Category

Lifestyle

This Doesn’t Make Sense

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle

I have been having some great conversations with clients over the past few days, and many have come back after some inconsistency.

For example, one awesome woman in our Fit over 50 program has been taking care of her aging mom every evening and hasn’t been coming very consistently, like she had for the past year or two.  She was here today and said she was reminded of just how much she liked it and good you feel when you are done with the workout.

She also said how hard it is to come back once you haven’t been in the groove, and how easy it is to come when you are in the groove.

I thought about that and it is so true in my own life.  Let me share a real life personal example.

I am known to share most everything publicly, and I feed off that and use it as motivation and accountability.  Well, last October I did something I don’t normally do and kept a secret, my own personal project.

I hired a running coach with the goal to become a far better runner than I currently was.  So my coach and I devised a plan to run 50-60 miles a week, something that seemed outrageous to me at first, even compared to training for Ironman the past 3 years.  I spent the first 5 weeks building from 42 miles up to 50 and then I have stayed around the 50-60 mile mark ever since.

I have had zero sickness and only a couple days of some achilles soreness.

In case you are wondering, that is around 8 miles M/T/W/Th/F and then 12 on Saturday and 0-6 on Sunday.

Only about 4 people knew about this until a week ago, when I shared it in a newsletter.

I have been getting asked if it has been hard to run basically 8 miles every day.

My answer has even surprised me… no

It’s not because I am some superstar or have any special powers.

It is because I have spent the past 4 months doing it every single day.  I have only missed a few days in the past 120 days.

In other words, the more frequently I run, the easier it becomes to just do it.  I don’t get sore, I don’t get especially tired (unless it is interval day), and I don’t really have to give myself a pep talk.  It’s just like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. It has become who I am, and I will always find the time to do things that align with who I am.

It was much harder to run 3x/week around 5-7 miles each time, like I have for the past few years, because it wasn’t as consistent.

Now there is something that, for me, is going to require a lot of motivation and pep talk to accomplish…

Swimming.

It’s been 5 months since I got into a pool or a lake and I am about to start back up swimming in a few weeks.

What is my point to all this?

I am starting to believe that the thesis of one of the most popular fitness books of all time, Younger Next Year, is correct for every single one of us.  The authors say that you should exercise every day like it is your job, the most important job you have. They were referring to a person 50 and older, but I think it can and does apply to all of us.

Not only will this keep you healthier, it will make it easier to keep as a routine.

Yes, it is a bit paradoxical, but the more frequently you exercise (or do anything for that matter), the easier it becomes.  

Said another way…

The less frequently you exercise, the harder it will be to be consistent.

Without making this any more lengthy, I am not saying you should work out 5-7 days a week at maximum intensity.  That is a recipe for overuse injury.

Find ways to sweat most days of the week and just see how much better you feel.

Do you agree or disagree?

Keep moving,

Dustin

PS Now this concept could be taken too far and if you are working out many hours each day, it can lead to burnout and overtraining, which then makes it harder to want to train.  I am talking about consistency, but varied intensity and duration levels.

PPS Does the concept of exercising or moving most days of the week overwhelm you?  The good news is that you don’t have to start with that. Just start with a couple days a week and build up to it.  Reply to this email if you want help doing that.

Single mom ready to end it all, chooses life

By | 21 Day Challenge, Challenge, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Mindset, Moms, Mothers, Nutrition, Transformation Center

I knew Onica was a special person the day I met her. I only had about 20 minutes to get to know her, but I could see deep hurt within her and yet I also sensed she was a strong, determined woman that was ready to give it her all.

Fast forward about two months and I was sitting at the Transformation Center going through my e-mail when I received the testimonial you are about to read. The crazy thing about reading this e-mail that night was that Onica was standing about 15 feet in front of me, waiting for her Killer Kurves class to start. After you read her heartfelt story, click here to learn more about how Killer Kurves can help you or a loved one. Even if you don’t live near Madison, the video alone is worth 5 minutes to watch. ->-> Click here to watch the video

Take it away Onica….!

My name is Onica and I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I have gained and lost and lost and gained more times than I care to count. In high chool my diet of choice was Anorexia, I would eat nothing all day and then have just enough dinner so that my parents wouldn’t notice something was off. I kept the weight off until I was 25 and went from jobs where I stood all day and rarely ate breakfast or lunch to a desk job where it seemed like someone wanted to take everyone out to lunch daily. The pounds piled on quickly after that. I had my son at 26 and never lost the baby weight. Two years later I had my daughter and 6 weeks after she was born I joined a weight loss program. I did great and was 7 pounds from my goal when self destruction kicked in. We had recently moved an hour away from our hometown and I knew no one, I was a stay at home mom and it was winter. I learned that I love to bake and more than that I loved to eat what I baked. Again, the pounds piled on, I was more than I had ever weighed, even when I was pregnant.

Fast forward 2 more years, I was now a divorced, single mom trying to make ends meet. It wasn’t easy to say the least. Every small bump in my life made me feel like I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit that I was never going to be able to claw my way out of. I felt that every single aspect of my life was just too much for me to handle, that nothing I did was good enough, or could possibly be worth anything to anyone, that my kids would be better off if I weren’t around. What kind of a role model was I for them? Wouldn’t it just be better for them if they didn’t grow up with a mom like me, someone who never had any time or energy for them, whose house wasn’t spic and span and who was fat? I had a plan to end it all, I didn’t have a time frame, but I had a plan. It would have appeared to have been an accident so that my ex would still get the life insurance to use for raising the kids and above all no one else would be injured and my kids wouldn’t be the ones to find me. I had a plan.

Then on September 5th an email came into my inbox from Dustin. It was about a 21 day clean eating challenge. My sister told me that she and her husband were going to take the challenge and that I should do it with them. I decided to go for it. Part of that was to meet with Dustin in person to discuss your weight loss challenges and goals etc. That day changed my life, more accurately, that day saved my life. After I gave a short run down on my weight history Dustin told me about his Killer Kurves program, I didn’t think there was any way I could make it work for me financially or with my schedule so I tried to just forget about it. However it seemed that nothing would make the thought of this program leave my head. It sounded so perfect for me. After several days of not being able to stop thinking about it I rearranged my schedule with my kids, worked out a financial plan and I signed up. I can honestly say that signing up for K2 was the best decision I have ever made for myself.

On our first night I was nervous but excited. Everyone there seemed to be in the same boat. The trainers were very friendly and accommodating to everyone’s fitness level and any physical limitations we had. The people were all super friendly and no one was judging anyone else. As the weeks have gone on we have formed a bond with each other, the support and encouragement is like nothing else I have ever experienced. We have turned into a family of sorts and I love it, I can’t imagine my life without K2 now.

One of the things that I have learned to do is to view food as fuel for my body and not a hobby or way to relieve stress. I won’t put a certain brand of gasoline in my car because it gets terrible gas mileage with it so why did I continue to put food in my body that was terrible for my health and energy? It has really changed the way I look at eating.

We are currently starting our 9th week of the 12 week program and I have lost 29.2 pounds and 14 inches. My self esteem is on the way back up and the pride in myself that I feel is amazing! The little things no longer throw me to the bottom of the pit and I am smiling more than I have in years. I’m not where I want to be yet but I am a whole lot closer and more importantly I now have the support, knowledge, and confidence in myself to keep going towards that goal and not to just give up because of a setback or hard day.

If there is anyone out there that is on the fence about joining Killer Kurves, I say do whatever it takes to make it happen! You will not be disappointed. I know I’m not. Your life will never be the same again.

Onica

Wow! When I first read her story I was so moved, I got teary eyed. Since she was also at the TC that night, I went over to her and gave her a big, long hug. I had no idea of her struggles or how Killer Kurves has given her a new lease on life. Her physical and emotional transformation is an inspiration!

Onica, I am beyond excited to see you continue to progress and am excited for the boundless opportunities life has in store for you. Thank you for courageously sharing your story.

Dustin

PS If you are ready to start your own journey of transformation, or just want to learn more, reply to this email or fill out the contact form here: http://madisonbootcamps.com/killer-kurves/ and I or one of my team members will get back to you!

Are you Desperate, Embarrassed, Fed Up, Frustrated, Overwhelmed, or Feel Like You Want to Give Up Trying?

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset, Nutrition, Uncategorized

We would probably describe the above emotions as “negative” emotions and in one way I would agree.

These feelings suck and are what we don’t want to feel.

But…

I think these emotions can also be the best thing to ever happen to a person.

Why?

It is through this pain that we can decide right then and there that we are done living in the state we are living in and are ready to make a change.

Not just “try” but actually commit and “do.”

Now in the fitness world, many unfortunately prey on the desperation of people and offer late night infomercials, pills or creams that are guaranteed to melt fat away, or some prepackaged meals that sound like they will solve all their problems. But these “solutions” are pretty much BS or solve only 5% of the problem.

That is why I am excited when someone comes to me “desperate” because I know they have what it takes–they are ready–to create a life-changing transformation.

A transformation their friends, family, and coworkers can’t stop talking about.

I know what we offer at the Transformation Center is the real deal. It is 100% of the puzzle, not just 5%, as long as someone is ready to make the change.

If you have been following my journey over the past 13 years, you will find that I have hardly changed my strategies and beliefs in terms of how I help people get in shape.

In other words, I haven’t fallen for all the trends, gimmicks and fads.

As my friend Jamie Eason says, “the secret is there are no real secrets.”

It has and always will come down to the following formula for just about everyone.

  1. Mindset: Believe that you need to take care of yourself, if you are going to be able to be there for others. Believe that success is more than possible, no matter how many times you have failed before. Believe that you are worth the effort.
  2. Nutrition: Eat real food. The % of macros or even the number of calories to a certain degree is less important than just eating real food most of the time.
  3. Fitness: Exercise most days of the week with 2-3 days of strength training, a couple sessions of interval cardio and the rest steady state cardio. Move more throughout the day, every day. Doesn’t have to be intense all the time, but aim for less sitting and more moving.
  4. Community: Surround yourself with people who are fitter than you, who have already established the habits you wish to adopt. If you don’t have this, it makes it much more challenging to have lasting change.

There you have it. The not so secret secrets.

Executing this is, of course, the more challenging part and is what we strive to do at the Transformation Center and in our online program, Fit Moms for Life.

So remember, desperation isn’t bad, it can be the flammable ingredient to igniting your success.

Maybe you aren’t desperate yet but don’t want to get to that point before you take action. Desperation isn’t a requirement.

If this message has spoken to you, the next step I would like you to do is to schedule a free 20 min session with me where we dive deep into your goals and challenges and create a plan.

I gained 7 lbs…

By | Behavior Change, Lifestyle, Mindset

I shared this with one of my Fit over 50 small groups a week ago and they said they really appreciated me sharing so I thought I would share it with you.

Ironman for me was Sept 9th and since then I haven’t been exercising very consistently.

I have only done 5-6 runs of 4-6 miles, about 120 miles of biking, and a couple sessions of lifting and core.  Nothing much.

Part of it was planned to give my body some recovery from 8 months of averaging 15 hours a week of exercise (peaking the last three months closer to 20 hours a week), and part of it was that I went into full work mode, putting in big hours at the Transformation Center.

But those weeks turned to a month, and I was struggling to find myself again and figure out a consistent workout routine.

I gained about 7 lbs, lost some additional muscle. I felt flabby and just blah.

Each day that I didn’t work out became more frustrating, the guilt built up and it was even harder to start the following day.

I filled my days with non-productive things to fill the space that working out took up and it was a vicious cycle.

Can you relate?

I am happy to report I broke this cycle a week ago and logged 42 miles of running last week with 44 miles planned this week.

So what changed?

Here are a few thoughts, and things I did. I hope you can apply the principles into your own life.

-I said enough was enough. I was tired of feeling tired and stressed. I knew from past experience, exercise was one of the best things I could do for myself and for my family.

-I recommitted to my WHY.  I still want to work towards qualifying for the Ironman World Championships and in order to do that I need to improve my run massively.  This in itself is highly motivating for me.

-I hired a running-specific coach for the next 5 months to help guide me.

-I created a plan.  I am going to focus on my running this winter 5-6 days per week (along with strength and core) to work on my weakness, and I asked my coach for a specific run training plan.

-I made it as easy and convenient as possible.  My coach wants me to run on soft surfaces as much as possible to decrease the chance of injury.  Many of the go-to places aren’t close to my house, so I have been searching for the best running places that are close to where I live.

-I found running partners.  I am still in the process of figuring out the best fit, but I ran with 6 different people last week to figure out who and what times will work best for my life.

-I got  the right gear.  I will be spending quite a bit of time running this winter.  The last couple winters I got all the cold gear I will need, but I want to listen to church sermons when I run to strengthen that part of my life, so I needed headphones and a way to hold my phone.  I posted on FB asking for recommendations, and within 1 hour I had purchased what I needed to make my runs more enjoyable.

-I discussed the plan with Tessa to make sure she understands my why and will support me in it, by watching my son Bo when necessary.

-I listen to a running related podcast, video, book, or article each day to keep my mind fueled for this goal.

-I am enjoying the journey.  At first my mindset was that I have 5 months of “off season training” before I get to the fun stuff of training specifically for my triathlon races.  Almost like this was a means to an end or that the next 5 months would be torture but a necessary evil to reach the results I want come next summer. Instead, I am taking each day as it comes as it’s own wonderful experience.  I have been appreciating the little things like the colorful leaves under my feet or the cold biting winds that keep my body from overheating. I am trying to enjoy the journey since running isn’t something that comes naturally or that I love (I am starting to like it more though).

-Lastly, I have developed a strong visual belief in a positive future outcome.  The feeling of getting faster, and placing higher up in the races is very motivating for me and keeps me going.

Each person is motivated by different things, and there is no right or wrong when it comes to this as long as it works for you.

Has anyone told you that you have changed?

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset

Change…

A word that society doesn’t seem to like or support.

A politician can’t change their views on a certain topic.

An expert in their field gets put down for changing their opinion on a specific theory or belief.

A family member gets chastised for no longer wanting to do the same unhealthy behaviors over and over.

A coworker becomes isolated for no longer wanting to join the rest for happy hour.

You can change for the better or worse, but I want to focus on positive changes.

Growing or evolving are words I think of when it comes to positive change.

Why is it that most people around you will do everything they can to prevent you from evolving?

In most cases I believe it is because it shines a light on their own life and reminds them that they are still dealing with the same crap they have been dealing with a decade prior.

Evolving can be a lonely road.

That is one of the biggest reasons why making healthy changes isn’t as hard as keeping those healthy changes up for a lifetime.

We have a dozen different anchors (society, family, certain friends, jobs) that keep pulling us down.

How do we combat this?

We need to distance ourselves and drop some of those anchors in our life.

We also need to put on additional life vests.

What do I mean by that?

We need to fill our life with certain people, books, podcasts, courses, and communities that are all striving to evolve together and support each other in that process.

So if you are feeling lonely in your journey to evolving to a fitter, healthier, and happier person, you must start to cut some of your anchors and find a community or two of people who would like to hand you a life vest and do life together in an ever evolving way.

Jillian Michaels Just Kicked My Butt in Chicago… Then I Disagreed with Her!

By | Behavior Change, Fabulous Over 50, Health, Killer Kurves, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Uncategorized
This weekend, 7 trainers from the Transformation Center went to MidwestMania, a large fitness conference in Chicago, designed to help us become better trainers and coaches. (A huge thank to our trainers, Ashton, Joe & Ryan, that stayed behind and kept our classes going!)

(From left, back row: Monique, Dustin, Liz, Michelle, Erin; front row: Shelley, Tessa)

This was the 4th  year I have taken a team of trainers there and it was a great time to learn more ways to safely exercise, more ways to use food to burn fat, and learn the latest science on fat burning, aging well, and improving fitness.

Jillian Michaels from the TV show, The Biggest Loser, kicked our butts in an intense 30-minute workout and shared some of her advice on staying fit with kids, a crazy career, and everything else.

She said, “There are seasons in our lives when you have to be ok with “good enough.”  You should always be striving for improvement but at times in your life you can’t strive for perfection and if you have done your best you need to be ok with that.”

I really liked that.

But…

There was a controversial moment in Jillian’s keynote and that came when a trainer asked about her menopausal clients and how it seems harder for them to lose weight and what Jillian thinks about women in that demographic. I am paraphrasing what Jillian said, but basically she said that losing fat is losing fat whether you are 20 or 60. It requires you to eat less and move more.  Then she gave examples like Madonna (58), Jane Fonda (80), and Helen (mid 50s) from Season 7 of Biggest Loser. She basically said it is in menopausal women’s heads that they can’t lose weight.

This certainly didn’t settle well with the hundreds of menopausal trainers in the audience. In one respect, I do get Jillian’s point.  She is saying we can’t use age as an excuse and that we need to exercise intensely more than ever as we age and eat the right foods and we must get enough sleep, manage stress the best we can, and eliminate toxic people from your life.

I 100% agree with this.

But…

I spent much of the past 3 days in lectures and workouts focusing on menopausal women’s issues and there are distinct challenges and issues that occur when your body dramatically reduces its estrogen production and eliminates progesterone secretion. So my response back to Jillian would be:

“Jillian, you are right, we can’t use age as an excuse why we can’t exercise at a very intense level and eat healthy food and lose weight, BUT fat gain happens MUCH EASIER after menopause, particularly in women’s stomach areas.”

Is it impossible to lose fat after menopause?  Of course not!  You just need to employ some additional strategies and small habits into your life that you maybe didn’t have to have during your 20s, 30s, and 40s to stay the same size. In Madison, we have become the undisputed leader in training/coaching menopausal women and beyond in both our Fit over 50 small group training program and Killer Kurves.

We are able to get our clients in their 50s, 60s and 70s to lose weight, build strength, and dramatically improve their cardio/energy by employing some specific strategies that most women aren’t currently doing including what we are eating. Our nutritionist, Tracie Fountain, will be with us this Tuesday night to share what specific foods you should EAT and AVOID to reduce inflammation and joint pain and reduce body fat.

If you are within driving distance of Madison, you need to attend this free event. RSVP here ->->https://fitmomsforlife.leadpages.co/nutrition101/

If you are out of state, we are planning on live streaming it (assuming technology cooperates) and you can register for the live stream here ->->http://app.webinarjam.net/register/7802/cfa70b59d5

Are you 50 or older?

My trainers and I have opened up some additional times in the earlier morning, midday, and later afternoon for small group training and we also have a handful of spots remaining in our Killer Kurves (for any age if you have 30 or more pounds to lose) coaching program, which starts in just over a week.

->-> Click here to fill out a short interest form and I will call you up to discuss your goals. <-<-

In a few days, I will be sharing with you what I learned about losing fat after menopause.  This is SO important to do if you are in that stage of life, and SO important to start to do if you are in your 30s or 40s, because if you start doing these things now, you won’t be in for such a rude awakening.

[LIVE EVENT] Answers to your most-asked nutrition questions!

By | Balance, Health, Healthy Snacks, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Uncategorized
“Should I go gluten-free?”  I get this question a lot from clients.  

We are excited to be able to answer this and your other most-asked nutrition questions in a live, free event with FM4L nutritional consultant Tracie Fountain, next Tuesday, September 29 at 7 PM. See below for more info and how to register (for both in-person and online broadcast access).

Going gluten-free is certainly popular right now and it’s true that many people may benefit significantly. But it’s also a massive market and many of the “healthy” gluten-free products out there now may be worse for you than the bread you were trying to avoid! If you want to try going gluten-free, go for a whole-foods based diet and cook things yourself, rather than relying on gluten-free processed foods.

Here are a handful of delicious gluten-free breakfast ideas:

Two ingredient pancakes

Protein waffles (use gluten-free oats)

Quinoa breakfast bowl

Gluten-free spinach strata

We are excited to be able to offer you the chance to learn more about healthy nutrition in general in a live event next week. Our awesome nutritional consultant, Tracie Fountain, is coming in to talk about how foods can heal your body, increase your metabolism and balance your blood sugar.

This popular Nutrition 101 presentation will take place Tuesday, September 29 at 7PM Central, at the Fit Moms Transformation Center—202 South Gammon Road, Madison WI.

→Click here to reserve your FREE spot, as this event always fills to capacity←

For those of you not local to Madison, we are excited to be able to offer you a LIVE broadcast of this event!

→Click here to reserve your spot for the online broadcast←


We look forward to seeing you next week!

Dustin

PS  If you are in the Madison area, we urge you to try to make it to the live event to be able to ask questions and participate more easily (…and also avoid potential technical issues with the live stream!)

Click here to RSVP to the in person event!

Click here to register for the online broadcast.

#1 Thing to Get Yourself Motivated to Exercise and Eat Healthy

By | Challenge, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset, Uncategorized

“Know Thine Own Self…”

This is what has been rolling around in my head for the past few weeks. I decided a few weeks ago that I am going to do the Ironman next year.  Not only do I want to complete it, I want to finish in under 12 hours. The past few years I have dabbled with the idea of “someday,” but seeing my mom die so suddenly this summer and my 25-year-old brother suffering a stroke just 2 days later, I was acutely reminded that someday isn’t guaranteed.

This is a big step for me.  If you have been following me at all for the past 10 years, you know I have been VERY anti cardio and long distance activities and have very little background in it. Side note: I still don’t believe it is the best way to lose fat and tone up; strength training, interval training, and healthy eating is still best for that.

Some of you know also that I really HATE the water.  I am really good laying by the pool getting a tan or sitting in a boat watching others jump in but me getting in the water is another story. I can barely swim to save my life and participating in the Ironman will make me swim 2.4 miles while being kicked and hit by 2,500 other swimmers.

Why am I sharing this all with you?

On my own will or motivation I have NO DESIRE to practice and learn how to swim.  I also don’t have a strong desire to run long distances. I do LOVE to bike, but only with groups, not a big fan of riding alone. I also don’t know how to really TRAIN for an Ironman.

I am doing what I encourage you to do, which is to hire a coach. My coach is a professional Ironman athlete and also works with about 200 others to help them complete their first race or work towards turning pro.

Having my coach will:

  • Reduce the chances of injury
  • Make things more fun
  • Save me time researching best training programs, gear, and nutrition
  • Introduce me to others in the Madison community training for Ironman
  • Push me harder than I would push myself
  • Help me overcome stumbling blocks that will inevitably occur over the next year
  • Cheer me on during my successes and comfort and encourage me during my challenges
  • Help me reach my goals faster

Over the past 24 days, I have had 310 women, ages 50 and up, apply for our NEW small group training program.  I have spoken to over 200 of them on the phone and most have told me the same thing, which is, “I realize that I don’t seem to be motivated to do it on my own.  I know what to eat, and I know I should exercise more, but I just can’t seem to do it.” They say it like there is something wrong with them.  There is nothing wrong with you if you struggle with motivating yourself to exercise more and eat healthier.

Just like I don’t want to learn how to swim or run long periods of time, I know I need a coach to be there for me.

If you are in the Madison area and are interested in learning more about this unique program, here is the link to apply and after I receive your application, I will personally call you to set up a time for you to visit one of our classes.  Apply ->  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/fitover50

If you live near an Ironman race, I can’t encourage you enough to go out and watch the swim start at 7 AM and then the finish line at the Capitol Square between 9pm and midnight.  You will shed some tears and be in awe. Ironman Wisconsin is in Madison on Sunday, September 13th.  Come join me at Monona Terrace at about 6:30 AM and watch one of the greatest sports spectacles.  If all goes as planned, one year from now I will be in that water ready for a day I will never forget.

Just in case you were trying to remember the rest of the quote above? This above all – to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night follow days, thou canst not be then false to any man. ~ William Shakespeare

Good words to live by!

Join the 6 Week Challenge: “I’m entering the best decade of my life!”

By | Balance, Behavior Change, Fabulous Over 50, Health, Lifestyle, Six Week Challenge, Strength, Uncategorized
I talk to men and women everyday who tell me they wished they lived near Madison so they could participate in our programs. I wish everyone did but knowing that’s not possible is what led me to create the 6 Week Challenge.
I also get questions about whether it really works. It does! But you don’t have to take my word for it, read Kris’ story here:

234I’ve never been athletic. Phy Ed was the class I dreaded going to. I was blessed with a long lean body and fabulous metabolism. My mom prepared plenty of home cooked meals, but we also had plenty of processed food. It was a “normal” diet as that’s what everyone in my circle was eating.

I had my first child at the age of 25. Even though I gained nearly 50 pounds during the pregnancy, I lost it within the next few months. I maintained at 130 pounds and gained 30 pounds with my second child at the age of 28. And then, the battle for those last ten pounds began. With two kids and a full-time job there was no room for exercise let alone cooking a meal that didn’t contain at least one processed item.

Over the years I purchased the latest exercise equipment, the quick fix diet pills and plans, the latest videos. Many times I would lose the weight, but then it would creep back on and then some.

Memorial Day weekend 2012, two weeks before my 47th birthday, I decided I had enough. I was nearly 50 pounds overweight, my belly sat in my lap, no strength, no energy and I would get winded on a flight of stairs. I set a personal goal: To be in the best shape of my life by my 50th birthday. I’m hoping to have grandchildren someday and I want to be an active Grandma that can keep up with her grandchildren.

While surfing the net, an ad flashed on the screen with a picture of a woman holding out her jeans showing how much weight she had lost. I clicked on the ad and was taken to the Fit Mom’s for Life program. It was very intriguing as I had not seen a program that offered so much for Mom’s in the different stages of motherhood. And who was this good looking young man and why did he want to help me get into better health? I loved that he was located in the city I worked in. It made him real and trustworthy. No pills. Just honest to goodness commitment to exercise and clean eating. I ordered the DVD series. 12 DVDs for the next year and used them from the privacy of my own basement. When they arrived I started getting up earlier in the morning. You have to understand that I am NOT a morning person. This was definitely a challenge especially on those dark, cold winter mornings. I watched the nutritionist piece at the end of the first DVD and visited Tracie’s website. My sister and I went to her Nutrition 101 class. The awesome things we learned! I immediately started cleaning out my pantry and changing up my grocery list. There were very sad faces when I announced I would no longer be purchasing Poptarts. Guess what? Everyone is still living without Poptarts!

When they say 80% of your success is diet over exercise, they are speaking the truth. Start with your diet. Keep a food journal to teach yourself the macro’s of the food you are2 choosing. There are great on-line food journals that make this easy. Plan, plan, plan! Cook more chicken breasts than you will need for dinner so you have them for your salads. Make a big batch of steel-cut oats and portion it out for the week. I packed my lunch bucket with everything I planned to consume during the day and logged it immediately. I would then see how much room was left for the dinner I had planned. I could then adjust what was in my lunch pail to stay within my protein, fat and calorie goal. Over the course of a short couple of weeks I learned so much about food. My typical day is a protein smoothie for the commute into work. A couple of hours after I’m at work, I have breakfast  (2 eggs -hardboiled or scrambled in the micro, steel cut oats with almond milk and fruit, or a cup of greek yogurt with fruit). For lunch I have a salad. Mixed greens, a protein (usually chicken or salmon), fresh veges and a drizzling of homemade dressing. I have two favorites: Lime juice, minced garlic, pepper and olive oil or stone ground mustard and local honey. My afternoon snack is typically a piece of fruit with 12 almonds, or greek yogurt with cinnamon. My husband does not like many vegetables and the ones he likes are starchy, so I’ve learned to cook one he will eat and cook one for me for dinner. If you’ve never roasted vegetables, I highly recommend it. So flavorful with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasoning. I chose lean proteins and we grill a lot. One food challenge I did was a two week raw food challenge. I was determined to give two weeks of my life to the program and be really brave and try the vegetables I had never tried before. It was an amazing experience. They were some I didn’t like and some I needed to acquire a taste for, but what an accomplishment to not eat one piece of cooked food for two weeks. The result was I discovered vegetables I would have never otherwise tried. I absolutely love beets now. I find myself asking what the fresh vege of the day is when we go out for dinner. So many amazing flavors when you train your taste buds to crave good clean foods.

I did fairly well sticking to a 5-6 morning a week workout. I would do the strength training one day and then the cardio and core the next. It didn’t take very long before I was putting aside the 5 and 10 pounds weights for 15’s and 20’s. I now own 25’s and 30’s as well. There were definitely periods of time where life interrupted and I got out of the daily habit, but I was feeling so good and losing weight and inches that I was encouraged to get back at it. I also set a goal to run in a 5K mud run eight months after starting the DVDs. I needed something out there that would keep me motivated. Remember how I said I’m not athletic? When I first started running, I couldn’t even run a block. How in the world would I run a 5K, in the mud, with obstacles. Each time I ran on our farm, I would pick a spot and will myself to run to it. I did that first mud run. Walked part of it, but completed it and it felt great. And I got to meet Dustin in person at that race. There have been a few more mud runs since and I can now run a full 5K without walking. What I discovered was the DVD workouts contributed to my running endurance more so than the once a week run I would do. Strengthen the body and everything improves.

23It wasn’t easy. There were many moments of wondering if it was worth it. But I can tell you, it was worth it. Even when I just didn’t want to do one more rep, it was worth it. I’m very proud of the fact I made my goal when I turned 50 this past June. Thirty-five pounds lost. Four dress sizes gone. The best was when I was hauling heavy buckets with my husband and he said, “You’ve got guns!”

My journey is not done. The difference between this time and all the other times is I made a life style change. I made my mind up that it was going to be hard work as I no longer have fabulous metabolism. I gave myself a realistic timeline to work towards my goal. I will not go back to eating the way I used too. My grocery cart is filled with fresh food. When I skip a day or three of exercising, I miss it. I’m told I look younger and honestly I feel many years younger. I truly believe I’ve entered my best decade yet.

You are never too old to take charge of your health and care for the one and only body the Good Lord gave you. Don’t expect a quick fix. Just start and take it one step at a time and one short-term goal at a time. Be that role model for your family. Be that physically fit, healthy Grandma so your grandchildren can make memories with you for many years to come.

Thank you, Kris, for sharing your inspiring story with us! You’ve worked so hard and I am thrilled that we are able to partner with you on your journey.

If you’d like to improve your health, eat better, move your body and live a more quality-filled life, please join the thousands of women (and men) who have joined the 6 Week Challenge. We’ve continued to make improvements to the program since Kris started and now everything (menus, recipes, videos, workouts and more) is available online but we still have hard copies of everything if that’s your preference. More information can be found here or email me with any questions and I or one of my staff will respond.

One Key to Happiness!

By | Behavior Change, Health, Lifestyle, Mindset, Strength, Uncategorized

There are times in life when things happen that are beyond our control.  There was nothing I could have done to prevent my mom’s death, but I do have 100% control over the meaning I give it and how I handle things moving forward.

I could:

  • Be bitter towards God
  • Regret times in the past when I could have spent more time with her
  • Dwell on the fact my mom will never see me get married or have kids
  • Try to blame the doctors for missing a ticking time bomb in my mom’s brain
  • Etc…

But I choose:Wedding

  • Trust God will turn this tragedy into triumph
  • Celebrate all the amazing times we did have together
  • Be thankful my mom got to see one of her sons get married and enjoy the birth of one grandchild
  • Be thankful that her legacy will live on through stories to future wife and kids
  • Accept the fact that life isn’t always fair and we aren’t 100% control of things
  • Treasure each day as a gift

What meaning you give to the many events, conversations, and interactions you have each day will greatly determine your happiness in life. Maybe you are riding your bike and fall and break your collar bone.  You could get into a negative mindset and tell yourself things like, I am so clumsy, I always get hurt, bad things always happen to me, see I shouldn’t exercise, etc.

Or…

You could tell yourself, at least I got hurt while being active, it was just a fluke accident, looks like I get to work on my legs for a few weeks, this gives me a great opportunity to focus on my nutrition, etc.

Today, think about an event or conversation you have recently had that you have given a negative meaning towards, and change those beliefs up.

 

Does it really matter?

By | Balance, Fabulous Over 50, Health, Lifestyle, Moms, Mothers, Nutrition, Uncategorized

1 mom 3Many thoughts crossed my mind as I made the painful 4.5 hour drive from Madison to Minneapolis after hearing the news my mom was on life support after suffering a massive brain aneurysm.

One of the questions rolling in my head was, does it really matter? My mom was one of the healthiest people I have ever met.  She ate incredibly well, managed stress better then most, maintained a healthy weight, got enough sleep and stayed decently active. Why then could she suffer this without warning at 66 years old?  I asked the doctor this question as we were ready to take her off life support. He said the usual, “life isn’t fair and your mom had very bad luck.”
 
After taking a step back and having a week to think about it, my answer (and therefore, my calling) is “yes, it does still matter”. My mom’s odds were in favor of living well into her 80s or 90s with good quality of life. But more than that, my mom’s quality of life was off the charts.  Besides the hospitalizations to give birth 4 time, she was never in the hospital.  She rarely got a cold or any sort of sickness, she didn’t take any prescription drugs that I am aware of and her energy levels were incredible. Plus, she was an incredibly healthy example for her kids and her friends.  I can’t tell you how many of her girlfriends she helped eat better and feel better. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow but living a healthy lifestyle is still the best way to live in my opinion.
 
I am humbled by the outpouring of financial support for the Joy “Fit Moms” Scholarship.  We have raised over $9,000 so far.  The scholarships will probably average about $300, which means over 30 new people will have a life changing experience this year.  We are finalizing the scholarship application process and will be opening that up soon (check out the PS below for K2 scholarships that are available immediately).
 
->-> Click here to donate if you feel like doing so.<-<-
 
This coming Sunday in Madison, I am hosting a client appreciation family pool party.  The day before my mom’s incident, she emailed and called me so excited to attend.  Families are encouraged to come out together and bring something for the potluck.  My mom lived for days like these.  My dad and most of my family has agreed to travel to the pool party and at 3 pm we will have a 10 minute or so tribute to my mom.
 
This is a free event for you but please RSVP if you can make it. ->-> RSVP for pool party and potluck. <-<-

Farewell to My Hero… My Mom

By | Fit Moms for Life Pledge, Fit Moms for Life Six Week Challenge, Health, Lifestyle, Moms, Mothers, Transformation Center, Uncategorized

I unexpectedly lost my hero today…

My mom passed away peacefully in the arms of our family as we sang worship songs to usher her into her eternal place in Heaven. 21 hours earlier, she suffered a massive stroke in her brain and the doctors did all they could to keep her on life support until we could all get there to see her.

1 MomIf I could sum up her life it was:

  • love Jesus
  • love dad
  • love kids
  • love friends
  • serve others

While sitting in the ICU holding her hand, kissing her forehead and shedding a lot of tears, I decided I needed to write her a letter, which I want to share with you below. I read it aloud to her and to everyone gathered around her bed. It took me a long time to get through all the tears but at the end I had made peace with whatever was going to happen next.

I share this intimate and personal letter with you in hopes of honoring the incredible human being my mom was.

1 Mom 2“Mom, I can’t believe I am sitting here watching you lay motionless without the ability to do anything but pray and write out my thoughts. For 32 years, you have been my rock, the woman I looked up to. I know life is like a vapor and I thank God everyday for breath and health for all our family but experiencing this firsthand, with no warning, is more painful and raw than I could have ever imagined.

You were the perfect mom, you had unlimited patience, kindness and compassion and love towards me and every person you came in contact with. You were the rock of
health, never having gone to the hospital except to deliver your 4 children.  I can only remember one or two times in my life that you had more than a cold. 
I know we made you proud because you would tell us almost everyday. I have no regrets about our relationship. I am thankful for the nearly daily phone calls we would have in my 20s and early 30s, all the trips to and from Madison and telling you I loved you and you telling me the same.

You were the most amazing wife for dad. You have set a very high standard on who I will marry someday, that is probably why I am still single at 32. If this is your time to meet Jesus (I hope it is not quite yet), we will take care of dad and make sure he has everything he needs, maybe even a chef. I can’t change what is happening but I can step up my game and be a bigger man and extend your legacy here on earth. You are the most spiritual woman I have ever met and showed Jesus’s love each and every day. 

You inspired me to inspire others.

You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. 

I love you more than I have ever told you and you will be in my daily thoughts and prayers until the day we meet in Heaven.”

Your eldest son, 

Dustin

While watching my mom quietly sleep, I kept asking the question how can her legacy continue on? She believed so much in the Transformation Center and all of the Fit Moms for Life programs.

Then it hit me, let’s create the Joy “Fit Moms” Scholarship fund to help others who desperately want and need what the TC and FM4L have to offer. I have set up a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising at least $15,000 and hopefully much more. These funds will be used to give partial scholarships to the TC to those who apply.

Donate here->-> http://www.gofundme.com/fitmoms

The initial goal was to raise $5,000 but from the very generous donations so far, we should be able to far succeed that.  Thanks in advance for honoring my mom and giving the gift of life and transformation to a deserving person. Donate here->-> http://www.gofundme.com/fitmoms