National Nutrition Month Close: How to Get from A to Z

Hello Lovelies!

As we end the month of March (yes, END!) I wanted to share a few key point that will help in your journey.

Let’s recap just a little though…

THIS was me on January 13th of 2014.

Januray 13 2014

It’s not the worst shape those abs have ever been in, but I wasn’t doing too well internally and my nutrition focus had become quite distorted. Even the most learned of nutrition professionals can resort to lifelong habits…

So, here was my plan:

  1. I entered a contest online (hey, everybody’s watching then)
  2. I set upon research about tried and true nutrition…not diets
  3. I started logging foods like a mad fool….but always making sure I logged the time of day, how I felt before and after
  4. I changed my workouts several times to find what suited my body
  5. I focused on NUTRITION, not food

March 20 2014

This pic was taken February 13,2014

This was upon the implementation of HIIT training.

Now, HIIT seems to be confusing most people, so let’s get to it:

H- High

I- Intensity

I- Interval

T-training

Some people will try to sell you a magic HIIT formula, but that’s bogus. HIIT is a style of training. Here is what mine looks like (I use a Tabata timer, and I will save that for another post): I pick 5-10 exercises, depending on if I am focusing on certain body parts OR total body. I set my timer and hit it HARD from start to finish. HIIT in truly about intensity. That means I can cut my workout time down to 20-40 minutes and still see results.

Come March…I was losing my butt (everything I have back there is built, not blessed!). So…my eating style changed to accommodate some internal digestive issues (don’t judge, we all get them!) AND I switched my training up a bit…

rockin abs

This pic was taken March 23, 2014 I was pretty pleased with my abs since genetics will dictate those puppies don’t pop. When I tell you I work HARD for that, I’m not lying.

So what changed?

I gave Intermittent Fasting (the LIFESTYLE, not the diet…) a try. I’ll be going over this style just a bit in the Nutrition Boot Camp and will blog about in a couple of months.

I kept the HIIT workouts on 2-3 days per week, but added HEAVY, slow lifting  3-4 days per week (note: I usually workout 5-6 days per week).

Do I sweat as much lifting heavy weights only 4-6 times? Maybe not right off the bat, but THIS style has been proven to rebuild the metabolism by changing the hormones. Does it work? For me, it does :)

So, what do I suggest to YOU?

  1. Get to know YOUR body. Strop following what other people are doing…cause you totally know you just wrote down what I did. Stop that! Can you pick something to try? Yeah, give it a few weeks and see how you respond.
  2. Track your macronutrients. This is the pivotal point that will change EVERYTHING. How? I cover that…in the Nutrition Boot Camp!
  3. Be a little flexible. Be willing to make changes as needed.
  4. Get help. Whether it be nutrition or training, seek out a little extra help to get you there.
  5. Set your goals and be CLEAR. What do I mean? Well, I had to ask myself this question: “Do I want to be super lean OR really strong?” Is it impossible to be both? Not really, but you can’t train for both at the same exact time. Right now, I would like more muscle to my frame and I want to challenge my strength. Therefore, my eating and training will suit those demands.

Follow these guidelines to push you towards your goal and you’ll see results…maybe in just a couple of months :)

Michelle

 

 

Healthy Holidays: The Art of Giving

Hello Fitness Elves!

This time of year presents parties, busy challenges and fun to be had all over. We often are able to spend more time with family and even see friends and loved ones we don’t normally get to see. In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, perhaps you have come to a stopping point on gifting. The gifts we give needn’t be extravagant or expensive to show we care. And what better way to show you care than to give the gift of health and fitness. I’m going to break down some favorite fit gifts, from the ordinary to the crazy, so come along for the ride!

LET’S START WITH THOSE JUST STARTING

Either you or a loved one could possibly be just venturing into fitness. The gift of at-home fitness can be a great way to offer encouragement and empowerment. But what do you give? Well, it can take a little finesse to make sure you get it right, but with these tips, you’re sure to get a bright smile and a heartfelt “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” from the recipient….plus, you’ve truly just given the gift of health :)

  • Consider a home-based program. Beach Body offers a wide variety of programs for any goal and fitness level. You can also find challenge packs full of goodies and nutrition as well. Now, in order for this to work you really do need to know the level of your recipient as well as their overall goals and motivations. Got a bestie who loves running and is looking to add some strength training? Opt for Chalean Extreme. Is your family member a class enthusiast who has been sidelined from the gym by having kids at home? Check out Turbo Fire. P90X, P90X2 AND P90X3 are all great options for those with big goals who love to work. There are also programs for weight lifters, Tai Chi (called Tai Chang) , as well as dance, kickboxing and more. Draw backs? The one big one is some of the programs cost upwards of $80, so you better like these people :) . The best thing is that these programs are tried and tested for safety and effectiveness. One of my favorites to gift out: Body Combat. Intense, but doable. PLUS, awesome accents :)

rach chalene tony danP90x_product_configuration_170x100

  • If you’re strapped for cash OR have no clue as to the above criteria, opt for a gift card. Beach Body offers gift cards that work towards anything they sell (even vitamins and recovery). You can also check out cards to online Fitness DVD’s like Collage Video and Acacia.
  • Make a gift bag. Grab a cute gym bag and fill it with goodies to keep them going. Consider things like water bottles, sweat towels, body spray and even deodorant. It all comes in handy no matter where your workout takes you.
  • A smaller option for quick fitness is a small gift bag with a towel, refillable water bottle, gift card to a shoe store (doesn’t have to be much), and a fitness magazine to inspire. My faves are Oxygen, Fitness RX for Women, and Muscle and Fitness for Women.
  • A pedometer can range in price from $10-over $100 and make great gifts for getting people up and moving.

How about the ones who already frequent the gym?

If your friend or loved one already clocks in hours at the gym on a weekly basis, try out these gift ideas to show your support and keep them motivated.

  • A gift card to just the right place. Nike, Under Armour, Athleta, Adidas, New Balance and Reebok ALL offer gift cards that can be emailed directly to your recipient. Who wouldn’t want an awesome new outfit to rock during that New Year’s Day workout right?
  • One place: ITUNES. This gift card will allow your buddy to load up on hot new tracks to fuel hard-core workouts. You can get any amount and these make AWESOME stocking stuffers too.
  • How about a small gift bag full of gym goodies? Opt for a nice sweat towel (or 2), socks, makeup wipes, deodorant, body spray, flip-flops (for the gym shower), small tooth brush and tooth paste (or wisps), and a lock to keep it all safe.
  • If you’re looking to spend a little more, consider a calorie expenditure reading device. Think Body Bugg, Jawbone, or the Exerspy (my favorite).

Nutrition Nuts:

This is for those who don’t focus as much on the movement as they do on the health of their food. Few and far between, but they still deserve great gifts :)

  • Shakeology. 1 bag will last them a month and comes with loads of recipes. It will help promote weight loss, lower blood sugar and cholesterol and has also had positive effects on mood disorders.
  • Gift card to a local whole foods and a really awesome cook book. I am loving the Clean Eating series by Tosca Reno, It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and The Beauty Detox Foods by Kimberly Snider.
  • Browse the recipes here and bake up some healthy goodies. It will save you money and give away what people value most: your time.

The Gamers:

  • Xbox One. Now, this is no cheap investment, BUT the Xbox One does have an awesome fitness component that comes free with a GOLD membership. Here’s a couple of things to consider: this will cost you over $500 for the basic console, so it’s not a cheap gift. Also, if you have a couch potato gamer, simply having popular workouts ON a gaming system does NOT seem to make them want to get off the couch (I have learned from experience). Overall, the Xbox One is a superior system with awesome graphics and much faster voice command than the previous console.
  • Dance Games. Dance Central and Just Dance can get just about anybody up and moving at least a few times. My daughter has all 3 Dance Centrals and that is her PE time.
  • Kinect Adventure games. You can jump into just about any sport with these games. Have you always wanted to skateboard, but fear the fall? Yeah, there’s a game for that. Skateboarding, rafting, volley ball, soccer, boxing, snow boarding, etc. You can be a sports star in your living room.
  • Kinect MMA Conditioning. This is my gig and is backed by NASM. You’ll get real MMA training and conditioning all while preparing you for the fight of your life: ownership of your own health.

Stocking Stuffers:

  • Small gift cards to ITunes, Academy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Beach Body, Nike, Under Armour, etc.
  • Raisins
  • Socks
  • Small sweat towels
  • Pedometer

And, for the BEAUTY in your life:

I couldn’t neglect this one because I am OBSESSED with it. Derm Exclusive is a dermatologist skin care line that has completely changed my skin. It lessens spots and wrinkles and is just all out wonderful for glowing, gorgeous skin. you can even get one month for less than $50. The beauty in your life will thank you :)

Derm Exclusive

LAST, but not least:

Consider giving a personal training session, package or consult. I offer all of those and I’m happy to help you figure out the best one for your loved one. :) You can reach me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

Rockstar Training

Well, that’s it for fit gifts. I’ll be back on a couple of times before Christmas with more fit tips, so stay engaged and stay healthy!

Michelle

Healthy Holidays: A Fail Safe Plan to Tighten and Tone during the Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving creeps up upon us (aaahhhhhhh! It’s RIGHT THERE!), most of us have a tendency to simply wave goodbye to those New Year’s Resolutions and vow that next year will be better…

Well, SNAP OUT OF IT PEOPLE! There is no need to tap out just yet. Take it from me (I usually lose weight during the holidays…stress?), you can tighten and tone while still enjoying the season, even if your loved ones are not so enjoyable.

Care to know my secrets? I’m telling you anyways so read on!

1. CIRCUITS RULE!

During this time of the year, I bust out the circuit training instead of focused muscle workouts. You know, leg day, shoulder day, eyebrow day, etc. The reason for this is simple: my time is gold and I don’t care to waste it. If I’m dragging my butt to a workout, it better work fast! Circuit training helps to burn more calories overall because it keeps you moving non-stop. Basically, circuit training involves moves completed one after the other with minimal to no rest in between. You may stop to vomit, but come right back… I kid! Wait at least 2 minutes after vomiting. :) OK, how do you get your eager little hands on some circuits? Well, there are LOADS of ways to do this, but perhaps I could make some suggestions. There are a few at-home circuits that I enjoy purely because they work (meaning I don’t always dig the personality and I don’t buy things just because somebody was on some show about weight loss, ahem). My 2 favorite circuit training programs are P90X2 and Chalean Extreme. Both have their pros and cons, but both really do work. Chalean Extreme is shorter in workout duration, P90X2 was NASM developed (my training school) so I’m biased because they rock.

chalean-extreme   P90X2 (disclaimer: I am a coach, I do use these, don’t hate)

What if you don’t dig working out at home because your family drives you crazy? Community center and gyms will often have discounted rates on classes during the holidays. If you don’t see a discounted rate, ask for one people! Want a totally FREE workout? Many gyms offer a free sampling of fitness classes on Black Friday and it sure beats standing in line. If you have a gym membership, but hate classes, ask for a free session with a trainer and ask them to set you up with an easy circuit. Will they be happy you aren’t signing up for sessions? NO. BUT….if they treat you right and help you out, how likely will you be to sign up later on? It’s all in the approach, so make sure you get good service.

2. LOG YOUR FOOD. Have I talked about this before? YES. Most people simply do not do it though and it drives me crazy! If it goes in your mouth, your body keeps an accurate record. You can’t cheat it. I always have clients claiming to be under calories, but they’re still gaining weight. Are they lying? I don’t think so. I think we omit foods that are seemingly small such as candy or beverages and we underestimate our portions by A LOT. So, keep an accurate record and measure your portions.

Side note: do not feel the need to write everything down Thanksgiving day as this could result in a terrible stress response and you family has enough drama without having to witness you crying into the gravy boat and then finishing off the pumpkin pie. If you stick with these tips, you can indulge without scaring small children :)

3. DON’T BE A LOAF. Oh my goodness, is anybody else finding themselves stuck to the couch, or is it just me? I have been so swamped with things that I find when I come in contact with the couch I am immediately sucked into a vortex of vinyl laziness. So, don’t sit on the couch! Or whatever furniture beckons for long snuggles from your rear end… make it a point to move a bit more. Get up and stretch every few minutes, do 10 squats every time you go to the bathroom (not in the stall people), walk around the whole store to get what you need, take walks on purpose, ride your bike that’s buried in the garage, do a sit up and then do another one! The list could go on, but at the end of the day it really is about how much you move.

These tips will get you started in the right direction for a tight Christmas and that ever lovely “You look great, what have you been doing?” compliment :) Soak it up, you deserve it!

Until next time, Healthy Holidays to you!

Michelle

#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

 

1,2,3,4, Get Your Booty Off the Floor: The Workout to Combat Saggy Butt Syndrome

No matter your age or background, a tight and round rear view is something most of us aspire to. Tight, powerful glutes are a sign that you work for your physique and were by no means, simply born with it.

As we age, gravity takes its nasty toll and we end up with saggier bottoms than a diaper ad. We moan and complain about the crease between the glutes and hamstring (wait, that’s not supposed to be there!?!?! Nature would say yes, but I strive to defy that…) and wail about panty lines. Interesting fact: if your glutes are fit and tight, you won’t get panty lines since the panties won’t have copious amounts of fat to dig into. Now, if you suffer from HORRIFIC panty lines, buy the right size people! That info was totally free, please use it.

Lucky for you, I happen to be one of the most butt-obsessed people out there. Get your mind out of the gutter…I mean in terms of shape, form and function. I’ve seen them all and have struggled with my own battle of gravity. So now, I bring to you indispensable booty wisdom and a workout deemed to round out even the flattest of rears. Enjoy :)

aFTER 5

Saggy Butt Solution

After a proper warm up consisting of moving the joints to their full range and getting some blood pumping in the lower half, perform this circuit with minimal rest between moves. Once you master the moves, add some weight to make it more challenging.

Sumo Squats: 20x

Plyometric Plie’: 20x

Donkey Kicks: 20x each leg

Bridge Lift on Floor: 20x

Step Up: 20x each leg

Pop Squats: 20x

Rest for 30-45 seconds between each circuit and aim to complete the circuit 5 times. For all you mathletes that means 100x for each exercise. Add this circuit in 2x per week and you’ll thank me in a couple of months :)

booty pic

Workout Descriptions

Sumo Squat: Stand with feet about 4 feet  apart in a wide base, toes turned out very slightly and weight in heels. Push your butt back and lower your butt down, pressing body weight through heels. Come to knee level then squeeze your butt and stand tall. Add weight by holding weight in front OR by wearing a weighted vest.

Plyometric Plie’: Stand with feet in a wide stance as above, and turn toes out towards opposite sides of the room, weight in heels and forefront of your feet. Tuck your hips under and lower the tailbone towards the floor. Once hips are level with the knees, explode up pressing from heel to toe, then land soft and back into your plie’.

Donkey Kicks: From all 4′s, flex your right foot and push the heel up and away from the body as if slowly kicking in a door (cause we ALL know what that feels like), return and repeat on same side.

Bridge Lift on Floor: Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, slightly wider than your hips with heels as close to hips as is comfortable for your knees. Press down into heels and lift hips straight up, squeezing the butt tight. Slowly return to start and repeat. If you do not focus on squeezing the butt, your quads will take over, so focus and press straight up, not back.

Step Up: Find a tall step OR even 2-3 stairs (depending on your height). Place one foot right on top of the step, weight in heel. Press down through top heel and squeeze glute to step all the way up, then lower down with control. Repeat on same side and focus on that particular glute. Try not to press off the floor with the other leg.

Pop Squats: Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, toes and knees facing forward. Lower down into squat (bonus points for getting to knee level every time) then explode up, landing with knees soft and feet together. Jump back out into squat position for 1 rep. Stay low in your squat and keep knees soft when you land, abs in super tight. These should move fast once you get the hang of them. Need more of a challenge? Hold a dumbbell at your chest OR wear a weighted vest.

legs and glutes

Remember to FEED YOUR MUSCLE with quality foods that keep it lean and mean. Oatmeal, egg whites, whey protein and plenty of veggies will help to combat the overcoming pull of gravity, so load up!

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

 

Healthy Holidays: Quick Fix Workout

As we enter into the season of joy and overindulgence, it’s nice to have some ammunition in your back pocket that will help you burn off some of those indulgences and keep it fit throughout the holidays…within reason ;) Try this workout 3x per week for maximum results.

Warm up with a light jog or power walk for 5 minutes

15 squats

20 alternating back lunges

50 jumping jacks

10 burpees (either a single or double leg)

15 pushups

30 mountain climbers

Jump rope (real or imaginary) for 2 minutes

Recover for 1 minute and REPEAT 2 more times

COACHES TIP: Keep your core engaged the ENTIRE time to work your abs and keep you spine safe and movements clean and efficient.

Give it a try all at once, or break it up throughout your day to rev up the metabolism. DO IT…then log it in the comments below :)

Peace, love, and LOADS of lunges,

Michelle

 

 

So NOW What?

Well, Halloween is over. Are you suffering from a candy coma? Too much sugar ingested in the name of “testing” candy for your kids? It’s going to be OK!

Welcome to Healthy Holidays 2013!

Let’s be honest, for many of us November and December mark the beginning of the end of the year. Parties take over workouts and good nutrition goes right out the window. It doesn’t have to be this way though. YOU, yes you, can become one of those weirdos that keep to their fit lifestyle while enjoying the holidays. All it takes is a little preparation and a lot of knowledge :) and you’ll get all you need, right here:

  • If you fall off the proverbial wagon, don’t run to the nearest gym to punish yourself. While busting a good sweat the night after overindulging is good, adding an extra hour or 2 to your workout is just crazy. You won’t force your body to comply by beating it to death, in fact, your butt knows you made the decision to eat those Reese’s so why should it suffer?
  • Know your pitfalls. Take inventory of what you simply cannot stay way from during the holidays and plan AROUND it, don’t attempt to avoid it altogether. For example, I really enjoy (translation: am totally obsessed with) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It has to be the small, wrapped ones though. Anyways, I have tried keeping them out of the house at all costs, but I will usually try to stuff that craving with something else. So, I simply limit what comes in to root in our pantry. This way I can enjoy what I view as a serious treat, but not feel awful physically or emotionally.
  • Plan ahead. I cannot stress how important this is! Plan your day so that you can avoid common pitfalls. It may mean waking up 30 minutes earlier to work out (it hasn’t killed anybody yet) which would entail putting your computer on shut down 30 minutes earlier the night before. Know that you will more than most likely eat at the party and adjust your intake that day. Don’t let yourself arrive to a party starving from not eating, down a glass of wine and then proceed on the hunt to eat anything slower than you…it just never ends well, trust me.
  • Get some extra accidental movement. Let’s face it, extending your workout time to overcompensate for eating is futile in this environment. You can barely get your normal workouts in during the holidays, so attempting to add more just doesn’t work. Instead, aim for more movement in general. Do 20 jumping jacks every time you go to the bathroom. Stand and stretch every hour. Do glute squeezes or calf raises in line at the store. Park further away. Jog into the mall or store. Power walk from one shop to the next. Keep a band near your work space and alternate 20 bicep curls and 20 squats a few times per day. Plan social events involving movement such as walking to see Christmas light (weather permitting), walking through park decorations, Christmas rounds of golf or put-put, etc. When all else fails…WALKING LUNGES EVERYWHERE. :)

Keep a positive outlook on staying healthy this holiday season and you won’t feel like your “starting over” every January 1st. Remember, I have something really big launching for you just a couple of days after Christmas, so stay tuned for more Healthy Holidays workouts, recipes and meal plans!

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

Frame of Mind

How’s your brain doing these days?

I’m not talking about your memory or even the capacity to learn. What I am a bit more concerned about as of the moment are the thoughts going through your head.

When we take on a goal, whatever it may be, our thought process plays a large role in whether or not we meet that goal. Henry Ford had it right when he said “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” We ultimately will take the thoughts of our mind as truth to our lives. It is critical to learn to observe and control these thoughts in order to live a more full and productive life. By implementing control over your thoughts, you can lose weight, gain strength, eat healthier, improve relationships and even alter your entire lifestyle. Sounds great right? But how on earth do we get there?

1. Step one: OBSERVE

Have you ever just let your mind wonder? One minute you’re sitting there writing down your awesome life plans, and the next minute you’re watching a squirrel outside of your window and wondering what it must be like to run all over jumping through the air like it’s nothing. Don’t lie, you’ve had those thoughts. Or perhaps your thoughts drift to other plans, dinner, hunger, your past, future, etc. These are all distractions and even the most successful among us have dealt with them. Observe them, don’t ignore them. Know that they are there so you can think around them so to speak. I keep a blank sheet of paper near me to jot stray thoughts down. Some of these thoughts have actually turned into great ideas, but most are simple distractions. By observing them, I can then free myself up to take control of them.

2. Step two: Know what to ditch.

If you’re trying to plan a way to increase your earning potential, thinking about the latest celebrity scandal is not likely to help. So, my advise is to turn off the unimportant stuff. Let go of gossip magazines, stay away from the celeb stalkers and don’t waste your time on Pinterest (GUILTY!). Unless your goal is to be a talent agent, there is nothing there for you. If you have a friend that sucks up your energy, don’t return their calls while you’re trying to work towards your goal. If your goal is weight loss, don’t call that friend on your way to the gym people! You’ll end up in the parking lot listening to a list of failures and gossip that will get you nowhere. Be selective of what your energy is poured into and know that life has an ebb and flow. During the holiday season we naturally gravitate towards richer foods and family time. Realize this happens and plan for it.

3. Step three. Shed light on the dark.

Often times we try to simply bury the thoughts that say there is no way we can reach our goal. Honestly, if you think you’ve “buried” it, all you have really done is plant it. By planting this thought you have opened yourself up as the very garden in which this negativity will prosper. Get it out in the open and shine a light on it. Dark thoughts hate light, so turn the flood lights on! The most successful people on this earth are successful because they viewed themselves that way and worked through the dark stuff. Find some positive friends to push you through and maybe even smack you into reality. Rest assured, there is a difference between easy and worth it. Your goal should be so big that it isn’t easy, but it is worth the work.

These 3 steps will get you started towards controlling the thoughts that run your day. Once you master these you can move forward at a quicker pace, happy to do the work.

Peace, love and lunges!

Michelle

You are what you train for…

I have found in my life that wisdom can often be wasted on the young….mostly because they have more deductive reasoning than those of us who are set in our ways :) I was able to witness such wisdom just yesterday:

My daughter and I were in the office, she doing her school work and me passing the time watching yoga videos (hey, we all have our things). I was watching one such yoga video featuring the ever lovely and always lively Meghan Currie (I highly recommend her site) and in complete awe of the control and grace with which she moved. If you would take a little time to watch her, you’ll notice her back bends are quite enviable. I remarked to my daughter how I always wanted to conquer such poses, but alas they had eluded me. I expressed frustration over this fact since I have been a yoga teacher for nearly a decade (with specialities in human anatomy). I was met with an honest and eye-opening response…

“Well, that’s not what you train for….”

Wisdom came and smacked me across the face right then. My daughter had nailed down the fact that I indeed do not train for yoga or even to improve my yoga. I have always been the yogi that trains for other things (namely nice glutes and fit thighs, along with shapely arms and the ability to kick butt) and then throw yoga in as a preventative measure or, sadly, an afterthought at times. Before we move on, I must express my newest set of goals is to remedy this situation…

So, it begs the question then: WHAT DO YOU TRAIN FOR?

Do you have to constantly tell people you work out, or do they know because your lifestyle reflects it? Honestly, you don’t have to be ripped for people to notice, you just have to commit to a lifestyle. You can’t hit the gym 5 days per week, but party ALL weekend. Beer pong (if you don’t know what that is PLEASE don’t go searching. You’re all the better not knowing), ribs, fried foods, sweet binges and weekend cocktails can take the best of gym dedications and drive them into the ground. We all know the people who either talk about class (Take yoga, Pilates, barre, step, kickboxing) ALL the time, but their body never changes. What should that tell us? That hour is just another form of a social outlet, not a lifestyle. The same thing goes for those who hit the gym 5 days a week like it’s a job. If that dedication doesn’t bleed into the kitchen, nothing will ever change. This is why knowing your goals is so important! If my new goal is to accomplish a back bend sequence without wanting to cry (or hit somebody) then my training needs to reflect it. If I told you my new goal, but you saw me deadlifting 150 pounds 3 times per week, am I really training towards my goal? So, if you tell me your goal is to drop 20 pounds, but I see you posting about happy hours, nachos, chips, and mimosas….do I think you’re training towards your goal? Are we drilling this in enough?

How DO you train towards a goal?

Easy, know your GOAL. All too often we follow the latest fad or hit the gym just because other people do. God calls us sheep for a reason….we’re always looking for something or somebody to follow. If your goal has nothing to do with the gym, ditch the membership and actually work towards what you want. If your goal is to make $5000 more this year, don’t take extra days off from work. Your goal will ultimately determine WHAT you do. Your will determines how far you go…

Michelle (your soon to be back-bendy blogger)

Workout Wednesday! New Challenge to fit your schedule

I’ll make this short and sweet :)

I haven’t run a butt kicking challenge in a while and THIS will probably be the last one this year. So, if you’re looking to reduce your overall bodyfat, increase your energy, and go into the party season looking better than ever (or just better than last year), all while still having a life…have I got the deal for you!

It’s straight forward here. Shaun T has created Focus T25 to fit into any schedule. You work out 25 minutes per day (it’s not how long, it’s how you use it right???), 5 days a week. Follow the meal plan for optimal results and get the added motivation you need from me and your team. Speaking of team, I have an idea that couples would be GREAT for this. You can be married, dating or just best buds (or enemies). Split the cost and souble the rewards. No gimmicks, just working out to be the healthiest version of you, period.

So, grab a friend or loved one, or a room full of strangers and get your sweat on! This time, it’s all about the results.

You can grab the program alone OR the full challenge pack HERE. If you’re already on Shakeology, just get the program alone. If you want maximum results with all this program has to offer, grab the challenge pack.

The challenge begins Monday, August 12th.

I’ll see you in your workout space!

Michelle