Saturday, September 29, 2018

Day one again....

Do you ever feel like it's day one, over and over and over?
I actually think that's great.  I mean there is a great reward for those that just remain consistent and never stop doing everything right all the time.  But the unconquerable spirit of those that have fallen off the wagon and gotten back up again and again... I am with you!
I am a food addict.  I have a hard time kicking the fast food and soda. 
I am naturally a total beach bum and would be happy to sit on the couch all the time and watch netflix.  Right?  Right.  I know some of you feel me.
So often I fall out of the daily habit of clean foods and daily exercise. 
I started my fitness business to keep me accountable because I would be helping others to get healthy.  But there are times when I am not teaching a fitness class or that I have busy days and fast food is just easy... and then.... yup... I've gained a few pounds and feel like crap.
Then I catch it and get back up and go again.  Say a few Motivational affirmations about How I can do anything and look at my goals and get back up at it again.

This is normal.

So if this sounds familiar - Don't beat yourself up about it.  Just recognize that you are trying and go for it. Again.

It's another type of consistency, consistently getting back up.  It is okay.  It is awesome. 

Today I started my first day of running.  Again.  I have a love/hate relatinship with running.  I have set a goal of doing another marathon before age 50. I turn 45 next week.  SO I have 5 years to get there before my time limit is up.  Right?
I don't love running.  I love finish lines to cross.  I love doing something hard and saying "I did it!".  That's what I love.
I tried to get some friends to go with me.  But none of my newly professed "running buddies" showed up.  So I waited for a minute or two.  Then my Dog and my 11 year old son and I headed off.  I REALLY did not feel like running.  I mean, it's been...  I don't know how long since my last actual run.  Running is different than teaching a fitness class.  It takes different muscles and is a totally different feeling.  So, I felt out of shape and really not in the mood.  I could have just gone home and said, forget it.  This sucks. My friends flaked and running is hard. 
BUT, I remembered my day one of my long ago journey where I was very much alone.  just me and my dog and I had passed out just walking a block.
I remembered how tough that first day one really was about 10 years ago.  That was a different me.  But I did it.  I took a few steps every day and built up slowly to where I was finally running races.  It took years.
On today's Day one, I gave myself permission to start over.  To just walk.  So I walked.  I walked briskly instead of running and it felt amazing!
I did not hate it.
I loved it!
Sometimes we have to give permission to listen to the right voices.  There were a few voices today.
Voice 1: Give up and go home. 
Voice 2: Run hard even though you hate it.  You have something to prove to other people.  You can kick ass!!!!!!!!!
Voice 3: Walking is okay too since it's been a while. It's okay to let go of ego.

I chose voice 3
That was the right choice for me today.
I started over with my running journey today.  Walking is ok. 
What are you starting over with today?
What are the baby steps you are choosing or are you an all in kind of person?
What are the voices you will be listening to today on your day one?

Monday, May 21, 2018

Creating your "Power Hour"

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted in a long while.  A lot has happened since February.  First off, I moved.  That was a huge distraction and I am taking that as part one of my excuse.  Part 2 of my excuse - I let go of my "Power Hour" for a long time which is the time I used in the morning to write, read, meditate, plan, etc...

Here why I let it go for a while...
One day my sweet 16 year old daughter and my 13 year old son came to me and said, "Mom, we want to go do bootcamp at 5:30am every morning."  My heart skipped a beat.  My teenage kids are asking to go workout early in the morning with me?  How could I say no?  Of course it was in the same time as I was using for my power hour.  But I agreed.

It's been great working out with my kids.  Somehow though, I couldn't fit my power hour into other parts of the day.  after 6:30am, the world seems to be moving too fast.

I love my power hour.  It's a sacred time in my life.  It's a time I communicate with God and find out what I need to do for the day.  If nothing else happens right for the rest of the day, I did that hour and it feels amazing.

SO... I chose to move the workout with my kids to later in the evening so I could have that peace of mind and sanctuary back to me.  It is THAT important.  As important as my kids are, I NEED to put me first.  I found that when my power hour slipped away, I felt more scattered, anxious and had a harder time reaching my goals.   My kids will learn by example and we do still find time in the day to spend together and be active.  Besides.  They weren't doing bootcamp anyway.  They were more interested in the 40/20 circuit I created.  We can do that pretty much anytime.   When I put my oxygen mask on me first, I am better able to take care of my family and other priorities.

Here's what my power hour looks like:
1 - Make myself a healthy breakfast to start the day (I use Shakeology)
2 - Get on my knees and communicate with God
3 - Read from Holy books or listen to talks from inspired sources
4 - daily affirmations
5 - write down my goals every day
6 - Write in my journal my thoughts and feelings
7 - plan out the day
8 - take time to do come creative writing (15 minutes)
9 - Get in my workout clothes and go exercise!

What is your power hour?  When do you do yours?
Make your day the best and start with YOUR sacred time.  It's a must!

Friday, February 16, 2018

"I'm too busy to workout."

I've actually heard this excuse many times.
The truth is, if you don't want to do something and you don't want success, any excuse will do.  This is just one of a very very long list.
You WILL make time for anything that is important to you.
I used to be "too busy" to make my bed and read books.  Somehow, I created the time in my life to make those things (and a lot of other things) happen by shifting my schedule a tad and eliminating things that only hinder me from success.
Now you probably think I am slob since I just admitted to not making my bed.  That's ok.  I kind of was.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day.  You choose how to use them and prioritize the things that will make you happiest and bring you joy.

Here's the thing...
exercise helps reduce the effects of Toxic stress in your life.  Stress, if not handled well, can lead to a lot of problems including heart problems, Digestion issues, Cortisol build up that shows as toxic fat cell growth around the abdomen, and more.  The funny thing - Exercise helps diminish ALL of that!
It is the BEST therapy you will ever invest in!  No joke.

SO as you are going about your busy day, take a minute in the morning to block in your exercise time.  CARVE it out!  MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Take a look at the most successful people you know, who is getting things done and making a difference?  Chances are they are in the habit of daily exercise.  It clears the head, it takes care of stress toxins, and helps boost your feeling of self-confidence.  PLUS, there are a million other wonderful reasons to exercise every day!

When you make exercise of ANY amount, whether it's 5 minutes or 2 hours, a regular part of your  routine, you will see changes in your life.

I am going through a move and starting up a new business and writing a book and taking care of 5 kids and their crazy schedules.  It is so easy to look at it all and say "nope, just can't do it all".  Then pass on that window to try and just do laundry or pack or .... You name it... 

But I know something that is the key to creating life-long habits - life doesn't get quiet.  If You wait for life to settle, you will be 75 years old and frustrated that your health is failing fast and you don't have the strength to get yourself off the toilet alone.  Does that sound drastic?  It's the truth.
You can ask several of my clients I work with.  I have people coming in to START an exercise program at age 70 because they finally figured out they should have been doing something to help themselves feel better as they aged.  I have clients that at age 65 can't get up out of a chair because they have never done a single squat in their lives and are coming to me to finally help them improve their quality of life, because they "Never had time for it before."

To be honest, years and years ago I used that excuse too.  after having 5 babies and feeling overwhelmed with my business and the home and trying to be a mom to very young kids and keep up with my responsibilities in the community and church, I just decided I didn't have time.  I told myself that taking time out for fitness was selfish.  I mean, My husband would love me even if I was overweight, so it wasn't necessary for me to lose weight for him.  So...  I just let it go.  Fast forward a few more years and I was depressed, passing out while taking a walk, and incapable of caring for and playing with my kids.  It BECAME a necessity to fit in daily exercise.  I did have to push a little to convince my husband that time for me to do this was critical to being a better mother and wife.  He eventually saw the change in my attitude and became more supportive of me taking time for me.

Your only excuse you have is you!

Here is a simple 5-10 minute workout for you to do in the morning before you do anything else...
10 of each (repeat as many times as you have time carved out for.
 - High knees (bring knees up toward your chest, alternating sides, go as fast as you want, the faster the better  right leg and left leg   = 1)
 - Chair squats (sit down and stand up, try not to use your hands, add weight if you need a challenge, also get rid of the chair and go deeper/ lower if you are ready for it, but keep your knees aligned over your ankles not rocking forward.)
 - Pushups (either on your toes in plank position or on your knees, or against the table or a wall if you are a very beginner, lower your chest toward the ground/table/wall and press back up to starting position.  Keep back straight.)
 - Sit ups (lay down on the ground on your back and sit up to touch your toes.  You can do a modified version sitting in a chair and reach over head then crunch down to touch your toes flexing your abdomen if you are unable to get on the ground.)

Just 4 exercises you can repeat as many rounds as you want.  You DO have the time.  I am not even going to argue with you about it.  SO decide today to be the best YOU there is and create an amazing life.
When will you CARVE that time out for physical  self care?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What are your non-scale victories?

I am feeling super good today!
I weighed myself and haven't dropped any weight in 3 months.
I should be upset and angry with "no results", right?


Let me tell you what's going on.  
I lost 5% body fat this past month.  I lost 3 inches in my waistline. I can do more push-ups. I can run faster.  I can lift more.  I have more energy.

BUT... the scale didn't move.  I should be upset because of the scale.

Here's what I know...

Muscle takes up a LOT less space than fat!
I am getting stronger, that means I am gaining some muscle.
My body fat percentage is going down.  That means I am losing Fat.
If all I had done was lost fat and hadn't increased strength. I would just be thinner and not more capable.  But because I have gained strength I am thinner AND and more capable.  PLUS having the muscle mass helps to keep weight off by burning more calories while at rest.

This is why it is CRITICAL to kick the scale focused program of your health journey. 
Remember my story of the skinny runway model that passed out at my bootcamp several years ago?  She was skinny but she couldn't last 5 minutes of a warm up.  That's bad!
She wanted to lose 10 more pounds and be skinnier.  All she knew was the importance of the number on a scale. When I told her she was going to gain a few pounds but have some shape to her, she quit the program because she didn't want to eat more food than one diet coke and a salad every day and over do her cardio til she was nothing.

YOU GUYS!!!!  We have to stop this!
Track your progress, sure.  But find appropriate ways to do so.
 - Use a calipers or other tools to test your body fat.
 - measure your waistline and track inches lost.
 - Watch your pants size change.
 - Take a photo in your bathing suit every few months.
 - test your abilities occasionally (push-ups, hold plank, etc...)
 - Sign up for a 5k every few months and see if you are getting faster and better.

I feel amazing today.  Not because of the scale, but because of my body fat percentage and push-ups.  I even took a quick sprint and found I could move faster and wasn't as sluggish as I was 3 months ago.  What are you celebrating today? 
 - Michelle 

Monday, January 8, 2018


How do you know if you are getting enough water?
Well, there is a mathematical formula to help you know exactly the right amount of water you should be drinking depending on your weight.  BUT, since I was a PE major and totally hate doing math, I am going to tell you the easier way....

Check your pee.

Get real here.  What color is your pee?  If it is orange - you are dehydrated.  Bright Yellow?  You could stand for more water in your life.
Light yellow and almost clear - YES!  You got it!

How frequently do you need to visit the john?  You should be going pee frequently.  The downside to getting the right amount of water is frequent trips to the bathroom.

Just to get a little personal here, I probably have to pee maybe 4 or more times a day.  Back in the day when I drank very little water, I was maybe going once a day.

SO why make the trade for more bathroom visits?  Isn't that annoying?
Well folks, would it shock you to know that most people do not get enough water and are dangerously dehydrated.
AND that soda and sugary drinks DO NOT hydrate the body.  Do not count that diet coke as your fluid consumption!

Water helps
 - Lower your blood pressure
 - lowers cholesterol and reduces risk of stroke and heart attack
 - Moisturizes the skin
 - reduces acne
 - reduces water retention
 - helps you to eliminate... eh hmm... "body waste"
 - Boosts overall levels of energy long-term (unlike caffeine)
 - prevents headaches
 - slows the appearance of aging process by making your skin look younger
 - helps with weight loss
 - helps keep blood sugar levels in check - great for diabetics
 - lubricates your joints
 - helps prevent cancer by flushing toxins from the body
 - helps prevent neurological disorders like Alzheimer's by keeping blood vessels in the brain healthy.
 - improves overall mood and reduces depression. (try it for 30 days and see if I am wrong)
 - improves sleep
 - and yup, it will boost your immune system!

So put down the diet soda and pick up that water bottle!

I once had a first and only time client that showed up to class with a diet soda in her hand.  I greeted her and welcomed her to class.  Our conversation went something like this...
me: Hi!  Welcome!... (blah blah blah... general greeting...)
Her: (very unhappy sounding) yeah, my doctor told me I had to start exercising.  I am not thrilled to be here.  I was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have to make some lifestyle changes.
Me: (boldly crossing a line here - Grabbing her soda out of her hand) Well let's start here.  All the exercise in the world won't make much difference until you start drinking more water instead of soda. (hands her a bottle of water).
Her: Oh Hell NO!  (grabs her soda and throws the water bottle at me) Water is for bathing in!  I am NOT giving up my Diet Coke!

I laughed a little and thought ... "Enjoy your Diabetes, lady."  I never saw her again.  I wonder how she's doing.

If you have not made the switch from soda yet, take this challenge and do so today!  
Start feeling amazing!  You might go through actual withdrawal symptoms like I did.  It was rough at first but SO worth the extra effort and my life is better for it!

 - Cheers

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Feel the sun on your face every day!

When I was struggling in a deep depression nearly 10 years ago, I asked God for help out of the darkness.  Guess what the inspiration out of darkness was - light.  Yup.  The answer that came to my mind was to get out and see the sun every day.
I came to view myself as the little robot from the movie "Wall-E".  My batteries die if I don't see the sun.
Cute movie by the way, I highly recommend it.   It has a wonderful message. 
We get so caught up in the day to day living that we forget what life is meant to be.
We have this amazing world around us and we spend most of our time inside stuck on our electronic devices.  Take today to set those devices down, finish you personal and business stuff quickly on the computers, set that timer and get it done if it must be done.  (I am doing that right now.)  Then, shut it off and get outside for some fun.  If it's cold where you are, bundle up! I grew up on a ranch in southern Wyoming where temperatures often plummeted below freezing and snow piled high.  Some of my favorite memories are bundling up in snow boots, gloves, hats, scarves, several layers of clothing and snow suits.  Then after we got to the "I can't my arms down" 
level of bundling, we went out and built snow forts, went sledding,  had epic snowball fights, etc... 

 On rainy muddy days, we would go "mud-whomping" (sliding down muddy wet hillsides) or played mud football.
As an adult have you called your adult friends and ever planned a game of mud soccer?

I feel very blessed today as I live in southern Utah and enjoy pretty decent weather.  It's January and I might have to put a light jacket on for my hike this afternoon after I clean the house.
I have to be honest, the only reason I exercise and teach fitness classes is so that I can help myself and others enjoy outdoor play time without injury.   
Mud games and snow fights not your thing?  
Just get out for a quick brisk cold weather walk.
I can tell you that my life has changed since making this a priority in my life.  On days when I neglect getting outside and seeing the sun, I feel a dip back where I don't want to go.  The best antidepressant you can find is getting outside.  I promise!
This year I am making a resolution to take daily walks and hike more trails. 
Join me in changing your mental state and happiness this year.
And hey, it also burns calories.  There is that. 
Time to shut it down and get out there!

 - Michelle

Friday, January 5, 2018

Am I a better person today than I was a year ago?

Your challenge today:
Reflect on last year and ask yourself  "Am I a better person today than I was a year ago?"

I believe this is more important than asking if you dropped the weight or hit all the goals and resolutions you set a year ago.

Truth is, we often fall short of our goals.  It's not that the goals themselves weren't worth setting.
If in reaching for those goals you are better today than you were a year ago - CONGRATULATIONS! Feel great about the reaching for something better.

Keep setting those goals.  Keep striving for greatness.  It's my belief that life is about becoming a better human step by step.  Perfection isn't real.  But a step toward a better life, better habits, better health - THAT is attainable.

I believe in setting goals.  I believe in reaching for more.

Take some time to reflect on what you did this past year that made you a better version of you.
Then take some time to meditate and pray and ponder on what will take you to the next best place for you this coming year in the following areas:
- Physical
- Mental/ education
- Spiritual
- Social/ community
- family relationships
- Financial 

Set goals in all those areas and live daily to become a better version of you.  Read more Books, Get outside, Take more time to communicate with God, Volunteer, Date your spouse, play with your kids, Save a few more pennies for the future.

We could get into the details of what Goal setting really is... But maybe we will do that another day.
Imagine if you just strive to do one thing today that made your life better, and you did that every day.    My hope is that by this time next year you can look back and say, Yup, I am a better person today than I once was.  I forgave someone.  I feel happier. I have more energy.  I am stronger.  That is my hope for you this coming year in 2018.
Blessings to you - 
 - Michelle