Looking back to the past and forward to the future…

 

Happy Monday!

Today marks the FINAL Monday of 2013, and what a year it has been. :)

I have recently become OBSESSED with the Flipagram app and highly recommend it if you’re wanting to see your recent year in pictures. Upon my discovery of this app, I found myself becoming quite teary eyed over what had actually happened in 2013. I think we can all fall prey to thinking too much about the future and forget about what has been accomplished in the past 365 days. I would like to take a moment to encourage you to take a look back at your own 365 before we engage in the next round of adventures :)

MY 365:

Can I just take a moment to say WOWZA!?!?!? OK, so much has happened this year, but it must be shared in short hand.

In January I made my very first overseas trip to Chisinau, Moldova and managed to leave a part of my heart there. I was fortunate enough to let go of my need for control long enough to make some lifelong friendships and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. I am also looking forward to more trips there.

Moldova 4

February marked my 35th birthday, and may I be honest here? ALL the things you read about your body changing, holding on to fat, harder to lean out, etc.? Seemingly true for me :) However, a change in training can yield results.

In May, I celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary to the first and only guy I ever fell in love with…altogether now: AAAAAWWWWWE.

July saw another trip overseas. This time I was fortunate to be accompanied by my oldest and the trip was to the BEAUTIFUL and majestic Ethiopia. It was a trip I will never forget as I saw what true joy looks like, even in the midst of poverty. I met friends whom I will never forget and I was able to see my boy become a man.

Ethiopia with girl

I had a short hitch to my plans by October, but have learned that there are times when we may have the best laid plans, but there are far better times for these plans to come to fruition.

I have seen many days and many challenges in the gym here at home, and have set up my goals and desires for the coming of 2014. One thing I will change is instead of making “Goal Sheets” or “Vision Boards” I am going to make ADVENTURES. See, the thing about adventures is that they leave some wiggle room for life. Life is, after all, a series of adventures. Our lives can be a series of our own adventures OR it can be the planning, waiting and watching of others. I for one intent for 2014 to be FULL of great adventures!

Here’s a sneak peek into my adventures for 2014:

  1. MORE TRIPS! Yep, I hope to leave this country a couple of more times before the year is through and I plan to take more family with me.
  2. FIGURE COMPETITION. Yep, I’ve been toeing the line on competitions for  a couple of years now. Upon a little bit of self-reflection I have realized THIS is the year it’s happening! I need to get out of my comfort zone and be pushed to the max…or I fear I will regret it.
  3. HIRING A COACH. Due to the aforementioned competing, I will be hiring a figure coach. WHY? My specialties are weight loss, corrective exercise and MMA. I need somebody to hold me accountable to my goals and help with posing and all too :) My first interview with a potential figure coach is today!
  4. NEW BUSINESS! I know I’ve made mention of it, but I am starting a brand new business to introduce a new way of thinking that will help in weight loss for ALL levels. We had originally intended to launch this week, but I felt that the time wasn’t enough to put out quality information. So, we will be launching in March, just in time to recommit to a healthy way to reach your weight loss and fitness goals for 2014…cause by then you’ll be tired of starving;)
  5. I want to take a BIG family adventure by the end of the year. You know, one of those crazy cool family vacations you see people ? Yep, that will be us this year.

Those are my top 5 adventures for 2014.

What adventures do YOU have in store? And how will next year look different from this year?

Until 2014, PEACE, LOVE, and PLENTY of LUNGES!

Michelle C

*Disclaimer Note: Video made by Flipagram (FREE app, go get it). Song, CHAINSAW by Family Force 5. Download legally, don’t be a butthead.

 

 

Goals: How to Set Achievable Ones :-)

You’ve heard time and time again that you need a goal in order to succeed. I mean, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there right? Goals are important, but all too often we set the wrong ones for ourselves, shoot too far ahead, or give up before we even get started. The key to success is setting goals with a clearly defined purpose so you can track progress and notice your milestones all along the way. So, if you’re eager for success in life, read on.

GOAL SETTING 101:

Here’s the first thing about goals; you have to write them down! Saying your goal to a friend over a glass of wine is not going to make it a goal…it’s simply a wish at that point. You can choose what works best for you as far as goal writing. Some people simply put pen to paper, but if you’re like me life gets busy and you lose the paper therefore the goal gets lost in the shuffle. Posting your goals on a blog or social media site is a great way to stay on track as it will hold you more accountable since the whole of the internet universe now knows you want to drop 20 pounds. Vision boards ROCK for goal setting and there are several ways you can accomplish these. Some people focus on a word (I have a dear friend whose vision boards are works of art!) and they hang as reminders of what they want to accomplish and how they want to feel. My own personal vision boards are usually bullet lists of what I want to do that year and include physical, business, relationship, humanitarian and travel goals all on one big board. Check out different boards online to get inspired (you can find one of mine on Pinterest).

Once your goal/goals are written, take a long, hard look at them and enlist the help of a trusted friend (one that will tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth) to make sure they are realistic. For example, if you are 5’8″, it would be unhealthy for you to drop down to 100 pounds just because your 5’1″ friend is 100 pounds. Speaking of pounds, it’s best not to set your goals on those unless that is your currency of choice and you want MORE of it…weight is a fickle goal, shoot for inches or possibly size. If you do have weight that needs to be lost (like, your doctor says it’s important) then focus on dropping sizes and inches while increasing strength. Most of my clients realize losses in weight/inches once they set goals adherent to gaining strength…it’s just like magic that way.

Realize that your goal needs a proper timeline to occur and you MUST be willing to admit what you are willing to sacrifice in order to reach your goals. Are you willing to work longer hours to make more money? Are you willing to tackle your freelance career while still working full-time? Are you willing to pry your sore butt out of bed each morning to workout while others are still asleep? Those who are truly successful give up something in order to gain what they want…there is no easy way around it.

Last, don’t rely on fickle motivation to reach your goals. Motivation will fail and wain throughout the day depending on stress levels and overall health. The 2 things you need to reach a goal are discipline and determination, simple as that. Keep these things in check and you will be a success story, whatever your goal may be.

Good luck and keep me posted on YOUR goals!

 

Michelle

 

Tough Love Tuesday: the MAIN Difference you need to know about

As always, Tough Love needs a disclaimer: if you need fluffy feel goods, scroll through the posts. I’m all about empowering others to reach their goals and make a difference. This requires tough love sometimes. If you’re ready, read on!

There are several differences in those who reach their goals and those who struggle with their goals. I am in the excellent company of goal reachers just about every day, and have been enlightened to the common habits of those who are most successful in reaching whatever goals they set for themselves. It’s just a few small changes that make a HUGE impact:

  1. We are consistent. We don’t dilly dally with goals. We set them, map them and WORK for them, period. There is no second guessing and there are certainly no excuses. When you’re trying to reach a goal, who has time for excuses?
  2. We don’t complain. This is a HUGE one in and of itself. It probably deserves it’s very own post. We don’t complain about food, meal prep or workouts. We don’t complain about schedules or how difficult things seem in relation to our food and workouts. Complaining will lead to excuse making. I get a lot of complainers online and in the gym Do you know how many clients who spend their time complaining reached any of their goals? ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop. Right now. Get it out of your way because complaining that the scale isn’t moving (it will move when I chunk it out of the window) or that you’re having meal prep issues, or family stuff, or stress or whatever. People don’t want to hear it and running your mouth burns just about as many calories as stuffing it….so stop.
  3. We think outside the box. What happens when things don’t go as planned? What if you work out after you drop the kids off and then the school calls because your kid is sick? Or what if you depend on a DVD program and your TV explodes? Yeah, life happens. Be grateful you still have life happening (see #2) and move forward. Take your workout outside. On this site alone there are workouts you can do at the park or around a track. Be creative and bust a sweat.
  4. We plan for success. Successful goal planning will lead to goal reaching. We don’t want for it and wish for it (as in: I wish I could get up early and work out…), we work for it.

Changing your mindset will change everything! Take the negative and dump it into the recycle bin of your mind. Work for what you are trying to accomplish. I still get told no and doors still slam in my face…but I don’t quit and I refuse to live defeated. Stop measuring yourself by the scale and start building yourself in the gym (or garage, or track, or whatever floats your fancy). Ultimately, YOU are the reason you win or lose. Make it happen!

Michelle

The ABS in question

Motivation Monday: Shifting from Neutral to Drive

Good Monday Morning!

Have you noticed that Mondays get a bad rep? I mean, just perusing my Facebook page brought to light that Mondays have it rough. To me, Monday is like a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to make changes and press ahead! How do I get to this optimistic outlook? I follow a few simple tips to keep my goals and outlook fresh and ready for refinement. This ensures that I don’t allow myself to slip into neutral and become complacent. Want to live a passionate life that’s filled with goal reaching? Read on…

It’s probably no secret that I have issues right? Hey! I mean health issue (although the jury is still out on the psychological issues!). Due to the fact that I didn’t really start to understand the implications of caring for my earthly body until a few years ago, my body seems to have a lot of pent-up anger issues and expresses them in the form of arthritis, inflammation and sciatica, among others. I learned the hard way that simply forcing my body to comply with my wants and goals did not work. The more I would fight against my body, the worse my health would get. It’s during times of flare ups that I am truly tested though. It’s pretty easy for anybody that doesn’;t deal with health issues or the battle of the lazy bones right? What happens when you have to shift?

All too often we simply shift to neutral. We allow ourselves to get down in the dumps and feel as though we’ll never make it. This can happen in the instance of injury, sickness, family emergencies and the general business of life itself. We feel as though we were doing such a great job and then WHAM! we get knocked down. It can be an uneasy and downright nasty feeling, BUT there are a few ways to press on:

  1. Realize that “life balance” is just as elusive as perfection. Nobody’s life is completely balanced all the time. We all have the same number of hours in a day and I have yet to meet the master of balancing everything. As one part of life starts to take more attention, other parts will get less. That is why knowing your true priorities is key to feeling successful. For me, I made my call to missions and my husband and kids my top priority (granted, this took me 10 years to figure out! I’m trying to help you avoid my pain). That meant that some classes and gym time had to be altered or cut altogether. Is it hard? At first, yes, but you get to be quite proficient at it after a few weeks! Prioritize and work within those boundaries.
  2. You CAN re-evaluate and re-structure goals. Who made the rule that you can’t touch a goal once it’s set???? Seriously! What if you made a goal to lose 10 pounds and met it in 2 weeks. Are you completely done with goals? I certainly hope not! Goals can be altered to fit the state of your life. I started the year with some super big goals. One was to compete. This particular goal has been re-evaluated and set aside (for now). Why? Well, if you must be so nosy :) it isn’t lining up with my core values and priorities. I am making trips to teach self-defense to trafficking victims all over the world and my training has been altered to suit THAT goal at this time. See how that works? I’ll give you another example. A few years ago I decided I wanted to leave the house and the business and go work for a LARGE chain gym. I interviewed off the charts and was offered a near 6 figure income. Pretty sweet right? Well, here’s the catch…I would have been working every weekend and over 60 hours a week. This would strip me of my #1 priority. I had to turn it down and turn my trust up a notch! I’m glad I did because shortly after we decided to home school my youngest. Give yourself permission to re-evaluate every 4-6 weeks and see what needs to be altered.
  3. Catch a glimpse of the bigger picture. If your goal happens to be weight loss, health or more money, you will find yourself disappointed more so than not. You see, we need a cause, a bigger picture, a reason so to speak. As I was focused on weight loss, I kept thinking life would be so much better after I lost weight. Well, I became OBSESSED with that goal and priority 1 was out the window. I was seeking the approval and attention of others 24/7. I was getting sick all the time and training myself to the ground. I thought it would be better once the scale cooperated.  Well, at 104 pounds lighter my finances were no better, my kids still fought and after years of trying to fit into smaller sizes the big department chains stopped carrying 0-2. I got thin when it wasn’t cool :) . The bigger picture should have been focused on the health of my family and the reason I was here on earth at all. Change your perception a bit and loosen the reigns on tangible goals. Broaden your mind ;)

By taking the time to set your goals and priorities into alignment, you’ll create a successful life. After all, balance is totally overrated!

 

Michelle

 

Weight Loss Secrets: Day 10

Day 9 Secrets of Weight Loss

Be Resolute

Have you ever wondered why resolutions fail so often? It can seem like a rather blunt question only 4 days in, but think about the resolutions you set last year. Were they all met? Were you just as passionate about them in June as you were in January? Did they hold the same weight all year long?

I was reading a statistic the other day that stated of all the New Year Resolutions, there were 2 that always seemed to make the top of the list. Can you guess them? Finances and Health.  Now, I’m sure you realize that there are MANY resolutions that can fall under both categories, but I’ll let you stick to your own for our purposes here. The exact same statistics also stated that a whopping 60% of people give up on their resolutions by March. Sixty percent! March! That’s not even a full third of the way through people! So, what’s going on here? Better yet, how do we make sure we’re in the 40%?

There are many issues with resolution setting that can either make or break our resolve. That’s what resolutions truly are right? They are tests of our human resolve to change something about our lives and press on toward a goal. Simple as that…. Here are a few ways our resolutions can head South faster than we can down our box of Valentine’s Day chocolates:

  1. We don’t write them down. You have to write it down and make it known in order for it to truly take the form of a goal.
  2. We set unrealistic expectations of ourselves and those around us.
  3. We do not think about the aspects of our life that we truly can control.
  4. We sweat the small stuff.
  5. We don’t re-evaluate.

So, those who can relate to those 5 things are in the 60%. You, however, want to fall into the minority. You want to conquer that resolution once and for all, not let it conquer you. So, what are you to do? I’m glad you asked. :)

  1. Write the thing down! Better yet, tell EVERYBODY! I’m serious here. Start a blog, a Facebook page or Twitter feed dedicated to you conquering this goal. It can be quite empowering AND it is built in accountability.
  2. Find an accountability partner. You need somebody who will slap you right off your pity party train and back to reality. You need a friend that loves you, but does not cater to you. They need to be tough and know that theirs is a truly special job. If you don’t already have that friend in your circle, broaden your circle a bit.
  3. Reverse engineer your goal to make sure it is truly attainable for you. Know what your goal is, then work your way backwards. this is where we think about what it will take to reach our goal and what we may have to give up in order to move forward. This is a VITAL step. It helps prepare you for your goal and it gives you and absolute plan of attack. This step takes you out of the “it sure would be cool if” zone and places smack in the “I’m going to DO THIS” zone.
  4. Know what aspects of your life YOU control. You cannot control emergencies or work drama. You can control what you eat, your workout, and your gossip. Yes, I said it. If you don’t want drama around you stop adding to it!
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. So, you had a moment of weakness and the siren call of the Dove dark chocolates was just too much to resist. So you popped in a movie and polished off the bag. Oh no wait, that was me :) . Yours may be a bit different, but here the deal: move on! You missed a workout, ate too much at dinner, sat on your butt instead of working it, worked late when you vowed not to, carried work anger home with you, snapped at the kids, misjudged a friend, forgot to put gas in the car…etc. You are HUMAN! You cannot change that no matter how hard you try. Humans make mistakes. We forget, we indulge, we get lazy. It’s just who we are. Move onward and LET GO.
  6. Re-Evaluate your goals every 6-9 weeks. You may stay on perfect track. If so, please let me know how you do it! If not, it’s OK. Know that you have the freedom to alter goals that are not working for you. In the course of 1 year life can change a lot! I mean, it takes mere seconds to get pregnant and less than a year for a baby to come into this world. Life changes! Be flexible enough to roll with it to ensure success. Be clear with the fact that you are NOT giving up on your goals, simply altering them. Know the difference.

So, what are your action steps today? Maybe you need to sit down and write out those resolutions. Perhaps it’s time to reverse engineer the crud out of them. Do the research! By the way, whatever goal you have, somebody else has already accomplished it. Ask them how they did it! Be an active participant in your own life. Start a blog. Let me know where it is and I’ll be happy to check it out! Work forward every day, never back. Soon enough, you will be in the 40% and we will welcome you with open arms. :)

LIVE OUT LOUD this year!

Michelle

Ready. Set. GOAL!

I had promised that I would share my goals for the new year with you, and I hate to break promises :)

Ambitious goals are what keep life quite interesting in my opinion. These are the goals that begin as just a fleeting thought in the corner of one’s mind, but over time the thought becomes bigger and , in my case, flashier. I do love sparkle and believe everybody’s life could benefit from a bit more.

So, in the spirit of keeping it flashy I will share some of my 2013 GOALS with you:

  1. I am working towards a physical space of my very own. A gym to call my own :) THIS will actually not be as flashy as one may expect since I truly LOVE the feel of a good old garage gym.
  2. I do have physical goals to accomplish this year, but most fall in the realm of strength and endurance, not jean size or numbers.
  3. I have entered and will COMPETE in my very first fitness show this May! I’ll be sharing that journey with you as well.
  4. I will travel to Moldova this month, but have set a goal to travel to Africa this year as well…as often as I can :) I am partnered with Hopechest ministries and will continue to go where I am called, without questioning.
  5. I will finish 2 books this year: 1 is on weight loss and my specific specialty (keeping the skin tight!) and the other will cover my mission trips and tell the stories of the girls who have been caught up in sex trafficking. I will give a voice to those who feel as though theirs has been taken.
  6. In light of #5, one of my final goals is a publishing deal. Why? Publishers get the words to more people.

So, there are the majority of my goals. I always set goals for my personal life as well, working on relationships and growing in my faith daily.

The question I pose to you is “How big are your goals?” Do you stick to the “safe” goals? Maybe you hang around the ones that are a bit easier. Or perhaps you park over the same ones you’ve had for years, knowing if you don’t make it all will not be lost. Friends, those kind of goals keep you simply existing. What would happen if you believed that great things can happen through you? What if you set out to leave a few footprints through this life? What would happen if you decided to stop existing and truly LIVE life as loud as you could? Who might be affected? I’ll be honest, once you change your mindset to make a change, YOU will be the one to benefit the most.

Live out loud this year!

Michelle

A Christmas Gift from me to you

OK, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve to avoid the sluggish feeling that can come with overindulgence. Let’s face it, even if we stay within our calorie budget we can feel icky if it’s foods our body may not be used to. Anybody else get headaches with too much sugar? Maybe you feel a little more irritated than normal because of more processed foods sneaking in? Whatever the cause, I have a quick solution for you :)

Quick Holiday Detox

This works best over the course of 2-3 days, but even if you can only get the morning schedule down you will notice a difference :)

As soon as you rise: Drink 6 oz warm water with fresh lemon and about 1 tablespoon local honey

It is IMPERATIVE that you avoid sugar like the plague!

Breakfast: Green Detox Smoothie

In a blender:

6-8 oz pure water

1 celery stalk

1 handful spinach

1 handful romaine

1/2 pear

1/2 tart apple

1/2 banana

1 kiwi, skinned

Juice of 1 lemon

Small handful of parsley (optional, but it HELPS!)

This makes a pretty big glass and the taste of the fruit severely over powers everything else, so you’re good to go.

If you’re still hungry, feel free to have 1/3 cup oats cooked in 2/3 cup water and either egg whites or fat-free Greek yogurt.

Lunch: Large plate of salad greens, 3-5 oz salmon, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, all drizzled with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon.

Snack: Raw veggies (baby carrots, snap peas, celery, cucumber, etc). You can have a small serving of hummus OR some non fat Greek yogurt if needed.

Dinner: Large serving of salad, 3 oz grilled chicken breast, assorted veggies, drizzled with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and juice of 1 lemon.

If you are hungry before bed, consider another small portion of your green drink, some hot tea, or a nutritional shake such as SHAKEOLOGY.

The calorie count here hovers around 1200 (eat a LOT of veggies!) which can be pretty low. Try to avoid dairy and gluten (I’m NOT promoting diets that cut them out, but have found eliminating them on short-term basis can aid in better digestion and assimilation of nutrients).

If you plan to stay to the plan, do NOT exceed 3 days straight and make sure you are drinking a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day.

Have FUN! and Merry CHRISTmas!

Michelle

 

Tabata Thursday

Every day seems to have some significance to it now right? I kind of dig that though :)

There’s been a lot of talk about tabata training and how adding it to your regular training can enhance fat loss and sports performance. This is very true, but I think there are far too many of us who are unclear as to what Tabata training really is. Buckle up, here we go…..

Tabata is based on time. 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, 8 cycles through. Can anybody break out the calculator and tell me how long that is? I’ll wait………………….2 minutes is correct and YOU ARE A GENIUS!  :) Now, some people just bust out the timer (you can totally score a free app for your smart phone and it ROCKS!) and time moves. THAT is not Tabata. This style of training is meant to be intense. In other words, crunches for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest is using a Tabata method, but not really the training. During your work period, you should be pushing an 8-9 on the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion). That’s a hair away from barfing for me personally…..

So, in order to make it more doable, I put together a Tabata training sequence mixed with core work. REMEMBER, during those 20 seconds you’re giving everything you have! If you feel like it’s easy, it is. Easy doesn’t cut it around here. So, clear some space and about 20 minutes from your calendar and get ready to burn some major calories all day long!

Tabata and Core

ALWAYS warm up for 3-5 minutes (more if it’s colder)

Opposite arm/leg reach (bird dogs) for 20 reps

Tabata 1: wide jump, low skaters (it will take 2 minutes)

Reverse Crunches and Bicycle crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 2: BURPEES! Always add the jump at the top, it’s only 20 seconds :)

Plank dips and toe taps for 3 sets, 20 reps each

Tabata 3: Jump sumo Dorothy—from sumo squat, jump straight up and click your heels together

Side plank pulse and butterfly crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 4: Pop squats—squat low, explode up and hop feet together and back out

All Tabatas are performed for 2 minutes and it should be killer! If it’s not, push harder or add light weights :)

Let me know how you do! I’m feeling the soreness from this morning :)

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

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