Mmmmm, the fresh smell of a new year! How to make this year totally rock :)

Picard new year

 

Happy New Year to you and yours!

There’s nothing quite like that FIRST Monday of a brand spanking new year right?

Full disclosure, I’m in my pj’s and seriously contemplating another cup of coffee……and it’s 2 in the afternoon.

I did workout already! Then I showered and put pj’s on, cause that’s how I roll.

In honor of a NEW YEAR, I have some goodies for you today :) Are you excited? Cause you really should be……

Goodie number ONE:

Resolutions! Are you a resolution maker? Or do you refer to them as goals, life plans, wishes, or dog gone it I will do it this year???? Whatever you want to call them, I have some tips on how to crush your life and come out winning.

  1. Make it positive. Instead of the bland “I’m going to eat less” (what the heck kind of goal is that anyways?!?!?!?!), try a more positive spin on it. Something like, “I’ll add vegetables to one meal a day” is both positive and doable AND it really does help change your health for the better. Instead of viewing exercise as a chore, put a positive spin on it by trying some new things you might enjoy. Think outside the box and see what happens. Just remember, keep it positive.
  2. Avoid overcommitment. We all tend to have commitment issues. Those issues seem to be blaringly loud at the start of a fresh year. On New Year’s Eve we vow to hit the gym 5-6 days per week, cut out any and ALL junk food, down our own body weight in water, forgo sugar in any form, and never drink alcohol again…..then we wind up killing ourselves at the gym, hating the fact that one is so easy to get to (cause there goes that excuse), choking down dressing-free salads and dry chicken breast, and forcing a restless sleep out of our bodies. By Friday evening we are crying into the warm arms of a hot pizza, sipping our second glass of wine and binge watching Netflix. We have a food hangover Saturday and simply want to crawl back into bed….SLOW DOWN NELLY! The problem isn’t the commitments, but the amount of them. Changing EVERYTHING overnight is a shock to all of your systems and you end up overcommitting and underdelivering. Then, you just feel poorly about yourself. The fix? Focus on ONE habit change per week and you’re SURE to see results.
  3. Pay the MOST attention to the small stuff. Did you know that there truly are only 4 things that matter when it comes to fat loss and physique goals???? No lie. They are simple things that can change EVERYTHING for you once you learn to pay attention to them and master them. So why aren’t people everywhere focusing on these things and seeing results? Because these things aren’t flashy and don’t come with free T-shirts. They seem way too easy, but I am here to tell you this is what counts! Want to know them? Of course you do! Simple….

1) Quality nutrition

2) Mindful movement that includes the foundations of strength training, cardio, and flexibility

3) Sleep

4) Stress reduction techniques

Four simple things that yield BIG results. It may seem too simple to work, but it’s in the simplest things that we create the most effective habits.

Confused where to start? I’ll be offering an online challenge group to help you master the basics and you can sign up for information at the end of the post.

Goodie number two:

I’ve been working out at home lately (forgoing the gym for the time being) due to some medical issues and just the fact that I’m a bit of a homebody.

So, here are a few of my very FAVORITE things happening right now to help you see your very best self :)

BEST website for all things weightlifting: bodybuilding.com

My favorite blog of the moment: Thrive Personal Fitness

Awesome workout STREAMS: Beachbody On Demand I like P90X2 and X3. They do NOT offer the newest releases of other workouts, but old favorites (I do a lot of TurboFire) are on there and the cost is better than most streams

My favorite YOGA channel: Yoga with Adriene

Supps I’m Into: ONNIT I like the alpha brain, Matcha tea and coconut oil

OK, that should keep you rolling for now!

Get this year off to a good start…..even if you’re lucky enough to be in your jammies ;)

Michelle

 

If you want to know when the next ONLINE challenge starts and what it’s all about, hit me up here….

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah_before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…confidence.

…love.

…health.

….freedom.

….happiness.

…empowerment.

…trust and faith in myself.

Sarah_after

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah_Vance

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

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

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

 

7 Steps to become FITTER through the Holidays

 

Christmas Plank 2013

 

Those who enjoy the regular benefits of eating well and working out can often succumb to the joy of the holiday season with absolute vigor….which can quickly turn to regret. There’s no reason to lose gains, or gain fat, this holiday season. Now, you have the tools of the trade to stay on track and start your New Year fitter than ever.

1.Honor the ROUTINE.

Holiday parties, work deadlines, family responsibilities, endless shopping lines, you name it; it can all disrupt our tried and true schedule. Did you know that sticking to a schedule not only makes you more productive, but will also lessen your stress levels? Plan ahead to make sure you can honor your schedule. You workouts may be shorter, but making sure you move each day will pay off in the long run.

2. Be Prepared.

There is nothing worse than Christmas shopping without money in the bank right? So why would you go out without making sure you have the foods you need? We all know that nutrition is the cornerstone of our health, vitality and energy, so start preparing for the season of overindulgence now. Prep your meals for the week in advance and take advantage of handy coolers and carriers. When you’re planning a shopping trip or dinner, look over the menu first and plan ahead as to what you will eat. Remember, treat meals can be an advantage, but a treat season will leave you feeling like a bloated whale by January first….and then you have to fight the resolutionists for your spot at the rack.

3.Be realistic with your expectations.

You wouldn’t stand around and wait for a piece of equipment at the gym right? Please say no. Of course not! You would take a look at your program for the day and re-write it a bit to keep your workout going. The same thing can happen during the holidays. You may need to switch up your workout time to accommodate family responsibilities or just bad weather. If you can’t make it to the gym, have a body weight workout ready to go in your living room. Too stormy for a run? Give HIIT training a try. Think outside the box and drop the “all or nothing” attitude during the holidays. It will lessen stress and improve results.

4. Move every day.

Make a commitment to do SOMETHING every day. A little too much wine or a few too many sweet treats can take its toll on our energy. Sometimes the gloomy winter weather can leave us feeling a bit low. One sure fix is to get up and move every day. If you find that you battle with low energy during the colder months, try these tricks to spice it up:

  • Take on a group class at your local gym
  • Enlist a workout buddy
  • Try a boot camp
  • Head to a different gym. Many chain gyms offer memberships that will get you into ANY gym. Use this during this season to get a new energy and maybe even play on some new equipment. Sometimes all we need is to change up what we see each day to give the brain and body a fresh energy.
  • Take your training outdoors….if weather allows.

5. Maximize Your GAINS.

You know there are a few key foods you WILL NOT give up this holiday season. Grandma’s pumpkin pie? Your aunt’s homemade dressing? Anything smothered in either gravy or chocolate? Well, you should also know that you can use these foods to your advantage. Look at your workout split now. Take the time to train, let’s go with LEGS, before the big feast. This way, you can utilize the copious amounts of fuel you’re taking in to make some serious changes in your physique. Hit back the next day to capitalize on the extra carbs you know those yams packed in and reap the benefits of nutrition knowledge. The point here is to not just sit on your butt eating all week….move your butt and then you can “fuel” those awesome muscles.

6. Recreate Traditions.

I used to spend most Thanksgivings eating till the elastic on my waist band wanted to give out and downing an entire bottle of wine. This served two purposes: 1) It made the entire event more tolerable, no matter the drama :) and 2) It made me appear to still be “normal” in the eyes of my loved ones. What isn’t normal is the amount of time and energy wasted on recuperating from a holiday binge. Just thing of the sweet shoulders you could be building instead of trying to burn off wine and pie! So, I now bring healthier dishes and fruits and veggies to snack on. If I have wine I cut it with a little tart cherry juice. This keeps me from drinking so much and has the added benefit of lessening the soreness from the sweet leg workout I did earlier that morning. Check out the Bodybuilding.com recipe database for some GREAT finds on healthy fare.

7. Take a scheduled time out.

We can’t sustain ourselves for that long. Even the most outgoing of people need a little time to recharge. If you happen to be an introvert, like myself, then you will need to schedule a time out once a week. I know you think your gym time should suffice, but trust me here, you need something more. What can you do for a time out? You could soak in a bath, cuddle with the love of your life (that could be your teddy bear, we don’t judge here), treat yourself to a movie of choice, have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, stay in your house in PJ’s all day, go for a walk in nature, schedule short walks after dinner, sit by the fire, start reading that book that has been sitting on your side table for months, etc. The possibilities are endless and totally up to you.

Christmas Plank Fail 2013

 

As you can see, you can make it through the holidays stress-free and looking even better in your jeans….as if that’s even possible. Don’t get caught up in the drama, but enjoy the season. Focus on all you do have instead of what you still lack. Find someone to encourage. And remember that the world is a much brighter place with you in it…if you allow your light to shine.

Christmas Muscles 2013

 

National Nutrition Month: The intro into the bare basics of nutrition

Need more help?

Check out the NUTRITION TAB for information on Nutrition Boot Camp and Nutrition Counseling.

National Nutrition Month: Weight Gain Issues

We’re going strong for National Nutrition Month!

Keep your eye on the prize and don’t let a little bit of weight gain get you down. Learn the basics and you’ll succeed every time!

Sign Up for NUTRITION BOOTCAMP TODAY!

Fun Friday! Weight Gain?

I was inspired to shoot this informative video about weight gain during a new program. Thanks to my dear friend who is open enough to share her journey! You know who you are ;)

Michelle