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

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Will this be YOUR YEAR?

Hello 2018!

I love the New Year!  I love hitting a refresh button.  I feel like New Year's day is a giant "do over" button where I get to remake who I want to be.

In truth, the sun sets and rises just like any day.  It's just another day really.  But there is a feeling that comes with the change of the year.

Why in the world do we have this thing called "New Year Resolutions?"  Studies have shown that most people do not make them happen and in fact give up within the first 3 months of the year.

If you go to the gym past March you watch it happen.  Classes and gyms are crowded in January and by the end of March... ehhhh... not so much.  What happened to those New Year's resolution people?
Where do they go?

Where do you fall in?  Are you a New Year Resolution drop out?  Or are you something different?  Are you one of those rare and wonderful beings that takes those resolutions to become better and actually makes it happen?
If you are not the latter, are you ready to become one?

I was in a discussion with a facebook friend of mine regarding this topic. He suggested that if you go into the New Year thinking you will be different and that this coming year will bring you all the success you wanted, that you are wrong.  You are still the same person with the same habits.  He's right.

I told me friend that I had the right to claim 2018 as my own because I set used the year before to set myself up for the success I wanted.  I made difficult changes in behavior.  I let go of things that held me back from success.  I reached further and worked harder and smarter.  So I am claiming 2018 as MY YEAR!

I want to see you get 2018 as well.  Take this year to make those changes, break those old habits and create new ones.

In truth I treat every day like a reset button.  Every Sunrise is MY OPPORTUNITY to get closer to my goals.  Every day I write down my goals.  EVERY DAY!  Seriously!  I don't skip a day to wake up, meditate, read, journal, write my goals and map my life for the day, week, months and year ahead.  Then I fuel my body with a nutrient dense shake and go exercise.  This is why I get to claim this year as mine!

I claim each day as MY day!

Today is my day!
And if I am in the habit of claiming the day, I get to claim the week!  I get to claim the month and the year!  2017 was a tough year in the fact that challenges came up I was not expecting.  But I claimed those challenges.  I met them head on, I sought help where needed.  I prayed, I changed, I grew, I let go and I saw remarkable things happen because of those amazing challenges.  

2017 was my year, 2018 will be too.  Not because life will be easy, but because I have the tools to deal with those challenges, grow and become better.  You have those tools as well.  We all do.  We get to choose whether to take on those challenges or let them defeat us.  It is always a choice - to become better or to become defeated. 

One of my daily affirmations I say every morning is "I cannot fail, only learn, grow and become better than I have ever been!"

This is my mantra this year.

Make this your year by making today your day!

All the best - 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

I ain't afraid of no fashion police!

Yes, that is me about to run a 1/2 marathon race in December.  It's COLD!  I hate the cold. It's why I live in the desert.  When it does get cold here, I don't have a ton of cold weather gear, so I get creative to get outside and enjoy it.

One thing you will learn about me as you follow this blog - I am not afraid of the fashion police. I am odd and quirky, but I know how to have fun!

I love Saturdays!  Most of us live a work week Monday - Friday and have weekends off.  There are the exceptions and in the summer, I am one of the exceptions when I am working my other business at Dig Paddlesports.  If your schedule is flipped, find anyday you want that becomes your personal recreation day.  I suggest weekly.  If you can do it more often, you live a wonderful and blessed life.  Enjoy it!  I am lucky that my work affords me that. My work and my recreation are one and the same often.  

On your personal recreation day - whatever day you choose to make it -   Get outside! I know it might be cold being December and all, but sometimes the cold brings a load of fun!  Put on the snow gloves and snow boots and have a snowball fight with the neighborhood.  That kills 2 birds with one stone - social interaction and the need for our bodies to be outside.  As kids we used to play mud football in the rain.  Or do what we called "Mud Whomping" - find a muddy hillside and "sled" down.  I am sure my mom really loved those laundry days.  Out here in Southern Utah, the cold is relatively mild compared to our friends in the North.  Zion canyon is quiet right now. This is a great time to avoid the crowds and enjoy your favorite hikes in Southern Utah without ANYONE around!  It's amazing that we go from millions of visitors to quiet in just a couple of months out here.

   We were not meant to be cramped up inside around the TV and computer screens.  This is the new disease of our age - lack of interaction and outdoor activity.  
  So... What will you do today?  Make it outdoors and find some people to do it with.  
      Have a Blast today!
 - Michelle

Thursday, December 14, 2017

You are responsible for your success - no one else is.

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you gain the power to change anything in your life. 

To clarify, no, you are not responsible for crimes committed against you if you have been the victim of a crime or abuses.  That is something else entirely.  However, you are responsible for your actions, behaviors, failures, successes and attitudes following anything that has occurred to you.

"I'm unhappy because my mom used to beat me as a kid."
"I'm overweight because I was molested."
"I can't exercise because my husband won't let me take a break from the kids."

Those thoughts are what must change.
As long as we use our past hurts and other people as reasons for our failings or unhappiness, we will never change our behaviors.

If any of these things sound like you, then it is you I am speaking to: It's my husband's fault I am unhappy.  It's my kids' fault I'm unable to exercise.  I gained weight because of my children. I had feelings of insecurity because of a childhood wound... etc..

Those are attitudes we CAN change. 

The moment you accept the responsibility that your success and happiness is up to YOU and no one else, is the moment that change can begin to happen in your life.

Here's how it works...

I've heard many women over the years say they can't exercise because of  their kids. And yet, I've seen women pushing jogging strollers in races!  I danced with my babies in the living room or have done push-ups to kiss my babies faces, or weighted squats holding a child in my arms.  Many gyms and fitness studios offer child care and sometimes for free or free with trade for babysitting services.  Including my favorite little Studio in Hurricane Utah- Phazes Studio.

BUT, it's not MY job or anyone else's to find your solutions for what to do with your kids so you can get the exercise YOU need.

What about your happiness?  Do you blame your unhappiness on someone else? Can you become happy in the situation you are currently in? Or do you need to change your situation?  When you find out that you CAN change anything and develop the inner strength to do so, it is an amazing self-discovery.  Developing inner strength is the same as creating outer or physical strength, it is something that starts weak and can be exercised to increase in your ability to do the things you need to do for your own happiness, success and health regardless of your living circumstances or past hurts.  

One of my favorite daily affirmations I read every single morning is this "The moment I take responsibility for everything in my life is the moment I gain the power to change anything in my life!"

And I am.  And I feel powerful.

I feel powerful when I decide to make changes regardless of life circumstances.  Life is busy.  My family is demanding.  I have a crazy schedule with my 2 businesses.  All those things could get in the way of me reaching my physical goals or taking time doing what matters most.  Today my husband and I went to a 30 minute HIIT class together. Usually we don't do that.  But today I asked for what I wanted.  I wanted to spend time with him.  I want to be healthy. And I needed a quick workout that pushed my limits.  Asking my husband to join me because I love him and want to spend time with him is just one way of being assertive in asking for what you need. 

Don't use excuses anymore.  Make choices and take responsibility for everything in your life.  What choices will you make today?

Try looking at life through the eyes of a person that takes responsibility for everything and see what changes you can make.

 - Michelle