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Tips for Starting/Staying on the Healthy Path

Wacky Wednesday

1. Always, always, always keep a water bottle handy. Water should be your go-to healthy drink of choice. Don’t like the plain taste of water or want to liven it up? Add a bit of lemon, lime, cucumber or berries to add flavor without adding too many calories.
2. Think of your workout/exercise as a treat and pleasure instead of a chore. Positive thinking helps boost how you push yourself and the gains made from regular exercise Get excited for your next workout and then go get it!
3. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and eat them often, but keep them small. Remember that extra calories = extra weight, no matter what the latest fad diet may say.
4. Avoid secondhand smoke (and first hand for that matter!) and limit caffeine intake. Both are counterproductive to your healthy goals!
5. Start with, and focus on, your short term goals and emphasize completing exercise daily.
6. Track what you eat. Use a food journal to log everything that goes in. Whether it is a shake for breakfast or a bag of chips, track it. You can’t change habits if you don’t know exactly what you are trying to change.
7. Enjoy an occasional treat, once a week is good. But don’t over do it with an unhealthy week or vacation, it will undo everything you’ve worked hard to attain.
8. Help others find their healthy by including them in your exercise! Grab a partner for your next workout routine. Grab a friend or neighbor as you head out for your next walk. Get others up and active with you! It adds energy and fun to the routine!
9. Keep things fun and new! Get a new pair of shoes, create a new play list, or even finding and adding a new form of exercise to keep you going.
10. Read health/fitness magazines to help keep you in a healthy lifestyle frame of mind. Or, if you don’t want the paper clutter, subscribe to digital versions of the magazines, healthy lifestyle blogs (like this one, or Team Beachbody Blog). Or find folks that inspire you on Instagram and Pinterest!
11. Invest in yourself and your goals with the right tools – good (read supportive) workout shoes and comfortable workout clothes.
12. Make it a goal to work out at least 6 days a week. If the program you are following is only 4 or 5 days make sure to get out and walk on those other days, or add in some yoga or another light form of exercise.
13. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your body is not theirs. Instead, make sure to focus on YOUR body and love yourself. The work you are doing is YOUR progress. Own it, love it, and make it yours.
14. Work to keep your diet balanced, either by adjusting what you eat or adding a quality multivitamin and supplements.
15. Always strive to take your intensity to the next level. Use heavier weights, go further on that next walk. Walk or run faster. Just keep making forward strides!
16. Create your exercise schedule in advance and stick to it. If the President of the United States and Actors can create a schedule to workout every day and stick to it, so can you!
17.Don’t make weight loss your only, or even main, goal for this journey Weight is a number on the scale, focus more on how you feel, how your clothes fit, and how much more flexible you are, how your endurance grows. These things are a better indicator than a number on a scale. Numbers can lie, how you feel does not.
18. Create a meal plan you can stick to for the rest of your life. Keeping in mind that the hard work you do in the gym cannot overcome the work undone in the kitchen. Fitness and health begin with the food you use to fuel your body. If you’re eating too many calories, you likely won’t see all that muscle you are creating, it’ll continue to hide beneath a later of fatty tissue.
19. Be sure to get plenty of sleep Your body needs the time to regenerate and recuperate from the work you are doing. Sleep is when your muscles recover. Besides, an added bonus to all of that exercise? Most people who exercise regularly are more likely to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly!
20. Limit your alcohol intake to special occasions. It is counterproductive to the hard work you are doing!

(Adapted from Chalene Johnson’s post on the Team Beachbody Blog)


Finding your WHY

I want to take a moment to revisit a topic I’ve touched on. Finding our Why. That thing that drives us, our innermost purpose and goals. It is your vision, your passion, and your motivation.

When you first found your coach, you may have sat down and discussed this already. It is that innermost goal, that drive, the push to succeed, and the desire to find the change and the new within that guides you every day. But have you put it into words? Do you have it written down somewhere that you will see it every day and push yourself with those small reminders? WHAT is your WHY? Why are you doing this? Why are you committing to this change? It’s not the dream of a thinner body. It’s not the goal to look good in a bikini. Those are dreams and goals. Your why is what drives you. The passion you find every morning to get up and do what it takes to see yourself healthier, happier, and more positively radiant in everything you do. It will push you forward when you start to doubt and flag in your motivation.

It isn’t a goal that lasts for just these 10 days, or 21, or even 30. It is that driving force deep within that carries it further and makes this a lifestyle change that you sustain, maintain, and achieve. We are here to help you find it, but at the end of the day YOU are the one to find it, write it down, and live it. Because your WHY may be different than mine, or anyone elses. Yes, part of it is eating right and working out every day, but it is why you do it. Even when you don’t feel like it. Because you want to make the change for that one core reason. What is that reason? What is your WHY?

Here are a few questions that might help you find it…

Why do you want to change the way you eat?
Why are you joining this group?
Who are you changing for?
What is the ultimate reason you are doing this?
What can you look to and draw on to motivate you every day?

Remember to break down each answer you get until it won’t go any tighter. You want to lose weight. Why? You want yo look good in an outfit. Why? You want to be healthier. Why? You want more energy to play with your kids. Why? What drives that desire and goal? It’s not just the values that drive you, it’s that tiny seed deep within seeking the light. You keep asking why until you can’t ask why any more. THEN you’ve found your why. Your motivation. Your driving factor!

Don’t look to goals and dreams, ultimately look to what fuels them!


P90X3 – Day 6

P90X3 - The Warrior, day 6

P90X3 – The Warrior, day 6

The Warrior is a mix of cardio and body weight exercises. Quite a few of the poses had a pilates or yoga feel to them, while pushing you to use your body in ways you may not always use it. Yes, my ever dreaded nemesis the burpees make an appearance here. I swear, Tony finds new ways to torture us with workouts, but the torture ends up being a good thing in the end as we are pushing and exceeding goals.

Okay, perhaps it’s not really torture but I swear some days I think it is. Of course, when all is said and done I’m like “that was fun, let’s do it AGAIN!!!!” It keeps me coming back. 🙂 Exercise and fitness are my high. Pushing the limits and mastering new moves is what I crave!

The thing that I enjoyed the most about this one is that it is totally set to honor our Heroes – those serving our country in some capacity. Those serving in the Military, Police, Firefighters, and other civil servants.


Thoughtful Tuesday

21 DFX Upper Fix EXTREME Though of the Day – Build a body you’re proud of

When we work out we are often working towards a goal. Losing weight. Gaining muscle or to tone up. Bulking up. Getting stronger. All of that is building the body and lifestyle you want.

Exercise is a large part of “building” that body. You are stretching, strengthening, and even toning those muscles. Sometimes even bulking them up. But you are working on the machine that is your physical temple and body.

Perhaps an even larger part of building that body is the food you eat. No matter how hard you work, you can sabotage yourself in the kitchen each and every day. You have to build the menus to sustain the new, healthier, fit lifestyle you are building.

Clean, healthy and lean eating becomes vital. Cutting out the candy bars, donuts, cookies, cake, fast food, etc. becomes an integral part of finding the body and life you are working towards. You can’t live on that stuff every single day and expect the work you do in the gym, on the track, or on the bike to fix the way you eat.

Fitness and health is about balance. Life is about finding balance. To succeed, to truly succeed, we must find the balance between what we eat, how we work our bodies, what we feed our minds and souls with, and how we relax and rejuvenate ourselves. Find that balance between mind, body, heart and soul and you’ll have built the strongest most balanced and healthiest/happiest whole self you can!


21 Day Fix EXTREME – Day 9

Today was Upper Fix EXTREME! By the time I was done my shoulders were burning, my biceps were tight and my triceps weren’t sure if they liked me anymore or not. In a word it was… AWESOME! If a bit brutal. But change doesn’t happen without work. It doesn’t change without pushing. I did both! No the weights haven’t gone up, but seeing as I’m still modifying with the 8 lb weights as my heavies, I’m not moving up. Not yet anyhow.

I want to be able to do the reps unmodified before I increase the weight. There’s no point in going heavier if I can’t keep proper form and the reps with the weights I’m using. Yes, I know part of it might be not trusting myself, and not wanting to injure myself. I figure I’ll likely do like I did with the Original 21 Day Fix and do 2 rounds. This first round is to really learn and get the workouts down. Perfect my form. I’ll let the 2nd round be the one where I really push myself and see just how heavy, how hard, how far I can go.

Last week was much like the Original in that I wasn’t sure if I liked the program or not. I am starting to enjoy it more and more with each day, each workout, each increase in confidence as I move through. It’s not better or worse than 21DF, but different. It is definitely more of a challenge, but in a good way. It’s good to challenge myself, because it keeps my muscles guessing and keeps me moving and on my toes.

What have you done to challenge yourself today? Are you working towards your goals? How can I help you get there? Talk to me. Message me, email, leave a comment. Let me know how I can help you get to where you want to go. I want to help you get there!


21 Day Fix EXTREME – Day 3

Today is Pilates Fix EXTREME. When they said it was Extreme they sure weren’t joking. I’m talking adding resistance bands to the Pilates moves. Some carried over from the original 21 Day Fix, others are all new. And the bands make it oh so very challenging.

Today was definitely a day of modifications. Modifying poses, pausing to catch my breath, and wondering if I could do even half of what I was supposed to be doing. I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, I wanted to quit. Instead I modified and did what I could, pausing if I had to so I didn’t lose form. This one is going to definitely take work and practice. And maybe some lighter resistance bands.

It was well and truly a butt kicker. So far all of the EXTREME workouts have been. It’s a challenge, and a nice one. But I have to admit, it has me wondering if I was ready to step up to this challenge. Just my own personal self doubts creeping in. I won’t let them win and I won’t give up or give in! I will complete this round and I will succeed!


21 Day Fix EXTREME – Day 2

Day 2 and Upper Fix EXTREME was on tap. This one focused on the biceps, triceps, chest and abs, with a tiny bit of work on the legs. I stuck with my 5 lb and 8 lb weights, and a light resistance band. I admit I originally tried with a heavier resistance band and had to go lighter, it was just kicking my butt and I wasn’t using good form so switched it up!

I managed a few push-ups on my toes but quickly went to my knees. I still struggle with more than 3-5 on my toes, but those have ALWAYS been a weakness, so that is a vast improvement for me. I also went to the knees for them to keep form and ensure I could complete them correctly.

The lifting and other exercises were done with little to no modifications by me, so that was a nice bit. 🙂 I enjoyed this Upper workout. It was definitely a challenge, and something to definitely work me.


Getting Started – Week 2 and Beyond

The program is started, the nutrition is dialed in, and you’re sore. I promise you it balances out. Some say it doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. Which in some ways is true. It does get easier to keep the meal plans and nutrition going, your body stops craving the junk that you no longer need. Your body gets stronger and more flexible the more you get up and are active. So stuff that seemed hard at one point, do get easier in a way. Be it through mental training and repetition for ease that way, or through physical activity and strength gained to make harder tasks easier to perform.

Don’t discount your progress, and don’t give up. You’re still getting started and adjusting to the changes. Don’t let A little success be all that you need, strive for more. Strive to chisel away the best you that you can find. And don’t think that means you have to be skinny to be happy. Please. Ignore the meme “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” It’s not about being skinny. It’s about being HEALTHY. I change the saying to reflect that statement. “NOTHING tastes as good as HEALTHY feels.”

You are the prize at the end of the hard work, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. What you are starting to do is that rainbow, that road to your healthy and happy. Keep up the work. Keep getting up and pressing play. Continue to make healthier choices in your food. Will it be a perfect and immediate results? No. It takes hard work and dedication. And you may never find the “skinny” that others have. You can still be healthy and have extra weight. We are all built different. The important thing is you are working to make a healthier life for yourself.

And I’m here to cheer you on and help you as you move forward. I’m here to help you find what works for YOU. Because you are unique and what works for me may not work for you. Allow me to help you and cheer you on. Turn to your Doctor to learn what you can and cannot feasibly do. Read. Learn. Don’t rely on others alone to provide you with the tools and solutions you seek. You have to be an active, vocal and integral part of the changes you seek. You can do it. You will do it. You made the commitment. Keep it going!


Getting Started – Week 1

So you’ve gotten your prep work all finished and you’re ready to start. Let’s do this! You’re ready to rock the workouts, put in the work and get it done. And I’m sitting here cheering you on. Now for some of the things you can expect during that first week…

You’ll sweat. A lot! If you’re not used to working out or any type of structured activity and have been mostly sedentary, the exertion will likely make you sweat. I like to think of sweat as fat crying. Sweat is a product of raising your heart rate and your core body temperature through exertion and hard work to retrain the way your muscles and body move. It is a measure and visible proof that you’ve been active, done the work, and are putting in the effort needed.

You may be sore. Let’s face it, when we use muscles we aren’t used to and push ourselves further than we are used to we make the muscles work. Those muscles begin to change their form and that can lead to tenderness and soreness. At first it will hurt. Some days you’ll even consider taking a Tylenol or Motrin to help ease the soreness. That’s perfectly okay. Long soaks in a warm bath with epsom salts also helps. As does massage and foam rolling. Show those muscles some love when you are done. But for heavens sake, make sure you are properly warming up and cooling down before and after your workouts to ensure you are showing those muscles all the love they deserve. Let me repeat that. DO NOT workout cold. Stretch. Both before and after. It helps to get the synovial fluid moving to coat and protect your joints, it helps to move along the proteins in your muscles, and helps to fight soreness and injury.

Remember that you are working for change. You are working towards goals and for results. And you are working to feel better. It takes time, consistency and effort. You can do it. Don’t quit before you start. Don’t quit just after you start. Stick with it, I promise you’ll see the results and feel better. It is just sometimes a slow moving boulder. You have to first push that boulder up the hill to watch it roll down and pick up momentum. Think of these first few weeks as pushing that boulder up the hill. You’ll reach that pinnacle and see the top soon enough. You can do it.

And remember, I’m here cheering you on. And always a message or email away if you’re working with me to find those results. I want to help you. I want to see you succeed. And not for me. I want to see you succeed for YOU! Remember, you are why you are doing this. I am just another tool in that tool box to help ensure your success. Let’s do this!


Getting Started – Week 0

Week 0 is the week that we plan out menus, start prepping meals and groceries for the week(s) ahead, and go over the guides for the workout program you are dedicated to doing. If there is a video/DVD with “how to” for the different moves/forms this is the week to watch it a couple of times. Maybe even try out the moves with the instruction on your screen.

Knowing HOW to do the moves is vital to keeping yourself from getting hurt once you start. Having the right equipment and everything your program requires before you start also helps prepare you for success. You can look at it with a couple of sayings or anachronisms.

The first is to be like a Boy Scout and always be prepared. (No, we’re not all boys or scouts, but the adage fits.) Be prepared before you start and be prepared for eventualities that will come up and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

The second is one I learned from the Military, the 5 (or 6 depending on how you count and write it out) P’s – Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Much like “be prepared” this one reminds us to plan ahead so we can kick butt and take names. Knowing what we’re doing, before we’re doing it, and being ready to get it done makes things so much less stressful.

This is the big reason all of the Beachbody programs come with schedules and meal plans and guides. They give you the tools to set you up for success. You just have to sit down, research, plan, follow through, and push yourself to your success. Heck, even the Beachbody website has a section to schedule all of your workouts and gives you the ability to log and track your workouts. That accountability is huge. It also has a section for helping plan meals and many ideas for the meal plans for each workout.

Some of the meal plans aren’t as concrete as others, and this is where the research and planning comes in on your part. With 21 Day Fix, I was given a guide of what to eat, how to portion it out, and I sat down and made the menu based on those guidelines. It took a bit of time, and creativity, and a good bit of planning, but I got it done.

You can too. It sounds pithy to say if I can do it, so can you. But honestly, it’s true. With dedication and work, you CAN do it. That’s why you committed to change isn’t it? You want to see those changes and are finally ready to take the steps to make it happen. So stop doubting and trust that you can do it. And believe that I am here to help you. It is why I am a coach. To help others find their fit, find their groove, and help when you get stuck or need more information.

What steps have you taken to achieve those goals today?