Kick in the Pants Monday: A Softer Approach

Welcome to THAT DAY…..yes, Monday is upon us :) All you have to do to change your perspective is to change your mind. I think Monday’s have a bad rep because most people set the start date for things they dread on Mondays….food for thought.

Today’s post will cover a myriad of different subjects that can stand in the way of progress, but first…..

profile rolling

Let me take a selfie….

I got that out of my system and we can move on now :)

Normally Monday would be reserved for kicking your butt into gear and getting you (and me) refocused on the goal that may be close at hand, but today I want to start just a little different.

The question: Why am I so passionate?

I’m going to share something very private with you right now: I think about quitting 20+ times a day. I mean, sometimes it get really bad. Why am I so passionate about trying to get the word out about health? Why am I so rocked about YOU realizing your own potential? Why do I bury myself in research and what others may consider boring just so I can condense and share the information with you when it would be far easier to just keep it to myself and smile politely when people tell me they cannot reach their goals? WHY, oh why, do I consider it a privilege to share that diets truly do not work in any capacity? Well, I may just be crazy :) OR….it could be because when I was on my journey to lose over 100 pounds NOBODY ever came along beside me to help point the way, ever. I was like a blind woman trying to navigate the mine field of metabolism-destroying diets without so much as a guide dog to show me the way. And maybe, just maybe, I don’t want that for anybody who comes across this blog….Or the crazy thing, we may never know.

So, this is why I continue on, even when pushed against. People may not like what I have to say because they think what they are doing WILL work…this time (although if they’re still running to it, it has failed…cough, cough, Atkins), BUT I will press on because I believe LIVES can be spared with this information. And that, my friend, is why you should stick around.

What’s on the menu today?

  • A SERIOUS TIME WASTER that keeps you from reaching your goals.
  • IS IT METABOLIC DAMAGE? Um, no.
  • Backing off to get further.

The #1 thing you need to stop RIGHT NOW in order to reach your goals:

Get. Off. FACEBOOK. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I’m not saying you have to delete your account, but put a limit on how often you check it. If it’s on your phone, consider taking it off. I lost you there didn’t I? COME BACK! Here’s the real deal with good old FB: it serves no real purpose and if somebody is having an emergency I would hope that they call 911 instead of posting to your wall. So, in the reality of that, checking FB to see who comments on what is sorta…..narcissistic of us. And if you’re just checking up on friends, that’s called stalking and it’s weird. For the minutes that turn to hours on FB during the course of a day, we actually could be working toward our goal. I had to realize this after taking a business course offered by the beautiful Chalene Johnson. She doesn’t hang out on FB and she’s a multi-millionaire……yeah, I’ll have what she’s having. So, I deleted it off my phone this weekend and felt quite free.

Social media such as Facebook and Instagram can also wreak havoc on our psyche. I know I can start comparing my garage lit selfie workout pics to those of super ripped physiques and immediately want to hit up Ben and Jerry’s. There are even medical diagnosis that revolve around the psychological disorders associated with FB (called Facebook depression). Some people are just better at making life look grand. Plus, both of these are great time suckers, even for those who use them as platforms (like me). We can all get lost on pretty pictures or social drama simply because it takes our minds off of what we are dealing with at the time. If I’m struggling with weight loss, I don’t feel so bad after reading about the current circumstances of others (flat tires, misbehaving kids, etc.). That alone is not healthy.

My personal goal is to check FB (oh Instagram…..you will be next) only once every 24-48 hours. Those whom I love know how to reach me :) AND I have a full website and email that is open 24/7. There is no need to make a HUGE FB announcement (I hate those) as you needn’t cause more drama on the net…it has plenty. My challenge to you: try to go 12 hours without a single check, even when you’re bored. Turn the notifications to your phone OFF. Let your closest loved ones know where they can reach you in case of emergency ;)

“I think I have metabolic damage!” No you don’t.

Now, you may or may not know what metabolic damage is (my guess is you don’t know because it has NOT been accepted as a diagnosis) so I’ll give you the shorthand. Metabolic damage is the term given to those who have literally dieted themselves out of a metabolism. The few people who have actually suffered from this are extreme fitness competitors (who rely on various crash diets and crazy dry outs to be stage ready) and extreme athletes. Metabolic damage DOES involve a complete stall in fat loss, but there is more to it. It encompasses a myriad of psychological, physical, and emotional issues as well. The stall in fat loss is usually accompanied by severe depression, trouble recovering from workouts, and possibly prolonged inflammation or even inflammatory diseases. I say all this to say this: if you aren’t losing fat and you aren’t an avid competitive athlete or competitor…you don’t have metabolic syndrome. You have the I-don’t-track-my-food-and-I-overestimate-my-calorie-burn-and-underestimate- my-caloric-intake-itis…it’s totally real and 95% of exercisers suffer from it. I might even work to start a support group.

I know what you’re thinking: “SMARTY pants…”, but then you’re totally wondering how to recovery from this dreaded disease and reach your goals! I can help with just a few steps.

  • Keep a BITE IT AND WRITE IT journal. If it goes in your mouth, WRITE IT DOWN.
  • Weight and measure your foods. Don’t guess. 1/4 cup of rice gets REALLY big when we’re not measuring.
  • EAT REAL FOODS. Omit processed foods for at least a week. Sometimes fat loss will stall due to the fact that we’re eating processed foods (even health foods can be processed).
  • Change up your workouts. If you’ve been going to the same gym class long enough to attend the instructors wedding AND baby shower…..then it’s time for a change.

The most counterintuitive thing for some: Backing off to go further.

My one-on-one clients are sometimes shocked at the way I do things. I’m NOT a television trainer. I’m a trainer that wants you to SUCCEED in all areas of life…not just in my gym. So, there are many times when we have to back off some training to get further. Overtraining (if you look that up, you’ll probably see my face) can destroy fat loss as well as your body in the long run. So, if you’re starting to hate your workouts (or moving at all), sleeping very restless, lacking in appetite, turning to comfort foods more and more, craving sweets even though you’re not hungry, sore all the time, etc. you may be experiencing overtraining.

NOTE: You must actually be working out to experience overtraining….just sayin.

If you find yourself in this category there are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Check your nutrition and make sure your body is getting what it needs, i.e. whole foods
  • Make sure you’re allowing time for recovery. I’ve been a 2-a-day girl for YEARS and it has torn my body up.
  • Change your regimen. If you’re lifting weights all the time, try swimming, yoga, Pilates, etc. for a week to give the body an active rest.
  • If you’re a cardio junky or avid runner, take a little time off (and enlist some help) to figure out a good cross training regimen for YOU. Remember, cross training should ALWAYS make your chosen sport BETTER, not worse.
  • Take a little more time off if needed. You can take a month off and not gain a ton of weight…so long as you’re not crying to Ben and Jerry all the time.
  • Book a massage.
  • See a chiro about an adjustment.
  • Don’t neglect yearly physicals!
  • Foam roll: it fixes EVERYTHING :)

After a little time to heal, your body will reward you by performing better and busting through those plateaus.

Till next time,

Michelle

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Don’t forget!!!! Your ticket to freedom from diets and deprivation is coming! Check out the Fitness Haus and make sure you’re on the email list to get first shot at signing up for 2 free weeks.

 

It’s A Throwback: Nutritional Cleansing :)

 

I’ll be doing another Shakeology Cleanse SOON! Want it? Hit me up. I’ll have special cleanse packages available if you’re just looking to shed some extra weight and get your nutrition in order. Mine will be at the very beginning of March to coincide with my mission trip…cause you know, I like to travel light :)

Shakeology Cleanse Basics:

Meal 1: Drink 1 scoop of your choice Shako in 8 oz water with 1/2 a banana if needed

Meal 2: Drink 1 scoop shako in 8 oz water

Meal 3: 2 cups mixed green salad with 5 oz grilled chicken breast

Meal 4 (optional): 1 scoop Shako in 8 oz water

If you are truly starving during the day, 1st make sure you’re getting enough water and 2nd feel free to have a piece of fruit.

Disclaimer: This cleanse is not to last more than 3 days. Check out the video to see how I modified it for my lifestyle. Feel free to comment on how great my hair looks ;)

Peace, Love and Lunges!

Michelle

 

Re-igniting the Elite

Welcome to hump day! :) My favorite day…

As a general disclaimer: I am embarking on my first round of Figure Competitions this year and will be blogging about the journey once per week here. So, if competitions don’t intrigue you, feel free to check out some other blogs in the archives :)

One week into a light prep (being that my official PREP stage doesn’t hit full on until January 13th) and it’s been a roller coaster already. I have to be SUPER honest with you on this prep stuff because I believe it helps us all a lot more. Let’s start with the meal plan shall we? TUNA. That’s the majority of my meal plan. My hubby and I hit the grocery store ready to conquer prep like a couple of seasoned pros. We loaded the buggy with tuna cans, salmon fillets, chicken breasts and LOADS of veggies (that’s normal though). I got home and immediately wanted to rebel though…

It started innocently enough. I wanted to enjoy meals with my family since my training schedule would kick back in this week and I would be working during meal times. So, I started with “just a little” of what they were having. Mind you, we all eat healthy, but their meals were not on my plan. After that it was accepting the chocolate my kids would offer since refusing would be so rude. By the week’s end I can honestly say I stuck to my plan a good 2 days….SHEESH!

I have also grown very fond of movies over the holidays. Our family got all caught up on the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and Star Trek. We threw some cooler genres in there to even things out as well. Anyways, I really enjoyed being still and cuddling with my kids. I never skipped a workout, but then I would loaf around the rest of the day. This is the very behavior that I warn my clients about. So, when I went last week to get my check up AND hire my coach (unfortunately, not at the same place) I have to say I wasn’t totally shocked that I had gained about 15 pounds over several month. I wish I could ask my doctor if it was hormones, but I know it was me. So, I had a choice: I could feel sorry for myself and try to convince myself that my body was just acting out…OR I could get honest.

It has been my experience in the past that being TRULY honest with yourself is the ONLY way to make the necessary changes. SO, I started with the WHY…

I put on my tights and tank top (as opposed to sweats, which you can hide ANYTHING in!) and headed out to my gym so I could have an honest assessment. As I worked through a grueling conditioning routine for my legs (note: conditioning is a term we use for “WORK YOUR FAT OFF”), I was able to break through several mind and emotion issues that I was allowing to hold me back.

I had been looking through my progress photos over the past year and realized that I was MUCH leaner as the began. So I had to trace my steps backward to figure out what has happened. Wowza, did I discover some issues. So why do I share these faults? I think a lot of us hide behind them on a daily basis.

Let’s discuss where I live first. Baytown is far from the mecca of health and fitness. As a matter of fact, if people see somebody walking outside it is often assumed this person must be homeless or else they would be sitting in their car. The local gyms are used more as meet-ups and social gatherings, as evidenced by the people who go but never show a change in physique. Baytown has more places to eat than it needs and we still push for more establishments and faster service. When I am on my game, I stick out like a sore thumb. I’ll be honest in another respect: I don’t seek out company that challenges me. I don’t surround myself with those who seek to challenge my physical limits, therefore I always feel “good enough”.

Looking over the course of 2013, I was able to pinpoint when it started to get lazy for me. NOTE: where you live and the company you keep are not a viable excuse. They have no bearing on the outcome of your goals unless you allow them to. SO, around the time my son turned 14 I had already been to Moldova and was planning a trip to Ethiopia. The pictures that kept my resolve going slowly started coming off the walls and I slipped into “comfortable” gym workouts. Upon my return from Ethiopia I poured any extra energy into a new business and homeschooling my daughter. I detached myself from my goals and picked up a more socially acceptable laid back lifestyle. When my jeans started getting tight, I lied to myself and said it was muscle. This statement always takes my back to a famous Arnold quote, “If it jiggles, it’s not muscle…it’s fat”. Painfully true…

Now, is having some laid back time bad? Is family movie night bad? No, of course not. What had happened though was that I no longer held myself up to a higher standard. I was so worried about what others thought of my lifestyle that I started to alter it. This is craziness. For starters, we cannot control what others think or how the react to us. Second, why should we dim our light so others can operate on half batteries and still “feel” good? That’s me trying to anticipate others feelings again and that’s wrong on so many levels.

So what am I doing about it? I’m going to work work! I had a long face to face with myself and decided that there was once a time when I loved being part of the ELITE. Why? Because this particular lifestyle is available to everybody! You don’t have to be born special to get into this club and the endorphins are free :) . AND…everybody is in a good mood due to said endorphins. What do I identify as ELITE in my life?

  • I don’t skip workouts. I don’t take a month off for Christmas and then “get back in the game” . My health isn’t some game to be tampered with…it is my lifeline to seeing my kids get married and life full lives.
  • My kids don’t have their own food. We don’t have a “kids shelf” in the pantry. That’s plain stupid. If you don’t eat it, don’t feed it to your kids.
  • I live the example. I don’t expect my family or clients to do anything I haven’t already done.
  • I realize that self-discipline is the ONLY thing that will get me there. No pills, potions or motivational speeches will do it. Discipline…something this new generating lacks greatly.

So it is with this new resolve that I have changed the way I think about prep time. I take the hateful comments and use them as fuel. I set forth to create an example of discipline and perseverance. I try to be the very version of myself that God intended…not a copy of what I think people want to see. I will revel in the good and let the bad slip by. I will realize that I cannot and should not try to control how others perceive me. I will not dim my light to make others feel comfortable. AND…I will stay away from Facebook as it just upsets me :)

Until next week’s installment I encourage you to seek out YOUR very best self and burn bright!

Michelle

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#TBT: Throw Back Thursday

This particular hashtag seems to have become increasingly popular amongst social media picture users. You know who you are people! So I thought I would take full advantage, I mean the opportunity :) to shed a little light on how I went from being overweight, depressed and suicidal to a bikini competing world traveling missionary who truly kicks…butt. So, check it out.

100_1637I happen to be one of those truly blessed people who has fought with my weight ALL MY LIFE. My mom was a chronic dieter as was her mother before her and so on. The number on the scale was never good enough, the number on the pants tag was never good enough, therefore I was never good enough. By the time I was a teenager I had already been on Atkins, the Fat Free Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Slimfast, Weight Watchers, TOPS, nothing-but-salad diet, etc. You name it, I did it. While most young ladies are beginning to notice boys and wondering what they will be when they grow up, I was just hoping the seams of my stretchy pants wouldn’t give out. I begrudged food and everything it stood for and I believed the absolute LIE that it was in my genes. The truth was..it was in jeans.

100_1631 By the time I had my first child I had wrecked my metabolism. I was tired all of the time and walked the tight rope of starving myself and binge eating. I wore a lot of black too….though I still love black :) . I digress… The question most often asked is “How did you do it?” Well, slowly. I did it all wrong for years. I stopped eating meat altogether and existed on tofu and fake cheese for over a year. Why? Vegans were skinny, duh! I just wanted to be skinny. Every time I would fall into old patterns of starvation and binge eating, I would blame genetics (which, when you think of it is like blaming God, RIGHT?) and step back to the back of the diet line to be sold a bunch of bull that made no sense yet I NEEDED them to make me SKINNY. It’s a crazy world out there y’all, buckle up and be safe when looking for answers.

I found yoga after a few years and things began to unravel. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought about COMPETING when I’m in my mid-thirties, I would have laughed until cried…then I probably would have just cried. So, the steps have been many. Please to NOT discount what I said there: MANY! There is NO shortcut that will get the results that are worth the work. There are no drinks, powders, potions, pills, gels, creams, or even surgeries that can expedite HARD WON results. So, what does it take then?

along the way Step One: HONESTY. I hate to be the bearer of horrifying news BUT…the excess fat hanging around on your body was your decision. WAIT…what about my friend that eats whatever and is tiny? High five them and tell them God must not have thought they could handle the weight loss situation and that, my friends, is why we are all created differently. By the way, don’t think your thin friend has an easy life; they probably deal with things you could never imagine. That info was extra and free, you’re welcome :) OK, SO…be HONEST with yourself. If you’ve been relying on false measures for weight loss, it will backfire in the end. Sit down and look long and hard. In order to shed weight (the more weight, the more change) serious LIFESTYLE change has to occur. That crap about “You’ll lose all the weight you want and never feel deprived” is plain and utter BULL. The first step to cracking the weight loss code is taking an honest look at what you have to work with and what got you there. Basically, whatever got you there needs to be ditched and a new normal needs to take hold.

100_1638 Step two: TAKE ACTION. You know what happens when you talk about reaching your goals? NOTHING. You shouldn’t have to go around justifying your goals and re-explaining them just to keep yourself on board. Less talk, more action…literally. You HAVE to move MORE than you are comfortable with moving to make a change. Again, free advice :)

After2 Step Three: PATIENCE. You must become the Ghandi of weight loss patience. Do not rely on the stupid scale (I will blog in-depth about my scale conspiracy theory later!) and realize that your jeans may fit different from one day to the next. Why? Because your body is a living, breathing, ever-changing organism dude!!! Why on Earth do we think that it should just comply neatly without change or fuss. If I want a smaller butt, then my butt should shrink without anything else changing. WRONG! Your body is in a constant state of change and energy balancing. This is why your weight can fluctuate and why you can feel super tight one day and like a swollen piece of road kill the next. We are sometimes unaware of the salt content in foods and our water balance is hardly ever spot on, so be patient with yourself. It takes longer than 12 days, longer than 12 weeks, longer than 6 months! I think REAL lifestyle change does not truly sink in until after 1 full year honestly (SSSSHHHHHH: I cannot tell you about it right now, BUT something HUGE is coming!). Grow more patient as you reach each individual goal (check out Goal Setting on this blog to figure out how to do that effectively) and TRUST THE PROCESS.

After 1Step Four: Own it. You wanna know the COOLEST thing about reaching a goal that YOU worked for? You can sit back and take a moment to relish in the work you accomplished. You don’t have to give props to some drink or pill…you can say it was you. Well, in my own personal case, it was myself and God cause there was a lot of prayer involved! You can’t hate your way to your goal. Jealousy of others will not get you there. It is, quite literally, all you. I can give you meal plans, workouts, regimens…but at the end of the day you decide if you want to be the person who leaves a legacy or a whiny little life of “IF ONLY”.

Today is the day you decide. Don’t wait until after the holidays. DO it now! Make your plan, make a change, do it for yourself, your family and the rest of the world that is waiting for YOUR impact.

Peace, Love, and Lunges,

Michelle

 

Yoga, Bikinis and Detox

As strange as it sounds, the 3 items above really to go together.  I have found that combining them is a sure-fire key to ultimate success :)

YOGA:

A lot of people shy away from yoga and for good reason I suppose. Yoga can be intimidating in the physicality alone and also the spiritual attributes that some people tie to it. Let me place your fears at rest: yoga is not a spiritual practice (although I do admit I find myself praying quite a bit during arm balances!) and the poses themselves are quite doable and safe if you know your limits. Yoga helps us each stay attuned to our own bodies and that is the main reason it is so popular amongst fitness freaks like myself. Without yoga, I tend to push myself far past my limits and end up with injury. Yoga also helps us handle stress better and decreases the release of cortisol—-a hormone that attributes to belly fat. For me personally, if I skip out on yoga for a while, the detoxing benefits are lost and I’ll gather up a bit of a pooch in my midsection…not attractive OR good for swimsuit season. To get the most out of yoga, think about the yoga you choose. I have a few fave teachers for sure :) First, Sadie Nardini is the creator and founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga and is an anatomy expert (plus she’s just super cool). CSV yoga focuses on dynamic movements from the core and has helped me shed unwanted pounds directly from my midsection! SCORE! Kathryn Budig is the founder of Aim True yoga and her approach to yoga is extremely fun and playful. Aim true makes even the hardest of poses doable and the least flexible feel a bit more like gumby. Tara Styles is fun and down to earth, offering up yoga cures for everything under the sun all in short, easy to digest sequences. The best part about these 3? They all have free yoga available on either YouTube or Yoga Journal.

Still not digging the yoga? We don’t judge here :) Give Pilates or Barre a try as they also help alleviate the stress response and tighten the tummy without adding more stress to the body. The best part about all 3 modalities of mind/body fitness is that they compliment just about any existing exercise regimen (you crazy runners can benefit from any of them!).

DETOX:

Detox has become a rich buzz word. The most elite of Hollywood participate in detox regularly. Here’s the real deal: detox is basically cutting out processed foods and giving your digestive system a break for a while! It’s really simple, the more leafy greens and vitamin/mineral filled foods you eat, the better you look and feel! Summer is a great time for detox since fruits and veggies are abundant and rich in vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to purchase fancy packages for detox (but if that’s your gig, I do like Dr. Junger’s work). You can simply eat more greens and drink more water. Cut out caffeine as much as those around you can stand and add in some cleansing herbal teas like dandelion and green tea. You’ll be feeling better, moving with less pain, and looking great in your bikini (or jeans and t-shirt) in no time.

Take what you need, do the best you can with what you are given, and give back every day!

Michelle

Oh the Vanity!

I have struggled with this post for weeks now….so I figure throwing it out just before I step on a plane is the best thing to do :)

I have a confession to make: I work in a vain industry. That can be hard to adjust to, but it is inherently, the truth. I have defended the fitness industry for nearly a decade now, but have recently come to realize what it is all about.

This is NOT to say that I don’t believe in what I do. Health is comprised of nutrition and fitness, along with spiritual health (first place!) and mental health. Here is the issues I face though: vanity tends to be the #1 reason most people seek out fitness. Nutrition? That is the most treasured, yet least sought after. We want the quick fix. We want the weight that has been hanging on for 4 years (or more) to fall off in time for Summer. I do believe in the power of the mind, but some take it too far.

Why is it bothering me now?

Well, I have seen the faces of the truly needy. I have held hands with those who have been beaten and tortured. I have talked with people who feel they are unworthy to be loved. The problem is that during my “day job” I also talk to people who don’t like the way their butt jiggles. I have spoken with those who are blithely unaware of real starvation, yet willing to starve their own body into submission. I have held the hand of those in tears…because they haven’t lost the baby weight.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to mesh these 2 worlds. I believe fitness can be extremely empowering and I believe a base knowledge of nutrition can help us avoid disease. I love what I do! Yet it feels like a daily parade of never-ending “I wants” drowning out the true needs.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bring you down…I do think a change in perspective is in order though.

I have a personal story about that and it has unfolded just over the past few months. You see, I was into the vanity part of fitness (admitting you have a problem is the first step!). I paid undo attention to my clothing size and how the muscles of my body were shaped. And I truly hated jiggle. So, I spent hours in the gym and pumped my body with protein to grow tight and lean….and it was all going according to plan, until it didn’t. I began having joint issues, then all of the sudden my strength just gave out. Poof, done. I wouldn’t stop though and simply adjusted over the years. Finally, over the last 6 weeks, I have been living out a promise I made to myself at the beginning of the Summer. It’s working. I had told myself I wouldn’t worry about weight or size, I would do yoga, walk and whatever truly felt good. And that is precisely what I have done. I discovered that I had developed an intolerance to gluten, yeast, eggs and whey….so my diet has none of that (or as little as possible). I eat for energy and to feel good. I move daily, but never push myself too hard (no pain, all gain).

This is a different approach for me. I have been in a “weight loss” phase since I was 9 years old people! I have always struggled to keep my weight down. I’ll admit I was quite fearful embarking on this feel good approach, but guess what? My weight hasn’t been an issue. I don’t weight, but my clothes have gotten much looser and my belly doesn’t struggle with the pooch anymore. It’s like my body finally got happy because it was allowed to be happy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If I was needing to lose 50 pounds (I’ve been at that doctor appointment love), this relaxed approach probably wouldn’t work. My thought is this though: stop trying to beat yourself up about it. It really is a lifestyle and honestly, yours should look different from everybody else. You can’t punish your body into changing 30 years of damage in 2 weeks, no matter what the infomercial says. If you want to try that hard new workout, do it because you want the challenge…not because you think you’re past all hope.

I challenge you to peel back the corners of your world and think bigger. Take a deep breath and take in the bigger picture because the world is a whole lot bigger than your butt! Once your mind can get focused on something other than your own perceived failures, you’re more free to make the needed changes.

Michelle

TLT: When Pressing Play Isn’t Enough

Good Morning!

As always, Tough Love Tuesdays can seem rough, but they are for your own good :)

It seems like nowadays everybody and their dog has an exercise video (even me!). The concept is simple: push play. Beach Body has made a fortune on selling this concept, backed by big personalities and success stories. If it truly is as simple as pushing play….why are we actually getting fatter and more unhealthy as the years move forward?

I’ll be honest, I like a good video. I like the fact that I can zone out and not have to sequence my own workout and I also utilize videos with my clients. For most, it’s easier to pop a video in for homework as opposed to checking with a sheet of paper or email. Workout videos are, in essence, convenient. However, they are flawed as well.

Some drawbacks to videos are quite evident. The first is form. If we don’t have good form we won’t get the results we are after. There are a few good vids on the market that harp on form (Chalean Extreme, Ellen Barrett, Core Fusion, for example), but many simply assume you’ll get it. Sadly, most don’t. Poor form will lead to injury and injury keeps us from finding joy in our workouts. Another drawback is that we rarely push ourselves as hard as we should. We are far more concerned with comfort and safety and won’t go as far as we need to for results. Having a trainer that you trust makes a huge difference in this arena. Videos also fail to change our mindset OR our habits. This, my friend, is where the key to true success lies.

If weight loss were truly as easy as pushing play, would there be a weight problem that is costing us billions (yep, you read that right, Google it) of dollars? Of course not! The problem isn’t in lack of DVD players or videos to suit any workout need or personality. The problem is within each of us, engrained in our being. Whether we succeed or fail…..it is upon ourselves that the future of our health lies.

The next fitness guru is always right around the corner. In the fitness world, we all scramble for the next big idea. 1 out of 5 ideas may take off, but they are generally a flash in the pan. Think about those who have been making videos for years (Tae Bo anyone?). They have to continually add and change to keep our attention. Committing to a fit lifestyle is a far cry from watching a video.

So, where are things going wrong? In my professional opinion, it’s our wiring. We are becoming more hard-wired to do things that we want rather than things that are needed or required. This behaviour is encouraged and the fitness industry has tried for years to capitalize on it, to little avail. So, what happens within our wiring to cause this shift in our culture?

  1. We are becoming increasingly more lazy. I never believed in laziness until a few years ago when a client truly opened my eyes to the fact that some people simply don’t care. The phrase “I don’t feel like it” has become a rampant infestation in our culture and will cause a downfall. Laziness is not needed and is actually a sin (see Proverbs 19).
  2. We don’t think it’s worth the time/effort. This ties into the lazy gene that is overtaking us. We fear putting forth the effort.
  3. We blindly think we cannot change. Change is available to all who work for it, period.
  4. We fear change, failure and success…all at once. We allow ourselves to be stuck where we are simply because we think we know this place. We fear moving forward and progressing because is we succeed, what more will be asked of us (again, that’s laziness coming through)? And if we fail, what will we have to do next?
  5. We don’t think we are worth the effort. We believe the lie that we are not worth the work to change. We think we are not worthy of success and so we drag on, merely existing throughout our days. This is a deadly way to live and should be thrown to the fire right away. We are meant for better! It may not be a million dollars or a size zero, BUT it is better than staying stuck in the lies we blindly adhere to. For lack of a better phrase, it’s time to put on your big girl panties and do the work!

When it comes to weight loss I see one thing as a major deterrent to change: we expect our bodies to respond in record-breaking time. You cannot treat your body like crap and then expect it to change into exactly what you want in 2 weeks, 6 weeks or even 52 weeks! Chill out! First off, show your body some respect as it is a gift and we are called to steward this gift just as we are to steward the money and other possessions we have been given.

Wrapping this TLT, I have some facts of encouragement for you :) Trust me, this is good stuff.

First, remember that although you must not adhere to “feeling like it” you do need to like it in general. One workout is not the end all for all bodies. Vary your workouts to keep from getting bored and keep the body responding. My workouts are varied from yoga to weight lifting to MMA and everything in between. Choose what works best to stimulate your body, mind and sense of self.

Second, weight loss occurs in the kitchen alone! There is no amount of punishment you can inflict on the body that will make it magically drop weight. What you eat and how you nourish your own body will allow you to let go of unnecessary weight and move forward.

Use all of this as food for thought and have a very healthy day!

Michelle

CHECK THIS OUT!

Be a part of something bigger :)

CLICK HERE NOW!
Here is YOUR chance to put your fitness where your mouth is…or somthing like that!

If you’ve been exposed to fitness, then you are aware of the ability it has to empower all parts of your life.

Well, I have partnered with Children’s Hope Chest to bring a fitness and wellness center to Chisinau, Moldova through the Beginning of Life organization.

This center will serve as a way to empower victims of sex trafficking and human exploitation as well as a safe haven to learn new skills. It will also open up more jobs for a more secure future. Think about what fitness has done for YOU and make a difference for others!

LIVE LOUDER!

Michelle

Tough Love Tuesday: Why it’s so hard to just PUSH PLAY

You know, losing weight, gaining muscle, getting lean, getting healthy, eating healthy….ALL of these require one key ingredient: HARD WORK.

Getting healthy and fit require persistence and dedication. They require a level of commitment that most people just aren’t used to giving anymore.

They also require…help.

This is what I do, I help. I don’t call all the shots or force people to workout and eat right against their will. In fact, it’s their will that usually landed them in my helping hands :)

So, why do I do it? Well, you can go back and read my whole story, but I was far from healthy in my formative years. I was a couch decoration (which is worse than a potato!) and always felt I had nothing to offer. Once fitness and clean eating found me, my life took a dramatic turn. Now, I am able to help others achieve a lifestyle that enables their dreams, instead of one that just keeps dreams at bay.

Question: if I could point you to ALL the resources you need to make a lasting change, would you make it? Would you take that step to change your daily habits? Would you embark on a journey that would end in your ultimate success? By now, I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit, ready for the secret. Here it is: DO THE WORK.

Over a year ago I partnered with Beach Body, a well-known company that provides fitness programs and nutrition expertise. I was ecstatic at this partnership since it would enable me to help more people. I’m not talking about helping people get skinny or just fit into pre-baby clothes…I’m talking about life changing help. Empowerment. The big stuff. The biggest obstacle is that all too often excuses arise and people just stop pushing play. Those who stop pushing play on the program also end up being the same ones who stop pushing play in life. They take their seat on the bench and let the others have fun. That way they are always there…should somebody need them. They would hate for their health goals (which, incidentally, have been shown to increase the quality of life and decrease pain while ALSO increasing overall productivity) to get in anybody elses way. So, they leave them behind, set on pause, frozen in time. Along with these are a laundry list of things that never got finished in life…

How many of you are there RIGHT NOW? Do you feel like you got dealt a bad hand? It’s NOT the hand you’re dealt, it’s what you do with it. Why I am involved in fitness anyway? Because I have witnessed people able to come off of loads of medication. I have seen people regain strength. I have seen them reach their goals AND set even better ones! I have seen miracles happen because they believed they were not made of junk. I have seen faith restored and the powerless become empowered. That’s the awesome things about fitness! So…why do you quit? Why are you still struggling? Don’t throw lame excuses around! For everyone who complains about their feet, there is an amputee working harder….and NOT complaining. Suck it up, push the button, then commit to push yourself. THAT is how you find out what you’re made of…

Need help setting or reaching a goal? Check THIS out!

Fun Friday! New Weight Loss Series

Monday, January 21, I will be launching a new series that deals with goal setting and weight loss.

The skills that you will learn during the following 20 days will enable you to set goals that are not only attainable, but bigger than you’ve ever dared to dream.

Everything you learn in these next few weeks will help you lose that first and last pound, and these skills can be taken into others areas of life to make you more successful overall.

Get ready, get set…GOAL!!!!