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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pie, anyone??

So I'm minding my own business strolling through the grocery store when this woman comes running up behind me...

"You look amazing! What do you do? I work out and teach group classes and I can't seem to get to where I want to be."

I was taken by surprise and humbled by her kind words.

We chatted for a moment exchanging names and the like before the natural progression of questions began:

I bet you work out all the time, right?
I bet you eat "clean" all the time, don't you?

It is always interesting to me to watch the expression on someone's face when I tell them that, in fact, I DO NOT workout all the time. And that if I wanted to eat a piece of cake or pie that I would do it.


Saturday night's dessert options
I didn't get into the details about the dessert I had on Saturday night, I figured we could discuss that at a later date.  It was however important for me to let her know that you CAN reach your health, performance, and physique goals and NOT give up on living your life.

Trust me, I've been there.  I spent years following the most boring meal plans and doing endless hours of training and cardio.  Guess what that did for me-- left me burned out, exhausted, and hungry, no not hungry-- STARVING!!

I found myself wishing the days away until I could drop the routine I was following...and I'm sure everyone around me was wishing the same thing.  Talk about no fun to be around..sheesh.

So I get it, I've been there.  Getting people to really understand that it doesn't have to be that way is certainly a challenge...until I tell them what I am doing now.

What if I told you that I train for only a handful of hours a week- never more than one time each day-that I eat more food than most guys I know, and that I eat dessert when I want it.

Oh and on top of that I'm leaner than I was when I was doing things the "old" way!!!

Yep, it is all true.  And you know what else???? I am happier too!

Don't give up on your dreams of great health, amazing performance, and a stellar physique because you think you'd have to give up living and enjoying life to get there.

You truly can have your cake (or pie) and eat it too!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reclaiming Boston

I've been trying to find the words to adequately describe the experience that was the 2014 Boston Marathon...that has been my delay in writing this post.  Alas, I don't think that there are adequate words.  I don't think that you can truly capture what each and every one of us was feeling as we ran down the streets from Hopkinton to Boston.

With signs everywhere proclaiming "We all run Boston" and "We run as One" the attitude throughout the race expo was one of thankfulness- thankfulness for the ability to be there, to be a part of something so significant, to continue the tradition, to be there to represent the city, to run for the city, and for all those who were affected by the tragedy last year.



One of the many signs hanging in Copley Place

The elevator door at my hotel

Security was heightened and no one seemed to mind.  We all knew that it was in everyone's best interest and that all were there to ensure that the event went off without incident.

Staying at the hotel that served as race headquarters meant extra hoops to jump through for security- especially on race day.  No one was allowed in without proper race credentials, room keys, and having your name cross referenced with the hotel registry.

On race morning the ride to the start line in Hopkinton gave us time to reflect on many things- last year's race, how we planned to run this year, and how we were so thankful to have the opportunity to be here again.  Something that we all had decided was a MUST after last year.

Arriving at the athlete's village it was hard not to notice the increased police presence.  Uniformed officers canvassed the area while others manned the rooftops.

Regardless, everyone seemed at ease, just happy to be there.

We waited in the village for our waves to be called.  When they were we walked in our groups to the start area about .7 mile away.  Along the way we passed more police and military as well as volunteers collecting our "throw away clothes".  Due to a change in pre-race happenings, there were no athlete drop bags at the village.  This meant that anything that you did not want to physically carry with you- or wear- to the finish of the race must be discarded at the village.

Not to worry, those throw away clothes are donated to the homeless shelters in the area.  Just one more way that the marathon supports the communities it touches.







Boston Strong Daffodils were seen everywhere.
Especially along the marathon route where they had been planted.

The cool morning gave way to a sunny sky as we lined up for the race start, just as it had last year.  The Boston Marathon doesn't have a typical start time of 7am.  In years past it would start at 12 noon.  More recently that time has moved up with elite females starting around 9:30 am and the first wave of the rest of the field starting at 10am.

With roughly 11, 000 additional participants, this year's race was the 2nd largest in history.

Lining up in our corrals you could feel the excitement in the air-- from both the athletes and the spectators.

The gun went off and we were on our way down the hills away from Hopkinton.

Boston Marathon spectators are a special group.  They line the streets and spend countless hours cheering for people whom they have never met and will likely never see again.  Children smile and wave and high five everyone that they can reach.

But this year it was different.

Yes, people still stood for hours lining the streets handing out water, oranges, bananas, tissues, ice-pops, Twizzlers, and high fives.  They showered us with sprinklers and hoses and wet sponges. And they cheered.

They cheered for each and every one of us and we could feel it.  It was as if we were there running for THEM.  You know the kind of cheering you see and hear when someone is cheering for a friend or family member, or someone they really care about? You know THAT kind of cheering??? THAT was how they were cheering.

As if each and every step that each one of the 36, 000 of us took was bringing all of us closer to the finish line.  Together.  As one.

There were so many times that my emotions were in my throat. (And incase you were wondering it is next to impossible to run while crying)

I had to refocus on the road ahead and the goal of making it to the finish line.  Not for me, but for all of us.  It was a symbolic taking back of the streets, the marathon, the city, and the finish line.  As each person passed through the cities along the route- Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston- we were slowly, one by one reclaiming the day.

I've run a few marathons and I've even had a few that made me want to quit.  I tell you what, there was no quitting THIS marathon.  It was like everyone was counting on you to do it.  To cross that finish line.

I have never experienced anything like this before, and likely won't again.  We truly ran as one.  We did it, we finished strong.

After the race and safely back in my hotel I placed an order for room service.  My food arrived via the hands of the very same gentleman who delivered it after the race last year. This year was a little different as we both exchanged smiles and not tears.

The next morning exiting the hotel I was elated to see the city just as it was the day before.  Alive and well, full of happy marathoners and void of any of the military vehicles I had seen last year.

Making my way through the airport I could over hear a conversation going on behind me.  A few of the gentleman who had come in from other areas to help with the security detail along the marathon route were discussing their experiences.

I turned and asked if they had worked the event.  They replied "yes".  I thanked them for being there and told them that we couldn't have done it without them. ( I may have failed to mention it, but there were police and/or military personnel stationed every 30 feet along the entire marathon route- along both sides of the street.)

They looked back at me and thanked me for running. They too felt the energy, the unity, the resolve, and the strength that flowed through the streets.  We were one.  We were Boston.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Boston Strong

It is hard to believe that tomorrow marks one year since this happened.  I had written this blog post a year ago and had never posted it.

I started writing it in hopes that it would bring me some sense of release or relief in expressing my feelings and experience.  It didn't. I didn't post it.

As I sat here today about to write another completely unrelated blog I stumbled across this post and decided that it was time...

There is so much that never made it in to this post... so many tears, sleepless nights, days spent staring at the news feeling numb.  So many texts, emails, calls from friends and people I hadn't talked to in years...

Yet a year has passed... some things have changed, some things haven't.

I will board a plan Thursday morning to head to Boston for this year's Boston Marathon.  I am certain many tears will be shed and many smiles will be shared.  This will be a race to remember for sure.  This year I am again praying for a "feel-good" race, and one that lasts.

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I don't even know where to begin with this.  As I was running the Boston Marathon this year I was trying to decide how best to capture the experience...what words and pictures to use. What emotions to discuss, what lesson I would share. You see, it is nearly impossible to be a part of something and not have it affect you in some way.

The 2012 Boston Marathon was an ugly race for me.  While I was thrilled to be there,  just to qualify to be a part of the most historic, most prestigious marathon there is was beyond amazing.  The race experience itself was less about the race and more about the amazing support from the community.  With temperatures near 90 degrees, I am certain I would have collapsed on the course if it weren't for the spectators.

(Read about my 2012 Boston experience here)

The spectators at the Boston Marathon are not only spectators..they are participants as well!

If something cannot be completed without the aid of another person or thing, then those people or things become a part of the event.

Coming into the 2013 Boston Marathon I was focused on one thing- feel good.  I just wanted to feel better than I did last year.

The weather looked as if it was going to be perfect.  Highs were expected to be in the upper 50's, no chance of rain. Perfect.

Boarding the bus to Hopkinton at 6:30am went off without a hitch.  I even made a new friend on the ride over.  Audrey was from Maine and drove down with her husband and her running partner.  While we were on our way to the start of the race, her husband and friend were headed to Dunkin Donuts to have their own marathon...eating 26.2 donuts.  So far they had managed to eat one.  Audrey and I agreed that she would more than likely need to do the driving home since eating 26.2 donuts was going to be more painful than running 26.2 miles!

We arrived in Hopkinton at the runner's village and wasted no time finding a spot of grass to call our own.  It seemed like no time at all had passed before we began our journey to the start line. Once there we made our way into the corral and waited. Excitement was in the air as I could hear the many conversations going on around me.  Some mentioned that they were first time Boston Marathoners, others said they had been here many times.  Didn't much matter- everyone was just as excited and everyone seemed to be saying the same things: don't go out too fast down the hills and enjoy the crowds.

The day seemed almost perfect. The weather, the crowds, everything seemed to come together just as it needed to.

I was thrilled to feel good.  Like I said, after the 2012 experience I was just praying for a "feel-good" race.  "Perfect!" I was thinking.  In my mind I just kept saying "Boston, thanks for a great ride!" I'm not sure what my face really looked like during the run, but I felt as if I was smiling from ear to ear.

Somewhere around mile 12 or 13 I had decided that I would take my time after the race, and sit and have lunch along Boylston street and enjoy watching other Boston Marathoners complete their journey.

Yep, sounded like a great way to celebrate a fabulous day.

I'm not sure where I was when I changed my mind.  It was somewhere in the later stages of the race.. maybe mile 20 or 22.  I was hungry and just wanted to get back to my room.  I was still having a great race and feeling strong, but for some reason I really wanted to get back to my room.  Weird.

I remember turning the corner onto Boylston street, I cut the left pretty hard and was an inch or so from the barricades that kept the crowd back.  There I stayed, far to the left all the way across the finish line.  I was so far to the left as I crossed the finish line that you can only see half of me crossing the finish line in the race photos and videos.

I was on a mission when I crossed the finish line-- find my drop bag and get back to the hotel.  I'm not sure if you've ever been at the finish of a marathon, but people aren't generally moving too quickly.  I was almost pushing through the crowd trying to find the bus that served as my bag transport.

Finally I found it and collected my bag.  I sat for a moment -- only long enough to put my warmer clothes on and I was on my way.

I remember looking around almost helplessly "how do I get out of here??" I finally found someone who was working the race and asked "How do I get out of here?"

"You have to head back that way, " she said pointing back in the direction of the race finish line.

I didn't hesitate.

I felt like a salmon swimming upstream dodging and weaving through the runners as they were streaming across the finish line and down through the chute.

Dodging and weaving all the way back to the Fairmont.  I had almost made it there, but the street was closed, I had to make my way around the back of the building.  "Sigh, just get me back to my room," I thought.

Finally I made it to the hotel door and was inside.

I was on a mission and it was evident.  As I made it in the door someone looked at me wrapped in the mylar race blanket and said "Wow, you're really moving well for just finishing a marathon!"

"Yeah, " I said, "I just want to get back to my room."

I hurriedly made my way to my room, turned the heat on and started the shower.

As I was in the shower I heard the heat turn off, and then turn back on.

"Huh, that was weird," I thought and carried on with my shower.

Getting out of the shower I had decided I would order some room service and watch a movie.  I grabbed the remote and turned the T.V. on.

I have no idea how long it was that I was standing there staring at the scene on the T.V. before it started to sink in.

What I saw was an image of where I had just been-- the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Except the image on T.V. looked nothing like what I had experienced.  The scene on the T.V. was of a deserted area.  Cups were strewn everywhere and the road was soaked.  No people.  It didn't make any sense to me.  Was I watching a movie? What was this?

It could have been 10 minutes, it could have been 45 minutes, I really don't remember...but at some point I realized what they were saying.  Bomb.

I grabbed my phone and called my mom.  Thankfully she had been napping and hadn't seen the news.  I told her, not to worry, I was ok and go back to sleep.

Then as I was calling my husband, I was posting on Facebook and twitter to let everyone know that I was ok.

I sat there not really knowing what to do.  Do I try to leave? Do I stay? What do I do.

Then I saw it on the news- we were on lockdown.  I couldn't go anywhere.  I just sat there watching and listening.  Over and over again the reporters kept saying "bomb".

Slowly more information trickled in.

Putting it all together in my head I realized that I had run right past where the bombs had been placed on the left side of Boylston street.  Literally inches away.

The noise I heard while I was in the shower that I had assumed was the heat turning off and then back on... that was not the heat... those were the bombs exploding.

I felt sick.

For hours all I could do was watch and listen to the reports.  I wanted to turn it off, to make it go away, but I couldn't.  I needed to know if I needed to take action.

To say that was a sleepless night would be an understatement.

The next morning as I emerged from my hotel I felt like I was in a third world country- or what I imagined it would feel like. There were armed military personnel everywhere.  Tanks and military vehicles of all kinds, police officers, police cruisers, and TV cameras and crews everywhere.  The streets around my hotel were blocked to traffic and minus the military and police they were deserted.

The hotel Bellman helped me lug my suitcase to the next black where traffic was open in hopes of finding a taxi or someone to take me to the airport.  It all felt so surreal.

I was thankful to be leaving. Yet somehow I felt like I shouldn't be happy about anything. How could you be happy after what had just happened?

I was just kind of numb.

Arriving at the airport the security was beyond heightened.

After passing through security I was approached by personnel from Homeland Security as well as the Boston Police Department.

"How was your race?" they asked.

I couldn't even respond, I just looked at them and started to cry.

I'm sure that wasn't the first time that morning that they had encountered that response.

They were looking for any information that would help in any way- asking for all photos and videos to be sent in to be scrutinized-- anything that we thought might help they took.

Sitting at the gate with other runners waiting for my flight gave me both a sense of relief and more anxiety.  A relief to be around other people, to share what we had gone through, the be thankful that we were all there.  Yet more anxiety as I heard people recounting where they and been and realizing just how close we all came to NOT being there.








Sunday, March 16, 2014

Change

The alarm goes off.  You reach over and quickly hit the snooze.

Your bed is warm and comfortable.  Your pillows and blankets seem to be in THE most perfect positions as if they are pleading with you to stay.

They are saying: "Don't leave.  It is warm, safe, and comfortable here."

"You don't need to go now, " they say "whatever it is you are going to do will be there waiting for you later."

"Ahh, I don't want to get up" you say as if continuing the conversation your bed has started with you.

But you do.

You drag yourself out of bed, maybe grab a cup of coffee and head out the door.

Once you are out the door the calm and peace of the world surrounds you.  The crisp air dances on your skin. The dark sky slowly begins to change colors- from deep, dark, blue to lighter blue with hints of pink, orange, and red coming through.  The birds begin to chirp.









You can feel it coming.  The beauty, the splendor, the magnificence .....The dark sky has given way to the most gorgeous sunrise.

There it is before you.  As if it had always been there.  The bright, warm glow of the sun surrounds you.

You stop for a moment to reflect on what it is you would have missed if you had stayed in the warm comfort of your bed.

Often it takes moving from a warm, comfortable, safe place to witness the beauty of what the world has in store for us.

So it is with change.  Whatever that change may be you will find yourself moving from a warm, comfortable, safe place out into the quiet darkness.  That quiet, dark place may surround you for a while before you start to hear the friendly chirping of the birds and begin to see the colors of the sky change.

Hold on.  Don't turn back.

Yes, I know that safe place is still calling you to return.  It is there waiting for you; taunting you.

You can hear it: "I am a warm, safe, comfortable place.  Come back, you are always welcome here."

Before you turn and go back stop for a moment and count the number of sunrises you've seen on days  you didn't get out of bed.  How many have you seen in that warm, comfortable, safe place?










Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Food ruled my life

I have a confession to make.

I have a cupcake in my freezer.

Well, ok there are ACTUALLY two in there.

Why they are there and how they manage to stay there is really a long story so I will do my best to give you the cliff notes version.

Food ruled my life.

There was a time in my life when all I can remember thinking about was food.  Thoughts about what I had eaten.. what I actually WANTED to eat but didn't...what I was planning to eat later...what I might eat tomorrow...

That was all I really thought about.  Food had so much power over me.  It controlled whether I was happy or sad-- which really meant if I felt horrible because I ate something "bad" that I "shouldn't have eaten" or if I felt good because I was able to will myself away from something delicious.

I couldn't understand how people could go through their day not concerned at all about food.  Didn't everyone feel like this?

What was wrong with me?

Somewhere along the way, early in my life, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food.

I would either eat way too much or nothing at all.

I couldn't be around something sweet without eating it, or dream of eating it ...until I gave in and took a few bites and then stood over the trash can trying to decide if I should just inhale the rest or throw it in the trash...and if it went in the trash it had better touch all of the nasty stuff in there or there was a good chance I might take it back out!

Food had power over me.

I can now say that I realize that I GAVE it power over me, but hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it??

So how did I go from there to having 2 cupcakes in my freezer?

I'm not going to lie, it took quite some time to get here, but it all started with education.

Not the kind you get from sitting in a classroom - at least no classroom I had ever been in.

It took educating myself about food, nutrients, and what happens when we eat.

It took learning about what happened in my body when I ate certain foods, and when I ate them at specific times- like before, during, or after my training sessions- or what happened if I ate them when I had not trained.

Slowly I learned how to put food to work FOR me.  I was no longer AT THE MERCY of my food.
I finally had the upper hand!

That is such a wonderful feeling because I love to eat, and for so many years I walked around thinking that I couldn't eat; that I had to avoid food especially the foods that I liked to eat if I wanted to look and feel a certain way.

Truth is the really delicious foods that I loved to eat included steak, veggies, potatoes, chicken, and fish.  Not just sweet things. You name it, I loved to eat it...well, ok just don't say "liver" I never liked that :(

I just didn't realize that I COULD eat all of those wonderful things.. and my cupcake.. if I fed my body according to the plan.

The plan?

Yes, the plan.

The plan to build muscle and not store fat!

Where did I get that plan? I got that from learning what happens when I eat certain things at certain times... really nutrient timing.  Just big words for put the right stuff in at the right time.  Just like you put the right kind of gas in your car when it needs it.  Same thing.

Sure this took some work in the beginning, but now it is just my normal way of eating and I don't really have to give it much thought....which is why I can have 2 cupcakes sitting in my freezer.

So if YOU are feeling like I was.. I am here to tell you that you don't have to go on that way.  Food doesn't have to rule your life and you don't have to run from food either.

It is time to start a new, healthy relationship with food.  One that puts food to work FOR you!

If I did it, you can too!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

How to reach your health, fitness, and fat loss goals

It is tax season!

...as if you weren't already aware of that...

Like anything in life, you could do your taxes by yourself in an effort to save money by not paying someone to help you. BUT did you ever consider that the small act of hiring someone to help you might result in your saving even MORE money???

It is true. And I'm sure you have heard many stories of people who didn't realize all of the deductions that they had missed until they had a professional look things over.

The same thing happens in the gym.

Many people opt for the "save money" training version by not hiring a trained professional or worse yet opting for the cheapest "diet plan" they can find.

While both of these seem as if they are saving you money-- AT THE MOMENT--but they are likely COSTING YOU MONEY in the long run.

How many times have you tried to lose that 10 or 20 pounds? How many times have you succeeded? I mean succeeded in terms of NOT having it find its way back to you...

How long have you been following that training plan only to realize that you have seen little to no results from doing so?

As Albert Einstein said "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".

What if hiring an educated professional would help you reach your goal in half the time with one tenth of the headache?

What if hiring the right person meant that you would be educated you so that NO MATTER WHAT happened in your life you would ALWAYS know how to eat and train to achieve your health and fitness goals??

I can't help it when I am at the gym- I look around and wonder how long this woman or than man have spent doing that exercise THAT way.  If they could just tweak their form slightly to actually activate the muscles that they are trying to use... WOW the results that they would see from their training would be so different!!

Are YOU one of those people??? The ones who don't want to invest a little bit to get the MOST from your training, your nutrition, your life?????

Did you realize that when you DO invest in this you are investing in YOURSELF.  It is like putting money in the bank.

I can't help it, I want to help everyone! It frustrates me to no end to see people spinning their wheels day in and day out; following this crazy diet or thinking that that shake will help them achieve the body they want.  IT WON'T!

Because this drives me so crazy I am opening my schedule to work with a select few.  My time is precious - you all know how my travel schedule is- so I am NOT going to work with just anyone.

You must be 100% committed to yourself and to the plan. You must know WHY it is that you want to work with me, to achieve great results.

My website will be up and going before long and I anticipate to be booked long before that happens.  If YOU are ready to take the next step, to REALLY learn how to achieve your health and fitness goals and you are 100% committed submit your email address to me and I will forward you an application.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Who do you surround yourself with?

When we lose focus sometimes it just helps to get away and clear your head.  Is it the getting away that does it? Or is it where you end up and who you end up there with that does it?

It seemed like lately I just couldn't get my brain to focus on the tasks at hand.  Didn't matter what I tried I was just caught up in circles in my mind and accomplishing very little in the way of working.

I knew I had an upcoming trip to Australia and COULD. NOT. WAIT. to go.

I'm not really sure what it is about being on an airplane that helps me to clear my mind.  Maybe it is literally just looking at the world from a different perspective.  Maybe it is that I am forced to just sit and not busy my mind with everything else around me.  Who knows, but what I do know is that I do feel different when I am on a plane.

When that plane lands in Australia and I am instantly surrounded by 45 high-energy, health-minded, focused, creative, business owners who want nothing more than to help people transform their bodies and lives I can't help but to get energized and focused myself!




The brick walls I had created were falling away and I was able to again see the vision I had created once upon a time. A vision for reaching people, educating them and helping them to help themselves.  Really transforming lives.

The trick is carrying that drive and focus with me as I fly half way around the world and arrive home.

Whether it is drive and focus relating to a business plan, a nutrition plan, a training plan we have to set ourselves up for success.  How do we do that?

One key is to surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to do.

Truth is, we become like the company we keep.

Who are the 5 people that you spend most of your time with? Do those people fuel you or drain you? Do they share the same goals and visions that you do? If they don't, do they support you in your efforts to achieve your dreams?

The first step in creating what we desire is to surround ourselves with people who support us.

Maybe now is a good time to take a look around.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Running a marathon and living life are one in the same...

Its true no matter how much you may want to deny it. Life, and getting things done in life really mirrors marathon running.

Look at it like this. Just as race day is starting, so too is your journey.  You and everyone else embarking on the same journey are gathered together in one place, excitedly making last minute preparations before you make your way to the staging area- the last place you will wait.

The gun goes off and you jockey to find a comfortable place and stride.  People on the sidewalks are cheering for you encouraging you as you begin the journey you have prepared for over that last few months.

One by one the miles pass.  Your smile and stride are as strong as they were when you began.  You rejoice in the beauty of the rising sun, the birds chirping, the smell of freshly cut grass.  Drinking in all that surrounds you.

Sure there are still people cheering, although fewer than at the start. 

The sun starts to rise and so does the temperature.  You douse yourself with water in an attempt to stay cool.  On your journey things start to get a bit more challenging, there are fewer people cheering for you and you begin to feel as if you are on your own on this journey.

Miles are still going by, but instead of seeing the beauty around you you are wishing and hoping for some cool breeze, someone to cheer for you, a friendly face to help you along….something, anything.

You are more than halfway there and your pace slows as it sometimes does.  You feel as if you are walking.  You do your best to assure yourself that no matter what you are still moving forward, toward your goal.  It doesn’t matter if no one is there to see it, it is still happening.

Slower, and slower the miles seem to pass.  At this point you are using the walk run method.. at times progress seems good, and then all of a sudden it comes to a sloooooow walk.  You are starting to get frustrated “how come I can’t just keep running?” you aren’t really sure why but you can’t.  You do your best to reassure yourself that any forward progress will eventually bring you to your goal- the finish line.

You put your head down and focus, one step then the next then the next…

Before you know it you see the crowd building- you must be nearing the finish line.  Louder and louder they cheer.  You ignore your pain and press on as fast as you can.  You cross the finish line and immediately fall into the arms of your awaiting friends.

Yep that’s how it works.  In the beginning of our journey we are excited, raring to go, met with all kids of support and fanfare even from people we hardly know. 

It seems as if you are just flying along well on your way and suddenly you find yourself with sweat in your eyes.  Having gone from noticing all that is beautiful around you to wishing you were anywhere but where you were yet you still must press on.  There is no stopping in the middle.  You started the journey and there is no escape from the path until you reach the end….the finish line…..your goal.

It gets quiet and at times it seems as if you are barely making progress.  Every once in a while you hear someone cheering for you, but it is pretty much just you.. pressing onward as you keep the finish line in your mind. 

No doubt as you get closer to completing your task the crowd starts to cheer louder- they can see how close you are.  They want you to finish too.

You cross the finish line celebrating with your closest friends. 
You spend a few minutes, hours or even days replaying the events that brought you to where you are.  “Would have’, ‘could have’, ‘should have’, and ‘did’ are all things that you rehash. 

Then before you know it you are planning your next adventure knowing that no matter what, this is how it will play out:

Excitement and fanfare in the beginning gives way to solitude; gutting it out and praying that one foot lands in front of the other over and over and over until the finish line is in sight.  Only then does the excitement and relief return.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Lose 30 pounds in 30 days

"Buy Now, Pay Later" should be the title of the new book and program being revealed at a local gym.

The book- and program- promise a 30 day 30 pound weight loss strategy.  Hmmm... sounds enticing, huh?

Well, of course it does who wouldn't want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days?? I mean, if you HAD 30 pounds that you 'need' to lose....

Why should you choose this program when all of the others like it have failed?

You see, that's the kicker.. you SHOULDN'T choose this program.  Nope.  Not at all.

It won't work just like all the rest haven't worked.

Yeah, I hear what you are saying, "but Michelle, I DID lose weight doing those others!"

Yep, you did.. and then you gained it back!

And that is exactly what will happen again THIS time.

Let me let you in on a secret..ok, it isn't actually a secret, it's called SCIENCE and lots of people like to ignore it.

You can't trick human physiology.  You can try all you want, but you just can't do it.  The sooner you learn  accept that fact the better off you will be.

Here's the deal: cutting your calories to a level that this book (and many others) suggest causes a really cool hormonal shift in your body.  It causes your body to think you are starving- not necessarily from a caloric perspective(although that can happen to), but from a nutrient perspective.

So what?

Well, this causes your body to actually increase your desire for food (hello cravings and mood swings) as well as causing it to burn fewer calories.  Ever wonder why you have so many food cavings on a low calorie (and nutrient poor) diet? Yep, this would be why.

Ya know what else it does?

It actually causes you to store body fat more readily! Yep, your body wants to survive and this is how it is going to make sure that it does.

Ever wonder why people that drop weight doing things like this put it all back on, and then some?? Yep this is why.  Science.  Physiology.  Can't trick it folks, you just can't.

Right about now you are thinking "yeah, but I'll exercise so I will burn more calories and this won't happen."

Ha ha.  Ok.

Did you know that the more you perform the same exercise- or do the same amount of work the fewer calories you expend?

True story.  Your body becomes efficient and subsequently requires less effort and less energy to perform the given task.

"No problem" you say "I'll just do more work."

Ha ha, sure.  How long can you keep that up?

Besides that - doing this in the midst of cutting your calories will actually cause your body to expend FEWER calories.  So you spend more time exercising and actually burn fewer calories.. and now your body REALLY thinks it is starving ...yep you guessed it- hormonal signals for you to increase food consumption while very efficiently shuttling all of those calories you take in straight to FAT.

Sweet!

So, sure go ahead and buy the book.  Heck, buy the program. I guarantee you will pay later.

You may lose weight in 30 days, but you will set yourself up for a lifetime of struggle.

If you've done programs like this before you probably are already struggling with the effects.

You know who you are.

There is a better way.

This is not it.

You're welcome.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The low down on surviving a relay

Unless you've been under a rock and missed all of my Facebook posts from the weekend you are well aware that I, along with 5 other women, ran the Ragnar Florida Keys Relay from Miami to Key West.  All 200 miles of it.

In case you've never done one, or heard anyone describe it, it goes something like this: Runner #1 starts at start line while the rest of us drive to the exchange point where we let runner #2 out and wait for runner #1 to hand off.  From there we drive to the next exchange where we drop off runner # 3 and wait for runner #2.  And so it goes until we drop runner #1 off again while we wait for runner #6 to finish her leg.

We run through this rotation 6 times until we finally reach our destination- Key West.

Do we sleep? I'm sure someone got a few minutes, but no, not really.

Do we shower? Ummm no.  Can you say "baby wipes and change your clothes???"

Sure the van might not smell like roses and we may be a bit sleep deprived, but we must keep moving forward.

When you embark on an adventure like this pretty much everyone will run their first leg well.  But the key to reaching the finish line in a timely manner is making sure that you can consistently run well.

How do you manage to do that???

The key is to know how to properly fuel for and recover from your run as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I probably shouldn't be sharing these "secrets" that give us the advantage, but I'm betting that even if people DO read this, they won't actually follow through.





Here it is.  Here is the secret to great performance especially repeat performance over a matter of hours.  In this case 6 runs in just over 24 hours, all of which were able to be run at about the same pace (read: no performance decrement) despite the searing sun and heat.




Oh and BTW, that is me on the far left of each of the pictures at the top of the page.  I look like an ultra runner, right? Ha, this supplement combination is also the secret to building and keeping MUSCLE!

Now you know :)

Want to know more? Let me know..

Check out Metabolic Precision


Monday, February 3, 2014

Searching for that mystery exercise?

I got in a great workout while I was out of town this past weekend.  I always enjoy checking out gyms in different areas as well.  The gym we went to was pretty well-equipped and had a really cool "feel" to it--well minus the guy that told me I probably shouldn't do deadlifts (no joke).

We knocked out our workout (which DID include deadlifts) and walked around to check out some of the other equipment.  You had the standard pin-select stuff, cardio, medicine balls, kettle bells and the like, and then we found them...

The mystery machines.  No, not the one from Scooby Do although I think that one does serve more of a purpose.  These machines left us with a mystery-- why the heck would anyone use that let alone build that?

They reminded me more of a ride that you would find at Disney. The entire machine moves with you as you perform the exercise.  The seated row made me feel like I was riding a horse, the shoulder press felt like you were trying to launch yourself into space, and the bicep curl felt like you were in a rocking chair.  What the????

Yeah, mystery machines for sure.

Why? Who knows.  Somehow, for some reason, the basic machine needed to be tweaked.

Why?? Well if it did something that the basic machine did not, it must somehow be better.  Why would you waste your time with the basic, old version when you could have the new and improved one?

Logical, right?

No, actually not at all.

Seems to me that all too often people are searching for that one different thing.  That esoteric ingredient, the magical exercise that will some how bring them miraculous results.

Well, I'm sorry to say (no, I'm actually happy to tell you) that it doesn't exist.

The basics are the basics for a reason.  You can't skip over those and head right to the most obscure thing and think it will be the ONE.

You can't do a 2 handed kettle bell snatch with your eyes closed standing on a Bosu while signing the national anthem before you learn how to do a squat. Well,  you can try but I promise it won't turn out well.

You can't eat McDonald's for breakfast, skip lunch, and eat KFC for dinner and take green coffee bean extract and expect anything to happen. Again, many people try and as we can see it doesn't turn out well.

The truth is simple, as it always seems to be.  You have to consistently nail the basics before you even think about doing anything else.

Basics in the gym and basics outside the gym. It doesn't get any more simple than that.

Learn the basics.  Nail the basics consistently.  Succeed.

Learn the basics



Thursday, January 30, 2014

I can't eat healthy, I don't know how to cook!

"I can't eat healthy, I don't know how to cook!"

No, that isn't a joke I actually hear that all the time.

It makes me giggle for a few reasons:

1. You certainly don't look like you are starving so you are feeding yourself somehow.

2. There are plenty of unhealthy things that require cooking too.

3. If you can find a grocery store, and you can use Google, you can cook.

4. Even if you DO eat out you don't need to make poor food choices!

I don't consider what I do "cooking".  Heck I probably only use one or two pans and the crock pot.

Does this sound like "cooking" to you: 2 packages of ground chicken breast, 1 package grass-fed ground beef, 3 packages frozen veggies.







 I think that may be what you are trying to tell yourself..and the world, but what you REALLY mean is that you don't know WHAT TO EAT.

Once we get real honest about the situation, then we can do something about it.

Knowing what to eat is the key whether you are cooking at home or you are eating out.  Whether you are eating on a train, or eating in the rain, or in a box, or with a fox...

Luckily for you I can help with that.  Together with what you will learn from Metabolic Precision you will find yourself looking forward to getting in the kitchen and whipping up some great dishes!

Did I mention that with  Metabolic Precision comes an entire cookbible??? Yep, hundreds of recipes so you can make as simple or as fancy a dish as you'd like.

Why spend one more day confused about what to do? Why spend one more day unhappy with where you are? You are worth it.  Take the step now.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The ONE diet you MUST follow...

What good is a diet that you can't stick to? I mean, you are looking for this diet to answer your prayers of weight loss, right? And it certainly can't do that if you don't follow it.

So here's what you do.. follow this ONE diet.  It is the ONE you have been looking for.  It is the ONE that will deliver the results you are looking for.

How do I know this? Because I know you can stick with it.

Yeah I know you are wondering how is it that I can be so sure.  Just trust me on this...

Think about all of the diets that you have tried to follow in the past. Why didn't they deliver the results that you were hoping for?

Well, I'm sure there were a few reasons why- but one of the biggest was most likely the unsustainable changes that you attempted to make.

Sure anyone can do over the top things for a few days or maybe a few weeks...but can you sustain those over the top things for the rest of your life?

Ahhhhh...I doubt it.  If you could, you wouldn't be reading this post about the ONE diet that you MUST follow.

So how do I really know that this will work for you? Easy. Because I live it everyday.

Now before you get all defensive, I am NO different than you are.

I spent years competing in the physique world following nutrition and training plans that were only sustainable in the short term.  Sure, I looked good on stage, but that was about it.  The "off season" was a different story.

But that is how that is set up to work.. really, it is.

Following regimens like that cause hormonal changes and fluctuations that make it a priority for your body to replenish body fat stores as rapidly as possible.  Unfortunately our bodies go above and beyond in this 'recovery' and we end up fatter (literally) than we were before.

Ugh. Not cool.

Learning how to put food to work for you, how to get lean and stay there without delving into the unsustainable is what it is all about.  That is the ONE diet that you MUST follow.  It is the ONE thing that will work.

Now here is the secret.. it isn't a diet.

It is a way of life.  It has to be.

Temporary changes bring temporary results. Permanent changes yield permanent results.

Permanent changes have to be sustainable changes.. it isn't rocket science.

This is how I woke up at 40 looking better than I did at 20, or 30!

This is Metabolic Precision. It is a lifestyle.  A way to live.  A way to get more from life. A way to live energized rather than depleted.

Here is a link to some great FREE information to get you started.

Your opportunity to work with me one on one online with the Metabolic Precision program is coming very soon however opportunities will be very limited.  If you are serious about wanting to know the ONE way to guarantee fat loss you won't want to miss out on this.

Message me to place your name on the list for advanced announcement of this opportunity.






Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What is the best fat burner?

I remember it like it was yesterday.  The brown liquid in the bottle that promised to help burn fat tasted like a bitter lemon- tea.  Not too bad I thought..but nothing happened.

I didn't drink just one of them, I had a few of them. Maybe one every day.  I'm not sure what I was hoping for but all I got was a nice lemon- tea flavored treat.  No fat burning, well at least not that I could tell anyway.

Does that story sound familiar?

Maybe yours wasn't lemon-tea, maybe it was some kind of pill, or powder, or cream but you looked to it to help you burn fat and nothing happened.

This is usually where all of the fun commercials tell you that it wasn't your fault.  You didn't fail, it was the diet/product that failed you. Well, that may be a part of the situation, but there is something much bigger that you must know.

Are you ready?

You failed.

Yes, I just said that.  You failed.

You failed to realize that NO PRODUCT can do it all.

Yes, some can actually help you in your quest to "burn fat"..although not it the sense that you imagine (more on that later).

I think what needs to happen first is that you figure out what it is you mean when you say "burn fat".  What you are really envisioning happening is losing fat ...becoming leaner.. right?

 So what is the best "fat burner"... or should I say what is the best way to lose fat and become leaner?

YOU are the best fat burner.  And the best way for you to lose fat and become leaner is to STOP ADDING BODY FAT.

Yes, it is up to YOU.

Let's simplify this for a moment.  Think of your body fat as a pool of water (or fat- whatever image suits you best).  At the bottom of this pool is a small drain.  Ever so slowly some of this water (or fat) flows down the drain. This represents your exercise and everything else that you do that causes "fat burning".

Now imagine a large hose placed in the top of the pool with a constant heavy stream of water flowing from it into the pool.  This represents everything that you do that adds to your body fat stores.

It shouldn't be too hard to figure out that if the hose filling the pool is doing so at a rate greater than or equal to the rate that the drain is emptying the pool you will NOT be getting any less fat.  You may in fact be getting even fatter!

....even with the drain open at the bottom of the pool!!

So when you ask me what the best "fat burner" is and what you should take that will help you to lose fat I canNOT answer that with one word.  The answer is not a pill, or potion, or cream. (Sure, some may actually help and as I said we will get into that later).

The answer is YOU and the answer is to STOP adding to the fat.

How do you do that??

Well, I can't answer that in one word either.  I'll need two..
Metabolic Precision.

Metabolic Precision will teach you how to STOP adding to the fat.  THIS is the key.

No matter how you phrase the question to me, this is the answer.  Learning how to stop adding to the fat will get you where you want to go because it also helps to "burn fat".  Yep.  It does.

If you are looking for more information about how to do this, you'll want to check out Metabolic Precision.

Your opportunity to work with me one one one online with the Metabolic Precision program is coming very soon however opportunities will be very limited.  If you are serious about wanting to know the best way to "burn fat" you won't want to miss out on this.

Message me to place your name on the list for advanced announcement of this opportunity.






Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Please don't intimidate me...

When I read it, I actually did laugh out loud.  Then I thought to myself, "What a shame."

Yep the gym that is famous for not judging (cough, cough) has done it again. This time they have decided that all squat racks must be removed from their gyms. This comes as a result of a member complaining that the squat racks were intimidating.

Wait, WHAT??!

Yes, those very same squat racks that I search high and low for are apparently very scary to some people.  Huh...

While I could go on and on about how squatting is probably one of the best exercises that people can do, and that if people want to lose weight (fat) they NEED to lift weights and squat, and that an inanimate object CANNOT intimidate someone, and...

I think it goes far deeper than just this poor squat rack.  It seems that the squat rack, along with people that are in shape are banned from this gym because people want to avoid pain.

They want to avoid acknowledging the pain they feel in their current situation. Whether they are overweight or under-tall, less muscled than they'd like, or just not confident instead of acknowledging what is REALLY going on they opt for "remove anything that may make me take a good, hard look at myself".

Wow, that is scary!

What happens when the outside world...the world outside the purple pizza parties... does not play by these rules? Is there a way to cope? Does anyone say, "Hey, maybe we should take a deeper look at what is going on here?"

Yeah, probably not and that is quite unfortunate as pain is really the only thing that will cause you to change.

Change will occur when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing.

So removing anything and everything from your life that makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable is a recipe for misery, not for happiness.

Being intimidated has nothing to do with the 'object' it has everything to do with Y-O-U.  The feelings you are feeling are coming from inside of you...in reaction to a story you have told yourself.  Yep, it is in your head.

I don't mean that like "you're nuts", but literally your reactions to things are based on stories you have in your head. Coming to terms with these stories, or at the very least acknowledging them is the first step.

What are your stories?

Answering this is the first step to losing fat, gaining muscle, freeing yourself from your food addictions, and yes, even freeing you from the fear of the squat rack!

Avoidance is a recipe for keeping you stuck.  Stuck in that place you were waaaaayyyy back when that story in your head first took place.

Are you ready to move forward? Metabolic Precision Can Help


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Have you just 'let yourself go'?

Have you just 'let yourself go'?  Interesting to think about, and I bet if you took a poll of the general population many would agree that they, or their friends, family members or loved ones have indeed 'let themselves go'.

It was a conversation just like this that started my thinking...hmmmm, maybe just maybe we need a different perspective on this.

I was running with a good friend the other day as she was recounting a conversation that centered around her brother.  Apparently in high school he played sports and was in relatively good shape. Now, some years later he is a good bit heavier and in pretty sad shape.

Sure she was talking about her brother, but this same conversation could have been about anyone.  In fact, I am sure that you could name at least 5 people right now who fit this same description.

Common thinking on our part as well as theirs, is that they just 'let themselves go'.

You hear this saying thrown about all the time, but what on earth does it mean?

I'm guessing that most people use it in a sense that refers to the 'giving up' or 'giving in'.  That whatever it was we used to do we don't do any more.

 "In high school I played football and baseball.  I'm 30 now and I haven't played sports in years.  I've really let myself go."

I don't think I would be far off with that assessment either.

Ok, here is the challenge to that paradigm.  What if 'letting yourself go' didn't carry with it the meaning of giving up on something, what if it meant more of a continuation of things???

Follow me for a minute.

In high school, sure you played sports (or maybe you didn't), you also stayed up late, ate too much junk food, and thought you knew everything.

Look at your life now--I'm betting that you 'let yourself go' on doing at least 3 of the 4 things I just mentioned.  How's that working out for you?

The continuation of things that we could get away with when we were younger may be exactly what derails us later in life.

Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep is linked to increased stress levels, weight gain, food cravings, impaired glucose and insulin functioning, and disruption to circadian rhythms.


In a nutshell, losing sleep causes us to feel hungry (even though we aren’t), increase our caloric intake, store more of these calories as fat and burn fewer calories throughout our day regardless of the exercise we do. We gain weight, become diabetic, and develop cardiovascular disease.  Sound familiar????

Eating junk food 

No surprise here, junk food isn't all that great for you when it comes to staying healthy or 'in shape'.  The problem is that most people don't realize just how much of what they are eating actually falls into this junk food category.

Candy bars, cookies, and ice cream are all easy to spot, but the other junk that goes around masquerading as real food is what we need to be aware of.  Those "healthy" boxed, prepared cereals, crackers, breads, and other convenience foods.. yep, pretty much in the junk food category.  And, NO, I don't care what the commercials say...

You may have been able to get away with eating them when you were younger, but not so much now. Guess what, that is because your body responds differently to them now.  Hormonally speaking your body is better able to store those things as fat as opposed to use them for immediate energy.

Let me say that another way, continuing to eat those things as a large part of your diet will make you fatter and fatter.  Period.  You're welcome.

Thinking you know everything 

Interesting how we think that just because we are older we know more than we did before.  Sure this may be true about some things, say for instance the job you have- you probably know more about it today than you did on your first day. But when it comes to your body and your health, I find that most people don't have a clue.

Not knowing which end is up with regard to your health and well-being can be a problem for sure, but the BIGGER problem is thinking you know everything about it when in fact, you do not.

No one is born knowing everything.  And certainly it is very challenging to know a lot about a lot of things.  That is why people specialize- to learn more about one or two things.  So stop thinking you know everything about your health and seek out someone who knows more and who may be able to help you.

So back to my point about 'letting yourself go'.  I propose that it isn't the giving up on what you did when you were younger that got you to where you are, rather the 'letting yourself go' on doing what you did when you were younger that has done it.  The continuation of things that no longer serve you.

All too often people are looking for what it is they need to do to make a change when all too often it is something they need to stop doing that will help the most.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gym Etiquette For The New Year Resolutioners...

It's that time of year- you know, the time when all of the New Year's Resolutioners show up at the gym and all of the gym regulars get a bit frustrated.

You can't really blame them, I mean for almost 10 months now the gym has been pretty much theirs.  There is an unspoken understanding between 'the regulars'...you know on Monday the guy that always wears the red tank top will be in the squat rack until about 9:30 so you can schedule your training around that.  You get to know people without really knowing them and it makes for a better training session for all involved.

But then New Year's comes and in walk 'the newbies'.

In anticipation of this unavoidable event, I decided to throw together a list of some Do's and Don'ts- a gym etiquette posting of sorts to help folks out.

1. DO Shower.  Yes, I understand you are going to work out, but if you stink already we have a BIG problem.

2. DO Change your clothes.  This goes along with #1. Some folks like to wear the same clothes to train in because they are comfortable..that is fine, but wash them! Otherwise do as the rest of us do and just wear something different..that is clean. And please be sure they fit properly, I don't want to see your junk hanging out no matter how cool you think you are.

3. DO Wear deodorant.  I know I shouldn't need to say this, but I will..because you know somewhere....

4. DON'T stand around in the locker room naked.  Fine to do when you are at home, but in public this is a bit of a no-no. Don't be 'that guy' or 'that girl' that folks try to avoid... unless of course you are at a nudist gym, in which case ignore this recommendation.

5. DON'T stand directly in front of the dumbbell rack.   This area is for loading and unloading ONLY.  It is not meant to be used while doing your set.

6. DO give yourself and everyone else plenty of room. I've had this happen many times- I'm in the middle of a set of squats and some guy drags a bench over, sits down and starts doing shoulder press 3 inches away.  C'mon man, not a good idea.  Don't be that guy, be sure to give yourself and everyone else plenty of room.  Collisions in the gym should not occur. Always be aware of your surroundings.

7. DON'T talk to someone in the middle of their set.  I don't care what it is you want to say, it can wait.

8. DON'T randomly start talking to someone with headphones in.  Head phones in the ears should be considered the international sign for "I don't want to talk".  I don't care if you CAN tell they aren't listening to anything.  They have their headphones in for a reason.  Leave them alone.

9. DON'T sing. This is generally directed towards those of you that wear headphones while training. The rest of us can't hear your back up singers and would really rather not hear you sing "Baby Got Back" out of tune.  Save it for the car, or the shower (just not the shower at the gym).

10. DON'T just jump on a piece of equipment. It is never safe to assume that someone isn't using it- especially if someone is standing near it.  Always ask.  If they have head phones in, simply point to the machine and they will know what you are asking.

11. DON'T talk on the phone while sitting on a piece of equipment. You are there to train, remember? Also, chances are pretty high that someone else is waiting to use what you are sitting on.  Never mind the fact that no one wants to hear your conversation anyway.

12. DON'T hover around a piece of equipment while checking FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, or anything else. See #10.  Put the phone down and train.

13. DO wipe up your mess.  No one wants to sit in your sweaty mess.  Wipe down the equipment before walking away.

14. DON'T assume you know what you are doing. Save yourself a time and energy, hire a professional.  How do you know if you don't know what you are doing? If this is your first time to the gym- you don't know what you are doing.  Hey, nothing to be ashamed of, we've all had our first day at the gym.  If you want to ensure that you continue to have days at the gym, be sure you know what to do and how to do it properly.

15. DON'T bathe in perfume or cologne before your session. While you may think it smells fabulous, the rest of us are choking on it.  Save it for your night out at the bar; not under the squat bar.

16. DON'T come to the gym if you are sick. For goodness sake keep it to yourself.  The gym is kind of like an adult daycare situation..one person gets sick and then so does everyone else..just like the little kids that spread their germs around the daycare.

SO there you go, a few things that can help you out as you venture into some new exciting territory.

Stay safe and have fun.

Happy New Year!