When you just can’t even…….

So, as discussed in the past, I have issues :-)

The first step is admitting it you know……

It used to be that I had a severe issue with the word “can’t”. I thought of it as an excuse, a cop out, the grown up version of the dog eating your homework, etc. I am since coming to realize that if we don’t respect our bodies we actually CAN get to a point where we just can’t even….(insert Starbuck’s toting basic white girl here).

***NOTE*** This post is not saying you can get away with not believing in yourself, so don’ t go there.

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Recently, I got sick. And by sick I mean multiple trips to the doctor and bed rest sick. I discovered a few key factors to myself that those closest know all too well, however I denied them for too long.

  1. I have a severely obsessive personality. For example: often when I immerse myself in yoga CE courses I will find myself veering towards becoming a yoga hippy on the run from modern society. In contrast, when preparing for my show I became OBSESSED with macros, food logging and rep counting.
  2. The above mentioned personality trait creates an environment for imbalance, thus making me feel off balanced every day.
  3. This lack of balance in life translates to lack of balance in health.

Last night I was talking to Alan (the man who should get an award for putting up with my particular brand of crazy) and told him that after brainstorming what I wanted life to look like one of my biggest physical goals was to just be HEALTHY. That is my main goal right now: radiant health.

It seems odd because to look at me you would think I am healthy right? Wrong. When the mind and body are in a chronic unbalanced state, something will give. In my case, my current ill-health seems to be a direct result of an unbalanced life.

So, what can you do to avoid this?

Honestly, we are never 100% in balance at any time, BUT we can walk towards balance in a few key steps:

  1. Brainstorm your GOALS. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and take TIME to think about what you want your life to look like. This is the starting point to creating a life with purpose….you need a roadmap.
  2. Take your eyes off the physical for a bit. For me personally, this means doing more low-impact work at home and allowing my body to heal.
  3. Decide what health means to you. Is it a great physical? Is it feeling good in your own skin? Is it waking with energy?
  4. Determine the steps needed to reach your goal. Once you find even 1 goal worth the effort, determine the necessary steps. If you really NEED to lose weight, then you will need to set aside the time to workout each day and become more educated in nutrition. If your goal is to have a healthier digestive system (a great goal for anybody), commit to keeping a record of your food and maybe even hiring a nutritionist to help. Whatever the goal, there are daily steps that will help you reach it.

Staying balanced shouldn’t be something that will upheave your whole life. It should actually make it better. Think about one word that will help you stay focused. My word of the moment is SIMPLIFY. I want to live a simpler, less complicated lifestyle. This means workout routines that are easily accomplished in my home, fewer supplements, a bit more yoga and a streamlined diet that focuses on nutrients.

Now it’s your turn. What changes will you make to achieve balance?

I’m listening :)

Michelle

BIG NEWS Week #1: Baytown Boot Camp

Disclaimer: if you don’t live in or near Baytown, keep coming back this week as I do have news for YOU as well! I’m also working hard on filming new videos for my YouTube channel :)

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Hey Baytownians! Boot Camp is coming back to your backyard this January! Read below for all the deets:

Basic Training Boot Camp

Start Date: Monday, January 5th, 2015

End Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Days: Monday through Thursday evenings

Time: 7:30-8:30 (I’m going to aim to close out class by 8:15 most nights, but leave extra time for questions/concerns)

Space: Bayway Cross Fit 7210 Bayway Drive, Baytown 77520

Contact: In order to sign up for this session you will need to email Asa at asa@baywaycrossfit.com

Cost: $250

What do you get?

Six weeks of back-to-basics training built around science. You will learn how to move your own body and get the results you want for life. You will also be lead by an industry expert, weight loss success story, figure competitor and sponsored athlete…AKA: me :)

Nutritional Support: You will have the option (free of charge) to receive a 6 week meal plan, complete snack list, food substitutions as well as grocery lists and recipes. All of this will help to expedite your results and keep your body on track.

What should you expect?

The first night will be measurements and biomechanics. We’ll go over proper form in some of the most highly utilized, yet wrongly executed, movements during boot camp. Your safety is of the utmost concern.

How do you snag a spot (they are LIMITED)? Email Asa to get on the list, but it is first paid, first in the line.

Questions:

Is this a Cross Fit Boot Camp?

No. This boot camp is designed primarily for body fat loss and lean muscle gain. I am not certified in Cross Fit and will not be taking you through any Cross Fit style workouts. IF you are interested in Cross Fit, the guys there will be happy to answer questions :)

Do I have to already be exercising?

Not really, but I will be honest and tell you that walking at the least will help to start your engines and get you ready.

Is it open to all levels of fitness?

Yep. I don’t discriminate on fitness levels OR on how much or little weight you want to lose. ALL movements can be modified to your current fitness level and I assure you that your safety, not your pants size, is my number one concern.

What about soreness?

We’ve all heard of people who go to a boot camp and can’t walk the next day. It is never my intention to render you fully useless! Different bodies hold soreness different ways and this will be addressed in 2 ways this camp. 1) There is a built in recovery workout each week. 2) We will discuss nutrition, supplementation and movement to aid in recovery of muscle tissue.

What will I need to bring?

Water, a towel, some aminos (we’ll discuss that the first week), etc. On Thursdays (recovery workout) you will need a yoga mat and you’ll thank yourself for bringing a yoga block as well.

What do I wear?

Comfortable clothing that you can move in works best. Make sure it breathes well! If you’re new to working out, please don’t wear sweats. You can overheat even on cold days. Ladies, make sure you have a bra that supports you during movement. I could care LESS how it looks, just make sure that you can move to the maximum amount of your ability and not be hindered by poor wardrobe choice…..you can look cute later.

Any other questions? Feel free to contact me through this site.

Want in?

Basic Training Boot Camp was already open to a private list and is about 1/3 full, so you’d better contact ASA now!

 

 

The Struggle

Hey folks!

Welcome to near the end of the week (for most of us at least). Today I have one thing that I am truly trying to accomplish: BE REAL.

It has come to my attention that there truly isn’t enough real in the world today, especially the world of fitness. I’m attempting to change that and in the spirit of Ghandi….I’ll be the change I wish to see in the world :)

As many of you may know, I have a BRAND NEW project launching in just DAYS! Stress is becoming a daily part of my life and if I’m being real then you must be told that I don’t deal well with stress. This is real life people.

commercial prep

In the midst of filming for the launch of the new membership site (full deets next week…and it’s SUPER awesome), getting all the content done and trying to keep up with training clients, I had a few other things on my plate as well.

I am the mother of a 15-year-old driver. He is an excellent driver, but if I were to tell you that my heart doesn’t skip a beat thinking about all that is to come, I wouldn’t be very real. I celebrated my 16 year anniversary with the best gift God ever gave me, my sweet and supportive husband. School ended for my kids, which any mom can tell you means that the activities have only just begun. There was also a mission trip and ongoing missions in between all of that. Compiled with all of that, I began having major health issues that rendered me bed-ridden and about 15 pounds heavier than I was in May.

sick days

Why do you need to know any of this? Well, I think we can ALL fall into the false lie that people actually have it all together. I spent a lot of my sick time scrolling through Instagram (as Facebook just tends to upset me) and comparing my couch potato existence to the active lives of seemingly perfect and awesome people. One incredibly important note here is that I have overworked my body into a state of chronic inflammation (which I talk about often) and stress compiled through my overwhelming thoughts and feelings simply makes it worse.

So, what has been happening that has me down? I’ve been listening intently to the wrong voices in my head. I sat yesterday to create a cool little promo video for the new site and I automatically regretted that decision. I looked up pictures of myself just a few months ago and almost felt shame that I wasn’t “as good” as I was then. It’s a slippery slope to get caught up in, and I dove in like a cool pool of water on a hot Summer’s day! By now you would think I know better. I mean, I work in health and have counseled many people off the edge, but I still have very little patience with myself. I keep thinking my body should just comply….is that just too much to ask?

I started to lose who I was, as I think many of us do. I began to think “IF ONLY”. You know the thoughts I’m talking about:

  • If only I had more control over my body.
  • If only I could just get over it.
  • If only I could bring myself to work harder.
  • If only I could go back to where I was then.

The list can go on and on, but you get the point. It’s a pity party without any favors. While the inflammation makes its happy home in the nooks and crannies of my 36-year-old body, I feel swollen, fatigued, and flat-out washed out. So, I decided to take a break…. Now, I have taken breaks before, sometimes up to 3 days! Shocking. You see, I fall into the same assumptions many of you can be prey to as well. I think I have to do it all…or suffer the dire consequences. I have vowed that this break will be different. For starters, it will last MUCH longer. I’m kind of thinking all Summer long really. I want to drop all overbearing expectations of my body (I mean, I’m not competing and my 15-year-old son would be MORTIFIED if I wore a bikini anyways, so no time like the present!) and focus more on the ENJOYMENT factor of life. Who cares if I don’t have cellulite if I’m still NOT happy with what I do have people?????

So, what will this break look like?

  1. YOGA. Yep, every single day. Sometimes it will bust a sweat, sometimes I’ll just put my legs up a wall and breathe….either way, it works.
  2. Taking the time to thank my body for WHAT it does, not HOW it looks.
  3. Nourishing my body: no potions, powders or pills for the next few months…just whole foods and plenty of water.
  4. Weekly date nights. We can stay in our room or go out on the town, just so long as I reconnect him weekly away from work and future plans.
  5. New fitness adventures (but staying pretty safe). I want to face some fears (my bestie wants me to try roller derby…I’m thinking there is no time like the present!) and try some things I’ve put off (HOT YOGA) due to my social issues.
  6. Daily journaling. I still have quiet time everyday, but I want to take the time to journal and get some thoughts OUT of my head before they can take root and cause problems.
  7. PLAY. Whether it be in the kitchen with my kids or on the rink with my bestie, I need to bring an element of play back into my life.

date night

One great thing of being couch ridden is that you can take the needed to evaluate what it is you truly WANT to do (I fully encourage you to do this same thing, sans the sickness) and it has led to some changes for me. I have 2 things I not only love to do, but also fully and completely believe in: FOOD and YOGA. These 2 things can change a life. So, I’m going to be doing more of them during this off time.

What’s my challenge to you then?

  • Take a little time to re-evaluate your own life. Yes, it can be scary to think about, but it can also be very rewarding in the end.
  • Instead of adding more to your plate to try to make life better, try taking some away.
  • Sit in silence with just yourself for a little while and imagine the life you want to live and leave behind.
  • Try breathing deeply for 3-5 FULL minutes.
  • Let go of expectation and live in the now.
  • PLAY.

Life only comes around once. Some get a second chance through life altering circumstances such as illness or even the death of a loved one…the good news is you need not wait for a grand life-altering occasion; you can change your life for the better starting today.

Until next week,

Michelle

yoga glow

 

Throw Back: Flat abs and sculpted arms with YOGA

 

 

National Yoga Month Continued: Body Benefits and a New Challenge

Happy Monday!

Today we’ll discuss the benefits of yoga as we continue to celebrate national yoga month (if only that and national ise cream month were the same….) as we look into the physical benefits as well as kick off a new challenge. Shall we?

BODY BEAUTIFUL:

Yogis have beautiful bodies, let’s just state that fact. I can give a personal opinion to this: yoga forces us to PAY ATTENTION to our bodies! This means that we aren’t abusing it with terrible food and worse workouts…we actually nurture it from the inside out, thus creating a visually pleasing aesthetic. Many celebrities turn to yoga to ready their bodies for certain roles or even use it daily to stay camera ready for the paparazzi (all part of the job). Who? I’m glad you asked, since i did research on this :)

  • Kate Beckensale
  • Gisele Bundchen
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Madonna
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Natalie Portman
  • Halle Berry
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Jessica Alba
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (along with her Tracy Anderson Method)
  • Evander Hollyfield
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Kristen Davis
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Sting and his wife Trudy Styler

It’s safe to say that is a pretty good-looking group of people :) , but they aren’t alone. Many movie sets now offer yoga during filming AND there are many sports teams that partake in yoga sessions as well. Yoga has been around forever and though it may be questioned at times, it remains a popular way to torch calories and maintain a trim physique. While many studies show innumerable benefits to a regular practice, let’s highlight a few of the awesome ones that so many utilize yoga for today:

meghan yoga

PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF YOGA:

  1. Increases body awareness.
  2. Stretches and lengthens the muscles.
  3. Increases muscle tone in small and large muscle groups for a more balanced physique.
  4. Improves posture.
  5. Increases energy, stamina and vitality.
  6. Decreases body fat.
  7. Increases balance.
  8. Increases coordination.
  9. Improves joint range of motion.
  10. Lubricates joints.

Please visit the link HERE for a full listing of the benefits of yoga.

It’s great to know the benefits of yoga, but how does one go about getting started? That’s where a good old-fashioned CHALLENGE comes in to help you out!

TODAY, I am embarking upon my own challenge of 40 Days of Yoga. I commit to doing yoga for 40 straight days and I would love for you to join me. Not literally on my mat as that is my space and I have personal space issues…BUT you can practice yoga just about anywhere. You don’t even need a mat if you have some carpet (though I really prefer a mat). Set your goal to simply accomplish some yoga for the next 40 days. It doesn’t have to be at a studio (though that is VERY beneficial. I recommend studios over gyms ANY DAY) and it doesn’t have to be an hour-long. There are days when I may only do 10-20 minutes of yoga in the morning, but it does get done and I feel all the better for it.

To help you on this challenge, I have a list of helpful sites and teachers who offer FREE YOGA! I’ll be posting some of my favorite yoga sequences as well. Check out the list below for the links you need to get your benefits started (flatter abs are one of the BIG ones I left off):

  • www.yogatoday.com You get a free full length class per week from expert instructors. Want more? Let me know and I can get you a code for a free full week!
  • Sadie Nardini: Rock star of a yoga teacher, creator of Core Strength Vinyasa and an all around cool chick.
  • Baron Baptiste: Power flow at it’s best. Baron gives concise instruction and flawless sequencing.
  • Tara Styles: All things chill here. Tara is great for helping you feel at ease and taking away any stress.
  • Yoga Journal: The YouTube site gives you free vids and the web site gives you LOADS of yoga living info.
  • Meghan Currie: Just plain AWESOME.
  • www.myyogaonline.com charges a fee for streaming videos, but it is minimal and you can choose from yoga, Pilates and even dance.
  • www.yogaalliance.com helps ensure your teacher is registered.

sadie yoga

Now that you have the tools, make the commitment. If after 40 days you feel no better, then move on to something else, no worries. The best thing about yoga is we don’t judge :)

Michelle

Top Ten Ways To Lighten UP for Summer

As we approach the warmer months, here are my top 10 ways to lighten the load and start your Summer off feeling a bit more comfortable :)

  1. Start light. I know this may seem counter-intuitive to some (I even believed and preached the “big breakfast” sermon many times!), but research shows that eating a lighter breakfast will actually set you us for a fully functioning digestive system which will lighten you in more ways than one. This will enable your body to assimilate your foods more readily and free up your energy. Think about starting with a whole foods smoothie (bazillion points for green ones!), a fruit plate, some chopped veggies or even some gluten-free toast (I’m really into spelt right now) with smashed avocado and sea salt.
  2. Think nurture, not punish. Instead of hitting the weights first thing or going for sprint training, consider a yoga or Pilates class to start your day. This can help ease any inflammation and aid in digestion, releasing more energy for the rest of your day. Not into either of those? Take a brisk walk instead and save the weights and/or cardio for end of day training.
  3. De-clutter your kitchen. Spend about an hour this weekend chunking out processed foods that don’t make you feel great. Seriously, get rid of them. This process will set you up for success and free up some space in your kitchen which will enable you to feel more comfortable in your space.
  4. Take it to the closet. While you’re at it, take a little time to throw out the clothes you never wear AND the ones that are so ratty it’s really mean to make your family look at you while you wear them :) . I know it’s hard (trust me, I did it a couple of months ago), but in the end your closet and your spirits will feel lighter. The ones that aren’t extremely worn can be washed (please people!) and folded and donated to a local homeless shelter or shelter for abused women.
  5. Evaluate your schedule. Sit down with your to-do list and your actual what-I-really-do-list. Start to cut back on things that suck up your time and make you feel unproductive (Facebook anyone?). This will help you to re-evaluate your priorities and level up your time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
  6. Go outside! Find a wooded path to walk or hike, take your dog out for a walk or go for a soothing bike ride. You can even find outdoor yoga classes this time of year as well. Spending a little time in the fresh air (try jumping on a trampoline for an energy lift!) can reinvigorate your creativity.
  7. Try a new workout. Head to that new Barre class with your friend, try out a hot yoga class, or even check out the latest pole dancing class (of course, you’ll have lunch after!). Trying something new allows your mind to stop overcontrolling everything all the time. It can also allow you to act on a different part of your personality, freeing up some of that stress we hold on to.
  8. BREATHE! When was the last time you sat down, closed your eyes and just took some deep breaths? It sounds corny, but it really does help. Try this: find a comfortable seat anywhere where you can relax…but don’t fall asleep on me. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale through the nose, counting to 6. Hold the breath lightly at the top, then take a slow exhale, counting to 8. Hold at the bottom and repeat. This will send a “Calm Down” signal to the central nervous system and allow your brain to process thoughts and emotions even better.
  9. Plan some leisure time. Summer is not the time to get all up tight. Set aside some time to indulge on reading a book or simply laying in the sun for a bit (SPF please). Play with your children or visit an old friend or neighbor. Set aside thoughts of “I could be doing something productive right now” and just be in the moment. Life is short, enjoy the still moments when you can.
  10. Get off the computer. Really. Click the screen off, place your hands over your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Then stand up and stretch, walk a little and return ready to go…or keep walking :)

Hopefully, you can use these tips to create an enjoyable Summer for yourself and those around you.

Until next week,

Michelle

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