. I mean, none of us has seen perfect so who’s to say your body isn’t it right? Start today by taking small steps towards a better body image. Workout because it makes you feel good, NOT to get a tighter butt or flatter abs. If you, like me, struggle with your midsection, remember that it housed a life (or 2-3 or more!) for 9 months! Sheesh, cut yourself a break. Embrace your stretch marks. My stretch marks are my war wounds for giving birth to a nearly 10 pound baby. WonderWoman? You bet!

When you feel as though negative thoughts are invading your mind, remember that you were made for a specific purpose. There is nobody else on Earth that can do what God sent you here to do. It may be HUGE or it may seem small, but it is yours. Let go of those negative conversations. Just stop giving your energy to it. For some of us, these thoughts are so deep seeded it will take time and faith to purge them, but take note from a survivor: it is worth the effort.

You are beautiful, never accept anything less in your mind :)

Michelle

Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome to your very first Thirsty Thursday!

Today is a real treat as I am going to post 4 recipes to satisfy cravings, bring more vitality to the body, brighten the skin, strengthen the hair and nails, and just make you feel great all over!

Avocado Smoothie

This smoothie has recently been added to my diet and I am in love with it. It is VERY rich and decadent, not for those seeking a lot of weight loss. If you are trying to drop weight, just use 1/2 the avocado for the benefits of healthy fats, but 1/2 the added fat and calories to your diet.

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado, pitted and halved

1/2 cup organic low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup almond milk

3 tablespoons local honey

1 teaspoon milled flax

handful of ice

Throw into blender and puree. The avocado is tasteless but lends a wonderful, lush richness to this smoothie PLUS it helps with hair, skin and nail health :)

Recipe from Sadie Nardini, www.sadienardini.com

Tropical Shakeology Mojito

This is one of my favorite ways to get my motor running on a blah day :)

Ingredients:

4 oz plain coconut water

6 oz water

several mint sprigs (to your taste)

1 frozen banana

1 scoop Tropical strawberry Shakeology

handful of ice

Blend until smooth, garnish with extra mint is desired :)

Super Quick Hydrating Tropical Wonder

I am a HUGE fan of coconut water! It hydrates the body’s cells faster than regular water and more efficiently (without all the toxins left behind) than sports drinks.

Ingredients:

1 Shakeology Shaker Cup (or ANY shaker cup of choice, as you will not be using a blender)

8 oz O.N.E. mango and peach coconut water (they have other flavors, this just happens to be my fave)

1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology

Put liquid in the Shako. Mix thoroughly until smooth :)

Get up and GLOW Juice

This requires an actual juicer. If you have one, awesome. If you’re thinking of investing in a juicer I really enjoy it and the health benefits are outstanding! I do suggest you do your research and get the best bang for your buck. I drink this to help keep my system in and alkaline state, healthy and strong.

Ingredients:

2 tart apples

1/2 head of romaine lettuce

4 carrots

1 cup swiss chard

1 cup spinach

1 cup kale

1 oz fresh ginger

4 celery stalks

1 cup fresh parsley

few mint sprigs

1 lemon

Rough cut all the ingredients and send them through the juicer. Pour over ice and enjoy! This makes about 28 oz, which you can drink total for breakfast or split into 2 servings. :)

Enjoy the Fit Life today!

Michelle

www.livingbytheblood.com

 

 

DVD Review: Yoga Booty Ballet

Hey GUYS!

It’s that time again :) Today’s review is near and dear to my heart as it is the very FIRST infomercial DVD I ever bought! Back when I was 100 pounds more than myself I saw an infomercial for Yoga Booty Ballet. Now, as with all infomercials, YBB made it seem like it would fix all of my problems. Infomercials can totally suck you in with all the flash right? Well, I got sucked in and ordered, even though we really didn’t have the funds at the time. i must admit, when I frist tried Yoga Booty Ballet I though I was going to die! Check out my take on a popular workout, ahead of its time :)

YOGA BOOTY BALLET

This is by far one of the MOST fun workouts you will ever do! YBB blends yoga, ballet, Pilates, and dance into every workout. Though I realize it seems a little old school, YBB has come out with lots of new workouts which you can check out here. Yoga Booty Ballet is led by Teigh McDonough and Gillian Marloth, two great friends and awesome instructors. The workouts are short enough to be extremely doable in any time budget and they are so much fun that you forget you’re actually getting some calorie burning on!

The Yoga Booty Ballet Live is my ABsolute favorite! It features Hip Hop Abs and Cardio Cabaret, both of which will leave you going “Zumba who?”. I kid you not. The Hip Hop Abs is a great way to work the core while standing and they finish with a full course of ab killers designed to get you the core you want. Cardio Cabaret is a great, get-your-sexy-on workout that blends easy to do choreography with muscle toners and lengtheners.

Gillian and Teigh play well off of each others strengths and give clear, concise instruction so you feel as though you know what you’re doing at all times. The full set comes with the original series, which also includes dynamic strength training. Remember, you train the way you want to look. These ladies specialize in dancers physiques and long, lean body lines.

Even though I have owned these DVD’s for nearly a decade (and yes, it got much easier!), I still keep them in rotation anytime I need to release some tension or just want to feel great. Check them out here and see for yourself! Yoga Booty Ballet was one of the original ballet workouts brought straight into your living room. No special training required :) Just have some fun!

Till next time, choose a healthy life!

Michelle